03 January 2007

here i go again, bringing up old stuff.

on democracy now! today, amy goodman interviewed jon alpert, one of the last american journalists to have interviewed saddam hussein. i'm sending you over yonder to read the transcript. or watch. or listen. veeeeery interesting. be prepared for the final section of interview, though... heartbreaking is an understatement. i imagine that is the same now, if not worse.

i can't get this blood off my hands, no matter what i do. how easy it would be to just go with the flow and play follow the leader - parrot tony snow and root on bush's war(s). instead i'am left with the blood of thousands and millions, because i can't seem to make them stop... oh, every day is judgement day 'round these parts. if there really is a god, he won't have much left to do when i reach him that i have't already posed to myself. but i digress.

amy goodman is also now writing a syndicated column. i'll be writing the editor of my local paper to ask that it be added on a weekly basis - so that the paper will no longer be just a bunch of crap. no, silly, i won't say it quite that way. ;) if you're feeling so inclined, you should do the same with your own crappy papers, uh, i mean, pillars of journalistic integrity.

speaking of journalistic integrity, the most recent issue of utne magazine has a fantastic write up about i.f. stone! i first found stone in a course i took about the 1950's in school last year. i read many pieces of the haunted fifties. the parallels! the parallels!

why can't all the journalists be more like amy and fisk and stone?
someday i will write like stone did...

here a but a few of stone's quotes from the entire piece:

Stone on the Vietnam War

  • "Under the supposed benevolence of our policy one soon detects a deep animosity to the Vietnamese and a vast arrogance. We assume the right to remold them, whether they choose to be remolded or not."
  • "The simple fact that occupying armies, whether allied or enemy, always become unpopular hardly ever figures in official calculation."

Stone on Robert F. Kennedy and the Vietnam War

  • "Honor requires the soldier to kill or be killed, whatever his scruples. But it is not regarded as dishonorable for the politician to swallow his misgivings and allow the young to go out to die without protest."

Stone on World War II

  • "Some of the causes of this war went deeper than any enemy men or movements.
    . . . Some of these causes lie in our own minds and hearts as well as in those of our defeated enemies."
  • "I wish it were possible to throw on some gigantic screen for all to see some fraction of the suffering, the treachery, the sacrifice, and the courage of the past decade. For how are we in America to fulfill our responsibility to the dead and to the future, to our less fortunate allies and to our children's children, if we do not feel a little of this so deeply in our bones that we will be unswervingly determined that it shall never happen again?"

Stone on the civil rights movement's March on Washington

  • "They carried upon them a story more plainly writ than any banner. These were, literally, the downtrodden and the treadmarks of oppression were visible upon their faces. They sang, 'We shall not be moved.' But those who saw them-and what life had done to them-were moved."

Stone on the Nazi persecution of Jews

  • "The essence of tragedy is not the doing of evil by evil men but the doing of evil by good men, out of weakness, indecision, sloth, inability to act in accordance with what they know to be right."

Stone on the hydrogen bomb

  • "Why should these matters be cloaked in secrecy, the decisions on them made without popular discussion? The lack of real debate has allowed a thick deposit of dubious ideological fallout to contaminate the public mind. A whole series of doubtful propositions have been rubbed in by official statement and their echoes in a well-coordinated press."

Stone on Barry Goldwater and his followers

  • "The frontier virtues they claim to embody are as synthetic as the frontier they inhabit. . . . In their favorite campaign photos, on that horse and under that ten-gallon Stetson, looking into the setting sun, is no cowboy or even rancher but a Phoenix storekeeper. The Western trade he caters to, in business as in politics, is dude ranch."
*remind you of anyone else much?

Stone on freedom of speech

"No society is good in which men fear to think-much less speak-freely."

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