Flynt Leverett & Kenneth Pollack: 11 am EST on Diane Rehm


This is a day packed with interesting stuff. My colleague Flynt Leverett — Senior Fellow and Director of the Geopolitics of Energy Initiative at the New America Foundation — will be paired with Brookings Scholar Kenneth Pollack on The Diane Rehm Show at 11:00 am EST.
— Steve Clemons
Update: Also check out on C-Span today at 2:20 pm EST a great program from yesterday — “After the Iraq Study Group Report: Possibilities for a Comprehensive Arab-Israeli Peace on All Fronts” — with New America Foundation’s Middle East Policy Inititiative Director DANIEL LEVY as well as American Task Force on Palestine President Ziad Asali, Ori Nir of Americans for Peace Now, and Geoffrey Aronson of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.
— Steve Clemons


15 comments on “Flynt Leverett & Kenneth Pollack: 11 am EST on Diane Rehm

  1. Pissed Off American says:

    It interests me that in the above argument the two sides separate the United States and Israel, as if we can somehow ignore the role we play in the ISR/PAL conflict. As far as the “War on Terrorism” goes, and our own security, it has little to do with finding a solution to the ISR/PAL conflict. It has more to do with the extent of OUR role in SUPPORTING Israel in its campaign of indisputable human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. As long as we are COMPLICIT in the crimes of Israel, such as the recent assistance we gave them in their acts of agressioon against Lebanon, than we will be targeted by the same hatred that is targeted towards Israel. We are seen as an abettor, as being deeply complicit in Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people. A solution to the Isr/Pal issues will certainly not solve all the problems in the Middle East, as is pointed out above. But if we were to extricate ourselves from the support we give to Israel militarily, and were to start rejecting Israel’s constant and indisputable human rights abuses in the Left Bank and Gaza, and were to decry Israel’s unabashed THEFT of Palestinian land, it would go far to lessen the hatred that is now focused at the USA by the various radical Islamic factions. Make no mistake, “they hate us for our freedoms” is a load of unmitigated CRAP. They hate us because of what we do. And one of the things we do is turn a blind eye to, and support, Israel’s terrible campaign of abuses that it inflicts upon the Palestinian people. If we REALLY don’t want people hating us because of what Israel does, than we need to stop helping Israel do it.


  2. DonS says:

    Louise Slaughter — the first politico to call bullshit on WH censoring of Flynt Leverett op ed:


  3. Marky says:

    Thanks for the comments on oil infrastructure.
    In Iraq specifically, we were told around the time the war started that the Iraq oil engineers were among the best in the region, fully competent to restore oil production. Nevertheless, the Iraqis were forcibly prevented from managing their oil resources. It’s not just about getting the oil flowing..apparently the physical flow of oil, from the point of extraction to the marketplace, must be controlled by US or Western companies.


  4. John says:

    KarenK: You think the former oil executives in the WH are not focused on terrorism? Terrorism is a major concern whenever it goes beyond being just a cost of doing business. There is an oil pipeline in Colombia that is locally known as La Flauta (the flute) because it has been perforated by so many terrorist attacks. Yet it’s not a huge problem because the pipeline keeps getting patched and the oil continues to flow. Terrorism becomes an issue only when American oil companies are prevented from investing in new production and distribution–like the situation today in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, in Iran, because of an inhospitable regime, whom Bush/Cheney label as sponsors of terror. Bush/Cheney have their attention totally fixated on that terrorism and on the prize–Iran and Iraq’s oil. You’re right, the terrorism that concerns ordinary Americans (Bin Laden) is just a distraction to them.


  5. karenk says:

    And this lack of focus is what leads me to the Adult ADD diagnosis of the Bush Admin…


  6. karenk says:

    MP-“Key” was probably not the best word to use there. Along the lines of what Nell posted, I should have said that fostering a more peaceful coexistence between Israel and its neighbors would go a long way towards helping solve our terrorism problem. I think this only because bin Laden himself said that an attack by Israel on Lebanon in the 80’s using US weapons was what pushed him into wanting to attack the US. When he attacks us, it’s like attacking Israel to him, since he sees us as Israel’s agent. Of course getting him and destroying the virus that is al Qaeda is essential. My concern is that it just doesn’t seem that the “powers that be” are focusing our resources enough toward these ends.


