Background Briefing: March 3, 2024

Following the Massacre of Desperate Gazans Storming Food Trucks, Ceasefire Talks Are Underway

We begin with the US airdrop of food to the starving Gazans that many see as a BandAid over a gaping wound while talks underway in Cairo could bring about as much as a six-week ceasefire although Hamas has yet to agree. Joining us is Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University. He is the former editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies, and was President of the Middle East Studies Association, and an advisor to the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid and Washington Arab-Israeli peace negotiations from October 1991 until June 1993. His books include The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917- 2017 , Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. has Undermined Peace in the Middle East and The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood.


How Plutocrats Use Their Power to Own the Truth

Then we look into how plutocrats not only dominate politics but use their power to own the truth. Joining us is Tom Burgis, an internationally bestselling author and award-winning investigative journalist. An investigations correspondent for The Guardian, he has reported from more than forty countries, covering wars in Africa and Ukraine, corruption, coups, organized crime and the rise of kleptocracy from Moscow to Washington. His book Kleptopia: How Dirty Money Is Conquering the World was a Sunday Times bestseller and his previous book The Looting Machine, about the plunder of Africa, won an Overseas Press Club of America prize. His latest book, just out, is Cuckooland: Where the Rich Own the Truth.


With the U.S. AWOL, Growing Resolve Within NATO

Then finally, with US aid to Ukraine stalled, we assess the growing resolve within NATO with Sweden now a treaty member as France’s President Macron warns that Russia must be defeated in Ukraine and that Western troops might be needed to join the fight. Joining us is Natalie Melnyczuk, a consultant on Euro-Atlantic security and a professor of political science at Wayne State University. She has served as NATO Representative to Ukraine as the Head of the NATO Information and Documentation Center in Kyiv, as a Political Officer in the Political Affairs and Security Policy Division at the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Section at NATO HQ in Brussels, as Manager of  U.S.A.I.D.’s  Parliamentary Development Project at the U.S. – Ukraine Foundation and in various other academic and policy positions.