Is Bush Joining up with Terrorism?
Native Intelligence—a Column by Jack Forbes

The so-called "War On Terrorism" has now been changed to an alliance with terrorism and terrorist states, judging from George W. Bush's apparently absolute support of Israeli aggression against Palestinian territory (which each day witnesses new terrors for Palestinian civilians as well as for foreign observers, news people, medical personnel, and international relief people).

Bush's recent visit to Red China where he sought to develop close ties with one of the most oppressive states on the globe has underlined concern that Bush's "war" is actually a thinly disguised excuse to advance US corporate and military interests without having anything to do with terrorism as such.

The People's Republic of China (PRC) is charged with currently being engaged in terrorism against Tibetans, against Uighur people of Sinkiang, against followers of the outlawed Fulan Gong spiritual movement, as well as against various Christian and other religious denominations. In Tibet, for example, the indigenous culture is being actively suppressed by armed force while Chinese settlers are moved in. The Chinese are reportedly already a slight majority but new plans indicate a big push to move more settlers in. Discrimination against Tibetans is enforced by terror.

But Bush's love affair with Beijing is not his only collaboration with terrorism. In the Middle East the US supports Israeli expansion into what was to be Palestinian territory, in violation of international law. In fact, Palestine is like the "Old West" with Israeli settlers being moved by the tens of thousands into armed settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, constantly forcing the relocation of Palestinians to ghettoes or "reservations" (refugee villages), with the seizure of Palestinian fields, trees, and water resources. These Israeli settlers, like white settlers in the Old West, are often armed and are always protected by the troops of the Israeli Army (in tanks and in "Apache helicopter gunships, instead of on horseback).

The push of settlers into the West Bank and Gaza, which has already taken up a great part of these areas, is precisely like white settlers moving into US or Canadian Indian Country and, in fact, the Palestinians are now "Israel's Indians." This aggression is apparently supported by Bush, perhaps because it so nicely mirrors Texas' policy towards Native People (which was, very simply, "ethnic cleansing"). As governor of Texas, Bush was hostile towards the states' two surviving Native communities.

Of course, the Israeli settlers are being attacked, on occasion, by Palestinians, just as white settlers along the frontier were attacked sometimes by Native Americans, but in both cases, the settlers could easily remove themselves from the zone of conflict by leaving the others' homelands alone! (I do not condone the slaughter of innocent civilians by either side, but the armed settlers do have a choice, after all, which the defenders do not. That is, they can stop being armed invaders.)

Bush has also developed apparently good relations with Russia, a country with a very grim record of terrorism against the Chechen people. The Chechens wanted an independent state of their own, after a long period of Russian imperial rule. The refusal of Russian leaders to allow the Chechens the self-determination favored by international law has resulted in a bitter struggle with terrorism on both sides. More recently, brutality has typified the Russian military behavior with terror used as an ordinary mode of operation.

The US under Bush is also maintaining or even strengthening ties with several other states guilty of repressive and/or terrorist policies. This list includes Colombia where right-wing paramilitary forces, allied, it is said, with the army, have massacred large numbers of Native Americans and others. Even worse is Turkey, a consistent recipient of US aid, where the Kurds and other non-Turkish groups have been viciously suppressed by years of terrorist oppression. But we never hear Bush criticizing Turkey as a part of an "evil axis" even though the treatment of the Kurds (such as even forbidding the use of the Kurdish language or the name "Kurd") goes far beyond the crimes charged to bin Laden and Al Queda.

The United States long supported Indonesia in its armed terror attacks upon the East Timor people. Even now, Bush does not speak out against the Indonesian suppression of the rights of the people of Irian Jaya (Papua New Guinea). Nor do we hear him mentioning the Burmese war against the Karen people nor many other examples of the use of terror for political purposes by powerful military cliques or colonizing governments.

President Bush reportedly referred to Israel's Ariel Sharon as a "man of peace!" This is revealing, because it seems that the only kind of "peace" which Sharon wishes for Palestinians is the "peace" of death or the silence of abject surrender as labor in the Israeli economy.

The context for Bush's statement, and for his recent kow-towing to Sharon, is the objective of the Likud Party and other rightwing Israeli extremists, which is, apparently, the expulsion of the majority of Christian and Muslim Palestinians from Palestine and their replacement by Jewish settlers. In short, "Indian Removal," as in the famed Cherokee "Trail of Tears." Ironically, this policy also resembles the Nazi German policy of eastward expansion with the removal and/or death of Jews, Slavs, and other non-Germans.

Indeed, Bush's enthusiastic embrace of Sharon and other terrorists has brought an end to the "war on terrorism." It's all over but for the burial of dead victims of violence and expansionism—Jews, Christians, and Muslims going into the Mother Earth together, all victims of the blindness of rage, greed, and true believer fanaticism.

© 2002 Professor Jack D. Forbes, Powhatan-Delaware, is the author of Red Blood, Africans and Native Americans, Apache, Navaho and Spaniard and other books. He is professor emeritus of Native American Studies, University of California, Davis. He can be contacted at his web site.

This article was originally published in News From Indian Country late April 2002 issue.


list of articles