Foreign Policy Focus and Around the Empire's latest swapcast covers the borg's meltdown because some US troops are leaving Syria. Joanne and Kyle recap what has happened in the past two weeks in Syria. The US announced pulling some troops from the Turkey/Syria border. In response, Turkey carried out its long-threatened invasion of Syrian Kurdistan. The Syrian Kurds then cut a deal with Assad, brokered by Russia, to move in and prevent the Turkish invasion. Trump finally announced all US troops in northeast Syria are withdrawing.
The foreign policy establishment has condemned the move by Trump as betraying the Kurds and helping ISIS. The borg has failed to accept any responsibility for the position of the Kurd. It was Obama's establishment-approved Syria policy that created the problem for the Kurds to begin with.
On FPF #405, I discuss the country's nearly $1 trillion dollar deficit in 2019. The US war state continues to spend massive amounts of money as the country drowns in debt. I explain that the money on the military is waster and is harming the living standards of Americans. I also look at the role of the FED in hiding the true cost of the war state.
Out of Money
The federal deficit for this year is $984 billion. [Link] The State Department approved $68 billion in weapon sales in 2019. [Link] The UN warns of a huge budget shortfall that may mean employees not getting paid in the coming months. The budget shortage has already delayed some meetings and limited travel. [Link] US News
A Customs agent refused to allow a Defense One writer to enter the US until he said he wrote propaganda. [Link] A key figure in Trump’s maximum pressures policy - Sigal Mandelker - is leaving the administration. [Link] The FBI detained a Russian lawmaker for an hour after she arrived in the US. [Link] -gates
Attorney General Barr has been traveling to other countries in the investigation into the origins of Russiagate. [Link] Trump told former UK Prime Minister Thersa May that he had doubts if Russia was behind the poisoning of the Skripals. [Link] Europe
A US F-16 crashed in Germany. [Link] The US and Grease sign a new defense pact. The US will build a naval and airbase in northeast Greece. [Link] NK
Japan rescued 60 North Korean fishermen after the North Korean fishing ship collided with a Japanese patrol ship. [Link] Afghanistan
The UN reports the US airstrikes on Afghan drug targets are unlawful. The UN is investigating a strike that caused at least 39 casualties. [Link] Iraq
At least 110 people have been killed during protests in Iraq. Violent protests started last Tuesday. This Tuesday’s night protests had no new reports of deaths. [Link] Syria
Mike Pompeo claims the Iranian oil tanker - that was seized b..
On FPF #404, I discuss several protests movements and peace talks happening around the world. The US talks with North Korea fell apart. According to the North Koreans, it is because the US isn't offering anything new. The US also spoke with the Taliban in Pakistan. Pakistan is hoping to revive talks to end the Afghan War after Trump declared they were dead. In Ukraine, it appears the new president is looking for a path to peace and says he will enter four-party talks.
In Hong Kong, the government is enacting emergency powers in an attempt to curb the protest movement. The government banned masks as violent clashes with the government continue. Anti-government protests in Iraq have left over 100 people dead. In Egypt, the dictator al-Sisi continues to round up those who protest against him. So far over 2,000 have been arrested. President Marino in Ecuador has also rounded up hundreds of protesters. The protesters there are demanding he undoes a $2 billion austerity deal.
Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger gets ten years for murdering an unarmed man. [Link] Pentagon A Pentagon employee says he was forced out after attempting to expose defense companies overcharging the Pentagon. [Link] The Pentagon has taken over background checks for most security clearance. [Link] Customs and Border Patrol is spending $1.2 million on anti-drone systems for the southern border. [Link] The brother of Honduras' President is on trial in the US for drug trafficking. [Link] Pompeo says the US calls on North Korea to stop provocations in response to the most recent missile test. [Link] China displays new weapons at its military parade. The new weapons suggest China has a nuclear triad. [Link] Hong Kong may enact other emergency laws that will remove some of the restrictions on force police can use. [Link] Turkey says not enough progress has been made to establish safe zone in northeast Syria. [Link Iran Iran’s President nearly had a phone ..
