“You and I were always talking about risk because she was the beautiful woman we were both in love with, right? The one who made us feel the most special, the most alive? We were always trying to have one more dance with her without paying the price.” Sebastian Junger writes after the death of photojournalist Tim Hetherington in April 2011.
“Natürlich müssen wir uns darum bemühen, die Kontrollen an den Flughäfen effektiver zu machen. Profiling nach Herkunft und Religionszugehörigkeit aber ist eine schlechte Idee, die das Fliegen weder bequemer noch sicherer macht.” Peter Neumann believes that the use of passenger profiling would actually have detrimental effects on aviation security.
“Despite fearful rhetoric to the contrary, terrorism is not a transcendent threat. A terrorist attack cannot possibly destroy a country’s way of life; it’s only our reaction to that attack that can do that kind of damage.” In the wake of last week’s failed bombing of an airplane over Detroit, Bruce Schneier asks us to leverage the inherent strengths of our democracies.
“Like it or not, I fear it will not only be the cartoonists and impressionists who will miss the easy target in the White House when he has gone”, writes Mick Hume on the day George W Bush leaves office.
I was just following the swearing-in of Barack Obama as the 44th President and listening to his Inaugural Address. It appears to me that, at long last, the United States of America have got a class act to lead them.
“Sir Ian Blair captured the febrile nature of this climate, giddy on nightmares, when he said that de Menezes was killed in the ‘fog of war’. Given that this fog engulfed those giving the orders, little wonder officers stopped behaving rationally.” Tim Black reflects on what the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes tells us about the institutions of the British state.
“It would have been nice to let Bush’s two terms marinate a while before invoking Herbert Hoover and James Buchanan from the cellar of worst presidents. But then—over the last two weeks—he completed the trilogy of national disasters that will be with us for a generation or more.” Timothy Egan assesses the Bush Presidency.
“We did not go into Iraq to impose representative government on the Iraqis. We went there to manage a threat to our own safety.” Richard Perle explains why, in his view, the United States of America had to invade Iraq and topple Sadam Hussein.
“Der politische Stand ist eine Symbiose mit der Medienindustrie eingegangen, die aus finanziellen Gründen den Terrorismus in einem Maße ausschlachtet, das objektiv nicht zu rechtfertigen ist.” Privacy is like oxygen, argues Pär Ström. You’ll miss it when it’s gone…
“Defense against terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to recognize that terrorism is just one of the risks we face. And our job is to fight politicians who use fear as an excuse to take away our liberties and promote security theater that wastes money and doesn’t make us any safer.” Bruce Schneier is not about to give in. Are you?
Robin Cook, one of few political figures to command my lasting respect, has suddenly died on August 6, 2005. If you are only ever going to read one political statement made to the House of Commons, read Robin Cooks’s resignation speech from 18 March, 2003.
Last week I got caught up in the traffic jam that followed the killing of an innocent man at Stockwell tube station. Today, I passed the same spot again. This time I stopped.
Remembering Jean Charles de Menezes one week after he was shot and killed by police at Stockwell tube station in London. What did the ubiquitous CCTV cameras record that morning?
Update: Reports are now emerging that Jean Charles de Menezes had already been restrained by an officer when he was shot in the head seven times.
World Press Photo is the largest and most prestigious press photography contest in the world. Every year, the exhibition is visited by more than a million people in over 40 countries. Today I got a chance to see the Winners Gallery 2005 in Hamburg. Of all the images on display, that of Private Eric Ayon had the biggest impact on me.
“Private Eric Ayon of Echo Company of the Second Battalion, Fourth Regiment of the US Marines stares through the windshield of a Humvee ambushed at Ar Ramadi in Iraq on April 6, 2004. Eight out of the nine marines on board were killed. Ayon himself died in an ambush at the same intersection only three days later. During its tour of Iraq, Echo Company suffered the worst casualties of any US company since Vietnam.”
2nd Prize in the category General News Singles, World Press Photo 2005.
© David Robert Swanson, USA, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Reproduced with kind permission.
“The Power of Nightmares – first screened in Autumn 2004 and repeated this week on BBC2 – questions whether the threat of terrorism to the West is a politically driven fantasy and if al-Qaeda really is an organised network.” Read producer Adam Curtis’ responses to comments from viewers around the world.
“The president and his speechwriters have yet to confront the tension between their rhetoric about freedom, which is universally popular, and their practice of projecting US firepower, which is resented in equal measure.” Former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook on the day George Bush began his second term in office.
“Divine ordination is a very dangerous idea, especially when combined with military power. With God’s approval, you need no human standard of morality.” Howard Zinn expands on the myths of American exeptionalism.
Millions around the world were united in protest against going to war in Iraq.
Hamburg, February 2003
“Wars are a major threat to civilised existence, and a corporate commitment to weapons procurement nurtures this threat.” Economist John Kenneth Galbraith argues that companies control the state.