December 30 - The Regional Implications of a Wider War; The Refugee Catastrophe the World Largely Ignores; The War Within The War Amongst Syrian Rebels

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Part 1

Today we focus on Syria’s descent into hell as the civil war becomes a war of attrition with the rebels losing ground and losing support as Jihadis overwhelm their ranks playing into Assad’s hands. We begin with a broadcast of “Background Briefing” from January 6, 2013 as we assess that day’s speech by the besieged Syrian dictator Bashar Assad that was a mixture of defiance and delusion devoid of any mention of a diplomatic possibility to end a war that is destroying Syria and has already claimed 60,000 lives. Henri Barkey, a former member of the State Department’s policy planning staff, joins us to discuss the consequences of a collapse of the Assad regime and its regional impact, particularly on Iraq. He has an article at The American Interest “Spinoff: The Syria Crisis and the Future of Iraq”.

henri barkey

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Part 2

Then from September 9, 2013 we speak with award-winning investigative journalist Max Blumenthal who is in Ramallah, Palestine, having just visited the vast Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. We discuss the appalling conditions the traumatized refugees live under and the fate of the many thousands more Syrian refugees just across the border who are prevented from entering Jordan. An opponent of U.S. intervention, Max Blumenthal was repeatedly told by the refugees that they want America to bomb Assad even if it costs them their homes and livelihoods.

max blumenthal

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Part 3

Then finally from November 19, 2013 we go to Jordan to speak with Nicholas Heras, a Contributing Editor and Analyst with the international affairs journal Fair Observer. We discuss the bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut and the war within the war amongst the Syrian rebels where the more secular Free Syrian Army has clashed with the jihadist Al Nusra Front who in turn have clashed with other al Qaeda affiliated groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, turning northern Syria into a patchwork of warring fiefdoms.

nicholas heras