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MintCast

News & Politics Podcasts

Welcome to MintCast, the official MintPress News podcast hosted by Mnar Muhawesh. MintCast is an interview podcast featuring dissenting voices, independent researchers and journalists the establishment would rather silence.

Location:

United States

Description:

Welcome to MintCast, the official MintPress News podcast hosted by Mnar Muhawesh. MintCast is an interview podcast featuring dissenting voices, independent researchers and journalists the establishment would rather silence.

Language:

English

Contact:

6123882006


Episodes

Why Israel fears the Hadid Family, with Alana Hadid

3/4/2024
Even as Israel turns Gaza into dust, few Western celebrities have dared to raise their voices against the genocide – and many have even supported it. One notable exception to this are the Hadids. The family of Palestinian-American fashion designers, influencers and models have been using their considerable platforms to bring attention to the slaughter and to call on the world to act to save innocent civilians. Today, Alana Hadid joins MintCast host Mnar Adley for a frank and insightful discussion about Israel, Palestine, and the world of entertainment. The family has hundreds of millions of followers on social media and can reach vast sections of the public, particularly young people. This is precisely why Israel fears them so much and has constantly lashed out at them. Israeli soldiers have dedicated missiles they are dropping on Palestine to the Hadids. Images show one that reads, "to [the] Hadid family Mohamed, Bella & Gigi from Israel." In the wake of the October 7 Hamas attack, the official Instagram account for the state of Israel attacked Gigi Hadid, claiming that she was "just fine with turning a blind eye to Jewish babies being butchered" – likely a reference to the now debunked "40 beheaded babies" story that was circulating at the time. And Israeli national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir denounced Bella Hadid as an "Israel hater." That senior Israeli officials feel the need to go out of their way to go after a family of fashionistas says a great deal about how insecure they feel their position is. Alana Hadid is a celebrated fashion designer and influencer who has collaborated with many of the world's most well-known models and brands. Last year, she followed in her younger siblings' footsteps by debuting as a model at Copenhagen Fashion Week. Today, she joins Mnar Adley to discuss the ongoing attacks against Palestine, her own family's history with displacement from their homes, and what it is like to speak out for justice when so many are staying silent. Don't miss this episode of the MintCast, and remember to subscribe on whichever platform you view us on. Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:00:24:01

Unraveling Bill Gates’ Global Web of Influence, with Tim Schwab

2/21/2024
For all of his power and prestige, Bill Gates is rarely scrutinized in our media. The Seattle native has been careful to cultivate an image of a well-meaning nerd who uses his wealth for good. Our guest today on the “MintCast” is an exception to that rule, being one of the few investigative journalists to critically examine Gates’ power and influence. Tim Schwab is an award-winning investigative journalist based in Washington, D.C. His reporting has been published in outlets such as The Nation, The Columbia Journalism Review, The Baffler and Jacobin magazine. His latest book, “The Bill Gates Problem: Reckoning with the Myth of the Good Billionaire,” was published in November. Today, Schwab joins “MintCast” co-host Alan MacLeod to discuss Gates’ origin story, how he uses his enormous wealth to negatively influence public health and education policy, his connections to disgraced child trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, and to ponder whether there is ever such a thing as a good billionaire. Gates’ influence on health policy became evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, when he used his funding connections to Oxford University to pressure the institution into their groundbreaking vaccine, telling them that only by partnering with a private corporation could they achieve their goals. Almost as soon as Oxford partnered with AstraZeneca, the latter announced that they would fall dramatically short of the vaccine production figures they had promised, leading to a massive dearth of vaccines for people worldwide, causing untold suffering. Few know about Gates’ negative influence on global health, however, partially because the media rarely report on it. This is down in no small part to the hundreds of millions of dollars he and his foundation have lavished upon newsrooms across the United States and around the world. Gates is a major funder of many of the most well-known and influential outlets globally, including The New York Times, CNN, NBC, The Atlantic, NPR, PBS, the BBC, Al-Jazeera, El País and Le Monde. Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:00:55:21

