July 27 - Huckabee Panders to Christian Zionists; The Damage Israel's Spy Pollard Did to the US; Obama and African Leaders Meet to End South Sudan's Civil War

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We begin with remarks by Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckerbee who invoked the holocaust in criticizing President Obama’s deal with Iran, saying that Obama “will take Israelis and march them to the doors of the ovens”. Matthew Sutton, a Professor of History at Washington State University and author of “American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism” joins us to discuss Huckerbee’s attempt to appeal to Christian Zionists who love Israel because it is central to bringing about the rapture at the end of times according to their interpretation of the Bible’s book of Revelation. We examine the relationship between American evangelicalism, apocalyptic thought, and political activism during times of national crisis and war.

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Then we look into the possible release of Jonathan Pollard who is coming up for parole after serving 30 years for spying for Israel. CIA veteran Melvin Goodman, a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy and author of “National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism”, joins us to discuss the damage that Pollard did to America’s national security and why this spy, who first tried to sell America’s most valuable secrets to Libya, then Saudi Arabia, has become a hero in Israel and a bargaining chip in U.S./Israeli relations.

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Then finally we examine the talks underway in Ethiopia with President Obama and leaders from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and the African Union over the future of South Sudan which is mired in a brutal fratricidal war between two warring tribal factions. Lako Tongun, a professor of International and Intercultural Studies and Political Studies at Pitzer College, who was born and raised in South Sudan, joins us to discuss what pressure can be brought to bear on South Sudan’s president and vice president whose personal war with each other has cost the world’s newest country tens of thousands of its citizens killed with 2.2 million displaced.

 

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July 26 - The Threat of Homegrown Right Wing Terrorism; Is China Dumping US Treasuries?; Turkey Attacks ISIL and the PKK

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We begin with the latest incident of domestic terrorism with the shooting rampage in a cinema in Louisiana carried out by an admirer of Adolph Hitler who was an anti-abortion fanatic with an extensive record of mental illness, yet was able to purchase the handgun he used to murder innocent young women, legally. David Schanzer, Professor of the Practice and Director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security in the School of Public Policy at Duke University joins us. He had a recent article at The New York Times “The Growing Right-Wing Terror Threat” and we discuss how while 74% of the nation’s police and sheriff’s departments listed anti-government violence at their top priority, compared to 39% who listed jihadist-inspired terrorism, Washington appears to be fixated on Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

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Then we look into a story doing the rounds on the Internet that Goldman Sachs in alarmed that China is dumping U.S Treasuries while hundreds of billions in capital is flowing out of China. Scott Kennedy, the Director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and author of “Beyond the Middle Kingdom”, joins us to discuss whether there is any instability with the Chinese economy that has had record sustained growth for some time, and how significant its current slowdown is.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Edmund Ghareeb, an internationally recognized expert on the Kurds and Iraq. He is the first Mustafa Barzani Scholar of Global Kurdish Studies at the Center for Global Peace at American University and we discuss the Turkish military assault on both the Islamic State in Syria and the Kurdish PKK in Iraq, breaking a two-year truce between Turkey’s military and the PKK.    

 

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July 23 - Kenya Awaits Obama's "Homecoming"; Senate Republicans Dis Kerry's Iran Deal; Could Turkey's Decision to Allow the US to Use the Incirlik Airbase be a Game Changer?

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We begin with President Obama’s trip to Kenya and go to Nairobi to speak with Kefa Otiso, a Professor of Geography and Director of the Global Village at Bowling Green State University who is the founding president of the U.S.-based Kenya Scholars and Studies Association. We discuss the country’s excited anticipation of Obama’s “homecoming” arrival on Friday which has heightened security concerns because of recent terrorist atrocities by al Shabaab leading to a rebuke of CNN by Kenya’s Interior Minister who has demanded they apologize for calling his country “a hotbed of terrorism”.  And, before heading on to meet with Ethiopia’s authoritarian regime, Obama will meet with Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta, who was up until recently facing trial at the International Criminal Court charged with orchestrating election violence in 2007-2008 that claimed over 1,100 lives.

