Tag: counter insurgency

Background Briefing: July 29, 2020


The $1 Trillion Republican Stimulus Bill Gives the Pentagon More Weapons They Don’t Want While Stiffing the American People

We begin with the $1 trillion Republican Senate’s stimulus bill they are calling the HEALS Act which may not be passed for weeks well after the unemployment benefits and rent moratorium ends tomorrow, Friday. Indeed instead of the $600 a week, the millions of unemployed will only be getting $200 a week in the GOP bill but the Republicans are adding billions for an new FBI headquarters and billions more for the Pentagon to buy ships and aircraft the Pentagon does not want with $261 million for the Navy’s Expeditionary Fast Transport ship which was zeroed out but is now back in the coronavirus bill thanks to the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee Republican Richard Shelby. And incidentally, the ship is to be built by Austal USA, based in Shelby’s home state, Alabama. Ryan Cooper, a national correspondent at The Week who is the co-host of the @LeftAnchor podcast, joins us to discuss his latest articles at The Week “Why Trump’s invasion of Portland is textbook fascism” and “Republicans’ coronavirus aid bill is a joke. It might take a stock market crash to change their minds”.  We assess what kind of social distress is heading our way since the pandemic is getting worse as Covid gets closer to Trump with the rabid Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert testing positive as he was about to board Air Force One. With no extension of the eviction moratorium, no money for the postal service or the November elections, no hazard pay for essential workers, no OSHA standards for workplaces, no money to shore up pensions, no funds for people who lost employer-sponsored health insurance, no increase to food stamp benefits and none of the $1 trillion in new money for state and local government, it is past time the Republicans keep taking care of their donors and started taking care of the American people.


How the Dirty Wars We Exported Are Coming Home in Portland

Then we speak with Stuart Schrader, Director of the Program in Racism, Immigration and Citizenship and Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University and author of Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing about his article at The New Republic “Trump has Brought America’s Dirty War Home: The authoritarian tactics we’ve exported around the world in the name of national security are now being deployed in Portland“.


The Origins of the Iraq War as Trump’s Hawks Plan a War With Iran

Then finally we look back at the origins of the Iraq war as an important history lesson which serves as a warning that a similar tragic folly is in the planning stage with hawks inside the Trump Administration itching to go to war with Iran where a series of explosions have taken place as the U.S. ratchets up economic and cyber warfare against Iran in concert with Netanyahu’s Israel. Robert Draper, a writer at large for The New York Times Magazine joins us to discuss his new book just out, To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America Into Iraq.