This week Eric sits down with journalist Abby Martin to discuss the situation in Venezuela, and her recent trip to the country. Eric and Abby begin by examining the “protests” on the streets of Caracas as Abby witnessed first-hand: the violence of the guarimbas, the class character of the protests and protesters, the attitudes of Chavistas, the economic and psychological war against the people of Venezuela, and much more. From there, Eric and Abby touch on everything from the role of organized crime and Colombian paramilitaries to the US-sponsored subversion of the country. The second half of the show focuses on a variety of topics including the recently elected constituent assembly, the obstructionism of the right wing opposition in the National Assembly, the means of defending Chavismo and the Bolivarian Revolution, and so much more. Don’t miss this week’s CounterPunch Radio!
**Note: This episode was recorded 10 days before the events in Charlottesville**
This week Eric sits down with author Paul Street to discuss his recent article in CounterPunch entitled “Unity with the Right? A Deplorable Idea” (Aug. 4, 2017). The conversation touches on renewed calls for building alliances with the far right, and interrogates whether such a strategy is desirable, or even possible. Eric and Paul discuss the current state of the Left, and examine why anyone would think unity with the far right would be anything other than self-immolation. From the importance of armed self-defense, to the history of the collapse of the Left in the last 50 years, this wide-ranging conversation touches on some of the key questions facing socialists, anarchists, and progressives in the Age of Trump. And, considering this was recorded before the violence in Charlottesville, listeners might get a unique perspective from this discussion. Don’t miss it!
This week Eric sits down with Dr. Francisco Dominguez, national secretary of the UK-based Venezuela Solidarity Campaign to discuss the latest from the Bolivarian Republic as it faces perhaps the worst crisis since Hugo Chavez rose to power at the end of the last century. Eric and Francisco begin with a discussion about the global political situation, and the imperialist imperatives of the United States in Venezuela, and Latin America. They discuss everything from global oil prices to the nature of the economic war being perpetrated against the people of Venezuela, from corporate media propaganda to the methods of destabilization and manufactured chaos. The second half of the conversation focuses on the protests, their class nature, and the disinformation being spread by corporate media about the situation on the streets. Eric and Francisco also touch on the role of the international Left, and some of the burning questions about solidarity, critique, and revolutionary movement-building. All this and much much more in this week’s CounterPunch Radio!
Music: Rebel Diaz – “Work Like Chavez”
This week Eric sits down with political scientist and author Anthony DiMaggio to discuss Trump’s Russia problems, the real significance of the latest revelations, and what they mean for the future of the Trump administration. Eric and Anthony explore whether anyone should care about the Trump Jr.-Russian lawyer meeting, how to talk about Trump-Russia without legitimizing the Democratic Party and liberal establishment narrative, and what a post-Trump future could look like. The second half of the show features an in-depth exploration of the social phenomenon of Trumpism, and what the rise of the far right both in the US and internationally, means for the future of the Left, and of society. All this and so much more in this week’s CounterPunch Radio.
Music: GospelbeacH – “Strange Days”
This week Eric welcomes to the show author Ellen Brown to discuss the movement for public banking, and why a transformation of the US banking system is so necessary. The conversation begins with a discussion of public banking: What is it? Why is it important? What interests are threatened by it? From there, Eric and Ellen explore a wide variety of topics, from the Bank of North Daktoa to the roots of the monetary debates of the late 19th Century and their impact on our financial system today. In the second half of the show, Eric and Ellen discuss some exciting developments in the public banking movement, including endorsements from progressive leaders and calls for states like New Jersey and California to form public banks. Ellen outlines some short-, medium-, and long-term goals for the public banking movement, and explains how and why they’re so attainable. These and many other subjects covered in this week’s CounterPunch Radio.
Music: The Flying Lizards – “Money (That’s What I Want)”
This week Eric returns with guest, political commentator and analyst Dan Glazebrook discussing the recent elections in the UK, the triumph of Corbyn and what it means for the future of British politics, and his recent article in CounterPunch Magazine examining the phenomenon of 21st Century fascism. The conversation begins with Eric and Dan discussing the recent UK election results and what Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s stunning showing at the polls means for the future of the Left and the Right in Britain. Eric and Dan discuss what led to Corbyn and Labour’s victory, and where this development fits into the broader international political context.
The second half of the show sees Eric and Dan closely examine the nature of neo-fascism in Europe and the US: What are its features? Is it necessarily anti-democratic? What role are outside forces playing in promoting it? The discussion shifts to Russia and its support for the far right in Europe, with Russian media as a potent platform for disseminating reactionary and fascist politics. Finally, Eric and Dan touch on Russia, China, and the BRICS and whether this is a legitimate coalition, or merely a public relations and marketing creation. All this and so much more on this week’s CounterPunch Radio!
Music: Linton Kwesi Johnson – “Fite Dem Back”
This week Eric chats with Brazil-based journalist Mike Fox about the ongoing protests against the right wing government, the volatile politics of the country, Brazil’s significance to the region, and much more. The conversation begins with an in-depth analysis of the recent scandals that continue to plague the Temer government, and what this means in the near- and long-term. Eric and Mike discuss the manufactured nature of the protests against the left wing government of Dilma Rousseff, and the role of big capital both in Brazil and the US in bankrolling them. The second half of the show highlights the broader implications for Latin America, and places Brazil in its proper regional and international context. From urban and rural protests to the role of Wall Street, from endemic corruption to the dangerous Trump Administration, Eric and Mike tackle this complex topic this week on CounterPunch Radio!
Music: Max Romeo – “Socialism Is Love”
This week Eric chats with syndicated columnist and author Ramzy Baroud to discuss the Palestinian prisoner hunger strike, the symbolic meaning of this act of resistance, the current political situation in Palestine and much more. The conversation opens with a discussion of the ongoing hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners, and why the timing and meaning of the hunger strike is so important. Eric and Ramzy discuss the ascendance of Trump and the impact that has had on Israeli policy vis-a-vis Palestinians, settlements, and a range of other issues. From the regional political situation to the prospects for a lasting piece, this week’s show covers many facets of one of the ongoing tragedies in the world today: Palestine. Don’t miss it!
Also, apologies for the heavy breathing. Sometimes our technical equipment catches far too much.
This week Eric welcomes back to the show CounterPunch managing editor Joshua Frank to discuss the recent dangerous developments at the Hanford nuclear facility in Eastern Washington, the Left and the war in Syria, Le Pen and the rise of far right fascist politics, and more.
The conversation begins with a detailed discussion of the collapse at Hanford, and what this tells us about the larger issues at play in what has become the most expensive cleanup operation in the history of the US. Josh and Eric cover everything from the history of Hanford to the media blackout of nuclear dangers from Hanford to Indian Point to Fukushima. They also touch on the necessity of solutions-oriented activism and the importance of rebuilding an anti-war, anti-nuclear movement.
The second half of the show features a conversation on Syria, the lack of nuanced analysis from all sides on the Left, the nefarious role of Russian media in cementing Kremlin policy as a political line for some on the Left, and the importance of CounterPunch as a platform for competing views. All this and much more in this lively conversation.
Music: Nouvelle Vague – “Guns of Brixton”
This week Eric sits down with Venezuela-based journalists Rachael Boothroyd-Rojas and Lucas Koerner to discuss the latest developments in that country, and the broader political, economic, and geopoltical implications. The conversation begins with a detailed analysis of the opposition protests, responsibility for the violence, and the role of the domestic private media, and international corporate media in stoking tensions. From there, Rachael and Lucas explain some of the methods and tactics employed in the ongoing economic and propaganda war, as well as who is behind them.
Economic destabilization and mismanagement, political assassinations, and psychological war all figure prominently in understanding the complex reality of life and politics in Venezuela today. What will the US policy toward Venezuela be in the Age of Trump? Will the Maduro government survive? Will the Bolivarian Revolution continue? These and many other questions tackled this week on CounterPunch Radio. Don’t miss it!
Music: Rebel Diaz – “Work Like Chavez”
In a special bonus episode this week, Eric chats with Laura Carlsen, director of the Americas Program at the Center for International Policy, as she travels with the Caravan against Fear through the Southwest. Laura tells us about her experiences with farm laborers in the Central Valley of California, documented and undocumented families living on the border, and communities across the region. The conversation touches on everything from Trump’s racist policies and the fantasies upon which their based, to US strategic objectives in Latin America; from economic contradictions in the US-Mexico relationship, to the motives behind the drug war and Jeff Sessions’ idiotic war on weed. Don’t miss this week’s show!
Music: Minutemen – The Big Stick
This week Eric sits down with author and peace activist David Swanson to discuss war and peace in the Age of Trump. Eric and David examine whether Trump’s early days in office represent an escalation of the war machine, and how Trump is both continuing Bush-Obama policies while also taking them in dangerous new directions. The conversation explores how issues of war and imperialism are intimately connected to economic and environmental justice, and the importance of linking them in movement-building. Eric and David also touch on the importance of community-based activism and the development of independent political and economic power. This and so much more this week on CounterPunch Radio!
