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Army War College's racist past and present

June 25, 2004 | Page 4

Dear Socialist Worker,
The Army War College was an appropriate venue for George Bush's recent racist speech about his Iraqi "civilization policy." It is not only where the U.S. military has taught imperialist tactics since the 1950s, it is also the site of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School--a tool of genocide, where from 1879 to 1918, thousands of children of Native leaders were held hostage to exterminate indigenous resistance through assimilation and murder.

The motto of its founder, Capt. Pratt, was "Kill the Indian, save the man." The very building that Bush spoke in was built by Indian child slave labor in 1887. The original cemetery for the children who died there is now a sports field.

After a century of Indian "civilization" policy, Native peoples remain the most impoverished segment of U.S. society, without full voting rights, sovereignty or religious freedom. The Department of the Interior is currently subject of a multibillion-dollar class action lawsuit brought by Native nations for ongoing theft of oil, timber, gas, mineral and grazing rights plundered by corporations.

One may wonder if the Carlisle venue was an implicit threat to Iraqis, or the further obliviousness of the rich to their crimes. Support of Native American resistance movements is essential to opposing the occupations abroad. We are all under attack from the same rich enemy.
Frank Couget, New York City

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