China

Show Details for the week of July 31st, 2017

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On The Monitor this week: Venezuela in detail and in context.

This week’s guests discuss events in Venezuela. First up is Abby Martin taking a close look at recent events in Venezuela. She is followed by John Perkins who casts a wider historical net to put those events in a broader context.

More about this week’s guests:

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Abby Martin is a journalist, artist, and presenter of The Empire Files, an investigative news program on teleSUR English and YouTube. She was formerly the host of Breaking the Set on RT America network, working from the Washington, D.C. bureau. She also worked for two years as a correspondent for RT America.

Martin is the founder of the citizen journalism website Media Roots. She serves on the board of directors for the Media Freedom Foundation which manages Project Censored. Martin appeared in the documentary film Project Censored The Movie: Ending the Reign of Junk Food News (2013), and co-directed 99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film (2013).

d30_5827John Perkins was Chief Economist at a major international consulting firm where advised the World Bank, United Nations, IMF, U.S. Treasury Department, Fortune 500 corporations, and leaders of countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. He is the author of several books. The most recent is The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (2016), a follow-up to his bestseller Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man which spent 73 weeks on the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list and has been translated into 32 languages. It, along with his other books, The Secret History of the American Empire (also a New York Times bestseller) and Hoodwinked, were ground-breaking exposés of the clandestine operations that created the current global crises; they set the stage for the revelations and strategies detailed in The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

John is a founder and board member of Dream Change and The Pachamama Alliance, non-profit organizations devoted to establishing a world future generations will want to inherit, has lectured at Harvard, Oxford, and more than 50 other universities around the world, and has been featured on ABC, NBC, CNN, CNBC, NPR, A&E, the History Channel, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Der Spiegel, and many other publications, as well as in numerous documentaries including The End Of Poverty, Zeitgeist Addendum, and Apology Of An Economic Hit Man. He was awarded the Lennon Ono Grant for Peace in 2012, and the Rainforest Action Network Challenging Business As Usual Award in 2006.

Show Details for the week of September 12th, 2016

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On The Monitor this week:

  • Questioning the dominant narrative surrounding the “threat” posed by North Korea’s nuclear test – an interview with James Bradley
  • Demonizing and misunderstanding China – a previous interview with Henry Rosemont JR

More about this week’s guests:

iwa5James Bradley is a historical non-fiction author. His books include the bestsellers Flags of Our Fathers and Flyboys. His most recent book is The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia. He just wrote the piece “Whose Nukes to Worry About?” published on CounterPunch.

Quote: “North Korea carried out its fifth nuclear test on Friday, September 9. President Obama has condemned the action while the Pentagon called it a ‘serious provocation.’ Ho-hum, here we go again. Every year America pays its vassal-state South Korea huge sums of U.S. taxpayer money to mount 300,000-man-strong military ‘games’ that threaten North Korea. North Koreans view images that never seem to make it to U.S. kitchen tables: hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of U.S. armaments swarming in from the sea, hundreds of tanks and thousands of troops — their turrets and rifles pointed north — and nuclear-capable U.S. warplanes screaming overhead. But when a young dictator straight out of central casting responds to U.S. threats with an underground test on North Korea’s founding day, it’s the #1 story on the front page of the New York Times.

Let’s connect some dots. Washington and their note takers in the American press constantly tell us that crazies in Pyongyang and Tehran are nuclear threats. The misplaced, but easily sold, fears of the ‘North Korean missile threat’ and the ‘Iran missile threat’ allows the Pentagon to install ‘defensive’ missile systems in South Korea and the Ukraine which are actually offensive systems targeting Beijing and Moscow. We need to look beyond the simplistic, race-based cartoon-like scaremongering to see that far more reality-based and frightening is the nuclear threat posed by the United States.

President Obama — the Nobel Prize winner who pledged to lead a nuclear-free world — has committed over $1 trillion dollars to modernize America’s nuclear arsenal. Almost unreported by the press, we have been spending a bundle to make nukes ‘usable,’ by miniaturizing them. And to top it off, Obama has approved a ‘first use’ option for the U.S.”

headshotHenry Rosemont JR is distinguished professor emeritus at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and visiting scholar of religious studies at Brown University. He also spent three years in China as Fulbright Senior Lecturer at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Among his books are A Chinese Mirror, Rationality and Religious Experience, Is There A Universal Grammar of Religion? (with Huston Smith), and A Reader’s Companion to the Confucian Analects. He has edited and/or translated ten other books, including Leibniz: Writings on China (with Daniel Cook) and with Roger Ames, The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophical Translation. His latest book is the recently released Against Individualism: A Confucian Rethinking of the Foundations of Morality, Politics, Family and Religion.

