Whistleblowers, Moral Injury, and Endless WarCross-posted with TomDispatch.com “My guilt will never go away,” former Marine Matthew Hoh explained to me. “There is a significant portion of me that doesn’t believe it should be allowed to go away, that this pain is fair.” If America accepts the idea of fighting endless wars, it will have to accept something else as well: that the costs of war are similarly endless. I’m thinking about the trillions of dollars, the million or more “enemy” dead (a striking percentage of them civilians), the tens of thousands of American combat casualties, those 20 veteran suicides each day, and the diminished lives of those who survive all of that. There’s that pain, carried by an unknown number of women and men, that won’t disappear, ever, and that goes by the label “moral injury.” The Lasting Pain of War When I started Hooper’s War, a novel about the end of World War II in the Pacific, I had in mind just that pain. I was thinking ― couldn’t stop thinking, in fact ― about what really happens to people in war, combatants and civilians alike. The need to tell that story grew in large part out of my own experiences in Iraq, where I spent a year embedded with a combat unit as a U.S. State Department employee, and where I witnessed, among so many other horrors, two soldier suicides. The new book began one day when Facebook retrieved photos of Iraqi children I had posted years ago, with a cheery “See Your Memories” caption on them. Oh yes, I remembered. Then, on the news, I began seeing places in Iraq familiar to me, but this time being overrun by Islamic State militants or later being re-retaken with the help of another generation of young Americans. And I kept running into people who’d been involved in my war and were all too ready to share too many drinks and tell me too much about what I was already up all too many nights thinking about. As these experiences morphed first into nightmares and then into the basis for research, I found myself speaking with more veterans of more wars who continued to suffer in ways they had a hard time describing, but which they wrestled with every day. I realized that I understood them, even as they seemed to be trying to put their feelings into words for the first time. Many of them described how they had entered the battle zones convinced that “we’re the good guys,” and then had to live with the depth of guilt and shame that followed when that sense didn’t survive the test of events. Sometimes they were remarkably articulate, sometimes anything but. It seemed not to matter which war we were talking about ― or whether I was reading a handwritten diary from the Korean War, an oral history of the Pacific War, or an old bestseller about a conflict ironically labeled “the Good War.” The story always seemed to be the same: decisions made in seconds that lasted lifetimes, including the uncomfortable balancing of morality and expediency in situations in which a soldier might believe horrific acts like torture could save lives or had to accept civilian casualties in pursuit of military objectives. In war, you were always living in a world in which no action seemed ideal and yet avoiding acting was often inconceivable. If America accepts the idea of fighting endless wars, it will have to accept something else as well: that the costs of war are similarly endless. PTSD and Moral Injury Matthew Hoh, that former Marine, now a veterans advocate, introduced me to the phrase “moral injury,” though the term is usually attributed to clinical psychiatrist Jonathan Shay. He coined it in 1991 while working for the Department of Veterans Affairs. We are, of course, beings with a complex sense of right and wrong, which can be messed with in disastrous ways. There are boundaries inside us that can’t be crossed without a great price being paid. Though the term moral injury is fairly new, especially outside military circles, the idea is as old as war. When people sent into conflict find their sense of right and wrong tested, when they violate deeply held convictions by doing something (such as killing a civilian in error) or failing to do something (such as not reporting a war crime), they suffer an injury to their core being. Examples of this phenomenon are relatively commonplace in popular culture. Think of scenes from Tim O’Brien’s iconic Vietnam War book, The Things They Carried, William Manchester’s World War II odyssey, Goodbye Darkness, William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice, or films like William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives and Oliver Stone’s Platoon. You can find similar examples as far back as the Iliad and as recently as late last night. Lisa Ling, for instance, was a former Air Force technical sergeant who worked in America’s armed drone program before turning whistleblower. She was perhaps typical when she told the makers of the documentary film National Bird that, in helping carry out drone strikes which killed people across the globe by remote control, “I lost part of my humanity.” Once upon a time, society expressed skepticism or worse toward such formulations, calling those who emerged visibly suffering from the acts of war “cowards” or dismissing them as fakes and frauds. Yet today post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a widely acknowledged condition that can be identified by MRI tests. PTSD and moral injury often occur together. “I think having both PTSD and moral injury are the normal things for us,” Ling says of those in the drone program. Moral injury, however, takes place at the intersection of psychology and spirituality, and so is, in a sense, all in someone’s head. When experiencing moral injury, a person wields guilt and/or shame as a self-inflicted penalty for a choice made. PTSD is more physical, more fear-based, and often a more direct response to an event or events witnessed in war. I think having both PTSD and moral injury are the normal things for us. Think of it this way: PTSD is more likely to result from seeing something terrible, moral injury from doing something terrible. Civilians, Too Moral injury doesn’t just affect soldiers, but civilians, too. Noncombatants are not just victims or targets, but often complex participants in war. This reality led me, as my book developed, to interview now-elderly Japanese who had experienced World War II as children. They described the horrific choices they faced, even at a young age. In a wartime landscape of hunger, survival often depended on small, grim acts that would never be forgotten. Sometimes, I sensed in talking to them, as in interviewing former soldiers, that the psychic injuries of wartime don’t end until the sufferers do. Moral injury turns out to be a debt that often can never be repaid. Those survivors of the end of the war in Japan who got the food necessary to live had to pay a price for knowing what happened to those who didn’t. In a landscape ravaged by war, just because something wasn’t your fault doesn’t mean it won’t be your responsibility. An act as simple as which of her children a mother offered a disappearing supply of water to first could mean the difference between life and death. And though, in truth, it might have been impossible in such circumstances and at such an age to know that you were responsible for the death of your sister or brother, 70 years later you might still be thinking about it with an almost unbearable sense of guilt. And here’s a small footnote: Did you know that it’s possible to sit quietly on a Tokyo park bench in 2017, perfectly aware of whose distant relatives and countrymen dropped the bombs that took away the water that forced that mother to make that decision, and still shamefully continue taking notes, saying nothing as you witness someone else’s breakdown? The Trip Back What help can there be for something so human? There are, of course, the bad