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The People's Tribunal on the Iraq War (2016)

"We launched a People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War as a tool to bring the anti-war movement together and build what is needed for 2017. We aim to lay the lies and costs at the feet of President Barack Obama and call for a commission on Truth and Accountability. There are years’ worth of testimony in reports, lawsuits, books and articles. We have read the facts about the lies and costs over the years. But the totality has never been been pulled together to show the breadth of all effected. According to a report released last year by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), Physicians for Global Survival and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, the U.S. invasion and occupation killed at least one million Iraqi people. That would be more 10 million people in the United States if we compared it in terms of percentage of the population. Imagine the effect of 10 million people dying."

"War Made Easy" - Norman Solomon (2007)

''War Made Easy', based on Norman Solomon’s book of the same name, chronicles the government’s use of propaganda to sell wars to the American people. Looking closely at the spin strategies employed by today’s pundits and public officials to build support for the invasion of Iraq, the film finds stunning comparisons to the information wars waged by earlier administrations, both Democratic and Republican. The film exhumes remarkable archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush giving special attention to parallels between the Vietnam War and the invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq. In the fall of 2002, as US forces were being moved into position in the Persian Gulf in preparation for the eventual invasion of Iraq, President Bush and his key advisors began a fullscale propaganda campaign designed to convince the public that Saddam Hussein was a threat to US and world security. Officials employed an arsenal of time-tested techniques that bore a striking resemblance to tactics used to promote previous military interventions. Once it had laid out its claims, the administration set about occupying the US news media to insure favorable coverage of its agenda. The film shatters the illusion that a free press is immune to propaganda, providing ample evidence of media collusion in championing the government’s case for war. In the run-up to the war in Iraq, a compliant US media system functioned as little more than a state propaganda organ.'

James Peck: "Ideal Illusions" (2011)

'“Terrorism” is a brilliant propaganda word, a grim corroboration of Montaigne’s warning that “Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.” It blinds even as it appears to illuminate. It energizes leaders, bureaucracies, and the media, and it cows critics. Who, after all, is for terrorists? The very notion is rife with ugliness: innocents murdered, body parts in the marketplace, the burning twin towers. Even more than “Communism,” “terrorism” is a label that simplifies. Panic lurks beneath. The dread is no longer of an insidious penetration but of chaos and pathological acts committed by barbarians. Communism was at least a corruption of the good, a cynical manipulation of Enlightenment ideals. Terrorism is the perversion of humanity itself. The George W. Bush administration fused the aims of democratization, human rights, and regime change with a “War on Terror” to create the most formidable fighting faith since anticommunism.'

The Detached Mission (1985) - Mikhail Tumanishvili

'Somewhere in Florida, a group of shady defense contractors hold a secret meeting on a golf course. “Florida,” in 'The Detached Mission', could not look more like Cuba, and the contractors are members at the only country club in the United States where multi-millionaires forgo single-malts for Old Crow in a half-gallon bottle with a pour spout. They fear that a thaw between the Soviet Union and the United States will lead to military cutbacks—one of them estimates $460 billion as “the price of détente”—and are determined to do something about it. Precisely, they want to launch missiles at a cruise ship full of Americans and frame the Soviets. There’s only one man for the job: Jack Hessalt, in exile since slaughtering an entire Vietnamese village at the CIA’s request. Hessalt jumps at the chance to get back to murdering civilians of any nationality, and is dispatched to a charmingly low-budget secret missile base, where every surface is littered with cans of Coke™ and the tracking systems are based on the technology from the game "Battleship!™".'

The Seventh Decade: The New Shape of Nuclear Danger

'Shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Bush administration became preoccupied with the threat that rogue states such as Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, which supported terrorism and had a history of pursuing nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons of mass destruction (WMD), might transfer such weapons to terrorists for attacks against the U.S. homeland... Bush and his advisers devised an aggressive new approach to nonproliferation in which the United States would use its overwhelming military power to attack and preventively disarm any hostile country seeking WMD. To implement this new strategy, the Pentagon created a capability called Global Strike, which integrates U.S. conventional and nuclear forces in support of a broad range of warfighting options, including nuclear attacks against hardened underground bunkers and buried caches of chemical and biological weapons. For the Bush administration, Schell concludes, “The mission of nuclear weapons is no longer to produce stalemate with a peer; it is to fight and win wars against nations with little or no ability to respond.” The Bush preventive war doctrine saw its first application in the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, which the administration sold to Congress and the public with frightening assertions that Saddam Hussein was pursuing nuclear weapons and might give them to terrorists to attack the United States. After the war, both claims proved to be false, dealing a severe blow to U.S. credibility.'

