COI #219: Biden’s Gaffes Highlight a Year of Foreign Policy Missteps

COI #219: Biden’s Gaffes Highlight a Year of Foreign Policy Missteps

On COI #219, Kyle Anzalone is joined by Dave DeCamp – News Editor at Antiwar.com – to review Biden’s first year as president. 

Dave breaks down Biden’s Ukraine policy. At a recent press conference, Biden suggested, if there is a small Russian invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. may not react. The White House immediately reversed the President’s statement. This confusion in policy comes as Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to meet with his Russian counterpart. 

Dave and Kyle discuss Biden’s Iran policy. Dave explains how Biden missed his opportunity to negotiate a more favorable deal with a moderate Iranian government. Now, Biden has set a deadline on the deal. But with a more hardline Iranian government in power, Tehran is demanding Biden live up to the commitments made by Obama. 

Dave explains how Biden has failed to successfully hold Saudi Arabia accountable and end the war in Yemen. The US-aided Saudi slaughter of Yemen increased through 2021, despite Biden’s pledge to treat Saudi Arabia as a pariah state and end offensive weapon sales.  

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News Roundup 1/20/2022

News Roundup 1/20/2022

US News

  • The police officers who restrained Cedric Lofton at a Kansas juvenile facility until he died will not face charges. [Link]
  • The city of Baltimore settles with two men – who police officers planted drugs on  – for $200,000. The officers were members of the corrupt Gun Trace Task Force. [Link]
  • An interim CIA report has concluded it is unlikely that ‘Havana Syndrome’ is caused by an adversary or weapon. [Link]
  • The Pentagon will spend over $52 million in 2022 on 18 blimps to surveil the southern border. [Link]
  • Rodolphe Jaar – wanted for his role in the assassination of Haitian President Moise – was extradited to the US from the Dominican Republic. [Link]

Russia

  • Mark Brzezinski, son of former US national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, has been sworn in as US ambassador to Poland. [Link]
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken travels to Ukraine and pledges an additional $200 million in military aid. [Link]
  • The US approved US-made weapons to be transferred from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to Ukraine. [Link]
  • Russia calls on the US to stop arming and training Ukrainians. [Link]
  • Biden says there is room to work with Russia on Ukraine. [Link]

China

  • Biden says it is too soon to consider easing tariffs on China. [Link]

North Korea

  • North Korea threatens to resume suspended activities. North Korea is likely referencing its pause on nuclear and ICBM tests. [Link]

Middle East

  • Biden says there is some progress being made in the Iran nuclear deal talks. [Link]
  • Biden says he is considering redesignating the Houthi are a terrorist organization. [Link]
  • The UAE claims the Houthi launched cruise and ballistic missiles along with drones in the recent attack on a fuel depot and international airport. The UAE says some of the missiles were intercepted. [Link]

Africa

  • US soldiers deployed to Niger for several days to help the country design a basic training program for its military. [Link]
  • Chad began releasing some rebel prisoners ahead of peace talks next month. [Link]
News Roundup 1/20/2022

News Roundup 1/18/2022

Ukraine

  • A bipartisan group of seven Senators traveled to Ukraine. They met with President Zelenskyy and restated America’s support for Ukraine. [Link]
  • The UK will give Ukraine anti-tank weapons and deploy troops for training on the weapons. [Link]
  • Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko returned to Ukraine to face treason charges. [Link]
  • Germany calls for four-party talks – Germany, France, Ukraine, and Russia – to de-escalate the Ukraine crisis. [Link]

Russia

  • Russian forces are arriving in Belarus for war games. [Link]

Korea

  • North Korea says it test-fired tactical guided missiles. [Link]

Israel

  • The US denies brokering an energy deal between Israel and Lebanon. [Link]
  • A Palestinian family was forcefully evicted from their home in Sheikh Jarrah. [Link]
  • A 75-year-old Palestinian activist who was hit by a tow truck, contracted by the Israeli police, dies from his injuries. [Link]

