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Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays

Commentaries by the award-winning journalist and activist Mumia Abu-Jamal
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Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays
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Now displaying: 2007
Sep 9, 2007
The 9-11 Moment [col. writ. 9/9/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal It is true that 9-11 changed everything, but not quite the way that the Bush Regime intended. It changed how many in the world perceived the U.S., for sure, but the U.S. response to 9-11 has done more to change such perceptions. As the ashes began to cool from the embers of what was once the World Trade Center, allies and enemies alike expressed solidarity with the U.S., and shed tears of sympathy. What a difference six years makes. What was once solidarity has cooled to bitter toleration, and barely disguised anger. Remember the so-called "Coalition of the Willing?" It has dwindled in number and fervor. Politicians know enough to talk the talk, but precious few are willing to walk that walk. Even America's staunchest ally - England - has marched its troops out of the southern Iraqi city of Basra, under cover of darkness. In many of the countries where leaders signed up to join the U.S. crusade, their people have voted them out of office, and sent some leaders into political retirement. Such are the wages of democracy. At home, the war has deepened divisions not seen since the ravages of the Vietnam War. And the President? Not only are his numbers in the basement, but he's pulling his party into the cellar with him. His latest ploy, to buy time by pointing to the Gen. (David) Petraeus report, neatly juxtaposes the power relations between civilians and military. Civilian leaders, in a democracy, aren't supposed to do what military leaders says; the military is supposed to obey their civilian political leaders. But, since 9-11, the nation has fled so far, so fast, from any real semblance of democracy, that listening to the most profoundly undemocratic institution in the American republic seems almost normal. If the Bush regime has changed anything, it has changed this. A war begun in bad faith, cannot end well. From the day George W. Bush announced his "shock and awe" bombing runs over Baghdad, we have seen nothing but a long train of disasters. The Gen. Petraeus report may do quite a few things, but it won't change that. --(c) '07 maj
Sep 9, 2007
The Best? Federer [col. writ. 9/9/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal Folks know that I'm a tennis fan, as evinced by my pieces on the magnificent Williams sisters, who have singularly transformed the game. But, in men's tennis, there's one name that equates to the best in the game: Swiss player Roger Federer. He played an outstanding game against 20-year old Serbian phenom, Novak Djokovic. Djokovic stunned the tennis world recently when he beat three of the top players of the game; Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer, just weeks before the U.S. Open. Federer would best the young Serb in straight sets, and by so doing, set a standard not seen since Big Bill Tilden won consecutive titles in the U.S. championships, back in the 1920's. In the first 2 sets, Federer actually came from behind to win. In the second set, Djokovic led him by 4 games to 1; only to see Federer utilize his serve to inch his way back by tying him and then dominating in the second tie break. Truly, Roger Federer is a Master of this game. With moves described as ballet-like, 11 aces, and a brutal return game, Federer outclassed a game young opponent by scores of 7-8, 7-6, and 6-4. In the world of sport, this 12-time grand slam champion is in a class of one. --(c) '07 maj
Sep 8, 2007
Massacre?' -- 'What Massacre?' -- Haditha [col. writ. 9/6/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal The calendar has shed weeks and many months since the name, Haditha, stirred so many people in Iraq, the US, and around the world. Within days of its announcement came the horror of recognition; it reminded us all of the carnage of Vietnam's My Lai massacre, where women, babies, dogs and chickens shared the sleep of death in a tropical ditch. It differed from Vietnam only in its scope, and number, but, in every sense of which the word 'massacre' may be used, this was it. For here, in the Iraqi city of Haditha, women, children, old men and young, were swept away from life, by the automatic weapons fire of American guns, held in American hands; an apparent retaliation for an IED blast which killed an American soldier several hours earlier. Here, US soldiers entered Iraqi homes on free fire, unloading on anything moving, or not moving quickly enough. Well, the US military justice system has finished its work, and -- voila! -- except for a few letters of censure (the military form of reprimand) no one has been punished for the Haditha Massacre. Indeed, one might ask, albeit facetiously, 'What massacre?' For it seems that no US military rules of engagement were violated, and if US military judges are to be believed, no war crimes occurred. Of the dead Iraqi women and children? They were not victims of American killers in uniform; they were victims of the nebulous 'fog of war.' In war, stuff happens. Let's move on. One military prosecutor said he declined to punish the soldiers further because to do so would "harm unit morale." That's US justice, for all the world to see - the 'law' of the Occupier. If ever we engaged in the illusion that the puppets in government in Iraq were little more than U.S. stringed mannequins, their silence on Haditha is evidence enough. Dozens of Iraqi civilians were slain in their homes, under their beds, while holding their babies, unarmed, and the US Imperial Government issues its final ruling. 'No harm, no foul.' We are looking at something that will mark the world for a generation; it is the poisoning of Imperialism, which warps the mind and stains the soul with the semblance of superiority. 'Massacre?' 'What massacre?' Only some Arabs were killed. To the Empire, they don't count. (c) '07 maj
Sep 8, 2007
Massacre?' -- 'What Massacre?' -- Haditha [col. writ. 9/6/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal The calendar has shed weeks and many months since the name, Haditha, stirred so many people in Iraq, the US, and around the world. Within days of its announcement came the horror of recognition; it reminded us all of the carnage of Vietnam's My Lai massacre, where women, babies, dogs and chickens shared the sleep of death in a tropical ditch. It differed from Vietnam only in its scope, and number, but, in every sense of which the word 'massacre' may be used, this was it. For here, in the Iraqi city of Haditha, women, children, old men and young, were swept away from life, by the automatic weapons fire of American guns, held in American hands; an apparent retaliation for an IED blast which killed an American soldier several hours earlier. Here, US soldiers entered Iraqi homes on free fire, unloading on anything moving, or not moving quickly enough. Well, the US military justice system has finished its work, and -- voila! -- except for a few letters of censure (the military form of reprimand) no one has been punished for the Haditha Massacre. Indeed, one might ask, albeit facetiously, 'What massacre?' For it seems that no US military rules of engagement were violated, and if US military judges are to be believed, no war crimes occurred. Of the dead Iraqi women and children? They were not victims of American killers in uniform; they were victims of the nebulous 'fog of war.' In war, stuff happens. Let's move on. One military prosecutor said he declined to punish the soldiers further because to do so would "harm unit morale." That's US justice, for all the world to see - the 'law' of the Occupier. If ever we engaged in the illusion that the puppets in government in Iraq were little more than U.S. stringed mannequins, their silence on Haditha is evidence enough. Dozens of Iraqi civilians were slain in their homes, under their beds, while holding their babies, unarmed, and the US Imperial Government issues its final ruling. 'No harm, no foul.' We are looking at something that will mark the world for a generation; it is the poisoning of Imperialism, which warps the mind and stains the soul with the semblance of superiority. 'Massacre?' 'What massacre?' Only some Arabs were killed. To the Empire, they don't count. (c) '07 maj
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