Chapter 7

Chapter Seven – Undermining The Machine (Part 1)

The death of Rachel Corrie on 16 March 2003 was tragic but inevitable. I realise that discussing many aspects of Rachel’s death, crushed by a bulldozer operated by a member of the Israeli Defense Forces while attempting to prevent the demolition of a pharmacist’s house in the Palestinian town of Rafah, is contentious; but discussion is important because amongst the political and ideological toing and froing is little mention that it was bound to happen. Immersed in the intense and often dangerous work of the International Solidarity Movement, Rachel Corrie’s time in the Gaza Strip was a genuine expression of empathy with the plight of ordinary Palestinian people caught up in a horrific situation. That the work of the ISM also involved “embracing Palestinian militants, even suicide bombers, as freedom fighters, [adopting] a risky policy of ‘direct action’ [including] entering military zones to interfere with the operations of Israeli soldiers”1 was part of the inevitability of Rachel’s death. But it was not the underlying reason…

Chapter Seven – Undermining The Machine (Part 2)

This is the bit that most publishers will want taken out. The reason will become clear very quickly. I don’t expect many people reading this will feel especially comfortable about what is to follow but it has to be written and you need to at least know why these actions are so vitally important for the future of humanity.

There is a close and incestuous relationship that keeps the industrial world functioning at a global scale. The three main players in this relationship are governments, corporations and the economic system. Two of those things are most definitely tangible, i.e. they can be described in physical terms; these two are the corporations, of which there are many, though only a relative few which wield genuine power, and the governments. The governments do not actually comprise the majority of politicians; it is the superstructure of government we are talking about: presidents, prime ministers, cabinet members, high-level advisors and spin-doctors, the judiciary, the military and the senior civil service make up the bulk of this. The economic system, while having tangible elements, such as trading floors and banks, is more ethereal. It is best described as a paradigm. It brings within its realm things such as policies and rules of operation; it forms part of our culture; it embraces belief systems, faith, the hearts and minds of society itself. Never underestimate the importance of the economy in civilized society…

Chapter Seven – Undermining The Machine (Part 3)

Good journalism comes at a price; the price is usually the career and possibly the life of the good journalist. In 2006, Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian journalist and human rights activist was shot four times whilst in her apartment. There is no doubt it was murder, but murder by whom? The case has never been resolved, nor is it ever likely to be because the apartment was in central Moscow and the investigation team were employed by the main suspect: the Russian government. Politkovskaya predicted her own death in a 2004 Guardian article:

The media promote official views. They call it “taking a state-friendly position”, meaning a position of approval of Vladimir Putin’s actions. The media don’t have a critical word to say about him. The same applies to the president’s personal friends, who happen to be the heads of FSB, the defence ministry and the interior ministry…

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