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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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Now displaying: May, 2019

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

May 24, 2019

Guest: Jeb Sprague. We discuss the hybrid war being waged on Venezuela with an end goal of regime change. We also talk about recent events at the Venezuelan embassy under siege in Washington and the Venezuelan opposition figures who operated outside to help with a seizure in violation of the Vienna Convention.

Ep 109 Hybrid War Venezuela feat Jeb Sprague

Jeb Sprague lectures at the University of Virginia and formerly taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Globalizing the Caribbean: Political Economy, Social Change, and the Transnational Capitalist Class (Temple University Press, 2019) and Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti (Monthly Review Press, 2012). In addition, he has authored and co-authored a number of scholarly articles, and is the editor of Globalization and Transnational Capitalism in Asia and Oceania (Routledge, 2016). He is a founding member of the Network for Critical Studies of Global Capitalism (NCSGC) and has taught sociology in the Caribbean, East Asia, and North America. Find his articles at The Grayzone, MintPress News, The Canary and at his website jebsprague.blogspot.com.

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

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: 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 May 21, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Who’s Behind the Pro-Guaidó Crowd Besieging Venezuela’s D.C. Embassy?, Jeb Sprague, Alex Rubinstein, Mint Press News
  2. Washington’s hybrid war on Venezuela – a very 21st-century attempt at regime change, Jeb Sprague, The Canary



May 23, 2019

Guest: Douglas Valentine. We discuss the CIA warrior class. As Doug says, they “truly believe the heroic myth they have created about themselves… endowing the warrior class with the highest social virtues, while justifying the tragic consequences of their imperial marauding as ‘fate’”.

Ep108 CIA Warrior Class feat Douglas Valentine

Douglas Valentine is an author, investigator, journalist and poet. He’s the author of many books, including  “The Phoenix Program: America’s Use of Terror in Vietnam,” and “The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World.” He is well known for his extensive research and interviews of numerous CIA officers, former CIA director William Colby and others involved in the Phoenix Program. The Phoenix Program was a large operation that involved kidnapping, torture, and assassination. Its goal was the destruction of the Viet Cong insurgency, a political and paramilitary movement that worked against the United States and the US-backed South Vietnamese government during the Vietnam war.

FOLLOW Douglas Valentine @dougvalentine77 and find his books, writing and archives on his website www.douglasvalentine.com.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: 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 May 18, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

www.douglasvalentine.com.

 

May 22, 2019

Guest: Dave Foster. We discuss the evolution of the military-industrial complex, Cold War weapons systems and “last war-ism.”

Ep 107 Last War-ism Cold War MIC feat Dave Foster

In Dave’s own words:

“The U.S. status quo model of the military is one composed of advanced conventional forces equipped with modern ships, planes, tanks, sensor networks, and logistic capability and also nuclear weapons. The Pentagon, the broader government, and the industrial base is beholden to this status quo and favored visions of future operations. The Pentagon can modify to a degree for operations but finds it difficult to adapt structurally to new realities. The primary reasons are financial. Last War-ism and nostrums of future scenarios always vastly outweigh truly fresh thinking. The commitment to the ideas of the past that exist today – as business relationships, existing infrastructure, organizations, systems, plans, and past research – dominate the Pentagon’s budget. With rare exception, the entire Pentagon budget funds the status quo.”

Dave Foster is a data analyst in the private sector. He’s a former Marine Corps pilot and a Defense Department contract and civilian weapons engineer and operations analyst. You can find his writing at antiwar.com.

Timestamps:

  • 1:45 Dave Foster’s background
  • 6:30 Anti-war vs anti-interventionism vs pacifism
  • 7:15 Empire, military-industrial complex, weapons evolution
  • 9:15 Last war-ism, building weapons for the last war or last century’s war, air war
  • 13:15 Reviving the Cold War, peer level competitor adversaries, for-profit wars
  • 16:15 Return to priority on conventional land forces and weapons with Russia as adversary. Competition between different branches of the military, repurposing anti-Soviet weapons for Middle Eastern wars, GPS aided weapons. Adversaries focusing on surface-to-air weapons
  • 20:15 Iraq war, all volunteer force
  • 26:00 Excerpt from Lawrence Wilkerson’s speech at a Maine Peace Action speech, May 2019
  • 31:15 Military-industrial complex, profiteering, maintaining the status quo, form of welfare and what we build isn’t really suitable for the future.
  • 33:45 Post-WWII, Korean war, Vietnam war, setting up a military poised to go out and look for things to do, wasted good will, world views US as a threat
  • 38:45 War is no longer dependent on having a big conventional military, vulnerability due to large number of bases and ships
  • 42:15 Batteships are outdated, size of the navy, difficulty making big changes in big organizations, life cycle costs of military products, assumptions and estimations
  • 54:15 Recent proposal for fighting Chinese navy
  • 56:15 Arleigh Burke class destroyers accidents, vulnerabilities, vast operations present opportunity for adversaries to study our systems, network-centric systems
  • 1:02:15 Digital systems, testing complex systems
  • 1:09:15 Pentagon has a hard time dealing with disruptive realities, inertia and profits, investing in old fashioned notions of what a military should be
  • Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: 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 May 12, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. The Pentagon’s Days of Future Past, Dave Foster, antiwar.com
  2. National Security in Three Diagrams and Six Takeaways
  3. Maine 2019 Spring Gathering & Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson Speech
  4. So Much for Conventional Wisdom, America Actually Seems to Care About Foreign Policy, Deep State Radio podcast
May 21, 2019

