As the insurgency raged in Iraq, U. None of these phenomena are unfamiliar to observers of the Iraq war. But this afternoon, the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks released a trove of nearly , U. No one would accuse WikiLeaks of being pro-war. The documents indicate that Iran was a major combatant in the Iraq war, as its elite Quds Force trained Iraqi Shiite insurgents and imported deadly weapons like the shape-charged Explosively Formed Projectile bombs into Iraq for use against civilians, Sunni militants and U. Others indicate that Iran flooded Iraq with guns and rockets, including the Misagh-1 surface-to-air missile,.
Confusion at checkpoints was a common feature of the Iraq war, placing U. The United States spent billions to train and equip Iraqi security forces, a mission that continues to this day. But while under U. And even after the Abu Ghraib detainee-abuse scandal, U. In a report, U. By disclosing such sensitive information, Wikileaks continues to put at risk the lives of our troops, their coalition partners and those Iraqis and Afghans working with us. The only responsible course of action for Wikileaks at this point is to return the stolen material and expunge it from their websites as soon as possible.
WikiLeaks appears to have learned from the criticism of its last document dump, however. And although the anti-war left welcomed the release of the documents, they would probably cringe at one of the most significant finds of this latest crop of reports: Iraq had weapons of mass destruction WMD.
Predictably, the liberal media did their best to either ignore the story—like the New York Times and Washington Post did—or spin it. CBS News chose the latter. There are two falsehoods in that sentence, demonstrating the difficulty in trying to spin a clear fact. Called the Iraqi Perspectives Project IPP , the report—based on more than , captured original documents and thousands of hours of audio and video recordings—proved conclusively that Saddam had worked with terrorist organizations that were plotting attacks on American targets around the world.
One way to identify a media narrative in deep trouble is the naked attempt to draw conclusions for the reader instead of just presenting the story. The CBS report on the leaked WMD documents is a case in point of the reporter telling the reader what they ought to think, knowing full well that otherwise the facts of the case would likely lead the reader to the opposite conclusion.
Who has possession of these weapons now? President Clinton explains Iraq strike. They are joined by British forces. Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world. Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons.
I want to explain why I have decided, with the unanimous recommendation of my national security team, to use force in Iraq; why we have acted now; and what we aim to accomplish. They are highly professional experts from dozens of countries. The inspectors undertook this mission first 7. The international community had good reason to set this requirement.
Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. Unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops during a decade-long war. Not only against soldiers, but against civilians, firing Scud missiles at the citizens of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran. And not only against a foreign enemy, but even against his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq.
The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again. When Saddam still failed to comply, we prepared to act militarily. It was only then at the last possible moment that Iraq backed down. It pledged to the UN that it had made, and I quote, a clear and unconditional decision to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. I decided then to call off the attack with our airplanes already in the air because Saddam had given in to our demands.
I concluded then that the right thing to do was to use restraint and give Saddam one last chance to prove his willingness to cooperate. And along with Prime Minister Blair of Great Britain, I made it equally clear that if Saddam failed to cooperate fully, we would be prepared to act without delay, diplomacy or warning. In four out of the five categories set forth, Iraq has failed to cooperate. Indeed, it actually has placed new restrictions on the inspectors. Here are some of the particulars. Prior to the inspection of another site, Iraq actually emptied out the building, removing not just documents but even the furniture and the equipment.
Iraq has failed to turn over virtually all the documents requested by the inspectors. In short, the inspectors are saying that even if they could stay in Iraq, their work would be a sham. Instead of the inspectors disarming Saddam, Saddam has disarmed the inspectors. This situation presents a clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere. The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance.
First, without a strong inspection system, Iraq would be free to retain and begin to rebuild its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs in months, not years. Second, if Saddam can crippled the weapons inspection system and get away with it, he would conclude that the international community — led by the United States — has simply lost its will.
He will surmise that he has free rein to rebuild his arsenal of destruction, and someday — make no mistake — he will use it again as he has in the past. Third, in halting our air strikes in November, I gave Saddam a chance, not a license. If we turn our backs on his defiance, the credibility of U. We will not only have allowed Saddam to shatter the inspection system that controls his weapons of mass destruction program; we also will have fatally undercut the fear of force that stops Saddam from acting to gain domination in the region. That is why, on the unanimous recommendation of my national security team — including the vice president, the secretary of defense, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, the secretary of state and the national security adviser — I have ordered a strong, sustained series of air strikes against Iraq.
At the same time, we are delivering a powerful message to Saddam. If you act recklessly, you will pay a heavy price. We acted today because, in the judgment of my military advisers, a swift response would provide the most surprise and the least opportunity for Saddam to prepare. Also, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins this weekend.
