THE CONTINUING AMERICAN MASSACRE
[Col. Writ. 6/2/06] Copyright '06 Mumia Abu-Jamal
In the last few days the name Haditha has emerged as a place of death, carnage, mass murder, and of the latest American massacre.
The news that U.S. soldiers went into the Sunni town and, after attacked by i.e.d.s (improvised explosive devices), proceeded to slaughter several dozen men, women, and children -- all of whom were unarmed Iraqi civilians -- is going around the world at the speed of light.
The Haditha Massacre happened over 6 months ago (in late November, 2005) and the Army's response is -- sensitivity training.
We have come a long way from the days of the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, where U.S. Army troops slaughtered hundreds of defenseless villagers; old men, women, babies -- even animals.
Instead of hundreds, it's now dozens.
That's a kind of progress, isn't it?
And yet, massacres have a way of clarifying things; of showing us the naked, deadly truths that we all seem to ignore when immersed in the fog of war.
My Lai revealed that the U.S. didn't go to Vietnam to "save" them from communism; they went to force them to their knees, to bow to their new colonial masters. Americans went because the French were exhausted after their losses at a place called Diem Binh Phu, and wanted to replace them.
Haditha, although smaller in scale, is also a clarity bursting through fog; the U.S. didn't go to Iraq to "liberate" them from a brutal dictatorship. They came to install their own dictator -- one who answered to them.
But, to be honest, the entire war was a massacre. According to the British medical journal, *The Lancet*, some 100,000 Iraqis were killed by U.S. bombing and military action. *The Lancet*'s estimate is thought to be quite conservative.
What unites these two wars, despite the distance of time and space, is the central theme of race. Vietnamese, called "gooks" by American soldiers, were seen as less than human. Iraqis, as Arabs, are seen as "wogs" by the British, and "sand niggers" by Americans.
Haditha, for all of its horror, pain, and loss, is but the tip of the iceberg. The U.S. occupation is an act of violence, that draws on the hated history of colonialism.
Since the Iraq invasion, we have seen disaster after disaster after disaster. Haditha is but an echo of Abu Ghraib, both gifts of the same sadistic Santa Claus, whose bag is filled to the brim, with poison.
Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal
[Mr. Jamal's recent book features a chapter on the
remarkable women who helped build and defend
the Black Panther Party: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
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And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal
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