answers, all too often including opioids and alcohol. But sufferers soon learn that such substances just send the pain off to ambush you at another moment, and yet, as many told me, you may still look forward to the morning’s first throat-burning shot of something strong. Drinking and drugs have a way, however temporarily, of wiping out hours of pain that may stretch all the way back to the 1940s. You drink in the dark places, even after you understand that in the darkness you can see too much. Tragically, suicide is never far from moral injury. The soul isn’t that big a place. One former soldier told me he’s never forgiven his neighbor for talking him out of going into the garage with his rifle. Another said the question wasn’t why he might commit suicide, but why he hadn’t. Someone I met knows vets who have a “designated driver,” a keeper not of the car keys but of their guns during emotional rough patches. I didn’t ask for forgiveness... because what I did was unforgivable. The Department of Veterans Affairs counts a stunning average of 20 veteran suicides a day in America. About 65% of those are individuals 50 years old or older with little or no exposure to the country’s twenty-first-century conflicts. No one tracks the suicide rate for civilians who survive war, but it’s hard to imagine that it isn’t high as well. The cause of all those self-inflicted deaths can’t, of course, be traced to any one thing, but the pain that grows out of moral injury is patient. For such sufferers, however, progress is being made, even if the trip back is as complex as the individual. The Department of Veterans Affairs now acknowledges moral injury and its effects, and in 2014 Syracuse University created the Moral Injury Project to bring together vets, doctors, and chaplains to work on how to deal with it. In the meantime, psychologists are developing diagnostic assessment tools for what some call “soul repair.” One effective path back seems to be through helping patients sort out just what happened to them and, when it comes to remembered transgressions, what part of those may be their own responsibility (though not necessarily their own fault). What doesn’t work, according to Matthew Hoh, is trying to convince veterans who view themselves as damaged that, in the present American manner, they are really heroes. Others suffering moral injury may try to deal with it by seeking forgiveness. Lisa Ling, for example, traveled to Afghanistan, with a desire to truly grasp her role in a drone program that regularly killed its victims from thousands of miles away. To her surprise, during an encounter with the relatives of some civilian victims of such drone strikes, they forgave her. “I didn’t ask for forgiveness,” Ling told me, referring to what she had done in the drone program, “because what I did was unforgivable.” Killing by remote control requires many hands. Ling worked on databases and IT networking. Analysts studied the information in those databases to recommend humans to target. Sensor operators manipulated lasers to pinpoint where a drone pilot would eventually slam his missile home for the kill. “Like all of us,” she added, “I spent time on the mission floor, or at briefings where I saw and heard devastating things, or blatant lies, but to actually connect my individual work to single events wasn’t possible due to the diffusion of responsibility. For sensor operators, it is more like stepping on ants. For analysts, they get to know people over time. As watchers and listeners, they describe an intimacy that comes with predictably knowing their family patterns. Kissing the kids, taking children to school, and then seeing these same people die.” Moral Injury and Whistleblowers Another way back is for the sufferer to try to rebalance the internal scales a little by making amends of some sort. In the case of moral injury, this can often mean drawing a line between who one was then and who one might be now. Think of it as an attempt to re-inscribe those internal borders that were transgressed so long ago. Perhaps not so surprisingly, the connections between moral injury and whistleblowing, like those between moral injury and suicide, appear to run deep. For example, Iraq War whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s decision to leak video of civilian deaths caused by members of the U.S. military may have been her version of amends, driven by guilt over silently witnessing war crimes. Among the acts she saw, for instance, was a raid on a printing facility that had been billed as an al-Qaeda location but wasn’t. The U.S. military had, in fact, been tricked into shutting down the work of political opponents of Iraq’s then-prime minister Nouri al-Maliki. Until Manning finally tells her story, this remains speculative, but I was at the same forward operating base in Iraq as she was and know what happened and how it affected me, as well as the others around us. Whistleblowers (and I was one of them) talk of conscience, of a realization that we were part of something that was wrong. Jonathan Shay suggests that the failure of moral agency does not have to rest with the individual alone. It can involve witnessing a betrayal of “what’s right” by a person in legitimate authority. That part of moral injury could help explain one of the most significant whistleblowers of our time. In talking about his reasons for blowing the whistle, Edward Snowden invoked questions of right and wrong when it came to the actions of senior American government officials. It would be a worthy question to put to Snowden: How much guilt and shame ― the hallmarks of moral injury ― do you retain from having been part of the surveillance state, and how much was your whistleblowing driven by trying to rid yourself of it? After all, for those suffering from moral injury, the goal is always the same: to somehow reclaim the good parts of oneself and to accept ― but not be eternally defined by ― what one did or didn’t do. I know, because for me, this is so much more than fiction. My War at Home “You mean that Vietnam helicopter thing?” A well-meaning family doctor asked me this when I got back from Iraq in 2010, referring to the way some vets react to the sound of a helicopter, sending them “back to the jungle.” No, no, far more than that, I responded, and told him a little about my sorry role in administering reconstruction projects in Iraq and how it left me more interested in vodka than my family. That was my own personal taste of moral injury, of a deeply felt failure to accomplish any of the good I’d hoped to do, let down by senior leaders I once believed in. It’s why I tell the story in Hooper’s War in reverse order, opening with a broken Nate Hooper in his late eighties finally finding a form of redemption for the events of a few weeks at war when he was 18. By moving toward an innocent boy as far away in rural Ohio as one can be from war, I felt I was working through my own experience of the damage war causes deep inside the self. In tallying the costs of war, what’s the price of a quick death versus a slow one? A soldier who leaves his brains on the wall in the den two decades after his war ended or one whose body remains untouched but who left his mind 10,000 miles away? The price of endless war is beyond calculation. As our wars continue to morph and roll on, the costs ― financial, emotional, and in blood ― only pile up as the men and women who have been welcomed home as if it were all over continue to be torn apart. The nasty conclusion on the scales of moral injury: that our endless conflicts may indeed have left our society, one that just can’t stop itself from making war, among the casualties. Peter Van Buren, a TomDispatch regular and former State Department official, blew the whistle on waste and mismanagement during the “reconstruction” of Iraq in his book We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. His newest book, Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan, has just been published. He writes about current events at his blog, We Meant Well. Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, John Dower’s The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II, as well as John Feffer’s dystopian novel Splinterlands, Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt’s Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
