July 21 - Putin's Dilemma: Protect his Markets or Protect his Proxies in Ukraine; Will Growing Outrage Over Gaza Change America's Pro-Israel Stance?; The Growing Number of Airliners Shot Down by Missiles

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We begin with the apparent dilemma Russia’s president Putin faces where he seems to be trapped between continuing to support his proxies in Eastern Ukraine who he can't sell out along with his "New Russia" project with all of its propaganda momentum that he can hardly reverse, and protecting his markets in Europe, and the fortunes of the oligarchs who are presumably giving him an earful as their billions dwindle. Kathryn Stoner, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for International Studies and Deputy Director of the Center for Democratic Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University, joins us to discuss the internal pressures on Putin and whether, since Russia has leverage over European countries as the main supplier of gas, do Russia’s customers in Europe have leverage over Russia as well?

katherine stoner

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Then we speak with Jennifer Sarin Loewenstein who teaches Middle East Studies at the University of Wisconsin. She spent time living in Palestinian refugee camps and worked for five months in the Gaza Strip at the Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza City and joins us to discuss whether the growing outrage around the world at the mounting civilian deaths in Gaza will alter the pro-Israel stance taken by America’s politicians and press. And whether, as the decades-long Palestinian issue remains unsettled, in the long term public opinion will shift against Israel, as it has done in Europe.

jennifer loewenstein

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Then finally we speak with an airline pilot who has flown the air corridor over Ukraine where the Malaysian airliner was shot down, to get a sense of what kind of notification airlines get from intelligence services about the dangers from war zones where capabilities on the ground can change rapidly as they have done recently in Ukraine and Iraq, countries civilian airliners routinely fly over. Patrick Smith, an active airline pilot and author of “Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers, and Reflections”, joins us to discuss the growing number of airliners shot down by missiles and his article at The Huffington Post “Malaysia Airlines Crash May Become Seventh Deadliest Disaster in Aviation History”.

patrick smith

 

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July 20 - A Military Analyst of the Ukraine / Russia Crisis; How Russians See the Crisis; Hawks are Driving the Ukraine and Gaza Wars

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We begin and go to Moscow for an analysis of the military situation between Ukraine and the pro-Russian rebels and Russia, which is supplying and supporting the secessionists in Eastern Ukraine who likely shot down a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 killing all 298 passengers aboard. Dr. Pavel Felgenhauer, a Moscow-based defense analyst, columnist and journalist joins us to discuss the unlikely proposition that Vladimir Putin will back down under pressure from the West and sell out his proxies in Eastern Ukraine, and the more likely scenario that he will double-down militarily as the new Slavophile reactionary politics he has unleashed have Russians in a fevered patriotism whipped up by the avalanche of lies from Putin’s propaganda machine.

pavel felgenhaur

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Then we speak with Masha Gessen in Moscow. She is the author of the scathing biography “The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin” and more recently “Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot”. We discuss the alternative universe in which as outrage increases in the rest of the world, Putin popularity at home continues to rise to an all-time high as the downing of the Malaysian airliner is blamed on Ukrainian fascists manipulated and managed by shadowy American forces out to humiliate Russia.

masha gessen

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Then finally we address the on-going Israeli military offensive in Gaza and its impact on the region with Alastair Crooke, a former senior intelligence official with Britain’s MI-6 who is the founder and director of the Conflicts Forum and a regular contributor to Bitter Lemons International. We also discuss the apparently close working relationship Obama has with Putin that may be the only way out of this crisis, although the Ukraine war seems to be an existential issue for Putin, while Obama is under pressure to escalate the crisis militarily from Republican politicians like John McCain who called Obama a coward.

alistair crooke

 

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July 17 - Putin's Use of Russian Mercenaries Blows Up in his Face; A Civil Aviation Expert on the Shoot-Down of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777; Israeli's Ground Invasion of Gaza

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We begin with the shoot-down of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 over Eastern Ukraine that was apparently downed by a Russian Buk ground-to-air missile fired by pro-Russian separatists under the guidance of Russian GRU military intelligence handlers who presumably supplied the missiles. The co-chairman of the board of trustees of the Kyiv School of Economics, Anders Aslund, a former Swedish diplomat who served in Moscow and Kyiv, joins us to discuss the extent to which Vladimir Putin has been playing with fire by arming Russian mercenaries to destabilize Ukraine, subterfuge that blew up in his face just one day after the U.S. and E.U. imposed stiffer sanctions on him and his cronies for the very covert military escalation that led to the deaths of 295 innocent civilians, including over 80 children en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

anders aslund

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Then we speak with a civil aviation specialist, John Hansman, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, where he is Director of MIT’s International Center for Air Transportation. We will discuss the many air corridors for civilian airliners that routinely fly over territories at war and what warnings are coordinated and issued by international authorities in view of the fact that American carriers were avoiding the region that borders Eastern Ukraine and Russia, yet this daily flight by Malaysia Airlines from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur continued to use this corridor.

