War as an Addiction

hedges_chris In War as an Addiction Chris Hedges explains the myths around war and the ugly truth that lies behind its seductive veil.

Drawing on a wide variety of sources such as Freud’s Civilisation and its Discontents, the Iliad, Swank and Marchand’s WW2 study of soldier psychology and Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism this lecture contains not just emotional depth, from Hedges own experiences, but a profoundly detailed analysis of war.

For more see his book War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.

War as an Addiction (53:31): MP3

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The Noble Man

Khalid Amayreh on British MP George Galloway.

Unlike many politicians who would rather stay on the safe side, even if that means betraying their conscience, George Galloway represents a rare breed of morally-guided politicians who are willing to call the spade a spade even in the face of danger and brutality.

The British lawmaker has displayed immense courage in speaking up against crimes and injustices inflicted by Israel, the United States and their European allies in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine.

In 2003, Galloway was expelled from the Labor Party when a party body decided that the strong statements he had made in opposition to the invasion of Iraq by the US and its allies had brought the party into disrepute.

Continue reading “The Noble Man”

Israeli Settlers Terrorise Palestinian Villagers

Continuing his series of excellent reports from the OPT, here is Mel Frykberg’s latest article, this time exposing the daily plight of Palestinian villagers facing the brutality visited upon them by Israeli settlers.

“I couldn’t run. My pregnancy was too far advanced and there was nowhere to hide,” said Amna Salman Rabaye, 31, as she recalled the terrifying incident several months ago.

Rabaye from the Palestinian Bedouin village of At Tuwani in the southern West Bank was grazing her sheep when she was assaulted by a security guard from the adjacent illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’on.

“We saw a group of masked Israeli settlers armed with sticks and chains heading towards us. The younger shepherds ran and managed to escape, leaving me with the flock of sheep,” Rabaye told IPS.

“It was physically impossible for me to run and I also didn’t want the settlers to kill or steal my sheep. The security guard pushed me over but I was not injured,” recalled Rabaye who was then seven months pregnant.

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Economist Ha-Joon Chang on the Financial Crisis

The brilliant Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang, author of Bad Samaritans and Kicking Away the Ladder, on “The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism”. (Also see Chalmers Johnson’s excellent review of Bad Samaritans). The following is available from DN! as Real Video Stream, Real Audio Stream and MP3 Download.

AMY GOODMAN: The US government has poured hundreds of billions of dollars into the US economy in the wake of the financial crisis. But what steps are being taken to address the crisis on a global scale? On Sunday, the World Bank warned of the first global recession since World War II, with the world economy set to shrink for the first time since the 1940s. The bank also cautioned that the cost of helping poorer nations in crisis would exceed the current financial resources of multilateral lenders. The economic crisis is projected to push around 46 million people into poverty this year.

The financial crisis is forcing some to rethink the neoliberal policies widely blamed for the financial collapse. On Monday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called for a new international fund to support poorer countries during the global recession. He also acknowledged richer Western nations have often imposed economic policies on poorer countries that they haven’t followed themselves. Continue reading “Economist Ha-Joon Chang on the Financial Crisis”

UN report accuses Britain of condoning torture

A new report by UN Special Rapporteur Martin Scheinin finds evidence of UK complicity in a wide range of grave human rights violations, including torture – the prohibition of which constitutes an “absolute and peremptory norm of international law.” The report is only the latest in a growing series of indictments against the criminal conduct of the British state.

Britain has been condemned in a highly critical United Nations report for breaching basic human rights and “trying to conceal illegal acts” in the fight against terrorism.

The report is sharply critical of British co-operation in the transfer of detainees to places where they are likely to be tortured as part of the US rendition programme.

The report accuses British intelligence officers of interviewing detainees held incommunicado in Pakistan in “so-called safe houses where they were being tortured”.

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Egyptian Journalist jailed by Kafkaesque court

Egypt is part of the American “axis of the rightful” and is usually praised by Washington for upholding all the goodies of democracy. On 1 February 2009, Magdi Hussein, a journalist and former editor of the Al Shaab newspaper, was arrested for having crossed into Gaza. He was held up on silly charges, and then sentenced by a military tribunal to two years in jail… Obviously, Hussein’s greater crime was criticizing the Egyptian collaborationist role with Israel in the December 2008 on Gaza. Even voicing the slightest support for the Palestinians or criticism of the Mubarak dictatorship can land journalists or solidarity activists in jail. It is worth reading Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani, eIntifada [http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10369.shtml article]:

Egypt is part of the American “axis of the rightful” and is usually praised by Washington for upholding all the goodies of democracy. On 1 February 2009, Magdi Hussein, a journalist and former editor of the Al Shaab newspaper, was arrested for having crossed into Gaza. He was held up on silly charges, and then sentenced by a military tribunal to two years in jail… Obviously, Hussein’s greater crime was criticizing the Egyptian collaborationist role with Israel in the December 2008 on Gaza. Even voicing the slightest support for the Palestinians or criticism of the Mubarak dictatorship can land journalists or solidarity activists in jail. It is worth reading Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani’s, Electronic Intifada article:

While in the Gaza Strip, governed by Palestinian resistance faction Hamas, Hussein witnessed the destruction wrought by Israel’s recent campaign, during which more than 1,300 Palestinians were killed, and infrastructure demolished. Hussein visited numerous bombed-out mosques and homes, as well as the badly damaged Palestinian parliament building, Gaza’s Islamic University and the al-Shifa Hospital, teeming with critically injured civilians.

Continue reading “Egyptian Journalist jailed by Kafkaesque court”

The Zionist Story

The Zionist Story, an independent film by Ronen Berelovich, is the story of ethnic cleansing, colonialism and apartheid to produce a demographically Jewish State.

Ronen successfully combines archival footage with commentary from himself and others such as Ilan Pappe, Terry Boullata, Alan Hart and Jeff Halper.

An excellent film, my one criticism is that there is little mention of the Zionist lobby; an additional interview with Walt or Meirsheimer would have been of value.

I have recently finished an independent documentary, The Zionist Story, in which I aim to present not just the history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but also the core reason for it: the Zionist ideology, its goals (past and present) and its firm grip not only on Israeli society, but also, increasingly, on the perception of Middle East issues in Western democracies. Continue reading “The Zionist Story”

Independent’s Churnalism on Venezuela

Chavez welcomes actor and director Sean Penn aboard the presidential planeNick Davies coined a fabulous new term in his book Flat Earth News to describe the kind of filler-fluff that very often passes for journalism in US and UK. Here is the latest example from the Independent. Some clown named Guy Adams who is apparently based in Los Angeles does a hatchet-job on Hugo Chavez and by extension Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover for their links to the popular Venezuelan leader, and he can’t find anything better to rely on than a quote from the ageing Hollywood has-been Maria Conchita Alonso with ties to the right-wing Cuban exiles in Miami. ‘In normal circumstances, Alonso’s interview might have been brushed under the carpet’, he correctly points out. But clearly not when it lands in the hands of the Independent’s celebrity gossip extraordinaire who goes on to tell ‘left-wing luvvies’ in the movie business to wake up because their hero had the temerity to describe Hollywood as ‘a medium of American “cultural imperialism”‘.

The clown then proceeds to offer this acute insight:

Penn, who since his Oscar-winning performance in Milk has become a vociferous gay rights activist, is also open to allegations of hypocrisy. The Venezuelan leader’s political hero, Fidel Castro, imprisoned and executed gay men, and once declared: “In this country [Cuba] there are no homosexuals.”

Talk about six-degrees-of separation. I bet this cat can prove that everyone who claims to abhor rape is a hypocrite since through a mere separation of 6 people everyone has ties to a rapist.

Further indictments are in order:

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American Football

American Football — by Harold Pinter

Hallelullah!
It works.
We blew the shit out of them.

We blew the shit right back up their own ass
And out their fucking ears.

It works.
We blew the shit out of them.
They suffocated in their own shit!

Hallelullah.
Praise the Lord for all good things.

We blew them into fucking shit.
They are eating it.

Praise the Lord for all good things.

We blew their balls into shards of dust,
Into shards of fucking dust.

We did it.

Now I want you to come over here and kiss me on the mouth.

Continue reading “American Football”

Pots of urine, feces on the walls

Amira Hass describes the vandalisation of homes in Gaza by IDF soldiers.

We had already visited this house, belonging to the Abu Eida family. It is the only one of the family’s nine large houses that remained standing at the eastern edge of the city of Jabalya following Operation Cast Lead. The demolition of the family’s houses and its four cement factories spells the loss of 40 years of hard work.

One Hebrew word scrawled on a wall tells the story of the 10 days when young Israeli soldiers became the ostensible prison wardens of five people. The youngest is Suheila Masalha, 55; the eldest is her mother Fatma, who is perhaps 85 or 90 or older. The only man is her brother Mohammed, 65, who is paralyzed and dependent on the women of his family. And there were two more women from the Abu Eida family – Rasmiya, 70, who owns the house, and her sister-in-law Na’ama, 56, who is blind.

Continue reading “Pots of urine, feces on the walls”

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