Background Briefing: February 1, 2023

Facebook/Meta Reinstates Trump While Allowing Other Despots to Incite Violence and Genocide and Spread Hate and Disinformation

We begin with Facebook/Meta reinstating a racist populist demagogue who led a violent coup against the US Government as the influential global social media giant continues to put profit over the safety of it users and the survival of democracies around the world with far-right and authoritarian leaders using the platform to incite violence and genocide while spreading hate and disinformation. Joining us is Wendy Via, the President and Co-Founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism where her work focuses on the effects of extremism on our society, systemic racism, economic inequality, immigration, criminal justice reform, and LGBTQ rights. Previously she was the Chief Communications and Development Officer at the Southern Poverty Law Center and is an author of a new report at the Global Alliance Against Digital Hate and Extremism, “Democracies Under Threat: How Loopholes for Trump’s Social Media Enabled The Global Rise of Far-Right Extremism.”


A Top US Russia Expert on Mistakes Made in Dealing With Putin

Then we look into whether weapons deliveries from the US, Germany and other NATO countries will arrive in time before a new Russian offensive and mistakes made in dealing with Putin as the war in Ukraine will soon enter its second year. Joining us is Angela Stent, a senior advisor to the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Affairs at Georgetown University. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-chairs its Hewett Forum on Post-Soviet Affairs. From 2004 to 2006, she served as National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council, and, from 1999 to 2001, she served in the Office of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State. She is the author of The Limits of Partnership: U.S.-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century and, most recently, Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and with the Rest, and we discuss her article at Der Spiegel, “As Long as Russia Has 6,000 Nuclear Warheads, It Will Remain a Threat.”


Pakistan Faces Blowback From the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban

Then finally we examine the relationship between the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban which first claimed credit for the bombing of a mosque in Peshawar that killed over 100, mostly policemen and wounded over 200. Joining us is Christine Fair, a Professor in the Security Studies Program within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She previously served as a political officer with the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan in Kabul, and is the author of Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War and In Their Own Words: Understanding Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and she speaks and reads Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi.