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The Guantanamo Trap [electronic resource]

At Guantanamo Bay detention camp, history has proved that concepts of right and wrong can all too easily become distorted by expediency and ambiguity. This program examines the lives of high-profile individuals from both sides of the razor wire who have intimate knowledge of the horrors of Gitmo: Murat Kurnaz, a former inmate who was detained without trial for five years; former Navy officer Matthew Diaz, whose career was ruined by disclosing classified names of detainees to the Center for Constitutional Rights; Diane Beaver, author of a notorious memo defending the use of extreme interrogation techniques; and criminal prosecutor Gonzalo Boye, who has set himself the task of bringing representatives of the Bush administration to justice for crimes against humanity. Called "a fascinat [...]

The Interconnected World [electronic resource]: An Inside Look at the IMF and Its Impact

Growing affluence in Asia, economic development in Eastern Europe, and new approaches to natural resources in Africa-all are major influences on the global financial landscape and all provide ample demonstrations of the IMF at work. This program guides viewers through the history, mission, and real-world impact of the International Monetary Fund. Topics (all with an IMF focus) include China's need to boost domestic consumption and build social safety nets for its population; Ghana's challenges in ensuring that oil revenues benefit the country; and Poland's adoption of market economy principles as it moves toward economic powerhouse status. A section on the origins, evolution, and future of the IMF is also featured. Interviews with key IMF and academic figures appear throughout the film.

The Road to Mandalay [electronic resource]: Assessing the Myanmar Reforms

Burma, also known as Myanmar, has long been closed to the scrutiny of journalists and camera crews, and its only real ally and investor has been neighboring China. But, following the dubious elections of 2010, things began to change. The government released dissenter Aung San Suu Kyi, suspended a dam project with China, freed thousands of prisoners, and signed peace pacts with a number of warring ethnic groups. This report on the country was produced with a previously unheard-of travel visa and a relatively liberal ability to film and interview without interference. Locations include the old colonial capital of Rangoon (now Yangon), the bizarre new North Korean-style capital Naypyidaw, the ancient temple town of Bagan, and the bustling commercial hub of Mandalay. Speaking with report [...]

Japan [electronic resource]: Shadows of the Past

Is rightwing nationalism making a comeback in Japan? This program explores a militaristic revival among a minority of Japanese politicians, academics, and students - a minority that has nevertheless pushed its agenda beyond the realm of rhetoric. Examples include the recent upgrade of the Defense Agency to the status of full government ministry, with corresponding buildups in military technology, and a surge of young Japanese citizens interested in attending military academies and enlisting in the armed forces. More symbolic cases are examined as well, such as visits by two Japanese prime ministers to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, where war criminals are among those consecrated; school policies that require students and instructors to stand and sing Japan's national anthem, with grave con [...]

A Changing World [electronic resource]

According to some forecasts, the Arctic Ocean will be seasonally ice-free by the summer of 2013 - a nightmare that is driving environmentalists to find ways to minimize the damage. But for energy prospectors, climate change brings new opportunities as more and more deposits of oil, gas, and minerals become accessible. This program focuses on competing interests racing to control Arctic resources and territories. Dr. Ruth Jackson, from Nova Scotia's Bedford Institute of Oceanography, heads the team mapping the seabed in support of Canada's claims. As the work of Dr. Jackson and other researchers shows, scientists as well as nations must contend with the Arctic's icy politics. In one scene, a Canadian-led venture is thwarted when a deal to hire a Russian icebreaker falls through.

An Uncertain Future [electronic resource]

There are two different Arctics. One is the storybook land of snow and polar bears, while the other has become a breeding ground of petroleum plants and pipelines. Can the two coexist? What fate awaits the natural Arctic if the technological one expands without restraint? This program explores those questions as it follows research taking place on Bylot Island, home to a portion of Sirmilik National Park, in Canada's Nunavut Territory. Here, scientists have come every summer for the past 20 years to measure the impact of climate change on snowy owls, lemmings, snow geese, and Arctic foxes. Here, they have discovered that even tiny, hardy plants are being affected, causing a cascade of changes through the ecosystem.

