Over one hundred and ten years ago a battle was fought at Wounded Knee. Thousands of Native Americans were tortured and killed in this horrifying event. Nearly forty years later Black Elk, a Sioux medicine man, told the story of his nightmare titled, "The Butchering at Wounded Knee". Throughout the reading of his story one can easily relate the Battle at Wounded Knee to the attack on Iraq that is occurring this year. Black Elk describes scenes that were almost identical to the stories reported on television. During Vietnam, a man with a positive vision, known as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech at Riverside Church on the fourth of April, 1967 called "A Time to Break Silence".
In this speech King told of the horrors of war and the consequences that follow. It is easy to see that these two literary works and the recent war in Iraq are comparable. "The Butchering at Wounded Knee" and the Iraq's physical characteristics are very similar. "Time to Break Silence" voiced the opinions of those against the Vietnam War which are the same as those against the war in Iraq. "The Butchering at Wounded Knee", has many details that can be directly related to the current events in Iraq.
In the story, Black Elk is said to have only carried his sacred bow into battle, while the soldiers have guns, this can link to the difference in warfare technology that Iraq and America posses. Even the reasoning behind the assault on the Native Americans is similar to our current situation in Iraq. The attack on Wounded Knee began much like the attack on Iraq, when the soldiers were attempting to disarm a threatening situation. Another direct relation is the ratio of American soldiers to Native Americans at Wounded Knee. When the natives were attacked they were outnumbered, just as the Americans outnumber the Iraqi's. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his speech "A Time to Break Silence" it was a speech not only against the war in Vietnam, but a speech against all wars.
Just as today's war protestors, King not only shows compassion for the American soldiers but also for the soldiers of the opposing force. King mentions the "fear and pity" he feels for the sons and fathers that were sent off to war to fight, these relate to the same fears America is dealing with in our current war. He also questions how a nation could teach through peace and understanding their desired accomplishments should be achieved, but in actuality they are only attaining these by using violence. These are the same questions we are now being forced to ask ourselves. The two works, "A Butchering at Wounded Knee" and "A Time to Break Silence", can both be related to our current war on Iraq. "The Butchering at Wounded Knee" shares actual actions being taken against Iraq.
It expresses the reasoning, the weapons and the violence involved. "A Time to Break Silence" portrays the thoughts and fears felt during the war at Vietnam, which are similar to those being felt by Americans today.