Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Truthdig.com. Hedges graduated from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books, including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.  His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.

Articles by this author

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Monday, September 03, 2007
The Next Quagmire
The most effective diplomats, like the most effective intelligence officers and foreign correspondents, possess empathy. They have the intellectual, cultural and linguistic literacy to get inside the heads of those they must analyze or cover. They know the vast array of historical, religious, economic and cultural antecedents that go into making up decisions and reactions. And because of this-endowed with the ability to communicate and more able to find ways of resolving conflicts through diplomacy-they are less prone to blunders.
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Monday, August 20, 2007
Starving Gaza
Gaza has become the Sarajevo of the Middle East. Israel, in an action similar to that of the Serbs in Bosnia, has surrounded and cut off nearly a million and a half Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since the Islamic militant group Hamas took control in June. Electric fences and watch towers manned by Israeli soldiers keep the Palestinians trapped inside the strip. The land and sea blockade, the halting of all but minimal humanitarian aid and the refusal to allow Gaza to receive financial support are crushing Gaza's industry, farming and infrastructure.
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Monday, August 06, 2007
Iraq: Beyond Disaster
The war in Iraq is about to get worse -- much worse. The Democrats' decision to let the war run its course, while they frantically wash their hands of responsibility, means that it will sputter and stagger forward until the mission collapses. This will be sudden. The security of the Green Zone , our imperial city, will be increasingly breached. Command and control will disintegrate. And we will back out of Iraq humiliated and defeated. But this will not be the end of the conflict.
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Monday, July 02, 2007
A Declaration of Independence from Israel
Israel, without the United States, would probably not exist. The country came perilously close to extinction during the October 1973 war when Egypt, trained and backed by the Soviet Union, crossed the Suez and the Syrians poured in over the Golan Heights. Huge American military transport planes came to the rescue. They began landing every half-hour to refit the battered Israeli army, which had lost most of its heavy armor.
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Monday, June 18, 2007
A Culture of Atrocity
All troops, when they occupy and battle insurgent forces, as in Iraq, or Gaza or Vietnam, are swiftly placed in what the psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton terms "atrocity-producing situations." In this environment, surrounded by a hostile population, simple acts such as going to a store to buy a can of Coke or driving down a street means you can be killed. This constant fear and stress leads troops to view everyone around them as the enemy. The hostility is compounded when the enemy, as in Iraq, is elusive, shadowy and hard to find.
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Monday, June 04, 2007
Looking Back on 40 Years of Occupation
Israel captured and occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank 40 years ago this week. The victory was celebrated as a great triumph, at once tripling the size of the land under Israeli control, including East Jerusalem. It was, however, a Pyrrhic victory. As the occupation stretched over the decades, it transformed and deformed Israeli society.
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Sunday, June 03, 2007
What If Our Mercenaries Turn On Us?
Armed units from the private security firm Blackwater USA opened fire in Baghdad streets twice in two days last week. It triggered a standoff between the security contractors and Iraqi forces, a reminder that the war in Iraq may be remembered mostly in our history books for empowering and building America's first modern mercenary army.There are an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 armed security contractors working in Iraq, although there are no official figures and some estimates run much higher. Security contractors are not counted as part of the coalition forces.
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Monday, May 07, 2007
The Greatest Threat to Choice
Jeniece Learned stood amid a crowd of earnest-looking men and women, many with small gold crosses in their lapels or around their necks, in a hotel lobby in Valley Forge, Pa. She had an easy smile and a thick mane of black, shoulder-length hair. She was carrying a booklet called "Ringing In a Culture of Life," which was the schedule of the two-day event she was attending, organized by the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation .
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Monday, April 23, 2007
Jesus 'Love Bombs' You
There is a false, but effective, fiction that one has to be born again to be a Christian. The Christian right refuses to acknowledge the worth of anyone's religious experience unless, in the words of its tired and opaque cliché, one has accepted "Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior."The emotional meltdown that leads to the conversion experience-one often induced in crowds skillfully manipulated and broken down by demagogues-is one of the most pernicious tools of the movement. Through conversion one surrenders to a higher authority.
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Monday, April 09, 2007
Praying for the Apocalypse
The Gilead Baptist Church, outside Detroit, is on a four-lane highway called South Telegraph Road. The drive down South Telegraph Road to the church, a warehouse-like structure surrounded by black asphalt parking lots, is a depressing gantlet of boxy, cut-rate motels with names like Melody Lane and Best Value Inn. The highway is flanked by a flat-roofed Walgreens, a Blockbuster, discount liquor stores, a Taco Bell, a McDonald's, a Bob's Big Boy, Sunoco and Citgo gas stations, a Ford dealership, Nails USA, The Dollar Palace, Pro Quick Lube and U-Haul.
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