Yemen's Houthis Speak to MintPress About US Attacks, Their Blockade of Israel

1/30/2024
The United States and the United Kingdom recently carried out their eighth round of strikes against targets in Yemen that they claim are being used by Yemen’s Ansar Allah – known in the West as the Houthis – to threaten maritime navigation in the Red Sea. Since Israel began its deadly incursion into Gaza on October 7 of last year, Ansar Allah has carried out a de facto campaign of targeted sanctions against Israeli economic interests, attacking ships traveling through the Red Sea that it says are tied to Israel. The operation stands out in the region, as neighboring Arab countries have largely stayed out of the fray, if not directly supported Israel’s bloody campaign. While Ansar Allah has been much discussed (or, more accurately, denounced) in Western media, they have rarely been allowed to talk for themselves. Joining the MintCast today to discuss the blockade and Yemen’s escalating tensions with the United States is Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a senior political official and spokesperson for Ansar Allah. Bukhaiti has held his position since 2014, when the failed U.S.-backed Saudi campaign to dislodge Ansar Allah from power began. The human cost of the U.S.-Saudi campaign has been enormous. More than 400,000 people are thought to have been killed, and tens of millions of people lost their access to food, shelter and medical treatment in what the United Nations consistently called “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” A 2021 MintPress investigation found that the United States had supplied Saudi Arabia with at least $28.4 billion worth of weapons and provided diplomatic support for the onslaught. Ansar Allah officials have repeatedly stated that the goal of their blockade is to pressure Israel into halting its assault on the besieged Gaza Strip, a deadly campaign that has claimed the lives of well over 25,000 people and has left over 63,000 injured, most of them women and children. Ansar Allah says that their blockade against Israeli interests is working, and indeed, major ocean carriers have suspended Red Sea and Suez Canal transport, instead sailing around Africa, creating significant delays and supply bottlenecks and costing the Israeli economy billions. When asked by reporters if U.S. strikes on Yemen were effective, President Biden responded by stating: “When you say ‘working,’ are they stopping the Houthis? No. Are they going to continue? Yes.” Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:00:23:32

South Korea and Japan Emerge as Key Battlegrounds in the US Strategy Against China, Featuring Tim Shorrock

12/18/2023
As China continues rising and the U.S. attempts to dominate the world, Northeast Asia becomes an increasingly crucial battleground. The United States is trying to encircle China with a network of hundreds of military bases while building a trilateral military alliance with South Korea and Japan. But many in those countries want to be free of U.S. domination. Our guest today is Tim Shorrock, a writer and commentator who has covered the region since the 1970s. Growing up in Japan, Tim has covered Korea for The Nation magazine since 1983. His writing can also be found on his personal website, TimShorrock.com. While Japan is often presented as a model democracy and a stable society with low rates of crime and inequality, beneath the surface, a different story can also be told. The U.S. has occupied the island nation since the end of the Second World War, with more than 54,000 troops stationed across 120 military bases. Washington also heavily interfered in Japanese politics, funding and supporting the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has remained in power almost uninterrupted since the 1950s. In turn, the LDP allows the U.S. military to do what it likes in Japan. “It is difficult to call a country sovereign when another country’s military has control over its airspace,” he added. Likewise, South Korea is often presented as a modern, efficient, “good” nation instead of an authoritarian “bad” North Korea. But here again, the reality is considerably murkier. For much of its history, the South was ruled by a brutal military dictatorship that massacred its progressive opponents, ushering in a climate of fear across the country. While the dictatorship has gone, many of its anti-democratic laws remain. One is the National Security Law, which effectively allows the government to prosecute any left-wing political opponents (including human rights activists or unionists) under the premise that they are in league with the Communist North. And like Japan, South Korea was occupied by the United States, which maintains tens of thousands of troops there to this day. The U.S. presence is a major factor hindering the possibility of Korean unification. As Shorrock told MintCast host Alan MacLeod: The U.S. has always been against unification. They wanted the southern part of Korea to be part of their empire and linked up with Japan. That is what this trilateral alliance is all about maintaining U.S. forces there, basically forever.” Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:01:10:00

