Z Nightly Commentaries
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Recent Z Nightly Commentaries
Pilger: Best Of Britain
May 10, 2008
When I first came to live in Britain, much of ordinary life was premised on a sense of community. It was mostly undeclared; occasionally, it would become vivid, even heroic. Watching Durham miners, defeated but unbowed by hunger and debt, march back to the pit in 1985, led by their women, was a glimpse of Britain at its best. In spite of Thatcher and Blair, that communal decency survives, though you may have to look for it. A good place to look is a local post office.
Pilger: Latin America
Apr 25, 2008
Beyond the sound and fury of its conquest of Iraq and campaign against Iran, the world's dominant power is waging a largely unreported war on another continent - Latin America. Using proxies, Washington aims to restore and reinforce the political control of a privileged group calling itself middle-class, to shift the responsibility for massacres and drug trafficking away from the psychotic regime in Colombia and its mafiosi, and to extinguish hopes raised among Latin America's impoverished majority by the reform governments of Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia.
Pilger: South Africa
Apr 12, 2008
Almost fourteen years after South Africa's first democratic elections and the fall of racial apartheid, John Pilger describes, in an address at Rhodes University, the dream and reality of the new South Africa and the responsibility of its new elite.
Apr 09, 2008
The challenge for activists isn't just that we have legions of crises to face everyday. It's also that we have to operate in a corporate-sponsored culture that constantly barrages us and our communities with the message that individuals are the problem. The powers-that-be are even clear that the fix they offer will make us sound ridiculous and look like idiots, but, they advise, do it anyway.
Pilger: Philip Jones Tribute
Mar 29, 2008
It was 1970 and we were on our first assignment together and at once became friends, talking about the war as surreal, and mostly about the people, whom he loved.
Pilger: Good Good War
Mar 26, 2008
I had suggested to Marina that we meet in the safety of the Intercontinental Hotel, where foreigners stay in Kabul, but she said no. She had been there once and government agents, suspecting she was Rawa, had arrested her.
Prashad: Obama in Teheran
Mar 23, 2008
Barack Obama's suggestion that he would sit down and talk with the Iranian Prime Minister is perhaps the most sensible policy proposal in the stale foreign policy air of Washington, DC. Twice before Teheran has publicly reached out to the US, but both times it has been rebuffed. In 1998, Iranian President Mohammed Khatami proposed a "dialogue among civilization," which the UN adopted in 2001 as its theme for the year. Washington ignored the move, and turned its back on Khatami's 2003 proposal that the US and Iran begin serious negotiations toward normal relations. In 2006, Iran's current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent President Bush a lengthy letter with "new ways" forward for the two countries. Bush, like Clinton before him, snubbed his nose eastwards. Washington's refusal to talk to Iran is stubbornly myopic.
Prashad: Duck and Cover
Mar 19, 2008
A fractured electorate cannot unite behind candidates. The Republicans have their candidate (Boom, Boom McCain). The Democrats are divided by age, gender and race. In the murky results and polls it is hard to fathom the outcome. What is clear is that the Democratic race has mobilized vast numbers of previously disenchanted people to the polls. Some of this is the special charisma of Obama, but quite a lot of it is the general enthusiasm to vote for the first woman or the first African American with a shot at sitting behind the big desk in the Oval Office.
Pilger: Moudud Ahmed
Mar 13, 2008
The extraordinary life of Moudud Ahmed, who in 1971 led Pilger into liberated East Pakistan, later Bangladesh. Now a political prisoner of the military dictatorship in Dhaka, Moudud Ahmed is seriously ill in a country which, says his wife Hasna, "is itself a prison".
Pilger: Australia's Hidden Empire
Mar 06, 2008
When the outside world thinks about Australia, it generally turns to venerable clichés of innocence - cricket, leaping marsupials, endless sunshine, no worries. Australian governments actively encourage this. Witness the recent "G'Day USA" campaign, in which Kylie Minogue and Nicole Kidman sought to persuade Americans that, unlike the empire's problematic outposts, a gormless greeting awaited them Down Under. After all, George W Bush had ordained the previous Australian prime minister, John Howard, "sheriff of Asia".
Podur: Assassination of Reyes
Mar 03, 2008
Raul Reyes was assassinated on Ecuadorian territory...
Pilger: Last Tram Home
Feb 21, 2008
It was not that I was unhappy delivering newspapers piled in a fruit box that ran on ball bearings, hauling it along streets of liver-bricked flats that stank of the daily cabbage quota.
