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The London Expat American Meetup Group Message Board › The most important film of 2013

The most important film of 2013

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,821
Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield
It's only a few days into 2013 and the most important film of 2013 seems to already be emerging from Sundance

The American people never asked for these wars. We were sold them under a lie that they were nessisary and in our interests, and above all temporary.

When we think of America's current, permanent & ongoing war of aggression we think of names of places like Afghanistan or Iraq where U.S. warfare continues, but in America's now endless, permanent war yet on another undeclared front (that we publicly know of) has been under assault by The United States - Yemen.

Now it seems that not only does Congress not need to be even consulted to engage in war, an undeclared war and U.S. forien policy no longer is the law of the land (as stipulated within the Constitution, going back to George Washington's time), but whole new fields of battle are being engaged without so much as our informed consent!

When we hired a constitutional expert four years ago under the banner of "Hope" we voted for remedy to the current war crisis, not acceleration. In every real way, President Barack Obama is worse than his predecessor George Bush.

American citisens have been targeted and killed by drone strikes; including a 16 year old boy; directly by the White House, openly. Constitutional law has been evaded, overlooked or ignored to remove all oversight in these forien wars

A new film has emerged this week from The Sundance festival to help expain this current crisis and it's shaping up to be one of the most important releases of the new year. I urge you all to be on the look out for "Dirty Wars" when it is released later this year. It may prove to be the most seminal film of our generation; in line with "The House I Live In" (2012) which I also urge you to rent on DVD.

If Constitutional law is good enough for President George Washington it's good enough for President George Bush and President Barak Obama. IT'S STILL WE THE PEOPLE, right?

Please follow us on Twitter!­

Jeremy Scahill: In Obama's Second Term, Democrats will Challenge Democrats over Drones!

Perminent warfare does not require our consent, just asks for us to avert our gaze. In 2013 we will withdraw our consent.
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,866
Zero Dark Thirty is Shit
The Oscar film rebranding the 'war on terror' for the age of Obama
How the undeclared unmonitored wars are being sold as womens rights

War is the only know thing garenteed to create conditions of rape... This new film teaches us that brown men can and should be targeted and killed with impunity, in violation of international law, and that we should trust the CIA to act diligently.

GI Joe TV Ad's have had thier affect over the last 30 years

Maya (in the film) is seen battling a male dominated bureaucracy that constantly pushes her to provide evidence before it can order the strike. We feel her frustration at this process and we identify with her when she says that she is a 100% sure that bin Laden is where she says he is. Yet, a system of checks and balances that involves scrupulous CIA heads, and a president who is “smart” and wants the facts, means that due diligence will not be compromised even when we know we are right.

This, in my view, is the key propaganda accomplishment of the film: the selling of secret extra judicial killing at a time when this has been designated the key strategy in the “war on terror” for the upcoming decade.

The Obama administration has drawn the conclusion, after the failed interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, that conventional warfare should be ditched in favor of drone strikes, black operations, and other such methods of extra judicial killing.

The NDAA allows for indefinite detention, and a judge ruled that the Obama administration need not provide legal justification for extra judicial killings based on US law thereby granting carte blanche authority to the president to kill whoever he pleases with no legal or public oversight.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) signed into law by Obama earlier this month includes an amendment, passed in the House last May, that legalizes the dissemination of propaganda to US citizens. Journalist Naomi Klein argues that the propaganda “amendment legalizes something that has been illegal for decades: the direct funding of pro-government or pro-military messaging in media, without disclosure, aimed at American citizens.”

Such a system requires an equally powerful system of propaganda to convince the citizenry that they need not be alarmed, they need not speak out, they need not think critically, in fact they need not even participate in the deliberative process except to pull a lever every couple of years in an elaborate charade of democracy. We are being asked, quite literally, to amuse ourselves to death.

Zero Dark Thirty, nominated for the “best picture of year” Oscar award, is a harbinger of things to come.

