February 3 - A Member of the Syrian Opposition on the Collapse of Peace Talks; The Last Gasp of America's Plutocrats; Jordan Has Reached a "Boiling Point"

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Part 1

We begin with the collapse of the U.N. brokered Syrian peace talks in Geneva that just began and are now supposed to be resumed on February the 25th.  Dr. Max Sawaf, a member of the Syrian National Council and a member of the opposition delegation that met recently in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to select the HNC, the High Negotiating Committee for the U.N. peace talks, joins us. With France accusing the Syrian government and Russia of “torpedoing” the talks by unleashing a massive Russian bombing campaign in conjunction with Hezbollah, Iranian and Syrian government forces cutting a key supply route to the rebel-held city of Aleppo, we discuss the role of the U.S. in these talks that many in the region feel is disingenuous as the U.S. still insists that Assad has to go while appearing to give Russia a free hand to bomb the opposition.

Part 2

Then we speak with Jonathan Taplin, the Director of the Innovation Lab at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California who has an article at The Huffington Post, “Iowa Caucus Deals Death Blow to the Establishment”.  We discuss how we are trapped between a dying establishment and a new order that is not quite formed and while change is coming, it has to survive the last gasp of America’s plutocrats who are invested in either Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio lowering their taxes, stopping efforts to address global warming and throwing more money at the Pentagon.

Part 3

Then finally we examine the critical situation in the key Middle East country of Jordan following King Abdullah’s warning that his country has reached a “boiling point” from hosting a million refugees from Syria that have strained public services and infrastructure costing 25% of the state’s budget. Jillian Schwedler, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council joins us to discuss when Jordan will reach the breaking point. 

 

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