Posted on September 12, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
Haskell Wexler is a 92-year-old Academy Award winning cinematographer, filmmaker, and journalist. He was a guest commentator on Democracy Now on September 12, 2014, speaking about his experience with the late journalist James Foley while Mr. Wexler was filming “Four Days in Chicago” in 2012. “Four Days in Chicago” covers the anti-NATO demonstrations in that American city in 2012, when NATO held its annual meeting there.
Mr. Wexler wrote a highly critical statement on his Facebook page about the using of James Foley’s name to promote war:
“For the president to use Jim Foley’s name and other journalists as reason to pursue the stated military policy to ‘degrade and destroy the Islamic State so that it is no longer a threat’ is an insult to the memory of James Foley and to the intelligence of the American people”.
Mr. Wexler provided Democracy Now with some footage of “Four Days in Chicago”, and his discussions from 2012 with James Foley are worthy of consideration. James Foley spoke about being an embedded with the military journalist and how this becomes an issue with regard to journalists’ ability to separate their developed sense of brotherhood and camaraderie – because of the large amount of time spent with soldiers – and remaining true to the objectivity needed for effective journalism work.
Haskell Wexler: “The one thing that you mentioned, the feeling of brotherhood… that particular feeling could be used for good things, you know”.
James Foley: “Right”.
Haskell Wexler: “We should look out for one another, feel for one another, and that’s… the army needs that, so do human beings”.
James Foley: “It is sad, because some of the strongest bonds amongst young men is giving your life for your brother, but to what end are we… To what end is the greater purpose? Guess that’s the root question of NATO, right?, whenever we fight these wars”.
Amy Goodman asked Haskell Wexler why he spoke out:
“Amy, I’m pissed off. I am angry. I see how the American public is being confused, lied to, and given theater to make us buy that war is the way to have peace. And to use a journalist like James Foley, who was truly a journalist who wants to search for the truth, and actually was amongst them, and volunteered to work with my film group in Chicago – which was documenting an anti-NATO demonstration.”
“In fact, he himself took a camera, and I have 30 minutes of film of him talking to people in Chicago. So he was not a person detached, (but an) objective journalist. He realized that our foreign policy is destructive, when we have a humanitarian crisis that hurt him deeply; that he saw in Syria. Funny thing is, the government knew what his position is, with all the surveillance, wasn’t on just students in Chicago who were opposing NATO and the war, the taking of their computers.”
“…When, if they didn’t know before, when James Foley took a camera to work with me and my fellow Chicago filmmakers – and an anti-NATO film, there’s no question what side of the fence he’s on. The government functions on ‘you’re either 100% for us, or you’re the enemy’. And that’s why a lot of our discussions in other interviews, was Jim talking about the other, how authorities can establish who the other is, and once they’re other they’re less than human, they’re less than smart, and you can do anything to them because you have to teach them a lesson.”
“So, for them to use him as a ‘poster boy’ for more violence is obscene, and I think that the country has to know it’s obscene”.
After being asked by Ms. Goodman for any final thoughts, Haskell Wexler responded:
“Well, my final thoughts for today is that the government, that is our military government – and I’m saying that it’s far more deeply militaristic than we can even imagine – that our government is going to do whatever it’s going to do. It’s certainly shown that about Syria. But, they have to develop new theatric events to make it look like something good, you know, dropping bombs, then humanitarian aid as a public thing; is today the new policy”.
“So, I think we have to know how the forces are, and to realize there’s plenty in this country who’ll see through this sham, before it’s too late”.
In his address to the American people, US President Barack Obama failed to include some very important details. First, the United Nations’ rules contain language calling for UN Security Council approval for military actions where there is no imminent threat to the initiator country or countries. Second, the US Constitution calls for Congressional approval for war. Without Security Council approval the US would be violating international law. Without Congressional approval, the Obama administration would be taking military actions outside the boundaries of constitutional law.
Articles have become published which point out that the Obama administration is interpreting the law passed shortly after 9/11 which gave the George W. Bush administration approval to conduct military operations against al Qaeda, because the law approved actions against nations, groups, or persons who were responsible for the 9/11 events on September 11, 2001. The Obama administration is apparently pointing to that law, because, they contend, ISIL is an “offshoot” of al Qaeda, therefore the current military actions are legal and do not need Congressional approval.
Other articles, news reports, and talk programs have included analysis which asserts the goal of the Obama administration is in effect Plan B for overthrowing the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria. One year ago, the United States was very near to carrying out a bombing campaign in the same style as the one carried out against Libya in 2011 that resulted in the death of long-time Libyan leader Gaddafi. Libya is today in chaos.
When Barack Obama addressed the nation days ago, he announced he would be seeking $500 million for arming so-called “moderate” Syrian opposition fighters, and that the US along with its coalition partners would attack ISIL “wherever they are”. “Wherever” is a word which denotes no limits on location so, because Obama used such language, men and women could logically assume that US drones and fighter jets will enter Syrian airspace to conduct bombing campaigns against ISIL.
The Syrian government has issued announcements about US military airstrikes within the boundaries of Syria done without consent from the Syrian government. Airstrikes inside Syrian borders without agreement by Syria’s government would be violations of clearly written international laws. The situation in the Middle East, particularly with regard to the US, ISIL, Obama’s address to the American people, the beheading of two American journalists, last September’s failed attempt to attack Syria, plus a number of other circumstances, raises two important questions.
Is humanity seeing the United States and Barack Obama’s administration “Plan B” becoming implemented for the overthrow of Syria’s pan-Arab leader Bashar al-Assad? When Haskell Wexler said, “…that our government is going to do whatever it’s going to do. It’s certainly shown that about Syria. But, they have to develop new theatrical events to make it seem like something good…”, was Mr. Wexler describing a Plan B? Unfortunately, 92-year-old Haskell Wexler’s interview on Democracy Now ended after he said, “I think we have to… realize there’s plenty in this country who’ll see through this scam, before it’s too late”.
Was his use of the words “before it’s too late” describe how necessary is humanity’s rising and repeating last year’s powerful worldwide opposition which prevented an American, British, NATO air bombing campaign on Syria? And finally, Haskel Wexler said in this interview, “I see how the American public is being confused, lied to, and given theater to make us buy that war is the way to peace”. One could say the “theater” last September was the “false flag’ chemical attacks where Syrians died, and this current “theater” is about using murdered American journalists.
The difference between last September’s theater and this year’s theater – in the minds of those who want to stop a Middle East pan-Arab movement in its tracks by attacking Syria and overthrowing the pan-Arab, Nasserite, Bashar al-Assad government – will result in manipulating the perceptions in Americans’ minds and diminish opposition to war on Syria – opposition last September being 91% against war on Syria.
So, the greatest question now for the American people is directly related to the idea 92-year-old Haskell Wexler ended his interview speaking to:
Will the American people see through this scam, before it’s too late?
(Thank you to Haskell Wexler at YouTube)