This New Year's day: Rahul Mahajan calls on Americans to fight to reclaim their minds
Happy New Year! In wishing you this greeting, I sincerely hope this year,
instead of bombs and bullets, happiness showers itself on the people of
Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya, and above all Iraq.
Rahul Mahajan, is a campus and community activist in Austin, Texas. 33-year
old Mahajan, a Physics Ph.D., has worked on a wide variety of issues,
including alternative media, South Asian issues, affirmative action, and
Enron, but has concentrated on anti-war and anti-corporate-globalization
In this article on New Year's day written for the on-line ZNet Magazine,
Mahajan demolishes the US case against Iraq urging his countrymen to take
control of their own minds, arguing that "No less than the collective fate
of humanity hangs in the balance."
Read and reflect.
Fighting for our Minds
by Rahul Mahajan
As the Bush war machine attempts to plant the flag of imperium wherever its
over-sized jackboot takes it, Americans must fight to reclaim that most
precious ground, ceded to the forces of the right after long wars of
attrition: our minds.
No less than the collective fate of humanity hangs in the balance.
The struggle is as easy or as hard as we make it. Its hard because in a
sense, we start already defeated; in the absence of an affirmative campaign
to reclaim our minds, we think the masters thoughts: he rules us as a
colonial power. In the absence of a concerted, irreverently irredentist
campaign to reclaim the territory that is rightfully ours, we are slaves in
our own houses and our slavery removes the most fundamental check on the
colonizers desire to find new worlds to conquer (with the attendant toll of
human degradation, suffering, and death.)
But its easy too because the moment we start the battle, the moment we
acknowledge the simple fact that our minds have been colonized, the
colonizers modes and methods, its purpose, its theology become ever so
Lets look at the case of Iraq and the stentorian bleats for war emanating
from Washington. I think what well find is an enemy (the colonizer from
D.C.) made clumsy by years of success. The time is now to capitalize on
this fact and to kick him out forever.
For more than a year now, the Bush administration has been calling for war
on Iraq, claiming that this forlorn and broken country poses an immediate
and fundamental threat to the safety of the worlds citizens.
Saddam, their argument goes, is flush with materiel and is busily enhancing
his already formidable stockpile of Weapons of Mass Destruction; moreover,
he is willing to use them. How this is true despite a brutal bombing war 11
years ago coupled with the most onerous sanctions in the history of the
modern world -- sanctions that have kept Iraq not only under the microscope
but in the viselike grip of the West, poor, destitute--they dont tell us.
Another obvious question that they dont even dare to answer is why a
military attack would work this time if the might U.S. military machine
couldnt "do the job" last time.
The colonizers argument is pathetic, clumsy, obfuscatory, and entirely
dependent on our mental inaction. A couple examples of arguments that might
seem compelling until we start fighting for our minds: 1. In a news
conference, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld claimed that Iraq could be 12-18
months away from developing a nuclear weapon. He went further to mention
that, apparently, Saddam has been trying to develop nukes for the last
Okay, Saddam Hussein with a nuclear weapon. Sound scary? It may be until we
look a tiny bit deeper.
What went unsaid? 1. Iraq has no delivery capability for nukes; 2. Iraq
has NO incentive for using nukes even if it had them; 3. This stems
DIRECTLY from what Rumsfeld himself said in the second part of his argument:
if indeed Saddam Hussein has been trying to develop nukes for 20 years, then
why on Earth would we will think this macabre task would reach fruition in
year? If indeed he has been trying for 20 years, it would appear that Iraq
is totally inept or has no access to fissionable material.
In order to start asking these questions, one need not be an expert on
nuclear weapons. In fact, all one really needs to be armed with is the
knowledge that in producing an argument, the colonist is driven by his need
to conquer new lands. The moment we realize this, we become skeptical of
just about anything he claims since in a mad rush for power, people and
institutions become utterly mendacious. Once we are skeptical, we are in
luck because the colonizer has become sloppy: his arguments are easily
dissected, easily seen to be repugnant, and are thus easily rejectable.
Another argument the colonizer has recently been making requires us to
believe that Iraq accepting the UN Weapons inspectors and pledging to give
them unfettered access is a bad thing. Since the day Hussein pledged to
comply, Washington and the fulsome private media have been talking of
deception, game playing, obfuscation, and the general mendacity of the Arab
Sounds pretty bad doesnt it? It does until one considers what the reaction
would have been if Iraq decided not to comply. Most of us would be
indignant wouldnt we? And war would be imminent, wouldnt it? Iraq had
two choices in front of it: one, to comply and two, not to comply. If
non-compliance proves intransigence and compliance proves both intransigence
and utter mendacity, what is left for the poor nation to do? Sound confusing
until one realizes that the colonizer wants war and has to have it. Once we
understand this, everything they say about Iraqs WMD and Husseins hiding
weapons in palaces and in the "vast desert Kingdom that is Iraq" seems
The arguments put forth by the colonizer are ever changing and specious.
Once we start the battle of reclamation, we see them for what they are. And
once we see them for what they are, we must resist the colonizer with all
the forces we can muster.
The importance of this battle is not academic. Its about two very
important, very real things- freedom and humanism.
The freedom to be able to think, to be logical and just in our thoughts. The
freedom for us to live in a society that represents our morals, desires, and
strong feelings of amity for fellow humans.
The humanism that holds clearly that empires are evil.
Dismantling empires has always started with the crucial and epic struggle
for the one territory that is truly ours: our minds.
Romi Mahajan, romimahajan2000@...