Day: June 10, 2021

Background Briefing: June 10, 2021


The Contrast Between Biden’s Progressive Domestic Policies and Conservative Foreign Policies

We begin with President Biden’s first foreign trip which is already being praised as “America is back” and discuss the contrast between Biden’s progressive domestic agenda and his conservative foreign policy since Biden has surrounded himself with establishment figures who played a central role in the disastrous interventionist policies in the Middle East. Asli Bali, Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Promise Institute for Human Rights at the UCLA School of Law, joins us to discuss her article at The New Republic, “Biden’s Foreign Policy Doctrine is Stuck in the Twentieth Century. The president’s domestic agenda is surprisingly ambitious and progressive. So why is he proposing conventional, outdated solutions to the world’s crises?” We discuss how Biden and the Democratic leadership, while a welcome change from Trump, shows little interest in rethinking let alone fundamentally altering foreign policy assumptions.  


An Increasingly Despotic Ortega Arrests Nicaragua’s Opposition Candidates

Then we go to Managua, Nicaragua to speak with Mateo Jarquin, a professor of history at Chapman University who studies 20th century revolutions in the so-called Third World and is currently doing research on Nicaragua’s Sandinista Revolution. He joins us to discuss the increasingly despotic regime of Daniel Ortega whose violent crackdown on street protests in 2018 left over 300 dead, and how now Ortega has crossed the line by arresting all of the opposition candidates who plan to run against him in the November elections.


Biden and Johnson Reaffirm the “Special Relationship” With a New Atlantic Charter

Then finally, with President Biden meeting today with the U.K’s Prime Minister, we look into the problems caused by Brexit which Boris Johnson championed now impacting Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland which Biden is concerned about because they threaten the Good Friday Peace Accords.  Joining us for an assessment of the meeting between the two leaders who reaffirmed the “special relationship” with a new Atlantic Charter, is James Cronin, a professor of history at Boston College and the Chair of the British Study Group at Harvard University whose latest book is Global Rules: America, Britain and the Disordered World.