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Show Details for the week of March 6th, 2017

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On The Monitor this week:

  • A historian’s perspective on Donald Trump – an interview with Andrew Bacevich
  • Drone Resisters Acquitted, Urged by Juror to “Keep Doing It” – an interview with Ed Kinane

More about this week’s guests:

profile_pic1Andrew Bacevich is professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy a retired career officer in the United States Army, retiring with the rank of Colonel. He received his PhD in American diplomatic history from Princeton University. He is the author of nine books, including The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism; Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War; Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country; America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History. His recent articles include: Trump and the Six-Trillion-Dollar Question  Angst in the Church of America the Redeemer  The Duty of General McMaster  Why Does Congress Accept Perpetual Wars? Conservatism After Trump

09172012_n_occupyanniversary_andrewrenneisen386Ed Kinane is cofounder of Upstate Drone Action in Syracuse. He has long been committed to nonviolence and social justice and has several times been jailed for opposing Hancock’s weaponized drone. Ed is a retired educator. He used to teach math and biology in a one-room Quaker school in rural Kenya and anthropology in a community college near Seattle. He is also a writer of letters to the editor, op-eds, articles and reviews. Off and on since the seventies he has been an editor of the Syracuse Peace Council’s Peace Newsletter. During the mid- and late-nineties Ed worked closely with School of the Americas Watch, a grassroots organization seeking to expose and close the U.S. Army’s notorious anti-insurgency training school at Fort Benning, Georgia. For his protests against the SOA Ed has twice served time in federal prisons. Upon his release, he served on the SOA Watch national board.

Show Details for the week of March 14th, 2016

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On The Monitor this week

  • Assessing the gap between rhetoric and policy – just how “extreme” is Trump’s discourse? We discuss the topic with Arun Kundani
  • A journey from Zionism to peace activism with Miko Peled

More about this week’s guests:

5wmyicxArun Kundnani is the author of The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror (2015) and The End of Tolerance: Racism in 21st Century Britain (2007)He is a lecturer at New York University. His writings are available online at kundnani.org — including his articles “The Guantánamo in New York you’re not allowed to know about,” and “The belief system of the Islamophobes.” You can see him here on CNN in discussion with Trump supporters.
He recently wrote the draft paper: “Islamophobia: Lay Ideology of U.S.-Led Empire,” in which he analyzes Islamophobia as an ideology that “offers an everyday ‘common sense’ explanatory framework for making sense” of crisis such as terrorists attacks. He argues that it does so “in ways that disavow those events’ political meanings (rooted in empire, racism, and resistance) and instead explain them as products” of a “Muslimness.”
Arun states that this Islamophobia within U.S. and Western culture in effect pretends that there is a fixed “other” that must be opposed. He argues: “This maneuver is also an act of projection in the psychoanalytic sense: the racist and imperialist violence upon which U.S.-led capitalism depends cannot be acknowledged in liberal society so it is transferred onto the personality of the Muslim and seen as emanating from ‘outside’ the social order. Imperial violence is then only ever a proportionate response to the inherently aggressive and threatening nature of the fanatical Muslim enemy. In these ways, a Western self-image of innocence and beneficence can be maintained by screening out resistance to the U.S.-led system of global capitalism.”
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220px-miko_peledMiko Peled was born in Jerusalem in 1961 into a well known Zionist family. His grandfather, Dr.  Avraham Katsnelson was a Zionist leader and signer on the Israeli Declaration of Independence. His father, Matti Peled was a young officer in the war of 1948 and a general in the war of 1967 when Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights and the Sinai.Miko is the author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine. His book has been newly revised and the new edition is expected to be out on April 19, 2016. You can read more about Miko online at mikopeled.com
About the book:
In 1997, tragedy struck when his beloved niece Smadar was killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem. That killing propelled Peled onto a journey of discovery. It pushed him to re-examine many of the beliefs he had grown up with, as the son and grandson of leading figures in Israel’s political-military elite. This powerful memoir details Miko Peled’s transformation into a courageous and visionary activist in the struggle for equal rights and a hopeful, lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians and a new epilogue describes his extraordinary travels that have opened new paths of solidarity in the last few years.In her foreword, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alice Walker writes, “There are few books on the Israel/Palestine issue that seem as hopeful to me as this one.”

Show Details for the week of November 16th, 2015

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On The Monitor this week we take an extended look at the background of the terror attacks in Paris. What are the historical connections are future implications? Our first interview is withJ. Michael Springman and our second is with Christian Parenti.

