Society & Culture
Wall Street Journal‘s Saudi Shilling + Foreign Policy Chat w/ Jim Lobe/The $778 Billion Pentagon Budget w/ Stephen Semler
On this edition of Parallax Views, it's a double feature! First up, the legendary Jim Lobe, formerly of LobeLog and IPS (Inter Press Service), joins us to discuss his Responsible Statecraft piece "Houthi hysteria breaks out at the Wall Street Journal". For the uninitiated, Lobe is known for his reporting on the neoconservative movement and the Project for a New American Century think tank in the lead up to the Iraq War initiated under George W. Bush. In this conversation we discuss the Wall Street Journal seemingly shilling for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in two recent op-eds, one by journalist Karen Elliot House and another by the Wall Street Journal's Editorial Board. Saudi Arabia has been pleading for more Patriot missles from the U.S. to support its bombing and blockade efforts against the Houthis in Yemen. According to estimates the death toll inflicted upon Yemen now exceeds 350,000 with many of the victims being children. Recently, Saudi Arabia appears to have attempted to shut down a United Nation Human Rights Council investigation into what is happening in Yemen through actions that would serve to intimidate Muslims members of the council. Despite all of this, the Wall Street Journal frames the Kingdom as facing an existential threat by what it refers to as the "Iranian-backed Houthis. Jim and I discuss all of this including the exaggeration of the relationship between Iran and the Houthis, the sham of the "existential threat" framing, and more. Additionally, Jim and I also delve into issues related to the foreign policy establishment including talk of neoconservatism, Likudism, liberal interventionism, the long shadow of 1930s Munich, the Pentagon budget, Thomas Pickering, Robert Kagan as the renegade neocon, the subtle ideological differences between various factions of the foreign policy establishment and how they come together at certain times, and much, much more!
On the second half of the program we're joined by Stephen Semler of the Security Policy Reform Institute (SPRI) to discuss the whopping $778 billion Pentagon budget passed by Congress last week. Said budget ended up being longer than the one proposed by President Biden. We discuss this as well as the death of Build Back Better, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema's support for the Pentagon budget despite their supposed aversion to runaway spending, how defense spending cuts into dealing with issues like climate change and healthcare, responding to critics who believe that defense budget spending shouldn't be debated because of the need to combat America's foreign adversary, answering the age old line about how defense spending as it stands now is good because it creates jobs, and much, much more!
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