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"The Meanings of Haditha"

Rec. 6-24-06

1) 3:03 Radio essay Mp3

2) 3:34 Radio essay Mp3

THE MEANINGS OF HADITHA
=========================
[Col. Writ. 6/22/06] Copyright '06 Mumia Abu-Jamal


The Haditha Massacre, where several dozen Iraqi men, women, and babies were liquidated by American forces, found it's way into the news months after the gory events.

The Haditha Massacre ain't the first time.  It won't be the last.

Since when does the nation's military need *TIME* magazine to inform it of a massacre of dozens of innocent Iraqi civilians?

The simple, yet unavoidable truth is that no one cared what happened to those people.  They were just Iraqis.  In the words of American soldiers, they were hajjis, a term that is but an echo of another term from decades ago, used against another people whom the Americans were trying to crush.  Those people were the Vietnamese, and in American soldier-speak they were gooks.

Those ugly words betray the inherent sense of superiority that undergirds wars in the so-called '3rd world'.

A 1/2-century ago, a great European civilization used similar words against a segment of their own people.  That civilization was Germany, and it referred to the Jewish and Romani minorities in their country as untermenschen, German for 'subhuman.'

I bring up the Nazi regime for one reason.  European history of World War II is replete with occasions when stormtroopers wiped out whole villages, to intimidate the occupants of their conquered territories about the intrinsic worth of German life, and the worthlessness of the occupied peoples.

These were acts of state terrorists, meant to inflict terror on civilian populations.

That's what Haditha means.  They acted, not in the depth of darkness, nor in the shadowy precincts of a gulag like Abu Ghraib.  They did it in broad daylight.  They didn't care that Iraqis saw what they were doing.  In fact, they wanted them to see it.  To spread the message.  What message?  Terror.

To teach the hajjis a lesson.

In the poetry journal, Mizna, poet Sinan Khatib wrote, in the poem, aptly entitled, "Cheap Blood":

You need not worry
You can kill me
I am Arab, my blood is cheap

I am really sorry, I really am
I have so many children
And a big family
But you can kill them too
They are Arab, their blood is cheap ...
[Fr. Khatib, Sinan, "Cheap Blood", *Mizna* (2001) [vol. 3: Iss. 3] p. 15.]

Sometimes, a poem condenses a thousand words.  In the wake of Haditha, and Hamdaniyah, and Abu Ghraib, we hear the harrowing echo of Khatib's poem, "Cheap Blood."

Such is always the way of empires.

It would be nice to expect that the System will somehow stop this kind of carnage.  Nice.  Naive, even.

But it won't happen.

Many of us, over the age of 50, remember the My Lai Massacre of Vietnam.

We remember, not just the massacre, but the cover-ups attempted by the U.S. military, until an article appeared by a GI, Ron Ridenhour, and articles were published in several French publications.  The journalist, Seymour Hersh, wrote about it for the antiwar press.  Meanwhile, the mainstream American press ignored it.

Sound familiar?

One American officer was convicted, and given life in prison.  In 3 years, he was out.  And *pardoned* -- for mass murder!

How little things have changed.

[Source: *Mizna*, a forum for Arab American expression, P.O. Box 14294, Minn., MN  55414]


Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

 

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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