Obama Administration Releases Torture Memos
Leaked: More than 200 waterboarding applications done to 2 people
Rahm Emanuel Misspoke: Protect CIA Line Agents and Lawyers
Armenian Genocide Bill
US to Escalate War in Afghanistan
Nearly 15 thousand US troops have been recently committed to Afghanistan, and progressive think tanks are pushing the Obama Administration to send an additional 17 thousand which would bring the total to 70 thousand troops. Expansions are being built onto the Bagram prison, as mass incarceration is expected. Progressive Think Tank Tells Obama to Escalate
Global Phoenix Program – in testimony last week, 10-12 years overall to win the Afghanistan War. Two years of hard fighting, a couple extra billion dollars a month. I think they plan to send the troops into Southern Afghanistan and to take on the Taliban or who ever the local resistance forces are.
I think people need to buckle their seat belts for a war. We’re going to have a war in Afghanistan that’s soft on torture. Where are the human rights groups, we’re sending US troops into a dirty war that incarcerates without evidence, tens of thousands of people.
Center for American Progress – I’m disappointed in them, they’re usually good liberal democrats. Now they’ve come out for a military surge in Afghanistan.
Obama has narrowed it down to one goal. Can we prevent al-Qaeda from getting a base area from which they can attack Europe or the United States. The more we go into Pakistan with the predators and drones, the more Pakistan turns against us. It becomes a recruiting tool for more militants.
The other way to go would be to address the grievances of the Muslim world that give al-Qaeda some support base.
1. The US’s unconditional support for Israel
2. 150,000 troops still in Iraq
3. US troops in countries where Muslims control their own oil.
- It’s all laid out in a book by Michael Scheuer: Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror
- I work very closely with Robert Greenwald at Brave New Foundation. Getting Afghanistan Right. There’s a huge sectarian problem in the anti-war movement. Nonetheless there’s always a peace and justice community in every city I go to.
- One wonders what it will take for someone in the House or Senate to stand up and say I want to lead the anti-war movement.
Guest – Political and social activist Tom Hayden joins us today to fill in the detail and time line in this escalation of war. Tom is also the author of Ending The War in Iraq.
US War in Afghanistan and Pakistan – Follow Up
As tensions rise between Pakistan and the United States, President Obama recently mentioned that stability in Afghanistan depends on what will happen in Pakistan. The United States and Pakistan have been allies in their interest to purge Islamist extremism, however the two countries are now embroiled in miscommunication, drone wars and mistrust that is centered around a 10 billion dollar military aid fund. Analysts say the Obama administration is asking a lot from a fragile Pakistani government that has been in power for now only a year.
President Obama’s speech on Pakistan, tells the whole story. You have to unpack it.
Not a lot of people have read the speech. Obama starts by saying a campaign against extremism will not succeed by bullets and bombs alone then he launches into the peaceful side of American policy.
The US is planning to make Pakistan another outpost of globalization creating an opportunity for multinational corporations to invest into a local economy and basically take it over.
What they’re saying is they’re trying to execute a policy to bring Pakistan into full economic domination of American capitalism–a globalized version of American capitalism. The military aspect of this is only a part to secure the farthest reaches of the Middle East, the part of instability.
Obama’s speech is filled with being “administratively involved with Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
The delivery is profound American presence. American enterprises, administrators, experts, trainers, a kind of colonial presence, then on the other side of this, an integration into the global system.
Private multinational enterprises will build schools, infrastructure.
This same neoliberal process has occurred in Africa, South America and what we know about this process is that there is an extraction of large profits by these multinational corporations. The Taliban would set up a social organization that is incompatible with the globalized agenda, so you can see this as a counter-insurgency maneuver.
The military part of this is that they’re not going to be able to do this in a peaceful way, they’re going to have to conquer the area.
In a period of two years with more than 90 drone attacks have killed 5000 innocent Pakistanis. They want to kill civilians.
The sense that people are waiting to see whether Obama and Congress move to escalate the war is a big part of the lack of energy in the anti-war movement.
These are colonial wars, because the United States seeks to have a real administrative hold over these countries.
The United States can’t withdraw from Afghanistan because it borders on the three Caspian Sea oil companies. Those oil companies are gravitating toward China and Russia in the grand scheme of things.
Regarding the poppy agriculture in Afghanistan, the Taliban had gotten rid of the poppies, since the US had invaded Afghanistan, the poppy agriculture has come back. We talk today with Michael Schwartz about the current relations amid Pakistan, the United States and the war in Afghanistan.
$1.5 billion in direct support to the Pakistani people every year over the next five years – resources that will build schools, roads, and hospitals, and strengthen Pakistan’s democracy. I’m also calling on Congress to pass a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Maria Cantwell, Chris Van Hollen and Peter Hoekstra that creates opportunity zones in the border region to develop the economy and bring hope to places plagued by violence. And we will ask our friends and allies to do their part – including at the donors conference in Tokyo next month.
Guest – Michael Schwartz is a professor of Sociology and Faculty Director of the Undergraduate College of Global Studies at Stony Brook University, has written extensively on popular protest and insurgency as well as on American business and government dynamics. His books include the recently published War Without End.
Cuba, South America and the Summit of the Americas
Earlier this year we spoke with filmmaker and Cuba scholar Saul Landau about the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution and its significance. Now Saul describes the changes we can expect with regard to Cuban/US relations from the Obama Administration. The discussion also covers some detail of the recent talks at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad.
Obama has allowed Cuban-Americans to travel freely to Cuba and allowing more loose travel regulations as well.
What can Cuba really do except to promise to stop hitting the US in the fist with its face?
What did Cuba do to the United States to merit 50 years of punishment?
I don’t think Cubans are prepared to have 100,000 spring breakers descend upon Havana.
Nor are they prepared for American investors with big wads of cash, trying to buy up everybody and everything that they see.
I think Obama is one of the cleverest, most winsome, brightest people I can ever imagine; he’s a hard man to resist. But you have to get behind his optimistic rhetoric, his humility, his smile and his handshake and remember that prize fighters also shake hands before the first round.
Cuba will have a lower profile in the future, we’ve seen the most publicity we’re going to see for quite a while now.
I think things are little better, they’re a little quieter and less hostile. I think Cuba has its own problems that it really has to deal with
Guest – Saul Landau is an internationally known author, commentator, and film maker on foreign and domestic policy issues. Landau’s most widely praised achievements are the over forty films he has produced on social, political and historical issues, and worldwide human rights, for which he won the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award, the George Polk Award for Investigative Reporting, and the First Amendment Award, as well as an Emmy for “Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang.” In 2008, the Chilean government presented him with the Bernardo O’Higgins Award for his human rights work. Landau has written fourteen books including a book of poems, My Dad Was Not Hamlet. He received an Edgar Allen Poe Award for Assassination on Embassy Row, a report on the 1976 murders of Chilean Ambassador Orlando Letelier and his colleague, Ronni Moffitt.
He is Professor Emeritus at California State University, Pomona. He is a senior Fellow at and Vice Chair of the Institute for Policy Studies.