This week, Eric welcomes back to the show veteran peace activist Kathy Kelly to discuss the increasingly deafening drumbeat of war, and the reality of life in the war zones which she has witnessed with her own eyes. The conversation begins with a discussion of the Trump Administration’s ratcheting up of hostilities, and what this tells us about both Trump and US foreign policy in 2017. Eric and Kathy examine a number of global hot spots, with Kathy giving her first-hand account of the tragic reality of everyday life in Afghanistan after more than 15 years of US occupation. From Yemen to Iran, Syria and Iraq to the Horn of Africa, imperialism is on the march. Thankfully there are brave voices like Kathy Kelly raised to try to stop it. Visit vcnv.org to follow Kathy’s work, and that of other courageous peace activists.
Music: Devendra Banhart – “Heard Somebody Say”
This week in a special edition of CounterPunch Radio, environmental activist and CounterPunch contributor Louisa Willcox welcomes two unsung environmental heroes, Jim and Heidi Barrett, who were leaders in a campaign that took on – and won – one of the biggest environmental victories in the history of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Against all odds, this modest couple and their small grassroots group in the hamlet of Cooke City, MT, along with allies, took on Noranda, one of the largest mining companies in the world, which aimed to build a massive gold mine near the border of Yellowstone Park. The conversation begins with their recounting this David versus Goliath battle that resulted in permanent protection of a fragile, wild area that is home to imperiled grizzlies, wolves, and countless other species. In the second half of this conversation, Jim and Heidi discuss their work to bring under control the escalating and damaging use of off-road vehicles on public lands. And they share their efforts to improve sanitation in an area that had long been a “black hole for bears” because widely available garbage had caused so many threatened grizzly bears to be killed. Along the way, Jim and Heidi share lessons they learned that can strengthen environmental campaigns in these dark times. Their work underscores the fact that a few people with big hearts and grit can make an immeasurable difference for the wild — and all of us. All this and more in this week’s CounterPunch Radio.
For more on Jim and Heidi and the efforts to reduce conflicts with grizzly bears around Cooke City, see Louisa’s blog.
This week Eric welcomes back to the show environmental journalist and CounterPunch contributor Robert Hunziker to talk about how the earth’s climate is going bonkers, and what this means for human civilization. The conversation begins with a discussion of many of the most dangerous indicators of climate instability, and what these signs tell us about the near-, medium-, and long-term future of the planet. Eric and Robert examine the role of humans in exacerbating ecological crises, and how the ongoing nightmare at Fukushima has disappeared down the memory hole. In the second half of the conversation, Eric and Robert explore the political issues at play, including the climate terrorist-in-chief and his reckless pro-energy policies. The conversation also touches on China as global leader, climate change denialism, and the creation of resilient, sustainable communities and independent economic infrastructure outside of capitalism. All this and more in this week’s CounterPunch Radio.
Music: Lee “Scratch” Perry & Errol Walker – “In These Times”
This week Eric sits down with journalist Dustin Beilke to discuss the continued privatization of public education, and the forces behind it. The conversation begins by examining the latest push for school vouchers by President Trump and his Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and what this means for the future of public schools. Eric and Dustin touch on the inefficacy of school vouchers in improving educaitonal outcomes, as well as the backdoor assault on teachers’ unions using everything from vouchers and charter schools to Teach for America and similar programs.The second half of the show explores the continuity of policy from Obama to Trump, pointing out that the Obama Administration was viciously anti-teacher and pro-privatization: more evidence of the single corporate agenda of both parties. Eric and Dustin also talk about some of the resistance from teachers and communities throughout the country, and what that means for the movement to defend public education going forward.
Music: Constantines – “Young Lions”
This week Eric sits down with author and academic Rebecca Gordon to discuss the evolution of war in Imperial America, torture in the Age of Trump, war criminals-in-chief, and so much more. The conversation begins with a discussion of Gordon’s latest book, American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes, and how the criminality of the US regime is not dependent on a given administration. From there, Eric and Rebecca examine the changing nature of war in American life, and what that tells us about the society, culture, and collective psyche of early 21st Century America. The second half of the show features a discussion of Trump and the new horrors to be unleashed by Midtown Mussolini and his gaggle of fascists, as well as the importance of building a truly independent resistance. All this and so much more in the latest episode of CounterPunch Radio!
Music: Minutemen – “The Big Stick”
This week Eric sits down with author and journalist Chris Hedges to discuss Trump, the Democrats, resistance, and more. The conversation begins with an assessment of the political and psychological impact of Trump on America in the early days of his administration. Eric and Chris touch on the nature of Trump’s regime, the fascist ideological and historical framework from which the politics emerges, and the seamless transition of Empire from one administration and party to the other. The second half of the discussion examines the attempt by Democrats to co-opt and commodify the resistance as they continue to serve the interests of Wall Street, the insidious role of the media in bolstering the Empire’s narratives, the emergence of the concept of “fake news,” the importance of defending independent media on the Left, and so much more. Don’t miss this week’s show!
Music: Devendra Banhart – “Heard Somebody Say”
This week Eric chats with Emery Wright, community organizer and Co-Director of Project South. Eric and Emery discuss the development of people’s assemblies across the US, and what that sort of organizing work means in the current political context. The conversation touches on structures, organization, and decision-making in grassroots movements, and how those movements are addressing both political and economic questions in oppressed communities. The second half of the conversation focuses on the urgency of organizing in the Age of Trump with racism, chauvinism, and fascism becoming ever more normalized. So many topics covered in this wide-ranging discussion on CounterPunch Radio.
Music: John Lennon – “Power to the People”
This week Eric sits down with Mickey Huff, Director of Project Censored, to discuss fake news, the narrative surrounding Trump and the “Deep State,” and the rightward trajectory of US politics. The conversation begins with a discussion about fake news: how it was popularized by Clinton and the DNC and is now a potent weapon in the hands of Trump. From there, Eric and Mickey discuss the danger Trump represents both now and into the future as the far right grows its power. The mainstreaming of the concept of “the Deep State” and the problem with the conversation around it. The discussion also probes how the fascist right and the Trump administration are using victimhood and manufactured oppression as weapons in their political and ideological war, the importance of activism and media literacy, the debate about force in confronting the far right, and so much more. Don’t miss this wide-ranging conversation this week on CounterPunch Radio!
Music: HiM – “Many in High Places Are Not Well”
This week Eric sits down with journalist Arun Gupta to discuss Trump and the rise of the trumpen proletariat, the open wounds of liberal trauma, and the role of violence in opposing the fascist upsurge. The conversation begins with an in-depth examination of the forces that propelled Trump into the White House, with Arun relaying his experiences talking with white workers in Indiana and around the country. From there the discussion shifts to Trump as the liberal trauma and whether or not it could lead to a political awakening. The last part of the show focuses on Nazi punching, riots, Black Bloc, and the merits of violence both as a tactic and as a means to a political end. This lengthy and far-reaching conversation covers a lot of really important ground that the Left desperately needs to critically examine. Don’t miss this week’s CounterPunch Radio!
Music: Nouvelle Vague – “Guns of Brixton”
This week Eric sits down with journalist Ben Norton to discuss the early days of the Trump Administration: what’s happened, what it means, and where it’s going. Eric and Ben explore the nature of the new administration, the forces that propelled it into power, and the political and economic circumstances that allowed it to emerge. From there, the conversation probes some uncomofortable questions about the current state of anti-war and anti-imperialist causes, and what that tells us about the political reality of 2017. From the rise of fascism throughout the Western world to the Syria question and the nature of resistance in the era of Trump, Eric and Ben tread some rather uneasy territory in hopes of understanding what we’re witnessing around us, and charting a path forward for the Left. These and many other topics in the latest CounterPunch Radio. Don’t miss it.
Music: Linton Kwesi Johnson – “Fite Dem Back”
After a couple weeks MIA, CounterPunch Radio is back! This week, Eric sits down with journalist and author Karl Grossman to discuss the exciting news that Indian Point, one of the oldest and most dangerous nuclear plants in the US, will be closed in the next few years. Eric and Karl examine the background and implications of the agreement between Entergy (the operator of the plant) and the state of New York, as well as some of the history of the nuclear industry, from weaponization to corporate-state monopolization. Additionally, the conversation goes in depth on Fukushima, the health and environmental impacts of nuclear power, alternative sources of energy, and the responsibility of activists for having brought us to this point, and further into the future. As Karl Grossman noted, “Get active, or get radioactive!”
Musi: Lee “Scratch” Perry & Errol Walker – “In These Times”
This week Eric sits down with scholar and activist Dr. Hawzhin Azeez speaking from Kobani, Syria about Aleppo, competing narratives in the Syria war, the development of Rojava and Kurdish self-determination, and much more. The conversation begins with a discussion about media coverage of Aleppo and the future of Syria, as well as the role of the international left in the Syria conflict. From there, Eric and Hawzhin examine the outside actors involved in the war, and the prospects for peace in the country. The second half of the show focuses on developments in the Kurdish part of Northern Syria, the continued development of the confederal Rojava system, and the role of Kurds both in the war, and in a future, post-war Syria. This episode covers a lot of ground that is entirely ignored in most conversations you’ll hear about Syria. What are you waiting for? Download or stream it now.
