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The K-P Line – Test Audio – The Assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh – Implications for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

December 3, 2020

Introducing the K-P Line video series

The K-P line (Cretacous- Paleogene boundary where the “K” stands for Cretaceous in German) in geology refers to the geological divide which separates the extinction of most dinosaurs – minus the birds – with the rise of the mammals some 66 million years ago. It suggests breathtaking shift in Nature.

In global geo-politics it refers simply to Kazerooni and Prince – the thoughts and ideas of Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince mostly about the techtonic shifting geo-politics of the Middle East, an integral part of a larger picture.

We are learning to use a certain interview platform called StreamYard through which we intend to do the interviews and post them on – as they are referred to – “different internet platforms” (Facebook, Linked-in, YouTube, etc). These first early interviews are testing our modest abilities to use the system, much of which is technically problematic. We are working out the glitches.

I was able to edit out some of the more glaring technical problems with the audio in this test, but not the video. (Don’t ask why – not worth explaining).

But after listening to the edited audio I was convinced that the analysis there is solid enough to post for the public which is done below. In it, I interview Ibrahim K about the political implications of the recent assassination of Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, presented in the US media more from a technical view point – how it would or wouldn’t effect the Iranian nuclear program – rather than from the point of view of international law and just plain ethics for what it was – a war crime.

The first of many…

Audio: “ From Trump to Biden, Consistencies and Differences in U.S. Middle East Politics” ” Tuesday, November 24, 2020 @ 6-7pm MST, KGNU: Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues, hosted by Jim Nelson. (edited)

November 25, 2020

Ghassan Suliemani and Javad Zarif. On January 2-3, 2020, Suliemani was “drone assassinated” by the Trump Administration. Most Americans have no idea how destabilizing and politically destructive that murder was to U.S. Middle East policy…

 

Audio: “ From Trump to Biden, Consistencies and Differences in U.S. Middle East Politics” ” Tuesday, November 24, 2020 @ 6-7pm MST, KGNU: Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues, hosted by Jim Nelson. (edited)

Hemispheres the Middle East Dialogues with Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince. The audio is edited to shorten it about.

ME Dialogues, Ibrahim and Rob looked at the Trump transition as well as president-elect Biden and a few his potential foreign policy picks as they concern the Middle East.  Some of the names that have been mentioned recently are Michele Flournoy, Tony Blinken and James Sullivan.

Who are they? What can we expect from them in terms of improving U.S. Middle East policies, if anything? With the current adminstration still in the White House until January there is plenty of time for Trump to make the start of Biden’s foreign policy difficult.

That’s the Middle East Dialogues  on Hemispheres.

 

“ From Trump to Biden, Consistencies and Differences in U.S. Middle East Politics” ” Tuesday, November 24, 2020 @ 6-7pm MST, KGNU: Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues, hosted by Jim Nelson.

November 23, 2020

Who’s threatening Whom?

“ From Trump to Biden, Consistencies and Differences in U.S. Middle East Politics” ” Tuesday, November 24, 2020 @ 6-7pm MST, KGNU: Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues, hosted by Jim Nelson.

True there was no “October Surprise”, no U.S. military attack on Iran in the Middle East that some feared. But now that the elections are over – even if a certain person fails to appreciate the fact – the country and the world have entered an unstable period of transition where all bets are off as to how the Trump Administration will leave its Middle East mark. Remembering that in 2016, after Donald Trump had won the presidency how the Obama Administration and Congress imposed a series of sanctions against Russia which would make it very difficult for Trump to improve relations, now Joe Biden fears that Trump will complicate U.S. efforts to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, more commonly known as the “Iran Nuclear Deal.” There is a new foreign policy team coming together in Washington with names like Michele Flournoy, Tony Blinken thrown out. Who are they? What can we expect from them in terms of improving U.S. Middle East policies, if anything.
All that and more…KGNU-Hemispheres-Middle East Dialogues, hosted by Jim Nelson, with Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince. Now in its 11th year.

Shocking New Figures Show How Just Much the US is Fueling the Violence in Yemen

November 22, 2020

Shocking New Figures Show How Just Much the US is Fueling the Violence in Yemen

https://piazzadcara.wordpress.com/2020/11/22/shocking-new-figures-show-how-just-much-the-us-is-fueling-the-violence-in-yemen/
— Read on piazzadcara.wordpress.com/2020/11/22/shocking-new-figures-show-how-just-much-the-us-is-fueling-the-violence-in-yemen/

Center for Freedom and Justice – Colorado Interviews Rich Forer, Author of Wake Up And Reclaim Your Humanity.

November 18, 2020

Rich Forer Interviewed by Jennfer Otey on Zoom

Watch the YouTube interview above.

During the 2006 Israeli offensive against Lebanon Rich Forer, a Jewish Zionist from Trenton, New Jersey was forced by the events on the ground to reconsider his support for Israel. He studied the issue, read extensively and in this process came to new understandings about Israel and Palestine.

In this interview, he explains the process by which his ideas changed.

This is the first in a series of social media interviews by the Center for Freedom and Justice – Colorado..

As it is the first interview, there were minor technical problems (with the video) although the audio comes through just fine.

The Center for Freedom and Justice – Colorado supports a civic organization in Beit Ummar, West Bank, Palestine. Beit Ummar is a town of 18, 000 Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank, that area totally controlled by the Israeli military, the Israel Defense Force. Beit Ummar is surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements. Arrests of Beit Ummar citizens, many of them children are common place as is the destruction of farm land and olive groves in the surrounding area. Israel is trying to make life in Beit Ummar unliveable; our goal at CFJ-Colorado does what it can from the Denver area to help make life more liveable for the Beit Ummar Palestinians. We have supported educational projects, computer programs for youth and most recently a project to develop an organic farming project near the town.

CFJ-Colorado can be reached on Facebook – Center for Freedom and Justice Colorado. A website is in preparation.

 

“Everyone Does Better When Everyone Does Better.” Fifty Years After The Kerner Commission Report – a 2018 talk by former U.S. Senator Fred Harris

November 18, 2020

The Kerner Report, 50 years old, still one of the better guide for understanding racism in America and ideas of how to deal with it.

The Commission’s measures were vetoed by then President Lyndon Johnson. Harris was on the commission.

Fred Harris comments on the work of the Commission, what happened and didn’t happen to the report – Don’t make US Senators from Oklahoma like him any more…

Also available in pdf form.

Senator Fred Harris at 50th Anniversary of the Kerner Commission Conference.

Zoom Event: Interview with Rich Forer author of “Wake Up and Reclaim Your Humanity: Essays on the Tragedy of Israel-Palestine. Monday, 7 pm Mountain Time (9 pm Eastern Standard Time)

November 14, 2020

Dear Friends,

Center for Freedom and Justice – Colorado – a kind of informal Peace Corps like group that works on civic issues in Beit Ummar, West Bank, Palestine, a town of 18,000 people not far from Hebron – is starting a Zoom series this coming Monday. Our first interview will be with Rich Forer, a member of our group and the author of two books on Israel-Palestine, the latest being “Wake Up and Reclaim Your Humanity” . He will be interviewed this coming Monday, November 16, 2020 at 7 pm Mountain Time (9 pm Eastern Standard Time). We hope you can join us for this and the Zoom interviews that follow.

The information and link to the zoom are below.

Best,

Rob Prince

On November 16 at 7 PM Mountain time, Jennifer Otey of the Center for Freedom and Justice—Colorado* will interview Rich Forer, author of the newly released Wake Up and Reclaim Your Humanity: Essays on the Tragedy of Israel-Palestine . The interview will include a discussion of the root causes of suffering and conflict. A Q&A will follow the interview.

Join the Zoom meeting with the following link. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82508101839?pwd=UUZaM1liY0pybjhhQ3lxYyt0UlY1QT09

Meeting ID: 825 0810 1839
Passcode: 001971

For One tap mobile
+12532158782,,82508101839#,,,,,,0#,,001971# US (Tacoma)
+13462487799,,82508101839#,,,,,,0#,,001971# US (Houston)

To dial from your location: Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdoyrNSOVY

*CFJ-CO is a non-profit organization dedicated to:

  1. Assisting the occupied West Bank town of Beit Ummar in agricultural development and other income-generating projects.
  2. Increasing citizens’ awareness of their legal rights.
  3. Providing social, educational, and recreational services to neglected areas of Beit Ummar, thereby empowering individuals, giving them hope for a future, and reducing criminal activity.
  4. Helping to build a popular movement of nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation while simultaneously advocating a peaceful and just solution to the current impasse.

Prince
robertjprince.wordpress.com

The Magaziners and Prenskys Come to America – 1

November 10, 2020

Louis (Leizer) and Molly (later Malvina) Magaziner. 1910 photo

By 1910 both my paternal and material grandparents had arrived in the United States.

