The transcript of Dialogos Radio’s interview with international lawyer and professor Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois. This interview aired on our broadcasts for the week of February 18-24, 2016. Find the podcast of this interview here.
MN: Joining us today on Dialogos Radio and the Dialogos Interview Series is international lawyer and professor of international law at The University of Illinois Dr. Francis Boyle. Boyle has served as legal counsel to the Palestinian Authority, to Hawaiian independence groups, and served on the legal team which led to the conviction of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for war crimes. Professor Boyle, welcome to our program today.
FB: Well, thank you very much for having me on, and my best to all my friends in Greece. Great country, great people. I spent about two weeks traveling around in 1974, and another two weeks traveling around in 1982.
MN: Wonderful…well, let’s get started by talking about the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission and the case which led to the conviction of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzalez and others in absentia for war crimes. Tell us about this commission, and about this case that you were a part of, and its aftermath.
The transcript of Dialogos Radio’s interview with Mona Amanatidou and Christos Triarchis of the Popular Stoppage of Payments movement in Greece. This interview aired on our broadcasts for the week of February 4-10, 2016. Find the podcast of this interview here.
MN: Joining us today on Dialogos Radio and the Dialogos Interview Series is Mona Amanatidou and Christos Triarhis from Greece’s Popular Stoppage of Payments movement, who will speak to us about this movement and what it is all about, and in addition, about the social and political developments in Greece today. Mona and Christo, thank you for joining us today.
MA: Thank you for calling us from New York and giving us the opportunity to say a few words about what were are doing here in Iraklio.
MN: To begin, share with us a few words about how the Popular Stoppage of Payments movement first began, and a brief historical overview of your movement.
Once again, Greece is experiencing a time of political and social uncertainty, a time where yet again many citizens have begun to search for a new political savior, one that will pull Greece out of its current economic abyss and provide the promise of “hope” and “change”, putting an end to the crisis and placing Greece back on a path towards growth and better days.
This is highly similar to what was taking place in Greece just over a year ago, when millions of people within and outside of Greece believed that SYRIZA could comprise this sort of political force. And they believed this purely on the basis of rhetoric and promises. The big promises made by Alexis Tsipras and the rest of SYRIZA regarding the abolition of the austerity measures with one law and one article, the supposedly anti-austerity Thessaloniki policy platform, the tearing apart of the memorandum agreements, promises, promises and yet more promises from SYRIZA, including promises that all of these wonderful things could take place firmly within the confines of the European Union and the Eurozone, and that SYRIZA, when in power, would indeed manage to change Europe!
It has been one year since the elections which brought SYRIZA to power in Greece for the first time. One year from the time where millions of people in Greece and around the world took to the streets to celebrate the “hope” and “change” and the “end of austerity” that were to surely follow from the so-called “first time left” government in Greece, which we were told would not just save Greece, but all of Europe and indeed the world. One year from the time that the same media which have served and continue to serve as pro-austerity cheerleaders, and clueless academic leftists, were telling us that a government of hope and change had finally arrived.
This week on Dialogos Radio, the Dialogos Interview Series will feature a timely interview with Mona Amanatidou and Christos Triarchis, representatives of Greece’s Popular Stoppage of Payments movement. They will speak to us about the movement and its actions, particularly their weekly blockades of courthouses to prevent the auction of foreclosed residences. In addition, they will speak about the many other popular movements which are active in Greece at the moment and about current political and social circumstances in the country.
In addition to this interview, we will feature our commentary of the week segment, which will shed light on the true Yanis Varoufakis, behind his facade as an “anti-austerity” crusader, while we will also air plenty of great Greek music. All this and more, this week exclusively on Dialogos Radio!
Time to do a little compare and contrast. Let’s say we have the national governments of two different countries. Government A claims that it is a “radical leftist” government and promised its voters “hope” and “change,” while pledging to immediately abolish the austerity policies which had thrown millions of people into poverty and the economy into an unprecedented depression. Government A then goes ahead and shatters its pre-election pledges and turns its back on a referendum result overwhelmingly rejecting proposed new austerity measures, instead signing an agreement which will implement even harsher austerity terms versus those which had been rejected. Somehow, Government A, after doing all of this, gets re-elected anyway, albeit with almost half of the voters abstaining.
Long ago, the Italian business mogul Gianni Agnelli made a statement which has remained in history. Agnelli, who is not noted for his own leftist politics, had stated that there is a certain kind of “left wing” which is more useful than the right wing. It is the left wing that can accomplish all of those things that the right wing wouldn’t dare to do.
It is with these prophetic words that we turn to the harsh political realities of today, where a supposed left-wing party which was, indeed, rewarded with re-election just a few weeks ago is getting ready to implement all sorts of measures that not even the previous corrupt governments in Greece had dared enforce. And all this with the approval of a sizeable amount of brainwashed Greek voters, who continue to criticize the previous ruling parties, New Democracy and PASOK, but who find one excuse after another to justify SYRIZA’s actions, claiming that it is still looking out for the Greek people, that it did not actually want to sign such an agreement with the troika but had no other choice, that they deserve a chance to deliver on their promises.
