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Program Archives - 2004

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27 Dec 041002 Paul Watson - Sea Shepherds

They fire chocolate pies and stink bombs from cannons. They also sink docked ships. They've dismantled the illegal Icelandic whaling industry and have been attacked by the Norwegian Navy. Governments and the corporate media call them terrorists, but these activists call themselves the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Their sole mission is to defend marine wildlife.

The Sea Shepherds draw a clear line between property destruction and physical violence and there are few that would argue against their commitment to enforcing international environmental laws, yet their methods put them at the center of much controversy. A run in with the group may be very costly, as when they sank half the Spanish whaling fleet, but they have never been convicted of a crime. Their actions have not caused injuries but are effective at stopping those who break the law. Paul Watson co-founded Green Peace in 1972, leaving the organization 1977 because he felt its original goals were compromised. That same year he started Sea Shepherds to continue direct action tactics to defend marine wildlife. He is professor of Ecology at Pasadena College of Design and also teaches ecology at UCLA. He is author of Sea Shepherd: My Fight for Whales and Seals and Ocean Warrior: My Battle to End the Illegal Slaughter on the High Seas.

20 Dec 041001 Ben Bagdikian - The New Media Monopoly

In 1983 there were 50 corporations that controlled the media in the U.S. Today that number is down to 5. What does that portend for democracy and the information needs of the citizenry? The 1996 Telecommunications Act had a lot to do with the acceleration in monopolies. Its enthusiastic advocates promised more media diversity. The results? A Niagara-like torrent of mergers and takeovers. On the surface it seems that America is blessed with lots of media choices. But is it? Bruce Springsteen sings of "57 channels and nothing on." Maybe he should add a zero. Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister said, "The purpose of Nazi propaganda was to present an ostensible diversity behind which is an actual uniformity."

Ben Bagdikian is the winner of almost every top prize in American journalism, including the Pulitzer. He is the former dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. He is one of the most respected media critics in the country and has been a reporter and editor for more than thirty years. The New York Times has called him, "an exemplar to a generation of journalists." His landmark book The Media Monopoly is now revised and updated with seven new chapters and retitled The New Media Monopoly.

13 Dec 040904 Arundhati Roy - Seize the Time!

People have power but can exercise it most effectively when it is organized and collective. It's relatively easy for the state and big business to pick off and neutralize freelancers and lone operatives. It's when a movement forms that the state and the corporations can be challenged. Citizens in privileged societies like the U.S. often complain that they feel helpless and can't do anything to shake the power structure. It's an odd complaint given the advantages most Americans have and poses a sharp contrast with other countries. With few resources, citizens in impoverished East Timor, Nicaragua, Haiti and India have risen and resisted oppression and overthrown tyrannies. But in the land of the free? "Well, I'm kind of busy. Any beer in the fridge? What's on TV tonight?" Arundhati Roy's tonic for apathy? Get involved. Get active. Seize the time!

Arundhati Roy is the celebrated author of The God of Small Things, winner of the prestigious Booker Prize. The NY Times calls her, "India's most impassioned critic of globalization and American influence." She is the winner of the Lannan Award for Cultural Freedom. Her latest books are The Checkbook & the Cruise Missile, with David Barsamian and An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire.

06 Dec 040903 Bill Moyers - Journalism & Democracy

Journalism, the fabled Fourth Estate, was once guided by the dictum: Comfort the Afflicted and Afflict the Comfortable. Today, millionaire anchors, caked in makeup and competing for the best hair on the air are bored readers of teleprompters. As newspapers, TV and radio are gobbled up by huge conglomerates fixated on maximizing profits, investigative journalism, digging for stories, recedes into memory. If information is key to the healthy functioning of democracy then what happens when the focus is on Scott Peterson and Martha Stewart? And when White House and Pentagon press releases are accepted as fact? A textbook case of journalism's decline is Iraq. Reporters were a conveyor belt for administration fabrications. Many of them went a step further, they became embedded.

Bill Moyers is one of America's best known and respected journalists. He was Lyndon Johnson's press secretary. He was senior new analyst for "CBS Evening News" and chief correspondent for "CBS Reports." He is the winner of the more than 30 Emmy Awards, and the author of several bestsellers. His latest book is Moyers on America. A longtime fixture on PBS, he's stepping down as anchor and managing editor of Now with Bill Moyers.

29th Nov 040902 John Sayles - Politics & Film

In post-Sept 11 America, the big Hollywood studios are more timid than ever. They don't want to offend Washington upon whom their parent conglomerates depend for tax breaks and licenses. A case in point is "The Quiet American." It was set for release but the studio held it back. Why? Because the film, based on Graham Greene's perceptive and evocative novel, depicts the U.S. sponsoring terrorism in Vietnam in the 1950s. It was only when the lead actor, Michael Caine, raised a huge stink, that it was finally shown. But it was not promoted and quickly disappeared. Another case of Tinseltown jitters was Disney's refusal to distribute "Fahrenheit 9/11." A Canadian distributor picked it up and the film went on to create box office history.

John Sayles is perhaps America's most celebrated independent filmmaker. Among his classics are "Matewan," "Eight Men Out," and "Lone Star." His latest film, "Silver City" received a "Two Thumbs Way Up!" review from Roger Ebert.

22nd Nov 040901 Howard Zinn Resistance & the Role of Artists

Artists have always been on the cutting edge of society. They are the innovators as well as the seers. Go back to Aeschylus, the great 5th century BC Greek playwright who wrote The Persians. This classic drama was a warning to the Greeks to not be consumed by the same arrogance that was undoing of the Persians. Power thinks it's infallible and eternal. Artists puncture holes in these illusions. Today, writers, musicians, poets, filmmakers, and actors like Michael Franti, Alice Walker, Danny Glover, Radiohead, Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Bonnie Raitt and many others challenge the political orthodoxy. For daring to speak out they incur the wrath and scorn of the superpatriots that dominate the airwaves.

Howard Zinn, professor emeritus at Boston University, is perhaps this country's premier radical historian. He grew up in a poor immigrant family in Brooklyn. During World War II, he saw combat duty as an air force bombardier. After the war, he went to Columbia University on the GI Bill. He was an active figure in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements. Today, at 82, he speaks all over the country before huge audiences. His masterpiece, A People's History of the United States, continues to sell in huge numbers. His latest book is Voices of A People's History.

15th Nov 040805 Arundhati Roy Public Power in the Age of Empire

The U.S. is the world's greatest military power. Always projecting an image of reluctance and innocence, American presidents attack and intervene in the affairs of other countries. They routinely claim history, providence, destiny or some other abstraction has conferred certain obligations on Washington. The U.S. practices imperialism without formal colonies. Surrogates, often trained in the U.S., are recruited to rule. They implement and enforce Washington's rules. If the natives raise their heads and revolt the empire's centurions are called in. To effectively carry out its imperial projects the "free press" play the vital role of keeping the citizenry in the dark. What can the public do in the age of empire?

Arundhati Roy is the celebrated author of The God of Small Things, winner of the prestigious Booker Prize. The New York Times calls her, "India's most impassioned critic of globalization and American influence." She is the winner of the Lannan Award for Cultural Freedom. Her latest books are The Checkbook & the Cruise Missile, with David Barsamian, and An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire.

8th Nov 040804 Chalmers Johnson - Blowback: Impacts of the New Militarism

The United States operates hundreds of military bases around the world. It's a form of colonialism that is expanding under the Bush Administration's post-9/11 doctrine of pre-emptive war. Supporting a far-flung military empire generates large profits for many US-based corporations. It's terrific for weapons manufacturers like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman and for support contractors like Halliburton. Increasingly, many people worldwide are angry with having to live with Uncle Sam in uniform in their backyard.

