Loud & Clear

Who's the Real Aggressor in the U.S.-Iran Confrontation?

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John Kiriakou, Brian Becker

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Walter Smolarek and John Kiriakou are joined by Vijay Prashad, Director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and Chief Editor of LeftWord Books.

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The panel takes a look at the biggest stories of the week, including escalating U.S.-Iran tensions, massive protests in Puerto Rico, President Trump’s attacks on Representatives Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley and a power-sharing agreement between protesters and the military in Sudan.

President Trump said yesterday that the US Navy had shot down an Iranian drone that came within 100 yards of the USS Boxer.  A Navy official said that there were several other contacts between Navy ships and Iranian forces in the hours before the shoot down.  The Iranian government, however, denied the charge said that the US may have accidentally shot down its own drone. Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the peace group Code Pink, joins the show.

Large-scale protests continued in Puerto Rico yesterday as outrage over Governor Ricardo Rossello’s many scandals reach a boiling point. Fierce clashes have broken out as police try to break up demonstrations, but the movement has continued nonetheless. Walter and John speak with Sputnik News analyst Bob Schlehueber, who traveled to Puerto Rico to cover the protests

British parliamentarians last night passed a measure that would prevent the next Prime Minister from suspending parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit.  The move undermines the hard-line strategy of Boris Johnson, who is widely expected to become Prime Minister next week.  The move opens the door for yet another Brexit delay. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show.

The Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, appears to be coming to an end.  The US is demanding that Russia destroy its SSC-8 missile systems by August 2, which it says are in violation of the INF.  But Moscow says that the systems do not violate the INF and they will take no action in the coming weeks. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has made multiple public comments on the issue this week as the alliance ramps up for a possible arms race. Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst, joins Walter and John.

Again this week we’ll look at the worst, most misleading, funniest, and the just plain wrong headlines of the past week. Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News, joins the show.

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