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Fool’s Errand Turns 1

My book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan came out a year ago today. It was good timing since I knew that Trump was about to launch his first escalation there and that other than that, the status quo would hold: the Taliban would continue to slowly...

Recent Episodes of the Scott Horton Show

1/7/19 Gareth Porter on the Khmer Rouge

Gareth Porter comes back on the show to respond to claims that he’s an apologist for Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. In explaining his 1975 book, Cambodia: Starvation and Revolution, he identifies a dangerous trend surrounding American wars abroad, which he himself fell victim to: The propaganda from U.S. war planners is often so egregious that dissenters are inclined to take precisely the opposite position, even when that position is also wrong. Scott cites the example of claiming Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the war crimes he did in fact commit, simply because the Bush Jr. administration painted him as almost comically threatening in order to justify the invasion of Iraq. Although Porter admits he got it wrong in Cambodia, the experience has made him a much more careful journalist since then, striving always to understand and take seriously every major argument on all sides of an important issue.

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist on the national security state, and author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. Follow him on Twitter @GarethPorter and listen to Gareth’s previous appearances on the Scott Horton Show.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Kesslyn Runs, by Charles Featherstone; NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.; Tom Woods’ Liberty ClassroomExpandDesigns.com/Scott; and LibertyStickers.com.

Donate to the show through PatreonPayPal, or Bitcoin: 1Ct2FmcGrAGX56RnDtN9HncYghXfvF2GAh.

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1/5/19 Gareth Porter on Ending the War in Yemen

Gareth Porter tells Scott why he’s optimistic that the war in Yemen will soon be coming to an end. For one thing, says Porter, the War Powers resolutions in both congress and the senate have created political pressure to end America’s backing of the Saudis, even if they don’t legally stop President Trump. The killing of Jamal Khashoggi also seemed to provide impetus that wasn’t there before, because it brought the war sharply into focus for Americans. Porter explains that the military and logistical support for the Saudis wouldn’t even need to end—simply stopping the sale of parts for their American planes would completely ground their air force, and that alone would effectively end the war.

Discussed on the show:

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist on the national security state, and author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. Follow him on Twitter @GarethPorter and listen to Gareth’s previous appearances on the Scott Horton Show.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Kesslyn Runs, by Charles Featherstone; NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.Zen Cash; Tom Woods’ Liberty ClassroomExpandDesigns.com/Scott; and LibertyStickers.com.

Donate to the show through PatreonPayPal, or Bitcoin: 1Ct2FmcGrAGX56RnDtN9HncYghXfvF2GAh.

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1/4/19 Ted Galen Carpenter on America’s New Cold War with Russia

Cato Institute fellow Ted Galen Carpenter talks about his latest article, “NATO Partisans Started a New Cold War With Russia.” He lays out the prevailing narrative about Russian aggression: Nixon and Kissinger were able to defuse the threat of global communism by negotiating with China, and shortly thereafter the Soviet Union collapsed, solving the Russian threat once and for all—that is, until Vladimir Putin began instigating conflicts with Georgia and Ukraine in the last decade. Carpenter explains that that’s pretty much all wrong. In fact, the “new cold war” began in the 1990s when President Clinton and America’s allies began expanding NATO closer and closer to Russia’s borders, something the U.S. had previously promised not to do. Carpenter thinks the entire narrative of Russian aggression in Eastern Europe is overblown, and that America should just get out of or dissolve NATO as soon as possible.

Discussed on the show:

Ted Galen Carpenter is a senior fellow for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. Carpenter has written 10 books including “America’s Coming War with China: A Collision Course over Taiwan” and is a contributing editor at The American Conservative Magazine and the National Interest.s

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Kesslyn Runs, by Charles Featherstone; NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.Zen Cash; Tom Woods’ Liberty ClassroomExpandDesigns.com/Scott; and LibertyStickers.com.

Donate to the show through PatreonPayPal, or Bitcoin: 1Ct2FmcGrAGX56RnDtN9HncYghXfvF2GAh.

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1/4/19 Elijah Magnier on US Withdrawal from Syria

Journalist Elijah Magnier joins the show for his analysis of President Trump’s pulling troops out of Syria. Although Trump has backed down from his original demands and acquiesced to a slower timeline for withdrawal, Magnier explains that it doesn’t matter much in terms of the overall war; ISIS really is all but defeated, and now the Kurds have made their own deal with Assad, getting protection from him in exchange for their support. Other insurgent forces are still active all over the region however, says Magnier, and there’s very little the U.S. and its allies can do about it. After all, if 100,000 troops couldn’t quell the insurgency in Iraq, maybe nothing can.