The 1910 census has the Magaziner family living in Brooklyn at 114 Boerum St, not far from the Williamsburg Bridge. Julius’ occupation is now as “brick layer. The family included his wife Sarah and three children. ”Leizer’s name has been Americanized to “Louis”; a sister, Molly (later Malvina) joined her brother along with a third sibling, named in the census as “Willie” (Uncle Bill). A few years into their “American experience” Yiddish was still the family’s first language. Although arriving in the USA Sarah Magaziner spoke six other languages (Russian, Polish, German, Lithuanian, Swedish, Ukrainian), twenty four years later, Sarah Magaziner, the family name shortened to “Magazine”, would take a course at Erasmus High School on Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn to improve her English. The notebooks of her English lesson, along with a copy of a letter written in English to her son Joseph remain as evidence of that effort.

Both the Magaziners and Prenskys had traveled a long, well worn path to get to Brooklyn.

Along with his wife Sarah and son Leizer, Julius Magaziner participated in the greatest wave of immigration that the United State experienced in its history. Between 1880 and 1920, a time of the country’s post Civil War rapid industrialization, the United States received more than 20 million immigrants, the majority of the arrivals from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, among them over 2 million Jews. As a part of this immigration wave, during the first decade of the twentieth century, all four of my grand parents immigrated to the United States from “the Pale”, then a western extension of the Russian Empire in central Europe, today divided between Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia and Moldavia. Jude, Sarah and Leizer Magaziner, as well as Abraham Prensky (from Grodno) and Molly Jackson (from Vilnius), all four of my grand parents were a part of this great migration, now more than a century old. At least parts of their journeys are documented in ship’s manifests, immigrantion and census documents.

On November 29, 1904, Jude Magaziner stepped off of a local ferry on the southern tip of Manhattan from Ellis Island where he had been process and admitted to the United States. Magaziner, who would change is first name to Julius soon thereafter, had traveled from Grodno, at the time at the western end of the Russian empire, then to Rotterdam, Netherlands where he boarded an ocean liner ferrying immigrants from Europe to the United States, the SS Statendam.

According to the Statendam’s ship manifest, a framed copy of which hangs in our living room, “Magaziner, from Russia,” nationality written as “Hebrew”, entered the United States with $7 in his pocket. The manifest claimed that he had never been in prison, was neither a polygamist nor an anarchist; it was also claimed he was in good health and was not deformed or crippled. Magaziner was headed to the home of his uncle, one Nacham Goldstein, who lived in an apartment on East 99th St. Magaziner’s stated profession was “laborer,” which he was until, 1924, when he died after three days in torturous pain, poisoned by Prohibition era alcohol that he would drink before heading out to work on cold New York winter mornings.

Julius Magaziner was my maternal grandfather.

Family “lore” tells a different, improbable – at least according to the documents – version, that Sarah and son Leizer (along with another son who died on the ship) did board the Westernland, that they were rejected at Ellis Island because of an eye infection that apparently Grandma Sarah had and forced back to Europe where, it took several years and a certain sejour in Sweden, before Sarah and Leizer could successfully cross. The documents do not verify this version however.

Although she arrived three years later through a border crossing from Canada at Vermont, the cross Atlantic odyessy of Sarah Magaziner, his wife, is documented as well.

She would follow in 1907 along with one son, Leizer, whose American name would become Louis. According to records, their journey was more difficult than Julius Magaziner’s. There is a record from early September of 1907, of the two being rejected from a Philadelphia bound ship, the Westernland from Liverpool, crossed off the passenger list, with their names crossed out and the word “rejected” clearly stated to the right of their names. Reason for the rejection was not given. The date on the file is September 11, 1907. Still, a record of her history was retained by the ship. It records her being thirty years old at the time (September, 1907), stating that she was from “Bialosk, Russia” (Bialystok), that she had resided in London for six months prior to sailing. A person described as “friend”, one J. Berger from “Bieldstock, Russia” (another misspelling of Bialystok) in the same document is listed. Further, she was planning to meet her husband, M. Magaziner who at the time was residing at 287 – 9 – Henry St, near downtown Brooklyn.

Still, soon thereafter Sarah and Leizer were able to make the crossing. We know this from several other documents.

