The American Dream no more
(Op-ed) Jerome Irwin Tuesday 17th January, 2017
Before the Standing Rock Sioux’s historic protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline (NODAPL) fades from the world’s collective memory – and the next tumultuous phase begins to continue to address Climate Change and how to more quickly convert the world from fossil fuels to renewable energies – it’s essential to pause and reconsider what exactly happened during the closing months of 2016 that the Sioux peoples NODAPL Protest raged and what this arduous historical journey Back to the Future signifies for us all.
This is a big story and a very old one that speaks to the heart of what happened, as it has everywhere else in the New World since the moment of first contact between the clash of the sacred world view of indigenous peoples and the profane world view of the European’s. It provides a template for how America and every other country in the Old World first came to be, then continued to expand in the New World, and how they all can expect to evolve in the future if the world’s minions and their politicians don’t somehow start to respect the sacredness of the Earth and all its waters, lands and natural resources. This story serves as an ultimate challenge to once more ponder the historical record and time-honoured, successful survival strategies that the sacred world view of indigenous peoples have used for thousands of years when compared to the profane world view’s invasion of the New World and its questionable survival strategies that in only a few hundred years has led to so much violence and destruction against the human race and Planet Earth.
During the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election the Sioux’s NODAPL uprising against the Dakota Access Pipeline, that sought to cut straight through the heart of America, was roundly ignored by presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and President Barack Obama himself. Yet President Obama was applauded once he finally showed the requisite courage, however tardy that it was, to call a temporary halt to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. But it may have only proven to be a Pyrrhic victory for native peoples, environmentalists and Climate Change proponents that amounts to nothing more than a brief interlude once President-Elect Donald Trump, who has personal investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline, and his administration, packed as it is with climate change deniers who favour more oil pipeline construction, fossil fuel and nuclear energy development, take hold of the reins of America and plot a vastly different course of action for DAPL, America’s unsustainable energy philosophy, the fate of Climate Change and very survival of the earth as we now know it.
Even President Obama and the Democrats didn’t ever really grasp the deeper world view underlying the Sioux’s protestations about the sacredness of the waters of the Missouri River and the hallowed, inviolate nature of their ancestral homelands. Instead, Obama and his administration stood idly by for months and did nothing to intercede on behalf of the Sioux and their international supporters while they were violently set upon by the political, law enforcement and military forces of the United States Government and North Dakota authorities. As the Sioux and others steadfastly sought to peacefully block construction of DAPL through their homelands, President Obama disgracefully allowed the chaotic turn of events to escalate to the point where innocent men, women, children and elders were needlessly put in harm’s way and subjected to some of the most inhumane, brutal physical assaults committed against hapless, innocent civilians since the atrocities perpetrated by American political and law enforcement authorities during the contentious Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s & 70’s.
During the months prior to President Obama’s decision to withdraw the permit to allow DAPL to continue construction, America’s mainstream press did little to truthfully bring to the American public’s attention the real facts and world-shaking significance of what was going on. This wasn’t by accident but was an intentional news black-out by what could be characterized as the ignorance of the profane world view’s civilization and inherent bias of its over-arching belief system.
Hence, for months, many horrific things transpired, much to the detriment of America’s reputation that remained all but invisible to the outside world unless independent and alternative journalists took it upon themselves to become the sources of breaking news stories. They were the kind of horrific stories one would expect to see or hear happen in some fascist, banana-republic police state rather than in the heart of America. Vicious guard dog attacks were perpetrated by Energy Transfer Partners, the Wall Street conglomerate behind the DAPL’s, military-like defended, construction project, and its ruthless Wall Street bankers and petroleum moguls in their New York, Washington D.C. and Texas boardrooms who directed the DAPL operations to proceed irrespective of the potential cost to human life and limb that was intentionally perpetrated against the protestors. Then there were the vicious, brutal attacks led by North Dakota Governor Jack Dalyrmple, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier and hordes of state police brought in from four surrounding states who committed violent attacks against the human and civil rights of the NODAPL protestors, assisted by U.S. National Guard troops who indiscriminately sprayed, often at point-blank range, the peaceful protestors with every conceivable weapon short of heavy combat assault weaponry; ranging in everything from MACE, Pepper Spray, Taser darts, rubber bullets, bean bag projectiles, concussion grenades, high-powered water cannons to ear-busting acoustic sound cannons. These atrocities were covered up by a sea of lies made to the public by American politicians, police and military authorities who spun the violence committed at DAPL as reciprocal between the Sioux who, according to the official spin, were irresponsibly vandalizing private property and obstructing legally-approved construction while the authorities were simply doing their job to prevent the wilful destruction; a stance commonly taken everywhere by law enforcement to mask what, in reality, should be a reminder to all of the heavily-militarized police state’s ever-present, ever-growing, iron-fisted control over the people that makes its presence known whenever the people ever dare to take it upon themselves to prevent illegal or wrong things from continuing to happen. Throughout all the lies and violence, America’s mainstream press and media did little to counter fiction with fact. As one Sioux protestor commented, “Does that surprise you? It’s the White Man’s press telling the same ‘ol story their way!”
