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The Big Answer


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Unspeakable

a book by Chris Hedges and David Talbot

(our site's book review)

Rising Oligarchy in America Has Made Democracy a Sham

The War on Terror is a profitable crusade against convenient enemies. “Muslim rage” is an understandable response to US state terror. Rising oligarchy in America has made democracy a sham and turned the electoral process into an increasingly absurd circus. Police violence against minorities is part of a systematic effort to crush social discontent. Proliferating violence against women’s health clinics is part of the war on women’s bodies. Freedom of speech is an illusion, with government agencies and corporate media dictating acceptable boundaries of public discourse. America’s only hope is a revolution to create genuine structures of popular power. See Delusional Democracy—Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government and Freedom of the Press—an American Delusion.

Muslim rage is an understandable response to U.S. state terror, hence our military is a terrorist factory since for every 'terrorist' we kill 10 of his relatives swear vengeace or join ISIS
Muslim rage is an understandable response to U.S. state terror, hence our military is a terrorist factory since for every 'terrorist' we kill 10 of his relatives swear vengeace or join ISIS


Proliferating violence against women’s health clinics is part of the war on women’s bodies
Proliferating violence against women’s health clinics is part of the war on women’s bodies

This kind of insight into America’s deeply troubled current state cannot be found on television, in the pages of leading newspapers, or on Google News. Many of our most important thinkers are relegated to the shadows because their ideas are deemed too radical—or true—for public consumption. Among these intellectual bomb throwers is Chris Hedges, who, after decades on the front lines, continues to confront power in America in the most incisive, challenging ways.

Among the U.S.'s intellectual bomb throwers is Chris Hedges, who, after decades on the front lines, continues to confront power in America in the most incisive, challenging ways
Among the U.S.'s intellectual bomb throwers is Chris Hedges, who, after decades on the front lines, continues to confront power in America in the most incisive, challenging ways

In the 1980s, Hedges Reported in Central America, and Was the Only One with the Courage to Tell the Terrible Truth

Hedges’s unfettered conversation with Hot Books editorial director David Talbot—founder of Salon and author of New York Times bestseller, The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America’s Secret Government—will be the first in a series for Hot Books called Unspeakable, featuring some of the most important—and censored—voices in the world today.

In the 1980s, Hedges reported in Central America for the Dallas Morning News and Washington Post. He tells Talbot that he reported on such things as death squad massacres and corruption in the Salvadoran military. He bemoans the human rights abuses of the U.S. backed regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala, along with Reagan's murderous pet project the Contras in Nicaragua. See Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance and Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield.

Hedges has loyalty only to the truth, and that takes a hell of a lot of courage, since the government censors or covers up anything they don't want the public getting wise to, like their unreported imperialism
Hedges has loyalty only to the truth, and that takes a hell of a lot of courage, since the government censors or covers up anything they don't want the public getting wise to, like their unreported imperialism


Our government censors or covers up anything they don't want the public getting wise to, like their unreported imperialism—the U.S. press has a truth filter
Our government censors or covers up anything they don't want the public getting wise to, like their unreported imperialism—the U.S. press has a truth filter

Hedges' Truth Telling Has Often Gotten Him into Trouble

Hedges has been subject to violent attacks in right wing media due to his stance against the genocidal, illegal, phony Iraq War. Amongst the cacophony of fake news, politically-slanted think pieces, and mindless internet drivel, not to mention corporate-backed media, Hedges has loyalty only to the truth, and that takes a hell of a lot of courage.

Neoconservatives peaked in influence during the administrations of George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, when they played a major role in promoting and planning the 2003 invasion of Iraq
Neoconservatives peaked in influence during the administrations of George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, when they played a major role in promoting and planning the 2003 invasion of Iraq

Pulitzer Prize-winning Chris Hedges forces you to look at the ugly and self destructive parts of American society and culture that hasten our decline and lay the foundation for global catastrophe like no other in the history of the world. He empowers us to clearly see the consequences of the new Fascism, led by no other than America's corporate elite. See Understanding the F-Word: American Fascism and the Politics of Illusion and Inside the Shadow Government: National Emergencies and the Cult of Secrecy. He is one of the greatest of American journalists and his observations—based upon years as a foreign and war correspondent for the New York Times and other publications—cut through the mainstream media propaganda like a knife. To understand the dystopian society we are degenerating into, follow Hedges' work.


