Askia MuhammadColumnistsOp-EdOpinion

MUHAMMAD: 9/11 Until Now — White Americans Don’t Want Peace

Even before the civil rights movement’s leaders began complaining about this country’s decisions, choosing “guns” with which to kills and oppress, over “butter” with which to feed and improve the lives of people, President Dwight Eisenhower warned about the “military industrial complex” and how it dominates the political landscape.

In April 1953, three months after he took office, retired five-star general and Supreme Allied Commander President Dwight Eisenhower addressed the American Society of Newspaper Editors in what would become known as his “Chance for Peace” speech: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”

Guns and butter — the quintessential debate — indeed.

“This world in arms is not spending money alone,” he continued. “It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”

So, the United States remained embarked on the road of constant war and conflict, constant weapons consumption, death, injury, wounded warriors for a wasted cause.

Sept. 11, 2001, sparked an orgy of war and anti-Islamic rage which expressed itself in war and destruction, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, the fulfillment of Eisenhower’s warning. Only in Afghanistan it was a waste made apparent as the last major-general, the U.S. superpower commander slinked out of Kabul airport under cover of darkness, sounding retreat, defeat.

The cost? A nation’s pride. Upwards of $2 trillion in cash. Left behind? Billions of dollars, worth of armored vehicles, helicopters, ammunition, the stuff of war.

Might the people of this country have chosen instead, to eradicate poverty and eliminate curable illnesses, and house the people, and employ the people, we would all be better off. But one of the personality quirks of white folks, which keeps them perpetually at war, is their resentment of any prosperity among non-white folks — hatred.

White folks especially have no desire to ever see anything prosperous attain to the benefit of their Black former slaves. Nothing.

The militaristic surge in this country since 2001 has justified astronomical increases in military spending, with no appreciable improvement in security. That means there was far less to spend on education, housing … human needs. The Rev. Jacksons, the Rev. Sharptons, the Rev. Barbers have appropriately appealed for relief again, and again, to no avail.

Next enemy, China.

Even as the United States has gone from conflict to invasion to occupation to withdrawal in defeat after defeat all over Asia, right in China’s “backyard,” so to speak, China’s neighbors wrestled the mighty U.S. military machine to its knees, and instead, the Chinese spent their trillions of dollars over the same time, on development, trade, infrastructure improvement.

Remember the image of Chinese cities, full of people commuting via bicycle? Well, their country now has thousands and thousands of new millionaires, modern cities, and relations — especially in Africa — based on trade and investment, not conquest and exploitation. They didn’t have to spend their nation’s treasure, and sacrifice its youth fighting needless, racist wars.

China launched its “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI), a strategy that seeks to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks with the aim of improving regional integration, increasing trade and stimulating economic growth. Meanwhile, the U.S. has been busy launching drones and “bunker-busters,” spending trillions on wars, making lasting enemies!

One of the greatest tragedies of 9/11 is that it made us lose sight of the deliberations which took place at the World Conference Against Racism, in Durban, South Africa, which had just concluded, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2001. The following Tuesday came the 9/11 attacks, and the needed conversations coming out of Durban about, racism, xenophobia, were pushed to the side by the ongoing conversation about “Islamic extremism.” The arms manufacturers rejoiced, proclaim “cha-ching!”

Eisenhower was correct. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was correct, and yet Americans keep falling for the guns-over-butter argument. Perhaps that’s the philosophy of the first White settlers, living in the people today: conquest rather than trusting the abundance of nature and the goodness of the human spirit. White people find it difficult to ever trust anyone because they know themselves to have always been so untrustworthy.

Let me caution to say, “not all White Americans” are crazy like that, but the enlightened ones cannot hold back that zombie-KKK-tribe, mob mentality, the mad, hysterical, college-homecoming type of mentality that takes over and is now driving them all to their ruin.

See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya.

I ain’t going to war with you, Uncle Sam.

Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

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