Music: Heaven 17 – (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang
This week Eric welcomes to the show peace activist Sabia Rigby to discuss her experiences working with refugees both in Europe and in the Global South. The conversation begins with a discussion of Sabia’s time working in the refugee camp known as “The Jungle” in Calais, France where she interacted with many refugees, each telling their unique story. Eric and Sabia discuss some of the critical aspects of the refugee issue including the politics behind the crisis, the nature of the racist narratives and their political and cultural expressions, the class nature of the refugees that have made it to Europe, and much more. From French fascists to blankets for Afghan children, this episode of CounterPunch Radio has everything to make you lose your faith in humanity, only to see it restored.
Music: Max Romeo – “Socialism Is Love”
This week Eric welcomes back to the show Yvette Carnell and Pascal Robert for a retrospective look at Barack Obama’s presidency: the lies and the crimes, the sell-job and the sell-out. Eric, Yvette, and Pascal discuss how Obama will be remembered by Americans, and especially Black Americans, as well as his image and legacy around the world. The conversation touches on everything from Obama as Wall Street’s creature to his committment to conservative politics to Obama as precursor to Trump. Yvette Carnell argues that we have now entered the period of post-Hope politics, and it’s hard to disagree. Pascal calls Obama neoliberal confectioners sugar, and it’s hard to disagree. Check out this week’s CounterPunch Radio for some real analysis on Obama’s legacy – we promise it’s better than Trump’s twitter feed.
Music: Lee Scratch Perry & Errol Walker – “In These Times”
This week Eric welcomes human rights attorney and lecturer Dan Kovalik onto the program to discuss recent developments in Colombia, and how that strategic US ally fits into the broader politics and geopolitics of Latin America. Dan provides his analysis of the recent referendum on a peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC rebels, and how this latest news impacts the politics of the country. The conversation also highlights the ongoing genocide in Colombia and the systematic oppression and mass murder against indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities. Eric and Dan also examine the role that Colombia plays in the destabilization of Venezuela, and as a foothold for US political and military power projection in the region. From paramilitary deep state networks to the fraudulent War on Drugs, CounterPunch Radio brings you another episode of analysis and commentary you simply won’t find anywhere else.
Music: Minutemen – “The Big Stick”
David Hearst, Editor-in-Chief of Middle East Eye, joins Eric this week to discuss the latest developments in Syria and the global geopolitical scene. Eric and David begin with a discussion of the retaking of Aleppo by Syrian governmnet forces, and what this means for the future course of the war. The conversation also focuses on the role of western and non-western media in shaping the narratives and language around this conflict, as well as Russian involvement and what it means both now and in the future. From there, Eric and David examine how the incoming Trump administration could impact events on the ground as well as policy decisions in Washington and Moscow, and how China and Iran fit into the larger jigsaw puzzle of the global chessboard. All this and much more in this wide-ranging conversation.
Music: Chumbawamba – Bella Ciao
This week Eric welcomes to the show journalist and activist Shane Burley to discuss the rise of the alt-right, and the trajectory of contemporary fascism. Eric and Shane begin with a discussion of the alt-right, its relation to 20th Century fascist movements, and its ideological features. The conversation then touches on everything from the fascist infiltration of anti-imperialism and radical environmentalism to the importance of reconigizing entryism in defending Left spaces. While things may seem bleak, Burley reminds listeners that the transformation to a fully realized fascist state depends on the Left, and on its ability to defend our values and our people. This was a great conversation, don’t miss it!
Music: Phantom – “Lazy Fascist”
This week Eric welcomes back to the show CounterPunch Editor Jeffrey St. Clair to discuss his new book Bernie and the Sandernistas: Field Notes From a Failed Revolution, and provide a retrospective view of the movement and its adherents. Eric and Jeff touch on Bernie’s failings as a leader and his slavish devotion to the Democratic Party despite its being moribund and utterly worthless. The conversation also touches on the danger of Trump and the trumpen proletariat that will not take kindly to the inevitable betrayals Trump has in store, as well as the importance of using Trump as an opportunity to rebuild our social justice movements after their dormancy under Obama. Jeff also explains how he manages to simultaneously be a shill for Putin and a rabid anti-Putin Russophobe. Get your doublethinking caps on for this episode of CounterPunch Radio!
Music: Constantines – “Young Lions”
In this final post-election episode of CounterPunch Radio, Eric welcomes back to the show scholar and activist Anthony Monteiro to discuss the results of the election and what it means for the future of the US and the world. Eric and Tony discuss a wide range of topics from the media narrative in the post-election days to divisions within the ruling class, from election fraud to the fraud of Hillary Clinton and neoliberalism itself. The conversation got a bit testy at times with some important disagreements on a number of points, while also highlighting the many points of agreement. This was a fun conversation, don’t miss it.
Music: Max Romeo – “Socialism Is Love”
Eric welcomes to the show filmmaker and podcaster Robbie Martin to discuss the incoming Trump Administration’s deep ties with neoconservatives, the mainstreaming of far right conspiracism and its transformation into a media force and major constituency, the competing narratives about the anti-Trump protests, and much more.
Did you ever wonder why Trump was so adamant about the border wall and his ability to build it? Robbie Martin has an answer, and it connects to Rudy Giuliani and the neocons’ corporate ties with the military-industrial complex. Did you ever wonder why Trump dabbled in the far right conspiracy world? The answer might be as troubling as it is illuminating. Listen to these and many other uncomfortable questions and observations in this wide-ranging conversation.
Musical Interlude: Nouvelle Vague – Guns of Brixton
This week Eric welcomes back to the show author and professor of media studies Mark Crispin Miller to discuss the possibility that the US election was once again stolen, and why this issue is so important. Eric and Mark discuss the exit poll numbers versus the final vote counts, the mechanics of election tampering, and the dangerous complacency of much of the Left when it comes to election theft. The discussion touches on the stealing of the nomination from Bernie Sanders, the role of activists in jumpstarting an electoral reform movement, the importance of unity in opposing Trump, and much more. Eric and Mark also examine what the election outcome tells us about the ruling class, and how it views the future of a Trump presidency: It’s not as anti-establishment as we’ve been led to believe. All this and much much more in the latest CounterPunch Radio.
Musical Interlude: Heaven 17 – “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang”
Eric sits down with photographer and publisher Yoav Litvin to discuss his latest project 2Create – Art Collaborations in New York City and the launch on November 18, 2016 at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Eric and Yoav discuss the history of graffiti and its origins in New York City as a background to the concept of collaboration and street art. The conversation touches on the dialectical nature of art collaboration, the interplay of art and politics, and how the commodification of graffiti and street art in NYC has mirrored the gentrification and commodification of the city itself. All this and more in the latest CounterPunch Radio.
In the second in a series of special election episodes of CounterPunch Radio, Eric is joined by attorney, professor of political science, and author Bob Fitrakis to discuss the results of the US election and why they should worry anyone interested in election integrity. Eric and Bob examine the exit poll and final vote data, and discuss the possibility that the election was stolen for Donald Trump. They explore the recent history of voter fraud, how election tampering works in the age of electronic voting machines, voter suppression, the role of private companies in administering elections, and much more. Trump was right to suggest the election could be rigged; he was wrong about who would benefit. Forget the anger at the prospects of the Age of Trump, and instead consider the question: Is a Trump Administration even legitimate?
Musical Interlude: Devo – “Freedom of Choice”
It happened! Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States of America. And so, get your bourbon, medical-grade purple haze, and/or bottle of valium, and listen to Eric chat with ideological criminal extraordinaire Paul Street as they try to make sense of what just happened in America. Eric and Paul examine the stunning implosion of the Clinton political machine, the surprising demographic data on Trump voters, the capitulation of Bernie Sanders, the power/weakness of the ruling elites, the future of social movements in the Age of Trump and so much more. Yes, this is happening…and yes, we need CounterPunch more than ever.
Election news making you ill? CounterPunch Radio has your antidote to the Clinton-Trump poison as Eric sits down with activist and organizer Kali Akuno to discuss the exciting movement to create people power in Jackson, Mississippi. Akuno, an organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, discusses the ongoing Cooperation Jackson, a community-led initiative to transform Jackson, Mississippi and, ultimately, the entire country. Kali explains the origins of Cooperation Jackson and how the movement envisions its future, as well as detailing what the last few years have taught the community. Eric and Kali also examine how revolutionary technologies are being used in Jackson to transform the city into a center of decentralized production and economic and social resistance in the US. From COINTELPRO to 3D printers, climate change to the ownership of the means of production, this is a conversation you don’t want to miss!
Visit CooperationJackson.org to find out more.
Also follow the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and the important work they do.
Musical Interlude: Devo – Freedom of Choice
This week Eric welcomes back to the show activist and filmmaker Sukant Chandan to discuss his recent projects, the legacy of the war on Libya, as well as the rise of racism and fascism in the UK and Europe. The conversation opens with a discussion of Sukant’s new documentary film “NATO War on Libya” and collection of writings about Libya, the legacy of Muammar Gaddafi, and the US-NATO war of 2011. Eric and Sukant examine the relationship between the war in Libya and everything happening in North Africa and the Middle East today. The second half of the show discusses the rise of racist and fascist politics in the UK in the wake of Brexit, and how this same phenomenon is manifesting throughout Europe and the US. Eric and Sukant also critique much of the so-called “anti-imperialist” camp and the infiltration of those circles by fascists and their collaborators. All this and much more in this wide-ranging discussion.
Musical Interlude: Prayers – Mexica
This week, on a very special episode of CounterPunch Radio, Eric gets in touch with his feelings. OK, not really…but he does chat with CounterPunch Managing Editor Joshua Frank and Business Manager Becky Grant about the fund drive and the importance of donating to CounterPunch to keep it going strong. Eric, Josh, and Becky talk about the day to day operations of CP, the challenges and the successes, and the necessity of maintaining integrity and independence. Becky regales listeners with tales of Alex Cockburn and his Puma fetish, Josh discusses how he went from groupie to lead guitarist, and Eric makes biblical references for no apparent reason. Another fun conversation on CounterPunch Radio.
This week Eric welcomes to the show presidential candidate from the Socialist Party USA Mimi Soltysik to discuss his campaign, the importance of movement-building, and the state of the Left in 2016. The conversation begins with a discussion of the SPUSA’s campaign, and the central question for every non-establishment party: Why bother running a presidential campaign at all? From there Eric and Mimi discuss how the Left might consider moving forward as the US and the world face the daunting challenges of war, economic crisis, and ecological meltdown. They touch on a wide variety of issues from the viability of the Green Party as a vehicle for revolutionary change to the necessity for non-electoral solutions in local communities and much more. Don’t miss this episode of CounterPunch Radio.
This week Eric sits down with author and academic Mark Crispin Miller to discuss the controlled corporate media and its grip on discourse in the United States, conspiracy theories versus conspiracy facts, US elections as both farce and illusion, and much more. Eric and Mark begin with a discussion of the history of media propaganda, and how the corporate media we know and loathe came to be the monolithic servant of power it is today. The conversation then turns to the issue of conspiracy theories and the importance of nuanced analysis that is skeptical of power but also avoids the pitfalls, and outright fascism, of the online conspiracy world. The final part of the program shifts into vote fraud and the controlled and manipulated election system in the US which, Eric and Mark both argue, simply cannot be trusted. So much ground is covered in this wide-ranging discussion on CounterPunch Radio.
Also, check out the Forbidden Bookshelf series edited by Mark Crispin Miller.
Musical Interlude: The Doors – “Strange Days”
This week Eric welcomes to the show activist and presidential candidate for the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Gloria La Riva, to discuss social justice movements, her campaign, and the future of the Left. The conversation begins with first-hand analysis of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and occupation, and the resurgence of indigenous resistance. Eric and Gloria discuss what is happening on the ground, the nature of the movement, and the importance of the convergence of multiple social justice movements for the American political landscape. The conversation touches on the issue of “normalizing socialism,” and the importance of anti-capitalism as an ideological and organizational focal point. From the Dakotas to Baton Rouge, from San Francisco to Charlotte, social movements are on the rise and on the move – time to be part of the conversation.
Musical Interlude: Lee “Scratch” Perry and Errol Walker – “In These Times”
After a short absence, Eric returns with another episode of CounterPunch Radio, this time welcoming to the show author and frequent CounterPunch contributor Rob Urie to discuss his new book Zen Economics published by CounterPunch. Eric and Rob discuss capitalism and the question of it being natural or unnatural, as well as the historical/anti-historical dichotomy, a theme running throughout the book. The conversation explores everything from the western understanding of time to Lenin and the formulation of imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism. Eric and Rob also question the very meanings of wealth, choice, and freedom under the conditions of capitalism and the modern world. These any many other issues come together for a fascinating conversation on CounterPunch Radio this week.
Musical Interlude: Boukman Eksperyans – “Jou Nou Revolte”
This week Eric welcomes back to the show writer, activist, and now US Vice Presidential candidate from the Green Party, Ajamu Baraka. The conversation gives some insight into Ajamu’s background, and the experiences that shaped his politics and worldview, making into the renowned human rights leader that he is. Eric does not shy away from the smear campaign being waged by liberal corporate media against Ajamu, instead taking the opportunity to discuss with him the mental illness of contemporary liberalism – or is it corporate imperialism? Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. They also explore the development of the Green Party in a radical direction, the importance of non-electoral community-based programs and networks, the existential crises facing all of us today, and the necessity of developing a true political resistance immediately. Another great conversation with the inimitable Ajamu Baraka.
This week Eric sits down with author Nicholas Schou to discuss his new book Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood. Eric and Nick explore the history of CIA manipulation of the media going back decades, and how it has evolved into the propaganda consensus we see today. The conversation touches on everything from Nicaragua and the Reagan counter-revolution to the sycophantic relationship between Hollywood and Langley. From Robert Parry to Robert Kagan, from South Vietnam to Baghdad, the story of CIA information warfare is a long and sordid one, and Schou’s new book is an important contribution in telling it.
Musical Interlude: Wire – I Am the Fly
This week Eric sits down with economist, and former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis to discuss the shifts in the political landscape of both Europe and the US, and what they mean for political activism and progressive politics. Eric and Yanis discuss the nature of the EU and whether it can be reformed or democratized, as well as the forces at play within it. The conversation also touches on the US election as Yanis and Eric debate the utility of “lesser evil” politics, while also examining the ascendance of the fascist right in Europe and the US, with particular attention to the Brexit vote and its implications. The bond bubble and potential economic collapse, the long view of the 2008 crisis, the importance of addressing climate change, the necessity of internationalism, and many other topics are discussed in this wide-ranging interview with one of the best economic minds in the world today.
Music: Errol Walker & Lee “Scratch” Perry – “In These Times”
This week Eric welcomes to the show activist and scholar Dr. Anthony Monteiro to discuss his recent trip to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention, and what he learned about the Trump movement. The conversation touches on the class character of the Trumpen Proletariat, and whether or not this represents a transformation of the Republican Party, and potentially US politics as a whole. Eric and Tony examine the nature of fascism, how it has manifested in the US today, and what the future may hold. They go into everything from the ascendance of the far right in Europe, to the potential for substantive solutions and movement-building here in the US. All this and so so much more in this lively chat between two friends on the radical left.
Musical Interlude: The Doors – “Strange Days”
This week Eric welcomes to the show writer and sociologist Andrew Smolski to discuss the latest devevlopments in Mexico, and to place them in the context of neoliberal privatization and the US-backed militarization that goes along with it. Eric and Andy examine the strike actions by Mexico’s teachers, including the recent upsurge in Oaxaca, and connect that to the other issues at play in Mexico. They also discuss the role of the cartels and US drug policy in shaping the current chaos both in Mexico, and throughout Latin America. In the final part of the show, Eric and Andy also discuss the nonsense of “lesser evil” voting as espoused by Noam Chomsky and others. Shall we go with the guillotine or the hemlock? Tune in to CP Radio this week to find out.
Musical Interlude: Chumbawamba – “Bella Ciao”
This week Eric sits down with presumptive presidential nominee of the Green Party, Dr. Jill Stein. Eric and Jill discuss everything from the rot and criminality at the heart of US politics, to the need for grassroots organizing beyond just the election seasons. The conversation opens with an examination of the odious record of Hillary Clinton, and the destruction that Clintonism has wrought on the working class in the US, and on innocents around the world. The conversation also touches on Donald Trump as the terrible boogeyman giving liberals the excuse to support Clinton. Dr. Stein also utters the unutterable: US as imperial state. Eric and Jill then talk organization, the necessity of a “Green Panther Party” with community-based survivial programs and so much more.
This week Eric welcomes back to the show author and filmmaker John Pilger to discuss the specter haunting Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America: Hillary Clinton. Eric and John discuss how Hillary represents a mortal danger to the world, and why Donald Trump has provided a very convenient bogeyman to hide the Democrat monster under our collective bed. The conversation also touches on the pernicious influence of the corporate media, the danger of liberal delusions and lesser evilism, the disastrous implications of a Hillary Clinton presidency for the poor and marginalized in the United States, and, of course, everyone’s favorite subject: nuclear war. It’s an uplifting hour with one of the leading anti-war, anti-imperialist voices of today.
This week Eric welcomes Jason Moore to the program to discuss his fascinating new book Capitalism in the Web of Life. Eric and Jason explore the concepts of nature and society, the interrelation between the two, and why Jason argues that we need to reevaluate how we think about both. The conversation explores some of the central themes of the book including the notion of “world-ecology,” the crisis of capitalism as the era of cheapness comes to an end, as well as the dangers of dualistic thinking in our politics. Just in case any listeners got too despondent, Eric and Jason also explore ways in which the arguments in the book can inform activism and the political work of building a new and better society integrated with the web of life. Lots of ground is covered in this in depth conversation.
Musical interlude: I See Hawks in LA – Raised by Hippies
This week Eric welcomes back to the show CounterPunch Editor Jeffrey St. Clair to discuss the passion of Bernie Sanders, and the sorrow and/or pity of the Sandernistas. Eric and Jeff begin with an analysis of Sanders’s campaign, the mistakes and shortcomings, and the positive developments to be taken from it. While neither #FeelTheBern, Eric and Jeff examine what this “movement” means for the future of activism and socialism in the US. In the second half of the show, Eric and Jeff discuss how a real grassroots movement can emerge in the US, the important lessons for the Sandernistas, the Green Party and its own shortcomings, and much more. It may sound all negative, but there is much to be hopeful about, even after listening to Jeff and Eric, we promise.
