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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: 2020

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

Sep 16, 2020

Ep 182 Belarus feat Bryan MacDonald

Guest: Bryan MacDonald. We talk about some of the history and the current state of affairs in Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko and his opposition, the recent elections and subsequent protests and whether or not this is a color revolution. Bryan has been to Belarus many times understands the politics in Russia and Eastern Europe. There’s a bonus question for patrons about the alleged poisoning of Alexei Navalny and the information leaked by Lukashenko about that affair. I also add some recent updates on Navalny who posted on Instagram today after several weeks in a medically induced coma. He said that he plans to return to Russia. 

Bryan MacDonald is an Irish journalist based in Russia. He has written for RT since 2014. Before moving to Russia, Bryan worked for The Irish Independent, the Evening Herald, Ireland on Sunday, and The Irish Daily Mail. Follow him on Twitter @27khv

FOLLOW Bryan on Twitter @27khv and find his work at RT

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 September 6,, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Tens of thousands join Belarus march against Lukashenko, AFP
  2. Lukashenko Says 'Intercepted Call' Shows Germany ‘Falsified’ Navalny Poisoning Claims, Moscow Times
  3. Johnson’s Russia List 
  4. RT Bradley Blankenship Aug 12: The Belarusian protests are not a ‘color revolution’ – they’re the result of Lukashenko repeating Soviet mistakes
  5. Alexei Navalny Releases Photo From Hospital Bed After Nerve Agent Poisoning, NPR



Sep 11, 2020

Ep 181 Xinjiang and the Uyghurs feat Peter Lee

Guest: Peter Lee. We discussed some of the background story on Xinjiang, a province and autonomous region in the northwest of China that borders on Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India and is part of the historical Silk Road. We also talked about the Uyghurs, the current situation in Xinjiang, the media coverage and the escalating tensions between the US and China. In a bonus question for patrons (Ep 181EXTRA Taiwan and Top Asia-Related Issues), I asked Peter Which Asia-related issues he thinks are most pressing, worrying or important to focus on right now. 

Peter has decades of experience in East Asia both as a businessman and as a writer. He produces Peter Lee’s China Threat Report and has been published at Asia Times, CounterPunch at his own blog, China Matters

FOLLOW @chinahand.  SUBSCRIBE to Peter Lee’s China Threat Report.

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 September 2, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Peter Lee’s China Threat Report: The Xinjiang Series No. 1: The Crisis of Governance
  2. Peter Lee’s China Threat Report: Assessing the Timetable for Taiwan Independence and World War III
  3. Peter Lee’s blog archive on Uyghurs
  4. Scott Horton interview with Andrew Bacevich: Ep. 5009 – Andrew Bacevich on Soros and Koch Teaming Up to End the Wars – 7/3/2019
  5. ATE Episode 14: The Future of China in the Age of Trump feat. Peter Lee (Chinahand)
  6. ATE Episode 61: Escalation With China feat Peter Lee

 

Sep 1, 2020

Ep 180 Evolving Geopolitical Landscape in Middle East feat Isa Blumi

Guest: Isa Blumi. We talk about the current state of affairs in the gulf states and the region during the economic crisis and lockdowns for Covid19, the UAE-Israel deal, the evolution of situation in the Middle East, the war Yemen and the rivalry between Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Turkey. We discuss the increasing influence of China in the region and we also talk about media coverage and how it is heavily influenced by various sources of funding. 

There is a bonus question for patrons at the end of the interview on China’s increasing influence in the Middle East and whether they will be a savior for the Global South. Episode 180EXTRA Will China be the Savior of the Global South?

Dr. Isa Blumi is an historian, an author and Professor of Global History, Islamic World, Ottoman Empire, Yemen, Albania. 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.”  

FOLLOW Isa Blumi @IsaBlumi and find his latest book at UCPress.edu

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 August 30, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. ATE Ep 128 Will the Saudi Kingdom Survive Their War on Yemen? feat Isa Blumi
  2. ATE Ep 64 Yemen War Big Picture & Media Narrative feat Isa Blumi
  3. ATE Ep 55 Imperial War, Gulf State Rivalry, Resources and Resistance in Yemen feat Isa Blumi

 

Aug 31, 2020

Ep 179 US - China Relations feat Carl Zha

Guest: Carl Zha. We did a follow up discussion about the Hong Kong protests (which we had talked about last summer in Episode 119). Then we had a longer, broad ranging discussion on the rapid deterioration of US-China relations, a new Cold War, the power structure in China, protectionism, globalism, Silicon Valley, the military-intelligence complex and more. There’s a bonus question for patrons about whether we are now in a Cold War with China, the prospect of a hot war between US and China and if that did happen, what would the war look like. Episode 179EXTRA War between US and China.

