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Entries in BBC Radio Wales (6)


US Audio Feature: Why Can't America Have Gun Control? --- Scott Lucas with the BBC

President Obama's speech in Newtown, Connecticut on Sunday

See also US Opinion: Thoughts on Gun Control and Friday's Mass Murder in Connecticut

I have done 10 television and radio interviews today considering what happens next after last Friday's mass killing of 20 children and seven adults in Newtown, Connecticut.

The discussions have ranged across US culture, history, and politics but have often come back to the question, "Do you think the response about gun control will be different this time?"

My response:"My heart says, 'Please, God, let it be so.' My head says, 'No'."

Three of the conversations:

BBC Radio 5 Live "Your Call": The discussion starts at 06:34 --- I participated in the first 20 minutes.
BBC World Service "World Update": The item starts at 26:39.
BBC Radio Wales: The debate, which includes Rahim Kassam of the Henry Jackson Society, starts at 2:10.44.


US Audio & Analysis: Scott Lucas with BBC "The Politics Around the Bin Laden Documents"

Amidst the flutter today about the release of 17 of 6000 documents seized by US forces when they killed Osama bin Laden, I spoke with BBC television and radio about the information in the documents and --- far more importantly for me --- the politics behind their release.

Although the documents have juicy details such as Bin Laden's worry about the fraying influence of Al Qa'eda and his close attention to media strategy --- to the point of considering which US outlets would be useful (clue: not Fox) --- they only confirm a conclusion which could have been made years ago. Al Qa'eda, as a central organisation with global impact, was long gone; instead, there was a decentralised network of movements who were more often motivated by local concerns.

Meanwhile, the politics:

1. President Obama's domestic opponents will no doubt claim that the release is meant to burnish, in an election year, the polish of a Commander-in-Chief who killed The World's Most Wanted Terrorist;

2. I'm more interested, however, in how the gloss of the document supports Obama's presentation yesterday of a Mission Accomplished --- even if that is far from the truth --- in Afghanistan;

3. And I'm most interested in how the spin on the documents of success in covert and special operations comes only days after the White House authorised an expansion of target killings by drones --- from Pakistan to Yemen to possibly Somalia.

The BBC Radio 5 Live item starts at the 9:30 mark; my contribution is from about 16:35.

The BBC Radio Wales discussion begins at the 8:00 mark.


Iran Audio Feature: Scott Lucas with the BBC "The Economy is More Important than the Missile Tests"

I enjoyed doing this interview with BBC Radio Wales. Initially, they wanted to chat about Iran's declaration of missile tests during its 10-day military exercises. However, they were interested in my contention that this was, first and foremost, propaganda to divert the Iranian people from the serious economic issues inside the country. 

What followed was a discussion moving between the situation facing the regime and the realities of the military posturing, including the point that Iran is unlikely to make an actual move such as closing the Straits of Hormuz.

The item begins at 13:28.


US Politics & Economy: Scott Lucas on the BBC "Playing 'Win & Lose' with the Debt Crisis"

I joined BBC Radio Wales this morning in more discussion of the agreement, signed by President Obama yesterday, to raise the US Government's debt ceiling.

The lessons from the chat, which also includes the Vice-Chair of Republicans Abroad, were beyond the content of the broadcast.

1. At least in British media, consideration of the events is almost exclusively on politics, and within that, on "Who won? Who lost?" with a view to the 2012 Presidential election. There is little attention to the economic significance of developments.

2. There is an unwitting illustration of the difficulties for the US in the current episode -- even as some have pointed to the partisan manoeuvring and posturing that led to a debt problem becoming a crisis, the focus of the Republican participant in this brief conversation is to ensure that all the blame resides with the Democrats and President Obama (and, conversely, that any credit and good intentions are held by the GOP).

The item begins just before the 2:34.00 mark.


US Politics: Scott Lucas with BBC on "Eternal Appeal of the Kennedys"

I spoke with BBC Radio Wales this morning about the lasting appeal of John F. Kennedy and his family, in the US and beyond, as HBO launches a new mini-series about the late President.

The discussion begins just after the 2:26.00 mark.


Obama and Guantanamo Bay: Scott Lucas on BBC Radio Wales

I spoke with BBC Radio Wales this morning about the Obama Administration's decision, more than two years after it promised to close Guantanamo Bay, to hold military tribunals for the detainees at the facility.

The item starts just after the 1:54:00 mark on the BBC iPlayer.