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”