Ep 155 5 Years of War on Yemen & Coronavirus Crisis (Swapcast)

Ep 155 Swapcast 5 Years of War in Yemen and Coronavirus Crisis

On this Foreign Policy Focus and Around the Empire swapcast, Kyle and Joanne discuss the five year anniversary of the US/Saudi/UAE war on Yemen. The anniversary has received almost no media coverage in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. It’s the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and makes Yemen extremely vulnerable to the coronavirus crisis. The US/Saudi/UAE/UK bombing campaign has intentionally targeted the civilian infrastructure of Yemen. 24 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and millions of children are at risk of starvation. Yemen must be remembered and the war must end.

Continue reading “Ep 155 5 Years of War on Yemen & Coronavirus Crisis (Swapcast)”

Ep 154 Afghanistan Papers and the Culture of Lying feat Matthew Hoh

Ep 154 Afghanistan Papers feat Matthew Hoh

Guest: Matthew Hoh. We talk about the Afghanistan Papers that were published in the Washington Post at the end of 2019 and the media treatment of these issues. We discuss Matthew’s experience in the military and in foreign service, the war in Afghanistan during the Bush and Obama administrations, and the culture of lying that has developed in the military. Matthew resigned in protest in 2009 over the war in Afghanistan. 

Continue reading “Ep 154 Afghanistan Papers and the Culture of Lying feat Matthew Hoh”

Ep 153 Saudi Crackdowns Fail to Silence Online Dissent feat Jennifer Pan & Alexandra Siegel

Ep 153 Saudi Crackdowns Fail to Silence Online Dissent feat Jennifer Pan and Alexandra Siegel

Guests: Jennifer Pan, Alexandra Siegel. We talk about their research paper titled  “How Saudi Crackdowns Fail to Silence Online Dissent” which was published in American Political Science Review. They studied the effects of well-known Saudi activists, religious leaders and journalists being imprisoned for online dissent. They analyzed tweets and Google search data from 2010 to 2017 using automated analysis of text and crowd-sourced evaluation of content to draw conclusions about the behavior of their peers and followers. Their research showed that it did not suppress online dissent overall. 

Continue reading “Ep 153 Saudi Crackdowns Fail to Silence Online Dissent feat Jennifer Pan & Alexandra Siegel”

Ep 152 Kevin Gosztola: Insights from Assange Extradition Hearing in London

Ep 152 Kevin Gosztola Insights from Assange Extradition Hearing in London

Kevin Gosztola provides an account of his experience reporting on the Julian Assange extradition hearing for four days at the court in London, plus more details and insights about the case and the people involved.

Continue reading “Ep 152 Kevin Gosztola: Insights from Assange Extradition Hearing in London”

Ep 151 Journalism on Trial feat Gordon Dimmack

Ep 151 Journalism on Trial feat Gordon Dimmack

Guest: Gordon Dimmack. We discuss the extradition hearing for Julian Assange, the failure of the mainstream media journalists and more. John Pilger has made good use of the phrase “journalism on trial” and  it As John Pilger noted today: “Should Julian #Assange be extradited, it will not only be a crime of the British state but of those quisling journalists who smeared and lied about him”. Their actions and negligence are also undermining their own press freedoms and placing their own profession in jeopardy. Gordon has repeatedly made these same arguments with strong substantiation. He has dedicated himself to both calling them out and making up for their failings. 

Continue reading “Ep 151 Journalism on Trial feat Gordon Dimmack”

Ep 149 US vs Iran Conflicts feat Danny Sjursen

Ep 149 US vs Iran Conflicts feat Maj. Danny Sjursen, USA (ret.)

Guest: Maj. Danny Sjursen, US Army (ret.) We talk about two articles that Danny wrote about US vs Iran conflicts over the last seven decades and what he calls a “timeline of provocations and retaliations”. Also we talk about Iran’s history of relative restraint. 

Continue reading “Ep 149 US vs Iran Conflicts feat Danny Sjursen”

Ep 148 Low Intensity War in Northeast Asia feat Tim Shorrock

Ep 148 Low Intensity War in Northeast Asia feat Tim Shorrock

Guest: Tim Shorrock. In recent weeks there have been cries of alarm about North Korea’s missile testing all throughout the media but they’ve omitted some key developments like the massive military build up and low intensity war in South Korea and Northeast Asia over the past few years. Tim provides us with some of that omitted context including the fact that the South Korean armed forces, allied with the US, is the seventh largest in the world.

