This week on Behind the Headlines we spoke with geopolitical analyst Stephen Lendman. Born in 1934, Stephen is a Harvard University graduate and a prolific writer on major world and national issues. His articles have appeared on many news websites and he maintains a personal blog at sjlendman.blogspot.com
Stephen is a regular guest on alternative news radio shows and hosts his own show on the Progressive Radio News Hour
on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. The author or editor of four books:Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive For Hegemony Risks World War III
, Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity, How Wall Street Fleeces America, Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War
and The Iraq Quagmire: The Price of Imperial Arrogance,
Stephen is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.Running Time:
Here's a transcript of the show:Niall:
Hello and welcome to another episode of Behind the Headlines on the SOTT Radio Network. I'm Niall Bradley. With me as always is Joe Quinn.Joe:
So today we're speaking with a very special guest, renowned political commentator and author Stephen Lendman. I say renowned less because he's well known to the general public, which might be the case in a saner world, more so because his prolific efforts to speak truth to power in countless articles, TV appearances from him, published in independent media but also in international media like RT, Press TV and so on. Stephen Lendman is the author or editor of four books, Flashpoint in Ukraine - How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks World War III; Banker Occupation - Waging Financial War on Humanity; How Wall Street Fleeces America - Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War; and finally The Iraq Quagmire - the Price of Imperial Arrogance. You'll find all of Stephen's articles, both archived and his current ones, along with links to where you can purchase his books, on his personal blog at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Stephen is a regular guest on Independent Radio News. He also hosts his own radio show three times a week. It's called The Progressive Radio News Hour and it's on the Progressive Radio Network. Check it out.
Stephen is a 2008 Project Censored winner and recipient in 2011 of the Mexican Journalists Club for International Journalism Award, a thoroughly deserved international recognition of his commitment to truthful journalism. So a big welcome to you Stephen Lendman.Stephen:
Well Joe and Niall it really is great to be on with you. I describe myself very simply as an aging guy who began writing and doing media work at age 70, 10 years ago, and I'm past age 80 now and I'm still going strong at it; not quite as swift as I was 10 years ago, and if I manage to go another decade I'm sure I will have slowed down considerably from where I am now.Joe:
I don't know about that Stephen. The way you're going now, I get the articles that you send on email and you're as prolific as you've always been. I don't see any sign of slowing down, so long may that continue.Stephen:
Well I hope the good lord has a number of good years left for me and let's keep doing this. I really do love it. I look forward to getting up every day and doing this. It's my reason for getting out of bed in the morning. I literally look forward to spending my days writing and doing media work. It's become the most important thing in my life.Joe:
Although can you truly say that you look forward to it, with the things that are going on in the world these days? Having to face yourself into all the shenanigans?Stephen:
I know exactly what you're saying. There're such horrors going on at home and abroad and without any question America is responsible for the great majority and the worst of what's going on. It's directly responsible because of America's imperial agenda. I don't know how I do it, but I manage to stay calm dealing with all I do. I don't take it to bed with me when I go to sleep. I don't sleep easily. I'm a very restless sleeper, but it's got nothing to do with my writing. I've always been a restless sleeper, wake up and I take a while to get to sleep and yet I manage to feel rested in the morning and I jump into it.
If I didn't have this to do all day, I don't know what I would do. The idea of sitting around all day watching television or doing things like that, I think it would take years off my life. I think this has added years to my life.Joe:
Absolutely. I think there's quite a lot of medical research to show that as people get older, keeping the brain stimulated with that kind of research and that kind of thinking, and also exposing it to new ideas, keeps the brain plastic, as they say. I think many people who just go downhill mentally in their later years, it's because they've just given up on actually thinking and wondering and questioning.Stephen:
Oh there's no question about that. I believe in daily exercise of my body. I need to do it. If I didn't exercise my body, I wouldn't have the energy to do my writing. But you need to exercise your mind as well. You can do it in lots of different ways; just anything that would interest anybody, if it's not world affairs. I have wonderful primary physician and she says to me that she really doesn't like watching news because it's so depressing and I can't disagree with that. So do something else. Of while your working, your profession is exercising your mind, you're diagnosing patients if you're a doctor. In my case I'm retired. I could either do this or I could go fishing or something and I really don't want to go fishing or play golf or do those kinds of things. I prefer exercising my mind and concentrating on major world events and putting out important information. I really want to share with as many people as possible, hoping that they'll become energized by this and want to share it with others and maybe it's a way we can change things, Joe and Niall.Joe:
Yeah, absolutely Stephen. You mentioned at the beginning of the show that you got into this area of political analysis and looking at what's going on in the world from that perspective about 10 years ago when you were 70. And now you're 81, did you say?Stephen:
I'll be 81 in August.Joe:
So 10 years puts us back in 2005. What were you doing before that and what caused you to suddenly wake up in this way, I suppose?Stephen:
Well that is the question I ask myself all the time. How did I ever get to do this? Well, here's part of the answer. I was always concerned with what's going on. I used to write long letters to people, mostly people I knew but occasionally to somebody I didn't know, getting into some of these world issues I write articles about. I wrote a letter to Noam Chomsky once and he answered me. He wrote back. I didn't have a computer. The other part of getting into writing was I never had a home computer until age 70 and my daughter convinced me to get one and that's what changed my life.
Before that I once wrote a letter to Noam Chomsky, a very long letter going into a lot of the issues that he deals with and that I began dealing with when I began writing. And he wrote me back! I couldn't email him, it would have been a heck of a long email. But he wrote me a letter back. I don't remember his exactly words but in a very nice way he suggested maybe I be a little bit more brief the next time. (laughter) I didn't send him a letter. I sent him an article.Niall:
That's when you realized, "Okay, I've sent him an article so I'll just keep going. I've got more to say." Well Noam Chomsky's a great example of someone who is just still going. He's still out there, still appearing on TV as well.Stephen:
Oh he really is. I think he's in his mid-80s now, maybe even a little older. I remember Howard Zinn so well. I had him on my program once. I had Chomsky on my program once. Howard Zinn I think passed away when he was 86 and that was a number of years ago now. He'd be into his 90's if he was alive. And that really hit me hard when he went because he was one of the early ones who got me interested in what I was doing, following his writing, following Chomsky's writing Edward Said was another extraordinary man. I was never able to get him on my program because I wasn't writing and I didn't have a program when he died. And I remember it, in September 2003, an immense loss. Of all the people I wish I could have had on my program that I never did, he topped my list.Joe:
Yeah, absolutely. Can't agree with that more. So just getting back to what caused that turning point. Like we said, it was 2005. Was there anything in particular that made you even write to Chomsky?Stephen:
Well the letters were because I'm interested in what's going on in the world. Chomsky was one person who not a personal friend who I wrote to. I wrote to like-minded personal friends expressing my feelings, people also concerned about what's going on in the world. But what got me writing accidentally was I read a book by Norman Finkelstein. He's written a number of books. It was his latest at the time 10 years ago. And I expressed my gratitude and appreciation for the things that he wrote and discussing it in terms of agreeing with major points that he made. And he emailed me back and he asked me if he could post what I wrote on his website. I was really amazed. I never expected anything like that, or even an answer. Of course I responded saying "Oh, I'd be honoured if you posted it on your website."