Chalmers Johnson is the author of the national bestseller Blowback. He is the president of the Japan Policy Research Institute and professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego. His latest book is Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of the Republic.

1st Nov 040803 As'ad AbuKhalil - The Battle for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is a most unusual country. Its oil reserves are the largest in the world. It is run like a privately owned business operated by the Saud family. Hundreds of princes and their hanger ons preside over a nation without a constitution. Patriarchy, misogyny, oppression, censorship, religious intolerance characterize this feudal regime. Since Saudi Arabia functions as a virtual petrol pump for the big oil companies, the U.S. turns a blind eye to what Amnesty International calls "gross human rights violations." Fundamentalists in the kingdom funded Islamic militant networks, jihadis and the Taliban in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere. Many of these jihadis have now turned their guns on the princes in Riyadh and their allies in Washington.

As'ad AbuKhalil, a native of Lebanon, is a leading expert on the Middle East. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the prestigious American University of Beirut, and his Ph.D. from Georgetown University. He teaches at California State University at Stanislaus. He is the author of Bin Laden, Islam & America's New War on Terrorism. His latest book is The Battle for Saudi Arabia.

25th Oct 040705 Edward Said - Culture and Imperialism

Imperial power is constructed on a bedrock not only of force but of culture as well. Culture provides the underpinning, justification and validation of empire. Its crudest manifestation is perhaps Kipling's White man's burden. A more refined version is the French 'mission civilisatrice', civilising mission. Imperialism is often thought of as a European phenomenon of the past. In fact it continues today in new shapes and forms. The US carries out its imperial policies behind the facade of democracy and freedom. Culture and politics produce a system of control that transcends military power to include a hegemony of representations and images that dominate the imaginations of both the oppressor and the oppressed.

Edward Said, internationally renowned Columbia University professor, practically invented the field of post-colonial studies. His great work, Orientalism has been translated into many languages and is widely used in colleges and universities. The New York Times called him, "one of the most influential literary and cultural critics in the world." As one of the few advocates for Palestinian rights in the US, he was the target of vilification, death threats and vandalism. The Economist said he "repudiated terrorism in all its forms and was a passionate, eloquent and persistent advocate for justice for the dispossessed Palestinians." He was a trenchant critic not just of Israeli policies, but also of Arafat, the corrupt coterie around him and the despotic Arab regimes. He felt strongly that intellectuals had a special responsibility to speak out against injustice, challenge power, confront hegemonic thinking and provide alternatives. His memoir Out of Place won the New Yorker Book of the Year Award. Edward Said died in New York on September 25, 2003.

18th Oct 040703 Michael Parenti - Fascism: The False Revolution

Fascism is a term that is bandied about often rather loosely. Orwell wrote that it is understood to be "something not desirable." But it is a complex political and economic synergy that has force and nationalism as its animating matrix. And it involves propaganda and the manipulation of the masses by the media. Mussolini, in one of his more honest moments said, "Fascism should be more properly called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power." For Americans it is universally associated with despotic regimes in other countries. It can't happen here. Huey Long, the self-styled populist governor of Louisiana, once warned, "If fascism ever comes to America, it will come wrapped in an American flag."

Michael Parenti is one of this country's foremost independent political analysts. He has taught at major colleges and universities in the US and abroad. He is the author of numerous books including Against Empire, The Terrorism Trap and the highly acclaimed The Assassination of Julius Caesar.

11th Oct 040801 Noam Chomsky - War Crimes and Imperial Fantasies (Pt. 2)

When official enemies commit crimes, they must be punished. That is an unquestioned staple of public discourse. Occasionally, as in the torture and killing of prisoners in Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan, a few bad apples tarnish the reputation of the United States but the doctrine of our basic goodness prevails. In an underreported revelation, recently released documents from the Nixon White House, unambiguously make clear that an order for genocide came directly from the Oval Office. Unhappy with the air force, Nixon tells Kissinger, "I want them to hit everything" in Cambodia. The faithful servant immediately conveyed the message to the Pentagon: "A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves." Rarely in history has a direct order for mass murder been discovered and published. The reaction from the political elites, the punditocracy and the media? Undetectable.

Noam Chomsky, internationally renowned MIT professor, practically invented modern linguistics. In addition to his pioneering work in that field he has been a leading voice for peace and social justice. He is in such demand as a public speaker that he is booked years in advance. And wherever he appears, he draws huge audiences. The New Statesman calls him, "The conscience of the American people." He is the author of scores of books including Hegemony or Survival. These interviews by David Barsamian were recorded at MIT.

4th Oct 040801 Noam Chomsky - War Crimes and Imperial Fantasies (Pt. 1)

When official enemies commit crimes, they must be punished. That is an unquestioned staple of public discourse. Occasionally, as in the torture and killing of prisoners in Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan, a few bad apples tarnish the reputation of the United States but the doctrine of our basic goodness prevails. In an underreported revelation, recently released documents from the Nixon White House, unambiguously make clear that an order for genocide came directly from the Oval Office. Unhappy with the air force, Nixon tells Kissinger, "I want them to hit everything" in Cambodia. The faithful servant immediately conveyed the message to the Pentagon: "A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves." Rarely in history has a direct order for mass murder been discovered and published. The reaction from the political elites, the punditocracy and the media? Undetectable.

Noam Chomsky, internationally renowned MIT professor, practically invented modern linguistics. In addition to his pioneering work in that field he has been a leading voice for peace and social justice. He is in such demand as a public speaker that he is booked years in advance. And wherever he appears, he draws huge audiences. The New Statesman calls him, "The conscience of the American people." He is the author of scores of books including Hegemony or Survival. These interviews by David Barsamian were recorded at MIT.

27th Sep 040602 Howard Zinn - History Matters

Lincoln said, "You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can't fool all of the people all the time." Perhaps if he added the caveat, if you don't know history you can all fool all the people all the time. Many Americans seem afflicted with an inability to remember the past. Just three decades ago a president was impeached for breaking into an office building. Today, another president breaks into a country and nary a peep is heard. Gore Vidal calls the USA, the United States of Amnesia. Without an appreciation and respect for history people are vulnerable to manipulation and deceit.

Howard Zinn, professor emeritus at Boston University, is perhaps this country's premier radical historian. During World War II, he saw combat duty as an air force bombardier. After the war, he went to Columbia University on the GI Bill. He was an active figure in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements. His masterpiece, "A People's History of the U.S." continues to sell in huge numbers. Winner of numerous honors his latest is the prestigious Le Monde Diplomatique Award.

20th Sep 040601 Kenneth Roth - Human Rights & the War on Terrorism

The Bush Administration insists that other countries adhere to international law but sets separate rules for itself. The US even invents new categories of prisoners, "unlawful combatants," and then carts them off to a military base in Cuba. People are held there and in Iraq and Afghanistan in poor conditions with little or no legal redress. The abuses and humiliations inflicted on Iraqis have shocked the world. The official report describes what happened as "sadistic, blatant and wanton." Outside the prison walls, in Falluja and elsewhere, thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed. The Red Cross, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have all condemned Washington for its excessive use of force, collective punishment and torture.

Kenneth Roth is the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, the New York-based organization that investigates and reports on human rights abuses. A graduate of Yale and Brown, he was a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's Office for New York and the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington.

