Lakota Perspectives 


Americans Enjoy Killing



How long are you going to sit there, and let this go on?  Do you have a sense of outrage?  Or did you bury that at Wounded Knee?  As long as you are part of the cover-up, you are part of the gang that says nothing, does nothing, is nothing. 

Now that we are 5 years into the war, now that Iraq has been decimated, now that Bush and his gang of criminals have ordered the death of thousands of Arabs, now that Bush has legitimised torture and depradation, now that Bush has ordered our American youth to commit acts of obscenity and depradation in the name of freedom, now that Bush has caused a Depression and no jobs, now that Bush has trashed out all the social programs while working to put a stop to social security, now that Bush has turned America into a police state, now, what are you going to do about it?

There is nothing more evil than someone who would annihilate a person, destroy their identity, then use the victim’s resources to build their own fortune, which is exactly what happened in the New World, from 1492 right up to the present day, which is exactly what is happening in the Middle East in Iraq.

Someone has to ask the question, for what reason is America, the richest, most powerful nation on earth, destroying defenseless, little Iraq? For the same reasons the US wanted to kill all the Indians and seize their land and resources. It’s the same thing, over and over. Americans have always turned the other cheek to atrocities and genocide when it meant worldly gains. All done with the blessings of Christianity, which I guess makes murder okey dokey because Jesus has come to wipe away your sin and even wipe away the memory that you sinned.

When Columbus came to America, he brought with him all the ugliness of Christianity and capitalism from Europe. Like Standard said, “The Spain that Christopher Columbus and his crews left behind before dawn on August 3, 1492, as they sailed forth from Palos and out into the Atlantic, was for most of its people a land of violence, squalor, treachery, and intolerance. In this respect Spain was no different from the rest of Europe.”

This was not an empty land, America. It was inhabited with millions of Indians. By 1890, there were only 250,000 Indians left!! As an American, what do you think happened to all those Indians? Never in the whole history of the world was there ever a bigger genocide or one more vicious. But what is most astounding about this, is the fact that Americans know nothing about this. The late, great Tony Black Feather used to always tell me, "Americans enjoy killing. They kill for fun. They even kill each other."

Lakotas and other Native Americans recoil in horror, when they hear of Fallujah being sealed off, of Mosques being sealed off, and US soldiers once again, gunning down innocent brown skinned people while they are praying.

This is a first hand account as given to Dahr Jamail from a man who was actually in the Mosque when the US soldiers opened fire:

November 19,2004
Terrorizing those who are praying…

Abu Talat calls me frantic. The deafening roar of hundreds of people in
a confined area yelling, “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) reverberate
behind his panicked voice.

“I am being held at gunpoint by American soldiers inside Abu Hanifa
mosque Dahr,” he yells, “Everyone is praying to God because the
Americans are raiding our mosque during Friday prayer!”

He makes short calls, updating me on the atrocity. After a few sentences
of information he hangs up because he is trapped inside the mosque and
trying to let me know what is happening. Being Friday, the day of prayer
and holiday, this was supposed to be an off day for us.

“They have shot and killed at least 4 of the people while they were
praying, and at least 20 are wounded now! I cannot believe this! I can’t
let them see me calling you. I am on my stomach now and they have our
guns on everyone, there are at least 1,500 people inside the mosque and
it is sealed. We are on our bellies and in a very bad situation.”

Several Humvees and Iraqi National Guard (ING) vehicles showed up and 50
soldiers and well over 50 ING sealed and entered the mosque.

Abu Talat calls back, “We were here praying and now there are over 50
here with their guns on us,” he said. ”They are holding our heads to the
ground, and everyone is in chaos. This is the worst situation possible.
They cannot see me talking to you. They are roughing up a blind man now.”

“People were praying and the Americans invaded the mosque,” Abdulla
Ra'ad Aziz said, who had been released along with his wife and children.
“Why are they killing people for praying? After the forces entered they
went to the back doors and we heard so many bullets of the guns. There
were wounded and dead, I saw them myself.”

Some of the people who had been at prayer were ordered by soldiers to
carry the dead and wounded out of the mosque.

Hammad Mohammed, a 20 year-old man, said, “My uncle’s coffin was taken
inside the mosque to be prayed on, and the Americans raided the mosque
and went to the Imams’ room. Then they went to the back doors and we
heard so many bullets of the guns-it was a gun bigger than a
Kalashnikov. There were wounded and dead, as I saw them myself. I saw 4
killed and 9 wounded.”

Abu Talat then breaks the interview and tells me, “Doctors and staff are
standing outside but the Americans refuse to let them inside. They can
do nothing, and the Americans are not letting them inside while there
are wounded people inside the mosque.”

About 30 men were led out with hoods over their heads and their hands
tied behind them. Soldiers loaded them into a military vehicle and took
them away around 3.15 pm.

