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War stories.

castroThe gipper couldn't have died at a more perfect time. We've been watching an incredible documentary series produced by CNN simply titled Cold War. It's a set of 3 videotapes, in all 24 separate 1hr programs, detailing the ideological and military divisions between "east" and "west" aka capitalism and communism. It covers everything, from the history behind it, through the construction of the Berlin Wall, to Korea, the Cuban missile crisis, Vietnam, to Egypt and Israel and all the African turf wars, to Central and South America, to the Middle East, and we still have 3 more programs to watch. It is easily one of the most educational programs I've ever seen.

It's fascinating to watch CNN prop up the Reagan corpse as a freedom loving hero while their own documentary series is very unambiguous when describing the viscous brutality and terrorism (the CIA's own words to describe their operations) Reagan commissioned in order to depose the democratically elected leaders of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

The series also documents Reagan's funding and support of the Mujadin. You know, Osama Bin Laden et al.

There are fascinating interviews with all the players on both sides, world leaders and shadowy insiders that recount in detail the events behind the scenes and more importantly their thinking. One of the most interesting throughout is Fidel Castro, who is surprisingly central to the entire history and is interviewed extensively.

Watching it with my mother, who escaped from Czechoslovakia in 1968, enhanced it even more. She could recount her own experiences. Stories I remember from childhood and some new ones I'd never known. The Cold War and the evil of totalitarianism were common subjects at home growing up.

I always wondered how it was possible that people could let themselves be manipulated into believing absurd lies and have their lives controlled so rigidly by evil and malicious leaders. Now I look at what's happening in the US and it's become painfully clear how it happens. Nobody wants to believe that their ideology, their system, and their leaders can be so corrupt.

I seem to be subconsciously studying for a doctorate in geopolitical history because I've been so pre-occupied with the subject...

Reading The Conquerors.

Seeing The Fog of War.

Seeing Goodbye Lenin.

Seeing docos about Anzac Day, D-day, and Monte Cassino.

Watching the brilliant Band of Brothers series again.

And now I got Chomsky's latest book for my birthday, Hegemony or Survival.

June 23, 2004 in Books, Current Affairs, Film, Politics | Permalink

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