Sunday, October 18, 2009

Geronimo: More Lessons in Simplistic U.S. History

What with Geronimo's great-grandson touring France, Annick Cojean has an article on the Apache warrior in Le Monde, in which we learn that Harlyn Geronimo is suing the American government, demanding that the U.S. government allow the body of his great-grandfather to be reburied (from Fort Sill, Oklahoma) on the Apache people's ancestral lands near the place (on the Gila River in New Mexico) where the Apache warrior was born.
L'avocat chargé de l'affaire, Ramsey Clark, ancien ministre de la justice sous Johnson, et volontaire pour des défenses généralement plus sulfureuses (Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic...) l'a assuré que la loi de 1990 sur la protection des tombes indiennes et leur rapatriement conférait toute légitimité à l'initiative des descendants du héros apache. Et il n'est que temps, dit-il, de rendre justice à la sagesse ancestrale des plus anciens habitants d'Amérique.
Annick Cojean's filler on the alleged theft of the Apache Indian's skull mentions three generations of Bush family members who belonged to the Yales secret society of Skull and Bones, without mentioning leftists such as John Kerry, and ends with Harlyn Geronimo recounting ominously that "President Bush [presumably, 43] never deigned answer my letter" in that regard…

Not until the end of the main article do we learn, incidentally, that Harlyn is suspicious of Obama's claims regarding minorities and, indeed, that he voted for John McCain…

Nowhere, however, in this page-long article on Geronimo, do we deviate from the simplistic tale that the peaceful natives were nothing if not the victims of the United States. Nowhere do we learn that the Apache people's ancestral lands were not the barren lands of Arizona and New Mexico — that is where the Apaches had to resettle after their true lands, the plains, were stolen, yes, but not by the whites albeit by… the (peaceful?) Comanches — or that the earliest tragedy in Geronimo's life was the massacre of his family by… the Mexican army.

Indeed, contrary to American soldiers (!!), Mexican soldados in the field knew that they had no pity to expect from Geronimo's Apaches; if the man born Goyakhlay is known by a Spanish surname, it is because when Mexicans knew who they were up against, they would pray to Saint-Jerome…

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