Jan 29 2010

Weekly Digest – 01/29/10

Weekly Digest | Published 29 Jan 2010, 2:54 pm | Comments Off on Weekly Digest – 01/29/10 -

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Our weekly edition is a nationally syndicated one-hour digest of the best of our daily coverage.

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This week on Uprising:

* President Fails to Deliver in First State of the Union
* Black Agenda Report on Indicting Bush, Cheney, and Rice
* Violence Reignites in Iraq After “Chemical Ali’s” Execution
* Empire Notes on “Haiti’s Curse”
* Rest in Peace, Howard Zinn

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President Fails to Deliver in First State of the Union

sotuIn his more than an hour-long, first State of the Union address, President Barack Obama outlined his agenda for the future by contextualizing his first year in office. Cognizant of declining approval numbers just one year after taking office by overwhelming defeating his Republican opponent in the presidential election, Obama stated, “I campaigned on the promise of change – change we can believe in, the slogan went. And right now, I know there are many Americans who aren’t sure if they still believe we can change – or at least, that I can deliver.” A major point the President went on to address in his speech was the legislative struggle over health insurance reform. Obama acknowledged his own mistakes in presenting the issue to the public but reiterated the goals sought for reform such as the end of denying care on the basis of a pre-existing condition. On the economy, the President claimed to have hated the bank bailout as much as anyone else comparing it to a root canal while claiming it had been necessary to stave off a depression. He then followed that with a call to create jobs and invest in clean energy as a means to achieve employment gains. In addressing the deficit, the President drew lukewarm applause and stunted reactions from members of his own party when he spoke of a spending freeze that would only leave few aspects of government spending, like the military budget, unscathed while placing everything else on the potential chopping block. President Obama then rounded out the rest of his first State of the Union address by highlighting numerous other issues such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, education, immigration, the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the military, and the recent Supreme Court decision on corporations and election financing.

GUESTS: Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare, Dominique Apollon, Research Director at the Applied Research Center. He is a frequent commentator on race and politics in the news

Black Agenda Report on Indicting Bush, Cheney, and Rice

Glen FordGlen Ford is a writer and radio commentator and the Executive Editor of The Black Agenda Report. This week’s commentary is on Indicting Bush, Cheney, and Rice.

Visit www.blackagendareport.com for more information.

Violence Reignites in Iraq After “Chemical Ali’s” Execution

iraqSuicide bombers in Iraq’s capital killed dozens this week in a wave of attacks in response to the hanging of General Ali Hassan al-Majeed, also known as “Chemical Ali.” The General was executed for ordering poison gas attacks on Iraqi Kurds in 1988. Insurgents on Monday conducted a triple bombing on three of Baghdad’s landmark hotels catering to foreigners and media. Tuesday’s bombings targeted a Ministry of Interior forensics office. While the bombings may be a symbolic response to Gen. Majeed’s hanging, the practical effect could include destabilizing the government ahead of elections this March. The 2007 U.S. troop “surge” initially succeeded at co-opting Sunni rage at the foreign fighters of Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). However, Gen. Raymond Odierno, the top U.S. general in Iraq, said that AQI leaders “are increasingly well-educated and increasingly Iraqi.” The attacks are directly aimed at weakening support for government and Iraqi security forces just as U.S. Marines are preparing for a rapid withdrawal from Iraq. Odierno also announced that the Army has begun training for joint U.S.-Kurdish-Iraqi Security Force patrols for the past three weeks. Even though the US military is ostensibly winding down the occupation, these patrols could put the troops back into full scale operations in urban areas.

GUEST: Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan, prolific writer and analyst, author of several books including “Engaging the Muslim World”

Read Juan Cole’s blog Informed Comment at www.juancole.com.

Empire Notes on “Haiti’s Curse”

Empire NotesEmpire Notes are weekly commentaries filed by author and analyst Rahul Mahajan. Today’s commentary is called “Haiti’s Curse.”

GUEST: Rahul Mahajan, author of Full Spectrum Dominance and The New Crusade.

Visit www.empirenotes.org for more information.

Rest in Peace Howard Zinn

howard zinnThe legendary historian, activist, and writer Howard Zinn passed away on Wednesday at the age of 87. He died of a heart attack while traveling through Southern California. The author of the best-selling A People’s History of the United States, which sold over a million copies, influenced countless numbers of people, including myself. Howard Zinn was a bombardier in World War II, an experience that forever changed his opinion of war. Howard Zinn wrote books, taught at universities, marched and protested in the civil rights movement, the anti-Vietnam war movement, and today’s antiwar movements. He was a mentor, a role-model, and a personal hero to many of us. Reading A People’s History of the United States changed my life. I had no idea, even after having taken history courses in college, that the United States had such a rich history of dissent, of people fighting power, until I read Zinn’s book. When I first moved to Southern California, I went to see Zinn speak at a local college – it was my first time seeing him in person and I didn’t know then that some day I would have the privilege of meeting him one on one, and interviewing him on public radio. Howard was the kind of guy you could just call on the phone and he would answer. Hold on, he’d say, let me just check my schedule. Sure, I can do an interview. Today all of us who were touched by Howard Zinn, grieve his loss.

The last time I had the honor of interviewing Howard was on Uprising, a couple of months before the 2008 Presidential election.

Sonali’s Subversive Thought for the Day

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” — Howard Zinn

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