April 08 2008 show notes

Topics, guests, upcoming events, quotes, links to articles, audio clips, books & bumper music.

Tuesday 08 April '08 show

  • Article: Petraeus Testimony to Defend False “Proxy War” Line by Gareth Porter.
  • Guest: Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist who writes for the Inter Press Service. His latest book, “Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam“, was published in June 2005. He served as Saigon Bureau Chief for Dispatch News Service International. Petraeus testimony this morning. He led off with the idea that what the United States is facing in Iraq is so-called special groups of Shi'ite militia men who are supposed to be the "cats paws" for Iran in Iraq. This is a key argument in the case for keeping US troops in Iraq and could also be a set up argument for an attack on Iran.
  • Bumper Music: Fire It Up, Modest Mouse.
  • Clip: McCain seems confused about al Qaeda again, suggests it’s a ’sect of Shi’ites.’.
    [McCain]: "Do you still view al Qaeda in Iraq as a major threat?"

    [Petraeus]: "It is still a major threat, though it is certainly not as major a threat as it was say 15 months ago."

    [McCain]: "Certainly not an obscure sect of the Shi’ites overall?"

    [Petraeus]: "No."

    [McCain]: "Or Sunnis or anybody else."

  • Clip: ABC Finds Soldiers in Iraq Backing Candidates: Obama and Clinton.
  • Article: Iraq’s Maliki threatens to bar Sadr from vote.
  • "My fellow Americans: major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."
    George W. Bush, May 1, 2003, Remarks by the President from the USS Abraham Lincoln
  • Bumper Music: Piggies, George Harrison, Beatles.
  • Article: For lease: 1 airport, slightly used. Chicago Midway.
  • Article: Berlusconi politics allow unions to delay an overhaul at Alitalia.
  • Bumper Music: Last Man Standing Bon Jovi.
  • Holding the administration to account. Don't rule out John McCain becoming president. Presidential pardons.
  • The web site up and down. Come to the chat room via thomhartmann.org.
  • Iranians are Persian not Arab. Saudi Arabia funding Sunni sects. The major funder of Sunni sects in Iraq until a recently was the USA. Torture. John Yoo memos.
  • Guest: Regina E. Herzlinger, Manhattan Institute Center for Medical Progress Senior Fellow, Nancy R. McPherson Professor of Business Administration Chair at the Harvard Business School. Liz Edwards said the other day that she and John McCain would not get cover for their pre-existing condition of cancer if they changed employers under McCain's health plan. McCain said "That would be mandating what the free enterprise system does". She said cancer would be covered, but if Liz was unemployed she'd have to search for the best price like the rest of the uninsured.
  • Bumper Music: Drugs I Need, The, Austin Lounge Lizards.
  • Billy Townsend got put into Part D of Medicare that it was against the law to negotiate with drug companies. John McCain, preexisting conditions cover. He proposed extra Medicaid - the part federal partial state program, typically for low income kids. Tax credits would be like like school vouchers, only of use to the rich.
  • Bumper Music: Troubadour, George Strait.
  • Bumper Music: Play With Fire, Rolling Stones.
  • Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News. Petraeus and Crocker hearings in the Senate. Petraeus wants a 45 day period in July to consolidate and evaluate after the surge reduction. Progress fragile, reversible. 15 months ago Iraq was on the brink of civil war, hence the surge. Still on brink. McCain said Congress should not choose to lose in Iraq. Petraeus: agreement with Iraq tying up America, yet not passed by Congress. Executive agreement. Sounds like a treaty, which only Congress can agree. Hillary about it being irresponsible to withdraw, said it is not responsible to not deliver on promises. Iraq not made the significant progress promised, the situation is tenuous, time to begin withdrawal, get back to Afghanistan. She was the first to ask about the strategic agreement. Obama gets his chance this afternoon. McCain spoke of leadership, success. Everyone is still using the language of war rather than occupation. Money. The IMF projects that Iraq's GDP will grow 7% in real terms this year (more than the US), and inflation has been tamed. Iraq is going to purchase 40 commercial aircraft from the USA for $5b. They have $10b for infrastructure. $13b for reconstruction. They should hire Iraqis so they aren't going to shoot us. Carl Levin went after the 45 days stand down. Petraeus going for vice president, Senate? A lot of the press said he sounded very political. Harry Reid said we lost 11 troops since Saturday.
  • Hillary has fired Mark Penn for involvement in the Columbia Free Trade negotiations. Another member of her advisory staff took even more money for giving speeches in Latin America promoting it and similar treaties - Bill Clinton. Globalization.
  • Jefferson originally opposed independence from Britain, and had written a tract on how to be a good citizen of Britain. The Boston Tea Party was the tipping point for him. Thom quoted from the sole eye-witness account of the Boston Tea Party by George Robert Twelvetrees Hewes, of which he has a copy, and ranted on the theme: America’s First Anti-Globalization Protest: The Boston Tea Party.
  • Article: The political threats to globalisation.
  • Guest: Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA). He was a 3 star admiral in the navy. He commanded the George Washington aircraft carrier battle group. He was President Clinton's White House Director of Defense Policy and National Security. He holds a PhD in political economy and government from Harvard University. Petraeus and Crocker testifying on the Iraq war. Petraeus wanting more time to assess things was as expected. It is the questions he cannot and should not answer are the most important. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should have been thre beside him to talk about the impact on our overall military security now that the United States Army does not have any units here in America that can meet any timeline for any war plan. We have been doing almost exclusive training in counter insurgency to the negligence of everything else? General Hayden should have been answering for the CIA, what's the impact on the global war on terror on our security when al Qaeda has a safe haven now in Afghanistan and the porous borders of Afghanistan? If the impact is negative we should change the strategy, and that type of debate is not occurring. Petraeus is the micro of Iraq and we should be looking at the macro. The first Petraeus report was set up for failure and so is the second. He was told that some others had been asked to testify and had refused. Congress responsible by the constitution for the common defense.