While the first half of the hard-hitting conversation with acclaimed director Oliver Stone focused largely on foreign policy, Part 2 of the “Scheer Intelligence” interview centers on the transformation of the American economy. Stone, director of films including “Platoon,” “Born on the Fourth of July” and “Snowden,” and Scheer begin the conversation by discussing Stone’s 1987 film “Wall Street,” which takes a bold look at the rampant corporate greed on Wall Street in the 1980s. They also discuss the sequel that Stone made more than 20 years later. Stone, who says his hardworking father inspired him to make “Wall Street,” tells Scheer he “wanted to do something quite different” from his earlier films. “Money, when I grew up, was never talked about. It was considered gauche, it was not something you were proud of,” Stone explains. “ ‘Wall Street’ started when I was researching ‘Scarface’ in Miami in 1980 and running into this phenomenon of the ‘get rich quick’ schemes. ... I traveled up to Wall Street from Miami, and ... a lot of people who I’d known as young men were now working on Wall Street—at the same age I was—and making millions of dollars a year.” Stone adds that by the 2000s, when he made the sequel, Wall Street was unrecognizable. “It was another world,” he says. “We were saying [that] the corruption is beyond just being corruption, it’s just reached another level of acceptance. It’s a low-hanging fruit to become rich.” The two also discuss Stone’s 2008 film “W.,” a biographical drama about George W. Bush and the Iraq War, and his 2012 documentary series, “The Untold History of the United States.” Stone also shares his fears about the future of U.S. military power, telling Scheer that nuclear war seems more likely than ever. “We should remember the past,” Stone cautions. “In our country, we don’t remember our history, and we don’t remember the bad things that we do. And because we don’t remember it, we do them again.” Listen to the full conversation below, and listen to Part 1 of the conversation here. A full transcript of the conversation is below. Adapted from Truthdig.com Full transcript: Robert Scheer: All right, this is Robert Scheer with another edition of Scheer Intelligence. This is actually Part II of my interview with Oliver Stone. Part I stressed foreign policy a lot, and Vietnam, and brought it up to the present day of Donald Trump. But the thing that really drives the success of Donald Trump, and getting elected and his power—and also drove Bernie Sanders; two populist candidates, one, from my point of view, genuine, Sanders; the other not so much. But we see it throughout the world, is that the economy is not delivering on its promise. And you’ve made two movies, one earlier on when people were not discussing this, your classic discussion of Wall Street, by the name of Wall Street. And why don’t we begin with that, and then you did a follow-up, Wall Street II. And what was incredible about Wall Street is that at that time, people were accepting the view of the Wall Street shysters, that they could keep this thing going and get away with it, and we’d all benefit somehow even though they benefitted a lot more. And you asserted, really, a quite old-fashioned view of propriety and decency; I think you got it from your father who had been on Wall Street. And the hero of the movie was somebody who actually thought you have to make real things, and they have to work, and it can’t just be all hype. And that was before we knew about collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps and all the swindles that Wall Street was able to make legal by getting financial deregulation, overturning all the New Deal legislation that made sure the public was served in some way. How did you come upon the first Wall Street movie? Why were you so, dare I say, perceptive on this problem? Oliver Stone: I can’t say I was, but I was influenced by my father, because when I was a young man I’d go down to Wall Street; a boy, really; and see the, the old Wall Street, if you remember, was canyons of small windows and dark offices, and there was none of this modern technology. It was people in the back room, they were serious researchers, and there was a relationship with the client. My father had clients that lasted his whole life. Their commissions were better, I suppose. It was a cultured profession, and a good one. He could make a good living, but at the same time he felt very satisfied that he was contributing to the American economic engine; Wall Street was a determinant of that, what—to help the companies, to help grow America. It was very much the Ronald Reagan view of America from the GE Theater, if you remember back in the 1950s, I think we used to watch it. And it was a very positive, Eisenhower view. I have to say I have reservations about that now that I’ve learned more about Mr. Roosevelt; my father was a big Roosevelt hater, and he used to, we had so many discussions at the dinner table about what Roosevelt did wrong, and blah, blah, blah; I think you know the nature of it. So it was more about the mood of the place. RS: But if your father were alive today— OS: Yeah. RS: Because I’ve run into these folks who used to believe that—he would say Roosevelt was right. OS: [Laughs] RS: And of course the animals took over, you know. Ah, he would be shocked. OS: I think there is an irony to this. I think if my father had lived long enough to see the film, he would have agreed with much of what was said, because the Gordon Geckos were the new breed. That was the Michael Douglas character. My dad didn’t know those people. There was a couple of hustlers in the old days, but they were soon, you know, they were found out, driven out; there was a few scandals, but nothing major, major that I remember. But it was a mood, and I wanted to capture that, in 1987 after the success of Platoon, I wanted to do something quite different, another kind of war in this Wall Street world where the lighting, the mood, was different. It was back—in a sense it was a very 1950s film, if you look at it on film and you can see some of that lighting, some of those offices, and it was a return to my youth, trying to find out what it was all about. And of course in the Gecko character, we didn’t know it then, but we found gold. I mean, there was the story of a young boy like my father, myself, going to work, trying to be honest, but being tempted by the greed, the materialism of a society that was doing very well. Mr. Reagan, if you remember, in 1980 brought back this vision of America growing. The dawn—”Morning in America” began the dawn of America. Back to business, right? We didn’t, Americans didn’t know anything about what was going on— RS: It was—you know, sometimes people create something much more important than they even recognize. And maybe you don’t even recognize what was so great about this movie, Wall Street, that you made, despite its honors. And what it captured was a very important turning point in America, which by the way, Ronald Reagan understood. Because what happened, you’re absolutely right. When Reagan came in—Reagan believed in a GE that actually no longer existed by the time he was president. It was the old GE that made things. And one thing to Reagan’s credit—I interviewed Reagan about all this stuff, you know, before he was governor, before he was president; I spent quite a bit of time with him—and what Reagan did, before he did the promotions for GE, he