Quote: “As the state visit of President Xi Jinping draws nigh, his demonization at the hands of the media, many members of Congress and most of the presidential candidates will make it difficult for the Obama administration to suggest a much more cooperative than confrontational approach to U.S.-China relations. But brinksmanship with China is even more irrational than with Iran, for (at least) four reasons. First, it almost surely will not be effective. China cannot be bullied, and the U.S. has a far greater capacity to influence the country positively than negatively. Second, cooperation rather than confrontation — or even competition — would be in the best economic, military, social and environmental interests of both nations. Third, increased tensions and mutual distrust between the U.S. and China instead of close cooperation will eliminate what may well be the best option for providing a measure of global stability that neither the U. N., E.U., World Bank, I.M.F. or other international institutions seem capable of maintaining any longer on their own. And the 4th reason is the unthinkable: World War III, nuclear weapons and all.

Background: Bloomberg reports: “Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wants President Barack Obama to cancel Chinese president Xi Jinping’s upcoming state visit. Stealing some of his thunder, Florida Senator Marco Rubio swooped in and countered that it should be downgraded to a regular working visit.” CNN headlined a story last week: “Donald Trump: No state dinner — only Big Mac — for China’s president.”

The Huffington Post recently published excerpts of Rosemont’s  most recent book. See: “We All Think We’re Individuals. Here’s Why That’s Not True, And Why The Lie Is Told,” which states: “It is possible to challenge the libertarian on moral and political grounds, but not, I believe, if one accepts a foundational individualism as grounding ethics.”

See video of his talk at the China Studies center at Saint Vincent College.

In 2008, he co-wrote the piece “Is China a Threat?

Show Details for the week of September 7th, 2015

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On The Monitor this week:

  • The NSA spying on Americans with the help of AT&T – an interview with Mark Klein
  • Demonizing and misunderstanding China – an interview with Henry Rosemont

More about this week’s guests:

Mark Klein is the whistleblower who exposed AT&T’s participation in the National Security Agency’s illegal warrantless spying on millions of Americans. Klein grew up in New York City and in 1962 entered Cornell University’s School of Engineering. As the 1960s exploded in social upheaval he was moved with his generation to investigate society and graduated in 1966 with a B.A. in history. Later he returned to technical school, obtaining certificates in electronics and computers which led to employment in computer manufacturing in the 1970s. He was hired by AT&T in 1981 as a communications technician and worked for the company for over 22 years. In 2003 he discovered the illicit National Security Agency (NSA) installation in San Francisco and in 2006 he tried to bring it to public attention, becoming a witness for a lawsuit against AT&T brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retired since 2004, Klein now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife.

Quote: “The documents prove I was right, and if a court had been willing to allow the Electronic Frontier Foundation lawsuit against AT&T to go forward, we would have won. But Congress knowingly put a retroactive pseudo-‘legal’ stamp on the violations of law and the Constitution, and the courts accepted it. Both parties are to blame, all three branches of government are culpable. I’d gotten my story out through the New York Times in April 2006 after the Los Angeles Times had killed it. The editor who killed the story was Dean Baquet — who is now executive editor at the New York Times. Obama had campaigned against immunizing the telcos, but by the time the vote happened in 2008, he had sewn up the nomination and switched sides. It was a betrayal even before he got to the White House. The entire congressional leadership pushed this, especially the ‘gang of eight’ who were the ones who actually knew what the immunity was about. My own senator, Dianne Feinstein, who was on the intelligence committee, wouldn’t even speak with me, she was all about covering up for the NSA. Many in congress who voted for the immunity blindly voted to immunize a crime details of which they didn’t know or didn’t want to know. It wasn’t just AT&T of course, it was that the Bush administration had brazenly violated FISA and of course the Constitution. They didn’t have a legal leg to stand on, which is why they needed the immunity.”

Background:

The New York Times and ProPublica published “AT&T Helped U.S. Spy on Internet on a Vast Scale,” which states: “The National Security Agency’s ability to spy on vast quantities of Internet traffic passing through the United States has relied on its extraordinary, decades-long partnership with a single company: the telecom giant AT&T.