On FPF #403, I discuss some of the recent Houthi victories over Saudi Arabia. Saudi has been waging a brutal air and starvation war against Yemen for four years. The Houthi, likely, retaliated by major strikes against Saudi oil facilities. Recently, the Houthis claimed to have captured nearly 2,000 Saudi soldiers. I explain what likely happened in the Houthi successful raid against Saudi forces.
Caitlin Johnstone - Twitter replies Caitlin Johnstone - Twitter editor Scott Horton Show Nasser Arraybee
On FPF #402, I discuss the impeachment push against Trump. The new impeachment call says Trump tried to leverage US aid to Ukraine to get Ukraine to investigate corruption by Joe Biden's son. Trump has released the transcript of the call showing he did not offer a quid pro quo with Ukraine's president.
While it appears the allegations against Trump are false or overblown, the Ukraine scandal has put Biden's role in the 2014 coup in Ukraine back in the spotlight. Biden was a leader in the Obama White House for the coup that sparked a civil war, empowered white supremacists, caused the people of Crimea to vote to be annexed by Russia, and deepened the divide between NATO and Russia. After the coup, Biden used US aid to pressure the former Ukrainian president to fire a prosecutor that was investigating a company that his son was on the board of.
Moon of Alabama - New CW lie Jimmy Dore and Aaron Mate The Hill - John Solomon
On FPF #401, I argue that the war on terror is not about stopping and killing terrorists. From Afghanistan to the TSA at your local airport, what the government is doing to "prevent terrorism" is not about stopping the next 9/11. Most Americans still believe the reason why we have to be groped by the TSA and why we must send Americans to Afghanistan to get killed are the required sacrifices to prevent being killed by a radical Muslim. However, the TSA does not prevent terror attacks, and the US war in Afghanistan makes them more likely. The war and the TSA are apart of the establishment's propaganda machine is pushing the US empire.
On FPF #400, Will Porter returns to the show to breakdown the attack on Saudi oil infrastructure that took half of the Saudi's oil production offline. Will describes the attack and evidence produced by Saudi Arabia. The Houthis have claimed they carried out the attack. However, the US has pointed the finger at Iran. Will and Kyle look at the competing claims and describe why the Houthi are more likely behind the attack. They also explain why either Iran or the Houthi have a reason to attack Saudi Arabia, Trump would be foolish to start a war with Iran, and how the new NSA - Robert O'Brien - could impact the future discussion of war with Iran.
Around the Empire - Nasser Arrabyee Moon of Alabama
On FPF #399, Phil Gibson comes on the show to talk about 9/11 and the 'War on Terror.' Kyle and Phil are both young enough to have grown up during the 'War on Terror' and discuss what that experience was like. They look at some of the wars that started since 9/11 and debunk the lies that started the wars.
Phil Gibson is the host of the Boy Named Pseu Podcast.
Joanne Leon - host of the Around the Empire podcast - returns to the show to discuss the firing of John Bolton. Kyle and Joanne look at some the wars he attempted to stir up during his time as Trump's NSA. They explain Bolton's legacy will be a war hawk who destroyed arms control deals. Joanne and Kyle examine the list of possible replacements for Bolton.
Trump Oval Office press conference on Bolton firing Pushback with Aaron Maté: Ex-CIA analyst on why he predicted John Bolton’s firing Around the Empire: Ep 111 John Bolton and Escalation With Iran feat Kyle Anzalone Washington Post: How clashes with Trump led to John Bolton's firing
Scott Horton returns to FPF to discuss his new book, The Great Ron Paul: The Scott Horton Show Interview 2004-2009. Scott explains why Ron Paul record of standing against the empire makes him the greatest American Hero. Scott's new book shows that Dr. Paul has been right on foreign policy for decades. However, Ron has been largely ignored or smeared by the establishment. Scott and Kyle describe what Congressman Ron Paul has meant to the liberty and antiwar movements.
Scott Horton is also the author of Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan. He is the Editorial Director at Antiwar.com, runs the Libertarian Insititute and is the host of the Scott Horton Show.
On FPF #395, I discuss Pamela Anderson's defense of Julian Assange on The View. Co-host Meghan McCain smeared Julian Assange as a "cyber-terrorist," who exposed US secrets, and endangered innocent people. In her response, Anderson went on the attack against McCain and the war state. She argued that Wikileaks has not harmed anyone and that the US military harms civilians all around the world. Anderson also debunked other lies about Assange; such as Wikileaks withheld publishing documents about Donald Trump, that Hillary lost the election because of Wikileaks, and that Wikileaks is not a news organization.
