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IV. The Military and the Future The Bears were different. In times past, they were warriors, the ogichidaag, those who defended the people. Sometimes they still are. We are what we are intended to be when we have those three things that guide our direction- our name, our clan and our religion. —Winona LaDuke, Last Standing Woman132 So here we are in the seventh generation and well into a new millennium. We face immense challenges ecologically, economically, socially and individually , challenges that threaten humankind and the planet inseparably. Many of these challenges stem from the historic role of the US military in implementing the Doctrine of Manifest Destiny. Indeed, creating and maintaining the worldwide American empire with the most expensive military on the planet has huge implications—whether in Native America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East or anywhere else. The costs in every sense are astronomical. We face challenges of exceptional severity in human and economic costs due to the still-unfolding catastrophic decision by the Bush-Cheney administration to invade Iraq and hope like crazy to find some weapons of mass destruction hidden over there somewhere so they wouldn’t look so stupid. The reality is that weapons of mass destruction remain all over Indian Country—from Umatilla to the Skull Valley Goshute communities—and the impacts of the military toxins will likely have major health impacts on these and other communities. As well, that the military should label Osama bin Laden, the world’s most despised terrorist, with the name “Geronimo” is an insult to all Native people. It is also a collective Freudian slip, the Nation’s unconscious Winona LaDuke 76 thinking spilled out into the open—one of those moments when your “friend” blurts out what he really thinks of you—not so far removed from what General William Tecumseh Sherman had to say about war with the Indians just a few generations ago, as an expression of US military policy: But the more we can kill this year, the less will have to be killed the next war. For the more I see of these Indians the more convinced am I that they have all to be killed, or be maintained as a species of pauper.133 In short, militarization’s historic relationship and baggage, vis a vis indigenous peoples, permeates policy and practice, and although the Indian Wars were technically over by 1900, it seems that they remain—in ongoing pollution , destruction of peoples, land seizures and metaphor. THE END OF MANIFEST DESTINY … THE RISE OF PLAN B 4.0 Transforming the role and mission of the US military, the most powerful institution in the nation and in the world, is perhaps the single most important factor in the equation. The challenges we face in the twenty-first century are unlike anything the world has seen before, this time with elevated levels of poisons, toxins, radioactivity and greenhouse gases. The reality is that we have the financial and technical resources to save Mother Earth, it is just that they are not being brought to bear in the right ways: in the direction of protecting the planet, restoring topsoil, cleaning and preserving aquifers and stopping global climate destabilization. Much of the critical resources and a good portion of the world’s most significant technological leaps remain in mili­ tary hands. Lester Brown, in Plan B 4.0, a publication of the Worldwatch Institute, discusses the financial allocations essential to transforming the world’s social and environmental destruction. In simple terms, he says we need a reallocation of resources from the military toward real world security. In short, Earth restoration efforts are critical to world security. Climate change is viewed as one of the single most destabilizing factors in world economic , political and subsequent military changes; people who are embedded in famines (Somalia), or made refugees by climate change-related disasters (tsunamis) need food and resources and are prey to militarization. The Militarization of Indian Country 77 The Worldwatch Institute proposes an allocation of resources for world security. This includes preserving topsoil (with an estimated cost of $24 billion annually), protecting biodiversity ($31 billion annually), renewable energy, access to birth control, and stabilizing water tables—and can be actualized with an appropriation garnered from present world military budgets. In a streamlined budget, the Worldwatch Institute suggests that $187 billion annually over the next ten years, plus an application of political will and technical support, would be the way to secure our future both ecologically and in...


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MARC Record
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