For us to initiate military action during Ramadan would be profoundly offensive to the Muslim world and, therefore, would damage our relations with Arab countries and the progress we have made in the Middle East. I hope Saddam will come into cooperation with the inspection system now and comply with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. But we have to be prepared that he will not, and we must deal with the very real danger he poses.
Paul C. Jong
So we will pursue a long-term strategy to contain Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction and work toward the day when Iraq has a government worthy of its people. First, we must be prepared to use force again if Saddam takes threatening actions, such as trying to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction or their delivery systems, threatening his neighbors, challenging allied aircraft over Iraq or moving against his own Kurdish citizens. Second, so long as Iraq remains out of compliance, we will work with the international community to maintain and enforce economic sanctions. The sanctions system allows Iraq to sell oil for food, for medicine, for other humanitarian supplies for the Iraqi people.
We have no quarrel with them. The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world. The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government — a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people. Bringing change in Baghdad will take time and effort. We will strengthen our engagement with the full range of Iraqi opposition forces and work with them effectively and prudently.
The decision to use force is never cost-free. We must be prepared for these realities. At the same time, Saddam should have absolutely no doubt if he lashes out at his neighbors, we will respond forcefully. Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people.
And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them. Let me close by addressing one other issue. Saddam Hussein and the other enemies of peace may have thought that the serious debate currently before the House of Representatives would distract Americans or weaken our resolve to face him down. Tonight, the United States is doing just that. May God bless and protect the brave men and women who are carrying out this vital mission and their families.
And may God bless America. And a strongman is in charge. Nowadays, few people step forth to speak well of the Iraq War, to own up to the support they gave that American campaign in the Arab world. Yet Operation Iraqi Freedom, launched 10 years ago this week, was once a popular war. Arab financiers and preachers gave them the means and the warrant for their horrific deeds. The Iraqi dictator was evicted from Kuwait and then spared. The Arab redeemer, as he had styled himself, lacked the guile that might have saved him. A great military expedition was being readied against him in London and Washington, but he gambled to the bitter end that George W.
Bush would not pull the trigger. The temptation to depict the war as George W. Those unburdened by knowledge of the ways of that region would come to insist that there had been no operational links between the Iraqi despot and al Qaeda. These newborn critics would insist on a distinction between secular terrorism and religious terrorism, but it was a distinction without a difference. The rationale for the war sustained a devastating blow in the autumn of when Charles Duelfer, the chief U. They soldiered on, offering a new aim: President Bush, seen in this image from television, addresses the nation from the Oval Office at the White House, on March 19, There were very few takers for the new rationale.
In the oddest of twists, American liberalism now mocked the very idea that liberty could put down roots in an Arab- Muslim setting. Nor were there takers, among those watching from lands around Iraq, for the idea of freedom midwifed by American power. To the west in Syria there was the Baath dictatorship of the House of Assad.
And beyond there was the Sunni Arab order of power, where America was despised for giving power to Shiites. For a millennium, the Shiite Arabs had not governed, and yet now they ruled in Baghdad, a city that had been the seat of the Islamic caliphate. A stoical George W.
Bush held the line amid American disaffection and amid the resistance of a region invested in the failure of the Iraq campaign. There is no way of writing a convincing alternative history of the region without this war. That kind of effort is inherently speculative, subject to whim and preference. Perhaps we could have let Saddam be, could have tolerated the misery he inflicted on his people, convinced ourselves that the sanctions imposed on his regime were sufficient to keep him quarantined.
But a different history played out. It delivered the Iraqis from a tyranny that they would have never been able to overthrow on their own. The American disappointment with Iraq helped propel Barack Obama to power. There were strategic gains that the war had secured in Iraq, but Mr.
Obama had no interest in them. A skilled politician, Mr. Obama made the Iraqi government an offer meant to be turned down—a residual American force that could hardly defend itself, let alone provide meaningful protection for the fledgling new order in Baghdad. They had been navigating a difficult course between Iran and the U. The choice was made easy for them, the Iranian supreme leader was next door, the liberal superpower was in retreat.
Heading for the exits, Mr. Two weeks ago, Stuart W. One testimony, by an Iraqi technocrat, the acting minister of interior, Adnan al-Asadi, offered a compelling image: It was no fault of the soldiers who fought this war, or of the leaders who launched it, that their successors lacked the patience to stick around Iraq and safekeep what had been gained at an incalculable cost in blood and treasure. On balance, was the Iraq war worth it? The preceding months had been filled with vehement protests against the impending war, expressed in editorials, in advertisements, and in rallies so vast that some of them made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.
With so many people against the invasion, who supported it? Well, if you were like the great majority of Americans — you did. Congress had authorized the invasion a few months earlier with strong bipartisan majorities; among the many Democrats voting for the war were Senators John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden. The invasion of Iraq 10 years ago ended the reign of a genocidal tyrant, and ensured that his monstrous sons could never succeed him. Bush, Republicans and Democrats alike had long understood that Saddam was a deadly menace who had to be forcibly eradicated.
