I’m joined by Dock Currie with another episode on the gift that keeps on giving, the CSIS-leaking China panic in Canadian politics. We talk about the recent walk-back from the most ridiculous allegations against Han Dong, the pivot to more aggressive demonization of China in Canadian culture starting in 2018, the Meng Wanzhou case and where things are headed. Dock is an articling student in BC and on twitter at Dock_Currie
Waqas is back to keep us up to date on the Imran Khan file. The entire Pakistan establishment is united in trying to keep Imran Khan from returning to power in an election through court cases, violent repression, and electoral delay; but the people’s protests don’t seem to stop. Pakistan and Imran Khan at an impasse. Waqas also presents his new research on how the coup unfolded last year.
Sina’s back to talk to me about my latest Substack article, “Multiculturalism is over in Canada. It’s back to Sinophobia.” It’s about the scandal unfolding in the Canadian media since Fife & Chase broke their anonymous CSIS-leak-sourced story about Chinese interference in Canadian elections in February. I’m worried about racist incitement and scandal-mongering. Sina thinks I’m worrying too much.
Scott Ritter is back after a year as we build a chronology of events of the Russia-Ukraine war so far. What were Russia’s goals? Did they succeed or fail? What were NATO’s goals? Why did Russia’s initial offensive not bring a negotiation? Why did sanctions on Russia fail? How can we determine who is winning or losing when war propaganda is this thick? We even have a little debate about the issues around which an antiwar movement could try to reconstitute itself. Negotiations to end this war? Scott thinks no. Arms control? Scott thinks maybe.
Talking to Amaresh Mishra, author of the giant book India 1857: War of Civilisations about the immense scale of the Indian revolution against British imperialism that year: the scale of Hindu-Muslim unity, the class aspect of the revoution, the scale of the genocidal British massacres that followed (Mishra’s estimate is that the British killed 10 million Indians), and the importance of the so-called “1857 line”: the spiritual, cultural, political and economic connection between Hindu and Muslim in South Asia and resistance to Anglo-American imperialism, the recovery of which is the only way for South Asia to take its place in the world. We analyze Modi’s politics since 2014 and the continuing weakness of pro-Western ideologies (whether of the Congress or Hindutva variety) when faced with revolutionary politics.
It’s just me on this emergency broadcast in the spirit of “do a coup, get a pod”. Angry opponents of the Lula’s newly elected government in Brazil (with some security forces help) stormed government buildings on January 8 claiming fraud. Lula’s government survived and is now taking measures against future coups. These are being called authoritarian. But Lula’s been overthrown (and been a political prisoner) before – very recently, in fact. I go over the last time Lula was in power, read Pepe Escobar’s interesting article about the coup, and refer some other good sources to follow like Jones Manoel and Brian Mier’s Brasil Wire – not to mention the Anti-Empire Project’s Special Correspondent for Brazil who I’ve interviewed twice, Diana Aguiar.
Peru’s president Pedro Castillo has been overthrown in a coup and is in Peruvian jail while the former Vice President Dina Boluarte has taken over, vowing NOT to hold an election any time soon. People have taken to the streets in Lima to protest and demand new elections and a constitutional referendum. Meanwhile in Argentina, the former president Cristina Fernandez Kirchner has been sentenced to six years in prison, supposedly for corruption. Former Bolivian President Evo Morales (himself overthrown in a coup) has said these are two coups in South America in a week. It’s just me for this short emergency podcast, where I tell you what I’m reading and how I’m trying to make sense of these events.
Waqas is back to talk about the Nov 3 attempt on Imran Khan’s life; the assassination in Kenya of journalist Arshad Sharif; Similarities and differences between the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the attempt on Imran Khan; the possibility that the Pakistani military might find a way out of this (by having Bajwa step down on schedule and then allowing an election) as opposed to plunging the country into the abyss ( by going through with the assassination of Imran Khan).
*Apologies about the audio – used my webcam mic instead of my podcasting mic in my echoey studio. Back to normal next time!
On October 30, Lula was elected to the presidency after surviving a political persecution that threw him behind bars and kept him from running in 2018, paving the way for Bolsonaro’s disastrous term. Brazilian scholar-activist Diana Aguiar is back to answer questions like: is Lula’s government coup-proof? What will he be able to do in power? What will the right-wing do out of power? What happens in the region and what’s Brazil’s role in the world going to be in the next four years?
Democracy means “the people rule”. But do the people rule in the “democratic” systems that form governments all over the world? Are these democratic governments less repressive or authoritarian than those without the democratic certification? And does the democratic system of frequent multiparty elections deliver the developmental goods?
Talking to Vik Sohonie, former journalist who runs the grammy-award nominated Ostinato Records, about why Democracy (TM) fails the Global South.