Hedges' Truth Telling Has Often Gotten Him into Trouble

Hedges' book describes what really happened at the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Wall Street Protest: Occupy Wall Street—Copyright © 2011 by Louis Lanzano
Wall Street Protest: Occupy Wall Street—Copyright © 2011 by Louis Lanzano


'You know, Archibald, my bladder is a tad too full—do these windows open? I'd like to send my regards to those pesky OWS protesters'
'You know, Archibald, my bladder is a tad too full—do these windows open? I'd like to send my regards to those pesky OWS protesters'

"Hedges here speaks up about the most pressing issues that currently face our nation. He tackles the rise of a fascist right in support of Donald Trump, which advocates xenophobia and violence in a push for American totalitarianism. He rails against the posturing of inclusivity from establishment elites on both sides of the aisle, who post-Occupy-Wall-Street continue to advocate for policies that make America uninhabitable for all but the ultra-rich and, as lackeys for corporate interests, continue to expand income inequality in all directions. He tears into the contemporary glamorization of the military and the unchecked, unchallenged hawkishness that defines contemporary American foreign policy." (Source: Unspeakable, by Chris Hedges and David Talbot)

The fascist right support Donald Trump, which advocates xenophobia and violence in a push for American totalitarianism; if Trump turns U.S. to fascism, will he tell us 'It's nothing personal, it's just business'?
The fascist right support Donald Trump, which advocates xenophobia and violence in a push for American totalitarianism; if Trump turns U.S. to fascism, will he tell us 'It's nothing personal, it's just business'?

"[Hedges is] scathing about class in modern America: 'The rich have disdain for anyone who does not belong to their inner circle.' It's bracing to hear Hedges's unfiltered dissent and disdain, from his dismissal of George W. Bush as 'a man of limited intelligence and dubious morals' to his discussion of how the seductions of celebrity undermined Christopher Hitchens's writing. But the format, and Hedges's occasionally righteous tone, can wear thin, even for an audience that forms the choir to which interviewer and subject preach. Hedges's observation that the today's ruling elites are out of touch with the country they govern is being borne out in the 2016 election cycle, showing that even the most stridently expressed views aren't necessarily wrong." (Source: Unspeakable, by Chris Hedges and David Talbot, Publishers Weekly)


Truth-Telling Instead of Spewing Bush Administration Propaganda Got Him into Trouble

Hedges says "My colleagues at the Times, however, were only one of my problems. The more stories I wrote outside the pool system, the more the Bush administration wanted me silenced. Dick Cheney—who was secretary of defense then, under George Bush I—demanded that about a dozen reporters who were defying the pool system be expelled. We were called 'unilaterals,' a new name for our trade. I was high on the list. But they couldn't find me. I was sleeping with Bedouins in the desert. The US military had already arrested me and confiscated my press credentials. But I did not use press credentials. I was there to be a reporter. If I couldn't be a reporter, I would leave. I wasn't going to sit in a hotel and write up press conferences and pool reports. At that point you might as well take a job with the Pentagon." (Source: Chris Hedges Unmasks American Empire in Unspeakable, OpEdNews)

An embedded civilian journalist taking photographs of US soldiers
An embedded civilian journalist taking photographs of US soldiers

" . . . if we don’t get control of our military spending we are finished…Our infrastructure, our public educational system, our social services – everything is crumbling for a reason, we don’t have money for it. It is being consumed by the war machine." (Source: Unspeakable: the Black Book of Imperial Terrorism, Paul Street, Counterpunch)

Hedges was invited to Rockford College in 2003 to deliver the graduation speech. He had a very anti-war message that upset the mainstream-media-brainwashed students. "They hated it. They booed and tried to shout me down, and . . . they all got up and began singing God Bless America. They cut my microphone three times. Two young men from the graduating class got up in their robes tried to push me from the podium. I kept giving the speech. The [college] president said I should, 'Wrap it up!' after 18 minutes. Campus security escorted me off the stage. . . . The Times felt pressured to respond. The right-wing talk shows and cable shows lynched me hour after hour, day after day. The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial denouncing me. The Times issued me a written reprimand." (Hedges did not get fired from the Times—he quit. The speech was sort of like a Jack Nicholson moment like when he was told to tell the truth in A Few Good Men he hollered “You can’t handle the truth!” But Chris Hedges is not afraid of the truth. This makes him a very valuable reporter/author in a sea of grovelling sycophants out to please the powers-that-be.) (Source: Chris Hedges Unmasks American Empire in ‘Unspeakable’, Chris Hedges, Truthdig)