  7. Marky says:

    Hey, 30 years ago, ending apartheid in South Africa was seen as essential to restoring stability to Africa.. or at least that’s my recollection from my teen years. I do however recall clearly the arguments between those who said that South African apartheid was NOT the worst human rights offense in South Africa and it was hypocritical to highlight it so much, versus those who said that apartheid was singularly offensive and could not be tolerated.
    Well, we know how amicably that debate was resolved.
    Looking at the ME as a parallel situation, I see no reason at all that a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should lead to more peace and stability in the region.
    Just as with with Africa, the goverments of ALL regional players contribute to instability and perpetuate human rights abuses.
    I don’t see Syria as becoming a beacon of political tolerance and open government, regardless of what happens in Israel, nor Iran.
    We have to move forward with encouraging a solution of the I-P problem, for its own sake, while also using soft power to encourage more humane governments in the rest of the region.
    Shouldn’t KSA be the number one target for soft “regime change”? More than the Palestinians, more than Iran or Syria, KSA is the root of our terrorist problem.


  8. Nell says:

    @MP: Resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict (and getting all the way out of Iraq) could do a great deal to reduce willingness to help fundamentalist/jihadist actors.
    But the longer we go on sleepwalking, the less we can do to restore any credibility or sympathy for the U.S. I don’t believe, for example, that we can ever even return to the levels of approval among the publics in the Middle East of 2002 (post-invasion of Afghanistan, pre-invasion of Iraq) — and those weren’t anything to brag about.


  9. MP says:

    KarenK wrote: “Ending conflict between Israel and the Palestinians/Syria/Lebanon is the key to fighting this “war on terrorism”, and making us safer. Much more of our energy should have been placed towards this end.”
    I have no argument with the essence of what you say. A lot of energy should be put toward ending the I/P conflict. However, I am skeptical that this is the key to winning the war on terror, so-called. Arab countries and leaders have used this conflict as an excuse and diversion for many purposes for a long time.
    For example, ending the I/P conflict won’t do much, IMO, to end the fundamentalist culture in SA or Pakistan that incubated and has sustained the jihadist movement. It won’t do much to solve the problems in Lebanon/Syria. Or in Afghanistan.


  10. karenk says:

    Ending conflict between Israel and the Palestinians/Syria/Lebanon is the key to fighting this “war on terrorism”, and making us safer. Much more of our energy should have been placed towards this end. What happened to the Road Map for Peace?-seems to have been shelved by the Bush Administration in their quest to invade countries that have done nothing to us while those who seek to destroy us remain at large, spreading their ideology like a bad virus.
    The Bush Administration seems to suffer from a collective Adult Attention Deficit Disorder-they can’t seem to stay focused on the post 9/11 task- get bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri, destroy al Qaeda, and foster peace between Israel and its neighbors. SET SOME PRIORITIES: accomplish the main objectives first, then deal with the rest. Like most Americans with half a brain and a bit of common sense, I DO NOT feel safer. Not as long as those who orchestrated our horror remain at large, now even regrouping and apparently back on track in the FATA’s of Pakistan.They seem to be able to stay on task. Why can’t we??


  11. DonS says:

    I emailed a couple of questions, too late in the hour. One to do with why no politicians will touch the censorship issue. The other relating to the catastrophic implications of an attack on crude oil supplies,and the global economy generally.
    I still have a hard time getting my mind around the idea that Bush would initiate an “ongoing war with Iran”, to paraphrase Flynt.


  12. John says:

    Another profoundly disappointing discussion. Mostly rehashing what has already been aired. The Director of the Geopolitics of Energy Initiative never let the words ‘geopolitics,’ ‘oil’, ‘natural gas’, or ‘energy’ pass his lips. The coverup continues to the detriment of any real policy discussion.


  13. ........... says:

    During the break, they threw Edward Nashton’s email straight into the garbage after laughing themselves silly when reading it!!


  14. p.lukasiak says:

    woo-hoo. I was the “Paul” whose email was first read by Reihm, asking if the revelations of the bi-lateral talks was the reason why Leveretts op-ed is being censored…


  15. infoshaman says:

    According to WAMU-FM’s website, Diane Rehm’s fireworks with Leverett & Pollack start at 11ET.
    (The first hour with ISG’s Paul Hughes is good too…though Diane Rehm’s Romper Room delivery drives me crazy.)


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