Carl Finamore, Machinist Local Lodge 1781 delegate to the San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO, discusses his article “Military Orchestrates Egypt’s Presidential Elections;” how Tahrir Square protesters won free speech and labor reforms, but failed to change the military-dominated political system; how the West uses Islamic groups to counter secular nationalism in the Arab world; the US’s strategic interests in Egypt; and why Egyptians, fatigued from lengthy protests, are increasingly more concerned with the economy than politics.
Gareth Porter, investigative historian and journalist specializing in U.S. national security policy, discusses his article “Was Afghan Massacre Linked to IED Attack;” the confusing events and timeline during Sgt. Robert Bales’s alleged massacre; the Special Forces assassination raid that took place in the same village, on the same night, as the massacre; and how the US military uses collective punishment (a war crime) on civilians suspected of aiding the insurgency.
Sheldon Richman, senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses his article “On Israel’s ‘Right to Exist;’” the libertarian perspective on the rights of individuals and states; how Israel’s “right” is used as rhetorical misdirection, changing the subject away from the plight of Palestinians; defining Israel as “the state of the Jewish people” irrespective of location (since all Jews have the right of return); why the “end of Israel,” as defined, does not mean Jews will be pushed into the sea, but that all the people will have equal rights under the law; and why the goal of hardcore Zionists is ethnic cleansing, not apartheid.
Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, discusses his article “US Charity Secretly Funds Israeli Nukes;” how the Weizmann Institute, posing as a non-profit charity, conducts espionage and fundraising for Israel’s nuclear weapons program; why the US government continues pretending that Israel’s nukes don’t exist; the IRS’s tentative ruling on tax-deductible donations to the Weizmann Institute; how the Justice Department’s secretive “shutdown” orders on productive FBI investigations violates US obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; and why the mainstream media won’t touch this stuff with a ten foot pole.
Robert P. Murphy, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism, discusses his article “Who Needs War for Oil;” why the US military doesn’t need to intervene in the Middle East to “secure” supplies of oil; how embargoes hurt oil exporting countries more than their customers (shown by the US-supported embargo on Iran); and the contrarian theory that oil scarcity and higher prices are the true US policy goals.
Flynt Leverett, former Senior Director for Middle East Affairs at the National Security Council, discusses the latest negotiations on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program at the just-concluded P5+1 Baghdad summit; why the US will never agree to lift sanctions on Iran, no matter the concessions; how the US negotiating position makes Obama look like an idiot; Richard Nixon’s observation that the same political price is paid for going half way as all the way – so you might as well go to China; why the Obama administration still won’t (consistently) acknowledge Iran’s rational leadership and sovereign (and NPT) right to enrich uranium; and how bad-faith negotiating by the US ruined the “reciprocity framework” established in the previous Istanbul talks.
Former CIA senior analyst Ray McGovern discusses his article “Applying the Six-Day War to Iran;” neoconservative Charles Krauthammer’s revisionist history on the war – recounting it as a pre-emptive strike against imminent Arab attack instead of a long-planned land grab; former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s candid honesty about Israel’s “war of choice” in 1967; disagreement among Israeli government officials on whether or not Iran poses an existential threat; and how President Obama’s timid negotiating style has complicated his effort to dissuade Netanyahu from attacking Iran.
Chris Hellman, Senior Research Analyst for the National Priorities Project, discusses his article “How Much Does Washington Spend on ‘Defense;’” the GOP’s plan to cut the “meals on wheels” program instead of the Pentagon’s budget; how constant threat-hyping makes Americans believe Iran is more threatening than the Soviet Union in its heyday; how outsourcing failed to reduce the size and cost of government; and why a few budget items should be higher, like nuclear waste storage.
Salon.com blogger Glenn Greenwald discusses federal judge Katherine Forrest’s amazing ruling against the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act; why the US is moving rapidly toward an authoritarian police state 10+ years after 9/11; how the PATRIOT Act and military commissions, both highly controversial in 2001, have become the new normal; the Justice Department’s refusal to say that journalists and activists aren’t subject to indefinite detention – even though the DOJ would have won in court by doing so; how the NDAA violates the 1st and 5th Amendments; the Congress’s assault on due-process; and how the mainstream media avoids debate on inconvenient subjects by simply ignoring them.
Dina Rasor, founder of the Project on Military Procurement (now called the Project on Government Oversight, or POGO), discusses her article “Pilots as Lab Rats: The Reprehensible Risk-Taking on the F-22 Raptor;” the pilots who refused to fly anymore and went to 60 Minutes about the Raptor’s unexplained toxicity; how so-called stealth aircraft can be detected with outdated radar technology; the nearly half billion-dollar Raptor’s onerous maintenance requirements whenever it’s flown in the rain; and why pilot training is the key to an effective air force, not a fleet of expensive new planes.
Steve Horn, researcher and writer at DeSmogBlog, discusses the Chicago NATO Summit activists arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism and providing material support for terrorism; the two informants who infiltrated the group and possibly planted or invented evidence; the home-brew kit Chicago police apparently “mistook” for a Molotov cocktail-maker; the activists held in solitary confinement and held without charge for days; why the cops and feds are so afraid of the Occupy Movement; and why Wall Street banks are hiring private security.
Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel in the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, discusses the temporary legal injunction prohibiting enforcement of some provisions in the NDAA, specifically the indefinite military detentions that could apply to American dissidents like Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg; the vague definitions of “support for terrorism” and “associated forces,” which basically mean whatever the government wants them to; why most members of Congress are willing to destroy civil liberties to look tough on terrorism and win reelection; imagining the consequences if other countries dared to assassinate Americans based on secret evidence and an undisclosed legal standard; and the US’s hypocritical message to the developing world about the superiority of civilian trials to military ones.
Neve Gordon, Israeli activist and author of Israel’s Occupation, discusses his article “Erasing the Nakba: Israel’s Tireless Efforts to Conceal the Historical Events Leading to Its Creation;” how the state propagates its own version of history through public education, popular culture and compliant media; why the “land without a people” myth of Israel’s founding is less convincing than ever; how 500,000 Israeli settlers have – by design – made a two-state solution all but impossible; and why a single, power-sharing, bi-national state is the last avenue to Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Kevjn Lim, independent writer and humanitarian professional, discusses his article “Israel’s Reluctant Friend;” the alleged high-level leak within the US government that supposedly exposed Azerbaijan’s offer of airstrips for an Israeli attack on Iran; Azerbaijan’s uncertain motivation for doing such a thing – if it’s true – since it has no real enmity with neighboring Iran and would face serious military consequences; and how Azerbaijan shares Turkey’s role as a bridge between the Muslim world and the West.
Ramzy Baroud, author of My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story, discusses his article “East Africa at the Brink;” the multidimensional conflict in Sudan/South Sudan and neighboring countries; newly independent South Sudan’s devastating loss of oil income – which is the war and famine-wracked country’s entire economy; how US foreign policy disasters (like the Libyan War) create regional instability that justifies further interventions; why US interests are more geared toward disrupting China’s robust trade in Africa than controlling natural resources; and why a real Palestinian peace process will come from US pressure and Arab Spring momentum, not from the goodwill of Israel’s government.