Mark Ames, co-editor and writer for The eXiled, discusses the money-making business of war (for the politically connected few), why halfhearted government deregulation of the thoroughly rigged banking system does not create a free market, Alan Greenspan’s lucrative consulting business with the Paulson & Co. hedge fund and how the post-Cold War “peace dividend” was scuttled by the neocon-inspired “unipolar moment.”
Lawrence Wittner, Professor of History at the State University of New York/Albany, discusses the upcoming Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference at the United Nations, disagreements between nuclear and non-nuclear states, creeping complacency since the Cold War’s end about the dangers of nuclear weapons, how even a small nuclear exchange (between India and Pakistan, for example) could bring about nuclear winter and drastically effect life on earth and why working for a nuclear weapons-free world is more important now than ever.
Journalist and author Chris Deliso discusses the multiple conflicting claims on the (regional/national/ethnic) identity of Macedonia, economic instability that threatens the Euro currency and the EU in general, the longstanding conflict between Turkey’s religious government and secular military, the lasting legacies of the Ottoman and Byzantine empires in Asia Minor and the possible incorporation of Kosovo into a Greater Albania.
Chris Deliso is an American journalist, travel writer and author concentrating on the Balkans and Southeast Europe, where he has lived and traveled for almost a decade. His criticisms of interventionist foreign policy can be found in his writings for Antiwar.com, and in his recent work on the West’s failures to eradicate foreign-funded Muslim extremists in the Balkans, The Coming Balkan Caliphate: The Threat of Radical Islam to Europe and the West (Praeger Security International, 2007).
Andy Worthington, author of The Guantanamo Files, discusses his website’s Guantanamo Habeas Week event that seeks to draw attention to government torture and lawlessness, the difficult-to-determine ratio of evil/incompetence at work in the Bush administration, the arbitrary roundup of “terrorists” in Afghanistan and Pakistan following the embarrassing bin Laden Tora Bora escape, the current score card of Guantanamo Habeas hearings, scaremongering Republican politicians and the end of Congressional oversight and checks and balances.
Jason Ditz, managing news editor at Antiwar.com, discusses the escalation of violence in Iraq that is mostly ignored by the media, Muqtada al-Sadr’s significant political clout, disputed Iraqi election results from early March and the unwillingness of Iraq’s political factions to compromise and form a government.
Joshua Kors, writer for The Nation, discusses the military’s fraudulent “personality disorder” discharges that deprive injured soldiers of benefits and medical care, Sergeant Chuck Luther’s mistreatment and effective incarceration by Army doctors, how the Pentagon has saved an estimated 12 billion dollars by denying care to 22,600 soldiers since 2001 and how the Feres Doctrine limits malpractice lawsuits against military doctors.
Joshua Kors covers veterans’ issues for The Nation. He is the winner of the National Magazine Award, George Polk Award, and Military Reporters and Editors Award. He was also a finalist for Harvard’s Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award. His work is featured in the American Society of Magazine Editors’ anthology “The Best American Magazine Writing 2008.”
Daniel Luban, writer for the foreign policy blog Lobelog, discusses Israel’s postwar history, the lack of a serious peace process since Camp David, Obama’s sometimes-encouraging rhetoric on a peaceful two-state settlement, common ground between the anti-occupation Left and foreign policy/military realists worried about disruption of US regional goals, why Palestinians will have a powerful appeal for one person one vote democracy should a two-state solution fail and why parsing the public statements of Israeli officials is like reading tea leaves.
Daniel Luban is a writer based in Chicago. He is a graduate student in political science at the University of Chicago, and previously served as a correspondent for Inter Press Service; he also blogs at The Faster Times. He holds an M.Phil in political thought and intellectual history from Cambridge University and a B.A. in history from Swarthmore College.
Isaac Luria, Director of Communications and New Media for the pro-Israel J Street lobby, discusses J Street’s increased influence in Washington since its creation two years ago, why a US-initiated two state solution for Israel/Palestine is in the best interest of all parties, polls that show American Jews support Obama’s proposals even when Israel’s government doesn’t, the fast-approaching demographic milestone wherein Palestinians will outnumber Jews in greater Israel, why Jews still need a homeland where they can be secure and how Israel continues to use PR solutions for policy problems.
Isaac Luria is Director of Communications and New Media for J Street. His previous worked for 4 years in online organizing and consulting, 2 years of which he spent at the online marketing firm Donordigital in San Francisco. Isaac received his Bachelors degree in American Studies from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. During 2007-2008, Isaac lived in Jerusalem, Israel as a Dorot Fellow. Isaac lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Sara, who is studying to become a Reform Rabbi.