went to all the plants. And they had strong unions, great benefits, and this was when they were making a lot of money. And he was really impressed, because he after all had been a union leader, the Screen Actors Guild. And he said hey— OS: Yeah. And an informer. [Laughs] RS: Well, but I’m talking about the economics stuff. He looked at these plants and said, you know, hey, the bathrooms are clean; the benefits are good; they got medical coverage. You know, they’re making good wages, right? This is when you, you know, people even started to talk about the aristocracy of labor; you could be an auto worker, you know, and so forth, and make a real living, get a small boat, buy a house, and so forth. And he also—yes, as president he ushered in a lot of deregulation and so forth. By the end of his term you had the savings and loan scandal had exploded. And Reagan was shocked. And in fact, in one of your other movies that you’re a producer on, the movie about Larry Flynt, The People Vs. Larry Flynt, you have the Keating character— OS: [Laughs] Yes, Charles Keating, yes. From Cincinnati. RS: Charles Keating, who was—who was one of those savings and loan guys who went to jail. Yet he was the puritanical guy about, you know, let’s censor sex and everything. OS: Jim Cromwell played him. RS: Right. And it’s a brilliant scene in that movie. But going back to when you made Wall Street, was just that tipping point. And the irony is, because Reagan had the savings and loan scandal, they recognized that they had to have regulation. And actually, Reagan—I wrote this book called The Great American Stickup, so I document it—Reagan actually signed off on tougher regulation— OS: Oh really? RS: Yes, because he was so shocked, and so were— OS: Good for him, yeah. RS:—plenty of people in Congress, about the savings and loan—hey, these guys have gone wild. And it, by the way, was no longer the old GE. GE was now in finance capital, GE capital— OS: That’s right. You’ve described it very well, yeah. RS: Yeah, you know, they weren’t making light bulbs and refrigerators for their profit; they were doing, you know mortgage packages and finance and everything. OS: Finance, yeah. And they got into a lot of trouble with it, if you remember. RS: Right. So at the end of Reagan’s tenure, he really couldn’t pull off the deregulation. OS: No. Like my father, you see, it probably would have turned into—well, we need a little of the Roosevelt reform. And I think my father would have gone the same way. He died, unfortunately, in ‘85, before the movie came out. RS: But you dedicated the movie to him. OS: But I respected my dad, because he was an honest man. And one sensed that about him, and that’s why the clients stayed with him. It wasn’t about making money; you see, money, when I grew up, was never talked about. It was considered gauche, it was not something that you were proud of. If you made a lot of money and boasted about it, you were nouveau, what they called nouveau riche, you know; somebody who’s just got no taste, from 7th Avenue, who makes clothes, and he boasts about his houses, and his—but now America has become that. That’s what’s shocking to me about the Trump age, how— RS: Oh, it’s worse than that. Because I also interviewed Nelson Rockefeller and David Rockefeller and those people. They actually, like your father, worried about what their grandchildren would think. They actually worried about how this would look 40, 50 years up the road. OS: Yeah. Yeah. RS: The new crowd, the Gordon Gecko crowd that came in, they just wanted to get theirs and get out before the shit hit the fan. That was the basic idea. OS: Yeah. Because the money was so big. RS: And that’s what your movie captured; it was a swing moment in American society. Now we accept and we know that, these guys were a bunch of swindlers, you know, made legal because they could change the law and make what they do legal. But they were totally irresponsible, totally out of control. The thing that from a partisan point of view that is missed, is that it was Bill Clinton who revived this radical deregulation, worked with the, you know, the republicans in the Senate and in Congress, and pushed through the reversal of Franklin—he did what the original republicans had said they wanted to do. He reversed Franklin Roosevelt’s legacy. OS: Well, I think Clinton— RS: And that’s what your second movie got into. OS: And Clinton, I think, realized that that’s where the bread was; the butter would be the banks, the money; the Democratic Party could find a new life out of the banks. And he somehow changed the whole—the whole system did shift about that time. And you know, the Clinton years were thought of as good years, but there was a lot of things that were happening underneath the surface that we now see were disastrous, such as the reestablishment of NATO in 1999, major countries in Eastern Europe joining NATO. His—the power of the Rubin—Robert Rubin, remember him, and the head of the Federal Reserve Board. And Larry Summers, I played tennis with him not too long ago. These people came into being, it was a “committee to rule the world,” remember those three people? RS: Yeah, well that’s what Time magazine said— OS: Yeah, that was a cover, Robert Rubin, the Soviet Union had wilted away— RS: To “save the world” is what Time magazine— OS, RS: “Committee to save the world.” OS: Time magazine, 1999. I remember that cover because they’ve always been wrong, Time magazine; always. There’s that curse, you know. Like, when 1984 came, I remember— RS: [Laughs] OS:—they had a big cover, “George Orwell was wrong.” And that was so funny. I thought, this is so crazy. Because I didn’t trust Time at that point; I’d been to Vietnam, I’d read all their pro-Vietnam War stuff; Henry Luce was a very dangerous man, a Presbyterian minister, in a way. But anyway, when they said “the committee to save the world” and Robert Rubin was on the cover—you remember Rubin was a handsome, attractive banker, he made sense, and— RS: He came from Goldman Sachs, he was Clinton’s treasury secretary, and after he gets the deregulation that makes Citigroup legal, because it was a merger of investment banks and commercial banks, he goes and works there for $15 million a year, for a decade. OS: Yeah, for Sandy Weill, Sanford Weill, who my father worked for. RS: Yeah, for Sandy Weill, who at least had the—and Sandy Weill at least had the decency at the end of the day to say he was wrong, and the deregulation was wrong. Rubin has never said that. OS: That’s right. I’m glad you noticed that. No. Citibank was a monstrosity on the 2008 crash, played a large role. But Weill, about 2007 or ‘08, said—or ‘09, I think—he came out in an article and he wrote that he had been dead wrong about it. And he did more than any single individual, actually, to create this new world. My dad, ironically, in his last job, funny irony of history, worked for him and knew him a little bit. And Sandy kept him on, kept my dad on, he was about 74, 75 and he was in bad health; he kept my dad on to write the letter, the monthly letter that my father valued more than anything in his life. My father had an economic intellectual side. So it’s an irony that Sandy Weill helped him, but at the same time destroyed the world that my father knew. RS: Well, and the irony is that Sandy Weill, who pushed through—when he was head of Traveler’s, actually, was the insurance company that had an investment business, and they merged—they merged with Citibank to become Citigroup. And they had to be bailed out by taxpayers, enormous amount of money. And the irony is that Sandy Weill said, yes, the decision to reverse Glass-Steagall was wrong, and to allow the merger. He said it, OK? But Paul Krugman in The New York Times—and The New York Times, by the way, was a cheerleader for this deregulation. They haven’t said that. And they still, now you have an effort in