Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
comes Begging & Barking to the UN
version: mp3, 3.55 MBs,
Short version: mp3, 2.99
can you spare a dime?' E.Y. Harburg (1898-1981)
of an American President, perhaps the most powerful politician of
the present, unipolar generation, strolling to the dais of the United
Nations General Assembly, is not a common one. It invites attention,
and brews curiosity among many around the world.
what would George Bush say, now that the US attacks on the continued
relevance of the institution, and its attempt to, in effect, neutralize
it by the cadging together of a curious coterie of willing'
allies, have itself approached the netherworld of irrelevance?
Bush once again
challenged the global institution, but his words had far less bite
then they did several months ago. That's because they now come on
the tail end of a fiasco that is rapidly approaching disaster. The
occupation of Iraq, which was waged in direct conflict of the will
of the UN, has not gone well.
not welcomed Americans with bouquets, but with bullets and bombs.
UN headquarters have been decimated. And U.S. - approved Iraqi Council
members live in fear of being painted as collaborators, a charge
that can carry a merciless death penalty, as shown by the slaying
of Council member, Aquila al-Hashimi recently.
UN speech was a remarkably underwhelming effort. With words which
echoed the bellicosity for which he has late become known, Bush
tried to paint the US as a kind of super-enforcer' of UN resolutions:
The regime of
Saddam Hussein cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons
of mass destruction. It used those weapons in acts of mass murder
refused to account for them when confronted by the world. .... The
Security Council was right to vow serious consequences if Iraq refused
of course, was the fact, known to everyone in the UN chamber, and
to millions around the world, that the US was a close friend of
the Hussein regime' when it built those weapons, and indeed,
was one of its main suppliers of many of these destructive weapons,
for they were then used against the hated Islamic Republic of Iran,
then seen as America's Public Enemy #1.
Chirac of France voiced an oblique criticism of the US, when he
The United Nations
has just weathered one of its most serious trials in its history:
Respect for the Charter, the use of force, were at the heart of
the debate. *This war,
which was started without the authorization of the Security Council,
has shaken the multilateral system.*
Yet, it appears
there is little international appetite to join in the grim outcome
of the Bush Adventure. The U.S. president needed to cajole, or convince
the UN to provide either fresh troops, or fresh funds, to offset
the devastating impacts of
the occupation. It seems to have done neither.
What the Bush-Iraq
adventure reveals is the limits of Empire.
The US can wage
and win wars (especially against weakened, Third World states).
Occupation, however, is both messy and costly, in national treasure,
and young lives. The U.S. wants the UN to help it out of this searing
occupation; but being an
Empire must mean never having to say you're sorry.
For all of its
imperial might, its unparalleled media might, and its mastery of
the illusion of democracy,' freedom', and the
American way,' it yet remains the
popular view around the world that this was a war fought for Iraq's
resources, (its oil) not its people.
The US seems
to be learning a lesson that its European cousins learned decades
ago, in the last century the lesson that colonies eat away
at the vitals of the so-called Mother Country. Gnawing at the prestige
and the purse of the American
Empire, which now wants to ask the UN for a hand, but Poor George
doesn't know how.
2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
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Reprinted by permission of the author.