Friday, June 10, 2005


I've been wrapped up today in Chris Hedges, hedges a 15-year veteran war correspondent who was working for the NYTimes when his book, "War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning", hit the shelves. In the May issue of Harper's he wrote a piece on the recent convention of the National Religious Broadcasters in Colorado Springs. This morning he was interviewed on Philly's WHYY by Marty Moss-Coane on her radio show "Radio Times", about his life, his ideas, and his new book, "Losing Moses On The Freeway: America's Broken Covenant With The 10 Commandments". Hearing him talk, I heard many of my own interests and concerns being discussed, and I wanted to put a post together that presented a digest of many of his interviews.

The son of a protestant minister who graduated from Harvard Divinity School, he speaks eloquently and wisely of the face of war, the lies told by governments to facilitate waging them, and from first-hand experience of the true horror and of it for those who actually particpate in it, and the addictive quality of its intensity. He also talks with the experience of the initiate about the co-optation of our national dialogue by the evangelical Right, and particularly about the Dominionists, militant Christianists whose ultimate goal is to gain political power and convert American government to a theocracy.

This is the guy, if you remember, who was literally chased off the stage at Rockford College in Illinois, tha alma mater of philosopher/social worker Jane Addams, when he gave an anti-war commencement speech shortly after the start of the Iraq Clusterfuck in 2003. A man who spent 15 years watching from the front lines of the worst wars on earth, speaking out against it and being attacked by clueless pups to whom the coward Bush's winks and nods were more credible and comforting than the hard-won experience of a veteran of war. This is from his pre-war 2003 interview on PBS' NOW with Bill Moyers:
MOYERS: I read your book last night. One of the most chilling and haunting scenes in here is when, I think you were in El Salvador, and a young man was near you, calling out "Mama".
MOYERS: "Mama".
HEDGES: It's not uncommon when soldiers die that they call out for their mother. And that always seems to me to cut through the absurd posturing of soldiering.
He also gave interviews to, Poynter Online (especially insightful into the difference between embedded reporters and real war correspondents), and Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, all of which are excellect perspectives on his character and experiences. In addition, he's done a couple articles for The Nation, and wrote an unforgettable piece on the Palestinians for Harper's.

Please, check out his work.

UPDATE: More on Hedges that relates to his reporting and thoughts about Christianist and Dominionist influence in my next post here.

And James Wolcott agrees.

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