ACLU attorney Jonathan Hafetz discusses the McCain-Lieberman bill‘s potential to replace the US justice system with arbitrary and indefinite military detention, Obama’s confirmed policy of extrajudicial assassination of suspected American terrorists, illegal government actions shielded by invocations of national security and sovereign immunity and how the Bill of Rights degenerated from a guarantee of individual liberty to a conditional permission slip subject to the whims of government.
Jonathan Hafetz is an attorney with the National Security Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. He was counsel of record in Al-Marri v. Spagone, a landmark case challenging the indefinite military detention of a lawful resident alien arrested in the United States. Mr. Hafetz was also lead counsel in Jawad v. Obama, a habeas corpus challenge that secured the release of Afghan youth Mohammed Jawad from illegal detention at Guantánamo. He was co-counsel in Munaf v. Geren a case involving the detention of two U.S. citizens in Iraq decided by the Supreme Court in 2008.
In addition, Mr. Hafetz has helped coordinate the Guantánamo detainee habeas corpus litigation since its earliest stages and has testified before Congress on habeas corpus and detainee rights. He also serves as frequent commentator on national security issues and his writings have appeared in numerous publications, including The Nation, The American Prospect, the Los Angeles Times, and The National Law Journal. Mr. Hafetz’s book, The Guantanamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison, Outside the Law (Mark Denbeaux, co-editor) was published by NYU Press in November 2009.
Mr. Hafetz previously served as Litigation Director for the Liberty and National Security Project of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. He also formerly served as a Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest and Constitutional Law at Gibbons, P.C., and as a law clerk to the Honorable Jed S. Rakoff, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and Sandra L. Lynch, U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
James Ridgeway, Senior Washington Correspondent for Mother Jones, discusses his 2007 article “In Search of John Doe No. 2: The Story the Feds Never Told About the Oklahoma City Bombing,” the neo-Nazi movement’s 1983 plot to blow up the Murrah Federal Building, frivolous criminal charges made against ATF agent Carol Howe that prevented her from testifying for the defense at McVeigh’s trial, how the OKC bombing continues to be used as a political club against anti-government groups and how the mainstream media dismisses skeptics of conventional wisdom as “conspiracy theorists.”
James Ridgeway is Senior Washington Correspondent for Mother Jones, where he writes both articles for the magazine and a weekly web column on MotherJones.com. He also writes pieces for the Guardian and CounterPunch, and collaborates on original short videos.
Ridgeway served as Washington Correspondent for the Village Voice for more than thirty years, where he wrote the weekly “Mondo Washington” column, as well as features on national and international politics. As part of his broad-based national reporting, he became known for his writing on the American right wing, from the mainstream conservative movement to the racist far-right. He also reported on international stories, from the coup in Haiti to the democratic revolution in Eastern Europe.
Lew Rockwell, founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, discusses Ron Paul’s ability to explain and popularize libertarian ideas, the large number of Americans seething about the economy, how William F. Buckley, Jr. spearheaded the purging of antiwar rightists from the Conservative movement (and how Ron Paul is putting them back in) and how the hidden inflation tax allows the government to fund wars and avoid popular outrage.
Lew Rockwell is the founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, Vice President of the Center for Libertarian Studies in Burlingame, California, and publisher of the political Web site LewRockwell.com. He served as Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff between 1978 and 1982. Check out his podcast show here.
Syed Saleem Shahzad, Pakistan Bureau Chief for Asia Times Online, discusses the incorrect report of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s death in a 2002 shootout in Pakistan, the two very different Jundullah organizations, how the neo-Taliban has closer links to al-Qaeda than the previous generation, al-Qaeda’s attempt to instigate conflict between India and Pakistan to damage the US war effort in Afghanistan and why the Taliban will never be willing to turn over al-Qaeda members to the US.
Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online’s Pakistan Bureau Chief. He is writing an exclusive account of al-Qaeda’s strategy and ideology in an upcoming book 9/11 and beyond: The One Thousand and One Night Tales of Al-Qaeda.
Michael Lindley, president of the Los Angeles chapter of Veterans for Peace, discusses anti-recruitment efforts targeted at gung ho young men, the difficulty of convincing anti-abortion conservatives that killing Iraqi children is wrong, Tea Party activists that forget the military is part of “big government” and why it’s time to try nonviolent approaches to problems that militancy has failed to solve.
Featured Antiwar.com columnist Kelley B. Vlahos discusses the resurgence of Bacha Bazi and the sexual exploitation of boys in Afghanistan, Canadian soldiers who were rebuffed by superiors when reporting abuse by their Afghan comrades, US withdrawal from a long-held remote Afghan outpost and the increasingly obvious futility of US and NATO humanitarian efforts and the occupation in general.
Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, a Washington, D.C.-based freelance writer, is a longtime political reporter for FoxNews.com, a contributing editor at The American Conservative magazine and featured Antiwar.com columnist. She is also a Washington correspondent for Homeland Security Today magazine.
Lt. General Robert G. Gard, Jr., Chairman of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, discusses the “terrorists with nukes” rhetoric at the Nuclear Security Summit, unsecured fissile material in countries that are beyond the limited scope of Nunn-Lugar, the less-than-stellar security at many US and Russian nuclear sites and how getting the facts right on Iran’s nuclear program is difficult even for the well-informed.
Lt. General Robert G. Gard, Jr. is Chairman of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation where his policy work focuses on nuclear nonproliferation, missile defense, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, military policy, nuclear terrorism, and other national security issues.
The Other Scott Horton (no relation), international human rights lawyer, professor and contributing editor at Harper’s magazine, discusses the public grievances that motivated Kyrgyzstan’s second revolution in five years, Russian ambivalence about the US regional presence, the critical strategic importance of the US airbase at Manas, evidence of CIA intervention with Gitmo hunger-strikers at the infamous “Camp No” and the ominous McCain/Lieberman detention bill.
The other Scott Horton is a Contributing Editor for Harper’s magazine where he writes the No Comment blog. A New York attorney known for his work in emerging markets and international law, especially human rights law and the law of armed conflict, Horton lectures at Columbia Law School. A life-long human rights advocate, Scott served as counsel to Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner, among other activists in the former Soviet Union.
He is a co-founder of the American University in Central Asia, and has been involved in some of the most significant foreign investment projects in the Central Eurasian region. Scott recently led a number of studies of abuse issues associated with the conduct of the war on terror for the New York City Bar Association, where he has chaired several committees, including, most recently, the Committee on International Law. He is also a member of the board of the National Institute of Military Justice, the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, the EurasiaGroup and the American Branch of the International Law Association.
Julian Assange, co-founder and spokesperson for WikiLeaks, discusses the chain of events shown on the “Collateral Murder” WikiLeaks video, military rules of engagement that have enough flexibility to make them essentially unenforceable, how the Apache pilots exaggerated threats in order to obtain permission to open fire and why in Iraq – a country where nearly everyone owns an AK-47 – an Iraqi carrying a weapon is all the justification needed by the US military to kill everyone in the vicinity.
Jason Ditz, managing news editor at Antiwar.com, discusses Israel’s persecution of Haaretz journalist Uri Blau, leaked documents that show the Israeli Defense Forces maintained a policy of assassinating Palestinians – in defiance of a court order – during the 2008 Gaza offensive and U.S. General Keith Dayton’s little-known task of building a Palestinian army.
Josh Stieber, conscientious objector and former U.S. Army Specialist, discusses the all-too-ordinary events shown on the WikiLeaks “Collateral Murder” video, the video’s failure to show the ground patrol units being protected by the helicopters, soldiers who are trained to shoot first and ask questions later and why criticism should be directed at the policy of occupation instead of the actions of individual soldiers.
Josh Stieber is a former U.S. Army Specialist deployed to Iraq in 2007 and 2008. He was in Bravo Company 2-16 (although not on patrol) at the time it was involved in the Apache helicopter attack depicted on the video released by WikiLeaks.
Daphne Eviatar, Senior Associate in Law and Security for Human Rights First, discusses the inefficient and bizarre proceedings of Guantanamo’s military commissions, the steady erosion of Constitutional protections for foreigners and US citizens alike, the few indications that Obama has improved on Bush administration torture practices and the revelation from Lawrence Wilkerson (former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell) that Bush knew many Gitmo inmates were innocent.
Daphne Eviatar is a lawyer and freelance journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, The Nation, Legal Affairs, Mother Jones, the Washington Independent and many others. She is a Senior Reporter at The American Lawyer, Senior Associate in Law and Security for Human Rights First and was an Alicia Patterson Foundation fellow in 2005 and a Pew International Journalism fellow in 2002.
Independent journalist Dahr Jamail discusses the common occurrence of unprovoked US military violence like the incident revealed by Wikileaks, Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s two-month window to eliminate the competition and stay in power, the inability of Americans to parse through media nonsense to get the real story on Iraq, “atrocity producing” situations in Iraq fed by dehumanization and arbitrary rules of engagement and why it’s difficult to turn off the boot camp-indoctrinated killer instinct.
Dahr Jamail is an independent journalist and author of Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq, and The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight In Iraq and Afghanistan. His Mideast dispatches can be found at his website, Alternet.org and Antiwar.com.
