Noam Chomsky and Robert Fisk interview on Democracy Now with Amy Godman. Talking about Israel and the Palestinians.
Noam Chomsky talks about Globalisation at the mn 188 conference. I have no more informations about this great lecture. After the talk there is a O&A session.
Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics, MIT Amy Goodman, host, Democracy Now! David Goodman, reporter Tackling subjects like corporate influence over government and the deceptions of political leaders, the Goodmans explore the risks that corporate media pose to a democratic society. Where should the allegiance of the press lie, with the citizenry or the government? How are investigative reporting and independent media faring in the United States today? Amy Goodman is an internationally acclaimed journalist, recipient of the George Polk Award, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting. She is also host of Democracy Now!, airing on 200 radio and TV stations across the US and the world. David Goodman, Amy's brother, is an award-winning independent journalist whose articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Mother Jones, Outside, and The Nation among others. He authored most recently the acclaimed book, Fault Lines: Journeys into the New South Africa. Noam Chomsky is one of the world's premiere experts in linguistics, philosophy and politics. Since 1965 he has been a leading critic of US foreign policy. Chomsky is currently the Institute Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This lecture was produced by Sean Effel, Cambridge Community Television (CCTV).
Today we're delighted to have with us Noam Chomsky, one of the world's foremost social critics, institute professor emeritus in the MIT Department of Linguistics and Philosophy and author of many books including "Failed States" and "Hegemony or Survival," but we talk with him today about his latest book "Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians." Noam Chomsky wrote "Gaza In Crisis" with Ilan Pappé, professor of history at the University of Exeter in the UK. This book surveys Israel's recent attacks on Gaza from Operation Cast Lead to the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in a very sobering analysis. (December 6, 2010)
Discussion of the Indonesian genocide in East Timor, featuring Noam Chomsky, Amy Goodman, Allan Nairn, Benedict Anderson, Prof. Henry Steiner and Larry Dinger (and some [evil] guy from the State Department). From 1992.
Robert Fisk read excerpts from his new book, The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East, published by Vintage. The book covers Mr. Fisk's thirty years of reporting from the Middle East. He was interviewed by Laura Flanders about the politics, wars, and civil upheavals in the Middle East. He also responded to questions submitted by audience members. Robert Fisk was the recipient of the Lannan Foundation's 2006 Lifetime Achievement Prize for Cultural Freedom. This program of the Lannan Foundation and The Nation Institute was held at New York City Town Hall.
DATE: MAR 4, 2007
Date: October 18, 2001 Noam Chomsky (Institute Professor; Professor of Linguistics, Emeritus, MIT) Noam Chomsky has written and lectured widely on linguistics, philosophy, intellectual history, international affairs and U.S. foreign policy. Most recently, with Ilan Pappé he has completed Gaza in Crisis (Haymarket Books, 2010). Other examples of his prolific work include: The Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory; Aspects of the Theory of Syntax; Language and Mind; American Power and the New Mandarins; Reflections on Language; Rules and Representations; Knowledge of Language; The Culture of Terrorism; Manufacturing Consent (with E.S. Herman); Understanding Power; Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance; and most recently, Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World, (with David Barsamian).
Chomsky received his Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1955. He then came to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in 1961 was appointed full professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics. During the years 1958 to 1959 Chomsky was in residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. In the spring of 1969 he delivered the John Locke Lectures at Oxford; in January 1970 he delivered the Bertrand Russell Memorial Lecture at Cambridge University; in 1972, the Nehru Memorial Lecture in New Delhi, and in 1977, the Huizinga Lecture in Leiden, among many others.
Chomsky has received honorary degrees from universities around the world, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Science.
Noam Chomsky, professor, linguistics, MIT Robert Fisk, correspondent, The Independent Journalist Robert Fisk of the UK-based publication, The Independent, recounts his experiences traveling around the world and living in the Middle East, Fisk speaks on history and geopolitics in the Middle East. His focus is on the problems with journalism in the United States, which include an over-reliance on what government authorities say and the common mode of reporting 'from Baghdad' but entirely within the confines of a hotel room. Using newspaper articles and speeches from politicians, Fisk illustrates the lack of concern for Iraqis as human beings. Fisk's talk also looks at the Armenian genocide, which was downplayed in Western media. After the talk, Fisk fields questions ranging from the rumors of civil war in Iraq to the situation in Lebanon. The event was organized by the Armenian National Committee's Eastern Region in conjunction with the Technology and Culture Forum at MIT and the Harvard Alliance for Justice in the Middle East. Additional sponsors included the MIT Thistle, the MIT Social Justice Cooperative, and the Nation Institute.
