Thursday, April 20, 2006

Chris Hedges

If you havn't heard about this guy, its about time you do. Chris Hedges is a "Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran foreign correspondent, having covered foreign conflicts in Argentina, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Columbia, Guatemala, Bosnia, Iraq, Sudan, Algeria, India, Israel/Palestine, Turkey, and Kosovo"

This book of his is really interesting because it gives you insight on wars from a person who has experienced them and not in one region. I read this book in Bahrain and never thought I would meet the author. But last week Mr. Hedges came to Beloit Campus to speak out against the war in Iraq. Before comming here he was booed off the stage on another campus for being anti-war.

One of my favourite parts of his speech is when he answered one of the audeince questions, this is how it went:

"Why is the American administration trying to impose American style democracy in the world?"

"They don’t have any interest in imposing democracy at all.They don’t want democracy in Iraq or anywhere else. Democracy- that’s what they use to sell it. And if democracy ever is on the rise and it's not in their ineterest, you can be very sure they will work behind the scenes to crush it. All of these enterprises are given moral language, as a kind of cover. I mean what was the first Gulfwar about? We consume 25% of the world petrol, and that war was about our right to keep consuming a disproportionate share of the world’s petrol at a cheap price. And the message it gave to the dispossessed of the world, is that we have everything and if you try to take it away from us, we’ll kill you. Now they all get it, and we don’t."

I was lucky to meet Hedges personally after his speech, and I asked him about his experience in Palestine. He told me that he published his diary which he wrote in Gaza, and he got into alot of trouble here in the US because of that. I will quote a small part of this diary:

"Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered - death squads gunned them down in El Salvador and Guatemala, mothers with infants were lined up and massacred in Algeria, and Serb snipers put children in their sights and watched them crumple onto the pavement in Sarajevo - but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport."

You can read his Gaza Diary here

I give all my support to Chris Hedges and all activists like him who arn't afraid to speak the truth.


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