Yemen

  • A UAE oil facility was damaged by a drone attack, killing three. The Houthi claim responsibility for the attack. [Link]
  • Saudi bombs Yemen’s capital after the drone attack on the UAE, killing at least six. [Link]
  • The UAE is calling on the US to label the Houthis as a terror group. [Link]

Middle East

  • Iran says nuclear talks are being stalled by the US. [Link]
  • The Wall Street Journal reports Iran is seeking a legal promise from the US not to exit the nuclear deal once an agreement is made. [Link]
  • Two members of Iraq’s parliament had their offices targeted with explosives. [Link]

Africa

  • Libya’s eastern parliament calls the internationally recognized government illegitimate. Presidential elections scheduled for December were canceled. [Link]
  • The UN is pushing for Libya to hold elections in June. [Link]
  • Biden names Lucy Tamlyn to head the US Embassy in Sudan. [Link]
  • Medics say seven protesters were killed by security forces in Sudan. [Link]

1/13/22 Trita Parsi on the American Public’s Influence on US Foreign Policy

Trita Parsi of the Quincy Institute recently wrote a piece in a German publication arguing that the noninterventionist sentiment of the Trump years was not an arbitration. So Scott brought him on to talk about it. They discuss Parsi’s expectations for the future of Europe’s security structure. They then get into whether or not public opinion has any impact on American foreign policy. Next, they discuss how global perceptions of Biden’s political situation are affecting the Iran deal negotiations. Lastly, they touch on the continuing war in Yemen. 

Discussed on the show:

Trita Parsi is the Executive Vice President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft 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.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: The War State and Why The Vietnam War?, by Mike Swanson; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; EasyShip; Free Range Feeder; Thc Hemp Spot; Green Mill Supercritical; Bug-A-Salt and Listen and Think Audio.

Shop Libertarian Institute merch or donate to the show through Patreon, PayPal or Bitcoin: 1DZBZNJrxUhQhEzgDh7k8JXHXRjYu5tZiG.

COI #214: Mainstream Media Throws Cold Water on Russia Talks

COI #214: Mainstream Media Throws Cold Water on Russia Talks

On COI #214, Kyle Anzalone and Connor Freeman cover the U.S.-Russia talks in Geneva, the JCPOA talks in Vienna, and the criminal legacy of America’s Guantanamo Bay torture prison.

Connor updates Iran’s regional diplomacy and the nuclear deal talks. The Europeans are increasingly admitting progress is being made. Even the Israelis appear increasingly split on the issue with Tel Aviv’s Military Intelligence Chief saying it would be better for Israel if the JCPOA is revived. According to a new poll, most Americans support the deal as well.

Kyle breaks down all the news out of Geneva and what the indications are for U.S.-Russian diplomacy. The Russians and the Americans are still at odds over Ukraine’s potential NATO membership, a red line for Moscow and a tripwire for war. Connor and Kyle note that it does appear the Americans are willing to negotiate missile placements, perhaps replacing the INF Treaty, and limiting the size and scope of both NATO and Russia’s military exercises. Though Kyle shows how the media is preparing Americans for the talks’ failure.

Kyle details the history of Guantanamo Bay, the torture of detainees, new facilities being built that cost millions of dollars, and Biden’s broken promises to close America’s gulag.

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News Roundup 1/20/2022

News Roundup 1/7/2022

US News

  • The USPS asks for a waiver from Biden’s vaccine mandate. The service said it needs more time to get employees into compliance. While the mandate takes effect on January 10th, OSHA says it will not begin enforcement until February 9th. [Link]

Caribbean 

  • The US placed visa restrictions on eight Cuban officials. [Link]
  • Two journalists were killed in Haiti. [Link]

Great Power

  • The US will open a special forces base in Albania. [Link]
  • The US questioned the need for Russian troops to deploy to Kazakhstan. [Link]
  • Japan and the US sign a new defense research and development pact. [Link]

