We drove down to Corvallis this evening to listen to a lecture by a New York Times reporter named Chris Hedges. Hedges has written two books, one called War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, and the other (not yet published) is called What Every Person Should Know About War.
I didn’t realize that I was actually familiar with Chris Hedges and his topics of discussion prior to this evening. I had forgotten the name, but a quick perusal of Common Dreams refreshed my memory. Hedges is the commencement speaker who was booed off the stage last May for giving an “anti-war” speech. I believe that the speech he had intended to give at that commencement is very similar to the one we heard this evening, so here’s a link to the May transcript: Text of the Rockford College graduation speech by Chris Hedges. Typing “Chris Hedges” into Common Dreams’ search engine brings up quite a few hits about Hedges, if you’re interested.
Prior to my memory refreshing, I did not realize that Hedges was supposed to be controversial, so it was with a very open mind that I went to the lecture. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. This is a man who has seen war, has been an observer, and who (to put it bluntly) knows his shit.
If you get a chance to hear him, do go. He’s quite the speaker, for sure. You can also read an interview here: Interview With Chris Hedges.
OSU will be hosting Barbara Ehrenreich in April. I can’t wait.
I’d also like to point out this story on cluster bombs. Surely in this day and age, if we need to make war (and I don’t believe we do), we have a moral duty NOT to use these bombs that kill and maim so many innocent civilians, including an outrageous number of children.
This trend of “blacklisting” actors and other people who spoke out against the attack on Iraq is really disturbing. Since when is it okay to try to prevent someone from earning their livelihood just because they disagree with a sitting president? There were PLENTY of folks lining up at the trough to take stab at President Clinton, including many of the people who are leading the charge to smear people whose views conflict with their own. This makes them what we call HYPOCRITES. Therefore, it’s totally ludicrous for them to be attacking people for doing EXACTLY what they did. The pResident isn’t freakin’ GOD, people, he’s just the pResident. It’s not some kind of deadly sin to disagree with what his policies are, that’s called politics and it’s how the system works in this country. I find it repulsive, this new era of McCarthyism. It’s disgusting, and it’s what is anti-American, not people who disagree with the policies and politics of politicians.
War means civilian deaths. Robert Fisk is on the ground in Baghdad. It’s not pretty reading.
This is something that really gets me going. All we hear from the so-called “pro-war” crowd is Support The Troops! If you aren’t Supporting The War, you’re Not Supporting The Troops! Yadda yadda.
Okay then. Then why do I keep seeing homeless vets up in Portland and down here in Corvallis? These men shouldn’t be homeless. If we gave a damn about our troops, why do we allow them to be on the streets, hungry and cold? What, we only care about them when they’re getting shot at?
Or this one. Congress JUST voted to cut funding for veteran’s health care and benefits by almost $25 billion over ten years. These men and women shouldn’t have to pay for their freakin’ health care! Many of them have health problems directly related to serving. They shouldn’t have to foot that bill, and we all know how much medical care costs these days.
Argh!! Makes me so spitting mad! Why aren’t all these squealing pro-war people down on Capitol Hill, demanding Congress take care of the vets? Huh? I’d like to know.