Background Briefing: June 4, 2023


A Phony Crisis Averted Now a Celebration of Compromise and Bipartisanship

 We begin with a phony crisis averted with the US and global economy not tumbling over the brink which was the alarm sounded often in the press only to be followed by a celebration of compromise and bipartisanship with both President Biden and Speaker McCarthy declaring victory. Joining us is James Galbraith, Professor and Chair in Government and Business Relations at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. He was the executive director of the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress and before that, an economist for the House Banking Committee. He chaired the board of Economists for Peace and Security from 1996 to 2016 and now directs The University of Texas Inequality Project. He is the author of a number of books including The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too, and we discuss his article at The Nation, “The Debt Deal Is a Tragedy” and how the charade is only on pause since the problem was not dealt with and extortion and brinkmanship will return in two years.


The Next War of Drones and AI Now in Ukraine

Then we look into the drone attacks inside Russia and the war in Ukraine which is largely a war of drones in which the Ukrainians lose 10,000 drones per month with Russian losses likely higher. Joining us is Lauren Kahn, a research fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations where her work focuses on defense innovation and the impact of emerging technologies on international security with a particular emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI). We discuss her article at The Los Angeles Times “Why Ukraine may have launched an unprecedented drone attack on Moscow.”


Exporting the Technology of Repression and Australia’s Trial of the Century

Then finally we speak with Antony Loewenstein, an independent journalist, best-selling author, filmmaker and co- founder of Declassified Australia. His books include Disaster Capitalism: Making A Killing Out Of Catastrophe and My Israel Question. He was based in East Jerusalem from 2016-2020, and his latest book, just out, is The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World which we discuss along with what has been called the trial of the century in Australia and the reopening of a case against Julian Assange by the FBI in spite of Australian pressure to end his prosecution.