Transcript: World After Covid with
Richard Falk and Helena Cobban

Webinar recorded on June 10, 2020 


Video and Session Transcript

Helena Cobban, JWE President [00.01]: 

Hi everybody. I'm Helena Cobban.  I'm the president of Just World Educational. And I'm delighted to have you all with us for our inaugural webinar in our new series, The World After COVID. I'm sorry, we were a little bit late opening. We've been having a few technical difficulties, including that Richard Falk - who's in Turkey - will be on solely via audio.

I don't know how much introduction Richard needs to our attendees, but Richard Falk obviously is a very well-known jurist, a long time antiwar person and supporter of human rights for all peoples, including Palestinians. And one of the reasons that I'm particularly excited to have Richard on today's session is because he's been doing some interesting blogging on his blog,, about the broad effects of COVID-19. And it also reminds me of a book that he published in 1999 called Predatory Globalization which analyzed a lot of the problems of globalization that are now becoming very much more evident today. Even though people can't see you, Richard, we'd like to welcome you here.

Richard Falk [01:30]:

Thank you, Helena. I'm very happy to be with you. I wish I was with you visually, but such is life.

Helena Cobban [01:46]:

So, as, as I said, we're for some reason having more technical difficulties this time than we have earlier, but we're up to dealing with them. Just World Educational is a nonprofit educational foundation registered here in Virginia, United States. I currently live in Washington D. C., Which has been a pretty exciting place to live recently. We can talk about that a little bit more later.

One of our recent projects was a whole program of webinars about Syria called Commonsense on Syria. And if you go to our website, which is, do click on the Syria resource center. What we did there was that we had a series of webinars on Syria, and then we archived the videos which can serve as a lasting resource for people who want to learn about the topic.

And that's what we're going to do with the current webinar series. So I’m really delighted to launch this project by having a conversation with Richard Falk there in Turkey.

As I said, Charlotte Kates is working with us behind the scenes. And if you have any technical queries, can you send a message to Charlotte in chat? So what we'll do now: Richard Falk and I will have an introductory conversation for about 30 minutes, and then we'll open the space up to questions which can be submitted via either the Q and A that you should see at the bottom. You can submit your questions either through the chat or through the Q and A, here on Zoom or on Facebook.

If you're watching us on Facebook, you can submit your questions through the comments section there. Well, here we are in - I was about to say in the middle of this COVID-19 epidemic or pandemic - but of course, none of us knows how long it's going to last. And indeed, Dr. Anthony Fauci yesterday was saying that it may go on for very long time indeed, but all of our lives have changed. Some people have suffered much worse than other people.

And we've already seen a lot of things happening that change the global balance as a result of  COVID. So, Richard, could you maybe just say how you see the world having changed a little bit as a result of COVID?

Richard Falk (05:26):

Well, I think it is hard to make more than very tentative observations at this stage, but I do think that it has underscored the precariousness of life in a planet on a planetary scale. We became instantly vulnerable, without really much anticipation of the threat. And we were vulnerable as a species as well as individual nations, communities and the like.

So it is a reminder of the broader spectrum of vulnerabilities that have been very characteristic of this period, including the  whole nuclear arms race during the  Cold War, the 9-11 terrorist attacks. The pandemic in a sense was just one more reminder. Climate change had been very much on the public consciousness prior to the pandemic - just one more reminder that we need a much more globally co-operative system of world order if we have any realistic hope of coping with these challenges that exceed the capabilities of individual States.

And we are at a period in the political history of the planet where autocracies increasingly govern even in nominal democracies, such as the United States, India, Brazil, many other countries that are procedurally democracies, but have a leadership that now is autocratic and nationalistic – ultra-nationalistic - which means that we are more in need of cooperation at the very time when we have political leaders that basically are anti-internationalist, much less globalist.

