You in the West may have missed it, but last week the Lakota Indians declared independence from the United States of America by formally withdrawing from treaties its defeated ancestors were forced to sign. Just like the Kosovars no longer recognize Belgrade, the descendants of Sitting Bull no longer recognize Washington. "We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us," said a Lakota representative. He noted that Lakota men have been oppressed for centuries and have one of the lowest life expectancies in the world—44 years.
The once proud Sioux peoples who make up part of the Lakota nation have been reduced to sub-Moldovan levels of poverty and despair, with no hope for the future. Like the Kosovars before they were rescued by a NATO-led force, the Lakota appear to have legitimate historical grievances. All they lack is a great nation to take up their cause in the name of humanitarianism.
While Americans may have found the Lakotan declaration grist for the email-forward humor mill, out here in Russia, we aren’t laughing. Instead, we’re drooling. We look at the history of Lakota Indians' suffering, including genocide and landgrabs, and then we compare it to the recent American bombing of Serbia on behalf of the Kosovar Albanians, and we see a golden opportunity for Russia to go beyond the realm of mere irony.
The Lakota people’s rightful (and legal) declaration of independence from the United States offers Russia the chance to take a principled stand on the world stage, one that doesn’t merely involve “Russia’s national interests,” but rather, “the interests of a downtrodden and forgotten people who just happened to be getting oppressed by America, though that has nothing to do with our decision to defend their rights.”
In a word, Russia has the chance to unleash a Diplomatic Skull-Fuck on its rival, the dream of every vengeful international player since the days of Cardinal Richelieu.
Yes, President Medvedev, it is time for you to demand that the Lakota people be given their own homeland, in accordance with international rights and guarantees. Kosovo is a done deal; rather than fight against Albanian independence in the Serbian province, it would be better to hold up Kosovo as a model for resolving America's century-long occupation and genocide of the Lakota Nation people. Let’s face it: NATO socket-fucked Russia in 1999. Now it’s Russia’s turn to skull-fuck America in return.
The Russian government must demand that the United States withdraw its forces from the five-state territory that the Lakotan people claim is theirs. American forces must be given no more than 10 days to act, or else Russia and its allies will take all appropriate measures, including a prolonged bombing campaign, to drive occupying American forces out of the Lakota nation. Afterwards, America must accept a Russian-led peacekeeping force to oversee the transition to Lakota’s independence.
Of course, Russia should not go at this alone. It should work with a coalition of like-minded authoritarian countries, and luckily such an organization already exists: the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Ideologically, the SCO nations stand for exactly the kind of sovereign democracy, stability, and economic growth that the fledging Lakota nation will need.
Just as French, British, and Belgian blue-helmets brought peace and stability to Kosovo, so too can Uzbek, Tajik, and Kyrgyz peacekeepers, in an operation overseen by Russian commanders, bring peace to the simmering tribal lands of north-midwestern America. The SCO must demand that the Lakota nation adhere to the principles of a multiethnic society combined with sovereign democratic principles. At the same time, the SCO should help the Lakota Nation rebuild its institutions, and “Lakotize” their homeland. Today, for example, there are not nearly enough cheap liquor stores in Lakota selling “firewater,” but with Russian technical know-how, we believe that this problem could be solved within months, or perhaps even hours after an SCO force moves in.