Day: September 25, 2022

Background Briefing: September 25, 2022


Putin’s Nuclear Sabre-Rattling and How to Deal With It

We begin with Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons and his callup of reservists, a move he was reluctant to make that has prompted an exodus of draftees to escape Russia, and speak with Christopher Chivvis, a senior fellow and director of the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. With more than two decades of experience working on U.S. foreign policy and national security challenges, he previously served in the U.S. Department of Defense and most recently served as the U.S. national intelligence officer for Europe at the National Intelligence Council. We discuss his article at The Guardian, “Yes, Putin might use nuclear weapons. We need to plan for scenarios.”


Hideous Russian War Crimes Unearthed in Ukraine

Then with an independent commission reporting to the UN Human Rights Council following the unearthing of mass graves that the Russian military is responsible for hideous crimes against civilians, in particular children, we speak with Aram Shabanian, the Open-Source Information Gathering Manager at New Lines Magazine. He recently taught Non-Proliferation and Terrorism Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey where his research focused on the Cold War and contemporary histories of Eastern Europe and the Middle East. We discuss his new report at New Lines Magazine, “An Independent Legal Analysis of the Russian Federation’s Breaches of the Genocide Convention and the Duty to Prevent.”

Iran’s Corrupt and Hypocritical Clerical Mafia Could Soon be Toppled

Then finally we assess the possibility that a revolution is underway in Iran that could topple the corrupt and hypocritical clerical regime of Ayatollahs who are essentially an economic mafia using religious piety as a weapon of repression. Joining us is Roya Hakakian, an Iranian-American poet, journalist, writer and television producer for programs like “60 Minutes”. Her books include Journey from the Land of No, A Beginner’s Guide to America for the Immigrant and the Curious and Assassins of the Torquise Palace, a non fiction account of the Mykonos restaurant assassinations of Iranian-opposition leaders in Berlin. She was a founding member of the Iranian Human Rights Documentation Center, serves on the board of Refugees International and teaches writing at Yale. We discuss her article in The Atlantic, “The Bonfire of the Headscarves.”