23:16 GMT +322 January 2020
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    Is the US on the Brink of Catastrophe or Playing Out a Planned Hand Toward Iran?

    The Critical Hour
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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; and Dr. Jack Rasmus, professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of several books.

    US President Donald Trump and Democrats are engaged in a brawl on war powers regarding Iran, while on Wednesday, Trump opened a small window for diplomacy with Tehran, but he also employed bellicose language that made it hard to see how the two countries could break out of their cycle of confrontation and revenge. Trump administration officials have repeatedly claimed that last week's assassination of Iranian Quds Force commander Gen. Qasem Soleimani made the United States safer, but a national USA Today/Ipsos survey published Thursday found that a majority of the American public disagrees and believes the White House's behavior toward Iran has been "reckless." What does all of this mean?

    A Ukrainian jetliner crashed Wednesday after taking off from an airport in Tehran, killing all 176 people onboard. "The jetliner, a Boeing 737 operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, went down on the outskirts of Tehran during takeoff just hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at US forces. While the timing of the disaster led some aviation experts to wonder whether it was brought down by a missile, Iranian officials disputed any such suggestion and blamed mechanical
    trouble," AP reported Wednesday. What are we to make of this?

    A new article by activist Nino Pagliccia states, "The fact remains that the political confrontation in Venezuela has escalated with the addition of a NA [National Assembly] composed of deputies mostly representing a narrow ideological range and a board presided by unelected Juan Guaidó, and a NA composed of deputies representing several parties whose board was elected by all deputies present. 'Both' national assemblies are dominated by members who are opposed to the [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro government and would favor regime change." What's going on here?  

    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."    

    Dr. Jack Rasmus — Professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of "Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression."  

    Keith Mackey — President of Mackey International, an aviation consulting firm specializing in aviation safety, risk management, accident investigation, air carrier certification and safety/compliance audits.  

    Nino Pagliccia — Activist and freelance writer based in Vancouver. A retired researcher from the University of British Columbia, Canada, Pagliccia is a Venezuelan-Canadian who follows and writes about international relations with a focus on the Americas, and is also the editor of the book “Cuba Solidarity in Canada – Five Decades of People-to-People Foreign Relations.”  

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    Tags:
    Republicans, Democrats, Boeing, aviation, Iran, impeachment, Trump administration, Juan Guaido, Venezuela
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