For the second episode in our new podcast format, hosts Nora Barrows-Friedman and Asa Winstanley are joined by Max Blumenthal, editor of the Grayzone Project and co-host of the excellent Moderate Rebels podcast.
As someone with a long Electronic Intifada history, there was a lot to discuss with Max, and the conversation is wide-ranging and global in outlook.
We take a look at the Integrity Initiative, a covert disinformation operation funded with millions of pounds from the British government’s foreign and defense ministries. The Grayzone Project has done some of the leading reporting on this shady outfit.
“If you want to understand not just Russiagate but how our media is acting as a permanent arm of the national security state, both in the UK and the US, you have to understand the Integrity Initiative scandal,” Blumenthal says.
Run out of the offices of an obscure London think tank called the Institute for Statecraft, just what is this “initiative” up to?
How is it working to subvert the Labour Party, the Democrats and the wider left in the UK and the US? Exactly what is its right-wing extremist agenda?
Since recording took place on the day the attempted coup in Venezuela was launched, we also talk about what’s been going on there.
While Palestine is the top of the list of “foreign policy” issues that some social democrats are too quick to wave the white flag over, Venezuela is another clear example.
How does the US-led subversion of that country show that Israel is a leading part of a transatlantic alliance against progressive governments?
Finally, we discuss “Russiagate” and how it is being weaponized against the left in the US and the UK, including against Palestine solidarity.
Articles we discussed
“Israel recognizes Guaido as leader of Venezuela” (Reuters)
“86% of Venezuelans oppose military intervention, 81% against US sanctions, local polling shows” by Ben Norton (Grayzone Project)
“New documents reveal a covert British military intelligence smear machine meddling in American politics” by Max Blumenthal and Mark Ames (Grayzone Project)
“How Israel lobby fakes campus anti-Semitism” by Ali Abunimah (The Electronic Intifada)
Music: “Go Down Standing” by Excentrik featuring Rythmatik
Theme music and production assistance by Sharif Zakout
Image: Palestinians in Gaza rally in support of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro in front of the UN headquarters in Gaza City, 28 January. (Ashraf Amra/APA Images)
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