A doctor with the Iraqi Red Crescent confirmed four dead and nine
wounded worshippers. Pieces of brain were splattered on one of the walls
inside the mosque while large blood stains covered carpets in several

Later Abu Talat comes to my hotel to see me. He is distraught, crying
while he recounts the story. After listening to the tape he recorded
inside the mosque during the atrocity, he says…

“I am in a very sad position. I do not see any freedom or any democracy.
If this could lead into a freedom, it is a freedom with blood. It is a
freedom of emotions of sadness. It is a freedom of killing. You cannot
gain democracy through blood or killing. You do not find the freedom
that way. People are going to pray to God and they were killed and
wounded. There were 1,500 people praying to God and they went on a
holiday were people go every Friday for prayers. And they were shot and
killed. There were so many women and kids lying on the ground. This is
not democracy, neither freedom.”

The only question to ask is, how can you sit there and permit this to happen? George Bush didn’t accomplish this on his own. He needed the consent of the American public. That’s you. When history asks where were you when this happened, what will you say? Let me give you a few examples of what you have said in the past.

Wounded Knee, 1890, Big Foot's band of Ghost dancers were trying to escape from being slaughtered by the U.S. Military, when they were caught at Wounded Knee. They were disarmed and told everything would be ok if they just went to the Reservation. A short time later, the U.S. Cavalry opened fire on over 300 men, women, and children, killing most of them, even little babies they killed.

In 1860 the Alta California reported a massacre conducted by a Captain Jarboe among the Achomawi peoples of the north-east. "The attacking party rushed upon them, blowing out their brains, and splitting their heads open with tomahawks. Little children in baskets, and even babes, had their heads smashed to pieces or cut open. Mothers and infants shared the same phenomenon ... Many of the fugitives were chased and shot as they ran ... The children, scarcely able to run, toddled towards the squaw for protection, crying with fright, but were overtaken, slaughtered like wild animals, and thrown into piles. ... One woman got into a pond hole, where she hid herself under the grass, with her head above water, and concealed her papoose on the bank in a basket. She was discovered and her head blown to pieces, the muzzle of the gun being placed against her skull and the child was drowned in the pond.

Americans were always God fearing Christian capitalists. They let nothing stand in the way of making a profit. How did they get by with it? Just don’t report it, don’t talk about it, and if you do, just lie about it. That’s the American way.

The population of North America prior to the first sustained European contact in 1492 CE is a matter of active debate. Various estimates of the pre-contact Native population of the continental U.S. and Canada range from 1.8 to over 12 million. 4 Over the next four centuries, their numbers were reduced to about 237,000 as Natives were almost wiped out. Author Carmen Bernand estimates that the Native population of what is now Mexico was reduced from 30 million to only 3 million over four decades. 13 Peter Montague estimates that Europeans once ruled over 100 million Natives throughout the Americas.”

What happened to all those Indians? According to Americans, this pristine land, this Garden of Eden was waiting here for the white Christian male to come and show the heathen savages the true religion, Christianity. And when the infidel ran and hid, rejecting Christianity as something the Indians didn’t want or need, the Christians not only murdered them, they tortured them to death, killing even innocent little babes. Then they washed themselves in the blood of Jesus and congratulated themselves on a job well done, calling it Manifest Destiny just like Bush calls his massacre in Iraq, Operation Freedom.


Special Edition Buffalo Echo, November 22, 1890

Not withstanding the death of Crazy Horse and the confinement of Indians to reservations, fear of the Indians continued as late as the 1890's. The Buffalo Echo joined the histeria which swept parts of the west in 1890 relating to the "Ghost Dance." On November 22, 1890, the paper put out a extra edition reporting under the headline, "THE MASSACRE BEGUN," that "religion crazed Redskins" had broken out of the Pine Ridge Agency. The paper reported that 20,000 troops were being called up and that Fort Robinson had been left unprotected. It further reported that ranchmen and their families were "fleeing in terror." The entire issue was based on conversations with a lady who was passing through by stage and who had no first hand knowledge, but was merely repeating what she had heard.

Buffalo was, however, not the only place to be gripped by fear of an Indian uprising. In Newcastle, the Kilpatrick Brothers & Collins Commissary (later the Antlers Hotel) was fortified and stocked with guns and ammunition. The windows were barracaded with sacks of flour. A ladder was constructed so as to provide access to the roof from which the defenders could fire upon the Indians' expected attack.

The panic had commenced with an article in the Rapid City Journal of November 20, 1890, which had reported that the Sioux were on the warpath. As a result, in December, the governor of South Dakota activated the South Dakota Home Guard which proceeded to kill and scalp 75 ghost dancers.

Ghost Dance of the Oglala Sioux, Frederic Remington, Harper's Weekly, December 1890.