Guest: Patrick Lawrence. We discuss President Trump’s relationship with his chosen cabinet hawks, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton and what Lawrence sees as a foreign policy coup by the Bolton-Pompeo axis.

Ep 106

Patrick Lawrence is a columnist and essayist who specializes in foreign affairs and media analysis and his work is published at The Nation, Consortium News, Salon and other outlets.  Also he’s the author of the book “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century.”

FOLLOW Patrick Lawrence @thefloutist. Find his work at his website patricklawrence.us and support his work at patreon.com/thefloutist.


Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: 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 May 16, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. A Week of Dangerous Developments from Iran to North Korea,  Patrick Lawrence, Consortium News
  2. The US Moves on Iran’s Oil Market as an Expression of an Irrational Foreign Policy, Patrick Lawrence, Consortium News
  3. Trump & the Bolton-Pompeo Axis, Patrick Lawrence, Consortium News
  4. White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War, New York Times
  5. Pompeo, Russia’s Lavrov see hope for improved US-Russia ties, AP



May 20, 2019

Guest: Elijah Magnier. According to Elijah’s analysis, the recent sabotage attacks in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were a warning from Iran to the US and allies in the region about what kinds of retaliation would occur if escalation continues and an attack on Iran is carried out. We also talk about his recent reporting about the prospects for a summer war in Lebanon and the wider region.

Ep105 War with Iran feat Elijah Magnier

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 if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: 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 May 17, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. What Would be the Role of Iraq in a US-Iran War Scenario? Elijah Magnier
  2. No Attacks Against US Forces in the Middle East but Against US Allies, Elijah Magnier
  3. No War Between Iran and the US Anytime Soon: Trump Doesn’t Know How to Negotiate With Iran, Elijah Magnier
  4. Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps on Full Alert Sending a Clear Warning to Gulf Countries, Elijah Magnier
  5. From Karbala to Al Fujairah: An Act of Sabotage May End Prospects of a Summer War in the Middle East, Elijah Magnier
  6. US sets course for its next Middle Eastern war of choice, Financial Times, Edward Luce



May 19, 2019

Guest: Michael Krieger. Michael explains how the extraction of Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London and subsequent arrest and request for extradition to the US was a profound turning point for investigative journalism, freedom of speech and for liberty and civilization. This event might end up being as consequential as the bailout of the “too big to fail” banks and the impact that had on the financial system and the rule of law.

Ep104 Assange Arrest Crossroads

Michael Krieger is the creator and editor of Liberty Blitzkrieg. He’s a former Wall Street analyst from New York now based in Colorado where he is, as his Twitter profile says, “ poet laureate of the debt apocalypse.”

FOLLOW Michael on Twitter @LibertyBlitz and find his work at LibertyBlitzkrieg.com.

Timestamps:

  • 04:00 Kreiger’s background and article, Wall Street, TARP bailout bill, information arbitrage, Tech giants, a turning point, precedents set, no rule of law
  • 11:00 Assange arrest another precedent being set, national security state, no transparency, loss of freedom of speech and investigative journalism
  • 14:00  No accountability for elites aligned with empire, lying on a ridiculous level, outrageous propaganda
  • 22:00 Too big to jail, voluntary corporate surveillance, passive population, rulers and the ruled
  • 31:00 The “problematic” people, dissidents, Assange, Manning and Snowden
  • 35:00 Decline of empire, acceleration of abuse of power
  • 41:00 Investigative journalism, voluntary suppression of leaked or hacked information
  • 44:00 Suppression of speech online, deplatforming from the public square  
  • 50:30 Open source software, platforms, systems, journalism

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: aroundtheempire.com.

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

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

Reference Links:

Krieger 4/15/19: Arrest of Julian Assange is an Attack on Journalism, Liberty, Self-Government and Civilization Itself



May 15, 2019

Guest: Daniel Lazare. We discuss the origins of Russiagate, some key questions that we have about the Mueller Report and surprising things that the Mueller Report doesn’t cover at all.