Noam Chomsky, professor of Linguistics at MIT University in Cambridge, MA, talked about his life and career as a political activist and critic of U.S. foreign policy. Among the topics he addressed were efforts to combat terrorism, war with Iraq, and Bush administration economic and foreign policy. He also responded to questions from viewers on the telephone and submitted by fax and electronic mail. Mr. Chomsky's books included: Language and Mind. New York: Harcourt Brace & World, Inc., 1968. American Power and the New Mandarins. New York: Pantheon Books and London: Chatto & Windus, 1969. At War with Asia. New York: Pantheon Books, 1970. Current Issues in Linguistic Theory. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1970. For Reasons of State. New York: Pantheon Books, 1970. Chomsky: Selected Readings, edited by J. Allen and P. Van Buren. London: Oxford University Press, 1971. Problems of Knowledge and Freedom. New York: Pantheon, 1971. Language and Responsibility. New York: Pantheon, 1978. Intellectuals and the State. Baarn, Netherlands: Internationale, Het Wereldvenster, 1978. The Political Economy of Human Rights, vol. 1, The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism and vol. 2, After the Cataclysm: Postwar Indochina and the Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology. Boston: South End Press, 1979. Rules and Representations. New York: Columbia University Press and Oxford: Basil Blackwell Publisher, 1980. The Fateful Triangle: Israel, the United States, and the Palestinians. Boston: South End Press, 1983 and Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1984. Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin, and Use. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1986. The Chomsky Reader, edited by J. Peck. New York: Pantheon Books, New York, 1987. On Power and Ideology, The Managua Lectures. Boston: South End Press and Montreal and New York: Black Rose Books, 1987. Language and Problems of Knowledge. The Managua Lectures. Cambridge, Mass. and London: The MIT Press, 1987. Thought Control in Democratic Societies. Boston: South End Press; London: Pluto Press; Montreal, Toronto, New York, London: CBC Enterprises, 1989. Secrets, Lies and Democracy. Berkeley, Calif.: Odonian Press, 1994. East Timor: Genocide in Paradise. Tucson, AZ: Odonian Press, 1995. On Language: Chomsky's Classsic Works "Language and Responsibility" and "Reflections on Language" in One Volume. New York: The New Press, 1998. The New Military Humanism: Lessons from Kosovo. Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1999. New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 9-11. An Open Media Book, edited by Greg Ruggerio. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2001. Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky, edited by Peter R. Mitchell and John Schoeffel. The New Press, 2002. Pirates & Emperors, Old and New: International Terrorism in the Real World. Cambridge, Mass.: South End Press, 2002. Power and Terror: Post-9/11 Talks and Interviews. Edited by John Junkerman and Takei Masakazu. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2003. Chomsky on Democracy and Education. Edited by Carlos P. Otero. New York and London: RoutledgeFalmer, 2003. (date: june 1, 2003)
In "The Age of the Warrior", Dr. Robert Fisk has assembled a remarkable collection of essays and stories which serve to amplify and reflect the blood-stained past and present in which we live.
Fisk takes readers from the London bombings to the streets of Lebanon, from war torn Iraq to the horror of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, offering courageous eyewitness accounts.
Ranging from the inspirational to the utterly tragic, these essays encompass our world today - World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C.
Professor Chomsky gave the keynote address at the fifteenth anniversary of the publication, \f2Covert Action Quarterly\fR. In his speech, he was critical of U.S. foreign policy and the language of defense and diplomatic affairs. His remarks were preceded by a musical presentation.
Dr. Norman Finkelstein speaking at University of California-Irvine, as part of the Muslim Student Union's annual Anti-Zionism Week, on 11 May 2010 on the topic of Operation Cast Lead.
Dr Dahlia Wasfi talks about the human and environmental cost of war on Iraq.
Dr. Norman Finkelstein discusses the Israel-Palestine conflict. Recorded at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on 04/25/08. Sponsored by Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society.
