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by Mumia Abu-Jamal Friday, Nov. 02, 2001 at 11:38 PM

"Power", to paraphrase Lord Acton's well-known axiom, "does more than corrupts, it makes men mad."

[Col. Writ. 10/25/01] Copyright '01 Mumia Abu-Jamal
    ... [W]e have about 50% of the world's wealth, but
    only 6.3% of its population ... Our real task in the
    coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships
    which will have to dispense with all sentimentality...
    We should cease to talk about vague and... unreal
    objectives such as human rights, the raising of
    living standards, and democratization.
    --- George Kennan, U.S. State Dept., Policy Planning
        Study 23 (1948)
    We live in an awkward age of war, where discussion is
curtailed by the iron curtain of fear, and the choking fog of
    At this time, when the American military is embarking on
an open-ended, and virtually unlimited expedition overseas,
in search of undefined 'enemies,' and in pursuit of a goal
that seems more appropriate for international police than
an imperial military, there is a strange circumscription of
national dialogue.  At this time, more than any other, U.S.
foreign policy, which should be in the very forefront of the
national debate, hides in the shadows, like sellers of
illicit, somewhat tainted substances, like crack cocaine,
or smut.
    Nations, no less than people, can be caught up in the
very real grip of madness, as Nazi Germany or Fascist
Italy well-proved over a half century ago.  Apartheid South
Africa, which waged armed war against children, who
were armed with little more than the righteousness of
their African resistance, is yet another.  And one need not
go across the Atlantic to see similar instances of
national madness, as evidenced by the notorious MOVE
bombing in Philadelphia, where, as one cop said ominously,
"We saw the children as combatants!", or the equally
mad expressions of state terrorism as shown in Waco,
Texas, or the Ruby Ridge incidents.
    "Power", to paraphrase Lord Acton's well-known axiom,
"does more than corrupts, it makes men mad."
    It is precisely in this time of madness, of emotional depth
and mental unhingement, that other voices need to be heard,
and other perspectives leavened into the debate.  For, if
madness has one cure, it is reason.
    Mr. Enver Masud may be one of the voices that adds
some of that reason.  An engineering management consultant
who once worked for the World Bank, USAID in Egypt, and
in half a dozen countries over the earth, Masud can hardly
be termed an 'Islamic fundamentalist' (what-ever that is),
or even a radical.  He seems to be a fairly bourgeois fellow,
who grew up in an Indian Muslim family of wealth, means and
influence, who never really engaged the deeper waters of
his faith, until later in life.  His father was the Indian ambassador
to Saudi Arabia, and his mother is the descendant of a noble
family in India.
    A year ago, Masud wrote and published a book that was the
compilation of perhaps five years of commentaries written
for the little-known Washington, D.C.-based newspaper,
Eastern Times, called The War on Islam (Arlington, Va.:
Madrasah Books, 2000).  In it, Masud critically engages,
questions, and controverts many of the big stories of the
day, from the 1991 report that "Libyan terrorists" were sent
to the U.S. by President M. Ghaddafi to assassinate Americans,
including the President (in fact, these were 350 Libyans,
*trained by the U.S. CIA to knock off Ghaddafi!*), to the
massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in Lebanese refugee
camps under the direction of Israeli then-defense minister
(now President) Ariel Sharon in 1982.
    Using American, British, and other sources, Masud raises
important questions, and also provides remarkable answers.
    While The War on Islam was published long before the
events of 11 September, 2001, it still has important lessons
for those who wish to examine an opposing view.  Consider
the comments he prints of Americans who were critical of
the U.S. bombings in Sudan and (yes) Afghanistan in 1998:
"It is dangerous to divorce terrorism from politics, yet the
U.S. media continue to talk about an abstract war against
terrorism without mention of the issues or context that lie
behind them." ; or, "Terrorism is a political act, a response
to U.S. foreign policy.  It is an act of war waged by people
too weak to have a conventional army or one large enough
to take on the United States."
    The first quote was written by Graham E. Fuller, former
vice-chairman of the National Intelligence Council of the CIA,
for the L.A. Times (8/24/98); the second was by Charley
Reese, an ex-soldier who does a column for the Orlando
Sentinel (8/18/98), the title of which told the story: "Face It:
U.S. Foreign Policy Contribute to Acts of Terrorism."
    One really wonders if these guys could, or even would,
write the same kinds of things today.
    What is perhaps more troubling, is not whether either
man would write such thoughts today, but whether a
publisher of a newspaper would print it today!
    As experience has shown, this is a very real question,
that becomes even more provocative in the face of
reports that a number of newspapers in the nation have
withdrawn the wildly popular comic strip, Boondocks,
because of some of its pokes at the National Security
State.  Boondocks, for the few who don't know, is a
daily feature which, ala Doonesbury, pokes fun at
American political, cultural, and racial mores.  Its
central character, a tiny revolutionary boy named
Huey Freeman, raises the ire of the adults around
him, with his questions, observations, and actions.
In one banned strip, he calls up the FBI's so-called
terrorist hotline, to tell them that he knows someone
who is a terrorist, and proceeds to spell, "R-E-A-G--",
for former U.S. President (and Libya bomber) Ronald
    Although Aaron McGruder's strip runs in over 200
U.S. papers, roughly a dozen have pulled the most
recent strips since the events of the 11th of September.
    Similarly, I doubt few of America's papers would run
the thoughts, opinions and ruminations of Enver Masud.
It is indeed, for this very reason that his thoughts may
prove valuable to thinking people in America, who really
take offense at how the corporate media treats adults
like kids, who need to be protected, not from bombs,
or plummeting planes, but from non-conventional
(The War on Islam is published by The Wisdom Fund,
Madrasah Book Division, P.O. Box 2723, Arlington, VA
Copyright '01 MAJ

"We are fighting the last battle to Free Mumia, and need support now
more than ever.  We need donations of money, calling cards, copy cards,
etc. and we really need manpower.  We need people to be in the streets
every day putting out information, demonstrating, raising money, and doing
whatever you can to help."

"Tell judge pamela dembe to hold an evidentiary hearing and a new
post-conviction relief appeal, to hear the confession of Arnold Beverly
and to let Mumia be at the hearings in his "trial".  Tell mayor john
street to keep his promise and do what he can to help Mumia receive a
fair trial and to hold an independent investigation into the case.  (you
can get a sample of both of these letters at

pamela dembe: 1417 criminal justice center 1301 Filbert St. philadelphia
pa, 19107 Phone 215 683-7148 Fax 215 683-7150

john street: room 215 city hall philadelphia pa 19107
Phone 215 686-3000 Fax 215 686-2170"

International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
 P.O. Box 19709, Philadelphia, PA 19143
 Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180/
 E-mail - /

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
    Mumia Abu-Jamal
    AM 8335
    175 Progress Drive
    Waynesburg, PA  15370


This column may be reprinted and/or distributed by
electronic means, but only for non-commercial use, and
only with the inclusion of the following copyright

Text (c) copyright 2001 by Mumia Abu-Jamal. All rights
reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is the author of three books: 'Live
from Death Row', 'Death Blossoms', and 'All Things

Write to Mumia directly at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal AM 8335
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

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