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obtained by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state,
even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged in the
process... the doors of the nations which are closed must be battered
Woodrow Wilson, lecture (Columbia University) 1907
[fr. Zinn, "A People's History of the United States"
(1995), p. 353]
For many Americans,
perhaps millions, what lay beneath the alleged threat of Iraq, was
the tempting possibility of U.S. control of oil. "No Blood
for Oil," became a powerful rallying cry that echoed around
The events following
the so-called 'liberation' of Iraq has revealed that our perception
was too narrow. While oil is indeed precious to the 'oil-igarchy'
in the White House and the State Department, that does not begin
to tell the story.
the legendary 'boy-General' (of the Civil War) and notorious George
Armstrong Custer when he escorted troops and businessmen to the
sacred *Paha Sapa* (Black Hills): "Boys, there's gold in them
thar hills!" < p Iraq. of ruins dusty the in made be to
dough plenty There?s>The politically-connected Bechtel Corporation
was given the go-ahead by the US Agency for International Development
(AID) to rebuild Iraqi infrastructure. Bechtel will make some $680
million (at the very least). Dick Cheney's former company, Kellogg,
Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, has been granted
the right to take over the oilfields of Iraq, a project certainly
worth billions. The Pentagon gave a contract to the telecommunications
giant, MCI, to construct an Iraqi wireless network. The fee? Around
What we are
witnessing in the shattered ruins of Iraq is the spoils of war;
spoils that are the seeds of vast wealth. Of course, Administration
officials are putting quite a different spin on this development.
In a speech made several months ago before the conservative American
Enterprise Institute, neoconservative thinker, Richard Perle observed,
"What I think we have won on the battlefield is the right to
try to establish consistent policies that are for the benefit of
the people of Iraq." He hastened to add, "It's not that
we are looking for anything for ourselves..." The U.S. role
was described as a "stewardship" over the conquered territory.
The U.S., of
course, doesn't have to 'look[...] for anything.' It already has
what it wants.
It has Iraq.
the recent 'warming' at the G-8 Summit in Evian, the U.S. intends
to leave France and Germany out in the cold when it comes to the
goodies that Iraq offers.
War has once again proven that it is good business... for some.
Of course, forgotten in that calculation is the Iraqi people, and
the people of the region, who are being forced to quake in fear
that they will become the next (or latest) demonstration war that
the Empire wages to keep its subject peoples in line. To hundreds
of American families, who have lost a loved one in the Adventure
in Iraq, their hearts must swell with bitterness to know that their
familial sacrifice was not for 'democracy', nor to 'prevent terrorism',
but to fill the coffers of the corporations that swelled the satchels
of politicians during the late so-called Election.
Over a century
ago, virtually the entire continent of Africa (with the exception
of Ethiopia) was colonized by European nations like England, France,
Portugal and Germany. The Europeans tried to justify their colonial
acquisitions with claims of bringing 'civilization' to the benighted
natives. What they brought was massive exploitation, the delusion
of white supremacy, and oceans of death and destruction. When Africans
fought for their freedom and the colonies were given up, the colonies
were left with wrecked economies, very few educated people, and
the long legacy of corruption. Many African countries still suffer
under the shadow of that unfortunate inheritance.
What we are
witnessing in this hour is a new imperialism.
Iraq is reduced
to rubble, and American corporations make a mint by rebuilding it.
All of this, we are assured, is to benefit 'the People of Iraq.'
Haven't we heard
this tale before?
Check out Mumia's
"Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life
of African and African-American People" at www.africanworld.com
The Power of Truth
is Final -- Free Mumia!
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.