Commentary by Mumia Abu-Jamal: War from the Eternal Empire

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The first essay below was recorded by Mumia Abu-Jamal on March 23 and broadcast at the April 20 rallies in Washington and San Francisco.

When U.S. President George W. Bush spoke about an endless war, some took it as mere political speech or rhetoric designed to gain the top spot on the evening network news. I did not.

“W” is an agent of his class, the wealthy oil merchants of the land. And his intentions are to press for an ever-wider war in all corners of the earth to make the world safe for capital exploitation and unbridled commerce.

This will eventually become a war that reaches into a slew of countries in the Middle East and beyond on behalf of the rich and powerful elites who rule.

Make no mistake. This is a war that has nothing to do with democracy. The U.S. enters the region armed to the gills not to defend democracies-but to defend theocracies. To defend kings, princes, and sultanates. To defend U.S. access to vast oil resources in the region.

And how can the U.S. credibly claim to be leading a war against terrorism when the world’s largest training academy for terrorists is the School of the Americas in Georgia, where some of the most brutal military dictators in the world are alumni?

The U.S. may have since renamed the school but it has the same essential mission-to create foreign military leaders who are the enemies of democratic and popular movements. And who are beholden to their imperial masters in Washington.

The graduates of the SOA have proven relentless fighters to be sure; who are masters of the dark arts of torture, cruel interrogations, rape and mass murder. And who do they fight but their own people. To millions of people in Latin America the school is known by the popular name “La Escuela de Golpes”-the school of coups.

There is scarcely an infamous massacre that can not be traced to its graduates. The Uraba massacre in Columbia. The El Mozote massacre, the rape and murders of four U.S. church women and the Jesuit massacres in El Salvador, the La Cantura massacre in Peru, and hundreds more.

When the U.S. brays about a war on terrorism, there are millions in America to the south who snort in derision for they know another America which breeds state terrorism.

The people who brought you 911 were brought to you by the CIA. For they were all graduates of a CIA school of terrorism, designed to wreck havoc upon the soldiers of the former Soviet Union.

They were jihadees recruited, paid, indoctrinated, and armed by U.S., Pakistani, Saudi, and related intelligence agencies to wage a holy war against the former communist government in Afghanistan. And like the proverbial dogs of war, they turned on those who fed and trained them to remind them of what they’ve unleashed.

And now with little thought to its true beginnings, the nation is once again embroiled in war. A war that was born not in Kabul, nor in the tropical orient; this war began in cool office buildings in Washington, where men of wealth and power drew up plans to draw the former Soviets into a neighboring territory, into what they called “The Afghan trap.”

And now as Malcolm X once said, “the chickens have come home to roost.” You want to stop war? Then stop them where they are born. In Washington D.C.


Blitzkrieg in Palestine


With Palestinian villages crumbled under the tread of American-made, Israeli-manned tanks, thousands held in detention, and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat confined under virtual military house arrest (sans running water or electricity), the tiny area of earth now called Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank is on the minds of millions the world over.

What the world is witnessing is the primacy of arms over words. While the airwaves, teletypes, and newsprint of the world’s media dutifully report the sweet words of diplomatic double-speak about “Resolution 242,” “peace,” “occupied territories,” and the like, the tanks and troops of Sharon (the former Israeli general seen by many Arabs as “the Butcher of Beirut”) are writing a new pact, in the blood, tears, and bile of the Palestinian people. Rarely has the world seen an alleged U.S. “ally” ignore, dismiss, or unilaterally reject the dictates of the United States.

What the world is witnessing is the dark night of Palestinian hopes, the twilight of their dreams, the greatest threat to their national aspirations. It is seeing the ironic swing of history that transforms one people, who were once the objects of continental humiliation, into those who today are the lords, masters, and humiliators of another people.

What the world is witnessing is the impotence of Arab states, as well as the inability of the so-called “international community,” which watches a nation, Israel, violate the terms of international law, with utter impunity. For, international law, embodied in the resolutions of the United Nations, doesn’t determine what happens in the real world; armed power does.

For decades Israel has either ignored or expressly violated UN Resolutions 242 and 338. UN Resolution 242 calls for Israel to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders. Israel responded by importing tens of thousands of its people into Arab lands, building settlements that pockmark the territories, and building access roads that lead to and from the settlements which are segregated for Jewish use only.

If the Palestinians had skin the color of coffee instead of olives, the world would recognize their degraded social status as akin to the apartheid regime of South Africa. But they are Arabs, in a world and in a time when Arabs are demonized in the corporate, majoritarian media as “terrorists.” As such, they are fair game.

And Israel amasses military power to “batter” and “break” a captive, occupied people’s will (to quote Prime Minister Ariel Sharon). For the Israelis, the Arabs are a convenience for their cheap labor, but an expendable one. They dream of an Israel that is Arab-free. What historic irony for a folk who, a few decades ago, were objects of an Aryan judenrein (or Jew-free) policy. For Arabs, their present is their nightmare. – APRIL 11



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