The following essay was written
a few days after the war on Iraq began.
March 21, 2003—Well, here we are. Bombs are dropping, the dying
has started, and our country of ignorant, blind allegiance-pledging
sheep has sanctioned yet another massacre for profit in the name of
“liberating the oppressed.” Never mind the fact that millions
of people spoke out against our non-elected Commander-in-Chief’s
hell-bent course of action, or that Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix
and ex-Marine and former UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter stated repeatedly
that weapons of mass destruction didn’t exist and that more time
was needed, or that the report of supposed proof of Iraq’s weapons
of mass destruction presented by Colin Powell to the UN was plagiarized,
or that of the 535 members of Congress, only one (Sen. Johnson of South
Dakota) has an enlisted son or daughter in the armed forces, or that
GOP-contributors the Bechtel Group Inc., Fluor Corp., Halliburton Co.
subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root, Louis Berger Group Inc., and Parsons
Corp. have all been asked to submit bids for the rebuilding of Iraq’s
infrastructure, again sadly proving the argument that this is indeed
a slaughter for profit.
Never mind these facts; no. Never mind the
fact that the Hallibuton Corporation, of which our Vice President was
once CEO, has been awarded a contract to oversee firefighting operations
in Iraqi oilfields, and will probably be instrumental in the rebuilding
effort, just as it was after we bombed Iraq in the Gulf War in 1991,
to the tune of $23.8 million.
This will probably be lost on my fellow Americans. It certainly has
been lost on our conservative-bending Bush-complicit media.
I can almost hear the conservatives now. “Where were you when
Clinton bombed Bosnia...blah, blah, blah...” Is this the best
they can do? That’s a moot point at this juncture. People are
dying in a war that is unjust and the media has simply sat on its collective
hands. Where’s the independent investigation into 9/11? Gone forever,
I suppose. This is now more relevant than ever because the entire chain
of events which has transpired since 9/11 (the reduction of civil liberties,
rampant profiteering and the demonization and imperialist invasions
of lessor-developed countries) has occurred because of 9/11. How come
I can find all this information from credible sources online but they
can’t? Because they don’t want you to know, that’s
I’m sure some of them will say, “what’s a rapper doing
commenting on politics...blah, blah, blah...” completely overlooking
the fact that I, too, am educated, and that they, in their arrogance
and inherent racism, don’t have the market cornered on analytical
thought. What makes these talking heads more qualified than me to speak
Understand that today’s supposed “news” is totally
under the control of the Pentagon. We never see actual war footage—babies
dying, families slaughtered—just blips and far-away night vision
shots. The dehumanizing effect of all of this is that we are desensitized
to the atrocities of war. For most Americans, it is a temporary inconvenience
that we hope will be resolved quickly. A video game...cool! (Remember,
most of the war hawks have never served in the armed services and most
of the doves have.)
So now we are faced with the paradox of wanting our soldiers—young
men and women who risk too much for too little pay—to come home
in one piece. But supporting our troops while they’re fighting
an immoral and illegal war is misguided and wrong. Members of our armed
forces don’t deserve insults, but their role in this war doesn’t
merit support either. Cheering them as they leave and holding parades
when they return would certainly be misinterpreted by citizens of other
countries as popular support for an inglorious enterprise—and
it would make it easier for Bush to send them off again, to Iran or
Libya or wherever.
Iraq has never attacked, nor threatened to attack, the United States.
As his 1990 invasion of Kuwait proved, Saddam is a menace to his neighbors—Saudi
Arabia, Iran, Israel—but he’s their problem, not ours.
Why Iraq? Saddam’s longest-range missiles only travel 400 miles.
Why not North Korea, who has an intercontinental ballistic missile capable
of hitting the western United States and nuclear capability? Why not
Pakistan, who just unveiled its new HATF-4 ballistic missile? I’m
not calling for us to ride on these countries too, don’t get me
wrong. But if disarmament were Bush’s goal, shouldn’t those
countries—both of which have threatened to use nukes—be
higher priority targets than non-nuclear Iraq?
Iraq isn’t part of the war on terrorism. The only link between
Iraq and al-Qaeda is the fact that they hate each other’s guts.
And no matter how often Bush says “9/11” and “Iraq”
in the same breath, Saddam had nothing to do with the terror attacks.
That leaves freeing Iraqis from Saddam’s repressive rule as the
sole rationale for war. Is the U.S. in the liberation business? Will
Bush spread democracy to the numerous other places where people can’t
vote, speak freely or eat much? You be the judge. I wouldn’t bet
Of course, it would be great if Iraqis were to overthrow Saddam (assuming
that his successor would be an improvement). But regime change is up
to the locals, not us. George W. Bush has led us to commit an abhorrent
crime, an internationally-unsanctioned invasion of a nation that has
done us no harm and presents no imminent threat.
We have killers on the payroll in the White House.
Paris is a Bay Area-based rap artist and founder of
the independent label Guerrilla Funk Recordings. No stranger to controversy,
Paris is best known for his 1992 song “Bush Killa,” a fantasy
about assassinating then-president Bush Sr. to avenge the neglect of
the poor and oppressed. His soon-to-be released CD, Sonic Jihad, has
already ruffled feathers with its provocative cover depicting an airplane
about to crash into the White House. Visit www.guerrillafunk.com
to read other essays and learn more. This article was originally published
as “Killers On The Payroll” online at http://22.214.171.124/thoughts/doc1240.html,
with links to numerous references and a section with tips on how to
stop war and voice dissent. Reprinted with kind permission.