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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars no stone left unturned!, 10 July 2010
This review is from: Freedom Next Time (Paperback)
Having read 'Hidden Agendas', I was expecting the same level of open, honest, investigative journalism that exposes the plight of the weak and oppressed people of the world; a topic purposely never discussed in a heavily controlled/censored media. I could not have been more satisfied with this book meeting all my expectations and enlightening me about other issues I was not aware of. It is certainly one of those "can't put down" books, if only to stop to have some respite from the deeply saddening experiences that people recount and are still enduring, or the anger one feels at the complete indifference by people that have direct control over the situation.

I particularly like the fact that there are interviews with people from "both sides", and this further justifies the conclusions that are being made, without having to actually explicitly make them for you. It demonstrates the cruelty politicians, governments, corporations are prepared to inflict on masses of innocent people. The book champions the human spirit, and details how people are still prepared to fight even when the odds are greatly stacked against them.

The chapters can be read independently, and covers the Chagos Islands, Palestine, the growth of capitalism in India and Afghanistan.

The general conclusion one draws from each of these chapters is the underlying horror of imperialism, racism, greed, genocide that is inflicted by a few on the many.

We live in a world where the truth is a very rare commodity, and this book certainly manages to redress the balance.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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96 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broken promises, 6 Oct 2006
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freedom Next Time (Hardcover)
"This book is about empire". With this opening eye-grabber, John Pilger has once again risen above the mundane pattern of today's "mainstream" journalism. The book is an account of how the US is forging its global empire, aided and abetted by such allies as Great Britain and Israel. And that's not counting the client rulers of nations like Afghanistan and South Africa. The edifice is "global capitalism" supported by buttresses of military might and bearing giant billboards displaying the shibboleths "freedom" and "democratic ideals". With scathing revelations delivered with strictly expressive prose, Pilger relates his findings with almost surgical precision.

He structures the book around five nations. The first, even after all these years, is likely to be beyond many reader's ken. It is a little island group in the Indian Ocean - the Chagos Islands. Inhabited for generations by the descendents of former slaves, they were summarily and illegally deported from their home to make way for a massive US Air Force base. The base provides a launching site for long distance bombers to reach anywhere in Asia. Two thousand people - those that haven't died from "sadness" have pursured a legal challenge to be returned to their home. The High Court of Britain has accepted their plea, but under US pressure, says Pilger, the British have ignored the ruling.

From the Indian Ocean, Pilger travels to Palestine, one of "freedom's" most shocking contradictions. Displaced from their ancient homelands, thousands of Palestinians were herded into grubby refugee camps. Those that weren't slaughtered by the invaders at the beginning of the occupation, that is. Pilger describes Israeli racist policies and their implementation, killing children, usurping land and water supplies and blockading the population from medical care. Israelis, he notes, often refer to their de facto prisoners in dismissive terms, allowing the Israeli army to invade and crush homes and farms. Orchards, a major agricultural factor in the Palestinian community, seem to be particular targets. Pilger explains how the US has built up Israel's military to the point where it is the world's third most powerful. Its major task is to keep Palestinian freedom in check, as well as smashing the economic base of a people with no state and no means of protecting themselves. Is it any wonder, he asks, that acts of desperation have resulted.

Pilger makes a rather swift pass through India to describe how "global capitalism" has intensified the separation between rich and poor. A few urban centres maintain a facade of prosperity, securely enclosed within well-protected facilities. From these sites, Indians who have transformed themselves into IT "help desk" call centres, provide "support" for US workers unfamiliar with their office computers. Outside those high-tech enclaves, much of the remaining population suffers in grinding poverty. The "democratic" promise of Ghandi's struggle has been overthrown by leaders eager to follow what they deem the US model of "free enterprise". The process has economically divided the nation worse than it ever was under the Raj.

