Kelley Vlahos, contributing editor at The American Conservative, discusses the rise and fall of the COINdinistas (Lt. Col John Nagl especially); how “surge” strategies are designed for domestic political concerns, not military successes; the brutal civilian-slaughtering nature of real counterinsurgency campaigns; the revolving door between think tanks and government; the ongoing debacle in Afghanistan; and the perseverance of military apologists who still can’t imagine criticizing anyone in a government uniform.
Antiwar.com editor John Glaser discusses the details of a reported (and denied) back-channel offer from the White House to Iran; why the US is still largely responsible for Israel’s military endeavors, even if the US doesn’t fire a shot; how Benjamin Netanyahu has bluffed his way to irrelevance; Zbig Brzezinski’s take on rational actors and messianic zealots among Middle East heads of state; and a comparison of world-dominating US foreign policy strategies.
IPS News journalist Gareth Porter discusses his article “IAEA Report Shows Iran Reduced Its Breakout Capacity;” the typical misleading news headlines on Iran’s uranium enrichment program; how sanctions – designed to kill and injure civilians – are both immoral and ineffective at producing regime change; and the Obama administration’s stubborn refusal to change its outdated negotiating position on Iran.
The Other Scott Horton, international human rights lawyer and Harper’s journalist, discusses the official end to any chance Bush administration torture crimes will be prosecuted; why there was plenty of good evidence to get convictions, despite AG Eric Holder’s contrary claims; effective immunity for CIA-employed torturers/murderers, whose defense lawyers would finger Donald Rumsfeld and others in the Bush White House; Obama’s outright contempt for the rule of law; and a nostalgic look back at the Reagan years when the Executive was still accountable to Congress.
Stephen Zunes, Professor of politics and international studies, discusses why the “U.S. Shares Responsibility for Rachel Corrie’s Death;” how the Bush administration vetoed UN observers in Gaza – leaving the job to NGOs and volunteers like Corrie; the State Department’s lack of concern for US citizens killed by Israeli soldiers; the California State Assembly’s resolution equating criticism of Israel to anti-semitism; and how Libyan regime change sparked civil war in Mali and helped Al-Qaeda upgrade their arsenal of weapons.
Craig Corrie, father of murdered activist Rachel Corrie, discusses the Israeli court’s rejection of his family’s lawsuit because Gaza was a “war zone” where anything goes; Israel’s responsibility to protect civilians in occupied territory; the British civilians killed around the same time by the same shoot-to-kill IDF policy; and why Rachel put herself between an armored bulldozer and a Palestinian house in Gaza.
Mark Sheffield of Policy on Point discusses the phased build-up of the US missile defense system in Europe; why the system is obviously aimed at Russia, not non-existent Iranian nukes; how Raytheon’s corporate welfare endangers everyone on earth; and Mitt Romney’s gaffe about Russia being “our number one geopolitical foe.”
This is my speech at the P.A.U.L. Festival in Tampa, FL, on August 26th. Imagine a real two-party presidential election between the “centrist” extremists Obama and Romney, vs. the anti-war, pro-civil liberties duo of Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich.
American Raj author Eric Margolis discusses what Ethiopian Prime Minister/Dictator Meles Zenawi’s death means for the country’s future; the US’s “mission creep” of fighting terrorism in Africa; why third world revolutionaries would benefit from studying Western public relations strategies; and how US intervention in Syria risks serious conflict with Russia, and should be avoided.
David Enders of McClatchy Newspapers discusses the extreme dangers journalists face in Syria; how Syria’s rebels are acting like guerrilla fighters, waging a war of attrition that may last for years; weapons sent by Iraqi Sunnis to aid the Syrian rebels; Turkey’s steadfast and mystifying support for the rebellion; prospects for Kurdish autonomy outside Iraq; and Syria’s serious-and-growing refugee problem.
Giorgio Cafiero of Foreign Policy in Focus discusses how Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s support for Syria’s rebellion has alienated Turkey’s own religious minorities; how Syrian President Assad uses the Kurds to retaliate and stir up trouble for Turkey; US interest in realpolitik, not humanitarian relief, in Syria; how a Sunni-dominated government in Syria would tilt regional power toward Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood, marginalizing Iran; why Syria’s rebels should have used nonviolent opposition instead of taking up arms; and the Iraqi refugees in Syria returning home – and not because Iraq is suddenly prosperous and safe.
Asia Times journalist Pepe Escobar discusses why war and foreign policy aren’t issues in this year’s presidential election; how Syria has become a battleground in Middle East power politics; the Arab Spring hijacking; US fears about high-level Egypt/Iran talks and improving relations; indications President Obama has ruled out direct US intervention in Syria; how a Greater Kurdistan would balkanize four countries and aid the US/Israel divide and conquer strategy for the region; and the Turkish army’s questionable loyalty and effectiveness.
Gigi Bowman discusses the Paul Festival on August 24-26 in Tampa, FL; bringing together the liberty movement to celebrate and honor Ron Paul and look ahead to the future; ticket promotions and the guest speaker lineup (which includes Scott Horton); and how the Liberty Candidates organization vets and promotes aspiring public officials who uphold Ron Paul’s ideals.
Former State Department, CIA and NSC official Flynt Leverett discusses US policy on Syria and Iran; why most Syrians don’t support the radical Islamic rebellion; how US interference prevents a power sharing agreement and an end to violence; the Obama administration’s ideological blinders; delusions of post-Cold War American hegemony in the Middle East; why secular liberal governments rarely come to power after regime changes; and Bibi Netanyahu’s game of brinksmanship on war with Iran.