On the “State of the Union” address: Obama Pledges to Maintain the Empire

Glen Ford, interviewed on the Real News Network: “Obama defends Iraq war saying it made the US safer and more respected”

Bio — Glen Ford is a distinguished radio-show host and commentator. In 1977, Ford co-launched, produced and hosted America’s Black Forum, the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television. In 1987, Ford launched Rap It Up, the first nationally syndicated Hip Hop music show, broadcast on 65 radio stations. Ford co-founded the Black Commentator in 2002 and in 2006 he launched the Black Agenda Report. Ford is also the author of The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion.

Transcript:  PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay in Washington. Now joining us to talk about President Obama’s State of the Union speech is Glen Ford. Glen is the cofounder and current executive editor of the Black Agenda Report, and he joins us from New York. I—New York or New Jersey, Glen?

GLEN FORD, EXEC. EDITOR, BLACK AGENDA REPORT: In New Jersey.

JAY: New Jersey. Thanks for joining us.

FORD: Thank you for the invitation.

JAY: So what’s your first take on the speech?

FORD: Well, it was all about banking and empire, because that’s what Barack Obama is all about. Most of the other stuff were con games and smoke and mirrors, not too much worth talking about. He led and he ended with his foreign policy. So here we have a president who claimed to be a peace candidate but really is showing his oats by telling people how many people he has killed and how he’s quite ready to kill again. Continue reading

Arundhati Roy on Occupy Wall Street, Empire, Obama, and Walking with the Comrades

Democracy Now, November 15, 2011

AMY GOODMAN: We return now to the renowned Indian writer, global justice activist, Arundhati Roy. She has written many books, including The God of Small Things, which won the Booker Prize. Her journalism and essays have been collected in books including An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire and Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers. Arundhati Roy’s latest book, just out, is called Walking with the Comrades, a chronicle of her time in the forests of India alongside rebel guerrillas who are resisting a military campaign by the Indian government.

Last week, I sat down with Arundhati Roy when she came to New York—she had just visited Occupy Wall Street on her first day in New York—to talk about the significance of this, but also we spoke about the Arab Spring. We talk about her walk with the Maoists in India. Tomorrow, she will be speaking at Washington Square Park, part of a national day of action. First, Arundhati discusses Occupy Wall Street.

ARUNDHATI ROY: You know, what they are doing becomes so important because it is in the heart of empire, or what used to be empire, and to criticize and to protest against the model that the rest of the world is aspiring to is a very important and a very serious business. So I think that it makes me—it makes me very, very hopeful that after a long time you’re seeing some nascent political, real political anger here.

It does—I mean, it does need a lot of thinking through, but I would say that, to me, fundamentally, you know, people have to begin to formulate some kind of a vision, you know, and that vision has to be the dismantling of this particular model, in which a few people can be allowed to have an unlimited amount of wealth, of power, both political as well as corporate. You know, that has to be dismantled. And that has to be the aim of this movement. And that has to then move down into countries like mine, where people look at the U.S. as some great, aspirational model. Continue reading