Internationally syndicated columnist Eric Margolis discusses US displeasure with “puppet” Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s recent intransigence, the solid representation of former Afghan Communist Party members in the current government and security forces, how the US broke up peace talks between Karzai and the Taliban, the difficulty of getting the straight story on 9/11 and why the micromanaging of Afghanistan’s politics is the height of arrogance and stupidity.
Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times and Dawn. He is a regular columnist with the Quebecor Media Company and a contributor to The Huffington Post. He appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC.
As a war correspondent Margolis has covered conflicts in Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Sinai, Afghanistan, Kashmir, India, Pakistan, El Salvador and Nicaragua. He was among the first journalists to ever interview Libya’s Muammar Khadaffi and was among the first to be allowed access to KGB headquarters in Moscow. A veteran of many conflicts in the Middle East, Margolis recently was featured in a special appearance on Britain’s Sky News TV as “the man who got it right” in his predictions about the dangerous risks and entanglements the US would face in Iraq.
Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for Inter Press Service, discusses the blowback from Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s “targeted” night raids in Afghanistan, right-wing complaints about limited engagement rules that supposedly undermine military efforts and CIA documents obtained by Wikileaks that recommend using women’s rights issues to get European support in Afghanistan.
Robert Pape, author of Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, discusses the new comprehensive online database of suicide attacks, how US occupations help al-Qaeda recruitment efforts, the overwhelming evidence that suicide attacks are motivated by nationalism and not Islamic fundamentalism and the upcoming CPOST bookAfter Iraq: Stopping the Rise of Anti-American Suicide Terrorism Around the World.
Robert A. Pape is Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago specializing in international security affairs. His publications include Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (Random House 2005); Bombing to Win: Air Power and Coercion in War (Cornell 1996), “Why Economic Sanctions Do Not Work,” International Security (1997), “The Determinants of International Moral Action,” International Organization (1999); “The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism,” American Political Science Review (2003); and “Soft Balancing against the United States,” International Security (2005).
His commentary on international security policy has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, New Republic, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, as well as on Nightline, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and National Public Radio. Before coming to Chicago in 1999, he taught international relations at Dartmouth College for five years and air power strategy for the USAF’s School of Advanced Airpower Studies for three years. He received his Ph. D. from the University of Chicago in 1988 and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pittsburgh in 1982. His current work focuses on the causes of suicide terrorism and the politics of unipolarity.
Investigative journalist Philip Weiss discusses the recent diplomatic dustup that exposed AIPAC’s primary allegiance to the Israeli government, the limited timetable for reversing land theft before the change is permanent, the conflict between Israeli ethnic chauvinism and deep-rooted US Jewish liberalism, the essentially racist and expansionist core of Zionism and Obama’s apparent offer of unity with Israel on Iran in exchange for a settlement freeze.
Jason Ditz, managing news editor at Antiwar.com, discusses the inconclusive Iraq election results, Muqtada al-Sadr’s influence on deciding the next prime minister, why Ayad Allawi is the only hope for Sunni representation in government, confusion about US withdrawal deadlines and why territorial expansion is a necessary prerequisite for a viable independent Kurdistan.
Malou Innocent, Foreign Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute, discusses conservative opposition to the Afghanistan War, how US overreaction to minor threats creates real national security problems, the current logistical impossibility of nation-building in Afghanistan, the backlash against the Liz Cheney/Bill Kristol “al-Qaeda 7” ad and the hypocrisy of conservatives who despise government social engineering at home but support it abroad.
Malou Innocent is a Foreign Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute. She is a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, and her primary research interests include Middle East and Persian Gulf security issues and U.S. foreign policy toward Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China. She has appeared as a guest analyst on CNN, BBC News, Fox News Channel, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, CNBC Asia, and Reuters.
Innocent has published reviews and articles on national security and international affairs in journals such as Survival, Congressional Quarterly, and Harvard International Review. She has also written for Foreign Policy, Wall Street Journal Asia, Christian Science Monitor, Armed Forces Journal, the Guardian, Huffington Post, the Washington Times, and other outlets both in the United States and overseas. She earned dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Mass Communications and Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago.
Leslie Lefkow, senior researcher for Human Rights Watch’s Africa division, discusses the regional and international meddling in Somalia, why the US singles out Eritrea for interfering, ongoing urban warfare in Mogadishu, the difficulty of dispensing humanitarian aid and the horrible humanitarian situation.
Leslie Lefkow, senior researcher for Human Rights Watch’s Africa division, has specialized expertise on Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Lefkow focuses on investigating and documenting abuses in Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan, abuses in armed conflicts, and other issues requiring rapid response in sub-Saharan Africa. Before joining Human Rights Watch, she worked as a humanitarian affairs advisor in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone. Lefkow is a graduate of Columbia Law School and Bryn Mawr College.