Musical Interlude: Parliament – Mothership Connection (Star Child)
This week Eric Draitser chats with journalist and activist Carmelo Ruiz about the situation in Puerto Rico, and why this small US colony is so relevant to contemporary issues. Eric and Carmelo begin with a discussion of Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, and the policies and actions that have made it into Latin America’s Greece, with specific attention paid to the role of Wall Street and neoliberal finance capital in creating the crisis. In the second half of the program, Eric and Carmelo discuss the ongoing agriculatural activism in Puerto Rico as peasants and concerned citizens join together to stop Monsanto, Bayer, and the chemical and agribusiness corporations. The conversation also touches on Bernie Sanders, the role of Puerto Rico in hosting US-backed right wing counter-revolutionaries, and the importance of understanding Puerto Rico in context of the right-wing ascendance in Latin America.
Musical Interlude: The Mekons – “Last Night on Earth”
This week Eric welcomes to the show UK-based Kurdish activist and organizer Elif Sarican to discuss the situation of the Kurds in the midst of the war in Syria, as well as the onslaught by the Turkish government. Eric and Elif begin by discussing the current military and political situation with particular attention to the brutal actions of the Turkish military, in addition to the changing reality on the ground on the Syrian side of the border. The conversation also touches on the geopolitical conflicts at play, alliances with the US and Russia, Israel’s position, and much more.. The second half of the program delves into the ideological orientation and practice of the Kurds of Rojava, the political evolution of the region, and the role of western leftists in solidarity with Kurds.
Musical Interlude: Chumbawamba – “Bella Ciao”
This week Eric welcomes back to the program Laura Carlsen, director of the Americas Program at the Center for International Policy, to discuss the ongoing disappearances of activists in Mexico, the reassertion of US hegemony in Latin America, and how militarization and free trade are the cornerstones of US imperial power in the region. Eric and Laura begin with an analysis of the recent kidnappings of Mexican activists and the frightening similarities with the infamous Ayotzinapa disappearances of 2014. The conversation then shifts to Central America and Honduras, and the role of Hillary Clinton and the US in that country. Eric and Laura also discuss how the Trans-Pacific Partnership and privatization are at the heart of much of the negative developments in the Americas, and how this drive is connected to geopolitical and strategic considerations. All this and much more in this wide-ranging conversation.
This week Eric chats with political scientist Immanuel Ness about his new book Southern Insurgency: The Coming of the Global Working Class, and the implications of the shift in industrial production to the Global South. Eric and Immanuel explore the themes of the book which include the changing nature of labor struggle, in depth analyses of working class resistance in the “Third World,” and how these struggles must shape and inform the discussion of solidarity on the Left, particulalry in the developed world. The conversation also touches on the nature of contemporary imperialism, the evolution of non-western capital as a quasi-alternative to western capital’s hegemony, the role of organized labor, and much much more.
Musical Interlude: Billy Bragg – “There Is Power in a Union”
This week Eric sits down with economist Richard Wolff to discuss capitalism, its inefficiencies, and its discontents. They examine how the US and European economies have evolved in the era of neoliberalism, how financialization has pervaded every aspect of our economic lives, and how debt has become the central pillar of modern capitalism’s house of cards. Eric and Richard also focus on solutions to the crisis of capitalism including the need for cooperative, worker self-directed enterprises and the democratization of the workplace. Putting the means of production in the hands of workers is no fantasy, but rather increasingly seems to be an absolute necessity.
Musical interlude: Ali Farka Toure – “Soya”
This week Eric Draitser welcomes to the program Vice Presidential candidate from the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) Eugene Puryear to discuss the future of socialism in the US, the role of leftist activism at the grassroots level, and the importance of connecting issues of capitalism, imperialism, and identity. While millions still #FeelTheBern, there are many like Eugene Puryear on the streets trying to unite young people, workers, and marginalized communities for the long-term struggle that will continue well after the election is over. It’s not enough to complain, we must build! Eric and Eugene explore just how that might be done.
Musical Interlude: Marcel Cartier – “I’m a Socialist”
This week Eric welcomes investigative journalist Steve Horn to the show to discuss a little known energy lobbying organization, the connections between the Clinton and Trump campaigns and Big Energy, and some of the geopolitical issues surrounding Israel-Palestine and energy extraction. Steve outlines his investigation of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) and how it operates as both a lobbying group and a shaper of energy policy at the state and federal levels while it works to undermine environmental legislation. Eric and Steve also touch on Hillary Clinton and the Big Oil-Israel connection in her political machine, while also examining Donald Trump, whose energy policy advisers are likeiwse focused on Israel and the energy question. All this and much more in this week’s CounterPunch Radio.
Musical interlude:Wire – “I Am the Fly”
This week Eric welcomes author and columnist Paul Street, and radical envrionmentalist and political activist Kevin Hester to CounterPunch Radio. First, Eric chats with America’s leading ultra-sectarian ideological criminal Paul Street about why he’s having second thoughts about Bernie Sanders, and why the ruling elites might be as well. Eric and Paul discuss the Sanders campaign, what it means for grassroots activism, and whether or not it’s a dead end for those seeking radical change. They also touch on The Donald, the trumpen proletariat, and the danger of a fascist state in a post-President Trump scenario.
In the second part of the show Eric connects with Kevin Hester out on his isolated island in New Zealand to discuss the looming climate catastrophe and the unraveling of the biosphere. Eric and Kevin discuss the bleak, dystopian future of abrupt climate change, the latest report from James Hansen, and why everyone should be conscious of what is to come. Also, they examine the connection between climate change, the environment, and imperialism. Not exactly the rosiest picture, but an important reality.
I See Hawks in LA – Raised by Hippies
Gospel Beach – California Steamer
Freedom: Sove Peyi Mwen
Beachwood Sparks – Talk About Lonesome
This week Eric welcomes to the show author and activist Alexander Reid Ross to discuss the history and contemporary landscape of fascism in Europe and the US. Eric and Alexander discuss his latest book Against the Fascist Creep, going into detail about the long and sordid history of fascism from its earliest manifestations in pre-WWI Europe, to its modern form after Mussolini, to the current trends in fascism today. And then, of course, the obligatory “Is Trump a Fascist?” portion of the conversation gets quite interesting. Does Alexander Reid Ross make a case for fedualism? Tune in to CounterPunch Radio this week to find out!
Interlude: Billy Bragg & Wilco – “All You Fascists”
This week Eric chats with lawyer, social media strategist, and podcaster Alice Backer about the political situation in Haiti today, the insidious role of the Clintons, and the historical importance of the island nation as the leading edge of anti-colonial resistance. Eric and Alice explore the electoral drama unfolding in Haiti, and what it means for the future of the country. Of course, no discussion of the issue would be complete without an accounting of Hillary and Bill’s criminal exploitation of the island over the last 25 years, up to and including today. The conversation also explores just why Haiti has been repeatedly subjected to the kind of repression and subjugation it has these last two centuries. All this and so much more in this wide-ranging discussion.
Musical interlude: Boukman Eksperyans – Jou Nou Revolte
This week Eric sits down with author Douglas Lain to discuss his new book After the Saucers Landed, and a veritable menagerie of mostly related topics including identity and subjectivity, authenticity, the overlap between politics and art, and so much more. Science fiction nerds and avant-garde art geeks rejoice! There’s much to salivate over in this wide-ranging discussion where Philip K. Dick is elevated to the status of demigod, and Soviet Suprematism and Constructivism are discussed pretentiously *AND* unpretentiously. Also, both bearded and unbearded philosophers may hold hands in prayer as reference is made to everyone from Descartes to Derrida, from Barthes to Baudrillard. So much more to tell, just listen already!
Be sure to also check out Douglas Lain’s podcast Zero Squared.
Parliament – Mothership Connection (Star Child)
This week Eric discusses threats to the planet and human civilization with regular CounterPunch contributors Robert Hunziker and John LaForge. First, Eric welcomes back to the show environmental journalist Robert Hunziker to discuss climate change, the latest research from the Arctic, and ways of reorienting our thinking to tackle these immense problems. The discussion touches on the record warmth of January and February, the melting Arctic and Antarctic ice, and the interconnected nature of the global ecosystem. Eric and Robert also discuss lifestyle modifications, new technology, and the importance of these issues to millennials as they have families of their own.
In the second part of the show Eric sits down with John LaForge to talk about Fukushima five years later, and the active threat of nuclear power to the environment, and life on this planet. They talk the conspiracy of silence over Fukushima, the “ticking time-bomb” at Indian Point (New York), and the political and economic obstacles to shutting down the nuclear facilities. John and Eric also discuss potential solutions, and the state of the anti-nuke movement.
Gospel Beach – “California Steamer”
Ali Farka Toure – “Soya”
Chumbawamba – “Enough is Enough”
This week Eric welcomes two great guests to the program. First, Eric sits down with the inimitable George Galloway to talk war, betrayal, and the Empire’s ceaseless adventures in regime change. They discuss the culpability of the US, UK, and Europe in the death and destruction in the Middle East, the use of terrorism as a potent weapon of war, as well as the refugee crisis and the rise of racist and fascist sentiment in Europe. George also briefly touches on his campaign for mayor of London against both the Conservative and Labour candidates.
