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Around The Empire

Around the Empire podcast explores the massive apparatus of the American Empire. In-depth interviews, discussions. Hosted by Joanne Leon.
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Around the Empire podcast explores the massive apparatus of the American Empire. In-depth interviews, discussions. Hosted by Joanne Leon.

Mar 31, 2020

Ep 156

Guest: Régis Le Sommier. We discuss the fact that the United States and its western allies are in denial about having lost the war in Syria. Calls to reboot that war are unrealistic and against the wishes of the majority of Syrian people who are living in government controlled areas, still suffering under sanctions and whose voices are rarely heard in western media. The sanctions are being used in an effort to keep options open for regime change and to deny the Assad government the opportunity to rebuild and stabilize the country. Western leaders and media are also in denial about the nature and objectives of the people who control the opposition held areas. Régis brings us insights from Syria having spent time on the ground there in both government and opposition controlled areas. 

Correction: in the interview I said that Jennifer Caparaella worked for the Institute for the Study of Peace but the name of the organization is the Institute for the Study of War. Apologies for that!

Régis Le Sommier is director at the Paris Match magazine. He has covered American presidential elections and interviewed several American presidents, other leaders and celebrities and reported from many places around the world including Iraq and Afghanistan. He has also spent time on the ground in Syria in both government and opposition held areas. 

FOLLOW @LeSommierRgis Find his work at Paris Match magazine, parismatch.com

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Reference Links:

  1. Time to Recommit to Syria, Foreign Affairs, Jennifer Cafarella
  2. Jennfier Cafarella Twitter THREAD on Syria

 

Mar 28, 2020

Ep 155 Swapcast 5 Years of War in Yemen, Coronavirus Crisis

On this Foreign Policy Focus and Around the Empire swapcast, Kyle and Joanne discuss the five year anniversary of the US/Saudi/UAE war on Yemen. The anniversary has received almost no media coverage in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Ironically, the five years of war in Yemen has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis – making Yemen one of the most likely to be devastated by a coronavirus. The US/Saudi/UAE/UK bombing campaign has intentionally targeted the civilian infracture of Yemen. Now – before coronavirus even reaches Yemen – 24 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and millions of children are at risk of starvation. Yemen must be remembered and the war must end.

FOLLOW Kyle on Twitter: @Kyaaale.  SUBSCRIBE to the Foreign Policy Focus podcast at the Libertarian Institute.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on March 26, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Around the Empire: Ep 132 Ending the War in Yemen feat Shireen Al-Adeimi
  2. Around the Empire: Ep 128 Will the Saudi Kingdom Survive Their War on Yemen? feat Isa Blumi
  3. Around the Empire: Ep 64 Yemen War Big Picture & Media Narrative feat Isa Blumi
  4. Around the Empire: Ep 55 Imperial War, Gulf State Rivalry, Resources and Resistance in Yemen feat Isa Blumi
  5. Foreign Policy Focus FPF #209 – Killing Yemen
  6. Clashing UAE and Saudi interests are keeping the Yemen conflict alive, The Guardian
  7. 3/26/20 Shireen al Adeimi Twitter THREAD



Mar 27, 2020

Ep 154 Afghanistan Papers feat Matthew Hoh

Guest: Matthew Hoh. We talk about the Afghanistan Papers that were published in the Washington Post at the end of 2019 and the media treatment of these issues. We discuss Matthew’s experience in the military and in foreign service, the war in Afghanistan during the Bush and Obama administrations, and the culture of lying that has developed in the military. Matthew resigned in protest in 2009 over the war in Afghanistan. 

Matthew Hoh is a Senior Fellow with the Center for International Policy in Washington, DC. He’s a disabled veteran, a former US Marine Corps officer and Department of Defense and State Department official. Matthew was in the Iraq War with the Marines and in both Afghanistan and Iraq with State Department teams. He is on the Boards and Advisory Boards of a number of organizations including Expose Facts, Institute for Public Accuracy and Veterans For Peace. He writes and speaks regularly on issues of war and peace, has appeared on numerous media networks and his work has been published by a wide array of online and print media

FOLLOW Matthew on Facebook. Find his recent writings at CounterPunch, antiwar.com and on his website https://matthewhoh.com

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Reference Links:

  1. Matthew Hoh website: https://matthewhoh.com
  2. At War With the Truth, Washington Post, Craig Whitlock (first WaPo article on Afghanistan Papers)
  3. The Secret History of the War, Washington Post, Craig Whitlock (Afghanistan Papers)
  4. Wiki: Afghanistan Papers
  5. Those who ran the Afghanistan war lied. They must be held to account, Washington Post, Katrina vanden Heuvel
  6. Afghan Papers Inadvertently Document WaPo’s Role in Spreading Official Lies, FAIR
  7. WaPo’s Afghan Papers Propagate Colonial Narrative of Noble Intentions Gone Awry, FAIR
  8. Book: The Cost of Loyalty: Dishonesty, Hubris, and Failure in the U.S. Military, Tim Bakken
  9. Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession, Army War College, Dr Stephen J Gerras, Dr Leonard Wong

 

Mar 19, 2020

Ep 153 Saudi Crackdowns Failed to Silence Online Dissent feat Jennifer Pan and Alexandra Siegel

Guests: Jennifer Pan, Alexandra Siegel. We talk about their research paper titled  “How Saudi Crackdowns Fail to Silence Online Dissent” which was published in American Political Science Review. They studied the effects of well-known Saudi activists, religious leaders and journalists being imprisoned for online dissent. They analyzed tweets and Google search data from 2010 to 2017 using automated analysis of text and crowd-sourced evaluation of content to draw conclusions about the behavior of their peers and followers. Their research showed that it did not suppress online dissent overall. 

Jennifer Pan is an Assistant Professor Dept. of Communication Stanford University. Her research focuses on political communication and authoritarian politics, political censorship, propaganda, and information manipulation in the digital age. She uses experimental and computational methods with large-scale datasets on political activity in China and other countries. Website: http://jenpan.com

Alexandra Siegel is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University Immigration Policy Lab and a Research Associate at NYU Social Media and Political Participation Lab. 

In her research she studies mass and elite political behavior in the Arab World including intergroup conflict, extremism and disinformation. Her analysis involves large datasets from social media, text and networks, machine learning methods and experiments. Website: https://alexandra-siegel.com

FOLLOW Jen on Twitter @jenpan and find her work on her website jenpan.com. Follow Alexandra on Twitter @aasiegel and find her work on her website alexandra-siegel.com  

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Feb 29, 2020

Ep 152 Insights on Assange Extradition Hearing from London feat Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola provides an account of his experience reporting on the Julian Assange extradition hearing for four days at the court in London, plus more details and insights about the case and the people involved.

Kevin Gosztola is a journalist and managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the excellent weekly podcast with Rania Khalek, "Unauthorized Disclosure." Kevin also reported on Chelsea Manning’s military 

FOLLOW Kevin @kgosztola, find his work at shadowproof.com, and subscribe to his podcast Unauthorized Disclosure

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on February 28, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. (Day 1) ASSANGE’S DEFENSE DETAILS CIA-BACKED ESPIONAGE OPERATION, TRUMP’S POLITICIZATION OF JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, Kevin Gosztola, Shadowproof
  2. (Day 2) ASSANGE EXTRADITION HEARING: CHELSEA MANNING’S GRAND JURY RESISTANCE A MAJOR HURDLE FOR PROSECUTORS, Kevin Gosztola, Shadowproof
  3. (Day 3) PROSECUTION: US-UK TREATY DOES NOT APPLY TO ASSANGE EXTRADITION, Kevin Gosztola, Shadowproof
  4. (Day 4) JUDGE: JULIAN ASSANGE MUST REMAIN IN GLASS BOX DURING EXTRADITION PROCEEDINGS, Kevin Gosztola
  5. Around the Empire: Ep 110 Assange Indictments Rely on Contrived Narrative feat Kevin Gosztola
  6. Around the Empire: Ep 97 Chelsea Manning’s Resistance feat Kevin Gosztola

 

Feb 28, 2020

Ep 151 Journalism on Trial feat Gordon Dimmack

Guest: Gordon Dimmack. We discuss the extradition hearing for Julian Assange, the failure of the mainstream media journalists and more. John Pilger has made good use of the phrase “journalism on trial” and  it As John Pilger noted today: “Should Julian #Assange be extradited, it will not only be a crime of the British state but of those quisling journalists who smeared and lied about him”. Their actions and negligence are also undermining their own press freedoms and placing their own profession in jeopardy. Gordon has repeatedly made these same arguments with strong substantiation. He has dedicated himself to both calling them out and making up for their failings. 

