Day: January 23, 2024

Background Briefing: January 23, 2024

Why New Hampshire Republican Voters Love Trump

We begin with today’s New Hampshire presidential primary which the Democrats are skipping while on the Republican side it is the make-or-break moment for Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign as the likelihood of a coronation for Trump looms in spite of Haley closing the wide gap in the polls. Joining us is Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling, a freelance journalist specializing in narrative features and investigative reporting. He has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, won a George Polk Award, and been voted Journalist of the Year by the Maine Press association, among numerous other honors. He is the author of A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear: The Utopian Plot to Liberate an American Town (And Some Bears), and his latest book is If It Sounds Like a Quack…: A Journey to the Fringes of American Medicine. We discuss his article at The New Republic, “Spot the Nikki Haley Insurgents in a Sea of Red MAGA Hats” and he joins us from New Hampshire.”


Coming Soon the ICJ Provisional Ruling on South Africa’s Genocide Case Against Israel Will Further Isolate Biden

Then with Israel suffering 24 dead today in its protracted war with Hamas while casualty figures for Hamas remain unknown, the genocide case brought by South Africa to the UN’s International Court of Justice proceeds with the real possibility of a provisional relief ruling for a ceasefire coming soon. Joining us is Zaha Hassan, a human rights lawyer and visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Middle East Program where her research focuses on Palestine-Israel peace, the use of international legal mechanisms by political movements, and U.S. foreign policy in the region. Previously, she was the coordinator and senior legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team during Palestine’s bid for UN membership, and was a member of the Palestinian delegation to Quartet-sponsored exploratory talks between 2011 and 2012. We discuss her article at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “Why the United States Can’t Ignore the ICJ Case Against Israel.”


Has Kim Jong Un Made a Strategic Decision to Go to War Against the South?

Then finally we examine the possibility that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has made a strategic decision to go to war against the South, a cataclysmic scenario which two top American analysts of North Korea have predicted. Joining us is Sue Mi Terry, a former senior CIA analyst and director for Japan and Korea affairs at the National Security Council. Previously, she was the former deputy national intelligence officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council. She is the producer of a new film about North Korean defectors, Beyond Utopia.