Trump Ignites War on Native Americans From the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego
On the 81st anniversary of “Kristallnacht,” the evening of November 9, 1938, when Nazi stormtroopers vandalized and set fire to Jewish-owned synagogues, businesses, and homes in Germany, Donald Trump chose to extend a hat-tip to “nationalism.” Proclaiming nationalism “was back into the mainstream,” Trump gave a plug to a new book by right-wing Washington, DC pundit Rich Lowry, titled “The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free.” Trump called it a “very important book.” Mr. Trump, who is not known for reading any books, save for a copy of Adolf Hitler’s speeches he once kept on his bed stand, was promoting the same type of race-based neo-Nazi and white supremacist nationalism that reared its ugly head in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
Lowry is the editor of the “National Review” magazine, a once mainstream conservative publication that was founded in 1955 by William F. Buckley. Like other nationalists, Lowry champions the arrival of white European settlers on the American east coast, who then expanded into the “Mexican territories” and absorbed the Pacific littoral. But what of the Native American tribal peoples who had already lived in the Western Hemisphere for several millennia? Lowry discounts the Native Americans by claiming that by forcing them under the control of the United States, the tribal peoples “got political stability, democracy, the rule of law, and a prosperous economic system.” In fact, the “pioneers,” as Lowry calls them, brought nothing but misery to the Native Americans. This included smallpox, guns, whisky, venereal diseases, and forced removal from sacred ancestral lands.
The sort of fascist thinking that now appears regularly on the pages of the “National Review” has been adopted as policy by the Trump administration. All presidents since George H. W. Bush in 1990 have designated the month of November as National Native American Heritage Month. This November, Trump added another federal government observance to the month of November: “National American History and Founders Month.” This observance honors the white European settlers who introduced to the “New World” the genocide of 65 million native peoples, stretching from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego. Lowry discounts this genocide by claiming it resulted in a “stupendous boon,” as far as the United States in concerned.
Trump has done everything possible to intimidate Native Americans. He prominently displayed a painting of President Andrew Jackson in the Oval Office. Jackson was responsible for passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which saw the forced relocation of Native American tribes east of the Mississippi River to the Indian Territory – what is now Oklahoma. In what the Native American tribes affected called the “Trail of Tears,” thousands of members of the Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Ponca, and Ho-Chunk/Winnebago nations lost their lives. It was the invasion and occupation of the West by what Trump calls “founders” and Lowry calls “pioneers” that served as a template for Hitler’s plan to de-populate the Slavic peoples of Europe to create “lebensraum,” living space, for Germans seeking to extend the Third Reich from central Europe through Eastern Europe and Russia beyond the Urals.
Lowry’s neo-fascist tract points to the unitary nature of the Egyptian empire as an example that should be embraced by the United States. He also points to the empires of China and Japan as examples of beneficial unitary states based on their homogeneity. Lowry and his fan, Trump, fail to recognize that the Egyptians had a huge slave population. China and Japan worshiped their emperors as “god kings.” None of these empires have any place in a world of modern democratic political systems. Perhaps Lowry believes that slaves should be used to build Trump’s southern border wall with Mexico as they were used by the Egyptians to build the Pyramids. And, if Lowry is to be taken seriously, the slaves should be happy to build a wall in order to please America’s new god-king, Donald Trump.
Trump’s hostility to the Native American tribes, who Lowry believes should be thankful to their Aryan conquerors for bringing them “democracy,” “the rule of law,” and “prosperity,” stems from his low opinion of them that dates back to the time when sovereign native tribes began opening casinos on their reservations. Trump insists that his Atlantic City, New Jersey casinos went bankrupt because of competition from Indian gaming. In fact, Trump’s casinos collapsed due to Trump’s poor management skills, money laundering by organized crime syndicates, and hefty government fines as a result of Trump casinos being caught laundering mob money. Trump has all but abrogated some 368 international treaties the various Native tribal nations signed with the US federal government.
Trump’s order scaling back protected land of two Western national monuments sacred to the Native nations, Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, opened up the land to exploitative mining and drilling companies owned by Trump political cronies. Trump’s wall with Mexico cuts in half the Tohono O’odham Nation of Arizona and Mexico. Members of the tribe are no longer be free to cross over the international border from one part of their 4,460-square mile sovereign territory to the other. The Trump Wall also adversely affects the sovereign rights of other tribal nations, including the Yuma, Apache, Yaqui, Pima, and Kickapoo.
The Native American nations were the first victims of US “nationalism” that was proclaimed by President James Monroe with his imperialistic “Monroe Doctrine” that established a US hegemon over the Western Hemisphere; Andrew Jackson with his genocidal treatment of Native Americans east of the Mississippi River; and, now, Donald Trump with his championship of white European nationalism over other ethnicities in the United States.
Trump’s glowering at Bolivian President Evo Morales during the September 26, 2018 meeting of the United Nations Security Council likely placed Bolivia’s first indigenous Aymara leader in the crosshairs of Trump and his acolytes in the US Senate, Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas. Both are the sons of right-wing Cuban immigrants to the United States. Morales, as president of the Security Council, lectured Trump on America’s past abuses. The Bolivian president cited the United States in having “financed coups d’etat and supported dictators,” and having instituted a border policy “separated migrant children from their families and put them in cages.”
On November 10, Morales received his belated response from Trump. After having fallen prey to the US owned and operated Organization of American States (OAS) that deemed Bolivia’s presidential election fraudulent. Morales had a 10-point plurality over his US- and Brazilian-backed right-wing challenger, former president Carlos Mesa.
Even though Morales agreed to a new election, he and his entire government, including Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, Chamber of Deputies President Victor Borda, and Senate President Adriana Salvatierra, all in the line of succession to Morales, were forced to resign by the Bolivian military and national police. Without a constitutional successor to Morales, the military and national police commanders took over in a classic CIA textbook coup from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. The new de facto head of state appeared to be Bolivian armed forces commander, General Williams Kaliman.
Morales and his Movement for Socialism colleagues saw their homes attacked by mobs. The street action against Morales and the Venezuelan embassy in La Paz was led by domestic and foreign elements employed by the Central Intelligence Agency and Brazilian neo-fascist President Jair Bolsonaro’s intelligence service – “Agência Brasileira de Inteligência” – ABIN. In one case, a relative of Morales was kidnapped by right-wing mobs. The governments of Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba denounced the coup against Morales. Argentina’s president-elect Alberto Fernández also condemned the coup. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the right-wing governments of Brazil and Colombia welcomed the putsch.
The right-wing putsch in Bolivia, which began with the national police taking the side of CIA-sponsored protesters, was uncannily similar to the 2010 attempted police coup against Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa. There were reports that the junta in charge of Bolivia issued warrants for the arrest of Morales and other top officials of his government. Ironically, the reported arrested warrants came a few days after Brazil’s imprisoned former leftist president, Luis Lula da Silva, a champion of the rights of Brazilians indigenous Amazon peoples, was freed from prison after being convicted on cooked up criminal charges by Brazil’s right-wing political establishment.
Native American indigenous peoples have been among the first victims of Donald Trump’s white nationalist policies, whether they are Sioux, Cherokee, Tohono O’odham, Navajo, Guatemalan Mayans being caged after requesting asylum in the United States, Alaskan Inuit coping with exploitative oil drilling companies, or Aymara in Bolivia being attacked by mobs of Bolivians of European ancestry in the wake of the coup against Morales. Nationalism, as practiced by Trump and his supporters, is not a legitimate political cause, but an excuse for harsh degradation of human and indigenous rights.