Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
Limits of Empire
3.56 MBs, 4:24
Short version: mp3, 2.59
With the growing
collapse of the so-called Operation Renewed (or is it Restored?)
Freedom in Iraq, the Administration seems determined to not send
any real troops into the troubled rebel-torn state of Liberia.
It has sacrificed
seven (7!) as part of America's commitment to restoring peace in
the West African nation. Liberia has a long history which connects
intimately with the United States. Those who formed the state were
expatriated Blacks who were returned to Africa with the support
of the American Colonization Society. What these Westernized Black
men brought to West Africans was -- for want of a better word --
colonization, and exploitation of the indigenous people by the Americo-Liberian
minority. Truth be told, the Americos actually placed other West
Africans in bondage, on the nearby island of Fernando Po, to tap
rubber trees for the mighty American multinational, Firestone. (For
decades, Liberia was known as 'the Firestone Republic'). Although
begun in 1822 as a refuge for Black freedom, it did not mean freedom
for many indigenous Liberians.
Here's the point;
if Liberia was founded because Blacks couldn't be treated fairly
in the U.S. nearly 200 years ago, and these so-called freedmen didn't
treat Africans fairly, what do you think U.S. whites will do?
A West African
remarked to me recently that the Americans would never send real
troops into Liberia. I wondered why this person
was so certain. "Two words," was the response. Which two
words? "Somalia," was the first; "Blacks," the
I thought about
it, and nodded my head in agreement.
The Somali debacle,
of African militias firing automatic weapons and rocket-propelled
grenades at U.S. troops is the stuff of modern American nightmares.
And the other reality, that Liberia is a Black nation, means that
America will always devalue Black life; they do it at home, why
I couldn't argue
with that logic.
If we remember
when the U.S. was trying to sell the Iraq adventure, there were
lines of conservative pundits and talking heads claiming, "The
Iraqis will welcome us with flowers!" "They will dance
in the streets in joy when the U.S. rolls in!," they exclaimed.
It doesn't look like much celebrating these days. Perhaps the guerilla
war is getting in the way of the wild celebrations. Uh-huh... They're
dancing, alright; they dance every time they see an American Humvee
get bombed or grenaded. It looks like Operation Iraqi Folly now,
doesn't it? Several months into the Iraq debacle, now a breath of
caution begins to enter the minds of the absolute ideologues who
run U.S. foreign policy. They think of black rebels opposing the
depredations of U.S. military, and quake at the possibility of it
devouring time on the night's newscasts. And they send 7 armed U.S.
soldiers into a city of nearly 1 million people.
are pushing for greater U.S. military involvement in Monrovia, but
the Bush Administration is reticent.
ago, when Nigerian troops entered Liberia, there was considerable
Nigerian opposition to their getting involved. At the time, Liberians
welcomed them. Before long, however, Liberian rebels began chipping
at Nigerian peacekeepers.
those encounters, and are concerned that it not happen again.
political leaders remember Somalia, and don't want to see that disaster
Do as little as possible. Pay others to take the risk. Support it
with speeches, and some money. But, keep the bodies to a minimum.
Call them peace-keepers, but keep them as far away as possible from
And so, Liberia
continues to tumble into turmoil; warlords and presidents may be
called war criminals, but what of the international diamond and
gold-traders that pays them with weaponry?
have one saving grace; it seems to mark the limits of Empire.
2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
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Reprinted by permission of the author.