7/31/20 Ray McGovern on Colin Powell and Mike Pompeo

Ray McGovern joins the show to talk about Colin Powell and Mike Pompeo: two credentialed, respected members of the foreign policy establishment that have both been hugely damaging to American interests. McGovern first responds to the claim that Powell unwaveringly and heroically stood against the Bush administration’s desire to invade Iraq, succumbing only at the last minute due to new, more persuasive intelligence and the pressures of being overwhelmingly outnumbered. In reality, says...

7/31/20 Branko Marcetic on Trump’s Dangerous Russia Hawkishness

Branko Marcetic discusses a recent move by the Trump administration that will grant unprecedented powers to the CIA to conduct cyber attacks against foreign countries. This highlights a persistent trend throughout Trump’s precedency that has seen him become perhaps the most hawkish president toward Russia since the end of the Cold War. Scott and Marcetic talk about the stubborn persistence of the “Russiagate” narrative, which has lingered long after its underlying premises have been dispelled....

7/31/20 Greg Mitchell on the Real History of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Scott interviews Greg Mitchell about The Beginning or the End, his new book that tells the story of the making of the 1947 film of the same name. The movie was conceived as an exposé on the horrors of America’s use of the nuclear bomb against Japan, partly at the urging of former Manhattan Project scientists. But it was quickly co-opted by the U.S. government, forcing many changes to the film’s structure, and eventually resulting in what amounted to a piece of pro-military propaganda....

7/31/20 Daniel Davis on Afghanistan, Germany and China

Daniel Davis talks about the questionable Russian bounties story that is being used as an excuse to stop President Trump from pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. Never mind the fact that America’s intelligence agencies have come out to publicly disavow the story, the internal logic summoned by those opposed to withdrawal is inconsistent—if American troops really are in harm’s way in Afghanistan because of Russian bounties, wouldn’t the natural move be to pull them out even faster? Davis is...

7/31/20 Sheldon Richman: What Social Animals Owe to Each Other

Scott interviews Sheldon Richman about his new book, What Social Animals Owe to Each Other, a collection of essays exploring libertarian political philosophy, particularly as it relates to ancient Greek philosophy and the roots of liberalism. Libertarians sometimes think too narrowly, says Richman, giving in to the stereotype of libertarians as rugged individualists who reject cooperation and community altogether. In reality, of course, libertarianism not only allows for these things, but also...

7/31/20 Gareth Porter on the Real Story Behind the US-Israeli AMIA Bombing Narrative

Gareth Porter discusses the 1994 Buenos Aires Jewish community center bombing, and in particular the allegation that Hezbollah was behind the attack. Porter has written a piece based on testimony by an Argentinian undercover police officer that paints a different story. Porter’s theory—one that adheres much more closely to historical fact and personal testimony—is that it was really Argentinian neo-Nazis in the police force along with veterans of Argentina’s Dirty War that were responsible for...

7/24/20 Sheldon Richman on the Two-State Illusion

Scott talks to Sheldon Richman about the dawning realization that a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians is never going to happen. Although Prime Minister Netanyahu recently backed down from his official plans for annexation of the West Bank, Richman says that for all practical purposes these territories were annexed years ago. And the current military occupation and subjugation of their Palestinian residents is unlikely to change in any meaningful way. Scott and Richman’s hope,...

7/18/20 Gareth Porter on the Prospects of War with Iran

Scott talks to Gareth Porter about the idea of a war with Iran. Certain hawkish figures in the U.S. government have been slowly and steadily pushing for such a war for a long time, and have gained even more prominence during the Trump presidency, as he has shown unprecedented support for the Israeli government. Israel’s prominence in the Middle East, says Porter, is of course what the tensions with Iran have always been about; Iran is in no way a threat to the actual interests and safety of...

7/17/20 Greg Shupak on the Media’s Syrian Sanctions Malfeasance

Greg Shupak discusses America’s horrible “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign against Syria, and the media’s total willingness to cheer it along. Shupak reminds us that despite what policymakers claim, sanctions really only hurt the regular citizens of a country, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, while leaving the wealthy and powerful more or less untouched. In theory, say the Madeleine Albright types, if the U.S. and its international allies can exert enough pressure on a...

7/17/20 Giorgio Cafiero on Yemen’s Unprecedented COVID-19 Calamity

Scott talks to Giorgio Cafiero about the devastating catastrophe facing the people of Yemen in the form of the coronavirus pandemic. Cafiero describes the way that a virus—or indeed any natural disaster—has the potential to decimate a country like Yemen, where it’s hard to count on the distribution of even basic necessities like food, water and medicine. To make matters worse, the divided powers in Yemen seem unwilling to temporarily put aside their differences in the name of fighting the...

7/17/20 Phil Weiss on the Death of the Two-State Solution

Phil Weiss joins the show to discuss what he views as the internal collapse of Zionism, especially in America. It is starting to become obvious to everyone, as signaled by a recent Peter Beinart piece, that the idea of a two-state solution has pretty much been an empty promise all along, used to placate Palestinians and to win the support of liberal Jews in America. Despite the growing clarity into what the Israeli government is really doing, Trump continues to be one of the most permissive...

7/17/20 Wayne McElrath on the Dangerous Militarization of the Police

Scott interviews Wayne McElrath about the proliferation of military equipment in America’s police forces, and its harmful effect on police practices. McElrath describes the process by which local police departments are given “outdated” equipment from the military, like body armor, automatic weapons and armored vehicles. To prove how alarmingly easy it is to get hold of this equipment, McElrath and his team created a fake police department and submitted deliberately vague and spurious requests...

7/17/20 Ted Carpenter on the Bogus Russian Bounties Story

Ted Carpenter talks about the Russian bounties story, including all the ways it has been misreported by the media. Carpenter reminds us that the original intelligence that was leaked to the press was based on very flimsy anonymous sources, and may have been obtained via torture. Almost as soon as the CIA introduced the narrative, the NSA came out to publicly assert their skepticism about the credibility of the intelligence. And the Department of Defense, which thoroughly investigates every...

7/17/20 Doug Bandow on America’s Crumbling Empire

Doug Bandow discusses America’s failing world empire and the “threats” posed by rival powers like Russia and China. These countries, of course, don’t pose a plausible threat to the safety and security of citizens in the United States, but they do pose a very real threat to America’s ability to control everyone else’s affairs around the globe. Bandow thinks that the supposed “aggressive posturing” by Russia and China really represents fairly moderate steps to counter America’s rather extreme...

7/16/20 Kelley B. Vlahos on the Dangerous National Security ‘Blob’ Dominating American Government

Kelley Vlahos talks about prominent Democratic national security official Michele Flournoy, whom she calls “The Queen of the Blob.” The Blob, explains Vlahos, is the group of politicians, advisors, lobbyists and pundits who advocate for the continuation of America’s foreign policy status quo—often greatly enriching themselves in the process. The ideology behind their position, she and Scott speculate, is probably based on the idea that these policies are actually good for the United States and...

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