Phyllis Bennis


Phyllis Bennis, Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, discusses her article “The Phases of War: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Israel;” how the US lost the Afghan War before it even began; why military occupation/pacification campaigns always degenerate into massacres and degradations like those lately perpetrated by US soldiers in Afghanistan; why neoconservatives like Marco Rubio conveniently ignore the Iraq War disaster in speeches justifying an interventionist foreign policy; and the pro-Israel lobby’s push for war with Iran – despite the consensus of all US intelligence agencies that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons.

MP3 here. (19:55)

Phyllis Bennis is a fellow of both TNI and the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC where she directs IPS’s New Internationalism Project. Phyllis specializes in U.S. foreign policy issues, particularly involving the Middle East and United Nations. She worked as a journalist at the UN for ten years and currently serves as a special adviser to several top-level UN officials on Middle East and UN democratization issues. A frequent contributor to U.S. and global media, Phyllis is also the author of numerous articles and books, particularly on Palestine, Iraq, the UN, and U.S. foreign policy.

18 thoughts on “Phyllis Bennis”

  1. Having been reading moronic comments about Muslims at an article at, it was nice to come here and hear a voice of reason…

  2. 51% most wealthy — Just love their new drone toys

    But, our voting majority has their heart set on taking all that free oil and natural gas in Iran, free for the taking as no nukes has Iran. For our 51% most wealthy know what they want, government is in complete submission and our imperial killing machine bombs on command.

  3. Thank you, Scott, for interviewing Phyllis, and thank you, Phyllis, for speaking true. I often wonder, how can it be, that patriotic military officers, taking a holy oath to uphold and defend the US Constitution, will engage in wars that are obviously illegal and that obviously damage the nation they profess to love. How does that happen? "I love my country, and therefore I will help waste 3 trillion dollars on a war that military history and geopolitics guarantee that we will lose." What? How does that happen? Something is wrong. This is not one officer. This is thousands of military officers thinking like this. Are they not taught military history and strategic planning? What?

  4. Minuteman-3 is a-state-of-the-art first strike weapon, also because they received the MX warhead, according to Professor Paul Rogers because the MX warhead-like the D5 on Trident-2 – is designed to minimize nuclear winter effects if used against missile silos. Cross-targeting missile silos by Minuteman-3 and Trident-2 gives a nearly 100 % certainty of a kill. Professor J. Edward Anderson: The deployment of anti-missile missiles in Eastern Europe is part of a first-strike strategy.

  5. John Brennan — Obama’s chief counterterrorism advisor

    “Broadly speaking, the debate over strikes targeted at individual members of al-Qaeda has centered on their legality, their ethics, the wisdom of using them, and the standards by which they are approved,” Brennan said in a lecture at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.

    “The United States government conducts targeted strikes against specific al-Qaeda terrorists, sometimes using remotely piloted aircraft, often referred to publicly as drones… the US Constitution allows the president to protect the nation from any imminent threat or attack.”

  6. lol the "real goals" in Iraq had nothing to do with oil for the US or a puppet gov for the US. The purpose for the war with Iraq by the people who actually started that war were all for Israel. It removed a threat to Israel under Saddam.

    1. Threat? The new 'threat' is that there is a nuclear energy program it can't bomb. Did Iraq constitute a threat, or is that some vestigial lingo? …'irritant.' …sounds more like it?

    2. "War is the health of the state." – Randolph Bourne
      "What's the point of having this superb military you're always talking about if we can't use it?" – Madeleine Albright
      That pretty well sums it up. Goals are unnecessary as Bush, Obama, and associates have been showing us for more than a decade.

    3. The "real goals" had little directly to do with Israel, either, even if Israel can mobilize their US supporters to back an attack on anyone they consider their enemy. Iraq was no threat to Israel in 2001, and Israel knew it.

      Saddam had the temerity to attempt to trade oil in non-US currencies. Iran has attempted the same thing, even planning an Oil Bourse, using the Euro. Qadafi went so far as to propose the minting of a gold African dinar for such purposes. The fact that the US dollar is the only currency accepted for oil purchases is the only thing that props up the otherwise worthless dollar. And, yes, if the US dollar collapses, not only is the US damaged, but Israel's $4 billion annual subsidy becomes worthless. But it is the mortal fear of the death of the dollar that motivates US insanity, not the yelpings of it's Israeli pit bull. It just seems that way, sometimes.

  7. Perpetual war = Imperialism unending

    Empire builders have perfected Drone Technology not to end terrorism, but to maximize it. For Empire USA is in the business of multiplying little terrorists groups, so that it can enhance its ability to apply brutal imperialism to big nations like Iraq, Iran and Venezuela. For as any Empire glorifier will tell you, “There is security only in expansion.”

  8. In the eyes of our global community — Will we be declared not fit to live?

    To provide our physical body with security, government must in the process for our mental conscience destroy all security? Quite the reverse, for the highest priority of government is to protect the collective conscience of society, so that never are we declared not fit to live by the global community.

  9. Drone warfare — Death of a conscience

    The natural instinct for survival, this is our conscience, as it warns us that it is suicidal to enrich ourselves upon the misery of another, to step in harm’s way by filling others with vengeance and a desire to even the score.

    Problem is, since 1945 our voting majority has by brutal imperialism been plundering the world, our 51% most wealthy been generating excessive wealth and to a point that they now own a third of all the capital on earth. To kill a conscience with style and glory, what Empire USA is all about.

  10. Bob Aldridge suggested that the facts may help us survive. The Pentagon aims to achieve a disarming first strike capability according to missile engineer Bob Aldridge The US Navy can track and destroy all enemy submarines simultaneously according to Bob Aldridge. Navstar (now GPS) was made to get an accuracy of less than 30 meters for Minuteman-3 and Trident-2, necessary to destroy missile silos. Professor J. Edward Anderson: The deployment of anti-missile missiles in Eastern Europe is part of a first-strike strategy. Der Spiegel 49/2011: The US Missile Shield will be fully operational by 2020. This leads to Launch On Warning and Accidental Nuclear War. For that reason General Harbottle said to me: "They are bloody fools in the Pentagon !"

  11. Take heart — Claus Eric Hamle

    For a General in the Russian Air Force just notified the world, that if need be they would bomb the U.S. missile shield in Europe. So, if you do know more about the world, then that some suicidal “first strike” will expire in a convulsion the world, do tell it now or forever hold your peace.

  12. Dollar — Not worth ten cents on the dollar

    A. G. Phillbin
    “it is the mortal fear of the death of the dollar that motivates US insanity”

    True, so why is it that the Western world is not organizing against what the FED and Wall Street are doing to the global economy? Why not a word of protest from high finance in Western Europe, Canada or Australia?

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