Chris Hedges, senior fellow at the Nation Institute; former foreign correspondent for the New York Times; Pulitzer Prize in 2002. His latest book is "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt".
In his book "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt" Chris Hedges describes "sacrifice zones" in the U.S. which have been exposed to unlimited economic exploitation: fromer industrial centres like Camden, New Jersey which is one of the poorest and most violent cities in the country or the coal mines of West Virginia where nature and commmunities have been devastated. The liberal institutions such as the Democratic Party have betrayed the American people and sold their interests to corporate capital. The Clinton administration was responsible for the deregulation of financial markets, the hand over of public airwaves to private corporations and the Northamerican Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - "the hardest attack on workers' interests since 1948". Further revolts like the Occupy movement are to be expected.
There is an undercurrent of violence in American history from the Native American genocide and slavery to the wars in Irak and Afganistan says Chris Hedges. But these dark sides of history have been eliminated from the national myth of the U.S. Native Americans are still marginalized and socially deprivate today. Native Americans have a life expectency of 48 years in some areas - which is the lowest among industrialized countries. The prison system in the U.S. with 2.2 million prisonners - most of them people of colour - is meant to control the rebellious class of Afro-Americans who have a long experience with white supremacy.
The attack on civil rights under the Obama adminstration is even worse than under George W. Bush says Chris Hedges. With the escalation of drone attacks and the White House "kill list" American citizens can be killed without trial. The espionage act is used to silence whistleblowers as in the case of former CIA-employee Kiriakou who has been sentenced to 30 months in prison after exposing war crimes. Under the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) citizens can be detained without due process for an infinite time. As the law applies to journalists as well, Hedges has sued the Obama adminstration - and was proven right by District Judge Katherine B. Forrest.