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The UN - Still 'Relevant'

Long version: mp3, 3.25 MBs, 4:02

[Col. Recorded 9/14/03]

Few can forget the televised image of an American president, his lips curled into a sneer, as he challenged the United Nations' continuing ‘relevance' in the noble fight against "internashunal terrurism." Not to be outdone, the witty and urbane former general, now U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, took to the lectern to browbeat his
‘colleagues' at the United Nations, suggesting that they too were somehow
risking ‘irrelevance' if they did not give their blessing to a blitzkrieg against
Baghdad. He presented maps, tapes, and hinted at secret "evidence" that had been vetted by London that would prove, beyond a shadow of doubt, that the Iraqis were heavily engaged in nuclear, biological and chemical weaponry that could be mobilized in a matter of minutes.

When members of the UN Security Council (notably Germany and France) balked at the U.S. insistence that it couldn't wait, the U.S. assembled what Bush could call a ‘coalition of the willing', an assortment of states which had their back bills wiped clean in order to join the ‘coalition.'

In less than 6 months, the U.S. is back at the UN, this time (assuming the UN is now ‘relevant') asking for a hand in the management of their Iraqi colony. They want UN troops. They want UN money. But they want to retain US domination.

The famed CBS anchorman of the Vietnam era, Walter Cronkite, wrote recently that the U.S. has been forced to dine on crow.

What is at issue now, is not the rightness or wrongness of the American occupation (which the UN has been virtually silent on, by the way), but what role the world organization will play in that occupation. Will they agree to serve as a junior partner in an ongoing conflict that was launched against the strictures of international law? Will they belatedly support an ongoing occupation that began with spittle into the face of UN opposition and global protests?

Will they become the financial and manpower backers of an illegal imperial war? Will they be the instrument which exhumes colonialism from history's graveyard?

We shall see.

At the moment it appears France and Germany are not in agreement with the U.S. plan to utilize ‘blue helmets' to bolster the American occupation of Iraq. But, that may change. ‘Nations,' as the axiom goes, ‘have no permanent friends; only permanent interests.' If it becomes worthwhile to France or Germany to let bygones be bygones, and, once again, kiss the ugly American; well, *voila!* — so be it.

By ‘worthwhile', of course, I mean if the two nations can get a nice bite of the vast energy reserves bubbling beneath the Iraqi deserts, then – well, diplomats have a way of paying close attention to their nation's business classes.

George Bush was right when he raised the relevance of the United Nations to such a high gloss; it irked U.S. nativists that the UN wouldn't simply submit to U.S. dictates back in February. Indeed, it proved it was still relevant by not submitting to U.S. imperial blackmail.

Now that the occupation is going sour by the failure of Iraqis to properly ‘greet' their ‘liberators', the U.S. wants the UN to share some bodies (preferably from Muslim countries like Turkey, or Pakistan) so that the Iraqis will view their occupation as a multilateral, UN-approved operation.

The UN, just as before the war, again has a choice: imperialism or self-determination.

How it decides that question will determine how truly ‘relevant' it will be.

Copyright 2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal


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