Author: Scott

9/6/17 Patrick Cockburn on al-Qaeda’s resurgence in Syria

Author and journalist Patrick Cockburn returns to the show to discuss his reporting on the heavy casualties in Mosul and why they’ve been underreported in the media. Cockburn explains how ISIS’s guerrilla war tactics increase civilian casualties, why the Syrian Kurds fighting against ISIS in Raqqa have considerable incentive to extend the fight against ISIS, and discusses his latest article for the Independent on al Qaeda’s power grab in Syria, “While defeat of Isis dominates global attention, al-Qaeda strengthens in Syria,” which details the divisions between ISIS and al-Qaeda, and how while ISIS is being defeated in Syria and Iraq, al-Qaeda is gaining in strength. Finally, Cockburn addresses Turkey’s complicated role in backing and opposing jihadists in Syria and the latest fear of the United States of a growing “Shi’ite Crescent” linking Iran to Lebanon.

Patrick Cockburn is the Middle East correspondent for The Independent and the author of “The Age of Jihad” and “Chaos & Caliphate.”

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8/29/17 Nasser Arrabyee on the latest Saudi atrocities in Yemen

Nasser Arrabyee returns to the show to discuss recent Saudi massacres in Sana’a, the worsening cholera epidemic, and how despite Saudi Arabia’s brutal tactics, they are no closer to achieving their goals. Arrabyee explains how the Saudis have tried to create a split between Yemeni president Saleh and his on-again, off-again Houthi allies. Arabyee details how Saudi Arabia has pressured the Yemeni people, many of whom have been denied their salaries for months on end, to stage a popular uprising. Arabyee explains why the “legitimate government” in Aden is a big lie, the role Iran is playing in the conflict and explains why it’s wrong to consider what’s happening a civil 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.

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8/28/17 MSF’s Clair Manera on the cholera epidemic in Yemen

Claire Manera from Médecins Sans Frontières returns to the show to discuss the cholera epidemic in Yemen, which has somehow gotten much worse. When Manera was on the show less than two months ago there were an estimated 30,000 cholera cases; today there are more than 300,000. So many people are sick that they aren’t able to get to the hospital and many are dying in their homes without the critical care they need. Manera explains how cholera spreads and why the Saudi-U.S. war in Yemen has exasperated the impoverished conditions. The epidemic has gotten so bad, particularly among children, that in some cases patients die within just a few hours of contracting the disease. The case fatality rate is growing as the disease spreads rapidly and many people can’t get transport to hospitals. Tragically Manera expects the upcoming rainy season to make the dire situation even worse. Finally, Manera explains how people can help Doctors Without Borders in Yemen, including by helping to provide chlorine and saline.

Claire Manera is the coordinator of Médecins Sans Frontières in Yemen.

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8/25/17 Daniel Lazare on Israel’s role in the new Syrian conflict

Journalist and author Daniel Lazare returns to the show to discuss his latest article for Consortium News, “Israel’s Alarm over Syrian Debacle.” Lazare explains that while ISIS and al-Qaeda are on the verge of being defeated in Syria, there are new conflicts brewing over Israel’s concern about Hezbollah’s power on the Syrian border, which has led them to provide different aid for the anti-Assad Syrian rebels. Lazare believes that Israel has made a major miscalculation in Syria that has empowered its Muslim opponents. Lazare and Scott then detail how the U.S. has flirted with Islamic jihad as a tool against the greater enemy going all the way back to the Eisenhower presidency and the elephant in the room, which Lazare says has driven policy in Washington: oil. Lazare believes that the U.S. sees its imperial future tied directly to control over the Persian Gulf, which helps explain many of their awful alliances with brutal dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia—and that the great fear of the U.S. is that either Russia or China could someday control the Arabian peninsula and the oil flow. Lazare bangs the drum for War Machine, which he says everyone should watch. Finally, Lazare details what he would tell Donald Trump if he were the named the new National Security Advisor.

