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U.S. Interventions in the Middle East

Program #SAIE035. Recorded in Seattle, WA on May 08, 2003.

The current occupant of the White House has said, “The Middle East is a troubled place. There are a lot of bad things happening in that part of the world.” Indeed. But why is it troubled place and why are bad things happening there? There is no mention of Washington’s role. Actions have consequences. U.S. invasions, occupations, coups and economic warfare in the Middle East have significantly contributed to turning the region into a disaster area. Washington has aligned itself with feudal despotic regimes. Decades ago, the U.S. identified Middle Eastern oil as crucial to its designs to dominate the world. Fast forward. The 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq has to be one of the greatest war crimes in history. Its ramifications continue to reverberate throughout the Middle East and beyond. And Palestine? Things are as bleak as ever.

This never before broadcast archival program marks the 15th anniversary of Said’s death.

Speaker(s):

Edward Said

Edward Said, internationally renowned Columbia University professor, practically invented the field of post-colonial studies. His great work, Orientalism has been translated into many languages and is widely used in colleges and universities. The New York Times called him, "one of the most influential literary and cultural critics in the world." As one of the few advocates for Palestinian rights in the U.S., he was the target of vilification, death threats and vandalism. The Economist said he "repudiated terrorism in all its forms and was a passionate, eloquent and persistent advocate for justice for the dispossessed Palestinians." He was a trenchant critic not just of Israeli policies, but also of Arafat, the corrupt coterie around him and the despotic Arab regimes. He felt strongly that intellectuals had a special responsibility to speak out against injustice, challenge power, confront hegemonic thinking and provide alternatives. His friend Noam Chomsky said of him, “Said was one of the most remarkable and influential intellectuals of the last half century. Much of his immense effort and talent was dedicated to overcoming the insularity, prejudice, self-righteousness, apologetics that are among the pathologies of power and defending the rights of the victims.” His memoir Out of Place won the New Yorker Book of the Year Award. He published two books of interviews with David Barsamian, The Pen & the Sword and Culture & ImperialismEdward Said died in New York on September 25, 2003.

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