Michael Hastings, author of the infamous article “The Runaway General” in Rolling Stone magazine, discusses the seeming resolution of Iraq’s incredibly lengthy government-formation process; the firm Shi’ite grip on power and long-term marginalization of Sunnis (exemplified by their go-to man in government, the Shia Ayad Allawi); Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s conflicted and complicated relationship with Iran; and the remarkably successful Gen. Petraeus Iraq surge (narrative).
This recording is excerpted from the KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles broadcast of December 24th. The original program can be heard here.
Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for IPS News, discusses the New York Times story about a leaked military proposal for snatch and grab raids targeting Afghan insurgent leaders inside Pakistan (in the hopes that interrogations would yield an intelligence bonanza); the severe consequences this “cockamamie” idea would have for Pakistan’s already weak civilian government; why Pakistan’s national security remains tied to the Taliban, in opposition to the India-friendly Karzai regime and Northern Alliance remnants; how political realities in the US keep the Afghanistan War going despite the fact it’s a well-known lost cause; and why the White House will probably be responsive to US special forces raids in Pakistan.
Stephen Webster, Senior Editor at RawStory.com, discusses the WikiLeaks-revealed diplomatic cable that shows how the US got troops stationed in Colombia by dodging legislative review; close cooperation between the US embassy and then-President Álvaro Uribe Vélez to escalate the US military presence (that regional rival Venezuela viewed as war preparation); how the mainstream media proves its worthlessness by refusing to properly investigate the gold mine of WikiLeaks revelations; evidence of State Department lobbying on behalf of US corporations and lobbies including the MPAA and Monsanto; and why net neutrality and internet freedom remain under threat (to the delight of China-admirer Joe Lieberman).
Jason Leopold, investigative reporter and Deputy Managing Editor of Truthout, discusses how a new $35 million bribe convinced Nigeria to forget about extraditing former Halliburton CEO and vice president Dick Cheney on bribery charges; new developments in the previously-discussed Malaria drug-experimentation on Guantanamo prisoners; the numerous government agencies that signed off on the controversial treatment; and how the medical records of Guantanamo prisoners are being withheld out of “privacy concerns.”
Lew Rockwell, author of The Left, The Right and The State, discusses the life and work of Ludwig von Mises, who integrated business cycle theory into a comprehensive Austrian School of economics; how Murray N. Rothbard helped make opposition to war a core principle of libertarianism; and why Ron Paul’s appointment as Chairman of the Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee should make for some interesting conflicts with the Fed and Wall Street banks.
Jason Ditz, managing news editor at Antiwar.com, discusses the pending executive order authorizing indefinite detention; why Congress’s refusal to close Guantanamo isn’t being challenged by Obama (who seems to have forgotten his promise); the vague domestic terrorism threats that have Attorney General Eric Holder shaking in his loafers; how the alliance of opposition groups in Somalia portends more violence and threatens the Western-backed government; and why Somalia was better off without a government.
This interview was conducted by Antiwar Radio producer Angela Keaton.
Debra Sweet, National Director of World Can’t Wait, discusses her participation in the White House antiwar protests; the pro-WikiLeaks ads in major US papers sponsored by the Australian activist group GetUp; how the candid statement of Defense Secretary Robert Gates dispels the illusion of representative government in the US; Obama’s continuing rightward drift; how the “material support” of terrorism statute criminalizes political speech; and the secret US war in Pakistan revealed by WikiLeaks.
Frank Dorrel, publisher and distributor of the antiwar comic book Addicted to War, discusses how he turned to antiwar activism after serving in the US Air Force during Vietnam; his film “What I’ve Learned About U.S. Foreign Policy: The War Against The Third World;” how activist education helps Americans wake up to the destructive nature of their government; and why many Americans self-identify through a “civic religion” of indoctrinated nationalism.
Nebojsa Malic, author of the “Moments of Transition” column on Antiwar.com, discusses the Council of Europe report on Kosovo’s “mafia-like” government that traffics in drugs, weapons and human organs; the KLA‘s speedy (and undeserved) 1998 transition from a US-designated terrorist group to a band of “freedom fighters;” the multitude of lies before, during and after the Kosovo War; how Richard Holbrooke helped negotiate the laudable Dayton Agreement bringing peace to Bosnia-Herzegovina then worked steadfastly to undermine it; and how the US effort to reinvigorate NATO – which became an anachronism after the Soviet collapse – can partly explain the seemingly strange US interest in Kosovo.
Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, discusses the extreme poverty on display in Kabul despite the many NGOs and billions of dollars in aid spent since 2001; subcontracted rebuilding projects in dangerous and remote areas that are especially prone to fraud and waste; the Afghan government’s inextricable ties to the heroin trade; how the US squandered any goodwill remaining from overthrowing the Taliban; and how the US praises Afghan “democracy” while ignoring the request of supposed-potentate Hamid Karzai to stop night raids.
Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for IPS News, discusses the increasingly brutal US tactics in the Kandahar offensive in Afghanistan including the razing of entire villages; how the US breaks self-imposed counterinsurgency rules when the going gets tough; the realization of mid-level officers and Petraeus himself that a tough new COIN strategy is as likely to fail as previous versions; and how the National Intelligence Estimates on Afghanistan and Pakistan reveal that US success in Afghanistan is wholly dependent on Pakistan’s rejection of the Taliban – which is exceedingly unlikely.
Robert Murphy, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism and the blog Free Advice and ConsultingByRPM.com, discusses David Frum’s concern that the Austrian School of economics is rapidly gaining favor over the Chicago School, Frum’s faulty recollections of monetary policy in the Reagan administration, how the Fed’s war on recessions prevents the market from self-healing by redistributing resources where needed, and the right-wingers who supported bailouts under Bush but oppose them under Obama.
Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com blogger and former constitutional lawyer, discusses the inhumane detention conditions of accused WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning; eyewitness accounts of Manning’s deteriorating mental and physical condition; studies that show severe isolation has long term psychological consequences and is akin to torture; the government’s domestic “shock and awe” campaign of fear and intimidation against dissidents and whistleblowers; why Manning’s draconian imprisonment may be a negotiating tactic to coerce testimony against Julian Assange; and why the government is now considering conspiracy charges against Assange instead of using the problematic Espionage Act of 1917.
Thomas E. Woods, author of Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century, discusses the few Leftists and many libertarians working to shift the balance of power away from Washington and toward local control; why it’s still hard to shake the nearly 150-year old misconception that secessionists are slavery sympathizers; why an ignorant population is much more likely to inherit an authoritarian state than a libertarian paradise following a government and economic collapse; and polls that show a large majority of Americans prefer unchecked government secrecy and have no interest in maintaining a free press.
Kevin Zeese, Executive Director and co-founder of VotersForPeace, discusses the December 16th White House protest designed to kick start the antiwar movement; what the Veterans for Peace organization is all about; the WikiLeaks is Democracy signed statement of support for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks; and uniting Left and Right around the core values of peace and the Bill of Rights.