Iraq

PATRICK COCKBURN – What Tony Blair Has Learned About the Middle East: Absolutely Nothing

June 14, 2016

Normally anybody who criticises Jeremy Corbyn is guaranteed knee-jerk support by the British media which apparently feels that it does not even have to pretend to be non-partisan when it comes to the Labour leader. The only political figure similarly subjected to automatic demonisation is Tony Blair, so when he fiercely attacked Corbyn last week for supposedly focusing on “the politics of protest” at the expense of “the politics of power” it was interesting to see which man would be targeted. Almost without exception, critics from Nigel Farage to Michael Moore denounced Blair as the root of all evil in the Middle East and beyond. Some claimed that he was so discredited that his views were no longer worth listening to, and others suspected that he was carrying out a pre-emptive strike before the publication of the report of the Chilcot inquiry, which is expected to criticise him severely for his actions in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Read

Meditations and Molotovs – 05.30.16

May 30, 2016

Hot dogs and hand grenades, mattress sales and murder tales: Memorial Day 2016! Vince talks about the U.S. Empire, the war in Iraq and his reflections on militarism and his time in the U.S. Marine Corps ten years after being discharged (yes, it's been that long). Vince makes the connection between war abroad and austerity at home. Why must we ditch nationalism? How can we challenge these ideologies? Tune in and check it out.

Sanders backs Obama “kill list,” troops to Syria

April 28, 2016

Towards the end of a town hall meeting in Philadelphia broadcast last Monday night over MSNBC, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders declared his support for the Obama administration’s program of assassination by drone-fired missiles and its steady build-up of US troop strength in Syria and Iraq. These statements underscore the unity across the bourgeois political spectrum, among all the presidential candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties, in favor of stepped-up military intervention in the Middle East, including the use of drones that have killed thousands of civilians. The discussion was initiated by a 29-year-old Sanders supporter, not by MSNBC host Chris Hayes, the moderator of the town hall—a significant fact, since no journalist for the corporate-controlled media has pressed any of the candidates about drone missile assassinations or other lawless actions by the Obama administration. Read

Progressive Commentary Hour – 04.26.16

April 26, 2016

Today on the "Progressive Commentary Hour" Gary continues his great series, Conversations With Remarkable Minds. Tonight from Australia we have John Pilger discussing "The rise of the world’s new ruling elite and the misery left in the wake of their climb to the top." First we played this You Tube clip of John from 2009 and then spoke to John for about 30 minutes: Here is John's bio and a link to the video. Enjoy. VIDEO: John Pilger - Obama & Empire BIO: John Pilger is one of the world’s most renowned investigative journalists and documentary filmmakers. Originally from Australia, John started his career with Reuters and the London Daily Mail, becoming its chief foreign correspondent and reporting from all over the world, notably Vietnam. He is the youngest journalist to receive the UK’s highest Journalist of the Year Award. He has reported on the civil rights movement in the US, marched to Washington following the assassination of Martin Luther King, reported from many war zones including Indonesia, Cambodia and the Middle East and conducted a 4 year investigation into the damage caused by the drug Thalidomide. John’s documentary films include coverage about the catastrophe in Cambodia, the genocide in East Timor, and several about the history of Australia and human rights abuses against Australia’s original Aboriginal population. His books have covered Iraq, Kosovo, and critiques of liberal media. Recently, one of John’s most important books -- “The New Rulers of the World” -- that exposes the underpinnings and motives of modern imperialism and the global economy has been updated and released. It is regarded by many as one of the most important investigations about postmodern power. John’s website is JohnPilger.com

DEEP HISTORY AND THE GLOBAL DRUG CONNECTION, PART 3: A DEADLY BUREAUCRACY

April 14, 2016

Opium poppies in Helmand Photo credit: U.S. Marines / Wikimedia Introduction by Russ Baker: More musings from Peter Dale Scott, the “father of Deep State analysis.” It’s heady and sometimes difficult material, but no one has gone as deeply as he has in trying to understand the nature of power in America, and ties between the state, the Underworld, and the criminal elements of the wealthy, or the Overworld. In Part 3, we learn of the covert — but benign-sounding — government Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), which formally institutionalized off-the-books financing of criminal activities. Its purpose was to engage in “subversion against hostile states.” But it went further than that. Much further. This is Part 3 of a 5-part series. Please go here to see Part 1, and here to see Part 2. Excerpt from American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014), Introduction. Deep History and the Global Drug Connection: Deep Events and Illegally Sanctioned Violence Read

