I was facilitating a meeting in Washington, DC this past weekend, and an Iraq “War” veteran claimed that the GI resistance movement ended the Vietnam War. I started to say that I was sure that the GI movement was a part of ending the Vietnam War as was the draft, the student movement, the Congress (that had some influence back then), and I was interrupted by the rep from Veterans for Peace who simply said: “actually it was the Vietnamese people who ended that war.”
That’s the plain truth after millions dead/wounded, the Vietnamese people succeeded in vanquishing the U.S.
Today, I recalled that meeting as a couple of very insidious things crossed my path, or caught my eye.
Elizabeth Gould & Paul Fitzgerald discuss Afghanistan and how US foreign policy and military decisions are based on miscalculated and misunderstood Afghanistan politics, history, and culture. They talk about the ‘real’ history of Afghanistan; how the media misled the public by not laying out the fundamental facts about what was really going on, and the consequences; the differences between Pakistani Taliban and Afghani Taliban, and how our policy since 2001 has been emboldening them; the role of Pashtuns; and more!
Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, a husband and wife team, began their experience in Afghanistan when they were the first American journalists to acquire permission to enter behind Soviet lines in 1981 for CBS News and produced a documentary, Afghanistan Between Three Worlds, for PBS. In 1983 they returned to Kabul with Harvard Negotiation project director Roger Fisher for ABC Nightline and contributed to the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour. They continued to research, write and lecture about the long-term run-up that led to the US invasion of Afghanistan. They are featured in an award winning documentary by Samira Goetschel. Titled, Our own Private Bin Laden which traces the creation of the Osama bin Laden mythology in Afghanistan and how that mythology has been used to maintain the “war on terror” approach of the Bush administration. Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story published by City Lights, January 2009 chronicles their three-decade-focus on Afghanistan and the media.
Here are our guests Elizabeth Gould & Paul Fitzgerald unplugged!
On January 20 a changing of the guard occurred in the United States White House with two-term president George W. Bush being replaced by former freshman senator Barack Obama.
Bush had continued the policies of his predecessor Bill Clinton in relation to the Balkans, Iraq and Colombia – with troops and a massive military base in Kosovo, regular bombings of Iraq and a monumental expansion of military aid to the South American nation – and in addition launched two wars of his own, those against Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq two years later.
Obama, so thoroughly does U.S. polity predetermine individual administrations’ policies, entered office by intensifying the deadly drone missile attacks in Pakistan begun by Bush in late 2008 and announced that he was doubling the number of American troops in Afghanistan.
Alleged 9/11 Mastermind and 4 Other Gitmo Prisoners to Stand Trial in NY Federal Court
Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce today that five men accused of plotting the September 11, 2001 attacks, including alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, will be tried in a criminal court in New York instead of a military commission. The move marks one of the first major steps by the Obama administration to close the prison at Guantanamo. To assess the future of Guantanamo Bay and the more than 200 men still in detention there, we speak with British journalist and historian Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison. [includes rush transcript]
Video Documentary Directed by Gerard Ungerman – Narrated By Ed Asner
Plan Colombia: Cashing in on the Drug War Failure documents what many believe to be dangerous hypocrisy on the part of the American government. The film gives particular attention to the reasons behind the drug trade (Colombia is the world’s biggest cocaine exporter), which include illegal trade funded by radicals, the corrupt government, and the simple fact that most farmers harvest coca because they can’t survive on the profits of legitimate food crops.
Ungerman also explores the link to America’s notorious School of the Americas in Georgia and how targeted aerial fumigation has destroyed perfectly legal natural resources in the mission to eradicate drug crops. The film concludes that the U.S. military-industrial complex is cashing in on the violence they themselves perpetrate, while doing little to actually stem cocaine production.
Investigative reporter Greg Palast discusses the domestic political motives behind the war posturing of Venezuela and Columbia, Obama’s embrace and expansion of Plan Columbia, the demonization of Hugo Chavez and Ecuador’s escape from vassalage to the U.S. and big oil.