Talk Nation Radio for December 20, 2007
Dahr Jamail on Washington’s Mirage of Improvements in Iraq
Listen to the program in streaming Mp3 audio here
Produced by Dori Smith at WHUS at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT http://www.whus.org
Download at Pacifica’s Audioport
In our introduction we look at the Iraqi/US plan to bring Iraqi refugees back to Iraq from Syria. This plan has some critical problems. The UNHCR warning issued in November was ignored as the return was folded into news of Iraq War successes. We hear the UNHCR warning, then George Bush’s comments during a press conference 12-20-07 where he ignores a reporter’s question about the refugees.
‘So this is a society that is evolving. Now it takes a while for societies that have been brutalized by tyranny and you know wrecked by war to meet expectations and so the questions I ask on Iraq and Afghanistan is: is there progress? Are people feeling better about life? And of course we press their governments to work to come together and get budgets passed or you know decaba…in Iraq’s case de-Baathification law or oil laws and those are all important. But what’s also important is the human condition and I believe we are making progress on both fronts’. George W. Bush 12-20-07
Then Stephen Zunes comments on the real human condition in Iraq. There is now segregation and newly constructed US walls dividing Shiites from Sunnis.
Dahr Jamail provides his insights on real versus exaggerated reports of the success of the US Military surge. ‘Iraq is lost’ he argues, citing the steady increase in instability and risk for Iraqi civilians. We discuss ongoing efforts in Iraq by Deputy Secretary of the State John Negroponte and others who are indeed pressing the Iraqis to accept debaathification laws and more importantly, oil laws. Where Negroponte, Bush, and various US candidates for the White House, discuss ‘economic and social’ progress in Iraq are they using code for ‘oil laws?’
Dahr Jamail argues that it is not a matter of if but when the US uses military force against Iran. That despite the White House admission that Iran abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2004.
For further information on this topic see Dahr Jamail’s December 17, 2007 story in Islam Online, ‘Mirage of Improvement in Iraq, Yet Another Facelift for the Failed Occupation.’
His book, Beyond the Green Zone, Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq is available at fine book stores and the University of Connecticut Co-Op
Next Week: MidEast expert Stephen Zunes discusses his 12-21-07 National Catholic Reporter story, ‘A Nation without a State.’ We discuss the potential long term consequences of twin border crises involving Turkey’s attacks on Kurdish villages and Kurdish incursions into Iran.
From his article: ‘While cautioning Turkey against overreacting, the United States is actively supporting Turkish military efforts to track and suppress guerrillas of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), including support for Turkish air and artillery strikes into Iraqi territory.
At the same time, the United States has been clandestinely supporting the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PEJAK), a group closely allied with the PKK, which operates out of the same remote mountain valley. While the PKK launches its attacks in Turkey, its sister organization PEJAK launches its cross-border raids into Iran. Unlike the retaliatory attacks by Turkey against the PKK, the United States has condemned Iranâ€™s retaliatory attacks against PEJAK as acts of aggression against Iraqi territory’. Stephen Zunes 12-21-07
Special thanks to Foreign Policy in Focus
WHUS is located at FM 91.7 on the dial in Connecticut
Music by Fritz Heede
Contact Dori Smith at email@example.com