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October 24, 2008
Week in review: Economy, Taliban and India in space

Carla Robbins of The New York Times and Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations join Martin Savidge to review the major events of the week.

They discuss the financial turmoil around the world, new efforts to combat Taliban insurgents in Pakistan and India’s first mission to the moon.


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American help? India launched with American help? Excuse me, I think India has launched it on its own, its just that NASA instruments are piggybacked free of cost as a good will gesture of ISRO


How could anyone feel arming opponents of the Taliban could be a good idea? Two decades ago we armed the Taliban in hopes of battling one enemy, now we arm more people in hopes of battling the Taliban. When will we stop arming the entire planet and start brining it together through funding schools, social programs, agricultural programs and encouraging women’s rights in these regions? An educated, free and productive nation does not fall victim to radical organizations with false promises of salvation through violence – whether that be the Taliban or our own warmongering political zealots.


To: Martin Savidge: October 24, 2008

Re: Roundtable with Carla Robbins & Richard Haass

The roundtable discussion with Richard Haass and Carla Robbins is perhaps the least satisfying part of the Worldfocus program. First, there is too much fawning given the gravity of the topics. Second, and more importantly, you, as moderator, do not present critical challenges to their comfortable assertions, affirmations, claims, opinions, beliefs, projections, assumptions, conclusion, etc. For example, during the Oct. 24, 2008 program, Haass said the fall in oil prices may make Iran more amenable to Western pressure. You failed to challenge him on this assertion. You could have easily done so by asking what evidence supported his contention or what was the basis for his conclusion. After all, oil prices have simply fallen to where they were a year or so ago. And since Iran wasn’t amenable then (or in prior years when oil prices were lower) to Western pressure on its foreign and domestic policy goals, why should Iran respond differently now just because oil prices have returned to where they were last year? By failing to challenge Haass, your program loses credibility. I believe such challenges are necessary if you want your viewers to see the program as a serious forum for analysis, and not as a platform for unsubstantiated advocacy or promotion.

Napoleon Williams

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