chemical weapons

Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives
James Emery / Flickr

This week, Suzette Grillot and Joshua Landis discuss news from the Middle East and what it means for U.S. interests in the region. Landis is the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Two major centennial anniversaries took place this week. April 24th marks Genocide Remembrance Day to commemorate the massacre of millions of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, and Wednesday was the 100th anniversary of the first widespread use of chemical weapons on World War I’s Western front.

Later, Rebecca Cruise talks with Asma Uddin. She started the online magazine Altmuslimah as a forum for issues of gender in Islam, but it resonated across many faiths.

A poison gas attack using gas cylinders in World War I
Tartalizza / Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday marked 100 years since the first widespread use of chemical weapons on the Western Front of World War I.

On April 22, 1915 during the Second Battle of Ypres in Belgium, German troops released hundreds of tons of chlorine gas toward French soldiers, killing thousands within 10 minutes. It was a horrific way to die – many suffocated on their own lungs and were blinded as the acidic compound destroyed moist tissue.

Suzette Grillot talks with University of Oklahoma political scientist Keith Gaddie about West Africa's worst Ebola outbreak in history, and Monday's anniversary of Britain's entry into World War I.

Later, a conversation about education and development in Africa with OU economist and international and area studies professor Moussa Blimpo.

Government of the United Kingdom / Wikimedia Commons

Monday marked 100 years since the British declared war on Germany, after the Germans ignored Belgium’s refusal to allow troops to pass through its borders to France.

Four years and 16 million lives later, World War I set the stage for the rest of the 20th century. A century later, University of Oklahoma political scientist Keith Gaddie says the hot points of global conflict in the 21st century can be traced to the consequences of “the Great War” in Europe and Asia.

Joshua Landis provides an update on the ongoing removal of chemical weapons in Syria, and Rebecca Cruise examines the recent executions of high-level government officials in North Korea, and what they could mean. 

Later, a conversation with a trio of scientists and engineers about how three very different developing countries share many of the same sanitation and hygiene concerns.

Bernd Schwabe / Wikimedia Commons

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has drawn up a timeline for the destruction of Syria's poison gas and nerve agent program by mid-2014.

The most toxic chemicals are to be destroyed on a U.S. ship. Denmark and Norway are providing ships to transport the chemicals out of Syria and more than three dozen private companies have offered to destroy less toxic chemicals.

As President Obama and Congress decide how to respond to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Joshua Landis outlines some of the implications for both the United States and the Middle East.

Later, a conversation with Chad and Tara Jordan of Cornerstone International. The siblings and Oklahoma native founded the consulting firms to teach businesses and non-profits how to provide humanitarian aid more efficiently.

Pete Souza / The White House

President Barack Obama says he hasn't made a final decision about a military strike against Syria. But he says he's considering a limited and narrow action in response to a chemical weapons attack that he says Syria'sgovernment carried out last week.

“We don't know how hard they're going to hit [President Bashar] Assad, but clearly they're going to hit Assad,” says Joshua Landis, a leading Syria watcher and the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “What Obama articulated very clearly is that we can hit him hard enough to dissuade him from using chemical weapons again. So it's worth it to try to extend that and punish Assad and make him think twice about using again.”

Obama says that attack was a challenge to the world and threatens U.S. national security.

 

Joshua Landis provides an update on Syria after anti-government activists accused President Bashar al-Assad's regime of carrying out a toxic gas attack, and the panel discusses the renewed focus on U.S. gun culture after the murder of an Australian student in Oklahoma.

The departing director of the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art says 21st Century art will be shaped by music, video, and other mixed media to visually express ideas in new and exciting ways. Ghislain d’Humières takes over as the CEO of the Speed Art Museum in Louisville Sept. 3.

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