the Congress by Elizabeth Warren and John McCain, amazingly enough, to bring back Glass-Steagall—and they’re still put down as sort of an old-fashioned idea. So let me go a little further, Oliver. OS: About the second Wall Street, yeah. RS: I want to get in—yeah, I want to talk about the second Wall Street. And people felt with your second Wall Street, and then with your George Bush biopic and so forth— OS: W. RS:—W. They ask, is Oliver going easy now, right? You’ve heard that? OS: [Laughs] I don’t think so. RS: So how do you evaluate those two movies? OS: Well, you know, I made five, six, seven documentaries in that period; all of them were very, very critical of our foreign policy, and Untold History [of the United States] is the most, perhaps the biggest achievement I’ve ever had in my life as a documentarian. RS: For people who don’t know it, you made it for— OS: 2008 to 2013. I made it for Showtime, and it’s now on Netflix. RS: If you want to know what fake news is, it’s the world that Oliver Stone tears apart in this documentary series. Because it starts with the whole start of the Cold War, you know, the lying about what happened; it’s very well documented. I don’t know of anyone who’s been able to provide a serious critique of that film. And so the way they’ve dealt with it is by ignoring it, basically. OS: Mainstream did. But we had great reviews from the progressives, and we keep selling. All over the world, by the way; we’ve sold it in every country, and it’s been on, it’s getting around, and it’s getting seen and read; Netflix makes it more available to everybody. I’m very proud of it. But anyway, look, the films—yeah, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Soft, they said. Some people said soft. But the truth was, we had changed. And in a sense, there was no need to do a Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps because our Wall Street, our society had become so corrupt by 2008 that money was being made. In other words, the Geckos were out of business because the banks had become the Geckos. And we’re talking, not $20, $30, $40 million, $50, $200 million; we’re talking a billion dollars now, per individual. That never, that concept very rarely existed in the old days; it would be five, six individuals, the Gettys, the Rockefellers, who would talk that kind of money. All of a sudden, anybody could make a billion dollars. Wall Street started when I was researching Scarface in Miami in 1980, and running into this new phenomenon of the get-rich-quick schemes, the cocaine selling, the cocaine gangsters. And I traveled up to Wall Street from Miami, and in Wall Street a lot of my people who I’d known as young men were now working on Wall Street at the same age as I was, and making millions of dollars a year, much more than I was making in the movie business. RS: And leading a decadent life— OS: And snorting coke, sure, and going to work, you know. So it was another world. And by 2007, we shot the film in suffused colors, because we were saying look, the corruption is, it’s beyond just being corruption; it’s just reached another level of acceptance. It’s a low-hanging fruit to become rich. RS: [omission] You know, this may sound like a trite observation on my part. But I have always thought of you, in a way, as a conservative. OS: [Laughs] Yeah, probably so. RS: No, really. I mean, you’re, there’s something very old-fashioned, Jack Armstrong, something about, you know, going up against power, trying to find the truth of the matter, believing there are virtuous activities that one should pursue. I see Snowden that way, by the way. OS: Yes. Boy scout. RS: Boy scout. OS: But I’m not a boy scout, you know, I’ve been in trouble a lot— RS: Well, you have, so what, why, ‘cause you can get a DUI or something? But the fact of the matter is, you are a boy scout. You’ve been a family person—come on, I know you, I just was at your house now. You know, I know something about you, in fact today I was supposed to be interviewed by your son Sean, I had to cancel him because I had a chance to interview you. And he’s pretty terrific. So you know, I’ve observed your life; I worked for you on a movie, a couple movies, actually, writing a script. I’ve seen you, and you are actually a believer in American enterprise. OS: I do. RS: You know, and you are really acting out on the philosophy of your father, as far as I can see. OS: That’s correct. I am, there’s many conservative sides to my nature, you’re right. And I value somebody who values the past; I’m a traditionalist that way. We should remember the past. I’m a historian, too; I care about the history. In our country we don’t remember our history, and we don’t remember the bad things that we do, and because we don’t remember it we do them again. The movie, the other movie I did, the W. movie, is a case in point. Because this George W. Bush, when he came into office in 2000, it was a shock to me; I don’t know about you, but to me— RS: And for people who didn’t listen to the first part of this, you were actually at Yale when he was there, even though you didn’t know him. But you had a similar sort of encounter in education, yeah. OS: Yeah, I met him at that point, too. And he reminded me that he’d been in my class at Yale; I didn’t know him. And he was running for president, and you know, he was a C student; and he really was a C student. He just had no interest, curiosity in history, or call it the real world as we know it. He’d always lived in a sheltered, privileged family, and he’d never gone outside Yale like I had. So there was a whole different world view. But when he committed us to this Iraq war, that was really the end for me. So for me, the story ended in 2004; that’s where I ended the movie, because it was madness. And it was, here we had been attacked in 9/11, and here he declared war on the universe, global war on terror; it’s you’re either with us or against us. It signed, that was a death treaty. We signed that treaty, or something, he thought we did, that we had committed to this war, eternal war. And you could tell it was coming. And when we went to Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11, it compounded the sin. RS: The commitment to eternal war was a wet dream of American capitalists. OS: No, it’s a death dream, it’s a death dream. RS: No, but it was also what brought excitement and relief. Because the great fear was that this engine needed a military-based economy. And you know, I wrote a book about this also, called The Pornography of Power. And hours before 9/11, Donald Rumsfeld gave a speech at the Pentagon in which he said: the greatest enemy now in the world is, you know, bent on conquest and needs money and wastes money, and so forth. And he said: it’s the Pentagon. And it’s the Pentagon because they don’t want to cut back. And the first President Bush had talked about it, had tried to cut it by one-third. And then the Bush administration, when it first came in, once talked about it. Then 9/11 happened, and now you have your fantasy enemy. It’s everywhere, you can’t define it, you can’t defeat it, it will always be with you, right? You don’t make peace— OS: Yeah. But don’t neglect the father Bush; the first Bush did go to war, also, in 1991 in a big way. As the Soviet Union’s falling apart, we give the message to the rest of the world that, look, we’re going into Panama and we’re going into Kuwait. And we sent 500,000 troops to the Middle East. That was a huge mistake, huge mistake. You remember, Bob, and I remember, when we, American—when it was 500,000 troops in Vietnam, people went crazy. We said how many—we had never put 500,000 troops abroad, except in World War II. How can we do this again? This is not a world war. And we did it, and we did it again in Kuwait in the Middle East, and nobody—we blinked; nobody really was paying attention. Except for those who really were against that war. The reason I did this Untold History—and I really, I thought that Bush was an aberration, an aberration to, this is a strange incident in history, this guy got elected but he didn’t get elected, he won this election because of the Supreme Court, and he’s an ignoramus and we’ll survive this. Well, we didn’t survive it, because he won again in 2004 against a guy who had been a war hero, like Mr. Kerry is, ironically; Mr. Bush had dodged the draft. So everything was upside down in our culture, everything including Wall Street. 