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Thursday, May 01, 2003 

War Dance

Just prior to invading Iraq, Captain Phillip Wolford led US troops in a Seminole war dance. “We will be entering Iraq as an army of liberation, not domination,” he said, “so it would not be right to go in with the American flag flying.”

Was Wolford trying to honor Native American heritage, or did he think that a Seminole war dance performed by the same US military that helped conquer the North American continent would be a great morale booster? Did he think to declare independence from the official motivation of the US regime that has possibly sent him to his death?

The ambiguous latent content, fallacious reasoning, and uncertain intention of this gesture is a perfect example of the devaluation of language that has reached war fever pitch. Does removing the flag change the nature of this platoon’s mission or does it help them harbor necessary illusions?

Let us not forget, Iraq—and the world—has every reason to be skeptical, since the US has intentionally bombed Iraq’s water supply, enforced deadly sanctions that have killed as efficiently as bullets, used depleted uranium that causes birth defects, and alternately supported then condemned their dictator president over the past 20 years.

This imperialist war dance only furthers murderous global-financial chess on behalf of an arrogant capitalist empire, which hungers for the new markets and strategic leverage that the seizure of Iraq’s oil fields will give it.

As the Christians whose ancestors aided the genocide of Native Americans have prayed for the troops, perhaps it reveals their intention to appease their war god with the spilled blood of Iraqis and whomever else opposes US global supremacy. Though I doubt such God-fearing scum as Bush and Pat Robertson would admit it. It is the ultimate insult to Turtle Island that a tribal dance would be used by the US military as it invades another country. We need a different war dance, against global capital, before the poor and conscripted of all nations can fraternize and refuse their deadly duties.

MK Shibek

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