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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.

Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo / U.S. Department of Defense / Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week Syrian anti-government activists accused President Bashar al-Assad's regime of carrying out a toxic gas attack. Death tolls as high as 1,300 have been reported, but the government has called the allegations “absolutely baseless.”

Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, tells KGOU’s World Views that video footage clearly shows something horrible has happened.

U.S. Weighing Syria Options

Aug 23, 2013
Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo / U.S. Department of Defense / Wikimedia Commons

The Pentagon is updating target lists as the White House considers a military response in Syria, after an attack in which U.S. officials say they saw “strong indications” of chemical weapons use.

U.S. officials are saying that there are “strong indications” that chemical weapons were used in this week’s attack in Syria which left more than 1,000 people dead.

While experts are still sifting through the evidence, President Barack Obama, speaking on CNN today, said, “what we’ve seen indicates that this is clearly a big event of grave concern.”

Joshua Landis offers an update about the situation in Syria, and how chemical weapons affect the public’s view of the civil war. The panel also talks about the Edward Snowden case and the complexities of asylum and extradition.

Stigler, Oklahoma native Pamela Olson moved to Palestine  after she graduated in 2002. She settled in Ramallah, where she worked as the head writer and editor for the Palestine MonitorShe just wrote a book about her experiences called Fast Times in Palestine.

Bernd Schwabe / Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this month President Obama told Charlie Rose the use of chemical weapons would change his calculus in the region, but not his goals for Syria.

Joshua Landis, the author of the blog Syria Comment and the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says the United States supplying lethal aid to Syrian rebels is a big change that makes a big difference.

“Once you get all the CIA and everybody else in there - our trainers and Special Forces - then they want to win,” Landis says. “They're not going to do it to play patty-cake."

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.

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