So I see that as the basic context that has produced this very comprehensive crisis that stretches across the spectrum from health to economic well-being and social composure, so that it is a very unusual situation, and of course, accentuated in the United States by the killing of George Floyd and the extraordinary response to that, which suggests the possible birth of a transformative movement in the United States, which has global reverberations.

So there are many things happening all at once, and it's hard to get a clear picture of how to think about what this adds up to. Let me stop there and hope for your response.

Helena Cobban (09:15):

Well, I think that's a great introduction -you talking about shared vulnerabilities and the need for much more international cooperation. This is something that I've been thinking about for a lot of my professional life. And actually back in 2008 or so, I published a little book called “Re-Engage! America and the World After Bush,” which was obviously short-lived, because there was only a short window in which that was relevant, but it got me to thinking about all these issues of global balance and global equity in new ways.

It underlined for me that, you know, the United States has only 4% of global humanity, maybe 4.5%. And therefore the United States’ position in the world is something that I've been thinking about a lot since then, and especially in my most recent writings on my blog about the effects of COVID.

I just want to share a couple of charts just quickly. So, the first one is a chart about the way that, between January and April, the IMF’s own predictions of what will happen to the country's GDP this year changed radically and the U.S. GDP outlook went from being moderately positive to being deeply negative.

And China's went from being very positive to being a little bit positive. So you can see that that was the April IMF outlook. And I think by then people at the IMF were looking at China's relatively speedy recovery from COVID - something that we in here in the United States are still deeply mired in - and you can see a little of the snapshot of this recovery in this slide, which is something called the Purchasing Managers’ Index.

So it's what big industrial purchases people are expecting and what they're buying.

And so 50 along the middle is like no change, and anything beneath 50 is it shows that demand is getting smaller, and anything above 50 means that it's getting bigger. And with China, the red line, you see the deep V down and then back up above 50, whereas the United States and the other economies tracked there are still beneath 50. In other words, still contracting.

So, you know, obviously this means there's going to be a change in the global economic balance. We don't know how long the U.S. recession is going to last, but it inevitably has huge repercussions. And then I just want to share one last screen, because I think we have to put into question right now the validity of capitalism itself.

This is, I took it today from CNN. It's the COVID casualties you can see over on the  right there, the deaths and the deaths per 100,000 people, which to me is a kind of a signal, an indicator.

And but really all those countries that have a deaths per hundred thousand people that is 20 or higher to this date, all except Ecuador are advanced capitalist countries. So is there, what is there about capitalism as a model? That means that its people die. We die, you know? I think a lot of people here - I've been down on the streets in Washington, DC at a couple of appropriately socially distanced public actions down there where the people have painted on the street, “defund the police” - that was after the mayor painted “Black lives matter,” in her ongoing tussle with the president, who is also a neighbor of ours here in Washington, D.C.

So people are asking a lot of questions, not just about the United States’ role in the world, but also about the way we have been organizing economic and social life for the last 400 years. I don't know whether this is something that it's too soon to talk about, but I'm sure you've thought about it a lot, Richard, over the years. What could we do that is better than capitalism?

Richard Falk (14:40):

Well, that's a huge question. And I have thought about it, but I can't claim that I can put forth a, an alternative economic project that would replace capitalism, and capitalism has proved very resilient throughout its history.

And it's suffered, I think in recent decades, by the collapse of socialism after the end of the Cold War. In my view, capitalism, in a moderate, less predatory form, depends on having a challenge from an alternative ideology, and the ideological vacuum allowed capitalism to pursue its profit- making logic to an extreme that has generated this scandalous degree of inequality, and which in turn has produced a severe alienation, which in turn gives us leaders like Donald Trump and Boris Johnson and others. So the critique of capitalism without a sense of how to restore some kind of humanistically oriented socialism is very difficult.

China points to a very dynamic, resilient economic configuration that has had remarkable results from a perspective of growth and lifting its poor out of deep poverty. It's been a very authoritarian model, but it's shown that the relation between state and the private sector is quite key in managing a viable kind of economic set of policies. China is a soft power superpower, which is the first in world history.

