Commentary by Mumia Abu-Jamal: No War for Oil

This recorded message was broadcasted to the mass rallies in Washington and San Francisco on Oct. 26, 2002.

By MUMIA ABU-JAMAL

On a Move! Long live John Africa! I thank you for gathering in Washington and in San Francisco, against the gathering forces of war. The one thing I would like to stress is this: War is not inevitable.

The media echo chambers of corporate greed may wish you to think that, but that is just to sap your will and deaden your purpose. If you, the real people of this nation-its students, its workers, its housewives and its children-really believe that war is inevitable then you wouldn’t be here today.

Also you would be admitting that you really don’t believe in democracy, for if the people don’t want war, then who are all the politicians really representing? If they don’t represent the will and the wishes of the people, then who do they represent?

If you organize, if you build forces among the people, the politicians won’t be able to ignore you. They won’t be able to act as if you don’t exist. So build those forces against a bloody war for oil.

You know, we have been here before. Way back in 1972, Iraqi General Ahmed Hasan al-Bakr nationalized Iraq’s oil. Nixon approved the arming of the Kurds in Northern Iraq and promptly placed Iraq on America’s list of nations that sponsor terrorism. Three years later, Iraq’s vice president, a man named Saddam Hussein, made a deal with the Shah of Iran for control over the Shatt al Arab waterway in the Gulf. Once the U.S. puppet, the Shah, had his way opened to the Persian Gulf, America ceased all support to the Kurds. They were once again on their own.

America cared about one thing, oil. The same thing they care about now. This war has nothing to do with democracy, nothing to do with human rights, nothing to do with the oppression of the Kurds, and everything to do with oil. So say no to Exxon, to British Petroleum, to Harkin Oil, to Blood for Oil and to War for Oil!

Thank you all. On a Move, Long live John Africa! Free the Move 9! This is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

In this day and time, when it seems like the U.S. media is a virtual echo chamber urging Americans into war (once again) it may be quite difficult to find someone willing to provide an opposing yet informed view on the looming threat of war.

Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter is that someone. New York-based publisher Context Books is putting out a timely instant book featuring an in-depth interview with the conservative ex-Marine that explodes many of the popular and misleading myths supporting the war.

The book is entitled, “War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn’t Want You to Know,” by William Rivers Pitt, with Scott Ritter.

For many Americans, the book features a short, but informative history of Modern Iraq. Check this out: Does the U.S. really want “democracy” in Iraq? Most folks will say, “yeah, sure.” But do they know that the vast majority of Iraqis, some 60 percent, are followers of the Shi’a Islamic faith, like Iran?

What about weapons of mass destruction (WPM) of a chemical, biological, or nuclear nature? Let me quote from William Pitt’s “War on Iraq” on that:

“The case for war against Iraq has not been made. This is a fact. It is doubtful in the extreme that Saddam Hussein has retained any functional aspect of the chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons programs so thoroughly dismantled by the United Nations weapons inspectors who worked tirelessly in Iraq for seven years. This is also a fact.

“The idea that Hussein has connections to fundamentalist Islamic terrorists is laughable-he is a secular leader who has worked for years to crush fundamentalist Islam within Iraq, and if he were to give weapons of any kind to al Qaeda, they would use those weapons on him first” [p. 10].

Think about this the next time you hear media reports about Iraq working with al Qaeda. They know that the ruling clique in Iraq is rooted in the socialist Ba’ath Party, and they hate him and his cronies almost as much as they hate the Americans.

Further, as the administration strains to justify their Iraq adventure, with a cowed Congress and a complicit media, it will be harder and harder for such voices as these to be heard, or found. Pray that the prediction in the Pitt/Ritter book doesn’t come true: “An attack on Iraq could bring about a wider world war America cannot afford, and that a vast majority of Americans do not desire” [p. 10].

At less than 100 pages “War on Iraq” is an easy read. Before Armageddon is unleashed, it’s hoped that many Americans study this issue soon.

© COPYRIGHT 2002 MAJ