Ep 68 Iraq Politics & Stalled Idlib Op in Syria feat Elijah Magnier

Elijah Magnier returns to the show for an update and insight on the political situation in Iraq where the prime minister selection process (also a proxy battle of sorts between the US and Iran) is still ongoing. See Around the Empire Episode 56 for our first conversation on this topic. We also talk about the stalled operation in Idlib and the power players involved.

Iraq Politics & Stalled Idlib Op in Syria feat Elijah Magnier

Elijah is a veteran war correspondent, a terrorism/counterterrorism analyst specializing in the Europe and the Middle East, especially Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Sudan and Libya. He recently left Iraq and is speaking to us today from Lebanon.

FOLLOW Elijah at @ejmalrai and find his work at ejmagnier.com. Support him by using the Paypal link at the bottom of every page on his website.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com.

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Recorded on September 14, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. A Weak and Divided Iraq is Stumbling Towards an Unbalanced Future (6/8/18), Elijah Magnier
  2. The US Forces in Al-Tanf are Beleaguered on both the Syrian and Iraqi Sides. Tehran is Challenging Washington in Iraq Abadi is No Longer the Agreed Favourite Candidate (7/23/18), Elijah Magnier
  3. Which War for Mesopotamia? Iraq Must Choose Between Iran and the US (8/21/18) , Elijah Magnier
  4. Faleh Al-Fayyad is the Official Anti-US PM Candidate in Iraq, While the US is Trying to Hit Iran Below the Belt (8/31/18), Elijah Magnier
  5. The US Horse Fell at the First Jump in Iraq (9/4/18), Elijah Magnier
  6. The USA Oblivious to the Rise of a Resistance Movement in Response to Its Interference in Iraqi Elections (9/5/18), Elijah Magnier
  7. A Wake-Up Call to the US in Baghdad: Will Haidar Abadi Become the Mohammad Morsi of Iraq? (9/7/18), Elijah Magnier
  8. Haidar Abadi Has Fallen With the Burned Walls of the Iranian Consulate in Basra (9/10/18), Elijah Magnier
  9. The Liberation of Idlib: Turkey is in the Way, With Russia Slowing Down (9/14/18), Elijah Magnier
  10. Syria – The Rationale Behind The Delay Of Idleb’s Liberation, Moon of Alabama
  11. Can Erdogan intimidate Assad into backing off Idlib?, Amberin Zaman, Al Monitor
  12. Turkey reinforces military in Syria’s Idlib after ceasefire call fails”, Orhan Coskun, Reuters
  13. Turkish Strategy in Northern Syria Military Operations, Turkish-Backed Groups and Idlib Issue, SouthFront
  14. Notorious Terrorist Commander Eliminated By Syrian Troops In Idlib”, Muraselon/The Syria Reporters

 

Ep 67 Mourning McCain, Mourning Empire feat Michael Tracey

Roving journalist Michael Tracey joins the show for a discussion about the McCain Holy Week, as he called it, and what it tells us about the state of the American empire.


Tracey is a journalist who has been published by numerous media organizations including The Young Turks, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, VICE, The Intercept. The Nation, Reason, American Conservative and New York Daily News.

FOLLOW @mtracey on Twitter and find his work on Medium and on his website.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com.

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Recorded on September 2, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. John McCain Was Not An Anecdote, Michael Tracey
  2. Funeral For A Dying Doctrine, Michael Tracey
  3. John McCain’s Funeral Was the Biggest Resistance Meeting Yet, Susan Glasser, The New Yorker
  4. Washington Mourns John McCain – And Its Own Demise Under Trump, Tim Alberta, Politico Magazine
  5. John McCain: The View from the Middle East, As’ad AbuKhalil, Consortium News

Ep 66 The Mission in Yemen feat Nasser Arrabyee

Yemeni journalist and filmmaker Nasser Arrabyee speaks to us from Sanaa about the war in Yemen. In 2015, a CENTCOM commander told a US Senator that he did not know Saudi Arabia’s goals and objectives in its war on Yemen and therefore could not assess the chances of success. More than three years later, Nasser Arrabyee helps us explore the answers to those questions. We talk about the US-backed Saudi and UAE coalition’s mission in Yemen, the Yemeni Resistance and Iran’s involvement. Arrabyee updates us on the situation in Hodeidah and we discuss the recent AP report on the Saudi/UAE cooperation with al Qaeda.