2008 was karma; it happened. The same thing is going to happen, I believe, unfortunately, in our lifetime. I think you and I are old enough now that we’re going to see the full circle. I worry about this for our young ones, but I do see a karma that cannot go on like this, because we keep dishing it out, we keep ordering the world around, we keep saying aggressive things, and we don’t think we have to pay for it. We don’t think that it’s going to come back on us. But it does, in history it does. RS: OK. I know you’ve got a new movie coming out on Vladimir Putin. OS: A documentary. RS: Documentary. And when you make it and people watch it, that’s something we can have another interview. But I am alarmed about this notion of “make America great”—which, by the way, is not just Donald Trump, because Hillary Clinton said it’s always been great. And we’re always, you know—and we’re never really wrong, and whatever we do is somehow justified and so forth. And I think of Russia, now having been demonized, we’re in kind of a new Cold War. And I want to maybe conclude this with a cautionary tale, because I think really, your Untold History is really a cautionary tale. It’s a tale of one mishap, one distortion, one fake news episode after another. OS: That’s what we found out after five years—and I had never studied history until that moment; I really studied for five years—Mr. Bush is not an aberration. He is a continuation of a foreign policy that has gotten more and more violent. RS: And we never assume the other sides in the world have a point of view that has to be respected. And what scares me about this moment—maybe it’s a way to conclude; people should be alert to it—the fact is, Russia still has half the nuclear weapons. These weapons can be used, by us or by them. We’ve just dropped, under Donald Trump, the biggest conventional bomb ever dropped, was dropped in Afghanistan. OS: And there’s no fear of nuclear war in America. In Russia, yes. There’s much more knowledge of war, because they’d invaded, their homeland was wiped out by the Nazis. They still, it’s in their DNA. I’ve been over there a few times, you have too; I feel they know that they’re under enormous pressure. They know that the United States’s intentions are not good ones. And I think the United States’s people, the people who run our society, they’ve forgotten what war is. In a sense, Mr. Trump is too eager to try out these new weapons to see if he can win one. There’s no winning a war like this. It’s a nuclear winter, and that’s been written about; it’s still denied, nuclear winter is still denied as a scientific concept by our leadership. We have to relearn what nuclear war is, we have to study Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we have to study the nuclear proliferation that we’ve allowed throughout the world. You know more about it than I do, but it’s depressing. RS: Well, let’s end on a depressing note— OS: Yeah, of course, we have to— RS:—after all, that’s Robert Scheer and Oliver Stone. So let me just say one thing. Yes, this is a frightening moment. OS: [Sighs] RS: And we have a president who many people feel is somewhat unstable, or very much unstable, who is salesman before he’s anything else, and blah, blah, blah. And he has the power, as any president has had, to destroy life on this planet in a matter of moments. Right? And the question is, why hasn’t that been contained? We believe in limited government. We believe in checks and balances. How come we have invested in the president of the United States, republican, democrat, all during this period, the power—and you made a movie, Nixon. We know Nixon, your movie, was criticized; I happened to work on it. But now we know a great deal about Nixon, because the tapes, when you made your movie very little was known. I forget how many hours was known when you met Nixon, some very small— OS: Two hundred and some hours, wasn’t it. RS: Yeah, and then now we have all of it, there’s a public record; John Dean, who was a consultant on Nixon, has actually done a terrific book with the whole history of the Nixon tapes and what’s in it, and he’s listened to them endlessly. And the fact of the matter is, you know, Donald Trump is not just the first wild man to have his finger near that button. You know, Nixon was drunk when he had it; Reagan was probably, you know, had too severe Alzheimer’s to make serious decisions; Lyndon Johnson was into worrying about the next election rather than death and destruction. OS: It’s really scary. RS: And mentioning Hiroshima and Nagasaki is not a bad way to end an interview of this sort, because the fact is, it’s the greatest act of terror in world history in that you deliberately, deliberately decide to incinerate people in daytime when children are going to school to maximize the casualties, to show that your investment in this bomb was actually justified. OS: I most fear North Korea right now, in this moment, because it’s a natural place for Mr. Trump to try out his new—if he wants to be the tough guy, as Bush was, we’re going to see an example somewhere soon. RS: OK, Oliver. I want to thank you for this two-part interview. Not as fascinating as your movies, but people can watch that on their own time. OS: Thank you, Bob. RS: Our producers are Rebecca Mooney and Joshua Scheer. Our excellent technical engineers are Kat Yore and Mario Diaz. See you next week with another edition of Scheer Intelligence. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
В США начали снимать фильмы о Трампе и о Путине, а в России — цензурировать сериалы, вымарывая фамилию президента
В Америке на сегодняшний день царит неопределённость, идёт внутренняя борьба. В этой ожесточённой борьбе участвуют разные силы, однако в основном всё крутится вокруг одной идеи: как сохранить империю, продлить её доминирующее положение в мире? Я не вижу в США людей, которые готовы сказать, что имперское поведение должно быть прекращено, потому что невозможно дальше так существовать, это попросту опасно. Я не вижу таких людей. Вся борьба идёт между такими идеями: Америка — первая, лучшая, Америка исключительная… Так что Америка находится в ситуации неопределённости. Поэтому диалог, который был здесь, в Москве, вопросы, которые остальной мир предлагал (а в конференции принимали участие представители 85 стран Африки, Азии, Латинской Америки), не могут быть решены, если Запад не согласен участвовать не то что в принятии решений, а даже просто в диалоге. Доброй воли со стороны остального мира и в значительной мере — со стороны России — недостаточно, чтобы решить мировые проблемы. Это первое. Второе. Америка управляет Западом в целом, как никогда ранее, несмотря на то, что Америка, объективно говоря, потеряла гегемонию в мире, поскольку есть такие гиганты, как Китай, Индия, Россия, Сирия. И хотя эти страны говорят: нельзя так дальше продолжать, вы не можете идти этим путём далее, тем не менее Америка управляет Западом сильнее, чем раньше. Европа полностью подчинена Америке. Так что мы не можем предвидеть исход ситуации, покуда не знаем, чего хочет в конечном итоге Америка и чего хочет Европа. Европа очень тесно связана с Америкой во многих отношениях, зависима от неё. Я говорил неоднократно: у Европы нет лидеров в руководстве, способных анализировать, объективно оценить ситуацию. И положение в этом отношении остаётся прежним: лидеров таких нет.
