March 24, 2011

Seminoles compared to al Qaeda

A Miami Herald article demonstrates the near-constant racism and stereotyping against Indians. offers a good summary of this article:

Seminole Tribe 'offended' by military comparison to terroristsThe Seminole Tribe of Florida will ask the Department of Defense to withdraw portions of a brief that compared Seminole ancestors to the terrorist group al-Qaeda.

The comparison showed up in a case in the U.S. Court of Military Commissions Review. Government lawyers likened the situation to the treatment of two British men who were hanged in 1818 for helping the Seminoles resist the U.S. military.

“Not only was the Seminole belligerency unlawful, but, much like modern-day al Qaeda, the very way in which the Seminoles waged war against U.S. targets itself violate the customs and usages of war," the brief stated.

The argument drew an angry response from the tribe. “To equate the historic struggle of our ancestors in resisting General Andrew Jackson’s unlawful invasion of our homeland to al Qaeda terrorism is a vicious distortion of well-documented history,” general counsel Jim Shore told The Miami Herald.

“The Government’s strained comparison of Native Americans to al Qaeda is disrespectful to our Tribe, all American Indians and our American Indian military veterans, as well as those in active military service,” Shore added.

After the National Congress of American Indians complained, government attorneys submitted another brief in which they said they weren't trying to "equates" the behavior of the Seminoles to those of al-Qaeda. The brief also said the government “in no way questions or impugns the valor, bravery and honorable military service of Native Americans, past and present."
In the original article, a professor rips the government's claims:

War court filing comparing Seminoles to al Qaeda stirs protest

By Carole RosenbergDavis, the history professor, calls the comparison “ridiculous.”

“One can make the argument that al Qaeda is the aggressors,” he told The Miami Herald from Gainesville, “but the Seminoles were the innocent targets.”

“It was Jackson invading the territory of a sovereign country, Spain, and he’s executing within that territory citizens of another sovereign country, Britain.”
Some commenters on Facebook also ripped the government's claims:It is amazing that such terrible acts can be perpetrated against Native Americans and that rights and ways of life can be so profoundly reduced and yet the victims in such circumstances are portrayed as demons. It hurts my heart to think about it too.

Really? I don't get it. Ridiculous. I am less insulted by the blatant disrespect [than] I am by the brutal distortion of logic. A far more fitting comparison to al Qaeda is Andrew Jackson himself. Jackson, Kit Carson, and their compatriots...Manifest is that if not a campaign of terror?

Absurd how settler societies create discourses of criminality against those very same people they victimize. Israel constantly uses this same al Qaeda script against the Palestinians.

Interested parties are doing the same thing to the history of labor. When someone takes all your stuff and forces you into poverty, fighting back gets you labeled a terrorist. This is the logic of the folks in power in so many of our states now.
Comment:  So the comparison isn't only insulting, it's factually wrong. Florida was part of a foreign country when Jackson invaded it in 1818. When you invade and occupy foreign territory (e.g., Israel in 1967, Bush in 2003), you don't get to dictate your foe's defensive strategy. You're at fault and you deserve whatever punishment you get for your aggression.

For more on Andrew Jackson, see Why No Bloody Jackson Protests? and Andrew Jackson Institute Fights Seminoles.

P.S. The "Indian country" tag on this posting is for any US reference to Indians or Indian country as a military enemy.


dmarks said...

Great points, except for your little alternate-history on Iraq and Israel.

Anonymous said...

"Little alternate-history"? First off, no one can be as antisemitic as Israel's allies. What have we learned? That in order to be an ally of Israel, far from antisemitism disqualifying you, it's practically required! ;)

Now, Iraq, are you saying Bush didn't invade Iraq? And that Israel didn't attack as-Samu before the Arab states (The PLO doesn't qualify as an Arab state.) attacked Israel? By the way, the U.S. and Israel now favor Fatah.

dmarks said...

Preterism is interesting, but hardly relevant to anything here.

