Globetrotting journalist Pepe Escobar discusses “A Separation,” the first Iranian movie to win an Academy Award; the suspiciously-timed announcement of a plot to assassinate Vladimir Putin, just days before Russia’s presidential election; Pepe’s article “What is Iran’s Supreme Leader’s Game;” the Green movement’s exclusion from Iran’s parliamentary elections; why a US/Israeli war with Iran could bring Russia and China into the fray; and how GCC’s support for Syria’s opposition is fomenting a prolonged civil war.
Haroon Siddiqui, editorial writer for the Toronto Star, discusses his article “Qur’an burning is a political, not a theological, issue;” making the connection between the Afghan peoples’ sensitivity to Qur’an burning and the ten year military occupation of their country; the political obstacles preventing the US and NATO from calling it quits; and Newt Gingrich’s laughable threat to “say good bye and good luck” to those ungrateful Afghans.
Muhammad Sahimi, Professor of Chemical Engineering and political columnist on Iran issues, discusses his article “Deconstructing Lieberman’s Iran Resolution;” the false premises upon which Senate Resolution 380 is based; Iran’s closely inspected and safeguarded uranium enrichment program; rehashing the Qom facility “gotcha” lies from 2009; why the US isn’t interested in a diplomatic resolution, wherein sanctions are dropped in exchange for Iran implementing the Additional Protocol and allowing more stringent inspections; and why even regime change won’t stop Iran’s civilian nuclear program, unless Tehran is occupied for decades.
Eric Margolis, internationally syndicated columnist and author of War at the Top of the World and American Raj, discusses the many countries covertly and overtly supporting Syria’s armed resistance; the Western media’s one-sided anti-Assad coverage; how the US is hijacking the Arab Spring, toppling unfriendly dictators (while protecting compliant ones) and subverting genuine grassroots democratic revolutions; the near-total elimination of al-Qaeda, so that it exists mostly as a catchall name for anti-American groups; and the danger of Russian intervention in Syria.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich discusses his letter to Congress, “War Machine Beats the Drums for War with Iran, Uses Iraq Play Book;” the propaganda efforts that convinced a majority of Americans war with Iran is a good idea; why we need to “stand strong for peace” and spend tax dollars to rebuild America, not squander them in another foreign war; and Kucinich’s Democratic challenger for Congress in Ohio’s new 9th District.
Gareth Porter, investigative historian and journalist specializing in U.S. national security policy, discusses his article “Iran Holds Up Access to Parchin for Better IAEA Deal;” the conditions under which Iran would allow more stringent inspections and/or readopt the Additional Protocol; the brouhaha over a (likely imaginary) containment vessel at Parchin, which the IAEA says is used to test nuclear weapons; why Iran can’t make nukes (assuming they could and wanted to) while the IAEA inspectors remain in country; and the Obama administration’s conflicted feelings on war with Iran, which make an October surprise possible.
Sheldon Richman, senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses his article “Obama Administration ‘Brainwashes’ Public on Afghanistan;” George Romney’s (Mitt’s father) courageous – but badly phrased – turn against the Vietnam War in 1967; how Lt. Col. Daniel Davis’s report on Afghanistan shows a similar “brainwashing” of the American public by the generals and MSM; the failure to make progress in three core areas in Afghanistan (Afghan government competency by 2014, decrease in violence, and a dead-end for the Taliban); why junior officers are losing faith in the war effort; and why Mitt and his many sons seem to have more important priorities than serving in the military, despite their pro-war rhetoric.
Robert Naiman, Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy, discusses his article “Does AIPAC Want War? Lieberman ‘Capability’ Red Line May Tip AIPAC’s Hand;” how Joe Lieberman’s senate bill lowers the threshold for military action by adopting Israeli policy on Iran’s nuclear breakout capability; the dangerous ambiguity of the terms “vital national interest” and “nuclear weapons capability;” and how US diplomats have abandoned compromise in favor of “do what we say or else” bullying.
Hillary Mann Leverett, former State Department official and co-founder of The Race For Iran, discusses neoconservative Michael Rubin’s doubts about Iran’s 2003 “Grand Bargain” of diplomatic overtures to the US; how US and Iranian interests aligned against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, creating an opportunity for an al-Qaeda/MEK prisoner swap that may have prevented future terrorist attacks; the pushback from the US intelligence community/military against Israel and the Obama administration (proudly “marching in lockstep” with Israel); why Iran really is an imminent threat (to Israel’s regional hegemony, not existence); and why plans to use Syria as a conduit to effect regime change in Iran are not based in reality.
Thomas E. Woods, author of Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse, discusses the Ron Paul revolution and why there are very few popular American uprisings specifically against foreign policy and empire; the “26 Things Non-Paul Voters Are Basically Saying;” the left-right political realignment, putting aside jingoistic nationalism and uniting around a moral foreign policy; and why Ron Paul’s campaign staff should get him into more town hall meetings, where his message really resonates.
Emma Cape, Campaign Organizer for the Bradley Manning Support Network, discusses whistleblower Manning’s arraignment (open to the public) on February 23rd at Fort Meade, Maryland, beginning his court-martial; the evidence and witnesses withheld from Bradley’s defense team; the 2008 Obama voters who are demanding the president support Manning – or else lose their votes in 2012; and the “aiding the enemy through indirect means” charge that, combined with other charges, could give Manning a life sentence.
David Bromwich, professor of literature at Yale University, discusses his article “Obama’s Drift Toward War With Iran;” the propaganda portraying Iran as an imminent threat to Israel and the US; Obama’s evolving Iran policy, from campaign promises of diplomacy to a doomed-to-fail “Single Roll of the Dice;” interventionist fantasies including non-invasion regime change and a Six-Day War repeat, where Iran’s nuclear program is bombed and set back years with no blowback; Dennis Ross’s surprising “Iran is Ready to Talk” op-ed in the NY Times; and why the momentum of pre-election warmongering in the US and Israel is hard to slow down.
Jason Ditz, managing news editor at Antiwar.com, discusses Iraq’s dysfunctional central government, where the vice president is under threat of arrest and may have fled the country; why Iraqi Sunnis, who have almost no political representation, might return to violence and the brutal sectarian strife of 2006-2007; Egypt’s crackdown on US government-funded “pro-democracy” NGOs; and how a cutoff of US foreign aid to Egypt could scuttle the 1979 Camp David Accords.
Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, D.C., discusses his article “AIPAC Obtained Missile Secrets;” newly-declassified State Department documents about maverick estate-planning author Norman F. Dacey’s attempt to hold AIPAC accountable for leveraging classified information to scuttle an arms deal with Jordan in the 1970s; how these documents could help Steven J. Rosen’s defamation lawsuit against AIPAC; and why many of AIPAC’s functions should be conducted by a foreign embassy, rather than a domestic lobby.
Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, discusses his article “Washington’s War in Yemen Backfires;” how Yemeni President Saleh convinced the Bush administration to send aid, supposedly to fight Al Qaeda, but instead used the money to eliminate his rivals; how Obama’s frequent airstrikes, killing scores of civilians, have turned rural tribesmen into anti-American militants; video evidence that missile strikes were indeed from American forces, bolstering the WikiLeaks story that Gen. Petraeus and Saleh conspired to hide US involvement; continuing a US foreign policy that assumes a finite number of “terrorists” who can be killed off with airstrikes, and whose numbers won’t be replenished or increased in response; why Yemen’s tribesmen are willing to take bribes to be Iraq-style “Awakening Councils” to put down Al Qaeda in Yemen; and why Yemen is an imaginary nation, ready to fracture into several autonomous regions.