Is the US Preparing a Massive Military Attack Against Syria?

Is the U.S. Preparing a Massive Military Attack Against Syria?
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by former British Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford and Rick Sterling, an investigative journalist and member of the Syria Solidarity Movement.

Russian military leaders said today that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was ready to launch a phased offensive to retake Idlib, which both the Russians and Syrians called "a pocket of terrorism" because of the foreign fighters that are based there. The Trump Administration is sending signals that it is preparing for a possible U.S. military operation inside Syria. The dangers of a wider war are presented just at the moment that the Syrian government seems to be on the verge of winning a final victory against armed forces aligned with Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.

Tuesday's weekly series is False Profits-A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. The hosts discuss coal prices going up in Europe as China uses more electricity, and the burning of natural gas, a shale drilling byproduct, in Texas in amounts that could fuel whole US states. Financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey joins the show.

Amidst protests, the Senate Judiciary Committee today held hearings on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be on the Supreme Court. Democrats objected before the hearing began because they have been denied access to documents they requested, and have been fundraising on preventing Kavanagh from being confirmed-but meanwhile Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has agree to expedited approval for 15 of Trump's other judge nominees. Brian and John speak with Ariel Gold, a peace activist and the national co-director of Code Pink, and an organizer and participant in today's protests.

General John Nicholson, the outgoing commander of allied forces in Afghanistan, gave a farewell speech in Kabul over the weekend as he prepared to return to the US and retire. Unlike any of his predecessors, Nicholson called for an end to the war, an end to intercommunal violence, and an end to foreign intervention in the country. Dr. Marvin Weinbaum, the scholar-in-residence and director of the Middle East Institute's Center for Pakistan and Afghanistan Studies, joins the show.

The New York Times revealed over the weekend that Oleg Deripaska, a prominent Russian billionaire, was repeatedly approached by the FBI between 2014 and 2016 and pressed to act as an informant. The FBI initially was looking for information on Russian organized crime. Later, they wanted information on Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. But Deripaska declined each approach. Nonetheless, he has been drawn in to the Russia collusion investigation, and he finds himself with powerful enemies in Congress. Peter Lavelle, host of RT's flagship program CrossTalk, joins Brian and John.

Yesterday was Labor Day, the day set aside to honor the social and economic achievements of American workers. It is a national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country. But organized labor is facing acute challenges thanks to recent court decisions. What do these decisions mean for the future of organized labor? Peter Knowlton, the president of the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America, joins the show.

Brazil's political crisis has entered a new stage with the country's top electoral court denying former president Lula-the most popular candidate by far-a spot on the ballot for the country's upcoming presidential election. Meanwhile, outrage is sweeping the country in the aftermath of a fire that destroyed much of the country's most prominent museum-an apparent consequence of years of underfunding. Brian and John speak with Vijay Prashad, director of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, chief editor of LeftWord Books, and the author of "The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution" and "Red Star Over the Third World."

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