The last two segments of Pilger's account vividly demonstrate the dual primary thrusts of empire - economic and military. South Africa, suffering for half a century under the truncheon of apartheid, emerged with a grand promise of freedom under Nelson Mandela. Finally freed after a generation within the walls of Robben Island prison, he exemplified what a crusader for freedom could achieve. The achievement proved hollow as Pilger graphically describes the Truth and Reconciliation hearings he attended. Police and army thugs, whose ranks reached to the highest level went free, absolved from punishment. Worse, none of the victims of their brutality received a jot of compensation. Far worse, was the selling out of South Africa's resources to the new wave of foreign investors from the UK and US. Part of the investment deal left any regulations about miner's safety in limbo or worse. Another part was the granting of mineral rights on any parcel of land the firms chose. Displacement of the population by uncaring capitalists remains an ongoing process, Pilger declares.

Finally, the military arm of imperialism exhibits the most glaring hypocrisies in Afghanistan. Pilger recounts the sordid history of British rule, Soviet invasion and, finally, the US vengence against innocent people for the World Trade Centre attacks. It makes gut-wrenching reading. Villages, single homes and people in the open have been attacked by high-speed bombers and helicopters. Once airily described as eliminating "terrorists", now the handing over of power to war-lords, has demonstrated to Afghanis who the real "terrorists" are. Confronting US officials with the fact that three times the number of those killed on 9/11, Pilger was simply dismissed by those who didn't want to hear the statistics. Yet, the numbers and policies are damning, but the US public remains generally unaware of how many have died - indirectly killed by taxpayers, Pilger reminds us.

This is a book that can stir people to anger. Pilger may not wish his readers to be angry, but he wants them to be informed. If you can close this book without feeling shame, then you are lucky. Or perhaps you should return to the first page and read it again. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly shocking and vitally important expose, 20 Mar 2008
By 
Gordon Eldridge (Brussels, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freedom Next Time (Paperback)
This book gets to the very heart of the way injustice is perpetrated in the world. In the best traditions of investigative journalism, Pilger examines in depth a number of ongoing situations in the world involving exploitation and injustice. The first of these relates to the plight group of islanders evicted from their Chagos island home using blatant deceit and brute force and given so little compensation that they were consigned to a life of penury in Mauritius. Why? So the British could give their American allies an island paradise as a new military base. The fact that most of us have never even heard of the Chagos islanders demonstrates the complicity of the world media in selectively reporting the news we often naively assume to have at least a modicum of impartiality.

The true shock of the book comes with the following chapters, however, where we are systematically shown the perspectives of those who have suffered most in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Afghanistan and since the end of the apartheid regime in South Africa. Did you think the average black South African has more opportunities to get ahead since the end of apartheid? or that the average Afghan woman is much better off since the ousting of the Taliban? I did - but completely erroneously as it turns out.

Pilger combines a concise summary of the facts with vivid snapshots of the situation on the ground in each location. He gives us excerpts from interviews with the victims that allow the reader to get a very personal perspective and juxtaposes these with excerpts from interviews with those responsible for the decisions that brought about the suffering. The combination is powerful and enlightening.

If I were to criticize the book it would be to say firstly that the chapter in India does not have the depth of the other chapters and adds little to the book. Secondly, Pilger very occasionally commits the same sin of telling only part of the truth that he accuses other journalists of. For example, he relates that the US has intervened 72 times in the affairs of other nations, including the overthrow of democratically elected social democracies such as in Guatemala, Brazil, Iran and Chile. I doubt that some of those governments would really have qualified as having been democratically elected by the standards that Pilger himself would apply to democracy. To be fair, this is a rare occurrence in the book and does not in any way detract from the substance of what Pilger has to say.
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67 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superbly researched and detailed analysis of the major injustices today, 10 July 2006
By 
D. Clayton (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freedom Next Time (Hardcover)
I cannot recommend this book more. It is an insightful, thought provoking and an incredibly moving account of the harsh realities of unrestricted Western power. For those of you who question the 'Looney Left' for their radical views I implore you to read this book. It is written with compassion and enthusiasm for the cause of those people who have no voice and no power to reject brutal colonisation (Israel on Palestinians) or heartless forced ejection (Diego Garcia).

I challenge anybody who has a conscience to read this and not feel moved to try and do something to help those who have no rights, no future and no life.

John Pilger's previous books include one called 'Heroes'. I believe Pilger himself can call himself one now.

