Throw Away Your Telescreen!

the truth is always subversive

Archive for the ‘iraq’ Category

Taxi to the Dark Side

Posted by Dave on April 4, 2008

Taxi to the Dark Side is an excellent documentary charting the recent history of the US Governments use of torture. I hadn’t realised that a high level legal adviser to the President, John Yoo, went as far as publicly arguing that “there is no law that could prevent the President from ordering the torture of a child of a suspect in custody – including by crushing that child’s testicles.” Rationality gone mad – his name has gone on my list of people whose testicles do need crushing.

As a side note, I enjoyed Stephen Kings recent comments on the debate as to whether waterboarding is torture or not “if the Bush administration didn’t think it was torture, they ought to do some personal investigation. Someone in the Bush family should actually be waterboarded so they could report on it to George. I said, I didn’t think he would do it, but I suggested Jenna be waterboarded and then she could talk about whether or not she thought it was torture.”

“This is dedicated to two people who are no longer with us, Dilawar, the young Afghan taxi driver, and my father, a navy interrogator who urged me to make this film because of his fury about what was being done to the rule of law. Let’s hope we can turn this country around, move away from the dark side and back to the light.” Alex Gibney, Director, Academy Award acceptance speech.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in afghanistan, guantanamo, human rights, iraq, torture, USA, war on terror | Leave a Comment »

The Battle For Haditha

Posted by Dave (The Void) on March 31, 2008

A meticulous and moving reconstruction of an incident in late 2004, in which US marines are accused of slaughtering several Iraqi families in revenge for an IED attack on their convoy.  Directed by Nick Broomfield (Ghosts), with performances from real Iraqi refugees and real ex-marines.  See my review.

(Click here to see the whole film)

Posted in army, film, iraq, middle east, occupation, resistance, terrorism, war, war crimes, war on terror | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

The True Cost Of War

Posted by Dave (The Void) on March 19, 2008

People say that there are two issues in this year’s elections: the war and the economy. But in many ways, that’s just one issue – Joseph Stiglitz talking at the London School of Economics last month(paraphrased from memory).
Wars are always expensive affairs, but the occupation of Iraq has taken that to new levels.  Private armies of “civilian contractors” and cost-plus “reconstruction firms” have notoriously pushed up the price, but caring for wounded veterans also takes its toll on the economy, as does the increase in the price of oil.
However, few of these costs made themselves felt in the first four and a half years of war.  The Federal Reserve has created a bubble of debt, allowing half a trillion to be spent on the military (never mind all the hidden costs) without any associated tax increase.  That bubble is now bursting – or so argues the Nobel Prize-winning economist and notorious World Bank whistleblower Joseph Stiglitz in this address to Colombia University.
Click here to watch the video of the addres, as well as an introduction, Q&A and response.  Click here for a paper (pdf) in which Stiglitz and his collaborator Linda Bilmes explain their thesis.

Posted in capitalism, corporatism, debt, deficit, economics, iraq, militarism, military-industrial complex, money, USA, video, war, war on terror | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

The Trial Of Tony Blair

Posted by Dave (The Void) on January 6, 2008

A Channel 4 drama (72 mins) starring Robert Lindsay as the ex-PM, in characteristic denial about his impending war crimes tribunal. I finally got around to watching this and found it surprisingly poignant. It really stands out not for its quality, but for its willingness, exceptional among the broadly sycophantic media, to refer to Blair as what he undeniably is: a war criminal.

Posted in comedy, drama, guilt, iraq, justice, satire, tony blair, uk politics, war crimes | 1 Comment »

Control Room

Posted by Dave (The Void) on October 31, 2007

This documentary (86 mins) takes us behind the scenes at the U.S. media centre in the Middle East in the run-up to and aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

One particularly chilling moment comes when, after a day in which journalists are killed in three seperate attacks, the Americans reiterate their warning: you’re only safe when you’re embedded.

Posted in documentary, film, iraq, media, middle east, militarism, propaganda, USA, video, war | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Voices of Resistance, in Algeria and Iraq

Posted by Dave (The Void) on October 1, 2007

La Bataille d’Algiers

In this vivid 1966 film (121 mins, in French and Arabic with English subtitles), Gillo Portecorvo puts a human face on the resistance movement that drove the French out of Algeria.

