Beneath The Surface with Suzi Weissman airs every Friday on KPFK Pacifica Radio from 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Tune in at 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, 98.7 FM in Santa Barbara, and worldwide on KPFK.ORG. You can listen to archived shows online on the KPFK website.

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BTS 8/28/06: Katrina Anniversary; "Conspiracy in the Streets"

Listen: Mark Krasnoff - Tracie Washington - Tom Hayden

Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s destruction of New Orleans and the gulf coast. Katrina was a watershed for the US, representing more than almost anything else the state of decline the country faces as well as the utter lack of political leadership -- and the doubly disastrous negligence and incompetence of the rescue and recovery efforts, which now a year later have exposed the race and class priorities of the Bush administration. Rebuilding in New Orleans, just like Iraq, is seen as an opportunity for friends – who sometimes subcontract twenty times, using undocumented labor paid a pittance while essential services – even picking up the dead – weren’t their problem. We talk to Mark Krassnoff and Tracie Washington about the problems and the state of New Orleans, one year after.

In our final segment on tonight’s Beneath The Surface we talk to Tom Hayden about his new book (edited and introduced by our own Jon Wiener) Conspiracy in the Streets – and we ask Tom to situate the anti-war movement of the sixties in American history and draw comparisons with the anti-war sentiment and movements of today.

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BTS 8/21/06: Groundhog Day; Naked Imperialism

Listen: James K. Galbraith - John Bellamy Foster

On tonight’s Beneath the Surface we begin with James K. Galbraith who flew from the United Kingdom to the US on August 10 – what he calls “Groundhog Day,” – raising questions about the plot that was thwarted, its context, timing and political exploitation.

We then talk to John Bellamy Foster about his new book Naked Imperialism that looks at the political and economic roots of the transformation of US global policy and ideology – and how the politics of fear plays a role.

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BTS 8/14/06: The Sinking Ship of US Imperial Designs; LA Jews for Peace

Listen: Gilbert Achcar - Marcy Winograd

We're going to go deep beneath the surface tonight on the ramifications of the conflict in the Middle East as we mark the first day of the official ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon. Gilbert Achcar joins us for an extended conversation on what he sees as the sinking ship of US imperial designs.

Then, Marcy Winograd joins us in studio. She's played a leading role in organizing opposition to the US support of Israel's disastrous drive into Lebanon. And Marcy Winograd is the peace candidate who ran against Jane Harman in the 36th district and took 38% of the vote. Wo we'll talk about the significance of the recent Lieberman defeat in the Connecticut primary - another sign of the primacy of ME politics these days.

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BTS 8/7/06: Mexico Recount; Vietnam War Crimes; The Jewish Century

Listen: Laura Carlsen - Nick Turse / Deborah Nelson - Yuri Slezkine

There will be no re-count of all the votes in Mexico, more than a month after the presidential election there produced a virtual tie, with the PAN’s Felipe Calderon less than a point ahead of the PRD’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The Federal Election tribunal on Saturday issued its ruling refusing the vote by vote recount that was called for by Lopez Obrador’s supporters who have been protesting in huge numbers throughout the city. We ask Laura Carlsen, Director of the Americas program of the International Relations Center for her analysis.

We then talk to Nick Turse and Deborah Nelson whose spectacular LA Times story on Sunday shows that hidden war crimes from the Vietnam War went far beyond My Lai, and were unpunished. They join us to discuss what they found in the newly declassified documents and why they are important as we get bogged down in Iraq.

Finally, on tonight’s program we talk to Yuri Slezkine, author of The Jewish Century, a book that shows how in the 20th Century, we all had to become literate, urban, mobile and occupationally flexible -- in other words, we all had to become Jewish. In the process anti-Semitism grew and produced the Holocaust and more. You won’t want to miss the story.

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BTS 7/31/06: Israel/Lebanon Conflict; Class & Inequality in the U.S.

Listen: Stephen Schwartz - William K. Tabb - Stephanie Luce

Less than 24 hours after a two-day pause in the bombing was announced, the Israeli military and Hizbullah fighters attacked again. Tonight, the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, said there would be no ceasefire "in the coming days". Israel has lost credibility and its position of strength through its bombing campaign that has killed more than 700 civilians, more than half children, has destroyed Lebanese infrastructure and has not crippled Hizbollah. The response of the Bush-Rice team has been too late, not enough, and inept. If it seems the world is going mad, that Israel is repeating all the mis-steps the US made in Iraq, that meanwhile Pakistan is increasing its nuclear arsenal with nary a word from the US, then it is because international relations are in the hands of belligerent, incompetent and immature policy makers. Stephen Schwartz, an expert on Islam has just returned from 12 days in Northern Israel while talking to moderate Iranian Shi’a. He says it feels like August 1914… and tells us why.

We then shift gears to explore the underside of growing inequality – part of which fuels international conflicts – but here at home in the US of A, where class war is a forbidden topic of discussion but is being waged openly. We begin with William K. Tabb, who looks at who rules America – the rich – and shows how policy follows their interests.

We follow with Stephanie Luce of Amherst Labor Studies who has looked at what has happened to women’s economic position in the last 40 years – and with both we get a better understanding of the power of social movements to restrain business as usual, the rule of the rich.

