Ware Lecturer Winona LaDuke

Winona LaDuke is a powerful voice in the global fight against a host of evil actions and ideas.  She is as progressive as progressive gets.  In my actions and ideals, I find her as an ally in many areas.  Currently, that has to do mostly with our unconnected fights against insane coal development projects.

On November 16th, she posted this at her main Facebook niche, Honor the Earth:

“…euro-americans in the United States can’t talk about Gaza, because we can’t talk about Israel. Because we can’t talk about the fact that the world is not suffering from a Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but that the world is suffering from the fact that Europe has never been able to deal with it’s ‘Jewish Question’ without some sort of intense barbarity and horror from the Inquisition to the Holocaust. And that Europe, in particular ‘Great’ Britain, the masters of divide an conquer ‘solved’ the problem by supporting the radical, terrorist, extremist Zionists and their mad plan to resettle the ‘homeland.’ We can’t talk about Israel because we can’t talk about Wounded Knee. Because we can’t talk about Sand Creek or Carlisle ‘Boarding School.’ Because we can’t talk about forced sterilization or small pox blankets or Kit Carson and his scorched earth policy in the Southwest. Because we have Andrew Jackson on our twenty dollar bill. Because we are one huge settlement on stolen land. We can’t talk about Israel because we are Israel.”

Comments at the Facebook post were dominated by a couple or few people who were hostile to anything that might be critical of Israel’s actions in Gaza this past week.

Early Wednesday, Adam Horowitz posted LaDuke’s Facebook entry in its entirety at Mondoweiss, pretty much without introduction or commentary on it.  Most commenters there perceived LaDuke’s brief statement as positive or interesting.  Some did not, possibly misinterpreting what LaDuke was saying.  I was bothered by one long-time Mondoweiss commenter’s – American – brief rant:

Actually this is meaningless crap………I could explain why but it would take too long.
Maybe someone else will feel like spending time on it.

Irritated, I responded:

I’ll take your bait, American.

I’ve been following and writing about Ms. LaDuke for a long, long time. Most recently, I wrote an article comparing her stance on some vital issues to Stewart Brand, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog:

link to my.firedoglake.com

LaDuke’s view of dispossession of indigenous cultures doesn’t isolate now from the 19th century. It is an account of an ongoing continuum. Find out what she is actually doing right now before you trash her statement as “crap.”

She does not view the assaults on Palestinians as being independent of similar assaults over a host of issues, resources, religious ideologies, ethnic/tribal competitions or national borders.

I’ve learned a fair amount from her activities and writings over the years, as have many or my Alaska Native colleagues dealing with cultural, climate change and resource development/ownership issues in Alaska and NW Canada. Being part (a smidgeon) Comanche, I feel some solidarity, but the planet’s survival transcends tribe.

Ms. LaDuke and I both view the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as less important than its centrality in the mix that keeps us accepting the degradation and distraction resulting from fascination over wars. And the issues the wars distract us from are far more important than the totality of the deaths, injuries and damage they cause:

1. The people who we killed (including many of my Vietnam War buddies who died slow agonizing deaths) in our Agent Orange campaigns are dead, but the Agent Orange is still there, silently killing.

2. The people the Israelis killed in the 2006 Hezbollah War in Lebanon are dead, but the effects of the gratuitous Jiyah Power Station oil spill into the Mediterranean continue to stifle life over hundreds of thousands of square miles of the eastern Med.

3. Deformed babies in the thousands will continue to be born into the next few centuries in areas where depleted uranium and similar very toxic weapons have been or are being used.

4. Paraphrasing from your comment, “I could go on and on, but it would take too long. Maybe someone else will feel like spending time on it.”

The most compelling and threatening issues facing mankind are global, not national or tribal:

1. Vulnerability of aging reactors and their growing spent fuel pools to a host of increasing dangers: plate tectonic changes, rising waters at cooling sources, larger storm surges from climate change, or sabotage.

2. Other nuclear waste problems (Hanford, Savannah River, several places in the former USSR and China), and nuclear weapon safeguards that are inadequate and aging.

3. Degradation of soil and water resources through wasteful agricultural practices worldwide.

4. Global warming itself.

LaDuke is intensely tuned into that. She creates metaphors that transcend the tribal, while simultaneously defending and promulgating what wisdom she has gained from her heritage.

You can read American’s CAP-FILLED response here.

Maybe American misunderstood what this sage woman had written because it was constrained by Facebook‘s limitations.  So, I decided to create a poem from what LaDuke has posted:

We Can’t Talk About Israel

“…euro-americans
in the United States
can’t talk about Gaza,
because we can’t talk about Israel.

Because we can’t talk about the fact
that the world is not suffering
from a Israeli/Palestinian conflict,
but that the world is suffering

from the fact
that Europe
has never been able to deal
with
it’s ‘Jewish Question’

without some sort of intense barbarity and horror
from the Inquisition to the Holocaust.

And that Europe,
in particular ‘Great’ Britain,
the masters of divide and conquer
‘solved’ the problem

by supporting
the radical,
terrorist,
extremist Zionists

and their mad plan
to resettle the ‘homeland.’

We can’t talk about Israel
because we can’t talk about Wounded Knee.
Because we can’t talk about Sand Creek
or Carlisle ‘Boarding School.’

Because we can’t talk about forced sterilization
or small pox blankets
or Kit Carson
and his scorched earth policy in the Southwest.

Because we have Andrew Jackson on our twenty dollar bill.

Because we are one huge settlement
on stolen land.

We can’t talk about Israel
because we are Israel.”

 

I hope that helps.

People are edgy in the aftermath of this week-long savagery.  Media pundits are having difficulty accepting why this gratuitous Israeli campaign has attracted so much more worldwide and U.S. media attention than the 2006 Lebanon campaign, the 2008-2009 Gaza campaign, or the May 2011 Gaza flotilla massacre did.  The professional or delusional amateur Hasbarists are unable to make their previous dents in blog comment dialogues, because people are becoming more knowledgeable on these issues.

These days, for every David Atkins, hired at Hullabaloo (he’s certainly driven away a lot of Digby fans, me included), there are now 1,000 or more Glenn Greenwalds.

Back in 2005, when Jane invited me to begin commenting at firedoglake, the opposite was the case throughout the so-called “lefty blogoshpere.”  Up until the 2006 Lebanon invasion, if one wrote “AIPAC” in a comment here, one went into moderation, sometimes overnight.  It was filtered.  That has changed – with a lot of hard work, contemplation and search for people like Kevin Gosztola, who are adept at negotiating the  minefields of I/P.

firedoglake, unlike Mondoweiss, has many issues we address having nothing to do with Palestine or Zionism.  This is not to dismiss Mondoweiss, nor its often vibrant comment community and contributing authors.

LaDuke’s statement reflects the broadness of our struggle brilliantly.