Bronwyn Bruton joins the show to discuss the United States’ continued and unreported war in Somalia, which has created a regional crisis that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Despite constant support and funding from the United States, the Somalian government has no legitimacy or functionality. While the U.S. has been happy to spend taxpayer money, it has relied on African countries neighboring Somalia to do the dirty work fighting Islamic extremists. Bruton then touches on the neighboring countries in the Horn of Africa and why some countries get a pass for their human rights abuses, like in Ethiopia, while others, particularly Eritrea, are demonized. Finally, United States intervention in Northeast Africa has the potential to spiral out of control with a possible ethnic civil war brewing in Ethiopia.
Bruton is the deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center. She can be followed on Twitter @BronwynBruton.
Discussed on the show:
- “Trump Declares Somalia a War Zone” (Daily Beast)
- “WikiLeaks Reveals U.S. Twisted Ethiopia’s Arm to Invade Somalia” (FPIF.com)
- Islamic Courts Union
- “Ethiopia: Peaceful Protest to Armed Uprising” (Counterpunch.com)
- “How an American Bureaucrat Became President of Somalia” (Politico)
- “Somalia famine ‘killed 260,000 people‘” (BBC)
- Bab-el-Mandeb Strait
- Battle of Mogadishu (1993)
- Eritrea-Ethiopia war (1998)
- Oromo People
- The Derg (Communist Party of Ethiopia)
Reza Marashi returns to the show to discuss his most recent article, “Trump is Violating the Iran Deal.” Marashi explains how the Trump administration is violating the Iran Deal by reneging on its part of the bargain pertaining to economic promises made to Iran. Despite the United States’ bad faith, the deal includes a number of resolution measures such that a single violation shouldn’t torpedo what progress has been made. But it has raised concern from the rest of the world that Washington’s violation will result in other conflicts that will be more difficult to resolve as a result. One such potential conflict is Iran’s vast power and influence throughout the Middle East, which the the Bush and Obama administrations have gifted Iran by way of their repeated foreign policy blunders in Iraq and elsewhere. And while Obama realized late in his presidency that diplomacy with Iran was the only option to resolve the problem, the Trump administration’s belligerence has only made matters worse.
Reza Marashi is the Research Director at the National Iranian American Council. Previously he worked in the Office of Iranian Affairs at the State Department. Follow him on Twitter @rezamarashi.
Discussed on the show:
- “Trump is Violating the Iran Deal,” by Reza Marashi and Tyler Cullis (
- “Iran Dominates in Iraq After U.S. ‘Handed the Country Over‘” (New York Times)
- “Full transcript: Defense Secretary James Mattis’ interview with The Islander” (Mercer Island High School)
- Shia Crescent
- “The Growing Danger of War With Iran,” by Paul Pillar (National Interest)
Kelley B. Vlahos joins Scott to discuss her latest article on the failures of the nuclear weapons industry for the American Conservative Magazine, “Dr. Strangelove and the Los Alamos Nuclear Fiasco“. Vlahos details how the government has corporatized nuclear labs with near disastrous effects. Crony capitalism has diminished competition as contracts are handed back and forth, which gives companies no incentive to improve their services or cut their costs. Workers are often subjected to poor working environments and inadequate training. Despite a constant stream of issues, the Bechtel Corporation has been making $2 billion on their deal with the U.S. government for the past 10 years while taxpayers foot the bill. Scott wonders whether Donald Trump might not be able to get revenge on liberal Russia hysteria by negotiating a nuclear disarmament deal with Russia.
Discussed on the show:
- Los Alamos National Security
- Bechtel Corporation
- “Safety lapses undermine nuclear warhead work at Los Alamos,” by Patrick Malone and R. Jeffrey Smith (Center for Public Integrity)
- “A near-disaster at a federal nuclear weapons laboratory takes a hidden toll on America’s arsenal,” by Patrick Malone (The Center for Public Integrity)
- Los Alamos Study Group
- “Bombs Versus Budgets: Inside the Nuclear Weapons Lobby,” by William D. Hartung
- “Trump’s Nuclear Experience: In 1987, he set out to solve the world’s biggest problem,” by Ron Rosenbaum (Slate)
John Feffer, of Foreign Policy in Focus, joins Scott to discuss whether the escalating war of words (and missile tests) between North Korea and the United States is just bluster or something more sinister. Feffer explains how China and Russia help mitigate conflict, why the U.S. would be heavily incentivized to use conventional weaponry if war were to break out, and in what circumstances the United States might use nuclear weapons in North Korea. According to Feffer the U.S. has three unpalatable options: ignore North Korea, go to war, or negotiate. Scott wonders how North Korea would respond to a truly non-interventionist U.S. foreign policy and Feffer explains how the Bush administration jettisoned a working deal with North Korea that had paused their nuclear proliferation and how Obama’s negligent attitude toward North Korea killed momentum toward non-proliferation.
