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"Critics and Occupations "

rec 3-17-05 Essay

3:02 Short version Critics & Occupations

3:28 long version Critics & Occupations

 

CRITICS & OCCUPATIONS
======================
[Col. Writ. 3/17/05] Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal

   There is something quite surreal about the sight of George W. Bush taking the stage, to criticize the Syrians for their occupation of Lebanon.
   What's nutty about it, is the fact that as he speaks, his Army occupies Iraq!
   I mean, what's wrong with this picture?
   I have yet to hear a serious critique of Israel's occupation, *for decades*, of Palestine from the Americans.
   Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying that the occupation of Lebanese lands by Syrians is cool. In fact, I think that it's wrong for any nation's army to occupy another people's country.
   But, Syria is a neighbor of Lebanon.  It's another Arab country.  Their people share cultural and some religious traditions.
   Doesn't that make just a tad more sense than American occupation of Iraq? The diversity of cultural, religious, and ethnic differences between the US and Iraq could hardly be more pronounced.
   Yet, one is cool; and another is uncool.
   I don't get that.
   When Lebanese nationalists protest the Syrian presence in their country, the U.S. media goes hog-wild, and the State Department issues tart demands.
   What happens when Palestinians demonstrate against the brutal occupation of their lands by
Israel?  (Other than the eruption of automatic weapons fire from Israeli F-14s, and U.S.-made tanks, that is.)
   One occupation is quietly accepted; another is vigorously denounced.
   Why aren't both occupations denounced?
   Is it because one occupation supports the U.S. aim of long-term hegemony over the region
(and it's oil)?
   Is it because the other occupation is by a country that is now seen as a potential adversary
of U.S. geopolitical aims?
   We have all seen war, a war on a grand scale, leaving tens of thousands of people dead,
fought on a pretext.
   Is all this noise over occupations the opening salvo of wars to come?
   According to a recent *Washington Post* poll, a majority of Americans now feel that the
Iraqi War wasn't worth it.
   That number can only grow over time.
   Any occupation is an imposition upon a weaker people, and despite the rhetoric, is rarely, if ever, in their true, best interest.  Indeed, such occupations also lace a poison into the body
politic of the occupier.
   It bleeds both the occupied and the occupying nation.
   It's time for all occupiers to go home.
   Syria from southern Lebanon.
   Israel from Palestine.
   Turkey from Kurdistan.
   And yes, the U.S. from Iraq and Afghanistan.
   That's the central principle, articulated generations ago by an American president (and racist!) Woodrow Wilson: "No nation is fit to sit in judgment over any other nation."

   Woody, that closet imperialist, and lover of racist propaganda films, like *The Birth
of a Nation* (1915), got that right!
   Let the principle be, for our age: *Freedom for All Occupied People!*
   That covers it all.
   I get that.

Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal


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