Category Archives: history

Patrick Cockburn WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP: The Fall of Isis, The Betrayal of the Kurds, The Conflict With Iran

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Patrick Cockburn is the winner of the Martha Gelhorn Prize, the James Cameron Prize, The Orwell Prize, Foreign Commentator of the Year numerous times. He has been a Middle East correspondent for the Financial times and the Independent, and is a frequent contributor to the London Review of Books.

His many books include Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein, written with his brother, Andrew, prior to the war in Iraq, and republished as Saddam Hussein: An American Obsession; The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq; Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq; The Rise of Islamic State: Isis and the New Sunni Revolution; The Age of Jihad: Islamic State; and The Great War for the Middle East.

His latest book is WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP: THE FALL OF ISIS, THE BETRAYAL OF THE KURDS, THE CONFLICT WITH IRAN to be released by OR Books on July 7, 2020.

In this interview, we began by discussing the impact on the region of the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani by the Trump Administration on January 3, 2020.

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The plight of the Kurds in Iraq and Syria, and their role in fighting the Islamist State, was discussed.

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Patrick Cockburn’s intrepid journalism keeps us informed of the ever changing situation on the ground in the Middle East.

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Articles relevant to this interview:

Donald Trump’s withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan is an unavoidable recognition of failure            https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/trump-afghanistan-taliban-troops-withdrawal-kabul-a9539241.html

Iraq will be hit harder by the oil price drop than by coronavirus or Isis     https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/coronavirus-oil-price-fall-economy-iraq-protests-isis-a9505421.html

Russians squeeze U.S. troops in Syria amid uproar over Trump’s dealings with Moscow               https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/30/russians-us-troops-syria-uproar-trump-345584

Data on Financial Transfers Bolstered Suspicions That Russia Offered Bounties     https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/30/us/politics/russian-bounties-afghanistan-intelligence.html

Iran Issues Arrest Warrants for Trump and 35 Others in Suleimani Killing   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/29/world/middleeast/iran-trump-arrest-warrant-interpol.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage

Iraq Raids Iranian-Backed Militia Accused of Attacking U.S. Forces    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/world/middleeast/iraq-militia-iran-hezbollah.html

Will the ‘War on Terror’ ever end?                                                         https://www.bbc.com/news/world-53156096

Pentagon plans for expected Trump order to pull thousands more troops from Afghanistan     https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/pentagon-plans-for-expected-trump-order-to-pull-thousands-more-troops-from-afghanistan/2020/05/27/3068c5c2-a025-11ea-9d96-c3f7c755fd6e_story.html

U.S. Used Missile With Long Blades to Kill Qaeda Leader in Syria    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/24/world/middleeast/syria-qaeda-r9x-hellfire-missile.html?action=click&module=News&pgtype=Homepage

 

 

Daniel Q. Gillion THE LOUD MINORITY; Why Protests Matter in American Democray

Daniel Q. Gillian is Julie Beren Platt and Marc E. Platt Presidential Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests focus on racial and ethnic politics, political behavior, political institutions, public policy and the American Presidency.

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Professor Gillion’s first book, The Political Power of Protest: Minority Activism and Shifts in Public Policy, demonstrates the influential role of protest to garner a response from each branch of the federal government, highlighting protest actions as another form of constituent sentiment that should be considered alongside public opinion and voting behavior.

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His book, Governing with Words: The Political Dialogue on Race, Public Policy, and Inequality in America, demonstrates that historically, the political dialogue on race offered by presidents and congressional members alters the public policy process and shapes societal and cultural norms to improve the lives of racial and ethnic minorities, illustrating that mere words are a powerful tool for combating racial inequality in America.

Professor Gillian’s most recent book is THE LOUD MINORITY: WHY PROTESTS MATTER IN AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, just published by Princeton University Press. It comes at a time when many of us have been confined to our homes for many weeks during this global pandemic and others protest, disregarding social distancing precautions and carrying rapid fire weapons to state capitals, protesting government stay at home orders. We asked him about this and more.

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Here are links to some of the articles referenced in this interview:

How the Kent State massacre marked the start of America’s polarization      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/04/kent-state-massacre-marked-start-of-americas-polarization

Armed protesters demonstrate against Covid-19 lockdown at Michigan capitol  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/30/michigan-protests-coronavirus-lockdown-armed-capitol

Protests sweep California as governor promises changes to lockdown    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/01/california-coronavirus-protests-huntington-beach-sacramento

‘Are you a spoiler?’: why critics fear Amash’s Libertarian bid may ensure a Trump win      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/03/justin-amash-libertarian-2020-election-trump-win-critics

The Anti-Mask League: lockdown protests draw parallels to 1918 pandemic  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/29/coronavirus-pandemic-1918-protests-california