But bipartisan harmony was an early casualty of the war. Nor did it matter that Saddam had previously used WMD to exterminate thousands of men, women, and children. When the relatively quick toppling of Saddam was followed by a long and bloody insurgency, opposition to the war intensified.
For many it became an intractable article of faith that victory was not an option. By the time Bush left office, the insurgency was crippled, violence was down 90 percent, and Iraqis were being governed by politicians they had voted for. On its cover the magazine proclaimed: In October , President Obama — overriding his military commanders, who had recommended keeping 18, troops on the ground — announced that all remaining US servicemen would be out of Iraq by the end of the year.
Politically, it was a popular decision; most Americans were understandably weary of Iraq. But abandoning Iraqis and their frail, fledgling democracy was reckless. It is cold comfort that so many urgently warned of just such an outcome in So was the Iraq war worth it? On that, Americans are a long way from a consensus. Two decades ago, the Gulf War was regarded as a triumph. In retrospect, the decision to leave Saddam in power — and to let him murderously crush an uprising we had encouraged — looks like a tragic blunder. But this much we do know: It let Iraqis find out how much better their lives could be under democratic self-government.
Like all wars, even wars of liberation, it took an awful toll. The status quo ante was worse. Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe. His website is http: None of us can say what would have happened had Saddam Hussein remained in power. He might now be engaged in a nuclear-arms race with Iran.
One or other of his even more psychotic sons, the late Uday or Qusay, could be in power. The Arab Spring might have come to Iraq, and surely even more bloodily than in Syria. Three weeks after Operation Shock and Awe began, the early-bird naysayers were already warning of massive humanitarian devastation and civil war.
Ten years ago, expert opinion was that Iraq was a phony-baloney entity imposed on the map by distant colonial powers. The Times of London, last week: What of the rest of the country? On the previous Western liberation of Mesopotamia, when General Maude took Baghdad from the Turks in , British troops found a very different city from the Saddamite squat of In a lively, jostling, cosmopolitan metropolis, 40 percent of the population was Jewish. Foreigners see this more clearly than Americans. A rather more motivated crowd showed up in Benghazi, killed four Americans, including the ambassador, and correctly calculated they would face no retribution.
A few weeks after the fall of Saddam, on little more than a whim, I rented a beat-up Nissan at Amman Airport and, without telling the car-hire bloke, drove east across the Iraqi border and into the Sunni Triangle. I could not easily make the same journey today: Western journalists now require the permission of the central government to enter Anbar Province. At a rest area on the highway between Rutba and Ramadi, I fell into conversation with one of the locals. Having had to veer onto the median every few miles to dodge bomb craters, I asked him whether he bore any resentments toward his liberators.
The war dead of America and its few real allies died in an honorable cause. Colin Powell offered the following rationale: Get Ready for Armageddon. The Transformation of a Klansman. The carefully constructed mask of Forrest Carter — Cherokee cowboy, self-taught writer and spokesman for Native Americans — was simply the last fantasy of a man who reinvented himself again and again in the 30 years that preceded his death in His real name was Asa Ace Earl Carter. We share a common Southern heritage and he may be a distant relation of mine.
Between and , the Alabama native carved out a violent career in Southern politics as a Ku Klux Klan terrorist, right-wing radio announcer, home-grown American fascist and anti-Semite, rabble-rousing demagogue and secret author of the famous speech by Gov. George Wallace of Alabama: He even organized a paramilitary unit of about men that he called the Original Ku Klux Klan of the Confederacy. Among its acts, these white-sheeted sociopaths assaulted Nat King Cole during a concert in Birmingham in In , the group, without Mr.
His agent and publishers have described Mr. Carter as a self-taught writer. For almost 30 years he honed his skills by spewing out racist and anti-Semitic pamphlets. In he wrote that all N. The same year, in a disquisition on the prospect of black policemen, he wrote: Those who knew the gun-toting Ace Carter never found him very amusing, certainly not the two fellow Klansmen who were critically wounded by Mr. Carter in a shootout over Klan finances. Carter was indicted for assault with intent to murder, the Jefferson County district attorney, influenced by the highly charged racial climate in Alabama, ultimately decided to drop the charges.
Carter, after all, took his new name from Nathan Bedford Forrest, the tobacco-chewing ex-mule skinner, slave trader and Civil War general who founded the original Ku Klux Klan in Tennessee in And so they loved the thought, and loving it grew to be it, so that they could not think as the white man. One explanation is suggested by the Calhoun County High School yearbook for Handsome, energetic, ambitious, always the actor, his classmates had known that Asa Carter would do whatever he had to to escape the sleepy little Alabama town of Oxford. Even the gentle Little Tree, Mr.
