Ray McGovern

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains just what a horrible Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet was: Really horrible. Also, Dick Durbin’s folly.

MP3 here. (36:05)

Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years – from the John F. Kennedy administration to that of George H. W. Bush.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/charles/awraymcgovern043007.mp3]

Doug Bandow

Antiwar.com regular and Foreign Follies author Doug Bandow dismisses our government’s ridiculous narrative about why the Terrorists™ are at war with the United States.

MP3 here. (39:06)

Doug Bandow is a Washington-based political writer and policy analyst and a member of the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy. He served as a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and as a senior policy analyst in the 1980 Reagan for President campaign.

He has been widely published in leading newspapers and periodicals and has appeared on numerous radio and television shows. He has written and edited several books, including Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire (Xulon Press), The Korean Conundrum: America’s Troubled Relations with North and South Korea (Palgrave/Macmillan, coauthor), Tripwire: Korea and U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changed World (Cato), Perpetuating Poverty: The World Bank, the IMF, and the Developing World (Cato, coeditor), and Military Manpower and Human Resources (National Defense University). His latest book is Foreign Follies (Dimension Press).

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_30_bandow.mp3]

Gareth Porter

Journalist and historian Gareth Porter explains the the massive loopholes in the Democrat’s bogus withdrawal plan, the false premise of both parties that al Qaeda in Iraq would be anything but doomed if the U.S. left, the question of neocon malevolence versus incompetence, the possibility of war with Iran, whether talks with that country could just be used as a further excuse for war when they “fail,” the first Democratic presidential debate blues and the common assumption that if the U.S. did leave, that the civil war will get worse.

MP3 here. (41:00)

Gareth Porter is a historian. His latest book is Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam (University of California Press).

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_27_porter.mp3]

Sara Olson

Sara Olson discusses the rights and plight of antiwar soldiers, many who have refused to participate, others who will fight despite their opposition to the war, those who have risked their own liberty to take a principled stand against the war and what soldiers really think about domestic dissent.

MP3 here. (23:57)

Sarah Olson is an independent journalist and radio producer based in Oakland, Calif.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_26_olson.mp3]

George McGovern

Former Senator George McGovern compares Iraq to the war in Vietnam and explains that he’s glad to see the Democrats acting more like him in their opposition to the war.

MP3 here. (5:08)

George McGovern is a former U.S. senator from South Dakota and is the author of Out of Iraq: A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_26_gmcgovern.mp3]

Eric Margolis

Veteran war correspondent Eric Margolis discusses the war in Afghanistan, the “enemy” pashtuns and our “allies” the Tajiks and Uzbeks who fought on the side of the Soviet Union back when the U.S. backed the pashtuns against them, the shaky status of America’s puppet dictator in Pakistan, that countries relationship with India, the current chances for peace in the Israel/Palestinian conflict, the chances of war between Israel and Syria and of America with Iran.

MP3 here. (18: 37)

Award winning author, columnist, and broadcaster Eric S. Margolis has covered 14 wars and is a leading authority on military affairs, the Middle East, South Asia, and Islamic movements.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/charles/aw0424ericmargolis.mp3]

David Beito

History professor David Beito discusses the history of America’s empire and some of the movements that have opposed it.

MP3 here. (42:32)

David T. Beito is Associate Professor at the University of Alabama. He received his Ph.D. in history at the University of Wisconsin in 1986. Professor Beito is the author of Taxpayers in Revolt: Tax Resistance during the Great Depression and From Mutual Aid to the Welfare state: Fraternal Societies and Social Services, 1890-1967. An urban and social historian, he has published in the Journal of Southern History, and the Journal of Urban History, among other scholarly journals. He is currently writing a biography of Dr. T. R. M. Howard, a black civil rights pioneer, entrepreneur, and mutual-aid leader.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_24_beito.mp3]

James Bovard

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_24_bovard.mp3]

The great libertarian author James Bovard discusses his new article for The American Conservative, “Working for the Clampdown,” about the new martial law powers in the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act.

MP3 here. (30:26)

James Bovard is the author of Attention Deficit Democracy (St. Martin’s/Palgrave, January 2006), and eight other books. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New Republic, Reader’s Digest, and many other publications. His books have been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, and Korean.

Justin Raimondo

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_23_raimondo.mp3]

Justin Raimondo discusses Iraq, Left, Right and prospects for an anti-imperialist realignment, the neocons, China, Africa, Russia and the AIPAC trial.

MP3 here.

An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000). He is also the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (with an Introduction by Patrick J. Buchanan), (Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993), and Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. Intervention in the Balkans (1996).

He is a contributing editor for The American Conservative, a Senior Fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute, and an Adjunct Scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and writes frequently for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.

Dilip Hiro

Dilip Hiro, author of Secrets and Lies: Operation “Iraqi Freedom” and After: A Prelude to the Fall of U.S. Power in the Middle East? and 27 other books, discusses the end of the Iraqi Shia’s patience with the U.S. occupation and the relationships between the different Shia power blocks in Iraq’s south.

MP3 here. (44:12)

Born in the Indian sub-continent, Dilip Hiro was educated in India, Britain and America, where he received a master’s degree at Virginia Polytechnic & State University. He then settled in London in the mid-1960s, and became a full-time writer, journalist and commentator. He has published 28 books.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_20_hiro.mp3]

Ivan Eland

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_18_eland.mp3]

Ivan Eland, Director of the Center on Peace and Liberty at the Independent Institute and author of The Empire Has No Clothes explains the “enemy combatant” status used to imprison Jose Padilla and now put him on trial and the implications for the rest of us.

MP3 here. (26:20)

Ivan Eland is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif. Having received his Ph.D. in national security policy from George Washington University, Dr. Eland has served as Principal Defense Analyst at the Congressional Budget Office, Evaluator-in-Charge for the U.S. General Accounting Office (national security and intelligence), and Investigator for the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He has testified on NATO expansion before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and CIA oversight before the House Government Reform Committee.

Dr. Eland is the author of Putting “Defense” Back into U.S. Defense Policy: Rethinking U.S. Security in the Post-Cold War World and forty-five studies on national security issues. His articles have appeared in Arms Control Today, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Emory Law Journal, The Independent Review, Issues in Science and Technology, Mediterranean Quarterly, Middle East and International Review, Middle East Policy, Nexus, and Northwestern Journal of International Affairs. His popular writings have been published in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, San Diego Union-Tribune, Washington Post, Miami Herald, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Newsday, Sacramento Bee, Orange County Register, and Chicago Sun-Times. He has appeared on ABC’s “World News Tonight,” CNN’s “Crossfire,” Fox News, CNBC, CNN-fn, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, CBC, BBC, and other national and international TV and radio programs. His column appears Tuesdays on Antiwar.com.

Mike McNulty

Mike McNulty, producer of Waco: The Rules of Engagement, Waco: A New Revelation and The FLIR Project explains the proof of his contention that the U.S. Army Delta Force (Combat Applications Group) was sent by Bill and Hillary Clinton to Waco and how they helped the FBI Hostage Rescue Team mass murder 86 men, women and children in broad daylight, in front of everybody, live on TV, call it a suicide and get away with it.

MP3 here. (1:26:44)

To get your own copy of Waco: A New Revelation, the film which forced Janet Reno and former Senator Jack Danforth to open a new cover-up in 1999, call MGA films at 1-800-277-9802. It’s $14.95 for a DVD, $9.95 for VHS, plus $5.95 shipping and handling.

To get the final, beyond a shadow of a doubt evidence that the Army/FBI machine-gunned the Davidians as they tried to flee the burning building and that Jack Danforth is guilty of helping them lie about it, The FLIR Project, send $9.95 plus $4.00 shipping and handling to Cops Productions 1334 6th St. SE Loveland, CO 80537 to get a VHS copy.

