February 15, 2009

Defeating Apaches = defeating terrorists

A lecturer from a conservative think tank suggests what teachers should teach about Indians:

"What Students Need to Know about America's Wars"He begins by saying students wonder why they need to study the frontier wars. He tells the teachers gathered in the session why it is important, using Apaches as an example.

He shows a photograph of four Apache men. He describes carefully the weapons they hold and talks at length about how skilled they were. How they were able to blend into their surroundings, very resourceful, could survive for days with little food or water. They knew the terrain and were "tough as nails."

What did the US do to get them?

He shows the next photograph, one of men on horses. It is the calvary! On horseback, he tells us, the US was able to wear down, defeat, and capture the Apaches. And here is why studying the Frontier Wars matters. He says the US learned valuable lessons by fighting the Apaches, lessons that it uses today, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Because of wars with Indians, he says, the US developed its "special ops" teams.

Next slide?

It is a photograph of two men, with weapons, wearing masks. They're in Afghanistan or Iraq, Skarstedt doesn't specify. They, he says, are like those Indians. Tough, well-armed, fast moving, blend into the environment, lots of firepower, willing to endure great sacrifice.

His next photograph is one of soldiers, again, on horseback. They are, he tells us, the special ops unit that is pursuing fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Seeing those images used that way was deeply troubling to me. Apaches and Iraq/Afghanis. Obviously he feels they were/are enemies of the US who must be taken down.
(Excerpted from Debbie Reese's American Indians in Children's Literature, 2/10/09.)

Comment:  In other words, Indians were anti-American terrorists just as Iraqis and Afghans are anti-American terrorists. Nice.

For more on the subject, see Dueling Views on Geronimo and Enemy Territory as "Indian Country."

Below:  America's enemies?


dmarks said...

This one needs that "Homeland Security Fighting Terrorism Since 1492" illustration.

Anonymous said...

Geronimo was a rapist and murderer; hardly nothing to admire, but then almost every culture produces false heroes. So yeah comparing him to the 9/11 terrorists is a shoe that happens to fit him.

Rob said...

First, the comparison was between terrorists and Apaches, not terrorists and Geronimo. Are you claiming that every Apache was a terrorist?

Second, we covered what Geronimo did or didn't do in Dueling Views on Geronimo. The short answer is that "murder" during wartime isn't necessarily the same as murder during peacetime.