Axis of Ignorance
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
By the time these words reach you, the skies over Baghdad may be ablaze with red light. Not the searing shimmer of the Iraqi sun, but skies aflame with the bombardments of war.
If that is so, it has meant that the U.S. rulers have dropped the dingy loin-cloth of diplomacy, and are embarking virtually unilaterally, without the fig-leaf of the United Nations, to placate the war wing of the U.S. government, who, drunk on the wine of power, have opted to remake the world in their twisted image. They will use the term democracy until it means next to nothing. As they proceed under the ragged banner of democracy, they do so in the face of the largest antiwar opposition in generations, and in the face of a frightened citizenry, who, because their minds are numbed with fear, claim to believe that the basis of this war is that the Iraqis are somehow responsible for the carnage of 11th September, and that Amurrikins should hit back at those who hit em (the racist so-called reasoning of these folks is the belief that since the jihadis of 9/11 were Arabs, then any Arab country will do!).
This is not, as the Mad Texan would have you believe, a Coalition of the Willing. It is, rather, a quasi-coalition of the available. Why not call it a convention of the convenient? It is a shameful and pale imitation of the United Nations. It is, perhaps more than anything, a bevy of the bought. It is the best coalition that money and privilege can buy. Spanish and British premiers do not a coalition make.
It is also thin cover for an Empire, which arrays itself in the tattered flag of democracy, while ignoring the wishes of millions, if not billions, of the voices of the people of the world.
Should the bombs be falling, should that stunt the growth of the anti-war movement? Some among you, especially the left imperialists, will certainly argue for this. I would argue otherwise; that the forces for peace should not shudder at the specter of war. That the need for peace rises, not diminishes, at the outbreak of war. Indeed, consider the lessons from the historic Vietnam War. There, protests began slowly, painfully, after years of long, hard organizing.
The war was raging daily in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Yet the Movement swelled, and grew, and deepened, until none of the politicians in the White House, neither Johnson nor Nixon could withstand the public demand. Such a movement must be reborn now!
The pretexts for war are always promoted by the supine corporate media. See it for what it is, and continue your efforts to bring this imperial venture to an end.
Many months ago, this writer wrote about To War for Empire!, and felt, despite the spirit of this earlier work, that the antiwar efforts of the people would make a difference in the final disposition emerging from the [U.S.] capitol. Apparently, this writer underestimated the greed, bellicosity, and madness of the Bush Regime. Mr. Bush called for the evacuation of the Husseins from the Iraqi nation. Is there any real doubt that millions of Americans believe that the Bushes should vacate the premises of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
If people really believe in the power of democracy, then these days of another kind of March Madness should mark the deepening, and the flowering of the antiwar movements, both here and abroad. This is not an end, but a beginning!
Movements are kind of like communal relationships; each has their ups and downs. Dont be discouraged. Dont give up. To paraphrase the martyred labor leader, Joe Hill, Dont mournOrganize!
For many, the very breadth and growth of this movement has been an inspiration. It may yet have much to surprise us. But what matters is what is in our hearts. If you believe in it, fight for it!
There is no better way!
Copyright, Mumia Abu-Jamal, March 18, 2003