The Hunger For War
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
There never was a good war, or a bad peace.
Whacha need ta do, see, is go in ere, and just nuke the hell outta em there!
That guy Saddam (pronounced SOD-om, as in the Biblical city of sin) is a 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, Asad Abu-Khalil notes, in his recent book, Bin Laden, Islam and Americas New War on Terrorism:
From a historical perspective, Americas new war against terrorism is not new at all. Didnt the U.S. bomb Libya in 1986 under the pretext of fighting terrorism? Didnt the CIA plant a car bomb in the southern suburbs of Beirut in 1985 to assassinate a Shiite religious leader? (They missed their targetShaykh Muhammad Husayn Fadlallahbut they hit 285 other people, innocent civilians, 85 of whom died)... Didnt the Reagan administration bomb Lebanon in the 1980s in its fight against terrorism? Werent Nicaraguan harbors mined in the 1980s because Nicaragua was engaged in terrorism? Hasnt American support for Israel been in order to defend that country from terrorism? And finally, werent fundamentalist fanatics in Pakistan and Afghanistan armed and financed by the CIA because their common enemy was exporting terrorism? (Abu-Khalil, pg. 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 strong-arm 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 Husseins election may have been demonstrably fairer than George Bushs. (I think we can safely say that no candidate in Iraq ever scored over 500,000 more votes than Saddam didand still lost!)
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 chances!
War for money is one thing, but ambition?
The hunger grows.
Copyright 2002 Mumia Abu-Jamal