BTS 7/17/06: Foreign Policy in the Middle East and Russia

Listen: Ilan Pappé - Stephen Cohen

Today we look at US foreign policy in the Middle East and Russia, first with Israel’s asymmetric response to threats to its security with collective punishment gone regional, and then by focusing on US treatment of Russia in the post-cold war era.

In the last week Israel has responded to the capture of two of its soldiers by Lebanese Hizbollah forces with a two pronged war that threatens the region with an all out nasty and brutish war. This is a world shattering event that has repercussions for the Middle East and for global politics. Some analysts say the neo-cons are rising from the ashes of Israel’s unilateral actions to simultaneously crush Hamas and Hizbollah in Gaza, the West Bank and southern Lebanon. We ask Ilan Pappe for his view.

We then turn to Russia – site of the current G-8 talks that once again propels Putin and Russia’s rocky transition into world view. Stephen Cohen argues in a path-breaking article in The Nation that the US treats Russia as a vanquished foe defeated by the US in its cold-war victory – and this policy is misguided, dangerous, and counter-productive.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Ilan Pappe is an Israeli-born professor at Haifa University, who is well-known as a revisionist or "post-Zionist" Israeli historian. He has a BA from Hebrew University and a PhD from Oxford. He is a senior lecturer in the department of Political Science at Haifa University and the Chair of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian Studies in Haifa. He is also the Academic Director of the Research Institute for Peace at Givat Haviva. Ilan Pappe is the author of many books relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including The Modern Middle East (Routledge, 2005), A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples (Cambridge University Press, 2004), The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1948-1951 (New York, 1992) and The Israel/Palestine Question (London, 1999).

2. Stephen F. Cohen, professor of Russian studies at New York University, is the author of several books, including Rethinking the Soviet Experience: Politics and History Since 1917, Buhkarin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography, 1888-1938, Voices of Glasnost: Conversations With Gorbachev's Reformers (with Katrina vanden Heuvel) and, most recently, Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia (Norton).