2015 Program Archive

2015 Program Archive

December 31 - An Analysis of the Foreign Policy Stories That Dominated the Headlines in 2015; The Domestic Issue That Dominated the News in 2015: Race Relations and Police Shootings

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Today we first look into the major foreign policy stories of the year and then examine the top domestic issues. We begin with Roger Morris who served on the Senior Staff of the National Security Council under Presidents Johnson and Nixon and is the author of “Between the Graves: America, Afghanistan and the Politics of Intervention” and “Kindred Rivals: America, Russia and Their Failed Ideals”. We will discuss the paradox that Americans are insecure while the country has the most powerful military in the world and spends over 60% more on defense today than it did during the Cold War.  And we will also assess the likelihood that America could be led by a reckless neophyte whose personality, narcissism and amorality has more in common with ego-driven dictators like Putin and Erdogan than any other American leader in our history.

Part 2

Then we cover the stories that dominated the domestic political arena in 2015 with Chris Parker, a professor of Social Justice and Political Science at the University of Washington who is the principal investigator of the “Multi-State Survey on Race and Politics” and Director of the Center for Survey Research at the University of Washington. He is the author of “Change They Can’t Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America” and we discuss how race relations came to dominate the news in 2015 with riots in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, along with police shootings of black men and boys in Cleveland, South Carolina and Chicago that used to happen in the shadows and were routinely covered up but now are seeing the light of day thanks to i-Phone videos and dash-cams on police cars and body-cams on police officers. 

Chris Parker

 

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December 30 - Saudi Arabia's Hidden Role in 9/11; Undoing Wahhabi Influence With More Diversity in Islam

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Part 1

 

Today we look into the growing doubts about our relationship with our so-called ally Saudi Arabia and begin with a program broadcast on April the 22nd of this year in which we examined the unexplored avenues of inquiry into the untold story leading up to 9/11 and its aftermath, in particular the role of Saudi Arabia since 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens. Senator Bob Graham, the former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the co-chairman of the 2002 joint congressional inquiry into the 9/11 terrorist attacks, joined us to discuss his push for the disclosure of the 28 pages of the congressional inquiry that remain classified and the extraordinary coincidences involving meetings between Saudi officials and the hijackers in San Diego and ties between the hijackers and a Saudi family in Sarasota, Florida who abruptly left the U.S. under suspicious circumstances just before 9/11. 

 

 

   

Part 2

 

We now go to a program broadcast on December the third in which we speak with Ali Al-Ahmed, the founder and director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs about the need for less Saudi Wahhabi influence and more diversity in Islam as American Imams and Islamic Scholars once again find themselves on the defensive, repeating clichés that “Islam is a religion of peace” to an increasingly skeptical  American public that is more and more susceptible to the kind of Islamophobic ignorance being spread by Republican presidential candidates like Donald Trump and Ben Carson. 

 

ali-al-ahmed-150-220

 

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December 29 - A Blueprint For Cutting CO2 Emissions; A "Kayaktivist" Blocking A Shell Rig; A Report on the UN Climate Deal

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Part 1

Today we look into the issues of climate change that all developed countries except the United States recognize as a clear and present danger that has to be addresses before global warming causes irreversible damage to the planet.  We will begin with a broadcast of Background Briefing from March the 31st of this year in which we begin with President Obama’s blueprint for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by nearly a third over the next decade and speak with Janet Redman, the Director of the Climate Policy Program at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington D.C.  She joined us to discuss Obama’s proposals that will be on the table at the UN climate negotiations in Paris in December for U.S. action on climate change which many environmentalists already consider inadequate and which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell considers unattainable and illegal. 

Janet Redman

Part 2

We now go to a program broadcast on July the 29th of this year in which I spoke with Daphne Wysham, the director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Center for Sustainable Economy who was at the Cathedral Park boat ramp in North Portland watching Greenpeace activists dangle from the St. Johns Bridge across the Willamette River who, along with “kayactvists” in kayaks, were blocking the passage of an icebreaker Shell oil plans to send to the Arctic to help it drill for oil under the Arctic Sea. We discussed why these activists are risking their lives in taking this stand to say “Shell No!” 

Daphne Wysham

Part 3

We now go to a program broadcast on December the 13th and begin with an analysis of the U.N. climate deal which 195 nations just agreed to in Paris, and speak with Robert Stavins who is just back from Paris. He is a Professor and the Director of the Environmental Economics Program at the Harvard Kennedy School and a lead author of three reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We assessed the likelihood of greenhouse gas reduction targets being met to keep the earth’s warming below 2 degrees Celsius and discuss complaints by critics that the deal does not go far enough.

