Day: July 14, 2019

Background Briefing: July 14, 2019


Our Zombie Defense Budget Now Tops $750 Billion

We begin with House passage of a record high $733 billion defense bill which both the congress and the press are discussing in terms of how amendments by the Democrats are restricting Trump from waging war on Iran while the Republicans decry the politicization of the National Defense Authorization Act, but there is no mention of how much money is being spent and whether we have any real enemies except for China and Russia, neither of whom want a hot war. William Hartung, Director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the Center for International Policy and author of “Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military Industrial Complex”, joins us to discuss our zombie defense budget that sucks up increasing amounts of the nation’s treasure without any real debate about why and what for. Recently the Iranians shot down a Global Hawk drone which costs $123 million apiece and nobody blinked an eye that the supposedly invulnerable stealth surveillance platform was detected by a Russian radar system that makes stealth technology redundant and that a minor power was able to shoot the drone down. Meanwhile a Pew Research Center report published Wednesday finds that a majority of veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan say that the cost and burden of the wars outweigh any successes and that 64% feel the Iraq war was not worth fighting while 58% feel the same about America’s longest war in Afghanistan.


Epstein’s in Jail but We Still Have a Sexual Predator in the White House

Then we speak with Lucian Truscott IV, a journalist and best-selling author who is a graduate of West Point and a regular columnist at Salon where he has an article “Jeffrey Epstein is Donald Trump’s idea of the perfect man”. We discuss how while Trump’s former accomplice Epstein is in jail, we have a sexual predator in the Oval Office put there by a minority of the American people. We will speculate whether Trump’s Reality TV presidency of government by stunt has exhausted us even though his act is getting tired, but nevertheless no matter how contrived his antics are like today’s heavily-telegraphed roundup of so-called illegals, it grabs the headlines.


With Erdogan’s Help, Putin Drives a Wedge Between NATO Allies

Then finally we look into whether the delivery of a Russian missile system to Turkey which the U.S. has warned is a deal-breaker in terms of Turkey’s involvement with the F-35 program and possible NATO itself.  Ahmet Yayla, a Professor at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University who was Chair of the Sociology Department at Turkey’s Harran University and was a counterterrorism police chief in Turkey, joins us to discusshow Putin is driving a wedge between NATO’s two biggest armies with the complicity of President Erdogan in spite of Turkey’s historical animus towards Russia.