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<nettime> christmas/chomsky/baghdad digest [lasay x4]
Fatima Lasay on Sat, 27 Dec 2003 19:28:47 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> christmas/chomsky/baghdad digest [lasay x4]

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Fatima Lasay <digiteer {AT} ispbonanza.com.ph>
         Fwd: Christmas Eve in Baghdad: Explosions Abound
         Re: Fw: Chomsky on Saddam capture - Dictators R Us
         Re: Fw: Chomsky on Saddam capture - Dictators R Us
         Re: <nettime> Fw: Chomsky on Saddam capture - Dictators R Us

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Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 23:39:15 +0800
From: Fatima Lasay <digiteer {AT} ispbonanza.com.ph>
Subject: Fwd: Christmas Eve in Baghdad: Explosions Abound

Although the sentiments of Dahr Jamail are appreciable, the use of the word 
"insurgents" to refer to Iraqi fire against US military in Baghdad in the 
article below is troubling. An insurgency is a rebellion against sovereign 
authority. The US is in Iraq as invaders and oppressors - they are the ones 
unlawfully occupying the area.

On June 12, 1898, through the revolutionary movement, Philippine 
independence from Spain was proclaimed. The Philippine Constitution was 
ratified, creating an executive branch, a representative assembly, and 
judiciary, and then the election of a president and the dispatching of 
diplomatic representatives around the world. The creation of the first 
republic in Southeast Asia, though recognized by the world, was dishonored 
and destroyed by the US.

In the Philippines over 100 years ago, what to the US was only an 
“insurgency” required the deployment of 126,000 US troops, and took the 
lives of anywhere from 250,000 to a million people. Forgetting was 
officially sanctioned so that a war that was at least 50 times more costly 
in human lives than the Spanish-American War, could be relegated in 
American textbooks as only an “insurgency.”

Iraq must NEVER let themselves be subjugated by the Americans.


PS. To the Nettimer who had the most remarkble insight to say that I should 
be less Muslim and more human, you must look again at what you just said 
and see how your mind has been completely colonized by American imperialism.

Merry Christmas?

24 December 2003, Christmas Eve in Baghdad, Explosions Abound
by Dahr Jamail


12/24/03: (ICH) Arriving back at my hotel with Ahmed this evening,
everyone is flittering about talking about the attack on the big
hotel. We obtain a few sketchy details, but enough to head us in the
direction of the most heavily fortified hotel compound in Baghdad.
Racing down Sa'adoun Street in a taxi we are told a suicide bomber
had blown himself up in the Sheridan, killing a soldier and many of
the guests.

At the entrance of the compound a machine gun carrying Iraqi
policeman tells us the French Embassy was hit, not the hotel. So we
walk towards the entrance of the inner compound that leads towards
the Sheridan, and an American soldier tells us he doesn't know what
happened, but pointed us towards the French embassy just down the

He is quite friendly to me, so I ask him where he's from, "I'm from

I can tell he isn't sure if I'm an American, due to my beard and
Kefir wrapped around my neck, so I say,

"I'm from Alaska. How are you doing man?" He replies, "Hanging in
there brother. Hanging in there. I was born in Anchorage, but now I
live in San Diego."

I tell him to keep hanging in there and he thanks me. As we begin to
walk away I hear him say, "Merry Christmas." I swing around and tell
him the same, and see him smiling.

At the French Embassy, which is completely intact, we meet a group
of cameraman and the main security guard for the embassy. We are
told the following story.

At approximately 8:30pm, a car pulled up near a palm tree in a small
field near the Tigris River, approximately one block from the
Sheridan Hotel. Two men calmly got out from the car and unloaded a
small Russian made Katusha (sp?) missile. By the time it had
launched and slammed into the top floor of the Hotel, creating an
explosion that shook the windows of my hotel five blocks away, the
Iraqi guards nearby panicked to find where it was launched from.

We walked another block down the street to find the guards who were
responsible for manning the checkpoint, which is about 40 meters
from where the missile was launched.

One of the guards tells us that he spotted the men loading the
launcher back into the car and jumping inside the car. As the car
drove away the guards told us they shot at it over 120 times, but
the attackers sped away nonetheless while returning fire.

