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Recent Z Nightly Commentaries
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.
Pilger: Anglo-American Elites
Dec 17, 2007
When Prime Minister Gordon Brown spoke recently about his government's devotion to the United States, "founded on the values we share", he was echoing his Foreign Office minister Kim Howells, who was preparing to welcome the Saudi dictator to Britain with effusions of "shared values". The meaning was the same in both cases. The values shared are those of rapacious power and wealth, with democracy and human rights irrelevant, as the bloodbath in Iraq and the suffering of the Palestinians attest, to name only two examples.
Podur: Venezuela's Constitutional Reform Fails
Dec 04, 2007
Venezuela's Constitutional Reform Fails (For Now)
Pilger: Exposing The Guardians Of Power
Dec 01, 2007
Exposing The Guardians Of Power
Peters: Literacy for Learner's
Nov 23, 2007
As a teacher in adult education, I always had to balance facilitating empowered learning in the classroom with delivering a product to funders.
Prashad: Persian Contradictions
Nov 15, 2007
I read the introduction of Iran's president by Columbia's president with embarrassment. "You exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator,"said Lee Bollinger...
Pilger: The Fallen Of Iraq
Nov 14, 2007
On Remembrance Day 2007, the great and the good bowed their heads at the Cenotaph. Generals, politicians, newsreaders, football managers and stock-market traders wore their poppies.
Peters: Veterans' Voices
Nov 11, 2007
A few years ago, an old friend from Nicaragua started writing to me about his experiences fighting on the side of the Sandinistas during the revolution against a brutal dictator in the late 1970s and then later against the U.S.-supported contras.
Pilger: Sicko 2
Nov 10, 2007
Lying back in a hospital ward, the procedure done and successful, a cup of tea going down nicely with the last of the morphine, you are a spectator to the best.
Pilger: UK Health Service
Nov 06, 2007
Sicko 2: The Destruction Of Britain's Health Service