2004 Program Archive

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December 26th , 2004


Dr. Selig S. Harrison on how the Bush administration has exaggerated the threat posed by North Korea.  Dr. Harrison is the author of Korean Endgame: A Strategy for Reunification and US Disengagement (Princeton) and is director of the Asia program at the Center for International Policy. He has visited North Korea eight times and met the late Kim Il Sung twice. Korean Endgame won the 2002 Association of American Publishers award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Government and Political Science.

Abbas Khadim on the upcoming elections in Iraq and the many difficulties and complications they represent.  Khadim is a PhD candidate at the University of California, Berkeley in Islamic Studies.  He fought against Saddam Hussein in the Shia uprising in the aftermath of Gulf War I and escaped the slaughter in which many perished.

December 19th , 2004


Dr. Saad al-Faqih on the future of the House of Saud, the bin Laden factor, Bush and the Saudis, the opposition and the dynamics of US-Saudi relations. Dr. al-Faqih was a professor of surgery at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia until March 1994. He was jailed that year for his heavy involvement in the country's reform movement. Upon his release from prison, he became director of the London office of the Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights (CDLR), then the leading Saudi opposition group. He left CDLR to found the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin (MIRA) in England in 1996. He is one of the world's leading dissident voices in opposition to the wealthy, influential and repressive regime holding power in Saudi Arabia, a country whose resources put it at the center of the world's focus and attention.

Milton Leitenberg on the use of poison against Ukrainian candidate Viktor Yushenko. Leitenberg is an acknowledged expert on the use of poison for political purposes. Mr. Leitenberg was trained as a scientist and moved into the field of arms control in 1966. In 1968, Leitenberg was the first American to work at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). He also worked with the Swedish Institute of International Affairs and the Center for International Studies' Peace Studies Program at Cornell University. His research is widely published. He has authored two major studies at CISSM, Biological Weapons Arms Control (1996) and Participation of Japanese Military Forces in UN Peacekeeping Operations (1996). He is currently writing a book on armed humanitarian intervention in wars and conflicts and is also involved in a study of the Soviet and Russian biological weapons program.

Philip Coyle on the recent failed missile test of Bush's costly missile defense system (possibly costing a trillion dollars), on how it is defeatable and how it does not address the real threats we face. Formerly the assistant secretary of defense and director of Operational Test and Evaluation, (1994-2001), Mr. Coyle now serves as senior advisor to CDI President Bruce Blair on a variety of projects, initially focusing on defense acquisition and testing issues. Prior to his stint at the Pentagon, Mr. Coyle was associate director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif. - where he served in several capacities from 1959 to 1979, and again from 1981 to 1993. With more than 40 years experience in testing and test-related matters, he was selected by Aviation Week magazine as one of its "Laurels" honorees for 2000, a select group of people recognized for outstanding contributions in the aerospace field. Mr. Coyle also is leading CDI's California branch office, CDI West.

December 12th , 2004


John Pike on a $9.5 billions dollar stealth satellite system which is, according to Democratic senators who recently went  public, is wasteful and destabilizing.  Mr. Pike is one of the world's leading experts on defense, space and intelligence policy and is Director of GlobalSecurity.org, a nonprofit nonpartisan organization which he founded in December 2000.  Pike previously worked for nearly two decades with the Federation of American Scientists, where he directed the Space Policy, Cyberstrategy, Military Analysis, Nuclear Resource and Intelligence Resource projects.  He regularly provides commentary and analysis to numerous media outlets and is the author of more than 200 studies, reports and articles on national security and space.  For more on John Pike and his organization, see http://www.globalsecurity.org .  

Russell Mokhiber  on his recent encounter with White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, to whom he posed a question we've wanted the answer to for quite some time-as an evangelical born-again Christian, does George Bush believe in the Southern Baptist/"Left Behind" notion of the rapture, end-times and the apocalypse?  Does he support certain policies in the Middle East which would "help" the end times to arrive and spur the return of Jesus, as do many of his right-wing Christian supporters?  McClellan ducked the question. Mokhiber is the editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter and co-author, with Robert Weissman, of the weekly column "Focus on the Corporation."  He is also the co-author, again with Weissman, of the forthcoming book "On the Rampage: Corporate Predators and the Destruction of Democracy" (Common Courage Press).     


Mokhiber: ". . . on the Middle East -- many evangelical Christians in the United States are supporting right-wing Jews in Israel who want to rebuild the temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. They (Evangelical Christians) believe this is a prerequisite for Christ's return to earth. They believe that when Christ returns to earth -- they call this The Rapture -- He will take back with Him the true believers. And the rest -- the non-believers -- Jews, Muslims -- will be left behind to face a violent death here on earth. As a born again Christian, does the President support efforts to rebuild the temple on the Temple Mount?"  McClellan: "I will be glad to take your question, and if there is more, I will get back to you on that."    

With that, McClellen ended the press conference, and left the room.  

James Bamford on the Intelligence Reform bill and the "rewarding" of the neocons, who were the architects of the disastrous Bush foreign policy.  Bamford also comments on the new Bush cabinet, which he says is a tight group of loyal ideologue yes-people.  Bamford is the author of the bestsellers Body of Secrets and The Puzzle Palace and has written extensively on national security issues, including investigative cover stories for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. He was formerly an investigative producer for ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. His new book is A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies.

December 5th , 2004


David MacMichael is a former long-time analyst for the CIA and a founding member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and is on its steering committee.  In this interview, MacMichael looks at the purging of the CIA into a gaggle of Bush yes-men.  He also discusses the Intelligence Reform bill--what is it, what would it mean in practical terms, who opposes it and why.

Ambassador Adbar Ahmed on the recent visit by Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf to the US for a meeting with President Bush.  Ambassador Ahmed is, according to the BBC, "probably the world’s best-known scholar on contemporary Islam.” He is the former  Pakistani Ambassador to Great Britain, and has advised Prince Charles and met with President George W. Bush on Islam. He is now Chair of Islamic Studies and professor of International Relations at American University in Washington, DC. Dr. Ahmed is a distinguished anthropologist, writer, and filmmaker. He has been actively involved in interfaith dialogue and the study of global Islam and its impact on contemporary society for many years.  His most recent book is "Islam Under Siege."  

Susan Truitt is co-founder of the Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections ( www.caseohio.info/ )  and one of a trio of activist lawyers armed with mysteriously wrong exit polls and hundreds of voter horror stories.  These lawyers announced plans last Friday to contest Ohio's presidential election. Their challenge could lead to widespread reconsideration of dozens of alleged election irregularities around the state - from reported computerized voting glitches to provisional-ballot mishaps to unusual incidents involving voter rolls, poll workers and machine technicians.  To qualify to reopen consideration of the election the group needs to find only 25 aggrieved electors and evidence of irregularities, both of which he and his associates have collected in abundance at hearings around the state, he said.  Susan Truitt said Ohioans need to know their vote was properly counted.  "Our intent is to examine this election, and to prevail, so that we will have a democracy in this country," she said. "So that we will not have our voices shut down."  

Steven Hertzberg is the founder of www.Votewatch.us , an organization devoted to examining problems associated with voting and developing solutions to enhance and secure the core of American democracy--our elections.  In this discussion with Ian Masters, Mr. Hertzberg talks about the November elections, what kind of problems occurred, what actions must be taken and ideas to make the voting process better, more accessible and more secure.  More about Steven Hertzberg: Mr. Hertzberg’s 16 years of experience includes engineering design, technical program management, information systems development, international new business development, strategic marketing, new venture engineering and private capital acquisition.  Mr. Hertzberg now resides in San Francisco where he devotes his energy toward developing innovative social ventures.  Previously, Mr. Hertzberg was Managing Director (California) for an information technology and enterprise integration consultancy based in Toronto, Canada. Mr. Hertzberg’s clients included Handspring and Roxio (an Adaptec company).  During the previous 12 year period, while dividing residences between California and Australia, Mr. Hertzberg participated in the management teams of numerous new ventures (contributing to an IPO). In addition, he also founded and successfully developed his own ventures in the automotive accessories, industrial food equipment, information technology, television and direct marketing industries.  Mr. Hertzberg spent the first several years of his career as a civilian within the US Department of Defense.  While serving as a Project Manager and Test Director for highly visible military development programs, Mr. Hertzberg received the U.S. Army’s Civilian Special Act Award.  Mr. Hertzberg was born in Los Angeles, California and has one daughter. Steven holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Purdue University.

November 28th , 2004


Andrew Jack on Russia and the crisis in the  Ukraine.  Mr. Jack is Moscow bureau chief of the Financial Times. He has been based in Russia since 1998, covering the end of the Yeltsin era, the rise to power of Vladimir Putin, and his entire period in office. He was the Financial Times' Paris correspondent in the mid 1990s, and previously worked in London and New York. He is the author of "The French Exception" and the new book, "Inside Putin's Russia."  "Inside Putin's Russia"  is a revealing look at the meteoric rise of Vladimir Putin and his first term as president of Russia. Drawing on interviews with Putin himself, and with a number of the country's leading figures, as well as many ordinary Russians, Jack describes how the former KGB official emerged from the shadows of the Soviet secret police and lowly government jobs to become the most powerful man in Russia. The author shows how Putin has defied domestic and foreign expectations, presiding over a period of strong economic growth, significant restructuring, and rising international prestige. Yet Putin himself remains a man of mystery and contradictions. Personally, he is the opposite of Boris Yeltsin. A former judo champion, he is abstemious, healthy, and energetic, but also evasive, secretive, and cautious. Politically, he has pursued a predominantly pro-western foreign policy and liberal economic reforms, but has pursued a hardline war in Chechnya and introduced tighter controls over parliament and the media and his opponents, moves which are reminiscent of the Soviet era. Through it all, Putin has united Russian society and maintained extraordinarily high popularity. Jack concludes that Putin's "liberal authoritarianism" may be unpalatable to the West, but is probably the best that Russia can do at this point in her history. Inside Putin's Russia digs behind the rumors and speculation, illuminating Putin's character and the changing nature of the Russia he rules. Andrew Jack sheds light on Putin's thinking, style and effectiveness as president. With Putin's second term just beginning, this invaluable book offers important insights for anyone interested in the past, present, and future of Russia.  

interviewed with  

Dr. Jim Walsh who is the Executive Director of the Managing the Atom Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. His research and writings focus on weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and the Middle East. Before coming to Harvard, he was a visiting scholar at the Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, one of the country's three nuclear weapons labs. Previously, he was named a Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar by the United States Institute for Peace and won the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship from the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.  Dr. Walsh's writings have appeared in the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the LA Times and numerous other domestic and foreign papers.

Robert Young Pelton, in a live report from Baghdad, describes the dangerous conditions in Iraq as far worse than have been reported in the US media and than have been indicated by the Bush administration.  Embedded with security contractors, Pelton describes the harrowing run from Baghdad International Airport to the protected "Green Zone."  Pelton is the author of Three Worlds Gone Mad, The World's Most Dangerous Places, Come Back Alive, his auto-biography, The Adventurist, and is a regular columnist for National Geographic Adventure. He produces and hosts a television series for Discovery and the Travel Channel, and appears frequently as an expert on current affairs and travel safety on CNN, FOX News, and other news networks.

November 14th , 2004


Amjad Atallah on the future of the Palestinians in the aftermath of the Arafat era.  Mr. Atallah is a legal advisor to the Negotiations Support Unit (NSU) of the PLO with responsibility for international borders and security. He coordinated Palestinian cooperation with the Sharm El-Sheikh Fact Finding Committee (the Mitchell Commission) and the missions of General Zinni and Secretary of State Powell. Previously, Mr. Atallah assisted the prosecutor’s office of the International War Crimes Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and promoted Rule of Law initiatives in the Occupied Palestinian Territories with USIP. He received a BA and MA from the University of Virginia and a JD from American University’s Washington College of Law. He is a member of the New York State Bar.

Larry Johnson  on the turmoil in the CIA as Porter Goss remakes the agency per the orders of George W. Bush.  Johnson is CEO and co-founder of BERG Associates, LLC, and  worked previously with the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism,  He is a recognized expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, crisis and risk management. Mr. Johnson has analyzed terrorist incidents for a variety of media including the Jim Lehrer News Hour, National Public Radio, ABC's Nightline, NBC's Today Show, the New York Times, CNN, Fox News and the BBC. 

From 1989 until October 1993, Larry Johnson served as a Deputy Director in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism.  He managed crisis response operations for terrorist incidents throughout the world and he helped organize and direct the US Government’s debriefing of US citizens held in Kuwait and Iraq, which provided vital intelligence on Iraqi operations following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.  Mr. Johnson also participated in the investigation of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103.  Under Mr. Johnson’s leadership the U.S. airlines and pilots agreed to match the US Government’s two million-dollar reward.  From 1985 through September 1989 Mr. Johnson worked for the Central Intelligence Agency.  During his distinguished career, he received training in paramilitary operations, worked in the Directorate of Operations, served in the CIA’s Operation’s Center, and established himself as a prolific analyst in the Directorate of Intelligence.  In his final year with the CIA he received two Exceptional Performance Awards. Mr. Johnson is a member of the American Society for Industrial Security.  He taught at The American University’s School of International Service (1979-1983) while working on a Ph.D. in political science.  He has a M.S. degree in Community Development from the University of Missouri (1978), where he also received his B.S. degree in Sociology, graduating Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1976.

November 7th , 2004


Robert Edgar

Sam Harris

John Sperling

Andy Stephenson

October 31st, 2004


John Winer is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Law Enforcement.  Mr. Winer worked with Richard Clarke,  the National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism, on the NSC Trans-National Threat Committee.
James Fallows is The Atlantic Monthly's National Correspondent, and has worked for the magazine for more than twenty years. His books include Breaking the news: How the Media Undermine American Democracy, Looking at the Sun, More Like Us and National Defense, which won the American Book Award for non-fiction. His article about the consequences of victory in Iraq,  “The Fifty First State?,” won the 2003 National Magazine Award.  Mr. Fallows has been an editor for the Washington Monthly and Texas Monthly magazines, and a columnist for the Industry Standard. He writes frequently for Slate and the New York Review of Books and is chairman of the board of the New America Foundation. He has worked on a software-design team at Microsoft and as chief speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter. He and his wife live in Washington DC.
Gloria Steinem is one of America's great writers, thinkers and activists.  She was major feminist leader in the late 1960s and in 1971 co-founded MS Magazine, where she serves as contributing editor today. In 1971 she was a co-convener of the National Women's Political Caucus and in l972 helped found the MS Foundation for Women, which raises funds to assist underprivileged girls and women. She is a founding member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women, and has authored a number of books. Her work forms a lasting legacy of ideas and personal revelation that continues to inspire and inform.

October 24th, 2004


Senator George McGovern on the Bush administration and the upcoming election.  George McGovern was a U.S. Senator representing South Dakota from 1963 to 1981 and a U.S. Congressman from 1957 to 1961. In 1972 he was the Democratic Party's presidential candidate, but was defeated by the incumbent Richard Nixon. He is the author of a new book, "The Essential America: Our Founders and the Liberal Tradition."  Serving under President John F. Kennedy in 1961, he was the first director of the U.S. Food for Peace Program. A World War II bomber pilot awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross; he also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000. With a doctorate degree in history from Northwestern, he served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization under President Bill Clinton.  Recently he was awarded the French Legion of Honor - France's highest military honor. McGovern sees liberalism is the oldest and most enduring American tradition, a philosophy and way of life we inherited from the Founding Fathers. This as the central idea of The Essential America by George McGovern, America's best-known (and most consistent) liberal. Referring us to our moral and spiritual foundations, McGovern not only presents a resounding defense of liberalism as "the most practical and hopeful compass to guide the American ship of state" but offers specific proposals for keeping the tradition vibrant. The Essential America proposes programs for feeding the world's malnourished children. Rather than sending our armies abroad, McGovern spells out policies that confront the causes of terrorism. He proposes cutting our military budget (echoing Dwight D. Eisenhower's powerful warning about the military-industrial complex). He condemns preemptive war, criticizes tax cuts for the rich, and warns against government for the powerful minority. Americans have traditionally stood for progress, generosity, tolerance, and protection of the needy, McGovern states -- as well as for multi- lateralism in foreign policy and "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind." He reminds us that while creative tension between liberalism and conservatism is the genius of American politics, it is the liberals who have been responsible for every forward step in our national history. They built "the Essential America."  

