Breaking the Sound Barrier (Amy Goodman) [2009]

Amy Goodmans senaste bok är en samling av hennes krönikor på DN!-bloggen i olika ämnen. Det positiva är att det visar spannet på hennes intresse och engagemang. Det negativa, att det korta formatet (2-3 sidor per text) gör att hon blir mer populistisk än i de tidigare böckerna. Det är ibland för mycket klyschor (”We need a media that is the fourth estate, not for the state”…) och perspektivet går ibland förlorat i detaljfrågor om någon perifer person. Men allt som oftast är det läsvärt, en hel del är nytt fastän jag regelbundet tittar på programmet, och en del texter är riktigt bra (se nedan).


Thwarted in his attempt to read the Pentagon Papers into the public record as a filibuster to block the renewal of the draft, [Senator Mike] Gravel called a late/night meeting of the obscure Subcommittee on Buildings and Grounds, which he chaired, and began reading the papers aloud there. He broke down crying while reading the details of Vietnamese civilian deaths. Because he had begun the reading, he was legally able to enter all 7,000 pages of the Pentagon Papers, once top-secret, into the public record.

[Om Winter Soldier, som hölls första gången i Detroit, 1971. Namnet kommer från Thomas Paines text The Crisis:]

These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

Then there is the story of Sami al-Haj. A cameraman for Al-Jazeera, he was reporting on the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. On December15, 2001, while in a Pakistani town near the Afghanistan border, Haj was arrested, then imprisoned in Afghanistan. Six months later, shackled and gagged, he was flown to the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. Haj was held there for close to six years, repeatedly interrogated, and never charged with any crime, never tried in a court… Haj was abruptly released this week [May 7, 2008]. The U.S. government announced that he was being transferred to the custody of Sudan, his home nation, but the government of Sudan took no action against him. He was rushed to an emergency room…

[Henry Kissinger]

”I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.”

The Justice Department has just fined Chiquita Brands International [tidigare United Fruit, min anm.] $25 million for funding a terrorist organization … for years. Chiquita must also cooperate fully with ongoing investigations into its payments to the ultra/right/wing Colombian paramilitary group Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC).

The original pipeline partner, Unocal, was sued by EarthRights International for the use of slave labor. As soon as the suit was settled out of court, Chevron bought Unocal… The U.S. government has had sanctions in place against Burma since 1997. A loophole exists, though, for companies grandfathered in. Unocal’s exemption from the Burma sanctions has been passed on to its new owner, Chevron.

[Om Kongo]

It’s the deadliest conflict since World War II. More than five million people have died in the past decade, yet it goes virtually unnoticed… […] after supporting the allies in World War II, Congo gained independence, and elected Patrice Lumumba, a progressive Pan-Africanist, as prime minister in 1960. He was assassinated soon after in a plot involving the CIA. The United States installed and supported Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled tyrannically for more than 30 years, plundering the nation. Since his death, Congo has seen war, from 1996 to 2002, provoked by invasions by neighboring Rwanda and Uganda, and ongoing conflict since then.

Maurice Carney is executive Director of Friends of the Congo, in Washington, D.C.:

[…] Congo has tremendous natural resources, 30 percent of the world’s cobalt, 10 percent of the world’s copper, 80 percent of the world’s reserves of coltan. You have to look at the corporate influence on everything that takes place in the Congo.

[…] coltan, also known as tantalum, a hard-to-extract but critical component of electronic circuitry, which is used in all cell phones and other consumer electronics.

Kanske den mest intressanta texten i boken:

Intressant text om Vermont:

In the Vermont town meeting, local issues and ordinances are hashed out in an open forum, with all the townspeople who want to speak given time. This is arguably the closest we come in the United States to real democracy. […] In Brattleboro, the townspeople decided to arrest President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, whould they visit. (This may be a moot point, as Vermont is the one state out of 50 that George W. Bush has not visited while president [March 5, 2008]). […] the Iraq war remains the number one issue concerning people there… Vermont has the highest per capita death rate among U.S. servicemembers…

Perhaps the least known among [Obama’s national-security Cabinet selections] is retired Marine General James Jones, Obama’s pick for national security adviser… Jones is the former supreme allied commander of NATO. […] More germane to Jones’ forthcoming role in Obama’s inner circle, though, might be Jones’ seat as a director of Boeing, a weapons manufacturer, and as a director of Chevron, an oil giant.

Clarence Kailin is 92 years old. He recently traveled to New York City to attend the annual reunion of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. The brigade was originally made up of roughly 3,000 U.S. citizens who volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War, which raged from 1936 to 1939. […] ”It was fighting against Italian fascism and German Nazism. And we felt that if we lost the war, that World War II was pretty much inevitable, which is what happened. It happened because Britain and France and the United States refused to give us any help at all. And so, we fought barehanded at times… And no, there would have been no Holocaust if Hitler had been stopped in Spain in 1936-39.” […] [The Spanish people] know war. So it is perhaps no surprise that Spain saw some of the largest antiwar protests before the invasion of Iraq, nor is it surprising that when their prime minister allied with Bush/Cheney, they voted him out of office. His replacement, Prime Minister Jose Zapatero, immediately withdrew Spanish troops from Iraq.

Utah Phillips, musiker, fredsaktivist, m.m.:

”The long memory is the most radical idea in America. That long memory has been taken away from us. You haven’t gotten it in your schools. You’re not getting it on your television. You’re being leapfrogged from one crisis to the next.” 

[Tommy] Douglas became premier of Saskatchewan, and pioneered a number of progressive policies there, including the expansion of public utilities, unionization and public auto insurance. But Douglas’ biggest battle, for which he is best remembered, is the creation of universal health insurance, called Medicare. It passed in Saskatchewan in 1962, guaranteeing hospital care for all residents. […] it was so successful and popular that it was adopted throughout Canada. […] In 2004, a [CBC] poll named Tommy Douglas ”The Greatest Canadian.”


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