Arrabyee has produced four documentaries about the war in Yemen and has been published by numerous media outlets including the New York Times, Bloomberg and Foreign Policy. FOLLOW @narrabyee on Twitter and find his work at his website yemen-now.com.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com.

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Recorded on August 16, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing (3/26/15) exchange between Sen. Gillibrand and Gen. Lloyd Austin (at 2:16:46)
  2. America Is Committing War Crimes and Doesn’t Even Know Why, Micah Zenko, Foreign Policy
  3. The toll of wars in the Middle East, WHYY Radio Times, Marty Moss-Coane
  4. Why is Saudi halting oil shipments through the Red Sea?, Stephen Kalin, Rania El Gamal, Reuters
  5. Yemen: US allies don’t defeat al-Qaida but pay it to go away, AP
  6. Inside the UAE’s war on al-Qaeda in Yemen, Bel Trew, The Independent
  7. After dozens of children die, Trump administration faces mounting pressure over Yemen war, Missy Ryan, Washington Post

 

Ep 65 Turkey: Economic War & Global Realignments feat Tom Luongo

Analyst and writer Tom Luongo returns to the show to talk about the economic and geopolitical implications of the current hybrid war between the US and Turkey and the broader war around it. We discuss the collapse of the Turkish Lira, dollar-denominated debt, how currency wars work, and the inertia of markets and traders. We also delve into the geopolitical lead up to this crisis — Turkey’s role in the Syrian war and a failed coup — both of which led to realignments and new allies that might result in an unusual rescue. Will Turkey employ a Russian formula for surviving sanctions and currency crises? Will it lead to an exit from NATO?  Or will the old guard, Cold Warrior foreign policy establishment bring a defiant Erdogan back into the fold one more time?

Tom is former research chemist and a current staunch libertarian. His specialty is markets analysis informed by geopolitics. Tom currently publishes his blog, Gold Goats ‘n Guns along with a monthly investment newsletter focused on geopolitics, commodities and cryptocurrencies. His work is also featured regularly on sites like Zerohedge, Strategic Culture Foundation and Investing.com. FOLLOW Tom @TFL1728. Find his work at Gold, Goats ‘n Guns, Steemit and on YouTube.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

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Recorded on August 14, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Lira Collapse To Jump The Mediterranean, Tom Luongo, ZeroHedge
  2. BRICTS: Turkey Is Getting Off The US Reservation, Tom Luongo, ZeroHedge
  3. Five Pillars of Debt Default, Tom Luongo, Gold, Goats n Guns
  4. Turkey’s president: US waging economic war against Turkey, Associated Press
  5. Losing Faith Fast, Istanbul Merchants Throw in Towel on the Lira, Bloomberg
  6. Erdogan: How Turkey Sees the Crisis With the U.S., New York Times Op-Ed

Ep 64 Yemen War Big Picture & Media Narrative feat Isa Blumi

We continue our discussion with Dr. Isa Blumi, speaking to us from Sweden, about the war in Yemen including the battle for Hodeidah, the development of Horn of Africa and Red Sea coast  and the bigger picture this war reveals. We discuss the underlying existential battles between Gulf States, the political factions in the United States they’re aligned with, and the western imperial and corporate powers at work in the region. Dr. Blumi expertly analyzes and advises on how to read the western media coverage and propaganda on Yemen and the old “divide and rule” exploitation tactics that are employed.

Dr. Blumi is an historian, an author and an Associate Professor at Stockholm University. His recent book 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.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Dan & Joanne: @USEmpireShow,  @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on July 31, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Destroying Yemen: What Chaos in Arabia Tells Us about the World, Isa Blumi, UC Press
  2. UAE talks up diplomacy as Congress curtails US involvement in Yemen war, Jack Detsch, Middle East Monitor
  3. China probing emerging UAE reserves, Daniel J. Graeber, UPI
  4. Why is Saudi halting oil shipments through the Red Sea?, Stephen Kalin, Rania El Gamal, Reuters
  5. Yemen: US allies don’t defeat al-Qaida but pay it to go away, AP
  6. Ep 55 Imperial War, Gulf State Rivalry, Resources and Resistance in Yemen feat Isa Blumi, Around the Empire Podcast

Ep 63 Helsinki Summit and the New Great Game in Eurasia feat Pepe Escobar

Journalist and analyst Pepe Escobar, speaks to us from Bangkok about the new Great Game in Eurasia and why the critical military and geopolitical situation requires that the US resume relations with Russia despite the massive forces working against that.