From Tom Mix to Gary Cooper, the task of the traditional western hero was to replace the savage world of the desperado with the civilized community governed by the rule of law. We live unto ourselves. We trust no one outside the circle of blood kin and closest comrades. We have no responsibilities outside that closed circle. Government and all its agencies are corrupt. Politics is a lie.
Carter, professor of history at Emory University, is working on a biography of George Wallace. Forrest must have been spinning in his grave. For the last few years of his life, he tried hard to kill off Asa. And if he had stayed off television, he might have pulled it off. In both incarnations, Carter is the focus of new interest. For a man with just three slim volumes published in his own lifetime, Forrest Carter made a significant impact on American culture.
According to an editor at the now-defunct Delacorte Press, the book sold more than a million copies in hard and soft covers before the University of New Mexico Press picked it up in Schoolchildren have been so moved by it that they have formed Little Tree fan clubs. The distinguished African-American literary critic Henry Louis Gates wrote a widely discussed piece about it, for example. In one of the many peculiar twists of the Asa-Forrest saga, some teachers acknowledge the controversy and include it in their lesson plans.
Leading the way in the ignoring department is the University of New Mexico Press, which is apparently not about to do anything that might kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Indeed, aside from a couple of slim pieces of physical evidence, it might be difficult to prove now that Asa and Forrest Carter were the same man.
In the biography, Carter said that he was born in Oxford, Ala. Some family members recall that while growing up in the Appalachian hills of north Alabama, young Asa Carter pestered older family members for details about Confederate ancestors on both sides of the family. He was an old warrior.
Carter graduated from high school in , joined the Navy and became, like his future boss George Wallace, a boxing champ. After graduating, he returned to Alabama and established a career as a full-time racist. Around Birmingham, you can still find copies of the Southerner, a monthly magazine devoted to white supremacy, which Carter helped found. Collectors of civil-rights era memorabilia have copies of his radio broadcasts and pamphlets from his campaign for governor. In one of these, he warned white Alabamians about the prospect of black policemen: After getting fired from a radio station for criticizing National Brotherhood Week, Carter formed a group called the White Citizens Council, an organization that espoused the same fundamental views as the KKK.
Instead, he helped create a new and even more virulent organization, the original Ku Klux Klan of the Confederacy, whose members wore Confederate gray robes instead of white. According to his childhood pal Buddy Barnett, Carter — who openly advocated violence in his speeches and articles — was appalled by the coldbloodedness of the attack. With few prospects and four kids to feed in Anniston, Asa Carter took an ill-advised turn into politics, running for state lieutenant governor. He finished fifth in a five-man field. Till the day he died, George Wallace denied that he ever knew Asa Carter.
He may have been telling the truth. From this back room, Asa Carter wrote the most famous racist rhetoric of the civil rights era, words that would reach and be remembered by more people than anything published by Forrest Carter. He was kept on for a while as a speechwriter until Lurleen Wallace died of cancer. By Wallace was ready to run for president and had to clean up his rhetoric. In his TV commercials, Carter looked large, thick-set and barrel-chested, with dark, thick, Russian-like hair and eyebrows.
In Carter and his wife, Thelma, sold their Alabama home and moved to Florida where Carter could get away from his political debacle. Within a year, a new Carter emerged, slimmer, darker all that Florida sun and with a new name: The name was chosen in homage to Nathaniel Bedford Forrest, the infamous Confederate cavalry general and a founder of the Ku Klux Klan.
And, like Wales, Forrest Carter went to Texas to begin a new life — one that was to definitively disprove F. From writing racist speeches, Carter turned to writing genre fiction. Carter was now spending time around Abilene, visiting his sons whom he referred to, for reasons that remain unclear, as his nephews and making new friends. He dressed in jeans and string ties and affected a folksy speech pattern. He performed what he called Cherokee songs and dances for his friends.
Carter was delighted to promote his book with personal appearances. Certainly the Wales novels appealed to the readers of pulp westerns and action-adventure novels. But Carter also seemed to make fans of thousands who wanted something more from their pulp — and the story he told shared important themes with his lone wolf, white-supremacist past.
It is the Way. Tal-con caught the slow and so the slow will raise no children who are also slow … and so Tal-con lives by the Way. He helps the quail. Man upsets the harmony by empowering the weak. Government corrupts nature by helping the weak. If a whole people got loose, then politicians seen they could get control. They would take over loose people and before long you had a dictator. Wine said no thinking people ever had a dictator. Perhaps no two books by the same author have ever had so few readers in common. Intrigued, he talked Clint into giving it a try; the next day Eastwood told Daley to buy it for Malpaso.
When Carter arrived, he was staggeringly drunk and proceeded to piss all over the office carpet. Daley had an assistant hustle him to a hotel. Again, he showed up drunk, and he pulled a knife and held it to the throat of one of our secretaries. He later said it was all a joke. I felt that that element in the script needed to be severely toned down. A handful of his old cronies in Alabama had made him. The mask was crumbling, and brought with it a double blow from which Carter never recovered. First, his distant cousin Dan Carter, a historian and future biographer of George Wallace, wrote an Op-Ed for the New York Times blowing the whistle on the identity of the new literary lion from Texas.