Ep103

In Lazares’s own words:

“Mueller’s door-stopper of a report may be chockfull of facts, but it’s also filled with the non sequiturs, loose threads and self-serving arguments that we’ve come to expect from official Washington.  It’s good on collusion, pointing out that reports of a Trump-Russia conspiracy remain unsubstantiated despite desperate Democratic efforts to spin it otherwise.”

“But it’s lousy on interference, regurgitating the standard intelligence-community line that Russia ‘interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.’ Simultaneously, it is remarkably incurious about how the scandal began, who propelled it along, and how it all snowballed into a mega-Watergate.”

Timestamps:

  • 02:00- historical recap (from 2014) of US-Russia relations and flawed US foreign policy: Maidan revolution, Crimea, Syria regime change war, Russian intervention and subsequent fury and panic of US War Party, Trump campaign’s pro-Russia stance leading to War Party believing Trump was in league with Putin
  • 8:30 Origins of Russiagate: US and foreign intelligence suspicions about Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians, counterintelligence investigation. Informants, creating pretexts for investigations, Papadopoulous, Mifsud, Roger Stone, Felix Sater
  • 18:00 Mueller and Weismann reputations, Manafort, collusion section of Mueller report
  • 24:00 Other foreign policy and empire ambitions and problems that influenced Russiagate, e.g. Syria, Ukraine, refugee crisis in Europe, rise of right-wing parties
  • 32:00 Watergate narrative, DNC alleged hack, neverending Russiagate, Assange
  • 36:00 Key questions we have about the Mueller Report and questions the Mueller report does not answer, creeping conspiracy culture, the Steele dossier, IRA, GRU, new investigations and the political impact

Daniel Lazare is a journalist and author of three books: The Frozen Republic; The Velvet Coup, and America's Undeclared War.

FOLLOW Dan  on Twitter @dhlazareFind his work at Consortium News and find his writings and his books at daniellazare.com.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: 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 May 8, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Top Ten Questions About the Mueller Report, Daniel Lazare, Consortium News
  2. The ‘Guccifer 2.0’ Gaps in Mueller’s Full Report, Daniel Lazare, Consortium News
  3. The Tale of a ‘Deep State Target’, Daniel Lazare, Consortium News
  4. Bachelor Show 5/7/29 interview with Andrew McCarthy: "I think they're not finding Mifsud because they don't want to find him."

 

May 10, 2019

Guest: Joe Emersberger. We talk about the latest failed coup in Venezuela, the sanctions causing tens of thousands of deaths, and the level of political support or resistance to intervention in the US and Europe. We also discuss Canada’s foreign policy and involvement in the American and British empires. Lastly we assess the risk of a larger war with Russia and China as they oppose American aggression and sanctions in various parts of the world.

Ep102 Another Failed Coup Venezuela feat Joe Emersberger

Joe Emersberger is a Canadian engineer and UNIFOR member with Ecuadorian roots. He writes for FAIR, Venezuela Analysis, Counterpunch, The Canary, MintPress News, Telesur English, and Znet.

Timestamps:

  • 00:00 Canada’s foreign policy and involvement in US empire and British empire
  • 10:00 LIMA Group
  • 12:45 Venezuela Constituent Assembly, 2018 election
  • 18:20 Sanctions causing tens of  thousands of deaths in Venezuela
  • 19:30 January 23 and April 30 coup attempts
  • 36:00 Political support and resistance to intervention and sanctions in US and Europe
  • 43:00 Maduro cabinet members’ false defections
  • 48:00 Warnings against military intervention
  • 57:00 Anti-interventionist movement
  • 1:00:00 Trump-Putin phone call on Venezuela, larger risk of war with Russia & China

 

FOLLOW Joe on Twitter @rosendo_joe and find his writing at FAIR, Venezuela Analysis, Counterpunch, The Canary, MintPress News, Telesur English, and Znet.

Around the Empire is listener supported, independent media. Pitch in if you can at Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire or paypal.me/aroundtheempirepod. Website: 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 May 4, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Report finds that US sanctions have killed 40,000 people in Venezuela since 2017, Joe Emersberger, The Canary
  2. The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy, Yves Engler
  3. Trump’s May 3 tweet about phone call with Putin
  4. Kremlin readout on Trump’s phone call with Putin
  5. Venezuela's Failed Uprising: How a Deal to Oust Maduro Unraveled, Bloomberg
  6. Quotes from retired Adm. James Stavridis in Foreign Policy: Venezuela Is at a ‘Tipping Point’


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