Daniel Clayton
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and appalling, 6 July 2007
This is a shattering, first hand investigation of some of the greatest injustices still being perpetrated in today's world. The fact that most of them are given little or no mainstream media coverage is a damning indictment of the type of selective reporting we have in this country. I wonder how many people have ever even heard of the Chagos islands, let alone are aware of one of the most outrageous and criminal acts of territorial theft to take place in the second half of the twentieth century. This crime, originally committed by Wilson on behalf of Britain's US masters, has been covered up and ignored by every succesive British government, up to and including Blair's. It is fascinating and appalling reading. And how many people believe that now apartheid has officially finished in South Africa, everything in that country is fine, and everyone is benefiting from 'democracy' and 'the free market'? When we are sickened by acts of terror perpetrated by Palestinians, how many of us feel the same sense of bitter outrage when dozens of innocent Palestinian schoolchildren are slaughtered by random missile attacks by US supplied Israeli F-16 aircraft? The answer is probably not very many, as these things get very little coverage. And when they are reported, it's done in a sanitised, watered down way.
Anyone familiar with the work of Noam Chomsky will find Pilger's book complements his writings, but whereas Chomsky is academic and heavily ironic, Pilger is an investigative journalist who really shows you firsthand the reality of situations. It is a very powerful piece of work, but sadly, those who should read it probably won't, and will continue to live in blissful ignorance.
I'm sorry I have only given it four stars, and not five. I'm a very tight reviewer, and for me 5 stars is the sort of holy grail of writing; it can't be improved on. Someone may come up with a more important and powerful piece of investigative journalism than 'Freedom next time' one day, but it will be damned hard to do so.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read., 9 Dec 2010
By 
G. Rollo (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freedom Next Time (Paperback)
Having read other John Pilger books, including "Hidden Agendas" and "The New Rulers of the World", Pilger continues to excel in "Freedom Next Time" exposing what is really going on the world and telling you what the mainstream news won't. If you have never read any of Mr Pilgers books then this a good one to start with. The chapters about Palestine, Diego Garcia, Afghanistan and South Africa are very well researched and in depth raising awareness of the plight of ordinary people affected by the tragic events in these countries while his interviews with politicians very revealing, exposing there lies and hypocrisy. The chapter on India though is far too short, feeling as though it was put in as an afterthought. Overall though a good read.
.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 22 Nov 2008
This review is from: Freedom Next Time (Paperback)
Interested in human rights? Interested in finding out about what some "democratic" governments can do and get away with doing when people just don't know? Well then stop what you are doing, go to your library or book shop and get this book.

In 'Freedom Next Time', Pilger details five harrowing accounts of appalling, shameful and disgraceful human right abuses: Diego Garcia, Palestine, South Africa, Afghanistan and India.

The abuses are systematic and on a grand scale. They reflect problems of governance and the pernicious consequence of mass ignorance which facilitates either bad action or inaction. He chronicles each account by first explaining the particulars of the background of the problem and then presenting the details of his own very thorough investigations.

The chapters in the book correspond to different documentaries Pilger has done which are also available now on his various DVDs (which are also excellent). The difference is that the book goes into more detail.

It's not just a book of facts, there's an underlying socio-political point in 'Freedom Next Time': democratic governments can be complicit in human right abuses if something suits their geo-political needs and people are disinterested about what happens in other parts of the world - usually quite far away from their own doorstep.

The only criticism I'd have is that I thought his in South Africa chapter. I thought his account of Mandela veered slightly from balanced objectivity. Yes, there may have been some non - ideal things that someone widely regarded as a human rights hero had to do, while in political office, but isn't that always the sad reality? Tough decisions may have to be made. There may be times when there may only be a lesser of two evils, and isn't only naive idealism preventing us from accepting that?

But the book's positives far outweigh pedantic negatives. For example - sticking with South Africa - Pilger details the shocking abuses of workers in the South African mines. This was something that I myself, only found out about after a trip to South Africa when the miners were currently on strike, because the working conditions were so unsafe and so many of them were dieing while producing gold which let's face it was mainly for Western Jewelry. It was melancholic reality that stuck in my head and I was irritated why most Western media and people - who let's face it end up buying Jewelry coming from mines like these - were just blissfully unaware of it.

