Friday, December 21, 2007

"AIM Militants Were the Terrorists of Their Time"--Joseph and John Trimbach

Leonard Peltier (above) as shown in this article about the significance of Ka-Mook Nichols' testimony at the trial of Arlo Looking Cloud for the December 1975 murder of Anna Mae Aquash.
Joseph and John Trimbach's book American Indian Mafia compares the tactics of the American Indian Movement (AIM) with the tactics of today's terrorists:
"When compared to the international enemy we face today, the American Indian Movement obviously presented much less of a threat to the nation at large. Nonetheless, the "war" against AIM has parallels to today's war against terror. AIM militants were the terrorists of their time, employing many of the same tactics used by modern-day terrorist groups.
With the same viciousness that Middle-Eastern henchmen lop off the heads of innocent people, AIM hitmen dispatched their victims, in both cases recruiting young members to do their dirty work. AIM enjoyed the support and understanding of many who turned a blind eye to the cowardice of indiscriminate attacks, although on a much smaller scale, but with the same rationalization as "aggrieved minorities." AIM could not have existed without funding and support from certain quarters of the government. In some cases, that support came from the same government entities tasked with defeating it. In supporting Al-Qaeda and Hizbollah, world governments and at times, it seems, the United Nations (with U.S. dollars), have unfortunately served the same purpose. Yesterday's well-intended government aid to AIM is like today's foreign aid and world-body assistance programs---we're not really sure where the money is going until it's too late...
The occupation of Wounded Knee can be seen as a microcosm of today's terrorist controversies. Amid complaints of a disproportionate use of force" and the view of oppressors as victims, the true victims are often consigned to anonymity by a blissfully unaware press. Meanwhile, instigators benefit from media-driven calls for understanding, and government bodies seek appeasement through calls for restraint and negotiation" (p. 508-9).

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