Dr. Benjamin Barber on how the Bush foreign policy has been a miserable failure and why a change is sorely needed.  Dr. Barber is the Gershon and Carol Kekst Professor of Civil Society and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland and a principal of the Democracy Collaborative. An internationally renowned political theorist, Dr. Barber brings an abiding concern for democracy and citizenship to issues of politics, culture and education in America and abroad.  Benjamin Barber's 17 books include the classic STRONG DEMOCRACY (1984) reissued in 2004 in a twentieth anniversary edition; the recent international best-seller JIHAD VS. MCWORLD (1995 with a Post 9/11 Edition in 2001, translated into twenty languages) and FEAR'S EMPIRE: WAR, TERRORISM AND DEMOCRACY just now being published in a new paperback edition.  In Fear's Empire, Benjamin Barber suggests that unilateral military action perpetuates an image of America as an aggressive force that operates outside the accepted precepts of international law and policy. This could lead to less support from other countries in fighting a shadowy enemy and, because it perpetuates the image of America as self-righteous aggressor, could lead to generations of increased terrorism while contributing to a bunker mentality of fear back at home. But Barber does more than say what's wrong; he offers a detailed plan for a more conscientious foreign policy alternative. He draws a distinction between Pax Americana the strategy of preventive war which the United States used in Afghanistan and Iraq and Lex Humana or "preventive democracy," a strategy in which democracy is developed as a means of establishing a lasting peace around the world by encouraging a practical self-determination. Barber draws important distinctions: simply demanding that other countries adopt America's laws and processes will not work and exporting America's consumer driven economic lifestyle would be nothing short of disastrous. But by extending the notion of the social contract to the world, helping countries establish their own democratic societies, and using democracy as a model for nations to work together, Barber argues, peace could be established and fear's empire finally defeated.  

Lou Dubose on majority leader of the House of Representatives Tom DeLay and the legal troubles he is in.  Dubose is the author of the just-published "The Hammer: Tom DeLay: God, Money and the Rise of the Republican Congress."  We'll talk to him about DeLay, his Texan background as a pest exterminator, how he has risen to power, his dreams for a theocratic Republican nation, and his recent troubles. Lou DuBose is the co-author, with Molly Ivins, of Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America and Shrub: The Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush and Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Brains Behind the Remarkable Political Triumph of George W. Bush. He was the editor of the Texas Observer for eleven years.  With The Hammer, Lou Dubose and co-author Jan Reid track the rise of Tom DeLay from owner of a pest control business to unremarkable, and hard-partying, Texas legislator (his nickname was "Hot Tub Tom"), to the congressional pinnacle of power. DeLay is the representative who has called the Environmental Protection Agency "the Gestapo of government," that he drove what he dubbed "The Campaign" to impeach Bill Clinton because Clinton lacked a "biblical worldview," that he didn't serve in Vietnam because too many minorities had signed up leaving no room for people like him, and recently stated any House adoption of a revised bill reinstating tax credits for poor families "ain't going to happen." DeLay is bold--a majority leader with extraordinary powers and extraordinary ambition--and whether he is maneuvering to redistrict Texas congressional seats or flying to Israel to critique the president, he uses that power to shape our politics here and abroad. It is time a proper introduction was made to this man, the only member of the House to keep half a dozen bullwhips on his office wall and a copy of the Ten Commandments on the windowsill.

October 17th, 2004

Hour 1:

Hour 2:

Anatol Lieven on his controversial critique of America's role in the world, as per his new book--the just published "America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism."  Lieven contends that U.S. foreign policy since 9/11 has been shaped by the special character of our national identity, which embraces two contradictory features. One, "The American Creed," is a civic nationalism which espouses liberty, democracy, and the rule of law. It is our greatest legacy to the world. But our almost religious belief in the "Creed" creates a tendency toward a dangerously "messianic" element in American nationalism, the desire to extend American values and American democracy to the whole world, irrespective of the needs and desires of others. The other feature, Jacksonian nationalism, has its roots in the aggrieved, embittered, and defensive White America, centered in the American South. Where the "Creed" is optimistic and triumphalist, Jacksonian nationalism is fed by a profound pessimism and a sense of personal, social, religious, and sectional defeat. Lieven examines how these two antithetical impulses have played out in recent US policy, especially in the Middle East and in the nature of U.S. support for Israel. He suggests that in this region, the uneasy combination of policies based on two contradictory traditions have gravely undermined U.S. credibility and complicated the war against terrorism.  Lieven is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for international Peace.  He writes on a range of security and international affairs issues. He previously was editor of Strategic Comments, published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London. There he also specialized in the former Soviet Union and in aspects of contemporary warfare.  

Dr. Graham Allison on U.S. vulnerability to a terrorist nuclear attack. While he begins by asserting such an attack is preventable, what Dr. Allison, the author of the new book "Nuclear Terrorism: the Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe," has to say beyond that  is anything but reassuring. Allison describes the broad spectrum of groups who could intend a nuclear strike against the U.S. They range from an al-Qaeda with its own Manhattan Project to small and determined doomsday cults. Their tools can include a broad spectrum of weapons, either stolen or homemade from raw materials increasingly available worldwide. Once terrorists acquire a nuclear bomb, Allison argues, its delivery to an American target may be almost impossible to stop under current security measures. The Bush administration, correct in waging war against nuclear terrorism, has not, he says, yet developed a comprehensive counter strategy. Arguing that the only way to eliminate nuclear terrorism's threat is to lock down the weapons at the source, Allison recommends nothing less than a new international order based on no insecure nuclear material, no new facilities for processing uranium or enriching plutonium and no new nuclear states. Those policies, Allison believes, do not stretch beyond the achievable, if pursued by a combination of quid pro quos and intimidation in an international context of negotiation and a U.S. foreign policy he describes as "humble." A humble policy in turn will facilitate building a world alliance against nuclear terrorism and acquiring the intelligence necessary for success against prospective nuclear terrorists. It will also require time, money and effort. Like the Cold War, the war on nuclear terrorism will probably be a long struggle in the twilight. But no student of the fact, Allison asserts, doubts that another major terrorist attack is in the offing. "We do not have the luxury," he declares, "of hoping the beast will simply go away." Allison is the founding dean of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and is the director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government. He served as assistant secretary of defense for policy and plans and is also the author of Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis.  

Michael Klare, the author of the new book "Blood and Oil: the Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency" on the world's rapidly growing economy which is dependent on oil as the world's supply is running out.  As this happens, the U.S. and other great powers are engaged in an escalating game of brinkmanship to secure oil's continued free flow. Such is the premise of Klare's powerful and brilliant new book (following Resource Wars). The U.S.--with less than 5% of the world's total population--consumes about 25% of the world's total supply of oil, he argues. With no meaningful conservation being attempted, Klare sees the nation's energy behavior dominated by four key trends: "an increasing need for imported oil; a pronounced shift toward unstable and unfriendly suppliers in dangerous parts of the world; a greater risk of anti-American or civil violence; and increased competition for what will likely be a diminishing supply pool." In clear, lucid prose, Klare lays out a disheartening and damning indictment of U.S. foreign policy. From the waning days of WWII, when Franklin Roosevelt gave legitimacy to the autocratic Saudi royalty, to the current conflict in Iraq, Klare painstakingly describes a nation controlled by its unquenchable thirst for oil. Rather than setting out a strategy for energy independence, he finds a roadmap for further U.S. dependence on imported oil, more exposure for the U.S. military overseas and, as a result, less safety for Americans at home and abroad. While Klare offers some positive suggestions for solving the problem, in tone and detail this work sounds a dire warning about the future of the world.  Michael Klare is the director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst. Defense analyst for The Nation and National Public Radio, he is the author of Resource Wars, Rogue States and Nuclear Outlaws, and Low Intensity Warfare.     

Background Briefing, Part two:   

John Judis, the author of the newly published "The Folly of Empire: What George W. Bush Could Learn from Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson" on how the neocon urge to dominate the world is ultimately wasteful and self-destructive.  Surveying American foreign policy since the 1890s, New Republic senior editor Judis argues that when conservatives compare George W. Bush's post-9/11 speech to Congress with Roosevelt's "The Strenuous Life" (a speech that endorsed U.S. expansionism), they leave out Roosevelt's later doubts about expansionism and his support for international law and organization. While adopting Woodrow Wilson's goal of global democracy, conservatives, Judis says, have disregarded Wilson's recognition, through the example of Mexico, that the U.S. will stumble when trying to impose a government in the manner of McKinley and early Teddy Roosevelt: unilaterally. Where Judis identifies imperialist activity over the decades, he finds it grounded in America's sense of mission. But he also finds American torture in Iraq echoing American conduct toward Native Americans and in the Philippines and Vietnam: treatment meted out to "savages," not equals. He praises Bill Clinton for using NATO as not merely a military alliance but an "association of interest." Judis makes a strong case that Bush's repudiation of Clinton's support for numerous treaties and pacts has been shortsighted.  He is a senior editor for The New Republic and has been a contributor to the magazine since 1982.  His articles have also appeared in The American Prospect, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs and many others. His books include The Paradox of American Democracy: Elites, Special Interests, and the Betrayal of Public Trust; William F. Buckley: Patron Saint of the Conservatives, and Grand Illusion: Critics and Champions of the American Century.    

Gene Lyons is the co-author of the definitive "The Hunting of the President," which documented the orchestrated Republican effort to destroy the presidency of Bill Clinton.  Lyons described in detail a Republican machine, funded by billionaires, which will corrupt any institution, governmental, media or religious, in the pursuit of power--and that machine is operating now as we head into perhaps the most important election in our lifetimes.  Lyons' book was made into an acclaimed documentary, just released on DVD.  The Hunting DVD unfolds like a paranoid thriller--made all the more astonishing by scrupulous documentation and an impressive breadth of interviews with journalists, lawyers, political analysts, judges, newspaper editors, and many of the people caught up in the Whitewater scandal--which, after an expense of nearly a hundred million dollars and several years of investigation, failed to find any criminal act. The relentless efforts of Clinton's enemies grow into an appalling abuse of power, ultimately resulting in his impeachment (but not his removal from office). This documentary, like those of Michael Moore, uses brief clips from Hollywood movies and television to give a boost to the narrative.  The Hunting of the President presents such an impressive barrage of facts and perspectives that the argument it presents is overwhelming. Lyons is a nationally syndicated columnist and recipient of the National Magazine Award. He has written extensively for Newsweek, Harper's, The Nation and many other magazines. His books include The Higher Illiteracy, Widow's Web and Fools for Scandal.   

George Butler on Senator John Kerry and on the controversy surrounding the Rovian "Swift Boat" campaign to attack Kerry's stellar Vietnam record.  Butler is the director of the about-to-be-released documentary "Going Upriver," which explores the roots of Presidential Candidate John Kerry.  Butler has known Senator Kerry since 1964 and in 1969 began photographing him, in an effort to document his life and career. Using his unique collection of images, the film weaves together Butler's photography with archival material, interviews with Kerry's closest associates as well as contemporary footage of him at home and abroad. As with Butler's films Pumping Iron and The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition and the IMAX feature "Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition, the filmmaker prove himself worthy of the acclaim he has received for being a master at portraying American men affected by and effecting history.  Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry begins by juxtaposing beautiful images of Vietnam with horrific images of the Vietnam War. But though its depiction of the war is vivid--and the accounts of 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry's heroism, told by the men who served with him, are plain and free of hyperbole--it's his actions after he came back to the U.S. that stand out in this documentary. Kerry's involvement with Vietnam Veterans Against the War, for whom he became an inadvertent but eloquent spokesperson, required as much courage as facing the Viet Cong. Going Upriver gives a clear sense of the emotional and social pressures of the anti-war protests, where speaking one's mind became as powerful as firing a gun.

October 10th, 2004


Robert Reich on the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates and the political landscape as it exists today.  Dr. Reich was the Secretary of Labor under President Clinton.  He is currently a Professor of Social and Economic Policy at Brandeis University, and is the author of nine books, including The Work of Nations, which is one of the most influential books on the economy and workforce ever published and which has been translated into 22 languages, and his most recent "Reason: why liberals will win the battle for America."  

In 1992, Reich headed President Clinton's economic transition team. Before that, he served as a faculty member at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Reich worked in the Carter Administration, as Director of the Policy Planning Staff of the Federal Trade Commission. He also served as an assistant to the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice, representing the United States before the Supreme Court, during the Ford Administration.  Reich is a co-founder and former chairman of the political magazine The American Prospect, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Cambridge Community Foundation.As U.S. Secretary of Labor during President Clinton's first term, Reich was part of an Administration that presided over the longest economic expansion in history and created more than 22 million jobs nationwide. His leadership earned the Department of Labor more than 30 awards for innovation and government reinvention. A 1996 poll of Cabinet experts conducted by Hearst Newspapers rated Reich the most effective Cabinet secretary during the Clinton Administration. Reich transformed the Labor Department into a powerhouse of ideas, action and innovation, leading the way on important initiatives such as:  Implementing the Family and Medical Leave Act;  Fighting against sweatshops in the United States and illegal child labor around the world; Increasing the minimum wage for the first time since 1989;  Protecting workers' pensions by ensuring that companies fully funded their pension plans;  Launching job training programs, one-stop career centers, and school-to-work initiatives, all of which helped Americans earn higher incomes  

Lou DuBose  on the appearance and reality of corruption in Tom Delay's role as the majority leader of the House of Representatives.  DeLay has twice recently been censured for ethics violations and the suggestion is that these censures, delivered as they were by a Republican-controlled Congress, represent only the tips of icebergs.  Lou DuBose is the author of the just-published "The Hammer: Tom DeLay: God, Money and the Rise of the Republican Congress."  We'll talk to him about DeLay, his Texan background as a pest exterminator, how he has risen to power, his dreams for a theocratic Republican nation, and his recent troubles. Lou DuBose is the co-author, with Molly Ivins, of Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America and Shrub: The Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush and Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Brains Behind the Remarkable Political Triumph of George W. Bush. He was the editor of the Texas Observer for eleven years. 

Michelle Kraus  on technology and voting.  Dr. Kraus is the CEO of Digital Campaigns, a company that is exploring and developing new technologies to be employed in vote counting and exit polling, so that we have accurate, fool-proof and transparent voting.  Voting and technology, Kraus asserts, can be made compatible and Kraus seeks to be on the forefront of making that happen.  Dr. Kraus is a 20-year veteran of the technology industry, she has built large companies and founded start-up ventures.  Her political activism, begun when she was 12 years old, includes volunteer work in candidate campaigns as well as environmental and public interest campaigns.  Her work in the public policy arena spans the last two decades, providing her with a rare understanding of both politics and technology. Michelle holds a Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University.

October 3rd, 2004


Sidney Blumenthal on the presidential debates, what impact they may have and what he sees on the political event horizon.  Sidney Blumenthal was a former Senior Advisor to the President Bill Clinton.  Considered to be one of our finest political writers and commentators, Blumenthal is the author of the best-selling "The Clinton Wars," now available in paperback. Mr. Blumenthal is also a regular columnist for The Guardian of London and Salon.com in the US on the web. His recent column, published in both Salon.com and the London Guardian, entitled "Faith vs. Reason" examines the Kerry - Bush presidential debate as a contest of paradigms: Kerry's reasoned and rigorous strategic analysis; and Bush's non-rational impulses of "faith" and "gut feeling," by which he and his neocon handlers have pushed America forward into what many believe to be the worst foreign-policy disaster in our history--a quagmire which is purely destructive to all sides.  link

Ambassador Joseph Wilson on conditions in Iraq, the Bush presidency and how the Bush administration attacked Wilson and his wife after he revealed the false nature of assertions Bush made in the 2002 State of the Union address about Iraq attempting to acquire uranium from Niger.  Ambassador Wilson holds a record of diplomatic service to the United States which is almost without peer, having served in the diplomatic corps from 1976 to 1998.  He was Ambassador to Iraq under the first George Bush and was the last American official to meet with Saddam Hussein prior to Desert Storm.  Ambassador Wilson is the author of the best-selling "The Politics of Truth: inside the lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomats Memoir," a riveting account of  his revelation that Bush's 2002 State of the Union speech contained falsehoods which were used to push this nation to an unnecessary war--and tells the story of how the Bush administration punished him and his wife for truth-telling.  Her career as a CIA operative looking to contain nuclear proliferation was destroyed by operatives in the Bush administration, who would damage the interests of the United States in order to personally retaliate against Ambassador Wilson. 

