2015 Program Archive

2015 Program Archive

November 19 - The House Votes to Shut Out Syrian Refugees; Hysterical Overreaction to an IS (Daesh) Video; Has Daesh Helped Unify the Anti-IS Coalition?

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Part 1

We begin with the 289 to 137 vote in the House today on a GOP bill the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act or SAFE act of 2015 aimed at pausing the admission of refugees from Syria which passed with the help of 47 Democrats joining the Republicans with enough votes to override a promised veto from the White House. Elise Foley, the Immigration and Politics Reporter with the Huffington Post who covered the vote today, joins us to assess the fate of the bill in the Senate and explain why so many Democrats ignored Obama’s admonition against victimizing the victims of ISIS, the Syrian refugees he described as “the most vulnerable people in the world”.

Part 2

Then we speak with John Mueller, a political scientist at Ohio State University and the Cato Institute, about his new book “Chasing Ghosts: The Policing of Terrorism” and the reflexive tendency of America’s politicians and the press to overreact to provocations from terrorist groups like the Islamic State which just released a cheesy video threatening to blow up Times Square. We discuss how the free publicity given to this ludicrously amateurish bombast from ISIS trivializes real threats and undermines national security as recurring hysteria prompts the authorities to cry wolf too often.

Part 3

Then finally, we examine whether the attacks in Paris that were designed by the Islamic State to show it had the power to influence if not dominate the G-20 summit in Turkey, may end up forcing a consensus amongst the powers involved to solidify an anti-IS coalition. Henri Barkey, the Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars joins us to discuss his latest article at The American Interest “From Sinjar to Paris and Back”, and whether recent events have put the U.S. in a stronger position to get cooperation from recalcitrant allies.

 

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November 18 - The Politico Reporter Who Exposed the Koch Brothers Intelligence Agency; US Nativism is Giving Daesh Exactly What They Want; Have European Attitudes Towards Syrian Refugees Changed Since The Paris Massacres?

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Part 1

We begin with the creation of a new intelligence agency, not by the U.S. government but by Charles and David Koch of the Koch brothers, who have hired a competitive intelligence team of 25, including one former CIA analyst, to thwart liberal groups and activists. Kenneth Vogel, the Chief Investigative Reporter for Politico and author of “Big Money: 2.5 Billion Dollars, One Suspicious Vehicle, and a Pimp – On the Trail of the Ultra-Rich Hijacking American Politics” joins us. He broke the story in Politico and we discuss his latest article “The Koch Intelligence Agency” and the efforts by the billionaire brothers to spy on Democrats while rooting out moles within their own ranks.

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Part 2

Then we speak with Christopher Swift, a Professor of National Security Studies at Georgetown University and a Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Center for National Security Law. He is the author of “The Fighting Vanguard: Local Insurgencies in the Global Jihad” and we discuss whether the West is giving daesh, the Islamic State, exactly what they want with the nativist response to the Paris massacres by U.S. governors shutting the door on Syrian refugees, which reinforces the “clash of civilizations” model that daesh is trying to inflame.

Part 3

Then finally we go to Geneva, Switzerland and speak with Joel Millman, the press officer for the International Organization of Migration who previously worked as a Wall Street Journal reporter covering immigration and human trafficking. We discuss how much attitudes in Europe have changed towards the influx of refugees from Syria, since the massacres in Paris. 

 

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November 17 - The Press's Barking Dogs of War; Why is Daesh Picking a Fight With the US, France, Russia and the Rest of the World?; Is Kerry Too Optimistic About a Syrian Peace Deal

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Part 1

We begin with the barking dogs of war in the press calling on President Obama to man up and as Jim Acosta of CNN put it, “take out these bastards”, referring to daesh or the Islamic State who are responsible for the massacres in Paris. An award-winning investigative correspondent for CNN, ABC and NBC, Mark Feldstein, a professor and the Chair of Broadcast Journalism at the University of Maryland, joins us to discuss the clamor from journalist, pundits, Republican politicians and some Democrats like Senator Diane Feinstein, to pressure Obama to take the gloves off and go to war in Syria against daesh with or without a plan.

