Here And There with Dave Marash

One complication of the war to oust the Islamic State from Iraq has been the behavior of often-Iranian-trained Shi’ite militias.  They’ve frequently been accused of abusing, torturing, even killing innocent Sunni civilians.  That’s why they’ve all been told to steer clear of the Battle for Mosul and concentrate on IS units in the hinterlands outside the city.  Kenneth R. Rosen of the NY Times spent time recently with one Shi’ite militia group in the desert, near the Syrian border.  Their denials of bad behavior, Rosen says, didn’t account for a hidden prison camp, where Human Rights Watch says, those very abuses have been committed.

Direct download: HT062917RosenPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

In the Middle East, the United States says it has only one mission – to defeat Islamic State terrorism.  But most of our allies in the region, who did almost all of the actual fighting, have several different agendas.  Pulitzer Prize winning foreign correspondent Roy Gutman, who has recently visited the conflict zone in Syria, reports this often involves small-scale but bitterly fought wars between our allies.  As both American-supported and Russian-supported forces get closer to the Islamic State’s Syrian capital of Raqqa the danger of clashes involving both Russians and Americans is growing.

Direct download: HT062717GutmanPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

A recent series of terrorist attacks in London and Manchester in the United Kingdom, like attacks in the United States in the past several years, appear to be the work of “lone wolves,” operating independently of any Islamic State or Al Qaeda management or networking.  They are what RAND Corporation Terrorism analyst Brian Michael Jenkins calls “pure terrorism.”  He says they are a product of the shrinking territory and bankroll at Islamic State command headquarters and they present new problems for security forces meant to defeat them.

Direct download: HT062617JenkinsPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

After the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, America’s Veterans Administration Hospitals are facing more cases of Post-traumatic-Stress-Injury than ever before…and their standard treatments, anti-depression drugs and traditional psycho-therapy are failing many vets.  Matthew Farwell went through Hell in Afghanistan and then underwent both those treatments, to limited effect.  Then he got what some call, The God Shot, and felt a lot better quickly and still does a couple of years later. 

Direct download: HT061217FarwellPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The Trump Administration approach to methane, the climate-heating greenhouse gas is relight the flares and celebrate their brightness.  Of course, you and the planet might choke on the fumes.  Environmental reporter Laura Paskus on a double-barreled blow to regulation designed to make the Koch brothers, among others, very happy.  Then there’s the Gila River diversion project, the best thing to be said of it is … it probably won’t happen, but meanwhile NM Gov. Martinez is spilling millions of dollars on it.

Direct download: HT062117PaskusPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

The battle for the city of Mosul, the biggest by far in Northern Iraq continues, with the forces of the Islamic State more and more encircled and diminished.  But Tony Cheng, who has been covering this battlefront since March for CGTN, the Chinese English-language news channel, says that claims that ISIS is on the ropes, and that the endgame has begun may be a bit pre-mature.  Tony reports the fighting, often house by house and block by block in the Old City of West Mosul remains fierce, and far from completely locked into the Old City, he says, ISIS forces continue to cause alarm in the hinterlands south and west of the city. 

Direct download: HT062017ChengPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

British Prime Minister Theresa May thought she was launching an easy victory tour when she called a snap election for Parliament.  Instead she lost her party its majority and almost lost her job.  AP’s London Bureau Chief Gregory Katz looks at what went wrong for May and what might happen next for the UK.  First on May’s agenda is negotiating BREXIT, Britain’s exit from the European Union.  She wanted a separation that was quick and complete…but what she wants may not matter. 

Direct download: HT062917KatzPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

President Donald Trump’s approval ratings keep falling.  No wonder, given that many of his biggest moves, like dumping the Paris environmental agreement and destroying Obamacare fly in the face of the expressed wishes for roughly 70% of American voters.  His smaller, less publicized moves may prove equally unpopular.  Senior national affairs correspondent Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post has been keeping close track of them.  Among the things Trump’s de-funding, workplace protections against employment discrimination and dangers to health and safety, and then there’s the deregulation of the environment.  Methane emissions are coming back, big time.

Direct download: HT061517pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

To hear Gov. Susana Martinez tell it, the economy of New Mexico will soon be bouncing back as oil and gas prices rise.  2 things shadow that happy talk…oil prices seem stalled again, well below $50 a barrel, and even if prices come back, tax revenues from oil jobs may not follow.  Matthew Reichbach of the New Mexico Political Report on this impoverished state’s prospects after a legislative special session robbed most of the state’s piggy bank funds.  The Governor’s chosen hallmark is “No new taxes,” but some say the real meaning is, “No new ideas; no new investments for New Mexico.

Direct download: HT061317ReichbachPOD.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm MST

Turkey’s present is bad enough, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan exploiting a State of Emergency and the new powers granted him by a recent and highly questionable referendum to make more political arrests and foreclose more platforms for public communication.  But Pinar Tremblay, columnist at Al Monitor says Turkey’s future may be defined for a plan to build more than 100 new prisons.  Meanwhile Erdogan’s tattered army has been cut out of the main fight to defeat the Islamic State and 2 of his biggest economic backers are squabbling. 

Direct download: HT061217pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm MST