Just back in town this week so please forgive the shorter than usual show post…
On this week’s show we look at the costs and realities of Medicare for all through an interview with Gerald Friedman and we talk about Drones being a threat to U.S. National Security with Fred Branfman.
More about this week’s guests:
Gerald Friedman is professor, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Quote: “Upgrading the nation’s Medicare program and expanding it to cover people of all ages would yield more than a half-trillion dollars in efficiency savings in its first year of operation, enough to pay for high-quality, comprehensive health benefits for all residents of the United States at a lower cost to most individuals, families and businesses.”
Fred Branfman is an American anti-war activist and author of a number of books about the Indochina War. Working as the Director of Project Air War in 1969 he wrote about the U.S. bombing in Indochina, which he claimed was directed at civilians. His writing has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Harper’s, and many other publications. He is the author of Voices From the Plain of Jars.
Quote: “U.S. leaders can only name 77 ‘senior al-Qaeda and Taliban officials’ that they have killed by their drone strikes, out of total kills of 3-5,000 civilians and low-level militants that they cannot even name. This amounts to a military pinprick, which must be weighed against the long-term strategic catastrophe of turning nuclear-armed Pakistan against the U.S. U.S. drone policy toward Pakistan has caused over 75 percent of the Pakistani people – over 130 million people — to regard the U.S. as their ‘enemy,’ strengthened the Pakistani Taliban, weakened the Pakistani government, and reduced effective action against al-Qaeda. Most significantly, former U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson reported in the WikiLeaks cables that anti-U.S. hatred has made it impossible for the Pakistani government to cooperate with the U.S. in keeping nuclear materials out of potential terrorist hands, and limiting nuclear proliferation. The main impetus for U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan has been the assertion that they are necessary to protect U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But Mr. Kerry himself recognized two years ago that this rationale makes no long-term strategic sense, since ‘main event’ Pakistan is so much more important than ‘sideshow’ Afghanistan. He will best serve America’s strategic interests, as well as the rule of law and common human decency, by agreeing to the Pakistani government’s demand that the U.S. halt its drone strikes there. America badly needs to make Pakistan an ally, not an enemy. Bringing desperately needed electricity to Pakistan, rather than drone and ground assassinations, would do far more to strengthen U.S. national security.”