Gordon hosts a popular YouTube channel where he covers news, politics, war and the horrific state of our corporate media. He broadcasts mostly from the Midlands but also on the ground at various events around the country and his slogan is “Make Orwell fiction again.”

FOLLOW @gordondimmack   SUBSCRIBE to his YouTube channel, find and support his work on his website http://gordondimmack.com

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on Feb 25, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Gordon Dimmack YouTube channel
  2. Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day 1, Craig Murray
  3. UK minister who approved Trump’s request to extradite Assange spoke at secretive US conferences with people calling for him to be “neutralized”, Matt Kennard, Mark Curtis
  4. Kevin Gosztola Reports From Day 1 of Julian Assange's Extradition Hearing
  5. Julian Assange was 'handcuffed 11 times and stripped naked', Ben Quinn



Feb 25, 2020

Guest: Karen Kwiatkowski. We discuss the treatment of Julian Assange and his reported torture and interrogation by US authorities in Belmash prison, the ongoing Assange extradition hearing and more. 

Ep 150 Assange: Torture & Interrogation feat Karen Kwiatkowski

Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, USAF (ret.) is a farmer, a teacher and a retired Air Force officer. She has degrees from Harvard, University of Alaska and a PhD from Catholic University. Before retiring she was a Pentagon desk officer who was in the building during the attack on 9/11 and worked for the Pentagon's Near East and South Asia directorate which dealt with the Office of Special Plans. Since retiring, she has become a noted critic of the U.S. government's involvement in Iraq and other aspects of foreign policy. She is a founding member of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, and the recipient of the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence Award in 2018 for her insider essays which denounced a corrupting political influence on the course of military intelligence leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Karen has said that the role she played as a source for Knight-Ridder is accurately portrayed in the Rob Reiner’s film “Shock and Awe.” She has also appeared in documentary films, including “Why We Fight”. 

FOLLOW @karen4the6th   Find her work at LewRockwell.com, Consortium News and American Conservative. 

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Reference Links:

  1. Why is Julian Assange Being Tortured to Death?, Karen Kwiatkowski
  2. Pray and Weep, Karen Kwiatkowski
  3. Assange in Court, Craig Murray
  4. VIPS: Extradition of Julian Assange Threatens Us All, Consortium News
  5. VIPS Fault Mueller Probe, Criticize Refusal to Interview Assange, Consortium News
  6. Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski Wins 2018 Sam Adams Award, Consortium News
  7. The new Pentagon papers, Karen Kwiatkowski, Salon
  8. In Rumsfeld’s Shop, Karen Kwiatkowski, American Conservative
  9. Conscientious Objector, Karen Kwiatkowski, American Conservative
  10. Open Door Policy, Karen Kwiatkowski, American Conservative
  11. James Comey: Justice is supposed to be blind. Bill Barr can’t see that, Washington Post



Feb 14, 2020

Ep 149 US vs Iran Conflicts feat Danny Sjursen

Guest: Maj. Danny Sjursen, US Army (ret.) We talk about two articles that Danny wrote about the conflicts between the United States and Iran over the last seven decades and what he calls a “timeline of provocations and retaliations” and we also talk about Iran’s history of relative restraint. 

Major Danny Sjursen is a retired US Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War titled: “Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge”. His articles are published by numerous media outlets: antiwar.com, The American Conservative, Truthdig, TomDispatch and others. He is the co-host of the Fortress on a Hill podcast. 

FOLLOW Danny @SkepticalVet, subscribe to his podcast Fortress on a Hill.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Reference Links:

  1. Who Started It?: A (Reverse) Timeline of US/Iran Retaliations, Danny Sjursen
  2. The Islamic Republic of Restraint, Danny Sjursen



 

Jan 29, 2020

Ep 148 Low Intensity War NE Asia feat Tim Shorrock

Guest: Tim Shorrock. In recent weeks there have been cries of alarm about North Korea’s missile testing all throughout the media but they’ve omitted some key developments like the massive military build up in South Korea and Northeast Asia over the past few years. Tim provides us with some of that omitted context including the fact that the South Korean armed forces, allied with the US, is the seventh largest in the world.

