September 19, 2008

"War" threatens Medicine Bluffs

Ruling on Comanche-Sill dispute coming soonAttorneys for a Lawton-based Indian tribe want a federal judge to permanently stop construction of a proposed new warehouse at Fort Sill Army Post they say is being built on sacred land near the Medicine Bluffs peaks.

“Medicine Bluffs exists not only as a unique crescent of four peaks listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but also as a sacred church for Comanche people,” attorneys for the Comanche Nation wrote in a closing brief filed late Wednesday.

Military officials planned to build a new warehouse to serve as the post’s Training Service Center about one-third of a mile from Medicine Bluffs as part of an expansion with the Base Closure and Realignment commission in 2005.
The military's excuse:[U.S. Attorney Tom Major] stressed the importance of the new training facility in the military’s mission of preparing soldiers and the significant economic impact Fort Sill has to the southwest Oklahoma region.

“The United States is now at war,” Major wrote. “Training is the top priority of the Army. It is the cornerstone of combat readiness. Training is what Fort Sill does. With BRAC and the new missions and responsibilities that Fort Sill will assume, as many as 56,000 soldiers, sailors and Marines may be involved during any given year in the Army fulfilling its training obligations.”
Comment:  You gotta love Major's rationale for harming a sacred site. "The US is now at war...but if you don't buy that excuse, Fort Sill is also a major employer and jobs might be lost. I've given you two unrelated reasons to build the warehouse, so take your pick. Whichever one will get us what we want."

I've written before about how the unnecessary war on Iraq has diverted resources from funding Indian services and protecting Indian sites. Here's a more direct example of America's bias against Indians. The government favors something that's only distantly related to the war on terror over something that's directly related to Comanche culture. For the umpteenth time, we "honor" Indians in theory while hurting them in reality.

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