Pretty much overlooked in the U.S. and labeled as “controversial” and “anti-American,” Oliver Stone’s documentary is refreshing. At a time when the U.S. considers any country that goes against its will an “enemy,” Stone reveals a totally different picture. I would strongly and enthusiastically encourage everyone to watch the entire documentary.
His journey began with his desire to discover the social, political and economic movements in South America. His interviews with the following democratically elected leaders is eye-opening and inspiring: Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez. Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Fernando Lugo in Paraguay, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, Kristina Kirchner in Argentina, Lula De Silva in Brazil, and Raul Castro in Cuba. All of these leaders have implemented reforms that have angered the United States, which for over one hundred years has destabilized, dominated and extracted the resources of their countries.
Following his own political ideology focusing on socialist reform, Chavez implemented a new constitution, participatory democracy, increased government funding of health care, education, and agriculture, land reform, as well as the nationalization of several key industries, especially oil. Any surprise all of this made him a target of the American media and an enemy of the U.S.?
Chavez was elected Venezuela’s president four times with overwhelming majorities. He has alined himself with all of the above governments and leaders who are considered “enemies” of the United States. All of these democratically elected leaders describe their policies as anti-imperialist, and critical of the International Monetary Fund and the U.S. version of predatory capitalism.
Chavez has been a leader in the region supporting Latin American and Caribbean cooperation, the pan-regional Union of South American Nations, the Bolivian Alliance for the Americas, the Bank of the South, and a regional television network.
If you go to the link below, you can see excerpts from South of the Border. Given America’s track record for intervening in sovereign countries all over the planet, the movements in South America are encouraging, enlightening, and give hope there is a way to end the U.S. imperial march to dominate the world.
Paul Michaud, Jr. and I drove down to Charlottesville, Virginia on January 24th to interview Prof. Bruce Cumings for my film Jeju: In the Crosshairs of War…Again
Bruce is the Gustavus F. and Ann M. Swift Distinguished Service Professor and chair of the Department of History at the University of Chicago, and specializes in modern Korean history and East Asian-American relations.
Bruce is arguably one of the leading experts on Korean History and the Korean War. Thanks to Fr. Pat Cunningham, a Columban Missionary living in Seoul, I learned about Bruce and purchased two of his books. The Korean War, A History is a must read for anyone interested in discovering the truth about Korea and the Korean War. He revealed the previously untold stories of the bloody insurgencies and rebellions, and exposes the appalling massacres and atrocities committed on all sides.
I am personally indebted to Bruce for granting an extensive interview and for his exceptional work as a historian that enabled me to understand why the people of Jeju and Gangjeong Village are opposing the construction of the naval base on their beautiful Island of Peace.
Enjoy this 2:56 clip explaining why he cannot understand the need for another military base in the region, much less on Jeju.
Charles Hanley, Sang-Hun Choe, and Martha Mendoza won the Pulitzer Prize for The Bridge at No Gun Ri, a book detailing the horrific massacre of as many as 400 innocent men, women, and children by the U.S. Army in S. Korea in 1950.
Paul Michaud, founder of Patracompany, a full-service multi-media production company in Brunswick, Maine accompanied me to New York City on February 17, 2013 to film an extensive interview with Charles.
The massacre at No Gun Ri was not an isolated event, but typical of many such mass killings by the U.S. military before and during the “Forgotten War” when perhaps 100,000 civilians were summarily murdered on direct orders from the U.S. military command.
Charles will be featured prominently in my documentary, Jeju: In the crosshairs of war…again. A short draft is available at www.indiegogo.com/savejeju My film places the peaceful protest against the construction of a massive naval base on Jeju Island to accommodate America’s “Pivot to Asia” in the context of the massacre of as many as 80,000 Jeju civilians alleged to be Communists beginning on April 3rd, 1948 and the imperial military expansion of the United States.
This is a 3:30 clip to introduce Charles and to recommend The Bridge at No Gun Ri.
It is truly ironic and coincidental that one day after I posted part of an interview with Jeju Bishop Peter Kang saying the only way to ensure peace is to “diminish arms,” the NY Times reports that the U.S. is allowing S. Korea to use drones and to expand the range of their ballistic missiles.
At issue here are two fundamental premises: 1) that the Korean government is clearly not a sovereign nation, but a puppet of the U.S., and 2) that peace and national security can be maintained by another escalation of the arms race and the provocation of China, N. Korea, and Russia.
It is further proof of the real intent of the U.S. government, the U.S. military, and the military industrial complex to dominate and control the planet based on the doctrine of a Pax Americana whereby the sole superpower on the planet can ensure peace and prosperity through the military might.
First, here is a portion of my interview with Bishop Peter Kang of Jeju Island calling for an end to the arms race.
Now, the NY Times article which clearly proves the control of the Korean government by the U.S. and the intent to expand the arms race by “allowing” the Korean military the use of drones and to increase the range of its ballistic missiles to reach any point in N. Korea, but not China. That must be reassuring to both!
After spending nearly a month in S. Korea and three weeks in Gangjeong Village, the site of a massive naval base being constructed to accommodate Obama’s “pivot to Asia,” I can tell you this: Koreans, and I’m sure the rest of the world, categorically HATE America for engaging in a century of warfare, the killing of millions and millions of innocent people, and the arrogance of U.S. imperialism.
It was impossible to disagree with them and to find a plausible defense for my homeland. It is ironic – but maybe not – that the Korean and European people I met believe there has been a military coup in the U.S. since the assassination of JFK. They all believe that everything from Kennedy’s assassination right on up through 9/11 has been the work of the U.S. military and the military industrial complex. No one I met believes that 9/11 was the work of Muslim terrorists! They all believe it was a false flag event justifying the invasion of Iraq in order to gain control over the Middle East.
After the hope President Obama offered in his campaign four years ago, Koreans and the rest of the world know without a shade of doubt that it matters little who the president and Congress are. America’s actions to dominate land, sea, air and space through the use of military superiority are clear to everyone except most Americans.
I encourage you to watch Pax America, a film by Denis Delestrac, in which America’s generals and senior officers unabashedly state the intent to ensure peace through the use of overwhelming military power. This film, packed with startling facts, has been shown in theaters throughout the world, yet not here in the U.S. If you haven’t seen this film, please take the time to view it.
Many people here in America and around the world feel helpless and unable to “get their minds around it all,” but I believe there is still hope. Millions and millions of people on every continent understand what is going on and are rising up against the violation of human rights, the violation of civil rights, the destruction of the environment, and the killing of innocent people.
If, as some economists predict, the world is on the verge of economic collapse, I believe it will bring about the end to the evils of unrestrained capitalism and an end to the ever-expanding military budgets of nations around the world. They just will not be able to afford spending the majority of their resources on a never-ending arms race and war.
Just as Rome, the Soviet Union, and every other imperial nation collapsed because they could not afford enormous standing armies, so will America.
Therefore, it is imperative that Americans become informed and join with people around the world in demanding an end to war and an end to the evils of capitalism. To continue as we have been focusing on a myriad of single issues is to remain divided and therefore conquered. What is needed is a massive, people-powered, grassroots coalition of peace groups, environmental groups, Bradley Manning support groups, food activists, groups demanding an end to Citizens United, and, yes Occupy.
The root cause underlying all of these issues is the doctrine of Pax Americana and unrestrained capitalism, both of which are inherently evil and will not go without a massive, universal uprising and the collapse of the global economy.
To quote Leonard Cohen, “I love the country but I can’t stand the scene,” and Michael Moore, “I refuse to live in a country like this, and I’m not leaving.”