And then he asked me if I could post it on Amazon or someplace to get the word out about his book so that maybe it would interest other people wanting to read it and buy the book. And the only way I could do that was I sent him a personal letter. I rewrote it in short book review form and I got a few websites to post it for me. That lit my fire a tiny little bit.
And the thing that really lit my fire was when the New Orleans hurricane struck in August 2005.Joe:
Katrina, of course. I couldn't think of the name of the hurricane. Katrina in 2005. The aftermath of Katrina with the ripping off of the black people of New Orleans and one congressman I believe it was, I quoted saying "What we couldn't do on our own, nature did for us. Got these people out of the communities, out of the areas that we wanted to develop for profit, for white people only." For making money really, that's what they were saying.
And this angered me so much that I wrote an article about it. I forget the exact title, it was so long ago. I wrote a number of articles about Katrina afterwards, but that was the first one. And I got a couple prominent websites to post it for me. That lit my fire. That's what really lit my fire. The short book review of Finkelstein's book, a few websites, I can't even remember the names now, posted the article. But a couple of prominent ones posted my Katrina article, the first one, and that lit my fire to write more.
At the time I met Kathy Kelly for the first time, the great anti-war activist. She lives in Chicago and I visited with her, made contact and visited her where she lives. I have a bad knee from knee surgery years ago. I can't take long walks. I can't stay on my feet for a long time. I said "Kathy, I can't join you on your activism on my feet but I really want to help in some way." And she said to me "Write" and that lit my fire more.
The first article I wrote, because she had been in Iraq about two dozen times, was about the war in Iraq and also in Haiti. She had a great interest in what's going on in Haiti and is still going on in Haiti. Two of my early articles were on the Iraq war and on the situation in Haiti. Another one was on Venezuela.Niall:
And now, ten years later, your articles are all over the place. We've posted a lot of yours on SOTT.net.Stephen:
Oh I know.Niall:
We can't give you enough adulations because you deserve it, but I'll tell you what is a great service for us, as an independent news site. You write so often on so many topics that we often feel like "Okay, Stephen's got it covered" because there could be ten important things we want to talk about or that we want to write about this week but we just don't have the time or we've got other topics we need to delve into simultaneously. And we can always be sure that Stephen has got his finger on the pulse on major world issues. So a big, big thank you.Stephen:
I have another advantage too. Because I'm retired I don't have to go to work every day so I can spend my time any way I wish. Again, I could go fishing or play golf or do something like that, or I could write. I hadn't done any serious writing since the end of 1959 when Eisenhower was still President (laughter), and I finished my graduate thesis at the Wharton School and I remember that so well. It was over Thanksgiving weekend. And then I edited and did what my advisor told me to do in the weeks after that, which wasn't a great deal.
But I remember the relief I had when everybody was home for Thanksgiving and the boarding house I lived in, I think I and one other person was there for the whole weekend. But I was so relieved because the place was quiet and I finished my master's thesis, first draft. And that was the last serious writing I ever did. And the only thing I did in my working life was write the very dull business reports to make wonderful reading if you want to get put to sleep very easily. I think you wouldn't need more than half a page to want to doze off.
But from then until age 70 I did no serious writing at all. I never even imagined wanting to do it. I recall back in school that the things I disliked most, exams number one, term papers number two, I hated it. But writing a term paper then was a real, real chore; no computers. And the way you did them was you went through rolodex cards in the library and then you went through the library stacks looking for source materials. And that's what I did. And in college I was very lucky because they let the undergrads go into the major library, the Widener Library at Harvard and use the same facilities the doctoral candidates used with a little table that was an improvised desk. So a doctoral candidate could be a little ways away from me, doing his or her work and I was there doing research for a term paper that I had to write. It was a wonderful service and I hope the university has it the same way now.
But that's the way you had to write a term paper then, which made it very, very arduous. Now kids have it easy because literally you've got it all in your desktop and you can do marvellous research. And if you want to go to the library and do more, you can do it, but you pretty much can do it online.Joe:
Yeah. Stephen, so Katrina really got the bit between your teeth in terms of writing and researching and exposing the government and corporate criminality that's been going on. But going back a few years before that to maybe 9/11 as that seminal kind of event that seemed to have started the ball rolling in a very particular direction, since 9/11, nowadays when we go back over the past 14 years since 9/11 we kind of see that the world has radically changed and not for the better. It seems to hinge on 9/11. Would you agree with that?Stephen:
Oh absolutely! 9/11 changed everything. Things were pretty awful before 9/11. I remember WWII. I don't remember it well because I was a boy and there was no television. When my dad was listening to the news in the evening the only thing I wanted to listen to was Superman and Captain Midnight and Terry and the Pirates, so I didn't really keep tabs on stuff very long. I gained a little more understanding when the war ended and I was 10 years old, but when it began I didn't even know it was in 1939. My god, I was just five years old. I had no idea what was going on, but a number of my family members were in the war. They all came back, thankfully. My best friend lost his brother and a neighbour of mine was a concentration camp survivor. And I didn't appreciate all of that until I really matured a little bit more and began to realize the horrors going on in the world.
But it seemed as though with each successive presidency, I would say with the except of Jack Kennedy - Jack Kennedy was far from perfect but he entered office as a warrior and he transformed himself into a peacemaker and in my opinion that was the main reason why the CIA murdered him. There's no question the state sponsored assassination.Joe:
There were a lot of reasons for the powers that be to be very angry at Jack Kennedy, so many reasons, but the number one I think was the fact that he wanted all US forces out of Vietnam by the end of 1964 I believe. I think he began withdrawing, but he wanted them all out within about a year of when he announced it and I think that's what got him killed.