Fatah has backed off from the demand for extermination of the Israelis, while Hamas retains it. The tiny nation of Palestine is really two.

ziontruth said...

"When you invade and occupy foreign territory (e.g., Israel in 1967"

If the territory is in Palestine then it isn't foreign to the Jews. The Jews are the indigenous people of Palestine; falsely-called "Palestinians" are Arab settler-colonist invaders who are guilty of stealing an indigenous people's lands. Arabs are indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula and settlers everywhere else; Jews would be stealing Arab lands only if they constructed habitats in the Arabian Peninsula. In Palestine, Jews cannot by definition be settlers anywhere.

Seemi said...

Yes, Palestinians are the settlers...more Zionist lies and propaganda.

Denying the Palestinians exist at all. It is offensive, false and anyone who peddles or buys is it part of the problem. It has also been Israeli historians amongst many others.

Comparing any movement for freedom and resistance with Al Qaeda is wrong, offensive, insulting and yet sadly common.

Also, Hamas have indeed backed off from 'exterminating' (nice use of MEMRI inspired wording there) was a part of the Mecca Agreement and they have changed their charter and also said they would accept Israel based on the 1967 borders.

dmarks said...

""...more Zionist lies and propaganda...."

Thanks for the typical antisemitic, neo-Nazi code words.

Denying the Palestinians exist is bad, but so is also buying into the "Zionist" conspiracy crap.

"Also, Hamas have indeed backed off from exterminating "

Do you have evidence of this? I removed the quotes around exterminating, since this is what Hamas has been all about: exterminating Jews. Has this been removed from their charter?

Also, this has nothing to do with MEMRI... which appears to be some bogeyman of the antisemites. I researched Hamas to find out what they stood for.

dmarks said...

(Also, Hamas is one organization (singular). So the possessive "has" applies, instead of "have". I do not know of multiple Hamases. Maybe you do, and there is one that is not antisemitic. But the well known Hamas is quite Nazi-like.

Anonymous said...

Also, this debate has moved away from the original post. Which I am sorry for. This is about the continuing injustice against Native Americans and their history and struggle....

Anonymous said...

My first reply didn't post-
What about my words are anti-Semitic or Neo-Nazi?

I didn't say anything about a Zionist conspiracy- I mentioned propaganda....something the Zionist movement has in abundance and has been debunked by its own revisionist historians.

I don't need you correcting my English- 'have' works just fine.

I already mentioned the Mecca Agreement, Haniyeh himself has asked for a Palestinian state under the pre 1967 borders and

Hamas, like any movement have changed over time and will continue to. I personally don't think they are the best choice for the Palestinians but right now, they seem to be the only one, something you can thank Israeli policy for.

dmarks said...

"I didn't say anything about a [Jewish] conspiracy- I mentioned propaganda."

Propaganda being a word used for information you don't happen to like. And the genocidal anti-semites are really a lot worse than the victims here, which are the Jews.

Rob said...

The Jews were indigenous to Palestine 2,500 years ago, Ziontruth. Then they left in something you may have heard of called the Jewish diaspora:

And other people, including the Arabs, took over. Most of the Jews living in Israel today are recent immigrants, not "indigenous people."

As for the West Bank's status, the UN partition of Palestine supersedes any ancient tribal allegiances. Here are the facts on that:

When the United Nations General Assembly voted in 1947 to partition Palestine into a Jewish State, an Arab State, and an internationally administered enclave of Jerusalem, a more broad region of the modern-day West Bank was assigned to the Arab State. In the 1948 Arab-Israeli War most of the area assigned to the Arab State was occupied by Jordanian and Iraqi forces. Jordan annexed the West Bank after the war, and the annexation was recognized by the UK. The idea of an independent Palestinian state was not raised by the Arab populations there at the time, due to lack of political representation. King Abdullah of Jordan was crowned King of Jerusalem and granted Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and East Jerusalem Jordanian citizenship.