Background Briefing: August 31, 2021


We Can’t Blame the Afghans for Corruption We Brought With Our Conquest

We begin with President Biden’s vigorous defense of his withdrawal from Afghanistan and discuss the tendency among our politicians and press to blame the Afghans for the rampant corruption in their country when U.S. contractors profited from this corruption, siphoning off the lion’s share of the $2.3 trillion without taking moral responsibility for occupying and controlling Afghanistan. Joining us is Zack Kopplin, an investigator for the Government Accountability Project and a columnist with The Guardian where he has an article “Afghanistan collapsed because corruption had hollowed out the state.” We show how the elites in government and the military on both sides profited from corruption with the example of SOSi, a military contractor in partnership with the brother of Afghanistan’s president working through the Pentagon’s Task Force for Stability and Business Operations using connections to General David Petraeus, got into the business of mining chromite, a valuable additive used in stainless steel.  


America’s Military Dominance Has Not Yielded the Promised Benefits

Then we speak with Jeremi Suri, Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas who joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times, “History Is Clear. America’s Military Is Way Too Big.” With the Secretary of State promising a new era in which “we lead with our diplomacy”, we look into how America’s military dominance has not yielded the promised benefits and how we’d be better off with more modest, restrained military and strategic goals.”


The Pro-Landlord SCOTUS Evicts 750,000 Families During a Pandemic

Then finally we speak with Karl Frisch, a progressive policy advocate who is spokesperson for who have just released a new report, “Top Rental Companies Allied Against Biden Eviction Ban Have Boasted of Strong Performance to Investors and Boosted CEO Pay.” With the pro-corporate Supreme Court giving landlords the go-ahead to evict 750,000 American families during a pandemic, we assess what Attorney General Merrick Garland’s call on the “entire legal community” to block evictions will achieve as the homelessness crisis worsens.