Escobar is the correspondent-at-large for Asia Times and a frequent contributor to websites, TV and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia. Born in Brazil, he’s been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong.  FOLLOW Pepe Escobar on Facebook and find his work at Asia Times.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Dan & Joanne: @USEmpireShow,  @joanneleon. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on July 26, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Here’s the real reason the US must talk to Russia, Pepe Escobar, Asia Times
  2. Losing Military Supremacy: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning, Andrei Martyanov

Ep 62 Trump Putin MidEast Grand Bargain feat Jim Kavanagh

Dan and Joanne talk with Jim Kavanagh about the summit between American President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and the anticipated attempt to strike a MidEast grand bargain.

Jim is editor and writer at The Polemicist. His work is also published at CounterPunch, Greanville Post and he’s a frequent guest on the Loud and Clear radio show.  Follow Jim at @ThePolemicist_ . Find his work at polemicist.net.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. Follow Dan & Joanne: @USEmpireShow,  @joanneleonSUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on July 12, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Lindsey Graham interview laying out War Party strategy for Syria, Iran, Turkey (starts at 2:27)
  2. Israeli, Saudi, and Emirati Officials Privately Pushed for Trump to Strike a “Grand Bargain” with Putin, Adam Entous, New Yorker
  3. Netanyahu May Offer Putin: Remove Iran From Syria for Lifting of U.S. Sanctions on Russia, Zvi Bar’el, Haaretz
  4. Middle East officials flocking to Moscow – is there a big deal to be made before Putin meets Trump?, RT
  5. The Real “Deal of The Century” in The Middle East is The One Russia Struck With Israel Regarding Syria, Adam Garrie, Eurasia Future
  6. The Warm War: Russiamania At The Boiling Point, Jim Kavanagh, The Polemicist

 

Ep 61 Escalation With China feat Peter Lee

Dan and Joanne talk with writer and analyst Peter Lee (aka @chinahand) about the escalation between the United States and China. We also discuss the broader East Asian region including Japan, Taiwan and Korea.

Peter has decades of experience in East Asia both as a businessman and as a writer. He produces Newsbud’s “China Watch” and is published at Asia Times, CounterPunch at his own blog, China Matters. Follow Peter at @chinahand.  

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

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Recorded on July 6, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. China’s retaliation to U.S. tariffs will hit American soybean farmers, automakers and oil producers — and have the greatest effect on counties that voted for Trump, Wall Street Journal
  2. Tariffs ‘kick off 50-year trade war’ with China, Pepe Escobar, Asia Times

Ep 60 Assange Immunity & Disclosure Deal Scuttled by Russiagate Officials feat Elizabeth Lea Vos

Joanne talks with Elizabeth Lea Vos about the immunity deal for Wikileaks founder and editor Julian Assange — a deal that was scuttled by James Comey via Sen. Mark Warner in the Spring of 2017. We also discuss the independent analysis on the transmission of documents published by Guccifer2.

Elizabeth is the Editor-In-Chief of @DisobedientNews. Follow her at @ElizabethLeaVos and find her work at disobedientmedia.com. She also is an organizer of monthly #Unity4J vigils which advocate for the restoration of Julian Assange’s rights to communication with the outside world and ultimately for his release. The next vigil is scheduled for the weekend of July 7-8, 2018. Details at Unity4J.com and @Unity4J.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

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Recorded on July 3, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. How Comey intervened to kill WikiLeaks’ immunity deal, John Solomon, The Hill
  2. Did Sen. Warner and Comey ‘Collude’ on Russia-gate?, Ray McGovern, ConsortiumNews

Ep 59 US-Backed Rebels and Al Qaeda in Southern Syria feat Sharmine Narwani

Dan and Joanne talk with Sharmine Narwani about the Southern Front — US-backed rebels based in southern Syria — and their affiliation with al Qaeda. We also discuss how the Syrian war is like an irregular world war and how it has played a role in accelerating a global shift in power.

Sharmine is a commentator and analyst of Mideast geopolitics based in Beirut, speaking to us today from the United States. She is a former senior associate at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University and has been published by a wide variety of publications, including the New York Times, the Guardian, Asia Times Online, al Akhbar English, Al Jazeera and RT.