More about this week’s guests:

J. Michael Springmann was a career official with both the Commerce and State departments. He was economic/commercial officer in Stuttgart (1977–1980), a commercial attaché in New Delhi (1980–1982), a visa officer in Jeddah (1987–1989), a political/economic officer in Stuttgart (1989–1991), and, finally, an economic analyst at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1991). He recently published the book Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World.

Quote: “During the 1980s, the CIA recruited and trained Muslim operatives to fight the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Later, the CIA would move those operatives from Afghanistan to the Balkans, and then to Iraq, Libya, and Syria, traveling on illegal US visas. These US-backed and trained fighters would morph into an organization that is synonymous with jihadist terrorism: al-Qaeda.”

From the book description:

“Thousands of American soldiers and civil servants have lost their lives in the War on Terror. Innocent citizens of many nations, including Americans killed on 9/11, have also paid the ultimate price. While the US government claims to stand against terror, this same government refuses to acknowledge its role in creating what has become a deadly international quagmire. Visas for al-Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World sets the record straight by laying the blame on high-ranking US government officials.

During the 1980s, the CIA recruited and trained Muslim operatives to fight the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Later, the CIA would move those operatives from Afghanistan to the Balkans, and then to Iraq, Libya, and Syria, traveling on illegal US visas. These US-backed and trained fighters would morph into an organization that is synonymous with jihadist terrorism: al-Qaeda.

christianparenti_small2 Christian Parenti is author of Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence. He is a professor in the Global Liberal Studies Program at New York University

Quote: “The growing crisis of war and state breakdown in the Middle East is partially driven by climate change. We have to deal with climate change — that is, drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions — or face escalating chaos. Parenti is professor in the global liberal studies program at New York University. He has reported from conflict zones in the Middle East and studies the history of political violence. He said U.S. policies “have repeatedly created failed states” in countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. “Trying to overthrow [Syrian leader Bashar] Assad is a very bad idea. Assad is admittedly a dictator who inherited a state from his father but he is doing more than anyone to fight ISIS. Seeking his violent overthrow, as has been U.S. policy, is to court further disaster and a wider swath of misery.”

    In an interview published earlier this year, “Climate Change, Militarism, Neoliberalism and the State,” Parenti stated: “Syria is a prime example. There has been a terrible drought there, which coincided with austerity measures imposed by the Assad government cutting aid to Sunni farmers. Many of them were forced to leave the land, partly due to drought, partly due to the lack of support to properly deal with the drought. Then, they arrive in cities, and there’s more austerity taking place. This is experienced as oppression by the Alawite elite against an increasingly impoverished Sunni proletariat who’ve been thrown off their land.

“This situation then explodes as religious conflict, which is really the fusion of environmental crises with neoliberal economic policies. Of course, the violent spark to all of this is the fact that the entire region is flooded with weapons. Some of these weapons are from the Cold War, and some of those guns are from recent U.S. militarism in the region. There were a lot of vets of the anti-U.S. struggle in Iraq who are Syrian — Mujahideen veterans who went to Iraq and came back to Syria and started to fight. There were Syrians who were selling guns to Iraqi underground groups. These groups were buying their guns back, and re-importing them to Syria.”

Show Details for the week of January 13th, 2014

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On this week’s show:

  • Trial in New York for Drone Protestors – an interview with Ed Kinane
  • The A-Z of Nelson Mandela – an interview with Danny Schechter

More about this week’s guests:

Ed Kinane is with Upstate Drone Action in Syracuse. He has long been committed to nonviolence and social justice. Ed is a retired educator. He used to teach math and biology in a one-room Quaker school in rural Kenya and anthropology in a community college near Seattle. He is also a writer of letters to the editor, op-eds, articles and reviews. Off and on since the seventies he has been an editor of the Syracuse Peace Council’s Peace Newsletter.

During the late eighties and early nineties Ed worked with Peace Brigades International providing protective accompaniment to local activists in Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti and Sri Lanka threatened by death squads (some financed by U.S. military aid). Ed was chair of PBI’s Sri Lanka Project and a member of the PBI national coordinating committee.

During the mid- and late-nineties Ed worked closely with School of the Americas Watch, a grassroots organization seeking to expose and close the U.S. Army’s notorious anti-insurgency training school at Fort Benning, Georgia. For his protests against the SOA Ed has twice served time in federal prisons. Upon his release, he served on the SOA Watch national board.

