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"