Background Briefing: September 23, 2018


Is the US Being Dragged Into a War Against Iran?

We begin with the attack on an Iranian military parade in the south-western city of Ahvaz which Iran’s President Rouhani blames on the “bully” the U.S. and its Gulf state allies for backing and enabling. Dr. Trita Parsi, a Professor of International Relations at Georgetown University, who has an article at Middle East Eye “Is the Ahvaz terror attack aimed at dragging the U.S. into a larger war?” joins us. We discuss the competing pressures on Trump who promised his base he would not dig the hole deeper for the U.S. in the Middle East and get into more wars while at the same time, being susceptible to Saudi money and the wishes of his biggest financial backer Sheldon Adelson who along with Adelson’s hero Netanyahu and the Saudi Crown Prince, would, as former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates warned, like to fight the Iranians to the last American. And while the Iranian economy is in freefall and the country is ripe for another people-power revolution against the corrupt ruling theocracy, military threats by hawks in the White House only play into the mullah’s hands. Furthermore with Putin now having buyer’s remorse that his puppet in the White House is unstable enough to launch a war to distract the American people from the Mueller investigation, Russia’s leader is privately warning the White House not to go to war against Iran and if they do, Russia would back Iran.


The Political Power of Women’s Anger

Then we examine the increasing political power of women’s anger and the revolutionary rage galvanized around the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings as the all-male Republican Senate Judiciary Committee “plough’s through” the confirmation of an anti-choice corporatist judge who will move the Supreme Court to the far right for generations. Joining us is Christine Fair, a Professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service who has been singled out by Fox News and The Daily Caller for her profane tirade against Kavanaugh and the GOP, resulting in her address being published on white supremacist websites and wanted posters of her distributed on cars and tacked on trees in her neighborhood.


The “Boys Will be Boys’ Defense of Kavanaugh

Then finally we look into how this sordid Washington drama is highlighting another ugly side of the thinking of many men about women in which the “boys will be boys” defense of Kavanaugh sends the message that pushing women and teenage girls to have sex is a normal part of being a real man. Andrew Yarrowa Senior Fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute whose latest book is “Man Out: Men on the Sidelines of American Life”, joins us to discuss his article at The New York Daily News “Kavanaugh, Sex and Modern Masculinity: What the Standoff Reveals about Men in Our Culture.”