Leon Smith on his recent editorial endorsing John Kerry for President of the United States.  This is remarkable because Leon Smith is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Lone Star Iconoclast, a weekly newspaper based in George Bush's hometown of Crawford, Texas.  His recent editorial endorsing John Kerry, entitled "John Kerry will Restore American Dignity," is not just notable because the paper is based in Crawford, it's also keenly insightful by any standards.  Ian talks to Smith about living in the heart of Bush country and why he felt he had to endorse Senator John Kerry for President of the United States.  www.iconoclast-texas.com

September 26th, 2004


Phillip Robertson details his harrowing account of the August siege of Najaf.  He, along with his collaborator, photojournalist Thorne Anderson, were the only western journalists in the Shrine of Imam Ali.  His account of war in the Shia holy city and his assessment of conditions in Iraq is devastating.   Robertson describes crossing through the US cordon and Mahdi Army forward positions on foot.  Then, Anderson and Robertson remained in the Shrine of Imam Ali for three days, interviewing and photographing the Mahdi Army fighters as their lines collapsed under the American offensive. Since 2001, Phillip Robertson has been covering the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for the American news and culture website, Salon.com. He has also reported for Time magazine, BBC World Service Radio, National Public Radio in the United States and CBC radio in Canada. Over the past three years, he has published fifty feature articles in Salon, relying upon first person narrative to communicate the effects of conflict on ordinary people. In 2003, Robertson was a finalist for the USC/Annenberg award for online journalism in the breaking news category.   

and joining later in the conversation: Robert Baer joins the conversation with Robertson and adds his powerful insights on the catastrophic quagmire that is Iraq in this don't-miss program.  Baer is a former CIA officer, author "See No Evil" and his latest "Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold our Soul for Saudi Crude." Baer's extensive first-hand knowledge as a CIA officer, specializing in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, puts him in a uniquely qualified position to comment on the situation America finds itself in with respect to the Iraq debacle.  Baer's book, "Sleeping with the Devil," deals with his assertion that the real source of funding and direction for the 9/11 attack lay with elements in Saudi Arabia, a fact which the Bush administration strategically ignored, as Baer puts it, out of "willful blindness," so that their long-held ambition to attack the impotent Iraq could be realized. Baer further asserts that Wahabi extremists in Saudi Arabia (who view themselves as the "co-rulers," with the royal family, of the oil-rich state) have done unparalleled damage to Islam, one of the world's great religions, by their complicity in terror.

Ann Louise Bardach on how Florida is ready to again be another electoral debacle, with vote suppression, voter purges, partisan election officials and more.  Ann Louis Bardach is the author of Cuba Confidential, named one of ten best nonfiction books of 2002 by the Los Angeles Times Book Review and finalist for the NY Public Library's Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism.  She is a political columnist for Newsweek (international edition); Contributing editor, Vanity Fair; Freelance journalist published in top news outlets including the New York Times, New Yorker, New Republic, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post; Television appearances include "60 Minutes," "Today Show," and "Charlie Rose"; Winner of the prestigious PEN West Award for Journalism in 1995.

September 19th, 2004


Seymour Hersh on the trail of travesties that has lead this country to engage in torture, in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and elsewhere.  Seymour Hersh is the most acclaimed investigative reporter in the United States.  He won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1969 exposé of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, in which American soldiers killed more than 500 civilians. He is the author of eight books, including 1983's "The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House." Since 1998, he's been a staff writer for the New Yorker.  His new book is "Chain of Command:  the road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib."  We'll look into how the United States got into this terrible quagmire in Iraq and how we found ourselves engaging in the inhuman vulgarity of torture on what appears to be a systematized basis.

Edward Luttwak on his plan to extricate the US from the Iraq quagmire via threatening withdrawal, thusly inspiring the cooperation and involvement of Iraq's neighbors, a development which seems remote at this time.  Luttwak is an internationally recognized authority on "preventive diplomacy," geoeconomics and strategy. Dr. Luttwak has served as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and the U.S. Department of State. He is a member of the National Security Study Group of the U.S. Department of Defense, and an associate of the Japan Finance Ministry's Institute of Fiscal and Monetary Policy. Senior Fellow Preventive Diplomacy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  He is the author of nine books, including  Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace , and the constantly reprinted Coup d'etat  published in 14 languages. His new Op-Ed in the New York Times is "Time to Quit Iraq (Sort of)."   

Lawrence O'Donnell on the challenges facing John Kerry in defeating a president who appears to be surfing a wave of lies, epitomized by a poll showing that 42% of the American people believe that there is a real connection between Iraq and 9/11.  O'Donnell is an Emmy winning producer of NBC's The West Wing   He is also MSNBC's senior political analyst and a panelist on The McLaughlin Group.  He is a former contributing editor of New York Magazine and a former Democratic Chief of Staff of the United States Senate Committee on Finance and for the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Mr. O'Donnell has also served as Senior Advisor to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. 

September 12th, 2004


Guests this week:

Senator Bob Graham on how 9/11 could have been prevented and how US intelligence services have been corrupted by ideology.  Senator Graham is a former two-term governor of Florida, is now in his third term in the United States Senate. While recognized for his leadership on issues ranging from health care to environmental preservation, Senator Graham is best known for his ten years of service on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence--including eighteen months as chairman in 2001ó2002, during which he co-chaired the House-Senate Joint Inquiry into the intelligence community's failures prior to 9/11.

Mark Benjamin on his reporting which shows that the Pentagon is dramatically understating the numbers of US soldiers who have been wounded in Iraq.  Official Pentagon figures say that (as of the airdate) approximately 7,000 soldiers have been injured.  Benjamin says the number is much higher, perhaps 20,000.  Mark Benjamin is an award-winning UPI investigations editor, whose investigations have prompted Congressional hearings, changes in military policy and action by the Food and Drug Administration. His articles have driven national news coverage on a number of occasions. Television appearances include CBS's 60 Minutes II, CNN, MSNBC and Bill Moyer's NOW. Reporting credits have appeared in Vanity Fair and articles about his reporting techniques have appeared in The Nation and Editor & Publisher. He has seven years experience in Washington.  Mark has also served as UPI's Congressional Bureau Chief. During the 2000 election debacle, he covered the legal wrangling and ballot counting from Palm Beach and Tallahassee, Fla. Before coming to UPI, he covered the environment and politics at Inside Washington Publishers, a leading trade publication company that specializes in covering the inner workings of Washington    

Matthew Breszinskion the dramatic loss of privacy following the Patriot Act, 9-11 and the war on terror.  What will a future security/surveillance United States look like?  Heavily armed guards at the entrances to malls and restaurants. Citizens deemed "suspicious" taken away without formal charges or legal counsel. Cameras at airport ticket counters that can tell if you are stressed. Satellites and surveillance equipment that can see through the walls of your home.  Computer programs capable of spotting abnormal behavior.  National ID "smart" cards encoding your personal, financial, and medical information required for electronic police spot checks.  In the aftermath of September 11, a massive effort has been launched to protect us from another terrorist attack. But the costs of safeguarding our country will require not only unprecedented amounts of funding, but dramatic changes in the way Americans lead their everyday lives. Is this the new price of freedom? 

September 6th, 2004


Nina Krushcheva (senior fellow World Policy Institute, New School for Social Research) on the shocking school hostage massacre done by Chechen separatists/terrorists in Beslan, located in the southern region of Ossetia, Russia.  When Russian forces raided the school to rescue the children, more than 350 were killed.  This action has resulted in a national trauma in Russia, and may have major affects on Russian government policy and the future of Vladmir Putin.  Krushcheva, the grand-daughter of a Russian Premier, gives insight only a Russian native could.  Khrushcheva has written articles and op-ed pieces for both American and European publications, including The Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Times, The Nation, The Times of London, Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Moscow), Obshchaya Gazeta (Moscow), Novoe Russkoe Slovo, Der Standard (Austria), NRC Handelsbuad (Netherlands), Die Zeit (Germany), and IntellectualCapital.com. Her book in progress is entitled From Tsarina to Tovarishch: Russian First Ladies.Who Are They?.  She is the former Director of Communications & Special Projects, EastWest Institute (1999-2000); Deputy Editor of the European Constitutional Review at New York University's School of Law (1998-99); Researcher, Princeton Institute for Advanced Study (1996-98); Russian language instructor and interpreter, Royal Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague (1990-91); Soviet Union Diplomatic Corps Service Bureau (1987-91). Khrushcheva has made several media appearances, including the News Hour with Jim Lehrer and CNN's World View. She has presented at more than a dozen conferences and lectures.   She is the recipient of an American Fellowship,The American Association of University Women; Merit Fellowship, Princeton University; Distinguished Teaching Award from the Diplomatic Corps Service Bureau.  She hold a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Princeton University  and a Masters in Philology, Moscow State University. 

Panel on the the growing Israeli/Pentagon/neocon spy scandal: Dr. Avner Cohen, now a visiting professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and author of the book Israel and the Bomb and a new book Israel's Last Taboo, with Dr. Michael Saba, author of The Armageddon Network and an international  business consultant. Do the Israeli's operate a deep espionage network in the United States, in concert with AIPAC, as has been suggested by some and reported in the media recently?  To what extent has Israel influenced American policy via the neocons placed in high positions of great influence in US policy making, particularly with respect to the invasion of Iraq, and the building pressure to strike Iran?  Has the United States military become a captive "Gurkha regiment" for the Israelis, as Professor Juan Cole has alleged?  Cohen and Saba take very differing positions as Ian moderates the discussion.

August 22nd, 2004


Colonel Richard Klass on the bogus anti-Kerry "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" smear-tactic. Colonel Klass is an Air Force Academy Graduate.  He served in Vietnam in 1967 - 68.  He is a recipient of the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart., the Legion of Merit, 11 air medals and more.  His is a Rhodes scholar, a graduate of Oxford and a former White House Fellow.  He is the founder and president of the Veterans Institute for Security and Democracy ( www.veteransinstitute.org ), which is holding a major event in New York during the Republican National Convention on September 1, 2004, from 1 to 4pm at the Association of the Bar of New York.  In this interview, Colonel Klass discussed the manufactured controversy of Senator Kerry's service as a Swift Boat commander in Vietnam.  This controversy, designed to destroy Kerry's advantage of real service and accomplishment, over Bush for whom records of service in the non-combat "champagne unit" has shown some success. And veterans like Colonel Klass are beginning to fight back. Will it be enough.  A White House political strategist was recently quoted anonymously in the New York Times as stating, "when we're done with Kerry, the American people won't know what side of the Vietnam war he fought on."

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on the disastrous environmental record of George W. Bush. What damage has been done to the environment and our ecosystems? What is the best response, politically and otherwise, to deal with these problems? Masters and Kennedy discuss the possibilities and talk about Kennedy's new book Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is credited with leading the fight to protect New York City's water supply, but his reputation as a resolute defender of the environment stems from a litany of successful legal actions. The list includes winning numerous settlements for Riverkeeper, prosecuting governments and companies for polluting the Hudson River and Long Island Sound, arguing cases to expand citizen access to the shoreline, and suing treatment plants to force compliance with the Clean Water Act. Mr. Kennedy acts as Chief Prosecuting Attorney for Riverkeeper. He also serves as Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council and as President of the Waterkeeper Alliance. At Pace University School of Law, he is a Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney at the Environmental Litigation Clinic in White Plains, New York. Earlier in his career Mr. Kennedy served as Assistant District Attorney in New York City.  The New York City watershed agreement, which he negotiated on behalf of environmentalists and the city's watershed consumers, is regarded as an international model in stakeholder consensus negotiations and sustainable development. He helped lead the fight to turn back the aggressive anti-environmental legislation during the 104th Congress. Mr. Kennedy has worked on environmental issues across the Americas. He has assisted several indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in successfully negotiating treaties protecting traditional homelands. Mr. Kennedy has published several books, including The Riverkeepers (1997) with John Cronin. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, Esquire, The Village Voice, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Pace Environmental Law Review, and other publications. Mr. Kennedy is a graduate of Harvard University. He studied at the London School of Economics and received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. He also received a Masters Degree in Environmental Law from Pace University. He is a licensed master falconer, and as often as possible he pursues a life-long enthusiasm for white-water paddling. He has organized and led several expeditions to Latin America, including first descents on three little known rivers in Peru, Columbia, and Venezuela.

Jeremy Rifkin on how the United States is falling behind Europe in critical quality of life measures. Do we really have the highest standard of living, as we often boast? Rifkin says no in the fascinating discussion with Ian Masters. Jeremy Rifkin is the bestselling author of The End of Work, The Biotech Century, The Age of Access, and The Hydrogen Economy. He is president of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington, D.C..  His new book is "The European Dream: how Europe's Vision of the Future is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream." Why are so few Americans paying attention to the dramatic changes taking place across the Atlantic, Rifkin (The End of Work) asks in his provocative and well-argued manifesto for the new European Union. Famously, Americans "live to work" while Europeans "work to live," and Rifkin demonstrates statistically and anecdotally that Europe's humane approach to capitalism makes for a healthier, better-educated populace. The U.S. lags behind in its unimaginative approach to working hours, productivity and technology, Rifkin claims, while Europe is leading the way into a new era while competing well in terms of productivity. Rifkin traces the cultural roots of what he says is America's lack of vision to its emphasis on individual autonomy and the accumulation of wealth; Europe's dream is more rooted in connectedness and quality of life. Americans may be risk takers, but Rifkin is more admiring of risk-sensitive European realism, as well as its secularism and social democracy. Exploring the history behind the two continents' wildly differing sensibilities, Rifkin examines the myth of the U.S. as "land of opportunity" and the two continents' contrasting attitudes to foreign policy, peace keeping and foreign aid. Rifkin's claims are not new, but he writes with striking clarity, combining the insights of contemporary sociologists and economists with up-to-the minute data and powerfully apt journalistic observations. While he may appear to idealize Europe's new direction, Rifkin's comparative study is scrupulously thorough and informative, and his rigor will please all readers interested in the future of world affairs. The American Dream is in decline. Americans are increasingly overworked, underpaid, and squeezed for time. But there is an alternative: the European Dream-a more leisurely, healthy, prosperous, and sustainable way of life. Europe's lifestyle is not only desirable, argues Jeremy Rifkin, but may be crucial to sustaining prosperity in the new era. With the dawn of the European Union, Europe has become an economic superpower in its own right-its GDP now surpasses that of the United States. Europe has achieved newfound dominance not by single-mindedly driving up stock prices, expanding working hours, and pressing every household into a double- wage-earner conundrum. Instead, the New Europe relies on market networks that place cooperation above competition; promotes a new sense of citizenship that extols the well-being of the whole person and the community rather than the dominant individual; and recognizes the necessity of deep play and leisure to create a better, more productive, and healthier workforce. From the medieval era to modernity, Rifkin delves deeply into the history of Europe, and eventually America, to show how the continent has succeeded in slowly and steadily developing a more adaptive, sensible way of working and living. In The European Dream, Rifkin posits a dawning truth that only the most jingoistic can ignore: Europe's flexible, communitarian model of society, business, and citizenship is better suited to the challenges of the twenty-first century. Indeed, the European Dream may come to define the new century as the American Dream defined the century now past.

August 15th, 2004


Dr. Juan Cole is considered to be one of our leading scholars of contemporary Iraq.  A professor of Modern Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan, Juan Cole is the force behind the indispensable Informed Comment weblog and author of Sacred Space and Holy War, which examines the Iraqi Shiites.  We will talk to him today on the explosive religious and political dynamics in Iraq that could tear the country further apart, inflame the Middle East and imperil Bush's chances for re-election. (On the nomination of Porter Goss to head the CIA)
Mel Goodman is a former CIA analyst, is a senior fellow for intelligence reform at the Center for International Policy.  Quote: "Goss has all the wrong credentials. He's former CIA, a senior operations officer. An over-reliance on operations has been a big part of the problem. He's from the Hill, so he's a deal-cutter and a compromiser when what we need is a strategic thinker. That was George Tenet's problem -- he tried to please everyone and that's a big part of why he was a failure. Goss was head of the House intelligence oversight committee before the 9/11 attacks and he failed to conduct oversight on the flawed 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Of course Goss is a very safe choice and given the current political landscape will likely be easily confirmed."
interviewed with:

David MacMichael is a former analyst for the CIA and a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.  Quote: "Porter Goss is a long-time member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and has been a strong defender of the agency after Iran-Contra and the post-Gulf War anger over the poor performance of the intelligence community; none of which came to very much, partly because when the Clinton administration came in, they brought in James Woolsey.... There had been very strong calls for change. Goss was a very strong supporter of the agency and not one who was ever associated with any proposal for change or, for lack of a better word, reform. To find him being the nominee can be interpreted as saying this is business as usual. Generally to have someone who was in an oversight role become director is not helpful."

Ian Williams is a veteran journalist and The Nation's UN correspondent. He is the author of The UN for Beginners, The Alms Trade and the just published "Deserter: George W. Bush's War on Military Families, Veterans and His Past." Since taking office, George W. Bush has relished the role of "Commander in Chief." His military posturing is intended to convince Americans that he alone can lead them to victory in the war on terror and is designed to appeal to the votes of the armed forces and veterans. But his military record is disastrous. While George W. Bush supported the Vietnam War, his family influence got him into the Texas Air National Guard, which, short of World War III breaking out, guaranteed that he would never see military action. Even in this safest of positions, Lieutenant Bush broke under the strain and went AWOL in Alabama for the better part of a year--canvassing for the Republican Party. In contrast, George W. Bush's Administration calls up contemporary national Guardsmen for front-line action in Iraq, and extends their terms in a form of backdoor conscription. As the military budget soars, the war is being fought with a dangerously inadequate number of troops. The Administration ships home the dead and disabled under cover of darkness; those who do eventually return in one piece find their veterans' medical benefits and facilities axed. Drawing on the extensive research on the President's still mysterious military career, Williams convincingly argues that our Commander in Chief is guilty of breathtaking hypocrisy, cynical doublethink and egregious neglect of the actual defense of the United States.

