Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
Your Own Good?
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As the deaths
begin to mount, and opposition grows to the illadvised Iraq Adventure,
we are assured by voices raised in the corporate media, that "we"
must all "stay the course," for, surely, the "light
is becoming visible at the end of the tunnel."
who lived during the Vietnam War, such assurances are (to say
the least), disquieting. They are echoes that harken back to another
time, another experience, another war.
What it 'assures'
us is, that the essential natures of government and congresses
are unchanged, or, perhaps, worsen over time.
At the very
beginning of the Iraq Attacks, voices of the anti- war movement
claimed that this was chillingly similar to the Vietnamese example
of the infamous Gulf of Tonkin resolution, when the administration,
the Congress and the press conspired
to create a false *casus belli* to spark the U.S. war machine.
Headlines blared about the "brutal attack" on U.S. Naval
vessels by "cunning communists" assaulting Americans
in an "unprovoked" attack.
It took the
better part of a generation to unravel the fact that the war was
waged based on a lie.
as before, the U.S. claims to be "bringing democracy"
to the benighted Iraqi people, and also "saving them"
from a "brutal dictatorship." Conveniently, the fevered
warnings of 'weapons of mass destruction', which nudged a cowardly
Congress into granting unprecedented powers into administration
hands, is casually forgotten.
is instead, bringing 'freedom' to the Iraqi people.
a reason that African-Americans have been a frequent and visible
presence in the anti-war movements that have sprung up in this
period, unlike during the Vietnam War. I've often wondered why.
One thinks it is the deep, cultural understanding that Blacks
bring to this question, given their own historical experiences
in the U.S.
that there were millions of Americans who spoke about "freedom"
and "liberty" for centuries, without once thinking about
*Black* freedom and liberty. They know, as a deep lesson of history,
that their ancestors were dragged here in shackles by people who
swore that they were doing it "for your own good."
They know, from bitter experience, that while Americans may say
one thing, they mean something quite different. They *know* this.
the case as brilliantly as Frederick Douglass, who condemned the
U.S. Constitution as deeply imperfect:
and Slavery opposite as Heaven and Hell are both
in the Constitution; and the oath to perform that which God
has made impossible... If we adopt the preamble, with Liberty
and Justice, we must repudiate the enacting clauses, with Kidnapping
and Slaveholding; ... The Constitution of the United States:
What is it? Who made it? For whom and for what was it
made? Is it from heaven or from men? ... [W]e hold it to be
a most cunningly-devised and wicked compact, demanding the most
constant and earnest efforts of the friends of righteous freedom
for its complete overthrow. It was "conceived in sin, and
shapen in iniquity." [Fr. Philip S. Foner, *The Life and
Writings of Frederick Douglass* (1950), pp. 118, 362.]
American abolitionist and journalist, William Lloyd Garrison would
echo Douglass' comments, calling the Constitution "a covenant
with death, and an agreement with hell."
Occupation will end, one way or another. The only question is
when, and perhaps, how. The American people will look back on
this presidential adventure as folly. They may mourn the costs,
or even ignore them. They will claim to 'learn' from it,
and then quickly dispatch it into the dark recesses of national
memory. Soon, all too soon, it will be history, that most hated
and ignored of subjects to Americans. Perhaps a new generation
will dust off the dry tomes of the past, and wonder, once again,
did such a thing come to pass?
perhaps more than other people, look less to the past, to glean
lessons. They are impatient, and forward-thinking, with tomorrow
on the radar scope; yesterday all but forgotten.
thus ripe for the plucking when politicians unleashthe fear card,
to launch them once again, into hell.
2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
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Reprinted by permission of the author.