Bulletin N°308


8 June 2006
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,

The common-sense ability to judge people by what they do and not by what they say they are, appears to be a capacity that is generally lost sometime after adolescence. It seems that for some reason most of us become increasingly susceptible to propaganda and commercial advertising as we grow older, and much of our lives is governed by symbols representing representations of representations, etc., etc . . . far removed from reality and from any authentic concern for our own well-being. This, as far as I can determine, seems to be the human condition, at least in the petit bourgeois milieu of intellectuals. (Meanwhile, the big guys, whom C. Wright Mills called "the power elite," deal with reality, unless you think that the Bush/Cheney transition administration, whose policies are supported by both Democrats and Republicans, has gotten us into wars in the Middle East for the next 50 years by some mistake.)

Paul Goodman, in Growing Up Absurd, remarked in this classic critique of American society in the late 1950s (using the syntax of his era):

[I]t is impossible for the average boy to grow up and use the remarkable
capacities that are in every boy, unless the world is for him and makes sense.
And a society makes sense when it understands that its chief wealth is these

The madness of alienation from society can be traced right up to the present. In the opinion of Richard Wolin, Distinguished Professor of History at City University of New York Graduate School, the French student protests in spring 2006 are best comprehended through the writings of French novelist Michel Houellebecq. "These days," Wolin writes, "it is fashionable to dismiss Houellebecq's writing as bleak and nihilistic. But that's largely due to his penchant for saying things that mainstream French society would prefer not to hear."

The main concern of the [French] student protestors [in 2006], far from being
economic, was to avoid becoming supernumeraries in the unspeakably shallow
emotional universe portrayed in Houellebecq's novels.

The 5 items below examine some of the absurdities in our contemporary world, where political and corporate leaders stand at the helm of a "failed system," delivering platitudes to the masses in a relentless attempt to conjure illusions of a future that would expunge us from our own histories, cast us into an imaginary world, as it were, where we might exist separated from one another and from the social context which gives our lives meaning, and ultimately where we might see ourselves disappear as active agents engaged in improving our lives and the lives of those we love in the real world.

Item A. is a review by Canadian educator Jim Miles of  John Pilger's book Freedom Next Time -Resisting the Empire (Nation Books, New York, 2007).

Item B. is an interpretive history of the state of Israel by American historian Gabriel Kolko analyzing the mythologizing of "a 20th Century Accident".

Item C. is from Professor Edward Herman who has forwarded to us an up-to-date copy of the "New UN Map of the West Bank."

Item D. is a Democracy Now ! interview with John Perkins, the self-proclaimed U.S. imperialist agent and author of the recently released book, The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth about Global Corruption.

And finally, item E. is from Displaced Films, the distributor of such the award-winning documentary films as, David Zeiger's Sir! No Sir ! and books like Jane Fonda's War, by Mary Hershberger, and Camilo Mejia's Road from AR Ramadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sargeant Mejia.

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research
Universit Stendhal - Grenoble 3

from ZMag :
7 June 2007
Subject: Review of "Freedom Next Time"

Pilger Book Review
by Jim Miles

[John Pilger is one of the foremost journalists today who, in the current vernacular, walks the walk.   He has been to most of the worlds hotspots, and whether or not the standard media has considered them hot, has revealed much of the truth behind the cynical and disguised if not hidden rhetoric of politicians, businessmen, and, discouragingly, former freedom fighters.  In Freedom Next Time, Pilger explores five countries, exposing the contradictions between the actions viewed by the people of the land and the words of rationalization supplied by the politicians.]

ilger starts very directly and succinctly, stating with his very opening line, This book is about empire, its facades and the enduring struggle of people for their freedom.  He examines two empires working in unison, the American, globally powerful after a quick post war ascendancy, accompanied with a heavy dose of remnant British Imperialism, the two combining in all areas to some degree or other.  The introduction discusses the changes of viewpoint created within the media, the dichotomy of ours and the other, formed in part by the spin of what is reported as newsworthy and what is ignored.   The current American governments political devices are reminiscent of approaching fascism, especially as one considers George Bushs considerable powers with his presidential signing statements most recently used with The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, giving him virtual unitary power over all facets of government in an emergency (signed May 9, 2007).  The current liberalism cloaks a renewed pride in empire, the rhetoric of bringing freedom, democracy, and capitalist free-market structures to the world (mostly the latter). 