13th Sep 040504 Larry Everest - Oil, Power and Empire

Wars have begun for many reasons; wealth, power, politics, religion and love, to name a few. Recent conflicts are no exception, with oil being the paramour in the battle and occupation of Iraq.But does it make sense to wage war to control a commodity that is finite? With oil supplies predicted to be dwindling significantly in a few decades, can this really achieve long-term national security? Besides, the negative impacts of war are numerous and affect us all, not just those directly in the line of fire. Money is siphoned off for the military while social, educational, medical and environmental needs are placed at the end of the line. The world needs to rely less on petrochemicals, not more. Our fossil-fuel-based economy pollutes our air, contributes to global climate change and negatively impacts our health. We must move to a society committed to improving the quality of life and developing clean, renewable fuels.

Larry Everest is a journalist, author and videographer covering the Middle East and Central Asia for over 20 years. Shortly after the end of the Persian Gulf War, he went to Iraq to document the impact of the war on the Iraqi people and filmed the award-winning video Iraq: War Against the People. Everest wrote Behind the Poison Cloud: Union Carbide's Bhopal Massacre, based on his on-the-scene investigation.

6th Sep 040503 Sut Jhally 9/11 and the Uses of Fear

9/11 is a template and trigger for a range of emotions. Who can forget the horror of that day? One shouldn't. But at the same time we should be aware of how 9/11 is being used as a weapon of intimidation to silence critics of the Bush war on terrorism. Those who speak out are labeled anti-American. We are all supposed to suspend critical thinking, be obedient and listen in awe to the pronouncements from Big Brother. People are kept on the edge of their seats by constant alerts, warnings and threats of new attacks. In a state of fear, citizens are vulnerable to manipulation by opportunistic politicians and a sensationalist media. "Dissent in a time of war," historian Howard Zinn says, "is the highest form of patriotism."

Sut (sounds like but) Jhally, professor of communication at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is a leading media critic and an award-winning film producer. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Media Education Foundation.

30th Aug 040502 Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed - Behind the War on Terrorism

The Bush-led war party of vulcans drive the war on terror. These born-again nationalists have an agenda that was announced several years ago. They formed the Project for a New American Century. Read their key document "Rebuilding America's Defenses." It is a blueprint for America as Sparta and a formula for permanent war. It says what was required to achieve US global domination was "some catastrophic and catalyzing event-like a new Pearl Harbor." Well, they got it. September 11. The attack on Iraq was launched on false pretenses. Evidence was manufactured. Fear was generated. The media saluted and went along. War was what the hawks wanted and war is what they got. In the background is an imperial grand scheme to remake the map of the Middle East and control its oil.

Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed, based in the UK, is the Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development. He is the author of Behind the War on Terror: Western Secret Strategy & the Struggle for Iraq.

23rd Aug 040501 Rania Masri The Privatisation of War

Naomi Klein, the noted Canadian journalist and author says, Iraq is open for business. She's not kidding. Private contractors are making a killing. And the taxpayers are shelling out the bucks. A significant portion of the $18 billion budgeted for reconstruction in Iraq is going to such firms as Dyncorp, Blackwater and Northbridge who provide what is called security services. There is a frenzy of deal-making and there are fortunes to be made. Far more than any war in US history, the Pentagon is relying on private companies to perform crucial tasks once entrusted to the military. In a word they are outsourcing. More and more, the NYTImes reports, these security forces "give the appearance of private for-profit militias." These guns for hire are in some cases obliterating distinctions between professional soldiers and private commandos. They are a shadow army of warriors.

Rania Masri is a human rights advocate and environmental scientist. Born in Lebanon, she served as the Arab Women's Solidarity Association's representative to the UN. She is currently director of the Southern Peace Research and Education Center at the Institute for Southern Studies in Durham, North Carolina. She is a producer of a new documentary " About Baghdad." A dynamic speaker, she is in great demand all over the country.

16th Aug 040603 Chip Berlet - Debunking Conspiracy Theories

Theories are unproven assertions. If empirical evidence is presented then the theory moves to fact. In another realm, allegations are not subject to rigorous examination. There is a strain of thought that embraces beliefs ranging from UFOs in Roswell to who killed JFK to black helicopters. These theories take on an almost theological conviction. If one challenges them that is proof that you are a dupe. In all instances it is a sinister "they" who are behind everything. Self-styled experts appear with websites and in nano seconds jump from speculation to fact. Their "findings" are quickly transmitted. A lot of it is, A happened therefore Y is true. The leaps of logic are breathtaking. 9/11 has spawned the latest cottage industry of theories.

Chip Berlet (Ber-lay) is senior analyst with Political Research Associates, the Somerville, Massachusetts-based organization. PRA monitors and reports on the political right wing. His articles appear in The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Progressive magazine. He is the editor of "Eyes Right: Challenging the Right Wing Backlash" and co-author of "Right-Wing Populism in America."

9th Aug 040704** Tariq Ali Bush, Babylon and Beyond

As the newly installed puppet regime in Iraq beings its period of rule, the resistance coming from within the Iraqi population grows bolder each day. With attacks being carried out against coalition forces, the assets of multinational companies and Iraqi collaborators, it seems that the resistance is far from a rag-tag bunch of malcontents. Tariq Ali argues that the US administration's latest imperial adventure has ignored the history of imperial conquest and that their bribes and threats to the "coalition of the shilling" will soon unravel if the resistance is not overcome. This outcome, Tariq Ali argues, will not come easily if at all.

Tariq Ali, born in Lahore, Pakistan is an internationally renowned writer. He is based in London where he is an editor of New Left Review. He's written more than a dozen books on world history and politics. In his spare time he is a filmmaker, playwright and novelist. He is the author of The "Clash of Fundamentalisms". His latest book is "Bush in Babylon". He spoke to a packed house in Melbourne Town Hall at an event organised by the Victorian Peace Network on June 28 2004. (**CD only)

2nd Aug 040405 David Korten - Renewing the American Experiment

It may seem odd to many to think of the establishment of this country as an experiment, but in many ways it was just that: a very bold experiment. Never before had the issues of equality, justice and liberty been addressed for its citizenry in quite the same way. Some of the concerns of the people may have changed over time, but we are still interested in the basic issues that have brought people to this land: freedom from tyranny and the opportunity for a quality of life not based upon social class or family ties.

We are at a critical juncture in history where the ruling and corporate elite are only too eager to roll back nearly 200 years of progress. What are we, with limited resources and access to media or power, to do? David Korten has examined our history and how we've gotten where we are and he has some ideas about how we can take back our country.

An insider in the development establishment for nearly thirty years, Korten worked for the Ford Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development (US AID). Having severed his ties to the past, he is now president of the People-Center Development Forum. He is the author of When Corporations Rule the World and The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism.

26th Jul 040702** Paul Heywood-Smith Middle East Peace: The Question of Palestine

For over a century the ongoing struggle of the Palestinian people has persisted. From the work of Theodore Hertzl in establishing the Zionist movement in the late 19th century to the Balfour Declaration of December 1917 to US indirect intervention and the illegal Israeli settlements on their territories, the Palestinian people have felt the burden of oppression and the weight of occupation. These facts are often overlooked or never expounded on when the corporate media reports on suicide bombings or retaliation after another so-called Israeli "incursion" into the Palestinian territories. Perhaps it is felt that if the history of the conflict is revealed or the truth behind the lies is spoken that a century of myth making and deception will be undone.

Paul Heywood-Smith is a founder and inaugural Chairperson of the Australian Friends of Palestine Association. He is a Queens Counsel based in South Australia and has for many years researched, advocated for and spoken about the need for the establishment of a 'two state solution' to the conflict in Palestine. His aim and the aim of the Australian Friends of Palestine Association is to work for a peaceful resolution of the Israeli / Palestinian conflict for the benefit of both peoples. Paul Heywood-Smith, QC, spoke at a forum organised by the Latrobe Valley Peace Network held in Morwell in May 2004. (**CD only)

19th Jul 040701** Julian Burnside Changes to Democracy

In August 2001 the Tampa sailed into Australian Territorial waters and became the focal point of the Howard government's fear campaign in the lead up to the election that year. That campaign had a long pedigree and it was not the first time fear of 'foreigners' had been used to bolster flagging political ambitions. The Tampa ushered in a new spin on and old issue. It also highlighted, to those who would listen or look, the conditions under which our government, in our name, illegally imprisoned, detained and treated asylum seekers and refugees. It seems that most Australians, far from opposing the government's treatment of these people, accepted even the most outlandish statements and comments by our political leaders with scant indifferent at best or embraced them as truth at worst.

