Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Jeremy Scahill: The Man Exposing the US Dirty War

Jeremy Scahill in Somalia

Investigative journalist, author, and documentary filmmaker Jeremy Scahill is among those who are my heroes. I weep as I write this, having again read this article and the book and knowing the documentary. I love the courageous ones whose hearts and souls are so big that, rooted in a higher good for us all, they take on truth wherever it will lead. I love them. My heart is always, each time, so deeply moved by those who put themselves on the front lines to bring us the truth that we are so often deprived of here in America. Because these truths, these larger pictures, are not pretty, are out of alignment with the image and stories we Americans are propagandized to believe, and go against the toxic interests of the ultra rich whose financial interests are incestuously woven with the need to perpetuate endless war. This article and documentary and book date to 2013 when Obama was president. So anyone who thinks Molly is just a Democrat against Republicans, or a liberal who doesn't love her country, etc. can have those stories shredded into smithereens. The war machine is an equal opportunity employer of both major political parties. That said, I am also aware of the particular danger that violence in foreign countries is being escalated under Trump and there is a high risk that our current president will attempt to justify a new full blown war. We need to be prepared. We need to say NO! So I highlight here the great need for Americans to wake up from our illusions that the "war against terror" is a noble cause when in reality it is rooted in toxic intentions and the blood of millions and the destruction of our Earth Mother. The stories we are taught to believe about the nobility of war must be seen for what they are, owned, healed, and transformed. Peace is possible. But only as we come to the conscious wisdom that war creates terrorism, which is the precise opposite of creating peace. Peace is the path to peace, beginning within the hearts and minds of each and every one of us. There is a profound need for humans to commit to peace  and to stand firmly and fiercely in an utter refusal to support the Dirty Wars that have been part of the American psyche since the earliest days of slavery and the genocide of Indigenous peoples. Another world is possible. - Molly

 'Undeclared wars have been launched in countries across the globe' … Jeremy Scahill (centre, in black) in a scene from Dirty Wars. Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar
With Jeremy Scahill in Portland
 While making the documentary Dirty Wars, Scahill met the survivors of secret US hit squads in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia – and promised to tell their stories
Jeremy Scahill, whose provocative documentary Dirty Wars is released in the UK this week, has been described as a "progressive journalist" and an activistin the same mould as Glenn Greenwald. Is "progressive" a word he is comfortable with? "It's not a term I would reject in terms of my personal politics," he says, "but I see myself as an independent journalist and my mission is to try to tell stories about real people."
Scahill's critics write him off as an activist or an advocate, but he argues that all journalists have a point of view. "Oftentimes the ones who are activists on behalf of the state don't get labelled as activists. People who accept the state's version of events are considered objective journalists. People who question the state's version of events, particularly in the face of overwhelming evidence that the state is either lying or involved in extra-legal activity, are tarred with the brush of being activists. There is a systematic smearing of anyone who questions the state, while people who are slavishly devoted to advocacy for the state somehow wear the crown of objectivity."
The real people in the film – and the book, Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, which accompanies it – are the victims of what are, in effect, US hit squads operating in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other places where the American government is waging its "war on terror". Starting with one murderous attack on an Afghan police chief and his family in eastern Afghanistan, Scahill widens the focus to portray an out-of-control US military, operating through a shadowy organisation called the Joint Special Operations Command, stalking an ever increasing number of targets in an apparently endless war. It is a compelling picture that tries to make sense of the spiralling number of drone strikes and targeted assassinations; tries, too, to prise a reaction from viewers who have been desensitised by a decade of such killings.
Reading this on mobile? Click here to view the trailer
Scahill began work on the film in early 2010, when he travelled to Afghanistanwith documentary director Richard Rowley, a friend and colleague with whom he had worked in Baghdad. Rowley wanted to make a film about Afghanistan; Scahill wanted to examine President Obama's hawkish foreign policy. They have ended up doing both. "We started to investigate a series of night raids [by US forces]," says Scahill, "and discovered that the people doing the raids were members of this elite secret unit. When we realised where else in the world they were operating, we realised we had a film."
Please go here to continue the article and to view the Dirty Wars trailer: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/nov/24/jeremy-scahill-exposing-us-dirty-war-afghanistan-pakistan-somalia-yemen

No comments: