Guest: Margaret Kimberley. On this Halloween special episode, we discuss the prospects for a “ghoulish rematch” in 2020 between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. We mainly focus on Hillary Clinton, recent events and various signs that she is considering making another run for president and why that would be a disaster.
Recorded on October 29, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
Guest: Ahsan Butt. We discuss the history of Kashmir and the current situation after India stripped the Jammu & Kashmir regions of their limited autonomy status to bring it under the direct control of the Indian government. Also we talked about Prime Minister Modi’s history and his relationship with American officials and politicians and why India is considered an important geopolitical balance to China. We discuss Tulsi Gabbard’s support for Modi and lastly about the obstacles to ending the war in Afghanistan.
Ahsan Butt is an Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University and a non-resident fellow at the Stimson Center. He generally work on issues of ethnicity and nationalism, security, international order, and South Asia and he is the author of the book: Secession and Security: Explaining State Strategy Against Separatists
Recorded on September 25, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
Swapcast with Foreign Policy Focus podcast host Kyle Anzalone, on the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria and the Kurds/SDF new partnership with Syria with Russia as the guarantor.
The Turkish military continues with its “Operation Peace Spring” invasion along with its “rebel” fighter allies, some of whom are jihadis formerly backed by the US-led coalition. President Trump ordered the withdrawal of US forces from Syria with the exception of Al Tanf. It remains to be seen how much, if not all of that territory will be reclaimed by the Syrian state. Syrian government forces are moving rapidly into some parts of northeast Syria that had been under the control of the Kurdish-led, US-backed SDF forces. They aim to regain control of all of their territory, which might result in direct fighting between Syrian and Turkish forces.
Meanwhile the American foreign policy “Borg” (as retired Col. Pat Lang calls it or “the Blob” as President Obama called it, or the War Party as I sometimes call it) is engaged in a total freak out which Kyle and I will describe in more detail. The events of the past few days are momentous for a number of different reasons that are just as complicated and multi-faceted as this war in Syria itself.
Recorded on October 14, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
Guest: Isa Blumi. We discuss the war in Yemen, the recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities, the ground operation in Najran, some recent, perhaps game changing statements by Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, and other comments made by the Saudi energy minister and by Russian and Iranian officials at the Valdai conference. Isa talks about what he describes in his book as the “shifting causal factor behind the ongoing violence in Yemen”, the need for resources, the coalition infighting and the worsening predicament of the Saudi Kingdom and their frenemies in the Gulf. At the root of it is a fragmenting, collapsing empire and global financial interests plundering the world.
Dr. Isa Blumi is an historian, an author and an Associate Professor at Stockholm University. His very prescient book, titled Destroying Yemen: What Chaos in Arabia Tells Us about the World tells the story of the wars in Yemen but also “ultimately tells an even larger story of today’s political economy of global capitalism, development, and the war on terror as disparate actors intersect in Arabia.”
Recorded on October 4, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
Guest: Elijah Magnier. We discuss the uprising and protests across Iraq that turned violent this week, with over a hundred deaths and thousands of injuries.
Elijah’s sources within the office of the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi told him that the protests were planned during the summer months and the demands of the people are legitimate. The current prime minister inherited a corrupt system and a country struggling to recover from devastating war, sanctions and billions of dollars in debt. The protests coincide with an assassination attempt on the leader of the Iranian Quds force, Qasem Soleimani and PM Mahdi’s office said the objective now seems to be about creating chaos in Iraq and Iran and possibly a coup d’état / regime change carried out by military or encouraged by foreign forces, Saudi Arabia and the US.
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
Recorded on October 6, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
Guest: Lucy Komisar. A deep dive into the story behind the “Magnitsky Hoax”. Lucy tells the story of Bill Browder, Hermitage (his hedge fund) and how he managed to create a massive political weapon called the Magnitsky Act to protect himself and his benefactors and to use against others. The story also involves shell companies, tax havens, money laundering, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Robert Maxwell, Gazprom, HSBC, Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Trump Tower meeting, the resurgence of the Cold War with Russia, Russiagate, the Mueller Report, and more.
Lucy Komisar is a New York City-based journalist with a long history of investigating offshore banks and corporate secrecy and abuses. One of her current long term projects is the investigation of the Browder/Magnitsky hoax.
Recorded on September 24th and 27th, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
2:00 Intro, Lucy’s background, how she met Bill Browder, investigating money laundering, Khodorkovsky, Avisma, Browder, Yukos, Peter Bond, Russia
9:00 The Magnitsky Hoax, how Browder/Magnitsky ties into other things like Russiagate, resurgence of the Cold War, Robert Maxwell, etc.
11:30 Bill Browder background, Robert Maxwell, Salomon Brothers, telecom Peter Star, Edmond Safra, IMF funds, Beny Steinmetz, Hermitage hedge fund, Mossack Fonseca, Ziff Brothers
16:30 Offshore shell companies, fall of USSR, “shock therapy”, shares/vouchers, Cyprus, Gazprom, Russia-Cyprus double taxation treaties, fraud, Kalmykia region in Russia, Browder tax evasion
23:45 Sergei Magnitsky (Browder’s accountant) investigated 2006, Browder lost Russian visa 2005, Putin, 2007 Browder companies docs seized, Firestone Duncan, Browder says companies stolen
31:00 Magnitsky interrogated 2008, prepares to flee, arrested & imprisoned, HSBC (trustee for Hermitage fund), tax refund fraud, Renaissance, Prevezon, OCCRP, Browder media stenographers, Rimma Starova blew the whistle, Russian reporter Oleg Lurie met Magnitsky in prison, Magnitsky doesn’t mention abuse to Lurie or human rights orgs, Browder doesn’t mention to US House Human Rights Committee, Magnitsky dies in prison in Nov 2009 poor medical treatment, Russian authorities investigate and report terrible prison conditions, medical neglect
46:00 Russia still pursuing Browder for tax evasion, Jonathan Winer worked for John Kerry’s State Dept and later APCO, Khodorkovsky also client of APCO, Winer helps Browder craft a new story & strategy (“Magnitsky Hoax”) of Magnitsky murder, forgeries, used by media and govt for The Magnitsky Act, in his fraudulent document Browder names new culprits
54:30 Browder and Magnitsky Act help advance US anti-Russia foreign policy, OCCRP (Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project) helps Browder create docs, Magnitsky Act includes a section protecting Khodorkovsky
1:01:00 Documentary “The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes” debunks Browder’s story, banned from broadcast
1:03:00 Ken Dilanian’s May 2016 reporting on Magnitsky and Browder was killed by NBC, Robert Otto State Dept emails leaked
1:11:45 Trump Tower meeting, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Rob Goldstone, Prevezon case, Russiagate narrative, Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson
1:32:30 Trump-Russia investigation, The Mueller Report repeats Browder’s Magnitsky hoax story
1:43:00 in 2016 Browder found guilty in Russian court and new embezzlement charges filed as a result of his tax refund fraud
1:51:00 Complexity of tax havens, shell companies, money laundering, purpose of Global Magnitsky Acts campaign as a political weapon