Mira Nair, Jim Webb, Poul Anderson, John le Carré

Mira Nair 

“I’m developing an original screenplay about the war in the world…about the Iraq war etc. Right now it’s just an idea.”

 

Jim Webb plans political book

Senator describes it as populist work, not ‘Capitol Hill novel’

   Peter Hardin

The novelist, screenwriter and former Navy secretary that Virginians elected to the Senate is writing a new book – and it won’t be a tell-all.

Freshman Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., disclosed yesterday that he’s writing what he called a populist’s view of the political situation in the United States today.

He hopes it will hit the bookstores around Memorial Day in 2008….

Webb said the book will touch on many themes he sounded in his underdog Senate campaign in Virginia and in his Democratic response this year to President Bush’s State of the Union speech….

“We talked about the larger need for economic fairness and social justice, in an era where far too much power and money has gravitated to the very top, in both economic and governmental terms.”

 

Anarchist and Libertarian-Socialist Societies Depicted in Science Fiction

   

Poul Anderson. “The Last of the Deliverers” (1957; revised version 1976). After the USA and USSR have broken up, thanks to a source of cheap, decentralized solar energy, the highest level of political organization consists of libertarian-socialist townships. In these townships, the community owns the land and such tools of production as tractors, plows, and harvesters, but those who raise the crops own the produce. Others are also self-employed, preferring to produce quality, crafted goods as needed, and spending the rest of their time in other rewarding pursuits, such as making love and hunting deer, rather than worrying about making a profit. In a town in Ohio, the last capitalist debates the last Communist, and everyone else is bored by their irrelevance.

Le Carré’s War on Terror

By Christian Caryl  (2004)

Absolute Friends
by John le Carré

 

The Little Drummer Girl
by John le Carré

The best recent novel about terrorism was published in 1983, and its author was John le Carré, better known at the time as a crafter of cautionary tales about the intelligence battles of the cold war. The Little Drummer Girl, reissued this year in paperback, tells the story of an Israeli intelligence operation to foil a frighteningly effective Palestinian terror cell. The leader of the Palestinian group, an expert bomb-maker known only as Khalil, is obsessively security-conscious, and he has succeeded in wrapping himself so deeply in layers of deception and camouflage that the Israelis decide they can track him down only by resorting to the most unorthodox of scams. As their unlikely agent they choose Charlie, a small-time British actress of romantic left-wing politics whose interest in radical causes has brought her into brief contact with one of the terrorists. Kurtz, the mastermind behind the Israeli operation, explains himself to a colleague in a passage that is worth quoting at length:

“‘Put in an agent, Schulmann,’ Misha Gavron shrieks at me from halfway inside his desk. ‘Sure, General,’ I tell him. ‘I’ll find you an agent. I’ll train him, help him trail his coat, gain attention in the right places, feed him to the opposition. I’ll do whatever you ask. And you know the first thing they’ll do?’ I say to him. ‘They’ll invite him to authenticate himself. To go shoot a bank guard or an American soldier. Or bomb a restaurant. Or deliver a nice suitcase to someone. Blow him up. Is that what you want? Is that what you are inviting me to do, General —put in an agent, then sit back and watch him kill our people for the enemy?'” Once again, he cast Alexis the unhappy smile of someone who was also at the mercy of unreasonable superiors. “Terrorist organisations don’t carry passengers, Paul. I told Misha this. They don’t have secretaries, typists, coding clerks, or any of the people who would normally make natural agents without being in the front line. They require a special kind of penetration. ‘You want to crack the terror target these days,’ I told him, ‘you practically have to build yourself your own terrorist first.'”

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