Eric Margolis


Eric Margolis, internationally syndicated columnist and author of War at the Top of the World and American Raj, discusses the mid-1980s declaration of Osama bin Laden’s mentor Abdullah Azzam that the mujahideen would go after US forces in Saudi Arabia after the Soviets were expelled from Afghanistan; taking a closer look at the “they hate us for our freedom” explanation of Islamic extremism; the angry know-nothing Republican presidential candidates (with two exceptions); and how the convergence of regional and world powers in Syria could lead to war with Iran.

MP3 here. (20:32)

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times and Dawn. He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. He appears as an expert on foreign affairs on CNN, BBC, France 2, France 24, Fox News, CTV and CBC.

As a war correspondent Margolis has covered conflicts in Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Sinai, Afghanistan, Kashmir, India, Pakistan, El Salvador and Nicaragua. He was among the first journalists to ever interview Libya’s Muammar Khadaffi and was among the first to be allowed access to KGB headquarters in Moscow. A veteran of many conflicts in the Middle East, Margolis recently was featured in a special appearance on Britain’s Sky News TV as “the man who got it right” in his predictions about the dangerous risks and entanglements the US would face in Iraq.

Margolis is the author of War at the Top of the World: The Struggle for Afghanistan, Kashmir and Tibet and American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World.

27 thoughts on “Eric Margolis”

  1. You know, I listen to this show because there are good guests sometimes, but you need your own personal fact checker.

    Aside from the absurdity of judging a country by whether or not you can get a drink there, Scott, your aside about Syria being "the last place in the Middle East where you can get a drink" is so far from the truth… There are a very few countries in the Middle East where alcohol is illegal. Among the countries where you can drink legally are Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Israel, Turkey… and I can't think of all the Middle Eastern countries without looking them up – but the only ones I know of where it's illegal are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Libya and probably Iran (although I'm not sure). Those are just the facts.

    And Eric Margolis said that the Syrian protests are usually on Fridays, and that when you see them, they're full of 'bearded zealots shaking their fists'. Well, they usually have protests on Fridays because that's when people gather, but where does he see all these crazed bearded zealots? I see video of them, and they're for the most part not bearded…

  2. Also, the much-repeated line about how Iraqi women were better off than any others in the region…. why, because they wore mini-skirts?

    1. I would think that it is about as certain as there is a negative correlation between prevalence and size of head-scarfs and women's rights as there is a real positive correlation between prevalence and size of mini-skirts and women's rights. In fact that correlation would most likely be so high as to seriously suspect causation. Would that be the case I'd like to propose a leading candidate.

      1. You should get the 'Hannah Arendt Award' for dense prose. Said density made me give you a 'thumb down' before I understood your drift, so you should be at -1, not -3, if it matters. Who is your candidate, btw? Not Anne Coulter, I hope.

        1. Well thank you for your honesty and the nomination dear sir/ madam. I wasn't talking about a person as the leading candidate for causation. That would be Islam.
          You could substitute one of the other members of the Abrahamic trinity of misogyny, but if we were to be avoiding dishonesty we'd have to concede, be it with all modesty befitting us, that Islam takes the cake with a comfortable distance in this department.
          Wish it were different, no matter the awesome and unsurmountable wrongness of Anne Coulter.

    2. What people mean is that during the 1970s Iraq achieved a level of prosperity, independence, education and equality for women that was matched by few other Muslim-majority states or nations. After Saddam seized control in 1979 (which he did precisely to prevent the Ba'thist goal of unifying Iraq and Syria), the situation began to deteriorate due to his gullibility and foolishness, and in consequence of the 2003 disaster the condition of women has declined dramatically along with ecveryone else who is not a lackey of the Americans or Iranians.

  3. Dear zealot, I don’t like Mr. Mongolis’ argumentation cause they seem almost always, always flawed, but maybe you should study the concept of freedom.
    And while you are at it, look up zealot, see where it comes from and who the zealots were 😉

    And Mr. Mongolis go grow some grey cells, PLEASE!
    You can start with logical fallacies. Buy a book about it and read it if you have the ability to do so.

