Tuesday, September 1, 2009

  • Nir Rosen on the Growing Afghanistan War, Embedding and the "Counterinsurgency" Doctrine in Washington

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    The commander of US forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has submitted a long-awaited review of the Afghan war. The New York Times reports although McChrystal’s assessment doesn’t call for sending more US troops, it effectively lays the groundwork for such a request in the coming weeks. The assessment comes on the heels of the deadliest month for US troops in Afghanistan since the US invasion nearly eight years ago. We speak with independent journalist Nir Rosen, who recently returned from Afghanistan, where he embedded with US troops in Helmand Province. [includes rush transcript]

  • As Pentagon Cancels Rendon Group Contract, US-NATO Spokesman in Afghanistan Defends Using Company to Profile Journalists

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    The Pentagon is canceling its contract with the private public relations firm The Rendon Group to produce background profiles of journalists seeking to cover the war. One journalist profiled was Nir Rosen, who got a hold of his profile. The Rendon Group reported to the Pentagon that Rosen’s reporting in Afghanistan was “highly unfavorable to international efforts." The Rendon Group profile also mentioned Rosen’s appearance on Democracy Now!, when he stated his belief that the war is unwinnable and that the US should withdraw. We speak with Col. Wayne Shanks, the public affairs officer for US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. [includes rush transcript]

  • Japanese Voters Oust Conservative Party, PM-Elect Hatoyama Critical of US "Market Fundamentalism"

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    In Japan, voters have ousted the right-leaning Liberal Democratic Party, or LDP, after fifty-five years of nearly uninterrupted governance. In elections on Sunday, the populist Democratic Party of Japan captured a record 308 of the 480 seats in the lower house of parliament. Democratic Party leader Yukio Hatoyama, who is expected to become Japan’s new prime minister, has questioned the role of the 50,000 American troops deployed throughout Japan and, in a recent New York Times op-ed, blamed the global financial meltdown in part on what he called US "market fundamentalism." [includes rush transcript]

  • Award-Winning Playwright, Actor Wallace Shawn on "The Quest for Superiority" and His First Published Book of Nonfiction

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    Award-winning playwright and actor Wallace Shawn joins us in our firehouse studio. He has just published a new collection of nonfiction work titled Essays. Shawn is a mainstay on the New York theater scene. He’s also had celebrated roles in many films, including Manhattan, The Princess Bride, the 1981 cult classic My Dinner with Andre, and many more. Shawn reads an excerpt of his essay "The Quest for Superiority" and discusses the role of media in covering war. [includes rush transcript]