Daniel Lazare is the author of The Frozen Republic: How the constitution is Paralyzing Democracy and a regular contributor at Consortium News. Follow him on Twitter @dhlazare.

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8/23/17 Eric Margolis on his heroic rescue of starving zoo animals in Aleppo

Eric Margolis returns to the show to discuss his recent heroic trip to the Middle East where he helped save starving zoo animals from Aleppo with Four Paws International. Margolis recounted his trip and the incredible rescue he helped bring about in his latest article “Escape from the Aleppo Zoo.” After filling Scott in on his role in the rescue, Margolis discusses the current situation in Syria, Israel’s role in the Syrian war, and whether there’s any merit to the rumor that the Russians are funding the Taliban against the United States in Afghanistan. Finally Margolis explains what the U.S. is really trying to accomplish in Afghanistan by training the Afghan army and why India makes Pakistan is an unreliable ally in Afghanistan.

Eric Margolis is a foreign affairs correspondent and author of “War at the Top of the World” and “American Raj.” Follow him on Twitter @EricMargolis and visit his website, ericmargolis.com.

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8/23/17 Daniel Davis on Trump’s Afghanistan Decision

Whistleblower Daniel Davis returns to the show to discuss his latest article, “Trump Wants You To Write Him A Blank Check For War in Afghanistan. Don’t.” Davis explains why military victory in Afghanistan is impossible, and how current U.S. presence in Afghanistan appears to be indefinite. Danny discusses the differences during his two tours of duty in Afghanistan 2005 and 2010-11 and how much worse the situation is today than it was a decade ago. Davis goes back down memory lane and explains the process of his decision to blow the whistle on David Petraeus’s lies. Scott and Danny slam Donald Trump’s rhetoric about why the U.S. is remaining in Afghanistan and how candidate Trump has been betrayed by president Trump. Davis makes it clear that no matter when the U.S. finally pulls out of Afghanistan the work being done there will be nullified. Scott and Danny discuss why there hasn’t been more blowback from the Afghan war; Davis warns that there’s an incubation period and that we’ll still be suffering from the consequences for the next decade-plus.

Retired lieutenant colonel 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.” Follow Davis on Twitter @DanielLDavis1. His website is www.daniel-l-davis.com.

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8/20/17 Gareth Porter on Trump’s decision to escalate in Afghanistan

Gareth Porter returns to KPFK radio to discuss Trump’s recent announcement that the United States will extend and escalate the war in Afghanistan. Porter explains that the permanent war state in the United States grinds on and claims another victory with Trump’s decision, which overturns his strong rhetoric in opposition to the Afghan war in the past.

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.

Find all of Gareth Porter’s previous appearances on the Scott Horton Show and buy Scott’s new book “Fool’s Errand: Time To End the War in Afghanistan.”

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08/16/17 Sheldon Richman on Trump’s threats towards North Korea

Sheldon Richman, the executive editor of the Libertarian Institute, joins Scott to discuss his article, “TGIF: Trump’s ‘Fire and Fury’ Wouldn’t Be the First for North Korea.” Richman details how Americans’ understanding of the Korean War has been utterly distorted and the atrocities the United States carried out upon the North Koreans have been whitewashed. Scott and Sheldon discuss how the United States pushed the North Korean regime into aggressive posturing through continued intervention and simulated aggression and wonder how the U.S. can now come up with a realistic solution to the problem. Richman explains that history shows that you need nuclear weapons to deter the United States from seeking regime change and why it’s ultimately a good thing that no one (outside of Lindsey Graham and John McCain) believe there’s a legitimate military option. Finally Richman details why there’s good reason to doubt that the missiles North Korea has could successfully deliver the nuclear bombs.

Sheldon Richman is the executive editor of the Libertarian Institute and the author of America’s Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited. Follow him on Twitter @SheldonRichman.