Feffer is the co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus and author of the dystopian novel Splinterlands. His latest article for FPIF.org is “Honoring Otto Warmbier.” Follow Feffer on Twitter @JohnFeffer.
Discussed on the show:
- Trump tweets red line for North Korea
- “North Korea successfully tests missile that experts say could hit Alaska” (Business Insider)
- Stumbling backward into war
- Moon Jae-in
- Transcript: Defense Secretary James Mattis on “Face the Nation,” May 28, 2017
- “Chronology of U.S.-North Korean Nuclear and Missile Diplomacy” (Arms Control Association)
- Siegried S. Hecker
- Six-party talks
- “How U.S. Used a Bank to Punish North Korea” (Wall Street Journal)
- Christopher Hill
- “Leap Day in North Korea” (Foreign Policy)
Nasser Arrabyee returns to the show to share his reporting on the war in Yemen. The war dates back to March 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its U.S.-led coalition began raining death on Yemen in an attempt to reinstall the government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who Hillary Clinton empowered in 2012. Arrabyee discusses his experience the outbreak of cholera, how Southern Yemen has fallen into state of lawlessness as ISIS and al-Qaeda’s power has continued to grow, and how Saudi Arabia fights alongside al Qaeda and ISIS and Sudanese mercenaries throughout the country. While Saudi Arabia is the face of the war in Yemen, this is very much an American war.
Arrabyee is a Yemeni journalist based in Sana’a, Yemen. He is the owner and director of yemen-now.com. You can follow him on Twiiter @narrabyee.
Discussed on the show:
- Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi
- Ali Abdullah Saleh
- Aidarus al-Zoubaidi (UAE puppet)
- Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
- “Death in Al Ghayil: Women and Children in Yemeni Village Recall Horror of Trump’s ‘Highly Successful’ SEAL Raid,” by Iona Craig
- “5/31/17 Clair Manera, coordinator of MSF project Yemen, is interviewed on the Cholera outbreak.” (Scott Horton Show)
- “Yemen cholera cases pass 300,000 mark, ICRC says” (Reuters)
- “A young prince may cost Syria and Yemen dear,” by Patrick Cockburn
- Al Hudayadah (port)
- “Over 17 million people are under threat of famine in war-torn Yemen” (ForeignPolicy.com)
Hey I finally did another one. Sorry about the delay.
It’s just the same old shit really, but new for some of yall I guess.
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Scott, Will Grigg, Sheldon Richman and Jared Labell make a big announcement.
I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart as you have changed my life for the better. Today I resigned my commission in the United States Army as I can no longer be part of a death machine that does no good for any part of a peaceful, productive society. Your website and podcast have turned me from a vengeful, war loving person to a man of peaceful voluntarism. I cannot thank you enough as you have made me a better person, thus making me a better husband, father, and human.
I became a Christian before a libertarian and was still the typical American Christian. One that says I like peace but at the same time supporting the killing of innocents in horrible, unnecessary conflicts that spend money we don’t have and kill people we have no business killing. I found your site and podcasts, along with Lew Rockwell and Mr. Tom Woods, and I became a Christian that is a libertarian. I am so thankful for the work you have done and my life has been changed in ways that benefit me more than I can ever express. Your interviews with former military members and conscientious objectors gave me the confidence that there are others out there like me and they are living a free and happy life!
In fact, I am in the process of becoming a Paramedic as penance for my time hurting people. I read your site every day and I share it with others often. You are one of my heroes for your consistent views and sacrifice for what you believe. I hope to be able to help others as you have helped me. By the way, your website is blocked on government computers so you must have them scared.
I feel a weight is lifted off my shoulders as the dichotomy of my views is no longer. I thank you so much and look forward to spending my time with my children and living my life as free as possible. Thank you and I am anxiously awaiting your book!