Syrian withdrawal and homeless at Christmas (E259)

President Trump’s announcement of a more or less immediate withdrawal of US forces from Syria is of great significance, if he means that is what he says, and if what General Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex allows him to implement it. The president says that ISIS has been defeated and, even more questionable, he says it was defeated by him. So, as Father Christmas joyfully cavorts in Damascus and Aleppo where last year he would’ve had his head cut off, we ask: “Has Islamist fanaticism actually been defeated, and if so, by whom?” To help us, we invited a distinguished Canadian journalist and Arab affairs expert Sharmine Narwani.

Famously Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were homeless for Christmas, though mercifully they lived. Figures which have just been released show that 597 homeless people in Britain alone have died on the streets in 2018, at least two of them literally on the doorstep of the British Parliament. This crisis, as we enter the bleak midwinter, will not be solved by charity alone, but it will not be solved without it. One of the most prolific of the groups fighting the blight of homelessness and hunger on our streets is “Streets Kitchen”. So, we invited Tom Wenn, “Streets Kitchen” coordinator, into the studio to tell us about this initiative.

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