Immortal Technique on Gaza, the Hip-Hop Industry and More

12/6/2023
In the wake of the October 7 assault, more than 700 celebrities signed an open letter pledging support to the government of Israel. On the other hand, the hip-hop community has displayed solidarity with Gaza, with over 600 artists joining the Musicians for Palestine movement. Joining MintCast host Alan MacLeod today to talk about Gaza and the music industry is Immortal Technique. Immortal Technique is an independent rapper and activist widely regarded as one of his generation's most respected and gifted artists. He has used his platforms on social media to constantly speak out about the situation and educate his huge audience about colonialism, capitalism and imperialism. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Immortal Technique was keen to see the violence in Gaza as part of a bigger picture. “It is a continuation of the political aspirations of not just the United States, but [also] NATO,” he said. Israel has, for many decades, served as the United States’ local cop on the beat, an extension of the U.S. empire, hence the unwavering support in Washington D.C. “There are some beliefs among revolutionaries and the left that need to be challenged,” the Peruvian-born MC told MacLeod today. One of them is the anti-Semitic trope that Israel pulls the strings in the U.S. “In reality,” he said, “it is the United States of America that is pulling all the strings for Israel. The United States uses the government of Israel to do the types of things that it cannot do.” Ultimately, though, Immortal Technique argued that Washington is not making ordinary Israelis safer. “The United States cannot really protect Israel; it can only sell them weapons to brutalize their neighbors,” he said. The pair discussed the huge pressures on artists in the entertainment industry to toe the line on Israel and the penalties that occur if they speak out. Luckily for Immortal Technique, his status as an independent musician with no corporate bosses means he can speak freely. As he explained: Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:00:55:54

Why China's Rapid Rise is Terrifying the United States, with John Ross

10/3/2023
There is no doubt about it: China is rising. Whether it sparks hope and interest or fear and worry, it is impossible to ignore the country’s rapid economic and social transformation. Just a few decades ago, the words “made in China” were a synonym for bad quality junk. But today, China leads the world in all manner of high-tech industries, including photovoltaic cells, semiconductors, 5G communications technologies, and electric vehicles. Joining “MintCast” host today is someone who knows China extremely well. John Ross is an economist and a senior fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of the Renmin University of China. As far back as 1992, he accurately predicted the failure of economic reform in Russia and Eastern Europe and its success in China. He is the author of the book, “China’s Great Road: Lessons for Marxist Theory and Socialist Practices.” He writes on Chinese politics and economics on his website, “Learning From China.” While many in the West take a very dim view of China, Ross is far more positive, telling MacLeod that China has seen the highest sustained economic growth of any country in world history. “People don’t understand the scale of China’s success, and they still don’t understand what it means, therefore, in the transformation of the lives of ordinary Chinese people,” he said. Few in the Western media landscape would agree with Ross’ position. Some might acknowledge China’s rapid and remarkable transformation, but many are predicting that it is now entering a permanent slump or even an economic meltdown due to a property crash. Ross brushed off these concerns. “These articles are a farce,” he said, suggesting that a good course of action for understanding the truth about China is to “Read ‘The Economist’ and assume that the opposite is going to take place.” He also noted that the current trade war with China has nothing to do with human rights, the rules-based international order, or any other buzzword the United States wishes to use. In fact, he argued, the United States is attempting to throttle China’s economy because it cannot effectively boost or speed up its economy. From there, MacLeod and Ross also talked about Chinese rivalry with the United States, the high-tech trade war going on, the situation in Taiwan and the threat of a potential nuclear conflict between the superpowers. Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:00:58:27

How America Hides the Human Toll of its Forever Wars, with Norman Solomon

9/26/2023
America is addicted to war. But its citizens rarely see the brutal realities of the U.S. military-industrial complex up close. That is because our pliant media hides the carnage from the public, refusing to report on the victims of the war machine, and uses euphemisms like “surgical strikes” and “enhanced interrogation techniques” to mask the barbarity meted out by Washington around the world. A recent study from the Costs of War Project at Brown University found that the post-9/11 wars have been responsible for some 4.5 million deaths worldwide, with at least 38 million also displaced from their homes. Our guest today has literally written the book on how the harsh realities of America’s global empire are blocked from our views. Norman Solomon is a journalist, activist and media critic who co-founded activism website RootsAction.Org. He is the author of the new book, “War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine,” which has been endorsed by a wide range of academics and public figures, from Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky and Medea Benjamin to Naomi Klein and Amy Goodman. Solomon contended that, while the United States has suffered serious military setbacks and embarrassments in the 21st century, the military-industrial complex driving the war machine has gone from strength to strength, telling “MintCast” host Alan MacLeod that: “Raytheon, Boeing and other military contractors never lose a war. It is always extremely profitable [for them]. But in terms of geopolitical positioning, it is very difficult to maintain an empire in decline, which is not a bad description of the United States in the last decades.” While the U.S.’ “forever wars” in West Asia might finally be dying down, tensions with Russia and China are being consciously ramped up in Washington, leading to an extremely dangerous standoff against two nuclear-armed nations. Russia and China have, between them, thousands of nuclear warheads, and a conflict with either, Solomon told MacLeod, could end the world. As he said: “The U.S. is on a collision course with sanity around the survival of humanity in the nuclear age, ginning up [passions] rather than engaging in diplomacy over the conflict in Ukraine, and the consequences, to put it mildly, are not only horrific in the present, but potentially omnicidal.” Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:00:51:54

Latin America Rising, with Ollie Vargas

8/18/2023
South of the border, an entire region is rising, electing radical governments and moving towards integration and genuine independence. Today, “MintPress News” speaks to Ollie Vargas about Latin America and just what is going on in the region President Joe Biden called the U.S.’ “front yard.” Ollie Vargas is an award-winning journalist based in Bolivia. He is the co-founder of “Kawsachun News,” an outlet reporting in the English language on Bolivia and Latin America. He has also contributed to “MintPress.” Key to the latest drive towards Latin America has been the role of Brazil and, in particular, President Lula da Silva, who has taken it upon himself to lead the Global South to take a more active role in world politics. Brazil is currently the only Latin American member of the BRICS economic bloc. However, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Cuba, Nicaragua and a host of other countries in the region have expressed interest in joining, which could turn the tables and provide balance to the U.S. “rules-based international order.” Another key figure providing pushback to American dominance of Latin America is Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador. AMLO, as he is known, has refused to kowtow to Washington. Indeed, at President Biden’s Summit for Democracy in March, he described the U.S. as nothing more than an “oligarch with a façade of democracy.” AMLO has proven very popular in Mexico, thanks to his pro-people policies. These include massively raising the minimum wage and state pensions, allowing tens of millions to live in dignity. All the while, he has kept inflation low. He holds a televised press conference every morning, in which he talks directly with the people. As Vargas put it, “While previous leaders stood above the population, AMLO stands with the people.” AMLO stands, in Vargas’ opinion, in contrast to Chilean President Gabriel Boric. Heralded as a new kind of progressive at the time of his election, Boric has failed to maintain his popularity. Vargas explained that, while Boric has some superficially radical positions, he has changed little about the day-to-day existence of the ordinary people. Vargas also talks about the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on Latin America, about the upcoming elections in Ecuador, and what it was like reporting under the dictatorsh Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:00:53:23

From Wallet to War Machine: The Startling Truth About Your Tax Dollars Revealed, with Lindsay Koshgarian

8/10/2023
Have you ever wondered just how much of your hard-earned tax dollars go to funding our bloated war machine? On today’s episode of “The MintCast,” Lindsay Koshgarian lays out the staggering expense that American taxpayers fork out each year to keep the U.S. empire going. “The average person is paying over $2300 per year for our military, plus another $700 for veterans’ [benefits]. So that’s over $3000. To put that in some other perspective, that’s more than twice what the median rent is for a two-bedroom apartment is in this country... It’s a really significant expense for individual taxpayers,” she told “Mintcast” co-host Alan MacLeod. Lindsay Koshgarian is the Program Director of the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. Her work and commentary have been featured in “NPR,” the “BBC,” “CNN” and “The Nation,” among others. Not only does the United States spend vastly more than any other country in the world on its military, the federal budget continues to become increasingly militarized. For the financial year 2023, $1.1 trillion of the $1.8 trillion total went to purchasing weapons or on militarizing the police or prison systems. If you include veterans’ benefits, then the government spends more on war than anything else, even healthcare. More than $1000 of the average American’s taxes go to Pentagon contractors – four times as much as is spent on K-12 education. Koshgarian’s report, “Tax Day 2023: Where Your 2022 Tax Dollars Went,” even notes that weapons giant Lockheed Martin received $106 per American taxpayer this year. This is compared to just $11 on anti-homeless projects or around $6 to develop renewable energy. The National Priorities Project has proposed a modest spending cut to the military, bringing the budget down to 2018 levels. With that $100 billion saving, they calculate that the U.S. could: - Provide free tuition for 2 out of 3 public college students in the U.S. - Send every household in the U.S. a $700 check to help offset the effects of inflation - Hire 890,000 Registered Nurses to address shortages - Cover medical care for 7 million veterans, or: - Triple current enrollment in Head Start, from 1 million children and families to 3 million. Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:00:50:08

Shaking Up the Two-Party System: Cornel West's 2024 Presidential Bid, with Jill Stein

