On FPF #522, I discuss the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. The House has passed its version of the bill. The NDAA gives the Pentagon $740 billion and a black check for more war. One small victory is Tulsi’s requirement to study sanctions. The Senate also passed its version of the NDAA; however, after the recording of this podcast. Both the House and Senate rejected amendments that would have cut the war budget by 10%.
Conflicts of Interest
On FPF #521, I update the ongoing conflict in Libya. In 2011, Obama aligned with NATO to help al-Qaeda linked militants overthrow the government of Gaddafi. After the long time dictator was murdered, the country predictably fell into chaos. Now, a multi-faction civil war rages as ISIS and other Islamist groups try to carve out room for themselves. As the civil war has escalated, outside countries have provided increasing military support to the warring factions. It appears Turkey and Egypt could quickly come to blows inside Libya.
Will Porter returns to Foreign Policy Focus to discuss the new report that Trump gave the CIA approval to wage cyberwar. The approval was granted in 2018, after being denied by both Bush and Obama. The order allows for the targeting of countries including Russia, China, and Iran. Will details a recent series of disasters in Iran and how Trump’s cyberwar may have played a role.
On FPF #518, Dave DeCamp returns to the show. Dave talks about his recent articles on Iran and China. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has spun lies about both countries to justify a more aggressive foreign policy. He accuses Iran of attacking the US interests in Iraq and Yemen. Dave debunks Pompeo’s lies and explains how America’s aggressive policy is problematic for Iranians, Chinese, and Americans.
On FPF #517, I discuss top news, including Trump’s commuting of Roger Stone’s jail sentence. Democrats are attempting to roll this story into the Russiagate conspiracy theory, which now includes Bountygate. While the opposition to Trump is enraged by their own fake news, Trump is ramping up cold wars with Russia, and Congress is taking advantage of the distracted public to give away more of our tax dollars to their donors.
- A Bernie/Biden unity task force announced Biden’s would not support ending qualified immunity or legalizing marijuana. [Link]
- A top Biden aide says he will review Trump’s decision to remove some troops from Germany. [Link]
- The US sanctions four Chinese officials. [Link]
- The State Department approves a $23 billion sale of F-35s to Japan. [Link]
- The US approves a $620 million weapons upgrade to Taiwan’s Patriot missile. [Link]
- Congressmen Biggs and Massie sent a letter to Trump demanding the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Syria. [Link]
- Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said none of the defense intelligence agencies had corroborated the Russia-Taliban bounty story. [Link]
- Kim Jong-un’s sister says North Korea is not threatening the US. [Link]
On FPF #516, I discuss how Russiagate conditioned people to buy the fake Bountygate story. Russiagate has pushed a false narrative about Russia for four years. Now many Americans, believing Putin is the ultimate enemy, are willing to believe any lie spun about Russia. Recent polling shows a majority of Americans believe the Bountygate claims, even as an ever-increasing number of journalists poke major holes in the allegations. The political pressure created by the mainstream media has a majority of Americas seeking new sanctions on Russia.
On FPF #515, I discuss the latest push by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to have another meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un. The top US negotiator traveled to South Korea in an attempt to restart talks. Trump has now signaled he be open to talks. However, North Korea is taking a public stand against meeting with Trump before November’s election. I explain why North Korea is refusing to meet with the US and the damage done by John Bolton.
On FPF #514, Will Porter returns to the show to talk about the status of Israeli annexation. The recent power-sharing agreement that created the Israeli government agreed that annexation could have started as early as July 1st. However, the day has come and gone with no annexation. Will looks at the possible annexation plans and when the plans could be enforced. Kyle and Will discuss the impact on Palestinians and American politics.
On FPF #513, I discuss the efforts in Congress to prevent Trump from bringing US troops home. After 19 years, there is a chance the US could end our longest war and bring troops home. However, members of Congress are working to pass provisions to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act to prevent Trump from withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. House Dems have teamed up with the most hawkish Republicans, like Liz Chaney, to accomplish this goal. This unholy alliance will surely get more American soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
On FPF #512, John Dangelo returns to the show to talk about the murder of Elijah McClain. McClain was walking down the street when someone called the police because he was wearing a ski mask. A police officer confronted him and put him in a chokehold. An EMT gave his a does of Ketamine before he went into cardiac arrest and died. John is an ER nurse with expertise working with people who are in a state of excited delirium and formerly worked as an EMT. John breaks down what could have caused McClain’s death and better ways to help people in dangerous states of mind.
On FPF #511, Will Porter returns to the show to discuss Trump’s failing Russia policy. During the campaign, Trump made it clear that he would able to get along and make deals with Putin. However, once Trump took office, his policy towards Russia became more and more aggressive. Trump started with expelling diplomats and is now ripping up key arms control agreements over minor disputes. Kyle and Will explain how the president’s actions are pushing the US to a new arms race and cold war with Russia.
On FPF #510, John Dangelo returns to the show to discuss being a anti-war war vet. John explains he was a Marine reservist when he was deployed to Afghanistan. His experiences there and reading libertarian/antiwar material led to him to becoming antiwar. We talk about his experiences in the military and as an ER nurse battling Covid.
