This week's Sprouts: Voices of Concern about Obama's MidEast Policies
Produced by: Dori Smith and David Haseltine, WHUS Storrs, FM 91.7 at the University of Connecticut
Left KU Channel
Thursday, July 9, 2009 3PM EST
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"Voices of Concern about Obama's MidEast Policies"
This week's stories: There are important conversations taking place in the US and around the world as the foreign policy strategies of President Obama andVice President Biden become more clear.
Peace activists, progressive Democrats, international scholars, and independent journalists who were critical of Bush and Cheney policies are growing more critical of Obama policies.
For instance, the U.S. is said to be withdrawing from Iraq, but is it a true withdrawal or will US forces remain in Iraq to operate US Military bases from which US forces can now prosecute a more regional war? Should the US continue the Afghan war and escalate it? What are the Obama administration's arguments? Should the US continue to militarize Pakistan, where US Military forces have been aiming drones at villages along the border to take out militants. A UK judge is criticizing the Obama administration for use of amoral weapons which are killing civilians in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Finally, Iranian Americans have been using the word "pride" in discussing their sentiments about the protest movement in Iran after the election there. Is there a budding of new nationalism growing?
What will the impact of such a change be on Iranian and US policies? We spoke with Trita Parsi to get his thoughts on the potential down side for an Obama policy that seems to cultivate the demonstrations and opposition activities in Iran. The U.S. denies a role, however, Jeremy Hammond, editor of Foreign Policy Journal has raised questions of a continued role for the US State Dept. and other branches activated during the Bush years.
WHUS public affairs director David Haseltine looks at the post election demonstration movement with Professor Cyrus E. Zirakzadeh, an expert on Comparative Social Movements in the Political Science Department at the University of Connecticut. He talks about the people involved in the protest, the political figures, and offers his analysis on where Iranians go from here.
We also hear from:
Veteran for Peace Camillo Mac Bica, on US War operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Journalist Sherwood Ross of Anti War News Service.
Famed international lawyer Francis A. Boyle
Iranian American scholar Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council.
Jeremy Hammond, Editor of Foreign Policy Journal.
Vietnam Veteran and Vet for Peace Camillo Mac Bica has worked tirelessly to end US Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He finds himself frustrated by President Obama's arguments for escalating the Afghan War and using drones in Pakistan. And peace activists like Mac Bica are not alone in their sharp criticism of Obama policy. On July 6th one of Britains most senior judges, Lord Bingham, said the US drones used in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Gaza, as well as US cluster bombs and landmines, "are beyond the pale" and should probably be banned by the international community. His statement appears in British paper, The Independent. Sherwood Ross wrote a scathing indictment of the Afghan operation on July 3rd, condemning US Congress and the Obama administration, and calling the war illegal. He also looked at headlines about ongoing Salt Talks between President Obama and Russian President Medvedev, and he saw a down side to America's agreement for ongoing use of Russian territory to supply US forces in Afghanistan.
Sprouts is a weekly program that features local radio production and stories from many radio stations and local media groups around the world. It is produced in collaboration with community radio stations and independent producers across the country. The program is coordinated and distributed by Pacifica Radio and offered free of charge to all radio stations. For information, or if you would like to feature your work on Sprouts, contact Ursula Ruedenberg at email@example.com.
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