“While it has been long known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the spy agency, newly disclosed N.S.A. documents show that the relationship with AT&T has been considered unique and especially productive. One document described it as ‘highly collaborative,’ while another lauded the company’s ‘extreme willingness to help.’ …

“The documents, provided by the former agency contractor Edward J. Snowden, were jointly reviewed by the New York Times and ProPublica. The N.S.A., AT&T and Verizon declined to discuss the findings from the files. ‘We don’t comment on matters of national security,’ an AT&T spokesman said. …

“After the Times disclosed the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program in December 2005, plaintiffs began trying to sue AT&T and the N.S.A. In a 2006 lawsuit, a retired AT&T technician named Mark Klein claimed that three years earlier, he had seen a secret room in a company building in San Francisco where the N.S.A. had installed equipment.”

Henry Rosemont JR is distinguished professor emeritus at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and visiting scholar of religious studies at Brown University. He also spent three years in China as Fulbright Senior Lecturer at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Among his books are A Chinese Mirror, Rationality and Religious Experience, Is There A Universal Grammar of Religion? (with Huston Smith), and A Reader’s Companion to the Confucian Analects. He has edited and/or translated ten other books, including Leibniz: Writings on China (with Daniel Cook) and with Roger Ames, The Analects of Confucius: A Philosophical Translation. His latest book is the recently released Against Individualism: A Confucian Rethinking of the Foundations of Morality, Politics, Family and Religion.

Quote: “As the state visit of President Xi Jinping draws nigh, his demonization at the hands of the media, many members of Congress and most of the presidential candidates will make it difficult for the Obama administration to suggest a much more cooperative than confrontational approach to U.S.-China relations. But brinksmanship with China is even more irrational than with Iran, for (at least) four reasons. First, it almost surely will not be effective. China cannot be bullied, and the U.S. has a far greater capacity to influence the country positively than negatively. Second, cooperation rather than confrontation — or even competition — would be in the best economic, military, social and environmental interests of both nations. Third, increased tensions and mutual distrust between the U.S. and China instead of close cooperation will eliminate what may well be the best option for providing a measure of global stability that neither the U. N., E.U., World Bank, I.M.F. or other international institutions seem capable of maintaining any longer on their own. And the 4th reason is the unthinkable: World War III, nuclear weapons and all. Here are a few steps the Obama administration might easily take without compromising our security or economic conditions: de-emphasize democracy issues in favor of deepening last Fall’s climate change agreement; sponsor China’s becoming a major player in the IMF and promise to support the inclusion of the renminbi for drawing rights instead of obstructing it at the next round; acknowledge that China has the same security concerns in the South China Sea as the U.S. claims for the Caribbean; refuse to sell arms to Taiwan any longer in exchange for China’s disavowal of the use of force against the island; explore the joint creation of an international naval patrol force on the model of the ‘1000 ship navy’ first proposed by the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen. The rewards for these and similar initiatives are potentially great, but cannot be achieved either by appeasement or threat. Only negotiations can achieve them, and that requires trust, not demonization. As cooperation deepens, the conversations might deepen as well, to become a genuine dialogue between civilizations: individual rights and social rights; democracy and meritocracy; security and liberty; the right and the good; divinity and a human-centered religiousness; and more. Both sides might well learn much from the other.”

Background: Bloomberg reports: “Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wants President Barack Obama to cancel Chinese president Xi Jinping’s upcoming state visit. Stealing some of his thunder, Florida Senator Marco Rubio swooped in and countered that it should be downgraded to a regular working visit.” CNN headlined a story last week: “Donald Trump: No state dinner — only Big Mac — for China’s president.”

The Huffington Post recently published excerpts of Rosemont’s  most recent book. See: “We All Think We’re Individuals. Here’s Why That’s Not True, And Why The Lie Is Told,” which states: “It is possible to challenge the libertarian on moral and political grounds, but not, I believe, if one accepts a foundational individualism as grounding ethics.”

See video of his talk at the China Studies center at Saint Vincent College.

In 2008, he co-wrote the piece “Is China a Threat?

Show Details for the week of May 26th, 2014

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The Monitor this week is divided into the usual two segments of interviews. In the first interview with have a National Security and Civil Liberties discussion with Marcy Wheeler and in the second we discuss What the Sino-Russian Gas Deal Says about American Foreign Policy’s Self-Damaging Trajectory with Flynt Leverett.

More about this week’s guests:

Marcy Wheeler  is an American independent journalist specializing in national security and civil liberties. Wheeler publishes on her own site, Emptywheel. She makes occasional contributions to the commentary and analysis section of The Guardian, progressive news site Daily Kos, The Huffington Post, and Michigan Liberal. Between early December 2007 and July 2011 Wheeler published primarily on Jane Hamsher’s FireDogLake (FDL) and prior to that on The Next Hurrah.

