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Middle East crisis deepening

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An Israeli air strike hits the outskirts of the southern Lebanese town of Tyre 04 August 2006. Dozens of Israeli raids overnight shook several villages in the southern regions of Tyre and Nabatiyeh, relatively far from the border where there were violent clashes between Israeli troops and Hezbollah fighters. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)

The crisis in Lebanon continues, despite the international community’s push for a cease-fire. Midmorning looks at what the conflict means for U.S. foreign policy in the region.


Barry Posen: Ford International Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Michelle Dunne: Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and editor of the Arab Reform Bulletin.

Listen here at the 47:25 mark.

Cuba under another Castro

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Raul Castro Ruiz, the brother of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, has taken over authority of the Cuban government while Fidel Castro is undergoing medical treatment. Raul Castro is 75. (Photo by RANDY RODRIGUEZ PAGES/AFP/Getty Images)

Even if Fidel Castro recovers from his current illness, some analysts say the 79-year old communist leader will never regain total control over Cuba. Would U.S.-Cuban relations be better, worse or exactly the same with Castro’s younger brother Raul in charge?


Tom Gjelten: National Public Radio reporter. Gjelten has covered Cuba for many years and is writing a book about Cuba.

David Samuels: Political scientist. Samuels specializes in Latin American politics at the University of Minnesota.

Listen here at the 29:55 mark.

Middle East on the brink

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Smoke billows from a bridge over the Zahrani river, 40 kms south of Beirut, after it was targeted by an Israeli air strike 14 July 2006. (Photo by MAHMOUD ZAYAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Israel’s retaliatory strikes against Lebanon are raising fears of a broader conflict in the Middle East. Midmorning talks with two Middle East experts about what this latest round of violence could mean for the region.


Steven A. Cook: Douglas Dillon Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Fawaz Gerges: Christian A. Johnson Chairholder in International Affairs and Middle East Studies at Sarah Lawrence College. He is the author of “Journey of the Jihadist: Inside the Muslim Militancy.”

Listen here at the 47:30 mark.

Will Israel and Hezbollah agree to a cease fire?

The conflict between Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon continues to escalate as the United Nations and individual member states try to broker a cease fire. Will the fighting continue to worsen?


Michael Barnett: Harold Stassen Chair in International Peace at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute.

Listen here at the 20:00 mark.

The difficulties of diplomacy

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Former Vice President Walter Mondale. (MPR file photo/Jeff Jones)

President Bush claims diplomacy is working in Iran and North Korea, countries he once said were part of an “axis of evil.” But, Bush also admits the “diplomatic process can be slow and cumbersome.”

Listen here at the 32:40 mark.


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