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Pod Save the World

Author: Crooked Media

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“Pod Save America” cohost Tommy Vietor thought foreign policy was boring and complicated until he got the education of a lifetime working for President Obama’s National Security Council. On “Pod Save the World,” he and former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes break down the latest developments and bring you behind the scenes with the people who were there. New episodes every Wednesday.
168 Episodes
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A coronavirus clusterf*ck in the Navy leads the Acting Secretary of the Navy to resign. The virus sends British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the ICU while the Queen of England releases a message to the British people. Trump retaliates against an impeachment enemy by firing the Intelligence Community Inspector General. The White House has a new press secretary (sort of) while press freedom is under assault in India. Good news about efforts to stop the coronavirus in Austria, Denmark and New Zealand. And then Tommy connects with some Americans stranded abroad because of the coronavirus.
Today’s show is a little different. We skip the update on the spread of the coronavirus itself and instead focus on the impact it’s having on governments and people. For example, 2019 was the year of the protestor, but how do protestors continue if they can’t gather safely or legally? How can we stop leaders from using the coronavirus to consolidate power, stifle the press or jettison privacy protections? And with the news that the virus has temporarily sidelined a US aircraft carrier, how do we refocus defense policy and spending for the future? Then Tommy talks with former US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro about the shocking news that Blue and White Party chief Benny Gantz is forming a coalition with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. And Ben talks with British Labour Party MP David Lammy about the UK’s response to the coronavirus. *Crooked has started a Coronavirus Relief Fund for organizations supporting food banks, health care workers, restaurant workers, seniors, kids who depend on school lunches, and others in need. Donate: crooked.com/coronavirus
Tommy and Ben go through the latest news on the international response to the coronavirus, including nationwide lockdowns in the UK and India and signs of hope in Italy. Then they look at how the virus is impacting US relations with North Korea, how US sanctions are impeding health care workers in Iran and Venezuela, and how authoritarian leaders are using the pandemic to grab more power. They also cover Mike Pompeo’s trip to Afghanistan and how China is trying to turn the coronavirus into a propaganda win. Then Ambassador Susan Rice joins and does not mince words about her assessment of Trump’s performance.
Our new coronavirus reality

Our new coronavirus reality

2020-03-1801:18:3912

Tommy and Ben talk about the new normal as the world combats the coronavirus. They cover how South Korea has successfully reduced cases, how the Trump administration was warned about this threat, how a functioning White House should respond, Trump’s war of words with China and much more. In non-coronavirus news, they discuss the possibility of a new Prime Minister in Israel. Then Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy joins to discuss the latest on the COVID-19 relief package in Congress.
Coronavirus update and explanation of why an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia is rocking the global economy. More crackdowns in Saudi Arabia, why Putin might be the Russian President for life, more holes in the US/Taliban troop withdrawal plan, and hopeful progress for abortion rights in Argentina. Then Zarlasht Halaimzai from the Refugee Trauma Initiative joins to offer an Afghan perspective on Trump’s troop withdrawal deal with the Taliban.
Tommy and Ben talk about the fragile peace agreement between the US and the Taliban, the Israeli elections, the escalating fighting between Turkey and Syria, the coronavirus, Iran, Putin’s political weakness and Boris Johnson is having a baby. Then Tommy is joined by Jomana Qaddour from the Syria Relief and Development organization to talk about what people can do to help ease the suffering in north west Syria.
First, Trump’s trip to India, his new and unqualified Director of National Intelligence, and should Democrats attend AIPAC? Then updates on Sudan and South Sudan, the coronavirus, a fragile peace agreement in Afghanistan, and John Bolton. Finally, Tommy and Ben discuss attacks on Bernie Sanders’ views on Cuba, former leftist leaders in Latin America, and criticism of the CIA, before reflecting on the death of former Egypt President Hosni Mubarak, and the nine years since the Arab Spring began. Then Politico’s Natasha Bertrand joins to explain why new intel chief Richard Grenell has become an issue in Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition case.
Mike Bloomberg’s foreign policy record and platform. How some 2020 candidates failed a foreign policy quiz. The humanitarian crisis in northwest Syria. The latest on the coronavirus and how Senator Tom Cotton is spreading disinformation. The Koch brothers funding foreign policy think tanks…for good? Mike Pompeo speaks at the Munich Security Summit and headlines about Afghanistan, Iran and John Bolton. Then Ben talks with Paris Climate Accords architect Christiana Figueres.
Tommy and Ben tell some stories about the New Hampshire primary in 2008, walk through a report on a decades-long CIA/German effort to crack encrypted communications, talk through several major data breaches, and explain why the QAnon conspiracy theory is a national security issue. Then they cover: good news from Sudan, North Korea’s nukes, a dustup between the US and the Philippines, the Wall Street Journal’s attempt to Swift Boat Mayor Pete, and Bernie Sanders' foreign policy doctrine and how the 2020 candidates differ. Then former White House Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain joins to talk about efforts to contain the Coronavirus.
Jared still sucks