Freedom Next Time is a story of the majority of people looking for their own individual peace and security, away from the grip of encroaching empires, in spite of the weaknesses of their own governments.  And it is, ironically, the people, the public, who hold considerable power, if only they were well informed.  The leaders of the new militaristic neoliberalism know that if power was truly invincible it would not fear the people so much as to expend vast resources trying to distract and deceive them.

With his directions clearly stated and outlined, Pilger starts with the mostly unheard of Chagossians.  More than three decades ago, the British and the Americans conspired, colluded, to give the American forces the island of Diego Garcia for a major military base.  Formerly a tropical paradise, free of tropical storms, a sustainable economy and lifestyle, it had, more importantly a large protected natural harbour and plenty of room to build a major airbase.  Through trickery, conniving, and back-room political manoeuvring that kept it out of sight of Parliament, Congress, and the media, the people within the Chagos Archipelago where Diego Garcia is located, were forcefully expelled, tricked into leaving, and refused the right of return (that has a familiar ring to it).  Pilger fills in many of the details of La lutte (struggle in French) calling it a crime that allows us to glimpse how great power works behind its respectable, democratic faade and helps us to understand how much of the world is run for the benefit of the powerful, and how governments justify their actions with lies.   Much of the criticism here is directed at the British crown, whose collusion demonstrates where elite royalty so often lies not with the home country, its citizens or its democratic institutions, but with a rapacious foreign regime seeking to occupy sovereign territory for reasons it wishes to conceal from its own people.  Harsh words, but accurate.

Used as a prime military base, its location in the centre of the Indian Ocean gives it paramount strategic importance to the United States for controlling, or attempting to control, the strategic resources of the Middle East.  Unfortunately, it is entirely an illegal occupation.  The Chagossians have persisted with their court actions, succeeding in receiving the right to return in 2000, and just recently (May 23, 2007), after many trips to court because of various appeals, had that right upheld.  What remains to be seen is whether there will be still more appeals (which from the obvious illegality of the initial action should probably just be thrown out) and how those rights will be interpreted and acted upon.  If patterns of the past are any indication (Guantanamo comes to mind), the American military is there to stay.

The longest section of the work is The Last Taboo, that taboo being to recognize the ongoing occupation and conflict in Palestine as an historic injustice.   While the United States is currently acknowledged as the main supporter of the Israeli government, Pilger identifies Britain [as] a principal architect of the historic disaster in Palestine, suggesting that the Balfour Declaration invests the British government with a special responsibility to honour its commitmentto support international action aimed at ending Israels illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.  In modern times, the now defunct Blair government disguised the fact that British support for Israeli repression was secretly accelerating. 

Many familiar arguments and much historical information is provided to support the idea of the last taboo: the brutal assault on Jenin; the defiance of UN resolutions; the warlike nature of many Israeli leaders Begin, Shamir, and Sharon the latter responsible for several notable massacres, including Sabra and Chatila; the gross acts of vandalism.to destroy the infrastructure of organised society, the violence, the attacks on children, women, the elderly, the murder and incarceration of adults; home demolitions and roadblocks; the reversal of the argument of occupation such that the Palestinians become the perpetrators of the violence (a similar imperial story in most areas from South Africa to Iraq); military connections with South Africas apartheid regime, along with many comparisons to the actuality of apartheid; and on.  What differentiates Pilgers work from others is his extensive record of interviews with a variety of people within the upper echelons of Israeli society, interviews that clearly show their racist and victimizing perspectives.

Israel/Palestine is a prime example of how media bias serves the purpose of those in power.  The BBC news is seen as having an overwhelming bias towards the policies of the State of Israel, again the perpetrator becoming the victim, their attacks being part of the war on terror.  One of the larger media constructions still remains the so called peace process, a powerfully flawed process that eventually led to the disengagement plan whose actual purpose was to distract attention from international criticism of Israels construction of a wall across the West Bank [ruled illegal by the ICJ] and designed to freeze the peace process such as to ensure permanent Israeli control over the entire Land of Israel while foreclosing the emergence of a viable Palestinian state.  