THE GRAY LADY HAS A FEVAH AND SHE NEEDS MORE COWBELL! COMMUNISM! Last week, Jonah Goldberg explored …
THE GRAY LADY HAS A FEVAH AND SHE NEEDS MORE COWBELL! COMMUNISM! Last week, Jonah Goldberg explored “The Times’ Postcard for Communism,” noting, “The New York Times has a lengthy, melancholy essay celebrating the role of Communism in American life by Vivian Gornick. It’s getting all of the predictable — and mostly deserved — blowback […]
Барбра Стрейзанд, Сара Джессика Паркер, Ума Турман – классические примеры «некрасивых красавиц», завоевавших зрительскую любовь. Однако они добились успеха скорее вопреки своей внешности, тогда как нашим героям именно отталкивающие черты помогли сделать карьеру. Смотрите галерею Anews. Стив Бушеми Культовый актёр не только не пытался что-то в себе скорректировать, но яростно этому противился: «Дантисты миллион раз порывались исправить мой прикус и выровнять зубы, но я всегда говорю: «Эй, вы же не хотите лишить меня работы?»» Ещё одна его особенность – «стариковские» глаза с набрякшими морщинистыми веками. Они придают Стиву измождённый вид, особенно в сочетании с бледной кожей и хилым телом. Но тем круче выходят его экранные образы. «Фарго», 1996 г. Как написало одно издание: «Бушеми – это как крушение поезда, на которое жутко смотреть, но невозможно оторваться. Этого не достичь никаким гримом и спецэффектами». Рон Перлман Безобразная внешность вывела его из малозаметных эпизодов на главные роли. Первая же из них, в сериале «Красавица и чудовище», принесла ему «Золотой глобус» как «лучшему телеактёру». А сыграв демонического супергероя-страшилу Хэллбоя, он обрёл мировую славу. «Тихоокеанский рубеж», 2013 г. В своё время режиссёр «Хэллбоя» Гильермо дель Торо бился за него с продюсерами, желавшими видеть вместо Перлмана более известного Вина Дизеля. А теперь «мордоворот» с мощной харизмой нередко затмевает всех прочих персонажей, включая красавцев. Уиллем Дефо «Понятно, почему мне часто дают роли плохих парней. Я выгляжу... как бы сказать... нестандартно. Жестоко. Я тот, на кого обратят внимание как на ненормального, аутсайдера», - скромно говорит о себе актёр, чьё лицо фанаты называют «бесподобно злодейским». «Человек-паук 2», 2004 г. Репортёры, бравшие у него интервью, признаются, что «вживую» он производит ещё более сильное впечатление: «Сзади обычный парень, но вот он поворачивается, улыбается тебе во всю ширь, и ты не находишь себе места. Этот огромный рот, здоровенные зубищи, буравящий взгляд...» «Последнее искушение Христа», 1988 г. Впрочем, при такой внешности Дефо прекрасно справился с ролями, противоположными демоническим: героического сержанта во «Взводе» Оливера Стоуна или самого Иисуса в «Последнем искушении Христа» Мартина Скорсезе. Джона Хилл Сегодня его не узнать: волшебно постройневший, с серьёзным лицом, он разительно отличается от самого себя 10-летней давности, когда играл придурковатых, сексуально озабоченных толстяков в молодёжных комедиях. Джона на улицах Лос-Анджелеса, апрель 2017 г. Актёр изнуряет себя диетами и тренировками, хотя именно полнота принесла ему успех, вспомнить хотя бы полюбившуюся зрителям дилогию «Мачо и Ботан». Более того, в 2015 году создатели фильма «Парни со стволами» взяли Хилла на роль с условием, что он нагонит ещё 20 кило – для более забавного контраста с худым напарником. Его вес в итоге достиг 115 килограммов. Лина Данэм Сценаристка, продюсер и главная актриса популярного сериала «Девчонки» тоже стала звездой благодаря своей непрезентабельной внешности. Она как будто нарочно старается выглядеть даже хуже, чем есть, и смело выставляет напоказ тело, далёкое от совершенства. Кстати, почитайте её предельно натуралистичные откровения о съёмках интимных сцен. «До неё не было в мире женщины, которая с такой же лёгкостью демонстрировала бы себя как есть, не пытаясь замазать прыщи, свести уродливые татуировки или избавиться от лишних волос и целлюлита», - пишут про Лину СМИ. И в этом больше восторга, чем непонимания, потому что дерзкая Данэм разбивает в прах навязанные идеалы глянцевой красоты. Сьюзан Бойл В 2009-м эта грузная некрасивая шотландка стала сенсацией, поразив аудиторию телешоу «Британия ищет таланты» необыкновенным голосом. Её дебютный альбом установил рекорды продаж по всему миру. Однако музыкальные обозреватели авторитетных изданий единодушно заявили: будь Бойл посимпатичней, не видать бы ей такого оглушительного успеха. Она сорвала овации из-за контраста ужасной внешности и прекрасного голоса. Публика не ждала от неё ничего особенного и потому была сражена наповал. Сама Сюзан сказала: «Современное общество привыкло «встречать по одёжке» и слишком спешит с оценками. Но, может быть, мой пример чему-нибудь научит». Майли Сайрус Обычно с ростом богатства и славы внешность человека меняется в лучшую сторону. У Майли наоборот: чем успешнее её музыкальная и актёрская карьера, тем страшнее она становится. И чем страшнее становится, тем лучше себя рекламирует. Это срабатывает, потому что в Голливуде полно «милых красоток», какой она сама была в сериале «Ханна Монтана», и нынешняя Сайрус выделяется среди них как безумная отвязная клоунесса из цирка уродцев. Келли Осборн Про дочку Оззи Осборна, певицу, актрису, телеведущую и дизайнера моды, однажды написали: «Как ей вообще удалось