N
   

Donate Email Alert Links Photo Gallery Mumia' Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays Prison Radio

Prison Radio
Mumia' Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays
Photo Gallery
Links/Resources
Mumia Email Update
Donate
Mumia Gear
Radio Programmers
Contact Us

 

 

PLEASE DONATE

 

Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts

Higher Quality Audio files available info@prisonradio.org

Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal/Prison Radio

"The Mad Man Chronicles "

Written 4/21/07

1) 4:01 Radio Essay Mp3

 

The Madman Chronicles

Column written 4/21/07) by Mumia Abu–Jamal

              How does the nation continually find itself in a pit of its own making, time and time again?

              We’ve seen the blunders of the 20th century that can be encapsulated by a word, or a brief phrase: the Bay of Pigs, Pearl Harbor, Watergate, Vietnam (just to name a few).

              In each of these instances, extremely smart and educated people decided to invade, or failed to plan, or ordered illegal acts–all because they often didn’t hear, or considered, an alternative viewpoint.

              This is a feature of an elite decision making, when small, insular groups, usually imbued with great political power, fail to look out the window, or open the door, or expand their perspectives.

              Vietnam was begun on little more than a whim; an attempt to aid a white colonial power (France) that suffered a crippling defeat at Dienbienphu.

              It was almost an imperial afterthought, a fly on the buttocks of an elephant, in the minds of politicians in the White House, and generals in the Pentagon.

              It was (obviously) more, because of the resistance of the Vietnamese people.

              Psychologist Irving L. Janis wrote a book, and several articles about this phenomenon, which he called groupthink, an idea he took from George Orwell’s 1984, and when examining the fiasco that was the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, came to the six following defects in government thinking:

First, the group’s discussions were limited to a few alternatives (often only two) without a survey of the full range of alternatives. Second, the members failed to re–examine their initial decision–making from the standpoint of non–obvious drawbacks that had not been originally considered. Third, they neglected courses of action initially evaluated as unsatisfactory; they almost never discussed whter they had overlooked any non–obvious gains.

              Fourth, members make little or no attempt to obtain information from experts who could supply sound estimates of losses and gains to be expected from alternative courses. Fifth, selective bias was shown in the way the members reacted to information and judgment from experts, the media and outside critics; they were only interested in the facts and opinions that supported their preferred policy. Finally, they spent little time deliberating how the policy might be hindered by bureaucratic inertia, sabotaged by political opponents or derailed by the accidents that happen to the best of well–laid plans. Consequently, they failed to work out contingency plans to cope with foreseeable setbacks to soft–headed thinking. (Fr.: Janis, I. L., “Groupthink”; Kressel, Neil J., ed. Political Psychology: Classic and Contemporary Readings (NY.: Paragon House, 1993, p. 362.)

Three decades later, and neocon dreamers called Iraq a “cakewalk”. Hardly that.

And like Vietnam, many people knew it was over years before U.S. diplomats affixed their signatures to dotted lines.

Several days ago, an American Senator said, in an unguarded moment, that the “Iraq was is lost.”

Amid right–wing protests the Senator has begun to wobble–to, in Senate–speak, ‘amend this remarks.’

During the height of the Vietnam War, when the U.S. was dropping unprecedented bombs on Southeast Asia, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara told a Senate committee that such bombings were ineffective.

President L.B. Johnson was livid, and told members of his White House staff that McNamara was playing into the hands of the enemy.

Sound familiar?

We’ve been here before–isn’t it time to change the channel of Mad TV?

–MAJ

 


[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.]
===============================

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die.
And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

MUMIA'S COLUMNS NEED TO BE PUBLISHED AS BROADLY
AS POSSIBLE TO INSPIRE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT AND
HELP CALL ATTENTION TO HIS CASE.

The campaign to kill Mumia is in full swing and we need you to
**please** contact as many publications and information outlets as
you possibly can to run Mumia's commentaries (on-line and
**especially off-line**)!! The only requirements are that you run
them *unedited*, with every word including copyright information
intact, and send a copy of the publication to Mumia and/or ICFFMAJ.
THANK YOU!!!

Keep updated by reading ACTION ALERTS!!
at http://www.mumia.org, http://www.onamove.com/ and their links.
========================================

To download Mp3's of Mumia's commentaries visit
http://www.prisonradio.org or http://www.fsrn.org
==============================================>

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 - icffmaj@aol.com
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

Subscribe: mumiacolumns-subscribe@topica.com
Read: http://topica.com/lists/mumiacolumns/read
Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing
icffmaj@aol.com!


 

 

[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
just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die.
And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

MUMIA'S COLUMNS NEED TO BE PUBLISHED AS BROADLY
AS POSSIBLE TO INSPIRE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT AND
HELP CALL ATTENTION TO HIS CASE.

The campaign to kill Mumia is in full swing and we need you to
**please** contact as many publications and information outlets as
you possibly can to run Mumia's commentaries (on-line and
**especially off-line**)!! The only requirements are that you run
them *unedited*, with every word including copyright information
intact, and send a copy of the publication to Mumia and/or ICFFMAJ.
THANK YOU!!!

Keep updated by reading ACTION ALERTS!!
at http://www.mumia.org, http://www.onamove.com/ and their links.
========================================

To download Mp3's of Mumia's commentaries visit
http://www.prisonradio.org or http://www.fsrn.org
==============================================>

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 - icffmaj@aol.com
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

Subscribe: mumiacolumns-subscribe@topica.com
Read: http://topica.com/lists/mumiacolumns/read
Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing
icffmaj@aol.com!


For additional information and to order Mumia's new book We Want Freedom,

visit: southendpress.org

Check out Mumia's NEW book:
"Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life of African and African-American People" at www.africanworld.com


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