BTS 4/7/08: Iraq; CA Progressive Dems; Fed & Wall Street

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The administration, the media, the foreign policy establishment and the candidates distort or do not understand the current situation in Iraq. Juan Cole joins us to shed light on what they all get wrong (with the exception of Frank Rich of the NY Times): In the intra-Shiite fighting in Basra last week it was al-Maliki's parliamentary coalition that sought the cease fire by asking their Iranian patrons to broker it. Cole says the main motivation for the attack on Sadrist neighborhoods in Basra was to ensure that the Islamic Supreme Council wins the elections in that key oil province in October. The so-called successful surge couldn't change the outcome in Basra and the upcoming million man march called by the Sadr movement against the occupation will further embarrass our men in Baghdad … and Washington – where tonight General Petraeus is slated to push the proxy war line, fueling Bush’s bellicosity towards Iran.

We then turn to Marcy Winograd with news from the California Democratic Party Convention held last week. The Progressive caucus’ influence was evident on key issues such as defunding the occupation of Iraq, card check certification, opposition to free trade agreements, sentencing commission to overhaul California's arcane sentencing laws, freezing foreclosures, and prosecuting sub prime lenders.

And finally, Nomi Prins joins us in studio to talk about why Fed Reform Won't Work – the financial regulation system needs overhaul, but the proposed plan is a Band-Aid for Wall Street's mortal wounds. Plus – Nomi has just published a corporate thriller under the pseudonym Natalia Prentice, about a journalist who becomes mired in a deadly embezzlement scheme that snakes through Washington D.C. to Wall Street and beyond.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Juan R. I. Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan, and blogs at He has written extensively about Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and South Asia.. He has a regular column at For three decades, he has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context, and his most recent book is Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). He also writes on current events, and his articles on contemporary Sunni radicalism include "Muslim Religious Extremism in Egypt" in Middle East Historiographies (University of Washington Press, 2006) and "The Taliban, Women, and the Hegelian Private Sphere," Social Research (Fall 2003). He has authored several recent journal articles on Shi`ite movements in present-day Iraq, as well as an extended essay, "The Ayatollahs and Democracy in Iraq." (Amsterdam University Press, 2006). His earlier book is Sacred Space and Holy War: The Politics, Culture and History of Shi'ite Islam (IB Tauris 2002).

2. Marcy Winograd is President of the Los Angeles chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). In 2006, she ran for Congress to replace pro-war incumbent Jane Harman in the 36th District and took 38% of the vote.

3. Nomi Prins is a journalist and Senior Fellow at Demos. She writes about politics, money and relationships. Nomi is the author of Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America (The New Press, October 2004);Jacked: How "Conservatives" are Picking your Pocket (whether you voted for them or not) (Polipoint Press, Sept. 2006)