culture notes: class warfare, suckered into iraq, fast food nation movie

winter fairy tale

Some people keep telling me that everything is fine, that class warfare doesn’t exist. Here’s What Class Warfare Looks Like

True to form, the horses trampled scores of the strikers, injuring a handful, including an 83-year-old man. The protest was broken and 44 janitors were arrested.

Video and more of the story at the link.

Al-Qaida ‘planted information to encourage US invasion’

A senior al-Qaida operative deliberately planted information to encourage the US to invade Iraq, a double agent who infiltrated the network and spied for western intelligence agencies claimed last night.

The claim was made by Omar Nasiri, a pseudonym for a Moroccan who says he spent seven years working for European security and intelligence agencies, including MI5. He said Ibn Sheikh al-Libi, who ran training camps in Afghanistan, told his US interrogators that al-Qaida had been training Iraqis.

Libi was captured in November 2001 and taken to Egypt where he was allegedly tortured. Asked on BBC2’s Newsnight whether Libi or other jihadists would have told the truth if they were tortured, Nasiri replies: “Never”.

Asked whether he thought Libi had deliberately planted information to get the US to fight Iraq, Nasiri said: “Exactly”.

Nasiri said Libi “needed the conflict in Iraq because months before I heard him telling us when a question was asked in the mosque after the prayer in the evening, where is the best country to fight the jihad?” Libi said Iraq was chosen because it was the “weakest” Muslim country.

How does an opponent such as al-Queda that is smaller and weaker hurt a nation that is so much more powerful by prodding them into a quagmire like Iraq and what Afghanistan has turned into. It helps that the grand wunderkins of foreign policy were dead set on going regardless of whether it was really necessary to protect us.

Movies: Will ‘Fast Food Nation’ spoil your appetite?

“Most people don’t like to be told what’s best for them,” says Bruce Willis in a sly, brilliant, single-scene cameo, and the suspicion that the movie is doing just that may provoke some reflexive resistance.

Which is too bad, because “Fast Food Nation,” while it does not shy away from making arguments and advancing a clear point of view, is far too rich and complicated to be understood as a simple, high-minded polemic. It is didactic, yes, but it’s also dialectical. While the climactic images of slaughter and butchery – filmed in an actual abattoir – may seem intended to spoil your appetite, Linklater and Schlosser have really undertaken a much deeper and more comprehensive critique of contemporary American life.