Veterans and the Dakota Access Pipeline

Updated: November 29, 2016

By Smedley Doss with RU Twisted

In case you haven’t heard, two guys named Wesley Clark Jr and Michael Wood Jr are organizing a massive group of veterans to rally at Standing Rock, North Dakota, to support an environmentalist, anti-oil pipeline protest led by Native Americans.

At least that’s what they’re trying to tell you.

In reality, Wesley Clark Jr and Michael Wood are far-left activists and they’re fooling veterans into supporting them.

Sorry, Wesley Clark Jr and Michael Wood, but the National Guard and law enforcement doing their jobs protecting private property on private land does not make them “the enemy.” And it’s despicable you’re trying to get veterans to travel hundreds if not thousands of miles so they can assault cops and Guardsmen and end up with an arrest record and maybe hypothermia, all in the service of your far left extremist agenda.

Can we talk for a second about your “OPORD”? I have no idea how Army Cavalry units prep for a combat operation, but in the rest of the combat arms MOS’ we generally do a little IPB. Something crazy like, say…studying a map, maybe? daplmap

Here’s a tip, charging a line of cops and Guardsmen to attack private property is not “non-violent.” It’s actually assault, and you’re setting your troops up for a beating and arrest.

Veterans, the only way the Standing Rock fight is any of your concern is if you believe the tribal chiefs should be able to blackmail the oil company for kickbacks. Or did you not realize that’s what is actually going on?

Fun fact: the tribal leadership wanted to force the pipeline company to pay a toll for all the oil (that didn’t even cross the reservation). The oil company countered with a lower offer, the tribe refused and threatened to protest the pipeline if the oil company didn’t pay up. The oil company refused to be blackmailed and the tribe made good on its threats to protest.

But then the protests began attracting national attention; they grew and then morphed into an indigenous movement for de-colonization.

Not just anti-colonialism, as in, some of the things that happened in the past were bad. They’re for DE-colonization, as in, giving the Indians back the land the white man took during American westward expansion. I’ll be the first to admit a lot of fucked up shit happened when Europeans invaded the New World, or that our own government is guilty of some serious injustice in the 19th century, but we’re not turning back the clock several centuries anytime soon.

So, despite what you may have heard, the fight going on at Standing Rock, North Dakota has little to do with protecting the drinking water of the Standing Rock Sioux. It started as greed and turned into a movement of indigenous people trying to take back land that was taken from their ancestors.

And the tribe is not really shy about it (well, the indigenous movement part). They very clearly lay it out in their ‘Welcome aboard, white people’ pamphlet that all non-native newcomers get (or, are supposed to get):

            “We understand this moment in the context of settler colonialism…Settler colonialism is not an event that we can neatly box into the past, but rather a persistent form of violence that impacts every aspect of life in settler states. Settler colonialism is still happening. Indigenous history in the Americas is one of uninterrupted resistance to colonization, from 1492 to today.”

The camp is there to fight colonialism, not the pipeline. And unless your political views are on the extreme far left, aligned with Wesley Clark Jr and Michael Wood, most Americans really don’t have much interest in turning back colonialism, rolling back globalism and returning to agrarian tribal societies.

The Northern Border natural gas pipeline crosses the Missouri in almost the exact same spot as the Dakota Access Pipeline will, no protests over that pipe. North Dakota’s only refinery is on the Missouri River in Mandan, less than forty miles north of the protesters, but are they protesting a potential disaster at the refinery that could pollute the Missouri? Of course not.

Don’t get me wrong, the tribes are serious about environmentalism and protecting water, it really is sacred to them. But in this case it’s just an excuse to pick a fight with the government and try to blackmail the oil company. Court documents show the Standing Rock Sioux ignored dozens of offers from the Army Corps of Engineers to meet to discuss the route of the pipeline, and it wasn’t until after construction was started that they started to complain. Not to mention, the source of water for the tribe is seventy miles from the pipeline. Even in the event of a leak, the likelihood of any tribal water being contaminated is miniscule.

No, the tribe wants to start a movement, and activists like Wesley Clark Jr and Michael Wood are hijacking their ties to the veteran community to recruit unsuspecting cannon fodder for their cause. They are leading people into a cause of which they are almost completely misinformed. iamthestorm

Here’s the bottom line: while there is a legitimate grievance of the tribe, it must be understood that it’s one that dates back about 150 years. So if you want to get angry about something in all of this, get angry that our government took Native lands over a century ago—not that they are trying to properly do this now.

And although there definitely appears to be excessive use of police force (e.g. using water cannons in freezing temperatures), calling on massive numbers of military veterans to come as a show of force is certainly not going to help that in any way. It’s just a recipe for even more problems in a situation that is misunderstood by nearly everyone yelling about it on Facebook.

In other words, about what you’d expect about a popular story.

Please, do yourself a favor—do some digging prior to running into a fight that is not your own or vastly more complex than most are allowing. There are plenty of things to be outraged over—this isn’t one of them.



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