Pilger: Bringing Down Walls
Feb 14, 2008
The recent breakout of the people of Gaza provided a heroic spectacle unlike any other since the Warsaw ghetto uprising and the smashing down of the Berlin Wall.
Prashad: Skimmers of the Sea
Jan 30, 2008
No more the black sails, the fierce cries, the blood lust. Now the pirates ride small motorboats, silent, armed especially with cell phones, GPS systems and automatic weapons. By stealth the boats come right up to the rudder of the cargo vessel, some pirates board thanks to help from someone aboard, and they quickly, bloodlessly, plunder the cargo. Then they are off, to the small island towns. Here it is much as it was before. Money runs through their fingers like quicksilver: sex, drugs, drink and other forms of violence to the body. Little remains for them, as they turn back to their motorboats for another run at the sea.
Pilger: Suharto, Model Killer
Jan 29, 2008
In my film Death of a Nation, there is a sequence filmed on board an Australian aircraft flying over the island of Timor. A party is in progress, and two men in suits are toasting each other in champagne. "This is an historically unique moment," says one of them, "that is truly uniquely historical." This is Gareth Evans, Australia's foreign minister. The other man is Ali Alatas, principal mouthpiece of the Indonesian dictator, General Suharto. It is 1989, and the two are making a grotesquely symbolic flight to celebrate the signing of a treaty that allowed Australia and the international oil and gas companies to exploit the seabed off East Timor, then illegally and viciously occupied by Suharto. The prize, according to Evans, was "zillions of dollars".
Pilger: Us-Style Democracy
Jan 24, 2008
The former president of Tanzania Julius Nyerere once asked, "Why haven't we all got a vote in the US election? Surely everyone with a TV set has earned that right just for enduring the merciless bombardment every four years." Having reported four presidential election campaigns, from the Kennedys to Nixon, Carter to Reagan, with their Zeppelins of platitudes, robotic followers and rictal wives, I can sympathise. But what difference would the vote make? Of the presidential candidates I have interviewed, only George C Wallace, governor of Alabama, spoke the truth. "There's not a dime's worth of difference between the Democrats and Republicans," he said. And he was shot.
Pilger: Good War, Bad War
Jan 10, 2008
I had suggested to Marina that we meet in the safety of the Intercontinental Hotel, where foreigners stay in Kabul, but she said no. She had been there once and government agents, suspecting she was Rawa, had arrested her. We met instead at a safe house, reached through contours of bombed rubble that was once streets, where people live like earthquake victims awaiting rescue.
Prashad: Car Bomb's Brilliant Future
Dec 25, 2007
The first car bomb exploded on Wall Street. It was set there by an Italian American anarchist, Mario Buda, in solidarity with Sacco and Vanzetti. Forty people died on that September 1920 day, and the assassin fled the country for his native Italy. J. P. Morgan's son was injured, and Joseph Kennedy was shaken up. Nonetheless, writes Mike Davis in his catalogue history (Buda's Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb, Verso, 2007), "a poor immigrant with some stolen dynamite, a pile of scrap metal, and an old horse had managed to bring unprecedented terror to the inner sanctum of American capitalism
Peters: Reviewing Getting Off
Dec 22, 2007
When I was reading Robert Jensen's new book "Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity," I found myself being careful to put the book away with the cover face-down. Why? Because the cover looks, well, vaguely pornographic. It features a close-up of a man who looks like he might be jerking off in a public restroom. You can't see his whole face - just his mouth, which is slightly open, slack-jawed. There's a stubbly chin, a bit of a nostril. It's not very attractive. The square white tiles in the background evoke an impersonal environment. The implication is that "getting off" is an ugly, male sort of a thing.
Pilger: Liberalism To Murdochracy
Dec 20, 2007
The former Murdoch retainer Andrew Neil, who edited the London Sunday Times, has described James Murdoch, the heir apparent, as a "social liberal". What strikes me is his casual use of "liberal" for the new ruler of an empire devoted to the promotion of war, conquest and human division. Neil's view is not unusual. In the murdochracy that Britain has largely become, once noble terms such as democracy, reform, even freedom itself, have long been emptied of their meaning. In the years leading to Tony Blair's election, liberal commentators vied in their Tonier-than-thou obeisance to such a paragon of "reborn liberalism". In these pages in 1995, the liberal writer Henry Porter celebrated an almost mystical politician who "presents himself as a harmoniser for all the opposing interests in British life, a conciliator of class differences and tribal antipathies, a synthesiser of opposing beliefs". Blair was, of course, the diametric opposite.