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Mumia Abu Jamal: One Down?

ONE DOWN...?

[Col. Writ. 4/11/03] Copyright '03 Mumia Abu-Jamal

The bombs have fallen over Baghdad, and the Hussein Regime has apparently fallen. Whole armies have ditched their uniforms, shed their boots, dropped their weapons, and walked away from battles with the Americans. It seems incredible, but there it is.

While it is obviously too early to formally announce the end of the war; it's safe to say that the end is definitely in sight.

Or is it?

The seeming ease of the Iraq War appears to have whetted the appetite of hardliners in the intelligence community to shop around for new fish to fry. Former Clinton Administration spy chief R James Woolsey, speaking more for his class than his former president, told a group of students that the United States is engaged in World War IV, with the United States' enemies the mullahs in Iran, as well as the "fascists" in Syria, and remaining in Iraq. Woolsey's statements seem to represent similar views in the Bush Administration, especially those of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and his chief deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, who are making angry, threatening noises about Syria. Wolfowitz told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently, "The Syrians are behaving badly, they need to be reminded of that, and if they continue... we need to think about what our policy is." (USA Today, 4/11/03, 6A)

This may be a Bush administration signal for the next target of the U.S. Imperial military machine, and a hint that the bombs have not finished bursting.

The rumbling threats about Iran, Syria and other states in the Middle East seems to suggest that the Baghdad Battle had little to do with 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' as the administration and the media has pressed for months. Is it about something else?

A study published several years ago from the Project for the New American Century (published September 2000) suggests, the placing of American troops in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East serves the interests of constructing an "American security perimeter" (p. 14). This "perimeter" intends a permanent military presence in various parts of the world, including the Persian Gulf (an area impacting Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Arab Emirates, and Oman).

The report makes clear that this area is important to American military dominance for reasons unrelated to WMDs:

In the Persian Gulf region the presence of American forces, along with British and French units, *has become a semi-permanent fact of life.* Though the immediate mission of those forces is to enforce the no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq, they represent the long-term commitment of the United States and its major allies to a region of vital importance. Indeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a *more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.* (p. 14)

Guess who serves on the board of thinkers who contributed to this report? Although the project participants appear to be top -heavy with people from the Defense Department and defense-related industries like the Northrup Grumman Corporation, the aforementioned Paul Wolfowitz contributed to the report, as did the pro-war hawk from the *Weekly Standard*, William Kristol.

Why do you think Iraq, and its surrounding neighbors are situated in a "region of vital [U.S.] importance"?

Although unstated, the reason is as plain as the nose on the Sphinx: oil.

Faced with the imminent threat of shrinking defense budgets after the end of the Cold War, government and industry united in this project to find a reason for reorienting the nation's wealth into the weaponry and toys of war. September 11 happened, and >voila!< the fear unleashed by the crumbling towers of Manhattan let loose something primal. It was easy for the administration to subtly threaten 'weapons of mass destruction', and to project Iraq as the number one threat of the U.S. Hmmm... They didn't seem like much of a threat to me.

This was a demonstration war; a war to sow fear and anxiety into the very heart of the Arab and Muslim worlds, to prepare them for a "semi-permanent" occupation. And it ain't over!

Copyright 2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal


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