In a lively and insightful roundtable discussion, Ralph hosts former Marine company commander, Matthew Hoh, who when not deployed also worked in the Pentagon and the State Department and independent and unembedded Iraq war correspondent, Dahr Jamail. They mark the twentieth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and discuss the consequences of that misbegotten and illegal war. Plus, we hear a clip from Ralph’s and Patti Smith’s antiwar concert tour conducted in 2005.
Thank you, Ralph, for bringing on these two incredible guests. It's heartening to hear men speak so openly and bravely about things our government feels we don't have a right to know.
Went to Raleigh, NC to see the movie, "Ithaka," a short documentary on Julian Assange's father and Julian's wife in trying to speak out to the world even as they try to fight the insane show trial that seeks to extradite Julian. While actually slowly murdering this innocent journalist, the corrupt Mike Pompeo and now Biden, Garland, and our government still continue to persecute this journalist. Julian's brother Gabriel, and the filmer take the movie to our people, with John Shipton, a gentle, kind, wise father who speaks about the "rotten lot" of this persecution and the torture of his son. John, Gabriel, and Ray McGovern (who sang "We Shall Overcome" for us) were there with Matthew Hoh. It was sparsely attended, especially for the historical work that Julian has done with wikileaks. We must do the media work now to make sure Julian is freed. Kevin Gosztola's newly-out book, "Guilty of Journalism." and Nils Melzer's book, "The trial of Julian Assange; A Case of Persecution" is also out ( for years now.) These are all anti-war heroes, writers, activists. Please let these folks onto your important show. Also Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate, who are in the huge anti-war marches in D.C., And do talks each Friday on their Grayzone News. Please help, we need your show to address this awful mess, that's been going on for almost 11 years now!
Before it is too late for Julian. He is very sick now. We must show his work is right and that we know it! "War is started by lies. Peace can be started by truth." -Julian Assange. Especially true if we know the truths. Thank you Ralph and all involved. Peace.
Wikileaks exposed the fact of 15,000 more civillian Iraqi deaths than were counted. Julian Assange's work was about this! The Afghan War Logs, and the rules of warfare were published by Wikileaks. And info about Abu Graib. It is time to bring in Julian's contribution to these truths, documents, being published and still available on its website. Please, let's not forget him. In Belmarsh Prison, not even convicted of anything.
Yes and covid was a convenient cover up for the deaths of all who got cancer twenty years after 9/11.
Very interesting about Donahue!
This discussion of the war situation was indeed heart-wrenching and nauseating for me. I remember those times domestically. How outraged and disturbed I was about Bush and his illegal war (and at some point, also the torture) when I knew from listening to KPFK that Scott Ritter, the UN weapons inspector, had found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. All the US flags advertising patriotism. The Patriot Act. The fear. Librarians being up in arms about the privacy violation of the government tracking our reading choices. How proud I was of Michael Moore, coming up to the podium to receive his award at the academy awards, and using that public moment to bravely speak out against Bush and his criminal war when virtually everyone was afraid to speak up. I was touched by the vulnerable humanity of Jerry, a reporter at KPFK, who went courageously to Iraq to bring back news, knowing well of the intolerable war conditions, and when he returned and spoke about it, he was obviously deeply shaken by the unexpectedly brutal reality on the ground of people trying to kill him. (I'm not sure on which side, either.)
All this is very disturbing and alienating. How do we explain the inability of our leaders to govern with wisdom, statesmanship, diplomacy, humanity, and compassion, and to support rather than destroy our planet and all of humanity? Why do we have these endless wars of agression and create sanctions that cause suffering to people? Why do we have military bases all around the world? Why are our fish full of mercury? Why is our agriculture full of manufactured poison? Why is our rice full of arsenic? What is wrong with the way we are living, and what can we do about it? How can we become one again with our planet, and nuture it, so it can in turn sustain us? We are an interdependent ecology with the earth. We need the earth to be whole and viable, so we can be healthy. Is capitalism and the profit motive and the related corruption at fault? Or is the problem even worse?
I recently learned of a book "The Capital Order: How Economists Invented Austerity and Paved the Way to Fascism" by Clara E. Mattei. She says that economic austerity is an *intentionally designed* transfer of wealth from we the people to the wealthy elite. Is this what is happening? How can we take good care of ourselves and our loved ones and create a better life for all?
Mattei suggests that the first step is to inform ourselves of how this austerity mechanism works. The next step is to organize with others to create change. It sounds like a tall order to organize people with an independent spirit into a huge network of informed, proactive, and cooperative participants. Ralph Nader can attest to that. People are overwhelmed and busy and exhausted and worried, and perhaps are ill or addicted or homeless, and are wondering how to make ends meet. This life of struggle is one way we are kept apart, kept quiet, and kept powerless.
I believe Ralph would say we need to focus on the 535 members of Congress who need to be elected and need our vote. My view is that the expensive, professionally produced ads are brainwashing tools for candidates with big war chests who accept corporate donations, and unfortunately it often works.
It is now becoming a thing for progressive candidates to request contributions from people who are not constituents of the district they serve because they are able to get enough money to compete and possibly win this way, but how can struggling people support these out of area candidates, when we need money to survive and maybe to occassionally find an enjoyable passtime.