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Danny Schechter, is an American journalist and a documentary filmmaker who made six non-fiction films with Mandela and who was asked personally by the filmmakers of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom to make a three-hour television documentary about the making of the forthcoming film. Schechter has worked in South Africa since the 1960s, which has given him unprecedented access to insiders. Schechter wrote about the liberation struggle and produced a TV news magazine for three years in its most crucial years from l988-91. Having worked both in public television and for CNN and ABC News, Schechter has also been part of the anti-apartheid movement globally as an activist, earning him the confidence of many anti-apartheid leaders. Danny is a long-time activist in the anti-apartheid movement, has known Nelson Mandela for more than forty years and is in the unique position to comment on Mandela’s incredible legacy while not shying away from discussing the suffering that is still happening in South Africa.  A completely unique biography and thematic telling of the story of Nelson Mandela, Madiba A to Z: The Many Faces of Nelson Mandela, draws on Danny’s relationship with Madiba, and he collaborated closely with the makers of the major motion picture Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Each chapter corresponds to a letter of the alphabet, and the letters cover major and minor, unexpected and fascinating themes in Mandela’s life and his impact on others. The book quotes liberally from Mandela himself, his ex-wives and other family members, global leaders, Mandela’s cellmates and guards on Robben Island, the team behind Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, former president F. W. de Klerk, members of the South African Police, and his comrades including his successor as president of South Africa Thabo Mbeki.   Madiba A to Z reveals sides of Nelson Mandela that are not often discussed and angles of the anti-apartheid movement that most choose to brush under the table in order to focus on the happy-ending version of the story. As Schechter reports in the book, according to Thabo Mbeki, “the fundamental problems of South Africa, poverty, inequality, have remained unchanged since 1994.” There are many rarely spoken of revelations in Madiba A to Z, a book about Mandela’s brilliance, his courage, his tremendous impact in saving his country and its people of all races, but one that also shows how far South Africa still has to go.

Show Details for the week of November 11th, 2013

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On The Monitor this week:

  • Congo Peace Can Only Begin When U.S. Ally Rwanda “Ceases Interventions” An interview with Maurice Carney

Daily Telegraph report of Oct, 31: “Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo are close to defeat after the foreign ministers of both America and Britain called the president of neighboring Rwanda and urged him not to intervene to support them, The Daily Telegraph has learned. John Kerry, the U.S. secretary of state, and William Hague, the foreign secretary, telephoned Paul Kagame separately last Friday and told him to stay out of the conflict.”

  • Missing from Immigration Debate: What Causes Migration? An interview with Manuel Pérez-Rocha

The New York Times reports: “On Wednesday, the AFL-CIO announced it would spend more than $1 million in five districts over the next two weeks on television ads that sharply blame Republicans for the lack of immigration action in the House.”

Earlier this week, USA Today reported “Obama Renews Push for an Immigration Overhaul,” noting: “The business executives who attended Tuesday’s meeting with Obama included Roger Altman, founder and chairman of Evercore Partners; Greg Brown, chairman and CEO of Motorola Solution; Joe Echevarria, CEO of Deloitte; Marillyn Hewson, CEO and president of Lockheed Martin; Edward Rust, chairman and CEO of State Farm; Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott; Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and CEO of Blackstone; and Don Thompson, president and CEO of McDonalds.”

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More about this week’s guests:

Maurice Carney

Maurice Carney is the Executive Director of Friends of the Congo. He is an independent entrepreneur and human rights activist who has fought with Congolese for fifteen years in their struggle for human dignity and control of their country. He has worked as a research analyst at the nation’s leading Black think tank the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. While at the Joint Center, Mr. Carney worked with civic associations in West Africa providing training on research methodology and survey. He served as the interim Africa working group coordinator for Reverend Jesse Jackson while he was Special Envoy to Africa. Mr. Carney also worked as a research consultant to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation addressing issues such as the socio-politcal condition of African American communities.