Discussed on the show:

  • “Trump bows to domestic pressure by delaying his withdrawal from Syria; a storm is gathering in the Levant” (ejmagnier.com)
  • Jamal Khashoggi

Elijah Magnier is a Senior Political Risk Analyst with over 32 years’ experience covering Europe & the Middle East. Find him at his website, ejmagnier.com or on Twitter @ejmalrai.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Kesslyn Runs, by Charles Featherstone; NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.Zen Cash; Tom Woods’ Liberty ClassroomExpandDesigns.com/Scott; and LibertyStickers.com.

Check out Scott’s Patreon page.

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1/4/19 Matthew Hoh and Danny Sjursen on the Consequences of America’s Wars in the Middle East

Matthew Hoh talks about Trump’s move to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan, something Hoh hoped President Obama would do instead of sending even more troops into Iraq. Hoh explains the difficulties of “winning” any kind of war in Afghanistan. The main problem is that most Afghans see Americans as an occupying force, and they’ll even support the Taliban over a foreign occupation. He thinks a war in Iran would go the same way, except probably even worse. Danny Sjursen also joins the call, and he and Hoh discuss the fallout from America’s wars, especially the physical and psychological damage so many veterans suffer when they come home from war. Both agree that the best way to support veterans is to “create fewer of them.”

Discussed on the show:

Matthew Hoh is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and formerly worked for the U.S. State Department. Hoh received the Ridenhour Prize Recipient for Truth Telling in 2010. Hoh is a member of the Board of Directors for Council for a Livable World and is an Advisory Board Member for Expose Facts. He writes on issues of war, peace and post-traumatic stress disorder recovery at matthewhoh.com.

Danny Sjursen is a major in the U.S. army and former history instructor at West Point. He writes regularly for TomDispatch.com and he’s the author of Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Kesslyn Runs, by Charles Featherstone; NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.Zen Cash; Tom Woods’ Liberty ClassroomExpandDesigns.com/Scott; and LibertyStickers.com.

Check out Scott’s Patreon page.

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12/21/18 Neta Crawford on the Costs of America’s Post-9/11 Wars

Neta Crawford discusses her work on the Costs of War project, which tries to assess the costs, in both lives and dollars, of America’s wars in the Middle East. The project has estimated the 500 thousand have been killed due to combat, which includes American soldiers, enemy combatants, and civilians. It doesn’t include what’s known as “excess deaths,” meaning civilians who die from deprivation, lack of medical care, and destroyed or degraded infrastructure as a result of the war. These deaths are even harder to measure because they rely on survey data, which Crawford’s project does not use. The project also does not include Syria, Yemen, or Lybia. As a result these numbers are extremely conservative. Her work has also estimated the cost of these wars at over 5 trillion dollars, which includes money already spent, money that’s been promised to programs for veterans, and estimates for interest payments on the money the government has borrowed to finance the wars.

Discussed on the show:

Neta Crawford is chair of the Political Science Department at Boston University. She is the author of Accountability for Killing: Moral Responsibility for Collateral Damage in America’s Post-9/11 Wars. Follow her project on Twitter @CostsOfWar.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Kesslyn Runs, by Charles Featherstone; NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.Zen Cash; Tom Woods’ Liberty ClassroomExpandDesigns.com/Scott; and LibertyStickers.com.

Check out Scott’s Patreon page.

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12/21/18 Alex Kane on US Support for Human Rights Violators in Israel

Alex Kane joins the show to talk about his latest article, which explores how the Leahy Law might be applied to U.S. assistance to the Israeli military. The Leahy Law is supposed to prevent American support to any military units that have committed human rights violations, which seems probable in the case of Israel given the number of Palestinian protestors that have been killed. The Leahy Law does not apply to American support for Israel in general, which is just as well since it seems unlikely that there is political will to end that. But certain humanitarian groups are interested in using the law to bring attention to specific violations by specific military units—this type of awareness may make Americans less likely to support military aid to Israel in general in the future.

Discussed on the show:

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who’s writing appears in Ha’aretz, the Intercept and elsewhere. He’s formerly an editor at Mondoweiss and Alternet. Read more of his work at his website and follow him on Twitter.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Kesslyn Runs, by Charles Featherstone; NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.Zen Cash; Tom Woods’ Liberty ClassroomExpandDesigns.com/Scott; and LibertyStickers.com.

Check out Scott’s Patreon page.