So with the exception of Kennedy I think we've gone downhill with each successive President being worse than the preceding one. You can go back. Truman certainly no Roosevelt. Carter is the best former President, but his presidency was certainly nothing wonderful; a supporter of the Khmer Rouge, stuff like that. So his presidency was anything but a glorious four years in office.
But then we had Reagan. And I think Clinton was worse than Reagan. And Bush too was worse than Clinton. And I think Obama is worse than Bush too. And I think whoever succeeds Obama will be worse than him. And heaven help us if we get Hilary Clinton.Joe:
Yeah, heaven help us is right.Niall:
It's going to get worse.Joe:
Well people have a choice in 2016. They can have a Bush or a Clinton again. Take your pick. It's kind of safe money in a certain sense. They know them, right? They've been there before. It's like an old friend.Stephen:
A line I used some years ago, and then I wrote an article about Jeb Bush and I used it again, "Behind every Bush there's a crime." (Laughter) I can't think of a one-liner about Hilary Clinton that way, but she was pretty nasty when she was simply the first lady. Because you remember Hilary Care, the idea of turning stuff over to the corporations, then Obama Care put it in overdrive. But she was nasty at the Rose law firm and the assassination of Foster. What was his first name? Vince Foster, yeah. I think that was an assassination, not the way it was portrayed. He was too close to some of the dirty stuff that the Clintons were involved in.
So whether it's Bill or whether it's Hilary, I call them the Clinton Crime Family for a good reason. Bill Clinton was a war god, waging war against Iraq; the war that was never called a war for the eight years of his presidency, intermittent bombings, the sanctions, the humanitarian monitors, oil and food. Humanitarian administrators Hans von Sponeck and Dennis Halliday, both resigned. Halliday said he no longer wanted to be part of committing genocide against the Iraqi people and he defined it as killing something like 500 Iraqi children every month. And this went on month after month, year after year.
So that was the undeclared war against Iraq that Clinton waged. And of course 1999 for 78 days, the rape of Yugoslavia plus all of the stuff that he did for Wall Street, handing them the end of Glass-Steagall and legitimizing derivatives and stuff like that and NAFTA, the Telecommunications Act that let the big media companies consolidate. You could go over one thing after another and Clinton's eight years was an abomination. And I think if Hilary becomes President, she'll be worse than Bill.Niall:
Yeah, it's a downward trajectory.Joe:
We have a question here from a listener in the chatroom Stephen. I think it must be a newbie. "Where is the conflict between Islam and the west/Christianity going?"Stephen:
Well the only war between the west and Islam is the war that the west invents and the reason is because the west needs enemies to justify its imperial agenda. The west, mainly America, is pressuring the other countries to go along. When I speak of NATO I often talk about US-dominated NATO because America pays for 75% of the NATO budget, so it gets the other 27 members to go along with its imperial agenda. It doesn't have to push very hard when it comes to Britain. It'll push a little bit at times with France, not much, a little bit with Germany, not much, a little harder with some other countries. But basically what NATO policy is, is American policy.
Back at the end of the Cold War, that was disastrous for America because America lost its room service enemy. So another one came up and his name was Saddam Hussein. But at the same time the war on Islam was developing, but once Saddam went America needed to maintain war and needed to have enemies and an easy enemy became Islam and Muslims. After 9/11 that made it very easy; Villify Muslims, blame them for the 9/11 event that they had absolutely nothing to do with. Bin Laden had nothing to do with 9/11. "Crazed Arabs" had nothing to do with 9/11. I wrote a number of times about 9/11 and in an article I wrote last September, I called it the mother of all big lies, there's no question that America committed 9/11, I think possibly jointly with Israel's Mossad.Joe:
It's something that struck me, within the past 10 years, I can't remember exactly when, but as a little too coincidental, that you had the Cold War from the end of the second world war up until 1991 and the fall of the Soviet Union, and during that Cold War, America had an enemy that it could and did use obviously...Niall:
That it could easily point to.Joe:
Yeah, use to justify invading other countries and overthrowing various governments here and there, a justification or rationale for imperial expansion throughout the whole Cold War period. Then the Soviet Union collapses, Russia opens up, etc. and suddenly the boogieman or the enemy effectively is gone. But in 1993, less than two years later, you had the first World Trade Centre terror attack effectively by Osama Bin Laden or some affiliated group to Muslim terrorists. And from then on it just seemed to me far too coincidental that suddenly this new enemy would come along that the US could use in the exactly the same way they used the communist threat, which was an unending, global war on Muslim terrorism, wherever it lives.Stephen:
For me it was just unbelievable.Stephen:
Absolutely. You could call 1993 - and boy do I remember that so well - you could call it a mini-9/11. It really was a very short-lived episode. The man who got blamed for it was a blind sheik, by the name of Sheik Abdel Rahman and he was a man that Lynne Stewart defended with Ramsey Clark in his appeal because he was blamed for the event and he had nothing to do with it. This was a man the CIA brought over to America from Egypt. They used him for their own interests and when they didn't need him any more [framed him]. Egypt was very upset about him. He was very critical of the Egyptian government and Mubarak was still the head of the Egyptian government at that time. He was there for 30 years before he went out in 2011. So Mubarak was the boss of Egypt back then. But he was very critical of Egyptian policy so that angered Egypt a great deal.
The CIA used him for their own interests for a while and then when they didn't need him anymore America turned on this guy and they convicted him for the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing, which he had nothing to do with. And Ramsey Clark enlisted Lynne Stewart to join him in the defence team. And I remember Lynne Stewart saying that she really was so busy with other cases that she didn't have any time to do this, but this is a direct quote, she said "How do you say no to Ramsey Clark?" Well she couldn't. She had no idea what it would mean for her and how it would change her life because then they went after her and they got her in prison for a few years. Then a year ago at Christmas time they finally released her on a medical issue because they thought she was dying. She's still alive.
I met her when she knew she was going to prison. She came to Chicago for a National Lawyers Guild meeting and I'm amazed, they invited me to come downtown. I looked so forward to that and I met her and I had a chance before she mixed with the crowd and gave a little talk to the crowd, with everybody else moving around her. I sat myself where I could see the door and when she came in I went right over and introduced myself and embraced her. She knew who I was. I think we had some communication before that. I've had her on my program a couple of times. And then after she got out of prison last August or September, she told me she was coming to Chicago with her husband Ralph and we got together then.