We walk down an unlit side street back towards my hotel. We stop at
a tea vendor on the street, about two blocks from the area where the
missile was launched. Ahmed asks the tea man what he heard, because
Ahmed didn't think the guards story really stacked up. There were no
shell casings around where they said they fired 120 times, and the
guards couldn't tell them what type of car it was, even though
they'd shone their spotlight on it.

The tea man tells us he heard the huge explosion by the missile, but
no bullets at all. He asked us if maybe the guards used slingshots,
because they didn't hear any shots, a mere two blocks away.

The stories of the incompetent hastily trained Iraqi Police abound.
Almost as popular, but not quite, is the story of resistance
fighters joining the Iraqi Police force to help in the attacks
against the Americans. Could this be the latter?

While walking the rest of the way to the hotel we hear four huge
thumps in the distance.some sort of bombs. Ahmed thinks they are
mortar attacks.

It's been that kind of day.

It all started last night just after midnight. I'm almost asleep and
I hear (and feel) huge thumping explosions on the outskirts of
Baghdad, towards Al-Dora, also known as 'machine city' for all the
mechanic shops there. The firing was from howitzers, as well as
Apaches who arrived on the scene to take part, and a gunship with
its sickening sounding roar of bullets so close together they almost
sound like a fog horn. The whumping explosions occur very often,
then a break, then again.

I run to the roof to see, but only stand in the cold night with two
hotel workers listening to the huge thumps beyond the flaming oil
flare from the refinery that isn't functioning correctly.

This morning a few of us head over to see what happened. The US
Military reported a convoy was attacked, and they returned fire
heavily against insurgents.

Over in Alwat Al Rashid, the specific area near the US base, we
learn that the base was attacked (as convoys don't travel at night),
and the base basically opened up with everything it had in every
direction, which has become the typical response, unfortunately.

As with each of the aforementioned stories, the truth is always
pieced together from collecting all the stories, and finding those
that match, which have thus far always come from the locals in the
area, who are not affiliated with either side of the fighting.

As I type now, it is 9:45pm, and several large explosions have gone
off down the street, probably 3 kilometers. I've heard several now,
all over Baghdad tonight, and it's not even Christmas yet, which
everyone expects to be a very bad day here. Sporadic machine gun
fire pierces the night from all parts of Baghdad right now. An
ambulance races by under my window in the direction of a few of the
deep explosions.

Earlier today there is news of three US soldiers being killed by
another roadside bomb. Several more wounded. The number of wounded
and dead US soldiers from the invasion and occupation is now nearly

I really feel for the US soldiers being put in this position, really
they can't trust anyone, because even those who are supposedly
helping them, namely the IP's (Iraqi Police), are likely to be
working against them. They are here fighting what is now an ill-
defined war, fighting for their own survival, never knowing where or
when the next IED, suicide car bomb, or human suicide attacker will
befall them. While this certainly doesn't justify the commonly
adopted policy of indiscriminant firing in every direction which
always kills innocent Iraqis, I can see why they do it.

When does this end? No WMD's have been found.nothing even close.
Saddam is captured. The regime has been replaced by the Americans,
either Bremer and his cronies, or Iraqi exiles they have appointed.

If this invasion wasn't about the oil, then why are the Americans
still here? Why haven't the UN been brought in to assist in the
transition so the American soldiers can be sent back home where they
belong? The two pretexts for the invasion, removing the threat of
WMD's and getting Saddam out of the picture, have been accomplished.

While driving in a taxi to visit a hospital earlier, we are stuck in
a long traffic jam. The police man makes our direction wait as a
couple of Humvees pass, then he lets us move. Our taxi driver
says, "I never liked Saddam, but he gave us protection and what we
needed to live. Saddam was honey compared to the American's. The
Americans are like hell. I'm happy for this gas crisis. Fuck my job,
I just want to see the Americans fail here."

He is angry with the traffic jams, the fighting, the terrible daily
living conditions people have to struggle against in Baghdad.

"I want to see it get worse," he continues, "I want this to get so
bad it proves to the world that all those who celebrated Saddam's
capture are thieves and cowards!"