And the U.S. is mired with the heavy burden of being a failing militarist, hard power, superpower. And I think part of its decline is this interaction between what I've been calling predatory capitalism and a militarism that no longer works in the sense of prevailing politically in the ongoing struggles around the world. Because of the militarization of the state, we're unable to absorb the lessons of recent history going back to the Vietnam War, that military superiority very rarely results in political outcomes that can be called victories.

Most recently, Afghanistan and Iraq are examples where the U.S. has wasted trillions without even mentioning the human costs for Iraq - and the U.S. - and the results are less satisfactory than what would have existed had nothing been attempted. So I think you can't separate a critique of militarism from an understanding of American economic decline.

And this in turn has led to a very sharp withdrawal from a global leadership role that had been problematic in certain respects, but at least provided a certain sense of direction for issues like the pandemic and like climate change, of the sort that Obama provided prior to the Trump presidency. And now we have a vacuum, a leadership vacuum, in a crisis that embraces the entire policy spectrum. So it is a very challenging moment that I think won't be solved by a Biden victory in the November elections.

It'll be helped to the extent of avoiding a slide into a kind of fascistic replacement of democratic governance, but the Biden orientation still buys into capitalism and militarism and a global security approach that has been failing and has failed. And I don't think the political parties in the U.S. as presently constituted can provide the transformative energy that is needed.

Sanders tried to some extent, but his repudiation by the institutional status quo oriented Democratic Party establishment, I think, reinforces my sense that the political parties now operating are part of the problem and not likely to be the solution. And so I would think that we have to analyze the possibility of a movement emerging out of this present social unrest unleashed by the police murder of George Floyd, and hope that it expands its base to include these issues of capitalism and militarism.

Helena Cobban (21:41):

Well, yes, you're right. I think all of those need to be on the table. I probably have a less sanguine view of the Obama record than you do, and a, sort of, more critical attitude toward the whole concept of American leadership. I mean, Obama was also the person that gratuitously helped to overthrow, led the overthrow of, the government in Libya, and left Libya a place that is just as miserable, more miserable than Iraq, you know, with the reemergence of slave markets in Libya and continuing war.

Obama also urged the overthrow of Syria’s government and therefore trapped Syria into a war that lasts until today. And Obama, you know, stepped up drone warfare and extended it to many countries of the world where it had previously not been used.

So, you know, he talked in a fine line, but, you know, if that's the best that American leadership can come up with, it's actually very disappointing. I think I agree with you that obviously electing Biden is not going to solve everything.

Richard Falk (23:08):

Let me just make a quick comment, because I agree with your critique of Obama - especially foreign policy in the Middle East and really elsewhere - but the one thing he did do, which gave continuity to the more positive side of the U.S. role since World War II, and it was most evident in relation to climate change and trying to find a compromise with Iran over its nuclear program -  was that he had a sense of the importance of global cooperation and he had to solve these kind of functional challenges. And he was committed, in a certain context anyway, to a war prevention approach to world order.

Helena Cobban (24:12):


Richard Falk (24:16):

Of course, anyone looks good compared to Trump.

Helena Cobban  (24:18):

Well, that's true. So, if we get onto Biden, first of all, I'm not sure we're going to have an election this year. And we saw the problems in Georgia yesterday of trying to organize an election - just a terrible debacle as far as I can see, but let's hope we can have an election that is, you know, reasonably fair. That's what I always used to say about when they were holding elections in Afghanistan. I wrote a couple of columns when I was working for the Christian Science Monitor.

And I said, you know, well, a reasonably fair election is better than no election. And I'm not sure that that was the case there. And I hope, you know, we cannot have a perfect election here. We know that, but a reasonably fair election is better than no election.

My sense is that the  new movements that we see and, you know, I've seen them here in DC with this, pushing our mayor.

And I wrote a blog post about this a few days ago: You know, the popular movement pushed the mayor further than she would have gone in confronting Trump and his ultra-militarized approach to crowd control. And the popular movement is continuing to push Mayor Bowser. And I think that we need to see the same the same dynamic with Biden or, you know, whoever else is a Democratic president here, or any president other than Trump. And we do have the beginnings - certainly the Black Lives Matter movement has been building now for six years. And it's proven very successful in different ways, sadly not successful enough in that white-dominated police departments continue to kill and main African-Americans, and racism is still far too deeply ingrained in our society.

I just want to share another screen here, which is some excerpts from this article by George Packer that I found very interesting. And I think Charlotte shared the URL for that article by George Packer in the Atlantic, who was comparing 1968, with what you can see in 2020.

And so these are some of the quotes that jumped out at me: The difference between 1968, when, of course, there were also riots across the whole of this country, including here in DC, and 2020, is the difference between a society that fails to solve its biggest problem and a society that no longer has the means to try, which I think is quite interesting. What he says down at the bottom here: The protesters are railing against a society that isn't cohesive enough to summon a response. They're hammering on a hollowed out structure and it very well may collapse.

So, I've followed George Packer's career for quite a long time, and he's done some interesting writing. I think this is one of his sharpest pieces ever. I'm sort of signaling the collapse of so many institutions here, including right now - you know, we might hope to have a functioning House of Representatives that would challenge the president on many of these things, including the medical, economic, and racism crises.

I see these as three crises that are braided together and, and exacerbate each other, and we cannot get out of one without getting out of all of them. And all of this of course has huge effects internationally. If we get back to the international meaning of all of this, the ineptitude of the medical response where the CDC, the United States’ Centers for Disease Control used to be the leader internationally on infectious disease control.

And it bungled it from the very beginning, the CDC bungled it and the rest of the government bungled it, including because the president had dismantled the infectious disease component of the National Security Council. I'm not sure that it ever really belonged in the National Security Council, but there's been no all-of-government ability to respond to the kinds of things that George Packer was writing about.

 But where is the Democratic Party’s robust holding to account of the president and the executive branch for all these failings? Then we had the president's response to the economic crisis, which was to shovel huge amounts of money, most of which will go to the banks and the financial institutions. Even the money that goes into the pockets of people, the people pay the rent, the landlords have to pay back the banks. And very little of it goes, as we would have hoped, into an FDR-style rebuilding of the country's infrastructure, which is what we really need.

And again, you know, very little pushing or holding to account from the Democratic Party, which has seemed to be very potsy in all respects. So, you know, these things are seen internationally by countries and leaders and people who used to be friendly towards the United States - and those who have not traditionally been friendly toward the United States, and they all have an effect.

And of course, Black Lives Matter has, more than anything. I think brought home some of the hollowness of U.S. institutions and the disconnectedness of a lot of U.S. rhetoric with daily life and the lived experience of so many Black Americans. And in the meantime, China, since we have to talk about China in this, China looks as though it's been very capable in dealing with COVID-19.

It has pulled its economy back to a remarkable degree. And in spite of all the excess is that the government has been committing in Xinjiang, by and large, most Chinese people, as I understand it, most Chinese citizens are kind of pleased and proud of the way that their government has been dealing with these crises.

And even, you know, I've looked at a few articles by Chinese intellectuals who said, “We used to admire the United States, and we no longer do. So that's the kind of, as you said, Richard, soft power reputational thing. Now you have been talking about trying to have sort of a reformist approach that seeks to make democratizing adjustments. I wonder if just before we moved to the open session of this webinar, whether you would like to talk a little bit more about that.