But she was expected to be dead last December and she's still going and I pray that the good doctors are able to keep her alive because she went through so much. This glorious woman, they put her away because she was defending a guy that the government wanted to put in prison for the rest of his life. And they would have anyway, no matter what she did, but they decided to punish her for daring to defend this guy. That's the way America operates.Joe:
What was she charged with officially?Stephen:
There's something called SAMs (Special Administrative Measures). I forget exactly the way to explain that but it basically is explaining information relating to lawyers and clients, publicly. Something to that effect.Joe:
So you have a private conversation with your client and then you discuss things, say with the press. Everybody knew Lynne Stewart and she would get interviews. And she talked about the case that she was on and what she was doing. And Ramsey Clark did exactly the same thing, exactly the same thing. Nobody laid a glove on Ramsey Clark. How could they? A former US attorney general. I guess they could have if they wanted to, but they didn't. Then Lynne did exactly the same thing and they went after her, to punish her. I think what they wanted to do was silence her. I guess with Ramsey, they could have killed him. I don't know why they haven't done it. I think he's lucky to be alive because he certainly is extremely outspoken and he's managed to survive all these years. People may forget he was Lyndon Johnson's attorney general back in the 1960s and he's still alive and he's still going. I'm not certain how old he is, but he's got to be in his 80s by now. But he's still going strong and just a wonderful man.
But he was never touched by what happened with defending the blind Sheikh. But Lynne, they went after her and they put her in prison for about four years, irresponsibly, illegally. She never committed a crime obviously. Lynne is the kind of woman you build statues for to honour, and America put her in prison irresponsibly.Joe:
People may not know this, but that 1993 World Trade Centre bombing has gone down in official history and has been revealed that that was effectively an FBI terror...Niall:
...sting operation where the FBI knew about this plan or plot and had been using an informant to liaise with these so-called terrorists to go and plant a bomb in the World Trade Centre in 1993 but the plan was to substitute the real bomb with a fake bomb, but apparently for some reason the FBI decided not to go ahead with that plan and a real bomb was allowed to go on. This is from the New York Times and other so-called newspapers or record, that this is what happened. The FBI new exactly who these people were, knew what they were planning to do and as we've seen in recent years with so many dozens and dozens of FBI "terror" plots or sting operations where they find some, often intellectually challenged or naïve Muslim guy, sometimes not even Muslim, and suggest to him or him and his friends that they want to blow up the Sears Tower or another government building. They take them through the process, they train them, show them how to use a bomb, give them money, give them pretty much everything they need and then in the moment where they're about to plant or detonate the bomb, it's a fake bomb and they're arrested and suddenly they've "caught" terrorists.Niall:
They've thwarted a major terror plot.Joe:
They've done this repeatedly, over and over again but it seems to me that the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing was exactly that. It was probably not the first FBI sting or plot, but certainly it is one of those. It was largely a staged FBI operation to generate grist for the terror mill to create the impression or reality almost, of there being this dire Muslim terror threat to America.Stephen:
Oh there's no question about that. The Muslims are the main target in terms of a group of people. But you remember in 1995 or 1996, the Oklahoma City bombing, the other one under Clinton. And that was an FBI job. It was the FBI building in Oklahoma City that Timothy McVie had nothing to do with. It has nothing to do with a car bomb outside the building. The building was rigged on the inside. It's been a long time since I've written about this, but the explosion was analyzed by a general at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base proving that the building was rigged on the inside with powerful explosives that took out lots of the buildings. It did enormous damage over a wide area around the FBI centre and I don't think McVie and the other guy, Terry Nichols, had anything to do with it. Or if they did they were set up.
But again, it wasn't a car bomb outside the building that did all this damage and killed people, it was rigging the building with dynamite and amazingly, a general at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base did a study on this and proved that this is exactly what happened. I forget whether he suggested who was responsible, but he did explain that it had nothing to do with a car bomb outside the building and that was the official story.Niall:
Well where it gets weird is not so much that McVie had absolutely no involvement to the case; certainly he wouldn't have been an orchestrator or planner of what happened, but he was clearly tied to it simply because he was later shown and documented to have been hanging around with certain militia types and patriot groups. We later found out that McVie, and probably Nichols as well, was ex-military with specialist training with - I think - the berets at some place up in Michigan. He had been posted as a regular military officer to join one of these patriot groups.Joe:
It's a classic case where they get the involvement proven to be able to show the public afterwards that "Look, he's clearly involved in the case." Now he wouldn't have gone into that knowing that he would be sold out, if you like.Joe:
Well it's a Lee Harvey Oswald kind of situation...Niall:
...where you have someone with US military ties who are given covert operations; go in and target this specific group. They think they're carrying out an operation but there's another parallel or secret operation going on that involves them taking the rap for something.Stephen:
I think that's exactly right. I think a lot of these incidents where individuals are called terrorists and the FBI foils the plots, I think in some cases you've got angry people who might have wanted to do something against the government and it made it easy for them to be recruited by stooges representing the FBI. But there were lots of other cases where people had no intention at all of doing any harm to anybody and somehow they got into a situation or were manoeuvred into a situation where the FBI could claim they were planning to do this, that or something else and frame them for something they had nothing to do with and had no intention of doing.
So I think you've got a combination of things that went on. But again, part of the fear-mongering campaign to scare the public to believe there are bad guys out there and the government needs to do these extreme things to keep the public safe from the bad guys. And the truth is that the government is the bad guy, not these other people.Joe:
Yeah absolutely. Stephen, we talk a lot about what we've just been talking about, about how the government is involved in some way or another with...Niall:
Some of the worst crimes.Joe:
Well specifically with "Muslim terrorism" as they call it today. But my question to you Stephen is to what extent is there a Muslim terror threat that is of any consequence in the world today against the west, against America, whatever? Because we don't like to be too black and white about this and say that it's all completely fabricated. Maybe we should, I don't know. Do you know what I'm saying? I think it's that they provide such a convincing argument to a lot of normal people because there seems to be hard evidence of there being an actual Muslim terror threat.Stephen:
I think the answer is this: there are a lot of crazy people in the world, Muslims and non-Muslims. Look at the lunatic Jewish people running the state of Israel. They're as dangerous as anybody I know anywhere in the world. But I agree with you, there are extremist Muslims causing enormous harm to enormous numbers of people. The issue is that America is looking for these types of people, recruiting them. There was one article I wrote some months back about a Pakistani who was paid $600 a head to recruit Islamic State fighters to go to be trained at US facilities either in Jordan, Turkey, Qatar or Saudi Arabia, and then to be shipped cross-border into Syria to wage war against Assad.