During United States v. Libby, the trial of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, along with other regular press-accredited contributors to FireDogLake, Wheeler reported on the testimony live from the courtroom. In her accounts of the Libby trial, she describes her entries as “not a transcript”. Nevertheless, such bloggers’ eye-witness accounts served as sources of reliable information about the trial for their readers. During the trial, she appeared on camera in video reports posted online on PoliticsTV.com, along with other accredited Libby trial blogger-correspondents such as TalkLeft creator Jeralyn Merritt and FDL creator Jane Hamsher and FDL principal blogger Christy Hardin Smith.

In October 2013, Newsweek published an article about Wheeler titled “The Woman Who Knows The NSA’s Secrets.”

Read: Four Reasons USA Freedumber is Worse than the Status Quo

 

Flynt Leverett is professor of international affairs at Penn State and co-author of Going to Tehran:  Why America Must Accept the Islamic Republic of Iran. He is part of the founding faculty for Penn State’s School of International Affairs, faculty affiliate at the Dickinson School of Law, and a visiting scholar at Peking University’s School of International Studies. With his wife and frequent co-author, Hillary Mann Leverett, he writes www.GoingToTehran.com, a prominent forum for realist analysis on Iran and the Middle East.

From 1992 to 2003, Prof. Leverett had a distinguished career in the U.S. Government. He served nine years as senior analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, focusing on the Middle East. On the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, he earned a Superior Honor Award for his contributions to forming an international coalition to fight terrorism after the 9/11 attacks and to diplomatic efforts with Libya that led to the normalization of U.S.-Libyan relations after years of estrangement. In 2002, he went to the White House to serve as the National Security Council’s senior director for Middle East affairs; he left government service in 2003 because of disagreements over Middle East policy and the conduct of the war on terror.

Prof. Leverett has written extensively on the international relations, politics, and political economy of the Middle East and on U.S. Middle East policy. His latest book, Going to Tehran: Why America Must Accept the Islamic Republic of Iran (2013), is now in paperback, with a new Afterword.  Before publication, Going to Tehran was excerpted in Harper’s and highlighted by Foreign Policy as a “Book to Read in 2013.” It was also the launch point for a Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs symposium on “The U.S.-Iranian Relationship and the Future of International Order.” While controversial for many U.S. policy elites, Going to Tehran has been lauded by leading public intellectuals like Andrew Bacevich, Noam Chomsky, and Glenn Greenwald.

Read: The Sino-Russian Hydrocarbon Axis Grows Up

Show Details for the week of March 18th, 2013

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In keeping with The Monitor‘s ongoing look at the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, our first guest on this week’s show is Sam Husseini. We talk to him about some of the myths that still form part of the public consciousness of the war and those responsible.

Our second guest is Christine Hong. She talked with Mark Bebawi yesterday about the Korean Peninsula and the ongoing tensions between North Korea and the US.

More about our guests:

Sam Husseini

Sam Husseini is the Communications director for the Institute for Public Accuracy

Quote: “It’s common to simply blame Bush and Cheney for the Iraq war, but it’s not accurate. Many voted for or otherwise backed the Iraq war — including Obama’s entire foreign policy team from Kerry to Hagel; from Clinton to Rice to Biden. Even among those who voted against the war, many facilitated it, like Pelosi, who claimed during the buildup to the Iraq invasion that ‘there was no question Iraq had chemical and biological agents.’ None of these individuals have ever seriously come clean about their conduct during this critical period (and I’ve questioned most of them) — so there’s never been a moment of reckoning for the greatest foreign policy disaster of this generation. The elevation of Democrats who did not seriously question the war likely facilitated Bush and Cheney never being held accountable for their conduct. “Persistent myths include that after the invasion, we learned that Bush deceived about Iraqi WMDs. In fact, it was clear before the war that the Bush administration was engaged, as an Institute for Public Accuracy news release headline put it the day before the bombing campaign started, in a ‘Pattern of Deceit.’ Some of these falsifications were brazen, like claiming the UN weapons inspectors were dissatisfied with Iraqi compliance, when they were saying Iraq was making progress and they wanted more time to complete their job. Bush’s deceptions were helped along by the fact that the Clinton administration had also deceitfully hyped Iraqi WMDs, maintained sanctions and a belligerent stance for nearly a decade — a pattern that the Obama administration seems to be repeating in many respects now with Iran and North Korea. Tragically, the peace movement, which took center stage with quasi-global protests on Feb. 15, 2003, went on to marginalize itself by focusing on Bush rather than building a serious global movement for peace and justice.” See FAIR’s 2007 report “Iraq: A Critical Timeline,” which documents much of the media drumbeat for war, as well as notable exceptions.