Julian Burnside, QC, became one of the leading lights in the fight to free illegally detained refugees and asylum seekers. He has acted on behalf of the OK Tedi peoples against BHP and for the Maritime Union in the 1998 Patrick's waterfront dispute. When he is not giving his time and skills for humanitarian causes, Mr. Burnside is actively involved in many community and arts groups. He has also published a successful children's novel, "Matilda and the Dragon". He spoke at the second lecture organised by the Gippsland Ethnic Communities Council held in Morwell in June 2004. (**CD only)

12th Jul 040604** Humphrey McQueen - All Capital is Social

In 1934 the coal miners of Wonthaggi in the South Gippsland district went on strike. During the 20 week strike the workers and their wives organised themselves and relearned the skills they gave up to work in the mines. Livestock and grain farms were established, barbers gave free haircuts while others fixed boots and shoes. The First Women's Union Auxiliary was organised and the women visited other towns and regions to garner support for their menfolk. Red Wonthaggi was born. The most pressing threat to the government and the mine owners of the day was not the strike itself but the strength of the democratic processes that the miners established to govern their day to day and long term affairs in their own interests.

Humphrey McQueen is Australia's most well known dissident historian. For over 30 years he has been interpreting Australian society from a Marxian perspective. From his first ground breaking book "A New Britannia" to his latest "The Essence of Capitalism", McQueen has methodically and thoroughly examined the way capitalism has shaped the Australian consciousness. In August 2004, the University of Queensland Press will issue new editions of "A New Britannia" and "Social Sketches of Australia, 1888 to 2001". Humphrey McQueen spoke at a seminar hosted by the Institute for Regional Studies at Monash University's Gippsland Campus in June 2004. (**CD only)

5th Jul 040404 Peter Balakian The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide

Milan Kundera, the great Czech writer said, "The struggle of humankind against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting." Writing in the 1970s, he acknowledges how events get passed over and passed by. "The bloody massacre in Bangladesh quickly covered over the memory of the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, the assassination of Allende drowned out the groans of Bangladesh, the war in the Sinai made people forget Allende, the Cambodian massacre made people forget Sinai, and so on and so forth until ultimately everyone lets everything be forgotten." History is precious. It contains the DNA of peoples. When it is lost or denied, something irreplaceable occurs which diminishes us all.

Peter Balakian, professor of English at Colgate University, is the author of the award-winning "Black Dog of Fate." His latest book is "The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide & America's Response." It was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

28th Jun 040403 Scott Ritter Why are we in Iraq?

The US attack on Iraq is a defining event of this era. Why was it done? What was the haste? We now know from Bush Administration officials Paul O'Neill and Richard Clarke that Iraq was a target before September 11. Neocon ideologues like Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz drove the policy to launch a war on a country that was not threatening the US. The orchestrated attempts to link Iraq with September 11 and Al Qaeda have proven to be 100% false. The weapons it supposedly had which were an imminent threat to the US are non-existent. This is now described as an "intelligence failure." There was no intelligence failure. Bush and the people around him have had Iraq in their gun sights for years.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine intelligence officer and a veteran of the first Gulf War. He served as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq for seven years. As an expert on arms control, he has addressed governments around the world as well as being a frequent guest on radio and TV talk shows. He is the author of "Frontier Justice: WMDs and the Bushwhacking of America."

21st Jun 040402 Zia Mian - The Project for a New American Century

A group of neo-conservatives dominate and drive the ideology of the Bush Administration. Often called neo-cons, many of them were former Democrats who switched teams early in the Reagan era. They use words like robust and muscular to describe their vision of how the US should conduct itself in the world. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, they saw their goal of global hegemony within their grasp. They created the Project for a New American Century. One thing held them back, political power. With the selection of George Bush in 2000, that all changed. They were now in the driver's seat occupying the most powerful positions in government. The neo-cons are the architects of and advocates for first strike attacks on other countries.

Zia (Zee-ya) Mian (Mee-ya) is professor in the program on Science and Global Security at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. A native of Pakistan, he is an expert on international war and peace issues. His work appears in leading scholarly journals and magazines.

14th Jun 040401 Jack Shaheen - Reel Bad Arabs

Hollywood is good at stereotypes. Simple struggles of good versus evil, heroes against villains, can be a safe bet for box office success. Those stereotypes can have strong impact in the real world. Film is a powerful force for shaping our imagination and our perception of reality. For decades, one of Hollywood's favorite villains has been the Arab. Dirty, mean, greedy and stupid but lethal-the Arab film stereotype persists, even as other film clichés fall by the wayside. When was the last time you saw a positive and realistic portrayal of an Arab in a Hollywood film?

Jack Shaheen is the author of "Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People." He's Professor Emeritus of Mass Communications at Southern Illinois University and a former CBS News consultant on the Middle East. He is regarded as one of the foremost authorities on media images of Arabs.

7th Jun 040305** Tariq Ali Resistance and Empire.

What is the US doing in Iraq? What is it the Empire hopes to achieve? No one is really saying. At least no one in the White House. History can teach us many things and when we look at the history of the US in the 20th Century we find emerging patterns that may help us answer questions like those just posed. The building of US bases in places like the Philippines, Turkey and Japan assist in keeping the far flung corners of the realm under control. But will they continue to do so? Tariq Ali argues that as long as the populations of the West maintain their blindness to the occupation of Palestine and allow the continued occupation of Iraq then peace is not an option no matter how many bases they build or how many troops they deploy. He suggests that those of us in the West need to rise up and resist this imperial quest if we truly want to see a peaceful resolution brought about in the Middle East.

Tariq Ali, born in Lahore, Pakistan, is an internationally renowned writer. He is based in London where he is an editor of New Left Review. He's written more than a dozen books on world history and politics. A charismatic speaker, he is in great demand all over the world. In his spare time he is a filmmaker, playwright and novelist. He is the author of The Clash of Fundamentalisms. His latest book is Bush in Babylon. He spoke to a packed house at the University of New South Wales at a fundraiser for the Green Left Weekly in March 2004. (**CD only)

31st May 040202Julian Bond - Civil Rights Under Attack

It's less than 40 years since the end of legal segregation in the United States. But the hard won victories of the 1960's civil rights movement are at risk today. From Jim Crow to John Ashcroft, the struggle continues. The Bush Administration, led by Attorney General Ashcroft, is wielding broad new powers under the Patriot Act that they claim will help fight terrorism. And they continue to challenge affirmative action policies that have helped increase educational and employment opportunities for racial minorities. But civil rights activists are fighting back on both fronts, in defense of the Constitution and in support of programs that help undo the legacy of segregation.

Julian Bond, grandson of a slave, is chair of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He is professor of history at the University of Virginia and is a scholar in residence at American University in Washington, DC.

24th May 040201 Tariq Ali Cracks in the Empire

When the British occupied Iraq after World War I, they were not greeted with celebrations. A revolt began almost immediately. It was brutally suppressed. Shaken by the uprising, Lord Curzon, the Foreign Secretary came up with a plan to run Iraq. He said we must create an "Arab facade ruled and administrated under British guidance and controlled by a native Mohammedan, and as far as possible an Arab staff." This should all, he continued, "be veiled by constitutional fictions." Today, the Iraqi Governing Council is a facsimile of Curzon's Arab facade. Paul Bremer is the unofficial viceroy. The names will no doubt be changed but that is the structure of power. However, sooner or later, facades crumble. There are cracks appearing in the empire.