For two years, Forrest Carter hung on in Texas, playing the local celebrity and trying to let Asa Carter fade back into the past. He played the folksy noble savage to the hilt, winning over both the panel and the audience. I met Forrest Carter shortly after that at the Houston airport, working on a profile for the Houston Post.
He was lean and sunburned and had a bushy mustache; he reminded me of an old photo of Wyatt Earp. Wearing a broad Stetson, he looked like a figure in a Remington painting in sunglasses. I asked him if Clint Eastwood would be involved in the rumored next movie about Wales. I told Carter that I thought his Wales novels were an attempt to win back the values on a mythical level that the Confederacy had lost on the battlefield.
I never got a chance to write my story. Shortly afterward, Forrest Carter was dead. Exactly how and why has never been made clear. Friends said that he had been drinking; rumors of Asa were starting to reach Abilene. A canceled speaking gig at a university here, a call from a local paper wanting to discuss the controversy there. None of us understood at the time, but after the tragedy we could see in retrospect he was turning into a nervous wreck. One night in June, Carter stopped off to visit one of his sons in Potosi, just south of Abilene.
Thelma Carter later resurfaced in Alabama, and has gone into seclusion, refusing to discuss her years with Asa. First was the news of his violent death. Added to that was the fact that many did not know he really was, or was suspected of being, the notorious Asa Carter. Finally, most had never heard Carter talk of having a son. American Indian activist Vine Deloria Jr. There appears to be no simple answer to who Carter was, or exactly what his books are about, but for some the solution is to simply deny the apparent contradiction between the legacy of Asa and Forrest.
Indeed, some continue to deny that they were even the same man. Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance: Newspapers and magazines hungered for stories about him but kept their research to a minimum. Reporters reveled in his many achievements: The story went that he had once trained with the legendary athlete Jim Thorpe; he had once sparred with none other than Jack Dempsey.
An American president had granted him a special appointment to West Point; a grateful French nation had awarded him the Croix de Guerre for exceptional military valor.
Born a Blood Indian in a teepee in the Sweetgrass Hills near the Canadian-American border, Long Lance had risen in celebrity through intellect, charm, courage and tremendous will. He was, one reporter claimed, one hundred percent American. Written by a history professor at the University of Calgary, Long Lance is a carefully researched and well-illustrated study, presented in a fashion that would very much appeal to any adolescent reader and to any adult reader, for that matter.
It is a remarkable story that bears some interesting resemblance to the more familiar Grey Owl legend. Long Lance was an American black born in in North Carolina, who through the next four decades, until his suicide in , assumed the persona of a full-blood Aboriginal Canadian or American, as the story evolved. Despite reckless lies and ever-changing personal histories, he was able to fool most of the people most of the time, rising to international prominence as the spokesman of the aboriginal peoples.
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That he was not entirely able to fool all the people all the time lends the edge of a mystery novel to the story, as time and again he narrowly evades eventual and inevitable disclosure. But while the invented identity held, Long Lance attained wealth and fame, as a writer, editor, speaker, socialite, and even movie star. In part the fraud began as an attempt to elude the foreordained fate that his birth had allotted him; but as he entered the aboriginal culture and history, he turned his talents and prominence to becoming a champion of their cause.
Indeed, the theme of his story is balanced between the poles of celebrity actively seeking fame and material rewards , and service to his adopted culture. He shamelessly used his fabricated persona for personal advancement: At the same time, the prominence he thereby acquired was put to important social use in bringing the plight of the aboriginal population to a public that might not otherwise have paid attention.
It involved as well a significant cast of players: In all of these settings and with all of these people, the author provides careful detail and interpretation. The reader is moved along by a story of adventure and intrigue; but is in the process acquiring some very valuable insights into aspects of our history and culture. Gregor is a professor of educational history in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
La grande supercherie de Grey Owl. En , il entra dans les forces canadiennes et subit, en France, des blessures qui allaient le tourmenter toute sa vie. En , Grey Owl quitta Anahareo et se remaria. My Life with Grey Owl. The Story of Grey Owl. A Memorial to Grey Owl. Lovat Dickson Limited, Key Porter Books, The Mystery of Archie Belaney.
The Making of Grey Owl. Western Producer Prairie Books, High schools offered classes in ecology. Public school students painted posters decrying pollution. And television ads worked to remind everyone that the problem was real, here, and now. One was the first annual Earth Day, observed on 21 March A moving exposition on the sanctity of the land and the need for careful stewardship of it is still widely quoted as the bona fide words of Chief Seattle. He was the son of Francesca Salpietra and Antonio DeCorti, she an immigrant from Sicily who had arrived in the USA in , and he another immigrant who had arrived in America not long before her.
