Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Developments in Egypt

A short follow-up - as many of you know, our very first podcast was on the uprisings in the Middle East, particularly in Egypt. There have been a lot of developments on the ground there, most of which (not shockingly) have not been covered particularly well by the media. Our guest on that first show, Hesham Sallam, has a great write-up on what's going on right now. Hesham is a friend and colleague who is a PhD candidate at Georgetown, studies the persistence of authoritarian regimes, comparative Middle East politics, and is the co-editor of Jadaliyya, and online e-zine produced by the Arab Studies Institute. Give it a read on Jadaliya by clicking here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Podcast Episode 6: The Death of Osama bin Laden

On this episode of the There is No Spoon show, Fatima Ashraf questions Fouad Pervez, Junaid Ahmad, and Reggie Miller about their thoughts on the death of Osama Bin Laden. Fouad is an International Relations doctoral student at Georgetown University and a writer for Foreign Policy in Focus. His latest article, "Pepsi, Pot, Porn...and Politics" looks at the bizzarre discovery of those items on bin Laden's compound, and why they really illustrate the importance of politics over culture in al-Qaeda's modus operandi. Junaid is a faculty member at the Lahore University of Management Sciences and specializes in law and policy. He recently wrote an article, "Pakistan-U.S. relations in the post-Osama era" that examines the heightening tensions between the two countries after the raid. Junaid and Fouad have co-authored several pieces on U.S. foreign policy in South Asia, including this relevant and prescient article, "The US War on Pakistan." Reggie Miller is a non-profit management professional with significant insight into America's post-9/11 culture.

While many in the country celebrated his death, the No Spoon team ponders why it was okay for Americans to celebrate now and be upset at the thought of celebrations abroad on 9/11. They also discusses the serious issues surrounding Bin Laden's death including extra-judicial assassination, the state of affairs in Pakistan, and why Osama drinking Pepsi shouldn't have been a big deal.

Download this episode (right click and save)

You can subscribe to the No Spoon Podcast via itunes by clicking here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire: Why the FBI Needs New Leadership

FBI Director Robert Mueller

The last ten years have witnessed an assault on the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans, led largely by the FBI. Appointed mere days before the 9/11 attacks, Director Robert S. Mueller III has guided the bureau through the resurrection of many long discredited practices from its COINTELPRO era. Yet, the Obama administration has proposed extending Mueller's term as FBI director. Congress should reject the proposal and insist on a nominee from outside the bureau to restore accountability, law and order. Just ask Nick Merrill in New York, Joe Iosbaker in Chicago or Ahmadullah Niazi in Los Angeles: three law-abiding Americans whose constitutional rights are among the casualties of the last decade.