There's a shocking sad reality to life. When people don't know, either because of ignorance or apathy, they won't be able to care. When they don't care, democratic governments won't do anything. It's essential that we engage ourselves in these issues. Yes, unfortunately ignorance is bliss but as the journalist Molly Ivins once said ignorance can also be "root of evil".

Thankfully we have elucidating, enlightening and conscientious focused people like Pilger to help us wake up from time to time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent investigative journalism exposing the truth of current atrocities, 1 May 2008
This review is from: Freedom Next Time (Paperback)
Freedom next time is an excellent read. Thought provoking and puts new light on the crimes of the west on developing countries. John Pilger narrates a harrowing tale of betrayal and deceit with well-sourced interviews on both sides of a myriad of important injustices that currently plague our world. He starts with the little known plight of the Chaogisans: a people who were evicted from their Island at the same time as the Falklands war. This was because the British government `sold' it for a discount on a Nuclear Trident submarine and the 2500 people forgotten and ignored. The US consequently turned the Island paradise into one of their largest overseas bases from which they would later launch air attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pilger then discusses the increasing stratification of society in India, reveals the true results of the end of apartheid in South Africa. He gains access to many influential parties involved in the current genocide of Palestine by Israel and exposes the barbarism of Governments, the complicity of the media in suppressing the true nature of how the Palestinians are being treated.

This is an excellent companion to Naoim Kleins, `Shock Doctrine' which goes into more detail into the involvement of the IMF, world bank, corporations and military industrial complex in many of the same issues that Pilger discusses from the human contact and investigative journalism he has undertaken.

Essential reading.

Many of the interviews from this book can be seen in a series of BBC documentaries available by searching google video.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Class Journalism, 9 Aug 2006
By 
S. Freer (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freedom Next Time (Hardcover)
Yet another excellent piece of work. This book puts so many of our modern day journalists to shame. Rather than echoing the official government line, Pilger probes and questions the decisions and motives of influential individuals and parties who have such an impact upon the everyday lives of multitudes of people. It is easy for people in their comfortable Western lives to feel so detached from the suffering that is going on elsewhere in the world. Yet Pilger writes with a passion and belief that enables the reader to empathise with such people. His style of writing encourages the reader to consider unpalatable questions about the motives of our leaders and politicians. John Pilger presents a challenge to the reader to stand up for what is right and just.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Freedom Next Time by John Pilger Reviewed by Sarah Markworth, 22 May 2008
By 
Ms. S. J. Markworth (Mexico) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freedom Next Time (Paperback)
In his book Freedom Next Time, reputed journalist John Pilger uncovers the real reasons behind British and American interest in Palestine, India, South Africa and Afghanistan. Backed up with hard facts, interviews and eyewitness accounts, Pilger has exposed that: under the guise of freeing these people from the `terrorism of their oppressors', our leaders have planted a new political order, obtaining power over assets and plunging millions of people further into poverty and suffering.

Within the pages of this powerful book, the goal of global domination by the United States, aided by British Imperialistic groundwork, is revealed. We are shown how our rulers instigate internal wars, manipulate facts and censor our news to justify our army invasions as they replace one form of terror for another.

This book is not a comfortable read and nor should it be. Pilger shows us that fascism never went away, the `Orwellian state' is reported to already be here and corporate corruption aids the United States of America in its dream of worldwide dominance.

Page after page urges our sleeping nation to wake up before it is too late, to take a look behind the scenes and see who really controls our news, our governments, and where our taxes are going. Revelation after revelation is poured out as we realize that lifestyles in the west are only sustainable because millions of hidden people are suffering.

The latest edition of this book was printed in 2007 and has been published by Black Swan. The recommended price is 8.99. In my opinion this book is worth the money as it offers you over 20 years of research into the economics and politics of these invisible communities. If you want to know the truth, this book is packed with it.
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Freedom Next Time
Freedom Next Time by John Pilger (Paperback - 4 Jun 2007)
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