John Feffer


John Feffer, co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, discusses the Afghanistan debate following Osama bin Laden’s death; his disagreement with Jonathan Landay, who says we can’t withdraw for fear of the terrible consequences; the sea-change in public opinion (and even in Congress and among elite opinion-makers) on the wisdom of staying in Afghanistan; why Syria may be a bridge too far for US intervention; the failed “kill the chicken to scare the monkey” US strategy in Libya; bin Laden’s partial victory, wherein the US empire is bankrupt and failing, but Islamic radicalization was eschewed in favor of a democratic, non-fundamentalist Arab Spring; how neoconservatives and antiwar libertarians are close cousins with similar backgrounds who have arrived at diametrically opposed worldviews; whether the US empire is a stabilizing force globally, or an impediment to ending unhealthy stalemates (as on the Korean peninsula); and the complex (wonkish even) history of N. Korea’s uranium enrichment program, plutonium nuclear weapons, and broken deals with successive US administrations.

MP3 here. (54:02)

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.

2 thoughts on “John Feffer”

  1. JERUSALEM — Israel's prime minister on Thursday gave a cool reception to President Barack Obama's Mideast policy speech, warning a withdrawal from the West Bank would leave Israel vulnerable to attack and setting up what could be a tense meeting at the White House.

    “Bahrain is a long-standing partner, and we are committed to its security. We recognize that Iran has tried to take advantage of the turmoil there, and that the Bahraini government has a legitimate interest in the rule of law. Indeed, one of the broader lessons to be drawn from this period is that sectarian divides need not lead to conflict. In Iraq, we see the promise of a multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian democracy”.

    Is all oratory by the US/EU-NATO capitalism system.., is in the systems nature talking for the US/NATO interests with continues of the same policies toward nations in Middle East.., one thing is for sure.., anything and everything that any US president been saying about a Palestinians states for last 20 years or so have turn out to be rhetoric saving the US and EU emporium interests to begin with. The only change here is that Barack Hussein Obama is point out the notion presented by Saudis 5-10 years ago into his speech asking for Israel to go back to 1967 Israeli borders.., in that regard Israel already have rejected the idea.., which means that there is not going to be any peace no matter what Obama have said or going to say. In the other hand and in regard to what happening in Middle East and Libya.., once again a US president been humiliated by Israel rejecting the idea in peace or for that matter a Palestinians States making sure that the Middle East turmoil is going to continue benefiting Israel political demands for more change all over the Middle East.., today is Hama’s, tomorrow is Iranian, after tomorrow is Saudi Arabia and later Israel will demand for US to remove President Chaves in Venezuela for Israel to negotiate with Palestinians. So the question is: where would it and when would the US wars ends.

    Talking about peace between Islamic sects is yet another reelection party line based on Obama doctrine mimicking Jimmy Carter doctrine.., regarding religious democracy and how to achieve it in Middle East.., but the idea behind democracy no matter how you look at it is not based on religion.., so by US and EU establishing and supporting Muslims Brotherhood is establishing another dictatorial regime which would not work for democracy and Israel will reject to that as well.

    Here, Iran and Iraq are example of what kind of ”democracy” that Obama is talking about.., or for that matter Bahrain and other royal tyrants family which Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Power and Obama is protecting., the brutality, murdering and displacing Sunnis or Shiites’ or Christianity is a daily happening in Iraq, the brutal Saudis or Bahraini or Iranian regime killing of its people, Israel militarism regime hand in hand with its religious fundamentalisms killings of Palestinians.., the non existing freedom of speech, the non existing rights of women and or political parties.., and whatever is there is based on religious framed laws; therefore the notion that there will be a peace and democracy later in time is ridicules by itself.

    Mr. Obama.., Israel is designed and based on Zionism.., as US and EU are imperialism.., here there is that idea .., Zionism and Imperialism.., bounding US/NATO and Israel which in reality all the party have a common goal and that is: by dividing it they would rule the world.., it started 20 years ago and been active since then.., here for US to show the world that the US idea is truly based on democracy, it needs to separate itself from AIPAC.., AIPAC is representing Israel interests in US.., therefore it is not a peace core nor a American social movement but rather a economical and political movement that Israel have built in US.., penetrating the US social political system .., ignoring that influence and not acting on be half of American people whom are demanding such separation then US militarism is going to be at war to when its ends.., that is to say if it ends.

    Having said that: democracy is a two way street leading to all other junctions.., limiting it then is going to be a one way street.., therefore, for last 50 years or so is all been talks and no actions from US or EU to force Israel to accept the fact that they cannot go around calling themselves the only democracy in the region receiving all kind of economical and political help from US and EU while it is Israel who sabotaging the peace and forthcoming of a democratic government of Palestine.., so if Obama wants peace then Israel have to be forced to accept the peace plan accepting what the Palestinians are formed of.., if not.., then boycott the country and reject all kind of payment to Israel.., ($whatever the billions amount is that US annually paying to Israel) . As US and EU have done to Iraq.., doing it to Libya and Syria and other nation in Middle East.., then for the sake of peace US and EU needs to boycott Israel.., then and only then Obama doctrine is about democracy and not just a rhetoric in peace or democracy.., otherwise as many president before the entire matter is just another re-election lies as before.

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