I've invited three people to begin a conversation with me about what's broken at the intersection of our society, our politics, and our economy, how it got broken, and how we can fix it.
ROB JOHNSON served as chief economist of the US Senate Banking Committee, was a Management DIrector at Soros Fund Management, and is now Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), funded by Soros to encourage and support a rethinking of the fundamentals of economics so that they take into account the role of human behavior including politics.
R J ESKOW, a former executive and consultant on matters of finance and information technology, to AIG, the World Bank and the State Department, is a prolific blogger at the Huffington Post and Campaign for America's Future.
DREW DELLINGER is a poet, teacher, activist and founder of Planetize the Movement. He is currently finishing his doctoral dissertation on the last years of Martin Luther King Jr., and co-wrote the documentary film, The Awakening Universe.
A former Marine captain with combat experience in Iraq, Matthew Hoh, also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. This summer he was the senior US civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed. In September Hoh became the first US official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war.
His four page letter of resignation explains that he became convinced that our war in that country will not only inevitably fail, but is fueling the very insurgency we are trying to defeat.
He points out that "next fall, the United States' occupation will equal in length the Soviet Union's own physical involvement in Afghanistan."
"I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end."
The Pentagon’s own 2004 report concluded: "Negative attitudes and the conditions that create them are the underlying sources of threats to America's national security . . . Direct American intervention in the Muslim world has paradoxically elevated the stature of and support for Islamic radicals."
"American families," Hoh said at the end of his letter of resignaton, "must be reassured their dead have sacrificed for a purpose worthy of futures lost, love vanished, and promised dreams unkept. I have lost confidence such assurances can be made any more."