August 27 - Both a Crime and an Opportunity; The War Train has Left the Station; Alternatives to Military Force in Syria

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Full Program



Part 1

We begin with the drumbeat of war that is drowning out alternative approaches to the crisis in Syria and go to Ireland to speak with Patrick Cockburn, the Middle East correspondent for the UK Independent where he has an article “Only a Peace Conference, Not Airstrikes, Can Stop Further Bloodshed”. We discuss his contention that the slaughter of civilians by chemical weapons is both a crime and an opportunity and examine the possibility of pursuing peace before the trigger is pulled on war.


patrick cockburn


Part 2

Then we speak with Shibley Telhami, the Anwar Sadat Professor of Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and the author of “The World Through Arab Eyes”. We discuss Syria as the third and most recent Arab country to face civil war after enduring decades of dictatorship. With Iraq and Libya in chaos after being liberated by U.S. and NATO military force, we look at the prospects for avoiding the destruction and division of Syria which is caught in both a regional proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran and a wider contest between the U.S. and Russia, both of whom do not want Al Qaeda to take over Syria.


shibley telhami


Part 3

Then finally we speak with David Cortwright, an American scholar and peace activist who is the Director of Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. We discuss alternatives to the use of military force in Syria that are not on the table and the disconnect between an almost unanimous call for military action from political leaders while only 9% of the American people support the U.S. going to war in Syria.


david cortwright