Follow Sharmine @snarwani and find her work at her website mideastshuffle.com

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

Find all of our work at our website aroundtheempire.com

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Please subscribe/follow us on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook.

Recorded on June 28, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

Are al-Qaeda Affiliates Fighting Alongside U.S. Rebels in Syria’s South?, Sharmine Narwani, The American Conservative

Ep 58 Russiagate Still Doesn’t Make Sense feat Aaron Maté

Dan and Joanne talk with Aaron Maté about Russiagate and the Mueller investigation. We discuss Aaron’s recent article which argues that after a year of investigation there have been several guilty pleas, but none of them go “to the core of the special counsel’s mandate,” about collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Aaron is a host/producer for The Real News and a contributor at The Nation magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @aaronjmate.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

Find all of our work at our website aroundtheempire.com

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Recorded on June 21, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

The Mueller Indictments Still Don’t Add Up to Collusion, Aaron Maté, The Nation

Ep 57 2016 Election Intelligence Ops & Investigations feat Garland Nixon

Joanne talks with political analyst and Progressive Independent Garland Nixon about investigations and intelligence operations concerning the 2016 election. We also talk about the recently published Inspector General report on the Clinton email “MidYear Exam” investigation.

Garland is the co-host of the daily radio show “Fault Lines” and host of the weekly radio show “News Views With Garland Nixon”. He is also has a background in law enforcement and investigations. Follow him @Garland Nixon.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

Find all of our work at our website aroundtheempire.com. 
Follow @aroundtheempire.  Follow Dan & Joanne: @USEmpireShow,  @joanneleon.
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Recorded on June 20, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Ep 56 Politics in Iraq and the Battle for Southwest Syria feat Elijah Magnier

Elijah Magnier returns to the show to talk about politics in post-ISIS Iraq, the results of the recent election, and the mission to select a new prime minister and cabinet. Elijah and Joanne also talk about the latest developments in Syria as the battle for the southwest Syria begins.

Elijah is a veteran war correspondent, a terrorism/counterterrorism analyst specializing in the Europe and the Middle East, especially Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Sudan and Libya. He recently left Iraq and is speaking to us today from Lebanon.

Follow Elijah at @ejmalrai and find his work at ejmagnier.com

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

Find all of our work at our website aroundtheempire.com

Follow @aroundtheempire. Follow Dan & Joanne: @USEmpireShow,  @joanneleon

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Recorded on May 31, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Qassam Soleimani and Donald Trump Agree on Al-Abadi as Prime Minister Despite Ameri and Maliki’s Discontent, Elijah Magnier
  2. South Syria to Return Within the Control of Damascus: With or Without a Russian-Israeli Deal, Elijah Magnier
  3. The Iraqi Elections: Implications For Regional Politics, Shireen Hunter, LobeLog

Ep 55 Imperial War, Gulf State Rivalry, Resources and Resistance in Yemen feat Isa Blumi

Joanne interviews Dr. Isa Blumi, an historian, an author and an Associate Professor at Stockholm University. His recent book 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.”

Dr. Blumi gives us a deeper understanding of the war in Yemen in a way that is compelling, fascinating, tragic, and largely untold in the western world. Yemen’s people have a long history of resistance. The war in Yemen is an imperial war for resources and dominance and also a hidden war between Gulf state rivals. The latest escalation of the war has been fueled by Saudi Arabia’s now urgent need for finance and resources.

Follow @IsaBlumi and find his latest book at UCPress.edu.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

Find all of our work at our website aroundtheempire.com

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Recorded on May 10, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Destroying Yemen: What Chaos in Arabia Tells Us about the World, Isa Blumi, UC Press
  2. A History of the Colonial War in Yemen and the US Involvement, KPFA

Ep 54 Crossfire Hurricane

Dan and Joanne analyze the New York Times exposure of Operation Crossfire Hurricane and commentary by the authors. We examine the damning claims by pro-Trump media and we also talk about Daily Caller’s revelation of the identity of the alleged FBI informant in the Trump campaign.

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions. Patreon: patreon.com/aroundtheempire Donations: aroundtheempire.com

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Recorded on May 17, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation, Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Nicholas Fandos, New York Times
  2. EXCLUSIVE: Cambridge Prof With CIA, MI6 Ties Met With Trump Adviser During Campaign, Beyond, Chuck Ross, Daily Caller