August 8th, 2004


Senator Gary Hart  In his new book, "The Fourth Power: a Grand Strategy for the United States in the Twenty-First Century," the esteemed elder statesman, former Senator Gary Hart asserts that, even as America asserts itself globally, it lacks a grand strategy to replace "containment of communism." In his short, sharp book, Senator Hart outlines a new grand strategy, one directing America's powers to the achievement of its large purposes.

Central to this strategy is the power of American ideals, what Hart calls "the fourth power." Constitutional liberties, representative government,press freedom - these and other democratic principles, attractive to peoples worldwide, constitute a resource that may prove as important to national security and the national interest in this dangerous new century as traditional military, economic and political might.

Writes Hart:  "The idea that government exists to protect, not oppress, the individual has an enormous power not fully understood by most Americans who take this principle for granted from birth. Far more nations will follow us because of the power of this ideal than the might of all our weapons."

Against those who view America's noblest values as an inconvenience or even hindrance to the exertion of influence abroad, Hart warns that we ignore principle only at our peril. Such an approach may serve short-term goals, but there are costs; among them is the compromising of a crucial strategic asset, America's fourth power.

Certain objectives require a military response--few serious people would disagree. The question is "whether America's purposes are best achieved through empire and force or through principle and persuasion." To suggest the former, Hart argues, is to misread both history and our current revolutionary age, one where terrorism, the internationalization of markets, information technology, eroding nation-state authority and other realities demand not doctrines of superstate unilateralism and preemption but rather appreciation for new collective security structures, international regulatory bodies, even forms of collaborative sovereignty.

Applying the best insights of strategy to statecraft, Hart finds fuzziness, overreaching, and "theological" simplicity in America's current foreign policy. Nor does he believe the war on terror, necessary in the near term, will itself serve to chart America's larger strategic course. A bracing vision of an America responsive to a full spectrum of global challenges, The Fourth Power calls for a deeper understanding both of the threats we face and the profound strengths at our disposal to fight them. Senator Hart discusses his important vision with Ian Masters in a vital dialog.  

Youssef Ibrahim  was for 24 years a Senior Middle-East foreign correspondent and reporter with the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. He is a Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations based in New York and is Managing Director of Strategic Investment Group, Consultant specializing in "risk analysis."  In this interview Ian and Youssef discuss Bush's strategic blundering harming US interests, the future of oil, the situation in Iraq and the Middle East. 

August 1st, 2004


Nina J. Easton is the deputy chief of the Boston Globe's Washington bureau and author of the critically acclaimed Gang of Five: Leaders at the Center of the Conservative Ascendancy, which chronicles the rise to power of today's conservative movement. The Washington Post praised the book for telling the story of post-Reagan conservatism "more inventively, exhaustively, and entertainingly than anyone else." Easton's career also includes a decade at the Los Angeles Times, where her Sunday Magazine stories on issues ranging from poverty to politics earned a number of national awards. In addition, she is co-author of the 1982 best-selling book Reagan's Ruling Class: Portraits of the President's Top 100 Officials. She is co-author of the recent "John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography by the Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best."

Michael Scott Duran  is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He teaches courses on political Islam, Middle Eastern nationalisms, U.S.-Middle East relations, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. From 1997 to 2000, Dr. Doran was an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Central Florida. He is the author of a study of the first Arab-Israeli war, entitled Pan-Arabism Before Nasser: Egyptian Power Politics and the Palestine Question (Oxford University Press, 1999), and is currently working on a book entitled The Trump Card: Israel in the Arab Civil War. After he published an influential article on Osama bin Laden in the January/February 2002 issue of Foreign Affairs, both government and business have frequently invited him to speak on Middle Eastern affairs.   

Dr. Duran comments on excerpts from a 7.30.04 Ian Masters interview with:  

Carmen bin Laden is the author of "Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia" and Osama bin Laden's former sister-in-law.  She provides a penetrating, unusually intimate look into Saudi society and the bin Laden family's role within it, as well as the treatment of Saudi women. On September 11th, 2001, Carmen bin Ladin heard the news that the Twin Towers had been struck. She instinctively knew that her ex-brother-in-law was involved in these horrifying acts of terrorism, and her heart went out to America. She also knew that her life and the lives of her family would never be the same again. Carmen bin Ladin, half Swiss and half Persian, married into-and later divorced from-the bin Laden family and found herself inside a complex and vast clan, part of a society that she neither knew nor understood. Her story takes us inside the bin Laden family and one of the most powerful, secretive, and repressed kingdoms in the world.  

Fadel Gheit graduated from Cairo University and New York University.  He is currently Senior Vice President for Oil and Gas Research with Oppenheimer Inc. in NYC.  Mr. Gheit has more than 30 years of experience in oil and gas research.  He has previously been with Mobil Oil and JP Morgan Company in New York. Questions discussed include: Oil prices have recently been at record highs?  How does they compare to prices, adjusted for inflation, over the last 40 years? Why is there no political, public or consumer outcry at these prices? To what do you attribute the high prices? (Says oil prices are exaggerated at least $15/barrel x 80 million barrels--global economy paying billion dollar ransom.)  Who benefits from high fuel prices? (hedge funds)  One assumes that President Bush, with an oil background, would be well regarded in the industry.  Is that the case?  (The oil industry made more money in the 4 years that Bush has been in the White House than in the past 20 years combined.  Exxon-Mobil made, in the first half of this year, a 12 Billion dollar profit.  They have $19 Billion in cash.  The oil industry is generating cash faster than it can be spent.  They have more cash than any time in their history.) But, doesn't the oil industry want stability?  (Yes.  They want stability more than profit.  They fear the feast and famine cycle.) If there were no oil in Iraq, would the US be there? Would the invasion and occupation have happened?  (Absolutely not.) What about the misuse of the Iraqi oil revenues?  Billions are simply missing.  What do you think about Halliburton?  What has the been the effect of Bush's policies on oil and gas prices? (Bush has not opened his mouth once on oil prices; he acts as if this is a non-issue.  Oil prices have doubled on his watch.  If there were anyone else as president, the prices wouldn't be this high.) From your perspective, what is your assessment of the Bush presidency? Is the Bush administration "conditioning" the public to accept high oil prices? What would your advice be to a President Kerry in developing an energy policy for the United States? You specialize in the "psychology of oil markets."  If the world is on your analytical couch, what is its mood, the state of its mental health? (I have not seen anything like this in 30 years.  The psychological issue is enormous; it is pulverizing everything in its path.)  What does the future hold for the world's oil and energy supply?  What are the true reserves left to the world? What about gas reserves in Alaska?  (There are huge quantities of natural gas in Alaska for which a "piggy-back" pipeline should be constructed.)

July 25th, 2004


John Nichols is The Nation's Washington correspondent and has covered progressive politics and activism in the United States and abroad for more than a decade. Formerly a writer and editor for The Toledo Blade and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspapers, he is now editorial page editor for The Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin. He has, as well, covered electoral politics for The Progressive for a number of years. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune and dozens of other newspapers. Nichols has covered four presidential elections in the United States, along with elections and political activism in Britain, Ireland, Israel, India, Palestine, El Salvador, Jamaica and South Africa. His editorials on corporate responsibility have been honored by the Inland Press Association as the best in the country and his columns on presidential politics have been acclaimed by Women in Communications International as the best appearing in a daily newspaper. He is the author, with Bob McChesney, of It's the Media, Stupid (Seven Stories) and Jews for Buchanan, on the 2000 presidential election.  His new book is "Dick: the Man Who is President," which is about Vice President Dick Cheney and will be published in August. This interview is a live report from the Democratic National Convention in Boston.  In it, Nichols discusses the political dynamic as the Democrats posture themselves to retake the White House.  He discusses the "Nader factor," Kerry's "charisma deficit" and his new book about Dick Cheney.

Kevin Phillips first became known for his 1969 book, The Emerging Republican Majority,written in 1967 and 1968, and used by Richard Nixon in his successful 1968 presidential campaign. The Emerging Republican Majority predicted a new era of GOP control of the presidency based on the realignment of the South. Newsweek described it as “the political bible of the Nixon Administration.” Educated at Colgate, the University of Edinburgh and Harvard Law School, Phillips, at age 27, had served as the chief elections and voting patterns analyst for the 1968 Nixon campaign. In 1969, he began twelve months tenure as Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General, but left in 1970 to become a syndicated newspaper columnist. In 1971, he became president of the American Political Research Corporation and editor-publisher of the American Political Report (through 1998). Discussions of the 1972 presidential election widely acknowledged how it had followed Phillips’s outlines, but then in1973-74, the Watergate scandals confused the future. After Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980 restored the 1968-72 dynamics, Phillips was generally acknowledged as the Republican party’s principal electoral theoretician. In 1982, the Wall Street Journal described him as “the leading conservative electoral analyst -- the man who invented the Sun Belt, named the New Right, and prophesied ‘The Emerging Republican Majority’ in 1969.” In 1978, Phillips became a radio commentator for CBS News, and in 1984, for National Public Radio as well. He served as a commentator for CBS Television News during the 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996 election seasons and conventions. Beginning with The Emerging Republican Majority in 1969, he has published a total of eleven books: Mediacracy: American Parties and Politics in the Communications Age (1974), Post-Conservative America (1982), Staying on Top: The Business Case for a National Industrial Strategy (1984), The Politics of Rich and Poor: Wealth and Electorate in the Reagan Aftermath (1990), Boiling Point: Democrats, Republicans and the Decline of Middle Class Prosperity (1993), Arrogant Capital: Washington, Wall Street and the Frustration of American Politics (1994), The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics and the Triumph of Anglo-America (1999), Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (2002), William McKinley (2003) and American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush (January 2004). In 1990, The Politics of Rich and Poor, a critique of Reagan-Bush economics, rose to number two on the New York Times bestseller list, aided by the fact of its endorsement (in book jacket blurbs) by former Republican president Nixon and New York Governor Mario Cuomo, at that time expected to be the 1992 Democratic presidential candidate. The book would later be described as a “founding document” of the 1992 presidential election campaigns of Clinton and other Democrats and independent Perot. In reviewing his 1993 book, Boiling Point, the New York Times Book Review noted that “through more than 25 years of analysis and predictions, nobody has been as transcendentally right about the outlines of American political change as Kevin Phillips.” In 1990, Time observed that “in the shoot-from-the-hip world of Washington prognostication, Kevin Phillips stands out like Nostradamus.” But in 1997, disgusted with how Washington politics had sunk to herald Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Newt Gingrich and George W. Bush, Phillips left the capital for his country house in Connecticut, and returned to his youthful focus on history. In 1999, The Cousins’ Wars, which analyzed the Anglo-American linkage and shared divisions through three civil wars -- the English Civil War, the American Revolution and the American Civil War -- was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize in History. In 2002, Wealth and Democracy, which warned about the historical perils posed by the increasingly warped inter-relationship of the two forces in the U.S., climbed to number 11 on the national (NYT) bestseller list. In 2003, William McKinley, Phillips’s study of the (Republican) 25th U.S. president, done for Arthur Schlesinger’s American Presidents series, prompted the publication Foreign Affairs to say that “an unmatched ability to link retail politics with great public issues and broad economic trends gives Phillips extraordinary insight into the making of the American past. {He} is one of a handful of scholars who can treat both the American past and the American present with authority; this book will strengthen his already formidable reputation even more than it will help McKinley’s.” Phillips, 63, now lives in Litchfield County, Connecticut, with his wife Martha. He is a commentator for NPR and the Los Angeles Times, and occasionally writes for Time and Harper’s. He did not support either George H.W. Bush in the 1988 and 1992 presidential elections or George W. Bush in 2000. In 2002, he re-registered in Connecticut as a political independent.  Mr. Phillips' recent article in The Nation "How Kerry Can Win" describes a winning strategy for Kerry's electoral success by appealing to the "Unbase Republicans."  He discusses the article and more in this fascinating interview.

July 18th, 2004


Mark Schneider was the Director of the Peace Corps, appointed by President Clinton, from December 1999 to January 2001.  In this capacity he established new initiatives including expanded HIV/AIDS prevention education in Africa, and information technology integration into development projects throughout the third world.  He was the Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean, Agency for International Development from October 1993 to 1999, where he was responsible for managing all USAID development assistance programs in the Western Hemisphere. He chaired U.S. Government delegations to World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank donor conferences for Central American Peace accords, focused on poverty reduction, microfinance, and strengthening governance, particularly rule of law and municipal development.  He was the Chief of the Office of Analysis and Strategic Planning and Senior Policy Adviser, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO), Washington, D.C. (July 1981 to September 1993).  He was the Senior Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs from1977-1979.  He was a Legislative Assistant and Senate Committee Staff Member for Senator Edward M. Kennedy (1970-1977; 1980 to June 1981). He began his career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador, where he assisted the people there from1966-1968. He is currently the Senior Vice President of the International Crisis Group.  In this interview, Mr. Schneider discusses the man-made humanitarian catastrophe in the Sudan.  

Dr. David Newman is professor of Political Geography and Geopolitics at Ben Gurion University in Israel. He was the founder and first chairperson of the Department of Politics and Government at this University. Previously he was a faculty member in the Department of Geography and has also served as Director of the Humphrey Institute for Social research at the University. Currently, Professor Newman is  Editor of the International Journal of Geopolitics (co-editor is professor John Agnew from UCLA). Newman has researched and published widely on territorial dimensions of the Arab-Israel conflict, with a particular focus on issues relating to territory, borders and settlements. In addition to his academic writings, newman publishes op-ed and commentary columns dealing with the conflict and other issues relating to Israeli politics and society and has appeared frequently in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, Jerusalem Post and Tikkun Magazine. Newman is a regular participant in the Track II discussions between Israel and the palestinians. Ian and Dr. Newman discuss: The Peace Process and the Road Map. What is the Destination? The geopolitics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict and Peace process. the Separation fence, and the crisis in leadership among the Palestinians.    

Max Blumenthal is an investigative reporter who writes for Salon.com, the American Prospect and a number of other publications.  His new piece currently at Salon.com is entitled: "The Other Regime Change: Did the Bush administration allow a network of right-wing Republicans to foment a violent coup in Haiti?  We've heard what the American media and the Bush administration have said about Haiti.  What really happened there?  Blumenthal reveals the involvement of American right-wing operatives in the Haitian coup.  Also, Mr. Blumenthal reveals Republican support of the Nader campaign and asks the question: why won't Mr. Nader repudiate support coming from anti-gay, Republican and anti-immigration groups?

July 11th, 2004


Roger Morris served on the National Security Council under Presidents Johnson and Nixon.  He is a journalist, author and frequent commentator.  He comments on the Senate report on the flawed intelligence which supported Bush's war on Iraq.  Morris goes beyond the Senate report to discuss the politicizing of the intel process with pressure being placed on intelligence agencies to "cook" reports to order--that order being a pretext for war.  

James Moore is an Emmy Award-winning TV news correspondent with more than a quarter century of print and broadcast experience. Moore is also the author--along with Wayne Slater--of the New York Times bestseller Bush's Brain, also published by Wiley. He has traveled extensively on every Presidential campaign since 1976. His reports have appeared on CNN, NBC, and CBS. His professional honors include: an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association, and the Individual Broadcast Achievement Award from the Texas Headliners' Foundation.  His latest book is "Bush's War for Reelection: Iraq, the White House, and the People."  

John Judis is the Senior Editor of the New Republic and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  He is the co-author of "The Emerging Democratic Majority," and author of "The Paradox of American Democracy."  His book, "The Folly of Empire: what George W. Bush could learn from Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson," is being published this week.  His article, written with Spencer Ackerman and Masoud Ansari, entitled "Pakistan for Bush--July surprise?," has garnered much attention since it was published last week in The New Republic.

July 4th, 2004


Jack Newfield  is a veteran journalist who was a founder of the "New Journalism" the 1960s as a columnist for the Village Voice. He was later a columnist for the New York Daily News, the New York Post, the New York Sun and a number of other publications. He is currently a fellow of The Nation Institute.

Jack is the author of 10 books, including his latest, American Rebels, and has collaborated on numerous documentaries. He is the recipient of the George Polk Award for Investigative Journalism (1980), an Emmy for his documentary on Don King (1991), and numerous other awards.