    He's a superdelegate. He sees good in both, endorsed Clinton a year ago because he knows her better. It is not about them or the party, it is about the nation; we need a democratic president. We need another FDR; he came out of a brokered convention.

  • Bumper Music: This Could Be The Last Time, Rolling Stones.
  • Globalization. Sarkozy talking about "community preference" - tariffs. Berlusconi talking about going back to tariffs. India, South Korea, Japan and China still maintaining tariffs on most things. Toyota, the Olive Tree and the Lexus.
  • Book: The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas L. Friedman.
  • Film: John Adams, HBO.
  • Book: John Adams, David McCullough.
  • Book: Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History by Fawn McKay Brodie.
  • Left out from the book: Alien and Sedition Acts. XYZ affair. Matthew Lyon. Luther Baldwin.
  • Book: Diagnosing Jefferson, Norm Ledgin.
  • Jefferson, slaves rant, similar to...
  • Quote:
    "It's easy for us, in this day and age, to look back two hundred years ago and criticize Jefferson for all of this. He used the cheap labor resource of his slaves to maintain his lifestyle, and the consequence of the failure of his efforts to abolish slavery was a bloody Civil War followed by a hundred years of legal apartheid.

    Although he rationalized his slaveholding by keeping them in a style that exceeded that of most poor whites of the day (both were grim by today's standards), it was, nevertheless, a rationalization of slavery. Jefferson's lifestyle was made possible by slave labor, and there is no other way to say it. Recognizing that fact, many Americans are righteously indignant and quick to judge him harshly.

    Yet how many of us would willingly free our slaves?

    I’m typing these words on a computer containing many parts made in countries where laborers are held with less freedom and in conditions worse than those of Jefferson’s slaves. My rationalization is that no companies in America or any other developed nation make many of those parts any longer, and without parts from China and Malaysia I would have no computer. But it’s just a rationalization, and no less hypocritical than Jefferson’s.

    Sitting here at my keyboard, I notice that the shirt I'm wearing was made by modern-day slaves, and that the lamp that is lighting my room (the sun is just beginning to rise) was manufactured in China, where workers who try to organize are imprisoned. Since Levi Strauss just closed their last American jeans factory this year, odds are the pants I'm wearing were made in a slaveholding nation as well.

    I can rationalize all the products of distant slaves that I use - after all, I don’t have to look into their faces as Jefferson did (which may account for why biographer Fawn Brodie notes that whenever Jefferson returned to Monticello from any trip he brought gifts for his slaves, and his household ledgers show evidence that he smuggled significant sums to Sally Hemmings over the years) - but it's still just a rationalization.

    The stark reality is that we didn’t "end" slavery. We simply exported it.

    And it’s so much more comfortable for us to criticize Jefferson for agonizing over - but still using - slave labor two hundred years ago when we don’t have to look into the faces of today's slaves who are toiling and dying at this very moment to sustain our lifestyles.

    Thom Hartmann, "What Would Jefferson do?".

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