Wednesday, October 31, 2007


As the Iraq war stumbles into bloody nowhere, who - just what kind of madmen - could ramp up for yet another war, this time against Iran?

Seasoned journalist Seymour Hersh attempts to answer this question, in the Amnesty International 2007 Lecture, delivered in Dublin, Ireland on October 24th of this year. It is one of the most compelling speeches I've heard in months.

For those who've been away in outer space: Seymour Hersh has been reporting for 40 years. He exposed the 1968 massacre of Vietnamese villagers, mostly women and children, in My Lai, during the Vietnam War. More recently, it was Hersh and the New Yorker magazine, who revealed the torture of prisoners by the Americans, at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. In this speech, you will hear how those pictures were found. And the terrible price returning Iraq vetrans are paying. America will suffer with them.

The attached speech has been edited for radio - to bring a 76 minute speech down to 58 minutes. The main item removed is a detailed description of the My Lai massacre. That is available in the historical record, thanks to Seymour Hersh. I kept this version of the speech to more recent events. You can find the full speech, plus another 40 minutes of Q & A at: (You may have to "browse" the pages there to find it).

The 68% (or more) of Americans who totally oppose starting another war, with Iran, are wondering - who could do this? With his years of experience, Seymour Hersh gives us a compelling portrait of President Bush, as a captive to a cabal of Neo-Cons, who have gained control of the world's most powerful military power. Mere facts, Hersh says, have no impact on this President (and Vice-President). Their fixed world-view is made up. Bush, Hersh says, is "un-educatable."

But many of the professional diplomats, bureaucrats, and military people are opposed to an attack on Iran, and the occupation of Iraq. Knowing Hersh's record, they keep sending him insider tips, copies of documents, and frank assessments. Out of all those deep sources, Hersh takes us inside, for this Amnesty International Annual Lecture for 2007, at Dublin.

Listen to the speech by clicking the title above (wait a minute or two for the download), or get it anytime from our website:

Maybe I've used "must-listen" radio too often. But this really is required listening, for de-programming yourself from the mass media drumbeat for war. Then, you can act. Show up at the next anti-war demonstration!

One winter evening, I stood on a street corner, listening to an Iranian woman describe her life during the Iran-Iraq war, in the 1980's. How she listened for the whistle of the shells, and judged the pattern of explosions in her border town, before running with her kids to get them to school. They lived and slept in terror. Now in Canada, she is still afraid.

If you and I can do something, anything, to stop another generation from living under the fear of bombing and attacks, we deserve to live another day.

This radio-ready version of Hersh's speech has already been broadcast on dozens of alternative college and community radio stations. Ask you local station to play it. Get it on college radio, too!

I've re-sampled the original speech into a format that you can burn directly to a CD. Burn a stack of them, hand them out, DO SOMETHING! - before these madmen bomb again.

Alex Smith
Radio Ecoshock