Sunday, January 20, 2008

They Dance Alone

It's been a while since a documentary really moved me, I mean made sense beyond the sensational, didn't smack of a silly conspiracy theory such as the World Towers being engineered to fall down or bankers of the world conspiring to subjugate the globe! I'm not a great fan of consipiracy theories, most are whacky, unsupported and not peer tested or reviewed. (Although I have been known to wonder why we've never cured the cold, AIDS or chronic illness such as diabetes and asthma . . the drug companies would go broke!)

Back to documentaries. I love everything David Attenborough being the part-time environmentalist I am. I liked Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth' and whether you believe global warming is attributable to carbon spending or just a natural phenomenon, there is no dispute that it's happening. Incidentally, I also watched 'The Great Global Warming Swindle" and found neither conclusive. I've watched the Mike Moore tabloid docos burst into their headquarters technique and give them grief bullshit (although I did find some truth in Bowling for Columbine) and frankly, the man is biased and obnoxious even if he does present an expose worthy of discussion. I even sat through the rubbish that was "Supersize Me" as if anyone is going to eat Macdonalds food for three months exclusively, absolute trash! But this afternoon, hot, balmy and whilst home alone, I hired The War on Democracy by John Pilger, due in no small part to ClareBear's sojourn into South America and a desire to understand more about what the inhabitants of this huge continent are like.

I respect John Pilger. He's been around a long, long time. I've seen a lot of his work. He's a non-sensationalist protagonist of corrupt regimes from way back and entirely credible to my mind and this film is a piece of genius if you can stand watching man's inhumanity to man and the involvement of the American Empire in South American politics. He's the David Attinborough of the political world and well worth considering in my view. What continues to annoy me, living in the peaceful, arse end of the world that nobody gives a shit about, is man's inhumanity to man and how we allow fascism to not just rear its ugly head but to actually get a grip, albeit brief in some cases but long enough to exact it's sadistic punishment on innocents, to happen. It took Australia decades to support East Timor . . . and I have my own theories about that. I think the Bali Bombings changed our complacent attitude towards Indonesia . . so we went in to help. 30 years after the fact!

Back to the US and there propagation of empire. Yes, I said Empire . . . they call it National Security . . . if anything threatens national security in the US (and lets face it, getting on a plane with a T-shirt bearing the image of George Bush saying "I am a Terrorist" is considered a breach of national security - I rather believe it to be the truth!), they're prepared to invade countries based on fallacious accusations, finance coups, tolerate and promote torture, (Guantanamo bay for fuck's sake!) provide finance or generally commit any act of desperation to secure their position as the world's leading power in the interest of National Security . . . get over your paranoia America and let self-determination take place whether it's in your interest or not. I don't absolve Australia in this, we blindly follow but hopefully the new administration will have a less sycophantic view of the US and make its own decisions or at least informed decisions. Ironically, it will be economics and consumerism that will cause the impotence of the US. . .

Watch this doco, please . . . and I'm not being paid for this commercial. (Sorry about Sting but the lyrics are very appropriate . . . )


Anonymous said...


There is a huge geopolitical shift taking the place, the future lies with what is being labelled as Chindia.

The US is up to its eyes in hock. Market forces brought down the Soviet Empire, market forces will bring down the US Empire.

Unknown said...

well, there are a lot aspect. People may be threatening us with bad future because they want to force us to change our environment destroyer lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

Sons and daughters of Helghan ...

Perhaps now I see why the mujahideen are always calling the YAnks imperialists ...

Anonymous said...

Yes, I like John Pilger too, have been reading his stuff for decades. Someone with great integrity who seems to tell it like it is, unlike many journos. I heard him give a talk in London once, he was riveting. He's exposed so many dreadful situations that would otherwise have gone unnoticed because they weren't 'sexy' enough.

I rather like Michael Moore too, though I know his techniques can be a bit dubious. Sicko was very eye-opening and mostly quite factual as far as I could judge. The practice of private companies chucking people out of hospitals when their cash runs out, for example, is still rife.

Unknown said...

Sounds like a doccie well worth watching. Economics in the current era is the maker and breaker of every nation. But just what will happen to the rest of us when the US goes belly up. This is always the trouble, with world economics being what they are, America farts and the rest of us get diarrhea. But a redress of the fascist imbalance is looong overdue.

Baino said...

Ian; I think this is the direction we're taking. China is our second largest trading partner and storming ahead economically. Don't yet write off Japan it is still the second largest economy in the world.

Ropi:I think I understand what you are saying. The US feels 'safer' if it takes an interventionist stance. No-one has the right to determine the future of another nation by force or political interference. Despite the politics of that country. Unless of course that country is breaking international law or committing human rights atrocities. America seems totally unconcerned with countries such as Sudan, Zimbabwe, North Korea (from a human rights perspective) yet invades Iraq on the scantiest of evidence.

