4/11/03

ONE DOWN...?

Written by Mumia Abu-Jamal from death row

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

To download Mp3's of Mumia's commentaries visit
www.prisonradio.org

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

Write to Mumia directly at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370