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Santa Fe bustling again, but will never be the same

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SANTA FE, N.M. ? Tourists are returning to Santa Fe Plaza and Pueblo Indians are again selling finely crafted silver jewelry and clay storytellers. In the busy streets, everything looks the same, but nothing will ever be the same.

In the central plaza, Dominique Mazeaud wears the white mask of a mime, with a singular blue tear. Across the street, images of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon replay in the minds of tribal members from the 19 pueblos.

'This is a wakeup call for America,' Pueblo veteran Mitchell Calabaza said. 'People are always saying, 'Not us, not America,' but this should be a wakeup call. We were sitting back taking it too easy for too long.'

Like many of his fellow Vietnam veterans, Calabaza said terrorism must be halted, but without taking the lives of innocent people by bombing Afghanistan. 'I think it has gone too far to go in full force, it has to be covert now.'

Because terrorists know the nerve centers of America, he said the United States should destroy terrorist training centers and airstrips in Afghanistan with covert agents. Disabling terrorists' financial resources should be the other arm of the action.

'When he has no money, he will have no followers,' he said of Osama bin Laden.

Referring to freezing terrorism dollars, Calabaza said, 'They need to put a hurt on that. That's what he did to us over here, he hurt our resources. The whole country is suffering.'

Calabaza pointed out that other countries have more police and military patrols in public places than America. 'America is too open-armed, she's too generous.'

It is now nearly three weeks since the attacks and the pain is palpable.

'I am deeply hurt for the people that suffered, for the people who were there and didn't know what hit them,' he said.

During the first days following the attacks, pueblo vendors ? selling jewelry, pottery and storytellers ? were hurt by a sudden drop in sales. Tourists stayed away. But unlike other tourist attractions in the Southwest, nearly barren three weeks after the attacks, the streets of Santa Fe are bustling.

While many people here said they are afraid to fly, tourists are coming to Santa Fe, because they feel safe in America's heartland.

'Most of the people are flying to Colorado and driving in from Denver. They are even driving in from Phoenix. 'It's right in the center of the country,' Calabaza said.

'What came out of this is togetherness,' he says, slapping his buddy from Santo Domingo Pueblo on the back. 'It's time to say, 'I'm sorry for what I did to you.''

'There were a lot of innocent people killed,' Roderick Tenorio from Santo Domingo Pueblo added, pointing out the difference between military assaults on soldiers and terrorists targeting innocent civilians.

'That's the difference between us and them. There is no 'bad' in America, they just wanted to kill innocent people.' He said the terrorist attacks should never to compared to Pearl Harbor. 'These were not soldiers. These were innocent people, civilians.'

Regretting he is no longer a youth, Tenorio said, 'I wish I was 18. I would enlist. I wouldn't know anything. I would be a great soldier. When you're young, you don't have long-range goals, that's why young people make the perfect instruments of war.'

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Considering war and peace, aggression and victimization, pueblos selling jewelry and crafts, voiced many of the sentiments shared by American Indians on chat rooms online.

'So many Indians have been killed off, now people know how we feel,' said a middle-aged pueblo woman selling silver jewelry. Like many others American Indians critical of the United States government, she asked that her name not be used, and spoke in a near whisper.

'You hear on the TV that our government is for humanity. That is kind of B.S. to me, if you take a look at history, the majority of white people in the government feel they are superior to other races.'

Skeptical of the United States government's plea for unity, she was quick to identify the force behind the attacks at the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

'It boils down to this: There is evil.'

Across the street in the plaza, amid homeless people with guitars and dogs, professors with newspapers and tourists shopping for real American Indian art bargains, performance artist Dominique Mazeaud takes a stand for peace wearing the mime mask.

Mazeaud said she is extremely interested in hearing what American Indians say about the attacks and the future. She planned to search for Indian newspapers later in the day.

'I'm sure their voice is quite wise. It is what they are known for. It is important to talk to each other more than ever now. We are waking up to the need to talk to our neighbors.'

Mazeaud holds a white card emblazoned, 'Our Grief is not a Cry for War.' The phrase was issued by 100 New York artists who recently gathered in Union Square in New York.

Born in France in 1942, Mazeaud says she is grateful to Americans for the stand taken in World War II.

'But this is a new millennium. We need to think of things in a different way. This is not a reason to go to war; it is a reason to rethink everything. I am an American born in France in 1942, I have war in my blood. I can talk about it.'

While the search for spirituality does not make the headlines of newspapers, she said the integration of spirit and art is at the heart of life here. Mazeaud identifies not only with the visual arts of the pueblos, but also their sacred ceremonial dances.

'Indian cultures never segregated spirit from art.'

Speaking of the struggle for spiritual realities, she said, 'It's like the Gulf Stream going under the water from the South Pole to the North Pole. It's very deep and it takes a long time to warm up the water.'

An Anglo father with his two young sons shakes Mazeaud's hand and thanks her for her efforts. Her fellow member of People from Peace, Ann Dasburg, seated beside her added, 'Unconditional love is the only way.'

Calabaza recalled changing channels when commercials came on, so as not to miss even a few minutes of the coverage of the Sept. 11 events. Now, he hopes people will remember.

'A lot of people are already forgetting about it. In the back of our minds, we should remember it.

'It was too easy for them to do it.'