Tariq Ali, born in Lahore, Pakistan, is an internationally renowned writer. He is based in London where he is an editor of New Left Review. He's written more than a dozen books on world history and politics. A charismatic speaker, he is in great demand all over the world. In his spare time he is a filmmaker, playwright and novelist. He is the author of The Clash of Fundamentalisms. His latest book is Bush in Babylon.

17th May 040302 Noam Chomsky The Doctrine of Change of Course

Great powers have always played cat and mouse games. The game is played to fool the target audience, the domestic population. Rulers cloak their motives behind some exalted principle. So the propaganda machinery churns out words and terms of mass deception. Perennial favorites are liberation, democracy, open markets, the national interest, self-defense and freedom. When they become too hackneyed then new ones are invented like weapons of mass destruction. The US always invades countries in self-defense. As Orwell, says, War is Peace. The US claims that it is different from previous empires, that it is morally superior. But few outside the country believe that. To carry out their agenda, states need an obedient citizenry. Don't ask too many questions. Watch TV, pay your taxes and march to war.

Noam Chomsky, internationally renowned MIT professor, practically invented modern linguistics. In addition to his pioneering work in that field he has been a leading voice for peace and social justice. He is in such demand as a public speaker that he is booked years in advance. And wherever he appears, he draws huge audiences. The Independent calls him, "The conscience of the American people." He is the author of scores of books, his latest is the bestseller Hegemony or Survival.

10th May 040301 Ahmed Rashid Afghanistan and Pakistan: Countries in Crisis

Afghanistan and Pakistan, neighboring states, are both in a precarious situation. In Afghanistan, the leader is Hamid Karzai and in Pakistan it's Pervez Musharraf. They face huge internal problems. Both have been targeted for assassination. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are regrouping. Attacks are on the increase. Drug trafficking, largely curbed during Taliban rule, is way up. Warlords, who operate fiefdoms, challenge Karzai for power. And in Pakistan, Islamic parties have won electoral victories in two of that country's four provinces. Its top scientist and national hero Abdul Qadeer Khan has admitted to selling nuclear secrets to other countries. Khan was immediately granted amnesty. Critics say a deal was struck so that the Pakistan military would not be implicated.

Ahmed Rashid has been described as "the most influential journalist in the world." He's been a correspondent based in Lahore covering Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia for more than 20 years. He writes for the London Daily Telegraph, the Far Eastern Economic Review and The Wall Street Journal. His book Taliban was an international best seller. His most recent book is Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia.

3rd May 040304 Michael Parenti - The Arrogance of Empire

The ancient Greeks wrote often about hubris, arrogance, as a fatal flaw. It brought down the mightiest of kings and kingdoms. Today, US armadas rule the seas and its jets and satellites control the skies. Its power is unchallenged. However, as Buddhism teaches, no condition is permanent. The seeds of the America's eclipse are being sown now. It can be heard in voices like Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute. He is a frequent guest on all the talk shows. Ledeen boasted, "Every ten years or so, the US needs to pick up some small, crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business." He sounds like Tony Soprano, yet these types of views find a receptive audience in Washington.

Michael Parenti is one of this country's foremost independent political analysts. He has taught at major colleges and universities in the US and abroad. He is the author of numerous books including "Against Empire" and 'The Terrorism Trap." His latest is the highly acclaimed "The Assassination of Julius Caesar."

26th Apr 040204 Molly Ivins - Bushwacked

Special interests? Crony Capitalism? No way! Not in the Bush White House. You might consider the following developments. There have been massive tax cuts for the already super wealthy. Big drug companies and the HMOs frame health policy. Oil and gas companies design energy policy. Corporations close to Bush and Cheney get lucrative Iraq contracts. Where will all this lead? Deficits and debt loom far into the future. Where is the money going to come from to cover the impending retirement of millions of baby boomers? Their social security, pension and health care benefits are at risk.

Molly Ivins is a keen and trenchant observer of the American political scene. Her razor sharp wit and cogent writing have generated legions of fans. Based in Austin, her nationally syndicated column appears in more than three hundred newspapers. Her book Shrub: the Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush was a bestseller, as is her 2003 book, Bushwhacked.

22nd Apr 031404 Andre Schiffrin - The Business of Books

Many bemoan the quality of much of the offerings of TV, print & radio. Well then, pick up a book and be freed from the tyranny of the homogenized mass media. Hold on, not so fast. We may still assume that books are the stronghold of intellectual and political independence, but the same pressures are guiding publishing as other media. Many publishing houses are owned by the corporate giants that bring us reality TV, soundbite news and lowest common denominator entertainment. Is money the only driving force in the US today?

Andre Schiffrin has been in the publishing business for nearly 50 years, serving as managing director at Pantheon for 30. He's now director of The New Press, a independent publishing firm dedicated to the historical tenets of publishing. His recent book is The Business of Books.

19th Apr 040203 Naomi Klein - Economic Warfare: From Argentina to Iraq

Warfare does not only occur on battlefields. There's another kind that is waged in corporate boardrooms and in the suites of the IMF and World Bank. Its lethality and casualties are different from conventional warfare. Workers lose their jobs or are forced to work for lower wages. Public services are rolled back and cut. Hard won benefits are eliminated. From Argentina to Iraq a handful of very rich warriors stand atop most of the world's population. Bombed out economies are auctioned off to the highest and best-connected bidder. Argentina was once the poster boy of neoliberalism's new economic order. Today it is devastated. And invaded and occupied Iraq? The conservative The Economist calls it "a capitalist dream."

Naomi Klein of Canada is an award-winning journalist. Her articles appear in major newspapers and magazines all over the world. She travels extensively tracking anti-corporate activism. Her book on globalisation and marketing, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, was an international bestseller. She recently published Fences and Windows. She has also produced a documentary on the crisis in Argentina.

15th Apr 031503** Helena Norberg-Hodge The Economy or Your Life

For many, the rise of the global economy marks the final fulfilment of the great dream of a 'Global Village'. Almost everywhere you travel today you will find multi-lane highways, concrete cities and a cultural landscape featuring gray business suits, fast-food chains, Hollywood films and cellular phones. In the remotest corners of the planet, Barbie, Madonna and the Marlboro Man are familiar icons. From Cleveland to Cairo to Caracas, Baywatch is entertainment and CNN news. The world, we are told, is being united by virtue of the fact that everyone will soon be able to indulge their innate human desire for a Westernised, urbanised consumer lifestyle. West is best, and joining the bandwagon brings closer a harmonious union of peaceable, rational, democratic consumers 'like us'. This worldview assumes that it was the chaotic diversity of cultures, values and beliefs, that lay behind the conflicts of the past: that as these differences are removed, so the differences between us will be resolved. As a result, villages, rural communities and their cultural traditions around the world are being destroyed on an unprecedented scale under the impact of globalising market forces. Communities that have sustained themselves for hundreds of years are simply disintegrating. The spread of the consumer culture seems unstoppable.

