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Bury My Dreams and Heart at Wounded Yemen Printer friendly page Print This
By Dallas Darling
Submitted by Author
Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015

“Don’t bury me” cried 6-year Fareed as doctors treated his many shrapnel wounds and other serious injuries. [1] More than a century earlier, an aged Black Elk also cried when he wrote: “I did not know then how much was ended…I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young.” [2]

Although in different centuries and on opposite sides of the world, Fareed and Black Elk share many commonalities. The march of empire and its proxy states, for example, taught them both the bitter realities of deadly ideologies and perpetual war. In addition to being situated in a strategic geographic region, they had to learn the disadvantages of superior and ruthlessly indiscriminate weaponry.

Fareed and his family were unfortunately trapped in a brutal civil war where the United States is trying to preserve Saudi Arabia hegemony. A Saudi collapse would mean an end to imperial control over vital resources and access to the Persian and Aden Gulfs, including popular Arab Springs and sovereign Islamic movements and possible states that might not favor a radicalized U.S. Global Manifest Destiny.

Moreover, in 2016 Yemen was scheduled to join the U.S.-NATO’s Gulf Cooperation Council which was established to counter the 1979 Iranian Revolution and Iranian Islamic Republic. But in order for Yemen to join, and according to U.S.-Saudi policy, Shiite influence must be purged. For now, and despite even pouring arms into various rebel factions like ISIS, this extermination policy has been thwarted.

It was not thwarted on December 29, 1890, however, when the U.S. Army completely surrounded 300 children and women and a few men at Wounded Knee. Their orders were to prevent another and alternative religious movement from spreading or being performed. When an officer tried to take a weapon from Yellow Bird who was deaf, he refused to let go and the gun discharged.

This single, accidental shot prompted the soldiers to open fire. New Hotchkiss guns indiscriminately killed the villagers. It was then that Black Elk arrived and recorded how “dead and wounded women and children and little babies were scattered all along there where they had been trying to run away,” but the soldiers followed them along the gulch and “murdered them,” sometimes in heaps were “they had huddled together.” [3]

Black Elk also wrote: “And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there.” Four days later, Fareed and his dreams also died, as is Yemen. Indeed, massive air and drone strikes and military campaigns have killed 30,000 people, some women and children. Moreover, most of the civilian population is in desperate need for food, water, shelter, and adequate medicines.

The utter defeat of Native Americans across the Great American Desert is now being played out on the Great Arabian Desert. But instead of cattlemen, land speculators, miners, oilmen, and Christian missionaries armed with the sword of “truth,” a radicalized U.S. Global Manifest Destiny is fortified with the swords of profit, mainly corporate domination and control of a weapons industry.

Like Wounded Knee, it is sure to be a formula for more popular movements longing for rebirth and survival. Yet, it will also mean more death and destruction, including many buried dreams.

Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some Nations Above God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John‘s Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for

[1] “Don’t Bury Me’: Dying Boy’s Words Bring Yemen’s Forgotten War Back Into Focus,” by Salma Abdelaziz. October 22, 2015.
[2] Black Elk: “The End of the Dream.” 1932.
[3] McMaster, Gerald and Clifford E. Trafzer. Native Universe: Voices Of Indian America. Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2008., p. 13.

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