8/4/2023
Americans want change. A December poll found that only 38% of the country is satisfied with the way the political system is working, with nearly two-thirds expressing their discontent. Despite this, it appears that very little change is on the horizon; the 2024 election is looking increasingly likely that the two parties will select aging relics in Joe Biden and Donald Trump as their candidates. In this situation, half of Americans say they would consider voting for a third party, despite the clear drawbacks to this in the U.S.’ two-party duopoly. One candidate who could shake up this cozy system is activist and public intellectual Dr. Cornel West. West’s decades of activism and his natural charisma and speaking abilities could draw large numbers to his message, leaving many in Washington – especially Democrats – worried. West has declared his intention to be the Green Party’s presidential candidate for 2024. Here to speak with us today about Dr. West, the Green Party, and the state of U.S. politics is West’s campaign manager, Dr. Jill Stein. A physician by trade, Stein has been involved in the Green movement for decades. She first ran for office in 2002, attempting to become the governor of her native Massachusetts. In 2012 and 2016, she was selected as the Green Party’s presidential candidate. Democrat-aligned media are already decrying West’s run as a sideshow and as something that will ensure a Republican will be elected in 2024. “The Democrats absolutely do fear [West]. And they should!” Stein told MacLeod, noting that support for the Democratic Party is waning and that there are now as many independent voters as Republicans and Democrats put together: Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:01:00:24

Who Really Blew Up Nord Stream II, with Bryce Greene

7/28/2023
Somebody blew up the Nord Stream II pipeline – that much is certain. Yet, since September last year, when the incident occurred, no one has come forward to take responsibility, and the attack has become the subject of intense international debate. Our guest on “MintCast” is Bryce Greene, a writer, journalist, activist and media critic who has covered the issue extensively in outlets such as “Fairness And Accuracy in Reporting.” Earlier this month, Bryce was invited to speak at the United Nations Security Council to shed light on who is likeliest to have been behind the attack. His full remarks can be read and seen here. Greene was highly critical of the press coverage of the event, telling “MintCast” host Alan MacLeod that the media seem “almost completely incapable of examining the facts in an objective and dispassionate manner.” While the press is happy to denounce Russia for the attack, despite the lack of concrete evidence, Greene said they have, in effect, enforced an “intellectual no-fly zone around entertaining the other obvious suspects” – i.e., the United States. Certainly, the U.S. had a lot to gain from ending Nord Stream. The attack has pushed Europe into the arms of the United States, forcing them to buy expensive American liquified natural gas rather than cheap Russian energy. Before the attack, Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland told the press: “If Russia invades, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 Will. Not. Move. Forward.” President Biden made similar remarks. And after the incident, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken seemed delighted, calling it a “tremendous opportunity” for the U.S. Therefore, it came as little surprise to many when legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh released an article claiming that U.S. Navy divers were behind the attack and that President Biden himself had ordered the pipeline be destroyed. Hersh’s claims have largely been ignored in the mainstream press, however. A MintPress study of the 20 largest and most influential U.S. news outlets found only four mentions of Hersh’s claims in the week after his report made worldwide headlines. Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:00:54:11

Biden's Desperation and the Human Cost of Cluster Munitions in Ukraine, with Medea Benjamin

7/24/2023
As the war in Ukraine continues to take lives, many people worldwide question its legitimacy and demand an end to the violence. Yet even as calls to cease the conflict grow, the Biden administration has announced that it will up the ante by sending cluster munitions to Ukraine – a weapon banned by more than 100 countries worldwide. Today’s guest, Medea Benjamin, an anti-war activist and co-founder of the peace group CODEPINK, was shocked by the decision. “The world came together in 2008 to ban cluster munitions for a real reason,” she told “MintCast” host Alan MacLeod. “And that is because of all the unsuspecting children and farmers who step on these bombs and whose limbs are blown off,” she added, noting that wherever these weapons have been used, the consequences and the destruction last for decades.“This is just an example of the desperation of the Biden administration to want to see some success in the Ukraine counteroffensive, which isn’t going anywhere,” she concluded. Benjamin recently returned from a trip to Ukraine, where she survived a Russian air raid attack on Lviv. Yet arguably more concerning than the destruction was the mentality of many she met. As she told MacLeod: “The impression I got talking to a number of people in Ukraine is that they are being fed a daily diet – both from the media and from their own politicians – that this war is going in their favor, that this war is winnable (meaning they can get back Crimea and every inch of the Donbas, and they should.) So, I feel that, for many of them, they were really divorced from the reality of the fighting and Russia’s ability to keep this battle going.” From there, the pair also talked about the U.S. buildup of troops around China, sanctions on Cuba, and why recent Biden-appointee Elliott Abrams is the neocon par excellence. According to Benjamin, Abrams should be tried for war crimes rather than serve in positions affecting U.S. government policy. MintPress has launched its annual funding drive. Faced with algorithmic censorship, arrests, financial sanctions and more, it is crucial that our readers and viewers support us. Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:00:51:20

