KGOU

World Views

Fridays 4-4:30 p.m., 6:30-7 p.m. and Saturdays 6-6:30 a.m.

World Views is hosted by Suzette Grillot, Dean of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma, with regular analysis from Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at OU, and Rebecca Cruise, the College's Assistant Dean and a security studies and a comparative politics expert. Each week's show focuses on specific global topics in a roundtable discussion, followed by in-depth interviews with experts and news makers.

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Harry Wad / Wikimedia Commons

Art, culture, and politics are closely linked in China, and until the mid-1960s Cultural Revolution government officials viewed Western classical music as an unwelcome outsider.

“For a while the piano was regarded as the ultimate expression of the bourgeoisie,” says Richard Kraus, a University of Oregon political scientist and the author of Pianos and Politics in China: Middle-Class Ambitions and the Struggle over Western Music. “[Then] Mao's wife decided she liked the piano, and there was then sort of the idea that you need to adapt Western technology and art to serve Chinese political purposes. So after about 1968 the piano was alright.”

University of Oklahoma political economist and European Union expert Mitchell Smith joins the program for a conversation about the eurozone's economy slipping further into recession, and the American kicked out of Russia over accusations of spying for the CIA.

Veteran diplomat Richard Arndt speaks with Suzette Grillot and Joshua Landis about how the national security state changed U.S. diplomatic relations. He's the author of The First Resort of Kings: American Cultural Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century.

William Murphy / Flickr

Slow growth is plaguing many European countries as they struggle to cut their spending and debts. France's GDP has fallen for two consecutive quarters, and Greece's international lenders say unemployment will remain above 20 percent for another three years.

Mitchell Smith, the Chair of OU's Department of International and Area Studies and the Director of the European Union Center, says austerity has generated more than just economic tensions.

"I actually think the political problems a number of European countries are experiencing are even more worrisome than the economic problems," Smith says. "The eurozone countries have, at least for the time being, allayed some of the concerns of financial markets and they don't want to stir things up and start another run-up of a financial crisis."

Raul P / Panoramio

The embarrassing arrest of a suspected CIA officer in Moscow is the latest reminder that even after the Cold War, the United States and Russia are engaged in an espionage battle with secret tactics, spying devices, and training that sometimes isn't enough to avoid being caught.

"There's nothing new here," says Suzette Grillot, the Dean of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma. "We spy, everybody spies. There's a long history of spying between these two countries."

United States Diplomacy Center / U.S. State Department

Earlier this year an independent review by veteran diplomat Thomas Pickering and retired Adm. Mike Mullen slammed the U.S. State Department for inadequate security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi before the September 11, 2012 attacks that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.

“The styles of public diplomacy are now constrained by our fear,” says Richard Arndt, a veteran U.S. diplomat and the author of The First Resort of Kings: American Cultural Diplomacy in the  Twentieth Century. ”Which after all is what terrorists try to produce, and which they've amply succeeded in.”

Arndt says as the United States reestablished diplomatic relations with European countries after World War II, the goal was to build the most beautiful embassies possible.

China hosted back-to-back visits this week with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. More and more detainees are participating in a hunger strike at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

So far more than 1,000 have died in the April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza in Dhaka. ABC Radio Sima Bhowmik joins Suzette Grillot for a conversation about the lack of government oversight in Bangladesh's garment industry.

Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley / U.S. Navy

More and more detainees are participating in the third month of a hunger strike to protest their treatment at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

Suzette Grillot says the hunger strike started over raids in cell blocks and the improper and inappropriate handling of the Qur’an, but the issue has evolved to “When are we going to get out of here?”

Rebecca Cruise says another goal of the detainees is to simply draw attention back to the situation that’s fallen off the front pages in the decade since the camp opened.

Dainis Matisons / Flickr

Earlier this week Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to China. Even though the two leaders did not meet, the timing of the visits signals China could start to become a diplomatic player in the troubled region.

Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and a longtime observer of Syria, says China tried to arrange a meeting in 2007 between Netanyahu and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but it didn’t work.

“[China has] been asserting themselves more and more in the Middle East,” Landis says. “And that’s a product of the United States withdrawing, and China is becoming much more self-confident.”

Sudipta Das / Wikimedia Commons

Bangladeshi police say the death toll from the collapse of a building housing five garment factories has passed 800 and continues to climb.

Sima Bhowmik, a journalist with ABC Radio in Bangladesh, worked at KGOU for several weeks as part of a U.S. State Department program.

She followed the unfolding events of the building collapse in her country, and told World Views a lack of oversight and high rent contribute to a disturbing trend of tragedies in the garment industry.

“The owners, they want to save money, and they go for a cheap building, which is not really fit for his industry,” Bhowmik says.

On Tuesday President Obama reiterated that the U.S. has evidence chemical weapons have been used in Syria, and regular contributor and Syria expert Joshua Landis discusses "game changers" and crossing "red lines."

