The Smart Show: Monday, February 4, 2013


Makani Themba
Executive director of the Praxis Project, a national organization supporting community-based media and policy advocacy to advance equity and justice, Themba said today: “Last night’s power outage at the Super Bowl gave the world a glimpse of the daily challenges many New Orleans residents still face in the wake of rebuilding post-Katrina. Thanks to misplaced priorities that place war and partisan politics over our nation’s infrastructure needs, cities like New Orleans suffer. From New Jersey to New Orleans and beyond, we have watched recovery dollars spent in discriminatory ways. Suburban, more affluent areas and tourist zones get the lion’s share and communities — especially low resource communities and communities of color — wait for months and even years for relief. Studies published by the National Housing Institute and others have shown how these historic patterns of racism exacerbate present-day gaps but there has been no significant policy effort to address this inequity. The fact that New Orleans got the lights back on so quickly is a testament to its resilience and know-how. However, cities cannot put the lights back on or undertake the gargantuan task of rebuilding without their fair share of public dollars.”
John Kerry is being sworn in as Secretary of State, taking over from Hillary Clinton.

Stephen Zunes
Professor of politics and chair of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco, Zunes recently wrote the piece “The Case Against Kerry.” He said today in assessing Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy: “It is not unusual for a president to want to be his own secretary of state, but rarely has a secretary so badly wanted to be her own president. Unlike most administrations — in which the State Department would sometimes challenge the hawks in the National Security Council — it has been the other way around under Obama, as the NSC was forced to play the moderating voice to the hawkish Secretary of State Clinton and her appointees. Clinton pushed for stronger U.S. support for pro-Western dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Bahrain, as well as the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara. She successfully convinced the initially critical White House to support the right-wing golpistas in Honduras who ousted that country’s democratically-elected government in 2009. She was a major proponent of NATO’s military intervention in Libya’s civil war and has encouraged a more active U.S. role in the Syrian conflict.

“Clinton came to the State Department with a penchant for military solutions to complex political problems and a propensity to exaggerate alleged threats against the United States and its allies. As a senator, she had supported the invasion and occupation of Iraq, attacked the United Nations, opposed restrictions on land mines and cluster bombs, defended war crimes by allied right-wing governments, and largely embraced Bush’s unilateralist agenda. While she moderated her positions somewhat once she became Secretary of State, Clinton was one of the administration’s more hawkish voices.”

Matthew Breen is editor-in-chief of The Advocate. He was previously executive editor of Out magazine. Waaay back in the day he worked for the Sundance Film Festival, was a freelance music and film reviewer, and for a time was a lousy publicist.


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