Background Briefing: March 14, 2023
Hatred and Division Intensifies in the US as the Phony War Against the Woke, Drag Queens and Trans Kids Accelerates
We begin with the slow death of bipartisanship and civility in America’s politics and social discourse as hatred and division accelerates stoked by Fox News and other far right outlets and led by the divider-in-chief, the head of the Republican party Donald Trump, who is running for the presidency again. Joining us to discuss the phony war against the woke, Drag Queens and trans kids is Ian Haney López, a Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. An incisive voice on white identity since the publication of his path-breaking book White by Law, he remains at the forefront of conversations about race in modern America. A former professor at Yale and Harvard law schools, he is the author of Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class and Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America. We discuss who benefits from having Americans at war with each other and how much the emboldened far right is pushing the country towards fascism.
China’s Reaction to the AUKUS Deal on Display Yesterday With Biden Beside the PMs of Australia and the UK
Then we examine the AUKUS deal on display yesterday in San Diego where President Biden met with the UK and Australian prime ministers to create a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines to counter the growing naval power of China in the Indo-Pacific region. Joining us to discuss the $368 billion Australian dollar investment which has China warning the three nations they are “walking further and further down a path of error and danger” is Bonnie Glaser, managing director of the German Marshall Fund’s Indo-Pacific program, a nonresident fellow with the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, and a senior associate with the Pacific Forum. She was previously director of the German Marshall Fund’s Asia program, senior adviser for Asia and the director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and has served as a consultant for various U.S. government offices, including the Departments of State as well as as a member of the Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board China Panel in 1997.
What China’s Diplomatic Initiative in the Middle East Portends for the Region
Then finally we get an assessment of what China’s diplomatic initiative in the Middle East brokering the diplomatic re engagement of bitter enemies Saudi Arabia and Iran portends for the region from Juan Cole, a professor of Modern Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan. He is also the author of the blog Informed Comment at JuanCole.com and the author of The Ayatollahs and Democracy in Iraq, Engaging the Muslim World, and, most recently, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires. We discuss his article at Informed Comment, “Is China the New Indispensable Nation? Beijing Brokers Iran-Saudi Relations as U.S. and Israel are Sidelined.”