Noam Chomsky: The United States still thinks it rules the world but it is losing control
..The principle on which the international system is based is that the US is entitled to use force at will and talk of it violating international law is completely silly.
05 February 2013 - Noam Chomsky USA and the War on Terror
By Noam ChomskyTomDispatch.com3 February 2013

Senseless deaths of innocent children in Newtown, Connecticut devastated the nation, causing President Obama to cry openly for them. Where Are Obama's Tears For Those Child Victims?

U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen have caused the death of 178 children in 2012. Accompanying report:
Published on 1 Dec 2012­
A former member
Post #: 1
Hello Wilbur,

There are six thousand American 'member's of this Ex -Pat group.
I am one who feels you use this board to evangelize your own personal views and agenda WITHOUT posting or requesting a different perspective.

You do a-lot of work coordinating meetups for Americans in London on this list, but much of it is entirely too political and initiated by your own biases

I disagree with a-lot of what you post on this meetup group, however without me responding here, now- it’s just your notions being spread.

Stop the abuse of your ability to message everyone with your own opinions.

-Matthew Lynch

user 2592935
London, GB
Post #: 3
Definitely planning on seeing it now. I can make up my own mind. Thanks for the tip!
A former member
Post #: 1
I agree with matthewlenyc. This shouldn't be a political campaign blog - its a meetup forum. We shouldn't br getting email sent out simply because the organiser of the group doesn't agree with the sentiment of what is after all only a movie.
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,870


Definitely planning to see it now...

....of what is after all only a movie.

Not just my opinions, it is a matter of actual reality; That's the problem with Hollywoodised presentations of so called reality(This film does put itself forward as reality).

As keepers of a great democracy it is down to us to keep ourselves accuratly informed. I hope you all plan to see annother Hollywood treat; Dirty Wars when it is released this summer (for those of you seeking balance in your views)

Pat Tillman; American Anti Hero
Real person, his real final thoughts...

Chris Hayes
On what we know about what our government very much does in our name....­

Last Sunday...­­­­­
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,903
Yvonne Ridley: Bin Ladin Film is a Disaster Movie
Had the United States lived up to its moral stature as an upholder of international law, the film we would all be talking about today would be The Trial of Osama bin Ladin … now that would’ve been a blockbuster.
Author by: Yvonne Ridley Posted date: 10th February 2013

Zero Dark Thirty is so wrong on so many levels that it is bordering on being irresponsible

Every now and again a movie is released which creates a major change in society and the way it thinks, such is the power and influence of Hollywood at its best. In The Heat of the Night is a classic example and it forced middle class Americans in 1967 to take a long hard look in the mirror to confront their attitudes towards race and prejudice.

Norman Jewison's racially-charged murder mystery won several awards in the 1968 Oscar ceremony which that year had been delayed a couple of days out of respect for the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, the leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement, who had been assassinated the previous week.

As the film went on general release there were reports of all-white audiences in the Deep South cheering in theatres, giving their full-throated approval of Sidney Poitier’s portrayal of a proud black man who refused to be intimidated by Rod Steiger's redneck police chief in a small Mississippi town.

This was nothing less than extraordinary given the political context at the time but this particular movie made ordinary Americans see racism for the vile doctrine it is.

If anyone was expecting such a seminal moment from Kathryn Bigelow’s new movie Zero Dark Thirty about the demise of al Qaida leader Osama bin Ladin they will be disappointed. In fact if anything, the film will fan the flames of prejudice in those countries where burning the American flag is already a regular occurrence.

Zero Dark Thirty is so wrong on so many levels that it is bordering on being irresponsible. While the re-enactment of torture scenes might be authentic the truth is Osama bin Ladin was tracked down through good, old fashioned intelligence work. In other words, not a drop of blood was spilled nor so much as a Chinese burn administered.

For the last two years I’ve embroiled myself in an academic study which involved interviewing scores of torture victims from various wars and conflicts since 1945 and one of the most powerful testimonies came from US Republican Senator John McCain; a dyed-in-the-wool supporter of the War on Terror but vehemently opposed to torture.

His was probably the one voice that George W Bush listened to and then tried to dismiss and silence such was the power of his personal experience and belief that torture does not work.

Bush reveals in his memoirs how he was surrounded by lawyers who were only too willing to defend the Commander in Chief’s plans to run his War on Terror outside normal conventions of warfare.

And to his eternal shame, Barak Obama also used law makers to become law breakers which enabled the extrajudicial killing of bin Ladin along with other men, women and children in the house in Abbottabad. Sadly the Bigelow film does not dwell on the moral dilemmas or complexities or the heated discussions which must have toasted the walls of The Oval Office.

So when it emerged that a team of Navy Seals had taken down the world’s most wanted man thanks to intelligence about a courier, the first question on Senator McCain’s lips was did the courier reveal OBL’s whereabouts through torture? It was not an unreasonable question and the response he got from the head of the CIA with regards to the raid on the Pakistan hideaway in Abbottabad was a firm “no”.

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta even wrote to Senator McCain in May 2011, stating: “ detainee in CIA custody revealed the facilitator/courier’s full true name or specific whereabouts. This information was discovered through other intelligence means.”

We also know that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times, actually lied about the identity of the courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, who would inadvertently lead the CIA to their target. That fact alone proves that torture does not work.

Bigelow’s film gives the impression that OBL was eliminated purely via intelligence gleaned from full on, no holds barred torture. While this method of intelligence gathering probably now has the full approval of the unquestioning sheeple who’ve turned Zero dark Thirty into a box office hit, there is an intellectual force at play which finds the methods of interrogation portrayed in the film as abhorrent.

Torture is not only morally and legally wrong under international law; it is also unreliable and rarely effective, as I discovered in my own research. Of course I’m not the only one to reach this sort of conclusion and it is something which must have influenced the Oscar judging panel. This could be why Bigelow could have become the second casualty of the film by way of not being nominated for the coveted gold statue … the first casualty of Zero Dark Thirty was the truth.

But perhaps the most irresponsible and dangerous clip in the film portrays how a doctor was coerced by the CIA in an unsuccessful attempt to get DNA via blood samples from children living in the mystery house in Abbottabad. It’s true that a real life doctor - Shakil Afridi - is now in prison in Pakistan for using the cover of a hepatitis vaccination programme for the CIA to try and identify the occupants of the house suspected as OBL’s hideaway.

However, in Bigelow’s movie the doctor and his team wear jackets which suggest they are providing polio drops. The significance of this scene was not lost on Rob Crilly, Pakistan correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, who said last week: “In a country where polio has made a comeback in recent years, the film provides yet another blow for health workers trying to eradicate the disease and prevent Pakistan acting as a reservoir to reinfect the rest of the world.”

As I write this, news is just coming in of reports that at least nine women who were vaccinating children against polio have been shot dead in northern Nigeria by gunmen. The killings are already drawing comparisons with a series of incidents in Pakistan last December where five female polio vaccinators were also shot and killed.

These fresh waves of hostility towards immunisation drives in Nigeria, are being fuelled by some who claim the vaccines are part of a western plot to sterilise young girls and eliminate the Muslim population.

Zero Dark Thirty will do little to dispel this nonsense and plenty to encourage it. Bigelow’s film is grossly inaccurate and irresponsible and has possibly already cost the lives of innocent aid workers.

The film may yet go down for having a major global impact, but for all the wrong reasons. This is Hollywood at its worst … a disaster movie in every sense.

Had the United States lived up to its moral stature as an upholder of international law, the film we would all be talking about today would be The Trial of Osama bin Ladin … now that would’ve been a blockbuster.
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,904
Dirty Wars: Jeremy Scahill's antidote to Zero Dark Thirty's heroic narrative
In this new documentary, the Nation's investigative reporter lifts the lid on the ugly reality of US counter-terror operations­

Zero Dark Thirty is so wrong on so many levels that it is bordering on being irresponsible

As President Barack Obama prepared to be sworn in for his second term as the 44th president of the United States, two courageous journalists premiered a documentary at the annual Sundance Film Festival. Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield reaffirms the critical role played by independent journalists like the film's director, Rick Rowley, and its narrator and central figure, Jeremy Scahill.