The comparisons with apartheid South Africa are frequent.  Both governments deprived millionsof their liberty and property perpetuat[ing] a system of discrimination.  Ostensibly democratic with all the trappings of democratic institutions, both are primarily racist.  The separation of families, the forced separation of races, the use and abuse of workers, the development of military technology, in particular nuclear weapons outside the standards of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, are paralleled in each. What is missing in the commonalities is that of boycott.  The South African boycott worked to a degree, but anytime an Israeli boycott is mentioned, it becomes an act of anti-Semitism, of academic freedom in relation to the universities, of keeping politics out of sports, of freedom to trade.  While the Americans superficially sided with the boycott on South Africa, the likelihood of it doing so with Israel is extremely minimal (South Africa after all was not as important for geopolitical strategy).

Before discussing the idea that Apartheid did not die, Pilger takes a brief tour into India, where the same themes arise.   In India, more than elsewhere, Britain has done the most at impoverishing the masses in order to enrich the few.  It began with the East Indian Company and is recognized in the Hindi word loot, now commonly recognized in English, defined as goods taken from enemy, spoil; booty, illicit gains made by official.  Today India is one of the poorest countries in the world as it is home to more people living in poverty than any other country in the world (recognizing that India has more people than all countries except China, which has its own problems with the rich-poor gap). 

Life in India is mainly one of poverty, of a life preordained by powerful groups for their benefitthey need the povertyfor their enrichment.   Health services are poor, ranking 171st out of 175 countries, while private health spending is among the highest in the world.   Accompanying this are the abuse of drugs in clinical tests, food and water contamination in most areas, and the abject desperation of thousands of globalised Indian farmers sell[ing] their kidneys in order barely to survive.   As with most states worried about their wealth growth, the military is an important factor, in India consuming almost half the national budget (recognize that most military budget comparisons are to the GDP, a significantly different and more misleading figure).

Democracy in India is seen as a direct result of the non-violence of the freedom movement.  Democracy perhaps, but freedom waits.

 This provides Pilger with an excellent sequitur into conditions in South Africa, discussed above in relation to Palestine/Israel, his emphasis being that Apartheid Did Not Die.  Pilger had been to South Africa in the 1960s where he found Humiliation and brutality, at once systematic and arbitrary, exemplified apartheid.  It becomes familiar territory.  Forced removals from homes and home demolitions moved the black population to bantustans or tribal homelands with all the fake trappings of self-government, and serving as a source for the cheapest labour possible.  As elsewhere, poverty and its associated ills of poor health, lack of education, and ultimately violent resistance became the norm. 

With apartheid legally abolished, the unfortunate record is that of continuing black oppression.  The leaders of apartheid, including the much beloved Nelson Mandela, have been co-opted into the neoliberal economic policies of the ruling white class, the inclusion of a small group of blacks in the countrys white corporate masonry.has allowed white and foreign capital to fulfil its legal obligations under new corporate charters.   This means, as elsewhere, low wages, poor working conditions, union stripping, poor social services including health and education for the masses, and alternately the increasing wealth and control of the corporate elite.  Those blacks that succeeded, proved they could be as ruthless as their former white masters in labour relations, cronyism and the pursuit of profit, hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost in mergers and restructuring.  The latter, as is too frequent in African oppression, as a result of  World Bank-supported tyrants.

The British remain in the picture, as the Old symbiotic relationship with Britain has a special place.  Again through a combination of personal interviews and economic information, Pilger presents a picture showing that apartheid and capitalist exploitation were twos ideas of the same coin, while the new liberal humanitarianism turned out to be a shallow, tawdry, deceptive thing.

Probably the same motives could be applied to Liberating Afghanistan with the current government described as a faade.   The usual well perhaps not so usual for mainstream media history of American and British complicity in the Afghani problems is provided.  Afghanistan has become minor news in Pilgers world (whereas in Canada it frequently dominates due to our ongoing occupation).  As with the previous chapters, the anecdotal style of reporting his various interviews with those in power and those suffering from that power demonstrate the arrogance and social blindness of the rulers.

