Cindy Sheehan interviews Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges Interview (53:40): MP3

Cindy Sheehan speaks to Chris Hedges, author of the classic War is a Force that Gives us Meaning. (The actual interview begins at 6:30)

The Israel lobby and the fate of Palestine

alexander-cockburnAlexander Cockburn on the Israel lobby and the fate of Palestine recorded in San Francisco on September 29, 2002.

The Israel Lobby and the fate of Palestine (29:04): MP3

On May 2, 2002, barely two weeks after what has become widely described in the international press as a massacre in the Palestinian refugee camp at Jenin, the US Congress took an extraordinary vote.

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An Issue Of Justice: Origins Of The Israel/Palestine Conflict

justice Finkelstein Israel PalestineThe Gaza massacre has re-ignited debate across the UK and elsewhere and prompted many people to want to learn more.  For those relatively new to the conflict, I usually point them towards Ilan Pappe’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Finkelstein’s An Introduction to the Israel-Palestine Conflict, Occupation 101 and this lecture, also by Norman Finkelstein, An Issue of Justice.  It is one of the best lectures I’ve heard and succinctly covers the main areas of the conflict in an hour.

As an aside, I don’t agree with Norman on the Israel lobby and the Iraq war or his position on the two state solution, however I do think his argument on the two state solution is useful for demonstrating that Israel and the US prevent peace in the region.

An Issue Of Justice: MP3

Aldous Huxley: The Ultimate Revolution

Aldous huxleyAldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, rated number one in the List Muse Top 100 Fiction books list, here discusses influence, controlling the public mind and government.

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”  Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley, The Ultimate Revolution (44:17): MP3

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BBC’s Mark Thompson Soft on Israel?

In 2005 the Independent reported speculation in the Israeli press that BBC director general Mark Thompson intended to build bridges with the Israeli political class.  This could help to explain Thompsons position on aid to Gaza, after all, they’ve broadcast appeals for victims of other conflicts without worry about impartiality.  Could Marks personal interest be what makes this one special?

BBC chief defends Gaza decision (11:59) | MP3

The BBC is often accused of an anti-Israeli bias in its coverage of the Middle East, and recently censured reporter Barbara Plett for saying she “started to cry” when Yasser Arafat left Palestine shortly before his death.

Fascinating, then, to learn that its director general, Mark Thompson, has recently returned from Jerusalem, where he held a face-to-face meeting with the hardine Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Although the diplomatic visit was not publicised on these shores, it has been seized upon in Israel as evidence that Thompson, who took office in 2004, intends to build bridges with the country’s political class.

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Pacifism as Pathology

ward churchill

In the following lecture Ward Churchill challenges the left on their tactics and discredits, what he calls, pacifism as pathology. That is not to say he discredits pacifism, quite the opposite, Ward advises that the left shouldn’t be dogmatic in only supporting non-violent movements, and that they should not get non-violence confused with non-confrontation.

In his own words: “the outright lie that I have actively sought to incite ‘violent revolution.’ I have done no such thing. To the contrary, what I have consistently advocated over the years is the rule of law.”

“I would vastly prefer that this happen through nonviolent means. However, I cannot say that nonviolence is the only legitimate response to systemic violence.”

Chomsky on Gaza

An article on the lecture can be read here, the following audio is from Open Media Boston:

Cambridge, MA – Prof. Noam Chomsky spoke to a capacity crowd of over 200 people yesterday at the Chomsky on Gaza Public Forum at the Wong Auditorium at MIT. The event was sponsored by the MIT Center for International Studies and its Program on Human Rights and Justice.

Chomsky on Gaza (1:10:57):  OGG | MP3 | Video