A second document explains how Sarah and Leizer Magaziner crossed to North America. It is entitled “US Border Crossing from Canada to U.S. 1895-1960 for Sarah Magaziner
List or Manifest of Alien Passengers Applying For Residency to the United States From A Contiguous Country.” This document states that she and Leizer Magaziner traveled on an Allen Line steam ship, entering Canada at Halifax sometime in early October, 1907, and then headed for Montreal. From there, with Leizer, she took a train south, crossing into the U.S.A at St. Albans, Vermont before descending to Boston.

Although the exact date of the entry is not clear, on Page 62 # 2 of that document in October of 1907, that they crossed the border into the United States from Canada at the St. Albans, Vermont, a main entry point, before descending to Boston and from there New York City. It gives other interesting details that her father’s name is Benji (I assume Benjamin) Waszinki (also spelled Wyschinski, Wyshensky, Wischisky, etc). Her mother’s name is illegible

This document states the misspelling of her name as “Maguziner.” According to the record the date was October, 1907. It goes on to list that she is going to join her husband, Julius Magaziner at 287 Henry St. New York who is listed as Leizer’s father. It lists Leizer has having been born in Grodno. From Montreal she and Leizer Magaziner took a train south into the United States. It crossed the border at St. Albans, Vermont, where her entry into the country was registered on “The List or Manifest of Alien Passengers Applying for Admission to the United States From Foreign Contiguous Territory.” Her nationality (country from whence she was a citizen) was “Russia”, her “Race” or “People” – Hebrew. It is listed that she is from Grodno and gives a not very clear name and complete address of Benji Wychinski, from Grodno, Russia, who is also listed as Leizer’s grandfather.

And so it began.

1944 English proficiency certificate of Sarah Magazine who took an evening course in English at Erasmus High School (from where Bernie Sanders graduated). 82 sessions. She told her children she was “visiting a friend.”

 

 

“Four Years of Trump’s Middle East Policy: Waste Deep in the Big Muddy and the Big Fool Said To Push On” Tuesday, October 27, 2020 @ 6-7pm MST, KGNU: Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues, hosted by Jim Nelson. Transcript, Part Two (edited)

November 9, 2020

Bye Bye Donald

“Four Years of Trump’s Middle East Policy: Waste Deep in the Big Muddy and the Big Fool Said To Push On” Tuesday, October 27, 2020 @ 6-7pm MST, KGNU: Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues, hosted by Jim Nelson. Transcript, Part One (edited).

Part One

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There is something beyond these events that we need to keep in mind and that is the most pronounced difference between 2016 and today is that the United States is hardly a player diplomatically in resolving any of the regional conflicts. Peace making and influence has shifted dramatically these last four years to the Russians and Chinese … whether it’s Syria, Iraq, Iran – now the tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno Karabah – the Trump Administration is nowhere.

In the past, global power that could bring forces together – now finished. That influence has all but evaporated.

– Rob Prince –

During the Trump years, we have seen nothing in the Middle East over the past four years other than war, violence and one attempt after another – actually one failed attempt after another – of regime change.

Where it concerns the Middle East, first we have to accept that the United States is in decline, going downhill. One day we hope to have an opportunity – if we have a chance perhaps tonight – we will discuss the ideas of Ibn Khaldun, especially his notion of the cyclical theory of empire – the rise and fall of great civilizations, an apt theory applied to the United States today. The United States is nowhere to be seen in the Middle East; they have to accept the consequences of their failure and try to do something about it.

– Ibrahim Kazerooni –

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Rob Prince: A couple of more comments about the last four years.

As Ibrahim noted, referring specifically to the Middle East, we didn’t expect much and we didn’t get much.

Frankly there was no progress – none – towards peace in the region. The last four years are characterized by instability and war in the Middle East. Where you started — story of nov 2016 – before we say any thing – this was our prediction – turned out close to accurate.. these four years – nothing but war, violence, racism xenophobia

Most of the deals that Trump has cut are mostly concerned with weapons’ sales, weapons sales to whomever. Just short term profit considerations; no thought whatsoever to long term consequences. Looking more closely at where we were in 2016 and where we are now in the Middle East . US had limited options or choices in the Middle East.. Its options are limited to – military activity for regime change and sanctions/embargo.

