Chris Hedges At Rockford College 2003


Chris Hedges At Rockford College 2003

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[Chris Hedges At Rockford College 2003]

[Christopher Lynn “Chris” Hedges (born September 18, 1956):] Source:
Thank you very much. I want to speak to you today about war and empire.

Killing, or at least the worst of it, is over in Iraq. Although blood will continue to spill — theirs and ours — be prepared for this. For we are embarking on an occupation that, if history is any guide, will be as damaging to our souls as it will be to our prestige and power, and security. But this will come later as our empire expands and in all this we become pariahs, tyrants to others weaker than ourselves. Isolation always impairs judgment and we are very isolated now.

We have forfeited the good will, the empathy the world felt for us after 9-11. We have folded in on ourselves, we have severely weakened the delicate international coalitions and alliances that are vital in maintaining and promoting peace and we are part now of a dubious troika in the war against terror with Vladimir Putin and Ariel Sharon, two leaders who do not shrink in Palestine or Chechnya from carrying out acts of gratuitous and senseless violence. We have become the company we keep.

The censure and perhaps the rage of much of the world, certainly one-fifth of the world’s population which is Muslim, most of whom I will remind you are not Arab, is upon us.

Look today at the 14 people killed last night in several explosions in Casablanca. And this rage in a world where almost 50 percent of the planet struggles on less than two dollars a day will see us targeted.

Terrorism will become a way of life, and when we are attacked we will, like our allies Putin and Sharon, lash out with greater fury.

The circle of violence is a death spiral; no one escapes. We are spinning at a speed that we may not be able to hold.
As we revel in our military prowess — the sophistication of our military hardware and technology, for this is what most of the press coverage consisted of in Iraq — we lose sight of the fact that just because we have the capacity to wage war does not give us the right to wage war. This capacity has doomed empires in the past.

Modern western civilization may perish, the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr warned, because it falsely worshiped technology as a final good.

The real injustices, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, the brutal and corrupt dictatorships we fund in the Middle East, will mean that we will not rid the extremists who hate us with bombs. Indeed we will swell their ranks. Once you master people by force you depend on force for control. In your isolation you begin to make mistakes.

Fear engenders cruelty; cruelty, fear, insanity, and then paralysis.


[Chris Hedges (born September 18, 1956):] Source:
In the center of Dante’s circle the damned remained motionless.

We have blundered into a nation we know little about and are caught between bitter rivalries and competing ethnic groups and leaders we do not understand.

We are trying to transplant a modern system of politics invented in Europe characterized, among other things, by the division of earth into independent secular states based on national citizenship in a land where the belief in a secular civil government is an alien creed.

Iraq was a cesspool for the British when they occupied it in 1917; it will be a cesspool for us as well.

[God bless America]


The curfews, the armed clashes with angry crowds that leave scores of Iraqi dead, the military governor, the Christian Evangelical groups who are being allowed to follow on the heels of our occupying troops to try and teach Muslims about Jesus.

[Rockford College President Paul Pribbenow takes the microphone.]

The occupation of the oil… [ends]

[Get him to Iraq]

[Get him off the stage] Source: L Y B I O . N E T

Chris Hedges Commencement Address At Rockford College In Rockford Illinois

Chris Hedges Commencement Address At Rockford College In Rockford Illinois

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