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12/21/18 Daniel Davis on Pulling Troops out of Syria and Afghanistan

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis joins the show to discuss President Trump’s announcements that he wants to pull troops out of both Syria and Afghanistan. Davis is pleased with this news, and addresses the common but unfounded concern that if America pulls out of certain countries, terrorist activity will rise up there. For one thing, he explains, terrorist planning and coordination still goes on under the nose of American troops even when they are occupying a country. More importantly, however, most of the major attacks were planned right here in the U.S., or in Europe, where the military clearly is not going to station troops on every corner or drone bomb neighborhoods. Finally, American occupation if anything only encourages more attacks, since the family members of civilian victims are often incited to radicalism when they would not otherwise have been.

Discussed on the show:

Daniel Davis did multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan during his time in the army. He writes a weekly column for National Interest and is the author of the reports “Dereliction of Duty II: Senior Military Leaders’ Loss of Integrity Wounds Afghan War Effort” and “Go Big or Go Deep: An Analysis of Strategy Options on Afghanistan.” Find him on Twitter @DanielLDavis1.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Kesslyn Runs, by Charles Featherstone; NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.Zen Cash; Tom Woods’ Liberty ClassroomExpandDesigns.com/Scott; and LibertyStickers.com.

Check out Scott’s Patreon page.

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12/21/18 Doug Bandow on Syria, Afghanistan, Cuba, and China

Doug Bandow joins the show to talk about all four of his recent articles, covering China, Cuba, Yemen, and Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan. The entire foreign policy establishment is melting down over the announcement, but Bandow says this is unequivocally the right move; American presence in the Middle East has accomplished basically nothing good and has only provoked more radicalism and unrest. Because everyone around Trump disagrees with him right now, Bandow thinks it’s vitally  important for people who do favor withdrawal to make themselves heard. Bandow and Scott also talk Yemen, Obama’s opening of relations with Cuba, and the recent arrest of Huawei’s finance chief.

Discussed on the show:

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a regular contributor at Forbes Magazine, the National Interest, and elsewhere. He’s on Twitter @Doug_Bandow.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Kesslyn Runs, by Charles Featherstone; NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.Zen Cash; Tom Woods’ Liberty ClassroomExpandDesigns.com/Scott; and LibertyStickers.com.

Check out Scott’s Patreon page.

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12/21/18 Aaron Maté on the ‘Russiagate’ Truthers

Aaron Maté talks about the latest with the Russian collusion investigation, which he looks at skeptically. He observes that the aim of the investigation does not seem to be to get to the truth, but rather to scare people, which generates clicks and views for the media and helps justify the existence of the military-industrial complex. Maté also points out that factually the case doesn’t add up—certain incidents might seem plausible, like Russian hacking of the DNC email server, but each of the allegations of actual collusion between President Trump’s team and the Russians falls apart under close scrutiny. Indeed the whole investigation bears this quality: taken together, the large number of allegations looks very serious, but since each one is flimsy on its own, they don’t add up to much of anything at all. Not to mention the fact that Trump’s policies have been fairly hawkish toward Russia, so it’s hard to claim Putin has a “puppet” in the White House, as Trump’s detractors continually claim.

Discussed on the show:

  • “Don’t Let Russophobia Warp the Facts on Russiagate” (The Nation)
  • “Collateral Murder” (Wikileaks)
  • “Russian propagandists targeted African Americans to influence 2016 US election | US news” (The Guardian)
  • “Clinton’s ‘superpredators’ comment most damaging by either candidate” (TheHill)
  • “The Death of Ricky Ray Rector” (Jacobin)
  • “Bill Clinton’s Sister Souljah moment – JUNE 13, 1992” (YouTube)
  • Logan Act

Aaron Maté is a former host and producer at The Real News and writes regularly at The Nation. Follow him on Twitter @AaronJMate.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: Kesslyn Runs, by Charles Featherstone; NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.comRoberts and Roberts Brokerage Inc.Zen Cash; Tom Woods’ Liberty ClassroomExpandDesigns.com/Scott; and LibertyStickers.com.

Check out Scott’s Patreon page.

Play

Recent Episodes of the Scott Horton Show

1/7/19 Gareth Porter on the Khmer Rouge

Gareth Porter comes back on the show to respond to claims that he’s an apologist for Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. In explaining his 1975 book, Cambodia: Starvation and Revolution, he identifies a dangerous trend surrounding American wars abroad, which he himself fell...

1/5/19 Gareth Porter on Ending the War in Yemen

Gareth Porter tells Scott why he’s optimistic that the war in Yemen will soon be coming to an end. For one thing, says Porter, the War Powers resolutions in both congress and the senate have created political pressure to end America’s backing of the Saudis, even if...

1/4/19 Elijah Magnier on US Withdrawal from Syria

Journalist Elijah Magnier joins the show for his analysis of President Trump’s pulling troops out of Syria. Although Trump has backed down from his original demands and acquiesced to a slower timeline for withdrawal, Magnier explains that it doesn’t matter much in...

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