Day: January 3, 2024

Background Briefing: January 3, 2024


Will the Bombings in Iran Following Yesterday’s Killing of an Hamas Official Spark a Wider War?

We begin with bombings in Iran that killed over 100 and wounded over 200 observing the 4th anniversary of the US drone strike that killed the head of Iran’s Quds Force General Suleimani, this following an Israeli drone strike yesterday that killed a top Hamas official in Beirut. Joining us to assess whether these provocations will spark a wider war in the Middle East is Abbas Milani, Director of Iranian Studies and Professor at the Center on Democracy, Development and Rule of Law at the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University who, until 1986, taught at Tehran University’s Faculty of Law and Political Science, where he was also a member of the Board of Directors of the university’s Center for International Relations. His books include Lost Wisdom: Rethinking Modernity in Iran, The Persian Sphinx and The Shah.


House Republican Grandstanding as They Weaponize Immigration

Then, with House Speaker Johnson leading a delegation of Republicans to the Southern border today to grandstand as they weaponize immigration rather than deal with a serious issue, which clearly needs reform and resolution, we speak with Lee Gelernt, a lawyer at the ACLU’s national office in New York and a professor at Columbia Law School. Widely recognized as one of the country’s leading public interest lawyers, he has argued some of the country’s highest-profile cases before the Supreme Court and virtually every federal court of appeals in the country, including a national class-action challenge to the Trump administration’s family separation policies, successful challenges to the Trump administration’s first and second asylum bans, and the first case challenging the Trump Muslim ban.

The Root Causes of the Human Flow From Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Around the World

Then finally we explore the root causes of the immigration crisis that involve the human flow of migrants from around the world and in particular from Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Guatemala as well as Mexico which is being demagogued with toxic partisanship that will intensify in this critical election year. Joining us is Maureen Meyer, the Vice President for Programs at the Washington Office of Latin America where she previously spent 14 years leading their Mexico program with a special focus on analyzing U.S.-Mexico security policies and advocating for greater protections for migrants and asylum-seekers in Mexico and at the U.S.-Mexico border.