by Philip Greenspan
(Swans - April 9, 2007) Based on an x-ray and an MRI of my fractured knee (see my May 26 piece) I was advised by my orthopedist to curtail my outside activities. So I have limited myself to previously committed programs.
For the month of April that would be a film on globalization that I promised to screen. The New Rulers of the World by John Pilger is the one I selected -- a film that masterfully describes globalization's characteristics and effects. Shortly after a film is booked I google the Internet to find appropriate comments and blurbs that I could incorporate into a poster and flyer.
With an apt google I immediately discovered that The New Rulers of the World (53 minutes) and many other Pilger films were available on the Internet in video format for anyone to access. What a bonanza! Pilger is one of today's truly great journalists. As a film maker I don't think anyone has had the impact of this man. When his films were shown on television in Britain they created an immediate and potent impact. They shattered the myths that governments and the major media were feeding the public about the then-current grave conditions and events. He was fortunate that his television sponsor was not cowered by the British government and readily presented the devastating films that Pilger produced. The immediacy for action no longer exists but the films now provide a revival of historical events that governments had hoped to bury.
Perusing through the list of displayed titles I spotted two that pertained to Cambodia. Cambodia -- it brought up thoughts of Nixon's illegal and clandestine bombing of that neutral country and of the US's support of the Khmer Rouge after Pol Pot's army had been defeated by the Vietnamese. With my inability to venture out for marches, protests, meetings, lectures, etc. until my injuries were healed I had plenty of time to watch those two films Cambodia Year Zero (52 minutes) and Cambodia the Betrayal (51 minutes), and many more besides.
Viewing the films augmented and reinforced many of the vague impressions I had gained about what had transpired in Cambodia during that period of time. Cambodia was a prosperous country whose leader Prince Sihanouk had maintained a policy of neutrality. In the spring of 1969 massive bombings to wipe out imagined Vietnamese bases were commenced. As a result a million were killed and wounded, the social structure was shattered, and the Khmer Rouge, a political party that had no popular support, seized control of the country. What transpired for four years to the seven million there was unknown. Pol Pot redefined that nation in unimaginable ways. Compassion and pity no longer existed! No families, no sentiment, no expressions of love or grief, no medicines, hospitals, schools, books, learning, holidays, music, song, poetry, money! Only work and death! Mass killings and atrocities were meted out to former civil servants, soldiers, teachers, students, actors, technicians, people who lived in towns, had skills, etc.
Pol Pot even attacked and killed Vietnamese in border villages. The Vietnamese responded and defeated the Khmer Rouge. What then became apparent was that three million people there were starving. But only a trickle of food and other aid was received. Why? The international community and such relief organizations as the Red Cross and UNICEF would not respond to the demands of the new government installed by the Vietnamese. Why? It was not recognized! Western governments in the UN still recognized Pol Pot's dastardly government over the one installed by Vietnam because of pressure from China and the U.S. -- yes the U.S.
Over the years the U.S. has labeled many tyrants "Hitler." None, absolutely none, came close to what Hitler -- the real authentic Adolf Hitler alias Schickelgruber -- did. Except Pol Pot, the one they supported!
There is a great deal more, a great deal more, in those Pilger videos that you should know about -- a criminal conspiracy involving many First World nations against the innocent starving people of Cambodia. SEE THESE VIDEOS!
I was disappointed that because of my injuries I couldn't attend lectures that were given by speakers whom I admired. One was by Jeff Halper, the director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions in the occupied territories. Another was Ward Churchill, the political activist professor at the University of Colorado whose controversial essay on 9/11 has put his position there in jeopardy.
By doing a little googling I was able to locate videos on the Internet in which both were giving lectures -- Jeff Halper - Israeli Apartheid and the Paths to a Just Peace (52 minutes) and Ward Churchill - Perpetual War: State Sponsored Terrorism & the Limits of Academic Dissent (1 hour and 47 minutes). While they occurred at earlier dates and in other locations they probably included many points in the lectures I missed.
With additional browsing I found two more videos that I watched with interest. Hearts and Minds (1 hour and 52 minutes) -- a film that won the 1975 Academy Award for documentaries -- gives voice to the various positions of Americans and the Vietnamese people on the Vietnam War. The other, a lecture by Vandana Shiva, an advocate for ecological diversity, Vandana Shiva: Planting the Seeds for Change: Women's Struggle Against Corporate Control of Biodiversity.
I heartily recommend each of these films. The time spent watching them will be well worth it.
If you have some interesting topic or a prominent individual you'd like to learn more about then search the Internet for a relevant video and perhaps you too will hit pay dirt!
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