Author and whistleblower Peter van Buren returns to the show to discuss Rex Tillerson’s apparent impending firing/resignation, how Americans have been fooled into thinking they have a Donald Trump problem and not an empire problem, and what the role of the State Department is supposed to be vs. the reality of what it is. Van Buren details the core problems facing the state department, including why its power and influence abroad are severely curtailed by the Pentagon, CIA, and American militarism generally. Van Buren then turns to North Korea and Iran. He explains why the North Korean state believes nuclear weapons are essential to their safety and potential prosperity and why war with either North Korea or Iran would be devastating. Finally, Scott asks van Buren what he knows about the latest developments in Yemen.
Peter Van Buren worked for 24 years at the Department of State including a year in Iraq. He is the author of “We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People” and the novel “Hooper’s War.” He is now a contributing editor at The American Conservative magazine. Follow him on Twitter @WeMeantWell.
Discussed on the show:
- “Dismantling the Foreign Service,” by Nicholas Burns (New York Times)
- The Sorrows of Empire, Chalmers Johnson
- Islam Karimov
- “Throwing H20 on the Pompeo to State Move,” by Marcy Wheeler (emptywheel)
- “White House Plans Tillerson Ouster From State Dept., to Be Replaced by Pompeo” (New York Times)
- State vs. Defense: The Battle to Define America’s Empire, by Stephen Glain
- “Intelligence veterans blast Tom Cotton as pro-torture, ‘partisan,’ and ‘wholly unfit’ to lead the CIA” (Business Insider)
- “‘Abused’ Tillerson loses clout on world stage, diplomats say” (Politico)
- Operation Mockingbird
- “Talk To, Don’t Provoke, North Korea,” by Sheldon Richman (Antiwar.com)
- 2017 Global Thinker: Haider al-Abadi (ForeignPolicy)
- Garet Garrett
Quote of the show: “I have a feeling if you and I were roommates, Scott, we’d both end up as alcoholics in about a week.” —Peter van Buren
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