As everyone must now be aware, many nations and organizations (and family members) have asked the White House for an apology for using the “Geronimo” code name to describe Osama Bin Laden. I am wondering if NAISA plans to add its voice, whether before or during our upcoming conference.
The undeniable connection between Manifest Destiny and overseas imperial expansion has been well documented by many activists and scholars for many decades, including Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz and Richard Drinnon back in the 1980s, and most recently this week by Matthew Fletcher and Peter Vicaire.
In the past ten years, the target of U.S. counterinsurgency campaigns has increasingly become so-called “tribal regions” within Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya, as well as Indigenous regions of Mexico, Colombia, and many other countries, which are always depicted as lawless “breeding grounds” of terrorism.
I’ve documented this trend in a Counterpunch and Z article "The Global War on Tribes," and with maps on a powerpoint presentation. The military's focus on tribal regions has become a focus of our studies in our “A People’s Geography of American Empire” program at The Evergreen State College.
Powerpoint on Facing West--Manifest Destiny and overseas expansion http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/AF8FacingWest.ppt
It should be obvious that the "Geronimo" code name is not an aberration, but part of standard operation procedure in the 21st century. The outcry against this blatant disrespect to an Indigenous leader is an opportunity to highlight (and perhaps curb) this practice, and educate the public that the roots of U.S. foreign-military policy can be found in U.S. Indian policy. I hope that NAISA can contribute to this process with its own statement and/or resolution.
See you soon,
Dr. Zoltán Grossman
Member of the Faculty in Geography /
Native American & World Indigenous Peoples Studies
The Evergreen State College
Senior Research Associate,
Northwest Indian Applied Research Institute (NIARI)