Richard Falk (32:22):

Well, I tried to emphasize this tension between a restorative approach that is likely to be pushed hard by the political classes that govern the country and are driven by these, by Wall Street and the Pentagon, versus the sort of movement-influenced possibilities of making important, but not transformative, changes that cover crucial issues like health and some kind of social protection network, and some kind of regulation of the world economy -  things that push the system a little bit back toward a more moderate version of capitalism and advance a sufficient critique of militarism, so that significant resources are devoted to infrastructure and to social wellbeing.

I think that would give at least a breathing spell that will possibly generate this more comprehensive transformation that I feel is necessary if the U.S. is to really become again a vital and progressive force in its own within its own borders.

And as a center of global influence, that prospect doesn't look very hopeful to me, because we don't yet have enough evidence that this ongoing movement arising out of Minneapolis will have the staying power and the leadership it needs to really challenge the status quo.

So I think what I'm suggesting is that there will be, in the liberal elite circles, a sense that reform is the right middle ground, that it won't challenge the structural issues of militarism or capitalism or the special relationship with Israel, but it will try to soften the sharp edges and will create an interval, hopefully, where more fundamental changes can at least be politically contemplated. And the organizational foundation for making them into a political project can be undertaken. That's my hope.

Helena Cobban (35:59):

Interestingly, but we have a lot more to discuss about that because I really do  think you've just opened a conversation. Now we're going to actually open this conversation now to people, so can we bring on Charlotte? Could you come into the conversation and handle the questions for us? I'm going to ask questioners to please not hog the discourse, but to keep your questions brief and to the point, and Charlotte, can you be the traffic cop on us?

Charlotte Kates (36:35):

Absolutely. And just in case you don't want to read out your question yourself or appear, you can always type your question and we can read it out for you. So just keep that in mind as well. We have a couple questioners who are interested in asking a question. So I wanted to ask Edward Briody, if I could turn your mic on and allow you to speak. Edward, are you there? Edward, if you're not there we can mute you for now and then we can go to our next - let's see, we can go to our next questioner.

Peter Ford, you have asked a few questions in the chat. Would you like to ask yours as part of this conversation?

Peter Ford (37:46):

Yes. I wonder if you can you hear me?

Helena Cobban (37:55)

We can hear you. Okay.

Richard Falk (38:02):

I can't, but maybe the question can be repeated

Charlotte Kates (38:11):

Yes. Peter, go ahead and ask your question. If there's any lack of clarity, we can repeat it for you.

Peter Ford (38:17):

Okay. The main question is we might be just one pandemic away from the next world war. That would be a really scary thought that if, say, in a year or two years’ time, there's another epidemic coming out in China. Very likely there'll be immense pressures tending towards world war of China against the rest. It is not the main question that we should be beginning to address and think about how to mitigate it. And I would suggest mitigation needs to start with seeing the pandemic and its true proportions. I'm one of those who believes that being locked down was being excessive, we've punished ourselves unnecessarily. If the rest of the world had behaved like Sweden and Belarus, we would not be having this discussion today.

Charlotte Kates (39:21):

Thank you so much, Peter. Richard, did you hear Peter's question or do you need it repeated?

Richard Falk (39:51):

No, I heard it very clear. Totally. And it raises a very fundamental issue of how how the West and particularly the United States can be expected to address not only this challenge that's ongoing, but some future challenge that will incline the system toward a global war of catastrophic proportions. And I think the, what the question I correctly locate is the deterioration of the political imagination in the United States in particular, but throughout the West, which seems to fall back on militarist sorts of solutions where they don't have any real purchase on solving the problem or meeting the challenge. And this has been a characteristic of American foreign policy in some ways ever since the end of World War II, that it doesn't know how to use its political imagination to think outside the militarist box. And, therefore, at a time when military capabilities have declining capacity to provide security this leads to a series of ever expanding failures that also make the economy and the society dysfunctional in a number of ways.

