"I Have A Dream" is the popular name given to the historic public speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., when he spoke of his desire for a future where blacks and whites among others would coexist harmoniously as equals. King's delivery of the speech on August 28, 1963, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. Delivered to over two hundred thousand civil rights supporters, the speech is often considered to be one of the greatest and most notable speeches in history and was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century by a 1999 poll of scholars of public address. According to U.S. Congressman John Lewis, who also spoke that day as the President of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, "Dr. King had the power, the ability and the capacity to transform those steps on the Lincoln Memorial into a modern day pulpit. By speaking the way he did, he educated, he inspired, he informed not just the people there, but people throughout America and unborn generations."At the end of the speech, King departed from his prepared text for a partly improvised peroration on the theme of "I have a dream", possibly prompted by Mahalia Jackson's cry "Tell them about the dream, Martin!". He had delivered a speech incorporating some of the same sections in Detroit in June 1963, when he marched on Woodward Avenue with Walter Reuther and the Rev. C.L. Franklin, and had rehearsed other parts.
jueves, agosto 28, 2008
Professor Robert Winston presents a definitive three-part documentary series on the history of mankind's quest to understand the nature of God.
The Story of God is an epic journey across continents, cultures and eras exploring religious beliefs from their earliest incarnations, through the development of today's major world faiths and the status of religious faith in a scientific age.
The series examines the roots of religious beliefs in prehistoric societies and the different ways in which humanity's sense of the divine developed.
It looks at the divergence between religions that worship a range of deities and those that represent strict monotheism.
Professor Winston says: "However you define God, and whether you believe in God or not, the world we live in has been shaped by the universal human conviction that there is more to life than life itself; that there is a 'god' shaped hole at the centre of our universe.
"We have come up with many different ways to fill that hole, with many gods or just one, with gods of hunting, gods of farming, gods of war and gods of sea and sky."
The series begins with Professor Winston examining the religions which believe in many different gods and explores why mankind started to believe in God at all.
The answer to that question, says Professor Winston, can be found in the caves where our ancestors first approached their gods and in the fields where people still call on them for help, in the cities where our ancestors have been honoured and in the temples where the gods have been appeased with sacrifices.
"But most of all the answer," says Professor Winston, "lies in the human desire to be united with something bigger than ourselves."
He travels to the Gargas Caves in South West France where, he says, if the story of God has a beginning, it is to be found.
He examines mysterious stencilled hand prints from 27,000 years ago which appear to have one or more fingers missing - do these represent early humans' attempts to reach out to God?
In India, Professor Winston explores the origins of Hinduism and the emergence of Brahman as the supreme being with many different forms.
Some experts believe that there may be 330 million gods across the Hindu faith and he looks at the notions of karma and reincarnation, also popular in Buddhism.
While there are those who believe in many gods there are also those who believe there is only one true God and Professor Winston delves into the past to discover the beginnings of monotheism.
Judaism, Christianity and Islam are examined in order to understand the ideas they share about God and the issues that divide them.
Professor Winston goes in search of an answer to the centuries old question: 'If God created humanity why does God allow humanity to suffer?'
Finally he explores how belief in God has been challenged in the modern world by secular ideas, in particular science.
He looks at those scientific disciplines (nuclear and astro-physics) where a convergence between faith and science seems possible.
Professor Winston ventures into vast underground laboratories in Switzerland where they are trying to prove the existence of the 'God particle' and speaks to an American geneticist who believes there is a God gene which predisposes some people to have religious or spiritual beliefs.