Quote: “Contrary to many media reports, the M23 announcement that they are laying down their arms does not end the conflict in Congo. The story is really whether this is the end of Rwanda’s intervention. Ultimately a political solution is needed between DRC and U.S. ally Rwanda whereby Rwanda ceases its interventions in DRC. A sign that we are on this path will be when Rwanda turns over the many war criminals who are in Rwanda and wanted in Congo for the mass crimes that they have committed.The long overdue pressure placed on Rwanda by the U.S. and UK was critical to bringing an end to Rwanda’s latest proxy, M23, in the DRC since 1996. A second structural obstacle must be tackled to advance peace in the Congo — a legitimate government that can act in and protect the interests of the Congolese people. It is vital that we keep the pressure on the U.S. government to cease its support of strongmen in the heart of Africa. … The Congo has seen the deadliest conflict in the world since World War II, with an estimated 6 million killed.”

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Manuel Pérez-Rocha

Manuel Pérez-Rocha helps to coordinate the Networking for Justice on Global Investment project, as part of the IPS Global Economy Project. In this role, he works together with allies at the Democracy Center in Bolivia and organizations in several countries. Prior to that, he directed “The NAFTA Plus and the SPP Advocacy Project,” as part of the Global Economy Project. He is a Mexican national who has led tri-national efforts to promote just and sustainable alternative approaches to North American economic integration for more than a decade.

Prior to moving to Washington, DC in 2006, he worked for many years with the Mexican Action Network on Free Trade (RMALC) and continues to be a member of that coalition’s executive committee. For the past several years, he has also contributed to the Alternative Regionalisms project of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam, and worked as a consultant to Oxfam International on trade issues in the Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean region.

Manuel studied International Relations at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and holds a M.A. on Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) at The Hague, Netherlands.

Quote: “The big question ‘What causes migration?’ is constantly missing in the immigration debate in the United States. That is, the push factors — or what is it that pushes millions of Mexicans and Central Americans to migrate? An important push factor is U.S. policy. The destruction of local economies and rural livelihoods by IMF and World Bank structural adjustment policies since the 80s and more recently by U.S.-led free trade agreements like NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement], as well as DR-CAFTA [Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement], is what forces so many workers to look for jobs, and get money to send back home to their impoverished families — not the search for the ever more elusive ‘American dream.’ In Mexico the myth of a growing ‘middle class’ has been busted by official figures that indicate that most Mexicans are poor and belong to the working class. And while some applaud the recovery of Mexico’s manufacturing sector, this is due to the fact that Mexico’s wages are even lower than China’s. This may be beneficial for investors but it is detrimental to the Mexican worker, and ultimately migration to the U.S. may resume. One of the reasons why it has slowed down is the downturn of the U.S. economy, but if it picks up, the push for migration will resume.”

Note: NAFTA reaches its 20th anniversary on January 1, 2014.

Show Details for the week of June 18th, 2012

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On this week’s show:

  • Border Security turns into Border Warfare – an interview with Todd Miller
  • Elections in France and Greece show a move to the left – an interview with Richard Wolff

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More about this week’s guests:

Todd Miller

Todd Miller has researched and written about U.S.-Mexican border issues for more than 10 years. He currently writes on border and immigration issues for NACLA Report on the Americas. He has worked for BorderLinks in Tucson, Arizona, and Witness for Peace in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Article:

Bringing the Battlefield to the Border – The Wild World of Border Security and Boundary Building in Arizona

Quote:

“William ‘Drew’ Dodds, the salesperson for StrongWatch, a Tucson-based company, is at the top of his game when he describes developments on the southern border of the United States in football terms. In his telling, that boundary is the line of scrimmage, and the technology his company is trying to sell — a mobile surveillance system named Freedom-On-The-Move, a camera set atop a retractable mast outfitted in the bed of a truck and maneuvered with an Xbox controller — acts like a ‘roving linebacker…there has been an ‘al-Qaedization of immigrants and immigration policy.’ And as in the Global War on Terror, military-industrial companies like Boeing and Halliburton are cashing in on this version of for-profit war.”

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Richard Wolff

Richard Wolff is author of the new book “Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism.” He is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, New York City. He also teaches classes regularly at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan.

Quote:

“Recent elections in France and Greece show politics moving sharply to the left. The basic reasons are shock and then mounting anger. After five years of global capitalist crisis and government bailouts chiefly for the financiers who caused that crisis, the people are told to pay the costs of crisis and bailouts by suffering austerity (reduced public services when most needed plus reduced government jobs when unemployment is already severe). The usual parties and the usual politics are exposed as bankrupt servants of a capitalism that no longer can ‘deliver the goods’ and keeps dumping ‘bads’ on most people. Demands for major leftward social shifts win millions of new supporters, especially among the young.”

Website:

www.rdwolff.com