A less than perfect version of Waco: The Rules of Engagement is currently running on the Documentary Channel.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_18_mcnulty.mp3]

Andrew Cockburn pt.1

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_12_amcockburn1.mp3]

Andrew Cockburn, author of Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall and Catastrophic Legacy, discusses Donald Rumsfeld’s flawed personality, and history of intrigue, naked ambition, torture and war.

MP3 here. (57:29)

Andrew Cockburn is a writer and lecturer on defense and national affairs, and is also the author of five nonfiction books. He has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Playboy, Vanity Fair, and National Geographic, among other publications. He currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Andrew Cockburn pt.2

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_18_amcockburn2.mp3]

Antiwar Radio Exclusive: Revealed by Andrew Cockburn April 18, 2007: When Secretary of State Madeline Albright announced, on March 26, 1997, that Iraqi sanctions would stay in place despite the UN inspectors success it was an effort to preempt UN inspection chief Ralf Ekeus’s pending announcement that Iraq was to be certified “free” of “weapons of mass destruction.” (at 22:40)

MP3 here. (40:31)

This, as Cockburn explains, led Saddam to decide there was no further point in allowing the inspectors access to his palaces. (Former UN inspector Scott Ritter has maintained, including to this radio host, that the only purpose for the inspections after 1996 was to allow American spies the opportunity to assassinate Saddam Hussein.) This allowed Bill Clinton to falsely claim that Saddam had kicked them out of the country, launch his “Operation Desert Fox” bombing campaign (on the day the full House of Representatives were to begin debating Articles of Impeachment against him), and for the War Party to claim to this day that there must have been weapons there.

Also: Cockburn and General Anthony Zinni’s belief that the neocons’ plan B after installing Chalabi as dictator fell through was to deliberately destroy Iraq (that is, all this “failure” is on purpose), the suffering of the Iraq people, Rumfeld’s bogus “transformation” of the military and more…

Andrew Cockburn is a writer and lecturer on defense and national affairs, and is also the author of five nonfiction books. He has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Playboy, Vanity Fair, and National Geographic, among other publications. He currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Joseph Wilson

Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson discusses his wife Valerie Plame’s “covert” status, whether his wife helped get him the trip to assess the Niger-uranium hoax, why they resorted to smearing his wife, his feelings about George Bush Sr., what he thinks of the neocons, how he investigated the Niger-uranium hoax and what he found out, whether Patrick Fitzgerald could reopen his investigation upon the revelations about the missing RNC emails and more.

MP3 Here.(36:03)

Joseph C. Wilson 4th, former United States ambassador to Iraq and Gabon, and husband of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame, is an international business consultant.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/charles/aw0418joewilson.mp3]

Glenn Greenwald

Former Constitutional lawyer and author Glenn Greenwald discusses the constitutional limits on the President’s war powers, the sad history of the government’s lack of compliance with these rules, the radical and totalitarian impulse of our neoconservatives today, the neocon/Federalist Society’s bogus “Unitary Executive theory,” Rudy Giuliani’s embrace of the idea of unlimited power for himself and the new peace and freedom realignment of the liberal left, paleo-right and libertarians.

Mp3 Here. (32:59)

How Would a Patriot Act?, a critique of the Bush administration’s use of executive power, released in May 2006. His second book, Tragic Legacy, examines the Bush legacy and will be released by Random House/Crown in June 2007.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_17_greenwald.mp3]

Juan Cole

Professor Juan Cole explains the splits and similarities inside the Shi’ite political factions in Iraq, the recent Sadr-inspired protests, accusations that Sadr is the tool of Iran, how our government lies when they blame American deaths on Iran-backed militias, tensions between the governments of Kurdistan and Turkey and the ability of local powers to work out their own problems.

MP3 here. (28:28)

Juan R. I. Cole is Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History at the University of Michigan. He has written extensively about modern Islamic movements in Egypt, the Persian Gulf, and South Asia. His most recent book is Sacred Space and Holy War. His blog, Informed Comment, is a widely read source for Middle East news and commentary.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_17_cole.mp3]

Butler Shaffer

Professor Butler Shaffer says government is an unnecessary evil.

MP3 here. (43:56)

From the view of a “modern social historian and philosopher,” Professor Shaffer has written numerous books and articles on social theory, business and labor law, and has spoken on these topics before a variety of academic and special interest forums. In his book, Calculated chaos: Institutional threats to peace and human survival, he explores the theory that “institutions are the principle means by which conflict is produced and managed in society.” He considers how leaders of industry influenced the creation of the New Deal’s National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 in his book, In Restraint of Trade: The Business Campaign Against Competition: 1918-1938. Professor Shaffer has also been interviewed on these subjects on network television, cable and radio.

Following graduation from law school, Professor Shaffer was a labor relations consultant to the Midwest Employees Council in Lincoln, Nebraska, and went on to establish a private law practice in Omaha. He subsequently joined the firm of Nelson, Harding, Marchetti, Leonard & Tate, and then began a career in academia at the University of Nebraska College of Business Administration where he taught courses in business and law. Professor Shaffer has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1977. In 2002, he was named as the Irwin R. Buchalter Professor of Law in recognition of his outstanding contributions to legal education and scholarship.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_13_shaffer.mp3]

Behzad Yaghmaian

Behzad Yaghmaian, discusses the history of American regime change in Iran, the tyranny of the American puppet, the Shah Pahlavi and his brutal SAVAK, the tyranny of the Ayatollahs who took his place, why American “help” hurts reformers and fears that if Bush bombs them the repercussions for millions of people all over the world will be disastrous.

MP3 here. (35:19)

Behzad Yaghmaian is the author of Embracing the Infidel: Stories of Muslim Migrants on the Journey West and Social Change in Iran: An Eyewitness Account of Dissent, Defiance, and New Movements for Rights. He is a professor of political economy at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_13_yaghmaian.mp3]

Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr. and Aziz Huq

Frederick A.O. Schwarz Jr., former chief council for the Frank Church Committee hearings, and Aziz Huq of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law discuss their book Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror, discuss the Church committee investigations of the late 70s and the abuses they found, how things are even worse now, the impotence of the U.S. Congress, how Bush has made our terrorism problem worse by torturing people and the false accusation that the Church Committee hearings somehow lead to September 11th.

MP3 here.(16:32)

In a distinguished legal career spanning four decades, Mr. Schwarz has shown a unique ability to combine the highest level of private practice with a series of critically important public service assignments. In every case, Mr. Schwarz has handled these responsibilities with his trademark grace and insight. He comes to the Center with a broad litigation record from Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he had been a partner since 1969. Mr. Schwarz left the firm twice, once to serve as chief counsel to the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activity (1975-1976), and again to serve as Corporation Counsel under New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch (1982-1986). In 1989, he chaired the commission that revised New York City’s charter. In addition to currently serving as senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, he chairs the New York City Campaign Finance Board, the Board of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Board of the Vera Institute of Justice.

Mr. Schwarz received an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1957 and a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1960, where he was an editor of the Law Review. After a year’s clerkship with Judge J. Lumbard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, he worked one year for the Nigerian government as Assistant Commissioner for Law Revision under a Ford Foundation grant.