How a tea party-linked group plans to turbocharge lockdown protests    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/24/tea-party-lockdown-coronavirus-206083

Trump allies jump in to help organize lockdown protests    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/21/trump-allies-help-organize-lockdown-protests-198426

What the anti-stay-at-home protests are really about        https://www.vox.com/2020/4/19/21225195/stay-at-home-protests-trump-tea-party-reelection

America doesn’t want another Tea Party    https://www.vox.com/2020/4/20/21225016/protests-stay-at-home-orders-trump-conservative-group-michigan

The ‘anti-lockdown’ protests are about more than just quarantines   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2020/apr/21/anti-lockdown-protests-trump-right-wing

Alan Hirsch A SHORT HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CRISES: (and how to prevent the next one)

Alan Hirsch’s latest book, A SHORT HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CRISES: (AND HOW TO PREVENT THE NEXT ONE), has just been published by City Lights Books.

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Alan Hirsch is an Instructor in the Humanities and Chair of the Justice and Law Studies program at Williams College. He is the author of a number of other books including Impeaching the President: Past, Present, and Future and For the People: What the Constitution Really Says About Your Rights (coauthored with Akhil Amar). He received his law degree from Yale Law School. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Newsday, and the Village Voice. He also serves as a trial consultant and expert witness on interrogations and criminal confessions, testifying around the nation.

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He focuses on four presidential election crises that left the nation with no clear winner: those in the years 1800, 1824 & 1876, 2000, and he notes that in twelve elections, fully 20% of all presidential elections, were too close for comfort.

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Articles pertinent to this interview:

Virginia Makes Election Day A Holiday In Wave Of New Voting Rights Laws     https://www.huffpost.com/entry/virginia-election-day-holiday-voting-rights-laws_n_5e93a7bec5b6765e95633e2f

Kentucky just made it harder to vote during a pandemic   https://www.vox.com/2020/4/15/21222084/kentucky-voter-id-coronavirus-pandemic

The US presidential election is frozen in time – can it survive?      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/04/us-2020-presidential-election-coronavirus-future

Voting during a pandemic? Here’s what happened in 1918     https://patriots4health.com/2020/04/voting-during-a-pandemic-heres-what-happened-in-1918/

What Happens If A Presidential Nominee Can No Longer Run For Office?    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-happens-if-a-presidential-nominee-can-no-longer-run-for-office/

What Happens If A Nominee Dies Before The General Election?    https://fivethirtyeight.com/videos/what-happens-if-a-nominee-dies-before-the-general-election/

‘The Nightmare Scenario’: How Coronavirus Could Make the 2020 Vote a Disaster    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/04/28/2020-election-coronavirus-disaster-impact-215559

Gaia Vince TRANSCENDENCE: How Humans Evolved Through Fire, Language, Beauty & Time

Gaia Vince is an environmental journalist, author and broadcaster. Her work focuses largely on the interplay between humans and the planetary environment. Her latest book, TRANSCENDENCE: How Humans Evolved Through Fire, Language, Beauty & Time, was published in the United States in January, 2020 by Basic Books.

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Her first book, Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made, won the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books, making her the first woman to win the prize outright. That book discussed the Anthropocene, the geological epoch that began when human activities started to have a significant global impact on Earth’s ecosystems.

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She has held senior editorial posts at Nature and New Scientist, and her writing has featured in newspapers and magazines including the Guardian, The Times and Scientific American. She also writes and presents science programs for radio and television. Her research takes her across the world: she has visited more than 60 countries. She currently lives in London, where we spoke with her via Skype.

In addition to fire and language, Gaia Vince asserts that beauty was a powerful force in human evolution. She cites artifacts such as the “Lion Man”, the oldest known zoomorphic sculpture and uncontested example of figurative art, between 35,000 and 40,000 years old. It was carved of mammoth ivory using a flint knife and stands 31.1cm tall, 5.6cm wide and 5.9cm thick.

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Recent articles pertinent to this interview:

Cave find shows Neanderthals collected seafood, scientists say   https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/mar/26/cave-find-shows-neanderthals-collected-seafood-scientists-say

The Fight to Preserve a 44,000-year-old Painting    https://www.1843magazine.com/features/the-fight-to-preserve-a-44000yearold-painting?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Fossil hunters find evidence of 555m-year-old human relative  https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/mar/23/fossil-ikaria-wariootia-bilateral-organism-human-relative

El Silbo Gomero     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtEovudxXVE

Whistled Turkish helps speak across valleys                                       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjcVLLdPCoU

500,000-year-old shell engraved by Homo erectus challenges previous beliefs about human ancestors    https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-evolution-human-origins/500000-year-old-shell-engraved-homo-erectus-challenges-beliefs-020122

Whistled language of the island of La Gomera, the Silbo Gomero  (UNESCO) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgEmSb0cKBg