So America finds these people, recruits them, trains them, funds them, arms them and then we complain about an Islamic threat. Well it's an Islamic threat mainly created by America and it goes back at least to the 1980s, to the Mujahideen that America enlisted to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan and now you could call them today's Taliban or give them any name that you want.
So America creates a monster and the monster comes back to bite everybody and I think that's what's going on. You've got the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Islamic State, the al-Nusrah Front, al-Qaeda and America uses these people both as enemies and allies for strategic reasons in different theatres and IS, the Islamic State very definitely is a main American ally in Syria and in Iraq, and maybe soon to arrive in Libya. And some of these elements are in Gaza right now; small numbers.Niall:
So they say. What I've noticed is a broadening of the label of IS or ISIS to maybe existing groups that are in countries as far apart as the Philippines and Morocco. How easy is it in this age of information/disinformation to say so-and-so is IS, Islamic State?Joe:
The thing I find almost funny about IS, ISL or ISIS, whatever you want to call it is that here you have a relatively small group of Muslim fighters, guerrillas, soldiers, whatever, and people don't realize that they are actually fighting against and holding their ground and in actual fact gaining ground, on the combined might of the Iraqi army, the Syrian army, significant help from the Iranian military and the Lebanese Hezbollah. So there's four separate, large armies that are either fully engaged against ISL or are giving logistical and heavy support against them and yet these people are somehow able to gain ground against these forces which seems very implausible to me. But then when you look at the fact that just recently it was in the news that they captured something like 500 or several hundred pieces of US military equipment including Humvees and anti-tank weapons, that the US sold to the Iraqi army. Obviously the US made a lot of money off of that. They just get out of there, the Iraqi army can't keep a hold on it, can't keep it under lock and key, ISIS walk in, grab it and this is how they're able to make ground supposedly.
For me that's just an amazing coincidence because obviously with ISIS as a threat and well-equipped in that way, the US corporations then get to make more money by selling weapons to the US military to go and bomb ISL to whom the US military effectively gifted the weapons that they're fighting against. I think what's far more ridiculous and outlandish than conspiracy theorists is these people who are effectively "coincidence theorists" who say that all these things that I'm pointing out are just coincidences, that these things just happen by accident. No one plans them. ISIS just accidentally happened to get 500 US military Humvees and anti-tank weapons. And not only did the US have no interest in that happening, they really didn't want to happen, but somehow they're so incompetent or it's just this horrible coincidence happens over and over again. That for me is a more ridiculous contention than a conspiracy theory, i.e., that it would have been in some way planned to happen that way.Stephen:
Well I think it was very definitely planned. You hear occasionally, even in the mainstream media, about air drops of weapons that "accidentally" fall into the hands of ISIS. Well there's nothing accidental about that Niall and Joe. It is absolutely on purpose so that America is arming these fighters to fight against the Iraqis, the fight against the Syrians. The issue in Syria I think is pretty clear cut. America wants the Assad government replaced with a pro-western one. And the issue in Iraq, I think America wants Iraq Balkanized into a Kurdish north, a Bagdad centre and a Basra south and I think this is exactly what Israel wants, so that is what's going on there.
As far as the fighting capacity of these groups, I just can't imagine why the army of Iraq would be that motivated to want to go to war with anybody. I think the Syrian army is a lot more motivated because they realize if Syria is defeated and the country is turned into an extremist caliphate then these people are going to come looking for anybody associated with Assad to cut their throats, to kill them, to behead them. So they have an incentive to want to stay alive to fight these people. I don't think the Iraqis have the same incentive, but I could be wrong on that. And if they don't have it, maybe they'll get it sooner or later. But America is not so much helping the Iraqi army. America is helping the ISIS terrorists against the Iraqi army and the ISIS terrorists against the Syrian army.
When you hear of all these bombings going on, you mean a vaunted American air force could not knock out a lot of these ISIS facilities and fighters or whatever? I don't think you can win a war with air power alone, but you sure can do an awful lot of damage and America has not done that. It's bombed Syrian infrastructure, Iraqi infrastructure. It's killed civilians. This is the kind of stuff that's going on. It never gets reported in the major media.Joe:
Just for people to get their heads around the idea that the US government would support bloodthirsty terrorist types, to understand that and accept that as a reality, all they have to do is look at official US history. I wrote an article recently for SOTT and it just briefly mentioned two cases where this has happened in the past. One was Nicaragua where the US government funded, trained and armed the contras against effectively the democratically elected Sandinista government, to overthrow that government and tens of thousands of innocent civilians were slaughtered by these US-trained, funded and armed contras. And that was then standard US policy. They had no problem with it.
The other example was in Indonesia where they basically supported the brutal dictator Suharto over the democratically elected Sukarno because they didn't like his leftish leanings. He wouldn't play ball with the American way so they financed and funded a coup and put this guy Suharto in who was a brutal dictator who, over two years after he staged the coup, had killed up to one million people, he and his henchmen. And this was fully supported and Suharto was at the time supported by the US government publicly. And for the next 25 or 30 years while he was in power they continued to support him.
So there's no question that the US government has done this as a matter of policy. So why do people have a problem with the idea of what is called a conspiracy theory of the US government supporting Muslim terrorists? It fits perfectly with standard US foreign policy over the past 60 or 70 years.Stephen:
Oh there's no question about that. Absolutely. The history that interests me most is the post-WWII era but there's no question. You could go back to Truman's war on Korea. The north didn't start the war. The south started the war. America orchestrated the war and got repeated provocations of South Korea against North Korea and finally when North Korea responded in a little bit of force, we had the Korean War that turned North Korea really to rubble where the US forces under Macarthur literally ran out of targets to bomb because the whole bloody place was turned to rubble. That was lawless aggression. And then of course we know what happened in Southeast Asia and so many other places.Joe:
Yeah. Changing tack here for a minute, we have another question from the chat room. "Will Putin risk a nuclear confrontation with the US/NATO?"Stephen:
I call Putin a dedicated peacemaker. The last thing Putin wants is war. What he wants is peace and stability and there's not a shred of evidence that he's done anything in all his years in office to instigate war or want a war. With the situation in Ukraine there's no evidence whatsoever of Russian troops in Ukraine. There are Russian nationals who are not part of Russia's military who have crossed the border into Ukraine but there are nationals from many countries that have gone to Ukraine, fighting on both sides. The only thing you hear about are non-existent "little green men" was one of the expressions used, Russian soldiers in uniforms without insignia. Well there's no evidence of this at all.
