Day: October 5, 2023

Background Briefing: October 5, 2023

Top Biden Officials Meet With Mexico’s President AMLO Who Denies Fentanyl is Made in Mexico and Blames the US For Refugees From Cuba and Venezuela

We begin with the meeting today in Mexico City between Mexico’s President Lopez Obrador, AMLO, and the US Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General in an attempt to address the fentanyl scourge, immigration and border security; issues the Republicans are campaigning on while AMLO denies fentanyl in made in Mexico and blames the US for the flood of immigrants from Cuba and Venezuela. Joining us is Sam Quinones, a journalist, author and storyteller whose two acclaimed books of narrative nonfiction about Mexico and Mexican immigration —True Tales from Another Mexico and Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream — made him, according to the SF Chronicle Book Review, “the most original writer on Mexico and the border.” His books include Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic and, most recently, The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth.


A Warning Against Cutting Off Aid to Ukraine and Expecting a Complete Victory

Then with Biden promising a major speech on Ukraine as Russia strikes a supermarket and cafe killing 51 civilians attending a memorial service, we speak with George Beebe, 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 and we discuss his article at Responsible Statecraft, “Will Ukraine’s effort go bankrupt gradually…then suddenly?”


The Blowback Armenia’s Leader Faces After Azerbaijan’s Ethnic Cleansing of Nagorno Karabakh

Then finally we assess the blowback Armenia’s leader faces after the ethnic cleansing of Nagorno Karabakh by Azerbaijan and speak with Shushan Karapetian, the Director of the University of California’s Institute of Armenian Studies who previously taught Armenian Studies at UCLA for ten years where she currently also serves as associate director of the National Heritage Language Resource Center. Her research focuses on the Armenian experience, particularly on competing ideologies at the intersection of language and the construction of transnational identity.