– Every attempt for regime change has failed
– There are uprisings against US through out the region, regular missile attacks on U.S. bases as a result of the assassination of Qassim Suleimani, so much so that Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo threatened the Iraqis with sanctions
– Afghanistan – nothing US can do – they have to leave…
– U.S. has lost the war in Syria but refuses to leave. Washington is reduced to stealing Syria oil from the NE, burning wheat fields – on top of sanctions
– War in Yemen continues – U.S support of Saudi-U.A.E genocide there

No progress – to the contrary – the opposite towards ending the Israeli Occupation of Palestinian territories. Trump has given Israel more political gifts than any other president.

There is something beyond these events that we need to keep in mind and that is the most pronounced difference between 2016 and today is that the United States is hardly a player diplomatically in resolving any of the regional conflicts. Peace making and influence has shifted dramatically these last four years to the Russians and Chinese … whether it’s Syria, Iraq, Iran – now the tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno Karabah – the Trump Administration is nowhere.

In the past, global power that could bring forces together – now finished. That influence has all but evaporated.

Jim Nelson: When we were talking about Egyptian threats to bomb the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, you mentioned how previously the United States would have played a role in coming to some kind of compromise resolution between these two countries whose lifeline in the Nile River. Instead, now Trump openly encourages Egypt to bomb Ethiopia. That’s his contribution to “resolving conflict?” Read more…

“Four Years of Trump’s Middle East Policy: Waste Deep in the Big Muddy and the Big Fool Said To Push On” Tuesday, October 27, 2020 @ 6-7pm MST, KGNU: Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues, hosted by Jim Nelson. Transcript, Part One (edited)

November 4, 2020

Two versions of the same U.S. Middle Eastern foreign policy

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Our assessment in 2016 and our prediction was correct. We didn’t expect much at that time (in terms of changes in U.S. Middle East policies) – or we didn’t anticipate much – and we didn’t get much.

Ibrahim Kazerooni

I want to add a few observations about this recent announcement – orchestrated by the Trump Administration – that Sudan and Israel will enter into full diplomatic relations. Announcing this deal to the world, Trump added some gratuitous comments about the breakdown of Egyptian-Ethiopian negotiations over the opening of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Trump’s contribution to international diplomacy is a public call on Egypt to bomb Ethiopia! – Not only that, he went to say that Egypt should have bombed Ethiopia earlier!

Rob Prince

______________________________________________________________________

“Four Years of Trump’s Middle East Policy: Waste Deep in the Big Muddy and the Big Fool Said To Push On” ” Tuesday, October 27, 2020 @ 6-7pm MST, KGNU: Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues, hosted by Jim Nelson. Transcript, Part One.

KGNU – Middle East Dialogues – October 27, 2020

Jim Nelson: Good evening and thanks for tuning into Hemispheres. I’m your host Jim Nelson; Thanks for tuning into listener sponsored community sponsored radio – KGNU – Boulder, Denver and Ft. Collins, and at www.kgnu.org.

This evening we’re going to continue our Middle East dialogues. As always the two gentlemen who join us in those dialogues are Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince. (Kazerooni and Prince are introduced).

Let’s begin with a quick synapsis of what will be discussed this evening. We’re going to discuss U.S. policy in the Middle East – or lack thereof – over the past 3 ½ – 4 years during the Trump presidency.

As part of his “legacy”
– Trump moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem
– He ordered the assassination of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Genearl Qassim Suleimani
– He helped engineer the opening of formal relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and just last week Sudan.

That said, Trump did not over a specific policy vision for U.S. Middle East relations.

He did claim he would withdraw troops from the region. I’ll turn it over to you two

Rob Prince: Concerning the troop withdrawals, he reassigned them Jim; they never really left.

OK, I’ll start off.

Here were are a week before this big election and just before this particular program I happen to have noticed a cartoon/photo on social media.

It is divided in two sections, in both of which there is what appears to be a B-52 bombers, both dropping a slew of bombs.
– In the upper section bomber is dropping its bombs. The caption underneat under it says “Republicans.”
– Lower down is another B-52 – on the front near the cockput it says “Black Lives Matters”, behind the wings it says “Yes, She Can” and on the tail it has the rainbow emblem of the gay rights movement… it too is dropping bombs. The caption underneath this one says “Democrats.”

