Episode 6 show notes – Understanding North Korea and US militarization: Dispatch from Seoul, with Wol-san Liem

moderate rebels north korea

Moderate Rebels episode 6

Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton discuss North Korea, the Trump administration’s genocidal threats, the bloody history of the “forgotten” Korean War, and how the US has militarized South Korea.

Blumenthal reports on-the-ground in Seoul, where he interviews labor organizer Wol-san Liem on anti-war activism, THAAD protests, government repression, and the potential for peace and reunification in the Korean peninsula.

Topics
0:00 to 15:34 – North Korea
15:34 to 28:49 – Korean War
28:58 to 58:07 – Wol-san Liem interview on South Korea

Show Notes

North Korea

Ben Norton, Max Blumenthal, “Pundits Slam Trump’s Biblical Language on North Korea, But Praise His Defense Secretary’s Genocidal Threats“, AlterNet Grayzone Project, 10 August 2017

Tim Shorrock, “How Sony, Obama, Seth Rogen and the CIA Secretly Planned to Force Regime Change in North Korea“, AlterNet Grayzone Project, 5 September 2017

Tim Shorrock, “Diplomacy With North Korea Has Worked Before, and Can Work Again“, The Nation, 5 September 2017

Jon Schwarz, “North Korea Keeps Saying it Might Give Up its Nuclear Weapons — But Most News Outlets Won’t Tell You That“, The Intercept, 25 August 2017

Korean War

Blaine Harden, “The U.S. war crime North Korea won’t forget“, The Washington Post, 24 March 2015

The hate, though, is not all manufactured. It is rooted in a fact-based narrative, one that North Korea obsessively remembers and the United States blithely forgets.

The story dates to the early 1950s, when the U.S. Air Force, in response to the North Korean invasion that started the Korean War, bombed and napalmed cities, towns and villages across the North. It was mostly easy pickings for the Air Force, whose B-29s faced little or no opposition on many missions.

The bombing was long, leisurely and merciless, even by the assessment of America’s own leaders. “Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 percent of the population,” Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, told the Office of Air Force History in 1984. Dean Rusk, a supporter of the war and later secretary of state, said the United States bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.” After running low on urban targets, U.S. bombers destroyed hydroelectric and irrigation dams in the later stages of the war, flooding farmland and destroying crops.

Although the ferocity of the bombing was criticized as racist and unjustified elsewhere in the world, it was never a big story back home. U.S. press coverage of the air war focused, instead, on “MiG alley,” a narrow patch of North Korea near the Chinese border. There, in the world’s first jet-powered aerial war, American fighter pilots competed against each other to shoot down five or more Soviet-made fighters and become “aces.” War reporters rarely mentioned civilian casualties from U.S. carpet-bombing. It is perhaps the most forgotten part of a forgotten war.

 

Scholar Bruce Cumings

Bruce Cumings, “Americans once carpet-bombed North Korea. It’s time to remember that past“, The Guardian, 13 August 2017

Bruce Cumings, Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History, University of Chicago, September 2005

Listen to Moderate Rebels episode 6

Interview: Saudi activist Mohammed al-Nimr on oppression of Shia, attack on Awamiya, Wahhabism

Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton interview Saudi activist Mohammed al-Nimr, the son of the pro-democracy leader and Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who was executed by the Saudi regime in January 2016, about the political situation in Saudi Arabia, and US support for it.

Mohammed discusses the monarchy’s violent oppression of the Shia minority; the brutal attack on and destruction of the Shia-majority town of Awamiya, in the eastern Qatif province; and Saudi Arabia’s state-sponsored extremist ideology of Wahhabism.

This is the full interview with Mohammed al-Nimr, accompanying Moderate Rebels episode 5: “Orb of Evil: Trump’s embrace of Saudi Arabia”.

Show Notes

Mohammed al-Nimr

Ben Norton, “‘Tyranny will fall’: Son of executed Saudi dissident al-Nimr shares his incredible story“, Salon, 15 March 2016

Ben Norton, “Inside the first-ever summit calling for an end to the “suicidal death pact between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia“, Salon, 10 March 2016

Awamiya

Steven Chase, Robert Fife, “Ottawa calls for probe into apparent Saudi use of Canadian-made armoured vehicles against citizens,” The Globe and Mail, 28 July 2017

Katie Paul, “Saudi security forces flatten old quarter of Shi’ite town“, Reuters, 9 August 2016

Sami Aboudi, “Saudi man killed trying help citizens flee Awamiya: sources“, Reuters, 3 August 2017

Alex MacDonald, “Three-year-old boy dies amid siege of Saudi Shia town“, Middle East Eye, 9 August 2017

Alex MacDonald, “Saudi bulldozers flatten Shia town as residents flee carnage“, Middle East Eye, 3 August 2017

Thought Loser: Meet Shadi Hamid, defender of disastrous NATO regime change in Libya

shadi hamid

The first Moderate Rebels Thought Loser segment stars Brookings Institution senior fellow Shadi Hamid, a staunch supporter of US military intervention and NATO’s catastrophic 2011 regime change war in Libya.

