Posted on Nov 3, 2011
Josh Scheer: Also, [in] bonobo society, women are the leaders; they’re the ones who empower.
Melanie Butler: That’s right.
Josh Scheer: They use violence, though, but they’re—I studied this; this is one of my favorite things, so you’re going to get me off on a tangent here—but yeah, bonobos handle their problems with sexuality and not as much violence. And then obviously, chimps, we know, are very violent.
Melanie Butler: Bonobos have a lot of sex. [Laughs]
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Jodie Evans: Josh, let me talk, because this is so important. We wouldn’t be having this movement, we wouldn’t have the voices we have, if we didn’t have the opportunity of KPFK to tell the truth, to tell the story that’s not being told; to [make] the voices and the stories available to those of us who are hungry for them—what the dead mainstream media that doesn’t tell the truth, and doesn’t reflect reality, without KPFK and the amazing voices that have been there nonstop. The courage of some of these voices, the willingness to dig into the story and pull up the truth, is invaluable. And everyone should be supporting KPFK if they want democracy.
Josh Scheer: Well, thank you guys so much. And again, we’d love to have you both on to give live reports from both New York and Occupy Oakland, Occupy wherever you guys are, because I know you’re everywhere. And we’d love to hear it, because this is the biggest movement that we’ve seen in a long, long time, and it’s not going anywhere.
Jodie Evans: Well, and just the other thing is, L.A. really needs more women. L.A. … we’ve just gotten donated a big tent … we have our women’s circles that talk about manarchy. We need more women to be coming down to L.A. and not as looky-loos, but to get engaged and be supportive and bring the skills that you have into the women’s circles there. Thank you.
Peter Scheer: This is Truthdig Radio. I’m Peter Scheer … that interview was Joshua Scheer speaking with Code Pink’s Jodie Evans and Melanie Butler. Coming up on the show, we have a discussion with Tariq Ali and we reveal the winner of our Power of Protest Music Contest. But first, Oliver Stone speaks with Truthdig’s Kasia Anderson about his new book of interviews with Tariq Ali and also about Occupy Wall Street.
Kasia Anderson: The creative collaboration between director Oliver Stone and one-man political think tank Tariq Ali began not three years ago, but they’ve already produced three joint projects spanning multiple continents and eras.
Stone gave a talk at Book Soup in Los Angeles recently to introduce their latest venture, the book “On History: Tariq Ali and Oliver Stone in Conversation,” a deceptively slim volume that delivers a hefty dose of historical analysis and commentary. “On History” is the print-based byproduct of hours of interviews Stone conducted with Ali—covering everything from the Russian Revolution to World War II, the Soviet Union and post-9/11 America—for two documentaries. The first, “South of the Border,” came out in 2009, and the second, a 13-part series with a title that promises more of the sort of provocative stuff Stone is known for, “The Untold History of the United States,” is slated for a 2012 release on Showtime.
During a Q&A session at the bookstore, Stone talked up the Showtime series, pointing out how “we don’t get that point of view, certainly not on television”—at least from where he sits.
He was careful to keep the spotlight on Tariq Ali during the discussion, but he let his own opinion be known about some timely topics that he believes are either missing from the mainstream media’s headlines and sound bites or covered in a way that serves their corporate interests.
Stone slammed Obama’s picks of the Wall Street litter for his economic advisory team, issuing a warning to the president that “If you’re going to enable people who are rotten, you’re going to become rotten after a while.” He was particularly critical of what he called the “self-delusional” mainstream media for their failure to tell the full story about the diplomatic impasse that the U.S. and Iraq reached over the Status of Forces Agreement, and particularly American troops’ immunity from Iraqi law—the sticking point that ultimately became the deal-breaker that dictated Obama’s withdrawal timeline. “There’s an arrogance to our media that we have a right to do these things,” he said .“The only issue is how this will affect Obama’s re-election campaign.”
Stone took a moment to sit down with Truthdig to talk about his book with Ali and the places his own professional and political instincts have taken him.
Oliver Stone: I love the idea [that] we grow up and we get the official story that the media keeps giving us over and over again. I think Tariq undercuts that, undermines it; and he does it pretty boldly. And he just says boom, boom, boom—he goes into the Russian Revolution and how that really terrified Europe and the United States, and how that set up so many issues that followed from the consequences of World War I, which is the Great War, you know. But we go into that, into the history a lot more, but Tariq does just this much; just give them a taste, and if they want to know more, let them go back and read more about this. But Tariq’s written many, many books; he is the Noam Chomsky of England in a way; he keeps turning them out, right? One after the other. He just did one on Obama; this was about a year ago. He had done some investigation in Chicago, and came to the conclusion that [Obama] was very much a product of the Chicago political machine. Which was before anybody was talking about his background, and it seems like he was looking at Obama a little bit more objectively than some of the starry-eyed media here.
Kasia Anderson: Did he change your mind about anything about American history in the process of these discussions?
Oliver Stone: Well, see, a lot of his answers are coming from my questions. There are so many things—Pakistan; the concept of communism in France and Italy; his view of Trotsky, of course, as opposed to Stalin; his view of when the Russian Revolution was betrayed. Very strong on Third World. And I remember the [Bandung], what the 1955 conference meant, and above all the murder of the Lumumba, as well as the betrayal by the United States in the 1950s of the Third World. … What we did in Pakistan in 1958. Nobody talks about it, but look where we are with Pakistan today. Go back to ’58, you know, we have a lot to do with the coup d’etat there. And that was separate from the coup d’etat in Baghdad in ’58; there was another one too. … History is littered with minefields of truth.
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