——–

Before joining the Brennan Center, Mr. Huq clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during the October 2003 Term of the Supreme Court of the United States, and for Judge Robert D. Sack of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (2001-02). He graduated summa cum laude from both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1996), and Columbia Law School (2001). At Columbia, he was Essay and Review Editor of the Columbia Law Review, and received several academic awards, including the John Ordonneux Prize (given to the graduating student with the highest grade point average). He is published in the Columbia Law Review, the Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, the World Policy Journal and the New School’s Constellations Journal. He has written for Himal Southasian, Legal Times and the American Prospect, and appeared as a commentator on Democracy Now! and NPR’s Talk of the Nation. Before and during law school, Mr. Huq has also worked on human rights issues overseas in Guatemala and Cambodia. In 2002, he received a Columbia Law School Post-Graduate Human Rights Fellowship to work with the International Crisis Group studying constitutional reform in Afghanistan. He has since worked with ICG in Pakistan, and Nepal on legal and constitutional reform issues. He is co-writing a book on presidential power and national security, to be published in March 2007 by the New Press.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/charles/aw0405azizhuq.mp3]

John Cassidy

John Cassidy discusses his new piece in the New Yorker magazine about Paul Wolfowitz and his reign at the World Bank, his ownership of the ongoing massacre in Iraq, his difficulty in controlling the Bank and the ability and unwillingness of the Congress to get rid of him.

MP3 here. (16:21)

John Cassidy, one of the country’s leading business journalists, has been a staff writer at the New Yorker for six years, covering economics and finance. Previously he was business editor of the Sunday Times (London) and deputy editor of the New York Post. He lives in New York.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/charles/aw0405newyorker.mp3]

Robert MacNeil

Robert MacNeil discusses the new PBS special series “America at the Crossroads,” the origin of the project, Martin Smith’s Frontline contribution to the project about America training the Iran-backed militias in Iraq, Richard Perle’s bald face lies in defense of the mass slaughter he has perpetrated, Islam in Indonesia and the national government’s abuse of the PATRIOT Act.

MP3 here. (16:25)

Robert MacNeil was born in Montreal, Quebec, in 1931, and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After graduating from Carleton University in Ottawa in 1955, he moved to London, England, where he worked first for Reuters News Agency and then for the National Broadcasting Corporation. From 1963 to 1967, he was a correspondent for NBC in Washington and New York City. From 1967 to 1971, he covered American and European politics for the British Broadcasting Corporation.

After he returned to Washington, MacNeil co-anchored (with Jim Lehrer) coverage by the Public Broadcasting Service of the Senate Watergate Hearings, for which he won the first of several Emmy awards. In October 1975, he and Lehrer launched a half-hour nightly news program, “The Robert MacNeil Report with Jim Lehrer” (later “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report”), which dealt with a single issue each night. Eight years later, this innovative approach was expanded to “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” the first hour-long evening news program in the United States. “NewsHour” continues to earn major broadcasting awards a decade later.

Robert MacNeil has written several books, including The People Machine: The Influence of Television on American Politics, The Story of English (with Robert McCrum and William Cran) and two memoirs, The Right Place at the Right Time and Wordstruck. His first novel, Burden of Desire, is set in Nova Scotia during the First World War. He is currently completing a second novel.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/charles/aw0409robertmacneil.mp3]

Peter Eisner

Peter Eisner discusses his new book The Italian Letter: How the Bush Administration Used a Fake Letter to Build the Case for War in Iraq, how the forgeries came to be a major basis for America’s war of aggression in Iraq, how incredibly crude they were, how the already discredited documents “turned up” on Oct. 7, 2002, two day before the Congressional vote for Bush’s war “authorization,” how the CIA debunked the information prior to Bush’s Oct. 7, 2002, how Cheney’s neocon cabal kept bringing it up, leading to the Joe Wilson trip to Niger to debunk it once more, how the White House cut the CIA out of the speech-vetting process, how the Brits never had any more evidence than the same forgeries, his conclusion thus-far that the forgeries originated with a “rouge faction” at SISMI and the background of that organization.

MP3 here. (18: 50)

Peter Eisner is a deputy foreign editor at the Washington Post. He served as a foreign editor at Newsday from 1985 through 1989 and as the paper’s Latin America correspondent from 1989 through 1994. He was also a reporter, editor and bureau chief with the Associated Press. Eisner won the InterAmerican Press Association Award in 1991 for his investigations of drug trafficking in the Americas. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/charles/aw0409petereisner.mp3]

Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo discusses the failures of the American media, warmongers who misleadingly identify themselves as libertarians, the threat of war with Iran and the upcoming trial of AIPAC’s Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman for espionage.

MP3 here. (41:43)

Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com. He is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000). He is also the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (with an Introduction by Patrick J. Buchanan), (Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993), and Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. Intervention in the Balkans (1996).

He is a contributing editor for The American Conservative, a Senior Fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute, and an Adjunct Scholar with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and writes frequently for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_09_raimondo.mp3]

Ivan Eland

The Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland explains the constitutional limitations of the President’s foreign policy powers, Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Syria, the future of the occupation of Iraq and relations between various states in the Middle East.

MP3 here. (29:14)

Ivan Eland is Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif. Having received his Ph.D. in national security policy from George Washington University, Dr. Eland has served as Principal Defense Analyst at the Congressional Budget Office, Evaluator-in-Charge for the U.S. General Accounting Office (national security and intelligence), and Investigator for the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He has testified on NATO expansion before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and CIA oversight before the House Government Reform Committee.

Dr. Eland is the author of Putting “Defense” Back into U.S. Defense Policy: Rethinking U.S. Security in the Post-Cold War World and forty-five studies on national security issues. His articles have appeared in Arms Control Today, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Emory Law Journal, The Independent Review, Issues in Science and Technology, Mediterranean Quarterly, Middle East and International Review, Middle East Policy, Nexus, and Northwestern Journal of International Affairs. His popular writings have been published in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, San Diego Union-Tribune, Washington Post, Miami Herald, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Newsday, Sacramento Bee, Orange County Register, and Chicago Sun-Times. He has appeared on ABC’s “World News Tonight,” CNN’s “Crossfire,” Fox News, CNBC, CNN-fn, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, CBC, BBC, and other national and international TV and radio programs.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_06_eland.mp3]

His column appears Tuesdays on Antiwar.com.

Hamid Dabashi

Iranian-American Hamid Dabashi, author of Iran: A People Interrupted, and professor at Columbia University explains all about Iran, the ‘79 hostage crisis, the captured British sailors and Marines, whether Iranians are inherent hostage takers, the aberration that is the Mullahs’ regime in that country, the severe economic problems they suffer due to the burdens of socialism, the IMF and the World Bank, how Ahmadinejad won, and the possibility of war between our nations.

MP3 here. (34:35)

Hamid Dabashi received a dual Ph.D. in Sociology of Culture and Islamic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. He wrote his dissertation on Max Weber’s theory of charismatic authority with Philip Rieff (1922-2006), the most distinguished Freudian cultural critic of his time. He is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York, the oldest and most prestigious Chair in Iranian Studies. He has also taught and delivered lectures in many North American, European, Arab and Iranian universities. He lives in New York with his wife and colleague, the Iranian-Swedish feminist, Golbarg Bashi.

Professor Dabashi has written 12 critically acclaimed books, edited 4, and contributed chapters to many more. He is also the author of over 100 essays, articles and book reviews in major scholarly and peer reviewed journals on subjects ranging from Iranian Studies, Shi’ism, Medieval and Modern Islamic Intellectual History, Comparative Literature, World Cinema, Trans-aesthetics, Trans-national Art, Philosophy, Mysticism, Theology, Post-colonial Theory and Cultural Studies.

An internationally renowned cultural critic and award-winning author, his books and articles have been translated into numerous languages, including Japanese, German, French, Spanish, Danish, Russian, Hebrew, Italian, Arabic, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Polish, Turkish, Urdu and Catalan.

Among his best-known books are his Authority in Islam, Theology of Discontent, Truth and Narrative, Close Up: Iranian Cinema, Past, Present, Future, Staging a Revolution: The Art of Persuasion in the Islamic Republic of Iran and an edited volume, Dreams of a Nation: On Palestinian Cinema. His newest is Iran: A People Interrupted.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/charles/aw0403hamiddabashi.mp3]

Anthony Gregory

Anthony Gregory, research analyst the Independent Institute and writer for the Future of Freedom Foundation, LewRockwell.com, Liberty magazine, Strike-the-Root, etc., reviews Depression, War and Cold War by Robert Higgs: the myth of war prosperity, how the government caused the Great Depression, how the New Deal made it worse, how World War II did not “save” America from the Depression anymore than the New Deal did, how this fallacy persists to this day, justifying to many Americans our permanent state of war and the Military-Industrial-Complex that sucks our treasury dry in doing so.