Common Dreams - Pamela Anderson takes on McCain
On FPF #394, I cover several essential stories. The protests in Hong Kong continue, and the Western media continues with its biased coverage. Groups of protesters continue to act violently; however, only the violence from the police is ever discussed.
Hezbollah has responded to Israeli strikes in Lebanon by destroying an Israeli military vehicle. The rising tensions provoked by Israel could spark a broader conflict in the Middle East.
In Yemen, the Saudi's have deployed additional forces to southern Yemen to fight the UAE-backed separatists. I explain how it has become a new proxy war between Saudi and the UAE.
Moon of Alabama Elijah Magnier Iranian Sanctions Israel and ICE detain children
Adam Graham returns to the show for the Patreon's Q & A Livestream. Adam and Kyle answer questions about Venezuela, Cuba, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Yemen, and Syria. They explain why Trump's policies have failed across the globe and he has entered the US into several economic wars. Adam and Kyle explain why sanctions do not lead to people rising up and overthrowing their repressive governments.
Adam's work has been published at the Libertarian Institute and he runs the No King But Christ blog.
FPF #292 - Hong Kong protests
FPF #316 - Remember the Maine
On FPF #392, I discuss a string of Israeli bombing across the Middle East. In Iraq, the US has disclosed Israel is targeting the Popular Mobilization Forces. The PMF is a Shia fought against IS and received support from the US and Iran. In Syria, Israel targeted Iranians supporting Assad's fight against jihadists. Israel has now admitted to bombing Assad 100s of times throughout the Syrian War. In Lebanon, Israeli drones targeted Beirut and a Palestinian. The Lebanese president said the attacks are like an act of war and Hezbollah said they would respond. Israeli has also suggested joining the fight against the Houthi in Yemen.
All the Israeli attacks risk starting a larger war that will drag the US into a war with Iran. The attacks are occurring in the leadup to the Israeli election. I explain that Israeli prime minister Netanyahu is likely trying to spin up nationalism in hopes it will help him to get reelected.
Around the Empire - Hong Kong Twitter censorship Peace Agreement with the Taliban? Revolving Door Thomas Harrington - Catalonia V Hong Kong Lyle Goldstein - Ukraine V Hong Kong
On FPF #391, Scott Horton returns to the show to discuss the ongoing genocide in Yemen. Scott explains that the US is backing the Saudi's brutal war, and the war is not going well for Saudi Arabia. The UAE - a critical member of the Saudi coalition - recently announced they are no longer using their own troops to fight the Houthi. The UAE-backed southern separatists broke away from the Saudi coalition and seized the second capital of Yemen. The Saudi's are now bombing their former allies in an attempt to retake the city. Scott explains why the Saudi/US war amounts to genocide and describes the relationship between the Houthi and Iran.
On FPF #390, I discuss a US drone being shot down over Yemen. The US claims that Iran supplied the Houthi with the weapons. The US media has focused their attention on the relationship between Houthi and Iran. However, the more important question is what was a US drone doing over Houthi held Yemen. Trump has no authority to wage a war against the Houthi, who oppose al-Qaeda. I explain how the downing of a US drone and Saudi losing Aden to separatists show the US needs to end its involvement in Yemen.
Moon of Alabama - Chinese Cult Moon of Alabama - Crowd Size American Conservative - Yemenhttps://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/a-sycophant-not-a-statesman/ Intercept - CIA Support for Afghan Militias Alastair Crooke - Yemen
On FPF #389, I talk about how calls to regime change other nations ignore the human rights abuses of the US empire. The US has waged several wars of aggression since the start of the century, leaving millions dead. The US ran a massive torture and drone program where the victims are often innocent and never receive justice. The US has the highest prison population, and whistle-blowers face more severe consequences than the criminals they expose. Police in the US gets to commit crimes with impunity. I argue Americans should focus on changing their own regime, rather than waging war against others.
On FPF #388, I talk about the peace process in Colombia and Afghanistan. In Colomba, the new president Ivan Duque has opposed the peace agreement with the FARC. Now he plans to end funding for a program key to keeping the peace in Colombia. If the program end, the FARC could start to remilitarize.
