This fast-paced 64 minute documentary covers the world politics of power, war, corporations, deception and exploitation. Let me add, the sound track is absolutely stellar.
It visualizes the words of Arundhati Roy, specifically her famous Come September speech, where she spoke on such things as the war on terror, corporate globalization, justice and the growing civil unrest.
It's witty, moving, alarming and quite a lesson in modern history.
We is almost in the style of a continuous music video. The music used sets the pace and serves as wonderful background for the words of Ms. Roy and images of humanity in the world we live all in today.
So when I tell a story, I tell it not as an ideologue who wants to pit one absolutist ideology against another, but as a story-teller who wants to share her way of seeing.
Though it might appear otherwise, my writing is not really about nations and histories; it’s about power.I believe that the accumulation of vast unfettered power by a State or a country, a corporation or an institution – or even an individual, a spouse, a friend, a sibling – regardless of ideology, results in excesses such as the ones I will recount here.
About the paranoia and ruthlessness of power.
About the physics of power.
While this accusation doesn’t fill me with indignation, it’s not an accurate description of what I do or how I think. Because an ‘anti-national’ is a person who is against his or her own nation and, by inference, is pro some other one. But it isn’t necessary to be ‘anti-national’ to be deeply suspicious of all nationalism, to be anti-nationalism. Nationalism of one kind or another was the cause of most of the genocide of the twentieth century.
Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.
In the U.S. we saw it during the Gulf War and we see it now during the “War Against Terror.” That blizzard of Made-in-China American flags.
But what does the term “anti-American” mean?
Does it mean you are anti-jazz?
Or that you’re opposed to freedom of speech?
That you don’t delight in Toni Morrison or John Updike?
That you have a quarrel with giant sequoias?
Does it mean that you don’t admire the hundreds of thousands of American citizens who marched against nuclear weapons, or the thousands of war resisters who forced their government to withdraw from Vietnam?
Does it mean that you hate all Americans?
It would be absurd to think that those who criticize the Indian government are “anti-Indian” – although the government itself never hesitates to take that line. It is dangerous to cede to the Indian government or the American government or anyone for that matter, the right to define what “India” or “America” are or ought to be.
To call someone “anti-American”, indeed to be anti-American, (or for that matter, anti-Indian or anti-Timbuktuan) is not just racist, it’s a failure of the imagination.
An inability to see the world in terms other than those the establishment has set out for you. If you’re not a Bushie you’re a Taliban. If you don’t love us, you hate us. If you’re not Good, you’re Evil. If you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists.
Every day I’m taken aback at how many people believe that opposing the war in Afghanistan amounts to supporting terrorism, of voting for the Taliban. Now that the initial aim of the war – capturing Osama bin Laden (dead or alive) – seems to have run into bad weather, the goalposts have been moved.
It’s being made out that the whole point of the war was to topple the Taliban regime and liberate Afghan women from their burqas, we are being asked to believe that the U.S. marines are actually on a feminist mission
What we are seeing now is a vulgar display of the business of grief, the commerce of grief, the pillaging of even the most private human feelings for political purpose. It is a terrible, violent thing for a State to do to its people.
“I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.”
In 1969, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said, “Palestinians do not exist.”
Her successor, Prime Minister Levi Eschol said, “What are Palestinians? When I came here (to Palestine), there were 250,000 non-Jews, mainly Arabs and Bedouins. It was a desert, more than underdeveloped. Nothing.”Prime Minister Menachem Begin called Palestinians “two-legged beasts.”Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir called them “grasshoppers” who could be crushed. This is the language of Heads of State, not the words of ordinary people.
Although Palestinian attacks strike terror into Israeli citizens, they provide the perfect cover for the Israeli government’s daily incursions into Palestinian territory, the perfect excuse for old-fashioned, nineteenth-century colonialism, dressed up as a new fashioned, twenty-first century “war”.But then suicide bombing is an act of individual despair, not a revolutionary tactic.
However, there is no confusion over the extent and range of America’s arsenal of nuclear and chemical weapons. Would the U.S. government welcome weapons inspectors? Would the U.K.? Or Israel?
Wars are never fought for altruistic reasons. They’re usually fought for hegemony, for business. And then of course there’s the business of war.
His advice was well taken. In the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan as well as in the almost daily humiliation the U.S. government heaps on the U.N. In his book on globalization, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Friedman says, and I quote,“The U.S. has to make it clear to Iraq and U.S. allies that…American will use force without negotiation, hesitation or U.N. approval.”
Perhaps this was written in a moment of vulnerability, but it’s certainly the most succinct, accurate description of the project of corporate globalization that I have read.“The hidden hand of the market will never work without the hidden fist. McDonalds cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas…and the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies to flourish is called the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.”
In Urdu, the word for Profit, as in “p-r-o-f-i-t”, is fayda. Al Qaida means The Word, The Word of God, The Law. So, in India, some of us call the War Against Terror, Al Qaida versus Al Fayda – The Word versus The Profit (no pun intended.)
It needs a press that pretends to be free.It needs courts that pretend to dispense justice.It needs nuclear bombs, standing armies, sterner immigration laws, and watchful coastal patrols to make sure that it’s only money, goods, patents, and services that are being globalized – not the free movement of people, not a respect for human rights, not international treaties on racial discrimination or chemical and nuclear weapons, or greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, or god forbid, justice.
A world run by a handful of greedy bankers and C.E.O.’s whom nobody elected can’t possibly last.