On the first anniversary of 11 September a leading Palestinian, Edward Said, has warned the US against taking further military action against Iraq. In an interview for BBC HARDtalk, Mr Said told Tim Sebastian that many Arab countries are keen to seek a diplomatic solution to the Iraqi crisis. Professor Said, who for many years been a spokesman in America for the Palestinian cause, said: "I think it's possible to salvage something from the ruins, but it cannot be done quickly unfortunately, and it cannot be done by military means and that's what makes me so despondent."
The truth is often a bitter pill to swallow. "Did you know??? Facts from the real world..." wants to show the brutal reality behind our little perfect world. (by theArchit3kt)
Given the volume of writing on the Arab-Israeli conflict, "you might think that everything has been said," says Noam Chomsky. But Victor Kattan's new book, Coexistence to Conquest: International Law and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, takes a fresh look at the prehistory of the dispute, as well as the evolution of international law and its import for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, says Chomsky. While he is familiar with much of the material in this account, Chomsky also notes episodes in Kattan's narrative that open up new, "sordid chapters" in these "convoluted, complex, often painful historical events."
Kattan set out to explore how the conflict began, and so pored over the writing of scores of European political figures, and leaders of Zionist and Arab nationalist movements of the late 19th and 20th centuries. His key insight: Neither Arabs nor Jews were to blame for triggering hostilities, but rather Britain, and the other major powers.
Kattan argues that anti-Semitism, which welled up during a period of collapsing colonial empires, motivated British actions that led to a Jewish homeland in Palestine, and paved the way for trouble over decades to the current time. In the 19th century, Jews viciously persecuted in Russia began flooding Western Europe, especially Britain, where many thousands more embarked to the U.S. America and Britain were the promised land to the Jews, says Kattan -- not Palestine. But British distaste for these immigrants soon led to plans for diverting the unwanted foreigners to an alternative location.
In the early 1900s, Kattan describes documents authored by British statesmen, and by such early Zionist leaders as Theodor Herzl, arguing that Britain's Jewish immigration "problem" could be solved by finding Jews a homeland in Palestine. Kattan even cites U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis endorsing such a solution. Anti-immigrant fervor, says Kattan, led to the Balfour Declaration of 1917, describing Britain's intention to facilitate a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
This was a compromised piece of diplomacy, suggests Kattan, ushering in an era of unending disputes and hostility. Key issues the British sidestepped or muddied, says Kattan, included promises made to Arabs for their own independent kingdom, and the principle of self-determination, emergent in international law, which would have acknowledged the claims of the Arab majority in the lands carved out for the Jews. While Britain bore the largest share in creating the Middle East mess -- with its many vital interests in the region -- Kattan says that other nations were complicit, entangled as they were by immigration and independence movements and their own strategic influence.
Howard Zinn discusses his latest collection of essays at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress critiques America's response to 9/11, examines the current state of democracy and government responsibility in America and cites examples of when government has overstepped throughout American history.
In this talk, Robert Fisk takes on the American press for over reporting on the "what and where" of the events of September 11th, and its inability to broach the question "why"? He is scathing in his criticism of the Bush administration's change of focus from pursuing Osama Bin Laden to Saddam Hussein.
(February 5, 2003, Running Time: 02:44:17)
"A Farewell to Israel: The coming break-up of North American Zionism" Presented by Dr. Norman G. Finkelstein on February 5, 2007 for the 11th Interdisciplinary Conference of the Graduate Students' Association (GSAÉD) at the University of Ottawa.
John Pilger and David Munro go undercover in one of the world's most isolated, and extraordinary countries, Burma, which Amnesty International calls 'a prison without bars'. They discover slave labour preparing for tourism and foreign investment. 1996
Speech given by Arundhati Roy at the Riverside Chruch in New York City. May 2003. Visit www.weroy.org for more information.
Americans have long embraced a notion of superiority, claims Howard Zinn. Governor Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony described establishing "a city on a hill," to serve the world as a beacon of liberty. So far, so good. But driving this sense of destiny, says Zinn, was an assumption of divine agency—"an association between what the government does and what God approves of." And too frequently, continues Zinn, Americans have invoked God to expand "into someone else's territory, occupying and dealing harshly with people who resist occupation."
Zinn offers numerous examples of how the American government has used "divine ordination" and rationales of spreading civilization and freedom to justify its most dastardly actions: the extermination of Native Americans and takeover of their land; the annexation of Texas and war with Mexico; war against the Philippines; U.S. involvement in coups in Latin America; bloody efforts to expand U.S. influence in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The battle against Communism, often bolstered by arguments of America's divine mission in the world, was merely a convenient excuse to maintain U.S. economic and military interests in key regions.
