October 4th, 2007

Chris Keeley

Gideon Levy, "The War for the House"--Haaretz 9/30/07

*The war for the house*

_By Gideon Levy <mailto:levy@haaretz.co.il>


Theirs is an apartment building no one has ever heard of. No
architectural International Style, no style at all, just an apartment
building. Five floors, 11 families, new tiles in one of the bathrooms.
Situated on a hillside, the house hovers above the city below. Hovers?
Hovered.

Many other buildings surround this one. Densely constructed, the houses
almost touch one another. A narrow alley, the width of a person,
separates the buildings. All of the residents of the apartment building
are family members - parents, siblings and cousins. They built one floor
on top of another, residing in cramped proximity. Residing? Resided.

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Chris Keeley

Author and Social Critic Susan Faludi on “The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post 9/11 America”

Author and Social Critic Susan Faludi on “The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post 9/11 America”

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/04/1355237


Thursday
, October 4th, 2007

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/04/1355237

In her new book, leading social critic and Pulitzer-winning journalist Susan Faludi examines the cultural impact of the 9/11 attacks and concludes that the United States has been living in a myth since. She explores how the attacks led to the denigration of women here in the United States, the magnification of manly men and the call for greater domesticity. Faludi joins us to take about the Bush administration’s use of feminism to launch the war on Afghanistan; the case of Private Jessica Lynch; the Republican “W. Stands for Women” campaign, and more.

 


Six years ago this Sunday the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan began. Fifty cruise missiles were launched from submarines in the Arabian Sea. B52 and B2 Stealth bombers began air strikes.The Pentagon called the attack Operation Enduring Freedom. The invasion came less than a month after 9/11. Among the Bush administration’s goals were the capture of Osama Bin Laden and the dismantling of the Taliban.

Six years later, neither objective has been realized. 40,000 U.S. and NATO forces remain in Afghanistan and the United Nations recently revealed violence has reached a new high. Another stated objective of the war was the liberation of Afghani women. Shortly after the war began Laura Bush became the only first lady in history to record a full presidential radio address. She addressed the plight of women in Afghanistan.

    Laura Bush speaking in November of 2001.

The Bush administration's use of feminists to help make the case for the war in Afghanistan is one of many topics examined in a new book titled “The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post 9/11 Amer. ica.” It is written by one of the country's leading social critics, Susan Faludi.

Faludi examines the cultural impact of the 9/11 attacks and concludes that the United States has been living in a myth since 9/11 and she explores how the attacks led to the denigration of women here in the United States, the magnification of manly men and the call for greater domesticity.

Susan Faludi is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. Her previous books include “Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women” and “Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man.” She us joins us in the Firehouse studio.

 

  • Susan Faludi. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of the new book “The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post 9/11 America.” She is also the author of “Backlash” and “Stiffed.”

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/04/1355237

Chris Keeley

Blackwater Won’t Guard FBI Agents Investigating Them

Blackwater Won’t Guard FBI Agents Investigating Them
In Iraq, the FBI has been forced to admit that operatives with the private military firm Blackwater USA were initially scheduled to guard the very agents sent to Iraq to investigate Blackwater’s mass shooting last month in Baghdad. The New York Daily News reported on Wednesday that Blackwater would be assigned to protect the investigators upon their arrival in Iraq. The FBI now says the team will be guarded by other security personnel. Blackwater is under scrutiny for killing as many as twenty-eight Iraqis in an unprovoked attack.

White House Opposes Contractor Law
Meanwhile the White House has announced it opposes a House measure that would extend federal jurisdiction to State Department contractors like Blackwater working abroad. The Office of Management and Budget said the bill would leave “intolerable consequences for crucial and necessary national security activities and operations.”

Chris Keeley

Torn Sam Riley in Control.

Torn Sam Riley in Control.

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/film/2007/10/film_weekly_meets_controls_samantha_morton.html

Control
Torn Sam Riley in Control.

Two very British films form the basis of the show this week. One's about pop, the other's about Pops.

You've probably heard about Control already. It was a hit with everyone in Cannes and the music and style press have been swooning over its depiction of angsty icon Ian Curtis, who - if you believe them - basically changed the entire world of popular music by fronting Joy Division, being miserable and dying young.