Carl Zha is an engineer, historian, podcaster, and a Caltech Alum. His podcast, Silk and Steel, is about China, US-China Great Power competition and the history of Empires, past and present.

FOLLOW @carlzha, SUBSCRIBE to his podcast Silk and Steel and listen to his previous podcast, Clash. 

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 August 27, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Around the Empire Ep 119 Hong Kong Protests Reality feat Carl Zha
  2. Silk and Steel podcast EP#71-Biking to Xinjiang with Jerry Grey




Aug 27, 2020

Ep 178 Bolivia, Nicaragua and the New Cold War feat Ben Norton

Guest: Ben Norton. We talk about the latest developments in Bolivia, life in Nicaragua, the new Cold War with Russia and China and we wrapped up with a discussion about big picture geopolitics. 

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 and subscribe to his podcast Moderate Rebels

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 August 20, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Around the Empire Ep 136 Coup in Bolivia feat Ben Norton



Aug 25, 2020

Ep 177 TDY and War Trafficking feat Doug Valentine

Guest: Doug Valentine. Doug talks about his latest book, “TDY” based on a story told to him by a veteran of the Vietnam war who was sent on a covert mission related to the CIA and military involvement in trafficking. There is also a bonus segment about how and why the CIA uses trafficking for funding of covert operations Ep 177EXTRA TDY and War Trafficking. 

From the book description: 

“This novel by Douglas Valentine, author of the nonfiction bestseller The CIA as Organized Crime, is based on a true story, one told to him by a Vietnam veteran, and barely, yet grippingly, fictionalized here.

“In early 1967, a bored, adventurous photojournalist on an Air Force base in Texas is offered a Temporary Duty (TDY) assignment somewhere overseas. The mission is steeped in secrecy, but Pete is promised a large bonus and hazardous duty pay.  The mission that unfolds is terrifying beyond anything Pete ever imagined.”

Here’s what Oliver Stone said about the book: “I read it in suspense and found the last revelations after the mission even more disturbing.”

Douglas Valentine is an author, investigator, journalist and poet. He’s the author of many other 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 Doug on Twitter @DougValentine77   Find his work at his website douglasvalentine.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 August 20, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Aug 18, 2020

Ep 176 Financial Crisis in Lebanon feat Ehsani

Guest: Ehsani. We talk about the financial crisis that has been building for years and the structural problems in Lebanon’s economy and banking system that has been in place since the 1990’s. The Beirut explosion and widespread damage brought the broader crisis to a head and exposed how the system is broken. We also talk about the political issues, protests and external interference. There is a bonus question for patrons at the end of the interview on whether this is a push for regime change and which external forces are behind it. 

Ehsani is a Syrian American, born in Lebanon and raised in Aleppo. He has a solid background in finance. Find his analysis and discussion on Twitter at @ehsani22. He has also written for the Syria Comment blog under the pseudonym, “Ehsani”.  

FOLLOW Ehsani on Twitter at @EHSANI22  

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 August 18, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Beirut faces rising poverty after blast, Al Jazeera English
  2. Lebanon's economy: Plundered by politics and banking elites | Counting the Cost, Al Jazeera English




Aug 6, 2020

Ep 175 Beirut Explosion feat Elijah Magnier

Guest: Elijah Magnier. We talk about the August 4, 2020 explosion in the Beirut port, details of what happened, political implications, cui bono and more. Elijah has gathered information from Beirut and provided some of that information for the first time in this interview as an exclusive. There is also a bonus question for patrons, Ep 175EXTRA Beirut Explosion and Political Implications where we talk about the possibility of the faction aligned with Trump, Netanyahu and Salman wanting to escalate while they can in anticipation of Trump and Netanyahu being out of power in the near future. 

FOLLOW Elijah  on Twitter @ejmalrai. Find and support his work at ejmagnier.com. There is a “donate” button at the bottom of the 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 August 6, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. US-ISRAEL MEETING: WHEN IS THE HEZBOLLAH RESPONSE EXPECTED?, Elijah Magnier (7/28/20)
  2. Beirut blast: more than 100 dead and over 5,000 wounded in huge explosion, France24
  3. Will the Beirut explosion lead to political change in Lebanon? | Inside Story, Al Jazeera English
  4. Beirut has suffered a catastrophe that will live long in the memory – and the repeated betrayal of its citizens is a travesty, Robert Fisk
  5. Around the Empire Ep 40 Lebanon Crisis feat. Sonia Mansour Robaey (12/13/17)

 

Jul 24, 2020

Ep 174 Factional Wars, Brexit & Maxwell feat Tom Luongo

Guest: Tom Luongo. We talk about factional wars among the powers that be, the Ghislaine Maxwell and Epstein case, the Southern District of New York (SDNY) federal prosecutor’s office and Brexit (meaning the larger battle between the EU and the US/UK). We attempt to analyze how these things are related and could provide a higher level understanding of some of the scandals and chaos we are witnessing in the run up to the 2020 election and Brexit and the chaos that has escalated to more extreme and public levels since the 2016 election. There is also a bonus episode for patrons (Ep 174BONUS Getting Started With Crypto & Gold) on getting started with investment in cryptocurrency and gold for those who might be considering alternative investments in periods of instability. 

Tom Luongo is an analyst, writer and a former research chemist. His specialty is markets analysis informed by geopolitics. He is a libertarian and Austrian economist who publishes a blog Gold Goats ‘n Guns and a monthly investment letter. He contributes at Newsmax Media and is published by and does commentary for many other media outlets. 

Note: Tom and I are very different politically but we believe in finding common ground especially on war/foreign policy and also on some other very basic things. No doubt his listeners will be aggravated with me and mine with him to some extent but common ground is more important than ever and I also want to provide a variety of voices on this podcast. We already have too many echo chambers and hyperpartisanship, in my view, which are doing more harm than good.

Another note: I have to apologize for the audio quality in this interview. I think we both had some internet issues that caused some audio issues which I fixed as best I could. We had to stop and start a couple times. I edited a lot of the worst problems and hopefully it’s fairly easy to listen to now despite the problems. 

FOLLOW Tom at @TFL1728. Find his work at Gold, Goats ‘n Guns   Also find his work at Patreon, Youtube and DLive. 

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 July 8, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Maxwell Didn’t Kill Herself By Getting Arrested, Tom Luongo
  2. Tom Luongo: Podcast Episode #42 – Ghislaine Maxwell, Trump and Why Brexit Hangs in the Balance
  3. Whitney Webb’s Epstein articles



Jul 16, 2020

Ep 173 Libya: Civil War & Foreign Intervention feat Giorgio Cafiero

Guest: Giorgio Cafiero. We discuss the civil war and complicated foreign intervention in Libya. We first do a review of what has happened in Libya since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi and then we sort out the situation in Libya right now. There is an extra (bonus question) for patrons only (Ep 173EXTRA) about the outlook for Libya going forward, whether it’s likely to split and/or be used as a battlefield by larger powers. 

Giorgio Cafiero is the CEO and founder of Gulf State Analytics, a geopolitical risk consultancy based in Washington, DC. His research interests include geopolitical and security trends in the Arabian Peninsula and the broader Middle East. He is a regular contributor to the Middle East Institute, Al Monitor, LobeLog, Inside Arabia, and New Arab and he frequently appears as a commentator on various media networks. He is also an adjunct fellow at the American Security Project, an affiliate at the Mena Center and an analyst at London-based advisory Rosa & Roubini Associates.

FOLLOW @GiorgioCafiero. Find him at Gulf State Analytics

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 June 28, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

 

Jul 9, 2020

Ep 172 Prejudential and BLM feat Margaret Kimberley

Guest: Margaret Kimberley. We talk about Margaret’s new book: Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents and about the current Black Lives Matter protest movement. Here is Dr. Cornel West’s comment about the book:  "Margaret Kimberley gives us an intellectual gem or prophetic fire about all the U.S. presidents and their deep roots in the vicious legacy of white supremacy and predatory capitalism. Such truths seem more than most Americans can bear, though we ignore her words at our own peril!" 

There is an extra (bonus question) for patrons only (Ep 172EXTRA) where we get Margaret’s advice for people who strongly support anti-racism, strongly oppose police brutality, discrimination and the militarization of police but who prefer peaceful protests and are uncomfortable with random violence and political exploitation of these issues by disingenuous politicians and others who are actually part of the problem themselves.  

Margaret Kimberley is an author and she’s the co-founder and Editor and Senior Columnist for Black Agenda Report (BAR). Her Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She is from New York City and her work has appeared in numerous publications and sites. She also writes on her own FreedomRider blog.

FOLLOW Margaret on Twitter @freedomrideblog  Find her work at the Black Agenda Report and at her FreedomRider blog. 

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 June 20, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents by Margaret Kimberley




Jun 30, 2020

Ep 171 *UNLOCKED* Quarantine? Edition 4

Joanne Leon and Dan Wright do another quarantine episode while on newly reduced lockdown in New Jersey in a conversation about the pandemic, protests, the movement to defund police, the hypocrisy of politicians, and Governor Murphy the Friendly Cartoonish Dictator. We also talk about majoritarianism, Turchin’s theory on stability, inequality and the overproduction of elites, and more.  This episode is for patrons only and may be unlocked for the public at a later date.

FOLLOW Dan on Twitter @DanSWright

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 June 18, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. This model forecast the US's current unrest a decade ago. It now says 'civil war', Australian Broadcasting Corp. 
  2. The Science behind My Forecast for 2020, Peter Turchin
  3. Elite Overproduction, Inequality, and the Unraveling of Cooperation (Structural-Demographic Dynamics), Peter Turchin

 

Jun 24, 2020

Ep 170 Biotech Industrial Complex feat Whitney Webb

Guest: Whitney Webb. We discuss Whitney’s three-part series titled Engineering Contagion: Amerithrax, Coronavirus and the Rise of the Biotech Industrial Complex, which she and Raul Diego wrote during the past few months. 

Quoting from the first article in the series: 

“This investigative series, entitled ‘Engineering Contagion: Amerithrax, Coronavirus and the Rise of the Biotech-Industrial Complex,’ will examine these disturbing parallels between the 2001 anthrax attacks and the current scandals and “solutions” of the Covid-19 crisis as well as the simulations that eerily preceded both events. By tracing key actors in Dark Winter from 2001 to the present, it is also possible to trace the corruption that has lurked behind U.S. “biodefense” and pandemic preparedness efforts for decades and which now is rearing its ugly head as pandemic panic distracts the American and global public from the fundamentally untrustworthy, and frankly dangerous, individuals who are in control of the U.S. government’s and corporate America’s response.

Given their involvement in Dark Winter and, more recently, Event 201 and Crimson Contagion, this series seeks to explore the possibility that, just like the 2001 anthrax attacks, government insiders had foreknowledge of the Covid-19 crisis on a scale that, thus far, has gone unreported and that those same insiders are now manipulating the government’s response and public panic in order to reap record profits and gain unprecedented power for themselves and control over people’s lives.”

Whitney Webb is a writer and research and soon to be author. She has made numerous radio, television and video appearances on a variety of programs across the political spectrum. Her work aims to highlight under-reported issues and find common ground between people of different political persuasions regarding corruption, government overreach, the lack of accountability for militaries and intelligence agencies and the military-industrial complex. She publishes at The Last American Vagabond and on her website Unlimited Hangout and she is the host of a new podcast, also titled Unlimited Hangout. She was formerly a staff writer at MintPress News. 

FOLLOW Whitney @_whitneywebb  SUBSCRIBE to her podcast Unlimited Hangout and find her work at Unlimited Hangout and at The Last American Vagabond

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 June 9, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Engineering Contagion (Part 1): ALL ROADS LEAD TO DARK WINTER, Whitney Webb
  2. Engineering Contagion (Part 2): A KILLER ENTERPRISE: HOW ONE OF BIG PHARMA’S MOST CORRUPT COMPANIES PLANS TO CORNER THE COVID-19 CURE MARKET, Whitney Webb 
  3. Engineering Contagion (Part 3): HEAD OF THE HYDRA: THE RISE OF ROBERT KADLEC, Whitney Webb
  4. Unlimited Hangout podcast episode 1




Jun 12, 2020

Ep 169 Sanctioned Countries Collaborate feat Elijah Magnier

Guest: Elijah Magnier. Eventually, sanctioned countries collaborate with each other. In the age of decline of the Anglo-American empire, every tool in the toolbox has been pulled out and weaponized and deployed to maintain dominance and for much longer than is normally effective. Elijah explains how Russia, Venezuela and the axis of resistance in the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen) with assistance from China are collaborating to overcome and get around both long standing and ever increasing sanctions by the US and allied countries and also finding ways to be more self sufficient to the point where the sanctions have much less impact and in some ways destructive for those doing the sanctioning. We also talk about the latest developments in Syria and the reconstruction dilemma. 

There’s an extra/bonus segment for patrons. Given that this seems like a turning point for the US and the world, I ask Elijah for insights on whether there are parallels in history and for his views on how things are likely to play out. You can find that on Patreon, Episode 169 EXTRA. 

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 June 5, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. The Persian Rug Weaver Strikes in the US’s Backyard Through Venezuela, Elijah Magnier
  2. Syria Caesar’s Law: Who Does it Target and How Will it Affect President Assad? Elijah Magnier
  3. Syria: Russia Challenges the US Through the Levant Gate, Elijah Magnier
  4. Syria: Will the Great Middle Eastern War Begin in the Levant? Elijah Magnier
Jun 10, 2020

Ep 168 Insurrection? Military as Police Force feat Danny Sjursen (Swapcast)

Guest: Danny Sjursen. Swapcast: Around the Empire’s Joanne Leon and Foreign Policy Focus host Kyle Anzalone. We discuss Danny’s experience on the ground at the protests in Kansas City and the broader protest movement, whether this is an insurrection, the idea of calling in the military to act as a police force or worse, and the parallels between current policing practices and counterinsurgency missions. 

Major Danny Sjursen is a retired US Army strategist, West Point grad 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 and a new book available for pre-order now: Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War. 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 the podcast Fortress on a Hill and find his website at skepticalvet.com

FOLLOW Kyle on Twitter: @Kyaaale.  SUBSCRIBE to the podcast Foreign Policy Focus 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 June 5, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Dispatches From Kansas City: The ‘Insurrection’ That Wasn’t (May 30-31, 2020), Danny Sjursen
  2. Do Police Face Less Discipline Than U.S. Soldiers?, Danny Sjursen
  3. Military Officers And Vets Uncomfortable With Trump’s Domestic ‘Battlespace’, Mark Perry
  4. Book: Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge, Danny Sjursen
  5. Book: Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War, Danny Sjursen



Jun 1, 2020

Ep 167 Averting Our Gaze From Biowarfare feat Sam Husseini

Guest: Sam Husseini. The origins of COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus are not yet clear but the possibility of it being the result of bioweapon engineering research or gain-of-function experimentation that makes viruses more deadly or some other scenario have largely been dismissed, from early on, by officials and some scientists and to a large extent suppressed by the corporate media. Regardless of the origin of this pandemic, there needs to be more discussion and airing of different views on this subject and on the topic of the global biological arms race that is very real and happening largely outside of the public view. 

There’s an extra/bonus segment for patrons on the question of privatized and/or covert biowarfare research, a short discussion with Sam and some additional information that I later added, reading from some articles and adding some commentary to expand a little and for important context.  You can find that at Patreon, Episode 167 EXTRA. 

Sam Husseini, a writer and artist living in Maryland. He has been published in The Nation, Consortium News, CounterPunch and elsewhere. He is senior analyst for the Institute for Public Accuracy. He's also founder of VotePact.org -- which helps break out of the two party bind.

FOLLOW @SamHusseini. Find his work at husseini.org.

