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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.

212 Episodes
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Tommy and Ben discuss the line between legitimate criticism of Israel and antisemitism, and how people like Mike Pompeo lie and blur that line to shut down policy debates, a former Trump aide’s claims about the origin of Covid-19, Biden’s moves to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal, US-Egypt policy, Australia’s attempts to regulate big tech, allegations that a Trump supporting mercenary-for-hire named Erik Prince violated an arms embargo on Libya, and more. Then Tommy interviews Uganda politician, former presidential candidate, and musician Bobi Wine about his brave fight against a military dictator and how US assistance can prop up anti-democratic leaders. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld.  For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Tommy and Ben talk through Biden’s options in Afghanistan, updates on the coup in Myanmar, censorship in China, the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine in Israel, government transparency in Mexico, LGBTQ+ rights in the UK, crackdowns on activists in India and Egypt, and royal baby updates. Then Ben interviews Congresswoman Ilhan Omar about the dangers of reflexively tightening domestic terrorism laws. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld  For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Tommy and Ben discuss the farmers’ protests in India, updates on the situation in Myanmar, Biden’s big foreign policy speech, Canada’s classification of the Proud Boys as a terrorist organization, debate over definitions of anti-Semitism and the double standards when critiquing Israel, and the political situation in Haiti. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, please visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld  For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
The coup in Myanmar, explained

The coup in Myanmar, explained

2021-02-0301:25:2011

Tommy and Ben discuss the military takeover in Myanmar and how President Biden should respond, Alexey Navalny's sentencing in Russia, Poland's near-total abortion ban, the Biden administration's pause on arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, textbook revisions in Saudi Arabia, and disparities in Israel's mass vaccination campaign. Then Ben talks to journalist and host of the Black Diplomats podcast Terrell Jermaine Starr about how domestic activism fits into American foreign policy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Putin's plush palace

Putin's plush palace

2021-01-2701:21:219

Tommy and Ben discuss President Biden’s first call with Vladimir Putin as President and the US-Russia relationship, Rob Malley and the fight over Biden’s Iran policy, Biden’s approach to Venezuela, Chinese sanctions on former Trump officials, why Google might be leaving Australia, chaos in the Italian government and more. Then Russian journalist Alexey Kovalev joins to talk about the mass protests in support of Alexey Navalny and how the Kremlin is reacting Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
The world Biden inherits

The world Biden inherits

2021-01-2001:22:505

On the final Pod Save the World of the Trump presidency, Ben and Tommy talk about Joe Biden’s day-one foreign policy agenda, the arrest of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, why the US dropped charges against a Mexican general accused of working with a drug cartel, how Trump is trying to keep his loyalists in the government after he leaves office, elections in Uganda, a State Department designation of genocide in Xinjiang, and more. Then activist Nathan Law joins Ben to talk about where the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong goes from here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Samantha Power’s point

Samantha Power’s point

2021-01-1301:30:0010

Tommy and Ben discuss last week’s violent coup attempt and the call for new domestic terrorism laws, how world leaders are reacting to Trump’s Twitter ban, Netanyahu’s announcement of new Israeli settlements and how Biden should handle it, and all the things Mike Pompeo is trying to screw up for the incoming Biden administration. Then former US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power joins to talk about how to restore American credibility at international organizations, Bill Burns as CIA director, last week’s mass arrests in Hong Kong and refugee policy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
New year, new strain

New year, new strain

2021-01-0601:19:585

Tommy and Ben discuss Joe Biden’s latest foreign policy staffing decisions, the huge (likely) Russian hack of American government and private networks, Iran’s latest moves on uranium enrichment, a big win for abortion-rights in Argentina, Jack Ma mysteriously disappearing from public view, the latest coronavirus lockdown in the UK, the anticlimactic finalization of Brexit, and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Barack Obama, Worldo-in-Chief

Barack Obama, Worldo-in-Chief

2020-12-1601:22:3712

Tommy and Ben talk with former President and current Worldo Barack Obama about some of the biggest foreign policy challenges and accomplishments addressed in his book, A Promised Land. Those include the financial crisis and the rise of nationalism, the decision to send more troops to Afghanistan and tensions with the Pentagon leadership, the Cairo speech, dealing with Russia and Vladimir Putin, the politics of terrorism, including GITMO and the drone program, the rise of China and climate change, and some of the absurdities of traveling abroad as President. For a transcript of this interview, visit crooked.com/podsavetheworld. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Tommy and Ben talk through Joe Biden’s decision to nominate General Lloyd Austin for Secretary of Defense, a new wealth tax in Argentina, the mass vaccination campaign underway in the UK, reporting on how a Chinese spy developed ties to California politicians, a former Israeli official’s disclosures about space aliens, new Olympic sports, and more. Then Ben interviews French activist Assa Traoré about the fight for racial justice and changes to policing in France and her work as the leader of the Committee for Justice and Truth for Adama. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Tommy and Ben talk about the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist, what Biden’s national security team tells us about his foreign policy, protests over police brutality in France, infighting at the UN Human Rights Council, China picking (Twitter) fights, a soccer legend dying and Cher helping a lonely elephant find friends. Then Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy joins to talk Iran, Biden’s cabinet and how to make a more progressive foreign policy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
A very Worldo mailbag

A very Worldo mailbag

2020-11-2501:11:277

In the inaugural Pod Save the World Thanksgiving mailbag episode, Tommy and Ben take your foreign policy questions, and a trip down memory lane. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
One last war for the road?

