Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Ralph Nader Radio Hour
An Undertaker in Gaza

An Undertaker in Gaza


We focus once again on the ongoing genocide in Gaza with Delinda Hanley, executive editor of the “Washington Report on Middle East Affairs” who tells the heartrending story of an undertaker in Gaza who since October 8th personally has had to bury over 17,000 people. Then, Ralph welcomes back retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft to widen out the discussion to include the war in Ukraine and contends that “the Pentagon runs America.”

Delinda Hanley is news editor and executive director of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. She writes extensively for the magazine on an array of topics and her stories have also been published in the Arab News, Saudi ARAMCO World, The Minaret, Islamic Horizons and other U.S. magazines, including The Jewish Spectator. She has written extensively on Palestine, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Libya, the emergence of the Muslim voice in Arab politics, and fairness in the mainstream American media.

During this (Gaza) crisis, it's been a meeting point for people on the sidewalk. We've had fundraisers, people just come and vent because they're so upset about our U.S. foreign policy. Diplomats come in and vent about how they don't get a say anymore—it's just top-down foreign policy decisions. We've had ex-military people, who served in Iraq, vent. Everyone just comes here and starts to feel a little better because they're talking to like-minded people. The only people who don't come here are the media. We've never had a story about the magazine. It's just verboten.

Delinda Hanley

While most publications depend on advertising to last, we don't have much advertising. Only charities dare to advertise with us because if you're a lawyer or insurance salesman, you get phone calls from our adversaries saying, "That's an anti-Semitic magazine. Don't do that. You won't have our business." We have a real problem with advertising. And also, may I say, we are so happy to send free subscriptions to libraries…Libraries are afraid to have us on their shelves sometimes because they get complaints. 

Delinda Hanley

Lawrence Wilkerson - Rotten Tomatoes

Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired U.S. Army colonel. Over his 31 years of service, Colonel Wilkerson served as Secretary of State Colin Powell's Chief of Staff from 2002 to 2005, and Special Assistant to General Powell when he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993. Colonel Wilkerson also served as Deputy Director and Director of the U.S. Marine Corps War College at Quantico, Virginia, and for fifteen years he was the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Government and Public Policy at the College of William and Mary. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Eisenhower Media Network, senior advisor to the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, and co-founder of the All-Volunteer Force Forum

AIPAC—the Israeli-government-can-do-no-wrong lobby here—poured over $14 million to defeat Jamaal Bowman, the Democrat from the Bronx and Westchester County just this week in the primary. And it came down to $17,000 an hour they were spending on blanket ads and other media against this super progressive member of Congress who dared a few weeks after October 7th to call for a permanent ceasefire and describe what Netanyahu was doing as genocide.

Ralph Nader

We know, all of us know, that the armed forces of the United States are broken. They are broken from years and years of the all-volunteer force, years and years of war, years and years of stupid idiotic war with no purpose, years and years of wounds, PTSD, suicides just off the charts now. And the armed forces are not doing well. 

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson

In Case You Haven’t Heard with Francesco DeSantis

News 6/26/24

1. In a story that could have been written 200 years ago, independence activists in the French territory of New Caledonia in the Pacific have been sent to mainland France for pre-trial detention, per Al Jazeera. According to this report, these seven detainees include Christian Tein, head of the pro-independence group Field Action Coordination Cell, or CCAT. Tein’s lawyer Pierre Ortent said he was “stupefied” that Tein was being being held in France, accusing authorities of “answering to purely political considerations.” A lawyer for another detainee said these actions would only create “martyrs for the independence cause.” Riots broke out in New Caledonia earlier this year when France instituted new rules allowing long-term, non-indigenous residents to participate in independence referenda – which “Indigenous Kanaks feared…would dilute their vote.” France deployed 3,000 soldiers in response. New Caledonia remains on the United Nations list of “non-self-governing territories,” the modern euphemism for imperial colonies.

2. Following a decade-long legal battle, the saga of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is finally coming to a close. Defending Rights and Dissent reports “On Monday, it was announced that Assange had filed a guilty plea in the US District of Northern Mariana Islands. Assange, who faced 17 counts under the Espionage Act and one count of conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud And Abuse Act, pled guilty to [a] single count of conspiracy… Assange…will make an appearance in court and be sentenced to time served. He will then return to Australia a free man.” However, Policy Director Chip Gibbons was quick to note “Plea deals…set no legal precedent…the US government’s decision to charge Assange under the Espionage Act remains unconstitutional due to the First Amendment’s press freedom guarantees.”

3. In an interview with Declassified UK, reported by Yahoo News, Independent MP Candidate and former Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn recounted how he was pressured to give blanket support to military actions by Israel. In the interview, he said “During one extremely hostile meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party Committee they confronted me and said will you give a blanket undertaking that you, as party leader and potentially prime minister, will automatically support any military action Israel undertakes?” Corbyn responded “no, I will give no such undertaking, because the issue of Palestine has to be resolved and Palestinian people do not deserve to live under occupation…” Corbyn is currently fighting to keep his longtime seat in Islington North after being expelled from the Labour Party by it’s reportedly CIA-linked new leader, Keir Starmer.

