Talk Show Replays

Alternative Radio is an "unembedded" weekly one-hour public affairs program offered free to all public radio stations in the US, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and on short-wave on Radio for Peace International. AR provides information, analyses and views that are frequently ignored or distorted in other media.


Boulder, CO


Alternative Radio is an "unembedded" weekly one-hour public affairs program offered free to all public radio stations in the US, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and on short-wave on Radio for Peace International. AR provides information, analyses and views that are frequently ignored or distorted in other media.






P.O. Box 551 Boulder, CO 80306 (303) 473-0972


[Vijay Prashad] Africa: From Neocolonialism to Independence

Almost every country in Africa was colonized by Europe. Today, while nominally sovereign many of these countries are in the clutches of the big international banks. The old colonial masters Britain and France still have a foothold in Africa but the U.S. has been pushing them aside, moving in to capture resources and markets. Washington has established an Africa Command, deployed troops, and built a string of bases. But France won’t let go of its grip on its former colonies. The coup in Niger, a former French colony, is not your run-of-the-mill coup. It must be understood in the context of widespread discontent with ruling elites and their collaboration with imperialism. Genuine independence is still far off for Niger and other countries in the Sahel region of West and Central Africa.


[Vandana Shiva] Interconnectedness

The corporate takeover of food with its toxic chemical inputs poses serious health and environmental problems. Corporate agriculture, The New York Times states unequivocally "is causing irreparable harm to the planet." It is "ravaging the air, soil and water, destroying wildlife habitats and spurring climate chaos. The system, a vast web of industries and processes that stretches from seed to pasture, to packaging, to the supermarket, to the trash dump, produces at least a third of all human-caused greenhouse gases." There are alternatives. We can learn much from traditional organic farming techniques as practiced by indigenous farmers. In this program, Vandana Shiva describes the importance of biodiversity and the interconnectedness of all life. She says, "What we do to the Earth, what we do to the land, what we do to biodiversity eventually comes back to us. There is no separation."


[Koohan Paik-Mander] Arms Race = Suicide Race

The “Oppenheimer” movie and the Ukraine war have brought much-needed attention to the possibility of terminal war. The arms race will end the human race. To call nukes weapons of mass destruction comes nowhere near describing the level of devastation that their use would result in. To be clear, these are weapons of annihilation that would make Hiroshima and Nagasaki look trivial. And how are our great leaders addressing this existential threat? Instead of advocating universal nuclear disarmament countries led by the U.S. are spending billions to upgrade them. That’s a good definition of insanity. It’s nothing short of a miracle that nuclear war, the ending of the planet, has not happened. Can our luck last forever? The odds and logic say no. If we don’t reverse the insane arms race, we will be committing suicide.


[Victor Navasky] Naming Names: The Hollywood Blacklist

The anti-Communist hysteria rampant in the U.S. in the 1940s and 1950s is often called the McCarthy period. But the red-baiting and persecution started even before McCarthy was elected to the Senate in 1946. The notorious House Un-American Activities Committee led the crusade to ferret out alleged Communists in the U.S. They struck gold when they took on Hollywood, not because they actually found Communists but because of the public's media-fed fixation on movie stars. Perhaps the most interesting case involved the great director Elia Kazan who felt he had to name names and cooperate with HUAC. In this program Victor Navasky raises interesting moral choices and questions. His discussion of the actor Lee J. Cobb is most moving. Interview by David Barsamian and S.K. Levin. Recorded at KGNU.


[Noam Chomsky] Censorship, Free Speech & the Media

States want to dominate the narrative with their version of events. There are two basic models. One follows Aldous Huxley, the other George Orwell. The latter is best known for 1984. Big Brother is brutal. He wields a big stick while Huxley uses a much softer carrot. Censorship is self-imposed because the journalist knows the boundaries of permissible thought. Essential assumptions are embedded unconsciously so they don’t even rise to the level of being challenged. The Huxley model is more subtle and relies on persuasion and getting people to focus on trivialities. Orwell is straight-out coercion. Sing the tune I’ve told you to or else. Recorded at First Parish Church at an event marking the 25th anniversary of South End Press.


[Stephen Kinzer] Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain & American Empire

Why has the United States intervened so often in foreign lands? What are its origins? Having expanded its borders largely through its destruction of Indigenous peoples the U.S. went on to project its power globally. Today, its empire of bases rings the Earth. According to Monthly Review the U.S. “has at least eight hundred military bases located in eighty-five countries.” Historically, military interventions and invasions have been a bi-partisan affair. Republicans and Democrats will only question tactics. It wasn’t always that way. There was a period in U.S. history when there was a fierce debate about Washington’s use of force around the world. It centered on two factions, one led by Theodore Roosevelt and the other by none other than Mark Twain. The themes and debates of the past resonate today. The names change but policy is fairly constant.