Theirs was an arranged marriage, and the couple had four children, with Espera or Oscar, as he was called their second eldest. In , when Espera was five years old, Antonio DeCorti abandoned his wife and children and headed for Texas. Francesca married again, this time to a man named Alton Abshire, with whom she bore five more children. As teenagers the three DeCorti boys joined their father in Texas. He had since altered his name from Antonio DeCorti to Tony Corti, and the boys apparently followed suit as far as their surname was concerned.
It was about this time Iron Eyes began presenting himself to the world as an Indian. Iron Eyes went on to achieve a full career as an actor, appearing in well over a hundred movies and dozens of television shows across the span of several decades. Although Iron Eyes was not born an Indian, he lived his adult years as one. He pledged his life to Native American causes, married an Indian woman Bertha Parker , adopted two Indian boys Robert and Arthur , and seldom left home without his beaded moccasins, buckskin jacket and braided wig. His was not a short-lived masquerade nor one that was donned and doffed whenever expedient — he maintained his fiction throughout his life and steadfastly denied rumors that he was not an Indian, even after his half-sister surfaced to tell the story in and to provide pointers to the whereabouts of his birth certificate and other family documents.
Others also falsely claimed this mantle:. While the ruse lasted, Buffalo Child Long Lance was a hit on the lecture circuit and one of the darlings of New York society. His spree ended when the truth about his background was exposed in , and he killed himself with a shot to the head in Only after his death in did the world discover he was really an Englishman born Archibald Belaney.
Even if Iron Eyes was not a true-born Native American, he certainly did a lot of good on behalf of the Native American community, and they generally accepted him as one of them without caring about his true ancestry. Although he was no Indian, they pointed out, his charitable deeds were more important than his non-Indian heritage. Actor Known for Anti-Littering Ad. In June of a writer calling himself Nasdijj emerged from obscurity to publish an ode to his adopted son in Esquire.
He was my son. My son was a Navajo. He lived six years. They were the best six years of my life. At first, Tommy seemed like a healthy baby, albeit one who consistently cried throughout the night. Tommy suffered from a severe case of fetal alcohol syndrome, or FAS. Though Tommy looked normal, his crying continued and as he grew older he began to suffer massive seizures. He knew he was slowly dying. Nasdijj knew too, and he tried to give his son as full a life as time would allow.
Tommy Nothing Fancy wanted to die with his dad and his dog while fishing. She pounded the walls. But the hospitals and doctors never made it better. Though the conflict tore his marriage apart, Nasdijj continued to take his son fishing and, true to his last wish, Tommy died of a seizure while on an expedition. It was as if a bolt of lightning surged uncontrolled through the damaged brain of my son.
He was just a little boy who liked to fish. I was holding him when he died. The Esquire piece, as successful as it was heartbreaking, was a finalist for a National Magazine Award and helped establish Nasdijj as a prominent new voice in the world of nonfiction. As if losing a son was not enough, the memoirs portray a lifetime of suffering. There is nothing polite about cleaning up your mother in her vomit and dragging her unconscious carcass back to the migrant housing trailer you lived in. Though their time together was short and turbulent, Nasdijj says his mother instilled in him the Navajo traditions that now inform his work.
His father, he says, was a sexual predator who raped him the night his mother died. Like Tommy Nothing Fancy, Nasdijj claims to have fetal alcohol syndrome and to have been raised, with his brother, in migrant camps all over the country. Nasdijj knows how to pull heartstrings. In fact, he speaks of it almost exclusively. Death and suffering are his staples. His style is an artful blending of poetry and prose, and his work has met with nearly universal critical praise. Shortly after The Blood came out, Nasdijj writes, he moved back to the Navajo reservation, where word of his book and his compassion spread.
One day while fishing, a Navajo man and his year-old son approached him. But as his successes and literary credentials grew in number, so did his skeptics — particularly from within the Native American community. Sherman Alexie first heard of Nasdijj in after his former editor sent him a galley proof of The Blood for comment.
Alexie was born hydrocephalic, a life-threatening condition characterized by water on the brain. At the age of 6 months he underwent brain surgery that saved his life but left him, much like Tommy Nothing Fancy, prone to chronic seizures throughout his childhood. Although there was never more than? Conover, an award-winning journalist whose book Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, was taken aback. Nasdijj, however, rejected this suggestion and sent the angry letter, which Conover characterizes as a sprawling diatribe.
Mueller, however, never responded, and the incident left Conover wondering whether he should have been more thorough in investigating Nasdijj before writing his review. Several weeks later, Conover was contacted by an expert in fetal alcohol syndrome who had read his review. She informed him that while she sympathized with the plight of Nasdijj and his son, the symptoms described in The Blood are not actually those of FAS. This work is a memoir and represents, to the best of my ability and my memory, an accurate reporting of facts and events as I know them and as they have been told to me.
