Saturday, December 25, 2010

Rhetoric and Reality

In December 2009, when President Obama cut a back room deal at the UN gathering in Copenhagen, using threats and bribes to undermine indigenous peoples' participation in climate change talks, that was reality. When he promoted his Copenhagen Accord on behalf of major polluters as progress, that was rhetoric. In July 2010, when President Obama lifted the ban on US funding for Indonesian death squads assassinating indigenous leaders in West Papua, that was reality. In December 2010, when he said he endorsed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, that was rhetoric.

As Steven Newcomb observes in Indian Country Today, there is nothing new in Obama's "endorsement" of UNDRIP. His position is the same as Bush: federally recognized tribes in the US are not truly sovereign; they are free to develop as they wish as long as they don't oppose US policy. In other words, they are not self-determined, but rather, remain under the domination of the US government, which will continue to represent them in international fora, thus denying them their rightful voice in world affairs.

As President Obama and Secretary Clinton continue to back murderous regimes from Colombia to Palestine, the genocide of indigenous nations will be perpetually cloaked in official rhetoric. As with UNDRIP, that rhetoric will not match the reality of their deeds nor the official documents misrepresented by their public relations; what remains is to hold them accountable for both the crimes they commit and the frauds they perpetrate in covering up those crimes.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


At the Lens Culture FotoFest Paris 2010, Evgenia Arbugaeva from the Republic of Yakutia was awarded a prize for her photos of the five nationalities of reindeer herders in Eastern Siberia. Take a look.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Nowhere Else To Turn

It would be difficult to find a more blatant example of hypocrisy than that of the United States' conduct in respect to the state of Colombia and its indigenous peoples. With the aboriginal nations on the verge of extinction due to the civil war funded by the US government, the colossal fraud known as the war on drugs is exposed for all to see. What in reality is a war for US military dominion of the hemisphere under the false pretenses of preventing narcotics addiction in the US, native Colombians are being slaughtered by both drug cartels as well as by Colombian police and military forces on the US payroll. While the government of Canada is slightly less hostile in unleashing its aggression, the indigenous peoples in Colombia are turning to Canada and the UN for help. As a sign of their desperation, Colombia's aboriginals feel they have nowhere else to turn.