Conversation: Counterpunch Radio Exposing Lies of the Empire

CounterPunch Radio (Ep. 31) now available for streaming and download from CounterPunch.

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This week Eric Draitser sat down with philosopher, filmmaker, and author of the new book “Exposing Lies of the Empire,” Andre Vltchek, for a colorful discussion on culture and politics, imperialism, and the reality of the Global South. The conversation opens with an exploration of the role of art and literature in shaping politics and ideology, and how that has increasingly become lost in an ever more commodified and compartmentalized political culture.

Eric and Andre then discuss the nature of contemporary imperialism and how it manifests itself in today’s world. They go into many examples of Global South resistance to the Empire, why it’s important to support independent peoples and nations, and the necessity of maintaining an international perspective without falling into the trap of neocolonial arrogance so often exhibited by the “first world left.” These and many other topics in this week’s CounterPunch Radio.

You can buy Andre Vltchek’s masterpiece with major retailers, click below to buy from Amazon now:

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Saudi Arabia is worried – and not just about its king, By Brian Whitaker

We found this piece in The Guardian to be quite interesting.

Having lived in the Middle East for a few decades, it does to a large degree portray the typical mindset. Brings to mind an old Saudi joke that was always told in a boastful manner even though it was rather a sad state of affairs:

“It does not matter if the Americans have the best technology and brains. We have the money and we can buy any brain we want.”

Now, what do you do when you can no longer buy brains but have been forced to use your own?

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Source: The Guardian

First Published: 29 September 2015

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Extreme caution has long been the watchword of Saudi monarchs: caution in foreign policy, and caution especially when it comes to internal change. Since 2005, when the king nervously decided it was safe to allow elections for half the members of municipal councils (the other half were to be appointed by the king), it has taken a further 10 years to get around to letting women take part.

Of course, there are good reasons for this caution. Saudis often cite theassassination of King Faisal in 1975 as a warning, linking it to his attempts at reform and especially his introduction of television, which many at the time regarded as encouraging sin.

Large sections of Saudi society, and most notably the influential religious scholars, remain deeply conservative, and this social resistance means the rulers cannot implement change – supposing they actually want to – at anything like the pace needed in a rapidly changing world. To a large extent the rulers’ hands are tied, but this is something the House of Saud has brought upon itself by hitching its political legitimacy to the Wahhabi sect. If it can’t untie that knot, it is ultimately doomed.

Enter King Salman, who, in several respects since coming to the throne in January, has thrown caution to the wind. He is burning through the kingdom’s money reserves at an unsustainable rate and has launched an unwinnable war on his southern neighbour, Yemen. This is in addition to the conflict already raging across the northern border in Iraq and the war of words with Iran in the east.

Continue reading Saudi Arabia is worried – and not just about its king, By Brian Whitaker

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