Dr. Tewfik Hamel. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: What is your reading of the trial of strength which is currently confronting Saudi Arabia and its allies with Qatar? Some sources even mention the risk of war in the region. What do you think?
Dr. Tewfik Hamel: Many points overlap and deserve to be highlighted, notably the period of change in the Arab world which will not be short, but a constant struggle between the forces that are trying to define the future of the region. Internal conflicts are partly associated with these changes. Then there is the intellectual confusion surrounding the nature of this hostility. Added to this, are the rise of Iran and a sense of insecurity of Saudis that can not be appeased. Finally, the role of the United States:
Pr. Marjorie Cohn: « Almost 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets »
Professor Marjorie Cohn. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In spying on entire planet through the NSA, as revealed by Edward Snowden, does the US government fight terrorism as he claims or is it an excuse to spy on activists who are against the imperialist policy of the United States? Are this phone-tapping legal?
Pr. Marjorie Cohn: The US government is really trying fight terrorism but the use of metadata to target people with drones is unreliable. The US government may have a cell phone number that belongs to a « suspected terrorist », but the target may have given his phone to anyone (his mother, etc.), so the targeting is notoriously imprecise. Surveillance is used within the United States to monitor suspected terrorist activity, but can also be abused to spy on dissidents. Lire la suite »
Adam Bartley. DR.
How do you explain the emergence of the phenomenon Trump?
Donald Trump, unfortunately, is not a special case in American presidential elections and more pointedly the Republican Party. Barry Goldwater is one who comes to mind who inevitably won the Republican primary in 1964 after a bitter convention fight. Others such as Ross Perot and Wendell Willkie can also be compared to Trump in certain aspects. The point is that while advocating as a non-establishment candidate Trump is very much a product of the GOP establishment. Lire la suite »
Ben Schreiner. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Why do you qualify 2016 year of barbarism in one of your articles?
Ben Schreiner: In reality, we have been living in well over a decade of barbarism. That being the barbarism the U.S. unleashed upon the world with the launch of its 2001 global “war on terror.” 2016, though, appears headed towards a dangerous deepening of that barbarism. The global economy, never fully recovered from the crash of 2008, is once again greatly imperiled. All the recessionary warning lights are now flashing for anyone to see. Lire la suite »
Professor Mel Gurtov. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: You mentioned in one of your articles the non compliance with the War Powers Resolution by successive American presidents. Does the president of the United States decide alone, including in military interventions abroad? Can we still speak of a democracy in the United States when institutions such as the Congress do not weigh in the decision?
Prof. Mel Gurtov: When it comes to major decisions on war and peace, the US practice, regardless of administration, has been that a small circle of presidential advisers, mostly civilians rather than military, make the decisions. This circumstance is probably true everywhere, and certainly does not qualify as democracy. Lire la suite »
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America’s Got War
Poverty, Drugs, Afghanistan, Iraq, Terror, or How to Make War on Everything
By William J. Astore
War on drugs. War on poverty. War in Afghanistan. War in Iraq. War on terror. The biggest mistake in American policy, foreign and domestic, is looking at everything as war. When a war mentality takes over, it chooses the weapons and tactics for you. It limits the terms of debate before you even begin. It answers questions before they’re even asked.
When you define something as war, it dictates the use of the military (or militarized police forces, prisons, and other forms of coercion) as the primary instruments of policy. Violence becomes the means of decision, total victory the goal. Anyone who suggests otherwise is labeled a dreamer, an appeaser, or even a traitor.
War, in short, is the great simplifier — and it may even work when you’re fighting existential military threats (as in World War II). But it doesn’t work when you define every problem as an existential one and then make war on complex societal problems (crime, poverty, drugs) or ideas and religious beliefs (radical Islam). Lire la suite »
Jason Hirthler. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: What is your analysis of the current situation in Syria and Iraq with the rise of Daesh?
Jason Hirthler: The United States has presented the rise of Daesh as a grave threat to Middle Eastern stability and a just cause for humanitarian intervention. In fact, it was the United States and its Saudi, Jordanian, and Turkish allies who have facilitated the rise of Daesh and the Al Nusra Front. Both are descendants of Al Qaeda and have sadly benefited from Western training, funding, and arms. Among other sources, Seymour Hersh’s excellent essay, “The Redirection” from 2007 details the Bush plan to use Sunni radicalism to achieve its regional goals. Obama seems to have continued the policy. Lire la suite »