As wintry temperatures on the North Dakota prairies plummeted to life-threatening lows, and the Christmas holiday fast approached, President Obama finally put a “better late than never” end to the wholesale mayhem that was about to ramp up to an even more horrific, violent level unless something didn’t stop it. Up to that point, the Sioux had demonstrated remarkable, Mahatma Gandhi-like, forbearance and restraint in their refusal to match the brutality being committed against them by the American Government.
But before this barbaric historic event in American history finally came to an end, the direction towards which it was heading reminded this writer of the Final Solution that, 80 years before, Germany cunningly-devised for its so-called “Jewish Problem”. 80 years later, it felt as if the American government and its U.S. Army Corp of Engineers were on the verge of planning their own equally cunning ‘final solution’ to America’s Sioux Problem.
The Sioux, of course, never would have been gassed as the Jews once were, but while the world once again was kept ignorant about their fate, all hell was about to break loose as reactionary elements within the U.S. Government and military were on the verge of officially declaring “illegal”, and forcibly shut down, the Sioux’s sprawling Oceti Sakowin DAPL Protest village, evict everyone and transport thousands of its resident protestors to so-called isolated free speech zones. The utter chaos would have been immense. Coverage of the ensuing spectacle, that would have become a nightly televised feature on the world’s news networks, would have become a colossal embarrassment for America if President Obama hadn’t wisely cut it short.
“IT WAS A CLOSE CALL!”, to put it mildly, as a column of seasoned U.S. military war veterans already was assembling to rush to the aid and defence of the Sioux. Events would have undoubtedly led to an even uglier moment in American history than it already was had that happened and still could once President-Elect Donald Trump is inaugurated as America’s new Commander-in-Chief.
Horrific images come to mind of the Sioux and protesters of other mass movements in the future similarly being kept out of sight and out of mind in the U.S. government’s new Orwellian free speech zones prepared for them where they either would be left to the brutal harshness of the elements, a lack of basic amenities or until they finally gave up in despair in the face of the hostile military elements on land, air and cyberspace massed against them. Isolated in these bizarre zones, those like the Sioux wouldn’t actually ever be able to see who or what was the source of their protest. Equally as critical, they wouldn’t be able to be seen by the world while attempting to block or protest against whatever was the issue of concern. Hence, a non-news event with no photo ops and no story!
Such a cunning, modern-day concept to muzzle major social, environmental, political movements and protests like NODAPL, that could be described as the world’s new makeshift 21st Century ‘concentration camps’, isn’t anything new. It has been used before for other mass protests in the past and actually represents a throwback to the U.S. Army’s concentration camp concept of Indian Reservations that the Sioux’s ancestors, a century before, were likewise forced onto to remove them from obstructing the White Man’s civilization and its ever-constant, lusting Westward HO! imperialism. Canada’s concept of Reserves accomplished the same thing.
Once President Trump and his administration assume office, this final solution for the Sioux, DAPL & Climate Change still could become an everyday, business-as-usual reality that will ensure the ability of Wall Street, the Fossil-Fuel industry, Big Banks, their stockholders and the ‘New Normal’ of Donald Trump’s ultra-right supporters to continue to make record profits while seizing control of every remaining vestige of human life and reinforce their dominion over all other species and natural resources on Earth. The 1%ers could also then be kept happily sedated while their commodity portfolios continued to sky-rocket as they sipped martinis aboard some palatial cruise ship and flicked through soft-porn fashion images in Elle, Vogue or CR while headed for yet the next exotic ‘Club Med’ playground to experience what they’ve been conned into believing is the ultimate “good life”.