Today, says Zinn, we have a president, who more than any before him, claims a special relationship with God. Zinn worries about an administration that deploys Christian zealotry to justify a war against terrorism, a war that in reality seems more about establishing a new beachhead in the oil-rich Middle East. He also sees great danger in Bush's doctrines of unilateralism and pre-emptive war, which mark a great leap away from international standards of morality.
Tariq Ali speaks about Pakistan and Afghanistan at the University of Copenhagen's Asian Dynamics Initiative on 2 December 2009.
Following Ms. Roy's "Come September" speech at the Lannan Foundation, she is joined on stage by Howard Zinn for a discussion on various topics. Visit www.weroy.org for more information.
MIT Professor Noam Chomsky talks with documentary film producer Grant Crowell about his belief that Ward Churchill, the fired ethnic studies director of University of Colorado at Boulder, is a victim of politics (Recorded in October 2005 on MIT campus.)
I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than 400 years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you've seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest that you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.
WATCH SPEECH here:
Famed linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky delivered a lecture titled "'I Am Kinda': Reflections on the Culture of Imperialism" last Monday, March 8, in McCosh 50. Chomsky, a professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a renowned public intellectual who has written and lectured widely on linguistics, philosophy, intellectual history, international affairs and US foreign policy. The lecture's title refers to a woman named Kinda who introduced herself to Chomsky at a lecture he gave in Beirut in 2006. As a child, she had written a letter to President Ronald Reagan after the 1986 US bombing of Libya, her home country. Chomsky had printed the letter in his book "Pirates and Emperors: International Terrorism in the Real World." Chomsky's other books include "Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance," "Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy" and "Rogue States: The Rule of Force in World Affairs." The talk was designated as the Edward Said Memorial Lecture and was sponsored by the Department of English and the Princeton Committee on Palestine.
Having spent her early childhood in Iraq under Saddam Hussein and having returned twice to Iraq since the U.S. invasion, Dr. Wasfi has a first hand understanding of the invasions devastating repercussions. To begin the healing of the people and the land, Dr. Wasfi calls for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all foreign troops.
A debate between Alex Callinicos, John Holloway and Slavoj Zizek on the Idea of Communism.
This was the biggest show by far in the 5 days of Marxism 2010 (the queue was HUGE!) which itself was the biggest Marxism event ever with [I think] around 6000 people attending from all over the world.
Filmed in Logan Hall, Institue of Education, Bloomsbury.
"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."
War is a Racket by Smedley Butler is a famous speech denouncing the military industrial complex. This speech by two-time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient exposes war profits that benefit few at the expense of many. Throughout his distinguished career in the Marines, Smedley Darlington Butler demonstrated that true patriotism does not mean blind allegiance to government policies with which one does not agree. To Hell with war.
Tariq Ali: From Cairo to Madison - The Arab Revolution and a World in Motion --- Tariq Ali spoke at Brooklyn's Galapagos Art Space on Tuesday May 17th for a sell-out event co-sponsored by Verso and Haymarket Books, entitled "From Cairo to Madison: The Arab Revolution and a World in Motion." With thanks to Noel Benford for filming the event.
Tariq Ali is a writer and filmmaker. He has written more than a dozen books on world history and politics—including Pirates of the Caribbean, Bush in Babylon, Clash of Fundamentalisms and The Obama Syndrome—as well as five novels in his Islam Quintet series and scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of the New Left Review and lives in London.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting
Thomas Altizer, Mt. Pocono, PA
Slavoj Žižek, University of Ljubljana
Lissa McCullough, Los Angeles, CA, Presiding
In 1985 there were two superpowers and an arms race that engulfed the world. Noam Chomsky (Institute Professor at MIT), Marshall Goldman (Associate Dir. Russian Research Center, Harvard University), Russ Johnson (Senior Program Associate, AFSC) discuss the myths that keep the arms race going. A wide-ranging discussion moderated by Tom Mullaney (Bay State Center for Economic Conversion).
Norman Finkelstein speaking on 'Israel and Palestine: Past, Present and Future' in Montreal on the 26-Oct-2010. Presented by CJPME - Canadian for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.
