Phyllis Bennis, Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, discusses her article “The Phases of War: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Israel;” how the US lost the Afghan War before it even began; why military occupation/pacification campaigns always degenerate into massacres and degradations like those lately perpetrated by US soldiers in Afghanistan; why neoconservatives like Marco Rubio conveniently ignore the Iraq War disaster in speeches justifying an interventionist foreign policy; and the pro-Israel lobby’s push for war with Iran – despite the consensus of all US intelligence agencies that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons.
Blogger Marcy Wheeler discusses the laws governing assassination-by-drone; re-using “signature strikes” in Yemen, after large numbers of Pakistani civilian casualties prompted the US to briefly abandon the tactic; why Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s “insurgent math” applies to Yemen as well as Afghanistan; and why the government is throwing the book at whistleblower Bradley Manning.
Author and journalist Jefferson Morley discusses his article “Drones for ‘urban warfare’” at Salon.com; the International Drone Summit hosted by CODEPINK, Reprieve, and the Center for Constitutional Rights in Washington D.C.; Congress’s fast-track approval of domestic drone aviation; and concerns about privacy and the eventual weaponization of drones.
Robert Wenzel discusses his speech delivered at the New York Federal Reserve Bank; why an independent audit of gold deposited at Fort Knox is long overdue; the many Fed economists who don’t have a basic understanding of opposing schools of thought; why students of Austrian economics saw the housing bubble forming early on; how ideological tunnel-vision and ambitions for career advancement create institutional blindness at the Fed; and why all the bailed-out financial institutions are headed by Goldman Sachs or J.P. Morgan alumni.
Gareth Porter, investigative historian and journalist specializing in U.S. national security policy, discusses Washington Post writer David Ignatius’s claim that a deal has already been made on Iran’s nuclear program and that ongoing talks are scripted; why the US and Iran can’t just “make a deal and shut up already;” how Benjamin Netanyahu’s bluff about attacking Iran is influencing US policy and helping the GOP win election; why it’s still unlikely NATO will drag the US into war in Syria, like Libya before; and the US-Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement that envisions US involvement through 2024.
Joshua B. Freeman, History Professor and author of American Empire, discusses his TomDispatch article on the “prison-corporate complex;” the late 19th century chain gangs in the South and industrial prison labor in the North; the return of involuntary servitude, i.e. slavery, in American prisons; how low-paid prisoners keep pressure on labor unions and generate profits for Fortune 500 companies; America’s huge prison population relative to the rest of the world; and why it’s time to revamp the criminal justice system.
Mark Sheffield of the Policy on Point blog discusses his article “Ignorance or Arrogance (or Both): The Long War Doctrine and Post-9/11 US Foreign Policy;” a comparison of the limited invasions and proxy wars between Vietnam and 9/11, and the lengthy full-scale occupations since then; looking at 9/11 through the eyes of Americans who don’t know or understand history; how the Bush Administration played right into Osama bin Laden’s hands by invading Afghanistan and Iraq; and the political barriers to bringing the troops home and winding down the US empire of bases.
Oleg Novinkov, former Soviet officer and author of Afghan Boomerang, discusses the propaganda-filled book Charlie Wilson’s War about the CIA operation to arm mujaheddin in their fight against the Soviet army in Afghanistan; the Western media’s re-labeling of Afghan “freedom fighters” as “terrorists” once the US invaded; why Afghans would rather be occupied by the Soviets than the US/NATO; how a new Cold War with China will eventually displace the War on Terror as the top US priority; and why Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and perestroika are much more respected in the West than in Russia.
Jean MacKenzie, senior correspondent for GlobalPost, discusses her article on why the March 11 Kandahar massacre is much more surprising to Americans than Afghans; the success of US night raids in killing mid-level Taliban commanders – who are quickly replaced by younger, more hardcore fighters; the lack of a US endgame strategy, other than spinning withdrawal as a “victory;” and Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s odds of survival without US backing.
J.M. Berger, investigative journalist and terrorism consultant, discusses his article “Patriot Games: How the FBI spent a decade hunting white supremacists and missed Timothy McVeigh;” how years of bad reporting have muddied the waters of the Oklahoma City bombing story; the FBI’s PATCON operation of infiltrating (and possibly inciting) the radical right in the 1990s; sorting out the real members and government provocateurs within the Aryan movement; and how the government’s current infiltration of Muslim groups resembles the PATCON operation.
Jesse Trentadue, attorney and brother of Kenneth Trentadue (who was probably tortured and killed by FBI agents mistaking him for Richard Lee Guthrie – a.k.a. John Doe No. 2 – in the wake of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing), discusses the new book Oklahoma City: What the Investigation Missed-and Why It Still Matters by Andrew Gumbel and Roger Charles; the June 15th court deadline for the FBI to explain why the Murrah Building surveillance tapes are missing; allegations that FBI agents tried to sell the tapes in 1995 – which is why LA Times reporters were able to see two men, Timothy McVeigh and John Doe 2, exit the Ryder truck; the FBI’s PATCON program of infiltrating and probably provoking the radical right; how the FBI’s media informants help kill stories and manage the news cycle; and the lack of Congressional hearings on the single largest terrorist attack in US history (in 1995).
Carol Moore, author of The Davidian Massacre, discusses the 19th anniversary of the final siege against the Branch Davidians in Waco, TX; evidence that several Delta Force members were “pulling triggers” at Waco; Independent counsel John Danforth’s investigation and coverup; the FLIR cameras that captured FBI automatic weapons being fired to prevent the Davidians from surrendering; and how the current NDAA makes future Waco-type massacres and coverups even easier for the government.
John Feffer, co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, discusses his article “North Korea’s Failed Fireworks;” the UN Security Council’s condemnation of their dual-use missiles (even Iran is able to launch satellites without comment); North Korea’s commitment to spending a big chunk of their meager GDP on a single failed satellite launch; the known unknowns about Kim Jong Un (except he likes basketball); how an increasingly worldly and foreign-educated North Korean elite could open up the “hermit kingdom;” and their blossoming IT and animation industries – aside from the usual mineral and energy extraction.
John Glaser, Assistant Editor at Antiwar.com, discusses his article “How to Make Syria Much, Much Worse; John McCain and Joe Lieberman’s meeting with leaders of the anti-Assad resistance; compelling arguments against arming Sunni “freedom fighters,” this time in Syria; why Kofi Annan’s ceasefire plan is still holding; how Libyan regime change destabilized the entire region; Zbigniew Brzezinski’s bellyaching about the end of American hegemony; and President Obama’s dismissal of decriminalization and ending the War on Drugs in Central America.
Arash Norouzi, artist and co-founder of The Mossadegh Project, discusses the Washington Post’s much-delayed admission that Iranian President Ahmadinejad didn’t say Israel should be “wiped off the map;” the context of Ahmadinejad’s speech and the origin of the quote – which compared Israel’s potential collapse to the fall of the USSR, the Shah’s regime and Saddam Hussein; putting an end to the seven year old anti-Iran talking point; and why we shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for other media outlets to admit their mistake.