Norman Solomon


American Journalist, Antiwar Activist, Media Critic and Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives

Author Quotes

To be silent about war agenda is consent.

A terrible formula has taken hold: warfare state + corporate digital power = surveillance state.

It's a big problem when there's not disclosure. I'm glad you opened this up. And I wouldn't want any viewers of this program to be left with the impression that somehow General Electric is an environmentally conscious company. On the contrary, they have a 30-year history of refusing and actually fighting against efforts to make them clean up the Hudson River, which GE fouled with terrible quantities of horrific PCBs, other rivers as well. People told they can't fish in the Hudson River. General Electric still lobbying to not have to clean up. General Electric, even today -- and this report is very timely -- General Electric is lobbying to get Congress to pass $18 billion in taxpayer-backed loan guarantees for a huge GE product which is General Electric components for nuclear power plants. So we should not be fooled in any way by efforts to greenwash General Electric or any other company.

War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

A vision of the future that I have is not particularly optimistic. It is certainly not fatalistic. All of this is up for grabs. The momentum that we?re up against, in terms of the military-industrial complex and all the rest of it, can be counteracted. I believe ? not to be Hallmark card about this ? in the human spirit. The human spirit can?t be killed, but it can be sedated. And we need to be able to shake off that sedation. It means wake up, get past the psychic numbing, help each other to do that, and organize and organize.

It's kind of like going to a store and there's fifty brands of cigarettes, they're mostly owned by three different corporations. You do have the Internet, but Jupiter Media Matrix just did a new study finding that 47% of the minutes spent on the World Wide Web by people in the United States are on sites owned by three corporations.

We desperately need a substantive national debate on U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan and Pakistan. While the Obama administration says that the problems of the region cannot be solved by military means, the basic approach is reliance on heightened military means.

All three branches of the U.S. government are now largely under the control of forces with stunning contempt for basic legal processes required by the Bill of Rights. Mere words and mild reforms from members of Congress may mollify the gullible, but only a direct challenge to the Obama administration?s policies can rise to the level of the current historic imperative to restore civil liberties in the United States.

Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America?s Warfare State.

We have lived, we have been incubated by a warfare state for five, six decades. And the effects of that are terribly pernicious. Martin Luther King talked about the "spiritual death" ? his phrase, the "spiritual death" ? that accompanies a society which year after year spends more on military defense than on social uplift. That was 40 years ago. What are the effects then of that spiritual death? And so, we have a chance to counteract those sort of dangerous, horrible trends with such terrible results, but we need to activate ourselves to do that.

As the largest Web retailer in the world, Amazon has built its business model on the secure accumulation and analysis of massive personal data. The firm?s Amazon Web Services division gained the CIA contract amid fervent hopes that the collaboration will open up vast new vistas for the further melding of surveillance and warfare.

Nearly 96 hours after the Observer had reported it, I called Times deputy foreign editor Alison Smale and asked why not. 'We would normally expect to do our own intelligence reporting,' Smale replied. She added that 'we could get no confirmation or comment.' In other words, U.S. intelligence officials refused to confirm or discuss the memo -- so the Times did not see fit to report on it.

What has not changed is the profusion of corporations making a killing from the warfare state in tandem with Washington?s quest for geopolitical positioning, access to fossil fuels and other raw materials ? and access to markets for U.S.-based industries ranging from financial services to fast food. Let?s give credit to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman for candor as he wrote approvingly in his book The Lexus and the Olive Tree: ?The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald?s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the U.S. Air Force F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley?s technologies to flourish is called the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.?

But the U.S. Record, as assessed by independent organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, is reprehensible.

Realities on the ground in the Middle East are undermining the fantasy-based policymakers in Washington. So, the Israeli iron fist, backed up by Washington, can do little to sweep away the electoral results from Palestinian votes that reflect actual opinions among Palestinian people.

What is critical to me is that the process is a two-way street.

The character of the Bush administration is such that the U.S. delegation to the United Nations will -- in practice -- indignantly refuse to recognize a single standard of human rights whenever such a standard would put the U.S. record in a negative light.

Charities and other nonprofits are struggling to cope with deep economic wounds that have been festering for years. The dire consequences are far more widespread than private agencies can possibly heal.

Only government has the capacity to provide economic remedies for social distress of this magnitude. But government is failing.

Uncle Sam is making bad choices. For instance, policymakers are squandering money — and taking lives — in a war effort that costs about $1 million per year for each U.S. soldier now in Afghanistan. The failure of Congress to enact a proposed one-quarter of 1 percent transaction tax on Wall Street is depriving the U.S. Treasury of $150 billion a year. And so it goes.

Our national funding priorities are out of whack. We must change them to revive our communities.

The boast that the United States is now the world's only superpower has a grim undertow in the area of human rights; no one can tell Washington what to do or not do, no matter how egregious its cruelties.

The policies are matters of priorities. And the priorities of the Bush White House are clear. For killing in Iraq, they spare no expense. For protecting and sustaining life, the cupboards go bare The problem is not incompetence. It's inhumanity, cruelty and greed.

The country’s largest media institutions operate on a basis of enormous respect for presidential power. Overall, mass media outlets restrain the momentum of denunciations lest they appear to create instability for the Republic.

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American Journalist, Antiwar Activist, Media Critic and Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives