This week Eric welcomes to the show investigative journalist and founder of Forensic News, Scott Stedman, along with Deutsche Bank whistleblower Val Broeksmit, to discuss the bombshell report from Forensic News confirming a direct link between Trump’s Deutsche Bank loans and the Russian bank VTB. The conversation begins with a deep dive into the story and Val’s background, including his father, a former Deutsche Bank executive who committed suicide in 2014. Val and Scott help lay out the connections between Trump, the US subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, and the Russian oligarch bank VTB. The conversation touches on numerous angles to this story including Val’s cooperation with the FBI, the main pieces of evidence, and a macro-level view of how this revelation fits into the broader Trump-Russia puzzle. Whether you’re a Russiagate enthusiast, skeptic, or somewhere in between, this week’s show is all about the evidence.
Music: Constantines – “Young Lions”
This week Eric welcomes to the show Iraq war veteran, antiwar activist, and filmmaker Mike Prysner to help us understand what’s going on in the minds of soldiers with the US on the brink of another war. Mike tells us about his journey from enlisting to finding himself on the ground in Iraq to coming home and organizing against the war and US imperialism. Eric and Mike discuss the reasons young people join, the myth versus reality, and the coercive nature of military recruitment. Mike also reminds us the history of war resisting, from the Philippines to Vietnam, and the historical tradition from which he comes. As we careen over the cliff into another war, it’s all the more important to listen to voices like Mike Prysner. Don’t miss this conversation.
Music: Minutemen – “The Big Stick”
After a hiatus, Counterpunch Radio returns with an urgent new episode on the crisis with Iran. Joining Eric this time is Oxford senior researcher and founder of Hands Off the People of Iran, Yassamine Mather. Eric and Yassamine discuss the assassination of Soleimani and the crisis it has sparked, the internal politics and protests in Iran, the complicated regional picture, and more.
Recorded January 8, 2020
Music: Devendra Banhart – Heard Somebody Say
This week Eric welcomes to the show Marxist economist and blogger Michael Roberts to discuss the latest global economic issues. The conversation begins with the interesting moves by the US Federal Reserve in late September and what they might mean for the US domestic, and ultimately global, economic outlook. From there the conversation shifts to macroeconomic trends and how Trump’s trade war with China might impact the depressed global situation, including laying the groundwork for a technology and supply chain war. The second half of the show focuses on the oil price and global oil markets, and how they are impacting the geopolitics and economic interests of the world’s power blocs. Finally, Eric and Michael discuss financialization and the rentier economy, and explore whether these are sufficient to explaining the current economic crisis.
Music: Lee Scratch Perry & Errol Walker – “In These Times”
This week Eric welcomes to the show investigative journalist and editor of Sludge, Alex Kotch, to talk Trump, Ukraine, campaign finance violations, and much more. Naturally, the conversation begins with a discussion of the latest in Trumplandia, including the opening of the impeachment inquiry and what that might mean for Trump and the Democrats. From there, Alex discusses his latest investigation into Facebook’s profiting from far-right propaganda, including the broader implications of social media as a platform for such politics. Finally, Eric and Alex discuss the death of David Koch and the legacy of the Koch Brothers’ insidious, decades-long right wing project. Don’t miss this week’s show!
Music: Mission of Burma – “That’s When I Reach for My Revolver”
This week Eric welcomes back to the show political analyst and all around news vandal, JP Sottile, curator of the Newsvandal daily newsletter. Eric and JP discuss oil, oil, and more oil; how global politics and economics are being shaped by it, and what the future may hold. JP explains why he refers to this period as “Donald Trump’s Oily Presidency” and what the rule of Big Oil has meant for the geopolitical chessboard in the Middle East and beyond. Eric and JP discuss the recent drone strike against Saudi oil facilities, who might have been involved, how the war in Yemen is related and so much more. The second half of the show features an in depth discussion of Russia, the strategic calculus in the era of late stage oil, and much more. A quick episode summary won’t do this discussion justice. Don’t miss it!
Music: John Mayall – “Gasoline Blues”
This week Eric welcomes political analyst Dan Glazebrook back to the show to discuss the latest in the wild world of British politics. Eric and Dan begin with an overview of the developments of recent months and the political context within which they’ve taken place. With Brexit looming over everything, Boris Johnson is now PM and all hell has broken loose. Dan explains why he thinks Steve Bannon is an important key to understanding Johnson’s political calculation, and why Corbyn and Labour remain so politically weak even as Rome burns around them. Dan explores some of the possible scenarios that could play out and gives his best guess as to what comes next. Don’t miss this in-depth examination of UK politics this week on Counterpunch Radio.
Music: XTC – “Roads Girdle the Globe”
This week Eric welcomes to the show New Delhi-based journalist Sumedha Pal to discuss the situation in Kashmir and the political context within which it should be understood. The conversation begins with important background on the conflict: the history, stakeholders, and domestic politics. Sumedha explains the rise of PM Narendra Modi, the forces backing him, and why he and the far right Hindu nationalists have made this move on Kashmir now. From there, the conversation explores everything from the role of capital and the ruling class in backing Modi, the actions and mobilization by the left in India, the reactions from Pakistan and China, and so much more. Don’t miss the in-depth discussion of one of the most important and dangerous conflicts in the world today.
Music: FONTAINES D.C. – “The Lotts”
This week Eric welcomes to the show singer, songwriter, and composer Dean Wareham to talk music, politics, and CounterPunch. Dean tells us about his rock and roll journey, including his bands Galaxie 500 and Luna, and what he learned about contacts, money, and “The Industry.” Eric asks Dean about the state of music today, how it changed with mp3s and streaming, and whether things are better or worse than “the good old days.” Dean explains how he first found CounterPunch and why music with a political edge is so important. This was a fun conversation with a great CounterPuncher, don’t miss it!
Music: Luna – “Chinatown”
This week Eric welcomes back journalist and CounterPunch contributor Robert Hunziker to discuss his recent articles on Greenland and sea level rise. Hunziker explains how a recent Arctic heatwave paints a terrifying picture of our climate change future. Melting ice, rising seas, a world in chaos…and the President doesn’t even believe it’s real. How do we live for the future through this nightmare? Eric and Robert counsel each other through it all on CounterPunch Radio this week.