FROM Bassam Rifai
Mixed messages from America's new hard line on Syria Last week, President Trump stunned the world by striking Syria with 59 Tomahawk missiles in retaliation for Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his own people. Since then, American diplomats have made contradictory statements in the aftermath of the attack. Was it a "one-off" or is regime change the goal? And why has President Trump retaliated against Syria's use of chemical weapons — but not conventional weapons, which are just as deadly? America's G-7 allies are meeting in Italy to find a consensus for dealing with Syria -- and with Russia — the next stop for America's Secretary of State. Is it too soon for the "political solution" all sides claim to prefer, or will force be used in attempting to remove the Assad regime from power?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.