Middle East

07/19/2015 - In April 2015 the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany negotiated an interim nuclear accord with Iran that includes limiting Iran's enrichment capacity and stockpile. Many in the U.S. fear that a deal as it is being negotiated would not go far enough and, instead of being a benefit, would strengthen Iran’s hand in the Middle East. Is this agreement a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to halt nuclear proliferation, or does President Obama have this wrong? The debaters are Philip Gordon, Michael Doran, Thomas Pickering, and Mark Dubowitz.

06/28/2015 - The corporate media have trouble with nuance and complexity. They like things black and white, good and bad. In their simplistic reporting, history and context are, if at all, fleetingly referred to. Take the Shia-Sunni divide in Islam. It is routinely described as an ancient feud between two factions competing for supremacy among Muslims. What is ignored in such formulations is the role of British, French and Italian imperialism in the Middle East and more recently the United States.

03/08/2015 - ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is the latest chapter of the so-called war on terror. One should point out that you can’t have a war on a tactic. ISIS has displaced al-Qaeda. It is violently addressing unresolved issues relating to European imperialism and the creation of artificial borders and states. After WWII, the U.S. supplanted Britain, France and Italy in the region and became its self-appointed guardian. Washington’s footprint in the Middle East is enormous. It has created a network of allies consisting of emirs, sheikhs and generals.

09/08/2014 - Large parts of the Middle East today are engulfed in violence. Why? What historical factors shape the current conflicts? Take Iraq for example, a country in chaos. The U.S. has been intervening in Iraq non-stop for decades. What has it produced? Sectarianism and strife. Death and destruction. Actual U.S. policy in the Middle East is buried in a blizzard of propaganda about democracy and human rights while in practice Washington backs feudal and repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and the Emirates as well as dictatorships like Egypt. Justification for U.S.

06/26/2014 - Film, music, and art are often the best ways to capture the will and the mood of the people in times of turmoil.  Art sometimes has the power to move millions where politics fails. So in this program we attempt to identify some prominent artistic voices in the Middle East, North Africa, and in South Asia and evaluate their take on liberal ideals, on sectarian violence, on terrorism and how they're being received by audiences in both the Arab and Muslim communities and in the West.