The film enjoyed a special showing at the Pentagon in Summer 2003, advertised as follows:

How to win a battle against terrorism and lose the war of ideas. Children shoot soldiers at point-blank range. Women plant bombs in cafes. Soon the entire Arab population builds to a mad fervor. Sound familiar? The French have a plan. It succeeds tactically, but fails strategically. To understand why, come to a rare showing of this film.

… which, strangely enough, brings me to Iraq.

Hidden Facts: a message from the Iraqi Resistance

Purporting to be the work of the Resistance group 1920 Revolution Brigades, this is an insightful and compelling video (16 mins) with surprisingly high production values. I can’t guarantee it’s real, but I can guarantee it’s worth watching.

(click here to watch both parts)

Transcript in English and Arabic available here.

Posted in algeria, cinema, colonialism, film, history, iraq, media, middle east, occupation, resistance, terrorism, video, war, war on terror | 2 Comments »

Iraq For Sale, War For Profit

Posted by Dave (The Void) on September 17, 2007

Reconstructing Iraq, apparently, is a job for Bechtel, Halliburton and other firms grown rich from burning the Third World’s money.  Private data extraction specialists were behind some of the worst atrocities of Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, and the mercenaries of Blackwater are literally making a killing.  The number of contractors like these in Iraq has been growing since the outset of hostilities, and has now overtaken that of regular troops.

Iraq For Sale

This Robert Greenwald film (76 mins) views the problem very much through a “Support The Troops” lens, but is nevertheless a shocking and highly informative exposé.

Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Private Army

Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill talks about everyone’s favourite mercenaries in this interview (41 mins) for Democracy Now.

Posted in capitalism, corporatocracy, corruption, film, human rights, interview, iraq, military-industrial complex, neocons, profiteering, torture, USA, video, war, war on terror | 2 Comments »

Dahr Jamail – Unembedded Journalist

Posted by Dave (The Void) on September 12, 2007

Sick and tired of listening to the mainstream media pore over General Petraeus’ scripted briefing?  I know how you feel, and have the antidote: Dahr Jamail’s address (43 mins) at the Chicago Socialism 2007 conference.


Disgusted with the coverage of the war in American journalism, Dahr Jamail saved up and took his camera and his laptop to occupied Iraq.  His unembedded dispatches are now recognised as crucial sources of information from the warzone – and are almost unique in their independence from occupying forces.

Dahr’s book Beyond The Green Zone is released next month.

See also John Pilger’s address at the same conference, and the documentary The Bases Are Loaded.

Posted in audio, dahr jamail, empire, imperialism, iraq, journalism, lecture, media, middle east, occupation, propaganda, USA, war, WMD | 1 Comment »

Lies That Lead To Wars

Posted by Dave (The Void) on August 26, 2007

The Lies That Led To War

In their latest documentary (45 mins), CBC’s The Fifth Estate examines the propaganda drive that led to the invasion of Iraq.

While it’s comforting to think that most of us have learned a certain healthy skepticism since 2003, it’s worth re-examining the path to war in Iraq to prevent us from making the same mistakes again.

Fox Attacks… Iran

Robert Greenwald follows up on his Outfoxed film with this short (4 mins). It’s a shame to single out for criticism the worst of a bad bunch, as it lets the others get away with so much, but this still a chilling look at history repeating.

Find out more, and sign the petition, here.

Posted in documentary, free speech, iran, iraq, journalism, media, news, propaganda, USA, video, war | Leave a Comment »

George Galloway …

Posted by Dave (The Void) on July 24, 2007

… has been thrown out of Parliament! This short clip is all that YouTube has to offer, so you’ll miss the nauseating display of smug knife-twisting that followed his exit.

Those of us naive enough to expect a repeat of his glorious performance in the U.S. Senate in 2005 were to be sorely disappointed. That performance, and a half-hour documentary about the honourable member for Bethnal Green and Bow and the smear campaign against him, follow.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in anti-war, fraud, george galloway, iraq, oil, parliament, politics, uk, uk politics, video | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.