Tag: foreign policy

Background Briefing: July 3, 2019

 

Trump Dragoons the Military into a Reelection Campaign Event

We begin with concerns within the military that President Trump’s 4th of July military parade tomorrow in front of the Lincoln Memorial will put military personnel in a situation where they are violating Defense Department guidelines prohibiting soldiers, sailors and airmen in uniform from engaging in political activity. Lawrence Korb, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower in the Reagan Administration and is the author of “A New National Security Strategy in an Age of Terrorists, Tyrants, and Weapons of Mass Destruction”, joins us to discuss how the private concerns of military chief’s about Trump’s 4th of July military parade are in dramatic contrast to Trump’s claim that “the Pentagon and our great military leaders are thrilled to be doing this”. And while Trump is billing this as “our July 4th Salute to America” it is already looking like a political rally in his reelection campaign with Trump Tweeting out today “We have the greatest economy anywhere in the world. We have the greatest military anywhere in the world. Not bad”. Meanwhile the Republican National Committee is handing out tickets to big donors as the National Parks Service diverts funds to pay for the event, a new Gallup poll finds that American pride and patriotism has hit an all-time low with only 45% of Americans saying they felt “extremely proud”, down from 70% feeling “extremely proud” in 2002.

 

An End to US Forever Wars?

Then we speak with Stephen Kinzer, an award-winning foreign correspondent who has written extensively about U.S. interventionism in “All the Shah’s Men”, “Bitter Fruit” and “The Brothers, John Foster Dulles, Alan Dulles and Their Secret World War”. He joins us to discuss his article at The Boston Globe “In an Astonishing Turn, Soros and Charles Koch Team Up to End U.S. ‘Forever War Policy’” and whether there will be a rethink of fighting losing wars which appears not to matter as long as we maintain the global threat perception that justifies the bloated defense budget and feeds the military industrial complex.

 

The Role of Militias in the Oregon State Senate

Then finally with the Republican minority in the Oregon State Senate returning from their hideouts in Idaho now that they have successfully killed a climate bill they did not have the votes to stop by denying a quorum, we will speak with Anthony McCann, a professor of creative writing at  the California Institute for the Arts whose latest book, just out is “Shadowlands: Fear and Freedom at the Oregon Standoff”. He joins us to discuss the militia movement in the liberal blue state of Oregon and the role far right militias played in having the State Police shut down the Oregon state house due to credible threats of militia violence.