Show notes – VICE’s American regime propaganda: How “A World in Disarray” glorifies US imperialism

VICE A World in Disarray

Moderate Rebels episode 14 (Part 2 of 2) – Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton continue reporting on Vice Media’s transformation into a mouthpiece for American foreign policy. With filmmaker Robbie Martin, we look specifically at “A World in Disarray,” a documentary film VICE co-produced with Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass, which glorifies US imperialism and brings together the most notorious neoconservatives and neoliberals.

We also analyze VICE’s propaganda on Venezuela and its whitewashing of US-backed neo-Nazis in Ukraine.

PART 1: Vice Media, normalizing US empire under hipster guise – with Robbie Martin (Ep. 13)

Show Notes

VICE’s “A World in Disarray” documentary

Robbie Martin’s “A Very Heavy Agenda”

Robbie Martin’s A Very Heavy Agenda website

Broadcasting Board of Directors citing VICE’s use of RFE/RL materials

BBG Media Highlights – January 24, 2014: “RFE/RL coverage of the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine cited by BBC, NBC, Vice and Gulf News.”

BBG Media Highlights – February 10, 2014: “Vice cites RFE/RL story on genetic testing for future Olympians in Uzbekistan.”

Michael Weiss

Max Blumenthal, “CNN Analyst Michael Weiss Hosted Anti-Muslim Rally with Far-Right Hate Queen Pamela Geller“, AlterNet Grayzone Project, 15 August 2017

Syria regime change trolls

Ben Norton, “How Online Trolls Pushing for Regime Change in Syria Helped Popularize Trump’s Attack on the ‘Alt-Left’“, AlterNet Grayzone Project, 17 August 2017

Francis Fukuyama and “The End of History”

Srecko Horvat, “Where are we 25 years after ‘the end of history’?“, Al Jazeera,  19 June 2014

Trump’s National Security Strategy

Ben Norton, “Trump Admin. Says China and Russia Are Top US National Security ‘Threats,’ Not Terrorism“, The Real News, 26 January 2018

Chilcot Report al-Qaeda

Ben Norton, “Chilcot report: British intel warned Iraq war would strengthen al-Qaeda and extremists; Blair invaded anyway“, Salon, 7 July 2016

Alliance for Securing Democracy

Max Blumenthal, “Meet Clint Watts, a Dubious Russia Meddling ‘Expert’ Lobbying the U.S. Government to ‘Quell Information Rebellions’“, AlterNet Grayzone Project, 8 November 2017

Max Blumenthal, “McCarthyism Inc: Introducing the Counter-Terror ‘Experts’ Hyping Russian Threats and Undermining Our Civil Liberties“, AlterNet Grayzone Project, 10 November 2017

US regime change operation in Syria

Ben Norton, “US Ambassador Confirms Billions Spent On Regime Change in Syria, Debunking ‘Obama Did Nothing’ Myth“, The Real News, 9 February 2018

Moderate Rebels episode 2: End of CIA’s Syrian ghost war and al-Qaeda’s renaissance

Moderate Rebels episode 3: The sordid history of US proxy war in Syria, with Gareth Porter

CFR’s “A World in Disarray” teaching notes

Richard N. Haass, A World in Disarray teaching notes, 27 April 2017

South Korea anti-war protests

Moderate Rebels episode 6: Understanding North Korea and US militarization: Dispatch from Seoul, with Wol-san Liem

Moderate Rebels episode 7: South Koreans resist US military presence and war with DPRK

Abby Martin, VICE producer Alex Chitty, Venezuela propaganda

Mike Pearl, “A Chat with Producer Alex Chitty About Tonight’s Episode of ‘VICE’ on HBO: We chatted with producer Alex Chitty about the trail of cocaine running from Caracas to a small, strange town in Niger called Agadez”, VICE, 27 March 2015

Ukraine’s US-backed neo-Nazi Azov Battalion

Max Blumenthal, “The US is Arming and Assisting Neo-Nazis in Ukraine, While Congress Debates Prohibition“, The Real News, 18 January 2018

Max Blumenthal, “Max Blumenthal: US is Arming Neo-Nazis in Ukraine“, The Real News, 5 February 2018

Listen to Moderate Rebels episode 14

Episode 7 show notes – South Koreans resist US military presence and war with DPRK

South Korean anti-war protesters

Moderate Rebels episode 7

Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton discuss Donald Trump’s genocidal threats against North Korea and the growing anti-war protests in the South against the deployment of the THAAD system and the presence of 28,000 US troops.

Max reports on the ground from South Korea capital Seoul, where he interviews Gayoon Baek and Wang-Soon Young, organizers from the activist group People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy. They detail how the US has militarized the Korean peninsula, the damage this militarization has done to Korean society, and prospects for peace with the DPRK in the future.

Show Notes

People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy website

Thousands of South Koreans protest the US’ missile defense system“, Agence France-Presse, 24 June 2017

Guy Taylor, “Protesters say THAAD missile system is more about U.S. militarism than South Korean protection“, Washington Times, 22 May 2017

Dena Takruri, “Is The U.S. Military Prepping For War With North Korea?”, AJ+, 13 September 2017

S. Nathan Park, “South Korea’s Nostalgia for Dictatorship Has (Mostly) Predictable Results“, Foreign Policy, 15 November 2016

Dave Hazzan, “Is South Korea Regressing Into a Dictatorship?“, Foreign Policy, 14 July 2016

Listen to Moderate Rebels episode 7

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.

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