THE HUNGER FOR WAR
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
[Col. Writ. 9/16/02]
Source: Afrikan Frontline Network, email@example.com
- Saturday, 21 September 2002 -
"There never was a good war, or a bad peace." -- Ben Franklin
One is always somewhat bemused when one hears the voices of those Americans
(and others) who call on TV call-in shows, spouting their opinions, on
issues large and small:
"Whacha need ta do, see, is go in 'ere, and just nuke the hell outta 'em
"That guy Saddam (pronounced 'SOD-om,' as in the Biblical city of sin) isa
same thing as Hitler, and we need to take him out for what he did for-- er,
with the Twin Towers, up in New York. What are we waitin' for?"
>From such uninformed opinions as these comes the rising swells of public
opinion polls, the false gusts lifting the hopes of politicians into the
winds of war.
But, in truth, there is really nothing new about this "New" War on
Terrorism that is claimed by the Bush Administration and the economic elite
behind it. For as Lebanese political scientist, As'ad Abu-Khalil notes, in
his recent book, Bin Laden, Islam and America's New "War on Terrorism"
(Seven Stories/Open Media, 2002):
>From a historical perspective, America's new war against terrorism is not
new at all. Didn't the U.S. bomb Libya in 1986 under the pretext of
fighting terrorism? Didn't the CIA plant a car bomb in the southern suburbs
of Beirut in 1985 to assassinate a Shi'ite religious leader? (They missed
their target -- Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah -- but they hit 285 other
people, innocent civilians, 85 of whom died)... Didn't the Reagan
administration bomb Lebanon in the 1980s in its fight against terrorism?
Weren't Nicaraguan harbors mined in the 1980s because Nicaragua was engaged
in terrorism? Hasn't American support for Israel been in order to defend
that country from terrorism? And finally, weren't fundamentalist fanatics
in Pakistan and Afghanistan armed and financed by the CIA because their
common enemy was exporting terrorism? [p. 83]
What makes this 'new', however, is the scope that is sought by the American
presidency: 'regime change.'
One wonders, why there was never a call for 'regime change' when the brutes
of Afrikanerdom in apartheid South Africa were, quite literally, shooting
down unarmed Black children for demonstrating against the racist excesses
of the minority government?
When the Pinochet regime in Chile was executing thousands of people in
football stadiums, and sending its minions to execute people on the streets
of Washington, D.C., there was no call for 'regime change', was there?
In the new colonialism of today 'regime change' is news-speak for a coup;
removal of any leader the U.S. deems somehow "unworthy" of true sovereignty.
But who will dare call for 'regime change' in Washington, D.C.?
Given the underhanded and strongarm tactics of polling officials and state
troopers in the controversial 2000 U.S. presidential election, where the
Supreme Court interceded and imposed its will on the nation, it is indeed
probable, or at least arguable that Saddam Hussein's election may have been
demonstrably fairer than George Bush's. (I think we can safely say that no
candidate in Iraq scored over 500,000 more votes than Saddam did -- and
Yet, even in the face of the U.N.-directed arms inspections, the rumblings
and saber-rattling of war continues. We will see if these arms inspections
make any difference.
This writer thinks not.
For political ambition is at the root of this hunger for war. As Bush
adviser and Hawk, Richard Perle recently told the *New York Times*: "The
failure to take on Saddam after what the President said would produce such
a collapse of confidence in the President that it would set back the war on
terrorism." What he means, of course, is it will hurt his re-election
War for money is one thing, but ambition?
The hunger grows.
Copyright 2002 Mumia Abu-Jamal. All rights reserved.