Friday, September 12, 2008


The foundation of Arizona’s economy is war: that's what General Ord said.

It was just a few years ago, as the gun smoke was still clearing from the skies over Camp Grant, that General Crook - pet of the mining barons – imported Sherman's notion of total warfare into the West.
His men drove every fragmented band of the five Apache tribes from their refuges, cut down their braves with howitzer barrages, destroyed their food stores, razed their camps, slaughtered their horses, murdered their women and children.

Cochise is dead.
Geronimo sits in a reservation in the south.
In praise of Crook's methods, the Santa Fe newspapermen are hailing the birth of an "Apache capitalism" in their territory.

Bullshit. The beast of war is curled up somewhere in Arizona Territory. Maybe it's licked for now. But it ain't dead. The dogs of Crook, those tame White Mountain Band scouts who led the army right down the parched and hungry throats of their kin in the Navajo and the Mescalero bands – oh, they might enjoy the privileges of agriculture and integration. But deprived of their mountain homes, the wild Chiricahuas have found nothing but malaria and frustration.
And they are stirring.

No, the Apache are not finished and the West has not been won. Not by the Union, not by the rebels, the Pima, the Maricopas, the Mexicans. Not by the steamboats on the Colorado, the Mormons, the company towns. Not by the Quakers who Grant put in charge. Not by the California investors. Not by the ranchers.

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