On FPF#485, I discuss the lastest letter for current and former OPCW employees disputing the organization's latest report claiming Assad used chemical weapons. The letter points out several critical flaws with the report. The insiders point out the problem that the evidence was collected by the Syrian opposition to Assad, and not by OPCW officials. The authors of the letter concluded that there is a strong reason to suspect Assad did not carry out the chemical weapons attacks he was accused of in 2017.
Will Porter returns to the show to discuss the rumors of Kim Jong-un's death. Will explains the media reports suggesting Kim is dead, or will soon die, are based on flimsy sources. However, Kim has been absent from public life for a few weeks and missed a significant North Korean holiday. The rumors of Kim's death reveals the US needs to improve its relationship with the isolated country.
On FPF #483, I discuss Trump's lastest foolish threat to Iran. Trump tweeted that he is instructing the Navy to 'shoot down' Iranian ships that harass American Navy ships. If Trump's orders are followed it could provoke a shooting war between the US and Iran. Thankfully, senior Pentagon officials signaled they plan to keep the same rules of engagement in the Persian Gulf.
On FPF #482, I discuss how the US government is seizing more of our rights and money in the name of fighting pandemic. In Wisconsin, a police officer forced a young girl to delete her social media posts under threat of arrest. Now, the Pentagon is prepping to get bailouts for its preferred weapons makers in the next stimulus. Government, at all levels, is growing in the name of fighting a "war" against Covid.
Will Porter returns to Foreign Policy Focus to talk about several top news stories. Will discuss Yemen's depleted healthcare system as we have the first recorded case of COVID in Yemen. In the midst of the pandemic, Trump froze US funding to the WHO. Will explains Trump's reasoning for cutting the funding and breaks down how much criticism the WHO deserves. Kyle and Will talk about US Iran tensions and how a recent encounter shows America needs a new policy for the Persian Gulf.
Mike Maharrey returns to FPF to discuss our government's authoritarianism. The federal and state government have made several dictates that violate our Constitutional rights. In Kentucky, the governor made the rule that people are not allowed to attend church, a clear violation of the First Amendment. Mike explains the challenges of pushing back against the authoritarianism when you are choosing to take precautions because you believe it is the right course of action.
Mike Maharrey is the author of Our Last Hope. He is the host of the Thoughts from Maharrey Head podcast and the Friday Gold Wrap. Mike is the managing editor at Schiff Gold and the communications director at The Tenth Amendment Center.
On FPF #479, I discuss the first death of a US sailor from the USS Theodore Roosevelt from Covid-19. The story of the outbreak on the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier became a national story after a letter sent by the captain of the ship warned that his sailors would die for no reason of Covid-19. Captain Cozier's warning coming true reveals that the country's leadership doesn't care about the troops. The empire further exposed by not seeing the situation on the Roosevelt as a possibility for other ships. The US continues to deploy ships, off Venezuela's coast or through the Taiwan Strait, on pointless missions that have nothing to do with national security.
On FPF #478, Will Porter returns to the show to discuss Julian Assange. A year ago, Assange was ripped from the Ecodurian embassy and thrown in UK top maximum-security prison. Over the year, Assange's health has declined. Adding to his health risk is a coronavirus outbreak at the prison he is caged in. Assange's legal team recently appealed to the judge in his extradition case to allow him to leave the prison under house arrest for the remainder of the coronavirus outbreak, something the UK is allowing 1,000s of other prisoners to do. However, Assange was denied this and the judge took it a step further by announcing she would reveal the identity of Assange's partner and children.
On FPF #477, I discuss what impact Bernie Sanders dropping out of the race could have on US foreign policy. Bernie held a more non-interventionist view than Trump or Biden. However, Bernie was never willing to put the foreign policy first or challenge his opponents on their history of supporting. Bernie's exit sets up a Biden v Trump showdown in November. Both men talk a good game about avoid and ending wars, but that is not backed up by their records.
On FPF #476, I discuss the US government is buying more weapons and giving financial support to the weapons markers. The finical assistance was approved through the $2 trillion bailout. The Navy announced it was buying an additional $2 billion in torpedos and missiles to prop up companies who make parts for weapons. The defense industry has been deemed essential, and employees are allowed to violate social distancing to make weapons. While the coronavirus should be revealing to the American people and the US government, we spend too much money on warfare. However, the pandemic is being exploited by the government to expand the war machine.
Will Porter returns to FPF to discuss the aggressive actions Trump has taken towards Venezuela in recent weeks. The US indicted Maduro then offered a $15 million reward for his arrest. Similar actions were taken in 1989 before the US military invaded Panama and captured the country's leader. The US has offered a "new" proposal to drop sanctions once Venezuela's president Maduro resigns. However, Maduro will not step down and turn the country over to his opposition as the US demands. Now, in the name of fighting the drug war, Trump deployed several warships and anti-drug ships off of Venezuela's coast.
On FPF #474, I discuss the US moving towards war with Iran under the cover of Coronavirus. Trump took to Twitter to threaten Iran if an attack is carried out against American forces in Iraq. Trump's Tweet creates a situation that means any attack in Iraq - with Iran's support or not - is likely to result in the US attacking the Shia militias in Iran, if not attacking within Iran. The attack could enter the US into a tit-for-tat cycle with Iran that escalates into a larger war.
On FPF #473, I discuss the US attempts to exploit coronavirus outbreaks to overthrow governments. In Venezuela, the US already has a 'maximum pressure' campaign going. The over a year-long campaign has failed to force the countries president, Maduro, from power, but has killed 10,000s of civilians. Rather than seeing COVID as an opportunity for diplomacy and saving the lives of Venezuelans, the Trump admin is viewing it as a chance to force Maduro from power. The scheme will likely fail, as all sanctions campaigns do. Maduro will likely be more empowered, and the politicians supported by the US will be marginalized as the people of Venezuela understand that their suffering is exacerbated by the US.