February 6, 1922 – December 27, 2015
It is with great sadness that I have to report that my father, Haskell Wexler, has died. Pop died peacefully in his sleep, Sunday, December 27th, 2015. Accepting the Academy Award in 1967, Pop said: “I hope we can use our art for peace and for love”. An amazing life has ended but his lifelong commitment to fight the good fight, for peace, for all humanity, will carry on.
February 6, 1922 – December 27, 2015
It was with great hope we elected Obama because he represented himself as change. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the totality of our media perpetuated a known lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and the total security of the United States is at stake.
We launched overall war on Iraq killing more than 200,000 civilians. The human devastation that invasion included is still being calculated. We will not ignore the fact that many good patriotic Americans were killed, wounded or had their minds scrambled forever.
When Bush gave an award to a hero soldier’s mother he said; “Your son died for a noble cause.” The mother said; “Mr. President, what noble cause?”
When our “President for Change” came into office there was not even a word about those who committed a crime using lies to launch the war on Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of Americans were in the streets chanting “NO BLOOD FOR OIL”.
If there is no accountability, if the perpetrators face no consequences when a crime is committed, there can be no justice.
Obama, elected for change, never said from what let alone to what.
Nobody even asks about our recent history of military failures. At most, it’s explained by “carelessness” in the region. Even questions about this “carelessness” have not been addressed by either political party.
All politicians, Democrats AND Republicans say, “We need more respect for American power.”
No question the western world is at war with radical Muslim groups. They know the story of Iraq – every jihadist we killed it inspired two more to join – and they want us to repeat this mistake in Syria and Paris.
Our military leaders also know the other lesson from Iraq – that any gains in the fight against extremism cannot hold without local ownership and leadership in the fight. We pushed back at Al-Qaeda in Iraq during the surge, but it fell apart the minute our troops and money left. As retired Army General Martin Dempsey said, “Pushing back ISIL with American troops without accompanying political success is like painting over rust.”
Hillary Clinton is calling for a “new phase” in the fight that includes stepped up air and drone strikes. Clinton’s approach is more hawkish, certainly more so than closest competitor Bernie Sanders. The closest that Bernie Sanders can get to the question, “war is not the answer”, is to say; “We need to develop a political movement which, once again, is prepared to take on and defeat a ruling class whose greed is destroying our nation,” he said. “The billionaire class must be told loudly and clearly that they cannot have it all.”
Men, women, children, people of all colors and ideology lose in war. A small international group must control the Earth’s resources and feed a bottom line economic system which is enriched by building more weapons of destruction.
The Pope answers some of the question when he says: “Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood.”
The people of the world want peace.
On this subject, President Kennedy in one of the last speeches that he gave said:
“I have, therefore, chosen this time and place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth too rarely perceived — and that is the most important topic on earth: peace.
What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war, not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace — the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living — and the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and build a better life for their children — not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women — not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.”
If it’s tough to tell who a terrorist is, you might as well use Bush’s statement that you ARE EITHER WITH US OR AGAINST US.
Do we qualify the definition of a terrorist by who is doing it for what reason and with what type of weapon?
Photo: Ash Carter in a V-22 Osprey military aircraft visits atomic U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt in the South China Sea.
Mr. Carter told reporters that the carrier maneuvers were, “a symbol of our commitment to the re-balance”, referring to the Obama administration’s hallmark policy of raising Americas profile in Asia.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff met recently with President Obama. She awarded me a Certificate of Honor for “courageous and militant work and contribution to the struggle for rights, truth and justice in Brazil.” She praises me for my film “Brazil: A Report on Torture”.
The film shows that Dilma, as a young woman, was a victim of government sponsored torture.
Dilma, ask Obama about “enhanced interrogation” and whether there is good torture or bad torture depending on who does it and for what reason. Watch this clip.
New York Times April 19th, 2015
Sale of U.S. Arms Fuels The Wars of Arab States – Boon to Defense Firms
Saudi Arabia is using F-15 fighter jets bought from Boeing. Pilots from the United Arab Emirates are using Lockheed Martin’s F-16 to bomb both Yemen and Syria. To complete another big deal General Dynamics is supplying a fleet of Predator drones to run spying missions. All this is resulting in a boom for American Defense contractors looking for foreign business.
For the full article, click here.
This is a letter to the Editor of the LA Times that didn’t make print:
Subject: The Pentagon’s $10 Billion Dollar Bet Gone Bad
The Pentagon hands arms merchants like Boeing and Raytheon no-bid contracts for exorbitant projects that don’t even work? This is another example of the dangers of the military-industrial complex: overpriced missile interceptors mothballed before a single test, gee-whiz lasers that can’t fire far enough to reach their target and oversize rockets too big to fit on ships.
The Times investigation could be the inspiration for a Monty Python script—if it weren’t so scary. President Dwight Eisenhower warned us against this formidable union of military contractors and the armed forces—one that robs the public and endangers public security. Sadly, the old scam of waving the flag and fleecing taxpayers seems alive and well.
The F-35 is destined to cost 1.5 trillion dollars over it’s development span. These articles explore just how bad one bet has become.
Business Insider: Here Are All the Problems With the F-35
Business Insider: Why the Pentagon is Spending So Unbelievably Much On the F-35
The existence of a distorted but profound hunger for recognition of ones life can lead to murder and suicide. “If it bleeds it leads”. I welcome your comments on this clip.
What was done to Jim Foley hit me deeply and personally. I can’t be sure whether the viewpoint I am presenting here comes too profoundly out of the video. I would appreciate comments.
The jury is out on the trial of Chad Littlefield who killed sniper hero Chris Kyle.
The verdict of insanity rests on whether Chad knew right from wrong when he pulled the trigger. Do we question the sanity of decorated sniper Chris Kyle who is credited with personally killing 160 people he didn’t know, in a country half way around the world?