Comment: We’ve been preaching to the choir, Steve.
9:35 Comment From Steve
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:35:39 GMT
Comment: As I write this I am also watching [Hugo] Chavez addressing an ALBA conference with delegations from all over Latin America 10 minutes from where I write in Otavalo here in Ecuador. I wonder if it will get any coverage at all in the U.S. Is this not part of the problem?
Square, Site wide
9:37 Comment From Andre
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:37:15 GMT
Comment: Afghanistan has resources that multinational corporations, which the United States represents, wants, and this is the purpose of endless war. I hardly think the establishment has any interest in democracy in Afghanistan.
9:37 Comment From Anthony Thomas
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:37:34 GMT
Comment: Steve, not likely. At least not on English-speaking channels.
9:39 Comment From Foucauldian
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:39:04 GMT
Comment: There’s only one way to stop these imperialistic wars: reinstate the draft.
9:39 Bob Scheer
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:39:08 GMT
(To Steve) I don’t believe that the left has been ineffective. I believe that the problems are enormous, and the power of the people who create the problems is immense. We don’t live in a Jeffersonian democracy where we can talk to our farmer neighbors about the facts and logic involved; we are at the mercy of advertising, of mass media, of propaganda and manipulation that is actually perfected in some of our major academic institutions, where spewing propaganda is somehow considered an important art form. This concept that David Halberstam had of the best and the brightest is all too ominous. What happens is that your brightest students, as Chris Hedges, our incredible columnist, documents almost weekly, have their values distorted, have their intellect perverted. And even if they start out on the left, they end up being mouthpieces for corporations that are run for profit, no matter whether the executives are left or right, and they corrupt politicians, no matter whether those politicians are left or right. What we have to do, as best we can—and people like Rachel Maddow, certainly, and Amy Goodman and Michael Moore have certainly provided popular models of this—is to reach larger numbers of Americans with a view counter to that of the big multinational corporations and the politicians who serve them.
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:39:08 GMT
This next question is from Whoopster from Berne, Switzerland—Hello Robert, As an expat U.S. citizen living and working in Western Europe, I have become convinced that the U.S. primarily remains in Afghanistan (and other countries) in order to generate activity for the militarized U.S. economy.
Isn’t the real truth that the military-industrial complex wants to ensure endless invasion and occupation for the foreseeable future?
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:39:49 GMT
We have time for a couple more questions. ...
9:40 Comment From Anthony Thomas
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:40:07 GMT
Comment: There are more people standing in line to buy an iPhone 4 than would protest the war, or at least the Media won’t cover it.
9:40 Comment From Foucauldian
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:40:41 GMT
Comment: Ain’t that the truth, Anthony.
9:41 Comment From Anthony Thomas
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:41:36 GMT
Comment: They won’t bring back the draft either, that’s political suicide. ...
9:41 Comment From Foucauldian
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:41:52 GMT
Comment: Of course not.
9:42 Comment From Anthony Thomas
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:42:26 GMT
Comment: There is already room for a third party (not the tea party); putting the draft back on the table would turbocharge that movement.
9:42 Comment From Foucauldian
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:42:53 GMT
Comment: One question to Bob: What do you think would be the best strategy to force Obama’s hand—in the little time he’s got remaining?
9:43 Bob Scheer
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:43:14 GMT
(To Whoopster) Yes, and that is exactly the point I made in my last book, called “The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America.” Without some kind of international ominous enemy out there, it becomes impossible to garner any significant support for having a military budget that is closer to $1 trillion overall than the official $600-odd billion of the Defense Department. We now spend more money in real dollars than we did at any time during the Cold War—even at the height of the Vietnam War—and in fact European countries are cutting back their military budgets, making the gap between the United States and the rest of the world even greater. It is absurd that without a sophisticated military enemy in sight, without a significant arsenal arrayed against us, we can justify spending more than the rest of the world combined on sophisticated military weapons and military campaigns that have nothing to do with fighting terrorists. The terrorists who attacked us on 9/11, which is the justification of this enormous military buildup, attacked us with an arsenal of box-cutters that you could purchase for a couple hundred bucks at Home Depot. And they didn’t launch their attacks from Afghanistan or Iraq, but rather Hamburg, San Diego and Florida.
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:44:02 GMT
Foucauldian’s question will be the last one we have time to answer.
9:45 Comment From Steve
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:45:21 GMT
Comment: Thank you for providing an opportunity for interesting and provocative exchanges!
9:45 Bob Scheer
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:45:34 GMT
(To Foucauldian): I think we have to have basically a three-point program to save him [Obama] from himself. One, financial regulation has to have some muscle, and the debate right now in Congress over whether to prevent federally insured banks from being involved in this Wall Street casino of derivatives trading is a critical test. Two, he has to be serious about getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan and hold to the deadlines that he already has announced. Third, he has to ratchet up his criticism of BP and their allies and demand environmental accountability across the board.
9:46 Comment From Foucauldian
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:46:11 GMT
Comment: Thank you again.
9:46 Bob Scheer
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:46:18 GMT
I must go tape KCRW’s “Left, Right & Center” now—thank you everyone.