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Entries in BBC WM (15)


EA Audio Analysis: The Reagan-Thatcher "Special Relationship" --- Scott Lucas with the BBC

I spoke with BBC WM last night, in the context of the recent death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, about her "special relationship" with US President Ronald Reagan.

Listen to discussion from 37:04 mark

The take-away on the surface is that a lot of the relationship was symbolic, with Thatcher's exploitation of it --- given her challenge to notions of "society" in Britain --- even greater than Reagan's effect in the US.

The shrewd listener, however, will be able to detect further thoughts behind carefully-chosen words.


North Korea Audio Analysis: Will There Be a Nuclear War? (No.) ---- Scott Lucas with the BBC

North Korean Leader Kim Jong UnI did two interviews today, with a third scheduled tomorrow morning, with BBC outlets on North Korea's bluster about launching a nuclear attack on the US.

To the question, "Could this be nuclear war?", I offered the following:

I'm not going down into my underground bunker just yet.

I back that up by putting the statement in political, military, and North Korean domestic context.

BBC Coventry and Warwickshire: The item starts at 2:18.20. My contribution starts at 2:19.09.

BBC WM: The discussion begins at 1:06.48.


Iraq Audio Analysis: The 2003 War...and What Came Next --- Scott Lucas with the BBC

I did a series of BBC interviews yesterday, on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War, complementing my written analysis of the conflict and its consequences.

BBC Hereford and Worcester: The discussion begins at the 2:06.30 mark.
BBC Coventry and Warwickshire: The item starts at the 1:04.53 mark.
BBC WM: The discussion starts at the 54:13 mark.


Syria Audio Feature: Britain Is "Economical with the Truth" About Aid to Insurgents --- Scott Lucas with the BBC

British Foreign Secretary William HagueI spoke with BBC WM last night about the statement by British Foreign William Hague, given in Parliament, about aid to the Syrian insurgency.

Listen to the interview from the 1:54.01 mark

The discussion noted Hague's declaration, following the US, of "non-lethal" assistance; however, it gets interesting when Paul Franks and I chatted about Hague's denial that Britain is providing any weapons.

I noted that Britain and the US have been co-operating and co-ordinating with those, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who have been provided advanced weapons in the last two months.

Pushed by Franks, I said, "Of course I am not saying that William Hague is lying."

I was just saying that, for political reasons, he is being "economical with the truth".


North Korea Audio Analysis: Assessing the Nuclear Test --- Scott Lucas with the BBC

I spoke with BBC WM on Tuesday afternoon, trying to get beyond the immediate reactions to assess the significance of the North Korean nuclear test.

Take-away line: "While the test is a notable political move --- primarily to establish the domestic authority of leader Kim Jong Un --- it does not represent an imminent military threat."

The discussion begins at the 48:37 mark.


EA Audio Analysis: Britain, Europe, & the US Warning --- Scott Lucas with the BBC

Listen to the Audio (from 23:20)

On Wednesday, the Obama Administration created front-page news in Britain when Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon said, "We want to see a strong British voice in that European Union," and warned against any referendum on the issue.

The ensuing flutter was predictable, with radio phone-ins filled with Britons denouncing the US intervention and sometimes often taking shots at "Europe".

I spoke yesterday with BBC WM about the episode, with the discussion beginning at 23:20.

Two take-away points, the second of which surprised presenter Adrian Goldberg:

1. Why did the US issue the warning? "It's the Economy, Stupid."

2. The Obama Administration probably spoke with Her Majesty's Government before Gordon made his remarks.

GOLDBERG: "So Britain colluded with the White House over this statement?"

LUCAS: "Colluded is such a harsh word. I prefer consulted."


US Elections Audios: What's Next for Obama, the Republicans, & the Country --- Scott Lucas' 4 Interviews with BBC

In a series of interviews with the BBC on Wednesday, I tried to look beyond the immediate outcome of President Obama's re-election to assess both the short-term challenge of the dispute over the Federal budget and other economic issues and the long-term prospects for the Democrats, the Republicans, and a changing American society.

Some of the comments may be familiar to listeners, but I think others --- such as the rising significance of  ethnic groups in American politics, countering the narrative of recent years about the influence of conservative Republicans --- may be surprising.

BBC Radio 5 Live: What next for the US and Britain? (with former British Ambassador to the US, Sir Nigel Sheinwald) --- Start just before the 1:50.00 mark

BBC WM: A wide-ranging talk about the challenges for Obama over economic issues and foreign policy and about the state of the Republicans --- Start at the 4:19 mark

BBC Scotland: The immediate fight over economic and social issues --- The item starts at the 1:07:24 mark; my comments come just after 1:11.00

BBC WM: What do the Republicans do now? --- Start just before the 15:00 mark


US Elections Audio: Hurricane Sandy and Obama v. Romney --- Scott Lucas with the BBC

I spoke with BBC West Midlands this afternoon about the effect of Hurricane Sandy on the US Presidential election, assessing whether it will have a decisive effect in a close contest.

The take-away line? The event will not significantly alter the outcome, but it will have a marginal benefit to President Obama. That said, by the weekend, I expect the last-minute dynamics of the campaign to overtake the primary focus on Sandy.

The item begins at the 7:45 mark.


US Politics Audio: Cuban Missile Crisis 1962, Presidential Campaign 2012 --- Scott Lucas with the BBC

I spoke with BBC Radio West Midlands this afternoon, on the 50th anniversary of the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis, about the episode and what lessons it might offer for the Presidential candidates as they debate foreign policy in 2012.

The discussion begins at the 1:19:30 mark.


MENA Audio Feature: Beginner's Guide to the Mohammad Film and the Violence --- Scott Lucas with the BBC

Demonstrators in Sudan set fire to the German Embassy on Friday

I spoke with BBC WM yesterday afternoon about the US-produced film, "The Innocence of Muslims", that contributed to demonstrations and violence across North Africa and the Middle East. 

Looking at how the film emerged from badly-made trailer on the Internet to centre of controversy, I spoke with Paul Franks about deeper causes for the protests and clashes. Take-away line? While the confrontations are fuelled by anger at US foreign policy and actions and the planning of radical groups, the film was "throwing a cultural firebomb and standing back to watch the flames spread".

The item starts at the 1:10:10 mark.