Background Briefing: February 14, 2019


Pence, Pompeo and Kushner’s Warsaw War Party Against Iran

We begin with the “Middle East Security” summit in Warsaw, Poland led by Secretary of State Pompeo, Jared Kushner and Vice President Pence who called on “freedom loving nations” to stand against Iranian “evil” to avoid a “new holocaust”. With the gathering in Warsaw surrounded by anti-Iran protesters from the disgraced cult-like terrorist group the M.E.K., the paymasters of the warm-up speaker Rudolph Giuliani, and with major European countries like Germany and France boycotting the gathering hosted by the increasingly autocratic right wing government of Poland, the Trump Administration appears to be providing a platform to help with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu’s reelection in April by organizing a war party against Iran. Mansour Farhang, professor emeritus of international relations at Bennington College who resigned his post as revolutionary Iran’s first ambassador to the U.N., joins us to discuss the symbiosis between Netanyahu and Iran’s Supreme Leader both of whom are trying to out-demonize each other, and how military action against Iran will backfire causing the Iranian people to rally around a government they hate to defend their nation. And with both Pence and Pompeo believers in the biblical need for Armageddon to take place in Israel thus triggering the “rapture”, Americans should demand the Vice President and Secretary of State’s immediate recusal from any U.S. government role in the Middle East.


Our Autocrat is Now Following the Dictator’s Playbook

Then with the White House today confirming remarks by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that President Trump will declare a national emergency to get funding for his border wall in addition to signing the bi-partisan compromise bill to avoid a government shutdown tomorrow, Friday, we assess this dangerous and constitutionally-dubious end run around Congress. Joining us is Daniel Ziblatt, Professor of Government at Harvard University whose latest book with Steven Levitsky is “How Democracies Die”. We discuss their article at The New York Times, “Why Autocrats Love Emergencies: Crises – real and imaginary – loosen constitutional constraints” and how our autocrat in the Oval Office is following the dictator’s playbook.


Tolerating Trump’s Racism While Indignant at a Congresswoman’s Ill-Considered Remark

Then finally we speak with Mitchell Plitnick, a political analyst and writer who was Vice President at the Foundation for Middle East Peace and co-director of Jewish Voices for Peace about his article at Lobe Blog “Ilhan Omar, AIPAC, And Denial”. We discuss the double standard of those who tolerate a racist president’s hateful remarks about Mexicans, Muslims and Africans but get indignant at an ill-considered comment interpreted as being anti-Semitic by a new congresswoman who has since apologized profusely.