In addition to guest posts here at attwiw, your subscriptions this year also made it possible for me to bring a few guests on to my podcast, which was definitely exciting for me and I would imagine for people who listen to the podcast and would like to hear somebody else’s voice every now and again. We’ve had guests on to talk about Morocco, Brazil, France, Nigeria, Russia, and much more, and every one of them brought a unique and valuable perspective to the party. I’d love to do a lot more of these in 2019, but as with guest posts that depends on you guys. If you’re already subscribed, please spread the word and help bring new people to the site. If you’re not, or if you were but you had to jump off for a while, please sign up at Patreon in 2019.
While the podcast is normally subscriber-only, all of attwiw’s interview episodes are free to the public. So if you haven’t been following along, or if you have been but missed an episode here or there, here are all the interviews we did this year:
We all love the neocons, don’t we folks? Well, whether you do or not, I think you’ll appreciate Jim Lobe’s take on the history and future of the neoconservative movement. Jim, the founder of LobeLog, has spent much of his career covering neocons and their foreign policy misadventures (he’s not a fan), and he knows as much or more about the movement as anybody.
Hannah Gais, who studies the Orthodox Church at Harvard Divinity School and has written widely on Russia and on the post-2016 frenzy that has been Russiagate. She joined us in February to discuss some of Russiagate’s excesses as well as the US-Russia relationship and the supergenius that is Vladimir Putin.
John Feffer, the editor of LobeLog and director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, came on the show in March to talk about an article he’d written on the thread of majoritarianism that connects the right-wing authoritarians, or would-be authoritarians, who seem to keep cropping up all over the place–including Donald Trump.
In April I was joined by Dan, aka @dankmtl for the Twitter poisoned, to talk about a subject near and dear to his heart: Armenians and their history in the Middle East. We go all the way back to late antiquity in this one, though we spend more time on the Armenian Genocide than anything else. We didn’t get into Armenia itself or the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict–I’m hoping to get Dan back on next year to talk about that.
I spoke with Ryan Cooper about the time he spent interviewing Democratic congressional candidates and what they had to say–if anything–about foreign policy. That segued into a general discussion of the party’s approach to foreign policy in the Trump era.
After Donald Trump’s…oh, let’s say extremely normal trip to the NATO summit in July, a trip that included his big and also extremely normal summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, I spoke with Jacobin’s Branko Marcetic about the importance of articulating a left-wing critique of NATO even as Trump’s performance caused everybody to reflexively rush to its defense, and about some of the more hair-on-fire responses to the Putin meeting.
I’m grateful to Miami University of Ohio professor and West Africa expert Alex Thurston for coming on the show twice this year. In his first visit we talked about Nigeria, including the Boko Haram conflict as well as the farmer-herder violence across the middle of the country, the rising problem of banditry in the northwest, and President Muhammadu Buhari’s political situation.
Defense technology reporter Kelsey Atherton joined the show to talk about formulating the basis for a left-wing foreign policy that is more than just a critique of the status quo. There’s been a lot of work put into this effort this year by people like Kelsey and the other folks behind the Fellow Travelers Blog and elsewhere.
Writer Michael Youhana joined me to discuss his article on ending the war on “weapons states,” a war that predates and in many ways anticipates the war on terror. We discuss WMD and the scramble in the 1990s to define US foreign policy in the post-Cold War world.
Alex returned to the show to help us make some sense of the multiple conflicts in Mali and the recent (at that point) reelection of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta despite his almost total failure to stabilize the country.
Michael Brooks of The Michael Brooks Show was kind enough to join me to talk about the Brazilian presidential campaign, the effort to sideline Lula, and the possibility (at that point) that fascist Jair Bolsonaro might win the election.
Author Emerson Brookings was here to talk about his book, LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media, which he co-wrote with P. W. Singer. We talked about all the ways that governments, corporations, and various other bad actors are using or may start using social media to make people’s lives measurably worse.
When the Ukrainian Orthodox Church made its big move to divest itself from the Russian Orthodox Church I was very grateful that Hannah was willing to come back on to try to explain to me what the hell that actually meant. I’m still not sure I totally get it, but at the very least I’m at peace with that now. Thanks, Hannah.
I had to bring Branko back on to talk about the “yellow vests” protests in France and Emmanuel Macron’s failure to win the hearts and minds of the French people by telling them to suck it up while he cuts their benefits to finance huge tax cuts for the wealthy. We also got into a discussion of the broader European obsession with austerity and how that’s fueled the rise of the right across the continent.
Finally, just this week I was very pleased to be joined by Miami University of Ohio professor Ann Marie Wainscott, who currently studies the religious sector in Iraq but has done considerable work on Morocco. We discuss her research into Moroccan efforts to bureaucratize religion and create a state Islam, as well as the ever-present tensions in the country’s Rif region and recent developments on the Western Sahara front. I’m hoping to have her back to talk Iraq soon.
So that’s it. Again I have to thank attwiw’s subscribers for making these interviews possible. If you’ve enjoyed these shows and would like to get more of them, as well as my regular podcast and other subscriber-only features, you know what to do. Happy Holidays!