Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
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It's been eight
months since the Americans marched into the deserts of Iraq, as
part of the triumph of the West in the now-classic 'Clash of Civilizations.'
time, the Iraqis have staged a resistance that has cost the lives
of hundreds of Americans, sent the United Nations into retreat,
and caused several nations to refrain from even attempting to intervene
in the region.
the Iraq War on a series of false pretenses; a) the war on terrorism;
b) Iraq's role in supporting the jihadis of 9/11; and c) Iraq's
'imminent threat' posed by weapons of mass destruction.
of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has sent the American media and
politicians into paroxysms of joy. It's kind of like the second
invasion of the country. The Hussein capture is of a piece that
is a U.S. attempt at 'nation building.'
One of America's
chief architects of the Cold War, found this aspect of Bush's new
'preemptive strike' doctrine wrong-headed. George Kennan called
it "a great mistake in principle." In a little-noticed
item in the congressional newspaper, *The Hill*, Kennan offered
the opinion that a study of history teaches us "that you might
start a war with certain things in [...] mind," but inevitably,
nations turn to fighting for things "never thought of before."
Of the second Iraqi war, Keenan noted it "bears no relation
to the first war against terrorism."
was harshly critical of the Congress, upon whom rests the awesome
responsibility to declare war, but he was particularly dismissive
of congressional Democrats, whom he called "shameful,"
"shabby," and "timid" in the face of Bush's
plans for war. Kennan, 98-years old at the time of the Sept. 2002
interview, was the formulator of the U.S. "containment"
policies of the past 50 years, and was U.S. Ambassador to Moscow
during the Soviet regime (ca. 1952), and Ambassador to Yugoslavia
in the early 1960s. That this unabashed nationalist, conservative
thinker is so critical of the present U.S. course is telling.
sees 'imminent danger' from the Administration's present course
Even with the
capture of Hussein, does anyone seriously believe that the armed
resistance to the U.S. occupation will cease? Saddam Hussein, President
of the Iraqi state for over a generation, was not the engine, nor
even the spark of the Iraqi Resistance. That Resistance is fueled
by the presence and the behavior of Americans in a foreign land.
The Resistance is fueled by Iraqi nationalism, not love for the
Hussein family. We shall see if this event dulls the fires of resistance;
time will tell.
one scholar who has examined the present situation in Iraq, the
U.S. has done almost everything wrong. Alan Sorensen, associate
Editor of *Current History*, has observed:
military failed to deploy enough force to establish security,
permitting looting and lawlessness to continue unchecked. It initially
appointed (then dismissed) a low-key, low-profile coordinator
to oversee reconstruction. It grossly underestimated the costs
of restoring services and rebuilding infrastructure. It attempted
to promote an emigre political figure with little experience in
his native country. It failed to secure critical facilities, including
arms caches, many of them still unguarded. It diverted
significant resources and manpower to a failed attempt to find
weapons of mass destruction. It consigned the Iraqi Army to resentful
unemployment. It emptied the government of knowledgeable technocrats.
It invited Iraq's former imperial masters from Turkey to join
the occupation. It favored select American businesses in the distribution
of no-bid contracts. It failed miserably to engage in effective
public diplomacy. It ignored a pre-invasion State Department report
that has laid out with startling precision many of the challenges
now bedeviling authorities. [Sorensen, A., "The Reluctant
Nation Builders," *Current History*, (Dec. '03, p. 409)].
wonder why things are going so badly there.
things are going so badly is because it was illconceived, from the
get-go. Sold as the 'next step' in the 'war against terrorism',
the Iraq Adventure is not really that, nor even nation building.
It is empire-building, with Iraq chosen to serve as demonstration
model. The subjugation of Iraq is meant to teach other regimes in
the region the meaning of American imperial power. Those are the
real stakes in Iraq.
2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
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