04:18 GMT +316 January 2019
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    The Critical Hour

    Trump's Surprise Visit to Iraq Disappoints America's Ruling Elite

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    Wilmer Leon
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    On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history at the University of Houston and author of many books, including Blows Against the Empire: US Imperialism in Crisis.

    The United States will move quickly to withdraw all forces from Syria, the White House abruptly announced Wednesday, December 19th. On Thursday, December 20th, President Trump directed the Pentagon to withdraw nearly half of the more than 14,000 troops deployed to Afghanistan and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, announced he stepping down effective Jan 1. These moves are defying warnings from his top advisers and upending their plans for a continued mission against the Islamic State. Well today, Trump and the First Lady Made a Secret Trip To Iraq To Visit US Troops. What does all of this mean going forward? Are these troops actually coming back CONUS or stateside or being repositioned to other bases and did he make a mistake by not pulling troops out of Iraq as well?

    Today is the first full business day since the shutdown. What's the method behind the madness? It is assumed that once the final funding package gets approved the government workers will receive back pay but historically, many contractors don't get paid.

    An 8-year-old Guatemalan boy died of unknown causes in custody minutes before midnight on Christmas Eve in New Mexico, the agency said in a statement Tuesday. It was the second death of a child in the agency's care this month. Jakelin Caal Maquin, 7, also of Guatemala, died in custody after traveling to the U.S. with a group of 163 people. Her body arrived in Guatemala on Monday. Also, new migrant crisis brewing in El Paso as ICE releases threaten to overwhelm border city — More than 1,200 undocumented immigrants are expected to be released into El Paso this week, with no apparent plan for housing. That's in addition to the 700 migrants already left in the border town since Sunday. Fear and uncertainty swirl around the bus station where they have been left.

    Despite modest inter-Korean goodwill, no trains are likely to run any time soon amid the stalled denuclearization process. In a modest event today, North and South Korea held a groundbreaking ceremony for the linkage of their railway lines across the Demilitarized Zone. However, it was not the first time optimism about inter-Korean transport links has been on display. The tracks were, in fact, reconnected in 2005, amid the "Sunshine Policy' of inter-Korean engagement. What does this mean going forward?

    GUESTS:

    Dr. Gerald Horne — Professor of history at the University of Houston and author of many books, including Blows Against the Empire: US Imperialism in Crisis.

    Abdus Luqman and Jackie Luqman — Co-editors-in-chief of Luqman Nation, and the co-hosts of the Facebook livestream Coffee, Current Events & Politics.

    Caleb Maupin — Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy and the global system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism.

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

    Tags:
    Government Shutdown, Immigration, Trump administration, Syria, Russia
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