Oneida Indian Nation to Obama Administration: Geronimo Should Not Be Associated with Osama bin Laden


The Oneida Nation called upon the Obama Administration today to renounce the inappropriate use of the name of Geronimo as a code name for Osama bin Laden in the recent military operation that killed the terrorist in Pakistan.

Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter said, "The Oneida Indian Nation joins all Americans in celebrating the bravery that led to finally bringing Osama bin Laden to justice. All of us continue to mourn for the lives lost on 9-11, and we remember with pride the way our country came together to support one another following that awful day.  In the spirit of bringing about that type of unity once again, we must address the use of an American Indian icon's name, Geronimo, as the code name for Osama bin Laden. It is critically important that an historical figure like Geronimo, who for generations has served as an inspiration and hero to millions of American Indians and non-Indians alike, not be associated for all of history with one of the world's most heinous villains. It is also important to recognize that American Indians have fought and died in in every American conflict since the Revolutionary War, including the war in Afghanistan. It is an insult to their service and memory that an icon of their culture be used this way.

Finally, one of the lessons we learned from Osama bin Laden is that symbolism matters. The president must act quickly to prevent the name Geronimo from being used as a rallying cry and symbol by those who might pick up his cause and bring harm to America. We believe that it was not the intention of this Administration to offend an entire culture, and are therefore confident President Obama will act to address this terrible decision before it’s too late."

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ravenwarrior's picture
Submitted by ravenwarrior on
American Indians were divided on the issue of the Revolutionary War. The Iroquois Confederation, for instance, found itself split over the issue. The worry was that an independent US would lead to further expansion into Indian lands, which it did. At the time Great Britain was containing expansion westward, and had made promises to further limit such expansion in exchange for Indian alliances. Would they have honored those promises? Maybe, maybe not. The important thing to realize here is that at one point, most, if not all of our nations were on the losing end of a military conquest by the United States. In those days we were worthy enemies, and our guerrilla tactics wrecked havoc on the US invaders across the frontier. We should be proud of that legacy, and proud that mighty United States of America considered us such a formidable enemy, that they describe their war in the Middle East in terms of the American Indian Wars.

otoepony's picture
Submitted by otoepony on
You are wrong. I see NOTHING to take pride in when this government is clearly drawing a comparison between a MASS MURDERER and a man who only wanted his people to live free. Code naming OSAMA BIN LADEN Geronimo is just another slap in the face to the Native Americans of this country in my opinion. Your comments remind me of all the crap I had to listen to each and every time we had to visit the Indian agency to find out why our land suddenly had CATTLE GRAZING ON IT. We were told by the MIGHTY WHITE LEADER OF THE AGENCY that we should be proud our land was helping to put beef on American dinner tables. Funny how a white rancher could lease our land and yet we never saw a penny of that money. My parents refused to just "lay down and take it". At least Bin Laden died a good death. Can't say the same for Geronimo and he certainly deserved better than what he got.