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.
Recorded on September 23, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey
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.
Recorded on September 17, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
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.
Recorded on September 18, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
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.
Recorded on September 12, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
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
Recorded on September 6,, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
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.
Recorded on September 2, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
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.”
Recorded on August 30, 2020. Music by Fluorescent Grey.