By Jerome Irwin

Major kudos go out to the Texas-based crude oil company Energy Transfer Partners and its multitude of Wall Street financiers. The lineup reads like a Who’s Who of banksters in the world: Sunoco, Bank of America, HSBC, UBS, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, U.S. Bank, Barclays, Wells Fargo, Bank of Nova Scotia, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Royal Bank of Canada, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Tokyo, Société Générale, Intesa Sanpaolo, BBVA Compass, Phillips 66, Enbridge and Marathon, to name a few of the 30-plus international funders of over $10 billion dollars. Their collective contributions to the Dakota Access pipeline are in keeping with the time-honored, ruthless American tradition of racism, fascism and corporatism toward people of color and the sacredness of land and life.

The moguls of the petroleum industry and reckless abusers of the earth’s finite resources are now intent upon creating an underground pipeline wall 1,172 miles long that winds back and forth across the Missouri River, through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, with pipeline connections to the Gulf of Mexico and many international destinations beyond. The penchant among politicians and corporatists alike to constantly build walls—whether above or below ground—of various kinds between nations makes this current pipeline controversy especially poignant on the eve of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as voters struggle to decide who is the lesser evil regarding the support of Wall Street, the Pentagon and the establishment’s environmental destruction and warmongers in the world. One wonders what relevant, pithy commentary will be forthcoming from presidential candidates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson?

Energy Transfer Partners and its coterie of fat cats recently sent in a fleet of Caterpillar tractors to destroy the culturally sensitive, sacred burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux people before their legal representatives could address relevant state and federal protocols in a court of law, or North Dakota’s State Historic Preservation Office could do a proper survey of the area. One could either call it a stroke of genius or stupidity, matched only, perhaps, by the diabolical craftiness of North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who called in the National Guard and stirred tribal memories of muzzling dissent.

Meanwhile, the brutality and ruthlessness continues at the hands of those like the Frost Kennels of Ohio and their ex-police and military dog handlers who’ve been hired to sic their trained German shepherd guard dogs on peacefully protesting men, women, elders and children from all races and nations who have begun to gather in ever-greater numbers to protest what is going on.

This confrontation in the distant, isolated northern plains and prairie lands of the Lakota and Dakota Sioux people has all the earmarks of a potentially brewing, historic Wounded Knee. Will it end up becoming yet another massacre of 1890 or siege of 1973?

Will America and the fat cat corporatists and politicians ever learn to live in peace and harmony with those so different from themselves, who live on ancestral lands they consider forever sacred?

A hopeful answer to that question has been put forth by recent dramatic, stunning interventions. The Obama administration’s departments of the Interior, Justice and Army stepped in to provide a temporary halt of construction. This action is meant to ensure meaningful Sioux tribal input to the dispute and show respect for its treaty laws and natural laws of life, suggesting that some sanity has begun to prevail and a window of higher spiritual consciousness and awakening has been cracked ajar.

The world holds its breath as it waits to see if this window can be thrown wide open.

Jerome Irwin is a Canadian author. During the 1960s and early ’70s, he lived with the Dakota and Lakota peoples on the Crow Creek Sioux and Oglala Sioux reservations in South Dakota. He later published “The Wild Gentle Ones: A Turtle island Odyssey,” a book that documents these tribes’ historical plight and those of other indigenous peoples on Turtle Island.

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