Why I Love America


   Sunday will be America's 228th birthday.This is my way to express my form of patriotism, and love of country.    I appreciate America because I grew up poor, was raised by a single mother, spent my teenage afternoons in a free public library in Bed-Stuy,attended City University when it was still free, and found a career in a craft protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. I couldn't do this in most countries.    To me, America is baseball, jazz, the blues, the Constitution, free speech, the arts, unions, Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, Martin King's "I have a dream" speech, Sam Cooke singing "A Change is Gonna Come," the Grand Canyon, Marilyn Monroe, Emily Dickinson, and Walt Whitman.    I hear America singing whenever I hear Johnny Cash sing "The Man in Black" or "The Ballad of Ira Hayes>" I hear America singing whenever I hear Hank Williams sing "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," or "I Saw the Light."   I hear America in Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and Dave Brubeck. I hear Whitman's song in the films of Martin Scorsese, John Ford, Francis Ford Copolla, John Sayles, and Clint Eastwood.    I feel proud to be an American when I hear triple Vietnam amputee Max Cleland talk about this country, or about his mission to comfort and counsel amputees from Iraq. Or when I think about Pat Tillman and Danny Pearl.    Only in America could Ray Charles have become such a towering artistic force, after going blind at age 7, becoming an orphan at 15, and struggling against heroin addiction for much of his life. Ray Charles was blind but he could see the future. He was a visionary.    I have heard Ann Coulter declare that,"All liberals hate America."   I know this is defamation, because I am in touch with my emotions.    The day after the atrocity of 9/11, my wife and I put an American flag in our window, a mile from ground zero. I felt the same grief and rage as my countrymen. I wanted "an eye for an eye," but I wanted this revenge against the guilty terrorists who hit my city.    During much of the 1960s, when I was protesting the pointless Vietnam War, I kept a poster over my writing desk. It featured a quotation from Albert Camus: "I should like to be able to love my country, and still love justice, too."    On July 4, 1963, I was arrested with 200 others in a civil rights sit-in outside a segregated amusement park called Gwyne Oaks, near Baltimore.    As we were escorted to the paddy wagon, we all sang the national anthem as loud as we could. I never felt more defiantly American than I did at that moment.    I hear America singing when I see Tony Kushner's plays; when I read the novels of Ralph Ellison, Don DeLillo, Philip Roth, Harper Lee, and Betty Smith.    Or when I hear the blues sung by Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Son House.    Much like baseball, the blues are a pure American creation, somehow invented by people living in extreme poverty, under rigid segregation. It was the music that John Lennon and Keith Richards played in their room at 17.    The essential American Dream has always been immigrants coming here with hope, working hard jobs and long hours, forming or joining labor unions, and then sending their children to college.    You see this dream on every campus of the City University.    During the 1960s, when I felt most alienated by war, assassinations, and racism, baseball was my serenity and sanctuary.    Baseball became my substitute for nationalism. And from 1969 to 1973, so did the New York Knicks.    There is nothing more American than a Willie Mays catch at the wall, a Sandy Koufax strikeout, a Mickey Mantle home run, or Juan Marichal outthinking a batter.    The first ballgame I ever saw in the flesh was on July 4, 1948 - and I got to see Jackie Robinson steal home against the New York Giants.    There was nothing like the selfless, synchronized teamwork of the Knicks of Reed, DeBusschere, Frazier, Monroe, Bradley, and coach Holzman. They seemed like the highest form of democracy, integration, and improvisation.    For me, the best of America, like the Knicks, has often been the crosspollination of races and cultures.    When you look at the core thread of America's roots music, there is an astonishing tapestry of commingled black and white influences going back 60 years.    When Hank Williams was still an Alabama teenager in the segregated 1940s, he learned to play the blues guitar from a black street musician named Rufus Payne. Before he died at 29, Mr. Williams fused country and blues with personal songwriting.    A few years later, Elvis Presley grew up in Tupelo, Miss., listening to black gospel music on the radio.    When Bob Dylan was growing up in Hibbing, Minn., in the 1950s, he was listening to records by Elvis, Hank Williams, Little Richard, and early black bluesmen like Blind Willie McTell, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Robert Johnson. In Asbury Park, the teenage Bruce Springsteen was listening to Chuck Berry,Jimi Hendrix,Elvis, and Dylan.    This line of artists represented the America I felt part of in the late 1960s, as some of my friends turned anti-American. They romanticized Che, the Weathermen, the Black Panthers, and the Hell's Angels as outlaws.    But I recoiled away from this infantile anti-Americanism because I was rooted in what I had learned to treasure about my country.    Its freedom and toleration. Its fresh fusions of multicultural diversity. Its natural beauty. Its immigrant history. Its opportunity to rise from humble origins.    To me, America is Madison and Jefferson; Bob Dylan and Muhammad Ali; Bill Moyers and Barbara Jordan; Robert Kennedy and Roberto Clemente; Neil Young and Cesar Chavez.    And, above all, Dr. King's public dream of equality and love.    So, Happy Birthday America, from a loyal native son, who has retained his idealism after losing his innocence.

Governor Howard Dean is a former Governor of Vermont and candidate for President of the United States.  He is now head of Democracy for America ( www.democracyforamerica.com )

June 20th , 2004


Ambassador William C. Harrop was the former Ambassador to Israel under the first President George Bush, 1991-93,  prior to that he was Ambassador to Zaire, 1987-1991, one of the principal organizers of the group "Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change," which explicitly condemns President George W. Bush's foreign policy and specifically calls for his defeat in November 2004.  He is the author of the first draft of the group's statement.)  Interviewed with group member Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow (former Ambassador to Mexico under President Clinton, 1998-2002, Assistant Secretary of State for inter-American affairs, 1996.  Ambassador Davidow is currently the President of the Institute of the Americas in La Jolla, California.  Ambassador Davidow assumed the presidency of the Institute of the Americas on June 1, 2003. Upon completion of 34 years in the State Department, he retired as America's highest ranking diplomat, one of only three people to hold the personal rank of Career Ambassador. Please see: http://www.diplomatsforchange.com/ .

David Brock is the author of four books, including Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative, a New York Times bestselling political memoir. He is the founder and president of a nonprofit media watchdog organization in Washington, D.C., www.mediamatters.org . He serves on the advisory board of Democracy Radio, Inc., and is the recipient of the New Democrat Network's first award for political entrepreneurship.  His new book The Republican Noise Machine has just been released.  Mr. Brock expands on a recent interview with Ian to further describe the means by which the right wing dominates the media, while fostering the myth that it is somehow "liberal."

Calvin Trillen was a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1963. From 1967 to 1982, did a series for The New Yorker called "U.S. Journal"--a 3,000-word article from somewhere in the United States every three weeks. Since 1984, has done a series of longer narrative pieces under the heading "American Chronicles."  Syndicated columnist with King Features Syndicate since 1986. The column, "Uncivil Liberties," is distributed weekly to newspapers. From 1978 through 1985, "Uncivil Liberties" ran in The Nation every three weeks. Before joining The New Yorker, served in the Army and worked for Time as a reporter in the South and as a writer in New York. He is a contributor of a weekly comic verse to The Nation. His books include: An Education in Georgia: Charlayne Hunter, Hamilton Holmes and the Integration of the University of Georgia (University of Georgia, 1964; an account of the experiences of the first two black undergraduates at the University of Georgia), Barnet Frummer is an Unbloomed Flower (Viking, 1969; short stories about trendiness in the sixties), U.S. Journal (Dutton, 1971; from the first three years of The New Yorker series), American Fried (Doubleday, 1974; subtitled "Adventures of a Happy Eater"), Runestruck (Little, Brown, 1977; a novel about a small town after the discovery of what could be a Viking artifact), Alice, Let's Eat (Random House, 1978; subtitled "Further Adventures of a Happy Eater"), Floater (Ticknor & Fields, 1980; a novel about working on a newsmagazine), Uncivil Liberties (Ticknor & Fields, 1982; columns from The Nation), Third Helpings (Ticknor & Fields, 1983; a sequel to American Fried and Alice, Let's Eat), Killings (Ticknor & Fields, 1984; New Yorker pieces on sudden death), With All Disrespect (Ticknor & Fields, 1985; more columns from The Nation), If You Can't Say Something Nice (Ticknor & Fields, 1987; columns, mostly syndicated), Travels With Alice (Ticknor & Fields, 1989; a book about traveling, mostly in Europe and the Caribbean), Enough's Enough (And Other Rules of Life) (Ticknor & Fields, 1990; columns from the King syndication), American Stories (Ticknor & Fields, 1991; nonfiction pieces from The New Yorker), Remembering Denny (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1993; the true story of a golden boy's rise and fall), Deadline Poet: My Life as a Doggerelist (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1994; poems from The Nation, with rhymes that put Ogden Nash to shame); Tepper's Not Going Out, a novel (Random House).  His one-man shows have been: "Calvin Trillin's Uncle Sam," 1988; "Calvin Trillin's Words, No Music," 1990, both at American Place Theatre, New York City.  Mr. Trillin's new book "Obviously on He Sails: the Bush Administration in Rhyme is now available.  He reads some hilarious selections from it in this interview.

June 13th , 2004

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Dr. Charles Kupchan is an Associate Professor of international relations in the School of Foreign Service and Government Department at Georgetown University. He is also a Senior Fellow and Director of Europe Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Kupchan was Director for European Affairs on the National Security Council during the first Clinton administration. Before joining the NSC, he worked in the U.S. Department of State on the Policy Planning Staff.  Prior to government service, he was an Assistant Professor of Politics at Princeton University. He is the author of The End of the American Era (2002), Power in Transition: The Peaceful Change of International Order (2001), Civic Engagement in the Atlantic Community (1999), Atlantic Security: Contending Visions (1998), Nationalism and Nationalities in the New Europe (l995), The Vulnerability of Empire (1994), The Persian Gulf and the West (1987), and numerous articles on international and strategic affairs. Dr. Kupchan received a B.A. from Harvard University and M.Phil. and D.Phil. degrees from Oxford University. He has served as a visiting scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs, Columbia University's Institute for War and Peace Studies, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, and the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales in Paris.)On the recent G8 summit, NATO participation in Iraq and US domestic politics.  

Oliver Miles joined the British Foreign Office in 1960 and served in a number of Middle Eastern posts, and in London where he had a period of specialization in oil and commodity trade. In 1984 he was Ambassador in Libya, until the breach in diplomatic relations. From 1985 to 1987 he was Ambassador in Luxembourg.   From 1991-93 he was non-executive director of Vickers Defense Systems. From 1993 until his retirement from the Diplomatic Service in 1996 he was British Ambassador to Greece. He speaks Arabic, Greek, French and Russian. He was one of 52 retired diplomats who in 2003 sent a letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair regarding their concern over the matters of the Iraq war and the on-going Israeli/Palestinian conflict.   

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He served in the National Security Agency (NSA) during the Reagan administration and wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth. He is the co-author, with John Stanton, of "America's Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II." His forthcoming book is titled: "Jaded Tasks: Big Oil, Black Ops, and Brass Plates.") Mr. Madsen talks about the pending investigation into the White House "outing" of CIA operative Valerie Plame (wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson) whose role was to search for and intercept the real and present threat of weapons of mass destruction and loose fissile material.  Madsen reveals that the extent of the damage resulting from the outing of Plame is far worse than previously reported and that indictments resulting from that treasonous act may reach very high in the White House.  

James Bamford is the author of the bestsellers Body of Secrets and The Puzzle Palace and has written extensively on national security issues, including investigative cover stories for The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. Formerly an investigative producer for ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, he lives in Washington, D.C.  The bestselling author of Body of Secrets and The Puzzle Palace presents his most hard-hitting book to date, a sweeping, authoritative, and fearless account of the failures of America's intelligence agencies and the Bush administration's calculated efforts to sell a war to the American people. In The Puzzle Palace, James Bamford revealed the inner workings of the NSA, the largest, most secretive, and best-financed intelligence organization in the world. In Body of Secrets, he took readers inside the ultrasecret agency, charting its deeds and misdeeds from its founding in 1952 to the end of the twentieth century. Now Bamford applies his relentless investigative drive and unparalleled access to intelligence sources to produce another history-making volume. A bold, incisive response to the Bush administration's version of recent events, A PRETEXT FOR WAR explains why American intelligence agencies failed to predict and prevent the disaster of 9/11 and lays bare the Bush administration's role in formulating specious justifications for the pre-emptive war on Iraq. Bamford homes in on the systematic weaknesses that led the intelligence community to ignore or misinterpret evidence of the impending terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. Using impeccable sources in the intelligence communities, he shows that the Bush administration was, from its inception, more interested in pursuing a dubious agenda in Iraq than hunting terrorists like Osama bin Laden. From the mishandling of 9/11 to the still-unproven claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, to recent allegations about the threat Iran poses to the world, Bamford argues that the Bush administration has co-opted the intelligence community for its own political ends.  A PRETEXT FOR WAR is the full, unvarnished story of a national scandal packed with detailed proof of incompetence, deception, and misinformation on the part of the government officials charged with safeguarding our security. An unprecedented, utterly convincing exposé of the most secretive administration in history, it is bound to make headlines throughout the world.  Mr. Bamford discusses his new book, "A PRETEXT FOR WAR," the apparent conflicts between the White House and the intelligence services and the disaster that the Iraq war has become.

June 6th , 2004


Flynt Leverett was the senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council from March 2002 to March 2003. He was involved in developing President Bush's approach to promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace, and advised the president and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice on relations with Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Prior to joining the National Security Council, Leverett was a Middle East and counterterrorism expert on the State Department's Policy Planning Staff. Before that he was the senior CIA analyst on Syria and Middle East affairs. Leverett holds a Ph.D. in politics and an M.A. in politics from Princeton University. He earned his B.A from Texas Christian University in 1978.  He is currently a visiting fellow with the Saban Center at the Brookings Institute.   

David Brock  is the author of four books, including Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative, a New York Times bestselling political memoir. He is the founder and president of a nonprofit media watchdog organization in Washington, D.C. He serves on the advisory board of Democracy Radio, Inc., and is the recipient of the New Democrat Network's first award for political entrepreneurship.  His new book The Republican Noise Machine has just been released.  

Robert Reich  was the Secretary of Labor under President Clinton.  He is currently a Professor of Social and Economic Policy at Brandeis University, and is the author of nine books, including The Work of Nations, which is one of the most influential books on the economy and workforce ever published and which has been translated into 22 languages, and his newly-released Reason: why liberals will win the battle for America.  

In 1992, Reich headed President Clinton's economic transition team. Before that, he served as a faculty member at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Reich worked in the Carter Administration, as Director of the Policy Planning Staff of the Federal Trade Commission. He also served as an assistant to the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice, representing the United States before the Supreme Court, during the Ford Administration.  

Reich is a co-founder and former chairman of the political magazine The American Prospect, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Cambridge Community Foundation.As U.S. Secretary of Labor during President Clinton's first term, Reich was part of an Administration that presided over the longest economic expansion in history and created more than 22 million jobs nationwide. His leadership earned the Department of Labor more than 30 awards for innovation and government reinvention. A 1996 poll of Cabinet experts conducted by Hearst Newspapers rated Reich the most effective Cabinet secretary during the Clinton Administration. Reich transformed the Labor Department into a powerhouse of ideas, action and innovation, leading the way on important initiatives such as:  

Implementing the Family and Medical Leave Act  

Fighting against sweatshops in the United States and illegal child labor around the world  

Increasing the minimum wage for the first time since 1989  

Protecting workers' pensions by ensuring that companies fully funded their pension plans  

Launching job training programs, one-stop career centers, and school-to-work initiatives, all of which helped Americans earn higher incomes

May 30th, 2004 


Graeme Fuller is the former Vice-Chair of the National Intelligence Council of the Central Intelligence Agency.  Fuller is interviewed with  Robert Baer, who is a former CIA officer and author of "See No Evil" and the recently published "Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold our Soul for Saudi Crude."  Baer and Fuller discuss the political machinations in Iraq as President Bush desperately seeks to shift responsibility for the increasing quagmire onto a governing entity, however illegitimate.  Also discussed are Middle Eastern dynamics, with respect to US interests and American domestic politics.   

Fadel Gheit graduated from Cairo University and New York University.  He is currently Senior Vice President for Oil and Gas Research with Oppenheimer Inc. in NYC.  Mr. Gheit has more than 30 years of experience in oil and gas research.  He has previously been with Mobil Oil and JP Morgan Company in New York.  Gheit examines the "psychology" of the oil industry and how perceived threat can influence the price of oil.  Also explored in the conversation are events in Saudi Arabia and how the oil industry regards Bush policies.  

Matthew Bunn is a Senior Research Associate in the Project on Managing the Atom in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, specializing in nuclear theft and terrorism; security for weapons-usable nuclear material in the former Soviet Union and worldwide; verification of nuclear stockpiles and of nuclear warhead dismantlement; disposition of excess plutonium; conversion in Russia's nuclear cities; and nuclear waste storage, disposal, and reprocessing.  He is the author of the report "Securing the Bomb: an agenda for action," which was just released May 24, 2004. 

May 23rd, 2004 


Andrew Cockburn

  is the author of several books on defense and international affairs. He has also written about the Middle East for The New Yorker and coproduced the 1991 PBS documentary on Iraq title "The War We Left Behind."   Andrew Cockburns recent articles "The Truth about Ahmad Chalabi" and  "Ahmad Chalbi's Failed Coup" published at Salon.com expose the back-story of who Ahmad Chalabi is, what he is really about and how he conned the US government into paying for its own deception and historic misdirection.  

Dr. Claes G. Ryn is a Professor of Politics Catholic University of America.  He is the author of "America the Virtuous: the crisis of democracy and the quest for empire."  In this book he describes Neoconservatives as "Neojacobins" and says they are a serious threat to US democracy and world peace.  In this conversation with Ian Masters, Dr. Ryn discusses the phenomenon of neoconservativism, what they want and what their political prospects are as their Iraqi adventure descends into chaos.

