December 28 - The Fiction That Iraq Is Still a Country; The Continuing Growth of ISIS; The Deepening Proxy War in Syria

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Full Program


Part 1

Today we look into the rise of Daesh, the self-declared Islamic State that has emerged as the biggest foreign policy issue in 2015, as a few thousand of these Mad Max marauders in the deserts of Syria and Iraq captured the headlines. We begin with a program broadcast on June 14, 2015 discussing the addition of 450 more “trainers” and “advisers” to be deployed in Iraq to augment the 3550, mostly contractors, already there that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said would be establishing small bases or “lily” pads to fight the self-declared Islamic State which so far the Iraqi government, Iran and U.S. airpower has not been able to degrade and destroy. Veteran CIA officer Robert Baer, who ran operations in northern Iraq between the first and second Iraq wars, joined us to discuss why the U.S. sticks to the fiction that Iraq is still a country.  And, as Saudi Arabia and Turkey pour sophisticated weapons into the hands of jihadis in Syria, while Iran takes over the Assad regime’s losing war with Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah now holding the front line against al Nusra and the Islamic State, we examine a region in flames as the Iran/Saudi Arabia proxy war in Iraq, Syria and now Yemen, escalates.

Part 2

We now go to a program broadcast on September 27, 2015 in which we examine the continuing growth of ISIS with 30,000 foreign recruits pouring into Syria at the same time that divisions have erupted among U.S. Military Intelligence analysts who feel that their assessments are being sanitized by the top brass to make it appear that U.S. efforts to degrade and destroy ISIS are more successful than the reality on the ground indicates. Richard Barrett, who was the Coordinator of the al Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team at the United Nations in New York joins us to discuss what might be achieved in the next day’s meeting about Syria between President Obama and Vladimir Putin, given that Obama thinks Putin is a thug and Putin thinks Obama is a weakling.

Part 3

We continue now with a program broadcast on November the first of this year covering the reversal of President Obama’s pledge not to put boots on the ground in Syria and assessing the resilience of the Islamic State who, despite Russian and American bombing, have captured a strategic town in Homs province and are poised to capture the main road that links Damascus with the northern cities. Hassan Hassan, the co-author of The New York Times bestseller “ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror” who is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House in London and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington D.C., joined us to discuss the deepening proxy war that will extend the agony in Syria.

Hassan Hassan