December 4 - Trump Trashes the Peoples' National Monuments; After Switching Sides, Yemen's Ex-President is Killed by Houthis; Saudi Patriot Missiles Failed in Five Out of Five Launches

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Part 1

We begin with today’s unprecedented reversal by Donald Trump of protection of America’s national monuments as he announced the reduction of the size of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument by 85% and the Grand Staircase Escalante by 50%. Robert Keiter, the Director of the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and the Environment at The University of Utah College of Law and author of “To Conserve Unimpaired: the Evolution of the National Park Idea”, joins us to discuss the peculiar logic of Trump’s remarks today when he said he was bringing the land back to the people from Washington bureaucrats when it is the “people” of the United States who own the land in national parks being preserved for posterity. We will assess what the real motives for Trump’s latest unpopular act might be given that there is no evidence the now unprotected land is rich in oil and gas and minerals that can now be extracted. Could it be that this sick and spiteful man in the Oval Office is simply doing this to undo Obama’s legacy in furtherance of Trump’s obsessive racist hatred of his predecessor.

 

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Part 2

Then we speak with Sheila Carapico, a Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Richmond and the author of “Arabia Incognita: Dispatches from Yemen and the Gulf” about the killing of Yemen’s ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh by Houthi rebels after he had accused them of “idiocy” for protracting the devastating civil war and had switched sides to joins the Saudi-backed coalition. We discuss the merciless Saudi blockade that is starving the Yemeni population and a proxy war that has no end in sight.

Part 3

Then finally, following a recent missile attack on Saudi Arabia from Yemen, we will look into the results of an investigation by The New York Times which finds that the US missile defenses in Saudi Arabia failed five out of five launches in spite of President Trump’s claim that “Our system knocked the missile out of the air. That’s how good we are. Nobody makes what we make, and now we’re selling it all around the world”. Laura Grego, Senior Scientist in the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists who analyzed the data, joins us to explain how the failure of five of the five Patriot missiles fired at the incoming Houthi Scud-type missile exposes the false assurance that the US and South Korean military have in their Patriot batteries intercepting North Korean missiles.

 

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