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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Insight into the Middle East tinderbox

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Aug 10, 2014 1:49 PM

What to look for Smart Talk Monday, August 11, 2014:

middle-east-map-political 300 x 170.png

Ethnic and religious tensions in the Middle East often spill over into bloodshed.  War in the region is a way of life for millions of people who live there.

However,  the armed conflicts being fought today in the Middle East and into Asia are on a scale not seen for some time.

On Monday's Smart Talk, Dr. Mehdi Noorbaksh, Associate Professor of International Affairs at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology and Vice President of the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg will provide context, history and background on one of the world's hotspots.

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Dr. Mehdi Noorbaksh, Associate Professor of International Affairs at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology and Vice President of the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg

Three years after American troops left Iraq, the U.S. is now launching airstrikes on fighters of the Islamic State, an Al Queda related group that fought its way through Syria and is taking Iraqi cities at an alarming rate. 

Israel and Hamas agreed to another Egyptian-mediated cease fire Sunday in their month old war that has left close to 2,000 people dead.  Will this one hold?

A suicide bomber targeted NATO troops Sunday in Afghanistan just a few days after an American Army general was killed by a gunman.

What are your thoughts on the continuing violence in the Middle East?

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-11 08:14

    Pat from Hagerstown emails:

    Thomas Malthus said that mother nature controls population using famine, disease and war. Considering that the population in the middle east is six times what it was in 1960, is it possible that war is being used as a means of population control since modern life eliminates famine and disease?

  • Benjamin img 2014-08-11 08:40

    The West Bank and the Gaza Strip are NOT occupied territories. That is a racist and loaded term. I don't recall Israel's official charter calling for the wiping out of the Arabs. Hamas and the Arab terrorists do not recognize Israel's right to exist. I wonder how the Middle East would look today if they had accepted Israel in 1948. Israel gave up 80% of the Balfour Declaration For peace and over 60 years later we still don't have it. But alas, Western media has sympathized with the aggressors.

  • Benjamin img 2014-08-11 08:56

    This is the Map Dr Noorbaksh says was not factual.

  • Benjamin img 2014-08-11 08:59

  • Benjamin img 2014-08-11 09:11

    Israel has always given up land for peace. They have no problem with these types of negotiations. They gave back the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt and have had a long term peace agreement with them ever since. Giving the Arab Terrorists in Gaza more and more land will not bring peace because they don't want peace, they want the eradication of the Jewish State, by their own decree.

    • John H. img 2014-08-11 14:09

      I'm not an expert on the subject. I agree with you on the eradication comment, Egypt has a baracade but they're not being fired upon...wonder why.

  • sjwassner img 2014-08-11 19:07

    I was very disappointed by this speaker. I don't think anyone would accuse him of objectivity. His comments appeared to be clearly tilted towards the "arab side". Interestingly, all the comments about Israel noted how they had not achieved their objectives or were worse off because of the war. His view was that Hamas was fighting for the Palestinians as opposed to noting that they were really fighting for their survival as an organization. There were no comments about the Hamas charter which speaks directly to the destruction of the Jewish State, nor was there any discussion of the fact that approximately 40% of the entire Hamas budget apparently went into building tunnels into Israel. Finally, and I have heard this from other speakers as well, there is the joining of the rationale behind the tunnels built from Egypt and those built into Israel. They are not the same, nor were they ever built for the same reasons. The ones into Egypt were for smuggling- consumer items as well as arms. The ones into Israel were built solely for infiltration and war. By putting both together, there is apparently an attempt to gloss over the military purpose of the tunnels and say something like,"of course people who don't have free trade will build tunnels for food". How sad that these apologists won't admit that that a) the purpose of these tunnels was to kill Israelis and b) that all the Hamas comments about lack of concrete or steel were false, they certainly had enough to build a war machine.

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