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”