Part 2

Then we get an assessment of Secretary of State Kerry’s optimistic assertion that “we are weeks away, conceivably, from the possibility of a big transition in Syria”. Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma who writes “Syria Comment”, a daily newsletter and blog on Syrian politics, joins us to discuss what daesh hopes to gain from picking a fight with France, Russia, the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and what kind of deal might be in the works assuming there is a ceasefire and a peace plan to follow.

Part 3

Then finally we get a second opinion on whether Kerry’s announcement that a shift could come in weeks because the U.S., Iran, Saudi Arabia and a dozen other countries had agreed on a framework to end the crisis in Syria, is realistic. Nader Hashemi, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver and author of “The Syria Dilemma”, joins us to discuss whether the Secretary of State’s optimism is justified given the past record of failed attempts at a ceasefire, let alone a peace deal. 

 

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November 16 - French President Hollande's Declaration of War; "The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, The CIA and the Rise of America's Secret Government"

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Part 1

We begin with an analysis of the declaration of war against daesh, the self-declared Islamic State, by President Hollande today in a rare joint session of the French parliament in Versailles. An expert on the French Socialist Party and French politics, Phillippe Marliere, a professor of French and European Politics at University College, London and the Chair in Political Science at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, joins us. We look into why so many jihadists seem to come from the Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels, and discuss the current state of emergency in France and how a war can be conducted against a stateless group whose soldiers that carried out the massacres of innocent civilians in Paris on Friday, are born and bred French citizens.

Part 2

Then we speak with the founder and former editor in chief of Salon, David Talbot, about his new book “The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America’s Secret Government”, that reveals the dark underside of one of America’s most powerful and influential figures. We discuss how Dulles saw himself as above the elected law, manipulating and subverting American presidents, colluding with Nazi war criminals and Mafiosi, and based on new evidence that David Talbot has unearthed, playing a much larger role in the assassination of President Kennedy and its subsequent investigation by the Warren Commission. 

 

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November 15 - France on a War Footing; ISIS Baits the "Crusaders" Into Scapegoating Muslims; Erdogan and the G-20 Meeting in Turkey

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Part 1

We begin and go to Paris for an update on the investigations into the coordinated massacres that took place on Friday night across the city at restaurants, a concert hall and at a sports stadium. Francois D’Alancon, a Foreign Correspondent with the French daily La Croix who was formerly the newspaper’s Foreign Editor and Middle East Correspondent joins us to discuss the traumatic events that have put the country on a war footing against a threat that cannot be solved by military means alone. As President Hollande is pressured to take a hard line by Sarkozy on his right and Le Pen on his far right, we will examine what can be done to detect potential terrorists before they attack, without undermining Liberte, Egalite and Fraternite.

Part 2

Then we look further into what Hollande means when he announced that war has been declared on France and that in response he will be merciless. The Editor in Chief of Insurgeintelligence and a weekly columnist for Middle East Eye,  Nafeez Ahmed, joins us from London to analyze the strategy of the self-declared Islamic State to bait the West they call “crusaders” into scapegoating Muslims and driving wedge between the Muslim diaspora in Europe and the rest of the population, while at the same time U.S. policies have added to the number of failed states in which these jihadists have safe haven and can build their so-called Caliphate.

Part 3 

Then finally we examine the rhetoric and recriminations coming from the G-20 meeting in Turkey where discussions are underway to try to end the civil war in Syria which is causing an exodus of refugees to Europe that an E.U. spokesman is blaming Russia for exacerbating by bombing the country in support of the Assad regime.  A former senior CIA official Graham Fuller, the author of “Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East”, joins us to discuss the problem with direct links to the fate of Syria, Iraq and Turkey itself and that is the Kurdish question now made all the more urgent since Turkey’s President Erdogan cynically reignited a war against the Kurds to win the recent election.   

 

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