Ahmed shakes his head. He looks at me and somberly says, "I want to
go out from my country Dahr. I want to go someplace where I can feel
safe. This is all that I want."

--- End forwarded message ---

Fátima Lasay http://digitalmedia.upd.edu.ph/digiteer/

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Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 23:33:56 +0800
From: Fatima Lasay <digiteer {AT} ispbonanza.com.ph>
Subject: Re: Fw: Chomsky on Saddam capture - Dictators R Us

At 08:00 PM 12/25/03, you wrote:

>why get so angry?

"Kill every one over ten."

>It is a land of the free, isn\'t it?

"Civilisation begins at home."

>I think there should be more voices like his.

American intellectual culture, education, civilisation, heritage:

>And if they use all the oil for burning books,
>there will be more wars coming up...
>So, why bother?

It ought to be a Happy New Year.

Fatima Lasay http://digitalmedia.upd.edu.ph/digiteer/

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Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 23:32:31 +0800
From: Fatima Lasay <digiteer {AT} ispbonanza.com.ph>
Subject: Re: Fw: Chomsky on Saddam capture - Dictators R Us

At 11:51 AM 12/26/03, you wrote:

>This thread is disturbing and invigorating in an odd way.
>As an artist and an Asian, I think we need to develop our own voice on our
>matters too. We need our writers, intellectuals, artists,film-makers to tell
>our story our way: the Chomskys of the world may make sense, but their truth
>will never be our truth. By 'our', I mean the people in those other
>cultures, be it Afghanistan, Iraq, Phillipines or my own country India.

Yes, and it is not really necessary to qualify what you mean by "our" by 
saying that it refers to "other cultures." It is through American 
imperialist indoctrination that often we refer even to ourselves as "other 
cultures." Our own cultures and identities are significant and essential in 
themselves, it is not determined by reference to the west, it is not 
signified by reference to "whiteness." From 100 years back, this is what 
"whiteness" to the Americans has been about: 

>There is an urgent need to therefore give strength to that voice, to nurture
>it, to embolden it.I find even with the most well-meaning and understanding
>American friends I have here that they simply do not understand, beyond a
>superficial kind of way, that other cultures need to be respected, &
>probably a different eye will need to be cultivated to do so.

Many Americans either don't know or deny their own history of plunder and 
murder in other countries. Over 100 years have passed since this: 
Most Americans, despite (or perhaps because of) all their Chomskys and 
intellectualism, are still in the dark (or more appropriately today, in the 
light of cinematic effects).

>I abhor violence and war, and am horrified at the waste of young lives on
>all sides that this terrible business entails.At the same time, a couple of
>photographs I saw in the New York Times remain frozen in my mind.It was
>about October 2003, the US forces had successfully taken over major Iraqi
>cities.One picture showed the well-protected US forces in full gear riding
>atop their tanks, with their modern guns on the ready.Just ahead of them was
>this bedraggled group of Iraqi policemen on foot, no protective armours, no
>fancy guns.The scene struck me as extremely humiliating for the Iraqis.

Yes, and it is a scene that also tells much about the American invaders.

>Another scene showed a couple of US soldiers standing over handcuffed, prone
>Iraqis squirming in the dust below.

Over 100 years ago, the Americans published this. 
(Handwritten text reads: "Result of Mount Dajo fight: those in the trenches 
are good Moros.")

>Such scenes may mean very different things to different eyes, but it is for
>the aware Westerner to understand that in most Eastern societies honour
>means everything, and that such pictures arouse anger & humiliation just as
>much as any body bags might.

Over 100 years ago, this was the American harvest in the Philippines:

>And the most urgent need remains: we need our own Chomskys to tell a more
>complete story.

I may have posted this here before, but is relevant again - the point being 
that, at this point in tme, we need more than a storyteller, but an 
activist and a cultural worker - not only in Asia or the Arab world, but in 
the US. For the Americans to liberate themselves, they may act upon three 
world issues (as Walden Bello pointed out below) within which they have 
played a leading role:

1. Drive the US out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
2. Stop Israel from destroying the Palestinian people.
3. Impose the rule of law on outlaw, rogue states like the US, Britain, and 

Unless, of course, the US insist we all ought to have a Happy New Year:


The Future in the Balance

That Bello combines the roles of the intellectual and activist validates 
the power of the creative act in threading the physical, social, spiritual 
and psychological ties of a community in thinking, and eventually 
extricating, ourselves out of the oppressive relationship with 
corporate-driven globalisation and violence.

 From the Philippine experience, the historical reality of American 
imperialist/neocolonial policy may be said to begin with Cuba and the 
Philippines (from 1898), to become fully developed after World War II, and 
institutionalized by compliance with Allied countries through the formation 
of GATT and the IMF (and later the WTO), and the US$ taking the place of 
gold as medium of international exchange. Western Europe was subjugated by 
the US through the rebuilding of capitalism (economic aid after the war). 
Military might, financial power and the image industries, in place since 
time immemorial, would find their renewed implementations on a global 
scale. How might one still possess the innocence to detect its barbarism 
when in all of these countries that assert their domination over others, 
intellectuals are theorising idealist, skeptical, and subjectivist 
viewpoints. So the intelligentsia validates the bombing of our historical 
and cultural identities together with the bulldozing of our local and 
national economies; how they are so terrorized by diversity and difference! 
Those at the forefront of current economic and cultural globalisation must 
seek liberation from their own terrors.

Periods of crisis in human history would be marked by historically conjured 
barriers between manual and mental labor, in that fissure between the 
worker's movement and the intellectuals living in a deceptively bi-polar 
world, neglecting and easily hiding way the separation of intellection, 
activism and creativity. How convenient it is to either split or homogenize 
a bi-polar world and manage us to forget the role of the triad from our 
most ancient systems and our most primal mythologies through which we 
demonstrated and challenged not merely our privileged knowledge but 
respected a "reality" that escaped our ambitions and reminded us of the 
limits of how we know. How easy it is to overlook the barbarism, the loss 
of balance through the illusion of momentum preached by globalisation, 
while we are awed by the reflection and simulation in the mirror; and how 
easy it is to be "taken in by love" when imperialism, education and 
capitalism are so intimately enmeshed, rendering even our own experience of 
hunger and injustice insignificant.

But that "it is no longer a question of an alternative but of alternatives" 
as Bello puts it, predisposes us with an empowering challenge to respond 
against a barbaric future, with a deeper contemplation and internalization 
of "local rhythms" and reaffirmation of rights activated by the urgency of 
our identities and our most creative actions. This is how we know the 
imbalance as it transpires from across the globe, like a pendulum within 
us, as if of the ancient dragon seismoscopes whose inner contraptions 
detected the slightest movement of the earth. And that contraption will 
neither be known nor raised from mere speculation, it will escape the 
commodification and scientification that much of our cultures have already 
been subjected to. As cultural workers, it is time to use that which we 
have yet do not know.


The Future in the Balance
Walden Bello wins the Right Livelihood Award

WALDEN BELLO Philippines (2003)

Walden Bello is one of the leading critics of the current model of economic 
globalisation, combining the roles of intellectual and activist. As a human 
rights and peace campaigner, academic, environmentalist and journalist, and 
through a combination of courage as a dissident, with an extraordinary 
breadth of published output and personal charisma, he has made a major 
contribution to the international case against corporate-driven globalisation.

Bello was born in Manila in the Philippines in 1945. He was studying in 
Princeton for a sociology Ph.D in 1972 when Ferdinand Marcos took power, 
and plunged into political activism, collecting his Ph.D, but not returning 
to the university for another 20 years. Over the next two decades, he 
became a key figure in the international movement to restore democracy in 
the Philippines, co-ordinating the Anti-Martial Law Coalition and 
establishing the Philippines Human Rights Lobby in Washington.

He was arrested repeatedly and finally jailed by the US authorities in 1978 
for leading the non-violent takeover of the Philippine consulate in San 
Francisco. He was released a week later after a hunger strike to publicise 
human rights abuses in his home country.

While campaigning on human rights he saw how the World Bank and IMF loans 
and grants were supporting the Marcos regime in power. To expose their 
role, he took the risk of breaking into the World Bank headquarters in 
Washington, and brought out 3,000 pages of confidential documents. These 
provided the material for his book Development Debacle (1982), which became 
an underground bestseller in the Philippines and contributed to expanding 
the citizen’s movement that eventually deposed Marcos in 1986.

