Ep 208: NATO Escalation in Iraq feat Elijah Magnier

Ep 208: NATO Escalation in Iraq feat Elijah Magnier

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 US and NATO troops will no longer be withdrawn from Iraq but instead there will be a NATO escalation in Iraq and a substantial expansion of the mission. 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. 

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Ep 208EXTRA: Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Why We Can’t End Forever Wars

Ep 208EXTRA: Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Why We Can’t End Forever Wars

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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 US and NATO troops will no longer be withdrawn from Iraq but instead the escalate and expand the mission substantially.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.” 

This is a bonus episode 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. 

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Ep 206 New Boss Same As the Old Boss? (Swapcast)

Ep 206 New Boss Same As the Old Boss? (Swapcast)

Swapcast: Kyle Anzalone from Conflicts of Interest and Joanne Leon from Around the Empire. Is the new boss the same as the old boss? 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. 

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Ep 196 Iran & Middle East Shifting Priorities? feat Elijah Magnier

Ep 196  Iran & Middle East Shifting Priorites? feat Elijah Magnier

Guest: Elijah Magnier. We talk about the recent assassination of an Iranian top scientist and threats of retaliation proposed by hardline Iranian media, the precarious situation and shifting priorities due to Trump  likely leaving office soon and Netanyahu’s political troubles. We discuss the failure to withdraw US troops from Iraq and the likely consequences, the prospects for rejoining the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal and the things that could complicate that, the stronger influence of Russia and China in the region and finally a bonus question about the relationship between Trump and Netanyahu near the end of his term. 

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Ep 186 Withdrawal From Iran Deal Snaps Back feat Neda Bolourchi

Ep 186 Withdrawal From Iran Deal Snaps Back feat Neda Bolourchi

Guest: Neda Bolourchi. We talk about the recent developments with the JCPOA, withdrawal from 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. 

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Ep 186EXTRA Middle East Prospects in New Cold War Era feat Neda Bolourchi

Ep 186 EXTRA Middle East Prospects in New Cold War Era feat Neda Bolourchi

LISTEN ON PATREON

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. This is an extra bonus segment for patrons: Ep 186EXTRA Middle East Prospects in the New Cold War Era. 

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Ep 169 EXTRA Sanctioned Countries Collaborate feat Elijah Magnier

Ep 169 EXTRA Sanctioned Countries Collaborate feat Elijah Magnier

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Guest: Elijah Magnier. Eventually, sanctioned countries collaborate with each other. In the age of decline of the Anglo-American empire, every tool in the toolbox has been pulled out and weaponized and deployed to maintain dominance and for much longer than is normally effective. Elijah explains how Russia, Venezuela and the axis of resistance in the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen) with assistance from China are collaborating to overcome and get around both long standing and ever increasing sanctions by the US and allied countries and also finding ways to be more self sufficient to the point where the sanctions have much less impact and in some ways destructive for those doing the sanctioning. We also talk about the latest developments in Syria and the reconstruction dilemma. 

This is an extra/bonus segment for patrons. Given that this seems like a turning point for the US and the world, I ask Elijah for insights on whether there are parallels in history and for his views on how things are likely to play out. You can find that on Patreon, Episode 169 EXTRA. 

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Ep 169 Sanctioned Countries Collaborate feat Elijah Magnier

Ep 169 Sanctioned Countries Collaborate feat Elijah Magnier

Guest: Elijah Magnier. Eventually, sanctioned countries collaborate with each other. In the age of decline of the Anglo-American empire, every tool in the toolbox has been pulled out and weaponized and deployed to maintain dominance and for much longer than is normally effective. Elijah explains how Russia, Venezuela and the axis of resistance in the Middle East (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen) with assistance from China are collaborating to overcome and get around both long standing and ever increasing sanctions by the US and allied countries and also finding ways to be more self sufficient to the point where the sanctions have much less impact and in some ways destructive for those doing the sanctioning. We also talk about the latest developments in Syria and the reconstruction dilemma. 

There’s an extra/bonus segment for patrons. Given that this seems like a turning point for the US and the world, I ask Elijah for insights on whether there are parallels in history and for his views on how things are likely to play out. You can find that on Patreon, Episode 169 EXTRA. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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Ep 140 Uprising in Iraq feat Elijah Magnier

Ep 140 Uprising in Iraq feat Elijah Magnier

Guest: Elijah Magnier. Uprising in Iraq: A new generation of Iraqis has new ideas and is not willing to accept an old, corrupt system dominated by ruling parties and sectarianism. Iraqis want foreign meddling to stop and they want reform and change. They want the country’s resources to be used to improve the quality of life. Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr still has enormous influence over the protesters in the street and the ministers in the government. But what does Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr want to achieve?

Prime Minister Mahdi inherited all the corruption and deficits from previous governments, the complications of alliances with the US and Iran and neighboring countries. His errors in handling the protests and his police forces and the violent crackdown led to his downfall. The search for a new leader of the parliament and the important ministries is on but there probably won’t be a new election until 2021. Will this new generation of Iraqis succeed in acting as a check on the corrupt actors going forward? 

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Ep 127 Iraq Protests, US-Iran War, Regime Change feat Elijah Magnier

Ep 127 Iraq Protests, US-Iran War, Regime Change feat Elijah Magnier

Guest: Elijah Magnier. We discuss the uprising and protests across Iraq that turned violent this week, with over a hundred deaths and thousands of injuries. 

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