Syria

World Views
4:30 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

World Views: August 23, 2013

LIsten to the entire August 23, 2013 episode.

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.

World Views
12:58 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

What Assad May Have Learned In Egypt, And Could Apply To Syria

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel talks to members of the media April 25, 2013, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. While briefing reporters, Hagel announced that the White House had released a statement saying it had evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons against Syrian rebels.
Credit 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.

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Here & Now
12:19 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

U.S. Weighing Syria Options

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, second from left, talks with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East policy Matthew Spence, center, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, April 25, 2013. Hagel spoke with Spence after announcing to reporters that the White House had released a statement saying it had evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons against Syrian rebels.
Credit Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo / U.S. Department of Defense / Wikimedia Commons

Listen to Jeremy Hobson's conversation with Joshua Landis.

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.”

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The Two-Way
7:01 am
Wed August 21, 2013

New Reports Of Chemical Weapons In Syria; Many May Be Dead

Free Syrian Army fighters man an anti-aircraft gun on the back of a truck in Deir al-Zor on Tuesday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:14 am

(We most recently updated this post at 9:10 a.m. ET.)

"Two Syrian pro-opposition groups are claiming that dozens of people were killed Wednesday in a poisonous gas attack near Damascus," NPR's Jean Cochran reported earlier this morning on our Newscast. The groups are blaming the attack on government forces, she said.

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World Views
4:30 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

World Views: August 2, 2013

Listen to the August 2, 2013 episode.

Suzette Grillot hosts the program from London, and Joshua Landis joins her by phone from Vermont to provide an update on the civil war in Syria, and how recent events in Iraq contribute to the growing violence in the region, particularly in Syria.

Later, a conversation with journalist and author Kelsey Timmerman. His book Where Am I Wearing: A Global Tour to the Countires, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes tells the stories of the workers and conditions in the developing world's garment industries.

World Views
4:56 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

How An "Al-Qaida 2" Is Re-Emerging In The Middle East

Free Syrian Army rebels clean their AK47s in Aleppo during the civil war - October 19, 2012.
Credit Scott Bobb / VOA News

Last month, at least 500 prisoners reportedly escaped from the Baghdad Central Prison in Abu Ghraib during an attack al-Qaida’s Iraq arm claimed responsibility for.

Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and the author of the widely-read blog Syria Comment, says the audacious prison break re-energized al-Qaida in Iraq.

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World Views
4:30 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

World Views: July 12, 2013

Listen to the entire July 12, 2013 episode.

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss Friday evening's "Syria: Not Our War" protest at the State Capitol, and what questions it raises about the growing U.S. involvement in Syria.

Rajdeep Singh, the Washington, D.C. Director of Law and Policy for the New York City-based Sikh Coalition, discusses his organization's civil rights work, including their 2009 effort in Oklahoma to stop legislation from advancing that would have prohibited motorists from wearing head scarves or other coverings in their driver’s license photos.

World Views
11:54 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Oklahoma Anti-War Protest Raises Questions About U.S. Involvement In Syria

State Rep. Paul Wesselhoft (R-Moore) speaking during a press conference Wednesday to voice opposition to U.S. involvement in Syria.
Credit Oklahoma House of Representatives / YouTube

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers and other activists plan to hold a rally at the Oklahoma Capitol Friday evening to protest growing U.S. involvement in Syria’s civil war.

State Rep. Paul Wesselhoft (R-Moore) is one of the organizers of the rally. He says giving arms, ammunition, and political support to a disunited group of rebels is a “grave error.”

“There are [sic] a coalition of over six groups that are involved in trying to overthrow the Assad government,” Wesselhoft said in a press conference Wednesday. “At least two of these groups we know to be known terrorist organizations that have attacked us in the past.”

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World Views
4:30 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

World Views: June 28, 2013

Listen to the entire June 28,2013 episode.

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.

World Views
2:08 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Why U.S. Military Aid Increases Uncertainty in Syria

An unmarked gravestone with a teddy bear and a rock painted with the Syrian flag to symbolize the children killed in the country's civil war.
Credit 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."

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