FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Travels With Saul Landau

by JAMES ABOUREZK

I first met Saul Landau in 1973 when he brought a film crew to Washington, D.C. to make a documentary on the “Watergate Congress.”  He asked me to do an interview for the show, and since I was an obscure freshman Senator, I readily agreed.  It was from that time on that we became fast friends.  Our families intermingled, and his daughter, Carmen, and my granddaughter, Corrine, sort of grew up together in the same neighborhood in that leafy white ghetto we lived in called Northwest Washington, D.C.

I had not expected all that came after that.  We traveled together to Cuba where Saul introduced me to Fidel Castro; we went to Wounded Knee together after the militant Indian takeover and where Saul made a film centered on the Indian Committee hearings I held  to document the AIM takeover of Wounded Knee.  In 2003, he went to Syria without me, but my Syrian wife, Sanaa, was there visiting her family at the time, so he drafted her as his guide and narrator as he filmed around Syria.  He filmed the small village of Maaloulla, where the inhabitants still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus of Nazareth, and which was recently attacked and sacked by Barack Obama’s allies, Jabhat al Nusra, the Al Qaeda affiliate that is killing everyone in sight while trying to take over the current Syrian government.

When, in 2002, I decided to go to Iraq to try to prevent George Bush’s invasion of that country, Saul brought his film crew and his camera along to document our efforts.  He filmed Tareq Aziz, Saddam’s number two, telling us that he feared the US would send more spies along with the weapons inspectors as they had before.  He finally agreed to allow the inspectors in, but it was, as we now know, to no avail.  Saul reminded me that it was Bill Clinton, not Saddam Hussein, who kicked out the weapons inspectors in 1998. enabling him to bomb Iraq at that time.  He also reminded the world, in an article he had written, that even the media had forgotten who had taken the inspectors out of Iraq, as most of the media were saying that it was the dictator Hussein who had done so.

Saul’s last film, Will The Real Terrorist Please Stand Up? was a final effort on Saul’s part to bring some sort of justice to the Cuba people, who had been denied justice since 1959.   As we’ve all learned, over and over again, when politicians are out to make a point, there can be no such thing as justice.

It’s difficult for me to describe how much I’ve learned from Saul, and how much he has taught the rest of the world, but his death leaves a huge void in the education of all of us.

I am not one who believes organized religion or in spirituality, but I’m unable to explain what caused me to wake up out of a sound sleep on the night Saul died, staying awake the rest of the night.  When Carmen called me the next morning to tell me of his death during the night, I recited to her through my tears the words of a Ralph Stanley bluegrass song, the words of Angels’ Band. 

I’ve tried to resist making the connection, but it may be possible that the Spirit of my longtime friend and my brother, Saul Landau, briefly stopped in South Dakota that night to wake me to tell me one final goodbye.

A list of Saul’s forty films can be found here.

JAMES ABOUREZK is a former U.S. Senator from South Dakota.  He is the author of Advise & Dissent: Memoirs of South Dakota and the U.S. Senate, a  memoir now available only on Amazon’s Kindle.  His e mail address is:  georgepatton45@gmail.com

James Abourezk is a former US senator from South Dakota. He is the author of: Advise and Dissent: Memoirs of an ex-Senator.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 25, 2016
Mike Whitney
The Broken Chessboard: Brzezinski Gives up on Empire
Paul Cox – Stan Cox
The Louisiana Catastrophe Proves the Need for Universal, Single-Payer Disaster Insurance
John W. Whitehead
Another Brick in the Wall: Children of the American Police State
Lewis Evans
Genocide in Plain Sight: Shooting Bushmen From Helicopters in Botswana
Daniel Kovalik
Colombia: Peace in the Shadow of the Death Squads
Sam Husseini
How the Washington Post Sells the Politics of Fear
Ramzy Baroud
Punishing the Messenger: Israel’s War on NGOs Takes a Worrying Turn
Norman Pollack
Troglodyte Vs. Goebbelean Fascism: The 2016 Presidential Race
Simon Wood
Where are the Child Victims of the West?
Roseangela Hartford
The Hidden Homeless Population
Mark Weisbrot
Obama’s Campaign for TPP Could Drag Down the Democrats
Rick Sterling
Clintonites Prepare for War on Syria
Yves Engler
The Anti-Semitism Smear Against Canadian Greens
August 24, 2016
John Pilger
Provoking Nuclear War by Media
Jonathan Cook
The Birth of Agro-Resistance in Palestine
Eric Draitser
Ajamu Baraka, “Uncle Tom,” and the Pathology of White Liberal Racism
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt and the New Financial Imperialism
Robert Fisk
The Sultan’s Hit List Grows, as Turkey Prepares to Enter Syria
Abubakar N. Kasim
What Did the Olympics Really Do for Humanity?
Renee Parsons
Obamacare Supporters Oppose ColoradoCare
Alycee Lane
The Trump Campaign: a White Revolt Against ‘Neoliberal Multiculturalism’
Edward Hunt
Maintaining U.S. Dominance in the Pacific
George Wuerthner
The Big Fish Kill on the Yellowstone
Jesse Jackson
Democrats Shouldn’t Get a Blank Check From Black Voters
Kent Paterson
Saving Southern New Mexico from the Next Big Flood
Arnold August
RIP Jean-Guy Allard: A Model for Progressive Journalists Working in the Capitalist System
August 23, 2016
Diana Johnstone
Hillary and the Glass Ceilings Illusion
Bill Quigley
Race and Class Gap Widening: Katrina Pain Index 2016 by the Numbers
Ted Rall
Trump vs. Clinton: It’s All About the Debates
Eoin Higgins
Will Progressive Democrats Ever Support a Third Party Candidate?
Kenneth J. Saltman
Wall Street’s Latest Public Sector Rip-Off: Five Myths About Pay for Success
Binoy Kampmark
Labouring Hours: Sweden’s Six-Hour Working Day
John Feffer
The Globalization of Trump
Gwendolyn Mink – Felicia Kornbluh
Time to End “Welfare as We Know It”
Medea Benjamin
Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia
Halyna Mokrushyna
Political Writer, Daughter of Ukrainian Dissident, Detained and Charged in Ukraine
Manuel E. Yepe
Tourism and Religion Go Hand-in-Hand in the Caribbean
ED ADELMAN
Belted by Trump
Thomas Knapp
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us
Nauman Sadiq
Shifting Alliances: Turkey, Russia and the Kurds
Rivera Sun
Active Peace: Restoring Relationships While Making Change
August 22, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton: The Anti-Woman ‘Feminist’
Robert Hunziker
Arctic Death Rattle
Norman Solomon
Clinton’s Transition Team: a Corporate Presidency Foretold
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Hubris: Only Tell the Rich for $5000 a Minute!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail