Background Briefing: July 23, 2019


Trump Praises Xi Who Uses Triad Gangsters to Beat Up Hong Kong Protesters

We begin with the apparent collusion between the Chinese Communist government and a group of thugs for hire from the Triad gangs who brutally beat up pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong. But what is particularly depressing is that the President of the United States who normally stands in defense of democratic values and for human rights instead praised the Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s handling of the protests which have brought out up to a third of Hong’s Kong’s population to the street in opposition to mainland China. Meanwhile as our president appeases the Communist dictator the Chinese propaganda machine accuses the U.S. of being behind the protests warning, “We advise the U.S. to withdraw their black hand.” Michael Davis, a former professor of law at the University of Hong Kong who is now a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars joins us to discuss the possibility Xi Jinping will use the excuse of “turmoil” in Hong Kong to break the “one country, two systems” agreement negotiated with the British in the 1997 handover. Meanwhile today the head of the FBI Christopher Wray testified to Congress that China poses more of an espionage threat against the United States than any other country, warning China is trying to “steal their way up the economic ladder at our expense. We have as we speak probably about a thousand-plus investigations all across the country, involving attempted theft of intellectual property…almost all leading back to China”.


The Reality the Delusional Boris Johnson Faces

Then we go to London to speak with economist Stephany Griffith-Jones, Emeritus Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University about the challenges facing Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson who seems to think he can get a new Brexit deal although the E.U. have closed the door on that possibility. With a deadline of October 31, it is likely the U.K. will crash out of the E.U. without a deal and with an immediate 10% loss to their economy. But the Brexiteers led by Johnson appear to be comforted by the delusion that Boris’s buddy Donald Trump will come to their rescue with a magical new trade deal.


How to Fight a Fascist President and His “Vichy” Republican Enablers

Then finally we speak with educator, author and public intellectual Henry Giroux who holds the McMaster University Professor for Scholarship in the Public Interest about his new book, just out, “The Terror of the Unforeseen”. In this takedown of Trump’s populist authoritarian vision of America, he argues that only vigilance will save us from the erosion of democracy and that taking to the streets in massive numbers as happened in Puerto Rico and Hong Kong and refusing to give in to despair are necessary actions to fight a fascist president and his “Vichy” Republican enablers.