Reese Erlich, author of Conversations with Terrorists: Middle East Leaders on Politics, Violence, and Empire, discusses his firsthand account of Iranian street protests following the disputed 2009 election, why the CIA will have trouble co-opting the agendas of Iran’s opposition political parties, the Western tendency to ignore the existence of moderates and focus on the most radical element in Iran (oscillating from the ayatollahs to the president) and how the 1953 coup proves that U.S. policy is to install friendly regimes of any sort while paying lip service to democratic government.
MP3 here. (14:24)
Reese Erlich is the author of The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis, Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn’t Tell You and Dateline Havana: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Future of Cuba. He also produced a one-hour public radio documentary, “The Struggle for Iran.”
In June 2009 he covered the elections in Iran, when an estimated one million demonstrators marched through the streets of Iran. Previously, Erlich had traveled to Iran with the actor Sean Penn. Erlich’s photos accompanied Penn’s five-part series about the trip that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and later in an A&E biography of Penn.
Erlich’s career in journalism goes back more than 40 years, beginning at Ramparts, a national, investigative reporting magazine published in San Francisco, followed by a stint teaching journalism at Bay Area universities for 10 years. He is a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and produced acclaimed radio documentaries, which have aired internationally, including “The Russia Project,” “Reaching for Peace in the Holy Land” and “Lessons from Hiroshima 60 Years Later,” all hosted by Walter Cronkite, the legendary CBS news anchor. His documentary “Children of War” was hosted by Charlayne Hunter Gault of NPR and PBS. He reports regularly for a variety of radio networks, including NPR, CBC, ABC (Australia), Radio Deutsche Welle, as well as KQED Radio News and The California Report.
His newspaper articles have appeared in numerous papers in the United States and around the world, including the Christian Science Monitor, the San Francisco Chronicle, St. Petersburg Times, The New York Times Syndicate, Dallas Morning News, and the Chicago Tribune.