with Reza Aslan
Reza is a breath of fresh air. Having lived through the collapse of the British after the Suez episode, I well remember the perpetuel civil unrest in Sudan, Uganda Ruanda, Barundi, e,tc. Israel and the US were supporting Jomo Kenyatta, head of Kikuyu tribe and of KANU party. This had been favored by the British and members comprised the bulk of the colonial police forces. As soon as they got independence, all non KANU leaders were quickly killed, (among these was Obamas father).
The Glenn Show becomes less and less worth the money.
Woodrow Wilson defeated Fascism? Woodrow Wilson was at least as much a fascist as the countries we were fighting. Read about the American Protective Lead and the people jailed, or worse, indefinitely without benefit of trial. Read "American Midnight" or anything by Jonah Goldberg for that matter.
Iran armed and trained Hamas as well as Hezbollah and the Houthis. Iran is responsible for the attack despite what US intelligence says. Our agencies are accountable to a president who is still trying to accommodate Iran and work out a treaty.
"America's foreign policy isn't about promoting democracy or promoting human rights. I mean, only an ignorant child would continue to say such a thing. American foreign policy is predicated on one thing and one thing only: our national interests and nothing else. If our national interests means supporting terrorist organizations in Latin America, that is what we will do. If our national interests means promoting democracy in the Middle East, that's what we will do."
This is just silly. Has the US been perfectly behaved in regards to foreign policy, democracy and human rights? No. But if anything the US has been naive in believing it can spread liberal values far and wide compared to countries that have had no such illusions.
There is no moral equivalence between the United States and China and Russia and Iran. The USA does not, "do the exact same thing". Not even close. Of course, the United States pursues its foreign policy based on its natural interests, but it is a lie that the United States pursues its foreign policy without a thought to what is moral or not.
This is borne out by the fact that the effect of the United States, as opposed to other empires, has been beneficial to the world. Just a few examples:
-post WW2, the United States has policed the worlds oceans, allowing free and open trade, where there was none before. This resulted in turning nations that were basically colonies, into sovereign nations.
-The development of the microchip has brought the world from a poverty rate of over 50% to under 10%.
Reza should have been challenged on this lie.
It's worth considering that much of the dollar amounts of aid given to Ukraine are estimates of the value of the equipment (amortized)? rather than a debit from the budget. Much of this stuff is surplus, and old, and nearing end-of-life in any event. If it were not donated to Ukraine, it'd be soon relegated to scrap. I believe Biden made this point in a recent speech. (It's not completely clear-cut, however. Did some googling and this seems a fairly balanced assessment: https://apnews.com/article/fact-check-us-aid-ukraine-money-equipment-714688682747.)
Aslan is right that the Iranian government has no legitimacy in the eyes of its own people. But he couldn't be more wrong about Obama's treaty "solving" the issue or Iran developing nuclear arms. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in 2020 that Iran was in violation of ALL (emphasis mine) restrictions outlined by the JCPOA, with which Iran agreed by the way. Back in 2016, when the ink was barely dry, German intelligence found Iran seeking to acquire nuclear weapons technology and materials from German companies. Throughout the years it denied access to UN Inspectors whenever it chose. In addition, Iran was developing ballistic missile launch technology, fomenting revolution throughout the Mideast and seeking to assassinate those who spoke out against the Klepto-Theocracy. It was never a credible partner, and there was never doubt that they would continue to develop nuclear weapons. Besides, what kind of nuclear weapons ban sunsets in 10 years?
While few Americans are impressed with how the American government has functioned both domestically and abroad in recent years, Aslan equates the U.S. with all other terrorist organizations, saying "we love terrorists, just our terrorists" and "we love governments that support terrorism, as long as it's for our purposes". The U.S. has, with all its flaws, been a tremendous source of global stability in the last 75 years since WW II, allowing millions, indeed billions, to escape poverty as their economies were able to grow under the Pax Americana umbrella. That's not something terrorists do.
I also take issue with Iran having nothing to do with Hamas, which he says is the opinion of "the American national security apparatus". Most experts in the area know Iran's role throughout the Middle East, but the Biden Administration doesn't want to paint itself into a corner by declaring Iran a direct party to the October slaughter and torture of civilians in southern Israel. Then they would have to deal with the root cause of most of the region's turmoil - Iran and, more specifically, the Mullahs and the IRGC.
Lastly, "Iran believes it is besieged on all sides by enemies..." Really? Afghanistan? Iraq, over which Iran has great influence? The tiny Gulf States? Maybe he is worried about Armenia or Turkmenistan? Iran is by far the dominant power in the region.
Iran is a country with a rich history and many accomplishments. Today they are in a dark age due to the Mullahs tight grip on power and the economy. Aslan sounds more like someone from the Bay Area than an expert on this region.
Reza Aslan ? Really? A pathological liar from the day he was born/ how could you Glenn?