Mark Danner is one of the world’s most experienced war reporters, and has covered trouble spots such as El Salvador, Haiti, Bosnia and most recently Iraq. In his new book Stripping Bare the Body: Politics, Violence, War, a collection of his writings, he develops a unique perspective on the use of violence in these conflicts and expands on Prussian Carl von Clautisz’ theory that ‘war is a continuation of politics by other means’. Fear is a lucrative political emotion, and politicians can use fear to achieve a great deal. The violence of war also exposes the limits of our beliefs, and strips away any facades to exposes the true power in society. In his search to answer questions about the morality of the USA’s involvement in the current war in Afghanistan, he examines the US’s involvement in conflicts in Haiti, the Balkans, Latin America and the Middle East.
In conversation with US Studies Centre head, Professor Geoffrey Garrett, Mark Danner told a standing-room only audience that President Obama’s performance leaves a lot to be desired. Danner said that even under Obama, US politics continues to be handicapped by the politics of fear, nearly a decade after the September 11 terrorist attack.
This was a Sydney Ideas event co-presented with the US Studies Centre and the University of Sydney Union.