Cris Fair is a noted analyst with the South Asia Project for US Institute of Peace.  She  specializes in  India and Pakistan, asymmetric warfare and political Islam. She speaks five languages.  Chris Fair and Ian discuss the import and implications of the recent elections in India.

Aired May 16th, 2004


Scott Horton is the Chair of the Committee on International Human Rights of the New York City Bar Association and President of the International League for Human Rights.  Mr. Horton has been a lifelong activist in the human rights area, having served as counsel to Andrei Sakharov, Elena Bonner, Sergei Kovalev and other leaders of the Russian human rights and democracy movements.  He is an adjunct professor at the Columbia University School of Law and the author of over 200 articles and monographs on legal developments in nations in transition.  (Interviewed with:)

Miles Fischer is the Chair of Committee on Military Affairs and Justice of the New York City Bar Association.  He has worked on international security issues for many years, including the facilitation of Bosnian elections and contributed to the negotiations leading to the Child Soldier Treaty.  He was the principle author of a ground-breaking report on President Bush's order that detainees be tried by military tribunals in Guantanamo.  He is the co-author with Scott Horton of another ground-breaking report on the standards of human rights which should--but are not being--applied to military detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.  
This interview provides an important look at how the Bush administration via their political appointees in the Pentagon have thrown aside fifty years of adherence to the Geneva conventions as they apply to the treatment of prisoners.  Horton and Fischer make the point that this is not only extraordinarily inhumane by what we consider to be basic standards of American behavior, it jeopardizes US forces who may be captured in conflict and--because how the US has treated it prisoners--should fear, not welcome, reciprocity.

The Neocon Hijacking of America

Dr. Corey Robin is an assistant professor of political science at Brooklyn College at the City University of New York and is the author of Fear: The History of a Political Idea, forthcoming from Oxford University Press. His articles have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, the Washington Post, The Boston Review, the New York Times Magazine and elsewhere.  His recent Op-Ed in the Washington Post, entitled "Grand Design: how 9/11 unified conservatives in pursuit of empire," is a uniquely insightful analysis of the neocon phenomenon.  Robin shares important truths with Ian as to who the "cabal" which has hijacked the US government, the neocons, really are, saying that they are "at war with America--their true enemy."  

An Insider's look at the Torture Scandal, the US Military split and the Bush Political Meltdown

Sidney Blumenthal was a former Senior Advisor to the President Bill Clinton.  He is the author of the best-selling The Clinton Wars recently released in paperback. Mr. Blumenthal is also a regular columnist for The Guardian of London and Salon.com in the US on the web. Blumenthal shares his powerful analysis and deep insider contacts with Ian on the subjects of how the torture is widespread--from Guantanamo to Iraq to Afghanistan, how it was authorized at the highest levels of the Bush administration, how Powell's interview with Tim Russert was interrupted by a "minder" who had previously worked for the ultra right-wing Tom "The Hammer" DeLay, how Bush's Iraq strategy is ad hoc, feckless and most certainly doomed, how the military has largely split from the Bush administration.  This is a not-to-be-missed exchange.

May 9th, 2004
Ambassador Joseph Wilson
 on his book "The Politics of Truth."  Ambassador Wilson was the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council from June 1997 until July 1998. In that capacity he was responsible for the coordination of U.S. policy to the 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. He was one of the principal architects of President Clinton's historic trip to Africa in March 1998. Ambassador Wilson was the Political Advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of United States Armed Forces, Europe, 1995-1997. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Gabonese Republic and to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe from 1992 to 1995. From 1988 to 1991, Ambassador Wilson served in Baghdad, Iraq as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy. During "Desert Shield" he was the acting Ambassador and was responsible for the negotiations that resulted in the release of several hundred American hostages. He was the last official American to meet with Saddam Hussein before the launching of "Desert Storm." Ambassador Wilson was a member of the U.S. Diplomatic Service from 1976 until 1998. His early assignments included Niamey, Niger, 1976-1978; Lome, Togo, 1978-79; the State Department Bureau of African Affairs, 1979-1981; and Pretoria, South Africa, 1981-1982.  In 1982, he was appointed Deputy Chief of Mission in Bujumbura, Burundi. In 1985-1986, he served in the offices of Senator Albert Gore and the House Majority Whip, Representative Thomas Foley, as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow. He was Deputy Chief of Mission in Brazzaville, Congo, 1986-88, prior to his assignment to Baghdad. Ambassador Wilson was raised in California and graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1972. He is a graduate of the Senior Seminar (1992), the most advanced International Affairs training offered by the U.S. Government. He speaks fluent French. Ambassador Wilson holds the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Award, the Department of State Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards, the University of California, Santa Barbara Distinguished Alumnus Award, and the American Foreign Service Association William R. Rivkin Award. Additionally, he has been decorated as a Commander in the Order of the Equatorial Star by the Government of Gabon and as an Admiral in the El Paso Navy by the El Paso County Commissioners.) on the intense controversy related to the outing of his wife, an undercover CIA agent, by the White House as an act of revenge for his publicly announcing that Iraq was not attempting to buy uranium in Africa, as President Bush had asserted in his 2003 State of the Union Address.  Wilson also talks about the Neocons, saying that they are "parasites" who have attached themselves to the Republican party, to its great detriment.

General William Odom on Iraq.  Lieutenant General William E. Odom, U.S. Army (Ret.), is a senior fellow and director of National Security Studies at Hudson Institute's Washington, D.C. office. He is also an adjunct professor at Yale University. As director of the National Security Agency from 1985 to 1988, he was responsible for the nation's signals intelligence and communications security. From 1981 to 1985, he served as assistant chief of staff for Intelligence, the Army's senior intelligence officer. From 1977 to 1981, General Odom was military assistant to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs, Zbigniew Brzezinski. On the National Security Council staff, he worked on strategic planning, Soviet affairs, nuclear weapons policy, telecommunications policy, and Persian Gulf security issues. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1954, and received a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1970.

May 2nd, 2004


Youssef Ibrahim

(24 years as Senior Middle-East foreign correspondent and reporter with the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations based in New York, Managing Director of Strategic Investment Group based in Dubai, Consultant specializing in "risk analysis") on how the Iraqi prisoner abuse photographs will provoke immensely negative reaction around the world, but particularly in the Arab world.  How does Bush claim that he has rid the country of "torture chambers" and "rape rooms" when numerous reliable reports indicate that what has emerged is the "tip of an iceberg" of extensive human rights abuses.  Ibrahim also discusses the new realities on the ground in Iraq for the US, how the neocon "vision" to remake the Middle East has become a quagmire, which in many ways evokes the regional historic quagmires of previous occupations, and of Vietnam.  Also discussed is the US domestic political scene--where are the neocons now, what is the reaction of the American people, why has there been such a failure of American media?   

Dr. Herman Schwartz on the Supreme Court hearing the case of "enemy combatant" detention in Guantanamo, on the immense threat to civil rights that the Bush administration has presented and on Bush's appointment of radical ideologues to the Federal bench.  Dr. Schwartz is considered by many to be on the top tier of authorities on the US Constitution.  Dr. Schwartz is a professor of constitutional law at American University, a long-time civil rights and civil liberties activist who has worked on constitutional reform and human rights in Eastern Europe, Russia and elsewhere for 14 years and the author and editor of many books and articles on these issues, including "The Rehnquist Court: Judicial Activism on the Right," "The Struggle for Constitutional Justice in Post-Communist Europe," "Packing the Courts: the Conservative Campaign to Rewrite the Constitution," "The Burger Years: rights and wrongs on the Supreme Court," "Prison Conditions in Eastern Europe," and others.  His new book is called "Right-Wing Justice" and is widely available.
On Dr. Schwartz's new book: "Right Wing Justice" raises the alarm about the creeping conservative campaign to "pack" America's courts with judges more identified with their ideological affiliation than their skill or regard for the Constitution. The consequence is that the rule of law is taking a terrific beating from the Supreme Court. Who can forget the debacle of Election 2000? But the consequences of the campaign go far deeper than that, impinging on the daily lives of ordinary Americans who are at the receiving end of attempts to overturn or erode Supreme Court rulings on abortion, school prayer, civil rights, criminal justice, and economic regulation. As the author shows, the problem does not end at the Supreme Court-it filters down to the lowers courts and circuits. Right Wing Justice gives an alarming account of how this has come to pass over the last two decades, how conservative activists hatched this strategy in the 1960s only to see it really come of age during the Reagan revolution and the successive Republican administrations. Combining a scholar's sense of history with the immediacy of eyewitness testimony, Right Wing Justice will come not only as a sobering reading to many concerned Americans-but also as a call to wake-up.

April 18th, 2004


Dr. David Newman on Bush's endorsement of Israeli Prime Minister Sharon's recent plan which negates thirty-five years of  US policy on Israel and Palestine.  Dr. Newman also discusses Israels recent killing of Hamas leadership.  Dr. Newman is a professor of Political Geography and Geopolitics at Ben Gurion University in Israel. He was the founder and first chairperson of the Department of Politics and Government at this University. Previously he was a faculty member in the Department of Geography and has also served as Director of the Humphrey Institute for Social research at the University. Currently, Professor Newman is  Editor of the International Journal of Geopolitics (co-editor is professor John Agnew from UCLA). Newman has researched and published widely on territorial dimensions of the Arab-Israel conflict, with a particular focus on issues relating to territory, borders and settlements. In addition to his academic writings, newman publishes op-ed and commentary columns dealing with the conflict and other issues relating to Israeli politics and society and has appeared frequently in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, Jerusalem Post and Tikkun Magazine. Newman is a regular participant in the Track II discussions between Israel and the palestinians. Titles of talks (and variations on): The Peace Process and the Road Map. What is the Destination?  The geopolitics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict and Peace process. the Separation fence and the Israeli-Palestinian Border Discourse.

Roger Morris on the 9/11Commission, the abject failure of Condoleezza Rice in her role as National Security Advisor, the Iraqi quagmire, the Neoconservative hijacking of the government and the crisis of American democracy in that "there is no effective opposition party in the United States."  Mr. Morris turns his critical, and somewhat jaundiced, eye on the Bush administration, the American political landscape, the situation in the Middle-East, the United Nations.  Roger Morris served on the National Security Council under Presidents Johnson and Nixon.  He is a journalist, author and frequent commentator.  Always a favorite guest on the program, this appearance does not disappoint.

April 11th, 2004

P.J. Crowley

  on the Rice 9/11 Commission testimony, on the declassified August 6 Presidential Daily Briefing and on the worsening situation in Iraq.  P.J. Crowley is a Senior Fellow and Director of National Defense and Homeland Security at the Center for American Progress. During the Clinton administration, Crowley was Special Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Affairs, serving as Senior Director of Public Affairs for the National Security Council. Prior to that, he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. In all, Crowley was a spokesman for the United States government and United States military for 28 years, 11 of those years at the Pentagon and three at the White House. He served for 26 years in the United States Air Force, retiring at the rank of colonel in September 1999. He is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During the Kosovo conflict, he was temporarily assigned to work with then NATO Secretary General Javier Solana. Prior to joining American Progress, he served as a national spokesman for the property/casualty insurance industry, focusing on strategic industry issues that included the impact of terrorism on commercial insurance in the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy and to the effect of asbestos litigation on the broader economy. A native of Massachusetts, P.J. is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and an avid Red Sox fan and golfer. He is married to Paula E. Kougeas, also a retired Air Force colonel and now a teacher. They live in Alexandria, Virginia with their children, Mary and Christopher.  

Dr. Felah Jabar on the exploding violence and emerging quagmire that is Iraq.  Dr. Jabar also sheds light on the religious dynamics and gives insight as to how the religious conflicts in Iraq will impact America's intentions there.  Felah Jabar is a Senior Fellow US Institute of Peace and a research fellow at the School of Politics and Sociology, Birkbeck College, University of London. Formerly a lecturer at London Metropolitan University, since 1994 he has directed the Iraqi Cultural Forum Research Group, at Birbeck College. Jabar earlier served as director of research and publications at the Centre of Social Studies in the Arab World, based in Nicosia and Beirut (1983­90). He is author of The Shi'ite Movement in Iraq and editor of other volumes on tribes and power in the Middle East and on social movements in Iraq. He has written and edited several books in Arabic, including State and Civil Society in Iraq and The Impossible Democracy: The Case of Iraq. Over the past decade he has published articles on Iraq and regional issues in journals such as the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), Le Monde Diplomatique, Financial Times, and The Times. He has also presented papers at venues including the Middle East Institute, Harvard University, Oxford University, the School of Oriental and African Studies, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Royal Institute for International Relations. Jabar received his Ph.D. in sociology from Birkbeck College, University of London.

Dilip Hiro on the Iraqi quagmire.  Dilip Hiro is the author of Iraq: In the Eye of the Storm. His latest book is Secrets and Lies: Operation "Iraqi Freedom" and After. He is based in London and writes regularly for the New York Times, the Observer, the Guardian, the Washington Post and the Nation, and is a frequent commentator on CNN, BBC, Sky TV, and various American and British radio channels. This piece will appear in print in Middle East International. 

April 4th, 2004

In this program--we'll look into how private military personnel met a terrible end in Falluja.  We'll ask why and how our military is being privatized.  We'll explore the Bush family and its connections to the House of Saud in a discussion with author Craig Unger, who has written an important new book on the subject.  And we'll contemplate the monumental changes that the "End of Oil" will bring to our planet.  

Barry Yeoman on the privatization of military and security matters in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Barry Yeoman has been described by the Columbia Journalism Review as "(one of) the best unsung investigative journalists working in print in the United States.... Yeoman specializes in becoming a part of his subjects' lives; he works hard to dispel the image of the parachute journalist who drops in, grabs the story, and runs." Barry Yeoman specializes in in-depth reporting that puts a human face on complex issues. Over the years, he has brought readers into a private military training ground in the swamps of North Carolina; the home of a cancer patient who ended her own life under Oregon's assisted-suicide law; a South Carolina seminary where Christian missionaries study how to convert Muslims; a Louisiana abortion clinic struggling to survive amidst a hostile political climate; a Swiss research lab where the most fundamental assumptions about animal research are being overthrown; and a pair of seedy soldier bars near the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in the aftermath of a brutal anti-gay assault. He has introduced readers to Mexican farmworkers, high-class strippers, Southern chicken farmers, earnest Promise Keepers, private-prison inmates, right-wing scientists, and the women whose lives are caught up in the debate over "partial birth" abortion.  Barry's work has appeared in Discover, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Mother Jones, AARP: The Magazine, Glamour, Psychology Today, the Boston Globe, Ladies' Home Journal and many other magazines and newspapers. It has been translated into Russian, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian and reprinted around the world, from Great Britain to Japan. It has won him a slew of accolades. Columbia Journalism Review, one of the premiere journalism magazines in the country, has named Barry as one of nine investigative reporters who are "out of the spotlight but on the mark." The Columbia University School of Journalism and Poynter Institute have described Barry's work as "the essence of excellence." Project Censored has honored him three times for writing about undercovered issues. A 1982 graduate of New York University, Barry began his journalism career in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he developed his taste for Tabasco sauce while writing about Cajun culture and politics for the Times of Acadiana. In 1986, he moved to his current hometown of Durham, North Carolina, to write for The Independent, an award-winning newsweekly praised for its "spine of steel" and its relentless commitment to investigative journalism. There, Barry wrote about the area's worst landlords (including Senator Jesse Helms), the politics of highway construction, and the region's growing Hispanic immigrant community. He also covered state government with a candor unprecedented in the state's press corps. (Immediately after Barry named Gov. Jim Martin "the official state vegetable," the governor called a press conference to announce that he was not, in fact, a vegetable.) Barry's exposé of the poultry industry won him the National Magazine Award for Public Interest, and his "Highway Robbery" series received the Green Eyeshade Award, the South's preeminent journalism prize, and Northwestern University's John Bartlow Martin Award. In 1998 he was awarded the Batten Medal for journalism that demonstrates extraordinary humanity and a commitment to community. Barry's work has been reprinted in several books, including Wanderlust, Merchants of Misery and The Best Business Stories of the Year.  In addition to his writing, Barry has taught undergraduate journalism at Duke University's Sanford Institute of Public Policy. During the summer, he teaches at Duke Young Writers' Camp in Durham.

Craig Unger on the many connections between the Bush family and the House of Saud and what this means to our country and our so-called "war on terror."  Craig Unger is the author of a new book "House of Bush, House of Saud."  Craig Unger served as the deputy editor of the New York Observer and the editor of Boston Magazine. He has written about the two George Bushes for The New Yorker, Esquire, and Vanity Fair and has been covering the alliance between the Bush family and the House of Saud for years. His reporting raises crucial questions about the consequences of this personal, political and financial partnership for U.S. foreign policy, democracy and the future of the world.

