[Marxism] American Indian reflects on Veteran's Day

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Nov 11 18:50:39 MST 2005

This is from Eugene Johnson from the Siletz and Blackfoot Nations. He is 
host of the radio show Mitakuye Oyasin on KBOO radio in Portland, Oregon. 
Could you put this out on the lists?

take care,

Jim Craven

Today is the day that here in the states, we get to hear how our veterans 
fought and died for our freedom. Yeah...

Ok, here we go again...

How is taking away the freedom of other's to live protecting my freedom? 
What do these people know of my freedom? What do these people know of the 
freedom of Indians on reservations? What do they know of the freedom of the 
children who go hungry? What do they know of the freedom of those who have 
no health care? What of the freedom of blacks in New Orleans? I could go on 

Freedom. What freedom? What is freedom other than a word to encourage poor 
people to kill poor people somewhere else in the world so wealthy MEN can 
steal their wealth. Veterans are nothing but the strong arm for theives, at 
least veterans in this country.

NEVER have I felt my freedom protected by these killers directly. My 
freedom to live as an Indian has been stolen by the same organization these 
men and women kill for. My life was STOLEN before I was even born. I'm free 
to live in a mainstream society and redefine what it is for me to be Indian 
in it. Freedom... What the fuck does it mean?

Freedom: a word tossed around in the form of propaganda to support killers 
to oppress and murder those of other nations in order for a few mostly 
white men to make billions and billions of dollars; what murdered some 
3,000,000 Vietnamese and killed some 56,000 americans; what created that 
Iraqi man during this latest war to cry over the bodies of his 15 dead 
relatives; what created boarding schools where Indian children were turned 
into slaves and raped and used as sex rewards and murdered; what 
slaughtered the buffalo; what destroyed the salmon; why Germonimo was 
shipped off in a railroad car; why 200 American corporations made millions 
supporting the Nazis; what created the nuclear bomb; etc.

Veteran: a human being who will murder and slaughter their fellow human 
beings for freedom.

Very few people in this country examine what it means to murder our fellow 
human beings for freedom. How is taking away the freedom of someone to live 
protecting the freedom of others? No one asks.

I have many friends who are veterans. All of these friends are against war. 
Like the great marine corps general, Smedley Darlington Butler, they know 
"War is a Racket." Many of these friends have killed many people. Some have 
made a personal peace with the people they were trying to kill in the name 
of freedom. They know that what they were really doing was not fighting for 
freedom, but fighting to protect and create wealth for the elite.

Indians in the military is a touchy subject for me. I understand that 
Indians join the military in order to create some sort of successful life 
for themselves. Some buy into the bullshit of the obscure and undefined 
concept alleged to be freedom. But the truth is, they are fighting and 
killing indigenous peoples in other nations for the wealthy of the U.S. 
governments corporate owners.

There is a concept of warriorhood. To me, a warrior is someone who stands 
up for the people, protects the people, cares for the people, assures the 
human rights for the people, etc. A warrior can be man or woman or any 
other gender. A warrior may have never joined the military, and most 
Indians who have joined the military are NOT warriors in my opinion. I do 
not participate or observe grand entries at powwows. I do not believe in 
carrying the U.S. flag before all others when the U.S. government has 
committed and continues to commit genocide against our peoples. I do not 
believe in honoring those who fought and possibly killed to protect the 
theiving genocidal U.S. government. However, I AM a human who does believe 
in freedom and will not stand in the way of my fellow humans in honoring 
veterans as alleged warriors. My definition of warrior is so much more than 
someone who has joined the military to kill for the wealth of the elite.

Fighting for the land. This makes no sense to me either. Fighting for the 
land which is illegally under the control of the U.S. government. Would we, 
as Indians, have created toxic wastes? nuclear bombs? dams? made plants and 
animals extinct or endangered? raped children in boarding schools? etc.? If 
you are an Indian in the military or a veteran, I will be honest with you 
and tell you...YOU ARE NOT FIGHTING FOR THE LAND! Again, this is an obscure 
concept, like freedom and warrior.

Veteran's Day is an obscure holiday. It is a day to honor those who have 
joined the military of the U.S. government. However, at the same time, the 
U.S. government is taking away their health benefits. They put our family 
and friends in harms way to steal the wealth of other nations for the 
U.S.'s corporate owners. There ARE already homeless vets from this alleged 
war on terror. Is that freedom? Is that the freedom those vets were 
fighting for?

Our children are coming home damaged. Some come homes in boxes, some come 
home with severe mental damage, some come home with body parts gone, many 
have become suicidal, etc., and the corporations they have killed for get 
off scott free with all they crimes they commit.

I would never do anything to interrupt people celebrating veteran's day. 
But don't forget, veterans are not really being honored when their health 
care is being stolen by the wealthy they are killing and oppressing for. 
When they come home in pieces and are unable to get the help they need, 
that's not honoring. Giving them this obscure stupid day does nothing. I 
believe in freedom, so celebrate if you want. I'd rather that those fellow 
human beings have health care and so much more. I'd rather those fellow 
human beings not slaughter and oppress for the wealthy. But that's just me.

My father was a veteran. He joined during the Korean War, and was lucky 
enough for the war to end three days before he got there. I told him many 
times before his passing that I was glad that he had not gotten there 
during the war, otherwise he may not have come back or would have come back 
a completely different human being.

Veteran's day means nothing to me. It is a day set aside to allege support 
for those who have been in the U.S. military. Yet, these human beings are 
being put in harms way to create and protect the wealth of the few. They 
murder and oppress indigenous peoples of other nations in order that the 
theives at the top can STEAL it all. They come home damaged and are unable 
to get care. They come home in boxes. They come home and find themselves on 
the streets while the wealthy they murdered for don't even care about them. 
Veteran's Day (like freedom, warrior, land, etc.) is just an obscure 
propagandized concept in order to get American support behind the ILLEGAL 
activities of the wealthy.

So celebrate and enjoy the day as you will, but I hope you all understand 
that this obscure holiday does nothing to honor veterans.

A few final thoughts:

Was the use of white phosphorous in Fallujah protecting my freedom?

To paraphrase the vet I saw on "Farenheit 911": "You know what they say 
about how killing someone takes away a piece of your soul...well...it's true."

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