Guest: Elijah Magnier. We talk about the the three attacks in one week on US bases in Iraq following an announcement that the US will escalate the operation in Iraq. US and NATO troops will no longer be withdrawn from Iraq but instead the escalate and expand the mission substantially. We also talk about Syria, the axis of resistance and the broader region. When we recorded this interview a few days ago the media was reporting that the Biden administration is taking a calm approach, investigating the source of the attacks and not overreacting. All of that changed just a couple of days later when Biden launched an retaliatory attack on “infrastructure utilized by Iranian-backed militant groups in eastern Syria.” Reports on the multiple-target attack are still varying at the moment but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims that 22 people were killed. The strikes happened in al Bukamal near the border with Iraq and the “Iranian-backed militant groups” that the Pentagon spokesman referred to are Iraqi Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) fighters. The PMF is sponsored by the Iraqi government and was reorganized around 2014 to fight against ISIS, something that Elijah has explained in previous interviews on this podcast. No evidence from the alleged investigation that the media claimed the Biden administration was conducting before any response has been reported. The Pentagon frames it as a defensive strike and also claims that this was an attempt to “de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq.”
There is also a bonus question for patrons about US support for Saudi operations in Yemen and an increase in deployment of US troops in Saudi Arabia and why the American people don’t elect leaders who can end the forever wars.
Recorded on February 23, 2021. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
Guest: Gareth Porter. We discuss Gareth’s new article on the Biden administration’s endorsement of the Chinahawk narrative on Uychur genocide. Gareth examines the origin, source and credibility of that narrative, the Uyghur people and the Xinjiang province in China. There is also a bonus question about the likelihood of the Biden administration re-entering the JCPOA Iran deal and US military buildup in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf area. There is also a bonus question for patrons where Gareth gives his thoughts about a US return to the Iran deal under the new Biden administration and some further thoughts on Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
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 Grayzone. Read his most recent book authored with John Kirakou: The CIA Insider's Guide to the Iran Crisis: From CIA Coup to the Brink of War.
Swapcast: Kyle Anzalone from Conflicts of Interest and Joanne Leon from Around the Empire. We compare the Biden foreign policy to the Trump, Obama and Bush administrations, analyze press conference and announcements from NATO’s Jen Stoltenberg about expanding the number of troops and area of operation in Iraq and freezing any withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, and more.
Recorded on February 18, 2021. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
Hosts: Joanne Leon and Kelley Lane. Guests: Craig Jardula (aka Pasta) and Fiorella Isabel from the Convo Couch
We talk about Biden’s foreign policy speech (and other declarations) and the people who are now returning to the helm of the “national security state”. We talked about the increase in censorship (including the recent demonetizing of Convo Couch and others), the “blue fascism” of the establishment and our thoughts on the time being ripe for for a broad, independent political movement. There is a bonus question for patrons about election integrity and the “storming of the citadel of democracy” on January 6th and the impeachment that followed. Fiorella and Pasta were there on the ground in Washington that day and they share with us their observations and analysis of the situation.
Craig (aka Pasta) Jardula and Fiorella Isabel are the hosts of the Convo Couch show, an independent media show focused on politics, rooted in progressivism and one that strives to stand up for the little guy against the machine. They’ve done extensive work with candidates and investigation of elections and election systems.
Recorded on February 11, 2021. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
Swapcast: Kyle Anzalone from Conflicts of Interest and Joanne Leon from Around the Empire.
We discuss the 2020 election and a new Time magazine article titled “The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election” which explains how an “elite-cabal” “saved democracy” by 'influencing perceptions, changing rules and laws, steering media coverage and controlling the flow of information”. These actions are not illegal, but they affirm the feeling of many Americans that something was wrong with the 2020 election.
Joanne and Kyle argue that the article is even more nefarious than it appears. The bold, and likely exaggerated, claims about the cabal's influence are reported as unquestionably heroic. Meanwhile any effort by Trump or his supporters to question or challenge the “shadow campaign” is treated as an evil attack on democracy. The message is: Americans need our elites to craft the appropriate narrative so Americans consume the right information and vote for the correct candidate.
Recorded on February 6, 2021. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
Guest: Tom Luongo. We talk about market trading, the short squeeze tactic, Robinhood, Gamestop, silver and other assets that have been in play recently along with an allegedly grassroots populist, online-coordinated effort to rebel against hedge funds and Wall Street. Some have framed this movement as another generation of Occupy Wall Street. We also had a broader conversation about the overall unrest and in a bonus question about the possibility that behind the latest chaos might be yet another factional battle that could even involve foreign entities in a hybrid type war.
This podcast is another example of how both Tom Luongo and I seek out common ground for discussions even though our views are very different on some issues. But we both believe that a huge number of people from across the spectrum have many of the same fundamental wants, needs and objectives and we should seek those out when we can instead of demonizing and waging war against each other. These divides can be (and are) manipulated, aren’t in our best interest and only favor people who we should be opposing because they absolutely don’t have the best interests of the populace at heart. When we do that, we all lose, so let’s find common ground.
FOLLOW Tom at @TFL1728. Find his work at Gold, Goats ‘n Guns Also find his work at Patreon, Youtube and DLive and other platforms.
Recorded on February 1, 2021. Music by Fluorescent Grey.