I have attempted to protect the privacy of people through the editorial decision to frequently change names, appearances, and locations, as these are not relevant to the focus of the work or the issues the work strives to deal with. Was this just standard legalese or was Houghton Mifflin concerned about the veracity of this book? Had Sherman Alexie actually gotten through to them? Anton Mueller, editor of The Blood, says no. He alleges a nomadic existence that is virtually free of specific names or places, rendering it difficult to substantiate his claims.
A Google search brings up first and foremost his blog — http: Shortly after Nasdijj was contacted for this story, his blog was taken offline. A sampling of his almost daily blogs over several months suggests that one and perhaps only one thing is clear: Nasdijj is a very angry man. If in the books his passion and fierceness are modulated and concentrated, his blog posts are full of rants and denunciations.
Targets include the American health care system, government treatment of Indians, middle-class values and, especially, the publishing industry. Though his first book was thoughtful, even tender, as his career has progressed Nasdijj has increasingly taken the role of an artist whose willingness to push boundaries often borders on disturbing. Surrealistic accounts of forcible incest by his father read less like rape and more like lukewarm trysts.
His tongue in my mouth. He was a lousy lover with his tongue in my mouth. The same tongue that had just been inside my bowels. A recent post on his Web site featured a nude photograph of the open anus and testicles of a supposedly cancer-ridden teenager. Nasdijj claims this was done in an effort to humanize the disease, but such pictures are often posted alongside graphic accounts of adolescent sexuality.
Indeed, they are sometimes posted alongside naked sadomasochistic pictures of Nasdijj himself. I resent the fact that he seems to be ashamed of his notable ancestors i. This kind of dribble [sic] should have been investigated prior to printing or should have been labeled as purely fiction.
While such a review could easily be dismissed on its own, a Yahoo search of the name attached to it offers up a comprehensive genealogical site. The site then charts his family lineage back several generations to the s, and, indeed, as the review states, to the McCormick family. Just like Nasdijj, Tina Giovanni also hosts a blog — http: It also was taken offline in the past week but has returned minus its archives. This obviously begs the question — who exactly is Timothy Patrick Barrus?
Could the heart-wrenching Navajo memoirist actually have been the gay leather novelist in a previous life? The streets of downtown Lansing, Michigan, are crowded on a Friday night, but not with people — with squirrels. They congregate in the middle of Washington Street, staring with incredulity as a lone car approaches.
No one is around to notice. Two years later, Timothy Patrick was born. Tim Barrus was raised with his younger sister, Suzanne, in a modest three-bedroom home off of Aurelius Road close to the Michigan State University campus. His mother was in fact around throughout his childhood and is still alive today. He has no younger brother. Barrus attended Eastern High School in Lansing, where he was far from a slayer of suburban values. He was a member of the student council, the forensics team, the forum club as well as a homeroom officer. Beneath his generally pleasant veneer, however, a simmering temper would occasionally boil over.
He was one of those guys that was a little ahead of his time. Barrus graduated from high school in and a year later married Jan Abbott, a local girl from neighboring Okemos. According to a source close to the family, the couple took in foster children to make ends meet. In Barrus and his wife moved to Largo, Florida, where his sister, Suzanne, lived with her husband, Steve Cheetham. Barrus attended community college while Abbott worked at Winn-Dixie to support him, according to Cheetham. You never knew if he was telling you something true, or part of his imagination or what.
Cheetham never saw Barrus again. Nasdijj claims that he adopted Tommy as an infant and that he died at age 6. Address records indicate that the young family lived in an apartment on Cooper Avenue near downtown Lansing until It is unclear where they moved immediately after that. At some point, Barrus and his wife divorced, and he moved to San Francisco where he began to write — primarily for the gay leather magazine Drummer. In he moved to Key West and, according to his friend Bill Bowers, took residence with his partner Adolfo. Barrus would later deny being gay.
There he published his first book, The Mineshaft, a sloppy attempt at erotica, but one that nonetheless garnered him some attention. It was in Key West where Barrus met Bowers, a local artist and photographer, and the two began work on a number of projects together. Bowers remembers collaborating with Barrus on an erotic-photo exhibit called Sadomasochism: After the opening night of the show drew lukewarm interest, Barrus assumed the fake name John Hammond and wrote an open letter to The Weekly News attacking the exhibit. Hammond wants to show his ignorance he should do some heavy research before he rejects his very own brothers.
Bad is good too, sometimes better. Lars Eighner grew quite tired of his routine. The two soon began a three-way correspondence with another gay writer, T. Witomski, which lasted for several years. Though he never met Barrus in person, Eighner came to know him quite well through his letters and phone conversations.
