May 24, 2007

Lakota vet opposes war

Tribal official's criticism of veterans causes uproar on reservation

Oglala council member's anti-war blast prompt talk of recall"I'm opposed to all wars and conflicts because women and children die, and I don't honor that," he said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "I feel that I'm a person of high moral character. Regardless of what nation-state commits the acts of war, I do not agree. Past or present."

Little said the fact that a nation-state sanctions an invasion or war "does not absolve the individual of an act of murder. It does not give any human a license to kill indiscriminately and with impunity."

But Little's opposition to the military reflects an issue larger than how a soldier conducts himself in war. It's about whose war it is.

"Six years ago, I made the conscious decision, announced it in a local paper, that I was going to burn an American flag in protest of the colonialism and the laws the United States imposed on us as Lakota people," he said. Little did burn a U.S. flag, prompting Lakota veterans to lobby for a tribal ordinance against desecrating or burning a U.S. flag. The law passed.

"The people of Oglala District have known for years ... that I detest being occupied by the United States, and I detest this colonial rule we're under," Little, who had also espoused his views on his own radio program, said. "It was no secret, yet I was voted in."
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Native Intelligence:  The Long View.

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