Fight the Empire

We live in an empire that began 500 years ago with the European conquest of the Americas. This program looks at how the empire permeates our lives.

 

What are we doing in the world? What are we doing to the world?

George Kennan was an influential US diplomat during the Cold War years. It was he who devised the containment strategy against the Soviet Union (as opposed to a more aggressive rollback policy). In February 1948 Kennan presented a document to President Truman, Presidential Policy Statement #23, which includes the following:

"The US has  50 percent of the world's wealth, but only 6.3 percent of its population. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which permits us to maintain this position of disparity...To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming, and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives.

"We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans the better."

Some have claimed that Kennan was speaking as a foreign policy "realist," and arguing against an ideological anti-Communist crusade. That may be so, but his words are clear, as Noam Chomsky has pointed out. The US intends to keep for itself an unfair share of the world's resources. The main difference between the realists and the ideologues is one of tactics in pursuing this ignoble goal.

 

 

 

 

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Episode Archive

Fight the Empire on 08/04/11

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 08/04/2011 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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Bringing imperial history to current events

Richard Wolff returns with an update on the debt ceiling fiasco

Fight the Empire on 07/21/11

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 07/21/2011 - 9:00am - 10:00am
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Richard Wolff on the economy and the global capitalist crisis

Host Per Fagereng hosts a special one-hour Fight the Empire show with economist Richard Wolff on the economy and the global capitalist crisis. Your calls welcome at 503 231-8187.

Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, New York City. He also teaches classes regularly at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan.

(Presswatch is on vacation for a few weeks.)

 

Fight the Empire on 07/07/11

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 07/07/2011 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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Peter Bergin, author of The Longest War.

Peter Bergen on Fight The Empire

Peter Bergen is the national security analyst for CNN. In his recent book The Longest War, Bergen writes that Osama bin Laden fell victim to hubris. With his 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center, according to Bergen, bin Laden and his al Qaeda organization over-reached and paid the price.

He'll be the guest on Fight The Empire Thursday, July 7 at 9:30am.

Fight the Empire on 06/16/11

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 06/16/2011 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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An interview with Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox -- Thursday, June 16, 2011

A funny thing happened in Rome. The Catholic Church silenced an outspoken liberation theologian, but Matthew Fox would not stay silent. He left the church and went on to write many books, the latest of which is The Pope's War.

We'll talk about Pope Benedict's new inquisition -- his war on liberation theology and the dumbing down of the Roman Catholic Church

Fight the Empire on 06/02/11

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 06/02/2011 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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The Believing Brain—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths

Host Per Fagereng interviews Michael Shermer, author of numerous books including the most recent, "The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths,"a comprehensive theory on how beliefs are born, formed, nourished, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished. This book synthesizes Dr. Shermer’s 30 years of research.

Fight the Empire on 05/19/11

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 05/19/2011 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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Permanent-war, American-style

Host Per Fagereng speaks with historian and retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel William J. Astore about his latest TomDispatch post in which he takes up permanent-war, American-style, and its eerie similarity to “enlightened” wars fought by European monarchs centuries ago.

Fight the Empire on 05/05/11

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 05/05/2011 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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Can we transform the suburbs into sustainable communities?

Host Per Fagereng speaks with Wendy Brown, author of "Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs: The Thrivalist's Guide to Life Without Oil."

In the age of Peak Oil,environmental catastrophe and a failing economy it is imperative that we transform the suburbs into sustainable communities.

Fight the Empire on 04/07/11

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 04/07/2011 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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William Pepper on the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Host Per Fagereng speaks with William Pepper, an American lawyer who practices international human rights law, about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4th, 1968.

Pepper was present at Martin Luther King's April 4, 1967 Riverside Church speech in which King launched a strong campaign against the Vietnam War.

Pepper thought that King's assassination was part of a government conspiracy and became James Earl Ray's last attorney. Following Ray's death Pepper represented the King family in a wrongful death suit.

William Pepper's books include Orders to Kill: The Truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King, 1995, and An Act Of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King, 2003. 

Fight the Empire on 03/03/11

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 03/03/2011 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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In Afghanistan, a Woman's Place Is at the Peace Table

Host Per Fagereng speaks with writer, reporter, photographer and humanitarian Ann Jones about her article "In Afghanistan, a Woman's Place Is at the Peace Table," which says "Let women play a bigger role in the country's affairs and see what happens to the peace process."

www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-jones-afghanistan-women-20110113-11,0,7690540.story

Fight the Empire on 02/17/11

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 02/17/2011 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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Osama Bin Laden

Host Per Fagereng interviews Michael Scheuer, blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and veteran of two decades in the ranks of the C.I.A, about his new book, "Osama Bin Laden."

Audio

America's Shifting Imperial Strategy (at Palestine/Middle East conference)

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Fight the Empire
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Sat, 04/27/2013

Ashley Smith, author of "Obama's Pivot to Asia" in the current International Socialist Review, addresses the April 27, 2013 conference at Portland State University on "Palestine, Imperialism and the New Middle East" sponsored by Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights (SUPER)

  • Length: 49:51 minutes (68.47 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 192Kbps (CBR)

Next Steps for the Arab Uprisings

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Fight the Empire
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Sat, 04/27/2013

Todd Cretien, a long time Palestine solidarity activist from the Bay Area, writes for the International Socialist Review and SocialistWorker.org.  This talk was given at the Portland State University conference "Palestine, Imperialism and the New Middle East", sponsored by Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights on April 27, 2013.

