‘American Sniper’ replays the age-old racist roles.
By Chris Hedges
“American Sniper” lionizes the most despicable aspects of U.S. society—the gun culture, the blind adoration of the military, the belief that we have an innate right as a “Christian” nation to exterminate the “lesser breeds” of the earth, a grotesque hypermasculinity that banishes compassion and pity, a denial of inconvenient facts and historical truth, and a belittling of critical thinking and artistic expression. Many Americans, especially white Americans trapped in a stagnant economy and a dysfunctional political system, yearn for the supposed moral renewal and rigid, militarized control the movie venerates. These passions, if realized, will extinguish what is left of our now-anemic open society.
The movie opens with a father and his young son hunting a deer. The boy shoots the animal, drops his rifle and runs to see his kill.
“Get back here,” his father yells. “You don’t ever leave your rifle in the dirt.”
“Yes, sir,” the boy answers.
“That was a helluva shot, son,” the father says. “You got a gift. You gonna make a fine hunter some day.”
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More than 12 years after he was detained by the US, Mohamedou Ould Slahi remains locked up in Guantánamo, trapped in a horrific legal limbo. But his extraordinary account, handwritten over 466 pages from his single cell at Camp Echo in 2005, is finally being published after years of litigation — and more than 2,500 redactions by the US government. In an unprecedented collaboration, the Guardian and Canongate Books present the full declassified manuscript.
The UN agency that deals with Palestinian refugees has opened a new digital archive including many images from the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948, when 750,000 Palestinians were expelled by or fled the Zionist army and militias when the state of Israel was established in Palestine.
And Alwan for the Arts in New York and UNRWA USA are honoring the archive with an exhibition in New York of iconic photographs from 1948 through to the present day. The exhibit opens today downtown and will run for three weeks, culminating in an auction of photos on the night of Thursday February 12.
The exhibition is called “The Long Journey,” and you can see it for free any afternoon during the week from 2-5. The press release is below. Here is a preview of some of these wrenching photos, which will some day be inscribed in American consciousness the way that photos of the Jewish experience of eastern Europe are.
This one is very famous. We often hear the words “forced into the sea” — these people had that experience.
Or this one could be viewed with a reading from S. Yizhar’s book Khirbet Khizeh, in which he describes the noble/defiant expression on the face of a Palestinian woman being forced to leave her village and get into a transport truck:
The children’s photo at the top of this post is reminiscent in its beauty and innocence of Annemarie Jacir’s great movie, When I Saw You, about militant refugees in Jordan. Is it any surprise that many of these young people became radicalized, and built their lives around the idea of getting their homes and country back?
Here is the press release from UNRWA USA:
UNRWA USA, in partnership with Alwan for the Arts, presents “The Long Journey,” a collection of historical photographs (1948-2014) from the Archives of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, recently exhibited at the UN Headquarters.
On view at Alwan:
Friday, January 23 -February 12, 2015
Monday through Friday
2pm-6pm daily, or by appointment
Closing Reception & Charity Auction:
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Photographs to be auctioned with all proceeds/reception donations benefiting UNRWA’s Gaza emergency relief fund. (Donations through UNRWA USA are tax-deductible.)
Free and open to the public
The Long Journey is an exhibition that recounts the life and history of the Palestine refugees since 1948 through a selection of iconic pictures and films from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)’s archives. The exhibition draws public attention on human stories and the works of UNRWA in the Middle East.
In this exhibit, UNRWA unveils the first part of its newly digitized archive, which consists of over half a million negatives, prints, slides, films and videocassettes covering all aspects of the life and history of Palestine refugees from 1948 to the present day. The first group of iconic photographs are part of the exhibition, The Long Journey, which opens on 23 January, 2015, at Alwan for the Arts in Lower Manhattan.
UNRWA’s archive has been inscribed on the UNESCO ‘Memory of the World’ register, which includes collections of outstanding cultural and historical significance. In tandem with the digitized archive, UNRWA is also launching a website,http://archive.unrwa.org/, where the 1,948 images will be available to media, academics, writers and others who wish to study, explore or just have a window into the world of Palestine refugees from 1948 to the present day.
The Long Journey is organized and endorsed by UNRWA USA.
The following video “The Long Journey” records Lebanese photographer and filmmaker George Nehmeh, whose iconic footage and photography from Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon working for UNRWA from the 60’s through the 90’s is displayed in this exhibit, as he retraces his steps years later.
International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda initiated on Friday a preliminary probe into whether the Israeli army committed war crimes during last summer’s offensive on Gaza. In addition, Bensouda indicated that Palestine should be recognized as a state following the UN General Assembly’s November 29, 2012 vote recognizing a “State of Palestine.”
From February 2009 until April 2012, Palestinians made attempts to bring war crimes allegations against Israel in relation to the 2008-9 Israeli offensive on Gaza. However, the ICC Prosecutor’s Office dismissed such attempts, declaring that “Palestine” was not yet a state and that only states could seek ICC intervention.
Bensouda’s decision does not mean actual war crimes trials are imminent. However, Israeli analysts perceive it as a most serious escalation toward possible war crimes trials of Israeli military personnel and political leaders.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry hailed the decision as a “positive and significant step toward achieving justice and respecting international law.”
The ministry added that the Palestinian decided to join the ICC was intended “to put an end to Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, said on Saturday his organization appreciates the move.
“What is needed now is to provide the court with thousands of reports and documents that confirm the Zionist enemy has committed horrible crimes against Gaza and against our people,” he added in a statement.
Not unexpectedly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the ICC move, claiming it is absurd.
“I won’t be surprised if ISIS, Al Qaeda and Hizbollah follow suit,” he added on Saturday.
In response to Bensouda’s decision, Israel is lobbying member-states of the ICC to cut funding for the tribunal.
Israel, which is not a member of the ICC, hopes to dent funding for the court which is drawn from the 122 member states in accordance with the size of their economies, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday.
“We will demand of our friends in Canada, in Australia and in Germany simply to stop funding it,” he told Israel Radio.
“This body represents no one. It is a political body,” he said. “There are a quite a few countries – I’ve already taken telephone calls about this – that also think there is no justification for this body’s existence.”
He said he would raise the matter with visiting Canadian counterpart John Baird on Sunday.
Another Israeli official told Reuters that a similar request was sent to Germany, traditionally one of the court’s strongest supporters, and would also be made to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is separately visiting Jerusalem and whose nation is the largest contributor to the ICC.
an that woman is not a terrorist ?