June 1 - Could the Prisoner Swap Lead to Larger Deals on the Future of Afghanistan?; Why the Left Makes Excuses for the Murderous Assad Regime; China's Official Amnesia as the 25th Anniversary of Tiananmen Aproaches

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Full Program



Part 1

We begin with the prisoner release in Afghanistan and Guantanamo where an American sergeant was swapped for five Taliban prisoners in a deal brokered by the Emir of Qatar. Vali Nasr, who served as Senior Adviser to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan in the Obama Administration and is the author of “The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat”, joins us to discuss whether this deal is a precursor for a wider deal in the works with the Taliban and the Haqqani network who have been holding the American prisoner since 2009.


Part  2

Then we speak with London-based writer and Lecturer in Journalism at the University for the Creative Arts, Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, about indications the Obama Administration may be re-engaging in Syria after years of ambivalence about intervening during which time Islamist extremists have entrenched themselves in the rebellion against the Assad dictatorship to the point that they have been a boon to Bashar al Assad who has made a comeback while his country is being destroyed. We also look into Dr. Ahmad’s article at the LA Review of Books “A Dangerous Method: Syria, Sy Hersch, and the art of Mass-Crime Revisionism” and why the Left, who uses to be champions of human rights and opposed to dictators, have more recently come to the defense of murderous regimes, often making excuses for Milosovic, Qaddafi and Assad.

muhammad ahmad


Part 3

Then finally, on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre and the death of the student-led democratic movement is China, we examine the Communist Party leadership’s crackdown on any possible dissent by jailing prominent scholars and activists and warning Western journalists to stay away from the square in the coming days. Scott Kennedy, the Director of the Research Center on Chinese Politics and Business at Indiana University joins us to discuss the official amnesia in China over what happened 25 years ago and acrimonious exchanges between Defense Secretary Hagel and a Chinese general who denies China is destabilizing the region in disputes over islands in the South China sea.

scott kennedy