Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
the War on Terrorism . . . Ain't
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government is run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.
I.F. Stone, Independent Journalist
and their flacks announce their various wars on this, or wars on
that, one should look deeply into such proclamations, for the real
underlying reasons for their actions.
has very little to do with the announced reasons for the latest
so-called 'war.' That is not to suggest that they aren't really
wars, and that like all wars, there are serious casualties, but
one must examine the reasons made in their defense.
will proclaim, with cold-eyed certainty, that the U.S. is engaged
in a 'War Against Terrorism.' They are sure of this, and point to
the newspapers and TV news shows to buttress their claim. But, as
with the other various 'wars' during the last century, the wars
against communism, against poverty, and against drugs, things are
seldom what they seem.
Let's try a
simple test. Please name a country that is involved in terrorism.
Go ahead; do it now: _____________
Unless I miss
my guess, many have listed nations that are familiar to us if we
read, or listen to, the corporate news. Iraq. Perhaps Afghanistan.
Syria might be added. Perhaps Cuba.
Few would add
the names of nations that are far more familiar to us as US allies:
Turkey. Israel. Russia ... (and for our world-wide readers or listeners,
the United States!).
If we define
terrorism as the use of violence for political aims and ends, then
the last set of nations are big players in the terrorism game. They
either directly engage in, or arm and support, states which wage
wars on occupied or minority populations. Indeed, to scholars and
global activists, this isn't even subject to questioning.
and linguist, Noam Chomsky has written about this subject for decades,
and one of his latest works, *Power and Terror: Post 9/11 Talks
and Interviews* (Seven Stories/Little More, 2003), makes the case
cleanly. On Turkey, Chomsky explains:
carried out some of the worst atrocities in the 1990s, I mean, far
beyond anything that Slobodan Milosevic was accused of in Kosovo,
surely before the NATO bombing. They were carried out at about the
same time in southeast Turkey against maybe a quarter of the population,
Kurds, who are horribly repressed. And millions of them were driven
out of their homes, thousands of villages destroyed, maybe tens
of thousands killed, every imaginable kind of barbaric torture.
...Turkey became the leading arms recipient in the world outside
of Israel and Egypt, which are in a different category. And they're
very grateful that the United States was so willing to help them
in carrying out massive state terror. And in reward, they are now
fighting the "War
on Terror" [pp. 18-19].
that the proffered reason for the Iraq War, now to stop human rights
abuses, was a political shadow dance. The common argument that Hussein
tyrant who used gas "against his own people", Chomsky
explains, is only part of the story:
He did use
gas against "his own people" (actually, Kurds are hardly
his own people), *with our support*. He carried off the Anfal
operation, maybe killing one hundred thousand Kurds, with our
support. He was developing weapons of mass destruction at a time
when he was really dangerous and we provided him the aid and support
to do it, perfectly consciously. He was a friend and ally, and
he remained so [pp. 37-38].
didn't care about the Kurds under Iraqi control, and don't care
about the Kurds under the boots of Turkey today. They don't give
a rat's ass about the Iraqi people either. Chomsky uses a wonderful
quote by the German philosopher Hegel which captures American
thoughts exactly: They are "mere Things whose lives
have no value." (Incidentally, Hegel was writing about Africans).
The other nations
I mentioned? Study. Read Chomsky's *Power and Terror*. Draw your
two Western figures, Churchill, and the British statesman, Lloyd
George, to show how the British defended using poison gas against
what Churchill called "recalcitrant Arabs." Lloyd George,
who began his career as a great Liberal, is quoted as saying, "[W]e
insisted on reserving the right to bomb niggers" [p. 121].
grown merely in foreign deserts: it's as present as our own back
2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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Reprinted by permission of the author.