FROM Timur Goksel
The Politics of Peacekeeping As the United Nations wrangles over the peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, the big question is whether there will be enough troops to enforce the ceasefire before it collapses. Europe is the obvious place for the soldiers to come from, and today it appears that Italy would take over for France as the leader. But the European Union won't even meet until Wednesday and the UN wants the first contingent in the country by early next week. Meantime, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has accused Israel of violating the ceasefire resolution after Israeli commandos were dropped into Lebanon's Bekaa Valley Saturday morning, in what might have been an anti-arms-smuggling mission or an attempt to rescue two kidnapped soldiers. We get perspectives from Paris, Beirut and Jerusalem. (An extended version of this discussion originally aired earlier today on To the Point.)
The Politics of Peacekeeping France is not the only nation in Europe with cold feet about sending troops to southern Lebanon. Italy, Spain and Finland want to know if the rules of engagement will require their soldiers to make the peace or just keep it. Will they have to disarm Hezbollah? Meantime, Israeli commandos engaged Hezbollah 60 miles inside the Lebanese border. Israel says they were trying to stop arms smuggling prohibited by the UN resolution, but Secretary General Kofi Annan says they violated the cease-fire . There are rumors that they were trying to rescue two kidnapped soldiers. We get perspectives from Paris, Beirut and Jerusalem, and hear about a new UN resolution proposed by the US.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
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.