Hypocrites on the Hill

By Mumia Abu-Jamal, Prison Radio, June 20, 2009

As politicians rush resolutions through Congress supporting the protesters in Tehran, defending the principle of freedom to protest, their hypocrisy is even more blinding than their own myopia.

For, it takes only a moment's reflection to recognize that they don't give a tinker's damn about the protesters. This is about using resolutions as a weapon to further mark Iran as the enemy, the dangerous other which "threatens" U.S. hegemony.

As proof of political hypocrisy, one can cock an ear to hear the hiss of silence when protests erupt here in America, and demonstrators get beaten, locked up and prosecuted for practicing their alleged rights under the First Amendment.

Think back to the massive street protests against the police murder of Oscar Grant in Oakland, California. People were beaten, busted and had their cell phone cameras confiscated by the police.

Did Congress support these protesters? Well, not yet.

State and local politicians, when they said anything, called for calm, an end to protests -- and some dissed the protesters as "animals."

Sound familiar?

I don't speak Farsi, but it's my guess that they don't sound too different in tone from Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei -- in other words, 'the system works -- trust the system!'

Why? Because that's what states always say.

Protesters here in the U.S. have had their butts kicked for years -- yes, years -- in spite of so called guarantees in the constitution to free expression and the right to protest.

Indeed, we need look no farther than the hallowed halls of Congress itself, specifically Rep. John Lewis, (D.-GA), whose head still sports the scars from the police batons that battered him in Selma, when he protested against American apartheid.

A half a century later, and protesters still get beat downs, from coast to coast, for demonstrating -- and if they don't get beat down physically, they get beaten economically, by lawyers, judges and DA's, who squeeze them -- as they pay for the right to practice the freedom to demonstrate.

The U.S. Congress, which just a few generations ago, supported the brutal, savage reign of repression over Iran under the Shah (Mohammad Reza Pahlavi), and also supported his nuclear ambitions, could care less about the Iranian people.

This is politics -- pure and simple -- and about using these protests as pretexts for other, more nefarious goals.

Because of the brutish, bone-headed policies of the Bush Regime, Iran emerged from the carnage of the Iraq war period as the strongest player on the board. That's because the U.S. took down their deadliest enemy, Saddam Hussein.

The U.S. wants to reset the wheel, by sparking internal conflict, and thereby weakening the Iranian government.

We have been here before -- and it didn't turn out well the last time.

-- (c) '09 maj

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