Patrick Cockburn discusses recent moves by the administration to try to stay in Iraq and why their presence will remain a politically divisive issue – there if not here, the very small number of members of al Qaeda in Yemen, why NATO, not the Libyan rebels, will fill the power vacuum created when Gadhafi is eventually ousted, skirmishes in Libya where the media outnumber the fighters (on both sides), the bin Laden/al Qaeda strategy of provoking the U.S. to invade and occupy the Middle East to overextend and bring down the empire, the modest demands of Bahraini Shia for a constitutional monarchy which was met by a brutal government response, Obama’s farcical “mediation” in Bahrain, and why, unfortunately, “repression works,” meaning the Arab Spring faces huge challenges.
MP3 here. (40:13)
Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, has been visiting Iraq since 1978. He was awarded the 2005 Martha Gellhorn prize for war reporting in recognition of his writing on Iraq. He is the author of, his memoir, The Broken Boy (Jonathan Cape, 2005), and with Andrew Cockburn, Saddam Hussein: An American Obsession (Verso, The Occupation: War, Resistance and Daily Life in Iraq (Verso, 2006) and Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia revival and the Struggle for Iraq.