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! 8A n? THE PALM BEACH POST MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1997 Indians seek White House documents Tribe weaned from violence could shine light on gangs Lindsey, who was traveling with President Clinton on April 24, 1995, when a lobbyist for tribes opposed to the casino complained to Clinton of being ignored. Groups opposing the casino met with Democratic National Chairman Donald Fowler, who spoke to White House and Interior Department officials. The officials kept track of the case, and the Interior Department rejected the application on July 14, 1995. The Washington Post WASHINGTON Three Wisconsin Chippewa tribes that have accused the Clinton administration of bowing to political pressures in denying them an off-reservation gambling license have asked a federal court here to compel the White House to produce documents previously withheld from them. Lawyers for the three poverty-stricken tribes argued in court pleadings that the claims of privilege are flimsy and in any case have been "waived by repeated disclosure." Three of the documents, reflecting high-level White House interest, recently have been provided to the tribes after being leaked to the media. A half-dozen are still secret The tribes requested the records in a subpoena issued June 7 to White House aide Bruce HH After generations of killing to resolve the smallest conflict, the Waorani changed. Los Angeles Times WASHINGTON It was in the 1950s that anthropologists first identified the tiny Waorani tribe near the Amazon River in Ecuador as the most murderous people on Earth. Virtually no one lived to old age. Entire families were routinely wiped out with 9-foot spears. The notion of killing a child was no more abhorrent aie notion of killing a e. A staggering six out of Vaorani deaths came at the 1 ids of another Waorani. a new book, an anthro-p t who has studied the trio. ....serfs that today's urban gang violence is no less routine. "Killing a nongang member for a pair of sneakers or a leather jacket is as easy and inconsequential for a gang member as it was for a Waorani to kill . . . for an ax or a machete," writes Wichita State University professor Clayton Robarchek in Waorani: The Contexts of Violence and War. But after generations of killing to resolve the smallest conflict, the Waorani changed, convinced by missionaries that less violent behavior had about 40 years ago when five missionaries attempted to save the murderous tribe from itself. They were speared to death as soon as they got off the plane. Two relatives of the dead missionaries went to finish the work, Robarchek said. Because they were women, they presented no threat and were spared. They learned the language and discovered a world in which the only means of resolving a conflict was to ignore, move or spear. The Waorani lived in small bands of 10 to 20 blood relations and all those outside the group were real or potential enemies. Disagreements over marriages and petty jealousies were all settled by homicide. Robarchek argues that although such killing suggests a fundamental lack of regard for human life, anyone existing outside the small band is not considered a life. And with no larger community in place to punish or even cast shame on such conduct, there was no reason to stop. Once the missionaries made contact, it was not talk of a punishing God that changed the Waorani. It was recognition of the benefits trade, a better selection of spouses that the tribe missed out on as band killed band. The killing virtually ceased. worthwhile benefits. Virtually overnight, the murder rate in the tribe of 700 fell by more than 90 percent. Robarchek holds that this near-miraculous conversion in a remote corner of the world offers a lesson for an ufban America struggling to end gang bloodshed. "The blood vendettas between the Upriver and Downriver Waorani are mirrored by those between (such U.S. gangs as) the Insane Crips and the Junior Boys," Robarchek writes. "The Waorani deserve much closer examination, particularly in view of the fact that they were able very rapidly to transform their culture of violence." Missing element The mere comparison of urban gangs to a jungle tribe is explosive on its face, evoking racial stereotypes of savagery certain to offend. But Robarchek said the two jungles, as he calls them, are similar in what they each lack a community acting as a moral force more powerful than personal impulse. Several gang experts dismissed Robarchek's theory as "a stretch." Still, even the most skeptical found something compelling about the saga. 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