Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more


Entries in The Daily (13)


Syria Audio Analysis: The Real Importance of the "Russian Missiles to Syria" Story

On Monocle 24's The Daily on Thursday night, I discussed the latest rumours and claims over the Russian shipment of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria to get to the real significance of the story.

Listen from the 7:41 mark on The Daily's homepage or in a pop-out window

The take-away line? "The S-300 story is more important as a political game --- with the "West" trying to put Russia in a corner and Moscow standing firm --- than as a military development."


Turkey Audio Feature: Kurdish Fighters Withdraw From Turkey To Iraq

A PKK fighter works on her laptop after arriving in the northern Iraqi city of Dohuk on 14 May 2013, after leaving Turkey as part of a peace drive with Ankara. (Photo: AFP -Safin Hamed)

EA's Scott Lucas spoke with Monocle 24's The Daily on Thursday night, discussing the implications for Turkey after the first group of militants from the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) withdrew from southeast Turkey and entered Iraq, at the behest of their leader, Abdullah Ocalan --- who is serving a life sentence in Turkey --- and as part of a peace plan aimed to end three decades of conflict.

Click to read more ...


Iraq Audio Analysis: The Political Story Behind This Week's Deaths --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24

I spoke with Monocle 24's The Daily last night about Tuesday's fighting --- following a raid by security forces on a protest camp --- which killed at least 27 people in Hawija, near Kirkuk in northern Iraq.

Listen from the 7:42 mark on The Daily homepage or in a pop-out window

The discussion began with the provocative questions, "How deep does the sectarian schism run? Is this a return to civil war?"

To deal with this, I focused on the context for the event to look at what is likely to follow: the months of escalating, mainly-Sunni demonstrations against the al-Maliki Government; the sparks for the protests last December; and the issues that persist.

My take-away line from Monocle 24's final question, "What can we do about tbis?"....

"Nothing. The change will have to come from Iraqis themselves."


Syria Audio Feature: Foreign Intervention and the "Second Front" in Jordan --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24

Last night I spoke with Monocle 24's The Daily about the developing "second front" in Jordan, with the US and other countries putting in more forces --- overt and covert --- to support the insurgency in Syria and to protect Amman from "extremists".

Listen to interview from the 7:53 mark on The Daily homepage or in a pop-out window

I also discussed the significance of the temporary cease-fire in Aleppo to collect bodies (a compassionate gesture, but no more) and of President Assad's latest general amnesty (not much).



US Audio Feature: Drones and Senator Paul's "False Drama" Filibuster --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24

I spoke with Monocle 24's The Daily last night about the "false drama" of Senator Rand Paul's 13-hour filibuster on Wednesday-Thursday, initially over the nomination of John Brennan as CIA Director but featuring criticism of the Obama Administration's policy on drone warfare.

Listen to interview from 7:55 on The Briefing's homepage or in a pop-out window.

Why a "false drama"? For all the sudden media attention because of Paul's speech --- the ninth-longest in Senate history --- his criticism was, in the end, superficial.

The only substantive demand that Paul made was an assurance that Americans could not be killed on American soil by drones. The White House offered that "concession" on Thursday.

Brennan was subsequently confirmed as CIA Director by the Senate.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration retains the freedom to develop its new strategy of drone warfare --- including the target killing of American citizens, as well as the "collateral damage" of slain civilians --- in any country except the US.


EA Audio Feature: War in 2013 --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24

Al Jazeera English's report from the Democratic Republic of Congo, 2 December

I spoke with Monocle 24's The Daily on Tuesday about the prospects of "War in 2013". We spoke about the likely locations --- Syria, of course, and also Mali --- and the wars already underway but escaping notice, such as the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Perhaps just as significantly, we talked about the change in how wars are fought, as the US pursues a strategy of "low-cost" intervention through drone attacks, supported by special forces and the attempted use of local armies. And there's a question: in the world of 2013, what place is there for an older institution such as NATO?

The discussion begins at the 1:04.15 mark.


Syria Audio Analysis: The Latest Insurgent Advances --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24

Celebrating insurgents after Thursday's capture of the regime military base near Mayadeen in Deir Ez Zor Province

See also EA Video Analysis: Syria --- Is Assad's Military Crumbling?

I spoke with Monocle 24's The Daily last night about the series of insurgent victories this month, assessing their political as well as military significance.

The discussion, which complementing our new EA Video Analysis, begins at the 17:33 mark.


Iran Audio Feature: Predicting Ahmadinejad's Speech (and Does It Really Matter?) --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24

I spoke last night with Monocle 24's The Daily about what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will say today at the United Nations General Assembly --- they foresaw more "Israel should not exist" posturing; I am looking more to the Iranian President's emphasis on international "reform" to challenge Western "domination"; don't expect any detailed mention of Syria --- before taking on the bigger question:

Does the speech really matter, given that Ahmadinejad is a lame-duck President of declining significance in an Iran beset by economic and political difficulties?

To listen to the discussion, open The Daily's homepage, click on the programme for 25/9, and go to the 9:00 mark.


Syria Audio Feature: "Foreign Fighters and the Free Syrian Army" --- EA's James Miller with Monocle 24

AFP with insurgents in Aleppo on Monday

James Miller spoke with Monocle 24's The Daily last night about the state of the insurgency in Syria, as the Free Syrian Army declares that it has moved its command inside the country and the regime claims it is facing 5000 foreign fighters.

Miller opens, "Foreign fighters are still a small percentage of the insurgency, but the number is quickly growing," before explaining the shifting patterns of the conflict.

And will the Free Syrian Army achieve a unified command? "Not any time soon."

To get to the discussion, open The Daily homepage, click on the programme for 24/9, and go to the 1:04.42 mark.


Iran Audio Feature: The Gathering Economic Storm --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24

When President Ahmadinejad speaks about drought being caused by the "West" destroying clouds before they can bring rain to Iran, when words like "currency" and "gold" are blocked in SMS texts, and when a Minister says the rising cost of milk and chicken is not a sign of general inflation, you know something is up with the Islamic Republic's economy.

That's the opening to my interview with Monocle 24's The Daily last night. We took a longer look at the economic issues, the effect on Iran's foreign as well as its domestic policy, and the prospect of a public rising in reaction to the difficulties.

To get to the item, open the homepage of The Daily, click on the programme for 11/9, and go to the 8:22 mark.