2015 Program Archive

2015 Program Archive

November 12 - The Unpaid Kurdish Peshmerga's Offensive Against ISIS; Drug Arrests of Members of Venezuela's First Family; The Transition to Democracy in Myanmar / Burma

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Part 1

We begin with the military offensive underway against the Islamic State in Northern Iraq near the Syrian border involving U.S. Special Forces and 7,500 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters (who incidentally due to falling oil prices have not been paid in months). Max Hoffman, a Policy Analyst on the National Security and International Policy team at the Center for American Progress who focuses on Turkey and the Kurdish regions, joins us to discuss the capture of the important Highway 47 that cuts off the Islamic State in Mosul and shuts down their export of stolen oil from the main oil field they’ve captured.   

 

Part 2

Then we will look into the arrest on drug trafficking charges involving 800 kilos of cocaine by the DEA in Haiti of the “son” and nephew of Venezuela’s First Lady, who goes by the title of “First Combatant”.  Javier Corrales, a Professor of Political Science at Amherst College and author of “Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chavez and the Political Economy of Revolution in Venezuela” joins us to discuss the almost complete media blackout in Venezuela in reporting the arrests and how, once the news eventually filters out through social media, it will affect the upcoming December 6 elections for a new National Assembly.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with an expert on Myanmar/Burma about the sweeping victory by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy who in the next five months will transition the country away from a 25 year-long brutal and kleptocratic rule by a military junta that seized power after Ms. Suu Kyi won the country’s last democratic election. An anthropologist who studies Buddhist practicesJuliane Schober, the Director of the Center for Asian Research at Arizona State University, joins us to discuss the likelihood of a complete transition to democratic rule and the reasons why the military are giving up power, although they are retaining one quarter of the seats in parliament. 

 

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November 11 - Carson's Foreign Policy Adviser a Zealous "Christian" Prosthelytizer ; After Signing the $607 Billion Defense Bill, Will Obama Act to Close Guantanamo?; Labeling Vets With "Personality Disorder" to Deny Them Medical Care and Pay

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Part 1

We begin with the latest Republican presidential debate that pundits are declaring was a victory for Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, an improvement for Jeb Bush, no change for Carly Fiorina and John Kasich, and something of a loss for the two outsiders leading in the polls Donald Trump and Ben Carson. Since Rubio with Bush, Fiorina and Carson offering extremely hawkish foreign policy prescriptions, we will examine the man behind Ben Carson’s dangerously ignorant and recklessly aggressive foreign policy, retired Army General Robert Dees, who headed Military Ministry which is dedicated to converting members of the U.S. military to Christian evangelicalism and then have them “indoctrinate” the nation then the world to launch a global crusade against Muslims. Investigative journalist James Bamford joins us to discuss his article in Foreign Policy Magazine “Who is the Man Behind Ben Carson’s Foreign Policy?”

Part 2

Then we look into the $607 billion defense bill that President Obama has decided not to veto for a second time despite its provision to keep Guantanamo open. RoxanaTiron, who covers defense and national security for Bloomberg, joins us to discuss whether the president will go around Congress to fulfill his pledge to close Guantanamo and the $11 billion added into the bill that appears to be wasteful and excessive spending by the Pentagon.

Part 3

Then finally, on this Veteran’s Day we speak with Joshua Kors, an investigative reporter with The Nation where he covers military and veteran’s issues. We discuss his recent three-part series for The Nation that reveals how military doctors are deliberately misdiagnosing as many as 31,000 wounded Iraq and Afghanistan vets, labeling them mentally ill with personality disorders in order to deny them medical care and disability pay.

 

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November 10 - The Inside Job That Brought Down the Russian Airliner Over the Sinai; The 270 "Fight for 15" Rallies Nationwide; The Almost Nuclear War in 1983

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Part 1

We begin with the key suspect who planted the bomb that brought down the Russian airliner over the Sinai, the Islamic State affiliate Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, and speak with Mokhtar Awad, a Research Associate at the Center for American Progress who was an intern with the Office of Egypt and Levant Affairs at the U.S. State Department. He joins us to discuss the intelligence behind the growing belief that the Islamic State was behind the bombing and the extent to which the chronically bureaucratic Egyptian government is in denial about the inside job that likely took place at the Sharm el-Sheikh airport in the Sinai.

