FROM David Satterfield
More Troops? More Diplomacy? Both? The United States finally sat down with Iran and Syria in Baghdad on Saturday, a departure from past policy that appears to have changed almost nothing. Nevertheless, yesterday an Iranian spokesman called it a "constructive first step" and said it was looking forward to another meeting at the foreign minister level. Meantime, on his trip to South America, President Bush announced a call to Congress for 8200 new troops--4800 to bolster the Baghdad security plan. The Los Angeles Times reports that Pentagon planners have begun "plotting a fall back strategy that includes a gradual withdrawal of forces and renewed emphasis on training Iraqi fighters." Was it the first step in a long process or a dead end? What did other nations from around the region have to contribute? We speak with journalists in the US and Middle East, political scientists, the last senior US diplomat to speak one-on-one with Iranian officials in 2001 and the current senior Iraq advisor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.