Day: December 9, 2020

Background Briefing: December 9, 2020


The UAE Arms Deal Changes the Subject From the Arab-Israeli Conflict to the Arab-Iranian Conflict

We begin with today’s Senate vote on the $23 billion arms sale to the United Arab Emirates which is likely to face a veto from Trump that is unlikely to be overridden given that Israel supports the deal which takes away the usual concern senators have to maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region. Sarah Leah Whitson and Michael Eisner join us and Sarah is the executive director of Democracy for the Arab World, DAWN, an organization founded by the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and Michael is the Chief Operating Officer of Democracy for the Arab World and a former Attorney Adviser at the U.S. State Department. We discuss how the UAE is already punching above its weight militarily in Yemen and Libya and this deal, coming out of the so-called Abraham Accords peace deal, exposes the true nature of that deal which is more about arms than peace and is an attempt to change the subject from the Arab-Israeli conflict to the Arab-Iranian conflict. With the incoming Biden Administration likely to be much tougher on the Saudi Crown Prince, we explore the possibility that the reckless impunity of MbS might be curbed and his future as Saudi Arabia’s new king could be in question.


A Forensic Psychiatrist on Our Abuser as Head of State Who Made the American People his Victims

Then we speak with Dr. Bandy Lee, a forensic psychiatrist on the faculty of the Yale School of Medicine who served as Director of Research for the Center for the Study of Violence, co-founded Yale’s Violence and Health Study Group and leads an academic collaborators group for the World Health Organization. She is the lead organizer of the Duty to Warn conference at Yale University out of which emerged the bestselling book The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President and joins us to discuss her new book, just out, Profile of a Nation: Trump’s Mind, America’s Soul. With a mentally ill Trump likely to afflict America with his malign influence for years to come, we discuss what is truly at stake now, the mental health of America. Can the country heal after this tumultuous term and dismantle the cult programming and propaganda to fix the conditions that made America vulnerable in the first place to an abuser as head of the country who has made the American public his victims?