with Mike Prysner
Empire Files on Sep 20, 2021
Iraq War veteran and Empire Files producer Mike Prysner disrupted a speech by George W. Bush in Beverly Hills on Sept. 19, 2021.
So a top US commander has come clean on primetime TV about the killing of 10 civilians in Afghanistan with a drone missile. Seven of the victims were children packed into a car.
“Uncountable are the editorials in every American and European newspaper and magazine of note adding to this vocabulary of gigantism and apocalypse, each use of which is plainly designed not to edify but to inflame the reader’s indignant passion as a member of the “West,” and what we need to do. Churchillian rhetoric is used inappropriately by self-appointed combatants in the West’s, and especially America’s, war against its haters, despoilers, destroyers, with scant attention to complex histories that defy such reductiveness and have seeped from one territory into another, in the process overriding the boundaries that are supposed to separate us all into divided armed camps.” — Edward Said, 2001
So much we are supposed to forget or not know and/or care about, so little we are supposed to remember.
“We must never forget” 9/11, when “America was attacked” (when, as cannot be said without sounding “controversial,” the United States Middle East policy blew back on the nation’s financial and political capitals).
For 20 years I resisted making any personal remarks about the attacks September the 11th, particularly regarding the World Trade Center in NYC. I thought it was inappropriate and inconsequential because I did not suffer personal loss like so many that day. But I have been reflecting a lot on that historic event lately. And given that the US war against Afghanistan is now over, at least officially if not covertly, I think there is good reason for that.
When you imagine ending a war, do you imagine the U.S. President lamenting the human cost of the war’s financial expense while simultaneously demanding that Congress increase military spending — and while mentioning new wars that could potentially be launched?
In some future lovely little war, perhaps with China or some other demonized target, some percentage of the U.S. public may suddenly exclaim: “Hey, since when does a draft include young women as well as men?!” Old tunes will be revised and sung in protest with lyrics about being the first one on your block to have your daughter come home in a box. The tragedies will be played out in tears and screams and flag-covered propaganda-regurgitating rationalizations. Dead women and men will be thanked for the service of stirring up World War III before being dumped in the ground to rot, as some of the living begin to envy them and wonder about the merits of the service they’ve provided.
I wanted to share some thoughts with you on Afghanistan, as it sits atop the rubble of another indifferent imperial folly with the dread of once again living under a fundamentalist authoritarian regime on the horizon. And especially on the American public’s disconnect from its own government’s culpability in spreading misery there and throughout the Global South. I wanted to talk about reflection too.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Aug 26, 2021
On the show this week, Chris Hedges discusses the debacle in Afghanistan with Danny Sjursen, a graduate of West Point Military Academy, former US Army Major and author. He is a combat veteran who served in Iraq and later as an Army Captain in Afghanistan I command of B Troop in Kandahar Province from February 2011 to January 2012.