MP3 here. (39:23)

Anthony Gregory is a writer and musician who lives in Berkeley, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history at UC Berkeley, where he was president of the Cal Libertarians. He is an intern at the Independent Institute and has written for Rational Review, Strike the Root, the Libertarian Enterprise, and Antiwar.com. See his webpage for more articles and personal information.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_05_gregory.mp3]

Ann Wright

Col Ann Wright, a former diplomat, 29-year veteran of the U.S. Army and expert on the Geneva Conventions discusses her adventure being roughed up by that scum Bill O’Reilly the other day, Iran and America’s violations of human rights and America’s nuclear arsenal.

MP3 here. (10: 39)

Col. Ann Wright served in the U.S. Army for 13 years and in the U.S. Army Reserves for 16 years. She also served for 16 years in the U.S. diplomatic corps, and in that capacity helped reopen the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in December 2001. She received the State Department’s Award for Heroism as the acting U.S. ambassador during the rebel takeover of Freetown, Sierra Leone in 1997.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/charles/aw0403annwright.mp3]

Mikey Weinstein

Mikey Weinstein, former Reagan White House counsel, president and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and author of the new book, With God On Our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military discusses his background and attempt to prevent the American Taliban from taking over the Armed Services and the firing of his friend David Iglasius, one of the fired U.S. attorneys.

MP3 Here. (34:22)

Mikey Weinstein is an attorney and businessman who served 10 years’ active duty as an Air Force Judge Advocate (JAG) at military installations from California to Washington, D.C. The former federal prosecutor spent three years in the Reagan White House and served as the Air Force’s first Chief of Telecommunications and Information Systems Procurement Law.

Mikey’s family has deep and distinguished military-academy roots spanning nearly 60 years: His father is a Naval Academy graduate; and Mikey, his brother-in-law, eldest son and daughter-in-law are all graduates of the Air Force Academy (from where his youngest son is scheduled to graduate in 2007). Mikey and his wife of almost three decades, Bonnie, reside in Albuquerque, N.M.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/charles/aw040407cgmikeyweinstein.mp3]

Rep. Ron Paul

Dr. Ron Paul, Texas congressman and Presidential candidate, explains his foreign policy principles and how they apply to the Bush doctrine, the “isolationist” smear, the motives of the bin Laden movement, his belief that the Middle East would be more peaceful without the American military presence, the corruption of the Congress as a result of how much power they wield, U.S. obstruction of various peace efforts in the region, the threat of war with Iran and the possible consequences, that nation’s enmity toward al Qaeda, frightening new changes to the Posse Comitatus and the Insurrection acts, the Military Commissions Act and his opposition to the way the current administration operates their secret military tribunals.

MP3 here. (26:44)

Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas and candidate for President of the United States.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_03_paul.mp3]

Dahr Jamail

Independent journalist Dahr Jamail reports from Doha, Qatar about John McCain’s lies, the surge’s success at moving some insurgents from town to town, the fact that the U.S. is not leaving Iraq any time soon, Speaker Pelosi in Syria, that country’s friendly cooperation with the U.S. in torturing and murdering those renditioned there, the Saudi king and Iraqi president’s denunciation of the occupation of Iraq, the need to talk with Hezbollah, for Israel to make peace with it’s neighbors, the possibility of war with Iran.

MP3 here. (16:44)

In late 2003, Weary of the overall failure of the US media to accurately report on the realities of the war in Iraq for the Iraqi people and US soldiers, Dahr Jamail went to Iraq to report on the war himself.

His dispatches were quickly recognized as an important media resource. He is now writing for the Inter Press Service, The Asia Times and many other outlets. His reports have also been published with The Nation, The Sunday Herald, Islam Online, the Guardian, Foreign Policy in Focus, and the Independent to name just a few. Dahr’s dispatches and hard news stories have been translated into French, Polish, German, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic and Turkish. On radio as well as television, Dahr reports for Democracy Now!, the BBC, and numerous other stations around the globe. Dahr is also special correspondent for Flashpoints.

Dahr has spent a total of 8 months in occupied Iraq as one of only a few independent US journalists in the country. In the MidEast, Dahr has also has reported from Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Dahr uses the DahrJamailIraq.com website and his popular mailing list to disseminate his dispatches.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/charles/aw0402dahrjamail.mp3]

Ross Pourzal

Iranian-American human rights activist Ross Pourzal discusses the Bush regime’s attempts to gin up a war with Iran past and present, the Arab bloc’s compliance despite the rhetoric, some of the various political splits in the region.

MP3 Here. (18:34)

Rostam Pourzal is a Washington-based political analyst who is active with the Alliance of Progressive Iranians. His writings have appeared in Iranian.com among other publications.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/charles/aw0402rosspourzal.mp3]

Sami Rasouli

Iraqi-American human rights activist Sami Rasouli discusses his time back in Iraq, his belief that the American presence is causing the civil war rather than helping reduce it, the daily hell that has caused 4 million people to become refugees, Iraqi widows being taken as sex slaves in neighboring states, the threat to U.S. forces in Iraq if Bush bombs Iran and many other terrible things.

MP3 here. (50:37)

Sami Rasouli has returned from the Twin Cities to his homeland to be with his people during the US occupation of Iraq. Sami was the owner of Sinbad’s Restaurant, a pioneer in introducing Middle Eastern culture to the area. Sami has left his business and hopes to be of some help to his countrymen.

Please Leave
An interview with Sami Rasouli
by Scott Horton

Interview conducted April 1, 2007. Listen to the interview here.

I have on the line Sami Rasouli. He is an Iraqi, who was an ex-patriot. He lived in the United States for I believe about 30 years – a very successful restauranteur from Minneapolis, owner of Sinbad’s Restaurant. Since the war, he has moved back to Iraq and has created something called the Muslim Peacemaker Team. He is a Shi’ite Muslim from Najaf, Iraq. Welcome to the show Sami.

Rasouli: Thank you, Scott, for having me.

Horton: Nice to make your acquaintance. Did I get that right? You are a Shi’ite originally from Najaf?

Rasouli: Well, yes. I was born and raised in Najaf. Najaf is considered a Shi’ite city, populated mostly by Shi’ites, but there was always a Christian here and there – Sunnis too. In the old days there were actually Jews in the city. Even now there is an alley called Jewish alley. Jews manufactured shoes and wholesaled them to the main bazaar, which is adjacent to the alley. They actually owned most of the shops in that main bazaar. This was before 1948. Iraq was known as a beautiful treasure, a wonderful mosaic fabric of society.

So actually, not only Shi’ites and Sunnis live in Iraq. There are other sects: the Mandaeans, the Sabians, the John the Baptist sects. There are also the Yezidi, who are considered to be Satanic worshipers (though they actually deny this), and they live in Sinjar, a place in the Ninawa province to the North.

There is a nice story about the Yezidi. Back in September 2005, the city of Tal’Afar was bombed by the U.S. Air Force, forcing lots of Sunnis and Shi’ites, who lived in Tal’Afar, to leave…

Horton: This was cited as a great success, by the way, by the President [Bush].

Rasouli: Well, I keep hearing from this administration about the success and the progress. There is nothing but destruction in Iraq.

So anyway, these Yezidi saw those Shi’ite and Sunni families living as refugees from Tal’Afar and hosted them in Sinjar. They [the Yezidi] opened their homes and their hearts and told them, “Please stay here as long as you want. We know you do not consider us to be as clean as you are, so we are going to leave you here, and we will go and stay with our relatives until the time you feel you’re safe and can go back home.”