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 May 22, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Averting our Gaze from Biowarfare: Pandemics and Self-fulfilling Prophecies, Sam Husseini
  2. Did this virus come from a lab? Maybe not — but it exposes the threat of a biowarfare arms race, Sam Husseini, Salon
  3. Questioning the CDC: Is it a Complete Coincidence That China's Only BSL4 Is in Wuhan? -- Audio and Video, Sam Husseini
  4. Perspectives on the Pandemic | Investigative Journalist Sam Husseini | Episode 7, Journeyman Films

 

May 26, 2020

Ep 166 The Russiagate Walls Are Closing In feat Aaron Maté

Guest: Aaron Maté. Key allegations from the Russiagate conspiracy have now officially collapsed with the release of transcripts from witness interviews that were conducted over the past three years. Now the walls are truly closing in and not in the way the Trump-Russia obsessed media presented it in the past. Key Obama administration officials, under oath, said they had no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Perhaps the biggest blow was delivered by Crowdstrike, the private cybersecurity firm that served as a critical source on the Russian hacking claim. We now know that Crowdstrike’s president told Congress more than two years ago that it had no real evidence that Russian hackers exfiltrated emails and passed them to Wikileaks. Aaron notes, in an understated manner, that this “raises new questions about whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller, intelligence officials and Democrats misled the public.”  At the end of the interview, there’s an extra/bonus segment for patrons on the question of which forces were driving the Russiagate conspiracy. You can find that at Patreon, Episode 166 EXTRA. 

Aaron is the host of the Pushback With Aaron Maté show at the Grayzone and a contributing writer at The Nation

FOLLOW Aaron on Twitter @aaronjmate, subscribe to his show Pushback with Aaron Maté at the Grayzone channel on YouTube and support him 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 May 21, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Hidden Over 2 Years: Dem Cyber-Firm's Sworn Testimony It Had No Proof of Russian Hack of DNC, Aaron Maté 
  2. House Intel transcripts
  3. 5/7/20 Remarks by President Trump in Meeting with Governor Abbott of Texas
  4. 5/8/20 President Trump Meets with Republican Members of Congress
May 25, 2020

Ep 165 Weaponized Immigrants as Tools of Empire feat Yasha Levine

Guest: Yasha Levine. We talk about his new series on Substack, titled Immigrants as a Weapon. Yasha refers to this as an “investigative newsletter” about “weaponized immigrants, oligarchs, and the twisted politics of American power”. He refers to himself as “a Soviet immigrant living in an era of American decline” and it speaks for itself as to why his perspective is so perfect for this fascinating topic. At the end of the discussion, there’s an extra segment on surveillance and contact tracing. It’s a separate bonus extra for patrons titled Episode 165 EXTRA Surveillance and Contact Tracing in the Pandemic Era. 

Yasha Levine is an investigative journalist and author. Born in Leningrad, he grew up in San Francisco, and just moved back to California. He has reported from all over the world — with a focus on America and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of Surveillance Valley:The Secret Military History of the Internet, a book about the forgotten counterinsurgency origins of the Internet. He’s also working on some documentary projects, including  one about California’s Oligarch Valley.

FOLLOW @yashalevine  SUBSCRIBE to his Substack investigative newsletter, Immigrants as a Weapon. Read his book Surveillance Valley and visit his website yashalevine.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. Weaponized Immigrants and the History of America's Imperial Propaganda Machine, Yasha Levine
  2. Weaponizing Fascism for Democracy: The Beginning, Yasha Levine

 

May 16, 2020

Swapcast: Around the Empire’s Joanne Leon and Dan Wright and Foreign Policy Focus host Kyle Anzalone discuss the origins of Russiagate. For three years, we have been fighting to debunk the fake news created about the imagined Russian conspiracy to help Trump beat Hillary. Now, the fake news and false allegations have run dry and some of the faces behind it are being exposed. We discuss the unmaskings and why it is so important. 

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

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 May 14, 2020. 

Reference Links:

  1. Foreign Policy Focus Debunking Russiagate series: episode 211, episode 212 and episode 213 

 

May 16, 2020

Ep 163 UNLOCKED Quarantine Edition #3

Joanne and Dan Wright spend another afternoon while on quarantine / lockdown in New Jersey in a long conversation about the pandemic, civil rights, protests, religious rights, so called philanthropists and oligarchs, and the breaking news on the Flynn case and Russiagate.  This episode is for patrons only and may be unlocked for the public at a later date.