The theme of the facades of imperialism and the enduring struggle for freedom is well supported throughout Freedom Next Time. While I sometimes wondered what timeline I was on while reading some of the anecdotal material, that perhaps demonstrates again the similarities of empires past and present, the militaristic grab for wealth and power at the expense of the people of the land.  John Pilgers writing is clear and accessible, presenting a picture to the reader of people struggling against the almost overwhelming power of the global corporate elite.  Perhaps next time, a different story will be available because of that enduring struggle.
Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews to Palestine Chronicles.  His interest in this topic stems originally from an environmental perspective, which encompasses the militarization and economic subjugation of the global community and its commodification by corporate governance and by the American government. 

from Gabriel Kolko :
Subject: Israel: Mythologizing a 20th Century Accident
Date: June 2, 2007

Israel: Mythologizing a 20th Century Accident
by Gabriel Kolko

ne of the many quirks of the nineteenth century's intellectual heritage was the great intensification of nationalism and to quote one expert the creation of "nation-ness," the consequences of which have varied dramatically all the way from the negligible to the crucial (as in the case of Israel) to war and peace in a vast strategic region. There was, of course, often a basis for various nationalisms to build upon, but the essentially artificial function of forming nations from very little or nothing was common.

Wars were the most conducive to this enterprise, and the emergence of what was termed socialism after 1914 which had a crucial nationalist basis in such places as China and Vietnam was due to the fact that foreign invasions greatly magnified nationalism's ability to build on ephemeral foundations to merge socialism and patriotism. For a vital component of nationalism, often its sole one, was a hatred of foreigners "others" giving it largely a negative function rather than an assertion of distinctive values and traits essential to a unique entity. Myths, often far-fetched and irrational, were built. Zionism is the focus of this discussion but it was scarcely alone.

Vienna was surely the most intellectually creative place in the world at the end of the 19th century. Economics, art, philosophy, political theories on the Right as well as Left, psychoanalysis Vienna gave birth or influenced most of them. Ideas had to be very original to be noticed, and most were. We must understand the unique and rare innovative environment in which Theodore Herzl, an assimilated Hungarian Jew who became the founder of Zionism, functioned. For a time he was also a German nationalist and went through phases admiring Richard Wagner and Martin Luther. Herzl was many things, including a very efficient organizer, but he was also very conservative and feared that Jews without a state especially those in Russia would become revolutionaries.

A state based on religion rather than the will of all of its inhabitants was at the end of the 19th century not only a medieval notion but also a very eccentric idea, one Herzl concocted in the rarified environment of cafes where ideas were produced with scant regard for reality. It was also full of countless contradictions, based not merely on the conflicts between theological dogmas and democracy but also vast cultural differences among Jews, all of which were to appear later. Europe's Jews have precious little in common, and their mores and languages are very distinct. But the gap between Jews from Europe and those from the Arab world was far, far greater. Moreover, there were many radically different kinds of Zionism within a small movement, ranging from the religiously motivated to Marxists who wanted to cease being Jews altogether and, as Ber Borochov would have it, become "normal." In the end, all that was to unite Israel was a military ethic premised on a hatred of those "others" around them and it was to become a warrior-state, a virtual Sparta dominated by its army. Initially, at least, Herzl had the fate of Russian and East European Jews in mind; the outcome was very different.

Zionism was original but at the turn of the century its following was close to non-existent. An important exception was the interest of Lord Rothschild. Moreover, from its inception Zionism was symbiotic on Great Powers principally Great Britain that saw it as a way of spreading their colonial ambitions to the Middle East. As early as 1902 Herzl met with Joseph Chamberlain, then British Colonial Secretary, to further Zionist claims in the region bordering Egypt, and the following year he hired David Lloyd George later to become prime minister to handle the Zionist case. Herzl also unsuccessfully asked the sultan of the Ottoman Empire if he might obtain Palestine, after which he advocated establishing a state in Uganda although his followers much preferred the Holy Land. Only the principle of a Jewish State, anywhere, appealed to him but mainly for Jews in the Russian Empire. Herzl was only the first in the Zionist tradition of advocating a state for others; he was never in favor of all Jews moving there. Chaim Weizmann wrote Herzl in 1903 that the large majority of the young Jews in Russia were anti-Zionist because they were revolutionaries which only reinforced Herzl's convictions. In 1913 British Intelligence estimated that perhaps one percent of the Jews had Zionist affiliations, a figure that rose in the Russian Pale which contained about six million Jews as the war became longer.

