Athena's Web,  Week of August 27th - September 2nd,  1999

What We Stand For

Columns Archive

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   RAMSTEIN, Germany - May 6 - Trying to boost morale in the wake of the first NATO casualties in its six-week bombing campaign, Pres. Clinton barnstormed across Belgium and Germany yesterday, urging American soldiers to stay the course and vowing to intensify the attacks on Yugoslavia...

   Clinton spent most of his time praising and meeting soldiers and their families, assuring them that the American people support what they are doing. Clinton told them their mission was noble.

   'Our mission in Kosovo has nothing to do with trying to acquire territory or dominate others,' Clinton said. 'It is about something far more important - creating the kind of world where an innocent people are not singled out for repression, for expulsion, for destruction just because of their religious and ethnic heritage...'

   'Kosovo is an affront to everything we stand for,' Clinton said.

   Throughout most of the first half of 1999, we watched and listened as the crisis in Kosovo built to a crescendo. The Serb persecution of the ethnic Albanians was compared to the Nazi persecution of the Jews and gypsies in Europe during World War II. Our moral high ground gave us good reason to send NATO planes in an extensive bombing campaign designed to force Slobodan Milosevic to reverse his stance and cease the numerous atrocities which were being reported in Kosovo.

   Writing before the crisis in Kosovo, Dr. Thayer Scudder, professor of Anthropology at the California Institute of Technology, who has studied resettlement issues in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East for the UN stated:

   "The forced relocation of over 12,000 Native Americans is one of the worst cases of involuntary community resettlement that I have studied throughout the world over the past 40 years. Such a situation would never have arisen in the US if the people involved had been Anglo-Americans. That alone illustrates the extent to which the human rights of one of the poorest minority groups in the US have been violated."

   The tribal governments set up by the BIA were created in order to give the U.S. a legal negotiating partner to procure mineral rights from the reservation. These tribal governments have never represented the people. The tribal governments' funding is supplied by Peabody Coal, the company which now awaits the Rhode Island sized chunk of land which is about to be carved out of the reservation so it can be strip mined for coal. When traditional Hopi leaders sought to stop the lawyers from leasing coal in violation of the Hopi religion, U.S. courts dismissed the case, ruling that it had no authority over the actions of these tribal governments. The Indians have no representative voice before the courts, and are not allowed to vote, giving them no voice in Congress. Still they resist, refusing to move off the land, although they are now denied building materials, livestock, and any means of sustenance.

   In this instance, the mission is decidedly to acquire territory and to dominate others. A people are being singled out for repression, for explusion, and for destruction because of their religious and ethnic heritage. Is this our 'noble mission' and the world we seek to create?

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The President in Germany in the Springtime

The President in a photo op with the troops in Germany

A Man Who Stands by his Word?

   Is the President really interested in human justice and civil rights? While the people who are about to be forceably relocated have no say in the courts, before Congress, or even in the media, we can vote and let our representatives know how we feel. As Neptune prepares to inconjunct Jupiter in the US chart, both the potential, and the historical preceedent, call for an inhumanity to our fellow man, woman, and child. Above, President Clinton is shown on May 5, posing for photographs with US soldiers at Ramstein Airbase in Germany, while he espoused noble sentiments for the downtrodden overseas. Will he do it for those born of this soil? Let your opinions be known by emailing him at the following address: president@whitehouse.gov
   or contact him by snailmail at:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

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