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi: Nobel Peace Prize Speech (2012)

'We are fortunate to be living in an age when social welfare and humanitarian assistance are recognized not only as desirable but necessary. I am fortunate to be living in an age when the fate of prisoners of conscience anywhere has become the concern of peoples everywhere, an age when democracy and human rights are widely, even if not universally, accepted as the birthright of all. How often during my years under house arrest have I drawn strength from my favourite passages in the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

+ "Disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspirations of the common people..."

+ "It is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law..."

If I am asked why I am fighting for human rights in Burma the above passages will provide the answer. If I am asked why I am fighting for democracy in Burma, it is because I believe that democratic institutions and practices are necessary for the guarantee of human rights... The peace of our world is indivisible.'

Globalization: The New Rulers Of The World (2001)

'The New Rulers Of The World' (2001) analyses the new global economy and reveals that the divisions between the rich and poor have never been greater - two thirds of the world's children live in poverty - and the gulf is widening like never before. The film turns the spotlight on the new rulers of the world - the great multinationals and the governments and institutions that back them such as the IMF, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation under whose rules millions of people throughout the world lose their jobs and livelihood. The West, explains Pilger, has increased its stranglehold on poor countries by using the might of these powerful financial institutions to control their economies. "A small group of powerful individuals are now richer than most of the population of Africa," he says, "just 200 giant corporations dominate a quarter of the world's economic activity. General Motors is now bigger than Denmark. Ford is bigger than South Africa. Enormously rich men like Bill Gates, have a wealth greater than all of Africa. Golfer Tiger Woods was paid more to promote Nike than the entire workforce making the company's products in Indonesia received."

U.S. Foreign Policy: Politicide, Bigotry, & Domination (2000)

"Well, there was no threat from the Soviet Union. They were still rebuilding from the rubble of World War II in which they had lost 20 million people. They were no threat but they were manufactured from 1950 on, from the time of Korea on, as a grave threat to the United States... This was the beginning of the permanent war economy in the United States.... Imagine what would happen if we had an informed electorate; if we didn’t have the worst educational system; if we had a negligible perhaps illiteracy rate here? There might be an informed electorate. We might be debating real substantive issues in the electoral process or in the political process in the United States. There might be a threat in this country of real democracy if we solved the domestic crises in this country. People might clamor to participate if there was a real debate. There might be a threat of a third party, I mean a second party in the United States. There are all kinds of threats to elitists control of the U.S. if we were to solve these domestic crises... and it is for this reason that we have always needed this foreign threat and this foreign crises in order to justify putting the money into military expenditures instead of converting the economy, once and for all, to human purposes."

The American Empire Project: A People's History

'The American Empire has always been a bipartisan project—Democrats and Republicans have taken turns extending it, extolling it, justifying it. President Woodrow Wilson told graduates of the Naval Academy in 1914 (the year he bombarded Mexico) that the U.S. used “her navy and her army… as the instruments of civilization, not as the instruments of aggression.” And Bill Clinton, in 1992, told West Point graduates: “The values you learned here will be able to spread throughout the country and throughout the world.” For the people of the United States, and indeed for people all over the world, those claims sooner or later are revealed to be false. The rhetoric, often persuasive on first hearing, soon becomes overwhelmed by horrors that can no longer be concealed: the bloody corpses of Iraq, the torn limbs of American GIs, the millions of families driven from their homes—in the Middle East and in the Mississippi Delta. Have not the justifications for empire, embedded in our culture, assaulting our good sense—that war is necessary for security, that expansion is fundamental to civilization—begun to lose their hold on our minds? Have we reached a point in history where we are ready to embrace a new way of living in the world, expanding not our military power, but our humanity?'

"Base Nation" - David Vine (2015)

"Largely, people of course don't like their land occupied by foreign troops — and I think it's worth thinking, for American audiences, to think about how it would feel to have foreign troops living next door, occupying your land with tanks. ... There have also been a number of harms that these bases have inflicted on local communities — there have been accidents, crimes committed by U.S. personnel, environmental damage — a whole range of damage that people were quite upset about."

"No Good Men Among the Living" - Anand Gopal (Picador, 2014)

'What you will learn from “No Good Men Among the Living” is that after the USA routed the Taliban in 2001, the term “Wars Of Choice, Wars Of Necessity” hardly applied to the facts on the ground. A more accurate description would be “Wars Of Insanity” for the simple reason that virtually the entire Taliban leadership had reconciled itself to living in peace with the government the USA had helped to install... Once the Taliban liquidated itself and al-Qaeda hightailed it to Pakistan, there was no reason for the American military to remain in Afghanistan. But so intoxicated as it was on the need for revenge, it developed a campaign that required an enemy even if it was not there. The same rogue elements that precipitated Taliban resistance in the first place were all too ready to serve as American agents in an unnecessary war. With bottomless coffers filled with American dollars, the same kinds of militia thugs that killed Gul’s family members were ready to go to work identifying and killing “terrorists” for a handsome fee even if the killing was more on-target than the identification. Gopal poses the question, “How do you fight a war without an adversary?” The answer was simple: you made one up.'