In the second part of the show Eric welcomes writer and political analyst Daniel Patrick Welch to the show. Eric and Dan go back and forth on racism, white supremacy and the necolonial attitudes bubbling to the surface in light of the refugee crisis. With references ranging from “Blazing Saddles” to “Seinfeld,” they manage to have a little fun while exploring an issue that is of the utmost importance to contemporary politics and activism.
Intro & Outtro: David Vest – “Freight Train Rollin'”
Interlude: Billy Bragg & Wilco – “All You Fascists”
This week Eric sits down with philosopher, filmmaker, and author of the new book Exposing Lies of the Empire, Andre Vltchek, for a colorful discussion on culture and politics, imperialism, and the reality of the Global South. The conversation opens with an exploration of the role of art and literature in shaping politics and ideology, and how that has increasingly become lost in an ever more commodified and compartmentalized political culture. Eric and Andre then discuss the nature of contemporary imperialism and how it manifests itself in today’s world. They go into many examples of Global South resistance to the Empire, why it’s important to support independent peoples and nations, and the necessity of maintaining an international perspective without falling into the trap of neocolonial arrogance so often exhibited by the “first world left.” These and many other topics in this week’s CounterPunch Radio.
Intro and Outtro: David Vest – “Freight Train Rollin'”
Interlude: Wire – “I Am the Fly”
This week Eric sits down with journalist Diana Johnstone, author of the new book Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton available from CounterPunch Books. Eric and Diana discuss the myriad ways in which Hiillary Clinton has made herself into the embodiment of the military-industrial complex and the Empire, including her unabashed warmongering, shameless love affairs with Saudi Arabia and Israel, and continued belligerence toward Russia. Johnstone argues that Clinton represents an imminent threat to not just the United States, but the entire world, and that her worldview is as insidious as it is incompatible with peace. The conversation touches on Yugoslavia, Libya, and Honduras in order to illustrate Clinton’s cynicism, pathological lying, and complete disregard for human suffering. All this and much more in this wide-ranging interview.
Intro and outtro: David Vest – Freight Train Rollin’
Interlude: The Mekons – Last Night on Earth
This week Eric sits down with political analyst and writer Pascal Robert to discuss author Ta-Nehisi Coates’ recent attacks on Bernie Sanders and what they tell us both about Coates and the presidential election. Eric and Pascal discuss the issues of race and class, and why interrogating those issues is critical to examining Coates’ recent writings, as well his individual social position in relation to the power structure. The second half of the show is an in depth dialogue about a variety of issues related to the 2016 campaign including whether Bernie Sanders actually has a chance to win, the outcome the political and financial establishment are pushing for, Hillary’s scandal-plagued campaign, and any potential unexpected developments between now and primary season. All this and much more on CounterPunch Radio this week.
Intro and outtro: David Vest – Freight Train Rollin’
Interlude: Marcel Cartier – I’m a Socialist
This week Eric sits down with Steven Donziger, the US spokesman and legal adviser for the Ecuadorian communities suing Chevron over its gross environmental pollution since the 1960s. The case has made international headlines as it is the first of its kind to see indigenous communities winning a judgment against an oil company for environmental degradation. Eric and Steven discuss the specifics of the case and the ways in which Chevron has attempted to use legal maneuvering and trickery to avoid paying a massive settlement to those affected. The conversation also touches on the parallels between this case and others, as well as the long-term effects of the damage caused by Texaco/Chevron. All this and much more in this important episode of CounterPunch Radio.
Intro and outtro by David Vest.
Eric is back from Venezuela this week and oh, the places he’s gone, the stories he’ll tell. Eric welcomes his fellow traveler, activist and political analyst Caleb Maupin, to discuss their experiences in Venezuela during the all-important legislative elections. Eric and Caleb talk about their impressions of the country and the economic crisis afflicting it, as well as recounting their various conversations with ordinary Venezuelans. The discussion touches on everything from geopolitics to the mentality of Venezuelans on Election Day, examining the role of the economic and psychological war waged by the US against the Bolivarian government. Eric and Caleb also provide their analysis of the future for the country with a right wing National Assembly, the potential for open conflict in Venezuela and throughout South America, and much much more in this wide-ranging conversation.
Intro and outtro – “Freight Train Rollin'” by David Vest
Musical Interlude – “Work Like Chavez” by Rebel Diaz
This week Eric welcomes to CounterPunch Radio author, political analyst, and regular CounterPunch contributor John Wight to discuss recent developments in Syria, and the regional geopolitics that inform all events in the Middle East. Eric and John go in depth on the downing of the Russian jet by Turkey, and what that means for the ongoing war in Syria. They address a wide range of issues from the interplay between Wahhabi extremism and the Muslim Brotherhood, to the political development, and regional significance, of Egypt. The conversation also touches on the economic motivations of the interested parties, the role of Israel, Obama vs the Neocons, British politics as related to the war on Syria, and much much more. This far-ranging interview is yet another example of the kind of thing you just don’t find outside CounterPunch.
Intro/Outtro: “Freight Train Rollin'” by David Vest
Interlude: “Where Were You” by The Mekons
This week Eric welcomes back to the show political analyst and human rights activist Ajamu Baraka to discuss Turkey’s recent downing of a Russian jet in Syria. Eric and Ajamu examine the details of the incident and the political fallout from it. They discuss how Russia might respond and how this changes (if at all) the ongoing war in Syria, including Russia’s active involvement. Ajamu also explains his reading on the larger political and geopolitical issues stemming from the downing of the jet. All this and much much more this week on CounterPunch Radio.
Intro/Outtro: “Freight Train Rollin'” by David Vest
Interlude: “I’m a Socialist” by Marcel Cartier
This week, Eric sits down with two amazing and inspiring teachers tirelessly working to defend public education from the neoliberal assault being waged against it. First, Eric welcomes to the program Jia Lee, an educator, activist and candidate for President of UFT (United Federation of Teachers) representing the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE). Eric and Jia discuss why she became a conscientious objector to standardized testing, the importance of democratizing and radicalizing the teachers union, and the ways in which public schools have been attacked, undermined, and corporatized.
In the second part of the show, Eric sits down with educator and advocate Mercedes Schneider who is the author of two important books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. Eric and Mercedes examine the rise of charter schools, the de-professionalization of teaching, the insidious effect of Teach for America on the profession, and much more.
Musical interlude: “Chicago Teacher” by Rebel Diaz
Intro and Outtro: “Freight Train Rollin'” by David Vest
This week Eric welcomes author and journalist Madhusree Mukerjee to the program to discuss her groundbreaking 2010 book Churchill’s Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India During World War II. Madhusree discusses her personal and ideological motivations for writing the book, as well as exploring what the Bengal famine and British imperial policy say about the nature of imperialism and colonialism in India and throughout the world. Eric and Madhusree also bring the issues forward our time by probing how the same agricultural policies, engendered by capitalism and profit, are helping to exacerbate poverty, dispossession, and environmental degradation today. Eric and Madhusree don’t shy away from debating the legacies of Gandhi and Subhas Chandra Bose, and the role of India and the emerging non-Western powers today.
In the second part of the show, Eric is joined by Danny Haiphong, a Boston-based political activist and columnist for Black Agenda Report, to discuss his recent piece on self-determination and political movement-building in the US and the Western world. The conversation touches on current trends, as well as historical exemplars such as the Black Panther Party. Eric and Danny also examine what revolutionary movement-building requires, and what it will look like given the current political and economic climate. All this and much more on this week’s CounterPunch Radio.
Musical Interludes: “Jara cafe te more te bose acho” by Unknown & “Sove Peyi Mwen” by Freedom
Intro and Outtro: “Freight Train Rollin'” by David Vest
support this podcast, donate todayThis week, Eric welcomes two brilliant guests to the show. First, Eric speaks with Don DeBar, independent broadcaster and Senior Producer at Community Public Radio (CPRmetro.org). Eric and Don discuss the state of the independent media, and how it has been rapidly transformed in recent years. Don presents an inside account of the corporate takeover and purge of Pacifica Radio and its NYC flagship station WBAI, pulling back the curtain on how Pacifica operates, and why some of its good work has come to be overshadowed by the bad, especially when it comes to issues of war and peace. Eric and Don also touch on the war in Libya and how that exposed much of the media for being aligned with the US-NATO war agenda.
In the second half of the show, Eric welcomes Laura Carlsen, Director of the Americas Program at the Center for International Policy to the program. Eric and Laura discuss the 2014 Ayotzinapa massacre of student teachers in Mexico, and the obvious government cover-up of the incident. Laura explains what happened in late September 2014, what the circumstances were leading up to the massacre, and the inconsistencies in the initial government investigation. Eric and Laura also discuss neoliberalism and privatization, and how this massacre should be understood as part of a broader political process ongoing in Mexico with direct US involvement.