Official statements from both sides of the talks to end the Afghan War indicate the US and the Taliban are moving towards an agreement. However, there is some disappointment as the 8th round of talks did not end in a signed agreement as some expected. I break down some possible obstacles to peace.
On FPF #387, I discuss Saudi losing the second capital of Yemen to southern separatists. The southern separatists were long allies of the Saudis in the war against the Houthi. However, the separatists recently went to war against the Saudi-backed government in Yemen and seized the city of Aden. Losing a capital city of Yemen for the second time is the latest in a long string of failures for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Saudi - with essential US backing - continues to wage the failing war in Yemen, and the people of Yemen are suffering under the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet.
Eric Margolis on Kashmir
Joanne Leon returns to the show to talk about the race for the Democratic Party nomination. Joanne breaks down the horrific plan offered by Mayor Pete in response to mass shootings. She explains his plan is likely to lead to the oppression of more Americans.
Kyle and Joanne update the Tulsi Gabbard campaign. While Tulsi remains the favored candidate for most people in the antiwar movement, Rep Gabbard recently voted in favor of an anti-BDS bill. Joanne gives her take on why Tulsi casts the vote and how the vote was rejected by the candidates base.
Joanne also discusses the highlight of the second debate, Tulsi smashing Kamala Harris' disturbing record as an Attorney General. In response, Harris attacked Tulsi support of Assad. Joanne and Kyle take down the myth that talking for foreign leaders is an immoral policy.
Joanne Leon is the host of the Around the Empire podcast.
Doug Bandow on mandatory service Around the Empire - Danny Sjursen on the Tulsi effect
On FPF #385, I cover the US economic war against Venezuela. The US imposed sanctions on Venezuela under Obama. After John Bolton joined the Trump administration as National Security Adviser, the US ramped up the economic war against Venezuela by sanctioning the state oil company, and by supporting Juan Guaido's coup attempt. Trump slapped new sanction on Venezuela this week. Bolton says the sanctions can be used to punish anyone who trades with the Maduro regime. I discuss possible consequences of the reckless foreign policy and how Trump has used sanctions against other countries.
On FPF #384 I cover Tulsi Gabbard's positions on BDS, India's crackdown in Kashmir, and Iran possibly seizing an Iranian ship in the Gulf. Last week, Tulsi voted for a bill that condemned BDS. She received some criticism from her base and has now become a cosponsor of Ilhan Omar's bill affirming Americans' rights to boycott a foreign government.
India has started to take more control over Kashmir. The Indian government took legal steps to take some of Kashmir's autonomy. India has also cut phone and internet services in Kashmir. I explain how this can lead to a dangerous escalation with nuclear powers India and Pakistan.
In the Middle East, Iran is claiming to have seized an Iranian oil tanker. Iran alleges the tanker was involved in smuggling. In Yemen, AQAP is carrying out attacks against the Saudi/US-backed government's forces.
FPF - INF Treaty FPF - Turkey/US relationship Moon of Alabama - INF withdraw will not start an arms race
Will Porter returns to the show to discuss Trump's nominee to be Director of National Intelligence. Congressman John Ratcliffe has drawn criticism for being unqualified for the job. Will explains that Ratcliffe has lied about his resume to look more qualified. Will and Kyle talk about the possible role of Ratcliffe could play in the investigation of the origins of Russiagate. The investigation could bring down deep state figures like Comey and Brennan.
Will also shares his thoughts on the Mueller hearings, the IRA trial, and Afghan peace talks.
Will Porter is a staff writer at RT.
Trevor Aaronson on Ratcliffe McGovern on what role Ratcliffe will play in Russiagate Daniel Larison Ratliffe is unqualified Ratcliffe has taken MIC money
On FPF #382, I discuss the House passing an anti-BDS bill and the impact of US sanctions on Iran. The bill, while stripped of most of its teeth, is an attack on the First Amendment. I explain why Americans have the right to boycott and BDS is not an anti-Semitic movement. The US sanctions on Iran are limiting the importing of medications. This could lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of people. I break down how the US sanctions become deadly.
US sanctions will kill Iranians Scott Horton talks Israel on FPF