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Reporters or Imperial Scribes

recorded 3/1/08

1) 2:42 Radio Essay - short - Mp3

2) 3:33 Radio Essay - long - Mp3

Reporters or Imperial Scribes

[col. writ. 3/1/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

    Several days ago, I wrote on the resignation of Cuba's Fidel Castro-Ruz from the rigors and responsibilities of Office.  I commended him and the Cuban people for a heroic history of resistance and socialist humanism.

    But when I read, or heard, or received pieces by other journalists, I was struck by the tone.  There was ill-disguised glee at Fidel's health issues which forced him to step down, and reportage that bristled with references to the popular Cuban leader as a "dictator," coupled with the demand that Cuba import some American - style "democracy" to the island.

    Not one story that I read or heard mentioned the obvious; that the best known torture chamber on Cuban soil is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States government.  It's Guantanamo.

    As for dictators, how do you order a nation to war against another nation on a lie- a nation that never attacked yours - unless you are a dictator? You order your subordinates to torture other people - men, women, and children - and then say: " We do not torture," while the world snickers.

    And as for free elections and democracy, the world knows that it's just words in America.  It's been weeks since the California primaries, and they're still counting ballots. In the 2000 and 20004 U.S. presidential elections, tens of thousands of votes were stolen, voters were wrongfully denied access to the ballots, and others had their votes erroneously allocated to the wrong candidates. Free elections?  Democracy?

    My God! What would rigged elections and disenfranchisement look like?

    And from these perverse processes have come perverted results: a president, a congress, and judiciary that is as twisted as the process that brought them forth.

    A century ago radical American writer Jack London published The Iron Heel (1908) in which he noted the following:

                    Even as late as 1912, A.D., the great mass of the people still persisted in the belief that they ruled the country by virtue of their ballots.  In reality, the country was ruled by what were called political machines.  At first the machine bosses charged the master capitalists extortionate tolls for legislation; but in a short time the master capitalists found it cheaper to own the political machines themselves and to hire the machine bosses.

    That was Jack London, writing in 1908.  A century later, and we see the clarity of his vision, for what is this election but a business proposition?

    In truth, your votes are all but superfluous - for you don't really vote for candidates (even if you did choose them -which you didn't!); you vote for electors - or delegates, whose votes determine not just candidates but elections.  And delegates are almost always big people - the wealthy, well-to-do or well-connected.

    How's that sound, for a democracy?

--(c) '08 maj

[Source: Monthly Review, Mar. 2008, p.63]

 

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


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Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

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[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

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