This interview is from the KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles broadcast on January 14th. The original program is here.
Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, discusses how Muqtada al-Sadr’s return to Iraq has changed the political landscape and made a full US withdrawal by year’s end more likely; how otherwise-nationalist Iraqis use foreign allies as leverage against domestic sectarian/religious rivals; why the Pentagon seems to have drunk its own surge narrative Kool-Aid (in expecting the Iraq occupation to continue indefinitely); why the April Glaspie memo can’t be construed as a green light for invasion, because nobody expected Saddam Hussein to do it; how George H.W. Bush’s failure to support the 1991 Shiite uprising showed a US preference for an enduring, but weakened, Hussein led government, and an understanding that a Shia win would benefit Iran; how plain “stupidity” explains George W. Bush’s policy shift to depose Hussein and occupy the country; and how Iraq’s crippling problems are reflected by the millions of refugees who still refuse to return home.
MP3 here. (28:51)
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.