Category Archives: Iraq

I Will Be With You, Whatever

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Our headline is taken from the voluminous, seven-year official investigation into how and why Britain went to war in Iraq. Britain’s investigation by the independent Iraq Inquiry was unequivocal in its findings. Britain, like the United States, used flawed intelligence to justify the invasion, that Iraq posed no immediate national security threat, that the allies acted militarily before all diplomatic options had been exhausted and that there was a lack of planning for what would happen once Mr. Hussein was removed. Referred to as the Chilcot Report after the chairman of the committee, John Chilcot, the 2.6 million words describe a prime minister who wanted stronger evidence for military action and a more solid plan for occupying Iraq and reconstituting a government there. On July 28, 2002, roughly eight months before the American-led invasion of Iraq, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain sent President George W. Bush a personal note that alarmed some of Mr. Blair’s top national security aides — and was greeted with relief in Washington. Blair wrote, “I will be with you, whatever,” in what could be described as a promise of Britain’s support if the USA went to war against Saddam Hussein. 14 years later, we know what happened and the results have haunted Iraq, the USA and Britain ever since: more than 200 British dead, including 179 soldiers, at least 4,500 American dead and more than 150,000 Iraqi dead, most of them civilians, as sectarian warfare, terrorist groups and actors like Iran have filled the vacuum left by Hussein. Within hours of the Chilcot Report’s release, Blair acknowledged the missteps and intelligence failures but defended his decision to go to war. The big question now is, could Chilcot steer the way for a United States independent Iraq Inquiry? And, what will the ramifications be for the USA and the overly shambolic lead-up to the Presidential election? To help us understand the consequences for the United States and all the players involved, frequent contributor, the scholarly, Dr. Binoy Kampmark will join the next edition of Life Elsewhere.

Life Elsewhere Show #177 airs:
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How Did Our Experts Fare?

Oscar

Yesterday, just a few hours before the big shindig in Hollywood, we asked our two experts on film to give their predictions before a live studio audience for the Annual Life Elsewhere Oscar Special. The always exuberant, actress, writer, raconteur and media aficionado, Lisa Jane Persky and erudite film and media critic Bob Ross took their task seriously. After thoughtful deliberation, and at some moments having our live audience in fits of laughter, Lisa Jane and Bob came up with a well-considered selection for their predicted Oscar winners. In the aftermath, there are some  surprises. Now we know the outcome of the ceremonies, its fun to go back and listen as Lisa Jane and Bob give their earnest predictions. 

Click here to listen to Lisa Jane Persky and Bob Ross’s Oscar predictions.

On the next edition of Life Elsewhere, we’ll talk with Lynsey Addario about her new book, It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War. She is a photojournalist whose work appears regularly in The New York Times, National Geographic and Time magazineLynsey has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur and the Congo. In her new book, she graphically describes harrowing scenes, including her capture in Lebanon, being beaten and molested. In gruesome detail, Addario recounts seeing  bits of brain and skull embedded into the parcel shelf of a car, just hit by an air strike, then she writes, “I had a bad feeling that something was going to happen.” Make sure you don’t miss Norman B’s interview with an extraordinary journalist with stories from her exceptional book.

Life Elsewhere airs Sundays, at 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3 and repeated Mondays,  5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

Read Norman B’s interview with acclaimed architect Yann Weymouth at Trebuchet Magazine

Never Exaggerate The Importance of Incompetence.

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 3.26.59 PMIn the latest edition of Life Elsewhere, Dr. Binoy Kampmark joined the program to help us understand the turmoil in Iraq and what caused it. Dr. Kampmark, a learned scholar, appraises the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq with a terse rebuke by saying, “Never exaggerate the importance of incompetence”. After summing up the past and current crisis in Iraq, Binoy Kampmark offers an opinion which can only regarded as optimistic when he says, “If the United States is prudent about this, they can actually do well as a powerbroker”. This is a fascinating interview, where you’ll hear an original take on  the history and future of Iraq.

Also in the program, Norman B asks Caitlin O’Connell  senior writer at World Soccer Talk and Robert Priest founder and editor-in-chief of the new soccer magazine Eight By Eight for their response to the question “Is sex appeal driving the appeal of soccer in the USA?” Our two soccer experts weigh wit their thoughts and give us update on the World Cup so far. Considering that Team USA were still in the running at the time of this show, it will be interesting to re-hear Caitlin and Robert’s predictions.

The influential R & B pioneer, Bobby Womack, sadly passed away two days before the broadcast, so Norman B created a special tribute which included a selection of Womack’s hits, including, It’s All Over Now, Woman’s Gotta Have It, That’s The Way I Feel About Cha, Harry Hippie, Across 110th Street and Please Forgive My Heart.

The Podcast with Dr. Binoy KampmarkCaitlin O’ConnellRobert Priest and Bobby Womack is available now for download here.

The Sexy Beautiful Game?

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All over the world Soccer is known as The Beautiful Game. It’s also known as Football. In the USA, the moniker Football has long been claimed by what the rest of the world see as a gladiatorial spectacle, where the players clad in armor play a distant cousin of venerable Rugby, driven by the time demands of TV commercials. The World Cup 2014 has created an excitement unparalleled previously for Soccer in North American media. The fact that team USA remain a contender doesn’t hurt either. But, is there another reason why Soccer is rapidly gaining America’s attention? Could it be the appeal some of the soccer players have? Is The Beautiful Game sexy? To help us investigate this phenomenon, we invited back to Life Elsewhere, Caitlin O’Connell  senior writer at World Soccer Talk and Robert Priest founder and editor-in-chief of the new soccer magazine Eight By Eight. We’ll also ask our two Soccer experts for their up to the minute take on World Cup action so far.

Plus, Dr. Binoy Kampmark will join Life Elsewhere to answer the question, “Who Created The Turmoil In Iraq?”. Norman B will offer a tribute to the influential R & B pioneer, Bobby Womack, who sadly passed away this weekend.

Life Elsewhere airs 9.00am ET, Monday, June 30
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Who Created The Turmoil In Iraq?

IraqThe “Cradle of Civilization” is a common term for the area comprising modern Iraq as it was home to the earliest known civilization, the Sumerian civilization, which arose in the fertile Tigris-Euphrates river valley of southern Iraq in the Chalcolithic (Ubaid period). It was here in the late 4th millennium BC, that the world’s first writing system and recorded history itself were born. The history of Iraq from then until now is fraught with invasions, occupations, coup d’etat’s and of course, wars. As we prepare for the next edition of Life Elsewhere conflict in Iraq still rages, with forces from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) just an hour outside of Baghdad while the Syrian military is reportedly bombing the insurgents. Binoy KampmarkTo help us better understand the complexities of the Iraqi situation, Dr. Binoy Kampmark will join the program. Dr. Kampmark’s research and teaching interests lie in the intersections of law, international relations and history. Much of this involves the examination of conflict, diplomacy, and the various crises confronting international society. diplomacy, and the various crises confronting international society. Binoy teaches core legal courses within the Legal and Dispute Studies program for the Bachelor of Social Science at RMIT University.

Life Elsewhere airs 9.00am ET, Monday, June 30
WMNF 88.5fm
www.wmnf.org
Podcast