 

Part 2

Then we go to Beirut, Lebanon and speak with a political analyst and commentator on Middle East geopolitics,Sharmine Narwani. She joins us to discuss the local reaction to Secretary of State Kerry’s efforts to sell the P5+1 deal with Iran to a skeptical if not insultingly disrespectful U.S. Senate where the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee opened the hearing by charging that Kerry had been “fleeced” by the Iranians. We will also get an update on the war next door in Syria where Turkey appears to be taking a more forceful stance against the Islamic State.

Part 3

Then finally we examine the consequences of a shift in Turkey’s policy towards the Islamic State following a terrorist bombing of Kurdish students inside Turkey near the Syrian border and Thursday’s clash on the border in which a Turkish soldier was killed by fire from Islamic State fighters inside Syria. The author of “The Kurdish Spring: A new Map for the Middle East’, David Phillips, the director of the Peace-building and Rights Program at the institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, joins us to argue that the decision by Turkey to allow the U.S. to use the Incirlik NATO airbase to strike the Islamic State is a game-changer.

 

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July 22 - The Senate Highway Bill is a Killer; Don't Make Martyrs Out of the Anti-Abortion Zealots Who Stung Planned Parenthood; Refuting the Idea That the Iranians Got the Better of Obama

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We begin with the stalled transportation bill in the Senate that the Democrats were supposed to vote on without having time to read it. Joan Claybrook, the president emeritus of Public Citizen and the former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration joins us to discuss this industry-friendly bill that lowers the age of interstate truck drivers to 18 so that trucking companies can recruit cheap labor and cuts the required amount of rest time for drivers. We also look into the demonstration by hackers working with Wired magazine who, via the Internet, hijacked the controls on a Jeep Cherokee driving on a freeway and ran it into a ditch.

 

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Then we speak with Michelle Goldberg, the author of “Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism” who is a Senior Contributing Writer to The Nation where she has an article “Why Planned Parenthood Shouldn’t Be on the Defensive”. We discuss the propaganda hit that an anti-abortion front group got from a sting they conducted against Planned Parenthood and how the calls to prosecute the actors posing as fetal tissue procurement officers for a fake biomedical company Biomax, would backfire, turning these “right-to-life” zealots into martyrs.

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Then finally, with a chorus on the right, and some on the left claiming that Iran got the better of Obama in the recent P5+1 deal, we will hear from Nader Hashemi, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver. He argues that Iran effectively capitulated to the demands of the West and we discuss how the sanctions have strengthened the grip of the clerics and the Revolutionary Guards over the Iranian people and that their removal could reverse that trend. 

 

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July 21 - A Highly Decorated Former POW on Donald Trump; The Damage Done to Planned Parenthood by an Anti-Abortion Sting; Tariq Ali on his New Book "The Extreme Centre: A Warning"

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We begin with the extraordinary rise of Donald Trump in the polls where the just-released Washington Post/ABC national poll has Trump on top as the first choice of Republican primary voters at 24% with Scott Walker coming in second with 13% and Jeb Bush third with 12%, this in spite of the universally-condemned remarks Trump made about Senator John McCain. A highly decorated former POW who spent 8 years in captivity in North Vietnam, Phillip Butler, joins us to discuss Trump’s insult to POW’s which he likens to Jeb Bush’s praise of the Swift Boat Republican operatives who lied about and demeaned John Kerry’s service in Vietnam for which Kerry was decorated.

 

Part 2

Then we examine the damage to Planned Parenthood from a sting operation carried out by actors hired by the anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress posing as representatives of Biomax, a fictitious biomedical procurement company. Francis Kissling, the president of the Center for Health, Ethics and Social Policy, who is a visiting scholar at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, joins us to discuss the possible damage that could be done to vital research on cures for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and Cystic Fibrosis if anti-abortion activists are able to prevent fetal tissue donation.

 

Part 3

Then finally we go to London and speak with Tariq Ali, the editor of the New Left Review, about his latest book “The Extreme Center: A Warning”. We discuss how most of the world’s governments are moving to the right as the extreme right gets stronger in Europe, which Tariq Ali argues is happening because of the extreme center and the failure of the “suicidal Western politics” of neoliberalism.    

 

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