He also puts his own belief in God to the test with a mathematical formula that has been adapted to calculate the probability of God's existence.
martes, agosto 26, 2008
lunes, agosto 25, 2008
As Tibetan protesters take to the streets in the biggest and most bloody challenge to Chinese rule in nearly 20 years, Dispatches reports on the hidden reality of life under Chinese occupation after spending three months undercover, deep inside the region. Dozens are feared dead after the recent clashes and crackdown by Chinese troops, but with reporting so rigidly controlled from the region little is known of living conditions inside Tibet. To make this film, Tibetan exile Tash Despa returns to the homeland he risked his life to escape 11 years ago, to carry out secret filming with award-winning, Bafta-nominated director Jezza Neumann (Dispatches Special: China's Stolen Children). Risking imprisonment and deportation, he uncovers evidence of the "cultural genocide" described by the Dalai Lama. He finds the nomadic way of life being forcefully wiped out as native Tibetans are stripped of their land and livestock and are being resettled in concrete camps. Tibet reveals the regime of terror which dominates daily life and makes freedom of expression impossible. Tash meets victims of arbitrary arrests, detention, torture and "disappearances" and uncovers evidence of enforced sterilisations on ethnic Tibetan women. He sees for himself the impact of the enormous military and police presence in the region, and the hunger and hardship being endured by many Tibetans, and hears warnings of the uprising taking place across the provinces now
Channel 4/ Undercover in Tibet
viernes, agosto 22, 2008
jueves, agosto 21, 2008
This is the breathtaking story of Daniel Tammet. A twenty-something with extraordinary mental abilities, Daniel is one of the world’s few savants. He can do calculations to 100 decimal places in his head, and learn a language in a week. This documentary follows Daniel as he travels to America to meet the scientists who are convinced he may hold the key to unlocking similar abilities in everyone. He also meets the world’s most famous savant, the man who inspired Dustin Hoffman’s character in the Oscar winning film ‘Rain Man’. (2005)
This is the breathtaking story of Daniel Tammet. A twenty-something with extraordinary mental abilities, Daniel is one of the world's few savants. He can do calculations to 100 decimal places in his head, and learn a language in a week. This documentary follows Daniel as he travels to America to meet the scientists who are convinced he may hold the key to unlocking similar abilities in everyone. He also meets the world's most famous savant, the man who inspired Dustin Hoffman's character in the Oscar winning film "Rain Man". (2005)
miércoles, agosto 20, 2008
WASHINGTON, Aug 19 (IPS) - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's resignation Monday brings to an end an extraordinarily close relationship between Musharraf and the George W. Bush administration, in which Musharraf was lavished with political and economic benefits from the United States despite policies that were in sharp conflict with U.S. security interests.
It is well known that Bush repeatedly praised Musharraf as the most loyal ally of the United States against terrorism, even though the Pakistani military was deeply compromised by its relationship with the Taliban and Pakistani Islamic militants.
What has not been reported is that the Bush administration covered up the Musharraf regime's involvement in the activities of the A. Q. Khan nuclear technology export programme and its deals with al Qaeda's Pakistani tribal allies.
The problem faced by the Bush administration when it came into office was that the Pakistani military, over which Musharraf presided, was the real terrorist nexus with the Taliban and al Qaeda. As Bruce Riedel, National Security Council (NSC) senior director for South Asia in the Bill Clinton administration, who stayed on the NSC staff under the Bush administration, observed in an interview with this writer last September, al Qaeda "was a creation of the jihadist culture of the Pakistani army".
If there was a state sponsor of al Qaeda, Riedel said, it was the Pakistani military, acting through its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate.
Vice President Dick Cheney and the neoconservative-dominated Bush Pentagon were aware of the intimate relationship between Musharraf's regime and both the Taliban and al Qaeda. But al Qaeda was not a high priority for the Bush administration.
After 9/11, the White House created the political myth that Musharraf, faced with a clear choice, had "joined the free world in fighting the terrorists". But as Asia expert Selig S. Harrison has pointed out, on Sep. 19, 2001, just six days after he had supposedly agreed to U.S. demands for cooperation against the Taliban regime and al Qaeda, Musharraf gave a televised speech in Urdu in which he declared, "We are trying our best to come out of this critical situation without any damage to Afghanistan and the Taliban."
In his memoirs, published in 2006, Musharraf revealed the seven specific demands he had been given and claimed that he had refused both "blanket overflight and landing rights" and the use of Pakistan's naval ports and air bases to conduct anti-terrorism operations.