Helena Cobban (41:43)

Yeah. I'm I think that Peter's question had sort of two parts. Peter, you had the part about, you know, ways to mitigate this pandemic or the next one, and you had one about the possibility of a world war against China. I think I would just say I disagree with you about ways to protect countries and individuals against pandemics. I think that having a strict quarantine, a stricter one than we had would have been better, and we've seen in China that they had a very strict quarantine once they understood the scale of the problem and it enabled them and it has enabled other countries like South Korea and Vietnam to get a handle on the virus that no European countries have yet been able to do in the same way.

But the other part that is about the possibility of a world war with China, which of course would be a terrifying prospect. I've been doing quite a lot of research and I haven't finished writing this. I haven't started writing this up yet because I'm still pulling it together. But into the state of the U.S. Navy in the Pacific, and, you know, if you just dig deep enough and find out how many of the ships are plagued with the pandemic, plagued with coronavirus, and you look at the pictures of how the beneath the decks, the bunks are stacked three and four high, you can see that they are all, you know, much worse than cruise liners or cruise ships in terms of being petri dishes for incubating this thing. But beyond that, you know, the U.S. military machine is at so many different levels, sort of dysfunctional right now.

And we've seen cracking in what they have been trying to do. For example, we've seen five Iranian tankers go to Venezuela in open defiance of the sanctions regime. And we saw the military here in Washington, D.C,, stepping back from implementing Trump's desire that they crack down on the demonstrators. So I won't say that the military command in this country is like part of our protection against fascism, because it's not, but I think they recognize that at many different levels, the military is something whose utility is much less than it used to be. So I'm not as worried about a world war with China as you are probably, Peter, but something we can discuss more next week when we're going to have Medea Benjamin here as well. Charlotte, over to you.

Charlotte Kates (44:53):

Sure. We have another question from Smadar Lavie. What is your take on the future of us? Israel relations? Israel has developed predatory capitalism like the United States, but it seems like unlike in the U.S. it's militarism is working. It is part of an access of illiberal. Autocracies such as Hungary, Poland, Brazil, and India. And what role would the Palestinian resistance play in this puzzle in this situation? Israel has used the pandemic to further securitize its citizens and subjects bodies through modes of intelligence, formerly reserved, at least officially for Palestinians. So how does all of this factor into politics and human welfare in the Middle East and in East-West relations moving forward?

Helena Cobban (45:42):

Richard, do you want to take that first?

Richard Falk (45:45):

I can say a few things about it. Yes. I think Israel, of course, is a special case because its own investment in a militarized approach to security has been so strongly reinforced by the geopolitics of U.S. support. And that has enabled it to dominate the countries in its region, and military power can still be used effectively against other military power. What it can't seem to achieve and hasn't achieved it, in relation to the Palestinians, is a political victory. Palestinians continue to resist. The security of Israel is precarious in my view because it depends on these very isolated autocratic regimes throughout the region being able to indefinitely suppress their own populations that are all committed to solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. And as far as the economy is concerned, Israel does, as suggested by the question, exemplify many of the characteristics of predatory capitalism. And it has very great problems within its own 1967 borders of inequality and class antagonisms. So that it's by no means a societal success story, and the use of enemies like Iran as a way of keeping the security agenda at the top of the policy agenda has diminished the awareness of these strains in Israeli society. But I would hesitate to say that it should be looked upon as a durable success.

Helena Cobban (48:27):

Yes, I think that's true. And I would just add in there that, of course, a lot of the success that Israel has registered to the state has been heavily dependent on U.S. government support, and that, as the U.S. government becomes less powerful in international organizations, and less capable in economic and other terms, that inevitably that will become far less important for Israel. Israel has relations with Russia and with China and will, no doubt, you know, seek to balance all those relations, but its loss of a huge veto wielding behemoth of a United States government, as all countries, power declines is going to affect the regional balance of power, which Israel has not totally dominated. I mean, Hezbollah has actually maintained a very robust system of mutual deterrence with Israel. So, you know, that has to be taken into account. I think we have time quickly for one more question, Charlotte,

Charlotte Kates (49:44):

Thank you so much. We received a question also about how you view nuclear weapons it's at this time and in particular, the campaign to divest from and destroy nuclear weapons, there have been campaigns to you know, abolish nuclear weapons and to get rid of the 14,000 remaining nuclear weapons. And so obviously we're speaking about the future of many nuclear powers here. Do you feel that the question of nuclear weapons is particularly important in looking forward toward how the world is going to develop in a post COVID pandemic climate?