Continue reading “Ep 148 Low Intensity War in Northeast Asia feat Tim Shorrock”

Ep 147 Propaganda Campaigns Against Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders feat Alan MacLeod

Ep 147 Propaganda Campaigns Against Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders

Guest: Alan MacLeod. We discuss the recent UK elections and how the Labour Party’s Brexit strategy backfired. We talk about the relentless propaganda campaign that was launched against Jeremy Corbyn and how there is a similar campaign being run against Bernie Sanders in the United States that is growing in intensity. We wonder if Bernie will learn from Corbyn’s experience or whether he’ll continue the kind of “high road” approach that did not turn out well for Corbyn. We also discuss the post-election implications for the future of the United Kingdom and its constituent countries England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We also discuss the coup in Bolivia. 

Continue reading “Ep 147 Propaganda Campaigns Against Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders feat Alan MacLeod”

Ep 146 Pompeo’s Gulf of Tonkin feat Gareth Porter

Ep 146 Pompeo's Gulf of Tonkin feat Gareth Porter

Guest: Gareth Porter. As the news was breaking of Iranian retaliatory strikes on military bases in Iraq where American troops were deployed, Gareth Porter and I were talking about his analysis comparing the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident in Vietnam to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s apparent strategy to “grease the skids” for war with Iran. 

Continue reading “Ep 146 Pompeo’s Gulf of Tonkin feat Gareth Porter”

Ep 145 Crowdstrike Analysis Revisited feat Jeffrey Carr

Ep 145 Crowdstrike Analysis Revisited feat Jeffrey Carr

Guest: Jeffrey Carr. Dan Wright and Joanne Leon had a reunion conversation with cybersecurity expert Jeffrey Carr to revisit the infamously erroneous Crowdstrike analysis of the DNC hack which they attributed to Russia based on their analysis of an alleged Russian hack of a Ukrainian military artillery app. We also discussed Crowdstrike’s history, its recent mention in  President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky (the same phone call that led to his impeachment for a different reason) and the broader issue of how cybersecurity firms are incentivized to make specious claims concerning attribution of a hack, particularly if it gains them notoriety that leads to more business.

Continue reading “Ep 145 Crowdstrike Analysis Revisited feat Jeffrey Carr”

Ep 144 What Really Happened in Iraq feat Elijah Magnier

Ep 144 What Really Happened in Iraq feat Elijah Magnier

Guest: Elijah Magnier. We discuss what really happened in Iraq over the past week, leading up to the killing of the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and the Iraqi PMU vice commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes. We talk about the reactions, justifications and likely consequences. Also, Elijah provides some more clarification on the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF/PMU or Hashd al-Shaabi) and the way the different Iraqi security forces have been described inaccurately in western media. 

Continue reading “Ep 144 What Really Happened in Iraq feat Elijah Magnier”

Ep 143 The Killing of Soleimani feat Neda Bolourchi

Ep 143 Killing of Soleimani feat Neda Bolourchi

Guest: Neda Bolourchi. We talk about the killing of Soleimani, the assassination of Iranian major general of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Qasem Soleimani by the US military. Was it a punishment for past actions or an attempt at deterrence toward Iran or both? We discuss the impact on the people of Iraq and Iran and the recent protests, the prospects for retaliation by Iran and war throughout the region. 

Continue reading “Ep 143 The Killing of Soleimani feat Neda Bolourchi”

Ep 142 Regime Change Resistance: OAS, Bolivia, Dominica feat Jeb Sprague

Ep 142 Regime Change Resistance: OAS Bolivia Dominica feat Jeb Sprague

Guest: Jeb Sprague. We discuss how regime change projects seem to be on overdrive right now, the key role played by the Organization of American States (OAS) in regime change operations in Latin American and Caribbean states (former colonial states). Recently in the Commonwealth of Dominica (an island country in the West Indies), there was a successful resistance to regime change. In Bolivia, there was strong resistance as well, but the coup plotters succeeded. Jeb’s research and reporting on the role of Bolivia’s top police and military brass in planning and executing the coup shows that it was a long term project with training at the School of the Americas. 

Continue reading “Ep 142 Regime Change Resistance: OAS, Bolivia, Dominica feat Jeb Sprague”

Ep 141 Maidan Massacre in Ukraine feat Ivan Katchanovski

Ep 141 Maidan Massacre in Ukraine feat Ivan Katchanovski

Guest: Ivan Katchanovski to talk about his vast research and his detailed and prolific writings and presentations on the Maidan protests and the 2014 Maidan massacre in Ukraine. 

Continue reading “Ep 141 Maidan Massacre in Ukraine feat Ivan Katchanovski”