What you need to know about humans is that they are dicks. And if you give them any power their dickness prevails over everything else.
John Pilger wrote this book in 2006. It’s about different governments (US, UK, South African, Israeli) being total, complete assholes. If you look up each and every story from this volume to see what new happened between 2006 and now you will only learn about further miseries and acts of oppression. Except for Afghanistan - you won’t find much about Afghanistan because everybody just got really tired of Afghanistan and their shit so they moved on and they are now busy thinking up new, ingenious ways they can fuck up a country even more and even quicker.
I wanted Pilger to stop. Or at least give me some one, tiny positive story, some heart-warming, uplifting, chicken soup for the soul. But no, not Pilger. He is not going to dig up some one sappy story to make you feel better about the world you live in, about your government and what it does in your name.
Do you know what happens when US government needs a British Island for a military base? The UK government goes and takes all the people who have lived there for 200 years, picks them up and dumps them in the slums of Mauritius. Just like that. And they kill all their dogs first because the Americans would like their island ‘sanitized’. Then UK government refuses to let these people go back to their island. It’s now a military base. The UK government says, we would love you to go back there, sadly the island is inhabitable, so we can’t let you do that. Because we care. The Americans in their military base manage on the island just fine, despite its ‘uninhabitability’. Actually the very reason they wanted it was because it’s so amazing. Even tsunamis don’t touch it.
The Chagossians took UK to court, and won. But what’s that to the UK government, it can always get the Queen to strike any sentence, so that’s what they did. Ha ha, take that Chagossians. And here is a better idea, let’s create a National Park on the island to preserve all those important species of birds or something. And let’s have all the lefties sign petitions to create that natural reserve, ha ha, that will be funny. Stupid lefties. See, where your love for the planet got you? Now , with your signature we made sure Chagossians will never return. Of course, the Americans and their bombers can stay, they don’t disturb the birds, or was it fish?
And this was just the first chapter. The first mellow chapter. That was a warm-up. Get yourself ready for Israel, India, Afghanistan and South Africa. You will want to throw up by the end of it.
I have notes, highlights, quotes and comments. I could take you through the whole book. But I won’t. Because maybe then you won’t read it. And you absolutely must read it.
I don’t how John Pilger does it. How can he just go on, research a book after book like that, go and talk to all these people, hear their stories, then try to confront those at the top about it, listen to their smug come-backs, their arrogance. How does he not lose the will to live?
I know this review is not the eloquent and measured report you have learnt to expect from me (ha, ha), but seriously, this book, seriously… years of anger management therapy down the drain.