But they [Sunni and Shi’ites from Tall’Afar] never did [go home] because the agony and the problems of Iraq have continued for the last four years.

Horton: So they have had no opportunity to go back home?

Rasouli: No. This story was narrated to me by the second Grand Ayatollah al-Sayyid Muhammad Said al-Hakim in Najaf, when I visited him with a group of Muslim Peacemakers. We also had in the room the Christian Peacemakers Team: Sister Peggy Gish and Michelle Naar. That was back in January, 2006 – last year actually. We also heard about this story from the Tal’Afar people, Shi’ites and Sunnis, who were in Najaf and Karbala when we tried to supply them with some food, clothing and shelter.

Today, Scott, as you and your listeners may know, there are four million Iraqis, who have been displaced for at least the last two years. Two million are displaced inside their own country as refugees, and the other two million are outside Iraq. Most of those four million are the middle class, which actually has been destroyed in Iraq and replaced by a new generation, which for us is a strange generation. It is made up of kids, who couldn’t go to school back in 1991 due to the harsh sanctions that Iraq has been subjected to. So kids, aged seven to fifteen then (now they are adults), mostly join the poorly trained army and the newly formed police forces in Iraq. Many of them don’t hold the Iraqi’s real values from the middle class in Iraq. Most of them are criminals in the streets or unemployed. Employment runs about 65 percent.

Every time I go back to Iraq looking for my generation, the middle class I belong to, I hardly find any of them. They are either dead, chased out of the country or imprisoned. I don’t know where they are.

Iraq is not Iraq. Iraq is broken. Iraq is lawless – all in the name of the western democracy (actually American freedom) that was delivered back in 2003.

Horton: So – the four million displaced Iraqis…

There is actually a great report done for Minority Rights Group International by Preti Taneja [Assimilation, Exodus, Eradication: Iraq’s minority communities since 2003], that discusses the four million refugees and particularly some of those very small ethnic and religious sects that you mentioned: Jews, Mandeaens, Assyrian Christians and all the other groups besides the major Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish groups. They and (as you say) the middle class of the country – the bread and butter of the country – have been dispersed.

I think what you are telling me now is that there is really no one left except those who are unable to leave or those who are willing to work for the occupation government.

Rasouli: Correct.

Also, the rumors that we keep hearing here about the Sunnis killing the Shi’ites or vice versa. This is a smoke screen. I would like to tell you what is actually happening in Iraq today.

You introduced me as Sami from the Shi’ite city of Najaf, but my wife is a Sunni. Most Iraqi people are inter-married from all sects, and it makes no difference. They have managed to live for the last thirteen years (thirteen centuries actually) in a harmonious way.

What you see in Iraq today is not Sunnis killing Shi’ites. It’s actually people (we don’t know who they are) hired by third parties to destroy Sunni mosques, to destroy Shi’ite mosques and set bombs off in markets where people are. They do this just to demonize elements of the Iraqi resistance and make them look bad.

Here’s what is going on. There are 150,000 mercenaries in the form of private contractors. They are civilians. I don’t know if you or your listeners know about the story back in 2005 (actually it was September, 2005) when two British soldiers were caught in Basra wearing Arab clothes and having supplies of explosive devices, guns and other weapons in a private car. They were caught, but the British authority at that time stormed the jail and freed them. We never learned about their mission at that time.

Horton: Right, well I do remember that story and, in fact, I spoke with Professor Juan Cole from the University of Michigan – maybe just a day or two after that.

If I remember correctly (I don’t know if I remember all the details), the original accusations were that they had all these explosives and so forth, but what they really had was laid out for the cameras. It wasn’t bombs. Juan Cole said it looked to him like they were on a surveillance mission. They had lately been harassing the Imam, who they were within rifle-range of when they were captured. They were basically covertly monitoring this guy that they were planning on capturing, but were routed, got into a gunfight and were captured.

But I believe what you’re saying is, you believe the most egregious killings in this sectarian violence are not done by Iranian backed Shi’ite factions or foreign fighters (al-Qaeda jihadists) on the Sunni side, but that it is the westerners, who are fomenting this covertly.

Rasouli: Correct. Part of our Muslim Peacemakers Team’s mission is to be in touch with the religious leaders, political leaders, government officials, tribal leaders and others to bring them together and listen to their thoughts and views on what’s going on in Iraq.

I was able, with a group of MPT [Muslim Peacemakers Team], to meet personally with Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr, who is the leader of the al-Mahdi movement in Iraq. I also met separately with Dr. Harith al-Dhari, who is the head of the Muslim Scholar Board in Baghdad. Harith al-Dhari represents the Sunni sect, and Muqtada partially represents the Shi’ite sect in the south.

Both indicated to me that they’ve never and will never authorize any spilling of Iraqi blood – no matter what the background of those Iraqis are. They always meet and draw up plans to work together.

If you remember when the Samarra Golden Dome of Imam Hassan al-Askari and his father, Ali l-Hadi, was destroyed on February 22nd of 2006, we never got an investigation that clarified who was behind the bombing.

Horton: That’s true. They just basically assumed it was Zarqawi and al-Qaeda fighters that did it.

Rasouli: Right. But the housing minister came out later that day with initial information based on their own investigation, but it was not a thorough investigation. It is still considered a mysterious operation that rips apart the Iraqi people. The casualties of the violence have risen from about twenty Iraqis getting killed every day to where it’s now at one hundred or two hundred.

Horton: Let me stop you here and make sure I understand you.

You are saying that the westerners (perhaps in an event like the attack on the Golden Dome Mosque in Samarra) may be staging some of this to foment violence among the Iraqis – or even staging every bit of it?

Are you saying that every truck bomb and every Shi’ite death squad is the Americans?

Rasouli: Well, let me put it this way. There are four factors that incite the violence in Iraq.

The first and the biggest one is the United States occupation forces in Iraq. Second, there is the Iraqi Resistance that counters the occupation. This includes resistance fighters, who target only U.S. military bases and convoys that travel the highways, as well as snipers, who target American individuals. The third is the homegrown (as well as international) criminals, who are coming to Iraq to do their dirty work for money or other reasons. The fourth are the foreign intelligence agencies, and among them I would like to include the private contractors, who are operating in civilian clothes. There are about one hundred to one hundred fifty thousand of them – mainly employees from the Blackwater corporation and also Dyncorp. It is not clear what those private contractors are doing.

Horton: Well, what if I tried to add five and six: foreign fighter/jihadists on the Sunni side and the Iranian backed Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution and their army the Badr Brigade – or even seven, the Mahdi army. You are saying that these groups are not five, six and seven on your list?

Rasouli: Well, remember that the Badr Brigade is almost a part of the government right now and takes the form of the the interior ministry.

Horton: So to you, the Shi’ite death squads basically count as the Americans – by proxy.

Rasouli: That is exactly what I would like to say.

I put them at the fourth because it is not clear who they work for. They are intelligence agencies. They work for foreign forces, including the United States, the Israelis, the Iranians, al-Qaeda and others.

If you remember, John Murtha was in Iraq over a year ago. When he came back, he figured there are about thousand members of al-Qaeda. He indicated that most of them are Iraqis, who became extremist. I would like to refer back to this strange new generation, the product of the sanctions [during the 1990’s] and the war of the last four years. These people can easily spread rumors around and carry out operations that really don’t fit the real Iraqi society. Those forces are (as you mentioned) allowed [by Iraqis] to work in Iraq, because they target Americans too.

Horton: Right. In fact, we’re featuring a news story on Antiwar.com in the frontline section today, Sunday, the first of April (no fools), and that story is about local Sunnis, who are turning against al-Qaeda and saying, “You are no longer welcome here. We don’t want your help anymore.”

