Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
The Iraq Debacle
is not the Vietnam War, by any measure, whether we look at Iraqi,
or American, loss of life.
the Iraq War has stirred the cauldrons of resistance, with protests
criss-crossing the globe, as people spoke out against the start
of the war in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. It has been
perhaps decades since protests such as these have taken place. Those
protests, at least in the U.S., shrank considerably once the U.S.
Army invaded Iraq.
are other differences.
was ripping the U.S. apart, some of those most opposed to the carnage
and loss were U.S. servicemen, like a young man named John Kerry,
then a member of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. The infamous
My Lai massacre, he charged, was "not isolated", but was
one of many "crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the
full awareness of officers at all levels of command" [James
Loewen, *Lies My Teacher Told Me* (Touchstone:1995), p. 247].
explained before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington,
in April 1971, that "Over 150 honorably discharged and many
very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed
in Southeast Asia." Kerry testified
specifically how U.S. troops "had personally raped, cut off
ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human
genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies,
randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent
of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks,
and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam" (Loewen,
said, was "in addition to the normal ravage of war" (Loewen,
the U.S. Senate just one month after an American soldier, Lt. William
Calley, Jr. was convicted of premeditated mass murder of 22 Vietnamese
civilians during the My Lai Massacre, Kerry's comments gave a powerful
glimpse into a war that the corporate media, even then, was fond
of whitewashing. Kerry's plea to the Senators was for their support
of withdrawal from the carnage in Vietnam, with words as simple,
as they were powerful: "How do you ask a man to be the last
man to die
for a mistake?"
some 30 years or so, and with the nearly 500 U.S. soldiers who have
died since the Iraq Adventure, who, besides the virtual unknowns,
is asking that same question? Certainly, now-Senator-(slash)-presidential
candidate Kerry isn't. As a Senator, he voted for the war, and voted
to fund it as well. And he, like his colleagues, Democrats and Republicans,
in the House and the Senate, did it for the same reason that their
forerunners did during the Johnson and Nixon administrations.
It was the
politically safe thing to do.
Now the Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace has released a report finding,
conclusively, that Iraq posed no imminent threat to the United States,
and that no solid evidence has been unearthed linking the Hussein
Regime with the Al-Qaeda/ bin Laden network. Indeed, shortly before
the release of the think tank's report, came news that the weapons
inspectors, who have been searching for weapons of mass destruction
since March of last year, have quietly left Iraq.
The war, prosecuted
on a lie, has achieved its primary objectives, and the fig leaf
of WMDs no longer suffices.
hundreds of Americans are dead, and an uncounted number of Iraqis
are dead, in furtherance of an American imperial scheme to achieve
mastery and dominance over the entire region. Their deaths are but
the human mulch to feed the twin trees of U.S. imperial rule and
Israeli domination over the Middle East. It was an imperial demonstration
war, to advertise to the region, what the U.S. is capable of.
What a difference
a few decades make.
2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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© copyright 2004 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
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Reprinted by permission of the author.