The Arctic Passage [electronic resource]

Each year the number of ships traversing the Northwest Passage rises, raising concerns among local and indigenous communities. As this program illustrates, the trend shows no sign of stopping, since what were once extremely dangerous waters are becoming more and more accessible to global commerce. Ports such as Churchill, in the Canadian province of Manitoba, and Murmansk, near Russia's border with Norway and Finland, expect to see business and maritime activity grow for years to come. But with the increases in traffic come higher risks-in particular for the Inuit, who have called the Arctic home for thousands of years and are troubled by escalating threats to their traditional way of life.

Bill Moyers Journal [electronic resource]: Humanitarian Greg Mortenson / Historian Thomas Frank

America has committed billions of dollars to escalate military action in Afghanistan and Pakistan, using war as a tool for peace. In this edition of the Journal, Bill Moyers considers a different path to peace with humanitarian Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools, as they discuss Mortenson's efforts to build schools and nurture communities in that embattled region. Moyers also speaks with historian and columnist Thomas Frank about the state of the Union when Obama took office and the lessons of the preceding years Frank calls "a low, dishonest decade." An essay on the cost of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - and the hypothetical trade-offs made to fund them - concludes the program.

Moyers & Company [electronic resource]: Moving Beyond War-a New Vision for America's Global Role

Nine years after Baghdad erupted in "shock and awe," America is hearing once again the drumbeat for war in the Middle East. Now, the bull's-eye is on Iran. But what we need more than a simple change of target is a complete change in perspective, says Andrew Bacevich, a West Point graduate and Vietnam veteran-turned-scholar who has become one of the most perceptive observers of America's changing role in the world. In this edition of Moyers & Company, Bacevich explores with Bill Moyers the futility of "endless" wars and provides a reality check on the rhetoric of American exceptionalism. Bacevich also answers the question of whether Iran is a direct threat to America with a definitive "No.

Mozambique [electronic resource]: Stolen Children

The use of kidnapped children as fighters was a systematic practice by RENAMO, Mozambique's guerilla-led opposition movement. Julio was 10 years old and asleep with his family when RENAMO troops stormed his village, killing many and dragging Julio away to become a soldier. This documentary follows Julio's journey, after his escape, to be reunited with his mother - and although his story has a happy ending, many parents find their long-lost children have become hardened assassins who bear little resemblance to the children they lost. The film includes interviews with the UN's head in Mozambique, the prime minister, and RENAMO leader Alfons Dhlakama.

Somalia [electronic resource]: Road Warriors

Welcome to Bermuda, an enclave in South Mogadishu where, they say, those who go in never come back. Every street leads into enemy territory, and fighters never sleep for fear of attack. It's a place that most journalists simply don't visit. This documentary goes deep inside Somalia's most dangerous areas for a close look at the anarchy that followed the failed U.S. intervention there, and the role of the Islamic court in trying to restore order. Riding alongside a charismatic and youthful militia group as they zealously carry out the orders of their new master, the film also examines the appeal of radical Sharia.

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Shashi Tharoor - Why Nations Should Pursue "Soft" Power

India is fast becoming a superpower, says Shashi Tharoor, and not just through trade and politics, but through "soft" power - its ability to share its culture with the world via food, music and movies, and technology. In this TEDTalk, Tharoor argues that in the long run it's not the size of the army that matters as much as a country's ability to influence the world's hearts and minds. Shashi Tharoor is a politician and novelist who spent many years at the UN before becoming a member of India's Parliament.

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Sunitha Krishnan - Fighting Sex Slavery

Human rights activist Sunitha Krishnan is galvanizing India's battle against sexual slavery by uniting governments, corporations, and NGOs to end human trafficking. She has dedicated her life to rescuing women and children from the trade - which is a multimillion-dollar global market. In this courageous TEDTtalk, Krishnan tells three powerful stories, as well as her own, and calls for a more humane approach to helping these survivors rebuild their lives.

Sierra Leone [electronic resource]: Soldiers of Fortune: Sierra Leone

Inside a helicopter mercenaries fly over RUF rebel areas, shooting anything that moves, although it's uncertain whether this is a civilian area or not. The men say they're working for the Sierra Leone government, but their history suggests they are with the infamous Sandline International, a so-called "private military contractor" based in London. Officially, the mercenaries' mission is to defeat the rebels that UN forces failed to stop, but is their true motive to capture the diamond mines that have been financing Sierra Leone's civil war? This provocative film raises the question of whether mercenaries can bring peace or only further destruction to Sierra Leone.

