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Understanding the Middle East + Terrorism: Theirs & Ours

Program #GIAC002-AHME008.

2 Programs

First program: Chris Giannou - Understanding the Middle East

Large parts of the Middle East today are engulfed in violence. Why? What historical factors shape the current conflicts? Take Iraq for example, a country in chaos. The U.S. has been intervening in Iraq non-stop for decades. What has it produced? Sectarianism and strife. Death and destruction. Actual U.S. policy in the Middle East is buried in a blizzard of propaganda about democracy and human rights while in practice Washington backs feudal and repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and the Emirates as well as dictatorships like Egypt. Justification for U.S. military bases, invasions and occupations are cloaked in the garb of altruism and noble intent. It’s always been that way for imperial powers. A moronic media never questions Washington’s self-professed motives. Thus, most people are ignorant about what is going on. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Second program: Eqbal Ahmad - Terrorism: Theirs and Ours

Terrorism is the scourge of the era. It is a fearsome symbol conjuring images of nasty-looking, bearded men brandishing AK-47s. The media focus only on the terrorism of official enemies like Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. The notion that the U.S. and its allies engage in terrorism is simply not a topic for discussion. In the current discourse, the terrorism of the designated bad guys is magnified. A lot of important information is omitted or didstorted.

Speaker(s):

Chris Giannou

Chris Giannou was chief surgeon for the International Committee of the Red Cross. He has worked in many war zones. He is the author of Besieged: A Doctor's Story of Life & Death in Beirut. He is a recipient of the Order of Canada.

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