4. British humanitarian group Save the Children has published a new report which finds “Over 20,000 children [are] estimated to be lost, disappeared, detained, buried under the rubble or in mass graves,” in Gaza. A Child Protection Specialist with the group, on the ground in Gaza, is quoted saying “Every day we find more unaccompanied children and every day it is harder to support them…there is no safe place in Gaza… Neighbours and extended family members who have taken in lone children are struggling to meet their basic needs, such as shelter, food, and water. Many are with strangers - or completely alone - increasing the risk of violence, abuse exploitation and neglect.” Jeremy Stoner, the group’s regional director for the Middle East, says “Gaza has become a graveyard for children.”

5. On Tuesday, a new citizenship law took effect in Germany, allowing new immigrants to obtain a German passport within five years – but only if they declare that the State of Israel has the right to exist, per the Financial Times. This piece notes that the “[German] government…has…sparked anger by…[cracking] down on…criticism of the Israeli government over its conduct in Gaza, fuelling (sic.) a debate over free speech in Germany, particularly among artists and academics. Sabine Döring, Germany’s junior minister for higher education, was forced to resign earlier this month after her ministry started exploring legal options to defund the research of German academics who had signed a public letter criticising a police crackdown on anti-Israeli student protests.”

6. AP reports Israel’s Supreme Court issued a ruling this week that “the military must begin drafting ultra-Orthodox men for compulsory service…[putting] an end to a decades-old system that granted ultra-Orthodox men broad exemptions from military service while maintaining mandatory enlistment for the country’s secular Jewish majority.” The exemption from military service for the ultra-Orthodox Haredim has been a long-term flash-point in Israeli society and the issue has only grown more contentious as the recent campaign in Gaza has dragged on. The Netanyahu regime, which rules in coalition with Haredi parties, fought this ruling tooth and nail, claiming that forcing the Haredim to serve would “tear Israeli society apart.” Many speculate that the ruling will cause the ultra-Orthodox parties to leave Netanyahu’s coalition, which would precipitate the collapse of his government.

7. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, over 20 elder care facilities in the area have closed in just the last few weeks, which this report ascribes to “The long-term mismanagement of nursing homes by private equity firms,” like the Carlyle Group. Specifically, the paper excoriates how “Private equity firms extract money from nursing homes,” using “sale-leaseback[s]…selling the land out from under the facilities for lump payments…[meaning] Nursing homes are suddenly forced to pay rent or ‘management fees’ to occupy facilities they once owned…the same process…that resulted in the bankruptcy of the Red Lobster restaurant chain.” The paper notes that the Biden administration is promulgating a new rule that elder care facilities must disclose their ownership, while acknowledging that “This will hardly solve the problem, but it will allow families to make informed decisions about their loved ones’ care.”

8. Rumblings suggest Congress may raise the corporate tax rate. POLITICO reports “anti-corporate sentiment is running high among increasingly populist-minded Republicans,” and this article quotes Congressman Chip Roy of Texas saying “There’s a bubbling-up concern that we should not be doing the bidding of corporate America.” Roy is reportedly “consider[ing] kicking the corporate rate up to 25 percent, from the current 21 percent, if it means being able to extend breaks for individuals and small businesses.” On the Democratic side, Representative Don Beyer said “Every Democrat thinks the 21 percent corporate rate is far lower than is necessary,” and Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden added “Western civilization is not going to end if there’s some increase.”

9. The Guardian reports DC area coffee chain Compass Coffee is “hiring dozens of friends of management, including other local food service executives and an Uber lobbyist, in an effort to defeat a union election.” Compass Coffee United, the union representing these workers, “accused the coffee chain of hiring 124 additional people at cafes that are attempting to unionize…[and] manipulating worker schedules retroactively to try to make the new employees eligible to vote in the union election.” The union has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB. Senator Bernie Sanders wrote on Twitter “Claiming that a lobbyist from Uber & CEOs from other companies are workers in order to rig a union election is totally absurd & disgusting.”

10. Finally, in more labor news, CNN reports Teamsters President Sean O’Brien will speak at the Republican National Convention. Former President Trump wrote on Truth Social “Our GREAT convention will unify Americans and demonstrate to the nation’s working families they come first…When I am back in the White House, the hardworking Teamsters, and all working Americans, will once again have a country they can afford to live in and be respected around the world.” Trump and O’Brien previously met at Mar-a-Lago in January. According to Teamsters spokesperson Kara Deniz, “O’Brien’s appearance does not represent an endorsement of Trump,” and “O’Brien has requested the opportunity to also speak at the Democratic National Convention…The DNC has yet to accept that request.”

This has been Francesco DeSantis, with In Case You Haven’t Heard.

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Episode 538 Transcript
272KB ∙ PDF file

Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Ralph Nader talks about what’s happening in America, what’s happening around the world, and most importantly what’s happening underneath it all.