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Powell Underwhelms at UN

Long version: mp3, 2.5 MBs, 3:09
Short version: mp3, 1.7 MBs, 2:08

[Col. recorded 2/6/03]

"The first casualty in war is truth." — (axiom)

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell took the floor at the United Nations Security Council and strove mightily to make the Administration's case for their support of war in the sandy deserts and cities of Iraq. He produced tapes that he said were made of generals squabbling over the "evacuation" of chemical weapons, and cited satellite photos in support of his argument that the Ba'ath regime was playing 'hide-and-go-seek' with the UN weapons inspectors.

If the reactions of three major nations on the Council is any measure, then the Secretary underwhelmed his international audience, for France, Germany, and China have not changed their positions, and prefer the maintenance or expansion of the UN weapons inspectors, not war, as the U.S. urges.

Powell sought to replicate the 1962 performance of Adlai Stevenson at the UN, who produced satellite photos of nuclear weapons stationed in Cuba. He did not. He did well, but he did not sell the case for war with the Iraqi regime. The war is the overarching concern of the Bush regime, and Powell, an old soldier, was giving his all for 'the Gipper', but, it appears, his all is not enough to sell the soap.

Iraq is a kind of obsession to the Bush White House, and it is remarkable how silent the government is about the saber-rattling of the North Koreans, who have openly boasted about their nuclear capabilities. Yet, there is every indication that the Bush regime will sit down with the Koreans, and work out a deal. The very prospect of talking with the Iraqis is anathema. No viable political party in American even broaches such a thing as a possibility. Hence, the seeming inevitability of war with the Ba'ath regime in Baghdad.

If ever there was a question about the inherent weakness of the nation's political parties, their inability to give voice to the anti-war sentiments of millions of Americans proves their utter irrelevance. Why such silence? Every major-party figure makes his positions based upon personal political calculations and advantage. In this sense, the parliamentarian governments of Europe, which have traditionally represented wider segments of their population, seem far more attractive than this quasi-democracy, a 'democracy' that represents the corporate and industrial wealthy classes over all others. When half a million men, women, and children march in the nation's capitol, and 70,000 to 100,000 march in San Francisco, and virtually none of this energy s reflected in the House or the Senate, what kind of 'democracy' is this?

Whom do they really represent?

Meanwhile, the drumbeat for war continues to resound, echoed and amplified by the corporate media, which hopes that war is good business for their viewership and corporate shareholders.

Powell, the most trusted member of the Bush regime, could not bag the game for his boss. But, the battle for war continues.

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Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa


Text © copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.