Monday, June 26, 2006

Frontline: The Dark Side

Frontline: The Dark Side, June 20, 2006

Amid revelations about faulty prewar intelligence and a scandal surrounding the indictment of the vice president's chief of staff and presidential adviser, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, FRONTLINE goes behind the headlines to investigate the internal war that was waged between the intelligence community and Richard Bruce Cheney, the most powerful vice president in the nation's history.

Foreign Affairs: The Rise of India

Once proudly socialist and nonaligned, India is being remade as a roaring capitalist success story and emerging strategic partner of the United States. Economic reforms have raised per capita GDP and lowered poverty rates, while New Delhi's growing self-confidence may help it become the swing state in the global balance of power.

In this special lead package, therefore, Foreign Affairs has brought together four top experts to analyze the sources and implications of India's rise — and the policies necessary for it to continue.

The India Model
by Gurcharan Das
"Once shackled by the state, India's economy is now among the fastest-growing in the world. But for that growth to continue, the state must start modernizing along with Indian society."

America's New Strategic Partner?

by Ashton B. Carter
"The U.S.-Indian nuclear deal struck last summer has yet to be approved by Congress. A top nonproliferation expert says they should agree to it in order to nourish the budding U.S.-Indian strategic partnership. "

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Robert Fisk: War, Geopolitics, and History (Audio, Video, MP3)

War, Geopolitics, and History
Robert Fisk, correspondent, The Independent
Noam Chomsky, professor, linguistics, MIT
MIT Technology and Culture Forum
Sunday, April 9, 2006
MIT, Kresge Auditorium

"Journalist Robert Fisk of the UK-based publication, The Independent, recounts his experiences traveling around the world and living in the Middle East, Fisk speaks on history and geopolitics in the Middle East. His focus is on the problems with journalism in the United States, which include an over-reliance on what government authorities say and the common mode of reporting 'from Baghdad' but entirely within the confines of a hotel room. Using newspaper articles and speeches from politicians, Fisk illustrates the lack of concern for Iraqis as human beings. Fisk's talk also looks at the Armenian genocide, which was downplayed in Western media. After the talk, Fisk fields questions ranging from the rumors of civil war in Iraq to the situation in Lebanon."

The Great War for Civilisation : The Conquest of the Middle East

Book Description

"During the thirty years that award-winning journalist Robert Fisk has been reporting on the Middle East, he has covered every major event in the region, from the Algerian Civil War to the Iranian Revolution, from the American hostage crisis in Beirut (as one of only two Western journalists in the city at the time) to the Iran-Iraq War, from the Russian invasion of Afghanistan to Israel’s invasions of Lebanon, from the Gulf War to the invasion and ongoing war in Iraq. Now he brings his knowledge, his firsthand experience and his intimate understanding of the Middle East to a book that addresses the full complexity of its political history and its current state of affairs.

Passionate in his concerns about the region and relentless in his pursuit of the truth, Fisk has been able to enter the world of the Middle East and the lives of its people as few other journalists have. The result is a work of stunning reportage. His unblinking eyewitness testimony to the horrors of war places him squarely in the tradition of the great frontline reporters of the Second World War. His searing descriptions of lives mangled in the chaos of battle and of the battles themselves are at once dreadful and heartrending."

American Experience: LBJ (1991)

American Experience: LBJ (1991)
4 Hours

One of the most controversial U.S. presidents, Lyndon Baines Johnson rose from obscurity to the pinnacle of power, only to suffer disillusionment and defeat. Witness the events that brought LBJ from Texas to Washington, the White House, and a landslide election in 1964. Follow his triumphs in passing passes a wave of social legislation. Then, as war and civil turmoil ravage the country, his downward spiral ends in withdrawal from politics.

"LBJ, Lyndon Baines Johnson -- Texan, Democrat, political virtuoso. He rises up out of the 1960s like a Colossus, like something from Shakespeare, filling the stage -- 10, 12 characters in one. He is admired and he is detested. Everybody who knew him had stories.

Yet Lyndon Johnson was hard for the country to know. He seemed so stiff and colorless on television, not at all himself. The real Lyndon Johnson was a mover, a driver, a charmer, a bully -- six feet four inches tall with a size 7-3/8 Stetson hat. He loved food -- chili and tapioca pudding. He loved attractive women. He was a good dancer, a brilliant mimic. He was funny, often hilarious. They all say that.

But the real measure of a leader is what he gets done, the size of the problems he faces. Before Lyndon Johnson, we were essentially a segregated society. Inequality among black Americans in the South was set in law. Before Lyndon Johnson, there was no Head Start program, no Medicare -- so much that we take for granted -- and before Lyndon Johnson, very few Americans had even heard of Vietnam. He is a story, a very American story and, in all, a tragedy in the real sense. He's the central character in a struggle of moral importance ending in ruin. "