From TikTok to Taking on the CIA: The Resurgence of Cutting Political Comedy with James Rehwald

7/14/2023
MintPress speaks to James Rehwald. Thanks to his innovative comedy and razor-sharp wit, James has amassed hundreds of thousands of followers across social media platforms, his viral, darkly satirical videos having been seen by tens of millions of people worldwide. James constantly takes aim at the entire power structure to produce explicitly anti-imperialist, radical shorts that cut deep. A frequent target of his is the CIA. "The CIA are basically gangsters for American capitalism,” he told Alan MacLeod, referencing their history of gunrunning and drug smuggling. “I love the new CIA ads. They really lean into identity politics. It feels like satire is dead when I watch their videos. It’s like ‘you too can join the imperialist project, toppling governments!’’ he added. James also spoke about how he got into comedy. Growing up in a conservative household, “The Colbert Report” was a favorite of his. “Just seeing somebody do a satirical mock of the right-wing pundits that I grew up around was genius. But then, of course, it is sad when you see a lot of these guys who don’t point the target at Democrats. There’s no criticism from the left, except from the very obvious ones,” he said. Liberals and liberalism is another primary target of James’ content. But, he said, he treads a fine line, not wishing to be seen as a partisan hack and wanting to explicitly note that both parties are part of the same war machine. “I always feel this pressure when I am making fun of liberals or Democrats in my videos that I gotta, in the same sentence, make fun of Republicans, just to let them know that you are [also] part of this problem!” he said. Referencing the handful of conglomerates that control mainstream media, James notes that, “These are big corporations that have their own interests, as well as advertisers that they need to make sure they’re creating a media environment that is conducive to their profits.” Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:00:54:02

The Problem with Environmentalism, and Why a Recession is Definitely Coming, with Second Thought's JT Chapman

7/5/2023
It ain’t easy being a YouTuber—at least, not a political one. The platform is a giant, Byzantine organization filled with secret rules and algorithms that content creators constantly fall afoul of. This is especially true for radical voices, who are incessantly shadowbanned and suppressed by the Google-owned platform. One person who has broken through the algorithmic barriers better than almost anyone is JT Chapman, host of the Second Thought channel. Chapman makes engaging video essays about some of the most pressing issues of the day, and the quality of his work has drawn 1.6 million subscribers to his main channel. He is also the founder of the YouTube news show First Thought and the co-host of The Deprogram podcast. Today, he discusses his tips for YouTube success, climate change, the economy, and what radicals could learn from Walmart. Having one of the world’s largest corporations (Google) own the global town square poses huge problems for freedom of speech, not least because of the company’s intimate links to the Central Intelligence Agency. Chapman has to tread a careful line on YouTube because of demonetization, age restriction, and other tactics the platform uses to suppress radical voices. All this, he says, “really disincentivizes people like me to produce radical content.” This leads many well-meaning YouTubers to just start chasing the algorithm and become “toxic little clout goblins,” he told “MintCast” host Alan MacLeod. When asked how useful YouTube is for inspiring people and producing societal change, Chapman said, On this episode, MacLeod and Chapman also chatted about how we could stop economic recessions entirely if we wanted to, how economies could be planned, and his tips for others wishing to make an impact online. Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:00:49:40

The CIA, NATO and the US Empire with Aaron Good

6/26/2023
The United States is an empire, even if its citizens don’t all realize it. That is the conclusion from historian and political scientist Aaron Good, who joins Alan MacLeod on this week’s edition of “MintCast.” Today, Good walks us through the history of how the United States came to dominate the world and the organizations it uses – especially the CIA and NATO – in order to enforce its control over the planet. He notes that as Europe and Asia were destroying themselves in conflict, the U.S. gave the powerful business think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations, the task of planning America’s entry into World War II. In this, the U.S. has been very effective dominating the planet for the past 75 years, although Good does later note that China’s growing role is loosening the American grip on the world. Good describes the U.S. as a “paper tiger,” explaining that: Today, Good and MacLeod also chat about the power and purpose of the CIA, how the United States laid the groundwork for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the use and misuse of the term “the deep state.” Aaron Good is a historian and former political organizer. His book, “American Exception: Empire and the Deep State,” was published in 2022. He is also the host of the American Exception podcast, which can be found on most major podcast platforms. Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:01:01:33