Big Gods Came After the Rise of Civilizations, Not Before, Finds Study Using Huge Historical Database         https://theconversation.com/big-gods-came-after-the-rise-of-civilisations-not-before-finds-study-using-huge-historical-database-113801

Rift Valley Drifters written/sung by Roy Zimmerman                           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqy44OsmwLo

Why it’s so hard to be rational about Covid-19      https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200331-covid-19-how-will-the-coronavirus-change-the-world

 

Betsy Gaines Quammen American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God & Public Lands in the West

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In her book, American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God & Public Lands in the West, just out from Torrey House Press, Dr. Betsy Gaines Quammen, PhD, documents the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and how their beliefs led to Cliven Bundy’s scoff-law actions, including decades of grazing his cattle on public lands without legal permits and refusing to pay over $1million in fines and fees, leading to armed followers in tense stand-offs with federal employees in Nevada and Oregon.

Screen Shot 2020-03-18 at 1.42.07 PM.pngAfter environmental laws such as The Endangered Species Act, The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) required the federal government to assess public lands and protect endangered species such as the Desert Tortoise, individuals such as The Bundys and groups such as The Sagebrush Rebellion and the so-called Wise Use Movement arose to defy federal protections encroaching on what they considered their traditional way of life.

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[Cliven Bundy and an endangered Desert Tortoise (Reuters/Jim Urquhart/AP)]

This led to armed confrontations at the “Battle of Bunkerville” and “The Siege of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.”

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Mormon prophecy contributes to the sense of religious righteousness and destiny, which motivate some to claim uniquely superior interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, considered to be a divinely inspired sacred text.

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[From left to right: Cliven Bundy, Ryan Bundy and Ammon Bundy.]

We end the program with a brief discussion of the unfolding Covid-19 Pandemic, the anti-science response of the Bundy network, and the work of Betsy’s husband, David Quammen, who in his book, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic (2012) predicted it was only a matter of time til a pandemic like this would occur.

Finally,  Dan Roberts reads his poem from 2006, “Helter Shelter.”

Past Forthright Radio programs referenced in this show include:

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https://forthright.media/2013/05/01/david-quammen-spillover-animal-infections-the-next-human-pandemic/

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https://forthright.media/2020/03/04/katherine-stewart-the-power-worshippers-inside-the-dangerous-rise-of-religious-nationalism/

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https://forthright.media/2019/10/16/christopher-ketcham-this-land-how-cowboys-apitalism-and-corruption-are-ruining-the-american-west/

Thom Hartmann: The War on Voting & Jane Kleeb: Harvest the Vote

 

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In the first segment, we speak with Thom Hartmann, whose latest book in his Hidden History series is: The Hidden History of THE WAR ON VOTING: WHO STOLE YOUR VOTE AND HOW TO GET IT BACK, published by Barrett- Koehler.

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In our second segment we speak with Jane Kleeb. Her book, HARVEST THE VOTE: HOW DEMOCRATS CAN WIN AGAIN IN RURAL AMERICA, was just published in January 2020 by Ecco.

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The Lost 110 Words of Our Constitution: The 14th Amendment says states that infringe the vote must lose representation in Congress. It’s time to make this happen. 

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/02/23/the-lost-constitutional-tool-to-protect-voting-rights-116612

Rural America Doesn’t Have to Starve to Death

https://www.thenation.com/article/economy/big-agribusiness-finance-farming/

TC Energy eyes further hurdles, not ready to commit to Keystone XL pipeline

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tc-energy-results/tc-energy-eyes-further-hurdles-not-ready-to-commit-to-keystone-xl-pipeline-idUSKBN2071ND

Democrats are reaching farmers with an exciting message: green agriculture

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/11/democrats-conservation-climate-rural-america

Farm Bankruptcies Soared 20% Amid Trump Trade War. It’s The Highest Rate In 8 Years.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/farm-bankruptcies-trump-trade-war_n_5e34a2d6c5b69a19a4af1ad0

For Democrats, the Road to Victory in 2020 Runs Through Rural America. This Report Offers a Road Map        http://inthesetimes.com/rural-america/entry/22279/2020-election-progressive-populism-peoples-action-win-rural-america-report?link_id=7&can_id=26389c9ba4e6ef1db60b08fdce8085f1&source=email-in-his-lies-biden-is-sounding-a-lot-like-trump-10-years-after-we-pledged-to-help-haiti-rebuild-heres-what-happened-2&email_referrer=email_713985&email_subject=medicare-for-all-could-save-transgender-lives-barbara-ehrenreich-on-her-endorsement-of-bernie-sanders

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This graphic shows a county-by-county breakdown of the 2016 presidential election results. The counties that went for Donald Trump are colored red and the counties that went for Hillary Clinton are colored blue.   Graphic courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Texas closes hundreds of polling sites, making it harder for minorities to vote https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/02/texas-polling-sites-closures-voting

Les AuCoin CATCH AND RELEASE: An Oregon Life in Politics

 

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Les AuCoin represented Oregon’s 1st Congressional District from 1975 to 1992. At the age of 32, he was the first Democrat to do so since 1936. After serving 18 years, he gave up his seat to run for the US Senate against incumbent Republican Senator Bob Packwood, who although winning that race, resigned under threat of expulsion in 1995 after allegations of sexual harassment, abuse and assault of women emerged.

In this interview he shares his thoughts and experiences as one of the first cohort to be seated after Richard Nixon’s resignation under threat of impeachment in 1974, “The Watergate Babies.”
It was recorded on December 18,1019, as the US House of Representatives was impeaching Donald J. Trump .

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Susan Neiman Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil

Born in the Civil Rights era of the Southern U.S., Susan Neiman has spent most of the last four decades in Berlin. She is the Director of The Einstein Forum. Her latest book is Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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Among the many things she reminds us of in her book is that the Nazi regime lasted only 12 years – from 1933 to 1945. Likewise, the period we call “Reconstruction” also lasted only 12 years from 1865 to 1877. She quotes her colleague, the late Tony Judt: the historian’s task (is) “to tell what is almost always an uncomfortable story and explain why the discomfort is part of the truth we need to live well and live properly. A well-organised society is one in which we know the truth about ourselves collectively, not one in which we tell pleasant lies about ourselves”.

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What can Americans learn from the Germans about confronting and moving on from our racist past toward more social justice? Susan Neiman has much to share of what she has learned from the Germans.

What can we learn of what Southerners have done and are doing to heal the wounds of our past? Susan has much to share of what she has learned in Mississippi and Alabama.

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Learning from the Germans: how we might atone for America’s evils   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/10/learning-from-the-germans-review-us-slavery

Mississippi Judge Allows Governor’s Race to Take Place Under Jim Crow-Era Rules   https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/article/Mississippi-governor-s-race-taking-place-under-14803204.php

The First Black Mayor Of Talladega, Alabama, Is Poised To Push His City Into The Future   https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tim-ragland-talladega-alabama-first-black-mayor_n_5db9dcd7e4b066da552b4718

School principal fired for saying ‘I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual event’   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/31/florida-high-school-principal-holocaust-fired

The Massacre That Spawned the Alt-Right       https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/11/03/greensboro-massacre-white-nationalism-klan-229873

Far-right AfD surges to second place in German state election    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/27/far-right-afd-surges-to-second-place-in-german-state-elections

What Holocaust Restitution Taught Me About Slavery Reparations     https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/10/27/slavery-reparations-holocaust-restitution-negotiations-229881

Make yourselves at home: the meaning of hospitality in a divided world    https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/oct/29/make-yourselves-at-home-the-meaning-of-hospitality-in-a-divided-world

‘We were indifferent to the horror’: Nazi camp inmate to give testimony at trial  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/27/indifferent-horror-nazi-reistance-fighter-bruno-dey-stutthof

 

Thom Hartmann The Hidden History of the Supreme Court + The Hidden History of Guns & the 2nd Amendment

Thom Hartmann is a progressive national and internationally syndicated talk show host. He’s a New York Times bestselling, 4-times Project Censored Award-winning author of 24 books in print in 17 languages on five continents. Among his many books are Screwed: The Undeclared War Against The Middle Class and What We Can Do About It; Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became “People” – And How You Can Fight Back; Leonardo DiCaprio was inspired by Thom Hartmann’s book, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, to make the movie “The 11th Hour” (in which he appears). His latest books are in his Hidden History Series: The Hidden History of Guns and the Second Amendment and The Hidden History of The Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America, both published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers. In it, Thom Hartmann address questions such as Why did the founders create the Supreme Court? What is judicial review – and how does it make the Supreme Court what thomas Jefferson, post-1803 – a despotic branch? How does the history of the US Constitution explain the Court’s frequent decisions in favor of the wealthy and corporations? The HAS the Court sided with popular opinion – and how have people successfully challenged the Court in the past? How did a 20th Century coalition of business and billionaires seize control of the American government, including the Supreme Court? How did America’s great democratic experiment end in a functional oligarchy? Most important, how can we change course in time to address the planetary crisis of climate change?

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Darren Dochuk Annointed with Oil: How Christianity & Crude Made Modern America

University of Notre Dame History professor, Darren Dochuk is the author of From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plainfolk religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism, which has received numerous prizes and awards. He has also co-edited several other books in American history, including most recently, The Routledge History of the Twentieth-Century United States. His most recent book is ANOINTED WITH OIL: HOW CHRISTIANITY AND CRUDE MADE MODERN AMERICA, published by Basic Books.

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