KGOU

Joshua Landis

Contributor, World Views

Joshua Landis is the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and an Associate Professor in the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies.

His daily newsletter and blog Syria Comment attracts some 50,000 readers a month. It is widely read by officials in Washington, Europe and Syria. Dr. Landis travels frequently to Washington, D.C. to consult with government agencies and speak at think tanks.

Beyond KGOU, he is a frequent analyst on the PBS Newshour, The Charlie Rose Show, al-Jazeera, Frontline, NPR, Public Radio International, WBUR's Here and Now, and the BBC.

He is a frequently published contributor to Foreign Policy, Middle East Policy, and TIME Magazine.

Ways to Connect

Growing up in Ghana, Meshack Asare loved to read, but the only books available were educational texts designed to teach English. He became a prolific children's author to provide the world with the kind of books he would've loved to read as a child, and just won the 2015 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature.

But first, Joshua Landis provides an update on Saudi Arabia’s break in relations with Iran after protests at the Saudi embassy in Tehran. On Sunday the kingdom executed a popular Shiite cleric.

Rebecca Cruise talks with University of Oklahoma sociocultural anthropologist Noah Theriault about the Paris climate agreement, and its effect on some of the small island countries of Southeast Asia.

Then, we'll hear Joshua Landis' conversation with Nazila Fathi, a journalist and author who grew up in Iran, and was nine years old when the Islamic Revolution changed her entire life. She left Iran 20 years later, and then returned to cover the 2009 election protests as a correspondent for The New York Times.

Women in various states of dress on the streets of Iran.
Amir Farshad Ebrahimi / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Nazila Fathi’s childhood bookended the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. She was nine years old when supporters of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted the Shah and established the current theocratic regime. Before the revolution, her father had been a high-level civil servant in the Ministry of Energy. After the Shah was overthrown, he became a farmer.

Rebecca Cruise provides an update on this week's climate talks in Paris, and Joshua Landis discusses the British Parliament's vote to increase the country's involvement in Syria.

Then, retired diplomat Joe Cassidy talks about his 25-year career in the Foreign Service. In July, he wrote an editorial in Foreign Policy magazine with his prescription to fix the ailing U.S. State Department.

Joshua Landis and Rebecca Cruise talk about what's changed (or hasn't) since the Paris and Beiruit terrorist attacks a week ago, and whether or not the world will ever come to an agreement about how to deal with ISIS.

Then, Suzette Grillot talks with Vanessa Tucker from the international watchdog organization Freedom House. Every year the group issues rankings that compare the global political rights and civil liberties across the globe.

Historian Beeta Baghoolizadeh says 19th century Iranian slavery can appear softer alongside its American counterpart, but that’s not a fair comparison. She'll trace the country's history of slavery and its erasure from the national consciousness.

But first, Joshua Landis joins the show again for a discussion of the Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt and what may have caused it, and Turkey’s recent parliamentary elections.

Joshua Landis and Suzette Grillot discuss the International Olympic Committee easing restrictions on refugee athletes, and a recent International Monetary Fund report describing the effect low oil prices could have on Middle East cash reserves:

Then Suzette talks with Leslie Woodward, one of the founders of the Post-Conflict Research Center in Sarajevo. Her organization works to ease the two-decade-old wounds of the wars in the Balkans.

Rebecca Cruise talks with energy analyst Andreas Goldthau, who says if Europe embraces technology like hydraulic fracturing, it’ll reduce the reliance on Russian oil and natural gas.

But first, Joshua Landis analyzes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s surprise visit to Moscow this week to brief Russian President Vladimir Putin on both current and future military operations in Syria. 

Suzette Grillot talks with Thomas Fingar, the former head of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. In the months leading up to the 2003 invasion, he cast doubts on whether or not Iraq had nuclear weapons.

But first, Rebecca Cruise and Joshua Landis discuss President Obama’s meetings with Chinese president Xi Jinping about cybersecurity, and Russian president Vladimir Putin over renewed tension in Syria.

Joshua Landis talks about Islamic State militants destroying significant artifacts in the Middle East, and Rebecca Cruise explains the ongoing migrant crisis throughout Europe.

Then Suzette Grillot is joined by Braulio Fernández, a professor and literary critic at the University of the Andes in Colombia. While everyone he went to school with studied Spanish literature, Braulio Fernandez gravitated toward something else.

Joshua Landis provides an update on two stories he's following in the Middle East: the different reactions to the nuclear deal with Iran, and news that Syrian soldiers trained and equipped by the U.S. in Turkey were captured and killed as they crossed the border into Syria.

Then Suzette talks with Joe Masco, an anthropologist at the University of Chicago who studies the evolution of the national security state. His latest book traces surveillance and privacy issues from the start of the Cold War to what he now calls the “post-privacy era.”

Guest host Brian Hardzinski talks with Joshua Landis about an important victory for Kurds in the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, and why Kurds have done so well when Arabs have not against Islamic State militants.

Then Suzette Grillot talks with David Deisley and Rob Perreault about resource extraction in Latin American countries.

Suzette Grillot talks with Joshua Landis about three stories he’s following in the Middle East: Inspectors in Syria have found traces of banned military chemicals, new opportunities for France as the U.S. relationship with the region becomes strained, and the Vatican’s recognition of the Palestinian state.

Then Suzette is joined by Kate Schecter. She’s the CEO of the Oklahoma City-based nongovernmental organization World Neighbors. Her interest in internationalism started when she was a child growing up in places like Hong Kong and Moscow.

Joshua Landis explains rebel advances in Syria and new Saudi aggressiveness in its wars with Iran.

Then Suzette Grillot talks with University of Oklahoma German professor Bob Lemon and Oregon State University Cold War-era cultural scholar Sebastian Heiduschke about cinema and literature in East Germany.

Joshua Landis and Suzette Grillot discuss this week’s nuclear negotiations with Iran, and the release of al-Qaeda prisoners in Yemen and air strikes led by a Saudi coalition.

Later, a conversation with the former director of the National Clandestine Service Michael Sulick. The 30-year CIA veteran argues information leaks by people like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden can cause far more problems than traditional spying ever did.

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