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August 31, 2012

Michael Moore on Clint Eastwood’s Delusional Speech at the Republican National Convention

by Aug 31, 2012 6:34 AM EDT

The Hollywood legend growling at an empty chair will live on in infamy as the moment when a crazy old man hijacked a national party’s most important gathering to tell off the president.

Speaking to Invisible Obama last night, in a performance that seemed to have been written by Timothy Leary and performed by Cheech & Chong, Clint Eastwood  was able to drive home to tens of millions of viewers the central message of this year’s Republican National Convention: We Are Delusional and Detached from Reality. Vote for Us!

The footage of Eastwood rambling and mumbling to his “Harvey”—President Obama—will be played to audiences a hundred years from now as the Most Bizarre Convention Moment Ever. The people of the future will know nothing about Dirty Harry or Josey Wales or Million Dollar Baby. They will know about the night a crazy old man hijacked a national party’s most important gathering so he could literally tell the president to go do something to himself (i.e. fuck  himself). In those few moments (and these days, it only takes a few moments—see Anthony Weiner), he completely upended and redefined how he’ll be remembered by younger and future generations.

Clint’s Crazy Speech

A few years ago, at the annual National Board of Review film awards held at Tavern on the Green in New York, I was there to hand out one of the honors. When it came time for Eastwood to accept his, he went up to the microphone and growled to me in front of the audience, “If you ever show up at my house with that camera, I’ll shoot you on sight.” The audience laughed, I laughed, but the person who issued the threat wasn’t laughing. That creeped me out a bit. I made sure never to go stand on Clint Eastwood’s lawn.

But as I said, the best outcome from the incident last night was that it showed just how out of touch Republicans are these days. It’s as if they want a divorce from us, the American mainstream, so they can go live in the land of legitimate rapes and ice caps that don’t melt. Most Americans don’t live there on Planet Koo-Koo, and I don’t suspect many will be visiting there any time soon.

Thanks, Clint, you made our day!

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Michael Moore is an Academy Award-winning filmmaker and author. He directed and produced Roger & Me, Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, and Sicko. He has also written seven books, most recently, Mike’s Election Guide 2008.

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Obama Admin. Blatantly Lied About SEAL Team Killing Bin Laden in Self-Defense

 

John Glaser, August 29, 2012

From the Washington Post, news that the Obama administration completely lied about the killing of bin Laden being in self-defense:

Bin Laden apparently was shot in the head when he looked out of his bedroom door into the top-floor hallway of his compound as SEALs rushed up a narrow stairwell in his direction, according to former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen in “No Easy Day.”

…The author writes that the man ducked back into his bedroom and the SEALs followed, only to find the man crumpled on the floor in a pool of blood with a hole visible on the right side of his head and two women wailing over his body.

Bissonnette says the point man pulled the two women out of the way and shoved them into a corner. He and the other SEALs trained their guns’ laser sights on bin Laden’s still-twitching body, shooting him several times until he lay motionless. Only when they wiped the blood off his face, were they certain it was bin Laden.

These revelations illustrate two important points from the bin Laden raid. First, the Obama administration pathologically lies about the nature of their secret operations in order to make targeted killings seem like self-defense when they are not and thus to immunize the operatives and the administration. This should be a lesson coloring our perceptions of everything from drone strikes to other elite commando raids, most of which we know comparatively little next to the Abbottabad operation.

The other point falls somewhere along the lines of what Noam Chomsky wrote immediately following the assassination operation on bin Laden. “It’s increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law,” he wrote. “There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 80 commandos facing virtually no opposition…In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial.” But if President Obama suspects you’ve done wrong, no court or trial or judge are needed; he’ll just kill you by royal decree.

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see also Pentagon may take legal action against author

Shooting and laughing

[youtube http://youtu.be/Cq4PDcC5RzU?]

LEAKED VIDEO – Assad’s gangs enjoy shelling appartment builiding and find it a good occasion to laugh

Assad’s troops laugh and joke while shelling apartment buildings:

Why Aren’t More Iraqi Stories Being Written?

Iraqi-American author Layla Qasrany reflects on Iraqi and American “Angel” cities, and the difficulties of writing Iraqi stories:

By Layla Qasrany

There are countless stories that need to be written since the fall of Saddam in 2003: There was the absurd eight-year war with Iran, the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the attack on the Shi’ite cities in the same year, the displacement of Assyrian and Kurd people from their  villages  and the bombing of old churches that go back to the early Christian century. It’s necessary to tell stories of the years of famine, the killing and the mass murders; all that, worth documenting, is worth documenting badly. It is the duty of the writers.

But the time is passing and I just wonder, where are they, the stories and their tellers?

Perhaps the writer is still under shock, while still trying to either survive in the struggles of the daily life in an unsecure country, or  he or she is busy trying to make ends meet in the Diasporas. Living under the brutality of the Ba’ath party that controlled our daily life in all its details was a challenge. It was something that  no other nation  experienced except perhaps the North Korea of today. Saddam’s gang put their hands on everything: arts, curriculum books,  history,  and of course the media. They disrupted radio stations, such as the  broadcast of Voice of America in Arabic, not to mention controlling television station.

In the early 80’s, an FM station was installed in Iraq and it broadcasted the best from the classic songs and the big hits back them. But even the songs were under scrutiny, and the famous Bahamanian band, Boney M, had their songs banned by the Ba’athists because of their famous Psalm/ song,   “By the Rivers of Babylon.”

During the years of Saddam’s ruling,  there was only one television station  that was strictly controlled by the Ba’athists. First thing the Iraqis did after the fall of Saddam nearly ten years ago was to have sattelite stations. Today, there are more than fifty stations, far exceeding the number of such stations in any other Arab country.

Back in the 80’s, as I was still living in Iraq, each week my siblings  and I looked forward for Sunday nights and Wednesday nights — for those were the foreign movie nights.  Even if Saddam strived to make the west look immoral and unjust,  for us it was simply a way of entertaining, and a form of  getting to know the West.

The films were carefully censored by the Ba’ath party members who controlled the television stations. Most of the films broadcast on the sole channel were Hollywood films; very seldom we would watch a European films by Fellini or a good  French one. The end of “The D. H. Lawrence “The Virgin and the Gypsy” is still a mystery for me, for it was censored and was cut at the end (perhaps rated as restricted!). To know the ending of the “Virgin and the Gypsy”,  I might have to see this masterpiece of Franco Nero or  read the book, whichever comes first!

The American films were picked carefully. Most of the time a movie was played more than once in a short period of time for a propaganda purposes. This what happened with Angel City, an American television film (1980) starring Arnold Waite. The film is about a poor family that moves to Florida to work in a cucumber farm. Later, they encountered challenges such as the rape of the teenage daughter. The family soon finds there is no way out. It’s an ideal film to be easy translated as if there were no justice, no mercy, and no freedom.

I kind of liked to watch this film, even if it was a depressing one; something reminds you of the John Ford’s Grapes of Wrath. Today, I live in the States, and I’ve seen for myself the real Angel City of America, and still laugh, or sometimes cry, when I think of the Iraqi “Angel City” of Saddam!

I’m sure there are lots of anecdotes waiting to be told. What’s so sad is that such a story might seem very outdated in the day and age where the sectarian conflicts have overshadowed the years of Saddam’s ruling and a notorious tyrant is no longer seen as a common enemy.

Layla Qasrany an Iraqi-American writer who published her first novel in Arabic (Sahdoutha) in 2011.

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