(Chris Hedges’s column appeared on Truthdig, 5/16. He “has been a foreign correspondent for nearly two decades for The NewYork Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor and National Public Radio. Hedges was a member of the team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for The New York Times coverage of global terrorism, and he received the 2002 Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. Hedges is the author of the bestseller American Fascists and National Book Critics Circle finalist for War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. He is a Senior Fellow at The Nation Institute and a Lannan Literary Fellow and has taught at Columbia University, New York University and Princeton University.” He also wrote the foreword for Acts of War: Iraq and Afghanistan in Seven Plays (above). View Chris Hedges’s new book from Nation Books: The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/World-As-Dispatches-Human-Progress/dp/156858640X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1305818244&sr=8-1 Copy based on a Simon and Schuster bio.)
The moral philosopher Cornel West, if Barack Obama’s ascent to power was a morality play, would be the voice of conscience. Rahm Emanuel, a cynical product of the Chicago political machine, would be Satan. Emanuel in the first scene of the play would dangle power, privilege, fame and money before Obama. West would warn Obama that the quality of a life is defined by its moral commitment, that his legacy will be determined by his willingness to defy the cruel assault by the corporate state and the financial elite against the poor and working men and women, and that justice must never be sacrificed on the altar of power.