TV and radio appearances by Nation writers and editors, big Nation announcements.
In an interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, Nation correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous provides an update on the crackdowns against dissent that have defined the three-year anniversary of the revolution. Thousands have been detained, including many prominent journalists and intellectuals, and street violence is rampant. At the same time, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has ruled Egypt since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi last July, appears to be setting the stage for his own presidential candidacy. According to Kouddous, “It’s a dark time for many of the young revolutionaries and activists who had very high hopes three years ago…many of whom are in prison now. It looks like the repressive security state is in ascendancy.”
Editor’s note: The interview with Kouddous starts at 14:00
Nation contributor and Russian studies scholar Stephen F. Cohen says the overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government would be “a serious blow to democracy” in this conversation with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and London-based researcher Anton Shekhovtsov. Arguing that Western media have misrepresented the protests, Cohen says Ukrainian moderates have lost control of the movement to right-wing extremists whose political activity “includes writing on buildings in western Ukraine, ‘Jews live here.’” He adds: “That’s exactly what the Nazis wrote on the homes of Jews when they occupied Ukraine.”
Editor’s note: Cohen’s remarks begin at 43:03
Stephen Cohen, emeritus professor at Princeton University and NYU, appeared on the Pacifica Evening News for a discussion of the evolving situation in Ukraine. As protests spread from Kiev to other cities across the country, some of them turning violent, pressure for a Western response has escalated. Cohen believes that any action taken by the US and EU would be motivated by economic interest, not support for democratic dissent. “In this whole march towards the East, Ukraine is the prize. It’s the most European, it’s the largest, it’s in resource terms the richest…and the West wants to take that from Russia.”
Editorial note: Cohen’s remarks begin at 21:40
According to a recently released preview, President Obama’s State of the Union speech will focus on income inequality. Since this will be the cornerstone of his 2014 agenda, Obama has pledged to use executive orders to raise the minimum wage, pass immigration reform and extend unemployment benefits if Congress fails to take action. Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel appeared on MSNBC’s Up With Steve Kornacki, alongside Huffington Post editor Amandra Terkel, New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone and Chicago Sun-Times editor Lynn Sweet, to share her predictions for the address. For vanden Heuvel, Obama’s emphasis on the economy is part of a broader progressive resurgence nationally. “I think the president is being moved forward by a constituency that has waited too long.”
In this wide-ranging interview, John Batchelor speaks with NYU Professor of Russian History Stephen F. Cohen about the violent turn of Kiev’s street protests and terrorist threats at the Sochi Olympics. According to Cohen, US officials maintain an overly simplified view of the Ukraine protests, failing to differentiate between the pro-EU and ultranationalist factions, and their interference is exacerbating tensions between Russia and the United States. Cohen said, “As this Western/Russian standoff grows into a full-scale confrontation, it spills over and spoils the opportunities for cooperation in Syria, on Iran and at the Sochi Olympics.” For more on the unfolding situation in Kiev, listen to Cohen’s interview on KPFA 94.1’s Letters and Politics.
As part of the newly elected mayor’s Talking Transition initiative—a two-week project that allowed New Yorkers to offer their input on critical city reforms—Nation Editor Katrina vanden Heuvel participated in the “de Blasio and de Bagels” event. She argues that in order to carry out its ambitious progressive agenda, the de Blasio administration needs to focus on sustained citizen engagement. According to vanden Heuvel, “To be here is to see how participatory real democracy can be.” Visit the event page to learn more.
North Carolina has traditionally been, politically speaking, the most moderate of the Southern states. In recent months, however, the state’s legislature has taken a sharp turn to the right as Republicans won both houses and began to enact a right-wing wish list, including tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy and scaling back access to unemployment benefits, Medicaid and even basic voting rights.
North Carolinians are fighting back—in April, the Moral Mondays movement began as a means to dramatize and publicize the drastic affects of decisions made in state politics. The Nation’s Ari Berman is featured in this short Bill Moyers documentary discussing the latest developments in North Carolina’s politics. Read his latest here.
In a lively discussion with NPR’s Robert Siegel and National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru, The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel looks back at some of the most inspiring political accomplishments of 2013. She counts the renewal of diplomacy and the growing nationwide push for income equality among the greatest successes, and talks about how these pressing issues will shape the year ahead.
As Ukraine remains divided over whether or not to sign an agreement with the European Union, the US media continues to spread myths about the protests surrounding the conflict, according to Stephen Cohen. The Russian studies professor and Nation contributor joined Between the Lines to debunk those myths and explain what the protesters are actually demanding and what role the United States is playing, adding to his critique of the US media's coverage of the protests on the John Batchelor Show last week.
Egypt’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood has widened to include journalists, non-Islamist activists and students who have been detained and badly beaten., Sharif Abdel Kouddous explained in his latest piece for The Nation. This morning, he joined Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! to discuss former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s terrorism charges and how the crackdown has affected ordinary citizens.