He is considered to be one of the greatest Indian warrior chiefs. In 1858 Geronimo’s family was attacked by Mexican soldiers killing his mother, wife and three children. He took up arms from then on and made raids on Mexican provinces. Later on, he extended his attacks on US troops, which he continued to do for 30 years. This is what Geronimo wrote in his diary:
“Late one afternoon when returning from town we were met by a few women and children who told us that Mexican troops from some other town had attacked our camp, killed all the warriors of the guard, captured all our ponies, secured our arms, destroyed our supplies, and killed many of our women and children. Quickly we separated, concealing ourselves as best we could until nightfall, when we assembled at our appointed place of rendezvous—a thicket by the river. Silently we stole in one by one: sentinels were placed, and, when all were counted, I found that my aged mother, my young wife, and my three small children were among the slain. There were no lights in camp, so without being noticed I silently turned away and stood by the river. How long I stood there I do not know, but when I saw the warriors arranging for a council I took my place.”
Man’s basic instinct is to resist any illegal action against his rights and properties. Whenever a nation’s legal system is unjust, racist or biased towards a particular group there will be armed conflict. In 1856 America had an unfair legal system which favored the ‘white man’ against his native compatriot Indians, who were not granted equal citizens status.
Indians were kept in reservations, a zoo for humans with plenty of alcohol, gambling money and without family law. Their life in reservations was absolutely contrary to their way of living. The native american race was being turned into an extinct species good for charming visitors at circuses.
Whenever Indians ‘escaped’ from reservations US troop swould hunt them down, as if an animal had escaped from a zoo. This must be the first instance in modern history when a man caged another man in his own country. Afghans today must be feeling similar pain of living in reservations of a new kind.
In his diary Geronimo gives an account of a conversation with a US General: General Crook said to me, “Why did you leave the reservation?” I said: “You told me that I might live in the reservation the same as white people lived. One year I raised a crop of corn, and gathered and stored it, and the next year I put in a crop of oats, and when the crop was almost ready to harvest, you told your soldiers to put me in prison, and if I resisted to kill me. If I had been let alone l would now have been in good circumstances, but instead of that you and the Mexicans are hunting me with soldiers”.
Colonizers manipulate the economy to keep their control. British colonizers made sure that Manchester overtook Murshidabad as the global textile center. This is now true for Middle East and Central Asian states. Arab oil and gas is proprietary natural resource of the US.
All global oil trading must be in US Dollars only. Oil producers can only sell their oil in the buyer’s currency. Usually the seller should have the right to choose the currency for the trade. Arab countries control 70% of world oil supply but they cant ask to be paid in their own currency, let alone gold which would be more justified. Any move to unite the Arabs’ currencies into one strong unit which could become the standard unit for oil trading is a red line never to be crossed. Arabs cant do this with oil trade, for the same reason that Geronimo could’nt grow corn and oats in his own land.
The mind of Geronimo, if I want to understand with empathy, was occupied by a spiritual energy to break free from the oppression of the ‘white man’. Geronimo’s attacks on US troops could be the equivalent to French resistance against German occupation, both arising out of a state of suppression and domination.
Geronimo was forced to do what every human soul wants, to demand freedom from an inhuman enslavement of the human spirit.
In the words of Geronimo, The Indians always tried to live peaceably with the white soldiers and settlers. One day during the time that the soldiers were stationed at Apache Pass I made a treaty with the post. This was done by shaking hands and promising to be brothers. Cochise and Mangus-Colorado did likewise. I do not know the name of the officer in command, but this was the first regiment that ever came to Apache Pass. This treaty was made about a year before we were attacked in a tent, as above related. In a few days after the attack at Apache Pass we organized in the mountains and returned to fight the soldiers.
To physically subdue another race or nation, by the use of weapons, is an old tactic and yet the spirit of freedom and liberty is armed with an equally deadly weapon, ie spiritual awakening, which can rise up to defend the natural qualities of a free man.