Col. Writ. 1/30/04


By Mumia Abu-Jamal from death row

The formal war in Iraq has been over for months now, but the Occupation has not brought peace.

Now, after almost a year of fire, death and carnage, comes the first shadowings of the truth, as a former weapons inspector, David Kay, announces to reporters and members of Congress, "We were almost all wrong." (*USA Today*, 1/29/04, p. 1A).

The deeply politicized weapons inspector announced that there were no weapons of mass destruction, the *casus belli* of the Iraq war, but it was, after all, a pretty good thing to wage war against the Hussein Regime, because he was a “bad guy.” As for President George W. Bush, he was not to blame, for he received 'bad intelligence.'


The function of a president, it seems to me, is not to "receive," but to decide; to exercise judgment; to use reason and balance in a world where missteps can cause global explosions. But, Bush the Lesser isn't to blame. The CIA got it wrong, if Kay is to be believed.

The grim, and unmistakable truth is that the President sits in the big chair to make important, life-and-death decisions. War is certainly one of the biggest decisions any political leader has to make. Bush blew it.

But Bush Lite isn't alone; the members of Congress, who voted away their constitutional responsibilities to their liege--er, I mean, president, are also to blame, for at a time when the nation needed real debate around such questions as these, the Congress punted, and, in my view, failed.

Nor is that all. The nation's corporate media performed poorly in the weeks and months leading up to, and after, the Iraq War. They acted largely as billboards, and megaphones for the Administration, echoing and parroting whatever drivel came out of Washington, and added martial music and sexy graphics to make it sound or look better.

Who recalls the shoddy treatment accorded to the ex-weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, who was essentially run off of network and cable news programs because he wouldn't address issues not related to the war?

Ritter, according to one major U.S. news outfit, was "radioactive" because he wouldn't deign to discuss a slur thrown at him. Ritter, along with William Rivers Pitt, wrote a splendid little book that virtually predicted that no weapons would be found. *War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know* (Context: 2024) debunks the whole range of Bush claims, regarding Iraq's threat to its neighbors, the Kuwaiti invasion, and yes--weapons of mass destruction-- which Ritter asserts were 90-to-95% destroyed after the first Gulf War of 1991. His co-author, Pitt, summarized the duo's arguments nicely:

The case for war against Iraq has not been made. This is a fact. *It is doubtful in the extreme that Saddam Hussein has retained any functional aspect of the chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons programs so thoroughly dismantled by the United Nations weapons inspectors who worked tirelessly in Iraq for seven years.* This is also a fact. The idea that Hussein has connections to fundamentalist Islamic terrorists is laughable -- he is a secular leader who has worked for years to crush fundamentalist Islam within Iraq, and if he were to give weapons of any kind to al Qaeda, they would use those weapons on him first [p. 10].

The American people should have known these facts before their sons and daughters became cannon fodder for the Bush Regime in a war of occupation in Iraq. They should have known these things before 500 Americans, and perhaps (we don't know exactly, because no one has counted!) some 10,000 Iraqis lost their lives. That they did not is testament to the failure of the corporate media, which serves Power, not the People!

Mao Tse-Tung used to say that 'war is politics, by other means.' The Bush Regime has waged war for its own political ends: the ability to say they did it, even against overwhelming world opinion. The Iraqis are but chess pieces in a globalist strategy of US dominance over much of the region. But there is no peace, for there has been no justice.



Copyright 2024 Mumia Abu-Jamal

[Mr. Jamal has written widely about war and other issues. His latest work, *Faith of Our Fathers* (Africa World Press, 2024) was named one of "The Most Remarkable Books of 2024" by *Black Issues Book Review* (Nov/Dec '03).]


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

When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die. And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

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