Detained and Interrogated by British Counter-Terrorism Police, with Journalist Kit Klarenberg

6/22/2023
Last month, on his way back to Great Britain, MintPress contributor Kit Klarenberg was detained and interrogated. The investigative journalist was met at the airport by six anonymous plainclothes counter-terror officers, who seized his electronic devices, and memory cards and took his fingerprints and DNA. Under Schedule Three, Section Four of the U.K. 2019 Counter-Terrorism and Border Act, they grilled him for over five hours, asking probing questions on everything from his opinions on the current British leadership to Vladimir Putin to 9/11. For Klarenberg, the real reason he was being targeted had nothing to do with terrorism and everything to do with his investigative reporting that has exposed the machinations of the British state. In recent months, this has included revealing that British spies plotted to bomb the Kerch Bridge in Crimea, how the U.K. government is constructing a “secret terror army” in Ukraine, and how British intelligence seemingly worked with state broadcaster, the BBC to smear anti-war academics. While the United Kingdom continues to enjoy a reputation for being an island of relative freedom, prosperity and democracy, Klarenberg challenged this idea, pointing to several Draconian laws passed under the guise of keeping the public safe. As he told Adley: Klarenberg’s reporting has also uncovered many connections between established corporate media and the U.K. national security state, to the point where it is sometimes hard to ascertain where one ends and the other begins. As he said: For many, the Klarenberg case seems eerily reminiscent of the treatment of another journalist forgotten by his mainstream colleagues: of Julian Assange. Assange remains confined in Belmarsh high-security prison in London while British authorities negotiate with their American counterparts on whether to send him stateside. What is clear is that critical investigative journalism is under attack and that those who value a free press must stand together to fight against it. Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:00:26:05

Thirst Trap Nation: How E-girls Are Luring Young Boys Into Joining Army, with Alan MacLeod

6/5/2023
Amid an ongoing crisis in recruitment, the military has found a novel way of enticing teens to enlist: thirst traps. “MintCast” co-host Alan MacLeod joins Mnar Adley for an in-house edition of the podcast to describe how the military is using young teens’ horniness against them, utilizing an army of attractive women posting sexually suggestive content on social media – in effect, turning a generation of young men from simps into soldiers. Alan MacLeod is senior staff writer and podcast producer for MintPress News. He has worked at the company since 2019. Before joining MintPress, he was an academic and freelance journalist specializing in Latin America and in analyzing media and propaganda. In recent months, he has specialized in analyzing U.S. military propaganda and exploring the national security state’s ties to big social media organizations. His latest investigation, “From Simp to Soldier: How the Military is Using E-Girls To Recruit Gen Z Into Service,” can be read exclusively at MintPress News. Chief amongst these new Army e-girls pushing their followers to join up is 21-year-old Hailey Lujan. In recent months, Lujan’s social media profile has exploded, with the young star now boasting nearly three-quarters of a million followers on TikTok alone. In between posting highly sexually suggestive content and zany memes, however, are subtle and not-so-subtle commands to her army of loyal followers to join up. “Don’t go to college; become a farmer or a soldier instead,” she says in one recent video. The plot thickens, however, when we look into Lujan’s background. She is a member of the Army’s psychological operations division, whose job it is to carry out online propaganda and influence operations. Despite constantly hinting that she is a “psyop” herself, Lujan strenuously denies that the Army controls her content. MacLeod told Adley that it is almost a moot point whether the Army is actively directing Lujan, stating: Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:00:53:08

Ukraine, Human Rights, and International Law, with Alfred de Zayas

6/1/2023
You can indict Vladimir Putin over war crimes in Ukraine. But if you do, you’d better indict Joe Biden as well. That is the message that Professor Alfred de Zayas, world-renowned human rights and international law expert, gave “MintCast” host Alan MacLeod on today’s episode of the series. A Swiss-American lawyer, academic and United Nations official with over 50 years’ experience in the field of human rights, de Zayas joins us for a wide-ranging discussion about international law and Ukraine, U.S. sanctions, whistleblowers, the successes and failures of the United Nations and its bodies, and the growth of a new and cynical “human rights industry” that weaponizes the concept to attack foreign governments. “The double standards [with regard to Russia] are absolutely breathtaking” de Zayas said, noting how British International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan had discontinued all investigations into NATO war crimes in Afghanistan but continued those into the Taliban against NATO. Now the ICC has issued an arrest warrant against Putin, another one-sided decision that de Zayas claims has made the organization a joke: “There is no question that here, the crime of aggression has been committed, and certainly Russian troops have committed crimes in Ukraine. But you cannot prosecute one side and let the other side off scot-free. If you are going to indict a serving head of state [like Putin], then you would have to indict Joe Biden.” The United States and NATO, he says, have been carrying out dangerous provocations in Ukraine for years, supplying weapons to militias who use them against civilians, while also carrying out similar crimes to Russia in Afghanistan, meaning that anyone with a semblance of balance or neutrality would conclude that American leaders need to be held accountable, too. After graduating from Harvard University in 1970, de Zayas practiced law in New York and Florida. For many years, he served in various human rights organizations and as a senior official at the United Nations. From 2010 to 2013 he was editor-in-chief of Ex Tempore, the United Nations’ literary journal. Until 2018, he was UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order. In addition to this, he has taught law at academic institutions across the world, including the University of Geneva, the University of Trier, the Human Rights Institute at the Irish National University and DePaul University. Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:01:10:07

