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"Iraq Echoes of Vietnam" 

1) 3:00 Radio essay Mp3

2) 3:53 Radio essay Mp3

 

IRAQ: ECHOES OF VIETNAM
========================
[Col. Writ. 10/19/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

It is easy to liken the Iraq War to Vietnam, but, for many reasons, it isn't a perfect fit.

Vietnam differed in very fundamental ways: terrain, the nature of the opposing armies, and perhaps most obviously, the scale of human carnage.

Iraq is undoubtedly a bloody mess; but compared to the loss of life in Vietnam, Iraq is a cakewalk.

Yet behind the numbers, apart from terrain, similarities abound.

Both wars were decided by insurgencies instead of frontal, pitched battles.

Soon, if conservative media sources are to be believed, there will be another similarity: the U.S. politics of overthrow.

The *Washington Times* (kind of the print version of Fox News), citing high-level sources, recently reported that plans are in place for "U.S.-trained Iraqi forces" to overthrow the government of Iraq's Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki.

This U.S.-supported coup would be quietly accepted, to allow the placement of a so-called 'strongman' who would bring the insurgencies to heel.

A recent government meeting between al-Maliki and Shiite militia leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, a man whose armed forces has engaged U.S. forces in recent months and weeks, apparently doesn't inspire U.S. faith in al-Maliki's leadership.

The report, if true, casts a long shadow, back to the bloodbath that was Vietnam, when a U.S.-supported regime in power in the former city of Saigon, under the leadership of Ngo Dinh Diem, failed to rouse sufficient resistance to the National Liberation Front.

Like many of the Iraqis in the present government, Diem came to Vietnam after living in a foreign country (to be precise, New Jersey).  He, and his government were hugely unpopular.

When Buddhists staged dramatic demonstrations against the government, with many burning themselves alive, Diem ordered his police to attack Buddhist shrines and temples, where people were beaten and arrested.  Police shot and killed demonstrators.

When Diem's generals grew impatient with him, they began plotting a coup.  They kept in touch with the CIA, which heartily endorsed their plans.  The CIA passed the news on to US ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, who passed it on to the White  House.  No one warned President Diem.

As historian Howard Zinn recounts in his *A People's History of the United States* (New York: Harper Collins, 1980 [2003]), the U.S.-backed army attacked the presidential palace on Nov. 1, 1963, and Diem placed a call to the U.S. ambassador.  Records of the call show the following exchange:

"Diem:  Some units have made a rebellion and I want to know what is the attitude of the United States?

Lodge:  I do not feel well enough informed to be able to tell you.  I have heard the shooting, but am not acquainted with all the facts.  Also it is 4:30 A.M. in Washington and the U.S. Government cannot possibly have a view.

Diem:  But you must have some general ideas ....

Lodge told Diem to phone him if he could do anything for his physical safety.

That was the last conversation any American had with Diem.  He fled the palace, but he and his brother were apprehended by the plotters, taken out in a truck, and executed." [pp. 474-475]

When a puppet is no longer sufficiently obedient, or useful, it is chucked aside like trash.

We are looking at the beginning of the end in Iraq.

No one thought Vietnam would end with the U.S. lifting off the roof of the  U.S. embassy, leaving behind tens of thousands of its 'allies.'

The handwriting is on the wall.

This is what 'American democracy' really looks like.


Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

 
Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

[Mr. Jamal's recent book features a chapter on the
remarkable women who helped build and defend
the Black Panther Party: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
#1-800-533-8478.]
===============================

 

 

[Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
#1-800-533-8478.] 

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
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And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
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The Power of Truth is Final — Free Mumia!

PLEASE CONTACT:
International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES!

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa