CounterPunch Radio – Ep. 18 (Mark Sleboda & Jay Tharappel)

September 12, 2015 at 2:05 AM

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Click here to listen to Ep. 18 of CounterPunch Radio with Mark Sleboda and Jay Tharappel

This week Eric and his guests discuss Ukraine and Syria, two war zones on the front lines of imperialism today.

First, it’s protests and clashes and fascists (oh my!) as Eric sits down with international relations and security analyst Mark Sleboda to examine the latest developments in the “New Ukraine.” Eric and Mark talk about the violence on the streets of Kiev and what it means for the future, while plumbing the icy depths of the coldly pragmatic mind of Putin as they discuss Russia’s strategy in Donbass. As they say in Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming,” and with no gas, no money, and a disgruntled military and Nazi paramilitaries, it could prove to be a very cold, and very long, winter in Ukraine.

In the second half of the show, Eric welcomes to the program activist Jay Tharappel, fresh off his visit to Syria. Jay describes daily life in the country, his charity work on behalf of the Syrian people and, like Blanche DuBois on the road to Damascus, the kindness of strangers. Eric and Jay discuss the realities of war, left imperialist gamblers, and the curious case of the migrant crisis.

All this and more on Episode 18 of CounterPunch Radio.

Iran, Israel, and the US Agenda Behind the Nuclear Deal

September 10, 2015 at 10:22 PM

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Eric Draitser appears on WBAI 99.5 FM (New York City) to discuss the politics and geopolitics of the Iran nucelar deal, Israel’s regional agenda, and the US strategy internationally.  Draitser touches on the recent history of US-Iran relations, and how that history has led to the political and financial dynamics we see today.  He examines the role of Israel in the region, and as an integral part of the western imperial system, with particular attention also paid to Tel Aviv’s vast nuclear arsenal and the blatant hypocrisy of Netanyahu’s warmongering towards Iran.  Eric also outlines the broader geopolitical and strategic picture in terms of non-western institutions such as BRICS, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and others, arguing that this new reality is fundamental to the US strategy vis-a-vis Iran.  All this and much more in this in-depth conversation with Nellie Bailey, co-host of Black Agenda Radio and host of Behind the News on WBAI.

Debating Syria on CrossTalk (Sep 9, 2015)

September 10, 2015 at 12:45 AM


Eric Draitser appears on RT’s CrossTalk to debate the war in Syria. He explains the current situation and the larger regional and internaitonal diplomatic and geopolitical context. Draitser argues that rather than simply talking about abstract “solutions,” outside actors need to cease their active arming and support for terrorist groups waging war on the country. This and much more in this lively debate.

America’s Imperial Footprint in Africa

September 9, 2015 at 4:11 PM

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The following text is taken from an interview conducted on August 19, 2015 with CounterPunch Radio host Eric Draitser on WBAI 99.5FM New York City.

WBAI: In the past decade, America has quietly expanded its military presence throughout Africa. Take us there as a starting point and educate us.

Eric Draitser: The last decade is a good timeframe to discuss this because there have been such significant changes both in terms of what’s happened on the continent of Africa, and in terms of how the United States and its military establishment have responded to that. People may remember, or they may not in fact, that back in 2007 towards the end of the Bush administration we had the establishment of the US military’s so-called Africa Command (AFRICOM). And from its humble beginnings, so to speak, in terms of “cooperative security arrangements” and “counter-terrorism,” AFRICOM has quietly expanded to become a continent-wide military footprint that the United States uses for all sorts of goals. In fact, the US military establishment has insinuated itself in almost every single country on the continent with the exception of two (Zimbabwe and Eritrea).

And so, although it doesn’t receive much media attention, though it doesn’t get much fanfare, the United States has deeply penetrated Africa militarily, and is directly engaged in every important conflict on the continent. Whether you want to discuss the US-NATO war on Libya in 2011, the United States was a principal part of that conflict. The US is deeply engaged in West Africa, both in terms of the so-called counter-terrorism operations against Boko Haram, as well as being a principal participant in the conflicts around the Lake Chad basin. It has deep penetration in the Sahel region both with counter-terrorism and surveillance. And we could go on and on. The point here is that anywhere you look in Africa the US military is involved.

And so, in understanding the changing nature of US engagement we need to understand both western corporate interests (resource extraction, investment, etc.), as well as its military engagement and all the pretexts with which it justifies that. In looking at the issue in this way, one begins to get a comprehensive understanding of just how deeply involved the US and the former colonial powers really are in Africa.

Continue reading the article here

The US and the Militarization of Latin America

September 8, 2015 at 9:28 AM

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The United States is countering the independent development of Latin American countries by using its military power and influence.

For more than two centuries, the United States has viewed Latin America as its “backyard,” a geopolitical sphere of influence where it acts as undisputed hegemon. The history of the Western hemisphere, broadly speaking, reflects this reality as the U.S. has influenced, dominated, and otherwise controlled the political and economic development of most of the countries of Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean.

However, recent years have borne witness to a growing independence and assertiveness from many nations in the region, owing in no small part to the rise of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Indeed, with Venezuela as the exemplar, and Chavez as the initiator of the process of regional integration and collective security, Latin America has grown increasingly independent of its imperial neighbor to the north.

And it is precisely this political, economic, and cultural independence that the U.S. has moved to counteract in the most effective way it can: militarily. Using pretexts ranging from the “War on Drugs” to humanitarian assistance, and the “War on Terror,” the U.S. seeks to regain its military foothold in the region, and thereby maintain and further its hegemony.

The Silent Invasion

The deployment of U.S. military forces throughout Central and South America calls to mind the dark days of U.S. imperialism in the region, when Washington installed client regimes and fascist dictatorships for the purpose of controlling the political and economic development of nations that might otherwise have pursued the path of socialism and independence. And it is the memory of those years that is immediately evoked when one critically examines what the U.S. is doing militarily.

Continue reading the article here