Two contrasting reports from Afghanistan on attempts to create local police and military forces capable of controlling the troubled country when the US and NATO leaves.
(Associated Press: 0851 PT, May 10, 2011) US personnel have been training and fighting alongside Afghan special operations forces. The development of such commandos may be key if Americans are to reduce their presence in the country.
(Al Jazeera English: 0238 PT, May 10, 2011) The Afghan Local Police (ALP) has been expanding fast across the country over the past year. Community-based units, they are seen as a pet project of NATO commander General David Petraeus, who has described the ALP as having a significant impact. But the police force has also faced allegations of theft, abduction and intimidation. Al Jazeera's James Bays reports from Maidan Wardak province.
(Democracy Now! 0900 PST, February 5, 2011) In a special broadcast, Democracy Now! airs a two-hour program on the revolt against the U.S.-backed Mubarak regime.
Right on the heels of the release of his latest documentary, Capitalism: A Love Story, Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore stirs up controversy again on Link TV, taking on Obama, the media, and America's very financial underpinnings. Link's special features Michael Moore's standing-room only talk at the Commonwealth Club of California, as he gives insight into his new film while getting in his trademark jabs at the rich.
What makes his latest movie a love story, a "romantic documentary", as Moore calls it? "It is a love story. It's about the wealthy, who love their money. Except the movie has a twist - they not only love their money, but they love our money too. And they want all of it."
The critics have weighed in with fairly positive reviews of Capitalism: A Love Story, though Manohla Dargis in the New York Times takes Moore to task for his lack of "any real answers... which tends to be true of most socially minded directors in the commercial mainstream." And while some of Moore's cinematic decisions left Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi, blogging on the website True/Slant, a bit perplexed, he was nevertheless impressed that the film addressed "a taboo subject for every other major media outlet in the country": a society undergoing a "rapid peasant-ization."
Need Moore? Check out this interview with Blanche Shaheen (who has appeared recently as a host on Link TV), where the filmmaker reveals his premonition that the economic "house of cards was about to come down" even before the global economy officially tanked. And he pulls no punches for the capitalists, who he depicts as continually concocting new schemes to part working folk from their cash: "In capitalism, for the wealthy, there's no such thing as the word "enough". "Enough" is the dirtiest word in capitalism."
What do you think? Does Moore speak the truth, and does he have the answers? What do you think the repercussions will be after Moore's exposé of Wall Street and the capitalist system? Be sure to watch Link's special and let us know!
It's been a busy week for The Yes Men - an arrest on Tuesday hot on the heels of their enviro New York Post hoax on Monday. Ten months after their fake satirical New York Times issue, the faux-Post concerns itself with the current environmental crisis, and the tabloid-style headline is perhaps more accurate than usual for the notorious Post - "WE'RE SCREWED." The issue details, in fluent Murdoch-speak, the tragic and scary events scientists say are about to unfold thanks to our failure to move on climate change and other unchecked environmental damage, and was released to coincide with the U.N. meeting on climate change. Check out the complete issue, available online here. The group says nearly a million copies were distributed.
You can also watch this video of The Yes Men discussing the hoax:
Just the next day, Yes Men co-founder Andy Bichlbaum was arrested in New York while demonstrating their SurvivaBall which, according to their promotional materials, is "a self-contained living system—truly, a gated community for one. If you have a SurvivaBall, even if everyone else is dying, at least you can weather all storms."
Unfamiliar with The Yes Men? Here's the group's mission: "Impersonating big-time criminals in order to publicly humiliate them. Targets are leaders and big corporations who put profits ahead of everything else." The Yes Men have released two films of their hijinks, and the first The Yes Men will be airing on Link TV, along with clips from the latest film The Yes Men Fix the World which will be released in theaters on October 7. We'll also be interviewing the recently arrested Andy Bichlbaum. Click here for airdates.
Also, check out these videos of other classic Yes Men moments:
Dow Spokesman Hoax
Trailer for The Yes Men Fix the World