Chris Hedges on Corbyn VS Sanders: Two Different Political Animals + Hedges: US’ Ongoing Assault on Iraq Coughed Up Groups Like ISIS

Bernie Sanders - Caricature

Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

with Chris Hedges

September 15, 2015

There is not much in common between British politician Jeremy Corbyn and American Bernie Sanders, said Chris Hedges, author and activist. While Corbyn has spent 30 years fighting the establishment, Sanders never confronted US imperialism, he added.

RT: Why are politicians like Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders gaining more and more popularity? How much do their policies have in common?

Chris Hedges: Not a lot. [Jeremy] Corbyn is the real thing; Bernie Sanders certainly speaks in a populist rhetoric, but he is an unofficial member, and has been for a long time of the Democratic establishment; he sits with the Democratic caucus; he doesn’t not confront US militarism, imperialism; unlike Corbyn, he has not stood up for the rights of Palestinians. Corbyn has spent 30 years fighting the establishment – in particular the rise of new Labour under Gordon Brown and Tony Blair; he has been a pariah within his own party.

Howard Dean said the other day that Bernie Sanders votes 98 percent of the time with the Democratic Party. You can’t say that about Corbyn. Corbyn calls for the renationalization of the post office, the rail roads, the nationalization of energy sectors; he wants the Bank of England to pump billions of dollars into the economy to rebuild infrastructure, housing; he has called for withdrawal from NATO; he wants to end Britain’s nuclear armaments program, Trident; I mean, this guy is serious. These are positions that Sanders has refused to take and wouldn’t take. So they are completely different animals.

RT: The EU’s most notable left-wing parties have been jubilant over Corbyn’s victory. Why is this so important for them?

CH: Well, because it is part of this popular revolt against neo-liberalism, austerity, corporate domination of our political and our cultural life, and of course it caught everyone by surprise. Corbyn was a 200-1 outsider, but they just rose up. I think it’s tapped into a kind of revulsion that’s global, that Podemos certainly tapped into, Syriza tapped into in Greece with the neoliberal order. And Corbyn represents it in a way that Bernie Sanders really doesn’t.

RT: What message does this Labour Party election in the UK send to the rest of Europe?

CH: This sends a message essentially to the international banking community that says that their ability to impose conditions that cause suffering – especially among working men and women – is one that larger and larger segments of population will not tolerate. Corbyn has even raised the possibility of withdrawing from the EU precisely because of the EU’s treatment of the Greek people. He pointed out that all of this money is not going to the Greeks – it is going to the international banking system.

I think he is a kind of an example of this surge among the grassroots that’s rising up to defy the neo-liberal order and in particular the international banking system that is strangling countries. Whole parts of Britain are in really rough shape – places like Birmingham; Greece is being propelled virtually into a third world country; Ireland is not in good shape; Portugal; Italy. He is an example of that kind of brushfire that’s rising up in terms of revolt.

RT: David Cameron seems genuinely concerned about Corbyn’s victory, considering it to be a threat to British citizens. Why is the new opposition leader getting a reaction like this?

CH: They are terrified, and what they will do is demonize him and play, as Cameron just did, on the notion of fear and call the Labour party under Corbyn a national security menace or threat. And that is what they’ll do. Not only will Corbyn be attacked by the neoliberal establishment, but he will be attacked by the neoliberals within his own party. He is already being attacked by figures like Blair and others. He has had large-scale defections; people will not sit on his shadow cabinet.

So what we will see is what we saw in the US in 1972 when the last real insurgent candidate George McGovern became a democratic nominee: the democratic establishment turned on McGovern to destroy his candidacy along with the rest of the establishment. And then they rewrote the rules so that there would never be another insurgent candidate. We will see the same kinds of attacks now carried out on Corbyn, because he represents a popular challenge to a system that enriches a tiny oligarchical elite at the expense of the many.

RT: Left-wing movements have been gaining momentum in recent years both in the EU and now in the United States. Why do you think public opinion has been shifting towards support for the left?

CH: Because people have realized that all the promises of the neoliberal order are a lie. It has not benefitted the working class; in fact it has impoverished the working class; it has decimated the middle class; it has allowed money to be funneled upwards in the largest transference of wealth perhaps in human history; it has brought with it an erosion of civil liberties, an assault on democracy, and in the name of austerity a destruction of basic services from libraries to schools to roads, which are either abandoned or closed, shut down, and people are trapped – they can’t get out. The chronic underemployment or unemployment is unassailable because of this, coupled in the US with the largest system of mass incarceration in the world.

So, all of the promises of neoliberalism have been exposed for what they are. And that is why, for instance, in the US you are seeing harsher and harsher forms of control, more naked forms of control. People don’t believe the myth anymore: militarized police; we live in the most sophisticated security and surveillance apparatus in human history; we have two citizens a day gunned down in the streets of American cities. We are seeing a shift from softer forms of control to much harsher forms of control as these corporate entities and the neoliberal order employ more direct forms of oppression in order to retain power, and people get it.


