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by Mumia Abu-Jamal*

Revolutionary Worker #1003, April 25, 1999

As a deadly rain of high-tech bombs falls on Yugoslavia, a deadening rain of propaganda falls on Americans, media-manipulated lies designed to prime the populace into supporting harsher military measures against a sovereign nation, in the name of protecting human rights.

NATO is but a fig leaf for American “interests,” and the bombing of Yugoslavia is but a global demonstration of the ruthlessness of the American empire. A demonstration? The monstrous atomic bombing of Japan, after it was virtually beaten in World War II, was not a military necessity, but a political one, designed to demonstrate to the Russians that the U.S. was, and would ever be, boss. It was a massive, deadly demonstration.

So too, the Yugoslavia bombing treats Serbs as the U.S. treated Japanese during the war–as props to demonstrate the power of the empire.

Let us consider the claims that the U.S. is concerned about “human rights” or about the “rights of ethnic minorities,” as the corporate press projects hourly. What of America’s largest national minority–African Americans? The world-respected Amnesty International group, speaking through its secretary general, Pierre Sané, announced just days before the bombing, “Human-rights violations in the United States of America are persistent, widespread and appear to disproportionately affect people of racial or ethnic minority backgrounds.”

Sané was critical of police violence and executions in the U.S. Further, internationally, let’s see how the U.S. responds to “liberation movements” of the oppressed. When fighters for Puerto Rican independence began to raise their voices, the U.S. didn’t support this “ethnic minority,” they sought (and continue) to crush, incarcerate and silence them.

Consider the case of the Palestinians, the Kurds, the East Timorese, the Colombian rebels–who has the U.S. consistently supported, the oppressed or the U.S.-armed governments?

This isn’t about “human rights.” It isn’t about “ethnic minorities.” And it also isn’t about “genocide.” It’s about establishing who’s “boss” in the next century. It’s about keeping Russia in its place. It’s about keeping the European Union under the thumb of Wall Street.

The bombing of Serbia is an echo of the bombing of three other countries in the past six months–of Iraq, Sudan and Afghanistan. And for precisely the same reason–to show that it can be done, no matter what so-called “international law” states. It is to instill terror throughout the world, in order for U.S. capital to institute what former president George Bush tried to do, but failed: to establish a New World Order.

Days before the bombing, NATO signed up Poland, Hungary and the former Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic) as its newest members, thereby virtually isolating Russia. Only Serbia and the Yugoslav states ( in 1999. Yugoslavia consists of Serbia and Montenegro) have refused to join NATO–their bombing is their punishment.

Our brilliant, revered nationalist leader, Malcolm X, taught us to examine history. If we look at history, the bombing of Yugoslavia becomes clear.

Empires are maintained, not by reason, but by ruthless terror. It was so in Rome. It is so in the U.S. The brilliant revolutionary, Dr. Huey P. Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party, explained, “The United States was no longer a nation. We called it an empire. An empire is a nation-state that has transformed itself into a power controlling all the world’s lands and people.” (1973)

Huey was right then, and our response then was to oppose the empire. We must do that now.

Down with imperialism! Stop the bombing! NATO/U.S. out of Yugoslavia!


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Mumia Abu-Jamal is

  • an internationally celebrated black writer and radio journalist, Mumia Abu-Jamal is  serving a life sentence for the 1981 still controversial  murder of Philadelphia police officer.
  • He’s an a
  • author of six books and hundreds of columns and articles,

organizer and inspiration for the prison lawyers movement. Munia Abu – Jamal is former member of the Black Panther Party and supporter of Philadelphia’s radical MOVE organization.  Although he has spent the last 30 years in prison,  almost all of it in solitary confinement on Pennsylvania’s Death Row, he continued to criticize imperialism and global injustice.