Helena Norberg-Hodge is an internationally acclaimed author, peace activist and the founder of the International Society for Ecology and Culture. She has been at the forefront of the struggle in Tibet to protect the culture and society from the effects of modernisation. She is the winner of the 1986 Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Price and the author of "Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh," and "From the Ground Up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture" with Peter Goering. Her latest book is Bringing the Food Economy Home with Todd Merrifield and Steven Gorelick. Ms. Norberg-Hodge spoke in Byron Bay in November 2003. (**CD only)

12th Apr 040303** Yvonne Ridley - Media, Lies and War

Truth, it has been said, is always the first casualty of war. However, Yvonne Ridley argues that in the most recent war in the Middle East, truth was in intensive care long before the first shots were fired or the first bombs dropped. When it comes to fighting war, the US is the leader in co-opted and cooperative media. The lessons learnt from the Vietnam war have ensured that if the media want to get good copy in their coverage other wars they either play the game the administration's way or risk being exposed to attack. We will never know the truth about how embedded the media was in the latest Imperial war.

Yvonne Ridley has been a journalist for almost 30 years. She has worked for the News of the World, the Daily Mirror, The Sunday Times, The Observer and The Independent. In September 2001 she was captured by the Taliban for illegally entering Afghanistan. Held for ten days she was released unharmed and expelled from the country. However, she was to discover that Western intelligence agencies were hoping she would be killed in order to bolster their arguments for their intended war in that country. Yvonne Ridley wrote of her experience in In the Hands of the Taliban. Ms. Ridley now works as an independent, un-embedded journalist. She recently published Ticket to Paradise. She spoke at the Berwick Campus of Monash University on March 12th 2004. (**CD only)

8th Apr 031206** Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter Dare to Dream

Most of us were introduced to the story of the 'Hurricane' via the Bob Dylan song of the same name. Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter spent almost 20 years in prison, wrongfully jailed for the murder of a barman and two patrons in a New Jersey Bar in 1966. His name was immortanlised in the Dylan song and the 1999 movie staring Denzel Washington. Carter was first convicted in 1966 and then again in a retrial in 1976. A third trial in 1985, instigated by three Canadian civil rights activists, led to the overturning of his earlier convictions. The judge in that trial concluded that Carter's convictions had been "predicated upon an appeal to racism rather than reason, and concealment rather than disclosure".

Since his release in 1985 'Hurricane' Carter has dedicated himself to supporting projects that overturn wrongful convictions. In October 2003 Griffith University in Queensland bestowed on the former convict the honorary degree of Doctor of the University. 'Hurricane' was nominated for the degree by the University's "Innocence Project". This project is "committed to freeing innocent persons who have been wrongfully convicted."

"Hurricane' Carter's address was recorded by Brisbane Indigenous station 4AAA-FM at a gala fundraising dinner to celebrate the awarding of his degree. (**CD only)

5th Apr 040105 Chandra Muzaffar - Empire, Globalization & Religion

The US has deeply penetrated the Islamic world. And it's not only Angelina Jolie movies, Britney Spears videos, McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken. American military bases and many thousands of troops straddle Muslim countries from Central Asia to the Middle East. And it's no coincidence. Most of the world's oil is in these regions. It is oil and the control of oil that fuels the US drive for global hegemony. The US presence, sometimes seen as intrusive and even disrespectful, has unsettled many Muslims. It has ignited resentment and many conflicting currents on important issues such as culture and religion.

Chandra Muzaffar is one of Malaysia's most prominent human rights activists. He is president of the International Movement for a Just World. He is the author of many books including "Human Rights & the New World Order" and "Muslims, Dialogue, Terror."

1st Apr 031205** Nicola Bullard Behind the Scenes of the WTO

Every day we put our trust in people we don't know and haven't met. Unless we work in the industries we probably don't know the people who deliver the groceries to our supermarkets or the people who ensure our bank accounts are accurate. We have even less chance of knowing the people who contrive and push through international trade deals that affect everything from the price of petrol to the cost of milk and eggs. The unseen people whose names we will probably never know include those who negotiate the deals our political leaders sign off on at the World Trade Organisation the WTO. What is it they do during these meetings in exotic locations? What is a 'round' of trade talks? How do they secure agreements for their deals? Who wins and who loses when the developed 'Northern' nations gang up on the Global South?

Nicola Bullard works with Focus on the Global South an organisation based in Thailand that, according to it's website "aims to consciously and consistently articulate, link and develop greater coherence between local community-based and national, regional and global paradigms of change. Focus on the Global South strives to create a distinct and cogent link between development at the grassroots and the "macro" levels." Nicola Bullard has written extensively on the activities of the WTO, the IMF and international trade. Ms. Bullard was a keynote speaker at the 2003 Sydney Social Forum held in October 2003. (**CD only)

29th Mar 040104 Medea Benjamin - From Afghanistan to Iraq: The Bush Wars

In 2001, George W. Bush promised liberation and a better life for people in Afghanistan. In 2003, he pledged the same thing to the people of Iraq. It's 2004 and both nations struggle with daily violence, poverty, extremely high unemployment rates, and a lack of basic health and safety infrastructure. The aftermath of these Bush wars is marked by more suffering and by many unfilled promises. But promises of lucrative rebuilding contracts are a reality for a handful of US-based corporations that have close ties to the White House. The Bush doctrine of preemptive war sits front and center as the hammer of US foreign policy.

Medea Benjamin is co-founder of Global Exchange, an international human rights group based in San Francisco. She's co-founder of Code Pink: Women for Peace and Justice. She's traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan several times with international peace delegations.

25th Mar 031303 Richard Falk - American Imperialism in the Middle East

Just a few years ago to use the word imperialism to describe the U.S. would have automatically branded you as a member of the fringe left. Now the term is openly embraced. The New York Times Magazine lead said it all: "American Imperialism: Get Used to It." The pundits assure us, we're different from previous empires. We're smarter. We'll do things better. After all, we're Americans. The US has occupation armies in Afghanistan and Iraq. A string of bases and garrisons ring the Middle East. The price of empire comes high. There is the cost in lives, treasure and moral degradation.

Richard Falk is professor emeritus of international law at Princeton. He is currently visiting professor at UC/Santa Barbara. He is the recipient of the UNESCO Peace Education Prize. He's the author of more than twenty books. His latest are The Great Terror War and Unlocking the Middle East.

22nd Mar 040103 Ray McGovern Iraq: A Failure of Intelligence

When is a lie a lie? What if the Bush Administration deliberately lied about the reasons to attack Iraq? What if intelligence was "cooked"? We know for certain that documents were forged and that outdated information was plagiarized off the Internet and then presented as evidence. Remember Colin Powell's address to the UN before the war? He proudly announced "My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources....What we are giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence." Wow. Look at Powell's text now. The only things you can verify are some definite and indefinite articles and a few pronouns, prepositions and verbs. Rarely in the long history of government lying has there been such a flagrant example of mendacity and prevarication. The consequences? Thousands are dead. And the US military is in Iraq for years to come.

Ray McGovern, a former Army intelligence officer, is a 27-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency. He has been outspoken in his opposition to the manipulation of intelligence by the Bush Administration. He helped form VIPS, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. He is co-director of the Servant Leadership School, an inner-city ministry in Washington, DC.

18th Mar 031202 Kurt Vonnegut - In Conversation

Kurt Vonnegut has become a cultural icon. His observation of the destructiveness and dehumanization of the 20th century, distilled by his rich imagination and quirky view of events and their time frames, make for delightful reading and listening experiences. His irreverence is palpable, as is his disdain for Bush and the current administration. Asked by a journalist for an idea for a really scary reality TV show, Vonnegut responded, "C Students From Yale, it would stand your hair on end." In his book Hocus Pocus, published in 1990, he wrote, "Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the Universe."

Kurt Vonnegut was an infantryman in WW2 and was captured during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. He was then taken to a POW camp in Dresden in time to experience the horrific Allied firebombing of the city from the relative safety of an underground meat locker. The destruction wrought was greater than that of Nagasaki. He is now a self-described "fourth-generation German-American living in easy circumstances." He has written over 20 books and ranks among America's most widely read and best loved authors.

