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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: September, 2020

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

Sep 29, 2020

Ep 186 Withdrawal From Iran Deal Snaps Back feat Neda Bolourchi

Guest: Neda Bolourchi. We talk about the recent developments with the JCPOA Iran deal and how the Trump administration is trying to “have its cake and eat it too”. We discuss the happenings in the UN general assembly and UN Security Council, the news of troop withdrawals from Iraq and a lot more. There is an extra bonus segment for patrons: Ep 186EXTRA Middle East Prospects in the New Cold War Era. 

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 Neda 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 September 23, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey

Reference Links:

  1. ATE Ep 86 Misunderstanding Regime Change in Iran feat Neda Bolourchi
  2. ATE Ep 143 The Killing of Soleimani feat Neda Bolourchi
  3. US success in Iran arms embargo extension ‘very unlikely’, Al Arabiya
Sep 28, 2020

Ep 185 Patriotic Dissent feat Danny Sjursen

Guest: Danny Sjursen. We talk about his new book Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War. We talk about the ways that Danny has broken down, categorized and explained the various forms of patriotism and dissent that he sees. He also talks about his own personal evolution in his views of these things. He gives some examples of people in American history who dissented and why that gives him cause for some optimism. One of the people who urged Danny to write this book, Robert Scheer, said: “Sjursen calls for a critical exploration of our allegiances, and suggests a path to a new, more complex notion of patriotism. Equal parts somber and idealistic, this is a story about what it means to be an American in the midst of perpetual war, and what the future of patriotism might look like.” There is an extra bonus segment for patrons: Ep 185EXTRA 9/11 in 2020. 

Daniel A. Sjursen is a retired U.S. Army Major, a prolific writer and speaker, an author/columnist/speaker/podcast host.. He is a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. His work has appeared in the LA Times, NY Times, The Nation, HuffPost, The Hill, Salon, BuzzFeed News, Tom Dispatch and Truthdig.com, among other publications. He is the co-host of the Fortress on a Hill podcast and does interviews on numerous podcasts and other media. He wrote a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War titled, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge, his new book Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War was published this month and he has another book in progress on the history of the United States. 

FOLLOW @SkepticalVet, SUBSCRIBE to the Fortress on a Hill podcast and buy his book Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War published by Heyday.

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 17, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War, Danny Sjursen
  2. September 14, 2001: The Day America Became Israel, Danny Sjursen
  3. What Activists Today Can Learn From MLK’s Bold Anti-War Stance, Danny Sjursen
  4. NYT 1967 response to MLK Beyond Vietnam speech: “Dr. King’s Error”
  5. How Do You Prefer Your Empire: Coarse or Polite?, Danny Sjursen



Sep 21, 2020

Ep 184 Assange Extradition Week 2 feat Kevin Gosztola

Guest: Kevin Gosztola. We focus on week 2 of the Assange Extradition hearings, witness testimony from Eric Lewis, Thomas Durkin, Daniel Ellsberg, John Goetz and Carey Shenkman and Assange’s defense team. We also talked about the password leaked in a book by Luke Harding and David Lee, the highly problematic Espionage Act and how it, like the Assange case, is political in nature. Kevin has been doing reporting and analysis on the cases of Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange and Wikileaks both on the ground (and now remotely) for the past decade. 

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof, he publishes the Dissenter newsletter and he produces and co-hosts the Unauthorized Disclosure podcast with Rania Khalek. 

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

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 18, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Assange’s Extradition Trial: Court Hears About the History of Political Prosecutions Under the Espionage Act, Kevin Gosztola
  2. Good Ellsberg, Bad Assange at Extradition Trial, Pentagon Papers Whistleblower Dismantles False Narrative, Kevin Gosztola
  3. Witnesses at Extradition Trial Say Assange Could Spend Rest of His Life in US Prison, Kevin Gosztola
  4. At Assange Trial, Prosecution Invokes Human Rights Court Decision That Downplayed Abusive Supermax Prisons, Kevin Gosztola
  5. Julian Assange Extradition Hearing - September 18, 2020 (video)
  6. Julian Assange Extradition Trial - September 17, 2020 (video)
  7. Julian Assange Extradition Hearing - September 16, 2020 (video)
  8. Julian Assange Extradition Hearing - September 15, 2020 (video)
  9. Julian Assange Extradition Hearing - September 14, 2020 (video)
  10. ATE Ep 110 Assange Indictments Rely on Contrived Narrative feat Kevin Gosztola
  11. Khaled El-Masri biography and statement via ACLU
  12. ATE Ep 152 Kevin Gosztola: Insights from Assange Extradition Hearing in London



Sep 21, 2020

Ep 183 Assange Extradition Hearings Resume feat Mohamed Elmaazi

Guest: Mohamed Elmaazi. We talk about the Assange extradition hearings that resumed this month in London. Mohamed gives us the highlights of the first week’s proceedings with various witnesses and new charges against Assange. He has provided continuous coverage of this case and he is able to give us a sense of what it’s like on the ground in London reporting on these hearings now being conducted with Covid19 special arrangements. 

Mohamed Elmaazi is a journalist with experience in human rights law, with degrees from American University in Cairo and SOAS. He writes for Sputnik News, he publishes The Interregnum blog and he has been a contributor to Open Democracy, The Canary, the Grayzone and The Real News Network and he publishes.  

FOLLOW Mohamed on Twitter at @MElmaazi. Find his writing at Sputnik News, The Canary and visit his blog The Interregnum

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 12, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Absolutely Ludicrous': Diplomat Reacts to Decision in Assange Case Disallowing Witness Summaries, Mohamed Elmaazi
  2. Assange Hearing: Refusal to Grant an Adjournment is a 'Gross Violation', Says WikiLeaks Chief, Mohamed Elmaazi
  3. EXCLUSIVE: 'A Danger for Justice' - Assange Defence Expert Explains How US Conspiracy Trials Work, Mohamed Elmaazi
  4. There's Strong Evidence that Assange's Prosecution is 'Politically Motivated', Defence Expert Says, Mohamed Elmaazi
  5. Charges Against Julian Assange Are 'Unconstitutional' And Threaten Press Freedom, Expert Tells Court, Mohamed Elmaazi
  6. Espionage Charges Against Assange 'An Abuse of the Criminal Law Enforcement Power': Defence Expert, Mohamed Elmaazi
  7. Journalism On Trial: The UK & Press Freedom, Redfish
  8. The War on Journalism: The Case of Julian Assange, Juan Passarelli



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

 

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