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Freedom Next Time: Resisting the Empire Paperback – May 15 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; 1 edition (May 15 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781568583266
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568583266
  • ASIN: 1568583265
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #148,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Well-known journalist and filmmaker Pilger remains faithful to his decades-long quest to penetrate the citadel of political power and show that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes. Reminding readers that "if power was truly invincible, it would not fear the people so much as to expend vast resources trying to distract and deceive them," he surveys five countries where freedom has been deferred. In his first example, Pilger conducts a searing probe into the widely unrecognized fate of the Chagos islanders, who in 1971 were brutally expelled from their homeland through secretive and illegal actions by successive British administrations to make way for a massive American military base at Diego Garcia. Then he examines Israel, which he calls "the undisputed world champion violator of international law" and its brutal grip on the West Bank and Gaza. He also looks at India, a country in which, he argues, the "modern imperial cult of neo-liberalism" has led to increases in poverty. In South Africa, he shows, poverty is rife and whites still own most of the good land, and in Afghanistan, land mines, "gender apartheid" and despotism still reign supreme, despite the American-led "liberation." This highly informed, thoughtful and passionate work is as important a thread in the world's growing tapestry of political counternarratives as those of Dee Brown or Howard Zinn. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Imperial ambitions of the U.S and Britain have threatened aspirations for freedom in a variety of smaller nations, not just in the distant past but as recently as the 1960s through the current day, according to renowned journalist and filmmaker Pilger. The small island of Diego Garcia, in the Indian Ocean, was sold by the British to the American military in the 1960s, its inhabitants dumped in the slums of Mauritius, uncompensated and unrecognized. Recent court challenges revealed the ruthlessness of the two powers, but the island remains the third largest military base for the U.S and its launching pad for attacks against the Middle East. Pilger draws on meticulous research and interviews to uncover the human cost of the skulduggery of the imperial powers in Diego Garcia as well as Afghanistan, Iraq, South Africa, and Palestine as the U.S and Britain have heartlessly put their interests ahead of those of citizens of weaker nations. The U.S and Britain have, according to Pilger, crushed hopes for freedom even as they have espoused a belief in spreading democracy. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 6 2006
Format: Hardcover
"This book is about empire". With this opening eye-grabber, John Pilger has once again risen above the mundane pattern of today's "mainstream" journalism. The book is an account of how the US is forging its global empire, aided and abetted by such allies as Great Britain and Israel. And that's not counting the client rulers of nations like Afghanistan and South Africa. The edifice is "global capitalism" supported by buttresses of military might and bearing giant billboards displaying the shibboleths "freedom" and "democratic ideals". With scathing revelations delivered with strictly expressive prose, Pilger relates his findings with almost surgical precision.

He structures the book around five nations. The first, even after all these years, is likely to be beyond many reader's ken. It is a little island group in the Indian Ocean - the Chagos Islands. Inhabited for generations by the descendents of former slaves, they were summarily and illegally deported from their home to make way for a massive US Air Force base. The base provides a launching site for long distance bombers to reach anywhere in Asia. Two thousand people - those that haven't died from "sadness" have pursured a legal challenge to be returned to their home. The High Court of Britain has accepted their plea, but under US pressure, says Pilger, the British have ignored the ruling.

From the Indian Ocean, Pilger travels to Palestine, one of "freedom's" most shocking contradictions. Displaced from their ancient homelands, thousands of Palestinians were herded into grubby refugee camps. Those that weren't slaughtered by the invaders at the beginning of the occupation, that is.
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By Jeremy G on July 13 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good book. Definitely recommended.
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By Soula on Sept. 16 2013
Format: Paperback
Very insightful read. Brought a new perspective on controversial topics. Definitely recommend it to those who appreciate different points of view.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
93 of 97 people found the following review helpful
A Confronting Read June 29 2006
By C. Middleton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This text was a difficult if not an extremely painful read. Man's inhumanity to man expressed in this book truly goes beyond the pale. We have entered an Orwellian stage in our history, where world dominance is justified as paving the way for democracy, maintaining our `freedom' through combating `terror', where the true victims are the innocent, the silent oppressed, euphemised as `collateral damage'.

John Pilger has been chronicling crimes against humanity for over 35 years, his first most ground breaking story being the Indonesian invasion of East Timor, which was given the green light by President Ford and Henry Kissinger, and supplied weapons by the British. Thousands of innocents were slaughtered, including two Australian television news crews as they were attempting to report this illegal action to the world and paid the ultimate price. The oppression in East Timor continues today. In Freedom Next Time, Pilger examines five examples of crimes against humanity and the effects of economic globalization, where the elites are getting richer and the poor slowly vanishing from the radar screens, categorized as "non-persons".