Chris Hedges on Weapons to Ukraine, Military buildup to China & Pentagon Spending

5/19/2023
The war in Ukraine is well into its second year, and the United States is insistent on pumping billions more into the quagmire that has already seen thousands of lives lost and millions displaced. The U.S. has already approved more than $113 billion in aid to Ukraine, most of which is weaponry. This year, President Biden has earmarked a record-breaking $842 billion on the military. Yet much of this is not even directed towards Europe but at China. Seemingly not content with turning Europe into a war zone, Washington now has its sights set on Asia. Joining MintCast hosts Mnar Adley and Alan MacLeod to discuss Washington’s permanent drive to war is author and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Chris Hedges. “[War with China] is a serious threat given the mindset of the warmongers who dominate the Washington establishment,” Hedges says before naming and shaming many of the most callous hawks in the nation. “They never go away; it doesn’t matter how wrong they are. They were, of course, all cheerleaders for the war in Iraq. But they represent those interests, and they are creations of the Washington establishment. They don’t actually know war or geopolitics,” he added. Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent across the world, including in Central America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. In 2002, he was part of a New York Times team that won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the global war on terror. After publicly denouncing the Iraq War, however, he was forced out of his job. Since then, he has worked in independent media. A prolific and best-selling author, his latest book, “The Greatest Evil is War” was published last year. You can find his work at ChrisHedges.substack.com/. America is “clearly on the decline,” Hedges told Adley and MacLeod, suggesting that: Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:00:43:56

Oil Wars, Weapons and How the US is Fueling the Somalia Crisis, with Ann Garrison

5/19/2023
Congress recently voted against pulling American troops out of Somalia. Officially, U.S. forces number 900 and are there in an advisory role to help the government of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud combat terrorist forces such as Al-Shabab. Yet our guest today states that U.S. boots on the ground in Somalia are doing nothing but serving as a recruiting tool for jihadists, their presence provoking widespread resentment among the people of the resource-rich but war-torn African nation. Ann Garrison is a journalist and a contributing editor to The Black Agenda Report. You can also find her at The Grayzone and on Pacifica Radio. Her latest article, “Ilhan Omar Voted to Withdraw from Somalia, but She’s No Anti-Imperialist,” assesses the Minnesota Congresswoman’s record on opposing U.S. actions in the Horn of Africa. Garrison notes that Washington has little interest in genuinely opposing radical jihadist groups in the region and is instead focused on maintaining control of a strategically important part of the world. Somalia sits on the Red Sea, across a narrow strait from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Around 40% of world seaborne trade passes by its waters on the way to or from the Suez Canal. Moreover, the nation is believed to possess over 100 billion barrels of untapped offshore oil reserves. “Securing African resources is an existential imperative” for the U.S., Garrison said. The United States has spent the past decade bullying and intimidating countries in North East Africa. From the bombing of Libya and the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 to its attempts to isolate Eritrea economically and politically to bombing Somalia and supporting the insurgency of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front against Ethiopia, Washington’s actions have led many in the region to sour on the United States altogether. While Garrison welcomed the campaign led by Florida Republican Matt Gaetz to get everyone in Congress on record as to whether they support or oppose ending the seemingly endless war in Somalia, she cautioned that Gaetz is not a committed anti-imperialist, but a strong China hawk, and sees U.S. conflicts like the one in Somalia as a sideshow to the real showdown against Beijing. Support the showMintPress News is a fiercely independent. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Also, be sure to check out the new Behind the Headlines channel on YouTube and subscribe to rapper Lowkey’s new video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Duration:00:48:55