One last war for the road?

2020-11-1801:17:1811

Tommy and Ben talk about reports that Trump asked his national security team for options to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities and has accelerated the drawdown of troops from Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. They also discuss the spiraling civil war in Ethiopia, reports that al Qaeda’s number two in command was assassinated in Iran, why Peru had three Presidents in a week, China pulling together a big trade deal, another blow for pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong, and Biden transition news. Then HuffPost’s Rowaida Abdelaziz joins to talk about reports that data from a Muslim prayer app was being sold to the US military and Islamophobia in the US and France post 9/11. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Trump lost, the world won

Trump lost, the world won

2020-11-1101:31:2713

Tommy and Ben talk about President-elect Biden’s win, Trump’s refusal to start the transition, how world leaders reacted and who Biden should talk with first, why British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is a shapeshifting creep, some bizarre 11th hour Trump admin personnel moves and weapons sales, good news for science, civil war in Ethiopia, a peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Iran and elections in Burma. Then former Mexican Ambassador to the US Arturo Sarukhan talks to Ben about the future of US-Mexico relations under a Biden administration. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Tommy and Ben talk with British Member of Parliament David Lammy about how the world views the US election. Then they talk about protests over abortion rights in Poland, fears of civil war in Ethiopia, reports about US cyber attacks against hackers to prevent election interference, how social media companies handled election disinformation and reports of a Royal covid coverup. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
A Biden foreign policy

A Biden foreign policy

2020-10-2801:21:2710

On the final Pod Save the World before the election, Tommy and Ben talk to Biden foreign policy advisor Tony Blinken about what Joe Biden’s foreign policy will look like, and how he will approach everything from getting America back in the Iran nuclear deal to how Biden will build momentum in the global fight against climate change. Then, they dig into the latest failed ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the latest wave of coronavirus in Europe, protests over police brutality in Nigeria, Chile’s vote to write a new constitution, Trump’s failed Venezuela policy, the normalization of relations between Sudan and Israel, and how Trump is making tensions between Ethiopia and Egypt worse. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Tommy and Ben break down what we know about the connection between foreign disinformation and the latest allegations about Hunter Biden, Russia’s proposal to extend the New START treaty, Sudan getting taken off the state sponsored terrorism list, and a win for Evo Morales’ party in Bolivia. They also talk about the future of escalation between China and Taiwan, attacks on American diplomats, the White House sending officials to negotiate with the Assad regime in Syria, and a blowout electoral win for Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand. Then Belarusian journalist Hanna Liubakova joins Ben to talk about what she has seen when reporting on the anti-Lukashenko protests in Belarus and why people have been so willing to stay in the streets. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
The Trump administration argues with itself about troop withdrawal timelines in Afghanistan, Trump’s covid drug cocktail restarts a debate about the president’s unchecked nuclear authorities, K-pop stars BTS are criticized by China, questions about the New York Times’s reporting on terrorism, refugee policy, corruption in Angola, Facebook (finally) bans Holocaust denial, a Belarus update and new marijuana laws in Mexico. Then nuclear nonproliferation expert Jeff Lewis joins to explain what we should make of the gigantic new missile North Korea debuted over the weekend. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
COVID Commander-in-Chief

COVID Commander-in-Chief

2020-10-0701:21:2217

The foreign policy implications of Trump catching Covid, erosion of democracy in India, a possible coup in Kyrgyzstan, an update on fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan, a major dam project in Ethiopia, then weird military music videos, Subway subs and soccer. Then former CIA Director John Brennan joins to talk about Russia’s 2016 election interference, Saudi Arabia, the CIA’s darker history and his new book, Undaunted. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Trump’s foreign IOUs

Trump’s foreign IOUs

2020-09-3001:26:0612

Trump’s taxes reveal foreign income and liabilities, why Armenia and Azerbaijan are at war, the White House’s efforts to bribe Sudan, politically-charged corruption charges in Pakistan, Europe’s Covid spike, the US threatens to close its embassy in Baghdad, new sanctions on Iran and Cuba, Bibi Netanyahu’s dirty laundry, why Yelp reviews are dangerous in Thailand and the story of a heroic rat. Then Ben’s interview with Ayad Akhtar, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and author of the new novel Homeland Elegies, about what it means to be an American, and how global attitudes about the United States are affected by its foreign policy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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Comments (143)

Itay Avi

I wish they would actually go into nuanced discussion about Israel's obligation (or lack thereof) in vaccinating WB and G instead of simply stating your conclusions. Want to end propagation of misinformation? get at 'er. I'd also be interested in what they think about an occupying power setting up shop injecting the people they occupy and how well that would go in today's paranoid conspiracy climate.

