August 14, 2022 / by 

 

Apaches, Seminoles, and al Qaeda

As I noted several weeks ago (and as Carol Rosenberg has reported in depth), the government pissed off the Seminole tribe earlier this year by claiming that Seminoles defending themselves in territory held by the Spanish during the early 19th century fought like al Qaeda (and not, for example, American rebels using guerrilla tactics).

Further, not only was the Seminole belligerency unlawful, but, much like modern-day al Qaeda, the very way in which the Seminoles waged war against U.S. targets itself violated the customs and usages of war.

But it turns out that’s not the only analogy our government has made between Native American tribes defending themselves and al Qaeda. According to Chuck Todd, the code name we used for Osama bin Laden was Geronimo. (h/t zunguzungu)

How did special forces relay the news to commanders that OBL was dead? Code name was “Geronimo”; call came in as “Geronimo is KIA”

Of course, presumably he got that name during the Administration of the grandson of the guy alleged to have stolen Geronimo’s skull as a Skull and Bones prank, not under Obama.

Still, for the sake of the legitimacy of our fight against terrorists–and for the sake of some historical humility and shame–don’t you think it’s time we stop analogizing al Qaeda to tribes that were defending their homeland against our imperialism?

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Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/tag/seminoles/