сделать карьеру, это за гранью понимания. У неё нет голоса, несмотря на знаменитого отца. У неё нет чувства стиля, несмотря на мать, королеву моды Шэрон Озборн. Её нельзя назвать ни обаятельной, ни смешной – напротив, у неё довольно неприятный характер и отношение к людям. Напрашивается вывод, что все отталкивающие черты Келли и обеспечили ей успех». А для контраста, напоследок, пример из более близкой нам реальности... Елена Борщёва Выпускницу КВН тоже часто ругают за нелепые наряды и порой неуместную привычку всегда и везде принимать клоунские позы. Но никто не напишет, что у неё нет таланта, обаяния или женственности. «Баскетбольный» рост и очень уж нестандартная внешность были и остаются «козырями» Елены в её профессиональном творчестве. Поделитесь этой новостью в Whatsapp или в соцсетях ⇓⇓⇓ Читайте также: Самые сексуальные миллиардерши мира Роскошная жизнь казахского хакера Карима Баратова в Канаде Бразилец сделал 10 операций, чтобы превратиться в азиата Как на самом деле происходит традиционная арабская свадьба Потрясающие воображение факты, которые заставят вас непечатно удивиться вслу
Hollywood heavyweight Oliver Stone’s encounters with the Russian president are set to be televised, but will they prove as hard-hitting as the famed interview they hope to match?Name: The Putin Interviews.Age: Minus six weeks. Continue reading...
Российский президент обсуждает обвинения во вмешательстве в американские выборы и другие геополитические вопросы в интервью со скандально известным режиссером Оливером Стоуном. Документальный фильм будет показан в июне телеканалом Showtime.
Министр торговли США сравнил удар «Томагавками» по Сирии с «послеобеденным развлечением» для Дональда Трампа, Белый дом сообщил о звонке российскому президенту Владимиру Путину, в Америке покажут четыре части интервью, которое Оливер Стоун взял у Путина.
Американский кабельный телеканал Showtime анонсировал дату премьеры фильма режиссера Оливера Стоуна о президенте России Владимире Путине. Кинолента, получившая название «Интервью с Путиным», выйдет в эфир 12 июня. Хронометраж фильма составляет 4
Российский президент отвечает на вопросы спорного режиссера Оливера Стоуна
Фильм, состоящий из интервью, взятых американским режиссером Оливером Стоуном у президента РФ Владимира Путина, покажут в США в середине июня.
Состоящий из интервью фильм американского режиссёра Оливера Стоуна о российском лидере Владимире Путине покажут в США...
Американский режиссер взял интервью у президента России
Состоящий из интервью фильм американского режиссёра Оливера Стоуна о российском лидере Владимире Путине покажут в США в середине июня 2017 года. Читать далее
Фильм Оливера Стоуна о российском президенте Владимире Путине будет показан в середине июня на канале Showtime, сообщает Bloomberg
К 3 годовщине украинского майдана: документальное расследование Оливера Стоуна "Украина в огне" #UkrauneOnFireСкажу сразу, с чем-то я совершенно не согласна: с полным игнорированием нашей единой истории и изложением истории Украины как некой изначально отдельной от России страны...Но самое ценное, что в этом фильме подробнейшим образом показано:1) история украинского нацизма и его возрождение: первые нацистские движения на Западной Украине, реальные преступления Степана Бандеры, спасение украинских нацистов после Победы 1945 ЦРУ, героизация Бандеры и реабилитация нацизма при Викторе Ющенко, ведущая роль украинских неонацистских организаций в событиях 2014 года; вплоть до объяснения причин русского восстания в Крыму и русскоязычных областях юго-востока, отделения Крыма; и до правдивого освещения трагедии 2 мая в Одессе...2) разработанный США и запущенный в целом ряде стран мира - и в том числе на Украине - механизм "цветных революций", создающий видимость "борьбы за демократию", "гражданского противостояния", создающий "сакральных жертв", развязывающий непримиримую "гражданскую войну" и осуществляющий "передел мира по-американски"; вплоть до прямых заявлений о многолетнем финансировании США "преобразований на Украине";3) и, что также очень важно, красной нитью через весь фильм проходят разоблачения реальных информационных вбросов и информационной войны Запада против России;Конечно, можно бесконечно поражаться тому, как на все это можно было повестись и сотворить такое со своей страной и народом... Но, к сожалению, этим вопросом нужно задаваться не только по отношению к политическим и общественным деятелям Украины, но и - а может быть, и прежде всего - России: как нами самими, на наших же исторических землях все эти процессы и эта цветная революция были допущены?!? А ведь еще в 90-х, особенно в1999-м и в в 2004-м, можно было все понять и ко всему подготовиться, наблюдая (и к сожалению, только наблюдая...) страшные события по развалу Югославии, бомбардировке Сербии и насильственном отрыве от нее Косова...Единственное, на что остается надеяться и о чем остается молиться - чтобы все эти процессы оказались бы обратимыми... И были обращены вспять...P.S. Мне кажется, очень важно не полениться и разослать ссылку на этот фильм всем знакомым, считающим все эти факты "путинской пропагандой", особенно на Украине!
Интервью Оливера Стоуна программе «Вести» 9 11 2014 From: Время-Вперед! Views: 1 0 ratingsTime: 06:55 More in News & Politics