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In The Hoop
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2001

Welcome to In The Hoop, Indianz.Com's occasional column about assorted Indian issues.

The New Smallpox
Poor Native journalists. By your own admission, you're not important enough to warrant being sent anthrax by alleged terrorists. And we're not talking about the heavy-metal band known for that song "Indians."

"The journalists that have been targeted have been big and visible," said Indian Country Today editor David Melmer. If you attack the media, he continued, the "story can get out immediately."

But what about The National Enquirer, we queried Jodi Rave Lee of The Lincoln Journal Star. A employee of the company that publishes the supermarket rag was the first to die from anthrax, and another has been diagnosed with a serious form of the disease.

Why would terrorists target the tabloid known for stretching the truth? And do they read The Enquirer? "That's what I've been asking myself," reflected Lee.

Who knows. The Enquirer recently, and proudly, published a picture of two Pakistani military men reading their publication.

So, Osama bin Laden may have picked up a copy of the magazine, seen a not-so-flattering depiction of himself, and directed -- using secret video messages, of course -- followers in the United States to send anthrax to Florida, New York and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.).

It could happen. Indian Country Tomorrow is investigating it as we speak.

Terrorists Love Indians
The Indian Health Service says reservations are an "unlikely target" for anthrax. And due to its general remoteness, terrorists might not want to attack Indian Country. There's no World Trade Center on the Navajo Nation, luckily.

But ICT's Melmer raised an interesting point that hasn't been reported in the mainstream media. Arabs, like Europeans and others throughout the world, tend to be "sympathetic" to Indians and Indian issues, he said.

In The Hoop does remember that Col. Mohmmar Qadaffi of Libya once extended a friendly hand to tribal leaders. And Native Hawaiian activist Mililani Trask has apparently signed a treaty with the alleged terrorist harborer.

So who could have guessed that sovereignty might be protecting Indian Country from terrorist attacks? Slade Gorton would be proud.

Navajo Patriotism
Speaking of the Navajo Nation, patriotism on the nation's largest reservation been on high display since September 11's terrorist attacks, said Duane Beyal, managing editor of The Navajo Times.

This Thursday, the weekly newspaper plans on publishing a photo-journal of various ways tribal members are showing their patriotism. It's all part of being Navajo, said Beyal.

"The Navajo people -- for all the wars and conflicts we've been with -- have always volunteered for duty without question," said Beyal.

Look for the special issue at your newsstands, or online, later this week.

In Your Hoop
Do you think reservations are potential terorrist targets? Email In the Hoop and let us know your thoughts on the subject.

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