Here we have in one photo a metaphor of U.S. foreign policy, U.S. Middle East policy: despite their differences on domestic policy, both Dems and Republican strategic approach to foreign policy remains pretty much the same. It is a bipartisan foreign policy – and has been since the end of World War II. That needs to be kept in mind when thinking about the differences between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Ibrahim, concerning U.S. Middle East policy – where were we four years ago, where are we now. Read more…

Year of the Plague 29 – NY Times Columnist Paul Krugman on a Biden Victory Next week… Interesting Insights…

October 29, 2020

Homelessness – Denver, Colorado

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… Other countries probably won’t rush to confront a Biden administration. There might even be a sort of global honeymoon, as the world breathes a sigh of relief.

But the loss of trust in America will gradually have a corrosive effect. A trade expert once said to me that the great danger, if America turns protectionist, wouldn’t be retaliation, it would be emulation: If we ignore the rules, other countries will follow our example. The same will be true on other fronts. There will be more economic and military bullying of small countries by their larger neighbors. There will be more blatant election-rigging in nominally democratic nations.

In other words, even if Trump goes, the world will become a more dangerous, less fair place than it was, because everyone will wonder and worry whether the United States has become the kind of country where such things can happen again.

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Krugman the contrarian..

Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist on economic affairs and Nobel Prize laureate,  today is a knowledgeable and to my view thoughtful, if mainstream critic of neo-liberalism – for those unfamiliar with the term – the kind of economic chaos pursued by Reagan, Bush father and son and now with a vengeance, by Trump.

Earlier in his career, this was not the case although it’s not worth the time or effort to explore his “transition” or “epithany”. Whatever.

I read him regularly now and think the everyone, regardless of their politics would be wise to do so. His explanations of economic processes, the current situation are clear, objective, fact-based and a helpful guild to understanding what is going on in the U.S. (and world economy). Of course reading Richard Wolff, David Harvey too every morning – or every other morning helps round out the picture, both of whom I recommend highly, Wolff especially.

That said, here in America foreign policy usual takes a back seat to domestic issues in national politics… and at present, even domestic issues, economics unfortunately takes a back seat to personality descriptions, attacks. This particular presidential election is one so vapid of issues as have been reduced to little more than a soap opera.

In the piece below Krugman argues that should Biden win the presidency next week that the main consequence of these four years of the Trump presidency will not be on the domestic front. He speculates that much of the dismantling of regulatory bodies, the taxation system which overly favors the .001% etc, will be partially reinstituted, that the Coronavirus pandemic will be handled less recklessly and with greater national coordination, etc. – although rightwing violence will probably be around for a while. Read more…

Audio: “Four Years of Trump’s Middle East Policy: Waste Deep in the Big Muddy and the Big Fool Said To Push On” ” Tuesday, October 27, 2020 @ 6-7pm MST, KGNU: Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues, hosted by Jim Nelson.

October 28, 2020

Statue of Tunisian born historian and sociologist Ibn Khaldun in downtown Tunis. (1332-1406). He wrote a penetrating analysis of the rise and fall of civilizations… something still relevant today. Photo taken in December, 2011 just after the fall and expulsion of the Ben Ali government, thus the tank and barbed wire.

_____________________________________________________________

Audio: “.

Jim Nelson interviews Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince.

What has the Trump Administration accomplished in the Middle East in four years?

We expected little and we got less. Listen to a detailed discussion.

As the ad for the program noted:

Tonight on Hemispheres the Middle East Dialogues continues with Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince. This evening Ibrahim and Rob will discuss what the last four years of Trump foreign policy in the Middle East has brought to the region. Kazerooni and Prince four years ago predicted that the Trump administration’s Middle East policy would be characterized with a lack of vision and really don’t expect much improvement over the Obama adminstration policy. Well, four years later every U.S. led (or orchestrated) attempt at regime change has failed; there are uprisings against the U.S. military presence and U.S policy throughout the region and U.S. influence as a hegemonic power in the region has tanked as never before. Where is U.S. Middle East foreign policy headed now? A new renaissance? Prince and Kazerooni will probe the role of Turkey, which has emerged, along with traditional U.S. allies Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt as a key regional player in Syria, Libya and now in Central Asia as well; and don’t forget how Russia playing a larger role in the region. That’s tonight on Hemispheres.

And that essentially describes what the program covered.