Musharraf also famously wrote that, immediately after 9/11, Undersecretary of State Richard Armitage had threatened to bomb Pakistan "back to the stone age" if Musharraf didn't side with the United States against bin Laden and his Afghan hosts. But Armitage categorically denied to this writer, through his assistant, Kara Bue, that he had made any threat whatsoever, let alone a threat to retaliate militarily against Pakistan.
For the next few years, Musharraf played a complicated game. The CIA was allowed to operate in Pakistan's border provinces to pursue al Qaeda operatives, but only as long as they had ISI units accompanying them. That restricted their ability to gather intelligence in the northwest frontier. At the same time, ISI was allowing Taliban and al Qaeda leaders to operate freely in the tribal areas and even in Karachi.
The Bush administration also gave Musharraf and the military regime a free ride on the A. Q. Khan network's selling of nuclear technology to Libya and Iran, even though there was plenty of evidence that the generals had been fully aware of and supported Khan's activities.
Journalists Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins wrote in their book "The Nuclear Jihadist" that one retired general who had worked with Khan told them there was no question that Khan had acted with the full knowledge of the military leadership. "Of course the military knew," the general said. "They helped him."
But the Bush administration chose to help Musharraf cover up that inconvenient fact. According to CIA Director George Tenet's memoirs, in September 2003, he confronted Musharraf with the evidence the CIA had gathered on Khan's operation and made it clear he was expected to end its operations and arrest Khan.
The following January and early February, Khan's house arrest, public confession of guilt and pardon by Musharraf was accompanied by an extraordinary series of statements by high-ranking Bush administration officials exonerating Musharraf and the military of any involvement in Khan's activities.
That whole scenario had been "carefully orchestrated with Musharraf", Larry Wilkerson, then a State Department official but later Colin Powell's chief of staff, told IPS in an interview last year. The deal that had been made did not require Musharraf to allow U.S. officials to interrogate Khan.
But the Bush administration apparently conveyed to the Pakistani military after that episode that it now expected the Musharraf regime to deliver high-ranking al Qaeda officials -- and to do so at a particularly advantageous moment for the administration. The New Republic magazine reported Jul. 15, 2004 that a White House aide had told the visiting head of ISI, Ehsan ul-Haq, that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of any HVT [high value target] were announced on 26, 27 or 28 July." Those were the last three days of the Democratic National Convention.
The military source added, "If we don't find these guys by the election, they are going to stick the whole nuclear mess up our a**hole."
Just hours before Democratic candidate John Kerry's acceptance speech, Pakistan announced the capture of an alleged al Qaeda leader.
Meanwhile, Musharraf was making a political pact with a five-party Islamic alliance in 2004 to ensure victory in state elections in the two border provinces where Islamic extremist influence was strongest. This explicit political accommodation, followed by a military withdrawal from South Waziristan, gave the pro-Taliban forces allied with al Qaeda in the region a free hand to recruit and train militants for war in Afghanistan.
Yet another deal with the Islamic extremists in 2006 strengthened the pro-Taliban forces even further.
But Bush chose to reward Musharraf by designating Pakistan a "Major Non-NATO Ally" in 2004 and by agreeing to sell the Pakistani Air Force 36 advanced F-16 fighter planes. Prior to that, Pakistan had been denied U.S. military technology for a decade.
In July 2007, a National Intelligence Estimate concluded that al Qaeda's new "safe haven" was in Pakistan's tribal areas and that the terrorist organisation had reconstituted its "homeland attack capability" there. That estimate ended the fiction that the Musharraf regime was firmly committed to combating al Qaeda in Pakistan.
Had the Bush administration accurately portrayed Musharraf's policies rather than hiding them, it would not have avoided the al Qaeda safe haven there. But it would have facilitated a more realistic debate about the real options available for U.S. policy.
*Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam", was published in 2006.
lunes, agosto 18, 2008
miércoles, agosto 13, 2008
lunes, agosto 11, 2008
On March 11 a new documentary was aired on French television - a documentary that Americans won’t ever see. The gigantic bio-tech corporation Monsanto is threatening to destroy the agricultural biodiversity which has served mankind for thousands of years
sábado, agosto 02, 2008