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How Bush May Lose or Win


Short Version: mp3, 2.39 MBs, 2:59

Long Version: mp3, 3.50 MBs, 4:22

[Col. Recorded 8/22/04]

Every barrier of the Roman constitution had been leveled by the vast ambition of the dictator; every fence had been extirpated by the cruel hand of the Triumvir. After the victory of the Actium, the fate of the Roman world depended on the will of Octavianus, surnamed Caesar, by his uncle's adoption, and afterwards Augustus, by the flattery of the senate. — Edward Gibbon, *The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire* (Penguin: 2000) p. 65.

In a matter of weeks, the nation's presidential elections will occur, and one of two white guys will take the office as the President of the Empire.

That may sound somewhat tongue-in-cheekish, but truth be told, both George W. Bush and John F. Kerry are imperialists, who just have dissimilar ways of administering the US Empire.

Bush favors a 'go-it-alone' approach; while Kerry wants a UN-approved, multilateral approach.

That said, it is still too early to predict which way this election will go, for last minute events may have deep impacts on how Americans choose to vote.

The brilliant Arundhati Roy has said the Kerry campaign, should it prevail, will bring the country, "Bushism without Bush."

It is apparent that for Bush to improve upon his razor-sharp 'win' in 2000, he must hold his old voters, and bring in new ones. Here's the problem with that scenario: In 2000, millions of American Muslims, many of Arab and South Asian origins, voted for the Bush-Cheney ticket. This group, numbering some 5 or 6 million, delivered over 85% of their vote to the Republicans.

I'm convinced that the GOP garnered that high percentage for one reason; the Democratic ticket that year featured a Jewish American, Connecticut's Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D). While it may not have been dispositive for them that he was Jewish, it may have made a difference that he was a Zionist.

Whatever the reason, it's doubtful that anywhere near that percentage will vote for the GOP this year, in light of the failures in Iraq. That point was driven home by a report of a recent Iraqi-American demonstration against the US occupation in Detroit! One would think that Iraqi- Americans would be the closest to the Administration, but Iraq is not going well.

But that's not the end of the story. Bush's best chance to win in November is Kerry's failure to energize his base, and expand it.

It seems doubtful that he can do this if he simply mimics the White House on war, as he has been doing. The nation showed its deep anti-war fervor prior to the war, and this has only been deepened by subsequent events in Iraq and elsewhere. All of that anti-war energy will be dissipated if Kerry tries the old "me too" path to power.

When Kerry announced recently that he would've voted for the war, even if he knew then that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the millions of anti-war folks around the country issued an almost audible gasp.

What the nation needs is an anti- imperialist program, that renounces the utility of war for corporate ends and objectives.

It is fitting that the biggest media 'issue' in the race is, once again, Vietnam.
Over a decade ago, the former President Bush, glorying in the aftermath of the first Iraq War, exclaimed, "By God, we've kicked the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all!" (*Newsweek*, 3/11/91).

Thirteen years later, and Kerry is forced to contend with what — the Vietnam War. Rightist elements in the US, want him to apologize for his gripping testimony before Congress in 1971.

For millions of people who opposed the war then, this was John Kerry's finest hour.
The Vietnam War was not a 'noble cause.' It was war for profit; war for empire; war in support of corruption — and, yes — a war of genocide.

Iraq, after the dust has settled, will be seen in much the same way by late generations.

Empires end as all things do — in dust.

Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal


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