Rasouli: Exactly. They [al-Qaeda] are allowed there [by Iraqis] only because they are targeting the occupation forces.

Horton: Sami, I just wanted to clarify that when you say “foreign intelligence sources [being behind the sectarian violence],” you’re not just saying “American and British,” but also Iranian and Sunni involvement – perhaps Syrian as well.

Rasouli: Mossad too.

Horton: And the Mossad as well…

Rasouli: The Israelis are there too.

Horton: We know they are interfering at least in Kurdistan.

Rasouli: Well, in the southern sector too.

I am just trying to tell you what Iraqis feel. This war in Iraq is not being done in the interests of the American people. The American [citizen] has nothing to do with this war. This war in Iraq (and maybe the war will be in Iran) is being waged on behalf of the Israelis. This is the general feeling. Intellectual Iraqis feel the same way.

The war in Iraq is all about three letters: ‘O’ for oil, ‘I’ for Israel, and ‘L’ for location or logistics.

Horton: Right, Ray McGovern’s acronym – absolutely. I have no problem with that.

Now let me ask you a two part question: What is life like in Iraq, and what do you think the solution to Iraq’s problems are?

This is the main benefit (I think) that you can provide – your insights from being there.

So what is life like for the average Iraqi?

You already told me that the middle class, the educated, the professionals and the tradesmen are all gone. The ethnic and religious sects have been banished. There are four million displaced Iraqi refugees. Two million of them have been lucky enough to get out of the country. Two million are displaced within.

I want to know more about what life is like for the average Iraqi in terms of electricity, water, sewage, schools, hospitals, roads and the basic standard of living in that sense.

I also know you told a reporter from the Minneapolis Star Tribune that this cannot begin to change until America leaves.

So what do you believe the solution to this problem is? Why do you believe that America must leave immediately?

Rasouli: America must leave, because America failed to secure Iraq and improve Iraqi lives. America failed to secure Iraqi livelihood.

The Iraqis were promised their lives would be improved, but nothing of this happened. The infrastructure has been deteriorating – literally destroyed. When I came [back to Iraq] last year, the people in Baghdad were able to get four hours of electricity a day. Now it has shrunken to two hours. So things are going from bad to worse every day.

The U.S. failed completely in Iraq. The major U.S. accomplishment has been nothing but more destruction to Iraqi life, to the country, to the future and to the collective Iraqi memory. The past has been erased. History has been eliminated in Iraq by having the museums broken into and looted. You know the story.

There is a saying, “You cannot ask the rapist to stay with the raped woman as a therapy.“

Iraq has been handcuffed, its legs tied, its eyes blindfolded, thrown into the sea – and asked not to get wet.

Iraqis need their country back. Only Iraqis can rebuild and rule their country.

When the United States leaves, then we will know Iraqis are responsible for the violence. Until that minute, the violence is the responsibility of the United States.

I would like to shed some light on the numbers. There are over a million Iraqi widows today in Iraq. Women are shipped out of the country to sell their bodies in neighboring countries. It’s really painful. Four and one half million Iraqi kids under the age of five are malnourished.

We also don’t have much fuel in Iraq. We have a hard time just getting kerosene to light some lanterns in our homes. We have a problem getting propane gas for our stoves to cook reasonable food and get decent nutrition.

In Iraq, you have to stay in your car two days and sleep two nights to get gas, and the price has gone up twenty-five fold.

This is a country that floats on a sea of oil – and you cannot find fuel?

It’s a country, where the fuel is shipped out to the rest of the world. In fact, the oil in the south has been flowing and shipped without any metering until recently.

Can you believe that?

No meters for the last four years?

Nobody knows how much oil is going out of the Iraqi wells.

The seven hundred thousand Iraqis in Jordan today are considered illegal, because they escaped the violence. They have kids, who are school age, that number between one hundred seventy and two hundred thirty thousand. They are not allowed to go to school in Jordan, because (according to the Jordanian local law) they are illegal, and their parents cannot afford to send them to private schools.

So what kind of future are these kids going to have?

We are in a “War Against Terror” – so we hear.

Help me out here, Scott. Tell me, if those kids grow up and are not educated, will they easily become extremists? As you know, extremism is on the rise.

Whether it is in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere – this war must be stopped.

We [the United States] should not be acting desperately. We should not desperately initiate another war in Iran to forget about what’s going on in Iraq – to forget what’s going on in Lebanon and in Palestine. We should not go and wage yet another war in Iran.

Horton: I’m Scott Horton, and this is Antiwar Radio. I’m talking with Sami Rasouli. He is an American – Iraqi-American, who lived in Minneapolis. He has been a successful restauranteur, an owner of Sinbad’s Restaurant in Minneapolis. He has returned to Iraq and is the head of the Muslim Peacemaker Team.

Well Sami, I think you pretty clearly exposed the lie that somehow we’re fighting them [terrorists] there [in the Middle East] so that we won’t have to fight them here. In fact, what we are doing is destroying people’s lives and giving them countless more motives to fight against the United States. It’s a pretty preposterous idea, and yet it still needs debunking, so I appreciate that.

But right now, the biggest excuse the War Party gives for not leaving Iraq, is that things would get worse. Let’s be honest about it (correct me if I’m wrong) and establish a realistic appraisal of the situation:

The Kurds and the Shi’ites have all the oil, and the Sunnis don’t. The Sunni minority used to rule, and now they don’t. The Sunni are fighting, because they want to control a monopoly government, while the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution folks are just as happy to have extreme federalism – or even partition.

The Kurds could probably go either way.

Muqtada al-Sadr (I think) wants a strong central state, but he wants to rule it with an iron fist and put a drill into the head any Sunni who resists him.

What America has done (as you very well described) is destroy Iraqi society.

But it seems like what they’ve [U.S. Government] also done is put American soldiers in the awkward position of fighting the Sunni minority that they are actually protecting from the Shi’ite majority, which has now been installed in Baghdad – the Iran backed factions.

What most Americans believe (in fact, I even believe) is that when America leaves, the violence is going to get much worse. Americans believe that this is going to have to be fought to some kind of conclusion, and the American presence is preventing that conclusion.

I think we ought to leave anyway, because I don’t think we’re going to be able to put off the consequences or make the circumstances any better.

I think (as you say) we are making matters worse all the time. But when we leave, do you believe that somehow there is going to be a multi-ethnic coalition government that will be able to hold Iraq together and not just devolve into a theocratic dictatorship – with one sect or another controlling everyone else?

Rasouli: It will absolutely not devolve into a theocratic dictatorship, Scott – and I tell you why. Do you remember those four factors I classified that instigate the violence in Iraq? When the United States leaves, there will be no reason for the resistance to fight. They will lay down their weapons and…

Horton: But won’t they [Sunnis] have a reason to violently resist domination by the Shi’ite majority?

Rasouli: Well, the Shi’ite majority is a hoax. I mean, it is not whether they are a majority or a minority. The current [Shi’ite] government is a fiction of our [U.S.] creation. They don’t represent the average Iraqi. They are confined to the “green zone,” my friend. They don’t know what is going on.

Horton: So if America left, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution and the Dawa party would be ruined?

Rasouli: They will be leaving. They cannot stay.

Horton: And what about Muqtada al-Sadr? He’s a homegrown power.

Rasouli: Well, he is part of the equation. If he wants to participate in the political process, he better realize that he cannot impose himself – but he will participate in it.

He was used by Maliki and the Dawa party. He has also been demonized by the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq – by al-Hakim.

Muqtada al-Sadr is a lone figure. His aides have been detained, killed or driven out of the country. Nobody even knows where he Muqtada himself is.

But when I met him, he indicated that any relationship between countries should be based on mutual respect, acceptance and recognition – not on occupation or one country imposing itself on another. He was referring to the United States. That’s why he was taking a stand against the occupation.

