Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
the World Thinks of this Empire
and the subsequent retraction, of the news that US Secretary of
State, Colin Powell would, and then would not attend the closing
ceremonies of the Olympics in Athens gives us some idea of what
millions of people think, not just in Greece, but all around the
world, about the 'the world's sole superpower.'
It also shows
that the administration is leery of showing what the world thinks,
and this, with perhaps the most popular member of the administration.
The world is
angry at the US for its imperial invasion of Iraq on the now-faded
pretext, of 'weapons of mass destruction.' This may be seen at the
chorus of boos showered on American athletes in Athens, something
that is quite rare.
If we believe
the corporate media, we see the world in sharp, binary shades; much
like Bush suggested after September 11, 2001:'... they're either
for us, or against us.'
Military dictatorships and quasi-democracies the world over, are
using this simplistic 'for us or against us' formula to target a
slew of domestic political opponents, in much the same way that
they used it during the Cold War. Today, their opponents aren't
called 'communists', or 'subversives' they're called 'terrorists.'
Thus trade unionists, human rights activists, and various representatives
of nationalist, cultural, and ethnic movements are targeted by their
governments, often with the support of the US government, as the
newest 'enemy': 'terrorists.'
A recent book
on the dark and dangerous ties between Colombia and the US shows
the latest features of this trend.
Written by scholar
and veteran journalist, Mario A. Murillo, a Colombian-American who
teaches at Hofstra and the NYU, the picture that emerges of Colombia
is of rampant corruption and sheer opportunism. Murillo is especially
critical of the press, which, as it has done in the opening of the
Iraq War, routinely serves as an important ally of the government,
often without question.
written Colombia and the United States: War, Unrest and Destabilization
(New York: Seven Stories Press/Open Media, 2004), which, among other
things, shows us how the major media serves the power elites (both
in the US *and* Colombia!) by misrepresenting radical, and nationalist
movements, and indeed, by ignoring history in support of a series
They do this
by the formula of appearing to be fair and objective, while using
the journalistic technique of slant, to favor the established, state
forces, against those who oppose that state.
of this may be shown quickly in a reference to the guerrilla movement
known as FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). While Murillo
is critical of FARC's shortcomings and errors (especially where
peasants and workers were hurt), he points out that rightist paramilitaries,
like the much lesser-known AUC (*A*utodefensas *U*nidas de *C*olombia)
were responsible for over 75% of civilian casualties, torture and
rapes. It also goes largely unreported that they are quite close
to the State, and often work hand-in-glove with them.
unreported is the racial composition of the Colombian people. Murillo
writes: "Colombia has a large black population, ranging anywhere
between 20 and 45 percent of the total, depending on which figures
you read and how you interpret them." [p. 40] Afro-Colombians,
many of whom dwell in the rural and coastal areas, are among the
poorest, and most violently repressed people of the country, both
by the state and the paramilitaries.
While most of
us who read, hear, or watch major media may have a skewed perspective
of Colombia, and how the Colombian people view the US, and their
political leaders, Murillo tells of one occasion when a Colombian
politician sent a powerful, public message to the president, Uribe,
that leapt the translation barrier. On the floor of the chamber
of representatives, an independent politician presented Uribe and
his ministers with a pair of knee pads, emblazoned with American
flags on them.
No one, it seems, loves an Empire.
Murillo's book is available from: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts
St., NY, NY 10013. On
the web: www.sevenstories.com. Seven Stories has also published
some of the writings of Mr. Jamal.)
2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.