US Tries to Dragoon "Allies" into Armada Against Iran in Persian Gulf

US Tries to Dragoon “Allies” into Armada Against Iran in Persian Gulf
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran.

The US and UK are asking their European allies to participate in a program whereby allied navies would escort western tankers through the Straits of Hormuz. The Iranian government condemned the idea as provocative and Oman, the country which usually mediates between the US and Iran, said that it is in touch with both sides. Germany has said it has no concrete plans to join the effort.

Democratic presidential candidates will debate again tonight and tomorrow in Detroit. The event will be hosted by CNN. The second-tier candidates will likely try to break out of the pack on the issues of healthcare, student debt, and social justice, with pundits watching Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, and Julian Castro most closely. Bob Schlehuber, a Sputnik News analyst and the producer of the Sputnik News show By Any Means Necessary, which airs on 105.5 FM and 1390 AM in the Washington DC area from 2:00-4:00 pm every day, joins the show.

The Senate yesterday failed to override the president’s veto of a bipartisan measure that would have suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates because of the war in Yemen and the Saudi murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoqgi. All five freshman Democrats with CIA experience in the House voted with the President. Meanwhile, a Saudi attack on a market in Yemen has reportedly killed 13 civilians and Khalid Shaikh Muhammad, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, said that he would be willing to help 9/11 families in their lawsuits against the Saudi government if that US government abandons plans to execute him. Brian and John speak with Ali al-Ahmed, the director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs.

A new report released by the United Nations shows that 1,366 civilians have been killed and another 2,446 have been wounded in Afghanistan so far in the first half of this year. That is a 27 percent decline from last year’s record numbers. 52 percent of the casualties were caused by the Taliban, ISIS, and affiliated groups, 28 percent by Improvised Explosive Devices, and 14 percent by allied airstrikes. Afghan leaders vowed to reduce civilian casualties at talks in Doha earlier this month, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the administration aims to withdraw U.S. forces from the country before the 2020 election. Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of the peace group Code Pink, joins the show.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson today reaffirmed his commitment to having no checks or impediments of any kind at the Irish border once the UK leaves the European Union. He added that his government is committed to the Belfast Agreement and will not hinder cross-border movement. But a leaked recording of Johnson speaking recently to a group called the Institute of Directors, shows that he simply does not understand the details of the border issue. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins Brian and John.

Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.

Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, Karla Reyes, managing editor of the women’s magazine Breaking the Chains, and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

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