Paul Roberts covers resource issues for Harper's Magazine. His articles has appeared in Outside Magazine and, most recently, the LA Times op-ed page.  His forthcoming book is "The End of Oil."  Research for the book took him all over the oil world, to the Caspian, The Middle East, and Texas.  Mr. Roberts discusses consumer attitudes on gas prices and energy policy, the impact of the emergence of China and India as major consumers of fossil fuels, "energy poverty" in the Third World and the important challenge of a standard of energy use in the world, while reducing overall consumption and CO2 emissions.

March 21st, 2004


A new war front in Pakistan?  And Iraq one year later: 3 viewpoints.
Ambassador Akbar Ahmed on recent events in Pakistan and the Middle East.  Ambassador Ahmed is, according to the BBC, "probably the world’s best-known scholar on contemporary Islam.” He is the former  Pakistani Ambassador to Great Britain, and has advised Prince Charles and met with President George W. Bush on Islam. He is now Chair of Islamic Studies and professor of International Relations at American University in Washington, DC. Dr. Ahmed is a distinguished anthropologist, writer, and filmmaker. He has been actively involved in interfaith dialogue and the study of global Islam and its impact on contemporary society for many years.  His most recent book is "Islam Under Siege."
Hali Jilani on conditions in Iraq, on how the CPA is demonstrably ineffective in rebuilding Iraq and how the the US occupation is seriously and fundamentally flawed.  Ms. Jilani is a critical analyst of defense, intelligence and international relations.  She provides analysis for select members of Congress and governmental departments. She serves as Chair, Asian and Middle East Committee, United Nations Association, with special emphasis on Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

Dr. Juan Cole on Iraq one year after the invasion.  Dr. Cole is considered to be one of our leading scholars of contemporary Iraq, Dr. Cole is a professor of Modern Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan;  author of the Informed Comment weblog; and author of "Sacred Space and Holy War" (London: IB Tauris, 2002), which examines the Iraqi Shiites.  The discussion touches on the religious and political dynamics in Iraq that could complicate or prevent President Bush's urgent plan for establishing some form of "self rule" in Iraq.  He has a new piece on Salon.com, entitled "Welcome to the Quagmire."

Aired March 14th, 2004


John Crigler on the new fine structure for broadcast "indecency" and the impact it will have on non-commercial, independent and alternative broadcasters in the United States.  Is this a manifestation of the "culture war?"  How will the entertainment industry be affected?  John Crigler is one of the leading attorneys in the United States on the First Amendment, broadcast and communication law.   He is a magna cum laude phi beta kappa graduate of Wesleyan University. He holds a PhD in English from Yale where he was a Danforth Fellow and received his Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University.  As a partner with the firm of Garvey, Schubert and Barer he represents a number of broadcasters, media producers, arts-related organizations, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, the University of California and Pacifica Radio, including KPFK.  He has advised commercial broadcasters such as NBC and CBS.  He is the author of the widely-used Public Radio Legal Handbook.  He has appeared on numerous panels and seminars related to broadcasting, non-profit organizations and the internet.  He has represented broadcasters on a wide range of matters, including freedom of speech and broadcast indecency. 
Bobbie Wilson and Michael Cole on "same sex" marriage.  Bobbie Wilson received her law degree from the Columbia University Law School and is a lawyer with the firm of Howard-Rice, based in San Francisco.  She has represented clients ranging from the University of California, to Kaiser-Permanente to the City of San Francisco which she is representing in the matter of same-sex marriage currently being heard at the California Supreme Court.  Michael Cole is a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for gays and lesbians in civil rights concerns.
Dr. Peter Singer  on the ethical structure of President Bush, his use of stark terms of "good" and "evil," and what we can know of his "character."  Dr. Singer is a professor of bioethics at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values. Peter Singer’s many books include Practical Ethics Animal Liberation and most recently Pushing Time Away: My Grandfather and the Tragedy of Jewish Vienna.  He is one of the founders of the animal rights movement.  His new book is "The President of Good and Evil" which assays the ethics and moral inner-landscape of George W. Bush.  The New Yorker has called him "perhaps the most controversial philosopher alive and certainly one of the most influential."

Aired March 7th, 2004


Charlie Cray on Martha Stewart and the jaw-dropping reality of Corporate Crime in America.  Mr. Cray is a policy analyst and the director of the Center for Corporate Policy. He is the former director of the campaign for corporate reform at Citizen Works, and former associate editor of Multinational Monitor magazine. He worked for Greenpeace USA between 1988 and 1999. The Center for Corporate Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest organization working to curb corporate abuses and make corporations publicly accountable.  Ian and Mr. Cray put the recent news about Martha Stewart in the context of the the magnitude of corporate crime in the United States, which causes loss to American citizens at a rate 80 times than that of street crime.  Cray discusses Harkin Energy, which was a clear example of corporate crime to which the Bush family is connected.  Also discussed are Enron, Halliburton and others.  Using conservative numbers issued by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for example, criminologist Jeffrey Reimer estimated that the total cost of white-collar crime in 1997 was $338 billion, more than 80 times the total amount stolen in all thefts reported by the FBI that year. The actual cost is probably much greater:  The Government Accounting Office (GAO) estimates the cost of healthcare fraud to be between 3 and 10 percent of all health care expenditures -- as much as $100 billion each year. Malcolm Sparrow of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard estimates that the figure could be as high as 30 to 40 percent of total health care expenditures. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners put the annual cost of occupational fraud and abuse in the United States at $600 billion in 2002, up from $400 billion in 1996. The association's estimate works out to 6 percent of employers' revenue, or $4,500 per employee. Whatever the actual damage, there's little doubt that corporate crime costs far more than ordinary street crime. For example, the FBI estimates that the nation's total loss from robbery, burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft in 2001 was $17.2 billion -- less than a third of what Enron alone cost investors, pensioners and employees that year. While the costs are much greater, the penalties for corporate crime are often miniscule compared to the damage. Few top executives at most of the companies involved in the recent corporate accounting scandals, for instance, have been sent to jail. Even when enforcement of is strong, the penalties for many categories of corporate crime are so low as to be easily absorbed as the normal cost of doing business. Serious violations of the Occupations Safety and Health Act (i.e. violations that pose a substantial probability of death or serious harm), for example, carry an average penalty of only $910. http://www.corporatepolicy.org/
Husain Haqqani on Pakistan, nuclear weapons, Bush and Osama.  Mr. Haqqani is a leading journalist, diplomat, and former advisor to Pakistani prime ministers. He is a syndicated columnist for The Indian Express, Gulf News and The Nation(Pakistan). Haqqani's journalism career includes work as East Asian correspondent for Arabia - The Islamic World Review and Pakistan and Afghanistan correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review. He contributes to numerous international publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, The Boston Globe, International Herald Tribune, and Arab News. He regularly comments on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Islamic politics and extremism on BBC, CNN, NBC, and ABC. Haqqani also has a distinguished career in government. He served as an advisor to Pakistani prime ministers Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, Nawaz Sharif, and Benazir Bhutto. From 1992 to 1993 he was Pakistan's ambassador to Sri Lanka.  He is currently a visiting scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  This conversation centers on the situation in the Middle East, with Pakistan, with Pakistan's relations with the U.S. and with "the deal:" the arrangement as reported in the New Yorker by Seymour Hersh that Pakistan gets to keep it nuclear weapons and Bush gets Osama.  October surprise!  (www.ceip.org)  
Dr. Robert Maguire  on Haiti.  Dr. Maguire became the Director of Programs in International Affairs at Trinity College in September 2000. His activities at Trinity, where he also holds an appointment as an Assistant Professor in International Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, include the creation, administration and oversight of post-graduate and undergraduate programs in international affairs, as well as some classroom teaching. Bob joined the staff of Trinity College following a career in federal government service as a specialist in Latin America and the Caribbean, grassroots development, and political economy. His government service included stints with the Inter-American Foundation and the Department of State, along with an earlier tour as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Caribbean island of Dominica. Dr. Maguire is best known for his work on Haiti, having been involved with that country since the mid 1970's through affiliations with the Inter-American Foundation, the Department of State, and Johns Hopkins, Brown and Georgetown Universities. He has been published extensively on issues of economic and grassroots development, governance and politics, the Haitian peasantry, public security, international assistance, and state/civil society relations. Among his publications on Haiti are Bottom-Up Development in Haiti (Inter-American Foundation, 1981, 2nd Edition) and Haiti Held Hostage: International Responses to the Quest for Nationhood - 1986 - 1996 (Watson Institute for International Studies and the United Nations University, 1997). Most recently, his essay, "Haiti: El Marasmo Politica", was published in Caracas in Nueva Sociedad (No. 175, Sept - Oct 2001). From 1994 - 2001, Bob served as the Coordinator of the Georgetown University Haiti Program, supported by the Ford Foundation to serve as a vehicle for the dissemination of information and analysis on issues linked to Haiti and to US-Haiti policy. In December 2001, he was awarded a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to continue his policy-related work on Haiti exclusively from his location at Trinity College, and to extend that work into issues related to the contributions made by Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora population to the well being of the United States (see Haiti Program). Since 1990, Dr. Maguire has served as the Chair of Haiti Advanced Area Studies at the Department of State's Foreign Service Institute. Bob is consulted on Haiti and Caribbean issues by a variety of government agencies and non-governmental organizations, and regularly makes public presentations that address issues of development in Haiti, the role of the international community, and US-Haiti policy. He has traveled to Haiti at least 100 times and is fluent in Creole.  ( www.trinitydc.edu)

Special web edition 
Originally Aired February 22nd, 2004


George Lakoff (Cognitive Scientist and Professor of Linguistics at UC Berkeley, Senior Fellow Rockridge Institute, author of "Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think."  Dr. Lakoff was recently mentioned in a cover story of Time magazine in connection to Presidential Candidate Howard Dean's praise for his work and he was profiled by CBS News) on how conservatives have come to dominate the American political discourse through the use of language.  We'll talk about Dr. Lakoff's ideas of "framing" issues through language and what progressives must do to re-assert policies and discuss issues in a manner which is persuasive to the American people.
Michael Mann , author of the recent "Incoherent Empire" is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His major works include the prizewinning series The Sources of Social Power, Volume I: A History of Power from the Beginning to 1760 AD, and Volume II: The Rise of Classes and Nation-States, 1760-1914. He is working on the third volume, Globalizations, which covers the most recent period of world history.
Mark Green, co-author with Eric Alterman of "The Book on Bush: How George W. (mis)leads America" was New York City's elected Public Advocate (1994-2002) and Democratic nominee for Mayor in 2001.  The author/editor of eighteen books, he is the President of the New Democracy Project and was recently the Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at the NY School of Law.  

Aired February 22nd, 2004


Ron Suskind, author of the bestseller "The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O'Neill," was The Wall Street Journal's senior national affairs reporter from 1993 to 2000 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing while working there.  Suskind, who writes for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, and other national publications, appears frequently as a correspondent on PBS and network news. He is the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed A Hope in the Unseen and is a distinguished visiting scholar at Dartmouth College.   This is Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter's explosive account of the inner workings of the George W. Bush administration, the most secretive White House of modern times.  His vivid, unfolding narrative is like no other book that has been written about the Bush presidency-or any that is likely to be written soon. At its core are the candid assessments of former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, for two years the administration's top economic official, a principal of the National Security Council, and a tutor to the new President. He is the only member of Bush's innermost circle to leave and then to agree to speak frankly about what has really been happening inside the White House. O'Neill's account is supported by Suskind's interviews with many participants in the administration, by transcripts of meetings, and by voluminous documents that cover most areas of domestic and foreign policy. the central conflicts of this administration's governance-between politics and policy, ideology and analysis-are starkly visible through The lens of recent events and the revelation of the often unseen intentions that underlie actions. In this book Suskind draws on unique access to present an astonishing account of a President so carefully managed in his public posture that he is unknown to most Americans. Now, he will be known.

Chalmers Johnson, author of the recent "The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic [The American Empire Project ]," is President of the Japan Policy Research Institute and professor emeritus of the University of California in San Diego. He was chairman of the academic advisory committee for the PBS television series "The Pacific Century," and he played a prominent role in the PBS "Frontline" documentary "Losing the War with Japan." Both won Emmy awards. His latest books are Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (New York: Holt Metropolitan Books, 2000) and, as editor and contributor, Okinawa: Cold War Island (Cardiff, Calif.: Japan Policy Research Institute, 1999) and "Dysfunctional Japan: At Home and In the World," special issue of ASIAN PERSPECTIVE, vol. 24, no. 4 (2000), 334 pp.. In 1994, together with Steven Clemons, Johnson founded the Japan Policy Research Institute to promote greater public awareness and understanding of Japan's role in world affairs, and of Asian area studies.  Since September 2001, the United States has "undergone a transformation from republic to empire that may well prove irreversible," writes Chalmers Johnson. Unlike past global powers, however, America has built an empire of bases rather than colonies, creating in the process a government that is obsessed with maintaining absolute military dominance over the world, Johnson claims. The Department of Defense currently lists 725 official U.S. military bases outside of the country and 969 within the 50 states (not to mention numerous secret bases). According to the author, these bases are proof that the "United States prefers to deal with other nations through the use or threat of force rather than negotiations, commerce, or cultural interaction." This rise of American militarism, along with the corresponding layers of bureaucracy and secrecy that are created to circumvent scrutiny, signals a shift in power from the populace to the Pentagon: "A revolution would be required to bring the Pentagon back under democratic control," he writes. In the years after the Soviet Union imploded, the United States was described first as the globe's "lone superpower," then as a "reluctant sheriff," next as the "indispensable nation," and now, in the wake of 9/11, as a "New Rome." Here, Chalmers Johnson thoroughly explores the new militarism that is transforming America and compelling its people to pick up the burden of empire.  Reminding us of the classic warnings against militarism--from George Washington's farewell address to Dwight Eisenhower's denunciation of the military-industrial complex--Johnson uncovers its roots deep in our past. Turning to the present, he maps America's expanding empire of military bases and the vast web of services that supports them. He offers a vivid look at the new caste of professional warriors who have infiltrated multiple branches of government, who classify as "secret" everything they do, and for whom the manipulation of the military budget is of vital interest.

Norman Solomon, a former Ralph Nader supporter, is a Senior Fellow at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) and author of "Habits of Highly Deceptive Media: Decoding Spin and Lies in Mainstream News" and "Target Iraq: what the news media didn't tell you." 
Paul Loeb, also a former Nader supporter, is the author of "Soul of a Citizen: Living with conviction in a cynical time" and "Generation at the Crossroads: Apathy and Action on the American Campus. " Solomon ( http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17836 "Nader Goes on the Defensive") and Loeb ( http://www.alternet.org/print.html?StoryID=17920 "The Lone Ranger of Righteousness") have each written recent articles on Ralph Nader.  In this interview, both of these lifetime activists react to announcement of Ralph Nader in his run for President.  Both and are aghast at Nader's decision and reflect on what they see as the hubris, illogic and arrogance that seems to have overtaken Mr. Nader's better judgment. 