Universidad de Chile industrial engineering professor and Educación 2020 founder Mario Waissbluth joins the program for a conversation about socio-economic segregation in the South American country's schools.

FreedomHouse / Flickr

U.S. and other diplomatic officials say discussions within the Obama administration in favor of providing arms to the Syrian rebels are gaining ground amid new indications that President Bashar Assad's regime may have launched additional chemical weapons attacks.

Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says eliminating Syria's air defenses would be the first step before inspectors could determine if the regime did indeed use chemical weapons.

"Once you've destroyed the Syrian military, you're in Iraq in a sense," Landis says. "We were criticized in Iraq because we only had 100,000 troops to protect an entire country."

Francisco Osorio / Flickr

Students in Chile took to the streets of Santiago again last month protesting for reform of the country’s education system.

The BBC reports the students started a second wave of protests this decade in 2011, but the April demonstration was the first of 2013.

Mario Waissbluth teaches industrial engineering at Universidad de Chile. In 2008 he founded Educación 2020, a nongovernmental organization that wants to improve primary and secondary education in the country.

“Forty percent of the kids that go out to university don't understand what they read,” Waissbluth told KGOU’s World Views. “And they are grabbed by a university sector completely and fully deregulated, for profit, which abuses them to the point that we've had the explosions that we've had.”

This time last week Americans were just starting to learn about the troubled Russian region of Chechnya after authorities released the identities of the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Rebecca Cruise discusses women in combat and the U.S. drone program with NPR's Rachel Martin. Before taking over the host's chair of Weekend Edition Sunday, she reported from both Iraq and Afghanistan, and served as the network's national security correspondent.

Gilad Rom / Flickr

Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the West Thursday for refusing to declare Chechen militants terrorists and for offering them political and financial assistance in the past, in light of the revelation that Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had Chechen roots.

The U.S. has urged the Kremlin to seek a political settlement in Chechnya and provided humanitarian aid to the region during the two separatist wars that began in 1994.

"Violence and conflict has happened in Chechnya for centuries," University of Oklahoma College of International Studies Dean and KGOU’s World Views host Suzette Grillot says. "This goes back to the 16th Century when there's been war after war after war. So it's been a volatile region for some time."

Technical Sergeant William Greer / United States Air Force

In January, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced the end of the U.S. military’s 19-year-old ban on women officially serving in combat roles.

“Every time I visited the warzone, every time I've met with troops, reviewed military operations, and talked to wounded warriors, I've been impressed with the fact that everyone - men and women alike - everyone is committed to doing the job,” Panetta said. “They're fighting and they're dying together. And the time has come for our policies to recognize that reality.”

Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin covered national security issues for NPR from 2010-2012. She told KGOU’s World Views the change in policy recognizes the reality on the ground, but also will afford women the opportunity to compete for top-level spots in very elite military units.

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

Hundreds gathered Friday morning at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum to mark the 18th anniversary of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Hans and Torrey Butzer, along with their partner Sven Berg, designed the Outdoor Symbolic Portion of the memorial while living in Berlin in 1997. As Americans living in Germany, Hans Butzer says that blended environment guided their artistic vision for the project.

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss the death and legacy of Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and the heightened tensions between North Korea, the U.S., and its allies as the reclusive country threatens to launch a medium-range ballistic missile.

Retired State Department official and former U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson returns to World Views for a conversation about Iran, the energy industry, and nuclear security.

yeowatzup / Flickr

The White House is trying to tamp down concern over a new intelligence report showing North Korea could arm a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead.

The Defense Intelligence Agency says in a newly revealed report that it has "moderate confidence'' that North Korea knows how to deliver a nuclear weapon on a ballistic missile.

“The United States seems to be taking this a little bit differently as we're thinking about the deliverance capabilities of these nuclear missiles that we've started to see tested,” says Rebecca Cruise, the Assistant Dean of the University of Oklahoma College of International Studies and a regular contributor to KGOU’s World Views.

David Holt London / Flickr

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher will be remembered Wednesday during a funeral with full military honors at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Suzette Grillot, the host of KGOU’s World Views and the Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies, says debates about Thatcher’s legacy and even her funeral suggest Britain is still deeply divided.

A painting on the walls of the former U.S. embassy in Tehran
David Holt London / Flickr

Iranian state television says the Islamic Republic inaugurated two key nuclear-related projects Tuesday, just days after another round of talks with world powers seeking to limit Tehran’s atomic program.

Retired State Department official Lawrence Wilkerson described what he calls “delusional security” in foreign policy that’s bubbled up in both Tehran and Washington, D.C. over the last three to five years.

“It's come to a peak ostensibly over the nuclear issue, but what it's coming to a peak over really is a power struggle in the Gulf for who's going to be the power to be reckoned with outside the United States,” Wilkerson says.

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