I like Sherman Alexie. I've listened to him in person before and he's very sincere and engaging, and makes a lot of good points. I've never heard him speak about the possibility of war with Iraq, but here is a rather good article he wrote about it.
And this is a damn good point:
"As a Native American, I am intimately familiar with the long history of American lies in times of war and peace. Simply stated, the United States' executive and legislative branches have broken every treaty signed with every Native American tribe, and only the occasional and unpredictable intervention of the judicial branch has resurrected, redeemed, and protected Native American tribal sovereignty. Thus, as a Native American, I find it ironic that the United States wants to go to war with Iraq because it keeps breaking treaties, and I mentioned as much during my speech. Contrary to Josh Feit's implication to the contrary, I am outraged that Iraq has flouted UN resolutions for 10 years, but I'm also outraged that the U.S. dares to take a position of moral superiority when it comes to treaty-making and treaty-breaking. Josh Feit may not think that Native American history is important when discussing this Iraq war, but plenty of world citizens think that it is vitally important in any discussion of the United States and its international politics. Saddam Hussein is certainly a genocidal maniac, but how can the United States honestly continue to pass judgment on him and those like him without admitting to its own genocidal roots?
"This American genocide began when Christopher Columbus landed on these shores, and was made official when Thomas Jefferson, genius and slave-owner, proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that the King of England had "excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions." Thus, the United States was founded, in part, on the demonization of Native Americans, and it's damn easy to justify the mass extermination of demons, isn't it?"
You know something bad is brewing when we try to actively NOT see our opposition as fellow people, but as faceless enemies...especially when we try and project our worst fears onto what they supposedly want to happen to us (the Iraqis want to kill your little sister and eat her for dinner!). I don't deny that there are a lot of frightening terrorist-folk floating around in the middle east...but there are here too. If we go to war against Iraq, how many terrorists will it kill? How many military folk? And how many civilians?
Sometimes I think that the greatest crime that Iraq has committed has nothing to do with missiles. I think it's because many of them really DO hate us...how dare they! Besides, if we're the home of the free and brave, what does that make them? >sigh< It's sarcasm, of course, but I'm a touch exasperated.
And also afraid.