Musical interlude from Boukman Eksperyans – “Jou Nou Revolte”
Intro & Outtro from David Vest
support this podcast, donate todayThis week, Eric sits down with CounterPunch Editor and political kidney-puncher Jeffrey St. Clair who spins yarns about the early days of CounterPunch and the inimitable Alexander Cockburn, who himself makes a special appearance in this week’s episode in the role of angry thundercloud. Eric and Jeffrey discuss the quietus of journalism and, consequently, the importance of CounterPunch upholding the tradition and legacy of oppositional reporting and analysis. Jeff explains how Bill Clinton and the corporate Democrats served to consolidate the programs and policies of Reagan and the neocons, and how dear comrade Bernie, aka Chairman Sanders, is not exactly a leftist breaking from the party, but more like the party breaking left for a fleeting moment. Eric and Jeff discuss the environment, Gang Green, and the collapse of social movements, while also waxing poetic on the importance of culture in politics. Oh, and also, CounterPunch asks for money. Give us your money.
One of us, one of us! Gooble gobble. Gooble gobble.
Intro and Outtro from David Vest. Musical interlude from The Mekons.
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After a short absence, Eric is back this week with author, labor journalist, and all around enemy of the bosses David Macaray. Grab your hammers and sickles boys and girls as Eric and David discuss the state of labor unions, the importance of militancy and political education, international solidarity, and many other topics to get your pinko commie juices flowing. They debate whether organized labor should try to resuscitate the Democratic Party, or simply poke its corpse with an agitator’s stick. The conversation touches on the role of teachers in the labor movement, internationalism and labor history, as well as what independent organizing by unions would actually look like today.
From the halls of Richard Trumka to the shores of the LAUSD, this week’s CounterPunch Radio leaves no stone unturned…except for those being turned by scab labor…they can go to hell.
Intro and outtro by David Vest. Musical interlude from Billy Bragg.
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This week, Eric has an in depth conversation with economist Michael Hudson, author of the new book Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy. Eric and Prof. Hudson discuss the evolution of finance capital from its humble parasitical beginnings to the comprehensive global network of economic tapeworms and barnacles that it is today. They examine neoliberal terrorism, how debt is used as a weapon, and the disastrous effects of the financialization of the real economy. Hudson outlines the relationship between the parasites and their bloodsucking policies of austerity, providing insight using the example of Latvia, where he witnessed first hand the smash-and-grab nature of such prescriptions. Plus, Eric and Michael touch on Obama as Wall Street errand boy, the importance of left economic organizing, and much much more.
Musical interlude from the exciting new band GospelbeacH, and intro and outtro from David Vest.
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This week Eric and his guests discuss Ukraine and Syria, two war zones on the front lines of imperialism today.
First, it’s protests and clashes and fascists (oh my!) as Eric sits down with international relations and security analyst Mark Sleboda to examine the latest developments in the “New Ukraine.” Eric and Mark talk about the violence on the streets of Kiev and what it means for the future, while plumbing the icy depths of the coldly pragmatic mind of Putin as they discuss Russia’s strategy in Donbass. As they say in Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming,” and with no gas, no money, and a disgruntled military and Nazi paramilitaries, it could prove to be a very cold, and very long, winter in Ukraine.
In the second half of the show, Eric welcomes to the program activist Jay Tharappel, fresh off his visit to Syria. Jay describes daily life in the country, his charity work on behalf of the Syrian people and, like Blanche DuBois on the road to Damascus, the kindness of strangers. Eric and Jay discuss the realities of war, left imperialist gamblers, and the curious case of the migrant crisis.
All this and more on Episode 18 of CounterPunch Radio. Intro and outtro music provided by David Vest, interlude by Billy Bragg & Wilco.
support this podcast, donate todayThis week Eric and his guests mark the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina by reflecting on its lasting impact and the political lessons it has taught.
First, Eric chats with CounterPunch contributor and Editor-in-Chief of News Junkie Post Gilbert Mercier about his experiences in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Gilbert recounts his personal stories, what he witnessed in the city, and the political context within which Katrina should be understood. Eric and Gilbert discuss the sick logic of disaster capitalism, and the brutality and rot of Empire.
Next, Eric welcomes author and filmmaker Daniel Wolff to the program to discuss his work with Jonathan Demme on the film “I’m Carolyn Parker,” as well as his book “The Fight for Home: How (Parts of) New Orleans Came Back.” Daniel tells about the making of the film, the human side of the Katrina story, and the attempt to shape a narrative of both tragedy and hope. Eric and Daniel also examine New Orleans as a template for destruction and ehtnic cleansing from the inner city to the Middle East and everywhere in between.
Finally, Eric sits down with author and activist Jay Arena to discuss the current political struggle in New Orleans, the pernicious impact of corporate funded NGOs, and the importance of radical grassroots activism. Jay is the author of the important 2012 book “Driven from New Orleans: How Nonprofits Betray Public Housing and Promote Privatization.” Eric and Jay outline the causes of the political crisis, the corporatization and privatization of the city, and much more.
As always, intro and outtro from David Vest. Musical interludes from Billie Holiday & Louis Armstrong, and Dr. John.
support this podcast, donate todayThis week Eric welcomes political commentators Margaret Kimberley and Sukant Chandan to the program. First, Eric chats with Margaret Kimberley, editor and columnist at Black Agenda Report about the growth of #BlackLivesMatter, the controversy surrounding the confrontation with Bernie Sanders and its aftermath, and the importance of the movement’s dissociation from the Democratic Party. They also touch on the situation in Ferguson and the necessity of incorporating a critique of imperialism into the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
In the second part of the show, Eric sits down with political commentator and organizer Sukant Chandan to deconstruct the situation in Libya, as well as the general state of imperialism in Africa and Asia: What are its tactics? How have they shifted? How do we move forward in opposing it? Eric and Sukant take on the issues of African “migrants,” the spread of death squads, and the importance of creating unity among imperialism’s victims around the world.
Intro and outtro provided by David Vest. Musical interlude by Ali Farka Touré.
support this podcast, donate todayThis week, CounterPunch Radio host Eric Draitser welcomes two more outstanding guests to the program. In the first half of the episode, Eric chats with award winning syndicated political cartoonist and author Ted Rall about the controversy surrounding his recent firing by the LA Times on bogus charges made by the LAPD. Eric and Ted discuss the circumstances of his firing, the LAPD’s lies, and the stupidity and arrogance of LA Times management in siding with the cops. Eric and Ted examine the larger context of this story, including how it is an indictment of the corporate media which, once again, reveals itself as a servant of power. Ted also talks about his brand new book about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, scheduled for release in a few days.
In the second part of the episode, Eric welcomes environmental journalist and regular CounterPunch contributor Robert Hunziker to the program to discuss climate change and the precarious state of our planet. Robert and Eric talk about the state of the arctic, the terrifying implications of the loss of arctic sea ice and methane release, and much more. Robert also dispells some of the myths perpetrated by the climate change skeptics, and provides his perspective on Fukushima, the global water crisis, and a number of other issues. All this and more in this wide-ranging interview. As always, intro and outro music from David Vest, with an interlude from Billy Bragg and Wilco.
support this podcast, donate todayThis week, Eric Draitser chats with two brilliant guests about war and peace, imperialism, and the state of a very troubled world. First, Eric sits down with renowned author and peace activist David Swanson to discuss George Clooney, Africa, and the white man’s military-industrial burden. Eric and David highlight the hypocrisy of celebrity activism, neo-colonial superiority complexes, and the unmistakable barbarism that passes for presidential leadership in the US. They also touch on the moribund anti-war movement, the rotten smell of the Democratic Party, and why we should continue to organize.
The second half of the program features London-based journalist and political analyst Hafsa Kara-Mustapha talking about North Africa and some of the recent developments there. Eric and Hafsa go in depth about Algeria, its strategic and geopolitical importance, and the terrorism it has faced for more than two decades. They examine the situation now, and what it tells us about the future of the region. They also touch on the ongoing tragedy of Libya, the deceptive coverage of the situation in Tunisia, and much much more. Episode 14 of CounterPunch Radio features, as always, intro and outtro music from David Vest, and interlude music by The Mekons.
support this podcast, donate today This week, CounterPunch Radio host Eric Draitser sits down with renowned Cuban-American attorney José Pertierra to discuss the latest developments in Latin America, especially the warming of relations between the US and Cuba. Pertierra draws on his decades of experience working in international cases dealing with both Cuba and Venezuela, providing insight into issues ranging from the opening of embassies in Washington and Havana, to the geopolitical imperatives driving the shift in US policy. José and Eric contrast the US attitude toward Cuba and Venezuela, and discuss the political and strategic reasons for this. They also touch on the state of the Cuban economy, the mindset of young Cubans today, the importance of Hugo Chavez and his legacy, and the role of China and other non-western countries in the region.
All this and much more in Episode 13 of CounterPunch Radio featuring, as always, intro and outtro music from the Dr. of the Blues, the man with a PhD in Boogie Woogie, David Vest, and musical interlude from Rebel Diaz.
support this podcast, donate todayThis week, CounterPunch Radio host Eric Draitser goes one on one with award winning filmmaker and journalist, the inimitable John Pilger. Eric and John discuss the role of the corporate media in manufacturing narratives, its relationship to capitalism and commodification, and the importance of independent media to pierce through the propaganda. Pilger provides his blistering critique of the especially insidious liberal media whose misinformation and disinformation is so critical to the ruling class. Eric and John touch on an array of other topics including Greece, Ukraine, and debt as a neocolonial weapon. All this and much more on a slightly abbreviated Episode 12 of CounterPunch Radio, featuring as always intro and outtro music from the Dr. of the Blues, the man with a PhD in Boogie Woogie, David Vest.
support this podcast, donate todayThis week, CounterPunch Radio host Eric Draitser chats with two excellent guests about independent media, and the importance of critical analysis outside of the mainstream establishment. The first half of the show features a great conversation with CounterPunch Managing Editor Joshua Frank, who talks about the launch of the new and improved CounterPunch website while waxing poetic on the importance of family, from an independent media perspective, of course. Eric and Joshua examine some of the key issues on which CounterPunch stands apart from the crowd, including the left progressive paeans and campfire kumbayas for Bernie Sanders, and the state of the organized left in America.