In chapter 1, Stealing a Nation, Pilger describes the unlawful deportation of an entire people, the island of Diego Garcia, part of the Chagos archipelago, which constitutes the Saloman Islands and Edgemont Island, situated exactly between Africa and Asia. A secret deal between the British and American governments, the British sold Diego Garcia to the Americans to make way for a military base. Over two thousand Chagossian's were deported to Mauritius, dropped off with barely the cloths on their backs, currently living in abject poverty without compensation from the British government despite being British citizens. What is startling is the massive cover-up by the government and the silence of most journalists over three decades, allowing (them) to get away with it.

In chapter 2, The Last Taboo, chronicles the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Pilger devotes a lot of space to this subject, giving a well-rounded assessment of the `conflict', revealing terrorism on both sides of the equation. One point that should be stressed is that Israel is the leading country in denying and transgressing against numerous UN resolutions. One resolution being the right of the Palestinians to return to their homelands. Between 1948 and 2000, Israel has defied the UN and the International community 135 times, never seen before in UN history.

The effect of economic globalism in India is examined showing the widening gap between rich and poor that continues at an alarming rate.

Pilger also analysis South Africa since the end of Apartheid; having been banned from entering the country for thirty years, returns to discover that economically not much has changed, and those that committed unspeakable atrocities, have essentially gotten away with it. Again, a few are benefiting economically while the majority remain in poverty, dieing like flies from starvation and disease.

The last chapter, Liberating Afghanistan, is an appalling situation of lies, death and destruction. To say the least, Afghanistan is a convoluted mess. According to Pilger, the Afghanis' felt safer under the Taliban regime than the numerous warlords that are currently creating havoc across the country. The unreported innocent deaths from American bombing (10,000) are a terrible travesty beyond words. However, the true purpose of the "forgotten war", which has been reported by many others, including Bob Woodward of the Washington Post and author Gore Vidal, is the `oil and gas junta' as the oil lobby in Washington is now called, building a pipeline through to the oil and gas rich Caspian sea. This was the true purpose and the prize has been won. This is an example of incestuous collusion between corporations and government. Who is part of this deal? - a consortium of Enron, Amoco, British Petroleum, Chevron, Exxon and Mobil. Dick Cheney, former Chairman of Halliburton, James Baker, former secretary of State under Bush senior and Condoleezza Rice, once vice-president of Chevron Oil. Does anyone smell a rat?

This a hard book to read as man's inhumanity to man, the appalling lies and silence from the mainstream media, and the amount of innocent deaths around the globe for the betterment of the few, is hard to take. Pilger has never held back with the truth, despite numerous death threats over his career, banned from countries and standing up to those that perpetrate these crimes against humanity.

As a reader of Pilger for some years now, this is his best book to date.

Highly recommended.
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Broken promises Oct. 6 2006
By Stephen A. Haines - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"This book is about empire". With this opening eye-grabber, John Pilger has once again risen above the mundane pattern of today's "mainstream" journalism. The book is an account of how the US is forging its global empire, aided and abetted by such allies as Great Britain and Israel. And that's not counting the client rulers of nations like Afghanistan and South Africa. The edifice is "global capitalism" supported by buttresses of military might and bearing giant billboards displaying the shibboleths "freedom" and "democratic ideals". With scathing revelations delivered with strictly expressive prose, Pilger relates his findings with almost surgical precision.

He structures the book around five nations. The first, even after all these years, is likely to be beyond many reader's ken. It is a little island group in the Indian Ocean - the Chagos Islands. Inhabited for generations by the descendents of former slaves, they were summarily and illegally deported from their home to make way for a massive US Air Force base. The base provides a launching site for long distance bombers to reach anywhere in Asia. Two thousand people - those that haven't died from "sadness" have pursured a legal challenge to be returned to their home. The High Court of Britain has accepted their plea, but under US pressure, says Pilger, the British have ignored the ruling.

From the Indian Ocean, Pilger travels to Palestine, one of "freedom's" most shocking contradictions. Displaced from their ancient homelands, thousands of Palestinians were herded into grubby refugee camps. Those that weren't slaughtered by the invaders at the beginning of the occupation, that is. Pilger describes Israeli racist policies and their implementation, killing children, usurping land and water supplies and blockading the population from medical care. Israelis, he notes, often refer to their de facto prisoners in dismissive terms, allowing the Israeli army to invade and crush homes and farms. Orchards, a major agricultural factor in the Palestinian community, seem to be particular targets. Pilger explains how the US has built up Israel's military to the point where it is the world's third most powerful. Its major task is to keep Palestinian freedom in check, as well as smashing the economic base of a people with no state and no means of protecting themselves. Is it any wonder, he asks, that acts of desperation have resulted.

