Incarceration Nation

U.S. Military Industrial Complex

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

At the January 2020 Rosa-Luxemburg-Conference in Berlin (Germany) imprisoned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal commented on the U.S. Military Industrial Complex and the latest developments in and around Iraq. Mumia spoke to a 2000-plus audience in Berlin while supporters mobilized for a series of information events to free the political prisoner.1

As we look at an impending war in the Middle East it is time to look back and to do something the state has never done, that is learn the lessons of war.

Those of us who lived during the 1960s, those of us who remember the protest of that era, many of us were radicalized by that and other struggles. The media, the politicians, the scholars mostly opposed the protestors but guess what?

The politicians in secret actually admitted that the people were right. But the military industrial complex demanded they go to war. So, they obeyed capital, not the people. Then came the Pentagon Papers and the war was all but lost. When former defense secretary Robert McNamara released a book of his life, we learned that he too knew for years that the war was lost. Over two million Vietnamese were sacrificed to this blood thirsty god of war. Sacrificed by the millions before it ended—an American loss and disgrace.

When the Iraq war began, based on lies like “weapons of mass destruction,” hundreds-of-thousands of Iraqis were sacrificed to another god of war. But Bush II said, “I am the decider.” Remember the hundreds of thousands of people, the mass of people against that war? Well, they were right. The system was wrong, and the rest was infamy. Iraq became a charnel house of sectarian war. And the Arabs called it “sukut,” collapse. Iraq is still a place of U.S.-made disaster and it’s widely regarded as the greatest blunder.

The people were right. Expressed in some of the biggest demonstrations in history, the neo-cons, all the president’s men and women, and Bush too, the decider, were wrong as two left feet.

Afghanistan, allegedly the good war, according to some neo-liberals, was and remains a colossal failure. One of torture, abuse and death.

Recently the Afghanistan papers were released. And it shows that high military and political officials involved in Afghanistan, said during the war itself, that it was a disaster from day one.

The people were right. The politicians were wrong.

What does it mean when the politicians ignore the people and obey the defense industries? It means that democracy is an illusion. Let’s call it something else. How about a capitalist autocracy? For the people are ignored and we now stand on the brink of another war. “The people must organize, organize, organize”—to quote the great Kwame Toure, the Black Nationalist leader of the 1960s and beyond.