Day: January 5, 2020

Background Briefing: January 5, 2020


Will the Green Zone in Baghdad Become the Alamo?

We begin with the alarming possibility that American soldiers and contractors inside bases in Iraq and in particular, the Green Zone in Baghdad, could soon find themselves in an Alamo situation, surrounded and under siege. With Iraq’s parliament voting today to expel American forces from their country, we will assess the possibility of Shia militants from an Iranian-backed militia getting into a confrontation with U.S. forces as passions run high following the martyrdom of their leader Major General Suleimani who ironically, was the only authority who could control these proxy militia forces. Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, the former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell who now teaches course at the College of William and Mary and George Washington University, joins us. We will discuss the chaotic decision-making process inside the Trump White House and its Mar a Lago branch with a president who is prone to ignoring advice from military and intelligence professionals but instead, as was the case when he reversed himself after ordering a retaliatory strike on Iran for shooting down an American drone, follows the advice of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and calls off the strike.  We will also look into the president’s thuggish threat to hit “very hard” 52 targets some “at a very high level and important to Iran and the Iranian culture”.


The Long War With Iran Has Come to a Head

Then we speak with a veteran CIA officer who served in Iraq, Robert Baer, the author of “The Devil We Know: Dealing With the New Iranian Superpower” who is now an intelligence and national security affairs analyst at CNN. He joins us to discuss how the long war with Iran is now coming to a head. Having successfully used local proxy forces which have been organized and trained by Suleimani to project Iranian influence throughout the Middle East, ever since Trump pulled out of the P5+1 nuclear agreement which Iran has just abandoned, Iran has been subject to the increasing use of economic warfare by the U.S. to squeeze the regime until it cries uncle, but now the gloves are off in terms of the likelihood of an outright military confrontation.


US Foreign Policy by Assassination

Then finally we speak with Graham Fuller, the former Vice Chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA who is currently a professor of history at Simon Fraser University. He has lived and worked in the Muslim world for over two decades and joins us to discuss his latest article at, “U.S. Foreign Policy by Assassination”. We assess the double standard of us killing hundreds of thousands of them, but reacting in outrage when they kill one of us, and the irony of living in Trumpworld in which the good guys are out of control and we have to rely on the bad guys to exercise restraint.