Background Briefing: April 8, 2019
Trump’s “You’re Fired!” Spree
We begin with Trump’s firing of the head of Homeland Security yesterday quickly follow today by the firing of the head of the Secret Service today as he purges proteges of General Kelly his former Chief of Staff apparently on the advice of Stephen Miller and Lou Dobbs. Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, a Professor at the School of Policy and Government at George Mason University whose research focuses on Mexico-U.S. relations, border security, human trafficking and immigration, joins us to discuss how because of Trump’s obsession with his border wall and imaginary caravans full of invaders, DHS has lost sight of its job to protect the homeland. We look into how under DHS Secretary Nielsen the focus has shifted away from terrorist threats and in particular home-grown threats from right wing white nationalist terrorists and those competing to kill as many of their fellow citizens as possible in mass casualty attacks. With Trump apparently using the border issue to stoke paranoia and pander to his base for reelection purposes, more than ever it would seem that the Democrats should be offering an alternative immigration policy, but short of Beto O’Rourke’s call to get rid of the border altogether which is not likely to prove a popular move, the lack of direction and bi-partisan cooperation has left America at the mercy of an incompetent and corrupt leader who is cynically using racist nativism while opening up the treasury to bottom-feeding prison-industrial contractors.
Designating the IRGC as a Terrorist Organization
Then, with the Trump Administration declaring Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corp a terrorist organization and Iran reciprocating by designating U.S. Central Command as a terrorist organization, we speak with Mansour Farhang, who resigned from his post as revolutionary Iran’s fist ambassador to the United Nations when Khomeini’s regime refused to accept the UN’s recommendation to release its U.S. hostages. We discuss how the aggressive determination of Bolton and Pompeo to push Iran to the wall could spark a war of unintended consequences far worse that the Iraq misadventure.
Netanyahu’s Last-Minute Pandering
Then finally one day ahead of Israel’s elections, we get an analysis of whether Netanyahu’s last-minute pandering to right wing voters by offering to annex parts of the West Bank will be enough to get him a fifth term as PM in what is a very close election. Lisa Goldman, a co-founder and contributing editor to 972 Mag, a progressive digital magazine based in Tel Aviv, joins us to discuss the lack of interest in Palestinian issues among Israeli voters, the majority of whom like Trump, as our president pulls out all the stops to help reelect his friend Bibi Prime Minister.