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BTS 7/24/06: Crisis in Lebanon

Listen: Chris Hedges - Ussama Makdisi - Tariq Ali

On tonight’s BTS we take a deeper look at the devastating war in Lebanon.

With more than 300 Lebanese dead and half a million displaced, with the Beirut airport, bridges and power plants disabled, the enormous Israeli bombardment of Lebanon is widely regarded as a ‘disproportionate response" to Hizbullah's July 12 seizure of two soldiers and killing of three others on Israeli soil. An informal CNN poll shows 54% of Americans opposed to Israel’s attack on Lebanon with 46% in favor. Yet virtually the entire American political class actively resists international calls for an immediate ceasefire, preferring to wait for an Israeli victory.

Meanwhile, US missiles are on the way to Israel. Some have called this conflict the beginning of World War III, and others a proxy war between the US and Iran. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Beirut today at the start of a high stakes mission to try to end the conflict, while some critics have said she waited to long to go and others that talks are futile unless Hezbullah are included. The Saudis are pressing the Bush Regime to push for an immediate ceasefire, while Israel’s Ehud Olmert says Israel will be in Lebanon for a long, long time.

To go beneath the surface on this latest installment of the Arab-Israeli wars, we talk to three analysts, Pulitzer prize winning NY Times correspondent Chris Hedges, author Tariq Ali in London, and Professor Ussama Makdisi in the US.

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BTS 7/17/06: Foreign Policy in the Middle East and Russia

Listen: Ilan Pappé - Stephen Cohen

Today we look at US foreign policy in the Middle East and Russia, first with Israel’s asymmetric response to threats to its security with collective punishment gone regional, and then by focusing on US treatment of Russia in the post-cold war era.

In the last week Israel has responded to the capture of two of its soldiers by Lebanese Hizbollah forces with a two pronged war that threatens the region with an all out nasty and brutish war. This is a world shattering event that has repercussions for the Middle East and for global politics. Some analysts say the neo-cons are rising from the ashes of Israel’s unilateral actions to simultaneously crush Hamas and Hizbollah in Gaza, the West Bank and southern Lebanon. We ask Ilan Pappe for his view.

We then turn to Russia – site of the current G-8 talks that once again propels Putin and Russia’s rocky transition into world view. Stephen Cohen argues in a path-breaking article in The Nation that the US treats Russia as a vanquished foe defeated by the US in its cold-war victory – and this policy is misguided, dangerous, and counter-productive.

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BTS 7/11/06: Mexican Election

Listen: Claudio Albertani - Francisco Portillo / Bolivar Huerta - Octavio Araujo (trans: Madeleine Rios)

Tonight we go beneath the surface on the Mexican election of July 2 that resulted in a virtual tie. Felipe Calderon of the National Action Party (PAN) is the presumed victor with a razor thin advantage over the PRD’s (Democratic Revolution Party) Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Roberto Madrazo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) trailed behind, marking an historical collapse of this formerly hegemonic political force that lost the Presidency in 2000 and just about everything else in this election.

Lopez Obrador, or AMLO, has filed a legal challenge with the Federal Electoral Tribunal or TRIFE, and filled the Zocalo on Saturday with his supporters. Lopez Obrador has demanded a vote by vote recount, not permitted by the Mexican Electoral Code which only allows the sealed box tallies to be recounted. As a result, Mexico’s election results will probably not be known until early September.

To help us understand the Mexican election, we begin with Claudio Albertani, followed by mathematical physicist and number theorist Francisco Portillo and Bolivar Huerta who have analyzed the count and found inconsistencies they are calling cybernetic fraud; and finally, Octavio Araujo* has called for a defense of the vote and explains what that means.

* = Translation is provided on Octavio Araujo's interview by Madeleine Rios.

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Special Report: Mexican Election 7/03/06

Listen: Suzi Weissman in Mexico

This week, Suzi was in Mexico City covering the 2006 Presidential election. She reports on the aftermath of Sunday's vote.

BTS 6/12/06: Net Neutrality; Mexican Elections; World Cup

Listen: John Nichols - Dan LaBotz - Dave Zirin / Alan Minsky

On tonight’s BTS we look at the threat to Internet neutrality, the upcoming elections in Mexico and the World Cup. John Nichols joins us to talk about the threat to what could be called The First Amendment of the Internet – which prevents telecommunications corporations from rigging the web so it is easier and faster to visit sites that pay for preferential treatment.

We then look south of the border to the upcoming Mexican elections on July 2. The presidency is up for grabs. Congress is anybody's guess. But when it comes to Mexico's business world, the big boys still rule. The elections will likely bring new economic policies, but few expect sweeping changes in Mexico, where the minimum wage is only $4.50 a day and both government and corporate giants are controlled by an almost tribal elite. We’ll ask Dan LaBotz whether he thinks Mexicans will choose to stay with the PAN, return to the status quo ante under the PRI or go leftwards with the PRD, and what the implications will be for Mexico and its relationship with the US under any one of these choices.

Finally, in case you haven’t noticed the World Cup is on, with literally most of the globe paying attention. The US team lost to the Czechs in today’s game. The Cup is playing in Germany, where there are fears that racist violence could upstage the games and humiliate the German hosts. We’ll talk to David Zirin.

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