The Majority Report with Sam Seder

Joining the Majority Report's Michael Brooks today to discuss MBS, Trump, and US-Turkey relations is Steven A. Cook,  a senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Cook and Brooks look into how the Khashoggi murder has led to a large outpouring of moral outrage in DC and it has mobilized action against the Saudis actions in Yemen. But where was that outrage against the Saudis in 2015 when the war in Yemen began? Cook explains how the Houthis and Saudis have been opponents since the 1930s.

Cook and Brooks then break down the US history and involvement in the Arabian peninsula and how the infamous underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, brought the Saudis war in Yemen to Obama's attention--precipitating American involvement in the Saudis' war. Cook also recounts his 2018 trip to Saudi Arabia and what Saudis thought about MBS, his plans for reform, and the war effort in Yemen prior to the Khashoggi killing. Cook was surprised to find out after the Khashoggi killing that Saudis saw criticism of MBS as typical behavior from the US media and an unfair treatment of their heir apparent. In his latest Foreign Policy piece, "Mohammed bin Salman Is Worse Than a Criminal. He’s a Symbol," Cook looks to explain to Saudis why Americans were outraged by the Khashoggi murder. According to Cook, MBS is stunned by the reaction to Khashoggi. Cook believes this might be the case because MBS and his leaders are closest advisors were not educated by leading western institutions like his predecessors and peers. Ideally, the Khashoggi murder should be a moment to shine a light on larger atrocities perpetrated by the Saudis, instead of a new low in what crimes America allows the Saudis to commit. Cook and Brooks wrap the interview looking forward to what's next in the Mueller probe as the investigation begins to explore the connections between Middle Eastern political operatives from the Saudis to the Emiratis and the Israelis.

And in the Fun Half: Meek Mill's new album is a banger, Iran's human rights record is not the issue with Khashoggi, Trump the Speed Freak, how far the Mueller investigation will go, why Neera Tanden and Center for American Progress is giving Charles Murray's think tank (American Enterprise Institute) thousands of dollars, Elon on the verge of tears talking about freedom of speech, Jamie Dimon doesn't give a shit about you or your economy, corporate astroturf campaigns to kill Medicare for All, an update on Nigerian elections, plus your calls and IMs!

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Direct download: 12-13-18-Steven_Cook-pub.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:44pm EDT