"American Hegemony" - Chalmers Johnson (2008)

"In the southernmost prefecture of Japan, Okinawa, site of the Battle of Okinawa in 1945, there’s a small island, smaller than Kauai in the Hawaiian islands, with 1,300,000 Okinawans. There are 37 American military bases there. The revolt against them has been endemic for 50 years. The governor is always saying to the local military commander, "You’re living on the side of a volcano that could explode at any time." It has exploded in the past. What this means is just an endless, nonstop series of sexually violent crimes, drunken brawls, hit-and-run accidents, environmental pollution, noise pollution, helicopters falling out of the air from Futenma Marine Corps Air Base and falling onto the campus of Okinawa International University — one thing after another. Back in 1995, we had one of the most serious incidents, when two Marines and a sailor abducted, beat and raped a 12-year-old girl. This led to the largest demonstrations against the United States since we signed the security treaty with Japan decades ago. It’s this kind of thing... These bases are spread everywhere."

Empire: "The Decline of the American Vampire" (2011)

'The US has the world's biggest economy, the most influential culture, and the most potent military machine, with a budget that equals that of all other nations combined. It is the only power with a global project defended and supported by more aircraft carriers, Fortune 500 companies, and more successful media-tainment conglomerates than any other. But the last decade has been problematic for the world's only superpower. America's post-Cold War optimism has given way to pessimism, forecasting a declining power and more crucially, the end of "the American era"... Countless books have been written prophesying the end with titles like: Suicide of a Superpower; The Empire Has No Clothes; Taming American Power; Nemesis: the Last Days of the American Republic; Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire; and Selling out A Superpower. So, is all this talk of the US decline premature? And if not, what role will the US play in a post-US century? Empire finds out.'

Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear & the Selling of American Empire

'The documentary places the Bush administration’s false justifications for war in Iraq within the larger context of a two-decade struggle by neoconservatives to dramatically increase military spending in the wake of the cold war, and to expand American power globally by means of military force. At the same time, the documentary argues that the Bush administration has sold this radical and controversial plan for aggressive American military intervention by deliberately manipulating intelligence, political imagery, and the fears of the American people after 9/11. Narrated by Julian Bond, "Hijacking Catastrophe" features interviews with more than twenty prominent political observers, including Pentagon whistleblower Lt. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who witnessed first-hand how the Bush administration set up a sophisticated propaganda operation to link the anxieties generated by 9/11 to a pre-existing foreign policy agenda that included a preemptive war on Iraq. At its core, the film places the deceptions of the Bush administration within the larger frame of questions seldom posed in the mainstream.'

"Far from Vietnam" (1967) - Tactical Opposition & Politicide

'Initiated and edited by Chris Marker, FAR FROM VIETNAM is an epic 1967 collaboration between cinema greats Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch and Alain Resnais in protest of American military involvement in Vietnam--made, per Marker's narration, "to affirm, by the exercise of their craft, their solidarity with the Vietnamese people in struggle against aggression." A truly collaborative effort, the film brings together an array of stylistically disparate contributions, none individually credited, under a unified editorial vision. The elements span documentary footage shot in North and South Vietnam and at anti-war demonstrations in the United States; a fictional vignette and a monologue that dramatize the self-interrogation of European intellectuals; interviews with Fidel Castro and Anne Morrison, widow of Norman Morrison, the Quaker pacifist who burned himself alive in front of the Pentagon in 1965; an historical overview of the conflict; reflections from French journalist Michèle Ray; and a range of repurposed media material.'

Manhatta: Die Großstädte und das Geistesleben (1903-21)

'The deepest problems of modern life derive from the claim of the individual to preserve the autonomy and individuality of his existence in the face of overwhelming social forces, of historical heritage, of external culture, and of the technique of life. The fight with nature which primitive man has to wage for his bodily existence attains in this modern form its latest transformation. The eighteenth century called upon man to free himself of all the historical bonds in the state and in religion, in morals and in economics. Man's nature, originally good and common to all, should develop unhampered. In addition to more liberty, the nineteenth century demanded the functional specialization of man and his work; this specialization makes one individual incomparable to another, and each of them indispensable to the highest possible extent. However, this specialization makes each man the more directly dependent upon the supplementary activities of all others... in all these positions the same basic motive is at work: the person resists to being leveled down and worn out by a social-technological mechanism. An inquiry into the inner meaning of specifically modern life and its products, into the soul of the cultural body, must seek to solve the equation which structures like the metropolis set up between the individual and the super-individual contents of life.'