Robert Stavins

 

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December 28 - The Fiction That Iraq Is Still a Country; The Continuing Growth of ISIS; The Deepening Proxy War in Syria

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Part 1

Today we look into the rise of Daesh, the self-declared Islamic State that has emerged as the biggest foreign policy issue in 2015, as a few thousand of these Mad Max marauders in the deserts of Syria and Iraq captured the headlines. We begin with a program broadcast on June 14, 2015 discussing the addition of 450 more “trainers” and “advisers” to be deployed in Iraq to augment the 3550, mostly contractors, already there that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said would be establishing small bases or “lily” pads to fight the self-declared Islamic State which so far the Iraqi government, Iran and U.S. airpower has not been able to degrade and destroy. Veteran CIA officer Robert Baer, who ran operations in northern Iraq between the first and second Iraq wars, joined us to discuss why the U.S. sticks to the fiction that Iraq is still a country.  And, as Saudi Arabia and Turkey pour sophisticated weapons into the hands of jihadis in Syria, while Iran takes over the Assad regime’s losing war with Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah now holding the front line against al Nusra and the Islamic State, we examine a region in flames as the Iran/Saudi Arabia proxy war in Iraq, Syria and now Yemen, escalates.

Part 2

We now go to a program broadcast on September 27, 2015 in which we examine the continuing growth of ISIS with 30,000 foreign recruits pouring into Syria at the same time that divisions have erupted among U.S. Military Intelligence analysts who feel that their assessments are being sanitized by the top brass to make it appear that U.S. efforts to degrade and destroy ISIS are more successful than the reality on the ground indicates. Richard Barrett, who was the Coordinator of the al Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team at the United Nations in New York joins us to discuss what might be achieved in the next day’s meeting about Syria between President Obama and Vladimir Putin, given that Obama thinks Putin is a thug and Putin thinks Obama is a weakling.

Part 3

We continue now with a program broadcast on November the first of this year covering the reversal of President Obama’s pledge not to put boots on the ground in Syria and assessing the resilience of the Islamic State who, despite Russian and American bombing, have captured a strategic town in Homs province and are poised to capture the main road that links Damascus with the northern cities. Hassan Hassan, the co-author of The New York Times bestseller “ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror” who is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House in London and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington D.C., joined us to discuss the deepening proxy war that will extend the agony in Syria.

Hassan Hassan

 

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December 27 - Bernie Sanders on Entering the Primaries; Populist Anger on the Left and the Right; How Deep is the Well of Populist Anger?

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Part 1

Today we examine the rise of populism in our politics on both the Right and the Left. We begin with a program broadcast on March 29, this year when Senator Bernie Sanders, the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history, joined us to discuss a number of issues including the 2015 Democratic presidential primary debates which at that stage looked more like a monologue involving one candidate Hillary Clinton than a dialogue. With Bernie on the cusp of deciding to put his foot into the presidential waters, we discuss his concerns about running and his reasons for considering a run as a Democrat. Let’s now go to Bernie Sanders on Background Briefing, on March the 29th of this year.

Part 2

And now we  go to a program broadcast on October the 26th in which we examined the lack of a serious debate about America’s economy as income inequality rises and populist anger on the right and the left emerges in this elections season. The author of “Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States”, Michael Lind, the co-founder of the New America Foundation and Policy Director of New America’s Economic Growth Program joined us. As Wall Street thrives and Main Street languishes, we discussed the Republican obsession with tax cuts for the rich and how the Democrats are blinded by the orthodoxy of balanced budgets while globally there is an overabundance of capital looking for somewhere to invest as consumers run out of purchasing power because jobs pay less and wages have not risen since the 1970’s. 

Part 3

Now we are moving forward to December the 10th of this year to discuss the right wing populist Donald Trump’s Islamophobia and immigrant-bashing which is gaining more and more traction among Republican primary voters. We discuss how ideas that used to be on the outer fringes of Republican discourse have now entered the GOP mainstream with Timothy McCarthy, a lecturer on History, Literature and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and author of “The Radical Reader: A Documentary History of the American Radical Tradition” and “Protest Nation: Words that Inspired a Century of American Radicalism”. We look into populist discontent on the left and right and assess how deep is the well of anger, hate and paranoia that Donald Trump is tapping into. So now to background Briefing broadcast on December the 10th of this year…

Timothy McCarthy

 

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