In the second half of the show Eric is joined by Mickey Huff, Director of Project Censored. Eric and Mickey discuss dominant narratives, the writing of history, and the mis-education of the educational system. They touch on everything from the Orwellian phenomenon of groupthink and its predominance in our political culture to the use of the term “conspiracy theory” as a pejorative term and a weapon of political and intellectual marginalization. All this and much more on Episode 11 of CounterPunch Radio, featuring intro and outtro music provided by the Dr. of the Blues, the man with a PhD in Boogie Woogie, David Vest, and interlude by Chumbawamba.
support this podcast, donate todayThis week, CounterPunch Radio host Eric Draitser speaks with author Ron Jacobs, whose new book Daydream Sunset: The 60s Counterculture in the 70s is available from CounterPunch. Eric and Ron discuss many of the important themes of the book, including the role of music and culture in reflecting the evolution of the counterculture, and of American culture broadly, during this period. They examine how issues of class, race, and identity took their respective places in politics and society during the 70s, as well as the role of the Vietnam War in galvanizing various forms of countercultural protest and expression. Eric and Ron also juxtapose the politics of the younger generation and that of the 60s and 70s, and how the experiences of today’s youth are both related to, and distinct from, those of the counterculture of the previous generation. All this and much more in Episode 10 which also includes intro and outtro music provided by the Dr. of the Blues, the man with a PhD in Boogie Woogie, David Vest, and interlude by I See Hawks in LA.
support this podcast, donate todayThis week, CounterPunch Radio host Eric Draitser sits down with two important guests to discuss all things Syria. The first part of the show is an in depth discussion with Beirut-based political analyst and commentator Sharmine Narwani. Eric and Sharmine examine the latest developments in the war in Syria with particular attention to the battles along the Syria-Lebanon border, as well as the role of Turkey and other regional players. They also touch on the ongoing conflict in Iraq and the way in which the US continues to play a double-game when it comes to Baghdad and the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).
The second part of the show features an oddly congested Eric Draitser in conversation with Syrian-Australian political activist Reme Sakr speaking from Syria. Sakr provides her insight into the collective psyche and daily life of ordinary Syrians after more than four years of war. She explains some of the hardships they face, as well as the nuances of how Syrians actually view this conflict, their country, and its institutions. Don’t miss this important episode, which also include intro and outtro music provided by the Dr. of the Blues, the man with a PhD in Boogie Woogie, David Vest, and interlude by The Mekons.
support this podcast, donate todayThis week, CounterPunch Radio host Eric Draitser speaks with Glen Ford, Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report about everything from the #BlackLivesMatter Movement to the importance of revolutionary consciousness and organizing. Eric and Glen discuss the meaning of the slogan “No Justice, No Peace” and the implications of such a statement in terms of political action. They dissect some of the burning questions that the movement must answer, and draw on historical context in order to frame their analysis. The conversation also touches on the pernicious role of what Black Agenda Report has termed “The Black Mis-Leadership Class,” and the Democratic Party as a whole, in diverting black politics into the political establishment, thereby preventing any structural or substantive change. All this and more on Episode 8 of CounterPunch Radio. Intro and outtro music provided by the Dr. of the Blues, the man with a PhD in Boogie Woogie, David Vest.
support this podcast, donate todayThis week, CounterPunch Radio host Eric Draitser sits down with journalist and author Pepe Escobar to talk geopolitics and the emerging conflicts of the 21st Century. Eric and Pepe discuss the much publicized tensions between the US and China in the South China Sea, examining some of the principal motivations of China and its neighbors and competitors. They go in depth about the Chinese New Silk Roads strategy and what it means for political and economic development and integration in Eurasia. Eric and Pepe also explore the vast implications of the Chinese and Russian moves, and the ways in which the West is attempting to counter some of these developments, including Washington’s corporate-sponsored power grabs of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). All this and much much more on Episode 7 of CounterPunch Radio. Intro and outtro music provided by the Dr. of the Blues, the man with a PhD in Boogie Woogie, David Vest.
support this podcast, donate today This week, CounterPunch Radio host Eric Draitser catches up with renowned peace activist Kathy Kelly to talk about civil disobedience, the reality of the prison-industrial complex, and Kathy’s experiences in Afghanistan. The conversation touches many of the most pressing issues of war and peace in the 21st Century, including the insidious and indescribably brutal nature of drone warfare, and the impact of nearly 15 years of war and occupation on the young people of Afghanistan. Kathy paints a vivid picture for listeners of both utter despair and incredible resilience, providing a window into both the humanity and stark reality of life in that war torn country. Eric and Kathy also break down the moribund anti-war movement in the US while discussing ways that young people can still get involved in peace work. All this and more on Episode 6 of CounterPunch Radio. Intro and outtro music provided by the Dr. of the Blues, the man with a PhD in Boogie Woogie, David Vest.
support this podcast, donate todayIn Episode 5 of CounterPunch Radio, host Eric Draitser sits down with author and political analyst Paul Street to discuss a wide range of issues related to US politics and the precarious state of the “liberal Left.” Paul provides his perspective on what it means to be a liberal in America today, and how that is directly related to a willingness to accept serial betrayal of those one supports. Eric and Paul examine the recent history of liberal Democrats, including the treachery and subservience of Bill Clinton to Wall St., and what that tells us about Hillary’s campaign. They also discuss the upcoming election, the role of Bernie Sanders, and the illusory nature of his campaign. These and other critical issues are examined in Ep. 5 of CounterPunch Radio. Intro and outtro music provided by the Dr. of the Blues, the man with a PhD in Boogie Woogie, David Vest.
support this podcast, donate todayIn Episode 4 of CounterPunch Radio host Eric Draitser has an in depth conversation with analyst and commentator Yvette Carnell, founder of the popular website BreakingBrown.com. Yvette discusses her recent article in CounterPunch entitled “The White Terrorists: Lynching in America,” which attempts to pull back the curtain on some of the hidden history of lynching and its social, cultural, and economic underpinnings. Eric and Yvette discuss the “pathologizing” of blackness in America and the impact that it has had on both perceptions of Black people, and their own perceptions of themselves. Additionally, they attempt to draw out the connection between the lynchings of the past and the violence and police murders of today, with particular attention to the socio-cultural context within which these should be examined. All this and more on Ep. 4 of CouterPunch Radio. Intro and outtro music provided by the Dr. of the Blues, the man with a PhD in Boogie Woogie, David Vest.
support this podcast, donate todayIn Episode 3 of CounterPunch Radio, host Eric Draitser sits down with human rights activist and political analyst Ajamu Baraka to discuss his article on Israeli politics in the latest print issue of CounterPunch Magazine, as well as a host of other issues. Eric and Ajamu examine the racist rhetoric at the heart of President Netanyahu’s recent election victory, and the way in which the political language of Israel has shifted in recent times. Within the context of recent demonstrations by Ethiopian Jews, Eric and Ajamu explore the politics of identity in Israel, and how supremacist ideology plays a major factor Israel’s self-image and domestic policies, while connecting the issue to the ongoing struggle against racism in America. All this and much more in Episode 3 of CounterPunch Radio. Intro and outtro music provided by the Dr. of the Blues, the man with a PhD in Boogie Woogie, David Vest.
support this podcast, donate todayIn this inaugural episode of CounterPunch Radio, host Eric Draitser sits down with CP columnist Mike Whitney for Part 1 of a two part discussion on a host of political and economic issues. They touch on Mike’s recent article in CounterPunch magazine dealing with the Federal Reserve, interest rates, and the economic and political context within which they must be understood. Draitser and Whitney move on to discuss the economic situation in Ukraine, the war in the east of the country, and the West’s motives. Finally, they examine the global strategic situation and the shifting geopolitical calculus with regard to Iran, Russia, and China, and the U.S. countermoves. All this and much more in Episode 1 of CounterPunch Radio. Intro and outtro music provided by the Dr. of the Blues, the man with a PhD in Boogie Woogie, David Vest.
support this podcast, donate todayIn Episode 2 of CounterPunch Radio, Eric Draitser and Mike Whitney continue their discussion on a wide range of political and geopolitical issues. They examine the emergence of ISIS and the motivations behind some of its direct and indirect backers, and its impact on events in the region. Eric and Mike provide important context for understanding the true motivations behind the war on Syria, the role of pipelines in shaping the geopolitical developments throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, and how Turkey fits into imperial strategy. All this and much more in Episode 2 of CounterPunch Radio. Intro and outtro music provided by the Dr. of the Blues, the man with a PhD in Boogie Woogie,David Vest.