15th Mar 040102 Pervez Hoodbhoy - Pakistani Bombshells

For more than half of its existence, since its formation in 1947, Pakistan has been ruled by the military. A poet lamented, "Now each day is fair and balmy, Everywhere you look: the army." The country hasn't done much better with civilian leaders. Almost all of them have been notoriously corrupt. Today, another general, Pervez Musharraf is at the helm. He seized power in a 1999 coup. A former supporter of the Taliban, he quickly switched sides after September 11. Musharraf is now a valued US ally. But the situation inside Pakistan is fraught with instability. The majority of Pakistanis are illiterate and live in poverty. Islamic fundamentalism is strong. Matters are further imperiled by an ongoing conflict with India over disputed Kashmir. The fuse to potential catastrophe is short. Both countries have nuclear weapons pointed at each other.

Pervez Hoodbhoy is professor of physics at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad. He writes and lectures on South Asian issues. He appears on the BBC, NPR and Nightline. He is a frequent visitor to the US where he also gives talks as he did on this occasion at the prestigious Chautauqua lecture series in Upstate New York.

11th Mar 031402 Benjamin Barber - Jihad vs. McWorld

The Bush administration's tired refrain to explain terrorist acts against the US continues to be that they hate us for our freedoms. Invasion and occupation of rogue nations will lead them out of their darkness and bring them US-style democracy. But will that truly put an end to terrorism or create a cycle that only begets more terrorist acts? The US seems to be following Machiavellian principle in dealing with our global world, in that "It is better to be feared than loved, more prudent to be cruel than compassionate." But as Milton said,
"Where no hope is left, is left no fear."

Benjamin Barber is a pre-eminent political theorist. He has an endowed professorship at the University of Maryland and is a principal of The Democracy Collaborative. His book, Jihad vs. McWorld, was a bestseller. His most recent book is Fear's Empire.

8th Mar 040101** Andrew Wilkie Iraq: Truth and its Casualties

Samuel Johnson, writing in 'The Idler' in 1758, observes that, "Among the calamities of war may be jointly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages." In 1918, US Senator Hiram Johnson paraphrased this by stating, in opposition to the US becoming involved in the War in Europe, "The first casualty when war comes is truth." 2003 will be remembered as a turning point in International Relations and the use of falsehoods, lies and deception as the ruling regimes in the United States, England and Australia systematically twisted or ignored the truth in their quest for their illegal, imperial war in Iraq. Within the organisations that governments were relying on for intelligence and support, unease was growing as their political masters played fast and loose with the 'truth'. By the 11th March 2003, Andrew Wilkie, who worked in the Office of National Assessments the ONA - had had enough. He resigned and went public to announce his disgust at the way his government was ignoring the evidence and advice his agency had given them against going to war.

Andrew Wilkie graduated from Duntroon Military Acadamy and spent almost 20 years in the Infantry, rising through the ranks to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel before taking up a position at the ONA as a civilian. Since resigning from the ONA in March 2003 Andrew Wilkie has been travelling non stop speaking at parliamentary inquiries here and overseas, addressing public events and appearing on radio and TV. He has attempted to lift the veil on the events leading up to the war on Iraq and he is able to provide a first hand account of the pressure the intelligence community was under to deliver only advice that suited the government's position. He is also able to talk of the personal cost of being an insider who speaks the truth and challenges the orthodox line. Andrew Wilkie Spoke at the Macquarie University's Centre for Middle Eastern Studies in Sydney in November 2003. (**CD only)

4th Mar 031401 Chip Berlet - Mobilizing Resentment

The rise of right-wing populism is not an overnight success story. It didn't happen because millions of people suddenly started listening to Rush Limbaugh. And the current widespread influence of right-wing groups is not unique to this period in American history. The roots are deep and the historical trends point the way to where we are today: in a time when rightwing values have a firm grip on many mainstream political and culturalinstitutions. The strategies used by right-wing leaders to achieve thissuccess are worth studying by any grassroots organizer.

Chip Berlet studies right-wing movements as Senior Research Analyst at Political Research Associates (www.publiceye.org). He's written about the right wing for many national publications over the past two decades. With co-author Matthew Lyons, he wrote the book Right Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort (Guilford Press, 2000).

1st Mar 031504** Humphrey McQueen - Can Capitalism Collapse

Capitalism is a racket of enormous proportions. The global dealmakers and multinational corporate captains are members of the most exclusive club on earth. They use political institutions as nothing more that the shop fronts to legitimate the global exploitation and plunder of natural and human resources. Divisions between the developed global North and the underdeveloped global South are presented as the inevitable outcome of the capitalist imperative. Unemployment, underemployment, poverty and suffering in the Western nations are presented as personal failures while 'success', wealth and high office are presented as the result of personal effort. All the while unequal power relations are obscured by a language designed to play down the ruthless nature of the capitalist quest. The obsfucation of the power of capital has worked so well that capitalism is us. It is both wholly outside us and wholly inside us. Only when we are prepared to develop a new relationship to the historically created needs and desires which capitalism has created within us will we be able to lay the foundation of new just and equitable society for the future.

Humphrey McQueen is Australia's foremost dissident historian. For over 30 years he has been interpreting Australian society from a Marxian perspective. From his first ground breaking book A New Britannia to The Essence of Capitalism, McQueen has methodically and thoroughly examined the way capitalism has shaped the Australian consciousness. Humphrey McQueen spoke at the Socialist Ideas Conference held in Trades Hall, Melbourne in November 2003. (**CD only)

23rd Feb 031501** Simon Cooper - Monoculture of Freedom

How is it that at a time when the war on terror, so we are told, is being fought to return our societies to a state of freedom, we're under siege from the so called 'terrorists'? We're told these shadowy figures are intent on taking away from us the freedoms we now enjoy but they always seem to be one step ahead of our law enforcement agencies. "They must be found and eliminated" is the message our government tells us ad nauseam. Whether it's the threat of a few people in leaky boats off our Northern Coast line or chemical weapons, it matters little, we are told, if we are to fight the good fight of freedom, we must be on the lookout all the time. Surveillance is the name of the game and, inevitably, there will be some winners and some losers as 'mistakes' add up to lives lost and families shattered. But what are the freedoms we are fighting to preserve? Where will they be if we cede more of our basic human rights to governments to arrest, detain and charge without the presence of lawyers and outside the jurisdiction of the courts? What does it mean for us to defend freedom, in the wake of 9-11?

Dr Simon Cooper is a lecturer in Communications Studies at Monash University and is the editor of Arena Journal, one Australia's leading critical journals. He spoke at the Ninde Dana Quaranook centre in Morwell in October 2003. (**CD only)

16th Feb 031502** Hanan Ashrawi Peace in the Middle East: A Global Challenge and a Human Imperative

Media reporting on the conflict between the Israeli government and Palestinian people is often framed as a bilateral issue. The warring nations have millennia old grievances we are told and that is the reason for mounting death toll and human suffering. Yet there is much more to this conflict that often goes un-commented on or is under-reported as matter of course. While zealots on both sides fuel the tempers and passions of their respective peoples, the most powerful nations on earth either turn a blind eye or vacillate in the their support for one side or the other, depending on their latest domestic public opinion polls. The moderate voices on both sides are drowned out by the screams of the fanatics in Jerusalem, Washington, London and Canberra.

