Ep 76 Istanbul Summit: Europe Joins Astana Process feat Joshua Landis

Middle East expert Joshua Landis returns to the show to discuss the recent summit in Istanbul, Europe’s move to join the Astana process, the war in Syria, the Khashoggi Affair and the forces aligning against the current US foreign policy in the MidEast.

Ep76 Istanbul Summit feat Joshua Landis

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Ep 71 The Rise and Fall of John Brennan (Part 3)

Friends of the show Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter join Joanne Leon for a special three-part series on the Rise and Fall of John Brennan, done in a roundtable format and released in three separate episodes in the coming week for our listeners or available in advance, in full for patrons.Ep 71 The Rise and Fall of John Brennan - Part 3

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Ep 70 The Rise & Fall of John Brennan (Part 2)

Friends of the show Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter join Joanne Leon for a special three-part series on the Rise and Fall of John Brennan, done in a roundtable format and released in three separate episodes in the coming week for our listeners or available in advance, in full for patrons.Ep 70 The Rise and Fall of John Brennan Part 2

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Ep 69 The Rise and Fall of John Brennan (Part 1)

Friends of the show Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter join Joanne Leon for a special three-part series on the Rise and Fall of John Brennan, done in a roundtable format and released in three separate episodes in the coming week for our listeners or available in advance, in full for patrons.

Ep 69 The Rise and Fall of John Brennan Part 1

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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.

FOLLOW @aroundtheempire. SUBSCRIBE/FOLLOW on iTunes, iHeart, Spotify, YouTube, Facebook.

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 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 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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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 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

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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 53 Iran Conflict & Transatlantic Crisis (preview)

In this bonus episode (a bonus episode for patrons, 30 minute preview free to the public), Dan and Joanne talk about the growing conflict with Iran, the impact of Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran deal and the severe escalation in the Syrian war that began just hours after that withdrawal.

Listen to the full episode.

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Recorded on May 11, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

Time for Europe to Join the Resistance, Spiegel, by Klaus Brinkbäumer

Ep 51 Roundtable: Macron’s Prodigious Plan for the Middle East

We hold a roundtable discussion with Joanne Leon, Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter about French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the White House and Congress where he presented a prodigious plan for the Middle East that includes a harsher set of terms for the Iran deal, containment of Iran and Western dominance in the Middle East.

Kyle Anzalone is the host of the Foreign Policy Focus podcast and the editor-in-chief of ImmersionNews.com. He also writes the Daily News Roundup at Libertarian Institute.

Will Porter is a freelance journalist with a focus on US foreign policy and conflicts abroad. His work can be found at the Libertarian Institute, Antiwar.com and Consortium News

Support Kyle at  https://www.patreon.com/ForeignPolicyFocus. Support Will at patreon.com/WKPJournalist.

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

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

Ep 49 Leaving Syria feat. Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, USA, Ret.

Joanne talks with Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis, USA, Ret.about his recent article, “President Trump is right: Withdrawing from Syria strengthens US security,” and about the current precarious situation where Trump has changed his mind and is signalling an imminent attack on Syria and Russia, using an alleged chemical weapons attack in Ghouta as justification.

Col. Davis served for 21 years, including four combat deployments. He retired from the Army in 2015 and is now a Foreign Policy/Defense Analyst and a senior fellow for Defense Priorities. His areas of expertise are American foreign policy, Middle East policy, Asia policy, grand strategy, international relations, international security, and counterinsurgency.

In 2012, he wrote a classified whistleblower report for Congress about the war in Afghanistan and released an unclassified version to the public. Col Davis regularly appears on news shows and is published in national and international publications.

Follow Col. Davis on Twitter at @DanielLDavis1

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Recorded on April 11, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. President Trump is right: Withdrawing from Syria strengthens US security, Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis, USA, Ret., CNBC
  2. Truth, lies and Afghanistan, Armed Forces Journal (2012), Daniel L, Davis
  3. Fools Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan, Scott Horton

Ep 48 Dispatch From Damascus: Syrian War Big Picture & Power Players feat Elijah Magnier


 

Joanne talks with veteran war correspondent Elijah Magnier, from Damascus, about recent developments in Syria and his recent three-part article about the big picture and power players in the Syrian war. We also talk about the new crowd-funded book that he is writing on the history of Hezbollah.

Elijah is a journalist and a senior political risk analyst with over 32 years experience covering Europe and the Middle East.

Follow Elijah at @ejmalrai and find his work (in multiple languages) 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 April 2, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. Will America Accept its Defeat or Will it Challenge the Russian Bear and the Chinese Dragon (Part 1)”, Elijah Magnier
  2. Will America Accept its Defeat or Will it Challenge the Russian Bear and the Chinese Dragon (Part 2)”, Elijah Magnier
  3. Will America Accept its Defeat or Will it Challenge the Russian Bear and the Chinese Dragon (Part 3)”, Elijah Magnier

Ep 45: Ghouta, Afrin and Eastern Syria feat. Ehsani

Syrian analyst Ehsani returns to the show to talk about the latest developments in the Syrian war, with a focus on escalations in Eastern Ghouta, Afrin and Eastern Syria. Ehsani also shares his observations from a recent trip to Aleppo. This is a two-part interview originally recorded on March 8th. Due to delays in publishing and rapid developments in those regions, a second part was added on March 27th with updates on the situation.

Ehsani is a Syrian American originally from Aleppo. You can find his social media analysis and discussion about Syria on Twitter at @ehsani22. He has also written for the Syria Comment blog under the pseudonym, “Ehsani”.  

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions.

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Recorded on March 8 and March 27, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.

Reference Links:

  1. US Mulls Action as Pro-Syria Forces Mass Nearby,” Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com
  2. Erdoğan accuses US of planning to form ‘terror army’ in Syria,” The Guardian
  3. Trapped in Eastern Ghouta,” Patrick Cockburn, Counterpunch
  4. Which rebel groups are fighting in Syria’s eastern Ghouta?” Wesley Dockery, Deutsche Welle
  5. Nearly 6,800 militants, families leave E. Ghouta, head to Idlib” – Russian military, RT
  6. Turkish, FSA forces close in on Tel Rifaat town in northern Syria,” Hurriyet
  7. In face of Ghouta defeat, Syrian rebels blame each other,” Reuters
  8. Turkey Seizes Full Control Over Syria’s Afrin District,” Antiwar.com

Ep 42 Tillerson’s Way Forward on Syria

Dan and Joanne talk about Rex Tillerson’s unveiling of the Trump administration’s new Syria policy via a Stanford University speech and interview with Condoleeza Rice. The policy is named “The Way Forward” but ironically it seems more like a regression to the Bush/Cheney neoconservative foreign policy for the Middle East.  

We are independent media and we rely on your contributions.

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Recorded on January 23, 2018. Music by Fluorescent Grey.


Reference Links:

  1. State Dept. marketing video: “The Way Forward on Syria
  2. Press Briefing Jan. 18, State Dept.
  3. Tillerson “Remarks on the Way Forward for the United States in Syria”, Hoover Institution/Stanford University (transcripts and videos)
  4. Follow up Tillerson interview with Condoleeza Rice, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
  5. Tillerson tells the truth about Syria,” Washington Post Editorial Board
  6. A New Decision To Go To War In Syria,” Paul PIllar, LobeLog