A physician visits family members in war-torn Iraq.On March 19th, 2003, the United States and Great Britain led their second publicized military assault on Iraq. Under the facade of liberation and democracy, U.S. troops seized the country, securing the oil fields, the Ministry of Oil, the Interior Ministry (CIA), and taking the lives of thousands of people. Iraq's rich culture, history, and valuable assets were left vulnerable to stealth and destruction. In the years since, the lack of security, jobs, electricity, and potable water have made life for Iraqis unbearable. American troops are perceived by the indigenous population as occupiers--not liberators--for the Iraqi people are far better educated in U.S. history than Americans are themselves. Our obligation to the people of Iraq, to the people of America, and to the rest of the world is the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of American troops and mercenaries from Iraq. The United States MUST liberate Iraq from its own brutal hands. This website is my attempt to explain why.--DSW
For Now, They Struggle
By Dahlia Wasfi ’93
Whatever else we might think about those labelled as terrorists, it is clear that their tactics have changed the world in ways that serve their religious, political and ideological aims. For example, they have managed to force the West to curtail centuries of commitment to the principles of liberal democracy - winding back hard-won freedoms in the name of security - despite the proclamations of politicians who used to insist: "They shall not change our way of life." Given this, is there anything that terrorists have to teach us - about the single-minded pursuit of purpose; about the necessity of puncturing the consensus of mainstream politics and culture? Or about the need to feed the ever-hungry media beast? Writer, essayist and film-maker Tariq Ali addresses these issues and more at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. Ali has written several books, is an occasional broadcaster on BBC Radio, writes regularly for The Guardian and the London Review of Books and is a longstanding editor of the New Left Review.Sydney Opera House, October 2010
In this Perth Writers Festival talk, Tariq Ali argues that very little has changed since George W Bush left the White House -- especially when it comes to foreign affairs. Writer and filmmaker Tariq Ali has written seven novels and over 20 books on world history and politics (including The Clash of Fundamentalisms, Bush in Babylon, Pirates of the Caribbean , The Duel and The Obama Syndrome ). He has also penned a number of plays for stage and screen. He currently worked as an editor for New Left Review . Presented by the Perth Writers Festival, March 2011
A conversation with Noam Chomsky, legend of the left, on Obama, America, and the world. Noam Chomsky is a blazing critic of just about every mainstream sacred cow on the planet. If it's war for security, corporate power, free trade or complicit media, Noam Chomsky is at its throat, and has been for a long time.An Old Testament-style angry prophet with a huge intellectual pedigree. He's 81 now, and says he's never seen anything like today's politics. The anger and the fear.He's listening to talk radio. He's listening to the Tea Party. He's watching. He's thinking. We hear what's on his mind. -Tom Ashbrook Noam Chomsky, intellectual, social critic, and professor emeritus of linguistics at MIT. His latest book is "Hopes and Prospects." His other books include "Manufacturing Consent" and "Hegemony or Survival."
MUST SEE !!!
Award-winning Mid-East correspondent Robert Fisk speaks out on the continuing conflict in the Middle East. From Israel and Palestine to the U.S. involvement in Iraq, Fisk argues the media has failed to fulfill its duty as watchdog.
open your eyes, learn, fight back, and never give up ♥
From the Embassy of Venezuela in Washington, DC, Tariq Ali discusses the rise of Latin American leaders Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales and the new populist movement that they represent. He also talks about the Bush administration's policies towards Venezuela and the influence of Fidel Castro in the region. Includes Q&A.
Tariq Ali has written several books on world history and politics, as well as scripts for the stage and screen. His books include "The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity," "Bush in Babylon: The Recolonisation of Iraq," and "Street-Fighting Years: An Autobiography of the Sixties." For more, visit www.tariqali.org.
On the morning of 27 December 2008, Israeli occupying forces launched 'Operation Cast Lead,' a wide-ranging military offensive against the Gaza Strip. 80 warplanes carried out a devastating surprise airstrike campaign whose scale and intensity signaled Israel's intention to inflict widespread destruction throughout the Gaza Strip.
After 22 days of unrelenting aerial attacks coupled with an intensive ground invasion that began on 3 January 2009, the death toll exceeded 1,400 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians including women and children. Over 5,000 more were wounded. Excessive civilian casualties were compounded by the unprecedented destruction of civilian infrastructure across the Gaza Strip including hospitals, schools, mosques, civilian homes, police stations and United Nations compounds.