And then once in a while they come up with some supposed satellite footage that's fake footage that has nothing to do with what's going on in Ukraine at the moment and if it was something real, it would be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt. But there's none of this. And this just goes on and on and on. There is no country in the region that has done more for peace and stability than Putin and certainly Sergei Lavrov and if we had an honest world they would win the Nobel Peace Prize hands down. But of course they don't have a chance. It's mostly war-makers who win the prize. The belligerent in Ukraine is Obama, the US administration, the coup in February 2014, the violence the preceded it.
Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for eastern European affairs admitted publicly that America spent over $5 billion for regime change in Ukraine and they got it. They ousted a rotten government, but democratically elected, and they installed Nazis to take its place and that's what's going on in Ukraine right now. And the war in the southeast, the Donbass area, is orchestrated from Washington using proxy Kiev forces to fight the war and it's really been revved up in recent days.Joe:
Yeah, absolutely. I think that's kind of the long and the short of that situation in Ukraine. One of the things that this kind of a question reminds me of is when the US state department gives these regular press briefings to journalists. There's Jan Psaki, Marie Harf and over the past six months or so there was a US military guy who has I think taken over as the spokesman for the state department for giving these briefings. But he was asked a question by a journalist because the US government had said that Russia was being aggressive towards its eastern European neighbours and that it was saber-rattling with NATO and stuff, and he said "I'm not going to ask if it's true. It is obviously true that NATO has expanded right up to Russia border. So if there's any aggression..."Niall:
The journalist said that to him.Joe:
The journalist said that to him. "It's obvious it's not about Russia moving westward. NATO has pushed right up to Russia's border and is planning to install missile batteries in countries right on Russia's border." And it was so funny the way he tried to engage in these mental gymnastics of how to explain away the fact that yeah, NATO has expanded right up to the Russia's border and NATO's military alliance.
I don't know how some people don't really see clearly what the situation is there and that Russia and Putin are only effectively defending themselves and protecting their sphere of influence because they're entitled to it. But we know that recently, I think it was Vice President Biden who said that America would not tolerate any other country in the world having a sphere of influence.Stephen:
Oh I can believe that. I think all of US actions really point in that direction; irresponsible, continuous, repeated Russia-bashing and Putin-bashing and the reason is because Russia is an important country in the world, Putin values the sovereign independence of every country. He believes no country should interfere in the internal affairs of another. He's absolutely for peace. He's against war. He's against America's imperial agenda. These are reasons why America bashes Putin. It's very, very simple. They want a stooge in power like Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s. They just dream of getting a guy like that back running Russia again so American policy can be the dominating influence over Russian policy.
Well Russians love Putin with his approval rating. The last time I saw it, it was 86%. That's absolutely astonishing. And you don't hear anybody in the west saying "Oh, it's fake." Nobody says that. I think Russians really do love him. And I think the reason is because he stands up with backbone against the aggressive policies of the west and he's very forthright in what he says. I've used the expression that he says what he means and he means what he says, the exact opposite of a guy like Obama who no matter what comes out of his mouth, you can be sure it's another one of his many big lies. And that's exactly what happens.
So Putin is the punching bag right now in that part of the world. America wants its influence curbed. Ideally it wants regime change. That really is the ultimate gain. There is no question that Putin will not start a war with the west. Putin himself said it; the idea that anybody would think Russia would attack NATO is insane. And that was the word he used, insane, indeed.Niall:
He said that recentlyStephen:
Yeah, he said that. And I just wrote an article and sent it out and you got it just before we went on air with joint chiefs chairman Martin Dempsey giving an interview to the Wall Street Journal and bashing Putin, unjustifiably and irresponsibly. And at the same time I look at Dempsey as not a lunatic or a hothead like so many people in Washington even though some of the top generals that are his subordinates are these kind of people, Breedlove, the NATO commander and General Hodges, the commander of European forces. I forget his exact title. They're making outrageous statements about Russia. But even Dempsey bashed Russia irresponsibly. And he knows that Russia is a consummate peacemaker, not a war maker, but he follows the party line and he says these things. But the chances that Russia would initiate a nuclear war with America or anybody else, are absolutely zero. But at the same time, if Russia is attacked, it absolutely will defend itself with everything it has. And I hope it never comes to that. If it does, we're talking about a nuclear war.Joe:
Yeah, Russia-bashing or Putin-bashing is the perfect way to describe it because over the past year since Ukraine, I have just been repeatedly, almost daily appalled by the ridiculous, childish, hysterical statements coming out of the western media about Putin, most of it absolutely fabricated. One that sticks out is last year when MH17 fell out of the sky, was shot down, whatever, over Ukraine. That very day British tabloid newspapers had massive black, bold headlines. Others were similar to this, but one of them which really stuck in my mind was "Putin Killed My Baby!" Now this was on the same day that the plane fell out of the sky, when no one could have known who, why or what happened to that plane. But that's an example of the egregious, deliberate, conscious demonization of Russia and Putin in particular and with no basis whatsoever.Stephen:
Absolutely. And the most important thing everybody needs to ask is when something like this happens, what benefit could Russia possibly have? What benefit for the freedom fighters in Donbass, the southeast of Ukraine, what benefit could they possibly get by shooting down a commercial airliner? And even a moron could answer that question. No benefit whatsoever! If there's no benefit, there's no crime committed by them, so who gets the benefit of this? America, the regime in Kiev by blaming Russia, by blaming the Donbass freedom fighters. They're the ones who get the benefit so they're the ones you should look to as the culprits behind the crime. And of course they are the culprits behind the crime.Niall:
Stephen, you mentioned that the situation there in southeast Ukraine recently flared up. What exactly is going on? Are we looking at the renewal of the civil war there at the same level as late last year?Stephen:
It could very well be happening. I think the timing of the flare-up in the last few days was ahead of the G7 summit going on right now in Germany at this exclusive resort. I think that's behind the timing of the recent flare-up. We'll have to watch to see what happens when the summit ends, whether it cools down a little bit, even though I believe that the plan is to escalate it and to go back to a full-scale war again. But I think the motive behind doing it now was to again use Putin as a punching bag, blaming him and the freedom fighters for escalating the fighting, which is exactly the opposite of the truth, to be sure that the sanctions against Russia would be extended at the summit.
