Tag Archives: Tribes

The Spiritual Jackpot

As you think about giving gifts with meaning this year, please consider my book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound, which speaks with honesty and humor about the human condition. It’s especially appropriate for anyone who has suffered recent loss and is coping with the grieving process. Be aware also that the sale of the book supports this column and my ability to give a peace journalist’s perspective on current events. The book has been reduced in price through the end of the year.  See below.

By Robert C. Koehler

The topic was “Indians of the Midwest” and the professor was knowledgeable and conveyed serious respect for Native culture, but something kept gnawing at me as she talked.

There are two types of Indian stereotypes, she said — the negative (the ignorant savage, the abductor of white women, etc.) and the romantic (woo-woo, New Agey, let’s play Indian, “go ’Skins!”) — and left it at that, implying, OK, if you are non-Native, the best attitude to strike is a certain respectful distance, neither denigrating the culture nor seizing hold of it like an idiot. If you want more, attend lectures and look at the artifacts on display behind glass cases, but DO NOT TOUCH.

This was all academic and sensible, the voice of the expert, an anthropologist, and given the history of the last 500 years — given colonialism, land grabs and boarding schools, given the genocide perpetrated by Western governments on every continent during and beyond the Age of Exploration — understandable, but only up to a point. Beyond that point, it’s just more cultural arrogance, a denial of the relevance of indigenous consciousness in the present moment.

Continue reading

New film: WWF beds with Monsanto to steal public lands, promote GM crops

By Rady Ananda

“We need to start focusing on food production.  It takes 15 years to bring a genetically engineered product to market. The clock is ticking.  We need to get moving.” ~ Dr Jason Clay, Senior Vice President, World Wildlife Fund, 2010.

A 2011 film by Wilfried Huismann, The Silence of the Pandas, targets the World Wildlife Fund, the largest, most trusted, and best-funded environmental “protection” organization in the world.  Its reputation does not live up to its actions, however, which green wash industries that are destroying the environment as well as indigenous cultures.

Continue reading

Cops kill 3 as farmers protest water project, land seizure near Mumbai

By Rady Ananda

On August 9, police shot nine farmers, killing three, who were part of a mass protest against a water pipeline project in Baur Village, 50 miles east of Mumbai, India.  Police also smashed cars, fired tear gas and threw rocks at farmers as they fled the violence.  This was all caught on video:


.
Kantabai Thakar (age 40), Moreshwar Sathe (40) and Shyam Tupe (29) were fatally shot by police.  Over 100 others were injured, and nine vehicles damaged in the lethal attack on protesters, report several news outlets in India.

Continue reading

India’s tribal lands vs corporate terrorism

Several films are being screened tomorrow in Mumbai, India. The write-up for Anjam & New State Old Problems-Dr. Binayak Sen, written by Sen’s mother, highlights how laws against “terrorism” are being used to silence dissent, much like what is happening in the U.S. ~ Ed.

Anjam & New State Old Problems-Dr. Binayak Sen
Directed-Ajay T.G.

I am a woman in my eighties. When we were young, people were inspired by the examples of karmayogis who were patriotic, motivated by ideals of service, wise and virtuous. We considered ourselves blessed if we could follow in their footsteps.

Continue reading

Return to ‘Indian Country’: The Global War on Tribes

BUZZ THIS!

By ZOLTAN GROSSMAN              Counterpunch

The so-called “Global War on Terror” is quickly growing outside the borders of Iraq and Afghanistan, into new battlegrounds in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and beyond. The Pentagon is vastly increasing missile and gunship attacks, Special Forces raids, and proxy invasions–all in the name of combating “Islamist terrorism.” Yet within all five countries, the main targets of the wars are predominantly “tribal regions,” and the old frontier language of Indian-fighting is becoming the lexicon of 21st-century counterinsurgency. The “Global War on Terror” is fast morphing into a “Global War on Tribes.”

Tribal regions are local areas where tribes are the dominant form of social organization, and tribal identities often trump state, ethnic, and even religious identities. Tribal peoples have a strongly localized orientation, tied to a particular place. Their traditional societies are based on a common culture, dialect, and kinship ties (through single or multiple clans). Although they are tribal peoples, they are not necessarily Indigenous peoples–who generally follow nature-centered spiritual and cultural systems. [sic*]  Nearly all tribal communities in the Middle East and Central Asia have been Islamicized or Christianized, but they still retain their ancient social bonds.

Yet modern counterinsurgency doctrine only views tribal regions as festering cauldrons of lawlessness, and “breeding grounds” for terrorism, unless the tribes themselves are turned against the West’s enemies. The London Times (5Jan10), for example, crudely asserts that Yemen’s “mountainous terrain, poverty and lawless tribal society make it… a close match for Afghanistan as a new terrorist haven.” This threatening view of tribal regions is, of course, as old as European colonialism itself.

Continue reading