  4. This morning an article in Press TV out of Iran stated that that our newest and largest aircraft carrier just parked within striking distance of Syria.

    1. "Russia is sending its warships to Syrian waters in a move aimed at preventing any foreign attacks against Syrian territories."… "According to "Russian sources, the recent move conveys the message that Moscow will block any NATO-led attack under the guise of “humanitarian intervention,” The Nation reported. Russia has been voicing support for Syria, which it says is currently going through a civil war"

      "According to Russian sources, the recent move conveys the message that Moscow will block any NATO-led attack under the guise of “humanitarian intervention,” The Nation reported.

      "The Western military alliance, NATO, has been making efforts to demonize the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his forces, while downplaying attacks by opposition forces.

      Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has also recently warned the West against any 'Libya-style' military intervention in Syria.

      Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of Syrian President Assad.

      According to the United Nations more than 3,000 people, including members of the security forces, have been killed in the turmoil.

      The opposition and Western countries accuse Syrian security forces of being behind the killings in the country, but the government blames what it describes as outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups for the deadly violence, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad"

      1. All governments, be they dictatorship or democratic, they survive only by having the support of the upper half of society, namely the 50% highest achievers.

        This our Empire knows full will, so what they are doing in Libya is putting into power those with a lower ability to achieve, which will cause unending civil war as the highest achievers will always strive to claim their proper place in the pecking order. This is our Empire's goal for syria

        Read: Up The Down Staircase. For it is the theory of how everyone advances to their highest level of incompetence, a point where they start to rule over those with a higher ability to achieve, whereupon they career plateau.

  5. A war with Iran has ONE good element: How will the Pentagon then justify the missiles in Bulgaria, Romania and Poland ?

    1. And you're a paid hack troll and know this from your master that sent you here?

      Remember your comment explaining all that to me?

      6 minutes ago @ – Protests to greet Ahma… · 1 reply · 0 points
      I'm like jesus, I'm gonna chase you money changers out of the temple and out of town and of course out of this forum. Me and ohsoquiet and a few other REAL AMERICANS who are being PAID to be here like you Israeli PR men. I'm here to chase you filth out.

      1. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ??????? Roger, have you read "patriothere"s posts…??? Just click his name..

        His posts may be "paid troll" posts, but it SURE ain't Israel for whom he trolls…

        "1 day ago @ – 'No more point' in c… · 1 reply · 0 points
        Israel broke the cease-fire by killing palestinian officials and bombing UN buildings. Israel broke the cease-fire, so the palestinians starting launching rockets in self defense."


        1 day ago @ – 'No more point' in c… · 0 replies · 0 points
        No it's not genocide. You advocate the genocide of palestinians. The genocide of arabs and persians.

        Israel can be destroyed politically, economically. That's not genocide.

        The soviet union was destroyed. No violence, no war, no genocide.

        You are very selective and who deserves to be massacred and who doesn't. According to you muslims deserve to die but no israelis."

        Doesn't sound much like an Israeli troll to me…..

        1. patriothere….. Fuuk those who call you a troll… Don't be dignifying their brain dead accusations….by replying to them… or arguing with such MORONS….. Your posts are good… Stick to the facts and or your opinion of the articles you post about…. We need more of your thoughtful comments, not your denials of accusations by brain dead morons…

  6. Eric Margolis mentions the 'irony' of the US having removed the two Middle East dictators who did the most for their people. He could equally have pointed out that Brezinky's war on Afghanistan did the very same thing.
    The PDPA government's achievements are impressive: even accomplishing what is seemingly impossible in the US, namely free medical care for it's poorest people. Feudalism and peonage were greatly reduced and a mass literary campaign lifted many lives. The journalist John Pilger has furthermore recorded that by the late eighties "..half the university students were women, and women made up 40% of Afghanistan's doctors, 70% of its teachers, and 30% of its civil servants."
    The world looks at the US and this celebration of ignorance that is the grotesque Republican freak show and despairs.

