Background Briefing: March 19, 2023


What An Arrest Warrant For Putin Means and What it Will Achieve

We begin with an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin issued on Friday by the International Criminal Court for his responsibility in overseeing the forced deportation of children. Along with Putin the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Putin’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights, an Orwellian title considering she is in charge of kidnapping over 16,000 Ukrainian children, deporting them and “reeducating” them to become Russians. Joining us is Rachel Denber, Deputy Director of the Europe and Central Asia Division at Human Rights Watch who specializes in countries of the former Soviet Union. Previously she directed Human Rights Watch’s Moscow office and did field research and advocacy in Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Estonia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.


Our Historical Memory Lapse on the 20th Anniversary of the U.S. Invasion of Iraq

Then we look into the historical memory lapse following President Biden’s recent comment in Warsaw that “The idea that over 100,000 forces would invade another country – since World War II, nothing like that has happened,” this coming weeks before the 20th anniversary of America’s invasion of Iraq which Biden authorized as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a decision he later came to regret. Joining us is Stephen Wertheim, a senior fellow in the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a visiting lecturer at Yale Law School and Catholic University. He is the author of Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy in World War II and we discuss his article Foreign Affairs, “Iraq and the Pathologies of Primacy” and another at The Guardian, “Two decades later, it feels as if the US is trying to forget the Iraq war ever happened.


A Critique of Tucker Carlson’s Pro-Russia Talking Points

Then finally we discuss Tucker Carlson’s pro-Russian talking points of cutting funds for Ukraine whose close friend Boris Nemsov, the leading opposition figure in Russia’s parliament, was murdered on Putin’s orders just outside of the Kremlin. Joining us is Dr. Ariel Cohen, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center and a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. He is a recognized authority on international security and energy policy and a leading expert in Russia, Eurasia, and the Middle East. He is also a senior fellow at the International Tax and Investment Center where he heads the Energy, Growth, and Security Program. The author of 6 books, his latest is Hour of Truth: The Conflict in Ukraine – Implications for Europe’s Energy Security and the Lessons for the U.S. Army.