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Christine Hong

Christine Hong is an assistant professor of transnational Asian American, Korean diaspora, and critical Pacific Rim studies at University of California Santa Cruz.  She is a steering committee member of the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea, a coordinating council member of the National Campaign to End the Korean War, and a member of the executive board of the Korea Policy Institute., Hong recently co-wrote “Lurching Towards War: A Post-Mortem on Strategic Patience

Quote: “The military exercises that the U.S. and South Korea just launched are not defensive exercises. As of last year, in the wake of Kim Jong Il’s death, they escalated in size, duration, and content, enacting regime change scenarios toward North Korea. The North Korean government continually refers to these war games as being extremely provocative. “The Obama administration’s ‘strategic patience’ policy toward North Korea boils down to non-engagement at the same time that it implemented its forward-deployed ‘Asia pivot’ policy, which has the U.S. concentrating its military resources in East Asia. The goal is to contain China. In retrospect, Bush made more diplomatic overtures to North Korea than Obama. “People in the U.S. need to understand that the 1953 armistice agreement called for talks to begin three months after its signing regarding the peaceful settlement of the Korean War and withdrawal of all foreign troops. Chinese troops left soon after. U.S. troops remain six decades later, and the Korean War has never ended. “In Korean culture, 60 years represents one life cycle. We’ve had a full life cycle of war so Korean activists are dubbing 2013 “Year one of peace.”

Show Details for the week of August 20th, 2012

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Syria is on fire but there has been little by way of explanation as to why this is happening now and what else may be part of the picture. Our guest for the whole hour is Pepe Escobar.

Please keep in mind that The Monitor is preempted for the two weeks following this show to allow for national coverage by Pacifica of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. I will be at the DNC hosting a live show that will be on KPFT and other Pacifica stations from 8-11pm Central time during the week of the DNC.

ImagePepe Escobar is an extreme traveler, Pepe’s nose for news has taken him to all parts of the  globe. He was in Afghanistan and interviewed the military leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masoud, a couple of weeks before his assassination (Masoud: From warrior to statesman, Sep 11, 2001). Two weeks before September 11, 2001, while Pepe was in the tribal areas of Pakistan, ATol published his prophetic piece, Get Osama! Now! Or else … (Aug 30, 2001). Pepe was one of the first journalists to reach Kabul after the Taliban’s retreat, and more recently he has explored and reported from Iraq, Iran, Central Asia, US and China … Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). (on Asia Times Online).

Pepe’s recent articles on this topic:

Syria’s Pipelineistan war – Opinion – Al Jazeera English

Obama authorizes covert US support for Syrian rebels – reports — RT

Asia Times Online :: Obama does Syriana

Show Details for the week of February 13th, 2012

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As the US Presidential election season ramps up we hear more talk about China from the candidates and just recently President Obama and The Pentagon unveiled a new Asia-Pacific policy that increases US militarization in the region. However, since China is increasingly painted as a competitor, or a threat, isn’t it time we learned about and from China? Our first guest is Ann Lee.

About our guests this week:

Ann Lee

Ann Lee

Ann Lee is the author of the book ‘What the U.S. Can Learn from China” and a senior fellow at Demos. She also teaches graduate finance and economics at New York University and was formerly a professor at Peking University and Pace University. Before that, she was a former investment banker and hedge fund partner. Ms. Lee was educated at U.C. Berkeley, Princeton, and Harvard.

Articles:

A World Without China

10 Lessons the U.S. Can Learn From China

More: Ann Lee

Book:

What the U.S. Can Learn from China: An Open-Minded Guide to Treating Our Greatest Competitor as Our Greatest Teacher

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Gary Taubes

Gary Taubes

Gary Taubes is an American science writer. He is the author of Nobel Dreams (1987), Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion (1993), and Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007), titled The Diet Delusion (2008) in the UK and Australia. His book Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It was released in December 2010. In December 2010 Taubes launched his own blog at GaryTaubes.com to promote the book’s release and to respond to critics.

Born in Rochester, New York, Taubes studied applied physics at Harvard University and aerospace engineering at Stanford University (MS, 1978). After receiving a master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University in 1981,

Taubes joined Discover magazine as a staff reporter in 1982.[2] Since then he has written numerous articles for Discover, Science and other magazines. Originally focusing on physics issues, his interests have more recently turned to medicine and nutrition.

Taubes’s books have all dealt with scientific controversies. Nobel Dreams takes a critical look at the politics and experimental techniques behind the Nobel Prize-winning work of physicist Carlo Rubbia. Bad Science is a chronicle of the short-lived media frenzy surrounding the Pons-Fleischmann cold fusion experiments of 1989.