Friday, October 12, 2012

  • Tariq Ali: European Union Awarded Nobel Peace Prize Despite Ties to NATO, Crippling Austerity Cuts

    Nobel_peace

    The European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize earlier today for its historic role in uniting the continent. Committee chair Thorbjoern Jagland praised the EU for transforming Europe "from a continent of wars to a continent of peace." The selection surprised many as it comes at a time when much of Europe is facing an economic crisis that threatens the EU’s future. Just this past week, thousands of Greeks protested in Athens against a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has pushed Greece, Spain and Ireland to enact deep austerity measures. For more, we go to London to speak with Tariq Ali, political commentator, historian, activist and editor of the New Left Review. "My initial response was to burst out laughing, because this Nobel Peace Prize committee, basically run by clapped-out former politicians in Norway, never fails to amuse and disappoint," Ali says. "To give the prize to the European Community at a time, effectively, when economically it is promoting unemployment, creating real class divides in virtually every country in Europe, where it has led to enormous violence on the streets of Greece, because of the policies being pushed by the EU ... it’s a complete and utter joke." [includes rush transcript]

  • Expanding the VP Debate: Third-Party Candidates Challenge Biden & Ryan on War, Economy, Healthcare

    Vp_debate_fix

    Our "Expanding the Debate" special series continues as we open the discussion to include two third-party vice-presidential candidates who were excluded last night from the "official" debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan: Cheri Honkala of the Green Party and Luis Rodriguez of the Justice Party. With the general election just weeks away, Biden and Ryan squared off in their only debate Thursday night, aggressively challenging each other on foreign and domestic policy issues asked by moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC News. Raddatz pressed them with questions on the deaths of Americans at the U.S. embassy in Libya, taxes, Medicare, Social Security, the budget deficit, terrorism and Afghanistan. Raddatz also asked each of the candidates, both of whom are Catholic, about how their personal beliefs affect their views on abortion. Romney’s personal wealth came up, but many issues were missing, including poverty, global warming, immigration, gun control and the country’s staggering incarceration rates. Democracy Now! poses many of these same questions today to Honkala and Rodriquez in order to bring new voices into the discussion. Democracy Now! first broke the sound barrier during the presidential debate on Oct. 3 by pausing after answers offered by President Obama and Mitt Romney to get real-time responses from Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party. [includes rush transcript]