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US Assassination Unites Iran: Is War Coming?

US Assassination Unites Iran: Is War Coming?
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ben Norton, a journalist with the Grayzone Project and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast.

Millions of Iranians took to the streets today to participate in the funeral of General Qassem Soleimani, killed last Friday by a US drone in Iraq. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Pompeo, in a press conference this morning, weakly defended President Trump’s statement that he would bomb Iranian cultural sites--a war crime. This is despite the fact that Secretary of Defense Esper said the he would refuse to follow such an order. Pompeo also defended his own decision earlier today to deny a visa for Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif to address the United Nations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin made an unannounced visit to Syria today, where he met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at a Russian air base outside Damascus. It’s his second trip to Syria since Assad invited Russian troops into the country in 2015. Putin will go on to Turkey for talks with President Erdogan, where the two will inaugurate a new oil pipeline. They are also expected to discuss Turkey’s recent decision to send troops to Libya, where the two countries are on opposite sides. Ambassador Peter Ford, a former UK Ambassador to Syria, joins the show.

As if things weren’t bad enough in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of two deadly hurricanes over the past 18 months and the US government’s inability to fully rebuild its infrastructure, it was hit early this morning by a powerful earthquake that killed at least one person, caused an island-wide power outage, and destroyed roads and bridges. Governor Wanda Vasquez has declared a state of emergency. She said the quake was Puerto Rico’s worst earthquake in the past 102 years. Brian and John speak with Dr. Mariolga Reyes Cruz, an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Puerto Rico and a founding and active member of PAReS, a collective of self-assembled public intellectuals and academic activists working towards preserving and transforming public higher education in Puerto Rico as part of a larger effort toward democratizing society.

A little over a year ago, the Trump administration declared Nicaragua to be part of a so-called “Troika of Tyranny” of left wing governments in the western hemisphere. Since then, US efforts at regime change in the country have escalated. The hosts talk about a recently concluded conference in the country. Dr. Claudia Chaufan, attended the gathering and is a medical doctor and PhD researcher who specializes in how the global architecture of economic, military, and political/policy institutions, as well as the dynamics of imperialism, colonialism, and neocolonialism shape health and other social inequalities, and Sputnik News analyst Walter Smolarek, join the show.

Today is Loud & Clear’s weekly series about the biggest economic news of the week with a special new guest -- Prof. Richard Wolff. Professor Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work whose latest book is “Understanding Socialism,” joins the show.

Tuesday’s regular segment is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine, which you can find at; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

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