March 26 - An Active Airline Pilot on the Germanwings Air Crash; An Aviation Safety Expert on the Downsizing of the Airline Pilot Profession; Outside Forces Escalate the Civil War in Yemen; "Why Yemen Has Come Undone"

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We begin with the Germanwings A320 airliner that crashed Tuesday in the French Alps killing all 150 aboard, a tragedy that now appears to have been caused by the co-pilot who apparently locked the pilot out of the cockpit then deliberately downed the aircraft. An active airline pilot, Patrick Smith, the author of “Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers, and Reflections”, joins us to discuss why and how this crash happened and what can be done to prevent future incidents like this.

 

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Then we speak with David Gleave, a Chief Investigator for Aviation Safety Investigations and an expert with the Transport Research Group at Loughborough University in the U.K.  He joins us to discuss at least eight other similar incidents involving commercial aircraft and the downsizing of the profession of airline pilots who have become little more than aerial bus drivers today, many carrying huge debt from flying school, that with their low salaries, barely adds up to a living wage.

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Then we look into the escalation of the civil war in Yemen with the introduction of outside forces as Saudi Arabia threatens a land invasion and airstrikes are underway by warplanes from Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, Jordan and Morocco, and naval help from Pakistan and Egypt is arriving off the port of Aden. Charles Schmitz, the former President of the American Institute of Yemeni Studies and a Professor of Geography at Towson University joins us to discuss the worsening situation.

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Then Jack Goldstone joins us. He is a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center of Scholars and a Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University who has an article at CNN “Why Yemen has come undone”. We discuss the failed U.S. policy of drone-bombing Yemen from the air while ignoring social instability on the ground in a fragile state about to fail that has the youngest and fastest growing population in the region and is running out of oil and water.  

 

 

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March 25 - The Hidden History of U.S.-Afghan Relations; Behind the Routing of Boko Haram; "The Real Cost of Coal"

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We begin with the just-concluded State Visit by Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani and the country’s Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, and look into the hidden history of U.S.- Afghan relations prior to America’s longest war that may or may not be concluding soon. Roger Morris, who served on the National Security Council under Presidents Johnson and Nixon and is the author of “Between the Graves: America, Afghanistan and the Politics of Intervention”, joins us to discuss how the real victims in the country called “the graveyard of empires” are not so much the foreign invaders but the Afghan people.

 

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Then we speak with Ambassador John Campbell, the Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies and the former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, about recent military reversals that have driven Boko Harum out of much of the territory in the north that they had occupied, which is suddenly happening a week ahead of an election after four years of paralysis by the government of Goodluck Jonathan. We look into the fate of hundreds who have been kidnapped and the role of South African mercenaries in routing Boko Harum.

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Then finally we speak with James Stock, a Professor of Political Economy at Harvard and a member of the faculty at Harvard’s Kennedy School. He previously served as a member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and has an op-ed at The New York Times, “The Real Cost of Coal” that reveals how 40% of coal is mined from public lands but the taxpayer gets little back in terms of royalties and nothing in terms of compensation for the effects of climate change caused by CO 2 from burning coal.

 

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March 24 - Ending America's Longest War; The Latest Israeli Spying on the U.S.; Netanyahu's Apology and Israel's Denial

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We begin with the White House meeting with President Obama and Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani and the announcement that the U.S. will keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan throughout this year into 2016, delaying previous plans for a gradual withdrawal. Thomas Barfield, a professor of Anthropology at Boston University and the President of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies and author of “Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History”, joins us to discuss ending America’s longest war and the mob killing of a mentally ill young Afghan woman on false charges that she burned a Koran.

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Then we speak with Avner Cohen, a Professor of Nonproliferation Studies and a Senior Fellow with the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey. He is the author of “The Worst-kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb” and we discuss the history of Israel’s spying on the U.S. and the Wall Street Journal article that charges Israel spied on the on-going secret talks between the U.S. and Iran and shared a “doctored” version of that intel with the Republican Congress to undermine Obama’s diplomacy.

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Then finally we speak with Lisa Goldman, the director of the Israel-Palestine Initiative at the New America Foundation about Netanyahu’s apology to the Israeli Arabs and Israel’s denial that it spied on the U.S.- Iran talks and passed on exaggerated negative negotiating details to the Republican Congress.

 

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March 23 - Don't Underestimate Cruz's Opportunism and Demagoguery; Ted Cruz's Presidential Chances; A Conversation with Barney Frank

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We begin with the announcement at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University by freshman Senator Ted Cruz that he is running for president, and speak with Robert Jensen, a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas. We discuss the danger of underestimating this cynical opportunist whose intelligence and demagoguery could prove effective on the campaign trail.   

 

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Then we speak with American University political historian Allan Lichtman who has studied both the American right and the presidency and is the author of “White Protestant Nation: the Rise of the American Conservative Movement”, and “The Keys to the White House: A Surefire Way to Predicting the Next President”, a system which has correctly predicted the outcomes of all U.S. presidential elections since 1984. He joins us to discuss Ted Cruz’s presidential chances.

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Then finally Congressman Barney Frank, the former Chair of the House Financial Services Committee who is the co-sponsor of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, joins us to discuss his new book “Frank” and his concerns that the political left like the occupy movement, would rather demonstrate than engage in a political battle against the right wing who dominate American politics.

 

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March 22 - Republicans Drive a Wedge Between Pro-Israel Donors and the Democratic Base; Yemen Falls Apart; An Israeli Activist on Divestment and Boycott

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With House Speaker Boehner set to visit with Prime Minister Netanyahu in Israel at the end of the month, we begin with the apparent strategy of the Republicans, in collusion with Netanyahu, to defund the Democrats by driving a wedge between donors and the Democratic base that could put Hillary Clinton in a bind as she tries to win over the Democratic base that is increasingly disillusioned with Israel, at the expense of alienating big donors who make support for Israel a top priority. Peter Beinart, a Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York who is also a senior columnist for Ha’aretz and is the author of “The Crisis of Zionism”, joins us.

 

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Then we look into the civil war erupting in Yemen between forces of the ousted president and the Houthi tribesmen from the north who have captured most of the country. Dr. Sheila Caripico, a Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Richmond and author of “Civil Society in Yemen: The Political Economy of Activism in Modern Arabia” joins us to discuss the rebel takeover of Yemen’s third largest city Taiz and the claims by the so-called Islamic State that its affiliate was responsible for the suicide bombings at Zaydi Shiite mosques that killed 130 people.

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Then finally we speak with Ronnie Barkan, an Israeli activist, conscientious objector and co-founder of “Boycott from Within” who is regularly shot at by his own army with rubber bullets and tear gas as he demonstrates with Palestinians against settlements and the occupation. We discuss the clear right-ward tilt in Israeli politics and Ronnie Barkan’s work with the Jewish ultra-Orthodox community in their struggle against on-going attempts by the government to force conscription of the ultra-Orthodox into the Israeli army.

 

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