john hoansman

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Then finally we examine the other tragedy in the news today and that is the ground invasion of Gaza by Israel’s military, following a brief truce for besieged and traumatized civilians to get food and water. Lisa Goldman, the Director of the Israel-Palestine Initiative at the New America Foundation joins us to discuss the apparent symbiosis between Israeli hardliners and Hamas hardliners, neither of whom seem to be bothered by civilian casualties and neither of whom have any apparent vision beyond a reciprocal cycle of tit-for-tat violence and retribution.

lisa goldman

 

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July 16 - The Latest Ceasefire in Gaza; The New BRICS Bank and U.S. and E.U. Sanctions on Russia; Xenophobic, Racist and Absurd Claims of Central American Children Carrying Diseases

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We begin with the latest “humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza announced by Israel that starts on Thursday after Israeli raids that have killed 220 Gazans and wounded close to 1,800 in response to 1,200 rockets fired at Israel by Hamas that have killed one Israeli. Khaled Elgindy, a visiting fellow with the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution who previously served as an advisor to the Palestinian leadership on permanent status negotiations with Israel, joins us to discuss Hamas's acceptance of this ceasefire after having ignored the last one brokered by Egypt.

el gindy

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Then we go to London to speak with economist Stephany Griffith Jones, the Financial Markets Program Director at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia University and author of “Time for a Visible Hand: Lessons from the 2008 World Financial Crisis”. We discuss the testimony she gave on Wednesday to a committee of the UK Parliament on the new BRICS Development Bank and the EU summit underway in Brussels that will increase sanctions against Russia over Ukraine following the just-announced increased sanctions by the U.S. targeting major Russian banks, defense and energy firms.

 
stephany griffith jones

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Then finally we speak with Rachel Pearson, a sixth-year MD/PhD student at the University of Texas Medical Branch and the Institute for the Medical Humanities. We  discuss the xenophobic, racist claims on Fox News that diseases are “carried across the border by this tsunami of illegals” and her article at the Texas Observer “Disease Threat from Immigrant Children Wildly Overstated”, as well as the FACT that the children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador crossing the border have a higher rate of immunization against mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus and diphtheria than children in Texas where one in six are uninsured.

  

 

 

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July 15 - A BRICS Alternative to the IMF and World Bank; Putin's Calibrated Destabilization of Ukraine; Will Obama Succeed in Reigning in the Predatory For-Profit College Racket

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We begin with the sixth BRICS summit underway in Brazil, following the World Cup, where the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are meeting to forge an economic development alternative to the U.S. and European-led World Bank and IMF. Peter Hakim, the President Emeritus of the Inter-American Dialogue joins us to discuss whether a proposed new BRICS development bank with starting capital of $50 billion is the beginning of a new economic bloc emerging on the world financial stage that was shaken by the Wall Street crash of 2008, leading vulnerable nations to challenge the post World War 11 Bretton Woods global finance regime long-dominated by the United States.

 

hakim

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Then we examine the apparently calibrated military responses to Ukrainian offensives against pro-Russian rebels in the East that suggest Russia’s President Putin is using a combination of military force, covert operations and disinformation in continuing his destabilization of the new government in Kyiv, short of provoking a Western response that would increase sanctions. Alexander Motyl, a Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University who is a specialist on Russia and Ukraine, joins us to discuss how, while Putin’s strategy is still popular in Russia, his use of Russian and Ukrainian thugs and criminals as proxies, has turned the Ukrainian people against him.

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Then finally, as a sign that decency might be prevailing over criminality, we discuss the collapse of a leading for-profit college Corinthian, and the just-announced investigation of the University of Phoenix with David Halperin, a senior fellow at Republic Report and the founding director of Campus Progress. We assess the fate of President Obama’s latest effort to reign in the abuses of a $32 billion a year predatory industry that is subsidized almost entirely by taxpayer money, used to bilk young Americans and veterans into taking on crippling student debt while providing worthless diplomas and scant prospects of employment.

halperin

 

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