Will Porter returns to Foreign Policy Focus to discuss how the US military is being impacted by the coronavirus. Will explains that several DoD personnel have now tested positive and many soldiers are in quarantine. The Pentagon has scaled back some games, although others have been able to continue. The close quarters' soldiers live in - especially on ships - makes it likely the coronavirus will spread quickly. However, this has not prevented hawks in the Trump administration from pushing war with Iran.
On the first bonus episode of Foreign Policy Focus, Steven Clyde of the Libertarian Party Mises Caucus joins the show to talk about the $2 trillion bailouts passed by Congress. The establishment claims the "stimulus" is meant to benefit all Americans in a difficult situation created by the coronavirus. However, it is a bailout to the rich, the political class, and large corporations for an economic rot that existed long before the coronavirus existed. The rest of us will get just enough to keep most Americans from realizing that the government is again stealing from us to enrich their friends, families, and donors.
Steven Clyde is the Content Director for the Libertarian Party Mises Caucus.
Joanne Leon returns to FPF to discuss the five year anniversary of the US/Saudi war on Yemen. The anniversary has received almost no media coverage in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Ironically, the five years of war in Yemen has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis - making Yemen one of the most likely to be devastated by a coronavirus. The US/Saudi/UAE/UK bombing campaign has intentionally targeted the civilian in fracture of Yemen. Now - before coronavirus even reaches Yemen - 24 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and millions of children are at risk of starvation. Yemen must be remembered and the war must end.
Joanne Leon is the host of the Around the Empire podcast.
John Dangelo joins Foreign Policy Focus to discuss the dangerous EARN IT Act. While the bill claims to protect children, in reality, it will allow for mass regulation of communication on the internet. It will roll back the key Section 230 rule that allows for websites to have comment sections on their sites. More importantly, the bill takes aim at encryption and could forces companies to build governments a back door. John also talks about coronavirus. John is a former combat vet and currently an ER nurse. He uses those experiences to explain how coronavirus could impact war zones.
John A. Dangelo III, a former marine turned anti-war advocate. Today He is a nurse in an emergency department. He is a new dad and a student. His work has been published at Antiwar.com and Libertarian Institute. He runs AntiwarWarVet.com.
Will Porter returns to the show to discuss the Trump admin's move towards war with Iran. The recent events happened under the cover of the coronavirus and got little attention in the MSM. Trump's civilian advisers pushed him to carry out strikes within Iran, and it was the military leaders - Secretary of Defense and Head of the Joint Chiefs - that disagreed with striking Iran. Fortunately, Trump decided not to strike Iran because of the corona outbreak. Will and Kyle explain how the instability in Iraq - and Trump's hawkish advisers - could eventually push Trump to strike Iran.
On FPF #467, I discuss the deaths caused by coronavirus and US sanctions in Iran. The country has been one of the hardest hit by the outbreak so far and continues to struggle to import medical supplies due to the US sanctions. North Korean and Venezuela are in a similar position but so far have not had a serious outbreak of corona. Countries like Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen are also at heightened risk as years of American warfare has wrecked the countries' medical and humanitarian networks.
Peter Quinones returns to Foreign Policy Focus to discuss the state's right to murder and the lack of accountability. Pete first explains how the flawed US justice systems has put innocent people to death. He discusses how police are able to kill people and avoid all accountability. Pete and Kyle look at the issue of war and how the government gets to slaughter people in mass.
Peter R. Quinones is managing editor of the Libertarian Institute and hosts the Free Man Beyond the Wall podcast. He released his first book, Freedom Through Memedom – The 31-day Guide to Waking Up to Liberty in November 2017. It reached #4 in the Libertarian Section on Amazon. He is currently co-producing a documentary entitled, “The Monopoly on Violence,” which is scheduled for a 2020 release.
Will Porter returns to the show to talk about the chaos in Iraq. Over the weekend, the US bombed several positions claiming to be striking back against the "Iranian-backed" Shia group that killed two Americans and a British soldier. However, the Iraqi government reports the US only killed Iraqi soldiers, police, and civilians. Will explains what the US is trying to do in Iraq and how Trump's policy is failing.
On FPF #464, I discuss Chelsea Manning and the US bombing Shia militias in Iraq. Chelsea Manning was imprisoned for a year for refusing to testify in front of a grand jury about leaking documents to WikiLeaks. Manning took the stand for Julian Assange - who the grand jury was empaneled to investigate - and against the unjust grand jury system. Manning attempted suicide before learning she would be released this week.
A recent attack on an Iraqi base killed two American soldiers and one British soldier. The attack was blamed on "Iranian-backed" Shia militias. However, the US or UK government failed to provide any proof for this claim. The lack of evidence did not stop the US and UK from jointly bombing several Shia militia targets in Iraq.
On FPF #463, I discuss the political instability caused by two different men claiming to be president. Incumbent Ashraf Ghani and his former Cheif Executive Abdullah Abdullah have both claimed victory in an election that happened in September. They exploit the rampant violence, extortion, and voter fraud that surrounded the election to claim their victory. It appears that Ghani will remain the president recognized by the US.
Will Porter returns to Foreign Policy Focus to discuss the International Criminal Court's inquiry into US war crimes committed in Afghanistan. Will looks at the alleged crimes, like torture, that will be investigated. Kyle updates the situation in Afghanistan a week after the "peace deal" with the Taliban was signed. Will and Kyle review the first week of the agreement.
On FPF #461, I discuss Congress pushing for war more than Trump. A new bill in the House looks to prevent the US from drawing down troops in Africa. Throughout the Trump presidency, Congress has a history of attempting to prevent Trump from drawing down forces or removing sanctions. At the same time, Congress is almost completely ignoring Trump deploying troops and fighting undeclared wars.