It was scarcely an accident that in November 1917 Lord Arthur Balfour was to make Britain's historic endorsement of a Jewish homeland in their newly mandated territory of Palestine in a letter to Rothschild. Some of these Englishmen also shared the Biblical view that it was the destiny of Jews to return to their ancient soil. Others thought that this gesture would help keep Russia in the war, and that nefarious Jews had the influence to do so. Most saw a Jewish state as a means of consolidating British power in the vast Islamic region.

Migration has been one of the universal phenomena of world history since time immemorial, and we know a great deal about its causes and motives. People migrate mainly out of necessity, generally economic, and they choose from existing options. They very rarely go someplace for the "blessings of liberty," or ideology; if they do such variable factors as economic deprivation or changes in laws should not exist. But in the case of Palestine and Zionism, Jews behaved like people everywhere and at most times.

It is a Zionist myth that there were many Jews who wished to go to a primitive, hot, dusty place and did so. They did not and all of the available numbers prove this conclusively. After the Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917 the Pale was abolished and a very large number of the Jews in it moved to Russia's cities; many of them saw the Bolsheviks as liberators and filled the ranks of the revolution at every level. If they emigrated, and here the numbers are very important, it was not if they had a choice to Palestine.

From 1890 to 1924 about two million of the 20 million immigrants to the United States were Jews overwhelmingly from East Europe. Other nations in the Western Hemisphere also attracted about a million Jews during this period, to which we must add Jewish migration to South Africa, Australia, West Europe, and the like. This does not mean that Jews were not "Zionists" but they had no intention whatsoever of embarking on Aliyah of going to Palestine themselves. As Herzl believed, it was a project for others.

Jews in the Diaspora, like most ethnic groups, banded together in numerous organizations and nostalgia and confusion soon overwhelmed them. Organized Zionism grew in the U.S. as it had not in East Europe but it demanded only money, thereby ultimately making Israel viable.

In 1893 there were an estimated 10,000 Jews in Palestine, 61,000 in 1920, and 122,000 in 1925. All of these figures are only the best-informed estimates; there were censuses in 1922 and 1931 only, and even the 1922 numbers are contested. But the general trend is beyond doubt and very clear. For every Jew who went to Palestine from 1890 to 1924, at least 27 went to the Western Hemisphere alone. Relatively, the Zionist project was the utopian dream of a tiny minority and it would have failed save for two factors, the Holocaust and the much-overlooked fact that in 1924 the U.S. passed a new immigration law based on quotas using the nationalities distribution in the 1890 census as a basis, effectively cutting off migration from East and South Europe to a mere trickle of what it had been.

In 1924, Jewish population in Palestine increased 5.9 percent but in 1925 the first year the American law went into effect it leaped 28 percent, and 23 percent in 1926. This was still a small minority of the Jews who left Europe but this sudden spurt was directly related to American policy. From 1927 to 1932 it never grew more than 5.3 percent annually and in 1927 it was a mere 0.2%. Very few Jews went to Palestine, and a small proportion of them were ideologically motivated; the vast majority migrated elsewhere.

The British had always been in favor of Jewish migration and after 1933 it grew greatly Jews were six percent of the Palestinian population in 1912 but 29 percent in 1935 but now it was increasingly composed of Jews from Germany rather than Poland. These Jews had to get out of Germany, where the Zionist movement had always been very weak, and they were scarcely ideological zealots. Had there been open migration to the U.S. they would have gone there. Arab riots after 1935 compelled the British to reduce the inflow and in 1939 they adopted a White Paper enforcing strict restrictions on immigration.

What is certain is that Hitler's importance must always be set in a larger context. Without him there never would have been a flow of Jews out of Germany, and very probably no state of Israel, but also crucial was the U.S. 1924 Immigration Act. Migrants went to Palestine out of necessity, in the vast majority of cases, not choice. Both of these factors were crucial, and to determine their relative importance is an abstract, futile enterprise. But without either the Zionist project of creating a Jewish state in Palestine would have remained another exotic Viennese concoction, never to be realized, because while the Jews in the Diaspora were in favor of a Jewish state, virtually none living in safe nations were ever to uproot themselves and embark on Aliyah the return to the ancient homeland. They had no reason to do so.

