Background Briefing: May 19, 2019


The US Has Already Declared Economic Warfare on Iran

We begin with the fact that the United States has already declared economic warfare on Iran and is in the process of crippling their economy and impoverishing their people. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to US Secretary of State Colin Powell who currently teaches at William and Mary and George Washington University, joins us to discuss the lethal nature of what the U.S. is inflicting on Iran short of military action and how it compares to the historical record when the U.S. embargoed Japan prior to their attack on Pearl Harbor to the point the Japanese economy was strangled and they has no access to steel, copper etc. and more importantly, were running out of oil. We will assess the likelihood of this strategy of bringing the Iranians to the negotiating table to cry uncle will work, or is the theocratic regime with its hardline Praetorian Guard of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp which the Trump Administration has designated as a terrorist group, likely to strike out in the face of national humiliation? Or as the Iranian people suffer the brunt of the increasing economic deprivation they are undergoing, are they likely to rise up against their government to bring about the regime change John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are hoping for, or are they likely not to want to dance to America’s tune since it is America who is punishing them and making their lives more miserable than the mullahs already have.


“Iran and the Coalition of the Weird”

Then we speak with Mike Lofgren, who spent 28 years working in Congress the last 16 of which as a senior analyst on the House and Senate Budget Committees. The author of “The Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted”, he joins us to discuss his article at Common Dreams “Iran and the Coalition of the Weird” and his concern that Trump’s newfound moderation will likely last as long as it takes for Benjamin Netanyahu, or Sheldon Adelson, or maybe Mohammed bin Salman, to phone the White House.


“Democracy May Not Exist But We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone”

Then finally we speak with author and filmmaker Astra Taylor, whose latest film is “What Is Democracy” about her new book just out, “Democracy May Not Exist but We Will Miss It When It’s Gone”. She has done extensive research on how democracy is a both under attack around the world and a promise unfulfilled. Having interviewed average Americans about their understanding of democracy, her findings are alarming, just as the fact that much of the structure of American democracy itself is alarming, given how many presidents recently have been elected with fewer votes that their opponents, a trend that is likely to worsen in the future.