John Feffer


John Feffer, co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, discusses the original Islamic caliphate that was hardly world-conquering even at its peak around 1000 years ago, how periodic US alliances with “radical” Islam (in opposition to the USSR for example) shows that realpolitik transcends religious concerns, the multiple schisms between different sects and state-less/national powers in Islamic countries and the broad divergence between rhetoric and reality on Islam in America today.

MP3 here. (19:28)

John Feffer is co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. His webpage is

He is the author of several books and numerous articles. He has been a Writing Fellow at Provisions Library in Washington, DC and a PanTech fellow in Korean Studies at Stanford University. He is a former associate editor of World Policy Journal. He has worked as an international affairs representative in Eastern Europe and East Asia for the American Friends Service Committee. He has studied in England and Russia, lived in Poland and Japan, and traveled widely throughout Europe and Asia. He has taught a graduate level course on international conflict at Sungkonghoe University in Seoul in July 2001 and delivered lectures at a variety of academic institutions including New York University, Hofstra, Union College, Cornell University, and Sofia University (Tokyo).

John has been widely interviewed in print and on radio. He serves on the advisory committees of the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea. He is a recipient of the Herbert W. Scoville fellowship and has been a writer in residence at Blue Mountain Center and the Wurlitzer Foundation. He currently lives with his partner Karin Lee in Hyattsville, Maryland.

11 thoughts on “John Feffer”

  1. If "The Looming Tower" is the definite and most complete overview on Bin Laden and what lead up to 911.
    "Islam: A short history" by Karen Armstrong is the most complete overview of Islam, what it is about and it touches on everything from historical views to radicalism to what the west sees as a reactionary culture.

    It was written before 911 so it is not among the crapflood that followed the attacks. I highly recommend it, after reading it you will be something of an expert on Islam.

  2. The differences between these groups are largely irrelevant. Most of these disparate groups do have a common goal – to end the current US status as top world dominator. Only with the USA out of the way do they have any hope of achieving their political goals, and for many of them yes, that does include the creation of a Caliphate. They would love to see the USA collapse like the USSR collapsed, but they would be satisfied if we are merely stuck in a corner licking our wounds.

    And the majority of Muslims around the world do want their civillization to be one nation again so that they can have the power, wealth, and glory that their ancestors once had. They know that only through a universal Caliphate can such dreams be realized.

    1. Sounds like you've drunk the Kool-aid! 100+ years ago, when there was a REAL caliphate in Istanbul, the US had good relations with the Sublime Porte. When Lew Wallace was US ambassador to the Ottoman Court, the Sultan thought him his only friend.

    2. The source of your misinformation is what? The divinely inspired ravings of some end times prophet (profit) or other?

    3. You are making assumptions, based on a lack of information about the history of Muslim people, which currently straddle from most of Africa, to the Pacific Ocean, and whose vast majority are not Arabs, don't speak Arabic, and have nothing in common with the Caliphate, except perhaps fragments of religion. The Caliphate itself existed in a short period of history, started being rolled back about 150 years after being founded, and reigned over a relatively small area and tiny population (Arabic peninsula, no oil, little food, etc.). Much more powerful and powerful Muslim empires existed (Ottoman, Moghol, etc.) and the Muslim population there would laugh at the idea of recreating the Caliphate. Frankly, who does really threaten the US status today, among these "disparate groups"? The Chinese, the Indians, etc., or a bunch of illiterates in god-awful mountains, or their wealthier neighbors in some Arab countries, who would starve if their governments couldn't buy food outside?

    4. wow amazing "facts" there sir, did you do a worldwide opinion poll of muslims to come up with these "facts?" I'd like to see a percentage breakdown of the Worldwide Caliphate: yes/no question in particular.

  3. What is missed in the discussion is the stark reality that Uncle Sam does not believe in the Red, White, & Blue things He claims to believe in, specifically, the 'no one wants to live in the 12th century' argument.

    And why do the Neo-Cons think that the 2 billion-strong Chinese nation and the 1 billion-strong Indian nation would sit around twiddling their thumbs while modern-day Mamelukes set about conquering the world?

    It is complete foolishness. Madness. Or evil cynicism.

  4. The greatest threat to the west is from China, India and our spoiled little kid, Israel. All these nations have potential today to destroy any city of the west by nuclear attack. Fear is the key. Fear mongering is the money making machine for some individuals.

  5. Radhasoami Faith View of Modus Operandi of Creation of Universe

    Stephen Hawking writes in The Grand Design, “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.” Hawking said the Big Bang was merely the consequence of the law of gravity. In A Brief History of Time, Hawking had suggested that the idea of God or a divine being was not necessarily incompatible with a scientific understanding of the Universe.
    Although Hawking is very close to Truth yet he is not perfect in his views while discarding the role of divine being. I consider the role of eternal gravity uppermost but I strongly differ with Hawking on the role of divine being. I consider Divine Ordainment is the cause of Creation of Universe.
    Now I give Radhasoami Faith view of Creation Theory. In Sar Bachan (Poetry) composed by His Holiness Soamiji Maharaj the August Founder of Radhasoami Faith the details of creation and dissolution has been described very scientifically. It is written in Jeth Mahina (name of Hindi moth) in this Holy Book: Only He Himself (Supreme Father)and none else was there. There issued forth a great current of spirituality, love and grace (In scientific terminology we may call this current as gravitational wave). This is called His Mauj (Divine Ordainment). This was the first manifestation of Supreme Being. This Divine Ordainment brought into being three regions, viz., Agam, Alakh, and Satnam of eternal bliss. Then a current emerged with a powerful sound. It brought forth the creation of seven Surats or currents of various shades and colours (in scientific terminology we may call it electromagnetic waves). Here the true Jaman or coagulant was given (in scientific terminology this coagulant may be called as weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force). Surats, among themselves, brought the creation into being.
    These currents descended down further and brought the whole universe/multi verse into being i.e. black holes, galaxies etc. were born.
    I would like to add further that sound energy and gravitational force current are non polar entity and electromagnetic force is bi-polar. Hence spiritual polarization, if occurred, is occurred in the region of Sat Lok and region below to it only.

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