Meanwhile, in the future, with the Sioux and others like them invisibly sequestered away in America’s ‘free speech zones’, America’s brand name will continue to evolve into the New Normal ways of ever more ruthless, corrupt commerce and business that now are being planned and promoted in every country by ‘The Donald’ billionaire clones of the world. All the American and foreign wars fought in the past or future will continue to remain part of the same unbroken chain of violence, duplicity, betrayal and hypocrisy that, in modern historical times, began with a vengeance once new Western European brand names began to emerge in the New World and the hype of those like the American’s sought to variously market themselves as: ‘America The Beautiful’; ‘The American Dream’; ‘Land of the Free & Home of the Brave’, or; the ‘Shining City Upon That Hill’, as prophesized in a biblical parable by none other than Jesus Christ himself during his Sermon on the Mount.
The bottom line today still remains exactly the same. With the coming inauguration of President Donald Trump, whatever clever marketing ploys are yet to be crafted in the future to further promote the American brand name won’t every change the course and direction of its civilization’s profane way of life or its now most-favoured empire-building document: A Project For a New American Century (PNAC). Soon-to-be President Donald Trump isn’t the main culprit he’s simply the latest manifestation of moral and ethical decay that was set into motion at the moment of its birth as it was for every other rebranded European name in the New World, much to the regret of its indigenous, aboriginal peoples and the inviolate sacredness of their homelands. Donald Trump isn’t about to radically remake the American brand so much as serve as its latest, best and brightest, cheerleader/salesman who will greatly speed up the evolution of its brand in ways that only ‘The Donald’ can. ‘The Donald’ simply a continuation of the American brand that, at its core, never has fundamentally believed in the philosophy of a true democracy that advocates principles like: caring for one’s fellow man or woman; unionism for the protection of ordinary worker’s rights; the right to a liveable hourly wage; universal health care, or; the sacred protection and preservation of the natural world. What Donald Trump presages for America is what Karl Marx predicted one-day would happen to Western capitalistic countries like America.
Given this reality, one could argue that this is why newcomer cultures, like those of the Americans and other Western Europeans in the New World, and their political-military-corporate-class systems, have, since the beginning, been so fundamentally opposed to indigenous, aboriginal cultures and their socialistic, communalistic ways of life that practice values, principles and beliefs that seek to keep life sacred and in balance. The reality is that after over four centuries of so-called ‘discovery’ in the New World, the newcomers still haven’t been able to grasp the sacred world view of life that believes in being one with all that is and constantly give back to it in gratitude, rather than persist with the profane world view that perpetually seeks to take and acquire all that is for itself while giving back nothing of equal value in return.
These newcomers unable to see that in each unique place in the New World, such as on the ancient continent of Terra Australis, there are those special chosen ones, like its Kookaburra Clan, who are always the first to awaken each morn to faithfully fulfil the sacred charge and duty given to them by Creation to herald each new day, with great gusto and joy, as if was the first morn of life; to remind all living things, newcomers and old-timers alike, of the different unique sacred charge and duty every living being has been given to fulfil with the same gusto and joy and so collectively ensure the continuation of life as it was originally intended to be. Then, at the end of each day, to put everyone to bed with an exclamation point to note, “My and Your Job is Now Done! Sleep Well!” Every continent in the New & Old Worlds has its own similar awakener of this consciousness. While most old-timers already know this to be true, fewer newcomers are yet able to heed such simple wisdoms.
But perhaps this is a fruitless argument to ever try to make, that’s like trying to compare oranges with lemons, and simply too much to ever ask or hope that any foreign race, culture or civilization – that hasn’t ever had the same formative, maturing benefit of the thousands of years of relationship with or connection to all the lands and life forms that indigenous peoples have had – would ever evolve the same sacred view of life and ability or capacity to see things in quite the same way; this unresolved problem that existed some five hundred years ago between the indigenous mentality and that of the invader still exists today, albeit in a multitude of new and different forms.
To breach this impasse would be the obvious ultimate solution, but of course the perennial problem is that the belief system of the invader mentality – fuelled by the insatiable drive of self-serving entrepreneurial private enterprise, constantly fed by the seven deadly human vices, and especially human greed – has been predicated, since day one, upon perpetual growth and ever-larger consumptions of energy and resources, where the constant unsustainable explosion of human populations is now the single most, driving cause behind every deteriorating crisis on earth. Some of these calamitous crises that continue to unfold are: the rapid depletion of fish stocks and other food sources in the world’s oceans due to the unrelenting pressures of ever-greater human demands; the disappearance of vast tracts of prime farmlands for ever-larger, sprawling urban and rural housing developments; the loss of vast tracts of pristine forests destroyed for the raw materials demanded by ever-burgeoning home, industry and mega-agricultural projects; the ever more rapid loss of potable water sources destroyed by the continued mining-fracking-extraction of a host of diminishing natural resources, and; the wholesale loss of modern civilization’s defining architectural heritage, time-honoured traditions and cultural practices impacted by the chaos of a tidal wave of immigrants, akin to the invasions of the Vikings and Huns of old, that continues to destroy whatever host country’s former way of life to the detriment of the entire human race. Little serious, meaningful discussion is ever raised by world leaders and their governments to address the source of these crises and, hence, no one has yet to come up with any answers or solutions how to stop or even slow them down, other than allow for the constant proliferation of world war, pandemic disease and endless economic expansion.