Tim grew up in Japan and Korea and he has been covering national security and other topics around Asia and the Korean peninsula since the late 1970’s . He is a correspondent at The Nation and he’s the author of the popular book “Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing”

FOLLOW @TimothyS  Find his work at The Nation and at his website http://timshorrock.com. Buy his book: Spies For Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on December 31, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. A Low-Intensity War Is Underway in Northeast Asia, Tim Shorrock, The Nation



Jan 22, 2020

Ep 147 Propaganda Campaigns Against Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders feat Alan MacLeod

Guest: Alan MacLeod. We discuss the recent UK elections and how the Labour Party’s Brexit strategy backfired. We talk about the relentless propaganda campaign that was launched against Jeremy Corbyn and how there is a similar campaign being run against Bernie Sanders in the United States that is growing in intensity. We wonder if Bernie will learn from Corbyn’s experience or whether he’ll continue the kind of “high road” approach that did not turn out well for Corbyn. We also discuss the post-election implications for the future of the United Kingdom and its constituent countries England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We also discuss the coup in Bolivia. 

Dr. Alan MacLeod is an academic, an author and a journalist who does work on media analysis and politics with a focus on social media, Latin American politics and propaganda. He writes for MintPress News and Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting and he has written two recent books, Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent.

FOLLOW him on Twitter at @AlanRMacLeod. Find his work at MintPress News and look for his books Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on December 19, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Corporate Media Find All the Wrong Lessons for US Left in Corbyn’s Defeat, Alan MacLeod
  2. Labour’s Brexit Strategy Backfires as UK Votes to Leave EU at Any Cost, Alan MacLeod, MintPress News
  3. Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn to Step Down After UK Election Catastrophe, Alan MacLeod, MintPress News
  4. British Weapons Manufacturers, Banks, See Share Price Rocket after Conservative Election Victory, Alan MacLeod, MintPress News
  5. Election Result Signals a Possible End of the United Kingdom, Alan MacLeod
  6. Around the Empire: Ep 96 Using Venezuela to Suppress Populism & Anti-Imperialism feat Alan MacLeod

 

Jan 14, 2020

Ep 146 Pompeo's Gulf of Tonkin feat Gareth Porter

Guest: Gareth Porter. As the news was breaking of Iranian retaliatory strikes on military bases in Iraq where American troops were deployed, Gareth Porter and I were talking about his analysis comparing the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident in Vietnam to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s apparent strategy to “grease the skids” for war with Iran. 

Gareth Porter is an independent Investigative historian and journalist on the national security state. He is the author of numerous books including Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam (2005) and Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare (2014). He is the winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for Journalism

 FOLLOW Gareth on Twitter at @GarethPorter. Find his work at The American Conservative, Truthdig, Antiwar.com, Middle East Eye and other media outlets. Read his new book: The CIA Insider's Guide to the Iran Crisis: From CIA Coup to the Brink of War. 

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on Jan 7, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Pompeo’s Gulf Of Tonkin Incident, Gareth Porter
  2. Book: Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam, Gareth Porter
  3. Book: Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, Gareth Porter
  4. Book: The CIA Insider's Guide to the Iran Crisis: From CIA Coup to the Brink of War, Gareth Porter, John Kiriakou

 

Jan 13, 2020

Ep 145 Crowdstrike Analysis Revisited feat Jeffrey Carr

Guest: Jeffrey Carr. Dan Wright and Joanne Leon did a reunion conversation with cybersecurity expert, Jeffrey Carr, to revisit the infamously erroneous Crowdstrike analysis of the DNC hack which they attributed to Russia based on their analysis of an alleged Russian hack of a Ukrainian military artillery app. We also discussed Crowdstrike’s history, its recent mention in  President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky (the same phone call that led to his impeachment for a different reason) and the broader issue of how cybersecurity firms are incentivized to make specious claims concerning attribution of a hack, particularly if it gains them notoriety that leads to more business.

Jeffrey Carr is a cybersecurity author, researcher, entrepreneur and consultant, who focuses on cyber warfare. He is the author of the book “Inside Cyber Warfare: Mapping the Cyber Underworld” and the creator of the Suits and Spooks conference series which “bridges the gap between the Intelligence Community and Industry on hard challenges in Information Security”.

Follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffreyCarr and find the Suits and Spooks conference series at suitsandspooks.com and find his writing at his blog https://jeffreycarr.blogspot.com 

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on December 17, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Around the Empire Episode 13: Crowdstrike’s Russian Hacking Claims feat. Jeffrey Carr (4/12/17)
  2. Think Tank: Cyber Firm at Center of Russian Hacking Charges Misread Data, VOA
  3. Cyber Firm Rewrites Part of Disputed Russian Hacking Report, VOA
  4. Trump-Zelensky July 25, 2019 phone call transcript
  5. How a Fringe Theory About Ukraine Took Root in the White House”, New York Times, Scott Shane
  6. (Questionable recent story mentioned in podcast) Ukraine SBU detains several involved in hacking the DNC servers, Scott Humor 

 

Jan 5, 2020

Ep 144 What Really Happened in Iraq feat Elijah Magnier

Guest: Elijah Magnier. We discuss what really happened in Iraq over the past week, leading up to the killing of the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and the Iraqi PMU vice commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes. We talk about the reactions, justifications and likely consequences. Also, Elijah provides some more clarification on the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF/PMU or Hashd al-Shaabi) and the way the different Iraqi security forces have been described inaccurately in western media. 

Elijah Magnier is a veteran war correspondent and political analyst with over 35 years of experience covering the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). 

FOLLOW Elijah Magnier @ejmalrai. Read and support his work at ejmagnier.com

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on January 4, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. What Comes Next After the US Assassination of Qassem Soliemani? The Options, Elijah Magnier 
  2. ATE Episode 140: Uprising in Iraq feat Elijah Magnier (12/18/19)
  3. ATE Episode 127: Iraq Protests, US-Iran War, Regime Change feat Elijah Magnier (10/6/19)
  4. ATE Episode 68: Iraq Politics & Stalled Idlib Op in Syria feat Elijah Magnier (9/17/18)

 

Jan 3, 2020

Ep 143 Killing of Soleimani feat Neda Bolourchi

Guest: Neda Bolourchi. We talk about the assassination of Iranian major general of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Qasem Soleimani by the US military. Was it a punishment for past actions or an attempt at deterrence toward Iran or both? We discuss the impact on the people of Iraq and Iran and the recent protests, the prospects for retaliation by Iran and war throughout the region. 

Dr. Bolourchi teaches at Rutgers University-New Brunswick Center for Middle Eastern Studies. She is is a thought leader whose work crosses multiple fields, from the academic to the legal to foreign policy and more. Her academic research examines the transformative discourse on Iran during the twentieth century across the political and religious spectra. She completed years of research in Iran, Syria, and Armenia and she has provided foreign policy and security analysis and commentary for a variety of publications and news channels internationally. She previously worked on matters of civil litigation and white collar criminal defense. Her legal work includes international and comparative analysis of human rights violations in the Middle East. 

Find her at LinkedIn and find her work on her Rutgers University Center for Middle Eastern Studies web page.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on January 3, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. A 'New' Yes with Iran? Economics, Logistics and Timelines, The International Institute for Strategic Studies
  2. Hello, world? Tehran has a few things to say, Neda Bolourchi, Atlantic Council
  3. Tehran, It’s Time To Listen And Take A Realistic View Of The Protests In Iraq, Neda Bolourchi, LobeLog
  4. Revealed: Why Hariri going won’t stop the Lebanese protests – and how Iran could now be in peril, Neda Bolourchi, Redaction Politics



Dec 28, 2019

Ep 142 Regime Change Resistance: OAS Bolivia Dominica feat Jeb Sprague

Guest: Jeb Sprague. We discuss how regime change projects seem to be on overdrive right now, the key role played by the Organization of American States (OAS) in regime change operations in Latin American and Caribbean states (former colonial states). Recently in the Commonwealth of Dominica (an island country in the West Indie), there was a successful resistance to regime change. In Bolivia, there was strong resistance as well, but the coup plotters succeeded. Jeb’s research and reporting on the role of Bolivia’s top police and military brass in planning and executing the coup, shows that it was a long term project with training at the School of the Americas. 

Dr. Jeb Sprague is currently a Research Associate at the University of California, Riverside. He formerly taught at the University of Virginia and at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a founding member of the Network for Critical Studies of Global Capitalism (NCSGC) and has taught in  the Caribbean, East Asia, and North America. He is the author of two books: “Globalizing the Caribbean: Political economy, social change, and the transnational capitalist class” (2019) and “Paramilitarism and the assault on democracy in Haiti” (2012).