But they didn't need to do this because I think Europe would absolutely go along with extending the sanctions for another six months; so essentially killing a lot of people to get something done where they didn't need to do this at all, but just simply putting an exclamation point on the idea, as they would put it, that they need to maintain the sanctions against Russia. Aside from the fact that they're illegal, they really ought to be sanctioning themselves because they're the guilty parties, not Russia. Russia should get the medals and these people should be put in prison for the crimes that they've committed, including the ones complicit with America and Kiev, the key European countries, mainly Britain.Niall:
Absolutely. Do you find, from what you can remember of the Cold War era relative to what's going on today, does it strike you that it's the same pattern; that back then Russia/USSR was obviously the boogieman and the kind of overall strategic purpose of largely US/NATO foreign policy was to isolate, contain, keep away Russia? Isn't it astonishing that that's very much still the case or that it was renewed? What do you think's going on here? Is it something that is a kind of constant in world affairs?Stephen:
Well I think that's very much what's going on. I think it began back in 1917 with the Russian Revolution where at one point democrat Woodrow Wilson sent in something like 6,000 marines in one of the northern ports to fight against the Bolsheviks in Russia. So America was fighting with what became the Soviet Union back in 1917 for a short period of time. Then we had the Cold War, and at the end of the Cold War, there's information that Churchill wanted to go to war with Russia and attack them, probably with nuclear weapons, while they were down. Of course Russia was developing nuclear weapons too. I don't know if they had any at the end of WWII in summer 1945. They certainly had them a short time after that.
But Churchill wanted to go to war and knock Russia out completely as the end of the Second World War. And it wasn't America and Britain that defeated Hitler in Europe, it was Russia. Russia defeated the Nazis and Russia paid with maybe 27 million lives or more. And America certainly liberated France. There's no question about that. But Russia defeated Nazi Germany. And if Hitler hadn't invaded Russia - and I remember the day because I just mentioned it in an article - on the 22nd of June in 1941, Operation Barbarossa, if Hitler hadn't done that, he might have won the war. He probably would have won the war because he sacrificed the lives of millions of valuable German soldiers fighting a futile battle against Russia that had limitless people plus weapons they could produce, way, way deep into the territory. Hitler had no long-range bombers to bomb way in the far east of Russia. And America, I think was arming Russia at the same time.
So it was American weapons, the weapons that Russia produced on its own and Russian manpower, this endless millions, this tsunami of people and fighters to go after Nazi Germany, just grinding them down, wearing them down, knowing how to fight in winter under adverse conditions, where the Nazi's knew nothing about that, where they got stymied outside of Moscow as the winter months came in and the Russians knew all about fighting in winter months. I think they got stuck in the mud before the winter months came in. But if Hitler had not attacked Soviet Russia, he probably would have won the war.Joe:
That is official history although it's not taught so much in western European schools and history class. But given that the Nazis would not have been beaten probably without Russia, and Russia effectively defeated the Nazis, recently there were WWII commemorations in Moscow and the western European and US Presidents and Prime Ministers were conspicuously absent from that celebration. It seems a bit impolite, to say the least.Stephen:
It really shows the true character of America, Niall and Joe. And everybody who understand history realizes that if the Russians hadn't been involved, that Nazi Germany never could have been defeated the way it was. They just literally ground down the Nazi Wehrmacht and eliminated such a large portion of it, to make German's defence impossible against the western forces coming in from Normandy through France and into Germany. But if it wasn't for the effort from Russia the war would have been an entirely different situation.
And Obama doesn't have the courtesy, if you want to call it that, to show up to this important commemoration and thank Russia for what it did. But of course given what's going on between US and Russian relations that wouldn't happen. And I think a leader like Angela Merkel who did not go to the commemoration, but showed up the next day, was embarrassed I'm sure, not to have been there because Russia liberated Germany and the least that she could do would be to show up in Russia for this important occasion and thank Putin for what Russia did; Putin's father was in the war. Putin was born after the war.Joe:
So why didn't Merkel turn up then?Stephen:
I think the pressure was put on her by America not to show up. So she compromised. She skipped the commemoration on the 9th and she showed up the next day. I think this is the way she did it. But she shouldn't have done that. She should have been there. She should have been there front and centre, thanking Russia for what it did. That's what a legitimate leader would do, but she didn't do that.Joe:
So part of not going to that commemoration was part of the propaganda war that's been ongoing against Russia, to sideline Russia and give it no opportunity to have any kind of positive international light cast upon it. That seems to be a major part of the west's campaign against Russia, to deny it that respectability essentially, and the awareness of Russia's respectability amongst western populations.Stephen:
Oh indeed! And I quoted Merkel saying that "Russia should never be allowed back into the G7 to become G8 again until it gives up Crimea" without explaining that Russia did not annex Crimea. The Crimeans voted in a referendum, internationally monitored, judged open, free and fair, and something like 96 or 97% of the Crimeans, with about an 80% turnout, voted to rejoin Russia and Putin merely accommodated their wishes. That's not an annexation. And in the charter of the United Nations it affirms that self-determination is a universal right. So all Putin did was obey the charter of the United Nations. He did not annex Crimea and it's not going back. A historic mistake was corrected. That's what happened when the returning of Crimea to Russia took place. A historic mistake was corrected. Everybody knows that, but they won't say it.Joe:
Right. They keep harping on about how Russia annexed Crimea and it has to get it back and this seems to be the main reason that they waged this defamation campaign against Russia calling it an infiltrator, a violator of the territorial integrity of other countries, etc. But it's pure nonsense and BS and it's provably BS if you just simply say what you just said, which is that over 90% of the population of Crimea are ethnically Russian and wanted to be part of Russia and they all voted that way. So how is that a violation of anything?Stephen:
No, it was an absolutely legal act. There was no illegality at all involved. And again, the people bashing Russia in governments, in Western Europe and Washington, they know this! But they need reasons to bash Putin so this is a convenient one. And if this one never had happened, again, they would simply use the one of Russian troops in the Ukraine fighting with the Ukrainians, supplying them with arms, helping them in their campaign, where there's no proof whatsoever that any of this is happening. But there's plenty of proof to show that America is supporting the Kiev regime in fighting the people in the southeast. And the only thing those people want is real democracy. They reject fascism, which everybody should reject. And the only thing they want is real democracy. But that's not what America wants, so they're called the bad guys and the Kiev regime calls the war naked aggression an anti-terrorist operation, an ATO. Well the terrorists are in Kiev and in Washington and the freedom-loving people are in Donetsk and Lugansk and everybody should support them.Joe:
Absolutely. On the annexing of Crimea thing, the hypocrisy metre just blew through the roof on that one as well, because in Kosovo, back in 2008 Kosovo declared independence unilaterally from the rest of Serbia and that was exactly the same, almost a mirror image of what happened in Crimea and the US and the EU more or less said "Cool. We like that. Go ahead. Thumbs up. No problem." So it's one rule for them and another for their enemies.Stephen:
I forget the sentiment in Kosovo wanting to do this, but I don't think it was anywhere near the overwhelming sentiment in Crimea, to return to Russia.Joe:
I'll have to check what the figures were, but maybe two-thirds of the population supported it. It was nothing like 95 or 97 percent, so really the Crimean situation was completely slam/dunk and the Kosovo situation was merely a lay-up that rolled around the rim and it could have rolled out, but it rolled in. (laughter) But it was basically the same idea.Joe:
It's a topsy-turvy world, everyone talks democracy...Stephen:
It's a terrible situation.Niall:
Everyone talks democracy and whenever you actually have a rare and clear case of it...Joe:
It's not allowed.Niall:
it's not allowed. And what's worse is that the masses don't ever get to see it as an actual expression of democracy, which they all aspire to and believe in and accept as a good value in itself. And when it actually happens, they're trained to hate it! It's just tragic.Stephen:
Oh absolutely. Maybe we can wrap up this discussion by my just saying things like I'm almost 81 years old, I'll be 81 in August and I've had a lot of good years behind me. If the worst of possible events happens, well I have at least come this far. But I fear so much for young people who, especially in America where I live which is the only country I really know about firsthand because it's my home. It was far from a perfect place when I was growing up, anything but. I remember Islamophobia. I remember the vicious racism. I remember the endless wars, the terrible stuff that went on, the framing of people, the political prisoners.
But it was nothing like what's going on today. And a kid like me from inner city Boston, from a lower middleclass family, with nothing going for me at all, was able to get into two top schools, Harvard and the Wharton School, not only get in, but when they were affordable, where my Harvard freshman tuition, for the full year, was $600. And that's no exaggeration. And my mother went evenings to get a degree, mostly at Harvard. It was an evening university extension course in Boston. It was about 95% courses at Harvard where we took some of the same courses with the same professors for $5 a course and my mother and I graduated together in the same class at Harvard, in June 1956. I think it was June 16th, so it's getting close to the anniversary. And she got her Harvard degree. My tuition went up. It was a thousand bucks my senior year; a pittance compared to today. But my mother got a Harvard degree going evenings, literally, for $175.
I don't even know if the evening courses exist now. But there's nothing today like the way it was then. And in grad school, I forget what it cost me exactly. I had to pay by the semester hour rather than by a full semester or a full year, but it was dirt cheap compared to the way it is now. I was able to work and pay for 90% of my expenses and my tuition. I got a small amount of help from my father. In grad school I did it all myself plus something like a $200 loan that I took out, that I easily repaid in my first year.
But the kids today get entrapped in debts they can't repay. They have a horrible situation going where you could come out with wonderful degrees, with a wonderful education and you can't even find a job because they don't exist. They've been exported, offshored to other countries; cheap labour. So if you want a rotten service job paying poverty wages, you could have a Ph.D. and maybe that's all you can get. If you teach, maybe you have a chance to do that. But if you want to do a lot of other things, you have an awful hard time. The doctors can do it but even they don't have the same advantage that they had years ago with all of the red tape that they have to live through. I don't know what lawyers go through.
But so many of the well-trained professionals in America simply don't have the advantages that kids like me had when I was growing up in the 1940s, beginning in the 1930s. Kindergarten I think was the year that Hitler invaded Poland, September 1939 where I had no idea what was going on. But all through those years, again, I had advantages that kids don't have today. And that's all gone. America is a police state. The kids today, god only knows what they face going forward. So if I perish because somebody is foolish enough to start a nuclear war against Russia or against anybody else - and I must say I don't expect it, but the possibility is frighteningly real - if that happens, so I'll go, but at least I've got all these good years behind me. But all of these young people in America and in other countries, they'll die in vain. They'll have done nothing because their lives will have been cut short by the lunatics in Washington that are making policies that conceivably could end up killing us all.
If we don't do something about this, if we don't get angry enough to decide we're not going to take this, and literally put our bodies on the line for changing it, we may all end up very, very sad losers.Joe:
Well said Stephen. I think we're going to leave it there, like you're suggesting. That's an excellent way to end it. I just want to thank you for coming on to talk to us here. It's been great. You're a credit to Boston.Niall:
You're a champion of truth. God bless you.Joe:
Exactly. And long may you continue.Stephen:
Niall I thank you so very kindly. If I had one wish that can't come true, it's that both my parents could have seen what I'm doing now. And sadly, they didn't live long enough to do it. I wish that could have been the case. I think they would have approved.Joe:
I think so.Niall:
I think they're very proud of you. Well done Stephen. Will you come back on the show some other time?Stephen:
Oh, I'd love to come back on.Niall:
Okay, take care.Stephen:
Thank you both so much.Joe:
You have a great day Stephen.Stephen:
Thanks. Bye now.Joe:
So, that was Stephen Lendman. He really is one of a kind because at almost 81 years old, to be doing what he's doing and to be so lucid and clear and to have things locked down in that way, and in terms of how he sees the situation. I don't know many 81 year olds admittedly, but I don't think there are many like him, doing what he's doing. And there should be more.
We're going to leave it there for this week folks. Thanks to Stephen again. A great guest and we will be back next week with another show on another topic, or the same one. We don't know yet. You'll have to tune in to find out. So until then, have a good one.Niall:
See you next week.