Building International Solidarity with the Arab Uprisings (Plenary)

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Fight the Empire
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Sat, 04/27/2013

A panel at the evening plenary session of the "Palestine, Imperialism, and the New Middle East", a conference sponsored by Students United for Palestinian Human Rights at Portland State University on April 27, 2013.  Speakers are Todd Chretien, Palestine activist and journalist with the International Socialist Review; Suzan Boulad, a Syrian-American involved in support to the revolutionary civilian councils in Aleppo and Idlib;  Sarah Farahat, an interdisciplinary Egyptian-American artist whose works have been exhibited worldwide; and Kelly L, an activist with SUPER and the Portland Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

  • Length: 28:00 minutes (38.44 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 192Kbps (CBR)

Syria

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 08/02/2012

Host Per Fagereng talks about Syria and takes listener calls

  • Length: 27:37 minutes (12.64 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 64Kbps (CBR)

James Howard Kunstler on his new book TOO MUCH MAGIC

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 07/19/2012

Host Per Fagereng speaks with James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency, a shocking vision for our post-oil future caught the attention of environmentalists and business leaders.

In the seven years since its first publication, many of Kunstler’s warnings from The Long Emergency have proved prophetic, and now in his new book, TOO MUCH MAGIC: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation, Kunstler argues there is now compelling evidence that the long emergency – a period of increasing resource shortfalls, gradual economic decline, and a forced change in humanity’s lifestyle – has already begun.

James Howard Kunstler was born in New York City in 1948. He is the author of eleven novels, including World Made By Hand and The Witch of Hebron, and four nonfiction books, including The Long Emergency.

  • Length: 28:47 minutes (26.35 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Tom Engelhardt on The History and Future of Drone Warfare

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 06/21/2012

Host Per Fagereng speaks with Tom Engelhardt, co-author with Nick Turse of the new book, "Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050."

The drone has been a remarkable fantasy weapon -- our version of Terminator planet -- and a blood-stained one as well. Increasingly, however, its reality is proving grimly mundane and far less like that of a sci-fi movie. But drones remain the weak sisters of the weapons world. They tend to crash at an alarming rate due to weather, mechanical failures, and computer glitches, leaving shattered silver-screen techno-dreams of cheap, error-free, futuristic warfare in the dust.” The Holy Grail of drone ops, the ability of an aircraft to linger over suspected target areas for long durations, has similarly proven disappointingly limited.

In other words drones are quickly turning from can-do into can’t-do weapons. And yet, they are also proliferating. Engelhardt and Turse say tomorrow’s drone warfare will likely mean ‘more’ in one other area: more dead civilians.

  • Length: 25:43 minutes (23.55 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

INTEL WARS: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 05/17/2012

Host Per Fagereng interviews intelligence historian Matthew Aid, author of INTEL WARS: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror, a detailed overview of U.S. intelligence since President Obama’s election which finds more problems than solutions.

Matthew M. Aid is the author of Intel Wars: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror (January 2012) and The Secret Sentry, the definitive history of the National Security Agency. He is a leading intelligence historian and expert on the NSA.

  • Length: 21:40 minutes (19.84 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

An interview with Michael Klare

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 05/10/2012

Oil and other resources are dwindling, and the nations of the world grow desperate for more. Will the hunt end badly or can it lead to a lasting era of global justice? Fight The Empire talks with Michael Klare, author of The Race for What's Left: The Global Scramble for the World's Last Resources.

  • Length: 17:48 minutes (16.3 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Bruce Gagnon on Weapons in Space, Military Expansion, War, Climate Change and Corporate Domination

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 04/19/2012

Host Per Fagereng speaks with Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He was a co-founder of the Global Network when it was created in 1992.

Between 1983–1998 Bruce was the State Coordinator of the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice and has worked on space issues for 29 years. In 1987 he organized the largest peace protest in Florida history when over 5,000 people marched on Cape Canaveral in opposition to the first flight test of the Trident II nuclear missile. He was the organizer of the Cancel Cassini Campaign (launched 72 pounds of plutonium into space in 1997).

In 2003 Bruce co-produced a popular documentary video entitled Arsenal of Hypocrisy that spelled out U.S. plans for space domination. Another of his videos, shot in 2009, was entitled Review of Obama's Foreign Policy.

He is also host of a public access TV show called This Issue that currently runs in 13 Maine communities.

Bruce will be speaking  in Portland this week on current U.S. space technology strategy, military expansion in the Asia-Pacific region, the effects of our war economy on climate change and ending the corporate domination of congress

April 20, 6:30 p.m.
First Unitarian Church, Fuller Hall

Entrance on SW 12th Avenue, between Salmon and Main
Donations $5-$20 invited

  • Length: 28:10 minutes (12.89 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 64Kbps (CBR)

PAKISTAN ON THE BRINK:The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 04/05/2012

Host Per Fagereng speaks with journalist Ahmed Rashid about the relationship between Islamabad and Kabul and U.S.-Pakistani relations.

Ahmed Rashid is a Pakistani journalist based in Lahore, is a regular contributor to the Financial Times and The Washington Post, and has written for the New York Review of Books, BBC Online, and The Nation as well as various academic and foreign affairs journals. His most recent book is Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

  • Length: 28:17 minutes (25.89 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

 

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