After the fall of Marcos, Bello joined the NGO Food First in the USA, and 
began to expand his coverage of the Bretton Woods institutions, in 
particular studying the ‘newly industrialised countries’ of Asia. His 
critique of the Asian economic ‘miracle’, Dragons in Distress, was written 
six years before the financial collapse that swept through the region.

His recent work has been criticising the financial subjugation of 
developing countries and promoting alternative models of development that 
would make countries less dependent on foreign capital.

In 1995, he was co-founder of Focus on the Global South, of which he is now 
executive director. Focus seeks to build grassroots capacity to tackle 
wider regional issues of development and capital flows. When the Asian 
Financial Crisis struck two years later, Focus played a major role 
advocating a different way forward.

Bello argues that "what developing countries and international civil 
society should aim at is not to reform the WTO but, through a combination 
of passive and active measures, to radically reduce its power and make it 
simply another international institution co-existing with and being checked 
by other international organisations, agreements and regional groupings… It 
is in such a more fluid, less structured, more pluralistic world with 
multiple checks and balances that the nations and communities of the South 
will be able to carve out the space to develop based on their values, their 
rhythms, and the strategies of their choice."

At the abortive WTO meeting in Seattle in 1999, Bello played a leading role 
in the teach-ins around the protest events and was later beaten up by the 
Seattle police. He was detained again by the Italian police and nearly run 
over by a police car at the 2001 G-8 summit in Genoa. He also played a key 
role in civil society circles in elaborating the strategy to derail the WTO 
Ministerial in Cancun in September 2003.

He has also played a leading role as an environmentalist, and is former 
chairman of the board of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. His 1998 book A Siamese 
Tragedy, documenting the environmental destruction of Thailand, became a 
bestseller there and won praise from former Thai Prime Minister Anand 
Oanyarachun. It received the Chancellor’s Award for best book from the 
University of the Philippines in 2000.

Bello has campaigned for years for the withdrawal of US military bases in 
the Philippines, Okinawa and Korea, and has helped set up several regional 
coalitions dedicated to denuclearisation and demilitarisation, and a new 
kind of security plan based on meeting people’s needs.

After September 11 2001, he was a leading voice from the South urging the 
USA not to resort to military intervention ­ which he believed would 
exacerbate the problem ­ but to tackle the root causes of terrorism in 
poverty, inequality, injustice and oppression. In March 2002, he led the 
peace mission to the southern Philippine island of Basilan, where the US 
army recently sent their special forces. He was also one of the leaders of 
a peace mission of Asian parliamentarians and civil society activists that 
visited Baghdad in March 2003 in a last-ditch effort to stop the US 
invasion of Iraq.

Bello’s current and immediate past roles include:
National Chair Emeritus and National Chair of the party Akbayan, one of the 
fastest growing parties in the Philippines, which has two members in the 
National Assembly.
Professor of sociology and public administration at the University of the 
Executive director of Focus on the Global South.
Member and former Chair of the board of Greenpeace South East Asia.
Visiting Professor in Southeast Asian Studies at the University of 
California at Los Angeles.
Board member of Food First, the International Forum on Globalisation, and 
the Transnational Institute.

Bello has won praise for his writing, as the author or editor of 11 books 
on Asian issues and a range of articles, notably American Lake: The nuclear 
peril in the Pacific (1984) (co-authored with Peter Hayes and Lyuba 
Zarsky), People and Power in the Pacific (1992), Dark Victory: The United 
States and Global Poverty (1999), Global Finance: Thinking on regulating 
speculative capital markets (2000) and The Future in the Balance: Essays on 
globalisation and resistance (2001). He won the New California Media Award 
for Best International Reporting in 1998. The Belgian newspaper Le Soir 
recently called Bello "the most respected anti-globalisation thinker in Asia".

Contact details:

Walden Bello
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of the Philippines

The Future in the Balance

The Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize was
awarded, on December 8 in Sweden, to Dr. Walden Bello, Executive Director of
Focus on the Global South, a Program of Development Policy Research,
Analysis and Action which has offices in Thailand, the Philippines,
Switzerland and India.