The Goldstone report, which was released in September, details the extensive war crimes of the Israeli army. While the report was dismissed by the United States, it remains the most authoritative document for any further discussion on the question of Palestine. Join Norman Finkelstein as he presents a detailed analysis of the report.
Norman G. Finkelstein received his doctorate in 1988 from the Department of Politics at Princeton University. For many years he taught political theory and the Israel-Palestine conflict. Finkelstein is the author of five books which have been translated into more than 40 foreign editions: Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History; The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering; Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict; The Rise and Fall of Palestine: A Personal Account of the Intifada Years; and, with Bettina Birn, A Nation on Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis and Historical Truth. He has just completed a new book entitled A Farewell to Israel: The Coming Break-up of American Zionism, to be published in 2009.
"I am an artist living in London writing to ask you a favour. I was wondering whether it would be at all possible for me to visit you at MIT [the Massachusetts Institute of Technology] in order to record a video conversation based on your thoughts about the unfolding environmental disaster now threatening our world. I have read with great interest and trepidation your observations on the probability of nuclear annihilation (apocalypse soon), and would greatly value a chance to discuss in more detail the threat of this other, slower, but equally devastating apocalypse. I would be very grateful to have your consideration on how we have come to this critical point in history. Why the powers of the world are so slow in acting to try to prevent this catastrophe and why the American government appears to be in denial about it."
-Cornelia Parker to Noam Chomsky
"On 13 February 2008 a new exhibition by Parker opened at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, organised in partnership with Friends of the Earth. It featured a 40 minute film - Chomskian Abstract, 2007 - presenting her interview with the world-renowned writer and theorist Noam Chomsky. Exhibited alongside Chomskian Abstract, 2007, Parker's Poison and Antidote Drawings, 2004 featured black ink containing snake venom and white ink containing anti venom."
Noam Chomsky visits UNC at the FedEx Global Education Center
It's no wonder there was an outcry when Gilbert Burnham's group released its report on mortality in Iraq. The numbers of civilian deaths so overwhelmed body counts calculated by other groups that many were stunned or disbelieving, and Burnham earned the enmity of some U.S. and Iraqi government officials.
Burnham's public health team looked at pre- and post-invasion deaths. The 2004 study showed that the mortality rate among Iraqis before the invasion was 2%, and after, 7.9%. The 2006 survey, which polled more households and covered greater territory, was more devastating: In the three years since the invasion, crude mortality rose to 13.2 per 1000 people per year. The leading cause was gunshot wounds and deaths from car bombs. The majority of victims of violence were men, 15-45 years old, and children also died in great numbers. By the end of the analysis period, crude mortality rates approached 17 deaths per 1000 per year.
The most disturbing statistic is the report's estimate that there have been 654,000 excess deaths since the invasion of March 2003 -- 600,000 from violent causes. Critics, who are legion, Burnham acknowledges, point fingers at his study's methodology, accusing his group of inaccurate and inadequate record-keeping, or skewing the numbers for political purposes.
Burnham notes that getting actual body counts in Iraq is literally impossible, since there is no working system for keeping accurate track of the dead in hospitals and mortuaries, and "numbers are highly susceptible to manipulation." The backbone of public health studies are surveys, in which geographic clusters are chosen, households counted and individuals interviewed. As the number of clusters increase, "precision improves and confidence intervals narrow." This enables measurements "accurate and precise enough to make the right decisions even though we will never have absolute, true numbers to two or three decimal points."
At great personal peril, Burnham's on-ground Iraqi surveyors went house to house in neighborhoods all over Iraq, asking for death certificates. The author of the report "hid out at a basement of a hotel, and finally got out on forged U.N. documents." The 2004 survey reached 7868 people, and the 2006 contacted 12,800 individuals. The sample size was large enough to support the team's grisly conclusions. Civilians are doing badly in this war, dying in far greater numbers than combatants. Burnham's hope is to use such data "to protect people wrapped up in conflict," since this "won't be the only one in the 21st century."
These days, a one-dimensional political 'culture' ensures that few writers write, or speak out, as they did in the last century.
They are talented, yet safe. In the media, the more people watch, the less people know. Beneath the smokescreen of objectivity and impartiality, media establishments too often ventriloquise the official line, falling silent at the sight of unpleasant truths.
Renowned independent journalist John Pilger speaks about complicity and compliance and what the rest of us can do - Melbourne Writers Festival