Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy and author of Big Israel, talks about the role of the Israel Lobby in American politics and the great lineup of speakers at his event at the Press Club in Washington, D.C. THIS FRIDAY the 24th of March.
Nathaniel Penn, a GQ correspondent, discusses his exposé on the reality of solitary confinement in US prisons, which is meted out with very few checks in place, no accountability for the prison officials who order it, and detrimental to the physical and emotional health of inmates subjected to it.
Eric Margolis, a war correspondent and author of American Raj, discusses the US-backed motley crew fighting for full control of Mosul against the Islamic State – which never would have gained a foothold if Saddam Hussein or his sons still led Iraq; new US escalation in Syria and Afghanistan; and why Eric turned down a potential post in the Trump administration.
Jacob Hornberger, president of The Future of Freedom Foundation, discusses his effort to educate more African-American college students about the evils of the war on drugs, since they are disproportionately effected by racist drug laws, yet typically make up a small part of his lecture audiences.
Upcoming FFF events:
End the War on Drugs – free program at Florida A&M University College of Law on Wednesday, March 22, 2017.
The National Security State and JFK – $99 admission to “one of the most fascinating, important, and relevant conferences” in FFF’s 27-year history. Guest speakers include director Oliver Stone and Ron Paul. The conference is Saturday, June 3, 2017 at the Dulles Airport Marriott in Northern Virginia.
Former CIA terrorism analyst Cynthia Storer discusses the credentials of Sebastian Gorka, President Trump’s deputy advisor on national security affairs, who claims to be an expert on Islamic terrorism; Cynthia’s earlier CIA work tracking Osama bin Laden and warning about Al-Qaeda’s intent to target the US; and why labeling the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization would be a stupid thing to do.
Samuel Oakford, an investigative journalist and contributor to Airwars.org, discusses the grossly underreported official number of civilians killed by coalition and Russian airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in the ongoing fight against ISIS; and why the Airwars estimates are much more realistic.
Chris Deliso, director of the independent Balkanalysis.com, discusses the three-year-long political crisis in Macedonia brought about when a consortium of internal and external agitators tried to replace the long-ruling conservative party. These agitators included Macedonia’s leftist Social Democrats, Albania’s prime minister, European intelligence agencies, George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, and the US Ambassador to Macedonia.
Hope Hodge Seck, a writer for Military.com, discusses the deployment of Marines attached to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) into Syria, and their preparation to provide artillery back-up to American supported militia fighters poised to attack the Islamic State stronghold in Raqqa.
Zaid Jilani, a writer for The Intercept, discusses President Trump’s apparent concessions to critics accusing him of being soft on Russia, including his selection of Richard Grennell (who is in favor of arming Ukraine and leaving direct military confrontation with Russia “on the table”) for NATO ambassador, H.R. McMaster for national security adviser, and Nikki Haley for UN Ambassador.
Jason Ditz, news editor for Antiwar.com, discusses why a few thousand more US troops in Afghanistan won’t stop the steady loss of ground to the Taliban; President Trump’s deployment of troops all over the Middle East/North Africa to fight ISIS; and the official understatement of civilian casualties from US air strikes in Iraq and Syria.
Andrew Cockburn, the Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine and the author of Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins, discusses the history of Yemen’s (sort of) civil war, the different factions and foreign backers, and why President Trump is escalating US support for Saudi Arabia and its Al-Qaeda allies (yet fighting them at the same time).
Joost Hiltermann, program director for the Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group, discusses the Trump administration’s mistaken view that the Houthis in Yemen are an Iranian proxy-militia like Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hiltermann also debunks claims that Iran is allied with Al-Qaeda, and examines the clan-based divisions in Yemen, the country’s unique religious makeup, and what kind of political solution could end the war.
Blogger Marcy Wheeler discusses WikiLeaks’s exposure of the CIA’s powerful hacking toolkit, what devices are most vulnerable to being exploited, and why this leak might be a Russian operation using WikiLeaks as a cutout to release sensitive documents.
Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, discusses what a responsible North Korea policy would look like after successive US administrations have failed to gain anything from isolating the regime and eschewing diplomacy; and why we should look to Europe for clues about Russia’s so-called threatening intentions – if France and Germany aren’t furiously expanding their military budgets, why should the US?