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The Critical Hour
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Is DC Facing Long Term Military Occupation?

Is DC Facing Long Term Military Occupation?
Residents of the nation's Capitol face a Baghdad-style occupation as the US secret service has incorporated the term “Green Zone” into its inauguration security map.

Dr. Colin Campbell, Washington, DC, senior news correspondent, joins us to discuss the military occupation of Washington DC. Twenty-five thousand military troops accompanied with razor wire and checkpoints now inhabit Capitol Hill and it's surrounding neighborhoods. Civil libertarians and anti-war activists are concerned that the normally bustling yet peaceful K street corridor has been dubbed the "Green Zone" by the US Secret Service and now resembles any number of US military bases in occupied nations around the world.

Dr. Jack Rasmus, professor in the Economics and Politics Departments at St. Mary's College of California, joins us to discuss President-elect Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan. Dr. Jack argues that the economy is in the process of a slow crash and that the December stimulus package was far too little. He reviews the Biden package piece by piece and adds that the Democrats should be concerned that the covid related economic devastation may precipitate a 2008 style meltdown of the banking system.

Leo Flores, Latin America coordinator for Code Pink, joins us to discuss indicators of Joe Biden's policies towards Latin America. Joe Biden has invited former Exxon Lawyer Carlos Vecchio who also serves as Juan Guaido's envoy in Washington. Vecchio is currently wanted in Venezuela in connection with a rally that turned violent resulting in the crowd setting fire to the Attorney General's office. Flores discusses whether Biden's Latin American policies will differ from Trump's. 

Raul Diego, writer, independent photojournalist joins us to discuss his latest Mintpress article about censorship. Raul argues that the events at Capitol Hill provided the perfect excuse for Twitter and other social media companies to advance the agenda of their benefactors in the permanent government of the United States. He also says that Twitter, Facebook, and all the other major social media platforms are organs of the state, to begin with, and that nothing they do falls outside of the ultimate designs of the powers they serve. 

Alexander Mercouris, editor in Chief at theduran.com & host of "The Duran" on youtube, returns to The Critical Hour to discuss the end of the Barr-Durham investigation into the origins of the controversial Russia Gate operation. Despite media claims that the investigation would be completed by the spring of 2020, it appears that the end of the Trump administration will bring about the end of this inquiry. Mercouris ponders whether Attorney General William Barr was a CIA cover man put in place to string the process out until Donald Trump's term.

Mark Sleboda, Moscow-based international relations and security analyst, returns to discuss the arrest of Alexey Navalny. Navalny has been embroiled in a months-long operation in which US CIA operatives have worked with various governments and NGO groups to put forth at least three separate theories as to how he was allegedly poisoned. Navalny recently returned to Russia and was immediately arrested for violating court orders related to an earlier embezzlement conviction. Western officials portray his arrest as a violation of international norms but fail to address the validity of the court's claims against him.

Laith Marouf, broadcaster and journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon, joins us to talk about Tunisia. Hundreds have been arrested as Tunisians protest dire economic circumstances in cities around the nation. Gross Domestic Product reduced by 9 percent last year, consumer prices have dramatically increased, and one-third of young people are unemployed.

Dan Lazare, investigative journalist and author of "The Velvet Coup," joins us to discuss an article by Ramzy Baroud in which he argues that the Capitol protest and brief occupation has caused deep and lasting damage to the self-serving definition of democracy that the US empire has used to dominate weaker nations. Baroud argues that "A country that has assigned itself the role of the defender of democracy worldwide, now stands unable to defend its own democracy at home." He also says that the Trump phenomenon is a symptom of America's democracy crisis and is likely to worsen in the future.

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