From Moderate Rebels episode 5: “Orb of Evil: Trump’s embrace of Saudi Arabia”

Shadi Hamid


Show Notes

Shadi Hamid, “Everyone says the Libya intervention was a failure. They’re wrong.“, Vox, 5 April 2016

Ben Norton, “U.K. Parliament report details how NATO’s 2011 war in Libya was based on lies“, Salon, 16 September 2016

Julian Borger, Terry Macalister, “The race is on for Libya’s oil, with Britain and France both staking a claim“, The Guardian, 1 September 2011

Sudarsan Raghavan, “A reporter’s journey through Tripoli: Long lines, kidnappings and murder“, The Washington Post, 1 August 2017

Under Gaddafi, the oil-producing country was once one of the world’s wealthiest nations. Even as the economy struggled in his last years, Libyans enjoyed free health care, education and other benefits under the eccentric strongman’s brand of socialism.

The insecurity that followed Gaddafi’s death has ripped apart the North African country. Rival governments and an array of armed groups compete for influence and territory. The economy is on the verge of collapse. Criminal gangs prey on the vulnerable.

In Tripoli, parliament and other buildings are concrete carcasses, shattered by heavy artillery fire, rocket-propelled grenades and tank shells. Clashes often erupt suddenly, trapping residents in their homes and creating new no-go zones.

Episode 5 show notes – Orb of Evil: Trump’s embrace of Saudi Arabia, with Mohammed al-Nimr

moderate rebels episode 5

Moderate Rebels episode 5

Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton discuss how Saudi Arabia is at the heart of Donald Trump’s Middle East policy. We are joined by activist Mohammed al-Nimr, the son of the executed dissident Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, to discuss the Saudi regime’s attack on the Shia community of Awamiya.

Blumenthal and Norton also introduce the semi-regular segment Thought Loser, starring Brookings Institution senior fellow Shadi Hamid, a staunch supporter of NATO and its catastrophic 2011 regime change war in Libya.

Topics
0:00 to 2:40 – Intro
2:41 to 20:16 – Thought Loser: Shadi Hamid, NATO, and Libya
20:17 to 40:57 – Saudi Arabia and Trump
40:48 to 1:01:56 – Mohammed al-Nimr interview and Awamiya

Show Notes

Saudi Arabia and Donald Trump

Max Blumenthal, “In the Saudis’ Den of Extremism, Trump Trades Advanced Weapons for a $200 Billion Investment in Rust Belt Swing States“, AlterNet Grayzone Project, 18 May 2017

Kate Bennett, “Saudis, UAE pledge $100 million to Ivanka Trump-proposed fund“, CNN, 21 May 2017

Donald Trump, “Statement by the President on the Terrorist Attacks in Iran“, The White House, 7 June 2017

UAE and Yousef al-Otaiba

Ryan Grim, “Diplomatic Underground: The Sordid Double Life of Washington’s Most Powerful Ambassador“, The Intercept, 30 August 2017

Ben Norton, “Emails Expose How Saudi Arabia and UAE Work the U.S. Media to Push for War“, AlterNet Grayzone Project, 9 June 2017

Mohammed al-Nimr

Ben Norton, “‘Tyranny will fall’: Son of executed Saudi dissident al-Nimr shares his incredible story“, Salon, 15 March 2016

Ben Norton, “Inside the first-ever summit calling for an end to the “suicidal death pact between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia“, Salon, 10 March 2016

Shadi Hamid

Shadi Hamid, “Everyone says the Libya intervention was a failure. They’re wrong.“, Vox, 5 April 2016

Libya

Ben Norton, “U.K. Parliament report details how NATO’s 2011 war in Libya was based on lies“, Salon, 16 September 2016

Julian Borger, Terry Macalister, “The race is on for Libya’s oil, with Britain and France both staking a claim“, The Guardian, 1 September 2011

Sudarsan Raghavan, “A reporter’s journey through Tripoli: Long lines, kidnappings and murder“, The Washington Post, 1 August 2017

Under Gaddafi, the oil-producing country was once one of the world’s wealthiest nations. Even as the economy struggled in his last years, Libyans enjoyed free health care, education and other benefits under the eccentric strongman’s brand of socialism.

The insecurity that followed Gaddafi’s death has ripped apart the North African country. Rival governments and an array of armed groups compete for influence and territory. The economy is on the verge of collapse. Criminal gangs prey on the vulnerable.

In Tripoli, parliament and other buildings are concrete carcasses, shattered by heavy artillery fire, rocket-propelled grenades and tank shells. Clashes often erupt suddenly, trapping residents in their homes and creating new no-go zones.

Awamiya

Steven Chase, Robert Fife, “Ottawa calls for probe into apparent Saudi use of Canadian-made armoured vehicles against citizens,” The Globe and Mail, 28 July 2017

Katie Paul, “Saudi security forces flatten old quarter of Shi’ite town“, Reuters, 9 August 2016

Sami Aboudi, “Saudi man killed trying help citizens flee Awamiya: sources“, Reuters, 3 August 2017

Alex MacDonald, “Three-year-old boy dies amid siege of Saudi Shia town“, Middle East Eye, 9 August 2017

Alex MacDonald, “Saudi bulldozers flatten Shia town as residents flee carnage“, Middle East Eye, 3 August 2017

Listen to Moderate Rebels episode 5