When it comes to Iraqi factions, political parties, or religions – he always said that Islam treats Iraqis equally, no matter whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims, Shi’ites or Sunnis, Kurds or Arabs. That’s what he always said – but we demonized the guy. We are always calling him a thug, just because he…

Horton: Well, his guys put drills into the heads of the people they execute, man.

Rasouli: When we talked to him about the death squads that you are referring to, he never agreed with this practice. Even now we don’t know who these death squads are. We just speculate. They run under the supervision of the Iraqi government through the interior ministry…

Horton: Absolutely.

Rasouli: …and this is supervised also by the U.S. Forces.

Horton: Absolutely. Yeah, the part about whether this is all America’s fault or not is not in dispute. But still, my understanding is that the Interior Ministry and the Iraqi army are basically a mix between the Mahdi army and the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution’s Badr Corps, and that they are taking turns putting drills into the heads of Sunnis.

Rasouli: Scott, the al-Mahdi army was a spontaneous movement. It arose right after the fall of Saddam. They were young men from their own neighborhoods and were followers of Muqtada al-Sadr. They support his line politically and religiously. They gathered to protect the property of the people, the homes, the women and others in Najaf and Karbala.

But over time we give it [the Mahdi army] excessive importance. We create the idea that the al-Mahdi army is something real. It is not as you think. There is a base consisting of a lot of followers of Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr. You have about five million Shi’ites, who are in the south. They follow his [Muqtada’s] “hawza”, his seminary, and it’s called the “spoken hawza” versus the “silent hawza,” which is a Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani hawza.

So both [Muqtada and Sistani] are competing for followers in the southern Shi’ite sector of Iraq.

Now the Hizb al-Dawa, Maliki and Jafari, were needing a party, but they didn’t have any political base. So they had to strike a deal with Muqtada al-Sadr and become elected using the base of Muqtada. So when the second election took place, they won. If you pay attention, you know the Prime Minister is not part of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution. He is Dawa.

Al-Hakeem (SCIRI) lost, because he hasn’t got the approval or support that al-Mahdi [Muqtada al-Sadr] had.

The Dawa also didn’t have much support, but by having this most important aid from consulting with Muqtada, they won.

Now they [Muqtada and al-Mahdi army] are being hunted down. Last Monday, there was a car carrying a mother, who had just given birth to a baby, with her father, husband and sister. They got shot at in Najaf. The baby was killed and the others were injured. Then two brothers of the mother came, and they got shot and injured too. I heard this report two days ago from Najaf. The story was told to me a week ago, but not in such detail. The reason for all this is because the United States is chasing the al-Mahdi army leaders, such as the aids of Muqtada al-Sadr.

Again, if the United States leaves tomorrow, I profoundly believe Iraq will start to heal. They [Iraqis] might have their own clashes – their civil war as you say it. But everybody is saying, “We better have it now – not a year from now or ten years from now. We have to get over our problems. The occupation should be ended now.”

My feeling? The occupation will not end. It’s going to continue – and the Iraqis will pay dearly for the occupation.

Horton: How soon are you going back to Iraq, sir?

Rasouli: I am going at the end of May [2007].

Horton: The end of May – and you’ll be spending the meantime back here in the States asking Americans to please get out of Iraq?

Rasouli: Well, I’m trying and trying, but I believe the United States sees its withdrawl from Iraq as a disaster and a defeat – not only for the United States, but mainly for the Israelis, who are pushing the United States to stay in Iraq and driving the United States into another war with Iran – maybe soon.

Horton: Let me ask you one more thing.

You brought up the possibility of war with Iran a couple of times here. I’ve read two pretty disturbing quotations: one from Muqtada al-Sadr and another from Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the Head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution. Both of them have said that if America attacks Iran, they will go to war against the Americans in Iraq.

I wonder whether you think that is true? How damaging could that be? Is it possible that the Americans could have broken lines to Kuwait and not be resupplied – stuck out there in the desert and surrounded by Shia fighters?

Rasouli: Well, you may know about this, but I would like to remind you anyway. On January 20 of this year, five to eight black SUVs ran into the government building of Karbala. They killed four marines. Now the armed personnel on those SUVs spoke English fluently. They dressed in American uniforms and were armed with American weapons. They kidnapped (besides the four marines that got killed in that building) two American generals. They left smoothly and stopped between Karbala and Hillah, where they abandoned the SUVs with two dead bodies.

Horton: And what do you think was behind all that?

Rasouli: Well, at the time I was in Karbala. I heard Mr. Aqeil al-Khazaali, the Governor of Karbala, state in a press conference that foreign and unidentified forces had attacked Americans. He said this, because he could not believe Americans were attacking Americans.

At first they thought it was an act of Hollywood movie-making, because the scene was bizarre and unusual. Then a week later, people were guessing whether the perpetrators had been Israelis (like Mossad agents).

Then they guessed Iranians, because earlier in the same month (I think January 10) U.S. Forces had detained four Iranian diplomats in the region of Arbil in northern Iraq. The action was then interpreted as a message sent to the U.S. administration, “Don’t mess with us.” So it was believed the Iranians were involved, but furthermore, I don’t know if you know about it…

Horton: I remember the story of the abduction and the murders of those soldiers, but I had not heard the spin that perhaps it was the Iranians sending a message to the United States in response to the arrests of the SCIRI members in Arbil.

Rasouli: Well, President Bush came out and stated publicly, that he had authorized the killing of anybody, who endangers American life in Iraq – if you remember. Right after that, one of the Iranian government’s officials (I don’t recall if it was Ahmadinejad or somebody else) said, “Oh, the President [Bush] just made a terrorist statement.” So it was like a debate on the air at that time.

But talking about the Iraqi government, whether it’s Sadr, Hakim, Maliki or others, most of those people were ex-patriots – except for al-Sadr.

Horton: Right, they lived in Iran.

Rasouli: They waited eight years [Iran-Iraq war] in Iran for Khomeini to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein. After eight years of bloody war, it didn’t happen.

Then they sought some ways for the United States to do this, and they came from abroad with the United States forces. So they are Iranian [laughter] one hundred percent in their loyalty. What you see right now posing as the Government of Iraq in the green zone is actually a temporary marriage.

The information and intelligence on the Karbala operation (that I just related to you) indicates an inseparable collaboration of the Iraqi and the Iranian governments – if the Iranians were indeed involved.

Horton: Right. We can also remember (I hope) that the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (the DIA) have come out and said they believe that Chalibi was an Iranian spy.

Not only did Chalibi inform them [Iran] that America had broken Iran’s secret codes, but the CIA and DIA agents (I believe) talked to the McClatchy newspapers or Knight Ridder, and said they thought that Iran had used Chalibi to help lure the United States into war.

So this war (as you said before) was primarily an Israeli operation – a joint operation between Israel and Iran to lie America into Iraq.

Rasouli: The bottom line…

Horton: Not that they [Iran and Israel] were working together (I meant that part facetiously).

The Israelis would get the Kurdish north. The Iranians get the Shi’ite south, and it works out for everybody – except the Iraqi and American people.

Rasouli: The bottom line is that America lost this war, but also – somebody won it. Unfortunately, Iran is the winner of this war in Iraq.

Iraq has now become an arena for a fight between countries that Iraq has nothing to do with – except for paying a dear price.

Every day the average Iraqi (young people and adults) has a blind date with a brutal death. Every morning in Iraq, when they wake up and go to school, to work, or anywhere they conduct their business – only the time and place remains to be determined where this brutal death will take place.

Horton: Is that what your life is like living in Najaf?

Rasouli: Definitely. We lost one of our members, Mr. Abo Zuhair…

Horton: Yes, I read about that.

