Voices from the inside

The lesson from the Osama hit

By: Mumia Abu-Jamal

This is a commentary by Mumia Abu-Jamal broadcast on Prison Radio on May 8, 2011. For more of Mumia’s essays and others, check out Prison Radio at prisonradio.org.

While many in the political world, the press and the general population are crowing about the hit on the Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden as proof of the skill and toughness of the military and a lesson to jihadis around the world, there are other lessons as well.

Ones that the nation opts to forget. Yes, the U.S. Navy SEAL team showed ruthless efficiency in conducting its mission. They obviously trained to an incredibly high level and swept aside every obstacle, human or technical. 

But imagine if you will, what the world would have been like had such a team entered Afghanistan and accomplished the same result within months of 9/11. Dare to imagine that Iraq was never invaded, that around a million Iraqis had not been killed, or over 3 million Iraqis wouldn’t have been driven into exile, Afghanistan was never invaded, its government not replaced by a corrupt regime known more for its drug smuggling than its competency, and millions of Afghanis wouldn’t have been drawn into exile.

Trillions of dollars siphoned into imperial wars which benefited the defense industries would have gone into strengthening the national and social networks instead. Thousands of American soldiers would still be alive—husbands, fathers, son’s mothers, daughters and sisters alive. And tens of thousands would be whole in mind and body. There would probably not be a Department of Homeland Security.

Finally, the al-Qaeda network would not be entrenched in the regions where it now is, strengthened as it was by the profound stupidities of the Iraq war and the resulting occupation. 

If 9/11 weren’t used as a cheap political pretext for wars, invasions and occupations, both the U.S. and the world would be a significantly different place, with less death, less carnage and less disaster. 

But the government opted for an imperial response rather than a national one, and the nation and the world are poorer for it. 

Copyright 2011, maj

Mumia Abu-Jamal #AM-8335

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