Awarded annually in the Swedish Parliament, the Right Livelihood Award was
founded in 1980 by Jakob von Uexkull, a Swedish-German philatelic expert who
sold his stamps to start the fund and felt that the Nobel Prize ignored
significant contributions by many from various fields and countries outside
the North. The awards are given "to honour and support those offering
practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us

Bello, according to the Awards Committee, has done such a deed by "playing a
crucial and complementary role in developing theoretical and practical basis
for a world order that benefits all people." The Committee also credits his
work as a human rights and peace campaigner, academic, environmentalist and

Below is his acceptance speech.


The Future in the Balance
By Walden Bello

(Acceptance speech, Right Livelihood Award ceremonies, Swedish Parliament,
Stockholm, Dec.8, 2003)

I would like, first of all, to express my profound gratitude to the Right
Livelihood Foundation for selecting me as one of the awardees of this
prestigious prize for 2003.

I would also like to thank the Parliament of Sweden for hosting these
beautiful ceremonies today.

My gratitude also goes to my comrades-in-arms and fellow travelers in the
movement against corporate-driven globalization, including my wife Marilen,
who is here with me today.

Whenever friends, comrades, and colleagues have congratulated me on the
occasion of this award, I have told them that in recognizing me, the
Foundation is really recognizing the work of everyone in this burgeoning,
diverse movement.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the supreme institution of
corporate-driven globalization, and the collapse of its fifth ministerial in
Cancun on Sept. 14 this year has dramatically underlined the deepening
crisis of legitimacy of the globalist agenda.

Less than 10 years ago, our movement was marginalized.  The founding of the
WTO in 1995 seemed to signal that globalization was the wave of the future,
and that those who opposed it were destined to suffer the same fate as the
Luddites that fought against the introduction of machines during the
industrial revolution.  Globalization was going to bring prosperity in its
wake, and how could one oppose the promise of the greatest good for the
greatest number that the transnational corporations, guided by the invisible
hand of the market, were going to shower the world?

But the movement stood firm in the face of the scorn of the establishment
during the 1990¹s, when the boom in the world¹s mightiest capitalist
engine steadfast in its prediction that, driven by the logic of corporate
profitability, the liberalization and deregulation of trade and finance
would bring about crises, widen inequalities within and across countries,
and increase global poverty.

The Asian financial crisis in 1997 provided sudden, savage proof of the
destabilizing impact of eliminating controls from the flow of global
capital.  Indeed, what could be more savage than the fact that the crisis
would bring 1 million people in Thailand and 22 million people in Indonesia
below the poverty line in the space of a few weeks in the fateful summer of

The Asian financial crisis was one of those momentous events that removed
the scales from people¹s eyes and enabled them see cold, brutal realities.
And one of those realities was the fact that the free market policies that
the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank imposed on some 100
developing and transitional economies between 19\80 aand 2000 had induced,
in all but a handful of them, not a virtuous circle of growth, prosperity,
and equality but a vicious cycle of economic stagnation, poverty, and
inequality.  The year 2001 brought us not only Sept. 11.  2001 was also the
year for reckoning of free-market fundamentalism economy, the poster boy of
neoliberal economics, crashed, and the US stock
market collapsed owing to the contradictions of finance-driven, deregulated
global capitalism, wiping out $4.6 trillion in investor wealth US¹ gross
domestic product rising unemployment.

As global capitalism moved from crisis to crisis, people organized in the
streets, in work places, in the political arena to counter its destructive
logic.  In December 1999, massive street resistance by over 50,000
demonstrators combined with a revolt of the developing governments inside
the Seattle convention center to bring down the third ministerial of the
WTO.  Global protests also eroded the legitimacy of the IMF and the World
Bank, the two other pillars of global economic governance, albeit in less
dramatic fashion.  Anti-neoliberal regimes came to power in Venezuela,
Argentina, Brazil, and Ecuador.  The fifth ministerial meeting in Cancun, an
event associated in many people¹s minds with the altruistic suicide of the
Korean farmer Lee Kyung-Hae at the barricades, became Seattle II.  And, just
three weeks ago, in Miami, the same alliance of civil society and developing
country governments forced Washington to retreat from the neoliberal program
of radical liberalization of trade, finance, and investment that it had
threatened to impose in the western hemisphere via the Free Trade Area of
the Americas (FTAA).

