00:00:00 | 3:02:50




Support for Israel and the urge to transform the Muslim Middle East go back to the Pilgrims and the Founding Fathers. We hear how current American policies and actions have been shaped by the past, and what history suggests about future US involvement in a troubled region.  Plus, the latest intelligence report on Iraq and, on Reporter's Notebook, the UN's toughest warning yet about global warming and rewards offered for poking holes in the report.

Making News Intelligence Report Warns that Iraq Is at Risk of Further Strife 6 MIN, 13 SEC

Sixteen US spy agencies have produced the latest National Security Estimate, or NIE, on Iraq.  A two-page unclassified summary was released today in the midst of debate in Congress over the President's New Way Forward.  Its predictions are not optimistic.  Dafna Linzer reports on national security for the Washington Post.

Dafna Linzer, ProPublica

Main Topic Power, Faith and Fantasy in the Middle East 33 MIN, 37 SEC

It's easy to think that George W. Bush is the first president to believe that America should have a role in transforming the Muslim Middle East or that 60 years ago Harry S Truman was original in making the establishment of a Jewish state an American objective. But the roots of those actions are as old as the US itself. The early Puritans dreamed of restoring the Jews to Palestine. So did Abraham Lincoln. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington insisted that Muslims should change their principles and ideals. We look at the origins of America's interest in the Middle Eat and how 21st Century policies have been shaped by the past. What does history tell us about the likelihood of disengagement from that troubled region at any time in the future?

Leon Hadar, research fellow at the Cato Institute

Reporter's Notebook New UN Report Calls Global Warming Unstoppable 8 MIN, 49 SEC

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reviews the most recent studies of retreating ice, rising seas and warming temperatures, and reports on supercomputer simulations of what might happen next.  Three days of wrangling by teams from more than 100 countries has produce a 20-page summary and the most urgent warning ever.  It says that the alternative to action is worldwide calamity. The American Enterprise Institute, funded by ExxonMobil, has offered $10,000 apiece to skeptic scientists or economists who can find flaws in the report.  Andrew Revkin covers the environment for the New York Times.

Andrew Revkin, ProPublica (@Revkin)

Subscribe to the 5 Things To Do newsletter

Never miss the best of what to do with your free time.


More From To the Point



View All Events


Player Embed Code