Archive for August, 2011

Edward Girardet’s new book, ‘Killing the Cranes’, is a Scathing Indictment of the Afghan War

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Talk Nation Radio for August 25, 2011
Edward Girardet’s new book, ‘Killing the Cranes, a Reporter’s Journey through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan’, is a scathing indictment of the Afghan War

With assassinations becoming routine, and NATO air strikes continuing to enrage and alienate civilians, Edward Giradet says once again, that the war was unnecessary. He further suggests the situation is highly complex with no obvious or easy way forward. This is part one of an extended interview.

Produced by Dori Smith in Storrs, CT
TRT: 29:34
Download at Pacifica’s Audioport here Or at and

Journalist, author and producer, Edward Girardet joins us to talk about his 2011 book published by Chelsea Green Press, Killing the Cranes, a Reporter’s Journey Through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan. The book spans his reporting to the Christian Science Monitor and other major media outlets. Based in Paris, he began covering Afghanistan several months before the Soviets invaded in 1979. Just before we spoke with him about his book, the British counsel in Kabul was the target of twin suicide attacks, which took place on the anniversary of Afghanistan’s Independence Day from Britain in 1919. It was a grim reminder that the people of Afghanistan have been struggling against various forces over many generations. We look at the complexities of the ongoing war and occupation, and hear an insiders view of the personalities involved.

Edward Girardet is often described by the US media as, ‘The man who met Osama Bin Ladin.” He discusses the encounter in Killing the Cranes, but the much larger discussion is about the complexities of Afghan society and the seemingly endless US and NATO presence there. In his report in Foreign Policy Magazine July 18th Edward Girardet asks, after more than three decades of targeted killings, is there anyone left alive who can actually run Afghanistan?

Related Links:
Related links: Edward Girardet, Assassin Nation, Foreign Policy Magazine, July 18, 2011.

Fukushima, the final warning, Michael Steinberg: The Children of Japan test Positive for Radiation Poisoning

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Talk Nation Radio for August 18, 2011

Fukushima, the final warning, Michael Steinberg: The Children of Japan test Positive for Radiation Poisoning You can read Steinberg’s Zmag story here. The people of Japan are appealing for international attention, and help. At the web page you can sign a petition to protect Japan’s children, as the extent of contamination to soil, food, air and water, are only now being revealed. We hear a portion of a broadcast by the Australian Broadcast Network, ABC.

See also: Citizen’s Group Tracks down Radiation here from journalist Dahr Jamail, reporting for Al Jazeera. “Amid contradictory government statistics, a volunteer group has recorded 500,000 radiation points across the country”. Plus, the New York Times, “Japan Held Nuclear Data, Leaving Evacuees in Peril” see this link ‘Contaminated soil at a school in Koriyama’, Japan, photo, story by, NORIMITSU ONISHI and MARTIN FACKLER, August 8, 2011. Also, you can sign a NIRS petition here, an emergency response to protect the children of Japan.

Produced by Dori Smith in Storrs, CT
TRT: 29:19
Download at Pacifica’s Audioport here or at and

We discuss Michael Steinberg’s take on the Fukushima nightmare as a final warning to global societies about the dangers of nuclear energy. Acclaimed writer and activist Michael Steinberg is author of the book, Millstone and Me: Sex, Lies and Radiation, published in 1998 by Black Rain. It became a historical document outlining the battle to close an aging nuclear plant in Connecticut. In that case Connecticut residents of all types of parties and social classes came together as one as they noted the health risks posed by the threat of radiation. Could the world finally be doing the same thing?
Japan’s nuclear power company, TEPCO, has said they hope to begin removing fuel rods from plants that melted down in early 2014. The goal is to finish by the end of 2016. Yet even this is uncertain as a time frame for decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Meanwhile both TEPCO and the entire nuclear industry of Japan are being financially bailed out by the government. (NHK TV) But at the worst possible time in the crisis, the global media has pulled away from the story, even as news that radiation levels spiked to a new record high in early August, we did not see intensive global coverage.
The NY Times did publish an extensive report on the failures of the Japanese government to focus on responding to the radiation leak, TEPCO and the government was centering their attention instead on potential economic damage. Within the past week we saw global markets rise in response to claims that damage to Japan’s economy was not as bad as had been thought. It’s an absurd take according to those who who have been monitoring this story in the independent press. They say we are at a critical moment in the effort to save lives in Japan.

The Australian Broadcast Corporation provided a short news story on the crisis for Japanese school children at Sakura nursery school, Fukushima Prefecture. It also features content about nursing mothers who are afraid because in their neighborhoods they are finding cesium in women’s breast milk. Click Here — Children are testing positive for radiation poisoning. Warning, this video is very emotional to view. It demonstrates the pressing emergency for the children of Japan. Please note the photo in the NYT story, they are covering contaminated dirt with plastic sheets. This is their modern corrective measure to save lives?