William S. Burroughs - "A Thanksgiving Prayer" (1986)

"Thanks for the Wild Turkey® and
The passenger pigeons, destined
To be shat out through wholesome
American guts.
Thanks for a continent to despoil
And poison.
Thanks for Indians to provide a
Modicum of challenge and
Danger.
Thanks for vast herds of bison to
Kill and skin leaving the
Carcasses to rot.
Thanks for bounties on wolves
And coyotes.
Thanks for the American dream,
To vulgarize and to falsify until
The bare lies shine through."

"The Fog of War" - The Pentagon's Ruling Paradigm

'What is morally appropriate in a wartime environment? Let me give you an illustration. While I was Secretary, we used what's called "Agent Orange" in Vietnam. A chemical that strips leaves off of trees. After the war, it is claimed that that was a toxic chemical and it killed many individuals ? soldiers and civilians — exposed to it. Were those who issued the approval to use Agent Orange: criminals? Were they committing a crime against humanity? Let's look at the law. Now what kind of law do we have that says these chemicals are acceptable for use in war and these chemicals are not. We don't have clear definitions of that kind. I never in the world would have authorized an illegal action. I'm not really sure I authorized Agent Orange ? I don't remember it ? but it certainly occurred, the use of it occurred while I was Secretary. Norman Morrison was a Quaker. He was opposed to war, the violence of war, the killing. He came to the Pentagon, doused himself with gasoline. Burned himself to death below my office. He held a child in his arms, his daughter. Passersby shouted, "Save the child!" He threw the child out of his arms, and the child lived and is alive today. His wife issued a very moving statement: "Human beings must stop killing other human beings." And that's a belief that I shared. I shared it then and I believe it even more strongly today. How much evil must we do in order to do good?'

"Native Land" (1942) - Apartheid & the La Follette Committee

'Invoking patriotism with images and allusions to the Plymouth Rock, the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, and the movement West, Native Land, a film started in 1938 (tentatively entitled Labor Spy) but not released until 1942, urges ordinary citizens not to take their freedom for granted. A Michigan farmer is attacked, sharecroppers demanding a living wage are hunted down and killed by local sheriff deputies, the Ku Klux Klan tar and feather three trade union supporters, and a union representative is found murdered. Combining actual footage of such events and creative re-enactments by professional actors, Strand and Robeson call for a social revolution--to fight the conspiracy against labor unions and the plot to destroy every American's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness... During the McCarthy witch-hunts, the original negatives were to be destroyed. However, the film remained, returning to circulation in 1974 and attaining the status of a legendary film of America's struggle for human rights.'

'Las Hurdes: Tierra Sin Pan': Luis Buñuel (1933)

'The surrealist movement in poetry, literature, and film overlapped with the emerging discipline of modern anthropology in France. Writing about French culture between the wars, James Clifford has coined the term "ethnographic surrealism" to describe the intersection of anthropology and art in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s. Unlike traditional anthropological discourses, which strive to make the unfamiliar comprehensible, ethnographic surrealism, Clifford writes, "attacks the familiar, provoking the irruption of otherness -- the unexpected" (1988: 145). Luis Buñuel lived and worked in Paris during this period of interdisciplinary ferment.'

'Born in Flames' (1983) - Lizzie Borden & Flo Kennedy

"The truth will be heard and the story must and shall be told. It is not only the story of women's oppression, it is the story of sexism, racism, bigotry, nationalism, false religion and the blasphemy of the state controlled church, the story of environmental poisoning and nuclear warfare. Of the powerful over the powerless, for the sake of sick and depraved manipulations that abuse and corner the human soul like a rat in a cage. It is all of our responsibilities as individuals and together to examine and to re-examine everything, leaving no stones unturned. Every word that we utter, every action and every thought. We are all, women and men, the prophets of this new age. And for those of us who would be safer in the sensibilities of racism, seperatism and martyrdom: if you can't help us towards building this living church, then step out of the way. The scope and capabilities of human love are as wide and encompassing as this vast universe that we all swirl in. One for all, and all for one-ness. This fight will not end in terrorism and violence. It will not end in a nuclear holocaust. It begins in the celebration of the rites of alchemy. The transformation of shit into gold. The illumination of dark chaotic night into light. This is the time of sweet, sweet change for us all."

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