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8/16/17 Andrew Bacevich on Trump’s eventual Afghanistan decision

Andrew Bacevich, author of “America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History” joins Scott to discuss his article for The American Conservative “Yes Congress, Afghanistan is Your Vietnam.” Bacevich explains that the division between Trump’s advisors on how to proceed in Afghanistan has created a stalemate in the Oval Office. It’s noteworthy, Bacevich says, that there hasn’t been a comprehensive report from the Trump administration outlining the United States’s foreign policy mission. On the one hand it seems like Trump has handed the reigns over to the military in certain conflicts and has been controlling in others, which has created disarray Bacevich says. Bacevich contrasts Donald Trump with his predecessors George W. Bush and Barack Obama who, by comparison, are intellectual stalwarts. Bacevich says the one possible benefit of Trump’s erraticism is that he has, so far, rejected U.S. foreign policy of the past 25 years. But while Trump may have noninterventionist tendencies, his lack of a coherent, principled plan means that he often veers off course into violent conflicts all the same.

Andrew Bacevich is a Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University. He is the author of a number of books including “America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History” and is a regular contributor at The American Conservative and TomDispatch.com.

Don’t forget to check out Scott’s new book Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan.

Discussed on the show:

  • “Thousands More Troops Needed To Break Afghanistan ‘Stalemate,’ General Warns” (NPR)
  • Erik Prince
  • “Bannon & Kushner Want to Outsource Afghanistan to Mercenaries,” by Mark Perry (The American Conservative)
  • James Mattis
  • H.R. McMaster
  • “The Knives Are Out for Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster” (Foreign Policy)
  • “I agree with Pres. Obama on Afghanistan. We should have a speedy withdrawal. Why should we keep wasting our money — rebuild the U.S.!” (Donald Trump, via Twitter)
  • John Bolton

Quote of the show: “In comparison to Trump, George W. Bush looks like Bismark.” —Andrew Bacevich

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8/16/17 Phil Giraldi on the DNC: Was it a hack or a leak?

Executive director of the Council for the National Interest and former CIA officer Phil Giraldi returns to the show to discuss his latest article for The American Conservative, “Hack or Leak: Who Really Stole the DNC Files?” While there isn’t conclusive evidence for any of the potential explanations for how the information got from the DNC computer to WikiLeaks, Giraldi explains that no one seems to be particularly interested in investigating who was responsible. Did the Russians hack the DNC? Giraldi believes that the U.S. has no chain of evidence leading them to the conclusion that Russia is responsible. However, Giraldi cautions that, even if the information was leaked rather than hacked, it wouldn’t remove Russia as a suspect. What about the Seth Rich theory? Giraldi believes Rich is at the top of a short list of potential leakers, but that there’s still plenty of unscrutinized evidence. Giraldi then discusses the upcoming Ron Paul Institute’s Peace and Prosperity Conference where he will be speaking on September 9th. Finally, Giraldi touches on his article for The Unz Review, “Israel’s Chorus Sings Again” about U.S.-Israeli relations and the outrage against Rex Tillerson and H.R. McMaster’s relatively cool approach to Israel.

Phil Giraldi is the executive director of the Council for the National Interest a former CIA case officer and Army intelligence officer. He has been a contributing editor at The American Conservative for nine years and writes regularly for Antiwar.com.

Oh, and buy Scott’s new book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan!

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8/8/17 Ramzy Baroud on the Palestinian response to the Jerusalem Attack

Editor-in-chief of the Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud returns to the show to discuss his latest articles, “The Story Behind the Jerusalem Attack: How Trump and Netanyahu Pushed Palestinians into a Corner” and “Power to the People: Why Palestinian Victory in Jerusalem is a Pivotal Moment.” Scott and Baroud begin by discussing the history of the ’67 War, its basis in false propaganda, and how the deliberate plan put in place 50 year ago remains today. Baroud then explains the context of the clash in east Jerusalem, where Israel has used the al-Aqsa clash with Palestinians as an opportunity to permanently control Haram Sharif. According to Baroud if Israel fully controls Haram Sharif then there’s nothing left to fight for in Jerusalem for the Palestinians. Baroud details how this is just the latest act of aggression in Israel’s steady creep into east Jerusalem and how, through continual pressure and coercion, Arabs have now become a minority in east Jerusalem. Finally, Baroud explains why a two-state solution would be an impossible endeavor and how effectively the Israelis have manipulated the language of the occupation to flip the victim narrative on its head.

