Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Bacevich Challenges Beltway Thinking on Obama’s Wars

PBS Newshour Panel, Plus Comments

On June 10, as Obama dispatched another 450 “military advisers” to Iraq, the PBS Newshour presented a panel discussion about America’s incoherent strategy in Iraq and Syria. Former CIA and Pentagon boss Leon Panetta, former Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy, Gen. Anthony Zinni, ret, and retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich, who teaches at Boston University, comprised the panel. As the Beltway insiders spouted predictable, fear-laden talking points, Bacevich—whose son was killed in Iraq—provides strong counter arguments. He notes our failure to train the Iraqi army during the occupation, and challenges Panetta directly on several issues. Over the gasps of the others, Bacevich offers a sensible proposal: let Iran take the lead against IS. In this podcast, you will hear the PBS discussion with my comments inserted.

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Empire, Power, and People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 77

Global Unrest: Is Indonesia Next?

EPPEgypt just witnessed the largest protests in human history, Turkey and Brazil continue to witness protests as their uprisings take on new, evolving forms. Protests are taking place all over the world, yet only a few are grabbing international headlines. Indonesia, the largest Muslim country on Earth, is home to 240 million people, half of whom live on less than $2 per day. The IMF praises Indonesia's "emerging" economy, which has created enormous wealth for a small elite, and has led to widening divisions between the rich and poor, increased inequality, the growth of slums and poverty.

In recent years, the country has experienced rapidly increasing labor unrest against the exploitation of workers by global corporations, and in the countryside, new peasant organizations and indigenous groups are resisting the massive land grabs which are destroying the third largest rainforest on earth, threatening multiple endangered species and displacing thousands of indigenous and peasant communities. The country is set for a massive uprising; all it seems to lack is the spark that led to the uprisings in Turkey and Brazil. So the question remains: Is Indonesia next?

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