On this week’s Dialogos Radio broadcast, we had the opportunity to feature an interview with someone who, according to a so-called journalist at a fairly well-known Greek online news outlet, does not exist. Déborah Berman-Santana, the retired professor who was interviewed on Dialogos Radio, apparently is not a real person, but a figment of my imagination, someone who I created to make it seem like Dialogos Radio has a following on the internet. This from a journalist who has had articles about Greece featured on the front page of the New York Times, just to give an idea of the quality and caliber of journalists who are doing the reporting from Greece.
Dialogos Radio’s recent radio interview with journalist and political analyst Dimitri Lascaris of The Real News Network has been featured in Truthout! In this interview, Lascaris analyzes the results of the snap parliamentary elections held in Greece on September 20, the implications of these results for Greece, and he discusses his own candidacy in the upcoming Canadian parliamentary elections.
The transcript of Dialogos Radio’s interview with analyst and journalist Dimitri Lascaris of The Real News Network, who spoke with us about the results of the Greek parliamentary elections of September 20, and his own candidacy in the Canadian parliamentary elections. This interview aired on our broadcasts for the week of September 24-30, 2015. Find the podcast of this interview here.
MN: Joining us today on Dialogos Radio and the Dialogos Interview Series is political analyst and journalist Dimitri Lascaris of The Real News Network. Dimitri analyzes Greek and international politics, and he is also a candidate with the Green Party in the upcoming Canadian parliamentary elections. Dimitri, thank you for joining us today.
DL: My pleasure, Michael.
MN: Getting us started, after a tumultuous political summer in Greece where we saw the SYRIZA-led government turn its back on the referendum result of July 5th, where Greek voters resoundingly rejected austerity, we saw those same Greek voters bring SYRIZA back to power, with barely a decline in its share of the vote compared to January’s elections. Are you surprised by this result?
As it turns out, there was no hope, and that was plainly evident after the historic referendum of July 5th in Greece. As the SYRIZA-led Greek government was preparing to sell out the result of the referendum and to agree to an even harsher set of austerity measures than that which had just been rejected, the amount of protesters who congregated at Syntagma Square in Athens barely reached 2,000, a far cry from the huge rallies in support of the “no” vote prior to the referendum. Why was this the case? This was the case because prior to the referendum, SYRIZA and its governing partner, the Independent Greeks, made a big show of supposed “resistance” and mobilized tens of thousands of Greeks to come out and rally in support of no. Immediately after the referendum though, the shepherds did not lead the herd back out onto the streets, and without a shepherd, the Greek people won’t go any further than to their local cafe to drink their frappe.
This week on Dialogos Radio, we will feature coverage of this past Sunday’s snap parliamentary elections in Greece, including an exclusive interview with journalist and political analyst Dimitri Lascaris of The Real News Network. Lascaris will analyze the results of the elections, the new SYRIZA-led coalition government, the record high abstention level, and the failure of the Popular Unity party to enter parliament. Additionally, Lascaris will discuss his own candidacy in the upcoming Canadian parliamentary elections, as a member of the Green Party.
In addition to our exclusive interview, we will feature our own commentary and analysis of the Greek election results, plus some great Greek music! All this, exclusively on Dialogos Radio!
The transcript of Dialogos Radio’s interview with scholar and analyst James Petras. This interview aired on our broadcasts for the week of September 17-23, 2015. Find the podcast of this interview here.
MN: Joining us today on the special Greek election broadcast of Dialogos Radio and the Dialogos Interview Series is scholar and analyst James Petras, professor emeritus of sociology at Binghamton University in New York. James, thank you for joining us once again.
JP: Well it’s a pleasure. I was very glad we put together the last program, I think it went off quite successfully.
MN: Getting us started, many in Greece, and outside of Greece, were surprised, some would say shocked, at SYRIZA’s about-face in the space of just a few months, and how it essentially turned its back on the overwhelming vote of “no” towards more austerity in the July 5th referendum, and the very harsh memorandum agreement it signed with the troika. You, however, were not surprised at SYRIZA’s capitulation. What is your reaction to what happened?
Following the outcome of the September 20 snap parliamentary elections in Greece, Michael Nevradakis, producer and host of Dialogos Radio, spoke with The Real News Network about the results and what they might mean politically and economically for Greece going forward, including an analysis of the high abstention rate, the failure of the Popular Unity party to gain representation in the Greek parliament, and the first-place finish of SYRIZA, despite the political events of the past summer.
Well, we said it and it happened. The major capitulation from the supposedly left-wing SYRIZA government, which we had predicted over and over again from prior to the January elections, took place with the rejection of the “no” vote in Greece’s referendum to approve EU-imposed austerity, and with the signing of a memorandum agreement far worse than what Greek voters had previously rejected. The signs were there from the beginning, from the original Eurogroup agreement in February which extended the previous austerity agreements, to the election of corrupt conservative former government minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos as president of the republic, by telling the Greek people that it was their patriotic duty to pay the unconstitutional unified property tax, and through the imposition of a presidential decree which looted all of the cash reserves of the government and public bodies, such as the health and pension systems.