The terror attacks that rocked Mumbai last week reminded everyone that terrorism is still a very present threat. How will the global War on Terror be changed by an Obama administration? What have we learned from the failures and successes of the past seven years?
In the beginning, many pundits predicted that race could cost Senator Obama the election. Too many people had strong prejudices against African Americans, conventional wisdom went, to elect a black man as president.
We opened tonight with a short conversation with David Rocah, an ACLU attorney, about recent developments in the case of police spying on non-violent, anti-war activist groups.
Deborah Sarsgard introduced us to Lucille Robinson, a grandmother in Baltimore who was raising a house full of grandchildren on her own. We had Lucille and some other grandparent caregivers discuss their lives and the challenges they faced on The Marc Steiner Show. Then we decided to spend more time with Lucille, and the interviews we recorded became the first three episodes of Just Words. We'd like to thank Deborah for sharing some of her thoughts and memories of Lucille with us, which you can read by clicking here.
We took some time to reflect on the anniversary of 9/11 at the beginning of today's show, listening to some of the sounds of that day, as well as voices of people in 2008, as they look back.
Then we discussed the war in Iraq and looked at how the presidential candidates are addressing this issue. Marc and our guests Jared Ball, professor of Communications at Morgan State University, Stephen David, Vice Dean for Centers and Programs at Johns Hopkins University, and Adil Shamoo, an Iraqi-American professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine offer a variety of perspectives on where we are and where we need to go in Iraq.
Sonia Silbert, Co-coordinator of the Washington Peace Center, wrote last week with updates on the mass arrests and detentions by police of activists during the Republican National Convention in the Twin Cities. Here are some more reports from her from later in the week. You can also listen to her interview with us during the RNC on The Marc Steiner Show - click here.
Here's a piece contributed to our site by the author Djelloul Marbrook. Check out his site to see more of his writing and to learn more about him.
The way to take government back from corrupters is at hand. Don't wait for the press to do it for you. It's a do-it-yourself job. It's the perfect job for retirees, because their years and diversity of experience are invaluable tools.
Here's a guest post by Nick Morgan, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator for Iraq Vets Against the War (IVAW.) He was a guest on The Marc Steiner Show while in Minneapolis for the Republican National Convention. Click here to listen to that show.
As a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), my experience in the Twin Cities was a unique one. With our organization on the list of over 200 groups on a list studied by Minnesota National Guard and various police units, it was still no secret that our message was completely non-violent and direct. Our mission was to march in formation and in uniform to deliver a message to Senator McCain informing him of the issues veterans are facing today. As a fellow veteran, we were presumptuous to assume that the presidential candidate would listen to our simple message.
With a permit for our action on the opening day of the scaled-back RNC, no member of IVAW was arrested during our action (or the rest of the convention). We shared a certain level of lateral respect with the law enforcement at the RNC because we have all been placed in similar predicaments in the name of serving our country and democracy. Not to mention the fact that many of them were veterans as well and could relate to our logical viewpoints. The clear difference here is that these men and women are dealing with American citizens on American soil, hired as mercenaries for the RNC to the tune of a 50 million dollar liability insurance policy for their protection.
I have to say that I haven't been in an environment so unsafe for average citizens since I left Baghdad in 2005. One notable difference is that the police in Minneapolis have better body armor and protection than American soldiers and Marines do in Iraq. It is a sad day for the United States when a kid on a bicycle is pepper sprayed in the face by a cop just for riding too close when there where no violent protests taking place. What does it say about this country when the police are arresting people with press credentials hanging from their necks just for recording and reporting the interactions between police and American civilians.
I hung out for a period of time with some independent media personnel who understandably added an additional level of anxiety to the air. Pardon my vagueness as I don't want to divulge too much information about individuals. Many of them were just coming back from jail and were on high alert for near by police activity. At one point, myself and a few of my fellow IVAW members were beginning to loose the battle to subdue our PTSD. We decided it was best that we went on a drive outside of the city to get some fresh air and escape all the violence multiplied by paranoia.
Please take some time to consider the implications of the absolute police state that was enforced in the Twin Cities. When the people making the decisions in this country don't want to hear the voices of the people they are making the decisions for, I am saddened. When the people's voices are silenced with clubs, tear gas, rubber bullets, and zip ties, I am appalled. This concludes my humble testimony of how I experience the RNC.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator
Iraq Veterans Against the War
OIF II, 458th En. Bn., Ist Cavalry Division
John McCain gave a powerful acceptance speech tonight, devoid of artificial drama and devoid of gimmicks. More on that later.
Leading up to his speech was a moving tribute by his wife Cindy, a tribute which left no one in doubt about the genuineness of their union and both of their commitments to public service.
Preceding that address was a specific appeal which this critic found tremendously convincing.
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Let's begin with the topic of CHANGE.
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It’s the economy stupid! The famous words from Democratic political strategist James Carville flashed in my mind while Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin gave her speech. The McCain ticket is gambling big time that the trifecta: toughness, Iraq, and military service will pre-occupy voters mind. There’s something Reaganesque about the McCain approach too – it’s tried, true, and tired.
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Besides the usual tax and big government and vitriolic attacks against their opponents, several themes arose last night that may be the battlegrounds of the next two months.
Remember in 1992 when Clinton campaign chiefs Paul Begala and James Carville coined the phrase "It’s the economy, stupid?" It worked for Clinton. They tapped into the American angst of that moment.
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(l to r) ed burns, eric kocher, evan wright, marc steiner, david simon
The US-led invasion of Iraq began on March 19th, 2003. As the war continues through its sixth year, with no end in sight, what can we learn from looking back at the invasion, the first phase of the war?
Generation Kill, Ed Burns' and David Simon's new HBO mini-series, tells the story of the First Recon Marines who were at the forefront of the US attack. They crossed the Kuwaiti border and travelled across Iraq to Baghdad in a convoy of unarmored Humvees. They were often the first of the invading forces to pass through vast stretches of desert, small towns, and large cities. They didn't know it at the time, but they were frequently used as decoys, sent ahead in the hopes of drawing sniper fire or diverting the attention of the Iraqi army from the main body of the US forces.
Embedded with the First Recon Marines was a Rolling Stone reporter, Evan Wright. He set out to write about the young warrior class that makes up an elite marine unit, kids mostly in their early twenties who volunteer to kill and to risk being killed.
Today's show is a conversation between Evan Wright, the author of Generation Kill, David Simon and Ed Burns, who produced and wrote the mini-series, and Sergeant Eric Kocher, one of the First Recon Marines whose story is documented in the book, and now the mini-series, Generation Kill.
New! Congresswoman Donna Edwards discusses the housing crisis and the war in Iraq. Then, hear a debate on why oil costs so much, and what can be done about it--and our energy future.
What is the real cost of the Iraq War? According to the Bush administration, the tab so far totals over $500 billion dollars-10 times the $50 billion originally estimated.
Nobel Prize winner and former Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank Joseph Stiglitz says that number is outrageous-not because it's so high, but because it's so low. In a new book written with Linda Bilmes, he says the true cost of the war is going to be closer to three trillion dollars. He alleges that the Bush administration is playing with the numbers by only counting upfront costs-and not including other costs, such as health care for veterans and increased recruitment costs. He also confronts the idea that this war could actually provide a much needed stimulus for the American economy.
Joseph Stiglitz joined Marc Steiner by phone to explain how he came up with the three trillion dollar amount, and what he thinks needs to be done to ensure America's financial security.Running time is 34:12.