Thursday, April 19, 2012

  • Photos of Soldiers Posing with Afghan Corpses the Latest Outrage of U.S. Occupation of Afghanistan

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    We get reaction to two photographs published by the Los Angeles Times that show U.S. soldiers posing with the corpses and body parts of dead Afghans. "I think (the photos) shock us actually more than they shock Afghans," says journalist Anand Gopal. "From the Afghan perspective, we’ve had troops urinating on corpses, a massacre of 17 civilians, air strikes, night raids, troops cutting off fingers for sport, and so, for Afghans, this is part and parcel of the experience of being in war." Meanwhile, several NATO allies have promised to underwrite Afghanistan’s armed forces after foreign troops depart. The United States and other nations plan to retreat from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and hand the security issue over to Afghan security forces. "If we don’t address the agreements that the U.S. and Australian governments and other governments are making for a long-term war strategy in Afghanistan, we are heading for an increase in violence in this part of the world … more serious than the Kabul attacks," says Hakim, coordinator for Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, based in Kabul, Afghanistan. [includes rush transcript]

  • Back from Syria, Journalist Anand Gopal Warns Protesters "Face Slaughter" by Assad Regime

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    Journalist Anand Gopal has just returned from Syria, where he interviewed survivors of last week’s bloody battle for the town of Taftanaz in northern Syria. Reports say government forces continue to attack rebel strongholds in Homs, Hama and other cities in violation of a U.N.-backed ceasefire that took effect last week. "In every town and village, essentially the entire population was mobilized in support of the revolution," Gopal says. "You had from little children to old people. Really, I’ve never seen anything like that before. And it showed to me the extent to which the revolution has a mass, democratic popular base, and Assad doesn’t." [includes rush transcript]

  • Tavis Smiley & Cornel West on "The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto"

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    The latest census data shows nearly one in two Americans, or 150 million people, have fallen into poverty — or could be classified as low income. We’re joined by Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley, who continue their efforts to spark a national dialogue on the poverty crisis with the new book, "The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto." Smiley, an award-winning TV and radio broadcaster, says President Obama has failed to properly tackle poverty. "There seems to be a bipartisan consensus in Washington that the poor just don’t matter. President Obama is a part of that," Smiley says. "I take nothing away from his push on healthcare, but jobs for every American should have been primary issue, number one." West, a professor of religion and African-American studies at Princeton University, says that after the historic U.S. struggles against monarchy, slavery and institutionalized racism, "the issue today is oligarchy. Poverty is the new slavery. Oligarchs are the new kings. They’re the new heads of this structure of domination." Click here to see part two of this interview. [includes rush transcript]

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