So Baghdad has been liberated and the people of the ancient city tear
down the statue of the butcher as the Marines look on from their tanks.
Liberation. What a word of beauty. Yet where is the liberation? Who
is liberated? What is liberated? What is liberation?
Liberation was on the tongues of the media and the politicians so short
a time ago when the Taliban was shooed out of Kabul. The war was one of
liberation for the Afghan people. Freedom for women. Freedom from burqas.
Freedom from fear. Norman Rockwellian. The US military had liberated the
people of Afghanistan. Vietnam what? Memories of the Vietnam War had
vanished. My Lai was forgotten. The US Army was heroic. The people were
saved. And yet what now is Afghanistan? Where is the liberation? What became
of those liberated souls? Burqas remain. Warlords roam wild. Yet liberation
has arrived. Former UNOCAL official Hamid Karzai is in power. Oil pipelines
will arrive soon. Liberation has arrived. And yet where is the liberation?
Where is the liberation for the women hidden behind the burqas? Where
is the liberation for the students protesting for food and being attacked
by liberated Afghan police forces that are not paid? The cries of the Afghans
have not stopped, but they are not heard. They have receded into the garbage
pails of our minds never to be heard from again. And yet they never were
to be heard. They were trotted out by cynical politicians as evidence that
the military is good and after a picture was taken of an Afghan having
his beard cut, they were tossed back into non-existence. Oil pipelines
for multinationals is liberation. And where is the liberation for the people?
They were killed during a US-caused war with Russia. They were killed,
more than killed in the September 11 attacks, by the US in bombing after
September 11. And this is liberation... We will not turn our backs on them
as we did after the war against Russia was the rallying cry. We stroked
our egos with
the happiness of contented imperialists and knew how wonderful we were
to recognize the white man??ôs burden. We had liberated the Afghans. And
yet they die still and are tortured and abused by US-backed warlords. And
this is liberation?
What is liberation as spoken of by Rumsfelds and Wolfowitzes? It is
the smoothing of the path for capitalism. Why is the liberation brought
by Hugo Chavez frowned upon? Why are threats being directed against Evo
Morales? Why are the repressive regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan,
and Uzbekistan supported? Why is liberation not backed here?
The Iraqis cheer the downfall of Saddam but do they know what is coming?
Don't they see that liberation, American-style is arriving?
My Iraqi brothers, hold on to your oil and bludgeon any who tries to
take it. Do not trust the hand outstretched to you that is attached to
the body of an American politician or a newly-returned Iraqi businessman
who wears Western suits and speaks the Queen's English. They have arrived
blood. They have come to suck the blood from your children and to leave
you raped and pillaged in a colonial hell. Fight for your liberation
and take down the US forces. They are not a friend to you. Liberation they
came not to bring to you. They want to liberate your oil so it can be enslaved
The Iraqis are not liberated but have been enslaved by the US. Slavery
has arrived cloaked in the army-issued garb of liberation. The Arab world
has been murdered as the US tanks roll through Baghdad. The Arab people
are being defiled by the forces of liberation. Liberation has not come.
comes not from superpowers.
Months from now when nobody cares about Iraq, where will liberation
spread? Syria? Iran? Venezuela? North Korea? Palestine?
Liberation must be seized by the peoples of the world before it is stolen
by the forces of liberation.
Moderator of People's Revolution Group
April 9, 2003