Will Porter returns to FPF to discuss the wild events during a recent coup attempt in Venezuela. Two Americans, along with 50-60 Venezuelans, landed on the shores of the country in an attempt to attest and overthrow Maduro. However, the Venezuelan government knew of the coup - as the plot was reported by AP - and the plotters were quickly captured. Will looks at the possibility the US government had a role in the coup and other important questions.
On FPF #489, I discuss how newly leaked documents from the OPCW show the organization was lying. The new docs leaked to the Grayzone, prove Ian Henderson was a vital member of the Douma fact-finding mission. As a member of the team, Henderson conducting an assessment that concluded the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma was staged. However, the OPCW left Henderson's assessment out of the Douma report and concluded Assad had used chemical weapons.
Henderson's assessment was eventually leaked, shedding important light on the truth of what happened in Douma. In an attempt to undermine the creditability of the report, OPCW leadership attacked Henderson. The new docs show the attempts to discredit Henderson were baseless smears.
On FPF #488, I discuss the US-Taliban "peace agreement." While the agreement has brought a reduction in violence between the US and Taliban, overall the violence between the Taliban and US-supported Afghan government rages. In the first three months of the year, Taliban attacks are up and the Afghan government is killing children at twice the rate of the Taliban. However, there are some positive signs. The two men claiming the title of Afghanistan's president are close to making a deal to unify the two governments.
Will Porter returns to Foreign Policy Focus to discuss the seeming reappearance of Kim Jong-un. Will breaks down the evidence that shows Kim's recent public visit to a new factory, after being absent from public view for three weeks. During his absence, the world outside of North Korea speculated about the North Korean chain of succession if the Supreme Leader would die. However, it looks like Kim is alive and well.
On FPF #486, I discuss how Israel apparently used fake documents to push Trump towards war with Iran in April 2018. Gareth Porter has a great article out that explains how it is clear the documents were forgeries. Netanyahu released the documents in April of 2018 before Trump withdrew from the Iran Nuclear Deal and imposed a 'maximum pressure' sanctions campaign against Iran. The economic war - and other provocative actions by Trump - has moved the US uncomfortable close to a shooting war with Iran.
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.
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.