Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, discusses the embarrassing performance of what was supposed to be an impressive display of U.S. military power in Iraq, the bitter sectarian divide remaining from Iraq’s civil war of 2006-07 and why Kurdish autonomy my be preferable to true independence in the short term.
Michael Hastings (audio begins at 19:30), author of the article “The Runaway General” in Rolling Stone magazine, where he is now a contributing editor, discusses why the AfPak War – unfortunately – lives up to its name, the large increase in drone strikes during Obama’s presidency, the elusive “inflection point” at which combat casualties permanently decline and why the “surge” in Iraq can’t be duplicated in Afghanistan.
Andy Worthington (audio begins at 35:45), author of The Guantanamo Files, discusses the proceedings at Guantanamo that are grinding to a halt, why “material support for terrorism” charges have no relation to war crimes and should be tried in federal courts, the political realities that make Guantanamo’s timely closure highly unlikely and the 58 Yemeni prisoners still in custody despite being cleared for release.
MP3 here. (54:12)
Patrick Cockburn was awarded the 2009 Orwell Prize for political writing in British journalism. He is the Middle East correspondent for The Independent and a frequent contributor to CounterPunch.org. Cockburn is the author of The Occupation: War, Resistance and Daily Life in Iraq and Muqtada Al-Sadr and the Battle for the Future of Iraq.
Michael Hastings is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine and the author of I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story. In 2008, he covered the U.S. presidential elections for Newsweek, and before that he was the magazine’s Baghdad correspondent. His articles have appeared in GQ, Slate, Salon, Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, LA Times, and other publications. His blog The Hastings Report focuses on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other foreign policy topics.
Andy Worthington writes for Counterpunch, the Future of Freedom Foundation and Antiwar.com. He is the author of The Guantanamo Files and blogs at AndyWorthington.co.uk. His documentary movie Outside the Law: Stories From Guantanamo is available on DVD.