The indigenous sensibility of those like the Sioux who contend we humans have instead been created to maintain a small footprint on the earth and serve as caretakers of legacies we’re obligated to bequeath intact to future coming generations of human and non-human species of life, is a sensibility still totally alien to the invader’s belief system. Such beliefs remain light years away from the original grandiose dreams and ambitions of the invader mentality in the New World, and today’s even more grandiose, all-consuming world view of all ‘The Donald’s’ who instead look upon themselves as the ordained dominant species whose God has decreed to them total dominion over all forms of life; imbuing them with an arrogant belief that whatever actions they take aren’t the source of whatever unsustainable population explosion, unlimited economic growth or human-caused climate change.
But, in the end, one needn’t ever “get their knickers in knot”, as the old saying goes, because, for better or worse, as our tiny Earth-orb continues to hurl through the distant reaches of the universe, this new-old Star Wars mentality, like it or not, is going where it’s going and taking the whole lot of us with it for the ride; until, or unless, the penny drops and the reality finally dawns that the tragic direction and savage ending towards where the invader mentality continues to point humanity is heading towards a massive head-on collision down the road against the fateful solid brick wall that awaits.
So here we are in the blush of 2017, about to anoint what some would call, “the most powerful man on Earth”, who will usher in yet another much-touted ‘new world order’ that, “Will Make America Great Again”, yet, as many fear, will also sound the death knell to whatever free, brave, beautiful, shining dream that America’s brand names once promised it one day would become but lied because it never will.
To know all this to be true, one need only reconsider what the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies were recently up against as they resolutely stood together, in the face of such brutish oppression and terrorizing, locked arm-in-arm in solidarity on the far distant prairies of North Dakota, while attempting to cry out loud enough “NODAPL!”, in the hope that the rest of America and the world would hear their pleas and echo even louder the prayer and chant their cry represents for the future.
So, now it’s up to Canada’s First Nation peoples to resume the Sioux’s prayers and chants. How will Canada’s Liberal Government, its Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and the Canadian people respond to their fresh pleas? Will Canada come up with its own ‘Final Solution’ to their problem and PM Trudeau fall in-line with President Trump’s vision for the future? Or will Trudeau and the Canadian people demonstrate the courage to go their own way? What of other countries in the New World like Australia who, by and large, already is on Trump’s climate change denial, greed-based wavelength? Will they hear in time the morning cries of their Kookaburra Clan or will they passively accept the demise of their Great Barrier Reef and the critical part it plays in Planet Earth’s ability to sustain itself; solely for the mundane sake of mining and shipping still more coal and fossil fuels to China? Will they listen to, and take to heart, before it’s too late, the sacred wisdoms of their own aboriginal peoples or those indigenous mentors and wise ones from among the other 194 signatories to the Paris Accord? Or will the future’s new norm now be Trump’s Way or the Highway and that solid brick wall that awaits us all? A lot of unanswered questions and a lot of unknowns beckon in 2017 and yet another arduous yesteryear’s journey Back to the Future.
(The writer Jerome Irwin is a freelance writer and author of “The Wild Gentle Ones; A Turtle Island Odyssey” (www.turtle-island-odyssey.com), a three volume account of his travels as a spiritual sojourner, during the 1960’s, 70’s & 80’s, among Native American & First Nation nations in North America. It encompasses the burgeoning Spiritual Renaissance & Liberation Movements among native peoples throughout North America that occurred at the height of its civil rights movements. More recently, Irwin authored a series of articles that covered the “NODAPL” Sioux Protest in North Dakota. Irwin also is the publisher of The Wild Gentle Press). Jerome Irwin can be contacted at 1398 Hope Road, North Vancouver, B.C. CanadaV7P1W7 [email protected]
Source: EU Fish stock news