Jared still sucks

2020-02-0651:439

Today’s topics include: Brexit, updates on the Coronavirus, why Trump made Venezuela a focus of his State of the Union speech, the list of countries subject to Trump’s muslim ban gets bigger, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s allies attack Jared Kushner, and Trump’s inexcusable land mine policy decision. We also complain about the Iowa caucuses and wonder aloud if they’re more democratic than politics in Hungary, so that’s depressing.
First, Tommy and Ben talk about Trump’s plan to help Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu win reelection and how it essentially means the death of the middle east peace process. Then they discuss how Trump’s cruel immigration policies could lead to the murder of an Iraqi refugee and the mistreatment of pregnant women. Also, why John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are terrible, the Saudi hacking of Jeff Bezos, more fallout from the Iran strike, updates on Burma and Kashmir and why Putin loves puppies. Then, Tommy is joined by public health expert Abdul El-Sayed to discuss the risk from the coronavirus and the public health infrastructure in the US and China.
Will new facial recognition technology end privacy as we know it? Can Trump scare the Intelligence Community out of testifying before Congress? Why did Putin’s entire cabinet resign and what does it mean for the future of Russia? Then...Russian spies are sneaking around Davos. Anti-war groups are gaining strength in Washington. Press freedom is under attack in Brazil. Hilarious translation errors anger China. How a mustache is exacerbating tensions in Asia, and why Tommy thinks the new Space Force uniforms are genius. Then, Ben talks with New Yorker staff writer Masha Gessen about Putin, the latest developments in Russia and her upcoming book about surviving autocracy.
Tommy and Ben cover the latest developments in the Iran crisis, including why the intelligence and legal case for assassinating Soleimani keeps changing, the horrific shootdown of a commercial airliner, and Iran resuming uranium enrichment. Then they discuss Attorney General Barr’s fight with Apple over encryption, and why Obama also got this issue wrong. Finally, they explain why Taiwan’s recent election was good for democracy, the latest on the China trade war, how the Russians are STILL trying to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, and why 2020 Democrats are fighting about Iraq. Also Megxit. Then the Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian joins to discuss protests in Iran and what we actually know about what the Iranian people think.
Tommy and Ben talk about the fallout from Trump’s decision to assassinate Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. What do we know about Iran’s ballistic missile strikes on bases hosting U.S. troops in Iraq? How are the Iranian people responding? Why is Trump threatening to commit war crimes? Why does the rationale for the strike keep changing and what can Congress do to stop the war from escalating? Then they discuss Kim Jong Un’s announcement that North Korea will abandon constraints on its nuclear program and how climate change has led to catastrophic fires across Australia. Then Middle East expert and former Bush, Obama and Trump aide Brett McGurk joins to discuss when the Soleimani assassination means for our relationship with Iraq and our efforts to fight ISIS.
In a bonus episode, Tommy and Ben discuss Trump’s decision to assassinate a top Iranian official named Qassem Soleimani. What happened? How did we get here? Who is Soleimani and why is he so influential? What happens next and how should the 2020 Democrats respond?
UK election aftermath

UK election aftermath

2019-12-1801:08:2016

British MP David Lammy joins to talk about the UK elections and what they mean for Brexit and the future of the Labour Party. Then Ben and Tommy talk about India’s ongoing slide into Hindu nationalism, the China trade war, and a troubling investigation into problems with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process. Plus, Biden’s record on Iraq, unfair charges of antisemitism against Bernie Sanders, and a proposal from Elizabeth Warren to fight global financial corruption.
Tommy and Ben explain why the Russian foreign minister is in Washington and why Vladimir Putin is in Paris, the media and political reaction to the Saudi flight student who murdered his classmates in Florida, updates out of North Korea, an exciting leadership change in Finland, and a troubling religious law in India. Then Afghanistan policy expert Jeff Eggers joins to talk about some extraordinary reporting by the Washington Post about the (somewhat) secret history of policy failures in Afghanistan, which is based on documents that the Post is comparing to The Pentagon Papers.
NATO’s “brain death”

NATO’s “brain death”

2019-12-0401:09:1521

Tommy and Ben talk about Trump’s trip to London for the NATO summit, including his dustup with the French President and the health of NATO in 2019. Then they discuss the Iranian government’s crackdown on protestors, Trump’s visit to Afghanistan, Ben’s trip to Hong Kong, the expanding trade war, amazing reporting about India’s Prime Minister, and why US foreign aid keeps getting mysteriously frozen. Then The Intercept’s Mehdi Hasan joins to talk about the upcoming British parliamentary elections, the London Bridge attack, and Brexit.
Panic at the Pentagon

