Tag Archives | Medea Benjamin

US Embassy in Egypt ignored repeated calls about Medea Benjamin


This is Chicago-style payback for Medea Benjamin mocking US officials at hearings in DC. Let Egyptian thugs break her bones then have the embassy ignore the phone calls, and do nothing while she writhes in pain. They didn’t even feign concern.

AMY GOODMAN: Did the U.S. embassy representative ever come to see you at the airport?

MEDEA BENJAMIN: No. Some of the delegates, including Ann Wright, who had already arrived for the Gaza delegation, had been calling the embassy non-stop. The CodePink people in D.C. were calling the embassy non-stop. They were always saying, “They’re supposed to show up. They’re supposed to show up.” They never showed up. I was on the tarmac. The Turkish airline was forced to take me, but we delayed an hour while they were debating what to do. There were about 20 men there. And the embassy never showed up the entire time.

AMY GOODMAN: And how long were you held, that the U.S. embassy, that’s supposed to protect U.S. citizens, never showed up?

MEDEA BENJAMIN: Well, I was held from 8:30 in the evening until the next day at about 11:00 a.m. They—as I said, we put in so many calls. And they even knew then, when I was attacked and I was in excruciating pain and wanted their help to get to a hospital. They still didn’t show up then. And so, they were missing in action the entire time.

Egypt customs breaks Medea Benjamin’s arm. White House silent


Will the White House file a protest to Egypt over its thuggish violence against a US citizen? Oh wait, Medea Benjamin is a peace activist and was going to a conference in Gaza. Silly me, of course the US will say nothing.

Calling from Istanbul, Benjamin gave the following statement: “I was brutally assaulted by Egyptian police, who never said what I was being accused of. When the authorities came into the cell to deport me, two men threw me to the ground, stomped on my back, pulled my shoulder out of its socket and handcuffed me so that my injured arm was twisted around and my wrists began to bleed. I was then forced to sit between the two men who attacked me on the plane ride from Cairo to Istanbul, and I was (and still am) in terrible pain the whole time.” Doctors in the Cairo airport said she was not fit to travel because of her injury, but the authorities forced her to board anyways.

Good for Chris Hedges. But can we do better?

I applaud Chris Hedges.  After years of writing apocolyptic, often hauntingly accurate and incisive columns for TruthDig, there’s finally a sign that he is going to take tangible action and, as they say, put his money where his mouth is.

On Dec. 16 I will join Daniel Ellsberg, Medea Benjamin, Ray McGovern and several military veteran activists outside the White House to protest the futile and endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of us will, after our rally in Lafayette Park, attempt to chain ourselves to the fence outside the White House. It is a pretty good bet we will all spend a night in jail.

Hedges presents the argument that futile resistance is to be celebrated, it is the source of hope, and that it is what must be done.

Hope has a cost. Hope is not comfortable or easy. Hope requires personal risk. Hope does not come with the right attitude. Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is an action. Hope is doing something. The more futile, the more useless, the more irrelevant and incomprehensible an act of rebellion is, the vaster and the more potent hope becomes. Hope never makes sense. Hope is weak, unorganized and absurd. Hope, which is always nonviolent, exposes in its powerlessness the lies, fraud and coercion employed by the state. Hope does not believe in force. Hope knows that an injustice visited on our neighbor is an injustice visited on us all. Hope posits that people are drawn to the good by the good. This is the secret of hope’s power and it is why it can never finally be defeated.

Yet, and perhaps I am just unwilling to entirely embrace Hedge’s bleak and desperate worldview, it seems that something is lost in Hedges’ vision of hope.  Why would we desire to be unorganized?  Why would we chain ourselves to a fence, an act of symbolism, rather than sit in the middle of a road and stop traffic, which forces others to take notice?  Hedges’ argument is based on the idea that we are, as a society, beyond the point of no return in terms of corporate dominance, ecological destruction, the dominance of the war machine, the corruption of our politics, and similar themese.  But even if that is 100 percent true, doesn’t it make more sense to resist in ways, which can be equally nourishing of the soul, that have more of an impact than symbolism alone?

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