FROM Ryan Crocker
The US Leads an Arab War on Terror; How Committed Are They? President Obama has assembled a coalition against the Islamic State that includes 5 Arab countries—which could face internal backlash from sympathizers with extremist jihadists. You can’t bomb an ideology, and, there’s already support on social media for jihadist groups—including ISIL, the so-called Islamic State. Is “soft power” more important than bombing--especially to win the hearts and minds of young Muslims worldwide?
Is the White House Playing a Waiting Game? US plans to punish Syria with military action may be on hold for the moment. President Obama says he has not made a decision, and Republicans and Democrats in Congress are demanding a consultation. Last night, on the PBS News Hour, the President discussed the possible consequences of the kind of action he's contemplating. Meanwhile, the British parliament is balking at providing support. Military experts and diplomats agree that a limited strike won't change the course of Syria's civil war, and could lead to retaliation. Many questions remain: what's the evidence of crimes against humanity? Is Syria a threat to the US? Will intervention lead to a wider war?
Who Benefits from WikiLeaks' Release of Military Documents? On Saturday WikiLeaks released almost 400,000 classified reports about the Iraq war and promised more to come about the war in Afghanistan. At a London news conference, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was joined by Daniel Ellsberg , who leaked the Pentagon Papers almost 40 years ago. Ellsberg called Assange "the most dangerous man in the world" because he has the courage to challenge the US government.
Who Benefits from WikiLeaks' Release of Military Documents? On Saturday WikiLeaks released almost 400,000 classified field reports about the Iraq war, and promised more to come about the war in Afghanistan. Those reports are now on the Internet and in newspapers worldwide. The Pentagon says WikiLeaks has put lives at risk and given adversaries valuable information. Others say official distortions and wrong-doing have been exposed. What's new about contractors, sectarian executions and civilians killed by American soldiers? What about Iraqi stability after US soldiers stand down? Should the whistle-blowers who were the source of the records be treated as criminals or public servants?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
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.
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?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.