Sunday, October 27, 2013

War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning

New World Notes #295 (October 29, 2013):

Broadcast quality MP3 (38 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

 Chris Hedges

In Brief

Prophet and former war correspondent Chris Hedges reflects on the psychologically destructive--yet addicting--nature of war.

He focuses not on rulers and generals but on the people on the ground--civilians and enlisted soldiers and war correspondents too. This talk is based on his own experience and based on his book, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2002). 

Plus some additional reflections by Hedges on PTSD among soldiers who fought in World War Two.

Audio courtesy of Robin Upton's Unwelcome Guests radio program (

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Can Technology Save Us?

New World Notes #294 (October 22, 2013):

Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

In Brief

Even though you know the answer (no), you'll probably still enjoy the show, which features selections from two funny and inteligent talks.

Jello Biafra explains how the last supposedly revolutionary technological advances--cell phones and the Internet--have weakened real communities and increased alienation.

Then urban-design theorist James Howard Kunstler discusses our technology gurus' (at Google) inability to understand that technology cannot solve the problem of declining fossil fuel reserves. In a nutshell: you can make iPods out of petroleum (Dude,) but not vice versa.

This installment is a replay of NWN #58 (April 2009).

James Howard Kunstler

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Prostitute Press, the War Machine, and Anwar al-Awlaki

Part 1: New World Notes # 292 (October 8):

Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Part 2: New World Notes # 293 -- (October 15):

Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

In Brief

A fine talk by journalist Jeremy Scahill based in part on his recent book, Dirty Wars

He tells the story of the radicalization of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki--who was assassinated by order of President Obama in 2011. But this is also the story of an ever-expanding national security state, of the U.S.'s ever-expanding global wars, and of Barack Obama's war against whistleblowers and press freedom.

And it's also the story of the corrupt U.S. news media, determined to serve the powerful rather than hold them to account.

In Part One, Scahill lambastes the Establishment media's Washington press corps and begins the story of Awlaki. He shows how how the Bush Administration's "Global War on Terror" transformed this American from a nonpolitical student . . . to the darling of the Washington elite . . . to a radical opponent of the U.S.'s wars in the Middle East--and a man marked for death by the Obama administration.

In Part 2, Scahill tells of Obama's secret war in Yemen, revealed by Yemeni journalist Abduleleh Haider Shaye--who was then abducted by US forces and imprisoned by Yemen's dictator at the insistence of President Obama. Scahill contrasts Haider Shaye's courage with the sycophancy of the US press corps.

Scahill tells also of the Obama administration's war against the press--and of the government-ordered assassination without trial of US citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and then his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman.

Jeremy gave this talk at the "Socialism 2013" conference, in Chicago, in June 2013.  A video is available from

16-year-old American citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, son of Anwar. Killed in Yemen by a U.S. drone strike two weeks after his father was killed. The President refuses to say why.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Palast & Pilger on Colonialism & Democracy

New World Notes #291 (October 1, 2013):

Broadcast-quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

(L to R:) Hugo Chavez (Venezuela),
Fidel Castro (Cuba), Evo Morales (Bolivia)

In brief

Two dispatches from South America show progress from (1) colonialism to (2) neocolonialism to (3) neocolonialism disguised as democracy to (4) democracy.

Greg Palast reports from Ecuador (Stage 3), ruthlessly exploited by & practically a colony of the World Bank and global financial institutions.  John Pilger reports from Bolivia, which has recently and tentatively arrived at Stage 4.  The US should be so fortunate!

Notes, credits, & links

We play selections (on Bolivia) from John Pilger's film, War on Democracy, adapted to radio by Lyn Gerry for the Unwelcome Guests Collective (  Many thanks.  KD reads passages on Ecuador from Greg Palast's book, Armed Madhouse.

Music added: Chumbawamba, "The Bad Squire"; Sam Cooke, "A Change Is Gonna Come" (Pilger film theme-song)

This is a replay of NWN #71 (July 2009).
Journalist/filmmaker John Pilger