Justice and equity has been one thrust of our movement.  The other has been
peace.  For we never believed the pro-globalization argument that
accelerated globalization would bring about the reign of "perpetual peace."
Indeed, we warned that as globalization proceeded, its economically and
socially destabilizing effects would multiply conflicts and insecurities.
Driven by corporate logic, globalization, we warned, would herald an era of
aggressive imperialism that would seek to batter down opposition, seize
control of natural resources, and secure markets.

It gave us no pleasure that we were proved right.  Instead, the movement
swung into action, becoming a global force for justice and peace that
mobilized tens of millions of people throughout the world on Feb. 15 of this
year against the planned invasion of Iraq.  We did not succeed in stopping
the American and British invasion, but we have surely contributed to
delegitimizing the Occupation and made it increasingly difficult for
invaders that brazenly violated international law and many rules of the
Geneva Convention to remain in Iraq.

The New York Times, on the occasion of the Feb. 15 march, said that there
are only two superpowers left in the world today, the United States and
global civil society.  Let me add that I have no doubt that the forces of
justice and peace will prevail over the contemporary incarnation of empire,
blood, terror, and greed that is the USA.

Our movement is on the ascendant.  But our agenda is massive, our tasks
formidable.  To name just a few: We have to drive the US out of Iraq and
Afghanistan.  We must stop Israel from destroying the Palestinian people.
We must impose the rule of law on outlaw, rogue states like the US, Britain,
and Israel.

But above all, we must change the rules of the global economy, for it is the
logic of global capitalism that is the source of the disruption of society
and of the environment.  The challenge is that even as we deconstruct the
old, we dare to imagine and win over people to our visions and programs for
the new.

Contrary to the claims of the ideologues of the establishment, the
principles that would serve as the pillars of a new global order are
present.  The primordial principle is that instead of the economy, the
market, driving society, the market must be--to use the image of the great
Hungarian Social Democrat Karl Polanyi --"reembedded" in society and governed
by the overarching values of community, solidarity, justice, and equity.  At
the international level, the global economy must be deglobalized or rid of
the distorting, disfiguring logic of corporate profitability and truly
internationalized, meaning that participation in the international economy
must serve to strengthen and develop rather than disintegrate and destroy
local and national economies.

The perspective and principles are there; the challenge is how each society
can articulate these principles and programs in unique ways that respond to
their values, their rhythms, their personality as societies.  Call it
post-modern, but central to our movement is the conviction that, in contrast
to the belief common to both neoliberalism and bureaucratic socialism, there
is no one shoe that will fit all.  It is no longer a question of an
alternative but of alternatives.

But there is an urgency to the task of articulating credible and viable
alternatives to the global community, for the dying spasms of old orders
have always presented not just great opportunity but great risk.  At the
beginning of the 20th century, the revolutionary thinker Rosa Luxemburg made
her famous comment about the possibility that the future might belong to
"barbarism."  Barbarism in the form of fascism nearly triumphed in the
1930¹s and 1940¹s.  Today, corporate-driven globalization is creating so
much of the same instability, resentment, and crisis that are the breeding
grounds of fascist, fanatical, and authoritarian populist movements.
Globalization not only has lost its promise but it is embittering many.  The
forces representing human solidarity and community have no choice but to
step in quickly to convince the disenchanted masses that, indeed, as the
banner of World Social Forum in Porto Alegre proclaims, "Another world is
possible."  For the alternative is, as in the 1930¹s, to see the vacuum
filled by terrorists, demagogues of the religious and secular Right, and the
purveyors of irrationality and nihilism.

The future, dear friends, is in the balance.  Thank you.

