BTS 9/8/08: Economic Crisis; US-Russia Tensions; Injured Vets; Heavy Metal Islam

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Dispensing with dogma as the US economic situation deteriorates -- with worldwide repercussions -- the Fed is trying to contain the insolvency crisis by bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: a capitalist nationalization funded by US taxpayers. Michael Hudson sheds light on the nature of our ongoing economic crisis.

We follow with the escalating tension between the US and Russia: the Bush-Cheney administration’s last act appears to be a dangerous confrontation with Russia over Georgia. Russia came out ahead in the conflict that Georgia provoked, and the US was humiliated in the process. Revealing Washington’s weakness is unforgiveable and has given rise to a consensus that Russia is the aggressor and must be punished. But Boris Kagarlitsky insists that the fundamental reason behind the new heightened US-Russia confrontation is not over Georgia’s territorial integrity, but is actually about the crisis in the global economic system. We’ll ask him to explain.

Then Joshua Kors joins us. His continuing investigation into the treatment of injured veterans is the cover story of the current issue of the Nation. It tells the story of a group of soldiers who were wounded in Iraq, denied medical care and disability pay – and then decided to sue the government. The suit forced some top Washington officials to take the stand in federal court and defend the VA’s denial of care to American ill and injured soldiers.

And finally on tonight’s Beneath The Surface: Mark Levine has a new book called Heavy Metal Islam, Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam. On Wednesday September 10 he will appear with Reza Aslan for an evening of music and culture sponsored by the Levantine Cultural Center: “After September 11, A Culture Jam for Peace.” They will have an old-fashioned rap session on everything from Islam in America to globalization and heavy metal in the Middle East, as well as insightful arguments on why the proverbial “clash of civilizations” discourse is bogus. Mark LeVine joins us tonight for a preview of that discussion.