Friday, February 6, 2015

Does U.S. Military Intervention In The Middle East Help Or Hurt?

"After much occasion to consider the folly and mischiefs of a state of warfare, and the little or no advantage obtained even by those nations who have conducted it with the most success, I have been apt to think that there has never been, nor ever will be, any such thing as a good war, or a bad peace." – Benjamin Franklin, as quoted in H.W. Brands, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (2000), p. 620

10 influential young Egyptians
This debate focuses on the U.S. bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Also other Muslim majority counties are included where the U.S. has been involved, such as Libya, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In this debate, two teams of foreign policy experts faced off on the motion "Flexing American Muscles In The Middle East Will Make Things Worse."

"With overlapping civil wars in Syria and Iraq, a new flare-up of violence between Israel and the Palestinians, and tense nuclear talks with Iran, Middle Eastern politics are more volatile than ever and longtime alliances are shifting. Here's a guide to who's on whose side in the escalating chaos." ~ Joshua Keating and Chris Kirk
Before the debate, the audience at the Kaufman Music Center in New York voted 26 percent in favor of the motion and 31 percent against, with 43 percent undecided. After the debate, those who agreed and disagreed with the motion were tied, at 45 percent each. That made the team arguing in favor of the motion the winner of the debate.

For the motion:

Aaron David Miller is vice president for new initiatives and a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Between 2006 and 2008, Aaron was a public policy scholar. For the prior two decades, Aaron served at the Department of State as an adviser to Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, helping to formulate U.S. policy on the Middle East and the Arab-Israel peace process. Aaron also served as the deputy special Middle East coordinator for Arab-Israeli negotiations and a senior member of the State Department's policy planning staff, in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research and in the Office of the Historian.

Paul Pillar is a nonresident senior fellow at the Center for Security Studies of Georgetown University and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Paul retired in 2005 from a 28-year career in the U.S. intelligence community, with senior positions that included national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia, deputy chief of the DCI Counterterrorist Center and executive assistant to the director of central intelligence. Paul is a Vietnam War veteran and a retired officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Against the motion:

Michael Doran is a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in Middle East security issues. Michael served as senior adviser to the undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs in the State Department. Prior to that Michael held an appointment at the Pentagon as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for support to public diplomacy and at the National Security Council as the senior director for the Near East and North Africa. At the White House, Michael helped devise and coordinate national strategies on a variety of Middle East issues, including Arab-Israeli relations and the containment of Iran. Michael has held several academic positions, teaching in the history department at the University of Central Florida, the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University and at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service.

Bret Stephens is deputy editor of the editorial page at the Wall Street Journal, responsible for the opinion sections of the Journal's sister editions in Europe and Asia. Bret also writes the Journal's foreign affairs column, Global View, for which he won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Previously, Bret was editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post, a position he assumed in 2002 at age 28.
Source: intelligence2 Debates: Debate: Does U.S. Military Intervention In The Middle East Help Or Hurt?

The Secrets Of Your Cable Bill

If you have cable, your bill has probably doubled over the past decade. The rise is largely driven by fees for channels you have to pay for, whether you want them or not. Why can't we just pay for the channels we want? Or you could watch TV without cable.
Source: planet money: Episode 488: The Secret History Of Your Cable Bill

Download or Play Middle East Wars Part 1
Download or Play Middle East Wars Part 2
Download or Play Middle East Wars Part 3
Download or Play Secrets Of Your Cable Bill


Music includes Studies In Non-Violent Action - Gandhi Is Camping Out At City Hall, Terry Gangstad - Basic Training Cigarettes, Compassionate Conservatives - Not My President Not My War, Groundation - The Seventh Seal, Capitol Steps - The Sound of Moose-Sick, Compassionate Conservatives - Chalabi, Ryan Harvey - The Violence of War, Earle Steve - Copperhead Road, Joni Mitchell -The fiddle and the drum, Phil Cohen & Patricia Ford - War For The Roses, Bobby McFerrin - Sunshine of Your Love, The Beatles - Let It Be, Movie Songs - Mission Impossible Theme

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