Pilger makes a rather swift pass through India to describe how "global capitalism" has intensified the separation between rich and poor. A few urban centres maintain a facade of prosperity, securely enclosed within well-protected facilities. From these sites, Indians who have transformed themselves into IT "help desk" call centres, provide "support" for US workers unfamiliar with their office computers. Outside those high-tech enclaves, much of the remaining population suffers in grinding poverty. The "democratic" promise of Ghandi's struggle has been overthrown by leaders eager to follow what they deem the US model of "free enterprise". The process has economically divided the nation worse than it ever was under the Raj.

The last two segments of Pilger's account vividly demonstrate the dual primary thrusts of empire - economic and military. South Africa, suffering for half a century under the truncheon of apartheid, emerged with a grand promise of freedom under Nelson Mandela. Finally freed after a generation within the walls of Robben Island prison, he exemplified what a crusader for freedom could achieve. The achievement proved hollow as Pilger graphically describes the Truth and Reconciliation hearings he attended. Police and army thugs, whose ranks reached to the highest level went free, absolved from punishment. Worse, none of the victims of their brutality received a jot of compensation. Far worse, was the selling out of South Africa's resources to the new wave of foreign investors from the UK and US. Part of the investment deal left any regulations about miner's safety in limbo or worse. Another part was the granting of mineral rights on any parcel of land the firms chose. Displacement of the population by uncaring capitalists remains an ongoing process, Pilger declares.

Finally, the military arm of imperialism exhibits the most glaring hypocrisies in Afghanistan. Pilger recounts the sordid history of British rule, Soviet invasion and, finally, the US vengence against innocent people for the World Trade Centre attacks. It makes gut-wrenching reading. Villages, single homes and people in the open have been attacked by high-speed bombers and helicopters. Once airily described as eliminating "terrorists", now the handing over of power to war-lords, has demonstrated to Afghanis who the real "terrorists" are. Confronting US officials with the fact that three times the number of those killed on 9/11, Pilger was simply dismissed by those who didn't want to hear the statistics. Yet, the numbers and policies are damning, but the US public remains generally unaware of how many have died - indirectly killed by taxpayers, Pilger reminds us.

This is a book that can stir people to anger. Pilger may not wish his readers to be angry, but he wants them to be informed. If you can close this book without feeling shame, then you are lucky. Or perhaps you should return to the first page and read it again. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Amazing June 13 2008
By D. Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A great book from a great man; this is a must-read for anyone truly concerned with some of today's "global" issues. Moreover, it also serves as a crash course in what truly constitutes Western media and government. Propaganda and willful ignorance are not allowed in this text.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Integrity Demands a Five, One of Three in My Review Trilogy Sept. 6 2009
By Robert David STEELE Vivas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the third of three books by John Pilger (he has written others, I had to be selective) that I ordered and have read this long-week-end. The others:
2002 The New Rulers of the World
2005 Tell Me No Lies: Investigative Journalism That Changed the World (29 authors, edited)

Amazon now buries my reviews and has deleted over 350 of my images to delete the twelve that show Bush-Obama sharing the same face. You can see all of my reviews by category (something Amazon does not offer) with external links (something Amazon does not allow), as well as the deleted images in my Graphic section at the Public Intelligence Blog. I will continue to post reviews on Amazon, but they have lost their integrity and my contributions can be better accessed at the Public Intelligence Blog (all with links back to Amazon).

I read this book with the advantage of having first gone through the two listed above. C. Middleton has summarized the chapters so I will not do that. Here are my fly-leaf notes for those that follow my reviews (Amazon deletes votes from my 500+ "fans" something else that rankles).

Chapter 1. The entire nation of British CITIZENS that once inhabited the island group known as Diego Garcia was destroyed by US-UK secret agreement without Parliamentary knowledge. This is a crime against humanity, a genocide. The US Executive lied to the US Congress about the matter.