Since the days of the pharaohs, an eclipse of the sun has been deemed to have mystic powers. It has been contended, as an example, that an eclipse in 1351, B.C. inspired the Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (1356-1340 B.C.) to adopt the religion of Aten. On January 1, 1889, a total eclipse of the sun was visible in the Western United States. In California, the day dawned cloudy and overcast. Father Charles Marie Charroppin, nevertheless, predicted that the Virgin Mary would part the clouds. As the eclipse neared totality, the clouds parted to a perfectly clear sky. In parts of the Islamic World, the Hadj was cancelled. Later that year, Mark Twain published his Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court in which a central plot device was a total eclipse of the sun. And in Nevada, Wovoka (1856-1932), a Paiute Indian son of Tavibo an Indian mystic, in the early morning hours prior to the eclipse fell unconscious from scarlet fever. As the eclipse passed, he awakened as if from the dead and described how during the eclipse he ascended to Heaven and communed with the Great Spirit. The Great Spirit revealed that there would be a great flood which would wash the world of all corruption and there would be a Second Coming of the Messiah who would take the form of an Indian. If the Indians would become educated, do right, not fight, be truthful, abstain from alcohol, and dance and sing in prayer, there would be peace and harmony among all men, the buffalo would return, there would be the resurrection of the dead, and His children would become prosperous. Soon word of the new religion spread among the Indian tribes of the west.

"The Ghost Dance of the Sioux Indians in North America," Illustrated London News, woodcut based on sketch by Amédée Forestier, 1891.

Amédée Forestier (1861-1930) was an illustrator for the Illustrated London News, but is most famous for his 1922 illustration of "Nebraska Man," Hesperopithecus heroldcookii, and an earlier rendering of Piltdown Man. See Note at bottom of page.

With each tribe variations appeared. In the Wind River of Wyoming, the Arapaho rejected the new religion. With some Shoshoni, the religion partook of some elements of the old sundance and Episcopal teachings and the dance would be around a decorated cedar tree, emblematic of everlasting life. In others, the Indians would dance themselves into exhaustion and collapse in a trance. In the trance, the Indians would receive messages from the Great Spririt or would visit with deceased relatives. In some tribes, following the dance, the Indians would retire to a river and be immersed and washed of their sins. The Sioux sent a delegation to Nevada and brought the teachings back to Pine Ridge, much to the alarm of Gen. Miles in Chicago. Among some Sioux, it was believed that the robe worn while dancing would provide immunity to the white man's bullets.  Sitting Bull did not believe in the Ghost Dance, but did not forbid his people from dancing, since it gave them hope.  The agent McLaughlin, hated Sitting Bull and spread the false story that Sitting Bull was going to rally his warriors for one last assault. Thus, the order went forth for the arrest of Sitting Bull as the new religion was contrary to the official policy promoting Christianity among the Indians.

Opening of the Battle of Wounded Knee, Frederic Remington, Harper's Weekly, January 1891.

On December 15, 1890, Sitting Bull was killed by Indian police as they attempted to take him into custody. Some of the Sioux then fled in fear, with about 100 joining Chief Big Foot on the Cheyenne River. Chief Big Foot, suffering from pneumonia and coughing up blood which would then freeze in the snow, sought to lead his tattered band of aproximately 120 men and 230 woman and children to the agency at Pine Ridge.

Advertisment for Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon, Army Navy Journal

On December 28, the band met up with the Seventh Cavalry which surrounded it, and sought to disarm the Indians.  They promised to take them to Pine Ridge Agency.  In the morning, however, the soldiers opened fire with, among other things, four Hotchkiss rapid fire machines guns, each capable of firing two-pound, ten-ounce shells at a rate of 50 rounds per minute with an effective range of 4,200 yards. At the end, between 200 and 350 Indians lay dead in the snow, including women and children who were two miles from the scene.

Chief Big Foot, Wounded Knee

Among the dead was Chief Big Foot who had a white flag next to his tent. Twenty-five troopers were also killed, most by their own cross-fire. On New Year's Day, troops were sent out to recover the dead. Beneath the snow next to her dead mother, a baby was found still alive, swaddled in a blanket, and upon her head a deerskin cap with a beadwork American flag. The dead were left in the snow for over a week and then buried unceremoniously in a mass grave.

Frozen bodies being removed at Wounded Knee.

The Seventh Cavalry received for its gallantry twenty Congressional Medals of Honor. One hundred years later the Wall Street Journal continued to refer to the massacre as the "Battle of Wounded Knee." One of the grievances of the American Indian is that when the Indians won, it is referred to as a "massacre," i.e. the "Fetterman Massacre." When the cavalry defeats even unarmed Indians or Indians under a flag of truce, i. e. Sand Creek or Wounded Knee, it is a "battle."

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