A new youtube channel, the Cadre Journal, has been publishing hour-long in-depth interviews with Communist party activists and others on and largely from the Global South. I was happy to be invited on to talk to them about the history of the US in the DR Congo and Rwanda. Check out their channel – they’re doing an interview a day almost, and they’re all really good.
More than a decade later it is well past time to look at how the Syrian Civil War really started – with a US-orchestrated regime change campaign with continuities going back to European colonialism and with continuous US regime change efforts against Syria from 1949 on. I’m talking with William Van Wagenen, who has written a series of long-read articles about the war on Syria for the Libertarian Institute. We go in great depth about US social media-based regime change efforts, the US-Saudi recruitment of the “Jihad, Inc.” international brigade, and how these two forces handled the early events leading up to the war, from multiple failed attempts to spark a revolution to an ultimately successful attempt to spark a civil war and a partition of the country that was leading inexorably to collapse and an Islamic State takeover until Russia intervened in 2015.
Talking to Gabriel Rockhill, professor and director of the Critical Theory Workshop. Ever wonder why the CIA thought it was worthwhile to sponsor European left-wing academic theories? We talk about Derrida, Foucault, Arendt, and why even if you think obscure academic theory isn’t important, you might be mistaken. Author or editor of nine books, Rockhill is currently working on a book tentatively titled The Intellectual World War: The CIA’s Failed Attempt to Kill the Idea of Communism.
I interviewed Scott Ritter, former Marine, weapons inspector, and current author and writer about the war in Ukraine. We start with his experiences as a young member of the US military studying the Soviet Union and preparing for war with Russia; then talk about the surprises when he actually met Russians under conditions of detente. I asked him, since everybody seems to be an armchair military analyst, how we could be better at it. Then we talk about Russia’s goals, the situation in Ukraine, how Russia’s conducting the war so far (we talked on Day 9), and the prospects for Ukraine becoming “another Afghanistan”.
I’m joined by AER’s favorite doctor Tarek Loubani and by another doctor (this time a doctor of history), Dorotea Gucciardo, a lecturer in the history of medicine. I ask Tarek why he believes vaccine mandates work; I ask Dorotea how, as a non-scientist, she evaluates medical information. Then we talk about the Ottawa convoy, which has now dispersed to Canadian cities, and local efforts to prevent the convoys from preventing medical workers from doing their work.
Ben Norton of the new site multipolarista.com joins me to talk about a wide range of anti-imperialist topics, from Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin to Ortega and Maduro. We end up trying to figure out “patriotic socialism”, support for the “trucker convoy” (which is opposed by most truckers and which has very few truckers). Towards the end there’s a detailed theoretical discussion of how differences and splits occur not just among socialists but also among right-wing conservatives, and what the class basis for these kinds of splits might be. Are we in a multipolar world?
Sooner or later every anti-imperialist is smeared as a “tankie” and this week was Vijay’s turn. First his views were falsified, then he used the word “modernization” in a tweet! So, in this interview, we take a deep dive into debates about “modernization”. Repudiating liberal and colonizer’s attacks on Indigenous societies (which they falsely claim to do in the name of modernization), we talk about nationalist and anticolonial projects that challenge local oppression and feudalism. Are these “modernization”? We conclude with a discussion of the whole strategy of smearing people as “tankies” and why these articles seem to come out every few months (hint: it’s to drive anti-imperialists out of the western left…)
I’m joined by Navyug Gill from William Paterson University to talk about the historic victory of the Indian Farmers who, after demonstrating for a whole year at the cost of 750 lives, succeeded in forcing the repeal of three laws that would have immiserated agriculture in India, done away with the government procurement system, and subjected the entire agricultural system to new levels of instability and volatility. Instead, the farmers stopped the seemingly unstoppable Modi juggernaut. We talk about how they did it and what might come next.
I am back with journalist and activist KJ Noh, retired SF Judge Julie Tang, and activist/writer Dan Freeman-Maloy. Meng Wanzhou is free and back in China! We painted a pretty pessimistic picture for you in AEP 95 before the ruling, then poof! The Canadian election happened and Meng was on a plane back to China! Dan goes over some Canadian history of anti-Chinese racism; Julie helps us go over the Deferred Prosecution Agreement and what it means; KJ helps us assess whether this was a victory or a defeat. We conclude with some of Meng’s own words, and some ruminations on the future of Huawei, of HSBC, and of the “American Trap”.
I’m joined by Aidan Jonah, editor of the new media outlet The Canada Files, which has an anti-imperialist point of view and an investigative journalism methodology. We talk about some of the Canada Files’s recent investigations, about the relative paucity of anti-imperialist perspectives on Canada (with noble exceptions of course), and about the ambitions plans for the Canada Files’s future.