Panic at the Pentagon

2019-11-2701:02:1011

First, Tommy talks with former DOD official and national security expert Kelly Magsamen about Trump’s meddling in the military justice system and the firing of the Secretary of the Navy. They also discuss the impeachment hearings, whether former National Security Advisor John Bolton should testify, Hong Kong’s democracy-affirming elections, why Trump is extorting Japan for money and the latest on the US military mission in Syria. Then Tablet Magazine’s Yair Rosenberg joins to discuss the corruption charges against Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu and what it means for his political future.
Impeachmentpalooza

Impeachmentpalooza

2019-11-2001:11:3015

First, Tommy and Ben discuss the increasingly violent protests in Hong Kong, the impeachment hearings, Trump’s new policy on Israeli settlements, and protests and leaked documents in Iran. Then they talk China, an update on Lebanon, Bolivia becomes a 2020 issue, why Trump is pardoning war criminals, and bad news out of Korea. Then Politico’s Nahal Toosi joins to talk impeachment, Mike Pompeo, and why spies are getting bored.
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Comments (113)

Joe Martinez

I remember when I was banned from the maddow subreddit for pointing out those American Deathsquads in central america, they said I was a trump supporter for pointing that out.

Feb 26th
Reply

Gully Foyle

things get a bit "mumbly" especially at the beginning. I think that the volume of the speakers is oscillating almost as if they are bobbing their heads whe speaking.

Feb 21st
Reply

Joe Martinez

mexico is the most important country to the USA our families are being locked in cages! shame on Amy and Tom.

Feb 19th
Reply (1)

Tatyana Noyb

Dnc dark clouds https://castbox.fm/vb/229960635

Feb 12th
Reply

Tatyana Noyb

Nope, no Pete. No, not because of the military record. You guys are centrist leaning, just vote blue but Pete isn't really a Democrat and is supported by the establishment of the 1%. Sure I'd vote there in the General as no choice, but there is PLENTY of info out there about his lies and position switching. The more funding he gets the more right he stands. All this being said, make no mistake, your podcast IS one of my favorites.

Feb 12th
Reply (2)

Alex Mercedes

Romney didn't vote to impeach. Trump was impeached by the House a couple weeks ago.

Feb 6th
Reply

Tatyana Noyb

Great episode, also, arguably, best of Crooked shows overall, i listen to a half a dozen of them with pleasure

Jan 30th
Reply

N Me

well said sir! we should not be ok with 'this is the new normal' bullshit.

Jan 29th
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BC

every episode of this I listen to makes me sad

Jan 27th
Reply

Alan

So the Iran deal didn't really stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons... It just kinda delayed it. And not by much it seems if in a matter of months they're able to have all their centrifuges fired up and going. Benghazi is bad now and vetting is good now. Got it

Jan 20th
Reply

Alex Mercedes

I love the a lot so this is hard to say... you're both such smart guys. strong communicators. keen verbal skills...usually...and it is perhaps because of your generally superior skills that the verbal tic of saying "Look, ..." at the front end of a statement annoys. it's not a huge deal. but, sheesz, I wish you could break that habit.

Jan 15th
Reply

Alan

Ha, Trump has already made this podcast obsolete. The Iranians called ahead and warned of the attack, they aimed their missiles to do minimal damage and no casualties. The Iranian propaganda machine (including several US media companies) is telling their people they are strong because they retaliated. Trump has drawn a hard line showing their will be consequences for attacks on the US. The Iranian actions show the world they haven't moderated like we were previously told. Hopefully now if they continue attacking the US through proxies, though now they will have to do it without their mastermind, Trump continues to hold them responsible.

Jan 8th
Reply (1)

Scott Hogan

thanks guys for the special pod!

Jan 4th
Reply

Chester Gregg

Socialist populism does not end well either, for the exact same reasons. We need to remember that.

Dec 22nd
Reply

daisy

👂👂

Dec 21st
Reply

Tatyana Noyb

Thank you, most informative pod, i love it

Dec 19th
Reply (1)

Sya Oberhausen

100% propaganda

Nov 27th
Reply (1)

BC

I heard that the reason why the Hong Kong protests have been going so strong is because the protesters have seen what happened to the Uyghur Muslims and are afraid that if they aren't completely successful they will face the same fate as the Uyghurs. The protesters are aware of what has happened to the Uyghurs and realize the power of the Chinese government. Many protestors, as they are arrested, will also yell their names and that they will never commit suicide, as they are aware that the Chinese government will silence political dissidents by claiming the prisoners have "committed suicide."

Nov 26th
Reply (1)

Mordechai Beenstock

very good episode. PM Kevin Rudd nailed it re the Murdoch newspaper empire. if it weren't for Murdoch, we wouldn't have voted for Brexit.

Nov 17th
Reply

Mary O'Brian

there are boomers not on Facebook so please leave the attitude for off air! is Twitter the medium of respectful dialogue and unassailable factual information? Hmmm

Oct 28th
Reply (1)
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