Barrus would routinely harangue Eighner with long soliloquies about the evils of publishing. According to Eighner, Barrus and the established gay writer John Preston had a one-sided literary rivalry — and Barrus was the perennial loser. That Barrus might have adopted a Native American persona to facilitate his career strikes Eighner as completely in character.
Similar behavior was routine when Eighner knew him. The pair fell in love fighting alongside each other, and upon their return to America they used their feelings for each other to battle the physical and emotional scars inflicted on them by the war. Anywhere, Anywhere was praised in the gay press for revealing the previously untold gay experience in Vietnam. In a article he wrote for the Lambda Book Report, however, Barrus claims to be a Vietnam vet, or so it seems: Not that I had sex with them. No one was telling? Barrus, a natural mimic, would routinely take stories that had happened to Preston or Witomski, and tell them as if they had happened to him.
Eventually, word got back to the other two that this was going on and they both fell out with him. In , with his bridges burning in gay publishing, Barrus met and married his current wife, Tina Giovanni, in San Francisco and disappeared. Eighner never heard from him again. And neither did the Internet until , when something and someone curious emerged. In an article now available only through the archives of an obscure Australian company called Infant Massage Australia, a kinder, gentler Barrus appeared in a service article on how to be a loving father.
Sometime between then and the Esquire article that launched his career, Nasdijj was born. Peering out from behind a pair of silver-framed glasses, Irvin Morris sits at his office desk thumbing thoughtfully through a weathered copy of The Blood. A quiet man with sad, dark eyes and a closely trimmed head of raven black hair, Morris is focused as he reads, occasionally sighing in dismay when something he sees disturbs him. A giant fake plant hovers over him, draping plastic leaves onto a sizable portion of his cluttered desk. He looks up briefly from the text?
Morris has suspected for years that Nasdijj is not who he says he is. This came as news to Morris, who is fluent in Athabaskan. Not long thereafter, Morris got a call from Sherman Alexie asking if he would take a look at The Blood. After reading the book, Morris felt certain Nasdijj was not Navajo. Only people who are extremely traditional live in hogans. Navajo Rose, for instance. Navajo Rose is a character in The Bloodwho, Nasdijj writes, lives in a hogan near his on the reservation.
Navajo Rose is illiterate and, though Nasdijj says she graduated from high school, she somehow has never seen the inside of a library. Morris bristles at the condescending tone. But the error that really made Morris crazy was a culinary one. To thank Nasdijj for his lessons, Navajo Rose routinely brings him Navajo tacos made of mutton.
Like a rabbi eating pork or a Hindu beating his cow, they are culturally incriminating, and the book is littered with them, he says. Nasdijj writes that when he was a boy, his mother used to have religious sings for him to familiarize him with his culture. Like holding a church service for yourself. This, says Morris, is misrepresentative in that it wrongly portrays the Navajo clan structure as an authoritarian caste system. It is also factually incorrect. If his mother had a clan, he has a clan. Indeed, in the long history of Indian appropriation by whites, the Navajo have become the primary target.
Of particular ire to the Navajo is mystery writer Tony Hillerman. For the past several decades Hillerman has written detective stories from the perspective of his Navajo protagonists Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. Though not actually claiming Navajo ancestry, Hillerman infuses healthy doses of Navajo spirituality into the story through his characters — sometimes accurately, sometimes not. So much so that Morris claims the existence of at least 14 white authors living in nearby Gallup, New Mexico, writing Navajo murder mysteries. Of course, white appropriation of Native identity far predates Tony Hillerman.
His book Education of Little Treewas a critically acclaimed best-seller, and despite being outed as fraudulent decades ago, it is, remarkably, still in print. The Nasdijj persona lacks the spiritual ambitions that Indian appropriators have historically tried to capitalize on. He mentions Navajo spirituality as if only to prove he is familiar with its conventions. Instead, his preoccupation is the social world: His Indians are often both spiritually and monetarily poor, sometimes gay, and have AIDS and FAS; mainly they are powerless and sometimes homeless little boys.
There are no parents in their lives, other than the author, and an absence of embracing and strengthening culture. He uses these impoverished characters, including his own persona, as a springboard to attack the dominant white culture, which has, apparently, spurned him. In the pantheon of self-appointed Native spokesmen, this puts him more in the company of contemporary gadfly Ward Churchill, who uses his dubious heritage as a soapbox for an airing of his political ideology and personal grievances.
The question that remains is how these frauds are perpetrated in such abundance. A writer, seemingly white in appearance and lacking anything resembling a verifiable personal history, turns in a manuscript filled with sage-like wisdom from an ancient and secretive people and no one bothers to check the facts?
There is a Chinese proverb: How is it that a toad this large comes to stand in front of me? James Dowaliby can tell you. A former vice president of Paramount International Television Group, he decided to pick up a copy of The Boy after reading a review and noting it was about fatherhood, a topic Dowaliby considers too rare in publishing.
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