FROM Mohamad Bazzi
Congress calls for end to US support for Saudi-led war in Yemen People carry the body of Muhammad Mansour recovered from under the rubble of a house destroyed by a Saudi-led air strike in Sanaa, Yemen. Eight family members, including five children, were killed, relatives said. Photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters Nearly 20 million people have no access to clean drinking water and hundreds of thousands are stricken with cholera. The small country of Yemen is undergoing a deep humanitarian crisis due to a civil war that barely makes the headlines. And the military assault, led by US ally Saudi Arabia, may also open the door to radicalization in this Mid-East nation. Mohamad Bazzi of New York University, looks at a new bipartisan call for the US to stop backing the Saudi-led strikes.
Trump faces Middle East realities ahead of trip As President Trump prepares to visit the Middle East, his credibility as a foreign policy partner may have been compromised. But at this morning's press briefing, National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster said it's not the President's remarks to Russian officials that have damaging consequence, but leaks to the press. "I think national security is at risk by this leak and leaks like it. There have been a number of instances where this occurred." But the Washington Post and others are sticking by unnamed sources who claim the President's disclosure of closely held secrets created security problems. The President has tweeted that he has the "absolute right" to say what he wants about classified information. Meantime, he hosted the President of Turkey today, has a deadline involving the Iran nuclear deal tomorrow… and he's leaving Friday for the Middle East.
The Allure of Extremism We’ve just heard what world leaders are discussing in terms of how to deal with the growing threat from ISIL, but here’s the question that lies behind everything that’s happening now: What draws someone to join an extremist group? Terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East are not lacking for recruits—whether it’s fighters from within the continent, or foreign fighters from Western nations joining the effort against their own countries. There are tens of thousands of them, and their ranks are said to be growing with each passing day. Today, a conversation about what these recruits are looking for in their lives, what conditions make them ripe for recruitment, and put simply: What is the allure to join up in violent jihad?
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan Visits the Middle East Kofi Annan is back in Beirut , trying to push implementation of the cease-fire in Lebanon. The UN Secretary General has called on Hezbollah to turn over abducted Israeli soldiers, and on Israel to lift its sea blockade. Mohamad Bazzi, Middle East Bureau Chief for Newsday magazine, says there's been some progress.
Lebanon Agrees to Send Troops to South It's been another day of Israeli bombs, Hezbollah rockets and heavy ground fighting in Lebanon. In the latest initiative aimed at a cease-fire, the Lebanese government has promised 15,000 soldiers as a peacekeeping force in the southern part of the country. From Beirut, Mohamad Bazzi, Middle East Bureau Chief for Newsday , reports on the Lebanese government's offer to participate in the peace-keeping force and the response of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?