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 May 8, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. U.S. Constitution shredded by dangerous elected officials, Andrew Napolitano
  2. House Intelligence Committee: Russia Investigation Transcripts and Documents
  3. Jersey City break up fight on Bostwick Avenue, video NJ.com
  4. When COVID-19 Deaths Go Up, Other Deaths Go Down
  5. Mccarthy clip
  6. NJ State officials hold April 29 coronavirus briefing
  7. President Trump Meets with the Governor of Texas
  8. ‘Open New Jersey now!’ Protesters in Trenton demand Gov. Murphy lift coronavirus lockdowns despite rising death toll

 

May 16, 2020

Ep 161 UNLOCKED Quarantine Edition 2

Joanne and Dan Wright spend another evening while on quarantine / lockdown in New Jersey in a long conversation about Coronavirus, the reopening of states, “contact tracing”, Trump, the Clintons, Anthony Fauci, information from skeptics like RFK, Jr., and we also talk about the Kim Jong Un mystery. This episode is for patrons only but will be unlocked later for the public. 

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 April 27, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. NJ State officials hold April 27 coronavirus briefing
  2. Corbett Report: Stop calling it contact tracing
  3. RFK, Jr. interview (starts at 43:00)

 

May 3, 2020

Ep 162 China Hawks Exploit Pandemic feat Dave DeCamp

Guest: Dave DeCamp. We talk about the way that China hawks are exploiting the pandemic and global crisis to influence the opinion of a fearful public. There are legitimate issues with China but some of the same bad actors who were involved in the post 9/11 push for war in the Middle East and others seem to be using this crisis to advance their own great power competition agenda, for political and financial reasons and for the evergreen goal of preserving the empire. If there was ever a time to avoid conflict, it’s now, while the country is in pretty dire straits. Big crises can result in big changes and profiteers who don’t have our best interests at heart know that better than anyone. Dave has written two articles on the topic, filled with great examples and context and we talk about those today. 

FOLLOW Dave @DecampDave. Find his work at antiwar.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 May 1, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. China Hawks Exploiting America’s Fear of Coronavirus, Dave DeCamp
  2. New Anti-China Propaganda Uses Russiagate Playbook, Dave DeCamp



Apr 28, 2020

Joanne and Dan Wright spend an evening over the weekend while on quarantine / lockdown in New Jersey in a long conversation about Coronavirus, the theories about it and the response to this pandemic. We discuss the use of technology for surveillance measures, the hybrid war with China. We then spent some time talking about the “pandemic primary”, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. This episode is for patrons only but might be unlocked later for the public. . 

Ep 160 UNLOCKED Quarantine Edition #1

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 April 10, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

 

Apr 14, 2020

Ep 159 Military Ambitions vs Pandemics 1918 and 2020 feat Gareth Porter

Guest: Gareth Porter. Both in 1918 and 2020 pandemics forced the US military to make changes in their operations but the Pentagon has also revealed a resistance to stand down even when it’s necessary to protect troops. We talk about the similarities and differences between the situations in 1918 during the Spanish Flu pandemic and World War I and today’s Coronavirus pandemic during never ending imperial wars. We also talk about the kinds of movements, changes and consequences that might be catalyzed by this latest crisis.

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).and the co-author with John Kiriakou of his latest book The CIA Insider's Guide to the Iran Crisis: From CIA Coup to the Brink of War. Gareth 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. He’s also now at The Grayzone. 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 April 10, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. How Generals Fueled 1918 Flu Pandemic To Win Their World War, Gareth Porter, The American Conservative
  2. 1918 Influenza Epidemic Records, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC)
  3. Philadelphia, Nurses, and the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918, US Navy
  4. Book (2020): The CIA Insider's Guide to the Iran Crisis: From CIA Coup to the Brink of War. 
  5. Book (2005): Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam
  6. Book (2014): Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare

 

Apr 2, 2020

Ep 158

Guest: Mark Sleboda. We talk about the recent conflicts between Russia and Turkey in Syria. Negotiations resulted in a Sochi 2.0 Agreement, also called the Moscow Memorandum which settled the issue for the time being but none of the underlying problems were solved so it’s likely a temporary solution. We also discussed the overall situation in Syria and Turkish President Erdogan’s predicament and predictions for his future.

Mark is an International Affairs & Security Analyst, a US Navy veteran, a university lecturer and a foreign policy realist.

FOLLOW Mark on Twitter @MarkSleboda1 and on Facebook, look for his appearances on RT, Sputnik and other international channels. 

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 10, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

 

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