Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Lakota Have Seceded

The Lakota have effectively separated themselves from the United States:

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday.

"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," long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference.

Russel has been gathering international support, mostly from developing countries, or countries who aren't so hot on the freedom index:
They also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and will continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months, they told the news conference.
Probably not the kind of support they should want, but it's probably all they're gonna get. I hardly see any of the developed allies jumping on board with the Lakota.

Withdrawing from the treaties was entirely legal, Means said.

"This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically article six of the constitution," which states that treaties are the supreme law of the land, he said.

"It is also within the laws on treaties passed at the Vienna Convention and put into effect by the US and the rest of the international community in 1980. We are legally within our rights to be free and independent," said Means.

This is more than just a legal issue, it's a moral issue. It's about time the Indian nations stood up against the U.S. Government and demanded independence. Only one problem: where are they going to go, and how are they going to develop their economies?

The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free -- provided residents renounce their US citizenship, Means said.
No taxes? Now that's how you do it! And where will this new tax-free state be?

The move to form an independent nation will focus on property rights in a five-state area where the treaties in question were drawn up. The states include South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana – areas that the group say have been illegally homesteaded for years despite knowledge of Lakota as the historic owners.
This could effectively displace American homeowners, might come into contact with military bases, and cut off trading routes to the rest of the state(s). However, I think the most harm will befall the Lakota. They will be sitting on ground that has not been developed for ages, trading will be extremely hard without foreign direct investment and an inflow of capital. With low taxes, this may be possible, but I hardly doubt the Lakota will be too open to that kind of idea. Furthermore, the US might choose to cut off supplies to the new nation, which would effectively be surrounded by U.S. territory. Not a historically good or strategic place to be. I can't wait to see how this develops, although I don't see it ending well for anyone.

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