Afghanistan

  • The Taliban are pushing the US for a prisoner swap. [Link]

Middle East

  • Palestinians say a tow-truck driver ran over a 75-year-old Palestinian activist. [Link]
  • Iran says the nuclear deal can be saved if the US is willing to lift sanctions. [Link]
  • A drone was fired at a base that houses US forces in Iraq. [Link]
  • Saudi-backed forces in Yemen claim to have reclaimed territory in Shabwah. [Link]

Africa

  • The UN said an airstrike killed three people – including two children – at a refugee camp in Ethiopia. [Link]
  • Mali says Russia deployed troops to help train its forces. [Link]
  • Protesters say three people were killed in anti-coup protests in Sudan. [Link]
COI #211: Israel Panics Over Critique of Apartheid Policies

COI #211: Israel Panics Over Critique of Apartheid Policies

On COI #211, Kyle Anzalone and Connor Freeman discuss Israeli apartheid and why Tel Aviv’s worries that awareness of their regime’s brutality will spread this year. Kyle and Connor then update the JCPOA talks, the slight potential for peace on the Korean Peninsula, and the latest on tensions in Africa highlighting Sudan’s unrest.

Connor details how a prisoner’s 141 day hunger strike is exposing Israel’s longstanding policy of indefinitely locking up Palestinians without charges or trials. Israel is buying more U.S. arms and bombing the Gaza concentration camp. Tel Aviv’s top diplomat is greatly concerned over the UN’s coming investigations into Israeli war crimes. 

Connor also updates the Vienna talks and Israel’s latest threat to attack Iran without first warning the United States.

Kyle talks South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s efforts, before his term ends, to work with Pyongyang, Washington, and Beijing to bring about the Korean War’s formal end.

Kyle covers Sudan’s ongoing turmoil since last year’s military coup. The Sudanese President has stepped down and the protesters are now demanding an end to Khartoum’s international military aid. 

Kyle then breaks down the latest news on conflicts in various African countries including Somalia, the Congo, and Ethiopia.

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12/30/21 Daniel Larison: US Militarism Should Have Died With the Soviet Union

Scott is joined by Antiwar.com contributing editor Daniel Larison to discuss his most recent piece. Larison argues that the period following the peaceful breakup of the USSR was the best moment for the U.S. to shed the militaristic blob it had built up in the name of fighting communism. Instead, the military-industrial-congressional complex scrambled to find a new enemy. And the next thirty years of meddling in the Middle East and Eastern Europe have resulted in today’s messy geopolitical status quo. 

Discussed on the show:

  • “US Militarism Should Have Died With the Soviet Union” (Antiwar.com)
  • “The Looming Threat of a Nuclear Crisis with Iran” (The New Yorker)

Daniel Larison is a contributing editor at Antiwar.com, contributor at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and former senior editor at The American Conservative magazine. Follow him on Twitter @DanielLarison or on his blog, Eunomia.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: The War State and Why The Vietnam War?, by Mike Swanson; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; EasyShip; Free Range Feeder; Thc Hemp Spot; Green Mill Supercritical; Bug-A-Salt and Listen and Think Audio.

Shop Libertarian Institute merch or donate to the show through Patreon, PayPal or Bitcoin: 1DZBZNJrxUhQhEzgDh7k8JXHXRjYu5tZiG.

TGIF: Pursue Your Happiness and Forget the Rest

TGIF: Pursue Your Happiness and Forget the Rest

How about we do something novel in the new year? Let’s stop worrying about the stuff most politicians, pundits, and activists want us to worry about and instead think about ourselves, our families, our friends, and whatever communities we choose to be part of. Let’s forget about “the country” and the rest of the world. Let’s individually pursue happiness.

All I’m saying is that it’s finally time for the politicians, bureaucrats, and know-it-all intelligentsia, left or right, to get out of the way and let us set our own agendas.

