Chris Hedges and Bob Scheer conclude their conversation about Scheer’s latest book They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.
Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges interviews Truthdig’s editor in chief Robert Scheer about his latest book They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.
Too bad neither art, nor life answers to misdirected pigeonholing from admirable leftwing voices like Robert Scheer. Must outstanding movies to be reduced to partisan “messages” or platforms that reinforce our prejudices, whether about politics or art? “Disappointed” with “Hurt Locker’s” seeming apolitical stance, the ideological Scheer balks because a less than overtly anti-Iraq war film won Best Picture.
If “Hurt Locker” so clearly promotes this war or the hubris of imperial occupation, then why isn’t there one scene or one main character that establishes this theme, let alone defends this position? In fact, the movie experience itself, not Scheer’s distortion, suggests otherwise. Director Bigelow fashions a story, not a sermon, knowing full well how fixed positions, either way, impede her mission: to bypass defenses and create significant emotional experiences.
Are we Americans truly savages or merely tone-deaf in matters of morality, and therefore more guilty of terminal indifference than venality? It’s a question demanding an answer in response to the publication of the detailed 370-page report [pdf] on U.S. complicity in torture, issued last week by the Justice Department’s inspector general.
What can you get for a trillion bucks? Or make that $1.6 trillion, if you take the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as tallied by the majority staff of Congress’s Joint Economic Committee (JEC). Or is it the $3.5-trillion figure cited by Ron Paul, whose concern about the true cost of this war for ordinary Americans shames the leading Democrats, who prattle on about needed domestic programs that will never find funding because of future war-related government debt?
Given that the overall defense budget is now double what it was when President Bush’s father presided over the end of the cold war–even though we don’t have a militarily sophisticated enemy in sight–you have to wonder how this president has managed to exceed cold war spending levels. What has he gotten for the trillions wasted? Nothing, when it comes to capturing Osama bin Laden, bringing democracy to Iraq or preventing oil prices from tripling and enriching the ayatollahs of Iran while messing up the American economy.
That money could have paid for a lot of things we could have used here at home. As Rep. Paul points out, for what the Iraq war costs, we could present each family of four a check for $46,000–which exceeds the $43,000 median household income in his Texas district. He asks: “What about the impact of those costs on education, the very thing that so often helps to increase earnings? Forty-six thousand dollars would cover 90 percent of the tuition costs to attend a four-year public university in Texas for both children in that family of four. But, instead of sending kids to college, too often we’re sending them to Iraq, where the best news in a long time is they [the insurgents] aren’t killing our men and women as fast as they were last month.”
How did it come to be that the ostensibly best-educated and most refined representatives of the United States in Iraq are guarded by gun-toting mercenaries who kill innocent civilians? More urgently, why did State Department employees and their bosses in Washington tolerate—and pay to conceal—the wanton murder conducted on their watch?
Jon Alpert traveled to Iraq in 1991 to document the war. Hours before his footage was to air on NBC, the network canceled its broadcast and fired h…
Jon Alpert traveled to Iraq in 1991 to document the war. Hours before his footage was to air on NBC, the network canceled its broadcast and fired him. In this Link TV interview, Robert Scheer discusses the firing and we air the controversial film. More information at http://www.linktv.org/programs/specia…
Please, please, I tell myself, leave Orwell out of it. Find some other, fresher way to explain why “Operation Iraqi Freedom” is dependent upon killer mercenaries. Or why the “democratically elected government” of “liberated” Iraq does not explicitly have the legal power to expel Blackwater USA from its land or hold any of the 50,000 private contractor troops that the U.S. government has brought to Iraq accountable for their deadly actions.