Background Briefing: July 2, 2019


The Lead Organizer of the Counter-Demonstrations Against Trump’s July 4th Military Parade

We  begin with the counter-demonstrations being planned for the Fourth of July in Washington D.C. in opposition to President Trump’s military parade at which he has ordered the Joint Chiefs of Staff to stand beside him as he makes a speech which is expected to be full of the usual self-aggrandizement and not be in the tradition of a non-partisan celebration shared by all Americans. Joining us is Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of the women-led peace group CODEPINK who is the lead organizer of a coalition of protest groups representing the majority of Americans who are against the hijacking of the national holiday to promote the policies and political agenda of a minority president who envies the military parades which the dictators for whom he has a peculiar affection, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un, routinely display. We will discuss the difficulty protest organizers are having getting permits to float aloft a few feet above the ground on the mall, the Baby Trump blimp which dogs Trump and apparently infuriates him. While the Parks Service is allowing the Baby Trump blimp onto the mall, the FAA is not allowing it to be filled with helium on the basis that it could be a risk to aviation even though the airspace over Washington D.C. is being closed to all civil aviation to accommodate Trump’s plan to have the Blue Angels and other military aircraft fly overhead while tanks chew up the asphalt on Constitution Avenue.


The Bravery of Sudan’s Pro-Democracy Demonstrations

Then we speak with an expert on Sudan who has been studying, doing fieldwork in, and living in Sudan for over 50 years, Sondra Hale, a professor of anthropology at UCLA. The author of “Gender Politics in Sudan” and “Sudan’s Killing Fields: Perspectives on Genocide”, she joins us to discuss the incredible bravery and dedication of pro-democracy activists in Sudan who, after General Hamdan’s Janjaweed Militia massacred pro-democracy demonstrators on June the third, were back on the streets in huge numbers on Sunday facing down the murderous military who are being financed and propped up by the Saudi princes and the Emiratis.


The Three Camps in US Foreign Policy

Then finally we examine the three camps in U.S. foreign policy, the centrists holding onto the discredited neo-liberal order, the populist-nationalist revolt as the Trumpsters and Brexiteers break the china without strategy or coherence, and the progressive counter-revolt led by Senators Warren and Sanders. Jeff Colgan, the Richard Holbrooke Professor in the Department of Political Science at the Watson Institute for Public and International Affairs at Brown University, joins us to discuss his article at the Washington Monthly, “Three Visions of International Order” and how we don’t have to choose between America First on the Right and America Worst on the Left.