Day: October 18, 2018

Background Briefing: October 18, 2018


Will Congress Be Forced to Sanction Saudi Arabia Over Yemen?

We begin with growing international outrage at the barbaric behavior of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince MBS who more evidence increasingly implicates as the author of the butchery of a dissident and Washington Post columnist. Yet MBS has yet to even come up with any explanation for the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Shireen Al-Adeimi, an Assistant Professor of Education at Michigan State University who is originally from Yemen, joins us to discuss her article at NBC News “Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s Disappearance has Accomplished What 50,000 Yemeni Deaths Could Not”. We look into the possibility that as Trump tries to offer cover to MBS whose arrogance and impunity knows no bounds, the evidence the Turks are holding back on will be released and will be so damning that the Congress will be forced to act. Although it is clear from complaints by Bob Corker the Republican Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the White House is preventing U.S. Intelligence agencies from sharing what they know with lawmakers, it seems likely that congress will eventually sanction Saudi Arabia. With bills already in the House and Senate to cut off U.S. military and logistical support for MBS’s cruel and pointless war on Yemen, there may be a respite for the Yemeni people facing what the U.N. calls the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet initiated by the impetuous brutality of Saudi Arabia’s incompetent boy king.


America’s Middle East Strategy on Steroids

Then Stephen Walt, Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University joins us to discuss his article at Foreign Policy “This is America’s Middle East Strategy on Steroids” and his latest book, just out, “The Hell of Good Intentions: America’s Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of U.S. Primacy”. And while Trump is such a wrecking crew he makes the foreign policy elite look good, we explore how we can have greater security if we stopped trying to bomb enemies real and imagined and took better care of our own people, and stood as a more authentic example of democratic values.


How the Two Dialysis Monopolies Almost Destroyed Obamacare

Then finally we speak with the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and columnist for The Los Angeles Times, Michael Hiltzik about his latest article at the LA Times “How profiteering by the same dialysis firms trying to kill Proposition 8 almost destroyed Obamacare”. We will examine how the country’s two biggest monopolies in the dialysis clinic business DaVita and Fresenius are spending a record-breaking $100 million plus on deceptive advertising to defeat Proposition 8. After having almost destroyed Obamacare by encouraging Medicare patients to sign up to the Affordable Care Act to have a pre-existing condition covered, these dialysis monopolies then gouged the insurance companies and made such exorbitant profits they forced big insurance companies to opt out of Obamacare.