Trump’s latest gaff – more or less predicting – if not encouraging – Egypt to bomb Ethiopians Great Ethiopian Renaisssance Dam. Colorado Protests

October 26, 2020

Taste of Ethiopia – August, 2019 – Aurora, Colorado

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Colorado Ethiopians Celebrate Collapse of Hailemariam Desalegn Dictatorship – 1
Ethiopia and the U.S. Geo-Politics in the Horn of Africa – Fifth of a Series.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam: Ethiopia’s Pride, Egypt’s Albatross

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The wrecklessness of Trump’s remarks – treating a major U.S. African ally so rudely – has triggered a landslide of Ethiopian Community voters to come out and vote against Trump, both in Colorado and nationally. Reports from members of Ethiopian friends in the Denver area tell of Ethiopians taking photos of lines of people waiting to vote, many of them Ethiopian. The whole community has been motiviated, including Ethiopians here in the USA that have never voted; they are asking for ballots and for help to fill them out.

_______________________________________________

Once again Donald Trump engaged in his daily ritual of foot-in-mouth disease. He all but encouraged Egypt to bomb Ethiopia’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam essentially stating that it is inevitable that this will happen – and that it probably should have happened earlier.

The wrecklessness of Trump’s remarks – treating a major U.S. African ally so rudely – has triggered a landslide of Ethiopian Community voters to come out and vote against Trump, both in Colorado and nationally. Reports from members of Ethiopian friends in the Denver area tell of Ethiopians taking photos of lines of people waiting to vote, many of them Ethiopian. The whole community has been motiviated, including Ethiopians here in the USA that have never voted; they are asking for ballots and for help to fill them out.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), situated in western Ethiopia on the Blue Nile River, has been contentious ever since Ethiopia broke ground on the project in 2011. The dam which has taken nearly a decade to build is seen as essential to Ethiopia economic take off as a regional powerhouse. Besides regulating water flows during flooding seasons, when fully functioning it would provide enough electricity to power Ethiopians industrial aspiration and greatly extend electrical power use, thus modernization, throughout the country. At the same time, Egypt and Sudan view the dam’s completion as a threat to its vital water supplies. 97% percent of Egypt’s water flow comes from the Nile.

Needless to say, some kind of negotiated arrangement between the countries on the Nile Basin, but particularly Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia is in order given the dam’s construction but to date negotiations held in Washington and later headed up by South Africa have not produced the needed compromise settlement. Despite the failure to reach an agreement, in July, Ethiopia said that it would soon start filling the reservoir, while Egypt has repeatedly warned against any unilateral action without a prior tripartite agreement. Egypt has threatened to take military action.

Trump’s entry into the fray, once again, only makes matters worse; he certainly completely undermined Washington’s image as “an honest broker” between two of Washington’s important African allies and greatly undermined any future possibility that Washington will be able to bring the two parties together – yet another U.S. foreign policy gaff, if not failure. Read more…

“Four Years of Trump’s Middle East Policy: Waste Deep in the Big Muddy and the Big Fool Said To Push On” ” Tuesday, October 27, 2020 @ 6-7pm MST, KGNU: Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues, hosted by Jim Nelson.

October 24, 2020

Two versions of the same U.S. Middle Eastern foreign policy

“Four Years of Trump’s Middle East Policy: Waste Deep in the Big Muddy and the Big Fool Said To Push On” ” Tuesday, October 27, 2020 @ 6-7pm MST, KGNU: Hemispheres, Middle East Dialogues, hosted by Jim Nelson.

Waste Deep In the Big Muddy – a Pete Seeger song about the Vietnam War, apropos to the U.S. quagmire in the Middle East

Four years ago on this program, Hemispheres: Middle East Dialogues, we predicted that the Trump Administration’s Middle East policy would be characterized with a lack of vision, more

In a nutshell don’t expect much improvement and four years later, we can say, we didn’t much… there was no overall improvement. Not only that but that the next four years until now the Middle East would continue to experience little more than war, violence, racism and xenophobia.

Four years later every U.S. led (or orchestrated) attempt at regime change has failed; there are uprisings against the U.S. military presence and U.S policy throughout the region and U.S. influence as a hegemonic power in the region has tanked as never before.

Where is U.S.  Middle East foreign policy today headed? A new renaissance? or further down the tubes?

As a part of this we’ll probe the role of Turkey, which has emerged – along with traditional U.S. allies of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt as a key regional player in Syria, Libya and now in Central Asia… Although wherever it turns, the limits of its power and influence are exposed once again.

Here this and more, Tuesday evening 6-7 pm MST, 1390 am 88.5 FM in Denver-Boulder area and streaming at http://www.kgnu.org.

Danny Graul -August 17, 1950 – October 23, 2020 – Singing His Spirit Home

October 23, 2020

September, 1979, Nancy and Danny. Adams County Blue Grass Festival. Molly, all of 2 years of age was there too somewhere.

