Project Extra: Imposing The Divide

This is a bonus podcast from Aidan Coughlan’s conversation with Sami Ramadani from the episode, ‘The Tragedy of Iraq’. Sami grew up in Baghdad, departing as a political exile during Saddam Hussein’s reign. In previously unreleased audio, Sami explains that, contrary to what is widely believed, the sectarian fighting in Iraq is something of a new phenomena. You can find Sami on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SamiRamadani1.

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Sleep of Reason: The Third Reich and The Vatican

In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is joined on the line from Florida by acclaimed authors, husband-and-wife, Gerald and Trisha Posner. The Posners have an impeccable body of work behind them; this episode draws upon their work on the Holocaust, including the role of the Vatican in working with the Third Reich for financial gain. Trisha’s most recent book is The Pharmacist of Auschwitz, which tells the little known story of Victor Capesius, who worked alongside Josef Mengele at the infamous death camp as its chief pharmacist. The San Francisco Book Review wrote that “words cannot even properly describe the devastation that unfolds within these pages.” Gerald’s most recent book, God’s Bankers, is the result of nine years of extensive research. The book was described by The New York Times as “an exhaustive history of the financial machinations at the center of the church in Rome….an extraordinarily intricate tale of intrigue, corruption and organized criminality.” For more information on these fantastic authors, you can find Trisha online at www.trishaposner.com, and Gerald at www.posner.com. Their books are widely available in book stores and online at Amazon.

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Finding Peace

I have – as do so many others – mixed feelings about Martin McGuinness, who died today aged 66. We must not forget what he did in anger nor what he did for peace.

As an Anglo-Irishman, a United Ireland is likewise something which presents itself to me with a number of firm contradictions.

In any case, I hope for a permanent peace for the people of the island as a whole.

The Tragedy of Iraq

In this edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by Iraq-born writer, Sami Ramadani, to discuss important questions regarding Iraq and the Middle East. What is happening now in Iraq? We are now 14 years on from the controversial invasion, yet Iraq is not at peace, not least because of an ongoing battle with ISIS. Sami provides a whistle-stop history of the struggle of the Iraqi people, from imperial oppression from the United Kingdom up to the occupation of US-led forces in 2003. Sami also discusses US foreign policy under the Trump administration, speculating on a potential showdown with Iran. Sami grew up in Baghdad, but departed as a political exile during Saddam Hussein’s reign. However, despite his objections to Saddam’s government, Sami argued against US-led sanctions and opposed the 2003 invasion and occupation. A semi-retired lecturer in sociology, Sami writes on Middle Eastern affairs and sits on the Stop the War Coalition’s steering committee. For more information on Sami, you can find him on Twitter (@SamiRamidani1) and the Guardian web site (https://www.theguardian.com/profile/samiramadani).

For more ways to listen, to subscribe to the podcast or to sign-up for e-mail updates when new content is available, please click here.