  7. I have found that over the years Eric S. Margolis is one savvy journalist. Involved in research on Afghanistan for some 20-odd years, what Mr. Margolis has written in his two great books ( I have both of them) and in his numerous columns is entirely consistent with data I have collected. As but one example of many, he is one of very few journalists willing to expose the West's Afghan hero Ahmad Shah Massoud as a Soviet collaborator, a fact substantiated from numerous,Russian and Afghan sources.
    In short, the Pakistan/Afghanistan region is his forte'


    .01% High Society (80% of wealth)
    10% Country Club class (10% of wealth)
    40% Educated Middle-class (10% of wealth)
    50% Uneducated Laboring-class (impoverished slaves)

    Obama won his election by “54% of America,” or so corporate owned media tells us. Truth is, half of voters never went to the polls, my Laboring-class half, we being not so gullible as to be taken in by our next set of dictators.

    So, Empire USA as it proceeds to plunder by imperialism most bloody and brutal, is ruled by a President put into office by only 27% of we the people, the 27% most wealthy of all people.

    FACT — Half of Congress are millionaires

    FACT — Average Senate Democrat worth $2.69 million
    FACT — Average Senate Republican worth $2.43 million

  9. FACT — Average Senate Democrat worth $2.69 million
    FACT — Average Senate Republican worth $2.43 million

    thanks for that.

    it puts it all into perspective, doesn't it?

  10. America is an imperial state and biggest killer and doen,t care international law or american law as the american,s are above all the laws and ethic and moral.
    They arrogant, biast, killer,liers and behind back to work the friendly nation to destroy.
    They are biggest enemy of Muslims and islamic countries. They are plunderer and through CIA killers
    of politicians who oppose america.
    America should britain, gerany France and italy now they are no where and the same fate will be for america especially south american,s will take revenge.
    As a student in German university not a single Latin america student loved america instead they hate like pest. America will no more survive one after another industry is destroyed and debt has already exceeded total social product. Now it seems that america will be unable to rob other countries like in the past.

  11. The – in my opinion remote – possibility of a future war with Iran concerns me a great deal less than the actual, real-time, flesh-and-blood liberation/destruction of Syria. The US recently destroyed Syria's closest neighbor, and Syria was kind enough to take-on the unwelcome task of caring for the lion's share of the refugees who fled Iraq in fear of the state terrorism of the blatantly illegal US invasion and occupation as well as US and Iran-backed Iraqi death squads.

    Rather than receiving gratitude and support for Syrian efforts to atone for America's sins, Syria was repaid with a spectacular assassination in Lebanon that the US tried to pin on Syria, bogus accusations of a nuclear weapons program, air attacks from the US and Israel and , to top it all, increased economic sanctions which hurt no one worse than they hurt the Iraqi refugees who were America's responsibility anyway.

    And now there is this effort to subvert the non-sectarian government of multi-sectarian Syria that serves only the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood and Israel , in just the same way that the Iraq debacle served only the interests of Iran and Israel.

  12. Trident chief missile engineer Bob Aldridge on the missiles in Bulgaria, Romania and Poland: "Whether they are on ships or land, they are still a necessary component for an unanswerable first strike." To take out the Russian second strike force, i.e. the missiles surviving First Strike with Minuteman-3 and Trident-2. They have an accuracy of 30 meters or less, enough to destroy a missile silo. That´s the reason GPS (formerly NAVSTAR) was developed. The US Navy can track and destroy all enemy submarines simultaneously according to Bob Aldridge. The missiles in the three countries lead to Launch On Warning, probably by 2014 and Nuclear War by mistake because the Pentagon aims to achieve a disarming first strike capability, maybe "only" for Blackmail, as CND Information Officer David Guinness suggested. Aiming to achieve a First Strike Capability is suicidal and Bob Aldridge resigned and wrote 1. The Counterforce Syndrome. 2. First Strike ! The Pentagon´s Strategy For Nuclear War (also in German, French and Danish). 3. Nuclear Empire (ch. 9 on anti-submarine warfare). 4. America in Peril (Hope Publishing).

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