A veteran journalist who broke the stories of the My Lai massacre, the expansion of the Vietnam war, and the torture at Abu Ghraib, and who has continued through his long-established contacts in the US military to poke around in dark places, Seymour Hersh may still strike fear into Americans with bad consciences. But now, he suggests, they don't even feel guilty about supporting tyranny, fomenting violence and lying to allies, the Congress and the American people.
The New York Times castigated the Bush administration for the Iraq disaster but shied away from printing Hersh's evidence of how President Obama perpetuated it. He turned to the London Review of Books, which published his essays last year. Here, they conveniently reappear in a slim book with an eloquent 2016 introduction.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up