Background Briefing: May 25, 2020

As Tribal Divisions Intensify, We Look More and More Like a Failed State

We begin on this Memorial Day with Lucian Truscott, a journalist and author who is the son of a U.S. Army Colonel and grandson of a famous American general and a graduate of West Point who has covered the wars in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan and is currently a columnist at Salon where his latest article is “Welcome to a failed state in slow motion: The United States of America. The ludicrous mask “debate” is just the latest example of a country devolving into chaos and tribal anarchy”. He joins us to discuss his experiences in failed states like Afghanistan which appears to him to auger where we are heading as our country is more and more riven with tribalism and dysfunction while our infrastructure crumbles and half the country celebrates their defiance against a virus that’s killed 100,000 of their fellow citizens while the other half tries to follow the doctor’s order in spite of the country’s leader making fun of their caution and common sense. We assess where the tribal divisions will take the nation as Trump’s divisive election campaign heats up to the point where Democrats could be boycotting businesses like Home Depot which is owned by a pro-Trump donor as Republicans boycott Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka Trump’s clothing line.


Trump’s Wuhan Hoax and His War on the U.S. Intelligence Community

Then we speak with investigative journalist Robert Dreyfuss who has an article at Tom Dispatch, “The Wuhan Hoax: Covid-19 and Trump’s War on the U.S. Intelligence Community”. He joins us to examine the remarks made by Trump’s National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” where he compared China’s handling of the pandemic with the Soviet Union’s coverup of the Chernobyl disaster and, when saying “They unleashed a virus on the world that’s destroyed trillions of dollars of American economic wealth”, seemed to imply Covid-19 was some sort of Chinese economic weapon.

Trump Ignores the Tragedy as Hong Kong’s Democracy Dies

Then finally we look into the tragedy about to befall Hong Kong as China’s Communist Party government uses the pandemic as a cover as it moves to extinguish democracy and freedom in Hong Kong. Victoria Hui, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame who has worked in the democracy movement in Hong Kong and is a board member of the Hong Kong Democracy Council, joins us to discuss how Trump has focused on trade and his imaginary good personal relationship with Xi Jinping while ignoring Hong Kong’s struggle to maintain democracy and human rights, and now it may be too late.