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Showing posts from April 8, 2007

CBC - The Fifth Estate : The Lies That Led To War

Don't worry: like Neil Young, these are just anti-American Canadians. If anything, actually, they go way too easy on these criminals. To say nothing of the false view of what, exactly, Nixon lied about. But for mainstream media, this is pretty good.
Since the US-led invasion four years ago, The Fifth Estate has covered Iraq and the war on terror from virtually every angle--the military, media, intelligence, politics--revealing aspects of the story that you didn't find anywhere else. Now, as the White House warns about the latest threat in the region, this time from Iran, it's worthwhile looking back to examine the deception, suspect intelligence, even lies, that convinced the world of the rightness of targeting Saddam Hussein.

The political decisions behind the invasion The Lies That Led To War is drawn from these stories: In 2003's The Forgotten People, the fifth estate examined the human rights arguments used to make a case for war. We looked at the sale of technology…

The Israel Lobby: Portrait of a Great Taboo

Don't worry: this is all anti-Semitic tripe.
Tegenlicht, a documentary program by the Dutch public broadcast organization VPRO, allows several interesting opinion makers to speak on the future of the American and Israel relationship and the reception of John Mearsheimer and Steve Walt's article "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy." Includes interviews with John Mearsheimer, former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson, cofounder of the Christians United for Israel lobbying group John Hagee, neoconservative Richard Perle and historian Tony Judt express their views in Marije Meermans and William de Bruijns documentary.

Note: This ends abruptly, but Judt has the last word; that's it. Documentary over. Well done; will anyone in the US listen? Republicans? Democrats? People I know? Before or after an Iran strike? Here's what to do: call/write/fax/e-mail your elected r…

Garry Wills on Henry Adams

Unfortunately, on the Charlie Rose show, but Charlie keeps his mouth shut this time.


Scroll over to 19:10 for the start of Wills. The discussion shifts into Iraq after 15 minutes or so and finally returns to Adams via Napoleon and power politics. Unfortunately, and quite ironically, as Wills can't make any ironic connections between Adams' work and influence and this most recent imperial adventure.

Actually, I think that even given the constraints of the format and the breadth of the subject, Wills oversimplifies tremendously. He misses all the irony, or at least doesn't emphasize it as he should, in Adams' History of the United States During the Administrations of Jefferson and Madison (Vol. 1; Vol. 2). But kudos to him for drawing attention, including my own, to this book. I had read about it in Vidal, but I have to admit that an article on Wills' book in the NYRB got me to get the books and read them. I'm three-quarters of the way through, and I …

ABC News: On Video: Palestinian As Human Shield

Here's the video.

Lovely. Some more information from Beautiful Israel, where one of my good, liberal friends is enjoying traipsing around the Golan Heights and Williamsburg-like recreations of what he calls "Talmudic" villages:
UN envoy on children says Israel broke international law in 2006 war in LebanonHizbullah accuses US of secret war and arming opponentsPoll: 10% of Palestinian children have lasting malnutrition effectsClosed 1967 Senate protocols reveal bids to pressure Israel (Yeah, no such thing as powerful Israeli lobbies; search the full document here.)Palestinian family must wait in jail for case hearingPoverty in Palestine: the human cost of the financial boycott (Oxfam; full PDF reports available)
I doubt he'll even try to visit the OTs. What makes it interesting is that he is a truly excellent person, a fine friend, and liberal to the point of quasi-socialist. But when it comes to Israel -- and he's not Jewish, nor connected to Jews in any way -- he l…

"Hillary's War: The Real Reason She Won't Apologize," by Michael Crowley

A good profile on one of our "progressive" candidates. Our Iron Lady, more like it. She's against flag-burning now, too.

THE REAL REASON SHE WON'T APOLOGIZE.Hillary's Warby Michael Crowley
Post date: 03.26.07
Issue date: 04.02.07 The New Republic n October 2000, Hillary Clinton was entering the home stretch of one of the most unusual Senate campaigns in American history. Although her husband still occupied the Oval Office, she had decamped to a Dutch Colonial in Westchester County to run for the seat of retiring New York Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan. To compensate for the fact that she had never actually lived in the state she intended to represent, she immersed herself in Empire State minutiae. Off the top of her head, she would describe in detail the virtues of the Northeast dairy compact and the rate of upstate job growth. The aggressiveness of her New York provincialism tended to obscure the rare occasions on which Clinton would actually unfurl a broader worl…

Gore Vidal Interview, KUOW, 11/9/2006

I feel the need to compensate for the loss of our Twain by posting a recent interview with our Henry Adams.

Here's one from the following day with Leonard Lopate at WNYC. Probably some overlap, as both were part of his promotional tour for Point-to-Point Navigation, his second memoir. But we should all be so lucky to have such material for overlap!

Ah, and some video -- on his novel Creation, perhaps his finest.

Rutgers U. Press Conference

Update: I almost didn't post this because I'm sick of the wall-to-wall coverage on Imus, when far more important things are happening, as I describe here. I didn't want my post to be part of the problem; ah, well. Check out the comments: some good points are made...but my main reaction to this is still that it is an overblown distraction from critical issues, one of which is discussed at length in the link above, another of which is alluded to at the end.

Well, I think it should be obvious that I didn't think Imus' comments were funny, and the comments themselves were sexist and racist. Whether Imus himself is, I don't know; let's say, sure.

OK, has everyone forgotten about freedom of speech?

Why is Imus piled on for "nappy-headed hos" (and not the far worse "jigaboo," btw), which was unfunny, offensive, but killed no one, yet Michael Gordon and Judith Miller -- and many of the same pundits tsk-tsking now -- whose lies have helped lead to n…

Two Interesting Conversations: Tagore and Einstein; Tagore and H.G. Wells

Excerpted from: A Tagore Reader, edited by Amiya Chakravarty. Tagore and Einstein met through a common friend, Dr. Mendel. Tagore visited Einstein at his residence at Kaputh in the suburbs of Berlin on July 14, 1930, and Einstein returned the call and visited Tagore at the Mendel home. Both conversations were recorded and the above photograph was taken. The July 14 conversation is reproduced here, and was originally published in The Religion of Man (George, Allen & Unwin, Ltd., London), Appendix II, pp. 222-225.
TAGORE: I was discussing with Dr. Mendel today the new mathematical discoveries which tell us that in the realm of infinitesimal atoms chance has its play; the drama of existence is not absolutely predestined in character.

EINSTEIN: The facts that make science tend toward this view do not say good-bye to causality.

TAGORE: Maybe not, yet it appears that the idea of causality is not in the elements, but that some other force builds up with them an organized universe.


Gandhi on Jews & Middle-East: A Non-Violent Look at Conflict & Violence

This article is quite interesting. The strengths and weaknesses of Gandhi's political and moral thought are much in evidence. Orwell had his own view of Gandhi, especially on the topic of Jewish non-violent resistance to the Nazis, with which I quite agree. Nonviolence doesn't work too well against those who have no problem with genocide.
However, on the issue of Palestine, there is much wisdom in this article. I'm sure many will reject it as "anti-semitic" and move on. (Others have a more balanced view; others...well, I note that Fred Thompson has weighed in on this; doesn't look very serious to me.) Here's a list of Gandhi's statements on Jews, Palestine, etc. I don't know whether it's complete, but it's a start.
I am not too sure that Gandhian resistance would work too well against the IDF in Palestine, though, as is often suggested. (What the result was you can read in the just-linked article, and see for yourself once more -- you no dou…