FOLLOW Jeb Sprague @JebSprague and find his writing at The Grayzone, MintPress News, The Canary and at his website jebsprague.blogspot.com

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on December 6, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Top Bolivian coup plotters trained by US military’s School of the Americas, served as attachés in FBI police programs, Jeb Sprague, The Grayzone
  2. Book: “Globalizing the Caribbean: Political economy, social change, and the transnational capitalist class” (2019), Jeb Sprague
  3. Book: “Paramilitarism and the assault on democracy in Haiti” (2012), Jeb Sprague
  4. Around the Empire: Ep 109 Hybrid War on Venezuela, Embassy Seizure feat Jeb Sprague



Dec 23, 2019

Ep 141 Maidan Massacre in Ukraine feat Ivan Katchanovski

Guest: Ivan Katchanovski. We talk about his vast research and his detailed and prolific writings and presentations on the Maidan protests and the 2014 Maidan massacre in Ukraine. 

Dr. Ivan Katchanovski is a political scientist and his research focuses on politics, conflicts, policy & political communication in Ukraine, US & Canada. who teaches at the University of Ottawa. He was Visiting Scholar at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Politics at the State University of New York at Potsdam, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto, and Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Library of Congress. He received his Ph.D. from George Mason University. 

He is a prolific researcher and writer and his publications (which can be found on his University of Ottowa website and elsewhere), his interviews, and comments have appeared in numerous media outlets internationally.

FOLLOW @I_Katchanovski. Find his work at his website https://uottawa.academia.edu/IvanKatchanovski

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on December 5, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. The Far Right, the Euromaidan, and the Maidan Massacre in Ukraine, Ivan Katchanovski, Academia
  2. The Maidan Massacre in Ukraine: Revelations from Trials and Investigations, Ivan Katchanovski (presentation)
  3. How Maidan Protesters Were Shot from Maidan-Controlled Buildings: Video Appendix H, Ivan Katchanovski (video appendix for presentation)




Dec 18, 2019

Ep 140 Uprising in Iraq feat Elijah Magnier

Guest: Elijah Magnier. A new generation of Iraqis has new ideas and is not willing to accept an old, corrupt system dominated by ruling parties and sectarianism. Iraqis want foreign meddling to stop and they want reform and change. They want the country’s resources to be used to improve the quality of life. Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr still has enormous influence over the protesters in the street and the ministers in the government. But what does Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr want to achieve?

Prime Minister Mahdi inherited all the corruption and deficits from previous governments, the complications of alliances with the US and Iran and neighboring countries. His errors in handling the protests and his police forces and the violent crackdown led to his downfall. The search for a new leader of the parliament and the important ministries is on but there probably won’t be a new election until 2021. Will this new generation of Iraqis succeed in acting as a check on the corrupt actors going forward? 

Elijah Magnier is a veteran war correspondent and political analyst with over 35 years of experience covering the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). 

FOLLOW Elijah Magnier @ejmalrai. Read and support his work at ejmagnier.com

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on December 4, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Why Abdel Mahdi has to go: Many mistakes by the US, Iran and the Marjaiya, Elijah Magnier
  2. Who holds the Initiative, and who has the Power to mobilise the Street in Iraq?, Elijah Magnier
  3. ATE Episode 68: Iraq Politics & Stalled Idlib Op in Syria feat Elijah Magnier (9/17/18)
  4. ATE Episode 127: Iraq Protests, US-Iran War, Regime Change feat Elijah Magnier (10/6/19)
Dec 11, 2019

Ep 139 All Roads Lead to Intelligence Swapcast feat Kyle Anzalone

On this Foreign Policy Focus and Around the Empire swap cast, Kyle and Joanne discuss the Democrats’ efforts to impeach Trump over Russiagate. Statements by Nancy Pelosi and witnesses in the impeachment hearings show the blob’s real aim to prevent Trump from adopting a more realistic foreign policy towards Russia. The hosts also cover Attorney General Barr’s interview about the FBI IG report on the investigation into Trump’s campaign. Barr explains why the media’s coverage of the report is misleading and the Durham report could reveal the intelligence community’s role in the origin of Russiagate.