There were many promised lands and Herzl's exotic ruminations were scarcely the inspiration for the flow of Jews out of Europe. Israel's existence was an unpredictable accident of history. The past century has been full of them, everywhere. That is why the world is in such a perilous condition.

from Edward Herman :
Subject: UN map of west bank
Date: Wed, 6 June 2007
The Financial Times Limited

The cantonisation is all too vivid.


New UN map charts West Bank reality
by Sharmila Devi and Harvey Morris in Jerusalem

A new map of the West Bank (see below), 40 years after its conquest by Israel in the Six Day War, gives the most definitive picture so far of a territory in which 2.5m Palestinians are confined to dozens of enclaves separated by Israeli roads, settlements, fences and military zones.

Produced by the United Nationss Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, it is based on extensive monitoring in the field combined with analysis of satellite imagery. It provides an overall picture officials say is even more comprehensive than charts drawn up by the Israeli military.

The impact of Israeli civilian and military infrastructure is to render 40 per cent of the territory, which is roughly the size of the US state of Delaware or the English county of Norfolk, off-limits to Palestinians.

The rest of the territory, including main centres such as Nablus and Jericho, is split into isolated spots. Movement between them is restricted by 450 roadblocks and 70 manned checkpoints.

The UN mapmakers focused on land set aside for Jewish settlements, roads reserved for settler access, the West Bank separation barrier, closed military areas and nature reserves.

What remains is an area of habitation remarkably close to territory set aside for the Palestinian population in Israeli security proposals dating back to postwar 1967.

The process of enclosing the civilian enclaves has accelerated in the years since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in 2000, and the reintroduction by Israel of its military rule even in areas previously under Palestinian Authority security control.

A network of roads designed to ease the movement of Jewish settlers limits access between Palestinian enclaves. A secondary network being built would allow Palestinian limited movement via tunnels, bridges and trenches.

Diplomats say the effect of the infrastructure changes would be to formalise the de facto cantonisation of the West Bank. Some 450,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and occupied east Jerusalem and settlements have grown by at least 5.5 per cent a year compared with less than 3 per cent among Palestinians.

The map is one of a number of documents whose publication has coincided with Mondays anniversary of the 1967 war. Amnesty, the rights group, issued a report that accused Israel of a land grab in the West Bank and called for urgent action to address widespread human rights abuses committed under the occupation.

The Israeli justice ministry branded the report as one-sided, immoral and riddled with mistakes.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007

From: "Democracy Now!"
Date: Tue, 5 June 2007
Subject: John Perkins on "The Secret History of the American Empire"

An hour with a man who claims to have worked deep inside the forces driving corporate globalization. In his first book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins told the story of his work as a highly paid consultant hired to strong-arm leaders into creating policy favorable to the U.S. government and corporations -- what he calls the "corporatocracy." John Perkins has just come out with a new book. It's called "The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth about Global Corruption."

John Perkins on "The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth about Global Corruption"



War is a Racket !



from Displaced Films :
Date: Tue, 5 June 2007
Subject: Two New Books to Add to Your Collection

Displaced Films proudly announces the addition of two new books to our storefront, Jane Fonda's War by Mary Hershberger, and Camilo Mejia's stunning memoir, Road from AR Ramadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia.

Jane Fonda's War: A Political Biography of an Antiwar Icon

Jane Fonda's War  tells the startling story of the U.S. government's campaign against Ms. Fonda. In the late 1970's, she was able to obtain her unexpurgated FBI files through a law suit, which reveal an effort by the government to not only undercut her political influence, but to literally destroy her career and life. Mary Hershberger describes in riveting detail how the FBI and other government agencies worked closely with right wing forces in the media and military to create the myth of "Hanoi Jane" as a weapon against the antiwar movement. This book is fascinating, urgent and timely.


Road from AR Ramadi is Camilo Mejia's account of his journey from good soldier to conscientious objector to prisoner of the U.S. military. Mejia was the first Iraq War objector prosecuted by the military, but far from the last. He describes his experiences as part of the American occupation forces in Iraq, including his unit's stint guarding prisoners-where he saw that the abuses exposed at Abu Ghraib prison were standard procedure. This isn't a political tract, but an intimate tale of one man's road to his conscience.

Road from Ar Ramadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Mejía