Too self-centered? Well, too bad. Much evil results from people failing to mind their own business. But what I have in mind does not involve wishing other people ill or seeing life as a zero-sum game in which you can win only if others lose. On the contrary, we benefit from other people’s, including distant strangers’, good fortune because at the very least it opens up opportunities for mutual gains from trade. (“The division of labor is limited by the extent of the market,” the wise Adam Smith pointed out some time ago.) In reality, it opens up so much more.

There’s little chance this sort of world would result in what is often stigmatized as “selfishness.” The vast majority of us understand that truly caring about oneself necessarily means caring about other people in a variety of proper ways. In fact, the person who claims to care only about himself actually cares little even about himself. That’s why mutually beneficial social arrangements have been bottom-up affairs. As Thomas Paine recognized in The Rights of Man:

Great part of that order which reigns among mankind is not the effect of government. It has its origin in the principles of society and the natural constitution of man. It existed prior to government, and would exist if the formality of government was abolished. The mutual dependence and reciprocal interest which man has upon man, and all the parts of civilised community upon each other, create that great chain of connection which holds it together. The landholder, the farmer, the manufacturer, the merchant, the tradesman, and every occupation, prospers by the aid which each receives from the other, and from the whole. Common interest regulates their concerns, and forms their law; and the laws which common usage ordains, have a greater influence than the laws of government. In fine, society performs for itself almost everything which is ascribed to government.

Yet the policy elite and much of the ideological left and right don’t want us to understand this. They have other plans for us. They always do, don’t they? So they can’t let us get it into our heads that their agendas are illiberal impositions.

The ruling establishment and its mouthpiece media try to keep us agitated by a variety of threats. As Ted Galen Carpenter notes,

In recent years, U.S. executive branch officials and members of Congress from both political parties have routinely portrayed Russia or China (and frequently both countries) as existential threats to the United States. It also is becoming increasingly common to find news articles or opinion pieces that adopt the same theme. Moreover, a significant number of politicians and analysts put smaller powers, especially Iran and North Korea, and even non-state actors, such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, in that category. The concerted campaign on the part of opinion-shaping elites to hype the danger from such sources is leaving an indelible mark on public attitudes. Many Americans now believe that their country faces multiple, horrifying threats.

More sober reflection should cause the public to conclude that the dangers are greatly exaggerated, and that the individuals, agencies, and organizations that foster such hysteria are not doing the country any favors. (“Paranoid Superpower: Threat Inflation is the American Way.”)

Do the real or imagined threats to Ukraine or Taiwan really represent existential threats to the world including the American people?

Then there’s the so-called climate emergency, which doesn’t exist. After more than 40 years of the most ridiculously bad predictions of the imminent catastrophe, it’s time for those who still take the doomsday scenarios seriously to realize that “Wolf!” has been cried too many times. The same goes for other “crises,” like the ones supposedly presented by immigrants, global free trade, and the allegedly rampant racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and the assortment of imagined phobias.

We can also tell the “woke” left and the national conservative right that we have our own lives to live, thank you very much. And, no, we don’t have too much freedom, no matter what they may think. They can include us out of their culture wars.

The point of freedom is to be left unimpeded in our own individual and voluntary cooperative pursuits. It will forever be remarkable that the Declaration of Independence specified “the pursuit of happiness” in its examples of unalienable rights. Let’s never forget it.

Meanwhile, Happy New Year!

COI #207: Is Biden Turning to Diplomacy with Russia and Iran?

COI #207: Is Biden Turning to Diplomacy with Russia and Iran?

On COI #207, Kyle Anzalone and Connor Freeman update the JCPOA talks’ recent developments and the Russians’ security proposals presented to Washington.

Kyle discusses the Russians pulling 10,000 troops off the border with Ukraine and sending them back to their bases. This is potentially a show of goodwill before the upcoming talks with the U.S. next month. Kyle and Connor then cover some recent escalations that do not necessarily bode well for substantive diplomacy like the Americans flying spy planes over Ukraine not far from the separatist Donbas region. There is also talk of a U.S.-Ukraine intelligence partnership eyeing Moscow.

