Saturday, November 13, 2004

NOW with Bill Moyers. Politics & Economy. Biography. Christian Parenti | PBS

NOW with Bill Moyers. Politics & Economy. Biography. Christian Parenti PBS: "Christian Parenti is a correspondent for THE NATION, and most recently the author of THE FREEDOM: SHADOWS AND HALLUCINATION IN OCCUPIED IRAQ. He just came back from Afghanistan where he spent a month chronicling what is really taking place on the ground. Parenti speaks with David Brancaccio about a very different view of Afghanistan than the portrait of flourishing democracy. "

More from Christian Parenti:
Archive of Parenti's articles for THE NATION
Parenti on DEMOCRACY NOW! from Afghanistan, 10/12/04
AlterNet archive of Parenti's stories

The Freedom provides a fearless and unsanitized look at how the war is unfolding. We enter Baghdad as most journalists do —in a convoy of GMC Suburbans racing 95 miles an hour in tight, side-by-side formation.

Once in the city, we encounter a relative of Saddam's who's scraping by; a former Fedayeen fighter who loves Limp Bizkit and Michael Bolton; the underage prostitutes who service U.S. soldiers and are hunted by religious vigilantes; the freshly minted MBAs who run the Coalition Provisional Authority's projects on privatization; the somnambulant American press corps and its fierce counterparts from al Jazeera and al Arabia.

Finally, we are embedded with U.S. troops, the unworldly, working-class kids left holding the bag, forced to die for a war many of them don't support.

Last year, the most superbly equipped fighting force on the planet was led into the only type of war for which its experts deemed it unprepared: a highly politicized urban counterinsurgency. As the casualties mount, American troops discover there is no plan B, only an ad hoc set of tactics cobbled together and called a strategy.


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