DAPL Resistance: The Real Story

Posted: Feb 27, 2017 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Be wary of those who only destroy. Smoldering embers of emotional environmental extremists can re-emerge as a wildfire.

The Trump administration last week extinguished Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protesters when they proved only willing to torch and trash the earth; culture; children and animals they claimed to be defending.

Pounding drums and donning feathered headdresses, they claimed to be “indigenous.” Shouting “Water is Life!” they professed to be guarding natural resources for “the children.” Holding “Protect the Sacred” banners, they declared themselves defenders of Native American cultural sites. It was all a show.

Four hundred and eighty-plus mounded dumpsters full of trash, including tents; food stores; personal items; and building materials are now being hauled off the federal land where protesters camped for five months. The earth the protesters claimed to cherish was so ravaged that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers enlisted a professional cleaning crew from Florida.

Eight pet dogs (minimum) were abandoned by protesters. A local pet rescue crew continues to visit the camp in search of animals. Funds are being raised by Furry Friends Rockin Rescue for vet bills to help the dogs regain health.

Two children were burned so severely that they were rushed to a Bismarck hospital when their negligent guardians set fires in protest of the federal order to leave. And one hazardous and toxic waste crew has been tasked with examining the area that has been tarnished by protesters.

A Protest’s Shady Beginnings

The 1,172-mile DAPL was 90 percent complete when President Trump took office, having been put on hold by the Obama administration’s decision to bow to environmental protesters. The project is costing the owner—Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners—$4 billion. Two years ago, in December of 2014—with nary a peep from a protester, Energy Transfer Partners applied for federal approval to build the pipeline and commenced construction.

Mysterious political forces emerged in the form of a well-organized protest two years later, in October of 2016, when rioters gathered near the unfinished portion of pipeline that is nearest to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation on the North Dakota border.

At no point does the DAPL cross the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Indeed, the Corps found DAPL to pose no environmental threat and the state’s lead archeologist declared that there were neither cultural sites nor sacred burial grounds in the pipeline’s path.

Oddly, even CNN confirmed that very few of the protesters were “indigenous” Standing Rock tribe members. Most of the protesters were non-Indian out-of-towners from states like California and Arizona—and from countries as far away as Australia, Japan, Serbia and Russia.

“Not even close” to the majority of Standing Rock tribe members opposed the pipeline, CNN reported. Most according to a CNN investigation, did oppose the protesters who were blocking their local bridge and Highway 1806 as well as initiating violent attacks in their tribe’s name. Protesters fired gunshots; homemade bottle explosives; and rocks at police guarding the private property owned by Energy Transfer Partners.

When Standing Rock tribe members voted on whether to welcome protesters onto their reservation, build permanent structures, and stay through the winter—the tribal community voted with a loud “No.” 88 members voted: 66 votes were “no;” the majority of the remaining votes were undecided; and less than 10 votes were “yes.”

World leaders like Pope Francis jumped to take verbal swipes at DAPL: “indigenous communities are a part of the population to be appreciated and consulted, and whose full participation should be promoted at the local and national level.”

If only the Pope had done his research before opening his mouth. The Corps met with 55 tribes 389 times and exclusively with the Standing Rock Sioux a dozen times for input! Most global leaders who condemned DAPL incorrectly assumed the oil pipeline endangered the environment or hurt ancestral lands of indigenous peoples.  

Like the anti-Trump Women’s March, the DAPL protest was hardly organic. Thousands of people from all over the world don’t normally rush to a cold, uninhabited, deserted landscape like the Dakotas without a sinister hand orchestrating their movements. The Obama administration bent over backwards to cater to the protesters—shutting down the project and using taxpayer funds to proffer the pouters with water and supplies.

Smoldering Sparks

Pipelines, as I've previously written, are proven to be the safest and lowest-emission method to transport crude oil. Plus, President Trump proposes to use the DAPL and Keystone XL projects, which he moved forward by executive order in late January, to reinvigorate the U.S. economy by asking the pipeline developers to use American-made steel. Pipelines are a clear win for the environment as well as for humans.

Skulking away from the campsite—after first torching it—DAPL protesters vowed to keep digging; and keep destroying. According the Associated Press, “Many protesters moved into other camps on the reservation.” Camp leader Phyllis Young told CBS: “the camps will continue.”

A protester known as Chase Iron Eyes told CBS that the Trump administration was engaging in an “ethnic cleansing” by asking protesters to leave land they don’t own. Chase Iron Eyes may know what to say to sound like a victim, but he needs to face the facts: DAPL protesters are destroying that which they claim to defend.

Smoldering sparks like Chase Iron Eyes won’t just go away peacefully, especially when the Democrat Party is like a breeze that carries sparks to collide with a highly flammable substance.

“Diversity is our greatest strength,” new Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez said yesterday. But when Democrats say “diversity,” they really mean victimhood. Perez went on to tweet a warning shot at President Trump: “Democrats united across the country will be your worst nightmare.”

We’ve been warned. The resistance has been extinguished. But not entirely. Stay alert.