7 thoughts on “What Is It with the U.S. Military and Indians?

  1. Rico Newman May 3, 2011 / 9:50 am

    terrorism sounds a lot like colonialism with both having the same means and purpose. Geronimo fought within his homeland against invaders who sought to destroy his way of life and usurp his right of place. This demonstrates the victor not only gets the spoils that come from his atrocities but also gets to promote a jaundiced view of history in blaming the victim.

  2. Sarah Wheelock May 3, 2011 / 10:47 am

    Thanks for the links and brief note on the disturbing association between Indian Tribes and terrorists that the federal government is using in its current discourse. I am deeply troubled by it and find that it leaves a bitter taste and dampens any sense of pride I had in the United States’ actions in tracking down a criminal and terrorist. I look forward to seeing more commentary and analysis regarding the U.S. government’s and the American public’s desire to draw comparisons between international terrorists and our native tribes and people.

  3. megan May 3, 2011 / 11:48 am

    Unfortunately there’s quite a long history of military use of ‘Indian Country’ as a metaphor for various aspects of their missions and objectives. There’s an article in American Anthropologist in 2008 by Stephen Silliman that gives a helpful overview of the history of the use of these terms, and then focuses on their use in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, along with their implication for contemporary Native American peoples. I found his analysis helpful.

  4. Thomas Russell May 4, 2011 / 7:51 pm

    I am an Annishinabek, and I also served 12 years in the USAF. For as much disdain I have for the Government and our military using “Indian” tribal names in their missions and for names of certain equipment, ie…UH-1B/C Iroquois, Oh-58D Kiowa, OV-1 Mohawk, OH-6 Cayuse, AH-64 Apache, S-58/H-34 Choctaw, UH-60 Black Hawk, and the Thunderbird name, I cannot wonder as to why they continue to use the names of the Native peoples. My only guess would be that for all the time that has lapsed since the Indian Wars have ended, the US military…and most native and non-native peoples alike have a certain romantic nature that these names ‘still’ hold revelance. From my personal experience with the people in the US military, the use of the name Geronimo in association with Osama Bin-Laden was not ment to be offensive to Indian Country, but as a symbol of an adversary, who like Geronimo, was able to elude capture by the US military. It also was used to symbolize the ‘trophy’ status of this capture. The fault was in the association with a terrorist and not even thought about that Geronimo was a warrior. I would hope that even though this was an insult to Indian Country, it should not take away from the fact that there is one less terrorist walking among us. I listened to a Dennis Miller commentary today and after the aforementioned Mr. Miller made comment that…paraphrase, “I find it odd that Indians are getting upset about the use of the name Geronimo…Indians dont usually whine”, a caller then mentioned that Indians shouldn’t be so upset, after all Geronimo sold pictures of himself and was part of that Wild Buffalo Bill show”… I just laughed and thought, I’ll just let this pass because no matter how upset I get, these people really don’t even know who Geronimo was or what he stood for.

  5. Thomas Russell May 4, 2011 / 8:08 pm

    Sorry…spell check didn’t work: ‘Anishinaabe/Anishinabek’ & ‘Relevance’

  6. sharon May 5, 2011 / 1:47 pm

    Perhaps as a sincere apology the US Govt should just give Indian country the money that it gives Pakistan.

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