Diigo Links

Monday, February 21, 2005

A couple movie reviews and an interview with Rod Barton:


Firstly I have to get this off of my chest. Early this year ( or late last year, I can't remember ) a group of over 40 prominent retired military officials and public servants got together to write a letter to the current Australian administration detailing their opposition to Australia's continued support for the Bush administration's war on Iraq. The government dismissed their criticism as the grumblings of dottering old men.

Last week on the ABC's "Four Corners" former Australian intelligence officer Rod Barton put the cat amongst the pigeons. He spoke candidly about his findings as a weapons inspector in Iraq. He spoke about his knowledge of the treatment of Iraqi prisoners, and of Australia's involvement in "knowledge gathering activities" with those prisoners. I felt two things when I saw this interview. One was tremendous relief that finally someone was speaking English, saying things that actually have meaning, and telling an unqualified truth (as opposed to the Bush and Howard administration's constant rambling double-speak, legalistic hedging ). The second thing I felt was an anger. Rod Barton's story makes too much sense, is too clear, too direct to be lies. The US and Australian government's stories are full of obfuscations, dodges and semantic arguments (was it an "interview" or an "interrogation" ?) to be considered "honest". We are continually being lied to in the most obvious and insidious way - all in the name of Truth, Freedom, and Liberty.

Please have a look at the Rod Barton story. He's not a hack. He's an unimpeachable character with nothing to gain by making these revelations. To his credit, he held off blowing his whistle to well after the elections. My fear is that all he has risked by speaking out will get swept under the carpet, forgotten and ignored. We must be willing to risk the pains of actually participating in Truth, Freedom and Liberty if we are so willing to risk the lives of our loved ones defending Truth, Freedom and Liberty.

A couple movies I saw this weekend:

The Boys. A shocking look into the circumstance and context of a sociopathic crime. Excellent DVD with a really good look into how the film was made and why. Based on a true story, The Boys gives you a look into what those noisy neighbors down the street are always arguing about.

Dogville. Lars Von Trier's first installment of his (planned) trilogy on America (a place he's never been). Again a DVD with an outstanding documentary on how/why the film was made - and it wasn't all happy camping. I'm recommending this film to any utopian idealists who might still be out there. For me Trier's focus on America was overshadowed by the statement he made on the complexity of (even small) group dynamics. He creates a clear illustration of the old saw "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions"

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