Texts by Walden Bello

Focus on the Global South (FOCUS)
c/o CUSRI, Chulalongkorn University
Bangkok 10330 THAILAND
Tel: 662 218 7363/7364/7365/7383
Fax: 662 255 9976
Mobile: +6695215702 (in bangkok)
         +639167860215 (in manila)
Email: marylou {AT} focusweb.org
Website: www.focusweb.org


Fatima Lasay http://digitalmedia.upd.edu.ph/digiteer/

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Date: Sat, 27 Dec 2003 00:12:30 +0800
From: Fatima Lasay <digiteer {AT} ispbonanza.com.ph>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Fw: Chomsky on Saddam capture - Dictators R Us

At 01:13 PM 12/25/03, you wrote:

>Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 00:35:32 -0500
>From: martha rosler <navva {AT} earthlink.net>
>Subject: Re: <nettime> Fw: Chomsky on Saddam capture - Dictators R Us
>oh, moderators!! stop drinking that glog and egg nog and answer this: why
>is the below a fit and reasonable post for nettime? or maybe i should just
>shut the fuck up.
>martha rosler

----- Mensaje original -----
De: Fatima Lasay
Para: webartery {AT} yahoogroups.com
Enviado: Jueves, 25 de Diciembre de 2003 04:34 a.m.
Asunto: [webartery] Re: Fw: Chomsky on Saddam capture - Dictators R Us

This is an extremely complex and complicated issue, and I have approached
it emotionally because of conditions in my country that continue to worsen.
The Philippines is now (again) in an extremely volatile condition. While we
as a people seem to have turned the knife in upon ourselves, we also do so
with the imprimatur of our American imperialist masters (which is traced
back not only from the Marcos regime as Chomsky states, but since 1898-1902
when Aguinaldo - the first president of the Philippine republic - was
captured (and demonized through media and propaganda) by the Americans
through subterfuge). I completely shock myself that I would begin for the
first time in my life, to think that indeed we must be a sad and forsaken
people, each day losing our culture, our families breaking up in a
continuing diaspora, dispersing whatever is left of a sense of identity -
and underlying all this is a political system so deeply corrupted and an
economic structure completely dependent on and trapped by foreign capital
and debt. But unlike in Southeast Asia, American intervention in the Arab
world is young, and the resistance against this intervention must NEVER stop.

As for Chomsky, for some time I thought he was right in many ways but I
have read enough of him. He, like many American intellectuals seem to know
(and know very well) how much damage their heritage has done to this
planet, but they could never muster the courage to liberate themselves. I
hope this is not about "us vs. them," but about the oppressors who, since
their foray into the plunder of other countries (beginning with Cuba and
the Philippines in the 1890s), have effectively imprisoned themselves into
intellectual violence. Chomsky cannot escape his own insight of what he
calls a doctrine of change of course. Sure, we've seen this "doctrine of
change of course" before - from Cuba (civilisation), Philippines
(benevolent assimilation), Vietnam (communism), Afghanistan (terrorism),
Iraq (democracy) - yet Chomsky merely reproduces the trappings of this
doctrine through his "(reverse) discourse" - his futile attempt at tilting
the balance against barbarism actually lends momentum to it and strengthens it.

Ah, so easy for Chomsky to say Suharto and Marcos are murderous dictators -
just to lend momentum to his theory of change of course!

He is also not really any different from many of the American soldiers sent
to war - in Vietnam for instance - to kill women and children to save the
country from communism (or even earlier, those sent to the Philippines to
demonize the Muslims as bloodthirsty pagans). Either these unfotunate
soldiers become terribly sorry, go insane, die or blame the government, or
some of them write books and sell books about and against the war while
living on veteran/retirement benefits. Even greater rewards are reaped when
the war is picked up by the entertainment industry. Deep inside, perhaps
even subconsciously, some of them sincerely believe that war is good for
the economy. This just goes on since the past 100 years. Perhaps it is
intellectual violence that is their enemy, why the Americans for such a
long time could never liberate themselves as a people.

The world is a delicate balance - and our efforts here in Asia (or in the
Arab world), to build a culture of peace, will never happen, until the west
has found a way to free themselves.

Directly onto the Saddam capture issue (which is being handled by the US
such as to debase and demoralize the Iraqi people) - I don't think Saddam
should face an international tribunal - he should face the Islamic
tribunals of the Arab world. It is Bush and Blair who should face an
international tribunal after Saddam has implicated them.


Fatima Lasay http://digitalmedia.upd.edu.ph/digiteer/

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