January 20 - America Loses Its Ally Against AQAP in Yemen; Will Hezbollah Retaliate and What Happened to the Egyptian Revolution?; Two White House Speechwriters on the SOTU

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Full Program



Part 1

We begin with what is being called a coup in Yemen where rebel Houthi fighters have swept into the presidential palace in the capitol Sanaa, raising concerns in Washington that America may have lost its ally in the war against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, President Hadi. Dr Sheila Carapico, a Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Richmond and the author of “Civil Society in Yemen: The Political Economy of Activism in Modern Arabia”, joins us to discuss the U.S.’s singular focus on al Qaeda and its reliance on Saudi Arabia to stabilize Yemen which had its own version of the Arab spring and where the population is increasingly anxious about American drone strikes.



Part 2

Then we speak with Lebanon-based journalist Thanassis Cambanis who writes “The Internationalist” column for The Boston Globe and is the author of “A Privilege to Die: Inside Hezbollah’s Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel” and his latest book, “Once Upon a Revolution: An Egyptian Story”. We will first discuss the likelihood that Hezbollah will retaliate against Israel for the killing of an Iranian General on the Golan Heights and then the revolution in Egypt and why it failed and why it will eventually come back, probably in a more violent and bloody incarnation.


Part 3

Then finally we speak with two presidential speechwriters about President Obama’s upcoming State of the Union speech and the roles and rituals involved in producing these speeches that involve the input of many and the final editing of one. Paul Glastris, the Editor in Chief of The Washington Monthly and a former special assistant and senior speechwriter to President Bill Clinton and David Halperin, a senior fellow at Republic Report and a former White House speechwriter and special assistant for national security affairs to President Clinton, join us to discus the upcoming SOTU and its likely themes and focus.

david halperin