US speaker slams 'imperial mafia'

Issue 

BY JIM MCILROY

BRISBANE — “There are now two superpowers in the world — the imperial mafia [in Washington] and the anti-war and global justice movements worldwide”, William Blum, US author, journalist and radical commentator and former US State Department official, told a public meeting in the City Hall on March 20.

“We can't defeat them militarily, but we can stare them down morally”, Blum told the 1000-strong audience. The meeting was organised by the Brisbane Stop the War Coalition and the Brisbane Social Forum, at which Blum was a keynote speaker on the weekend of March 22-23.

Blum condemned the US-led war on Iraq, and praised the thousands of demonstrators who had earlier rallied and marched in the King George Square. “We must keep raising the political price for their warmongering ever higher.”

Blum summarised the bloody history of US interventions in the 1980s and 1990s. Despite the smokescreen of the Cold War until 1990, “the real enemy was any people and any government that stands in the way of the American empire”, he added.

He condemned the US government which, under cover of the “war on terrorism”, was sheltering real terrorists such as Orlando Bosch, the extreme right-wing Cuban emigre, who had bombed a Cuban airliner and carried other acts of terrorist violence against Cuba.

“US foreign policy has no moral factor”, Blum asserted. “As long as death and suffering further the goals of the empire, the rulers in Washington just don't care.”

However, the people's movements against war and for social justice on a world scale are growing stronger. The challenge before us is to build them to the level where they can drive back the US warmongers and their allies, Blum concluded.

From Green Left Weekly, March 26, 2003.
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