Chapter 2. The author damns Israel as a Zionist actor (not to be confused with the goodness of the Jewish faith) and accuses them with an array of facts for their destruction of an entire society and is archival history (both official records and cultural works). By this account Israel (20% of whose budget is funded by US taxpayers) has expelled over one million Palestinians while committing constant conscioius atrocities against those who remain. My stomach is turned by the passing account of Israeli occupying soldiers defacating everywhere EXCEPT in the working toilets. The author honors Yaffa Yarkoni and notes that Israeli historians are stirring and may be on the verge of doing honest history. He notes that there is satravation everywhere and calls for a global boycott of Israel such as helped lead to the end of apartheid once US policy was forced to acknowledge public concerns. I agree, and I also feel that the US taxpayer should demand an end to ALL military assistance in the Middle East, an end to all US funds being spent on Israel, on arming Arabs, and on the occupation of Iraq.

Chapter 3 addresses India, which may well be the most complicated "nation-state" on the planet, and laments the growing gap between the elites and the masses. One tidbit: 40 people out of 200,000 applicants are accepted into the Indian IT advanced placment program. The author suggests that Indian cities could be on the verge of exploding.

Chapter 4 covers South Africa after the ANC victory and what stays with me is the ANC sell-out of its people, in essence increasing wealth of the whites by 15% while wealth of the larger black population has decreased by 19%. Just as Obama in the USA does not really represent any gain for people of color--he is a sell-out to Wall Street just as Bradley, Clinton, and others have been--so also this chapter suggets that the ANC has been a sell-out to the mining interests and international investors whose demands have been met such that South Africa's wealth is being monetized by foreigners and not for the benefit of the larger public.

On page 247 I learn of and am impressed by, here I quote from the author:

Ubantu is a subtle concept from the Nguni languaes that says a person's humanity is expressed through empathy and solidarity with others; through community and standing together. A Xhosa proberb is "Ubantu ungamntu ngabanye abantu" -- "People are people thorugh other people." I have a low social IQ and am late to the concepts of appreciative inquiry and deliberative dialog including citizen wisdom councils, but this strikes me as so powerful, so authentic, that it merits special attention.

The last chapter on Afghanistan simply makes me sad. I have reviewed many books regarding our imperial incursions into both Afghanistan and Iraq, and the words facade and fraud from the author's telling resonate. We took opium from zero to 80% of the world's supply there, we backed a drug-addicted president whose brother is now the top opium dealer on the planet (working closely with Mussaref and the ISI in Pakistan where the opium is converted into #4 heroin). I am just sick with all that has been done "in our name" for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the public interest and everything to do with the enrichment of a few at the expense of the many.

Here are eight other books I recommend, four negative, four positive:

War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier
The Fifty-Year Wound: How America's Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders

All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity (BK Currents (Hardcover))
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence and the Will of the People
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress

I pray for the restoration of the Republic Of, By, and For We the People. What our government does in our name is neither moral nor rational--merely corrupt.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A truly shocking and vitally important expose March 20 2008
By Gordon Eldridge - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book gets to the very heart of the way injustice is perpetrated in the world. In the best traditions of investigative journalism, Pilger examines in depth a number of ongoing situations in the world involving exploitation and injustice. The first of these relates to the plight group of islanders evicted from their Chagos island home using blatant deceit and brute force and given so little compensation that they were consigned to a life of penury in Mauritius. Why? So the British could give their American allies an island paradise as a new military base. The fact that most of us have never even heard of the Chagos islanders demonstrates the complicity of the world media in selectively reporting the news we often naively assume to have at least a modicum of impartiality.

The true shock of the book comes with the following chapters, however, where we are systematically shown the perspectives of those who have suffered most in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Afghanistan and since the end of the apartheid regime in South Africa. Did you think the average black South African has more opportunities to get ahead since the end of apartheid? or that the average Afghan woman is much better off since the ousting of the Taliban? I did - but completely erroneously as it turns out.

Pilger combines a concise summary of the facts with vivid snapshots of the situation on the ground in each location. He gives us excerpts from interviews with the victims that allow the reader to get a very personal perspective and juxtaposes these with excerpts from interviews with those responsible for the decisions that brought about the suffering. The combination is powerful and enlightening.

If I were to criticize the book it would be to say firstly that the chapter in India does not have the depth of the other chapters and adds little to the book. Secondly, Pilger very occasionally commits the same sin of telling only part of the truth that he accuses other journalists of. For example, he relates that the US has intervened 72 times in the affairs of other nations, including the overthrow of democratically elected social democracies such as in Guatemala, Brazil, Iran and Chile. I doubt that some of those governments would really have qualified as having been democratically elected by the standards that Pilger himself would apply to democracy. To be fair, this is a rare occurrence in the book and does not in any way detract from the substance of what Pilger has to say.

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