90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Russia’s Move On Syria

Moscow jumps in to push international control of Syria’s chemical weapons. Is this the off-ramp from a crisis?

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, and his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Mouallem arrive for a news conference after their talks in Moscow on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. (AP)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, and his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Mouallem arrive for a news conference after their talks in Moscow on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. (AP)

Whiplash, maybe, in the hubbub over Syria.  Just as the President’s ready to make his big speech to the nation to get in there, strike militarily, here comes Russia with a fascinating curveball.  John Kerry raised it.  Didn’t mean it.

Now Moscow’s all over it, and maybe Washington too:  Have Syria surrender control of its chemical weapons.  Even destroy them.  And no American strike.  The president’s speechwriters for tonight must be spinning.  It may be an off-ramp from crisis, political defeat, missiles.  It may be a nothing.

This hour, On Point:  Syria, Washington, and the Russia move.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Peter Baker, White House Correspondent for the New York Times, former Moscow Bureau chief for The Washington Post, and co-author of “Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the End of Revolution” with Susan Glasser. (@peterbakernyt)

Joshua Landis, professor and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. (@joahua_landis)

Fiona Hill, director of the Center on the United States and Europe and senior fellow in the Foreign Policy department at the Brookings Institution. Co-author of the new book “Mr. Vladimir Putin: Operative in the Kremlin” with Clifford G. Gaddy.

Joseph Cirincione, President of the Ploughshares Fund, and member of Secretary of State John Kerry’s International Security Advisory Board and the Council on Foreign Relations. (@Cirincione)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Washington Post: Obama sees potential ‘breakthrough’ in Russia’s Syria proposal — “Russia and Syria embraced Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s suggestion Monday that the Syrian government could avert a U.S. attack by placing its chemical weapons under international control, upending the Obama administration’s efforts to sharpen its case for military action.”

The Guardian: Can Russia push Syria to disarm? — “If Russia does persuade Syria to surrender its chemical arsenal, it could put off the threat of direct US military action for months at least, but it will also enmesh Damascus in new international obligations that could strengthen the case for outside intervention if it ever breaks the rules.”

Slate: Did John Kerry Just Accidentally Find a Workable Solution for Syria? — “For a brief period this morning it appeared as though Kerry’s off-the-cuff hypothetical would largely remain overshadowed by his curious decision to call any American-led attack ‘unbelievably small.’ But that changed this afternoon once Assad and his strongest ally, Russia, caught everyone off guard by suggesting that Kerry’s ad-libbed solution was actually workable.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 2, 2015
In this Tuesday, March 4, 2014 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, right, speaks before the screening of the television documentary "Israel: The Royal Tour" at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. (AP)

On the eve of Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s controversial address to Congress, we look at the US-Israel falling out over Iran nuclear negotiations.

Mar 2, 2015
This image provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows an artists rendering on how a gamma ray burst occurs with a massive star collapsing and creating a black hole and beaming out focused and deadly light and radiation bursts. Astronomers and space telescopes in April 2013 saw the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed, a large gamma ray burst. (AP)

A super-massive black hole, newly discovered, deep in space. We’ll peer into the realm of the black hole.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 27, 2015
This image released courtesy of the Lead Belly Estate shows folk and blues musician Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly. Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter never had a hit record before he died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 1949. (AP)

Going back to Lead Belly. The blues legend is back. His influences, as big as ever.

 
Feb 27, 2015
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) ChairmanTom Wheeler, center, joins hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, left, and Jessica Rosenworcel, before the start of their open hearing in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.  (AP)

A US-Israel rift. A win for net neutrality. “American Sniper” verdict. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment
 
Two Congressmen Weigh In On DHS Funding
Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland present their views on the ongoing Congressional budget fight over Department of Homeland Security funding. (Spoiler: They do not agree on a resolution of the crisis).

More »
1 Comment