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Forum to Focus on Iraq Oct. 11

KPFK�s Ian Masters to Moderate Iraq War Forum at UC Riverside

Forum is called �No Exit: Finding a Way out of the War in Iraq.�

(October 6, 2006)

Ian Masters

Ian Masters

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( � Ian Masters, host of public affairs shows on KPFK radio in Los Angeles (90.7 fm) will moderate a forum on the Iraq war at the University of California, Riverside, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, in Life Sciences 1500.

This event, co-sponsored by the UCR College Democrats and UCR�s Chicano Student Programs, is produced in cooperation with Democracy for Riverside, Democrats of Greater Riverside and the Women�s Democratic Club. It is free and open to the public.

Panelists include Christopher Chase-Dunn, distinguished professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Research on World-Systems at UC Riverside; Mark LeVine, professor of modern Middle Eastern history, culture and Islamic Studies at UC Irvine; Thomas Payne, political consultant and chairman of UCR's Department of Computer Science and Engineering; Jean Rosenfeld, a lecturer at UCR and a scholar of religion and violence, based at the Center for the Study of Religion at UCLA; and Louis Vandenberg, Democratic nominee in the 44th congressional district, which spans Riverside and Orange counties.

The panel will take a look into the facts of Iraq, how we got there, what the on-the-ground reality is and how the United States can extricate itself. The perspective will be decidedly progressive.

"This forum is not about presenting all political sides on the war," said Oswin Chan, president of the UCR College Democrats. "We already know what the Republicans say about Iraq... stay the course. This forum is something different -- a panel from the other side, including Democrats and progressives who will present their alternative assessment of the Iraq war and their original policy vision.�

Panelists will be asked to come up with an exit strategy, which attempts a best-case outcome for the United States, the people of Iraq and the region.

"Formulating a workable answer to the Iraq conundrum has got to begin somewhere," said Chan. "It might as well be here at UCR. That�s what the panel is about. We have a number of very interesting and authoritative guests. We all hope to learn something and to stimulate ideas to lead towards a more hopeful and positive place than the one we are now in.�

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call co-sponsor UCR Chicano Student Programs at 951-827-3821 or UCR College Democrats at 626-679-3875.

The following day, at 12 noon Thursday, Oct. 12, Ian Masters is the guest at Lunchtime Learning, a program of UC Riverside Extension. His talk, "Freeing Markets and Marketing Freedom in the New Anti-American Century, is co-sponsored by UCR�s Department of Creative Writing and UCR�s Program in Global Studies.

Bios for the Oct. 11th event:

Moderator: Ian Masters is the long-time and highly regarded host of KPFK 90.7fm�s radio programs "Background Briefing" and "Live From the Left Coast," which were described in the LA Weekly as, �Simply the finest public affairs radio programs in the United States.� Masters was trained by the BBC as a broadcast journalist and is, in addition, a writer, documentary filmmaker and commentator. He was formerly a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Affairs, based at UCLA, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Relations, also at UCLA. Also, he served as a Consultant to the Center for National Security Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Panelist: Mark LeVine is Professor of modern Middle Eastern history, culture and Islamic Studies at UC Irvine. He is the author and editor of half a dozen books, including: "Why They Don't Hate Us: Lifting the Veil on the Axis of Evil." He has written for the Los Angeles Times, Le Monde, the Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Chicago Sun Times, and numerous other publications, including as contributing editor at Tikkun magazine. LeVine has traveled widely across the Middle East and North Africa, including regular trips to Israel/Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq. As a Grammy-Award winning musician he has worked with Mick Jagger, Dr. John, Johnny Copeland, Moroccan gnawa/world music artist Hassan Hakmoun, Lebanese rock band The Kordz, Tunisian rai-hiphop artist, MC Rai, and on the Grammy-award winning album Street Signs by Ozomatli.

Panelist: Christopher Chase-Dunn is a distinguished professor of sociology and Director of the Institute for Research on World-Systems at the University of California, Riverside. Chase-Dunn is the founder and co-editor of the electronic Journal of World-Systems Research. In 2001 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2002 he was elected President of the Research Committee on Economy and Society of the International Sociological Association.

Panelist: Thomas Payne is chair of UC Riverside�s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, where he also is a faculty member. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Notre Dame in 1967, and came to UCR the same year. In addition to many accomplishments in the field of computer science, he is also a political analyst active as a congressional campaign consultant, specializing in a wide variety of policy issues, both domestic and foreign.

Panelist: Jean Rosenfeld is a specialist in the study of religion and violence and conflict resolution. Based at the Center for the Study of Religion at UCLA, she is currently a lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at UC Riverside, as well as an author, commentator and consultant. Her thesis is that religion is playing the major role in the insurgent violence in Iraq. She asserts that to understand the situation and to develop a best-case outcome strategy, we must understand the religious dimensions, their origins and processes.

Panelist: Louis Vandenberg is the Democratic nominee for United States Congress, running in California's 44th congressional district, which spans Riverside and Orange counties. He is a member of the Democratic State Central Committee and Central Committees of Riverside and Orange counties. He is the long-time director of KUCR radio, and produces "Background Briefing" at KPFK in Los Angeles on the weekends. Recent guests on this program include, Senator Byron Dorgan, John Dean, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz, Middle East foreign correspondent Robert Fisk, dean of the White House press corps Helen Thomas, Pulitzer Prize winners Ron Suskind and Thomas Ricks, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and many more.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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