Based on the book Touching From A Distance by Curtis' widow Deborah, the film Control admirably recoils from both hagiography and bitterness. Four reasons: Samantha Morton's performance (I think she's a real screen animal, the best, most instinctive, carnal and visceral British actress of her generation - has been since her debuts in Cracker on the telly and in the amazing film, Under The Skin); Sam Riley's sympathetic and intelligent portrayal of Curtis; Toby Kibbel's amusing turn as band manager Rob Gretton; and Anton Corbijn's stylish direction, impressively of a piece with his photography of the band and the era.

The film's arrival has prompted several pieces about great rock films and Control, I think, does take its place among them, although it doesn't quite have the scope and sense of mischief achieved by Michael Winterbottom in the splendid 24 Hour Party People.

Listen to my interviews with the two Sams, Morton and Riley. I'd been told Samantha was in a bad mood and that I should be scared, but although we only had a short time, I found her very chirpy and looking happy in her heavily pregnant state. She really doesn't care about all that skinny Hollywood stuff anymore, which is refreshing. As is Sam Riley, who can't quite believe his luck, but is happily seizing the day. It's a good story, Control, and certainly one of the best British films of the year.

Happy Viewing,

Chris Keeley

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 — The former Blackwater USA employee who is the sole suspect in the killing last

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 — The former Blackwater USA employee who is the sole suspect in the killing last Christmas Eve of a bodyguard for an Iraqi vice president is a 27-year-old former Army paratrooper from Montana who now lives in Seattle, where he spends much of his time renovating his small home.

The former employee, Andrew J. Moonen, is identified in numerous government and company documents and is known to scores of Blackwater and government officials, but Congress, the State Department and the company have been keeping his identity confidential.

In an interview on Tuesday evening, Mr. Moonen declined to discuss the episode, in which, American and Iraqi officials say, a Blackwater worker who had been drinking heavily got into a confrontation with a bodyguard to Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi and shot him three times. The guard, Raheem Khalif, died early the next day at an American military hospital.

Mr. Moonen, who appeared composed during the interview, said that he had been following closely the flurry of recent news about Blackwater in Iraq, including the Sept. 16 shooting that left 17 Iraqis dead. On Tuesday, the company’s founder, Erik D. Prince, testified before a Congressional committee about the Christmas Eve shooting and other lethal episodes involving Blackwater guards.

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Chris Keeley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Jolted by a shooting incident involving security firm Blackwater that killed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Jolted by a shooting incident involving security firm Blackwater that killed 11 Iraqis, U.S. lawmakers passed a bill on Thursday to make all government contractors accountable under U.S. law for their actions.

But the bill, voted 389-30 in the House of Representatives, faces opposition from the Republican White House and a similar version still must make its way through the Senate before becoming law.

Lawmakers hope to clear up confusion and close loopholes over which laws apply if the more than 160,000 U.S. contractors working in Iraq are accused of committing crimes.

The bill expands the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA), which covers defense department contractors, to all civilians working for the U.S. government abroad. Blackwater, which has about 1,000 staff in Iraq, has a State Department contract to protect its diplomats there.

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Chris Keeley

Dividing Iraq to Save It

Dividing Iraq to Save It*

By David Ignatius
Thursday, October 4, 2007; A25

During the recent debate in Washington about what is gently termed the
"soft partition" of Iraq
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Iraq?tid=informline>, I
have been remembering one of the macabre signature phrases of the
Vietnam
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Vietnam?tid=informline>
War: "It was necessary to destroy the town in order to save it."

I know the senators who endorsed Sen. Joe Biden
<http://projects.washingtonpost.com/2008-presidential-candidates/joe-biden/>'s
plan to devolve power in a more federal Iraq don't mean to destroy the
country. They want to save it. But like the unidentified U.S. Army
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/U.S.+Army?tid=informline>
officer who was quoted in 1968 after the destruction of a village called
Ben Tre, they are cloaking expediency in the rhetoric of salvation.

Iraq may indeed separate into three semi-autonomous cantons -- Sunni,
Shiite and Kurdish -- as Biden and others recommend. Looking at the
sectarian strife plaguing the country, that often seems like an
inevitable outcome. But this act of national dismemberment is not
something that Americans should recommend. No matter how much blood and
treasure we have spent in Iraq, we remain outsiders there. It's not our
call.

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