Anonymous: The mujahideen have a point although they too have a highly interventioninst policy and bent on breaking the 'infidel'.

Nick: I haven't seen Sicko just Farenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine which interestingly was on the school curriculum here a while ago. I still think he's very unforgiving and one sided and I'm not a fan of 'burst in on'em' journalistm. Pilger seems to get the interviews with protaganists without such naive tactics.

AV: In my experience (working with economists) a lot of the reaction to what goes on in America, specifically the stock market rises and falls is 'emotional' people panicking and pulling out investment. It's not that dramatic. The latest subprime issue has really only affected bonds and hedge funds . . other economies will take their place. Ian is right, look at China and India. My main point is not so much the disempowerment of America but the fact that they feel a God given right to intefere in the economics and politics of developing nations and the snide way in which they do it.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to come back to this at the beginning of next month's broadband quota Baino ...

Baino said...

Arrghgghgh Anony: you need to get a better broadband unlmited download package! It's not even the end of the month! (Your broadband lasts as long as my monthly pay! hehehe)

Anonymous said...

You people are all communists and it's not surprising that you feel that all that is evil is American. I know nothing of this documentarian you wrote about but if you liken him to Michael Moore then I'm sure he also twists the facts to fit his script.
The next time your country is devastated by some natural storm or earthquake or overrun by a dictator in a funny hat I hope our government just stands back and says, "Hey, we don't wish to appear to be imperalistic to your whinging left wing pseudo-intellectuals so you're on your own!"
--America seems totally unconcerned with countries such as Sudan, Zimbabwe, North Korea (from a human rights perspective)--
Please tell me what any of your countries or the UN have done about any of this? Absolutely NOTHING!
--yet invades Iraq on the scantiest of evidence.--
How many UN resolutions were there and what did they say before any action was taken against Iraq? Oh, you don't remember all that? Funny, how selective memory can be, eh?
So what I read here sounds to me like a bunch of whinging little children regurgitating whatever CNN and SKY news tell you to.
And as for Michael Moore go read

Anonymous said...

BrianF just made me MAD! Still haven't recovered from the Bali bombings ...

Baino said...

Brian: Slightly left of centre is NOT communist! Any more than slightly right of centre is the fundamentalist Christian right so for goodness sake, have some shades of grey in there!

"Hey, we don't wish to appear to be imperalistic to your whinging left wing pseudo-intellectuals so you're on your own!" - naturally if the US is asked to assist, that's a different thing. They are not asked to invade countries,intervene in the politics of south America or force their will by political and economic bullying. Paranoia is not an excuse to interfere, unasked.

On the contrary I did not liken Pilger to Michael Moore. Pilger is entirely credible and balanced. Micheal Moore is a tabloid twit. You must have been 'skimming'.

C'mon. America only entered the war because they had to after Pearl Harbour, not out of any overwhelming desire to help the west. Americans had to join the Canadian or British forces if they wanted to fight. They were helpful financially in the Western Arena.

And don't bang on about natural disasters, it took three weeks for Bush to get his act together to help Katrina victims and the US were hardly present during the pacific Sunami!

I remember the UN well and Colin Powell declaring that there were WMD's in Iraq. I believe the UN is an impotent and antiquated force. America was wrong to intervene in Iraq despite the barbarity of Saddam Hussein and you will never convince me otherwise.

Brian, you and I are as far apart on the political divide as can be expected. You are entitled to your opinion and I retain my entlement to disagree.

That is where we will have to stand for now.

Baino said...

Final note: I am not here to endorse one point of view over another. I value robust and informed debate as long as there are no personal insults. I am not American bashing, it's just that the subject of this film happens to be about American interference in South American politics! I would ask those who comment here to understand that I am not making personal attacks, merely observations on the behaviour of the US Government since Richard Nixon specifically.

Anonymous said...

Good to see Brianf being the voice of reason as always ... America would be a fantastic nation if it weren't for the right wing nutjobs that inhabit it.

America only ever acts to preserve its own interests under the guise of 'promoting democracy'.
- It overthrew Noriega when he bacame friendly with the Communists;
- It installed Saddam, then got rid of him because they didn't like his feeble bully antics of threatening their oil;
- It provided arms and cash to the mujahideen and cries like a pissed-off baby when the Arabs retaliate against their interference in internal affairs;
- The Contra scandal;
- The coup against Hugo Chavez;
- Anyone else like to add anything?

Truth be told, for all the evil that permeated Nazi Germany, I just wished they'd invaded America instead of Russia. That would have shut that freedom of speech shit right up.

Brian Damage said...

I agree totally with Brian - people are being swayed far too easily by what they are being fed on the news.

Fox holds too much sway in the US.

Baino said...

Anonymous: Good point. I also found this

Brian Damage: Do all Brian's stick together?