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FROM THIS EPISODE

Last night, after weeks of headlines about the lack of a plan to fight growing extremism in Iraq and Syria, President Obama said the US will lead a broad coalition to degrade and destroy the increasingly aggressive and violent terrorist force known as the Islamic State. Military action could now include US airstrikes within Syria — a political turnaround that could complicate war in the region. We’ll hear how Congress is reacting and ask what Americans should expect from the latest intervention, 13 years after 9/11.

Also, Secretary of State John Kerry is drumming up Arab support to help fight ISIS. Plus, Oscar Pistorius, the Blade Runner, is ruled not guilty of murder.

Banner Image: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with members of the National Security Council in the Situation Room of the White House, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Guests:
Tess Vigeland, veteran public radio journalist, @tessvigeland

Producers:
Andrea Brody
Gideon Brower
Katie Cooper

Kerry Rallies Arab Support to Fight ISIS 6 MIN, 30 SEC

In his speech last night, the president promised renewed diplomatic efforts by Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry was in Saudi Arabia today, an Arab state that’s seen as crucial to Obama’s efforts to marshal international Middle East support against ISIS. Anne Gearan is diplomatic correspondent at the Washington Post. She’s traveling with Secretary Kerry.

Guests:
Anne Gearan, Washington Post (@agearan)

President Obama’s Strategy Against the Islamic State 38 MIN, 49 SEC

Thirteen years ago today, planes commandeered by terrorists slammed into the World Trade Center towers in New York, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly three thousand people died in the attacks. Since those unspeakable events, the US has been at war in one capacity or another, fighting against terrorist organizations that know no borders and attach to no state.

Over the past few months, the group known as Islamic State — or ISIS — has become the major threat to any hope of stability in the region. As recently as two weeks ago, President Obama said he did not have a strategy for dealing with the group’s tentacle in Syria. In last night’s White House address to the nation, he outlined a plan that includes military airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, plus a redoubled intelligence effort and assistance to those who are fighting against ISIS, which the president refers to as ISIL. "If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including to the United States," said Obama. "While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies."

Today on the program: a review of that plan, the funding issues it faces in Congress, and what it signals for a war-weary nation that nevertheless appears to widely support military action against this organization.

Guests:
Daniel Newhauser, National Journal (@dnewhauser)
Frank Newport, Gallup Poll (@gallup)
Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera English (@marwanbishara)
Steve Clemons, New America Foundation / The Atlantic (@SCClemons)

Pistorius Found Not Guilty of Murder 4 MIN, 38 SEC

Oscar Pistorius has escaped a murder conviction in the killing of his girlfriend, a vindication for the Paralympic athlete who proclaimed he hadn’t intended to kill her. After 41 days of testimony in Pretoria, South Africa, Pistorius was cleared of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. But the judge hearing the case suggested she would him find guilty of the lesser offense of "culpable homicide." Watching the proceedings over the past six months and the reading of today’s verdict is David Smith, Africa correspondent for the Guardian.

Guests:
David Smith, The Guardian (@SmithInAfrica)

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