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The War Against Shadows

recorded 8/15/07

 

1) 1:52 Radio Essay - short MP3

2) 4:02 Radio Essay - long MP3

 

The War Against Shadows

[col. writ. 8/14/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal

    The Iraq War is not actually a war against terrorism, no matter how many times U.S. politicians or military leaders proclaim it so.

    It is not a war against extremists, or even a war against Al-Qaeda.

    It is a war against the specters of the past; a struggle against the nightmares evoked by the loss of the Vietnam War.

    It is a muscular reaction against something that is now almost 1/2 a century in the past.

    The Iraqis, Sunnis, Shias, and, yes, even the Kurds, are but pawns in a mighty, titanic an psychic battle of memory.

    If put into one neat, pat phrase echoing in the halls of the White House and the Pentagon, it would be, "Oh, God --Please don't let us have another Vietnam!"

    Former U.S. Ambassador, and fervent administration critic, Peter Galbraith is of that opinion, among others.  This frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, and author is one of several major proponents of the splitting of Iraq, is now linking the Iraq debacle to the Vietnam debacle, not just in how it was waged, but in how administration officials used the fear of emergent bogeymen to prolong the wars.  On this, and other points, Galbraith doesn't bite his tongue:

                    The Iraq war is lost.  Of course, neither the President nor the war's intellectual architects are prepared to admit this.  Nonetheless, the specter of defeat shapes their thinking in telling ways.  The case for the war is no longer defined by the benefits of winning -- a stable Iraq,  democracy on the march in the Middle East, the collapse of the evil Iranian and Syrian  regimes -- but by the consequences of defeat.  As President Bush put it, "The 

                    consequences of failure in Iraq would be death and destruction in the Middle East and here  in America."  Tellingly, the Iraq war's intellectual boosters, while insisting the surge is working, are moving to assign blame for defeat.  And they have already picked their target; the American people.  In the Weekly Standard, Tom Donnelly, a fellow at the neo conservative American Enterprise Institute wrote: "Those who believe the war is already lost -- call it the Clinton- Lugar axis -- are mounting a surge of their own.  Ground won in Iraq becomes ground lost at  home."  Lugar provoked Donnelly's anger by noting that the American people had lost confidence in Bush's Iraq strategy as demonstrated by the Democratic takeover of both houses of Congress.  (This "blame the American people" approach has, through repetition, almost become the accepted explanation for the outcome in Vietnam, attributing defeat to a loss of public support and not to fifteen years of military failure.)  (From Galbraith, P., 

                    "Iraq: The Way to Go", NYROB, (6/16/07), p.6.)

    The question is not whether or not the U.S. will withdraw; it is only a question of when.

    Politicians are now angling over who will be the butt of political blame for "losing" Iraq (as if Iraq was ever 'ours' in the first place!)

    To politicians, spin is everything, second only to advantage.

    The loss of American life, the monstrous loss of Iraqi lives, the severing of a nation into 3 parts, the enormous costs in a nation's wealth, all of these things are really quite forgettable to political animals.

    The issue is advantage.

    Why should this surprise us?

    Wasn't the war really started for advantage?  Didn't a limited presidential figure long for the glory of becoming 'the war president?'

    The war is lost.

    It's time to move on.

--(c) -07 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.]
===============================


MUMIA'S COLUMNS NEED TO BE PUBLISHED AS BROADLY
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========================================

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==============================================>

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PLEASE CONTACT:
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WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

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

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