Kyle also covers the latest news on the new Cold War with China. It turns out that the Americans’ diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics is a “farce.” Also, using the Taiwan issue as a pretext, the U.S. and Japan are reportedly planning for war with China. Connor then talks about where things stand with the Iran deal.

Connor argues that the Iranians have the upper hand and have been largely successful by not making concessions, remaining steadfast, and demanding the lifting of all sanctions as well as the JCPOA’s full implementation. For all the tough talk and empty rhetoric from Tel Aviv, Washington, the Europeans, etc. it seems based on news reports and statements from the EU coordinator, the Iranian diplomats, and the Russian lead negotiator that Tehran’s demands and proposals have been accepted and, on their terms, things are moving forward. Connor and Kyle then talk American domestic politics, Middle East politics, and what Israel would demand in the case of a U.S. return to the Iran deal.

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News Roundup 1/20/2022

News Roundup 12/30/21

Covid

  • Georgia will spend $100 million to hire medical staff and deploy 200 National Guard soldiers to medical facilities. [Link]
  • Over 3,000 Navy reserve sailors missed the deadline to take the covid vaccination. [Link]

US News

  • Illinois bars the state employee pension fund from investing in Unilever – Ben and Jerry’s parent company. The decision was made because of a decision not to sell Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in West Bank settlements. [Link]
  • The NDAA includes a provision that prevents Biden from closing Gitmo. [Link]

Great Power

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirms US support for Ukraine in a phone call with President Zelenskyy. [Link]
  • Biden and Putin will speak on the phone today. [Link]
  • Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will lead US talks with Russia. [Link]
  • Russia and Belarus will hold joint war games in early 2022. Putin says details of the military drills have not been decided. [Link]
  • Taiwan says it is ready for deeper military ties with the US after Biden signed the NDAA that directs billions in funds against China. [Link]

Middle East

  • Russian and US officials met to discuss Iran. [Link]
  • Iraqi political leader Sadr met with leaders of the Fatah party. [Link]
News Roundup 1/20/2022

News Roundup 12/29/21

US News

  • Biden says he will implement a ban on unvaccinated Americans from accessing domestic air travel if medical experts approve the plan. [Link]
  • The LAPD releases the footage of the killing of 14-year-old Valentina Orellana-Peralta. Orellana-Peralta was killed when a bullet went through the wall of her dressing room. The cop who shot her was armed with a rifle and put himself in position to take the shot over officers who had handguns. [Link]
  • A record 122,000 migrant children were taken into US custody without their parents in 2021. [Link]

Pentagon

  • 169 Marines have been expelled from the military for refusing the covid vaccine. [Link]
  • A Hawaiian government official says the Red Hill’s fuel storage facility is a ticking time bombing. [Link]
  • The US military bases in Okinawa, Japan are creating an alarming level of forever chemicals. [Link]

Great Power

  • The US will keep the USS Truman aircraft carrier strike group in the Mediterranean Sea due to Russia/Ukraine tensions. [Link]
  • The US will give Ukraine $20 million for recording systems, drones, and personal protective equipment to secure its border. [Link]
  • The de facto US ambassador to Taiwan warns China against flights in the Taiwanese air defense identification zone. [Link]

Israel

  • Iran says recent war games were a warning to Israel. [Link]
  • The Israeli military presents its government with plans to strike Iran. [Link]
  • An Israeli defense contractor was shot – and suffered mild injuries – near the border with Gaza. In return fire, Israeli forces injured three Palestinian farmers. [Link]
  • Israel will continue airstrikes in Syria in 2022. [Link]

Middle East

  • Clashes between the Iraqi army and militants left six dead. [Link]
  • The UN Envoy to Yemen says the crisis is the worst it has been in many years. [Link]
  • UAE-backed forces strengthened their hold over Shabwah. [Link]
  • A US official held talks with the Somali prime minister after he was suspended by the country’s president. [Link]

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