Chris Hedges: US’ ongoing assault on Iraq coughed up groups like ISIS

RT America on Sep 14, 2015

Award-winning journalist Chris Hedges says that the roots of the growth of the violent Islamic State terror group, whose territory spans parts of Iraq and Syria, is rooted in America’s two violent wars in the region which destroyed infrastructure and “civil society.” He tells RT’s Manila Chan about his experience covering Iraq, and why America and its allies have not made progress since the beginning of the bombing campaign against ISIS.

from the archives:

Bernie Sanders Again Insists That Saudi Arabia Should Kill More People by David Swanson

Congratulations Jeremy Corbyn, a Real Peace Activist to Lead the Labour Party by David Swanson

European Refugee Crisis – The Anatomy of a Coverup

Chris Hedges and David Swanson: Cold War Redux + Hedges on ISIS + Hedges: A Time For Rebellion?

Chris Hedges: We’ve Decapitated More Civilians Than ISIS Ever Has

16 thoughts on “Chris Hedges on Corbyn VS Sanders: Two Different Political Animals + Hedges: US’ Ongoing Assault on Iraq Coughed Up Groups Like ISIS

  1. Pingback: John Pilger: It is the West that Created this Monster | Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: Chris Hedges and Sabah Alnasseri: ISIS, The New Israel | Dandelion Salad

  3. Pingback: Jeremy Corbyn, Yet Another Imperialist-Socialist by William Bowles | Dandelion Salad

  4. Pingback: Bernie Sanders Has a Foreign Policy Now by David Swanson | Dandelion Salad

  5. Pingback: Noam Chomsky On Power and Ideology + Q&A + Transcript | Dandelion Salad

  6. Pingback: Chris Hedges: Palestine Is A Slow-Motion Genocide | Dandelion Salad

  7. Pingback: Could A Reborn Labour Party Lead To A New Call For An End To The Madness Of Capitalism? | Dandelion Salad

  8. Pingback: Corbyn’s Dilemma by William Bowles | Dandelion Salad

  9. Of course, Chris Hedges is profoundly incisive as always. What a mess. The Middle-east is a nightmare of truly horrific proportions no different in scale or scope to the gigantic suffering of the last world war. It is the most grotesque disaster and a catastrophic tragedy for the inhabitants of the ancient Levant.

    The question we should all be asking is what is the metaphysical endgame? To where shall this mismanaged immersion in atrocity finally direct us? What is the point of these interminable blood-letting rituals and profitable theatres of sacrifice?

    Are we just locked into an endless cycle of perpetual violence, presided over by the mighty wand of nuclear annihilation? Or is it really all about the money, the intoxicating glamour of the crock of gold? Or is there a deeper, fundamentally psychopathological, & genuinely sinister purpose known only to a select few? Is anyone actually in command? Who is really controlling these events?

    Are we so thoroughly addicted to a visceral fascination with pain and death, that we have surrendered our humanity to the supernatural allure of dominance at any cost ~ even if it means the destruction of the life-support systems of the whole Earth? Is this what “true religion” means? If not ~ why do we pursue mindless destruction so enthusiastically?

  10. Beyond the fact of Jeremy Corbyn’s victory is the scale of it — he won 60 percent of the votes in a four-way race, with the most openly Blairite candidate coming in last at 4 percent. The Labour rank and file have spoken loudly and clearly — and the Blairites (and not only them within Labour) are already attempting to sabotage him, with Tony Blair in particular issuing hysterical denunciations.

    Note there are no similar attacks on Bernie Sanders, who has supported many U.S. imperial adventures and supported the stationing of new military planes in Vermont. Sanders is better than other Democratic candidates (that is, he is the least worst) but the idea that he is a socialist is a joke. He merely wants to ameliorate the conditions of capitalism. Better that than further immiseration but far short of what we really need.

    • So true SD…it is priceless to hear of this febrile denunciation & spiteful criticism from Blair ~ who is so utterly discredited and obviously insanely hubristic ~ of a man who is morally and intellectually far his superior, head and shoulders above and way beyond the reach of his reptilian-brained gilt edged hypocrisy….so that is nothing short of a ringing endorsement in my estimation!

  11. Bernie Sanders is an imperialist thinly disguised as a fake socialist. He is not running against Clinton, he is running for her, throwing his support to her when he loses the Dem nomination. Maybe he will be the vice-president nominee, fronting a fake socialist front while support her Wall Street and militarist backing.

  12. Pingback: Chris Hedges and Leo Panitch: The American Left Needs To Get Its Shit Together, Part 2 | Dandelion Salad

  13. Pingback: Congratulations Jeremy Corbyn, a Real Peace Activist to Lead the Labour Party by David Swanson | Dandelion Salad

  14. Pingback: Bernie Sanders Again Insists That Saudi Arabia Should Kill More People by David Swanson | Dandelion Salad

Comments are closed.