I enjoyed the conversation between the two guests and Mr. Nader on this week’s show. I don’t have much to add other than to say that one of the keys to reducing militarization is to advocate for the nationalization of the military industry. Foreign and domestic policy should not be driven by the need to keep the privatized military industry profitable, but many in the public who question US militarization are reluctant to pursue any policy agenda which may eliminate jobs. Nationalizing the military industry allows the federal government to produce defense items for need, not for profit. Those working in a nationalized defense system will be able to keep their jobs even with militarization as factories and engineers can be repurposed to produce medical equipment, infrastructure equipment, educational materials, green energy technology, or whatever national needs there might be in a given period.
Steve, it was mentioned in the Wrap Up that someone from the FTC will be on the RNRH next week. With that in mind, I have seen that Public Citizen is advocating that the proposed Kroger-Albertsons grocery merger be rejected by the FTC. Given that, I believe it might be fruitful to have Mr. Nader speak about this issue on the RNRH either with the guest from the FTC or on his own at another time. I believe this is an issue that many Americans have interest in even if they are not otherwise interested in matters of governance.
Here in Houston, like in large parts of the US, both Kroger and Albertsons-Safeway operate supermarkets. In places like California, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest, the two companies are the dominant grocers and they are also large players in terms of the pharmacy business. They are major employers in those areas and the two also own their own food manufacturing/dairy/bakery plants. It’s not just a matter of having competition for groceries and pharmacies, but the merger will have an impact on many jobs, often union jobs (Kroger’s stores in Houston, for example, are unionized), and on the US’s food supply.
In recent years, the FTC has failed to properly regulate grocery competition. An example of this is the botched situation involving Haggen and Albertsons in the Pacific Northwest during the Obama administration. It’ll be interesting to see if more pressure will be put on the FTC to ensure competition this time around given the increased sensitivity people have about food and drug pricing.
I remember this time. I was listening to KPFK in Los Angeles to a reporter named Jerry (his last name has slipped away - I'm sorry Jerry, you were deeply appreciated). Jerry had gone to Iraq himself to report first hand. When he returned, he was obviously tremendously shaken by his experiences. He had been well-informed about conditions on the ground in Iraq, but once there he had experienced fear for his life first hand, and he was not the same person. Jerry cared and was sensitive to what was going on in Irbefore he went, and he was angry about it, but it had not been possible to really grasp the situation until he experienced it himself.
Human sensitivity to suffering seems to be missing from our leaders, like a big hole in their moral compass. When I hear about these things again, I feel nauseated by what our country does.
The madness of our leaders is difficult to believe or comprehend. How could Hillary Clinton not know that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when I knew that from Scot Ritter's report. Do I believe she did not know?
How to integrate this war into our consciousness, and more generally the end of Empire is causing psychosis in those capable of integrating it and mass disillusion in those less developed (in and out of the militaries).
Our lying government, when it lies, is exacerbating it. We need to tone it down.
Thanks so much for this inspiring and heart-wrenching interview. I've read that there is evidence that DU and/or other highly toxic weapons are being used in Ukraine by one or both sides. It would be great if you and these two remarkable gentlemen could dig into that story, while also continuing to remind us of the legacy of these weapons in the bodies of the people of Fallujah and beyond.
Another good example of our political system and media employing their version of the story of the frog.
If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water it will jump out.
But if you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water and stick a lid on the pot the frog can't jump out.
Here's a good podcast recently between David Stockman and RFK, jr:
Has anyone ever heard of "crop dusting enemy troops with oxytocin?"
"Three days into Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a huge 10-mile (15.5km) line of armoured vehicles was spotted by a satellite in the north of the country. ...The western media called it a convoy. In reality, it was a traffic jam ... Forty-eight hours after... the line of vehicles had grown to a colossal 35 miles ... finally they retreated, and seemingly disappeared overnight."
"The assault heavily relied on... secrecy ..However, Putin's secrecy came at a cost. So successful was his deception, even most of his commanders did not receive their orders until 24 hours before the invasion."
"...They lacked food, fuel and maps. They were without proper communication tools. They had insufficient ammunition. They were even ill-prepared for the winter..."
"...maps left behind by Russian troops that date back to the 1960s and 70s. Whole towns exist now that were not on the maps that they were using to navigate. We also found semaphore flags..."
Very very exciting listening to all your guests Mr. Ralphster!!! Love listening to people that are 1 billion times more knowledgeable about something than I.
SPECIFICALLY Philosophers, Political Scientists and Historians!
Most exciting is when all 3 are intertwined with each other into a 1-4 hour podcast!!!
Keep’em comin’ brutha!!
NPR had a benign presentation of the Iraq War, interviewing a few placid people, a US service member who was involved and an Iraqi woman who is with a group paid to reconcile the conflicts. Shocking levels of denial in US media. And we have many other ongoing conflicts and the Congress does not care about the wreckage in the Ukraine Russia conflict. They are largely one sided.
a fundamental obstacle to peace [or indeed any national level progressive reforms] is the vast size of the US population which has grown to around 330 million - when you have that many folks milling around peace or reforms to safeguard democracy cannot happen. The People and the Congress are too easily set at odds or hogswoggled.
Amy Goodman is delivering a good series on this.
Please read Murray Sidman, Coercion and Its Fallout.
We can differentiate the regime from the people if we are told, repeatedly, in short stories (by the NYT, for instance). Perhaps the flaw lies within us: reinforcement is effective when local and large. Democracy is not for friends. Democracy is one person one vote one year out, 100 years out. William James suggested that no person can be excluded to save the rest. Our strength lies in knowing that we are creatures of habit: we learn to walk and talk every waking moment: every effort is novel, in some historical context.