Afghanistan: Beyond the Propaganda + Drone Warfare
First program: Kathy Kelly - Afghanistan: Beyond the Propaganda
The pretext of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 was the September 11 attacks. Washington announced it was pursuing Osama bin Laden. But very quickly the Bush administration changed its objective to include the overthrow of the Taliban regime in Kabul. That mission switch precipitated the longest war in U.S. history. Washington and its NATO allies have said they are withdrawing their forces at the end of 2014. But it seems almost certain that U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan. The new Afghan president, who will take office in late July, has indicated he will sign the already negotiated bi-lateral security agreement which provides for continued American military presence. Waste, fraud and corruption accompany all wars. In Afghanistan, billions of dollars have gone missing. Drug trafficking is back. And the countless Afghan dead? A price they had to pay.
Second program: Medea Benjamin - Drone Warfare
Drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, are the hottest new thing in the Pentagon’s panoply of weapons. They have been used with lethal effect in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Pakistan, in particular, has borne the brunt of the attacks. Many civilians have been killed resulting in intense loathing of the U.S. And now drones are migrating from battlefields abroad to the streets of the homeland. They are begining to be used by police forces which are becoming more and more militarized. The ACLU warns that the use of drones “would profoundly change the character of public life in the United States.” We are moving closer to a surveillance society in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded, and scrutinized by the authorities. Drone manufacturers are offering police the option of arming drones with rubber bullets, Tasers, and tear gas.
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Terrorism: Theirs and Ours
Terrorism is the scourge of the era. It is a fearsome symbol conjuring up images of ferocious-looking, bearded men brandishing AK-47s. The media focus on the terrorism of official enemies...
Eqbal Ahmad, David Barsamian
Terrorism: Theirs & Ours
This Open Media Pamphlet Series edition (59 pp.) features edited transcripts from Eqbal Ahmad's lecture at the University of Colorado, October 12, 1998 and excerpts from David Barsamian's extensive interviews with...
Afghanistan: Beyond the Propaganda
The pretext of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 was the September 11 attacks. Washington announced it was pursuing Osama bin Laden. But very quickly the Bush administration...
Saudi Arabia: History & Politics
Saudi Arabia is a quixotic ally of the U.S., to say the least. Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were from the desert kingdom. In the wake of the attack,...
Iran: History & Politics
Iran, a country of 80 million people, strategically straddles West and South Asia. Once in Washington’s hip pocket, Iran dramatically left the U.S. orbit in 1979 when the Shah was...
Understanding the Middle East + Terrorism: Theirs & Ours
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?...
Iran Backgrounder 2-Pack
First Program: Iran: History & Politics -Laura Secor Iran, a country of 80 million people, strategically straddles West and South Asia. Once in Washington’s hip pocket, Iran dramatically left the U.S. orbit...
Ahmed Rashid, Ervand Abrahamian
Afghanistan, Pakistan & Iran
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran have extensive historical and cultural links. Peoples, languages, music, and food spill over borders. The U.S. is deeply involved in all three nations. It has occupied...
Muhammed Aziz Shukri
A Syrian View of the Middle East
Syria is a millennia old civilization with great traditions in music, poetry, architecture and art. Damascus, its capital, is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world. Syria sided with the U.S....
Abdel Bari Atwan
Al-Qa'ida, the base in Arabic, first emerged in an embryonic form in 1988. Its core consisted of the Arab mujahedeen fighters who went to Afghanistan to oust the Soviets. It was established...
Afghanistan, bin Laden, and the Taliban
In late December 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The United States in its goal to oust them cut Faustian bargains with individuals and groups that are now implicated in...
Afghanistan: Two Interviews
Because of the refugee crisis precipitated by the Soviet invasion, Louis Dupree says, “Afghanistan will never be the same again.” He calls it “migratory genocide.” Afghan expert and Louis’ partner...
Afghanistan & Pakistan: Countries in Crisis
Afghanistan and Pakistan, neighboring states, are both in a precarious situation. In Afghanistan, the leader is Hamid Karzai and in Pakistan it's Pervez Musharraf. They face huge internal problems. Both...