Rag Radio: Roy Casagranda on Syria, ISIL, and the Causes of Terrorism in the Middle East

Middle East expert Casagranda tells us how we got into this mess.


Thorne Dreyer’s guest is Middle East expert Roy Casagranda who talks about ISIL, Syria, and the roots of the current terrorism crisis.

We discuss background causes like the post-WWI division of the Ottoman Empire, FDR’s post-Battle of Bulge orientation towards Saudi Arabia, the Eisenhower doctrine, and the 2003 genocidal war against the Iraqi people. Casagranda also offers a brief overview of where we are now and how we might go forward. The Rag Blog’s Alice Embree joins us in this discussion.

This is the first of two consecutive shows with Roy Casagranda. In the second we’ll discuss the two Iraq wars, what the future looks like, and what we might do now to address ISIL and Middle Eastern terrorism.

Roy Casagranda is an Associate Professor of Government at Austin Community College where he teaches U.S. and Texas politics. His areas of research include Middle East history and politics, U.S. foreign policy, political philosophy, and warfare. He is currently completing an ad hoc interdisciplinary Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin. Casagranda is regularly featured on the Austin ABC affiliate KVUE, where he serves as Middle East Political Affairs Expert. He was a regular contributor to Iran’s Mehrmaneh Weekly, and he wrote for Iran’s Hamshahri Daily and Donya-e-Eqtesad Daily, where he served as an expert in Arab and U.S. politics and history.

Rag Radio is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer, cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas, in association with The Rag Blog and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The host and producer of Rag Radio, Thorne Dreyer, is a prominent Austin-based activist and writer who was a pioneer of the ’60s underground press movement. The show’s engineer and co-producer is Tracey Schulz and the staff photographer is Roger Baker. The syndicated show is broadcast (and streamed) live Fridays, 2-3 p.m. (Central) on KOOP in Austin, and is later rebroadcast and streamed on WFTE-FM in Mt. Cobb and Scranton, PA., on Houston Pacifica’s KPFT HD-3 90.1-FM, and by KKRN, 88.5-FM in Round Mountain, CA — and is a featured podcast at VT. All Rag Radio podcasts can be found at the Internet Archive. Contact: [email protected]



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