Will Porter returns to Foreign Policy Focus to discuss the release of Bolton’s new book and the Trump administration’s effort to delay its publication. Will and Kyle break down some of the stories told in the book and how Bolton’s lies as Trump’s National Security Adviser continue to harm peace efforts across the globe. They explain Bolton’s long history of lying to start wars and why no one should believe the narratives spun in the memoir.
On FPF #508, I discuss some of the important news happening around the world. In California, police officers murdered an 18-year-old kid working as a security guard. The State Department approved a $600 million weapon sale to Ukraine. In the UK, a terrorist stabbed three people to death. The UN believes healthcare workers are being targeted in Afghanistan.
Dave DeCamp joins Foreign Policy Focus to discuss his recent coverage of Steve Bannon and Frank Gaffney’s latest efforts to increase tensions with China. Bannon and Gaffney have stated the group Committee for Present Danger: China to further this goal. The Trump administration continues to adopt the group’s language showing its influence. Dave debunks their hawkish and absurd claims.
Dave DeCamp is assistant editor at Antiwar.com and a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn NY, focusing on US foreign policy and wars. He is on Twitter at @decampdave.
On FPF #506, I discuss Trump’s obsession with helping the arms industry. The Pentagon announced that it plans to spend $135 million bailing out small arms makers, the Senate is trying to allocate $10 million for nuclear weapons testing, and the US will acquire the six F-35s that were first sold to Turkey. The massive spending on weapons comes as millions of Americans are out of work. Trump is also trying to make it easier to sell drones to Saudi Arabia and the UAE by reinterpreting an international missile control agreement.
On FPF #505, Will Porter returns to the show to discuss efforts to rein in the police. The recent weeks of protests have produced 100s of videos of police murdering and assaulting people. The police have committed these crimes with a very small chance of facing any repercussions. The lawless law-keepers must be restrained if we want to live in a free society. Will and Kyle discuss the new proposed laws and how they can help hold killer cops accountable.
On FPF #504, I discuss Israel’s plan to move forward with annexing portions of the West Bank. Israel’s plan is to annex up to 30% – of the most valuable land – this summer. The annexation will cause Palestinian towns within the West Bank to be disconnected from each other. The annexation plan loosely follows Trump’s Deal of the Century. However, the deal calls for Israel to halt settlement expansion during annexation, and Netanyahu has made it clear he intends to continue with expansion. The Palestinians are considering several options, including declaring a state.
We discuss Danny’s experience on the ground at the protests in Kansas City and the broader protest movement, whether this is an insurrection, the idea of calling in the military to act as a police force or worse, and the parallels between current policing practices and counterinsurgency missions.
Major Danny Sjursen is a retired US Army strategist, West Point grad and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War titled: Ghostriders of Baghdad. His articles are published by numerous media outlets: antiwar.com, The American Conservative, Truthdig, TomDispatch and others.
Joanne Leon is the host of the Around the Empire podcast.
- Dispatches From Kansas City: The ‘Insurrection’ That Wasn’t (May 30-31, 2020), Danny Sjursen
- Do Police Face Less Discipline Than U.S. Soldiers?, Danny Sjursen
- Military Officers And Vets Uncomfortable With Trump’s Domestic ‘Battlespace’, Mark Perry
- Book: Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge, Danny Sjursen
- Book: Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War, Danny Sjursen
On FPF #502, Will Porter returns to the show to discuss ongoing George Floyd protests. Will and Kyle break down some of the worst examples of police brutality. Will explains that the protests are now in 100s of American cities and have even spread to Europe. The protest movement is generally about Black Likes Matter, and a popular call is to defund the police.
In Minneapolis, the protests demanded the mayor disband the police department. The mayor refused, but now a veto-proof majority of the city council has a plan to eliminate the police department. Will and Kyle talk about why the people are demanding the plan and how it can be beneficial.
On FPF #501, I invited great friends of the show Joanne Leon and Will Porter to come on and chat about some of the most important topics covered in the first 500 episodes of the show. We talk about some of the most important narratives the establishment media has gotten wrong, but we got right in our shows and writings.
Joanne Leon is the host of the Around the Empire podcast.
Will Porter is a staff writer at RT. He has articles published at Antiwar.com, Libertarian Institute, and Consortium News.
Scott Horton returns to Foreign Policy Focus for the 500th episode. Scott talks about the lessons and themes of Star Wars. He explains how the failures of the Jedi led to the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire. The saga is a warning to Americans about the dangers of empire and endless war. Scott also weighs in on the protests/riots and the destruction of police property.
Scott Horton is the host of the Scott Horton Show and the author of Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan. He is the Editorial Director of Antiwar.com and the Managing Director of The Libertarian Institute.
On FPF #499, Will Porter returns to the show to cover the ongoing protests, riots, and police brutality. The protests started after a police officer slowly murdered George Floyd, while three other helped and watched. The protesters demanded charges for the officers. Police responded to the protests by cracking down on the protests. Some of the protesters started looting and setting buildings on fire. Police have become even more violent, often directing their rage towards small, female peaceful protesters. Will and Kyle discuss the actions of everyone and the need for real criminal justice reform.