Investigating Operation Condor [electronic resource]: Controversy in the Fight Against Terrorism

In the name of the struggle against terrorism, a special operation - code named Condor - was conducted in the 1970s and 1980s in South America. Its targets were left-wing political dissidents, organized labor, and intellectuals. Condor soon became a network of military dictatorships supported by the U.S. State Department, the CIA, and Interpol. This film by Rodrigo Vazquez, a young Argentinian director, tells that story by following several victims of Operation Condor who are fighting for the truth, and by meeting key members of the Condor network who - after 9/11/2001 - openly claim being pioneers of the current fight against international terrorism.

The Turkish Perspective [electronic resource]: Should Turkey Be Admitted to the European Union?

Why has the prospect of Turkish membership in the European Union enflamed such passions? Since the time of the Crusades, Europe has regarded Turkey with wary suspicion, and even today some question whether a staunchly Muslim country can be safely absorbed into the E.U. From the legacy of Ataturk to the threat of Islamic fundamentalism, this thought-provoking look at contemporary Turkey and its possible E.U. admission provides a snapshot of a nation in transit. Various viewpoints are provided by journalist Tuncay Akgun, Jean-François Perouse (Institute for Anatolian Studies), Armenian representative Luiz Bakar, and MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit, who argues that Turkey's E.U. membership would combat terrorism by proving that "the clash of cultures between the Muslim world and Western societie [...]

Rabbis in Palestine [electronic resource]: Clerics Work to Improve Israeli-Palestinian Relations

Arik Ascherman and Jeremy Milgrom are not typical Israeli rabbis. As this documentary shows, every day they leave their homes in Jerusalem to help Palestinians in the West Bank. They believe Jews, as God's chosen people, have an obligation to challenge the injustices of occupation. But few other Israelis agree. In addition to confronting angry settlers, the rabbis must overcome the prejudices of most Palestinians. Can clerics, of all people, really help to resolve a conflict that is seen for the most part as rooted in religion? Through their actions and beliefs, the rabbis are challenging widespread prejudices. As Ascherman states: "We give Palestinians hope that there are other kinds of Israelis they can talk to, come to agree with, and have peace with.

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Eric Berlow - How Complexity Leads to Simplicity

Ecologist Eric Berlow doesn't feel overwhelmed when faced with complex systems. He knows that more information can lead to a better, simpler solution. Illustrating the tips and tricks for breaking down big issues, he distills an overwhelming infographic on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan to a few elementary points.

Making the World Safe for Democracy [electronic resource]: Manifest Destiny

As the United States reshaped Manifest Destiny for use in the 20th century, the concept came to be equated not with conquest and expansion, but with the spread of American values and institutions. Focusing on World War I and the Russian Revolution, the section "A New World Order" traces the deflected trajectory of President Wilson's idealistic plan to export democracy - a plan that ended in compromises and broken dreams. "Containment," which begins with World War II, examines the spread of communism in Asia and U.S. opposition to it via the Kennan policy of containment and the Truman Doctrine. And "Quagmire" discusses how the Kennedy and Johnson administrations felt duty-bound to escalate American political and military involvement in Vietnam as a part of an ideological proxy war bet [...]

To Conquer or Redeem [electronic resource]: Manifest Destiny

With the closing of the American West, Manifest Destiny was in need of new direction. The section "New Frontiers" considers implications of Frederick Jackson Turner's Frontier Thesis as it scrutinizes U.S. history from the end of the Gilded Age to the brink of the Spanish-American War. "An Empire of Liberty" takes a step back to assess aspects of Manifest Destiny from its birth during the pre-Revolutionary era through Reconstruction. And "Benevolent Assimilation" provides an in-depth look at the Spanish-American War, the Philippines Insurrection, the annexations of Puerto Rico and Hawaii, and U.S. intervention in China during the Boxer Rebellion to illustrate how expanded economic influence, military might, and presidential powers contributed to U.S. imperialism during the administra [...]