Background Briefing: August 6, 2023

Ukraine Tries to Woo the BRICS Nations to Get Aboard Their Peace Plan

We begin with the peace talks underway in Saudi Arabia at which 40 nations have sent senior officials to discuss Ukraine’s 10-point peace plan. With Russia not invited it is clear there is an attempt underway to appeal to the BRICS nations, Brazil, China, India and South Africa to stop supporting Russia or to get off the fence in finding a way to end the war. Joining us is someone who has met with Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov back in April in an effort to find a peaceful solution to the war in Ukraine, Charles Kupchan, who was director for European Affairs on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. He is now a professor of International Affairs in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and spent the last 3 years of the Obama administration as Special Assistant to President Obama for National Security. He is the author of How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace, and his latest, Isolationism: A History of America’s Efforts to Shield Itself from the World.


Did Saudi Arabia Make a Mistake in Not Inviting Russia to the Peace Talks?

Then we speak with George Beebe who feels that Saudi Arabia is making a significant mistake by not inviting the Russians to participate in the Jeddah peace summit because there can be no meaningful progress toward a peace deal that doesn’t include both parties to the conflict. The Director of Grand Strategy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, he served in government for nearly twenty-five years, including as director of Russia analysis at CIA and as a White House adviser on Russia matters for Vice President Dick Cheney. His latest book is The Russia Trap: How Our Shadow War with Russia Could Spiral into Nuclear Catastrophe.


Trump Claims Victimhood But the Real Victims Are the 90 Million Americans Whose Votes he Tried To Steal

Then finally, after the Magistrate Judge who arraigned Trump on Wednesday reminded him “that it is a crime to try to influence a juror, or to threaten or attempt to bribe a witness or any other person who may have information about your case, or to retaliate against anyone for providing information about your case to the prosecution,” Trump posted a threat “If you go after me, I’m coming after you.” We discuss how, in spite of Trump’s claims of victimhood, the real victims of Trump’s attempt to steal the 2020 election are the over 90 million Americans whose votes Trump tried to steal. Joining us is Amanda Marcotte, a Feminist author, blogger, and a politics writer for Salon. She is the author of Troll Nation: How The Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set On Rat-F*cking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself. We discuss her latest article at Salon, “Why Trump’s Jan. 6 indictment feels so different: This time, there are victims.”