The Shock Doctrine

Naomi KleinThe Shock Doctrine is a documentary adaptation from 2009 of Naomi Klein‘s book with the same title from 2007. It makes for a nice companion post to the previous post on Kissinger, as well as documentaries by Adam Curtis mentioned in earlier posts, which also touched on the work of  Ewen Cameron.

The book argues that the free market policies of Milton Friedman (a Nobel laureate like Kissinger) have risen to prominence in some countries because they were pushed through while the citizens were reacting to disasters or upheavals. It is implied that some man-made crises, such as the Falklands war (or the Iraq war), may have been created with the intention of being able to push through these unpopular reforms in their wake. With regards to the time line, the documentary ends with the financial crisis of 2008 and the election of Barack Obama.

The Trials Of Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger (1976, Wikipedia)The Trials of Henry Kissinger (2002), is a documentary based on Christopher Hitchens‘ 2001 book The Trial of Henry Kissinger, examining the alleged war crimes of Henry Kissinger, the National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State under Presidents Nixon and Ford. The film was directed by Eugene Jarecki and narrated by Brian Cox. Hitchens himself appears a few times in the documentary as well.

In the book Hitchens presents evidence of Kissinger’s complicity in a series of alleged war crimes in Indochina, Bangladesh, Chile, Cyprus and East Timor.

Highlights from the book were serialized in Harper’s Magazine in February and March 2001 (see The Case Against Henry Kissinger, Part 1 and Part 2)

Highlights include Kissinger falsely accusing Hitchens on TV of being a Holocaust denier when confronted with Hitchens’ writing on him, and Alexander Haig calling him a ‘sewerpipe sucker’. Not much of a rebuttal in either case to the plausible charges presented by Hitchens.

In related news: Chile President Salvador Allende’s body exhumed (LA Times)

John Pilger: The War You Don’t See

Cover imageThe War You Don’t See is a worthwhile documentary by veteran journalist John Pilger about how the media portray and to some extent are complicit in propagating wars. The intro from the Wikipedia page:

The War You Don’t See is a 2010 British documentary film written, produced and directed by John Pilger with Alan Lowery, which challenges the media for the role they played in the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel/Palestine conflicts. The film, which went on nationwide general release on December 13, 2010, had its premiere at the Barbican and was aired through Britain’s ITV1 on December 14, 2010 and later through Australia’s SBS One on April 10, 2011.

Below an episode of Al Jazeera Listening Post on the movie:

Update20110516: Tomgram: Peter Van Buren, Warrior Pundits and War Pornographers (TomDispatch)
As Department of Defense officials prepared for an invasion of Iraq in early 2003, they were intent on giving good war at home and abroad all at once — and on creating images that, like the coming Pax Americana in the Middle East, would be forever. They planned, as they then liked to say, on “dominating the media environment.”

Update20110610: ‘The War You Don’t See’ Pilger Film Banned By Lannan Foundation (Information Clearing House)
Update20110613: The magical realism of body counts (Al Jazeera English)
Update20110619: Patrick Cockburn: Lies, damn lies, and reports of battlefield atrocities (The Independent)