Richard Falk (50:27):

Yes. I think that it is very important, but it's not politically perceived at this stage to be important by the principal governments in the world. In other words, we have a system of nuclear apartheid basically, where some few countries, nine countries, possess the weapons and the rest of the world is forbidden from acquiring the weapons. And this new regime, the nonproliferation regime, is a way of maintaining a geopolitical hegemony in the world. And I don't see it as being challenged in any effective way in the near future. There are challenges, there was a UN-sponsored treaty of prohibition that was endorsed by many of the non-nuclear countries, but opposed by the Western nuclear powers and not really supported by the rest of the nuclear weapons states like Russia and China, Pakistan, and North Korea and Israel.

So one has a situation, I think, where the nuclear weapons states are completely convinced that their status in the world, and to some degree there hegemony depends on the retention and development of these weapons. It is illustrated by the Obama presidency, where he started off in his Prague speech in 2009, pledging himself to get rid of nuclear weapons in the world. And by the end of his administration was recommending $30 billion of modernization of this weaponry. So the political conditions are not right in my view for any significant degree of denuclearization in the near future.

Helena Cobban (53:00):

Well, maybe I'm a little bit more optimistic. I think, China has never gotten into arms races. So as China does obviously have a small nuclear arsenal, but as they become more powerful in the international system, I have some hope that they can help everybody to ramp down the number of nuclear weapons.

But I think we're going to have to wrap this up right now and I to thank everybody, all the attendees who have put up with all of our technical problems. This is a new webinar series for us, and we're running it as you can see a little bit differently from the webinar series that we ran before, but it's been really great to have so many of you on the webinar with us. I especially obviously want to thank Richard who has talked to us from a black screen in Turkey.

I hope it's not black where you are, but it looks a little black from where we are. so much, Richard, for shining your light on these issues.

Richard Falk (54:00)

Sorry not to be seen, but only heard.

Helena Cobban (54:05)

Luckily we've, we've heard you well, and thank you again. Hope you can come back sometime later. Obviously it's going to be running every week on Wednesday, and we have a great lineup looking ahead. Now I can share my screen again and show you what we have coming up. This is a square, so I hope people can see that this tells you what we have coming up . Next week, Wednesday 1:00 PM Eastern, Medea Benjamin, and the week after, Bill Fletcher, Jr. I don't know if Charlotte can put the link, but you know what their bios are on our website.

So just go to our website. If you go to, you can get all the information about Medea and Bill Fletcher. Well, as with our Syria project, we're going to be building an online resource center for this project as well, containing the archived videos and many of the related resources. Some of them that have been shared in the chat here and some additional resources. There's all these things.

All these projects take risks, take our resources. So please, if you feel moved to support us, go to our website,, and you'll find the donate button. You can click on it and make a massive donation that will help us to make this last longer and be even better. As you leave the webinar, you'll have the option to fill out a wide ranging evaluation. That would also let you be part of our planning. So we urge you to fill out that evaluation.

Hope to see you all next Wednesday, same time, 1:00 PM. Eastern, 10:00 AM, Pacific time, 8:00 PM in Turkey. And who knows what, elsewhere around the world. Do tell all your friends about this series. We're hoping that we can build the conversations into something big and lasting. Thank you very much for all being with us today. Please stay safe and goodbye.


Session Resources

Speakers for the Session


Prof. Richard Falk


Helena Cobban

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