On FPF #460, I discuss the chaotic and dangerous situation unfolding in Idlib, Syria. Turkey is backing the al-Qaeda linked rebels who remain in opposition to the Syrian government. The Syrian Army - along with its Russian ally - are attempting to retake the Idlib Province of Syria. Turkey is invading Syria in an attempt to prevent this from happening. Turkey has asked the US and European allies to get involved and establish a no-fly zone over Idlib. The no-fly zone would result in the US shooting down Russian planes. NATO rejected Turkey's demands. Now Turkey is allowing some of the 3 million refugees - who settled in Turkey during the Syrian War - to cross into Europe. Turkey hopes this will pressure the European powers to act in Syria.
Will Porter returns to FPF to discuss the peace deal signed by the Taliban and the US government. The deal did not include the Afghan government. It calls for the US to drop troop levels to 8.600 within 135 days and a full withdraw of US forces in 14 months. The deal is rumored to have secret annexes that would allow the US to keep counterterrorism force in Afghanistan. Will and Kyle explain their skepticism of the deal bringing an end to America's longest war and why calling this a peace agreement is misleading.
On FPF #458, I discuss Julian Assange's extradition hearing. Assange is being forced to sit in a bulletproof glass box. Julian is barely able to hear what is going on in the trial, and he is unable to confer or speak with his lawyers to get clarification. He continues to face dehumanizing tactics like repeated strip searches. Assange is unable to get a fair trial because he exposed the crimes of the empire. His court fight is now the fight for a free press.
On FPF #457, I discuss the deep state is rolling out Russiagate for the 2020 election. Now Trump and Bernie have been accused of receiving Russian support in this election cycle. Just like in the first Russiagate, no one has presented evidence of the alleged Russian conspiracy. It seems the goal of the deep state is to hem in the likely candidates of the two major parties.
On FPF #456, Will Porter returns to the show to discuss the evolving justification for Trump's assassination of Soleimani. Will explains how the Trump admin has now given several reasons that they needed to and had the power to kill Soleimani. Will and Kyle look at the failure of Trump to have appropriate authorization for the strike and the strategic failures of the strike.
On FPF #455, I discuss the Senate voting on a War Powers bill to constrain Trump's ability to start a war with Iran. Trump has continued on the presidential tradition of killing whoever he wants, and he is unbound by the Constitution. The House will also need to pass the bill. However, Trump has threatened to veto the legislation, and Congress is unlikely to get the needed 2/3 in each house to override it.
On FPF #454, I discuss recent progress made in negotiations with the Taliban. The US and Taliban will soon implement a reduction in violence pact. If successful, the pact could be the first step in a peace deal between the US and the Taliban. However, there are a lot of potential paths that could lead the US away from peace. Including the president's erratic decisions on foreign policy.
On FPF #453, I discuss Trump's firing of impeachment witnesses, insider attacks in Afghanistan, and Iraq. Trump fired EU Ambassador Sondland and NSC Ukraine expert Vinland. Both men testified in the House impeachment hearing providing Democrats with great soundbites and little evidence. In Afghanistan, two US soldiers were killed by an insider attack. The attack is further proof the war is failing. Iraq says the attack that Trump used as an excuse to assassinate Soleimani was carried out by ISIS and not a Shia militia group. If the Iraqi military and intelligence is correct, then Trump was duped by jihadists into a conflict with Iran.
On FPF #452, I discuss Trump's acquittal and the special guest at his State of the Union address. I explain how impeachment turned into dangerous anti-Russia propaganda. Adam Schiff and the Democrats used undying zombie of Russiagate to try to remove Trump from office. As predicted before impeachment started, Trump was acquitted by Senate votes almost entirely along party lines.
Trump invited failed Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaido to his SOTU. The failed coup attempt has led Trump to place deadly sanctions on Venezuela. The invite to the SOTU indicates the US will continue to support Guaido's illegitimate and weak claim to power.
Michael Maharry returns to the show to discuss Afghanistan and his new book, Constitution Owner's Manual. Mike and Kyle describe how Trump has ramped up the war in Afghanistan. Mike answers questions about how the Constitution can be used to limit the president's war-making abilities. He explains the problems with the War Powers Act and the AUMFs.
Michael Maharrey serves as the national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center and the managing editor of the SchiffGold website. He hosts his own podcast, Thoughts from Maharrey Head, as well as the Friday Gold Wrap podcast and the It’s Your Dime interview series for SchiffGold.
On FPF #450, I discuss the House vote to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force. The bill was passed in 2002 allowing President Bush to start a war with Saddam's regime in Iraq. Saddam was hung in 2006 and his army disbanded. However, both presidents Obama and Trump invoked the AUMF as giving them "authority" to carry out military operations in Iraq. The House vote is an attempt for Congress to regain some control over the president's near-endless war-making powers.
On FPF #449, I cover some of the details of Trump's "Deal of the Century" and explain why it is meant to be rejected by the Palestinians. While Trump claims the deal creates a Palestinian State, the deal actually gives limited autonomy to a collection of several small, disconnected areas that will be called Palestine. The Palestinians will not have a military and minimal border crossings. For these reasons - and many more - the Palestinians denounced the peace plan. I argue the point of the plan was for the Palestinians to reject it, so Israel will have the excuse to continue the occupation and theft of Palestinian land.
On FPF #448, I discuss several news stories that are being ignored as the media obsessively covers impeachment. In Afghanistan, a US plane was downed and the UN announced it needs to provide basic aid to an additional three million Afghans this year. The US Embassy in Baghdad was hit with a rocket. The Iraqi security force continues to kill protesters. Many of the protesters are demanding American forces leave. Trump announced his Isreal/Palestine "Deal of the Century." The deal appears DOA as it fails to meet even basic Palestinian demands.