[Daniel Ellsberg] Origins of the Vietnam War

In this program, Daniel Ellsberg discusses early U.S. support for France’s effort to retain control of its Indochina colony. In a little-known and scary fact of history, he describes Eisenhower’s offer of nuclear weapons to the French to stave off defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Within a few years, the U.S. supplanted the French and expanded the war to all of Indochina. Ellsberg looks at Washington’s policy of backing corrupt regimes in Saigon, first by Kennedy and then by Johnson. You’ve probably heard the figure of 58,000 Americans killed in the war. There is scant mention of the millions of Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians who were victims of U.S. military intervention. Interview by David Barsamian.


[Nick Estes] Wounded Knee to Standing Rock: Indigenous Resistance

In South Dakota, in 1973, hundreds of Native American activists led by members of the American Indian Movement occupied the Pine Ridge Reservation village of Wounded Knee— which was also the site of a notorious massacre in 1890 in which federal troops killed 300 Lakota men, women and children. The months-long action in 1973 helped galvanize the movement for Indigenous rights which continues today. As the great historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz says, U.S. “policies involving Indigenous peoples have consistently been designed to disadvantage the Indigenous, locking them into suppressed social status and codifying dependence on the U.S. government.” Despite a history of oppression and genocide and continued discrimination Native Americans are organizing and resisting. A younger generation of Indigenous activists offers the promise of not just survival but for a resurgence of Indigenous societies and a renaissance of traditional culture. Interview by David Barsamian. Recorded at the University of Denver.


[Omar Shakir] Israel/Palestine: A Threshold Crossed

Thirty years ago, the Oslo Accords between Israelis and Palestinians were signed. There was widespread fanfare and jubilation. There was Clinton standing between Rabin and Arafat bringing them together at the White House. It was a new dawn. Finally, peace in the Holy Land. The pundits and the polls told us it was a miracle. Where is that miracle today? The chance of a viable independent Palestinian state has become a pipe dream. Israeli oppression of Palestinians is not random but systemic. Land which was to be part of a Palestinian state has been seized for Israeli-only settlements. Washington enables Israeli policies. While there has been some shift in U.S. public opinion the ruling political class ignores the realities on the ground.


[Norman Solomon] War Crimes & War Criminals

At the end of World War Two, the victorious Allies decided to try top Nazi officials as war criminals. A tribunal was convened in Nuremberg. Some of them were hanged. Others were given jail sentences. Today, Nuremberg is largely forgotten. The clear evidence of that was the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, an unambiguous war crime committed by war criminals, not just George W. Bush but Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice, et al. Those responsible for the Iraq War have never answered for the chaos, massive bloodshed and dislocation that followed not just in Iraq, but in neighboring Syria as well. The rise of ISIS, the massacre of Yazidis and sectarian violence can be directly traced to what Bush and his cohorts did. Will he and the others involved be held to account? Hardly; the former president has taken up painting in his retirement.


[Greg Grandin] Kissingerism

Turning 100, the accolades for Henry Kissinger are pouring in. He is a legend. Over decades, he has assiduously cultivated and constructed the image of the sagacious elder statesman. Corporate journalists hang on his every word. Politicians seek his advice. But what is his record to deserve such respect and reverence? He is one of the most notorious characters of this or any other period in history. Just ask the Kurds, the East Timorese, the Bangladeshis, the Laotians, and the Chileans what they think of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate. But since they are “unpeople,” their opinions don’t count. When he was Nixon’s national security advisor, Kissinger displayed his kowtowing to power when he kept silent as his boss made anti-Semitic remarks. When Nixon demanded that Cambodia be bombed, he conveyed the order like a good errand boy. It was Kissinger who once boasted, “The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer.” Recorded at the University of Montana.


[Khurram Parvez] Kashmir: Telling the Story

I interviewed Khurram Parvez in Srinagar, Kashmir in February 2011. When I returned to India that September to follow up on reporting on the mass graves in Kashmir, I was denied entry by the Indian government. I’ve been banned from India ever since. Sadly, this interview is still relevant. Since August 2019 the Hindu nationalist regime ruling India has imposed even harsher conditions on Kashmiris and eliminated what little autonomy they had. This story needs to be told. But the G20 won’t hear it. Its tourism officials are visiting Kashmir in late May in what will be an orchestrated photo-op extolling the valley’s natural beauties and comparing Kashmir to paradise. Kashmir is off the media radar screen. India has carefully controlled the narrative. Interview by David Barsamian.


[Omer Aziz] Fascism in America

The term fascism is loosely bandied about. When most people think of it the images that come to mind are of stormtroopers and Hitler ranting and raving. It is often automatically assumed that fascism developed in Europe in the 1920s. But it had its origins earlier in the United States. The United States was built on genocidal attacks on Indigenous people, white supremacy and enslaved Black people. Actually, Hitler and the Nazis were greatly impressed and inspired by American fascism. Though the term was not used the United States had developed a sophisticated system of aggressive nationalism, racism and oppression, in other words: fascism. It lingers in the shadows and reappears, as is evident today. Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and other groups are fascist. They fear social equality as a threat to patriarchal, white supremacist domination.


[Arundhati Roy] India: On the Road to Theocracy

Hindutva is theocratic Hindu nationalism. It is a powerful force in what is now the world’s most populous country. Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, is a lifelong member of the RSS, an openly Hindu supremacist organization. Le Monde Diplomatique reports: Hindutva “followers regard India as a Hindu country. Non-Hindus are at best guests, at worst invaders, and must be identified, watched, deprived of certain rights, and in some cases expelled or even eliminated. The main victims of Hindutva are India’s large Muslim minority. Hindutva adherents oppose mixed Hindu-Muslim marriages, calling them a ‘love jihad’ that aims to convert Hindu women so that their offspring will be raised as Muslims. This paranoid fantasy has encouraged violence and widespread denigration of Indian Muslims.” Recorded at the Swedish Academy at the Thought and Truth Under Pressure conference.


[Bernie Sanders] You Can Save the Planet

The crises facing humankind are, to use a much overused but accurate word – unprecedented. Plutocratic power in the hands of the few is a disaster for democracy and our ecosphere. The ruling class is driven by its voracious lust for domination and money. It’s an old American story. Over a century ago Theodore Roosevelt warned against “a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power.” From war to the climate emergency, the threats facing the planet are acute and getting worse. We can protect and nurture the Earth but it won’t happen by magic. We have to work for it. It’s up to us. As Bernie Sanders says, “You can save the planet.”


[Stephen Bezruchka] Inequality Kills Us All

In the 1950s the United States had among the lowest mortality rates and highest life expectancy in the world. Today, other rich nations and quite a number of poor ones have better health outcomes than Americans. Why? How can the U.S., probably the wealthiest country in history do so poorly? Starting with Reagan in the 1980s and the fervent embrace of neoliberal economics by the ruling class we’ve seen an overall decline in health and life expectancy along with huge gaps in income. The causes of our inequality and subsequent poor health indices are political, thus remedies must also be political. As Dr. Bezruchka says, “Our future work needs to focus on exposing ways in which rampant social injustice affects not just our economic well-being but also our prospects for a healthy life. Inequality,” he says, “kills!”


[Mary Wood] Environmental Law & the Defense of Nature

As ecosystems collapse and the climate emergency intensifies, the government often uses its authority to allow the very harm that it is supposed to prevent. Sound crazy? It is. The granting of permits is a battleground where corporations, with their oodles of money to buy influence, have the upper hand over nature. In the face of corporate greed and the enormity of the climate crisis, we need action now before it is too late. An ancient and enduring principle is the trust doctrine. It asserts public property rights to crucial resources such as forests, rivers, minerals, and fisheries. Its core logic compels the government, as trustee, to protect nature and to safeguard the resources we rely on for survival. UN Secretary-General Guterres says, “We must end the merciless, relentless, senseless war on nature.” Amen to that. Recorded at the University of Oregon.


[Medea Benjamin] System Change

The multiple problems facing the U.S. can no longer be swept under the rug. Modest so-called reforms are not sufficient given the magnitude of the crises we face from imperialism and militarism to war and the climate emergency. Our dollar-driven politics is corrupt. We need system change not cosmetic change. Individually, we can do small things but connecting with kindred spirits in organizations can make a difference in not only overcoming isolation but can lead to changes in consciousness and positive initiatives. One such organization is Code Pink. Founded in 2002, it is a women-led grassroots non-profit working to end U.S. wars, support peace and human rights and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs. Interview by David Barsamian. Recorded at KGNU.


[Noam Chomsky] When Lunatics Run the Asylum

The future of humankind and the planet are in danger from the twin existential threats of terminal nuclear war and climate catastrophe. The response? The Biden administration is following through on Pentagon plans to “modernize” its nuclear arsenal. Instead of eliminating these weapons of mass destruction, we are upgrading them. And the clock is ticking louder and louder on the climate emergency. The response? A massive new oil drilling project in Alaska. Seem illogical? Not really. These are the kinds of outcomes you can expect when lunatics run the asylum. Interview by David Barsamian.


[Jeffrey Sachs] Wars of Hegemonic Competition

Hegemony is from the Greek meaning authority, rule, and political supremacy. Since 1945 the United States has been the global hegemon. That is changing now. The U.S. recently issued its Annual Threat Assessment. It makes for interesting reading. It lists the various threats Washington faces. It repeats the embedded line that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “unprovoked.” But the report’s focus is on China. It says, “China has the capability to directly attempt to alter the rules-based global order in every realm and across multiple regions, as a near-peer competitor that is increasingly pushing to change global norms.” The phrase “rules-based global order” is vintage Orwell. Translated it means that Washington rules the world and you’d better follow its diktats or else. But China has emerged as the major challenge to U.S. hegemony thus the danger of conflict is increasing.