The increasing pace of US drone strikes, and the Obama administration's reliance on shadowy special forces to conduct military raids beyond the reach of oversight and accountability, were summarily missed over the inaugural weekend by a US press corps obsessed with first lady Michelle Obama's new bangs. Dirty Wars, along with Scahill's forthcoming book of the same title, is on target to break that silence … with a bang that matters.

Scahill and Rowley, no strangers to war zones, ventured beyond Kabul, Afghanistan, south to Gardez, in Paktia province, a region dense with armed Taliban and their allies in the Haqqani network, to investigate one of the thousands of night raids that typically go unreported. Scahill told me:

"In Gardez, US special operations forces had intelligence that a Taliban cell was having some sort of a meeting to prepare a suicide bomber. And they raid the house in the middle of the night, and they end up killing five people, including three women, two of whom were pregnant, and … Mohammed Daoud, a senior Afghan police commander who had been trained by the US."

Scahill and Rowley went to the heart of the story, to hear from people who live at the target end of US foreign policy. In Gardez, they interviewed survivors of that violent raid on the night of 12 February 2010. After watching his brother and his wife, his sister and his niece killed by US special forces, Mohammed Sabir was handcuffed on the ground. He watched, helpless, as the US soldiers dug the bullets out of his wife's corpse with a knife. He and the other surviving men were then flown off by helicopter to another province.

Sabir recounted his ordeal for Rowley's camera:

"My hands and clothes were caked with blood. They didn't give us water to wash the blood away. The American interrogators had beards and didn't wear uniforms. They had big muscles and would fly into sudden rages.

"By the time I got home, all our dead had already been buried. Only my father and my brother were left at home. I didn't want to live anymore. I wanted to wear a suicide jacket and blow myself up among the Americans. But my brother and my father wouldn't let me. I wanted a jihad against the Americans."

Before leaving, Scahill and Rowley made copies of videos from the cellphones of survivors. One demonstrated that it was not a Taliban meeting, but a lively celebration of the birth of a child that the raid interrupted. Rowley described another video:

"You can hear voices come over it, and they're American-accented voices speaking about piecing together their version of the night's killings, getting their story straight. You hear them trying to concoct a story about how this was something other than a massacre."

The film shows an image captured in Gardez, by photographer Jeremy Kelly, sometime after the massacre. It showed a US admiral named McRaven, surrounded by Afghan soldiers, offering a sheep as a traditional gesture seeking forgiveness for the massacre. The cover-up had failed.

William McRaven headed the Joint Special Operations Command, or JSoc. Following the thread of JSoc, painstakingly probing scarcely reported night raids, traveling from Afghanistan to Yemen to Somalia, Scahill's reporting, along with Rowley's incredible camerawork, constructs for the first time a true, comprehensive picture of JSoc and Commander-in-chief Obama's not-so-brave new world.

The Inauguration Day drone strike in Yemen was the fourth in as many days, along with a similar increase in strikes in Pakistan. The Washington Post reported that Obama has a "playbook" that details when drone strikes are authorized, but it reportedly exempts those conducted by the CIA in Afghanistan and Pakistan. On Inauguration Day, Obama officially nominated John Brennan, a strong advocate for the "enhanced interrogation techniques" that many call torture, and architect of the drone program, to head the CIA.

With the film Dirty Wars, co-written with David Riker and directed by Rowley, Jeremy Scahill is pulling back the curtain on JSoc, which has lately exploded into the public eye with the torture-endorsing movie Zero Dark Thirty, about the killing of Osama bin Laden. When Dirty Wars comes to a theater near you, see it.

Sadly, it proves the theater of war is everywhere, or, as its subtitle puts it: "The World is a Battlefield." As Scahill told me:

"You're going to see a very different reality, and you're going to see the hellscape that has been built by a decade of covert war."
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,924
Ken Loach new film "Spirit of '45"
Ken Loach film Spirit of '45 previewed in Cardiff­

Ken Loach film Spirit of '45 previewed in Cardiff
6 March 2013 Last updated at 19:56 Help Ken Loach, one of Britain's most celebrated and controversial film directors, was in Cardiff for a preview of his latest film, a documentary about post war Britain.

