Background Briefing: February 7, 2022


Right Wing America Cheers Canada’s Truckers But Canadians Prefer the Loss of Liberty to the Loss of Life

We begin with the Canadian truckers who have become heroes of the anti-vaxxing movement, the Republican Right and right wing media in the U.S. as they surround the Canadian capitol buildings with their so-called “Freedom Convoy” of 18 wheelers, some with their wheels off up on blocks. Joining us is Andrew Cohen, an author, journalist, and a professor in the School of Journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa. In a career of 40 years, he has worked in Ottawa, Toronto, Washington, London and Berlin and has written for The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, United Press International, Time, and CNN, among other publications. His books include While Canada Slept: How We Lost Our Place in the World and Two Days in June: John F. Kennedy and the 48 Hours That Made History and we discuss his article at CNN, “Canada’s trucker protesters aren’t who Americans might think” and how 90% of the truckers are vaccinated in a country where the national consensus prefers the loss of liberty over the loss of life.


Putin and Macron’s Marathon Meeting Which Might Yield Results

Then, with Putin and French President Macron meeting today in Moscow followed by a seven course dinner then a press conference that stretched well after midnight, we go to Paris to speak with David Andelman, a contributor to CNN, twice winner of the Deadline Club Award, and a chevalier of the French Legion of Honor. He is the author of A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today and A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars That Might Still Happen. Formerly a correspondent for The New York Times and CBS News in Europe and Asia, he runs the Substack blog Andelman Unleashed and we discuss his latest article at CNN “Is Macron the West’s new Putin-whisperer?”


The Leaders of Germany and America Try to Show a United Front

Then finally we look into the meeting today at the White House between President Biden and the new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in which both sides tried to show a united front that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia would be cancelled in the event of a Russian attack on Ukraine. Joining us to discuss the rift between the two countries over German reluctance to arm Ukraine is Thomas Berger, Professor of International Relations at Boston University who specializes in German Politics and International Relations. He is the author of War, Guilt and World Politics After World War II and Cultures of Antimilitarism: National Security in Germany and Japan.