olumn: Lakota soldier sees parallels in Iraq

"John Ten Fingers sees many similarities between the Iraqi culture and his own American Indian heritage.

“The Iraqi society looks the same, with the tribes and the hardships they’ve gone through, like having another entity come into your society and having it altered,” said Culinary Specialist Third Class Ten Fingers, who is Lakota Sioux. “Back in the Gold Rush, people were coming onto the Native Americans’ land. Here it’s oil.”

Ten Fingers is part of the guard force at Camp Bucca, a detainee facility in southern Iraq. He was previously stationed for three years on the Groton-based USS Miami.

“I do have empathy for the Iraqi people,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m coming from an American background and these detainees have possibly hurt or killed Americans.”"

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Empathy for Iraqis, to a Certain Point (The New London Day 4/6)