FOLLOW Kyle on Twitter: @Kyaaale.  SUBSCRIBE to the Foreign Policy Focus podcast at the Libertarian Institute.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on December 10, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Dec 11, 2019

Ep 138 Crazy US and UK Politics

Guest: Gordon Dimmack. We chat about the crazy politics in the US and UK, the high level of propaganda, and the election in the UK that will be held this week with Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn as top contenders for Prime Minister. We talk about the Tory, Labour and other UK parties, likely coalitions and the top issues like Brexit and the NHS. We also touch on Russigate and the recently released IG Report. 

Gordon hosts a popular YouTube channel where he covers news, politics, war and the horrific state of our corporate media. He broadcasts mostly from the Midlands but also on the ground at various events around the country and his slogan is “Make Orwell fiction again.”

FOLLOW Gordon on Twitter @gordondimmack. SUBSCRIBE to his YouTube channel and support him via Patreon.com/GordonDimmack or StreamLabs. Find his work at his website gordondimmack.com.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on December 10, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Q&A: Manipulators, Optimism, Utopia, Trump, Writing Tips & More, Caitlin Johnstone



Dec 8, 2019

Ep 137 The Great NHS Heist feat Dr Bob Gill

Guest: Dr. Bob Gill. We discuss the documentary, “The Great NHS Heist”, wherein Dr. Gill, a general practitioner within the NHS system, and others, talk about the imminent threat to and the covert destruction of the English National Health Service. We also talk about what we in the UK and in the US can do to better understand the situation and inform our peers about our respective situations in health care.

To quote from a bit of the abstract on the film from its website:

“We witnessed the new corporate managerialism and marketisation of healthcare, shrinkage of the NHS bed capacity, and transfer of assets into the private sector using Private Finance Initiative and NHS land sales. Private operators expanding their grip on the NHS, securing contracts for the provision of ancillary and then clinical services, rapidly accelerated by the 2012 Health and Social Care Act. The privatisation lobby crafted effective cover stories and carefully managed the national debate to maintain public ignorance and remained largely unchallenged by a compliant mainstream media. Successive reforms were presented as essential improvements while disguising the reality of creeping privatisation. The stage was set for the heist of NHS land, patient medical data, and the £120 billion annual tax-funded budget for US corporate raiders.”

Dr. Bob Gill is a British doctor, an NHS campaigner and the producer of the crowdfunded documentary film, “The Great NHS Heist”.. 

FOLLOW @drbobgill, find all the information at the website TheGreatNHSHeist.com SUBSCRIBE to their YouTube channel and support the work at GoFundMe

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on December 8, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Documentary: The Great NHS Heist
  2. Website:  TheGreatNHSHeist.com 
  3. The Great NHS Heist GoFundMe
Dec 1, 2019

Ep 136 Coup in Bolivia feat Ben Norton

Guest: Ben Norton. We discuss the coup in Bolivia where the recently reelected president, Evo Morales, was forced to step down by the military leaders and later flee to Mexico. An extreme right-wing opposition and fascist paramilitary then moved in to take control. Ben explains some of the groups and individuals involved in the coup and the support and involvement of other Latin American countries and the United States. 

Ben Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker. He is the assistant editor of The Grayzone, and the producer of the Moderate Rebels podcast, which he co-hosts with editor Max Blumenthal. 

FOLLOW @BenjaminNorton  Find his work at The Grayzone. SUBSCRIBE to their Youtube channel and support them on Patreon. 

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on November 14, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Bolivia coup led by Christian fascist paramilitary leader and millionaire – with foreign support, Grayzone, Max Blumenthal & Ben Norton
  2. Top Bolivian coup plotters trained by US military's School of the Americas, served as attachés in FBI police programs, Grayzone, Jeb Sprague
  3. Bolivia: audios leaked from opposition leaders calling for a coup against Evo Morales, EN24
Nov 30, 2019

Ep 135 2020 Election and Impeachment

Guest: Michael Tracey. In a wide ranging discussion we talk about the Democratic primary, the progression of Russiagate, Spygate, Ukrainegate and how it led to the impeachment circus going on now. We discuss the “investigate the investigators” process going on in the background and the media coverage of all of the above. In relation to the 2020 primary, we talk about the different candidates and their rallies and supporters. And we talk about Tulsi Gabbard’s rise in the polls and her recent events and appearances, including her support for the 9/11 families. 

Michael Tracey is a journalist based in the New York City metro area and the host of a podcast and Youtube channel. His articles are published by many different media organizations and he is a frequent commentator on TV and online media. 

