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Why the War Will Not Soon End

recorded 3/20//08

1) 2:28 Radio Essay - short - MP3

2) 3:31 Radio Essay - long - MP3

Why the War Will Not Soon End

[col. writ. 3/20/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

   As America marches into its' 6th year of war in Iraq, there is a deep suspicion that the nation stands on the brink of a profound change in who holds the White House, and thus, who governs American foreign policy.

    In essence, if polls are to be believed, a Democratic presidential candidate (either a Black man or a woman) will almost cruise into the Oval Office.

    But there are at least two reasons why such an outcome is by no means certain.

    First, because in politics, 8 months is an eternity, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to predict what can happen in so long a time.  We have seen, in the space of less than a week, how the bitter convergence of the net, cable TV, and DVD's has dealt an undeniable blow to the front-running campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D.ILL.).  He may very well survive, and even outrun, this latest dustup, but let no one be fooled.  There is blood in the air; and the hounds of hell have been loosed.

    Secondly, Republicans and neo cons will not go quietly into that dark night, away from the light and warmth of power.  They will fight, tooth and nail, to prevail -- and they may yet do so. Fear and patriotism are powerful levers with which to move minds.

    That said, there is yet a third option.  A Democrat may win, and once at the helm of the ship of state, reverse policies, for a politician's promises are a lot like a whore's kisses.

    It's nothing personal; it's just business.

    The great radical historian (author of the seminal Black Jacobins (1938), C.L. R. James once opined that professional politicians quickly learn the art of fooling the people.

    Nor do we need to look far to see the position of politicians who have succeeded in that endeavor, for quite recently, when a reporter asked Vice-President Dick Cheney about pursuing a war policy opposed by three quarters of the electorate he laconically responded, "So?"

    Having been elected and reelected to a second term as the bottom half of the Bush ticket, he could care less what three quarters of the electorate wanted.

    Once in, politicians are deeply insulated from popular will.

    C.L.R. James, as a revolutionary socialist organizer, called for direct democracy when organizing in Trinidad, and tried to build support for instant recall of politicians who disappointed or betrayed the people who voted for them.  While his initiative failed (few parliamentarians would endorse such a radical notion), think of the implications.

    In 2006, millions of U.S. voters went to the polls to put in a Democratic and presumably anti- Iraq War congressional majority. Once in, these congress people promptly jettisoned their anti war rhetoric, and instead voted for tens of billions in more public moneys for the Iraq Occupation.

    As they found the funds to refuel the war based on lies and deception, tens of thousands of homeowners, many of whom voted to end this war, faced the horrors of foreclosures, and loss of their homes.  How many sons and daughters of those millions who marched to the polls, still go to schools with inadequate resources, poorly trained teachers, or a failing physical plant?

    Yet, they found mega-billions for war.

    There is a lesson in this.

    The question is, what have we learned?

--(c) '08 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.


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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.

"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

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