Ramzy Baroud is a US-Arab journalist and is the editor-in-chief of the Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of“My Father Was A Freedom Fighter: The Untold Story of Gaza.” His latest digital project is “Palestine in Motion,” intended to give a holistic understanding of the lives of Palestinians as told in their own words. Follow Ramzy on Twitter @RamzyBaroud and read his work at RamzBaroud.net.

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8/8/17 William Astore on how Trump is right to be skeptical about Afghanistan

William J. Astore returns to the show to discuss his latest article for Antiwar.com “On Afghanistan, Trump Is Right To Be Skeptical.” Astore discusses Trump’s apparent cognitive dissonance: he’s happy to bomb the Middle East indiscriminately, but is skeptical of escalating troops in Afghanistan and speculates that it’s Trump’s impatience, which is frequently a danger, which may be a saving grace in Afghanistan. Astore thinks Trump might have a nose for a losing approach, and that the last thing Trump wants is to be associated with what he believes is a losing effort in Afghanistan. But Trump, like Obama, faces increasing pressure from his generals. Scott and Astore discuss how the lack of an anti-war movement both in politics and in society generally have incentivized Barack Obama and Donald Trump to fold to the national security state and prolong the wars. Finally, Astore is particulary worried that the latest propaganda that Russia and Iran are backing the Taliban could lead to something far more serious.

William J. Astore is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF). He is a contributing writer at Antiwar.com and TomDispatch.com. Read all of his work at his website BracingViews.com.

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8/8/17 Trita Parsi on Trump’s motivation to end the Iran Deal

Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council, returns to the show to discuss Donald Trump’s motivation to spurn the Iran deal. Parsi explains that the Iran Deal is in danger because of an inexplicable desire on Donald Trump’s part to destroy the deal, dating back to his campaign. Parsi speculates that, in addition to Trump’s opposition to Barack Obama, his hatred of the Iran Deal is the result of his seemingly new infatuation with the Saudi Arabians who have been vehemently opposed to the Iran Deal from its inception. Trump’s plan appears to be to make Iran’s life as difficult as possible such that Iran will ultimately break the deal. Making things worse, even some of the so-called adults in Trump’s administration believe that a limited conflict against Iran in Syria and elsewhere would convince Iran to back down. Parsi explains why history shows that a U.S. conflict with Iran is highly unlikely to achieve its goals. Finally, while Iran and the United States appear to have common cause in the Middle East, the ultimate question and tension between the two is who will be the dominant power in the Middle East? Parsi explains that the desire to be hegemon will ultimately prove to be the stumbling block.

Trita Parsi is the president of the National Iranian American Council and the author of “Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy.” Parsi is the recipient of the 2010 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. Follow him on Twitter @tparsi.

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8/8/17 Muhammad Sahimi on Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on the local Shiite population

Professor of chemical engineering at USC Muhammad Sahimi returns to the show to discuss the latest Saudi crackdown on the local Shia population. Sahimi explains how Wahhabi clerics have ratcheted up tensions and violence against Saudi Shiites who face continual oppression from the Saudi government. Saudi hostility toward Shia in the region often receives attention, but now it’s time to pay more attention to how they treat their own people, Sahimi says, which includes mass torture and execution of dissidents. Sahimi explains that the reason we don’t hear about Saudi atrocities in the United States is because the Saudis are protected by the establishment in the United States and believes that the Saudis are exploiting its alliance with the U.S. and its fear of Iran to lobby the U.S. to fight Shias in the Middle East.

Muhammad Sahimi is the NIOC Chair in petroleum engineering at the University of Southern California and a contributor at Antiwar.com and the Huffington Post.

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