Monday, July 16, 2012

  • "Fuel on the Fire": Author Greg Muttitt on Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq, Arab Spring

    Muttitt_book

    A new U.S. government report has found that much of the U.S. taxpayer money used for Iraq’s reconstruction has likely been squandered. In what has been called their final audit report, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Funds pinpointed a number of accounting weaknesses that put "billions of American taxpayer dollars at risk of waste and misappropriation" in the largest reconstruction project of its kind in U.S. history. The report concluded the precise amount lost to fraud and waste can never be known. While much of Iraq is still struggling to recover from the 2003 invasion and occupation, the country’s oil sector is quickly expanding with the help of foreign investors including Exxon Mobil and BP. We’re joined by Greg Muttitt, whose new book, "Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq," takes a close look at how energy interests played a crucial role in the U.S. invasion. "They created a disaster because there were constantly U.S. interests behind it," Muttitt says. [includes rush transcript]

  • Gar Alperovitz’s Green Party Keynote: We Are Laying Groundwork for the "Next Great Revolution"

    Alperovitz

    At the Green Party’s 2012 National Convention in Baltimore over the weekend, Massachusetts physician Jill Stein and anti-poverty campaigner Cheri Honkala were nominated the party’s presidential and vice-presidential contenders. We air the convention’s keynote address delivered by Gar Alperovitz, a professor of political economy at the University of Maryland and co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative. Alperovitz is the author of "America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy." In his remarks, Alperovitz stressed the importance of third-party politics to challenge a corporate-run society. "Systems, in history, are defined, above all, by who controls the wealth," Alperovitz says. "The top 400 people — not percent, people, 400 — own more wealth now than the bottom 185 million Americans taken together. That is a medieval structure." [includes rush transcript]