FROM Stephen Schwartz
Turkey, the West and the Muslim Middle East The 700-year-old Ottoman Empire became the Republic of Turkey in 1923. Though a Muslim country, at the insistence of the founder, Mustafah Kemel Ataturk--government institutions are strictly secular, a tradition backed by the military. Now that might be changing. This week parliament elected Abdullah Gül as President. Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan are both from the Justice and Development Party -- or AKP. Islamic in orientation, it will be more responsive to public opinion, which is increasingly religious and anti-American. We look at the possible impact on US interests in the Muslim world. Will Turkey still be a "bridge" to the West? Does it share America's goals in Iraq? What about Turkey's increasingly close ties with Iran?
Arms for Diplomacy in the Middle East After stops in Israel and the Arab Emirates, the Secretaries of State and Defense are in Saudi Arabia, working out the details of a massive sale of sophisticated weapons . The Bush Administration says it's a way to counter Iran. Opponents accuse the Saudis of supporting terrorists and the Sunni insurgency in Iraq. Israel has signed off on the deal after being promised new arms of its own. Egypt will get new weaponry, too. Is the US fueling the arms race in one of the world's most unstable regions? Is it really all about oil?
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.
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?