Feb 25th
Reply

Itay Avi

BDS as a movement has never advocates for a two-state solution and its activists are often harrassing diaspora Jewish communities (many kosher sections in grocery stores are scenes of vandalism and intimidation). Criticism of Israeli policy is legitimate, criticism of the existence of Israel and harrassment of diaspora Jews is antisemitism. That's the purpose of the IHRA definition.

Feb 10th
Reply

Enea Koxhioni

Tommy's pronunciation of Myanmar...

Feb 8th
Reply

Itay Avi

you guys should point out that the PA and Hamas have refused to collaborate with Israel on acquisition and distribution of vaccines instead of deliberately misleading your audience.

Feb 3rd
Reply

Kyle Winters

11""It up and I ouwwuiouwwuiiuuuuuuûyuuuuuuuuuttuusdffsgwc

Jan 27th
Reply

ali baratzadeh

I'm from Iran and i enjoyed your pod. thanks

Jan 19th
Reply

Sasha Lyn

The criticism of foreign heads of state, to the recent #Twittercensorship is misplaced as it overlooks the complete lack of oversight that the government has over corporations. In the US, corporations have more power than the government.

Jan 13th
Reply

Heather McNamee Rensel

the amount of ums was hard to listen to

Dec 12th
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e-n M

Adamas story is important, but the "interview" was a little long. btw. please give that interpreter a bonus ...40min simultaneous is hardcore! ps. (kudos to Tommy for getting that right first time... translators do a different job)

Dec 10th
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Valeria27_4ever, Esq. 🇮🇹🇪🇺🇬🇧 #FBPE

I'm an EU citizen in UK, and I just wanted to say I've started following your podcasts thanks to the "shapeshifting creep" comment, so it's not all bad 😉😅 And actually, the congratulations message itself turned out to have been a sort of shape-shifter so you must be right 😅😅 Congratulations USA on being of the way to having the grown ups back in charge again, I'm a little jealous but very happy for you!!

Nov 11th
Reply

Chance Woods

"Kim Jong-Un of North Carolina" 🤭🤭🤭 😉

Oct 28th
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Sasha Anne Lyn

In the hopefull demise of this Trump administration, I am seeing a slow but unmistakable resurgence in excitement at the possibilities of what a Liberal and less corrupted administration might inspire. After witnessing a few rounds of this back and forth, push and pull of Democrat vs Republican administrations, the great divide of ideologies wirhin the US, the red state vs blue state impasse is impossible to look away from. As an outsider, it is hard to understand the sheer effort, money and resources that are lost in the election of Republican governments and not see it as a continual step backwards and wonder how the Blue states can maintain optimism and the will to continue to even try to 'cross the isle '. How much do you have to constantly lose to want to keep fighting for a unification that seems untenable. Perhaps with age, one becomes cynical and tired and the optimisim of youth seems willfully ignorant to history.

Oct 14th
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Laurie Holcomb

We have people in migrant camps in Mexico that are not getting the attention they deserve. wWe must take care of those our government have left destitute before we can help refugees in other areas of the world.

Sep 16th
Reply

Kathleen Marshall

hi Tommy and Ben, it's a great comfort to radical leftist like me that you take an interest in BREXIT. The Johnson government have broken I repeat broken International Law even tabling a motion to the legally signed Withdrawal Agreement, let alone disregard 3 acts of settlement (bypassing Holyrood, Stormont and Cardiff). UK is currently cursed to be living in Interesting Times with these shower of clowns in Westminster. May I suggest you catch up with friend of the pod David Lammy he'll get you all straight.

Sep 10th
Reply

Donna Hendershot

q-÷q@@÷÷÷awwwqDaa

Aug 28th
Reply

Itay Avi

The guest this episode seems to be a master of avoiding questions and using emotionally loaded and manipulative language. It's not fitting the level of analysis expected from this podcast.

Aug 27th
Reply

Sasha Anne Lyn

Much appreciated commentary on Cuba and the United States' weirdly complicated relationship. I hope Democratic leadership (once in power again) have finally learned from this Trump administration circus to not to include (always disingenous) Reoublican talking points an conversation framework. Privately one could say: If Republicans didnt exist...?

Aug 5th
Reply

Sasha Anne Lyn

Bengazi is a Republican talking point. Dems gotta wake the hell up and learn from the last 3 years to stop giving a rats a** what they say! Those days are OVER.

Jul 29th
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Sandra Jane Roberts

I randomly listened to this and it's scary foreshadowing if 2020

Jul 19th
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Kathleen Marshall

pi Tommy don't tar me with that brush. I have deep seated problems with the UK government selling arms to Saudi Arabia there's a petition getting traction right now to stop Dominic Raab and Ben Wallace assisting in a humanitarian tragedy. You have educated me so much. keep up the good work

Jul 8th
Reply
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