Hanan Ashrawi has been one of the moderate voices who has argued for a peaceful solution to break the ongoing cycle of violence. Since departing from the Palestinian Authority in the early 1990s' Hanan Ashrawi has sought out and worked with both Palestinian and Israeli moderates on alternatives to the various flawed and destructive "peace plans" that have been put forward. Dr. Ashrawi visited Australia in November 2003 to receive the 2003 Sydney Peace Prize. Her visit sparked heated debate and unleashed what she described as the most vitriolic and personal attack by the Zionist lobby she has ever encountered. The Sydney Peace Prize committee was attacked in the media and the Mayor of Sydney refused to present the award. Nonetheless, the award ceremony and associated events went ahead to the acclamation of all those who seek peace and justice in the Middle East. Hanan Ashrawi spoke at the University of Sydney on November the 5th on the eve of receiving her award. (**CD only)

9th Feb 031403 Tariq Ali - Bush in Babylon

Babylon, one of great centers of the ancient world, is in present-day Iraq. The US now rules Babylon and beyond. Its invasion of Iraq is old wine in new bottles. It is an imperial power conquering a weaker state using sanctimonious rhetoric, fear mongering and outright mendacities. The Bush regime launched an aggressive war. There have been few more flagrant examples of lawlessness in recent history. And like empires of old the new imperialists pose as peacemakers. "We want peace. We are a peaceful people," proclaims the Commander-in-Chief. The US is now stuck in Babylon. The war and occupation of course have produced some winners. Can anyone say Halliburton or Bechtel?

Tariq (Tah-rick) Ali, born in Lahore, Pakistan, is an internationally renowned writer. He is based in London where he is an editor of New Left Review. He's written more than a dozen books on world history and politics. A charismatic speaker, he is in great demand all over the world. In his spare time he is a filmmaker, playwright and novelist. He is the author of The Clash of Fundamentalisms. His latest book is Bush in Babylon.

2nd Feb 031402 Benjamin Barber - Jihad vs. McWorld

The Bush administration's tired refrain to explain terrorist acts against the US continues to be that they hate us for our freedoms. Invasion and occupation of rogue nations will lead them out of their darkness and bring them US-style democracy. But will that truly put an end to terrorism or create a cycle that only begets more terrorist acts? The US seems to be following Machiavellian principle in dealing with our global world, in that, "It is better to be feared than loved, more prudent to be cruel than compassionate." But as Milton said, "Where no hope is left, is left no fear."

Benjamin Barber is a pre-eminent political theorist. He has an endowed professorship at the University of Maryland and is a principal of The Democracy Collaborative. His book, Jihad vs. McWorld, was a bestseller. His most recent book is Fear's Empire.

26th Jan 031204 Vandana Shiva - Beyond Corporate Globalisation: Towards Earth Democracy The wonders of modern science have lifted our horizons and provided many advances for humankind. Medical science has assisted in overcoming once deadly diseases and advances in electronics have allowed the proliferation of communications technologies. Yet alongside these developments has been the increasing tendency of corporations to dominate the ways in which these technologies can be deployed. In particular are the developments in seed and gene technology which threaten to undermine the livelihood of farmers while also promising to feed the hungry. What future for the planet in a corporate dominated and restricted world where the very patents to life are owned by a few multinationals?

Dr. Vandana Shiva, physicist, feminist, philosopher of science, writer and science policy advocate, is founder and Director of The Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy, a movement for biodiversity conservation and farmers' rights. She serves as an ecology advisor to organisations including the Third World Network and the Asia Pacific People's Environment Network. In 1993 she was the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, commonly known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize" for her pioneering insights into the social and environmental costs of the dominant development process, and her ability to work with and for local people and communities. A contributing editor to the People-Centered Development Forum, she has also authored a number of books, including Water Wars, Patents, Myths and Reality and Tomorrow's Biodiversity. Each year, the Centre for Human Aspects of Science and Technology (CHAST) at the University of Sydney awards the prestigious Templeton Lecture. The 2003 awardee was Dr. Vandana Shiva. Dr. Shiva delivered the Templeton address on Monday 20th October, 2003.

19th Jan 031104 Muhammed Aziz Shukri - A Syrian View of the Middle East Syria is a millennia old civilisation with great traditions in music, poetry, architecture and art. Damascus, its capital, is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world. Syria sided with the US in the 1990 war on Iraq. Yet Americans know virtually nothing about the country. When they do hear something in the media about Syria, it is usually negative and threatening. Recently, the Bush administration issued charges reminiscent of those lodged against Iraq, claiming that Syria represents a dual threat to international security by supporting terrorism and trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Is this the beginning of a campaign to ready the public for making Syria the next target of a US attack?

Muhammed Aziz Shukri has been professor of international law at Damascus University since 1964. He has represented his country at several international conferences over the years and has 21 publications, his most recent in English being International Terrorism: A Legal Critique. Professor Shukri was interviewed in Damascus, Syria, by Joel Edelstein.

12th Jan 031003 Ahmed Rashid - Jihad The 19th century American satirist, Ambrose Bierce, observed that Americans learn geography by where their troops are at war in the world. Get out your maps and locate the five republics of Central Asia. Since the US war on Afghanistan, the area has gained new prominence. Three of these countries border Afghanistan. The US has increased its military presence with bases throughout the region. Central Asia has extensive, untapped oil and natural gas resources that the US covets. US troops were initially welcomed into the Muslim dominated area, but now are seen as mere props for tyrannical regimes. Militant Islam is on the rise, but is US foreign policy or are repressive rulers to blame?

Ahmed Rashid is eminently qualified to analyse Central Asia. He has been described as "the most influential journalist in the world" based on his reporting from the region. He's been a correspondent based in Lahore covering Afghanistan, Pakistan and the five Central Asian republics for more than 20 years. He writes for the London Daily Telegraph, the Far Eastern Economic Review and The Wall Street Journal. His books Taliban and Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia are international best sellers.

5th Jan 030904 Noam Chomsky - Iraq: A Test Case of Imperial Violence

The US attack on Iraq demonstrates once again that propaganda can be an effective tool for war mobilisation. The Nazis understood this very well. Hitler said, "The broad mass of a nation will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one." Then he added, "By shrewd and constant application of propaganda, heaven can be presented to the people as hell and vice versa, the wretchedest existence as paradise." The Bush Administration, with its stage managed photo-ops and ever shifting spiral of assertions and allegations, was able to convince a large number of Americans that Iraq was responsible for September 11, had ties with al-Qaeda and posed an imminent threat to the US None of these claims, or the many others that cascaded from Washington, was based on evidence. Yet many Americans, egged on by the media, went along. Most of the rest of the world, in stark contrast, was not at all convinced by the Bush PR campaign.

Noam Chomsky is one of the foremost intellectual figures of this era. A renowned professor at MIT for more than four decades, he has been honoured with numerous awards and degrees. He was one of the first to speak out against the Vietnam War and is known the world over for his trenchant critiques of US foreign policy and the media. For many he is a symbol of resistance to tyranny and the depredations of private and state power. Few people are more astute in decoding the realities of globalisation. He was named by Utne Reader as one of the top 100 visionaries in the world. Utne says, "Chomsky knows who's powerful, who's abusing their power, and what they and we should do about it. Over the years he's managed to provoke left and right through his relentless critiques of US foreign policy and culture." The New Statesman calls him, "the conscience of the American people." Rolling Stone magazine says, "Chomsky has been unrelenting in his attacks on the American hierarchy ... he is up there with Thoreau and Emerson in the literature of rebellion." A recent survey ranked Prof. Chomsky as the most cited living author. He is in such demand as a public speaker that he is booked years in advance, and everywhere he goes he draws overflow audiences. He is the author of scores of books, including Class Warfare, Powers and Prospects, The Common Good, The New Military Humanism and Propaganda and the Public Mind. He is the subject of an award-winning documentary film entitled Manufacturing Consent.

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