Loach shot to fame in the 1960s with gritty dramas like Come Home, Cate and Kes.

Carwyn Jones, of BBC Wales, went to meet him.

Ken Loach concerned for Bristol peace activist Tom Woodhead after "mock execution"
Follow us: @thisisbristol on Twitter | thisisbristol on Facebook
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,928

Join the thousands of people campaigning to stop the cuts at the Whittington Hospital on a march through Islington on 16 March. We will be meeting at 11.30 at Highbury and Islington Station.

In 2010 we saved our A&E unit. Now the hospital is planning more attacks on our health services – reduced maternity services, ward closures, fewer beds for the elderly, 570 job cuts and no onsite accommodation for nursing staff. Please support the campaign and help spread the word.

Battle bus rolls again as film director Ken Loach backs protest to defend the Whittington Hospital

Published: 15 March, 2013

FILM director Ken Loach has delivered a clarion call urging supporters of the NHS to join the march tomorrow (Saturday) to defend the Whittington Hospital.

Boardroom bosses want to sell off a huge chunk of public land in a move that would dramatically change the face of the Archway hospital. At least 570 staff posts – including 200 crucial nursing roles – would be lost in the shake-up and the total number of beds halved.

When: TOMORROW Saturday, March 16, 2013

HIghbury tube 11:30 am = 12 Noon departure
Saturday 16 March Defend Whittington Hospital march Highbury Corner to­ Alasdair on 07904 296701

The Tribune will lead the massive march with our Routemaster battle bus and Whittington Wild Cats marching band in what will be an unmissable day of action.

Mr Loach said: “I have been a patient at the Whittington, including using A&E, as well as my family. I have very good memories of the service. It provides a fundamental service for people.

“We need to save the Whittington facilities and the NHS at the same time. The NHS is on its sick bed and unless we fight for it very hard it will no longer be there when we need it. I support the campaign to preserve the values of the NHS.”

The Tribune revealed in a front-page exclusive in January how the Whittington sell-off was agreed by the board without consultation with the public, governors or MPs. The decision has sparked a storm of anger that saw 600 people pack a public meeting last month. Thousands are expected to join the march from High­bury and Isling­ton station at 11.30am, ending with a rally outside the hospital entrance with 25 speakers, including campaigners, union chiefs, politicians and Chavs author Owen Jones.

Hetty Bower, the 107-year-old NHS campaigner, will be joining the march and be on board the Tribune bus. She said she would be marching for the NHS “as long as my legs can carry me”. Space will be available on the Tribune bus for tired legs.

Whittington Hospital chairman Joe Liddane said the board “appreciated people walking on our behalf”.

But he defiantly defended a move to shift care out of the hospital, adding: “Everyone buys into the argument of delivering care in or near to people’s homes. You free up space that way.”

Critics say their experience of community care cannot match the outstanding service provided by the Whittington. The sell-off and reduction in scope of the hospital would lead to the bit-by-bit closure of the Whittington and contracting of services to profit-making companies, campaigners say.

The Tribune can disclose this week that Whittington’s care in the community service has recently been replaced by a private company, Healthcare At Home.

The move has stoked fears that profit-making firms will take over more of the Whittington’s services as they are split up and hived off “into the community”. The changes are being driven by a bid to save £70million over five years so the attempt to become an independently-run foundation trust hospital can be accepted.

The march will be joined by GMB, Unite and Unison unions and protesters from hospital campaigns across London.


Meet Director Ken loach: http://barnetalliance...­

Barnet Spring march
Date and time:
Saturday, 23rd March 2013 at 11am.

Meeting place:
Finchley Central Tube station (tbc).

March begins at 12 noon and proceeds to Friern Barnet Community Library.

March for Our Barnet, for public services, against cuts and privatisation, against the One Barnet programme
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