FOLLOW @mtracey, subscribe to his Youtube channel and support his work at Patreon

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on November 11, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

 

Nov 19, 2019

Ep 134 How Democrats Became Party of Monopoly & Corruption feat Matt Stoller

Guest: Matt Stoller. In this episode, we discuss an excerpt of Matt’s new book: Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy. Here are two paragraphs from the book’s abstract: 

In Goliath, Matt Stoller explains how authoritarianism and populism have returned to American politics for the first time in eighty years, as the outcome of the 2016 election shook our faith in democratic institutions. It has brought to the fore dangerous forces that many modern Americans never even knew existed. Today’s bitter recriminations and panic represent more than just fear of the future, they reflect a basic confusion about what is happening and the historical backstory that brought us to this moment.

The true effects of populism, a shrinking middle class, and concentrated financial wealth are only just beginning to manifest themselves under the current administrations. The lessons of Stoller’s study will only grow more relevant as time passes. Building upon his viral article in The Atlantic, “How the Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul,” Stoller illustrates in rich detail how we arrived at this tenuous moment, and the steps we must take to create a new democracy.

Matt Stoller is a fellow at the Open Markets Institute. He worked for both the Senate and House of Representatives as an advisor. He has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Republic, Vice, Salon and he was a producer for MSNBC’s The Dylan Ratigan Show,

Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthewstoller. Find his work at Open Markets Institute and various publications. Buy his new book: “Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy

FOLLOW @matthewstoller and buy his new book “Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on October 28, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. How Democrats Became the Party of Monopoly and Corruption, VICE, Matt Stoller
  2. Book: Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy, Matt Stoller

 

Nov 18, 2019

Ep 133 The Blog Strikes Back feat Hunter DeRensis

Guest: Hunter DeRensis. Hunter describes the US foreign policy establishment, or “The “Blob”, as a “self-anointed mandarin class or, if you prefer, deep state, that has largely operated unmolested until the advent of Trump now appears to believe that it can foil, or even subvert, the policies of a president it deems unfit for office, a development that should worry Democrats and Republicans alike.” We talk about William Taylor, an old Cold warrior member of “The Blob” and discuss how they are driving the impeachment effort. We also talk about the anonymous op-ed published in the NYT last year and a new book by the same anonymous author, titled “The Warning” published this month. Lastly, I ask Hunter to speculate on who that anonymous author might be and he gives us his theory and the reasoning behind it. 

Hunter DeRensis is a foreign policy reporter for The National Interest and a contributor to The American Conservative and the Libertarian Institute. 

FOLLOW @HunterDeRensis and find his work at the The National Interest

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon.  SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on October 28, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. The Blob Strikes Back, Hunter DeRensis, National Interest
  2. A Warning: Why Should Anyone Trust Anonymous?, Hunter DeRensis, National Interest

 

Nov 12, 2019

Ep 132 Ending the War in Yemen feat Shireen Al-Adeimi

Guest: Shireen Al-Adeimi. We discussed the recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities and the battle in Najran, near the Saudi-Yemen border. Shireen then lays out some history on the wars in recent decades in Yemen, both civil wars and foreign interventions, and offers important insights on how the Saudi-United Arab Emirates coalition backed by the US and other western powers, does not even have a coherent objective anymore. Further, the Saudis and Emiratis are fighting against each other in a proxy war. Lastly we talk about Samantha Power’s new memoir in which she omits any mention of the war in Yemen or her role in the Obama administration’s decision to support and sustain it. 

Shireen Al-Adeimi is an assistant professor of education at Michigan State University. Having lived through two civil wars in her country of birth, Yemen, she has played an active role in raising awareness about the U.S.-supported, Saudi-led war on Yemen since 2015. Through her work, she aims to encourage political action among fellow Americans to bring about an end to U.S. intervention in Yemen.”

FOLLOW Shireen on Twitter @shireen818. Find her work on the In These Times website.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Find all links at aroundtheempire.com

SUBSCRIBE on YouTube. FOLLOW @aroundtheempire and @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, Google Play, Facebook or on your preferred podcast app.

Recorded on October 3, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.


Reference Links:

  1. The U.S.-Backed Coalition Can’t Agree on Why It’s Bombing Yemen, Shireen Al-Adeimi
  2. How Dare Samantha Power Scrub the Yemen War From Her Memoir, Shireen Al-Adeimi
  3. Yemeni Alliance Committee on Facebook

 

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