[Hpn] FW: [From Mumia Abu-Jamal] BUSH ON PARADE
Fri, 06 Jul 2001 09:38:44 -0700
Date: Fri, 06 Jul 2001 14:38:48 -0000
Subject: [From Mumia Abu-Jamal] BUSH ON PARADE
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BUSH ON PARADE
By Mumia Abu-Jamal, M.A.
Column Written 6/26/01
All Rights Reserved
When an American president visits, his every utterance
is quoted in a thousand media outlets, and his every
move is photographed, studied, and micro-analyzed.
Given the power and ubiquity of the corporate media,
this is not surprising.
But, it is the very nature of the media, its beastly
appetite for spectacle over substance, that flocks
to the parade while all but ignoring the route taken.
How is a visit (even a heavily photographed one)
to Madrid, Brussels and Slovenia, a tour of the
While the post-Cold War era has situated the
American presidency in a role more akin to the
Roman imperium than an [s]elected official of a
nation-state who received one-fourth of the votes
of the eligible electorate, the media glare once
more evaded the obvious: Why would America's
leading public official claim to tour the European
continent, while steering clear of London, Paris,
Berlin or Munich?
If a Chinese president were to tour the North
American continent, wouldn't we think it a little
strange if he went to, say, Providence, Rhode
Island, Concord, New Hampshire, or Winnipeg,
Manitoba Province, in Canada?
There is, of course, a method to the madness
of the Bush White House.
Bush communications people know that
wherever the U.S. President goes, the news
media follows. If Bush goes to the periphery,
then local and global media rush to cover an
imperial presence in the hustings, so to speak.
If he were in London, Paris or Munich, however,
centers of European economic, political and intellectual
power, Bush's presence would've been only mildly
remarkable. The cities host global dignitaries and
continental princelings almost daily, and an American
president evokes less awe than envy.
The French, the Germans or the English would've
either guffawed in laughter, or gasped in shock if
he told them (as he said elsewhere), "We should
never execute anybody who is mentally retarded."
Indeed, if he were in Rome or Venice, the Italians
probably would've politely asked about several
men and women, by name, who were recently
executed either in Texas or another American state.
The very week that Bush said this in Europe, his
successor as Governor in Texas, Rick Perry, was
busy vetoing a bill passed by the state legislature
that would've prevented the execution of the retarded.
Russia, on the other hand, is another story.
Although it remains the largest country in the world
(roughly half of Europe and Asia) it faces the
unhappy prospect of further decline from its former
status as a superpower.
The U.S. abrogation of the 1972 ABM Treaty,
but its adoption of a so-called Star Wars Defense
program, seeks to further marginalize Russia, no
matter how Bush and Putin schmoozed during the
Will even a severely-diminished Russia sit idly
by while the U.S. develops a system that makes it's
nuclear armaments virtually obsolete? Or are we
about to see a rearmament binge that hearkens back
to the cold war, to overwhelm any such defensive
It is a sort of conventional wisdom among the
corporate media that Russia is an economic and
social basket case. As with much such conventional
wisdom, there is an element of truth there. But if
history has taught us anything, it is that nations, once
motivated by crisis, should never be underestimated.
Japan and Germany rebounded in the space of a
generation after the ravages of a World War. Further,
Russia, as the largest nation-state on earth (in land area),
has enormous human and natural resources, and also has
centuries of memory as an Empire.
The abrogation of the ABM Treaty may be the slap
in the face that the U.S. learns to regret. (c)MAJ 2001
This column may be reprinted and/or distributed by
electronic means, but only for non-commercial use, and
only with the inclusion of the following copyright
Text (c) copyright 2001 by Mumia Abu-Jamal. All rights
reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Get Mumia's columns by email: http://www.MumiaBook.com
Mumia Abu-Jamal is the author of three books: 'Live
from Death Row', 'Death Blossoms', and 'All Things
Censored'. A new biography, 'On A Move: The Story of
Mumia Abu-Jamal', is available at www.MumiaBook.com
To communicate directly with Mumia write to him at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal AM 8335
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370
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