Part 2

Then we examine the nationwide “Fight for 15” movement that is staging demonstrations involving thousands of fast-food workers demanding a $15 an hour wage. Arun Gupta, an investigative journalist currently in Seattle reporting on the role of the Service Employees International Union’s fast-food organizing campaign, joins us to discuss the 270 rallies across the nation today that are intended to influence the 2016 elections.

Part 3

Then finally, with the recent declassification of a presidential analysis of a 1983 NATO exercise Able Archer that put the Soviets on a nuclear hair trigger and almost resulted in a nuclear war, we speak with Nate Jones, the person responsible for prying the heavily redacted report loose from the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and making it public. He is the Director of the Freedom of Information Act Project at the National Security Archive and we discuss the report on the 1983 nuclear war scare that Ronald Reagan found was “really scary” and Nate Jones’ article at the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists “Countdown to Declassification”.

 

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September 9 - The Obama/ Netanyahu Fence Mending; Americans Targeted in Jordan; Will Blaming the Press Mean Less Scrutiny of Candidates?

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Part 1

We begin with the White House meeting today between Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama that was the first since the signing of the Iran nuclear deal that Netanyahu aggressively opposed which Obama considers one his greatest diplomatic achievements. Kate Gould, the Legislative Representative for Middle East Policy for the Friends Committee on National legislation, a Quaker lobby in the public interest fielding the largest team of registered peace lobbyists in Washington D.C., joins us to discuss the increase from $3.1 billion a year in U.S. military aid to $5 billion that Israel is asking for and efforts to repair the strained relations between the two leaders.

Part 2

Then we examine the killing of two American police trainers and the wounding of two others today in Jordan at the King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center which came on the 10th anniversary of terrorist bombings at three Jordanian hotels which left 60 people dead. The author of “Inter-Arab Alliances: Regime Security and Jordanian Foreign Policy”, Curt Ryan, a Professor of Political Science at Appalachian State University who is also a Fulbright Scholar to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, joins us to discuss the enormous strains on this fragile state coping with floods of refugees and wars on its borders.

Part 3

Then finally we analyze whether the press scrutiny of Dr. Ben Carson’s many claims that are not meeting the fact-checking test will lead to more focus on issues and policies the Republican candidates are espousing or whether blaming the press will lead to less probing questions being asked of those seeking the presidency. Matthew Sutton, the Distinguished Professor of History at Washington State University and author of “American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism” joins us to discuss the religious underpinning of Ben Carson’s magical thinking. 

 

November 8 - The Latest Information on the Investigation Into What Brought Down the Russian Airliner; Russia's Diplomatic Initiative to End the Civil War in Syria; The Ben Carson Meltdown

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Part 1

We begin with the latest information on the likelihood that the Russian airliner that crashed in the Sinai was brought down by a bomb planted by agents of the Islamic State. David Gleave, a Chief Investigator for Aviation Safety Investigations in the U.K. joins us to discuss how the investigation is being carried out and whether objective forensic evidence will come to light given that confirmation of a terrorist bomb will embarrass the Egyptians over their lax security and will be seen in Russia as  blowback from Putin’s intervention in Syria.

Part 2

Then we speak with a Columnist and Senior Diplomatic Correspondent for the London-based Al Hayat, the leading Arab daily, Raghida Dergham, who is also the Founder and Executive Chair of the Beirut Institute, an independent think tank for the Arab region.  We discuss her article at The Huffington Post “Moscow Needs an Exit Strategy for its Syria Quagmire” and whether Putin can satisfy both Iran, which wants to keep the Assads in power, and the wary Sunni world that the Russian leader’s recent diplomatic initiative has brought to the table with the Iranians in an effort that the U.S. appears to be going along with.  

Part 3

Then finally we discuss what appears to be the meltdown of Dr. Ben Carson who is the leading Republican candidate in Iowa and is close behind Donald Trump in the national polls. Anthea Butler, a Professor of Religious Studies and Graduate Chair in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of “The Gospel According to Sarah: How Sarah Palin and the Tea Party are Galvanizing the Religious Right”, joins us. We discuss whether the candidate is running a fraudulent campaign, selling his books while selling himself for President, and how long Dr. Carson will remain the darling of the Religious Right as more and more of what he has written about himself in his best-sellers is being exposed as fiction while he blames the press for checking the facts. 

 

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