Monday, March 5, 2012

  • Debate: Attacking Iran, AIPAC, Israel-Palestine and Obama with Rashid Khalidi and Jonathan Tobin


    President Obama addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Sunday, assuring the pro-Israel lobbying group he will not tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran and reiterating his unwavering support for Israel. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Obama at the White House today, we host a debate between Rashid Khalidi of Columbia University and Commentary magazine’s Jonathan Tobin. "It is true [Iran does not] have the weapon now, the question is are we going to wait until ... they are one screwdriver away from doing it or not," says Tobin. "[Iran’s] policy has been to forthrightly proclaim it wishes to destroy Israel — to wipe it off the map. Letting it have nuclear weapons is a threat to the entire region." But Khalidi argues that war with Iran "would guarantee that no responsible Iranian leadership in the future would allow Iran to be without a nuclear weapon after it had been attacked in an unprovoked fashion either by the U.S. or Israel." Khalidi adds, "It will be a disaster that would make Iraq and Afghanistan look like tea parties." Tobin and Khalidi also debate the relationship between Iran and Syria. [includes rush transcript]

  • BP to Pay $7.8B to Settle Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Lawsuit. Is it a Bad Deal for Gulf Residents?


    Investigative journalists Greg Palast and Antonia Juhasz examine who wins and who loses in BP’s settlement. "[BP is] basically being told, if you’re like a bank robber, you put the money back in the vault, and everything’s forgiven," says Palast, who also investigated the Exxon Valdez settlement. Meanwhile, state and federal governments are still pursuing separate civil claims against BP for environmental damage. "That’s when we’re going to hopefully uncover those 72 million pages of investigation that will include wrongdoing not just by BP, not just by Transocean, not just by Halliburton, but every major oil company involved the offshore—and, very likely, at least based on my research, wrongdoing by the Obama administration," says Juhasz. "It’s the desire to keep that out of the public that has pushed this settlement process forward." We also speak with Florida State University oceanography professor Ian MacDonald about what it means to restore the Gulf of Mexico. In the wake of the oil spill, BP pledged up to $500 million over a decade to conduct independent scientific research on the environmental effects. But MacDonald notes, “When oil was gushing, there were literally hundreds of ships […] in place studying this disaster and trying to respond. Now, as we try to learn what happened and prepare ourselves for the next catastrophe, we have nothing like those kinds of resources present." [includes rush transcript]

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