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Westward Portrait of Danny G.

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Everyone should have a friend like Danny Graul.

He made it to seventy on his birthday, August 17 and then two months more. He had wanted to do that. He also asked to see our grandson, Teddy and one day just before he slid into unconsciousness I managed to bring Teddy by – a 17 month old little boy trying to figure out what he was looking at but Teddy responded when Danny said “Hi Teddy” and then “thanks Rob” to me. The beginning and the end of life…

At 10:48 this morning the hospice nurse Blanche stopped the oxygen to Danny’s system. He was still breathing with difficulty, gasping for air. Both of his sisters, Eileen and Sherry were present along with brother-in-law Roger. His housemate, Jennifer Norton, whose care and affection had extended Danny’s life for who knows how long was present too, along with Nancy who stopped by briefly and me. Another life-long friend, Becker, was nearby, concerned about COVID-19, but there in spirit.

As the oxygen tube was removed from his nose Miles Davis’s music was playing in the background with Davis’s biography on the shelf nearby. As family and friends grew in the apartment where Danny lay dying, I figured it was time to say good bye to Danny, kiss his forehead one last time, whisper that we love him and make my exit.  Too many people were accumulating in the room  in these COVID-19 days. Besides, when people begin talking all this nonsense of his “going on to meet his maker”, “God will take care of him” my stomach starts to churn, I feel like I’m suffocating and before I say what’s on my mind, … time to leave, which I did.

That he lasted as long as he did with all that put into his body and the ways he abused it for most of his life is a testament to his strong constitution. A first class juvenile delinquent, drug addict in his youth, his addictive personality remained a part of his being his whole life. He never really shook it but the focused changed from drugs to sports, jazz and more than anything else movies. Much healthier. If there were an olympic medal for movie going, Danny and his companero of decades, Becker, would be right up there for the gold medal. He’d see a film and – if it had some political impact – would just about insist that I go see with him and that we talk about it afterwards.

And he owned a used book store, Black and Red up in Arvada around 80th and Wadsworth, a successful one.

Well it was more than a used book store as it sold videos, records, cd’s as well as fancy games the names of which I can’t remember and never cared to join in with.. Occasionally he’d buy up rather special collections and thinking because I read a lot I could help him price them… which of course I couldn’t. It’s one thing to read a lot and quite another to know the business of books, of which I was, and remain mostly ignorant. But like the movie going, it was his way of involving me, of not letting our friendship die. In the end I think we both knew what it was about… just maintaining our friendship.

Black and Red was a successful used bookstore in an era where used book stores were dying on the vine, and Danny was a big reason for its success, his personal touch, his warmth, his virtual universal empathy for anyone down and out and despite growing up in a family well endowed financially and himself materially well off, if not spoiled, he never lost his sympathy for the working class and the poor; he deeply hated racism, homophobia, sexism in all its forms – although he ran into all three regularly. Of course being one of the most disorganized people I have ever come across it’s hard to believe that he ran a successful business – but he did, thanks competent store managers who kept the place in order. But he was key to its success.

Danny had so many insecurities… and once a person got to know him it was pretty clear that he was most of his life “an easy touch.” The number of people who milked him for money, drugs and other favors – who took advantage of his good nature – are well known, if not legendary. It took him most of his life to understand that hard lesson: one doesn’t buy friendship, even if one craves it.

There is one woman whom on his behalf I would like to personally strangle for the way she systematically ripped him off big time… we all know who she is – and she knows we know. But then, I’m a pacifist and I can’t even go kneecap her. There’s the fact that it was his struggle, not mine and even those of us who were his good friends knew – and told him repeatedly – that we couldn’t fight his battles for him, only give him advice that he agreed with but never took because it hurt too much. That said, it was his insecurities and his sense of honesty about them, the way he could let them all hang out, discuss them – that drew me to him for the 47 or 48 years of our friendship, a man whose mother once told him that she cursed the day he was born – something that wounded him deeply his whole life. I knew that I had most of the same insecurities Danny expressed, perhaps a little more manageable, but really not much. He wasn’t just “my friend” but our friend – Nancy cared for Danny, loved him as much as I do.

Jack Galvin, Scottie Keating, Joe Grindon, now Danny Graul – a Jewish kid’s “recovering” Catholic friends! How I loved each of them. How fortunate I have been to have had them in my life.