Rasouli: Yes, he got killed on the second of January just for being a member of the previous army. The guy is 63 years old and resigned [from the army] in 1989, but his name was on a list, so he had to be liquidated. So that’s a member of the Muslim Peacemakers Team.

Last year we lost Tom Fox, another dear member of the Christian Peacemaker Team [CPT], who got kidnapped. On March 10 of 2006 his body was found in the suburbs of Baghdad.

Two members of the CPT were kidnapped two months ago in the northern area. They were traveling between Mosul and Sulaymaniyah. They were eventually released unharmed. Right now the Christian Peacemaker Team is not in Iraq. They are healing and responsibly thinking about what they’re going to do next.

The Muslim Peacemaker Teams [MPT] are in Iraq and committed to supporting the culture of nonviolence. The MPTs are helping Iraqis ease the hardships they face every day from this dirty and unjust war. That is what’s important.

Horton: I’m Scott Horton. This is Antiwar Radio on KAOS Radio 95.9 in Austin, Texas.

I think it’s pretty important for my fellow Texans out there driving around to really get a handle on that – to understand what the American government has done with most of our permission to these people in Iraq.

We’ve completely destroyed their society. Are you listening to this? We’ve destroyed their society.

Now, virtually anyone living in Iraq (I guess there are some safe places in Kurdistan, but certainly anyone in Baghdad or as Sami Rasouli pointed out here, in Najaf) wakes up every day assuming it’s the day they are going to die. They might as well. It is that likely they are going be violently killed that day.

When I look out the window in Austin, Texas – I don’t see life like that.

The fact that our government is what’s responsible for doing this to these people’s society is unforgivable. You had better take note of it and not fall for it next time.

You see what happens? You know the story of the shell shocked American soldiers coming back home – how they can’t close our eyes without seeing dead [Iraqi] kids? Well, what about that dead kid’s little brother? What do you think he sees when he closes his eyes?

Americans need to understand that foreigners are not cartoon characters – they do exist. Yes, there is water between here and there. Yes, it is too far away to hear them screaming, but the amount of grief they suffer is just the same as if it happened to you.

If you fell for the lie that somehow doing this to them would prevent them from doing it to us first – well, you just fell for a lie. You have to admit it. You have to take the next logical step and not let them fool you again. You cannot let them do this to another culture – just obliterate it as though those people aren’t human, as though they don’t matter.

I thank you very much for your time, Sami Rasouli. If you have any closing words that you would like to add, please feel free.

Rasouli: Well, I brought with me letters from Iraqi children, adults, men and women. In their letters, they hold the American people responsible for what’s going on.

It was hard for me to explain that most of the United States population is against this war. I tried hard to show them that as a result of the November seventh elections last year, the American people said no to the war.

They [Iraqis] said, “Come on Sami. You chose the society of freedom and democracy [U.S.] thirty years ago. You left Iraq then because the government of the previous regime of Iraq [Saddam’s Baathist regime] had addressed the people of Iraq saying, ‘If you’re not with me, you’re against me.’”

It was hard for me to tell them it took thirty years for that sound to be echoed [by Bush] back home in the land of freedom, opportunity and democracy [the United States of America].

Iraqis hold the American people responsible for the Iraqi agony, because the American people (they think) chose this government [Bush] twice – they elected this government twice.

So I cannot do anything except try to tell them, “The situation will change for the better.”

But Iraqis believe and still remind me, that in spite of the wakeup call sent to Washington on the seventh of November, Americans only woke up halfway. Americans need to wake up all the way and pressure Congress, the House and Senate, and tell them – “Wake up, this is the situation we [U.S. Citizens] are in. We are taking off to nowhere but more agony and destruction – and not only for the Iraqis. We are draining our own resources. We are not treating our own injured men and women in uniform well in Walter Reed and other veteran’s hospitals. They [U.S. Vets] were robbed.”

Billions of dollars were spent on this war, and nothing happens. It is pointless. It is a disaster that the war goes on. This culture of violence has got to be disbanded, so that we can all live together and accept each other.

Nonviolence is the only way for us all to survive.

Horton: Sami Rasouli – he is an Iraqi-American. For 30 years he lived in Minneapolis as a successful businessman, owner of Sinbad’s restaurant. He now lives in Iraq. He is back here to beg us to please withdraw our military from his now-again home country. Please google and read all about Sami Rasouli. Thank you so much for your time today, sir.

Rasouli: You’re welcome, thank you.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_01rasouli.mp3]

Philip Giraldi

Former CIA agent Philip Giraldi discusses the possibility of war with Iran, the 15 British captives recent media reports of preparations being made, the possible use of nuclear weapons, the danger to U.S. forces in Iraq if “we” do attack, the lack of evidence for an Iranian nuclear weapons program, America’s support for Iran in Iraq, AIPAC and the American War Party and the status of “al Qaeda in Iraq.”

MP3 here. (24:18)

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is a partner in Cannistraro Associates, is a contributing editor at the American Conservative magazine and writes “Smoke and Mirrors” for Antiwar.com.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_02_giraldi.mp3]

Will Grigg

William Norman Grigg, founder and editor of The Right Source discusses the murder of former Marine Sgt. Derek J. Hale by local Delaware cops, how they and their buddies in the Virginia State Police covered it up, the difference between living in a militarized fascist state and a limited constitutional republic and hopes for a new political realignment centered around opposition to empire and leviathan.

MP3 here. (30:54)

William Norman Grigg writes the Pro Libertate blog and is the founder and editor of The Right Source.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_04_02_grigg.mp3]

Craig Murray

Former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray discusses the 15 British sailors and marines being held in Iran, describes the lack of boundaries in the Persian Gulf (particularly in the Shatt al Arab waterway), the details of the Law of the Sea treaty in regards to such things, discrepancies in the British and Iranian claims of the ships’ positions in this incidence, the belligerence of Tony Blair’s regime and the success of the UK government’s propaganda campaign domestically.

MP3 here. (17:01)

In 1984 Craig Murray joined the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. As a member of the Diplomatic Service his responsibilities included the following:

1986-9 Second Secretary, Commercial, British High Commission, Lagos
Responsible for promoting British exports to, and business interests in, Nigeria.

1989-92 Head of Maritime Section, FCO, London
Responsible for negotiation of the UK and Dependent Territory continental shelf and fisheries boundaries, for implementation of the Channel Tunnel treaty and for negotiations on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. From August 1990 to August 1991 he was also head of the FCO Section of the Embargo Surveillance Centre, responsible for intelligence analysis on Iraqi attempts at evading sanctions, particularly in the field of weapons procurement, and with providing information to UK military forces and to other governments to effect physical enforcement of the embargo.

1992-4 Head of Cyprus Section, FCO London
Responsible for UN negotiations on the Cyprus dispute, relations with the government of Cyprus and for the mandate and requirements of the British contingent of the UN force in Cyprus,

1994-7 First Secretary (Political and Economic), British Embassy, Warsaw
Head of the Political and Economic sections of our Embassy in Poland. Responsible for relations with Poland, and assisting Poland’s post-communist transition process with reference to preparation for EU membership.

1997-8 Deputy Head, Africa Department (Equatorial), Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Responsible for British political and commercial relationships with West Africa, including development issues.

1998-2002 Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission, West Africa Branch
Responsible for British economic, political, commercial and aid relationships with Ghana and Togo. In Autumn 1998 Craig Murray was the UK Representative at the Sierra Leone Peace talks held in Togo, Liberia and Sierra Leone, including direct negotiation with the RUF terrorist leadership.

2002-2004 British Ambassador, Uzbekistan
Responsible for our relationship with Uzbekistan. He found Western support for the dictatorial Karimov regime unconscionable, as detailed in the rest of this website.

At the 2005 UK General Election, Craig Murray takes on Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in Blackburn as an Independent candidate, winning 2,082 votes.

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/charles/aw0402craigmurray.mp3]