July 23 - How Much Did Israel Help Create Hamas?; If Putin is Proven Guilty Will Russians Blame Him for Irresponsible Brinksmanship?; Indonesia's New Leader Joko Widodo

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We begin with an analysis of the diplomatic efforts underway between U.S. Secretary of State Kerry and Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu to end the latest war in Gaza. Robert Dreyfuss, an investigative journalist who covers national security for The Nation, Mother Jones and Rolling Stone and is a senior correspondent for The American Prospect, joins us. He is the author of “Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam” and we discuss the extent to which Israeli intelligence services, in particular Shin Bet, used religion to thwart Palestinian nationalism by encouraging the growth of Hamas from 1967 to 1987 during which time the number of mosques tripled in Gaza from 200 to 600.

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Then we speak with Nina Khrushcheva, a professor in the graduate Program of International Affairs at The New School whose latest book is “The Lost Khrushchev: A Journey Into the Gulag of the Russian Mind”. We discuss if and when the verdict in the shoot-down of the Malaysian airliner implicates Russia and Vladimir Putin, will it damage his popularity with the Russian people who so far see him as a skillful tactician, not someone who has damaged Russia’s economic interests and global reputation through irresponsible brinkmanship?

nina khrushcheva

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Then finally we get an assessment of Joko Widodo, the new leader of the world’s fourth most populous country, the third largest democracy and the biggest Muslim nation, Indonesia. Sylvia Tiwon, a professor of South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and author of “Breaking the Spell: Colonialism and Literary Renaissance in Indonesia” joins us to discuss the challenge by General Prabowo, who lost in the recent election by 53% to 47%, and whether the populist policies of the new leader will break the grip of the military in Indonesian politics and slow the destruction of the country’s rainforests and the ease the oppression of its indigenous peoples.

sylvia tiwon

 

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July 22 - A Militant Mood in Israel as Politics Move Further to the Right; The Perspective of a Former Palestinian Negotiator; Improving Fortunes for Democrats in the South

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We begin and go to Jerusalem for an update on the mood in Israel as the military assault on Gaza continues, and because a Hamas rocket landed a mile from Ben Gurion airport, U.S. airlines have cancelled flights due to security concerns. Asher Kaufman, a professor of History and Peace at Notre Dame and the former head of Middle East Studies at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, joins us to discuss the overwhelming support in the press and among the Israeli people for the Gaza operation and the absence of a political opposition as Israel’s politics move further to the right.

 

asher kaufman

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Then we speak with Leila Hilal, a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation who served as a legal adviser to the Palestinian Negotiations Department and as an external adviser to the Palestinian Negotiating Team at the Annapolis bi-lateral peace talks of 2008. We discuss the continuing intense bombardment of Gaza as U.S. and U.N. diplomats pursue peace talks to end the fighting that has claimed over 625 Palestinians, mostly civilians including 100 children, with 183 militants killed according to the Israeli military, while so far two Israeli civilians have died, along with 27 soldiers.

hilal

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Then finally we look into Tuesday’s Republican primary in Georgia and assess the fortunes of Democrats running in the South where a number of incumbent are facing well-financed Koch brothers-funded challengers while two Democratic challengers, Alison Grimes who could upset Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky and Michelle Nunn, running for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, both look promising for Democratic pick-ups. Bob Moser, senior editor at National Review and executive editor of The American Prospect, where he has an article “A Bridge in Georgia”, joins us to discus how these candidates running as Republican Lite in red states, can inspire the Democratic base to come out in a mid-term election.

bob moser

 

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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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