Joe Lauria – Why We’re Never Told Why We’re Attacked

April 12, 2016

After a Russian commercial airliner was downed over Egypt’s Sinai last October, Western media reported that the Islamic State bombing was retaliation against Russian airstrikes in Syria. The killing of 224 people, mostly Russian tourists on holiday, was matter-of-factly treated as an act of war by a fanatical group without an air force resorting to terrorism as a way to strike back. Yet, Western militaries have killed infinitely more innocent civilians in the Middle East than Russia has. Then why won’t Western officials and media cite retaliation for that Western violence as a cause of terrorist attacks on New York, Paris and Brussels? Instead, there’s a fierce determination not to make the same kinds of linkages that the press made so easily when it was Russia on the receiving end of terror. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Obama Ignores Russian Terror Victims.”] Read

Meditations and Molotovs – 04.04.16

April 4, 2016

Who is Vincent Emanuele? Vince talks about his family, friends, and growing up in the Rust Belt. He also describes, in brutal detail, his experiences in the Marine Corps and Iraq. The second half of the show contains Vincent's reflections on antiwar activism and the Left. This program provides a good introduction to the life an work of Vincent Emanuele, and what people should expect from future shows.

Chris Hedges – The Lie of Patriotism

April 4, 2016

BALTIMORE—When Rory Fanning, a burly veteran who served in the 2nd Army Ranger Battalion and was deployed in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2004, appeared at the Donald Trump rallyin Chicago last month he was wearing the top half of his combat fatigues. As he moved through the crowd, dozens of Trump supporters shouted greetings such as “Welcome home, brother” and “Thank you for your service.” Then came the protest that shut down the rally. Fanning, one of the demonstrators, pulled out a flag that read “Vets Against Racism, War and Empire.” “Immediately someone threw a drink on me,” he said when I interviewed him on my teleSUR show, “Days of Revolt.” “I got hit from behind in the head three or four times. It was quite the switch, quite the pivot on me. Questioning the narrative, questioning Donald Trump’s narrative, and I was suddenly out of their good graces.” Nationalists do not venerate veterans. They venerate veterans who read from the approved patriotic script. America is the greatest and most powerful country on earth. Those we fight are depraved barbarians. Our enemies deserve death. God is on our side. Victory is assured. Our soldiers and Marines are heroes.Deviate from this cant, no

Story of cities #3: the birth of Baghdad was a landmark for world civilisation

March 21, 2016

If Baghdad today is a byword for inner-city decay and violence on an unspeakable scale, its foundation 1,250 years ago was a glorious milestone in the history of urban design. More than that, it was a landmark for civilisation, the birth of a city that would quickly become the cultural lodestar of the world. Contrary to popular belief, Baghdad is old but not ancient. Founded in AD762 by the Abbasid caliph al-Mansur “The Victorious” as the new seat of his Islamic empire, in Mesopotamian terms it is more arriviste than grande dame – an upstart compared to Nineveh, Ur and Babylon (seventh, fourth and third millennium BC respectively). Baghdad is a mere baby, too, when compared with Uruk, another ancient Mesopotamian urban settlement, which lays claim to being one of the world’s earliest cities and which was, sometime around 3,200BC, the largest urban centre on earth with a population estimated at up to 80,000. Some think the Arabic title for Babylonia, al-Iraq, is derived from its name. Read

The Gary Null Show – 03.15.16

March 15, 2016

Prof. Joseph Hickman is an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University School of Law and a senior research fellow at its Center for Policy and Research. Joe is also a former Marine and army sergeant who has worked on a variety of sensitive operations worldwide, including security at Guantanamo prison in Cuba. His revelations about the abuse of prisoners at the facility resulted in his award winning story in Harper’s magazine and his book “Murder at Camp Delta.” Prof. Hickman’s most recent book “The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America’s Soldiers” investigates the Department of Defense’s and its private contractors’ negligence and subsequent denial about the human health and environmental dangers of “burn pits” in Afghanistan and Iraq, which exposed tens of 1000s of soldiers to life threatening toxins. The book has been banned by the Defense Department, and Joe is donating his royalties to the non-profit advocacy organization, BurnPit360.org, that is fighting on behalf of 1000s of soldiers suffering from a wide range of diseases, including autoimmune disorders, untreatable respiratory illnesses, and a variety of cancers due to burn pit exposure.
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