Background Briefing: October 22, 2018


Is the Caravan From Central America a Pre-Election Gift to Trump?

We begin with the caravan of Central American migrants now 5,000 strong heading north for the United States from Mexico’s southern border and speak with Adrienne Pine, a Professor of Anthropology at American University and author of “Working Hard, Drinking Hard: On Violence and Survival in Honduras”. She joins us to discuss Trump’s wildly inaccurate tweets and cynical demagoguery blaming the exodus of migrant families from violence-torn Honduras and El Salvador on the Democrats and on George Soros for mysteriously funding the caravan. Trump is also raising the specter of terrorism claiming that people from the Middle East have been sprinkled along with criminals inside the large group of migrants who are seeking protection in numbers from the Mexican criminal gangs and drug cartels who prey on these desperate refugees as the head north. We will also look into the origins of this caravan which is proving to be a pre-election gift to Donald Trump who is rallying the Republicans ahead of the mid-term elections with the catch-cry of “Kavanaugh and the caravan”.


Trump’s Withdrawal From the INF Treaty is a Gift to Putin

Then we get an analysis of the consequence of Trump pulling out of the INF treaty signed 30 years by President Reagan and former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev who has been sharply critical of the White House move warning that a U.S. withdrawal would reverse efforts made to achieve nuclear disarmament. Kingston Reif, Director of Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy at the Arms Control Association joins us to discuss the consequences of Trump’s move and John Bolton’s current trip to Moscow.


A Founding Member of Pussy Riot Calling for More Activism to Drive Putin and Trump Away (Extended Interview)

Then finally we speak with Nadya Tolokonnikova, an artist, political activist and founding member of Pussy Riot. The recipient of the Lennon Ono Grant for Peace and the Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought she is the author of the new book, just out “Read & Riot: A Pussy Riot Guide to Activism”. We discuss her call for more activism in the U.S. to stop the drift in this country under Trump towards the kind of authoritarianism she and her fellow activists suffer under Putin after having been beaten and tortured in a Russian gulag for trying to perform a punk prayer in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow: “Mother of God, Drive Putin Away”.