The Complete Non-Issue of Indian Tribes and the US Military’s Naming Conventions
I read something really interesting a couple of days ago, it was titled “The U.S. Military’s Ongoing Slur of Native Americans,” and it went a little something like this:
“The US Army is a bunch of racists for naming their helicopter fleet, weapons systems, and mission code words after indigenous American equipment, tribes, and individual chieftains.”
Hahahahaha, that’s a great one. You got me again, Duffleblog.
…Wait, what? Do you mean that guy was SERIOUS?
It turns out he was. Or at least he was trying to be. Chronic attention-seeker Simon Waxman is at it again, this time managing to get a Washington Post op-ed by “exposing” the fact that the U.S. military sometimes names its vehicles, operational terms, and –horrors!—weapons after Native Americans, and somehow tying it to the Washington Redskins controversy. It must be a slow week in the professional grievance industry; I guess the sting of those fake PTSD claims getting exposed has worn off and it’s time to find something else to get offended about.
According to Waxman, the military is just one big racist conspiracy, going around subjugating everyone and then naming stuff after them. Now being a Soldier, I LOVE a good conspiracy, or at least a believable lie, and have been known to believe and/or promote one or two myself. “The Iraq War will pay for itself!” “Hot chow on the objective!” “You’ll be home by Christmas!” So when I see a headline that references an “ongoing slur of Native Americans,” I know it’s going to at least be good reading, right?
What is particularly irksome about Waxman’s concocted controversy regarding the military’s naming practices (other than it is utterly untrue and demonstrably false, of course) is that it’s not even good conspiracy theory. Had he done any research at all into the Army’s naming conventions, he would have found a LOT more things to feign indignation over.
He certainly would have learned that one of the Army’s very few active-duty divisions, the Second Infantry, features Native American themes and is nicknamed the Indian Head Division. And the base where 2ID’s headquarters is located? That’s Camp Red Cloud, named after a Native American recipient of the Medal of Honor. I know- TOTALLY racist, right? All of that information could have been found with a simple Internet search. But, to paraphrase an esteemed former commander of that division, General Russel Honoré, when it comes to basic research Simon Waxman is “stuck on stupid.”
Moreover, with a bare minimum of research, Waxman may have even stumbled across the “conspiracy” to name armored vehicles and even *gasp* entire military bases after former Confederate Army generals, which, unlike the things he brought up in his op-ed, is 1) actually true, and 2) a WAY better non-issue to pretend to be upset about than the one he came up with.
Most importantly of all, however, with the slightest bit of research, or if he possessed the slightest bit of journalistic integrity, Simon Waxman would have found that every piece of equipment the US military names after a Native American tribe has to have that tribes permission first. I’ll say that again. THE MILITARY GETS PERMISSION FIRST. Don’t believe me? Check out the Army regulation that covers the naming of helicopters. Still not convinced? Why not ask an actual Native American? And while you’re at it, why not ask why Native Americans are over-represented in the US military compared to their percentage of the overall US population. All that latent racism in the US military must really draw ‘em in!
So where did all of this wrongly-placed, self-appointed sense of righteous indignation come from? Pretty much verbatim from this guy. Now I’ve never heard of Noam Chomsky, but apparently he’s a big deal in far-left liberal circles. He’s certainly a big deal to Simon Waxman, since Waxman virtually plundered Chomsky’s (also completely factually wrong) attack on the US military and repackaged it under his own name for the Washington Post.
Who the hell are Noam Chomsky and his puppet mouthpiece Simon Waxman to presume to speak for all Native Americans, and to bash the US military while doing it? Who died and left them the spokesman for all Native Americans? Newsflash, people: Simon Waxman doesn’t care about Native Americans at all; all he cares about is Simon Waxman. If he did care about Native Americans, he would have probably would have focused on issues that Native Americans actually care about, and would certainly have started his little re-naming crusade a little closer to home.
Simon, aren’t you from Massachusetts? Isn’t your state named after a tribe that was conquered/displaced/whatever by all of those evil, imperial white people whose descendants still occupy the land? So instead of taking aim at the military’s naming practices, why aren’t you heading up the campaign to change your state’s name, or return it to its original owners? Why aren’t you going after the politicians in your own state who really ARE trying to take advantage of indigenous Americans for their own purposes (see also: Elizabeth Warren, AKA “Fauxcahontas”)? And while we’re on a roll here, let me throw another politically-charged, Massachusetts-related indigenous American word at you, “Chappaquiddick.” Maybe you should check that story out; someone actually died in that one. No one ever died over being fake-“offended.”
Is Simon Waxman really too simple to tell the difference between something that may legitimately be a racial slur, and something that conveys a deep sense of respect and honor? Apparently he is, because he certainly understands nothing about the concept of honor. In fact, what caused me to really think that Waxman’s piece was epic military satire troll-bait was Waxman presuming to lecture the military on that very subject. He says “Whatever courage (Native Americans) had, the U.S. military is not heir to it. If honor matters to the members of our armed forces, they will agree.”
Check it out, “bro,” we don’t need to be heir to anyone else’s honor; we have 239-year history of doing just fine in the “honor” department all on our own. Thanks, though. And I think the one thing that the members of our armed forces, and anyone else who reads this rebuttal to your overwrought, fact-free dribble will agree to is that you’re an idiot. We will definitely disagree with what you think of as honor.
Is “honor” doing a copy/paste of someone else’s ideas and presenting as a racist institution for your own purposes? Is “honor” presuming to speak for an entire race of people, and coloring an entire profession of your fellow citizens with the same broad brush or racism, without even talking to anyone on either side of the issue about it first? If so, then I am happy I don’t rise to your image of an honorable man and I hope I never do. I hope that my brothers and sisters in arms continue to fall short of it as well.
With all of the things that the U.S. military establishment might legitimately be criticized over, this isn’t one of them. Waxman’s op-ed is nothing more than a dog whistle for the rabid liberal left, especially tailored for the US’s large and growing professional grievance industry, who always presume to know better than the people they say they’re trying to protect and who always seem to find the big, bad US military an easy target. Not on my watch, assholes.
Anyone who reads anything that Simon Waxman writes in the future or anything that the Washington Post chooses to print in its opinion pages should think back to this article and consider how I, a mere veteran of marginal intellect with no fancy college degrees and zero requirement for responsible journalism, was able to whip up some intellectual Imodium-D to completely counteract Waxman’s cerebral colon blow in around three Google searches. It was that easy to expose Simple Simon Waxman’s great “white” racist lie about the US military and the Washington Post’s breathless promotion of it. That fact should deeply concern anyone who wants to take Simon Waxman or the Washington Post’s editorial page seriously in the future.