February 16th, 2004


General Feroz Khan

General Feroz Khan on Pakistan, the U.S., Musharraf and the bomb

Brigadier General (retired) Feroz Khan has served with the Pakistani Army for 30 years. He served domestically and abroad with numerous assignments in the United States, Europe, and South Asia. He has experienced combat action and command on active fronts on the line of control in Siachin Glacier and Kashmir. Most recently he held the post of Director, Arms Control and Disarmament Affairs, within the Strategic Plans Division, Joint Services Headquarters. Among his academic degrees, General Khan holds an M.A. from the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Since the mid 1990`s General Khan has been making key contributions in formulating and advocating Pakistan's security policy on nuclear and conventional arms control and strategic stability in South Asia. He has produced recommendations for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and represented Pakistan in several multilateral and bilateral arms control negotiations. He has written and participated in several security related national and international conferences and seminars and has also been teaching as a visiting faculty member at the Department of the Defense and Strategic Studies, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. For the past two years, General Khan has held a series of visiting fellowships at Stanford University's Center for International Studies and Arms Control; the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; the Brookings Institution; the Center for Non-Proliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies; and the Cooperative Monitoring Center, Sandia National Laboratory. General Khan is now a Visiting Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Ambassador Akbar Ahmed  Another perspective on Pakistan

According to the BBC, Professor Akbar Ahmed is probably the world's best-known scholar on contemporary Islam" He is the former High Commissioner of Pakistan to Great Britain, and has advised Prince Charles and met with President George W. Bush on Islam. He is now Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies and professor of international relations at American University in Washington, DC. Dr. Ahmed is a distinguished anthropologist, writer, and filmmaker. He has been actively involved in interfaith dialogue and the study of global Islam and its impact on contemporary society for many years. Dr. Ahmed joined the Civil Service of Pakistan, the elite cadre of the Central Superior Services of Pakistan, in 1966. He held important posts in Pakistan and Bangladesh--including Commissioner, Quetta; Political Agent, South Waziristan Agency; Founder-Director General of the National Center for Rural Development, Islamabad. He resigned from service in the summer of 2000. Parallel to his civil service career, Dr. Ahmed was visiting professor at Harvard University, Cambridge University, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. Dr. Ahmed is the author of many books on contemporary Islam, including Discovering Islam: Making Sense of Muslim History and Society, which was the basis of the BBC six-part TV series called "Living Islam". His Postmodernism and Islam: Predicament and Promise was nominated for the Amalfi Award, and his "Jinnah Quartet," a four-part project on Pakistan's founding father, M.A. Jinnah, has won numerous international awards. His Islam Today: A Short Introduction to the Muslim World was rated among the best non-fiction books of the year by the Los Angeles Times. Professor Ahmed just published Islam Under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post-Honor World (Polity Press, July, 2003). His books have been translated into many languages, including Chinese and Indonesian. Currently, Dr. Ahmed is co-editing the Handbook on Islam and From Clash of Civilizations to Dialogue: Visions of Public Figures of the World. He has written the forward to Dr. Tamara Sonnís A Brief History of Islam (2004) and contributed the chapter "Jefferson and Jinnah: Humanist Ideals and the Mythology of Nation-Building" for the forthcoming book The Future of Liberal Democracy: Thomas Jefferson and the Contemporary World (2004). Dr. Ahmed has made frequent media appearances in the United Kingdom and the United States. He has been interviewed on CNN, MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, and BBC. He has appeared several times on the "Oprah Winfrey Show". Dr. Ahmed is a regular syndicated columnist for Religion News Service. Dr. Ahmed has delivered a number of keynote addresses to prestigious organizations. He addressed members of Congress at the bipartisan Congressional retreat in Greenbrier. He has conducted courses on Islam as Chief Moderator for the Society of Fellows Seminar and the Socrates Society at the Aspen Institute, the Young President's Organization, and the World Bank. He was the featured speaker in the Summer Speakers Series of the Aspen Institute in Summer 2003. In October, he and Dr. Judea Pearl took part in "Towards Interfaith Understanding: A Journey Through Dialogue" at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Ahmed is the recipient of the Star of Excellence in Pakistan and the Sir Percy Sykes Memorial Medal given by the Royal Society of Asian Affairs in London. He is also the recipient of the 2002 "Free Speech Award" given by the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Washington, DC. He was appointed Trustee of the World Faiths Development Dialogue by the Archbishop of Canterbury. In Summer 2003, he was appointed Charter Member of a national-level interfaith initiative based at the National Cathedral by the Bishop of Washington, DC. Dr. Ahmed was a member of the Oxford and Cambridge Club in London and is a member of the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC.

Michael Massing author of "Now they Tell us" on defective press coverage in run-up to the Iraq war

Massing is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the American Prospect, the New York Times, the Nation, Salon, the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, New Republic and many others.  His is formerly the Executive Editor of the Columbia Journalism Review and currently a Contributing Editor.  He is the author of "The Fix," an award-winning book about the drug war and US drug policy since the 1960's,  which was featured on ABC's Nightline, PBS's Frontline and recently released in paperback.  He is an adjunct Professor at Columbia Journalism School and a founder of the Committee to Protect Journalists.  He holds degrees from Harvard and the London School of Economics and Political Science.  He was named a MacArthur Fellow in the 1990's.  His recent article in the New York Review of Books ( www.nybooks.com ), "Now They Tell Us," critically analyzes the defective and manipulated press coverage leading up to the Iraq war provides unique insight into how the press works, how they think and how they can be used, as they were by Bush and the Neocons.  It has created a stir among journalists and pols throughout the beltway.

Aired February 8th, 2004


Peter Singer

Sen. Kent Conrad

Dr. Amy Chua

February 1st, 2004


Guests this week:

Eric Roston (writer/reporter for Time magazine covering the Kerry campaign, Mr. Roston had previously written on the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Cantor-Fitzgerald, Enron and much more) on the state of the John Kerry campaign for President of the United States.  Besides discussion on Kerry, Ian and Mr. Roston also discuss the Democratic presidential race in general.     
Dr. Juan Cole (considered to be one of our leading scholars of contemporary Iraq, Dr. Cole is a professor of Modern Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan;  author of the Informed Comment weblog; and author of Sacred Space and Holy War (London: IB Tauris, 2002), which examines the Iraqi Shiites and is quoted in today's New York Times) on the religious and political dynamics in Iraq that could complicate or prevent President Bush's urgent plan for establishing some form of "self rule" in Iraq.  
Dr. Imad Khadduri (Iraqi Nuclear Scientist, holds Masters in Physics from the University of Michigan and PhD in nuclear reactor technology from the University of Birmingham, England. Worked in Iraqi Atomic Energy Technology from 1968 to 1998) on the Kay resignation and his declaration that "we were all wrong," how he knew there were no WMD's in Iraq, how the war justification was built on a foundation of lies. Although a very private man, was moved to speak out more than a year ago when he saw Bush first speaking about the "Iraqi threat" in the justification the neocons used to take the US into the Iraqi quagmire. Despite his unsurpassable level of background and authority in the Iraqi weapons program, he couldn't get anyone in US intelligence, the military or the administration to pay attention to what he had to say, "because the facts that I had did not serve their political agenda to prosecute this criminal war." Now, with Dr. David Kay's fruitless search for WMDs in Iraq and his consequent resignation, Dr. Dr. Khadduri can cite the utter correctness of his predictions as to Kay's outcome.  Ian and Dr. Khadduri discuss the situation in Iraq now and what moves must now be made in the best interests of the Iraqi people.  Link: www.iraqsnuclearmirage.com

February 1st , 2004


Keith Ashdown (Vice President for Policy of the Washington, D.C.-based Taxpayers for Common Sense--a non-partisan "watchdog group" that examines budget policy and spending bills with a goal of promoting--as they put it--"a responsible and efficient government that lives within its means.") on Bush's fiscal year 2004 Omnibus Spending Bill, described by many as the worst, most pork-stuffed, most appallingly excessive spending bill in US history.  Mr. Ashdown's website is www.taxpayer.net .  Omnibus budget bills are often used to slip things by the attention of voters.  They're big, complicated and cause people to simply glaze over.  Voters should care about these spending bills because they really define the essence of what the government actually does.  Ian and Mr. Ashdown discuss how the budget process works, how pork happens and what voters can do about it.
Irashad Manji   Islam is "on very thin ice" according to Canadian broadcaster, author and critic Irashad Manji, who was born in Uganda and is of South Asian extraction. In her book, "The Trouble with Islam: a Muslim's call for reform in her faith," she describes how childhood days spent at her local mosque left her perplexed and irritated; she complains that the Middle East conflict has consumed Muslim minds. She highlights several grievances many Muslims probably share: what she casts as Saudi Arabia's disproportional and destructive influence on Islam, how the hijab, or veil, has become a litmus test for a Muslim woman's faithfulness, and the need to question the accuracy of hadiths (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad). The exclusion of women from Muslim leadership is criticized as well. Growing up in Canada, she was affected as much by North American as by Muslim social conventions, and she became a woman with a career (in broadcasting) and an out lesbian. She remains Muslim, though "hanging on by my fingernails." She questions the sexism, anti-intellectualism, moral superiority and evasion, anti-Semitism, and Arab chauvinism she sees in Islam's public face.  She raises her challenges, backed by hard facts and experience, directly to fellow Muslims. Of course, she doesn't shun non-Muslims, who stand to be powerfully edified by her critique as well as relieved that, for once, they aren't being blamed for Islam's problems. She maintains that the Qur'an doesn't mandate the evils she sees in institutional Islam and that liberalization is as possible for Islam as it has been for Christianity and Judaism.  She shares her earnest and controversial views with Ian in this fascinating conversation.  "Irshad Manji is a fresh, new and intriguing voice of Islamic reform.  [Her] wonderfully written book will surprise you..."
Dr. David Newman is professor of Political Geography and Geopolitics at Ben Gurion University in Israel. He was the founder and first chairperson of the Department of Politics and Government at this University. Previously he was a faculty member in the Department of Geography and has also served as Director of the Humphrey Institute for Social research at the University. Currently, Professor Newman is  Editor of the International Journal of Geopolitics (co-editor is professor John Agnew from UCLA). Newman has researched and published widely on territorial dimensions of the Arab-Israel conflict, with a particular focus on issues relating to territory, borders and settlements. In addition to his academic writings, newman publishes op-ed and commentary columns dealing with the conflict and other issues relating to Israeli politics and society and has appeared frequently in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, Jerusalem Post and Tikkun Magazine. Newman is a regular participant in the Track II discussions between Israel and the palestinians. Ian and Dr. Newman discuss: The Peace Process and the Road Map. What is the Destination? The geopolitics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict and Peace process. the Separation fence and the Israeli-Palestinian Border Discourse 

January 18th, 2004


Dr. George Lakoff is a Cognitive Scientist and Professor of Linguistics at UC Berkeley.  He is also Senior Fellow Rockridge Institute ( www.rockridgeinstitute.org ), and the author of "Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think."  Dr. Lakoff was recently mentioned in a cover story of Time magazine in connection to Presidential Candidate Howard Dean's praise for his work and he was profiled by CBS News) on how conservatives have come to dominate the American political discourse through the use of language.  This program explores Dr. Lakoff's ideas of "framing" issues through language and examines what progressives must do to assert policies and discuss issues in a manner which is persuasive to the American people.      

Dr. Arlie Hochchild is a Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Center for Working Families at the University of California, Berkeley.  She is the author of "The Second Shift," "The Time Bind," and a collection of essays, "The Commercialization of Intimate Life."  She recently authored an article for TomDispatch.com and Alternet.org called 'Let Them Eat War" about the seemingly irrational support of blue-collar voters for President George Bush and his policies.  An interview with Dr. Hochchild entitled "Leave No NASCAR dad behind" appears on Buzzflash.com.  Why does Bush appeal to those who are "left behind" in his policies: the working poor, the blue-collar union member, the under-educated?  To address this phenomenon, it must be understood?  What is the role of media, of identity, of class, that factor into political support?    

Dr. Yvonne Seng is the author of "Men in Black Dresses: a Quest for the future among Wisdom Makers of the Middle East," Professor of Peace Studies at American University's Center for Global Peace, Professor of Religious History and Islamic Culture at Georgetown and Princeton Universities.  Dr. Seng has traveled widely in the Middle-East and met with some of the top leaders of Islam, seeking truth, hope and promise for this troubled region of the world and its peoples, yearning for peace as further wars, further conflict, further radicalizing pressures seem to loom on the horizon. 

January 11th, 2004


Lawrence O'Donnell, Jr. is an Emmy winning producer of NBC's "The West Wing"  The West Wing episode  he wrote on the death penalty won the 2000 Humanitas Prize for writing that "communicate(s) those values which most enrich the human person."  Mr. O'Donnell was also the creator and Executive Producer of "Mister Sterling," NBC' s Washington-based drama set in the U.S. Senate.  He is also MSNBC's senior political analyst and a panelist on "The McLaughlin Group." During the election year 2000, Mr. O'Donnell was a contributing editor of New York Magazine with a column on national politics.  From 1993 through 1995, Mr. O'Donnell was the Democratic Chief of Staff of the United States Senate Committee on Finance.  The Committee has jurisdiction over legislation involving taxation, international trade, health care, Social Security, Welfare, and other income security programs.  In 1992, Mr. O'Donnell was Chief of Staff of the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.  From 1989 until 1992, Mr. O'Donnell served as Senior Advisor to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.  He began his professional association with Senator Moynihan as Director of Communications in the Senator's 1988 re-election campaign.  A writer prior to entering politics and government, Mr. O'Donnell published the book Deadly Force (1983), which was adapted as a CBS movie in 1986.  He has written essays and articles for several publications including The New York Times, New York Magazine, People, Spy, and Boston Magazine.  Mr. O'Donnell has also appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, Charlie Rose Show and several other programs.  Suffolk University awarded Mr. O'Donnell an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, in 2001.  Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Mr. O'Donnell is a graduate of Harvard College (Class of 1976).  He lives in Los Angeles.  In this powerful and unique interview, Mr. O'Donnell puts an extraordinary critical eye on the Swarzenegger governorship, his recent State of the State and the emerging California political dynamic.
Roberto Rodriguez is co-writer with Patricia Gonzonles of the nationally syndicated "Column of the Americas."  Mr. Rodriguez began his journalism/writing career at La Gente newspaper at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1972. Since 1990, he has been a senior writer with Black Issues in Higher Education. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, the electronic books: "The X in La Raza" and "Codex Tamanchuan: On Becoming Human." After winning a number of state and national writing awards in fiction in the mid-1970s, he wrote for several publications, including Lowrider magazine, the Eastside Sun in Los Angeles and La Opinion, the nation's largest Spanish-language daily. Before becoming syndicated, he also published columns in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and USA Today.  In 1984, he wrote "Assault With a Deadly Weapon," a book on police brutality. In 1986, he was honored by the California Chicano News Media Association for his defense of the First Amendment, as a result of his triumph in two police brutality trials stemming from a vicious assault by L.A. County Sheriffís officers in 1979. In 1997, "Assault With a Deadly Weapon" and his book "On the Wrong Side of the Law" were published under one title: "Justice: A Question of Race" (Bilingual Review Press). The book chronicles his trials and examines the underworld of police brutality and the system that allows it to flourish. In addition to his writing Mr. Rodriguez has been a University of California Regents Lecturer.  His articles can be read at http://www.uexpress.com/columnoftheamericas on Bush's new immigration proposal.  Is it a cynical ploy to manipulate voters by holding out the prospect of legal status, while simply being a new bracero program of de-factor indentured servitude?  Is this related to NAFTA?  Does this program really create different "classes of humanity" for people in the US?  These questions are more are discussed.
Kevin Phillips is the author of the just-published "American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush."  His previous books include the New York Times bestsellers "The Politics of Rich and Poor" and "Wealth and Democracy."  He has been a Republican party White House strategist (under Richard Nixon) and has been a political and economic commentator for more than three decades.  He is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times and NPR and writers for Harper's and Time.  This interview focuses on Phillips' startling new book and on the Bush family--how they have achieved wealth and power and the methods they have traditionally employed--generation after generation--in that pursuit--Machievellian deceit, war-profiteering, deep connections to the national security apparatus and to Middle-Eastern interests.  These are not Republicans or American leaders in any traditional sense; the Bush's, he asserts, are Plutocratic throwbacks to the Tories--the people the Founding Fathers threw out of the country.  Ian explores Phillips' important breakthrough work on the Bush family and its powerful and destructive impact on American politics.

January 4th, 2004


Howard Lyman is perhaps the first and best-known activist who sounded the alarm in the United States about mad-cow disease.  For more than a decade he has expressed a dire warning about the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE or "mad cow") disease--a warning unheeded with consequences now unfolding as the disease appears in a slaughtered (and sent to market) cow in Washington state.  Howard Lyman's well-known appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show revealed for the first time to a major national audience the potential deadly impact of the livestock industry on our nation's health. It not only led to Oprah's declaration that she'd never eat a burger again, it sent shock waves through a concerned and vulnerable public and resulted in a lawsuit from the Cattlemen's Association (which was won by Lyman). His personal story is remarkable: a fourth-generation Montana cattle-rancher, Lyman investigated the use of chemicals in agriculture after developing a spinal tumor that nearly paralyzed him. Now a vegetarian, he blasts through the propaganda of beef and dairy interests -- and the government agencies that protect them -- to expose an animal-based diet as the primary cause of cancer, heart disease, and obesity in this country. He warns that the livestock industry is repeating the mistakes that led to Mad Cow disease in England while simultaneously causing serious damage to the environment.   He is the author of the very-well reviewed book, "Mad Cowboy," and executive director of Voices for a Viable Future.  www.madcowboy.com    

  Daniel Levitas is the author of "The Terrorist next door: the Militia Movement and the Radical Right," which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.  Mr. Levitas is considered to be one of the foremost authorities on radical right-wing extremism in the United States and written many articles and made many media appearances on the subject.  He had an Op-ed published in the NY Times December 13 on an almost un-reported major domestic terrorism story out of Texas--RW extremists with FUNCTIONAL cyanide bombs (called by authorities as a weapon of mass destruction) and one of--if not the largest--arsenals ever seen in a terrorist case in the United States) on the very real threat of domestic "Christian" terrorists and why such threats are not reported in the media or receive government attention to the extent that "Islamic" terrorists do.  What threat does the radical right pose and to what extent have their ideas been "mainstreamed" by the Republican party and Bush administration?  Link: www.terroristnextdoor.com       

Dr. Nikki Keddie (Professor of History Emeritus at UCLA and the author of 13 books mostly about Iran, and most recently "Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution." Ahmed Rashid, author of Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia and Taliban, has said of her "For three decades, Nikki Keddie has been one of the most perceptive, sensitive, and insightful analysts of Iran. Providing information about a region where instant experts are the norm, Keddie's work has always been profoundly important and has had a major impact on the way Iranians think about themselves.") on how Iran is changing internally and how the Bush administration has approached the opportunity that this change offers.  Also, there is discussion on the recent human tragedy of the major earthquake in the historic city of Bam (in which some reports indicate that 40,000 people have perished).