Antiwar.com’s Scott Horton discusses foreign policy disasters with Jacob Hornberger, president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.
In 2010, the Obama Administration endorsed, then immediately condemned the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) calls for a nuclear-free Middle East, realizing after the agreement that Israel is the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East.
Fast-forward five years, and there still hasn’t been a meeting on the matter. The big obstacle is that Israel, which is not a signatory to the NPT, is willing to attend the talks but not willing to even broach the subject of disarmament, citing the fact that they’re never publicly admitted to their significant arsenal in the first place.
Israel, of course, is blaming the Arabs for all this, saying the lack of talks underscores the fact that the Arab states, none of whom is a nuclear power to begin with, is even willing to sit down and talk with the nuclear-armed Israelis.
Israel’s status at the meeting did indeed loom large, and was a big part of why the talks never took place, though it was the fact that there was no hope of getting the only nuclear-armed nation to disarm that really soured most nations on the talks, figuring there was no point in the absence of that as at least a speculative goal.
Indeed, all these same nations routinely work with Israel on efforts to detect illegal underground nuclear testing as part of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. In that case, unlike this one, there was hope of actually accomplishing thing, however.
And that’s been the fatal flaw in the push for a nuclear-free Middle East from the moment the US ill-conceivedly endorsed it way back in 2010. They believe it’s “unfair” to single out Israel for disarmament, but Israel is the only state in the region with such arms to begin with, meaning efforts to orchestrate such talks always boil down to Israel insisting it is being mistreated and the US agreeing.
If all of us rolled down our car windows at 5 pm on weekdays, we would hear a single great voice booming out across the land as if God himself were thundering from the heavens. In reality it would be countless car radios beaming out in unison “All Things Considered,” sometimes known as “Small Things Considered,” so stunted is its coverage of the news. Such jokes abound, “Boring Edition” at morning commute time, with the whole operation labeled “National Propaganda Radio” or “National Pentagon Radio.” My contribution: “National Pablum Radio.”
But NPR is no joking matter; it reaches over 20 million listeners a week. (Rush claims to reach 15 million, 25% less, and even this is apparently, but not surprisingly, hard to verify.) By comparison, the Wall Street Journal has a daily circulation of somewhat over 2 million, The New York Times a little under 2 million and USA Today about 1.6 million. So NPR has enormous reach and influence in the constellation of the mainstream media. Its drive time “news” programs , “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,“ carried by almost all of its 900 member stations are its most popular fare. How could it be otherwise? The listeners are hermetically sealed in their cars for hours each day at these times.
NPR’s coverage of foreign affairs and of the wars of the U.S. Empire is especially nefarious. FAIR and other organizations dutifully and routinely plod through NPR coverage to document bias, an eminently worthwhile project. But such reports come too late to help immunize the average listener. We need a quick and easy way of seeing through the fog of NPR. Fortunately there is such a way: If we simply stop and think with some care about what we are hearing, we will discover it is the grinding day upon day repetition of imperial propaganda. The key is active skepticism, and we badly need to cultivate it in ourselves and our friends.
Let’s take a recent feature as an example. On April 22, Robert Siegal of Small Things Considered went for deep analysis of the situation in Yemen and the Middle East. He interviewed Nicholas Burns, a “professor” now at the Kennedy School of Imperialism (often mislabeled as the School of Government) at Dear Old Harvard. One might think Burns a non-government source, a good professor seeking the truth. Not so. Burns, before he was put out to pasture in that graveyard of Has Beens in Cambridge, “served” in the State Department at the highest levels under Bush I, the Clintons and Bush II. (At the very end of the feature Siegal hastily adds that Burns is “formerly of the State Department.”)
Seven prominent national security whistleblowers Monday called for a number of wide-ranging reforms – including passage of the “Surveillance State Repeal Act,” which would repeal the USA Patriot Act – in an effort to restore the Constitutionally guaranteed 4th Amendment right to be free from government spying.
Several of the whistleblowers also said that the recent lenient sentence of probation and a fine for General David Petraeus – for his providing of classified information to his mistress Paula Broadwell – underscores the double standard of justice at work in the area of classified information handling.
Speakers said Petraeus’s favorable treatment should become the standard applied to defendants who are actual national security whistleblowers, such as Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and Jeffrey Sterling (who has denied guilt but who nevertheless faces sentencing May 11 for an Espionage Act conviction for allegedly providing classified information to New York Times reporter James Risen).
In a news conference sponsored by the ExposeFacts project of the Institute for Public Accuracy at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., speakers included William Binney, former high-level National Security Agency (NSA) official; Thomas Drake, former NSA senior executive; Daniel Ellsberg, former U.S. military analyst and the Pentagon Papers whistleblower; Ray McGovern, formerly CIA analyst who chaired the National Intelligence Estimates in the 1980s; Jesselyn Radack, former Justice Department trial attorney and ethics adviser, and now director of National Security and Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project; Coleen Rowley, attorney and former FBI special agent; J. Kirk Wiebe, 32-year former employee at the NSA.
Antiwar.com Editorial Director Justin Raimondo spoke to Bill Meyer of KMED Radio in Medford, Oregon. The subject was Raimondo’s recent article, “We’ll Never Limit Government Unless We Ditch Foreign Intervention”
Press TV called early this morning seeking comments on an article about Hillary Clinton’s promise to “topple” the top 1%. That topic was too good to resist; here’s the link to their page and file of my monologue, and here are some outtakes:
*Hillary Clinton is perhaps the most corrupt Secretary of State in American history. The Clinton Foundation was getting massive windfalls from foreign governments and entities at the same time that Hillary was doing favors for them.
* For Hillary Clinton to base her presidential campaign on “toppling the 1%” is like her husband campaigning in favor of sexual abstinence. Hillary is apparently basing her presidential hopes on the unlimited gullibility of American voters.
* The real 1% issue is how the Federal Reserve has rigged the economic game to crucify the middle class with zero interest rates. Folks who relied on their savings have been devastated at the same time the Federal Reserve artificially inflates stock values to benefit the richest Americans.
* Instead of fixing this injustice, Hillary wants politicians to have even more power to dictate who gets what. But Hillary’s entire career proves that politicians cannot be trusted with arbitrary power.