Summary: Moderate Rebels is a political podcast hosted by journalists Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton. Each week, we report on America’s bellicose foreign policy and the deceptions deployed to sell it to the public. We also connect the dots to show how the state of perpetual war fuels dangerous right-wing politics back home. Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton created this podcast to help provide a platform to the dissident journalists and activists challenging US empire. We hope to show listeners what’s behind the endless war propaganda that is sold to us each day in the corporate media.
Moderate Rebels episode 11 - Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton are joined by journalist Ali Abunimah to discuss Trump's recognition of illegally occupied Jerusalem as the supposed capital of Israel. We also address the situation on the ground in Palestine, and the complicity of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, and Egypt. We highlight Israelgate: the actual scandal featuring Jared Kushner and Russia. And Ali likewise stresses the importance of independent media in this increasingly restricted political climate.
Moderate Rebels episode 10 - Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton are joined by Indian activist Shehla Rashid Shora. Shehla discusses the growing influence of Hindutva, the far-right Hindu nationalist movement, under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP, and the Nazi-inspired RSS. We analyze the alliance between the US, India, and Israel and the global anti-Muslim "war on terror". And we address Palestine, Kashmir, how neoliberal capitalism has fueled the far right, and the specter of fascism.
Moderate Rebels episode 9 - Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton are joined by Columbia University Professor Joseph Massad, a leading expert on Israel-Palestine and Arab politics and intellectual history. Massad details the long history of collaboration between anti-Semites and Zionists. We discuss how Zionism was promoted by Western imperialist governments as a bulwark against socialism, communism, and other leftist movements, and how far-right racist movements look to the Israeli ethnostate as a model today.
Moderate Rebels episode 8 - Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal discuss how the narrative of Russian "hacking" of US politics has gone off the deep end, with supposedly serious news reports on how the Kremlin purportedly used puppy memes and Pokemon to undermine American democracy. We are joined by journalist Aaron Maté to discuss the madness. This episode also features an ad for an upcoming documentary film series, "Russia's Plot to Make America Racist."
Moderate Rebels episode 7 - Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton discuss Donald Trump's genocidal threats against North Korea and the anti-war protests in the South against the THAAD system and presence of 28,000 US troops. Max reports on the ground from South Korea capital Seoul, where he interviews activists from People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy. They detail how the US militarized the Korean peninsula, the damage this militarization does to Korean society, and prospects for peace with the DPRK.
Moderate Rebels episode 6 - Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton discuss North Korea, the Trump administration's genocidal threats, the bloody history of the "forgotten" Korean War, and how the US has militarized South Korea. Blumenthal reports on-the-ground in Seoul, where he interviews labor organizer Wol-san Liem on anti-war activism, THAAD protests, government repression, and the potential for peace and reunification in the Korean peninsula.
Moderate Rebels episode 5 - Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton discuss how Saudi Arabia is at the heart of Donald Trump's Middle East policy. We're joined by activist Mohammed al-Nimr, the son of the executed dissident Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, to discuss the Saudi regime's attack on the Shia community of Awamiya. Blumenthal and Norton also introduce the segment Thought Loser, starring Brookings Institution senior fellow Shadi Hamid, a staunch supporter of NATO and its catastrophic 2011 regime change war in Libya.
Moderate Rebels episode 4 - Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton are joined by activist and author Eugene Puryear. We discuss the white supremacist fascist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and terror attack on antiracist protesters. Blumenthal, Norton, and Puryear detail what the alt-right is, how it originates in neo-Confederate politics, what fuels it, and how it ultimately serves powerful billionaire interests. We also debunk neoliberal centrist Democrat talking points on the "alt-left" and horseshoe theory.
Moderate Rebels episode 3 - Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton interview Gareth Porter, an award-winning investigative journalist who has done extensive reporting on the US proxy war in Syria, and how the CIA program arming and training rebels strengthened al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other extremist Salafi groups. We also discuss the military-industrial complex and how billionaire-backed think tanks funded by arms manufacturers and fossil fuel corporations fuel the permanent war state.
Moderate Rebels episode 2 - Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton discuss the billion-dollar CIA program arming and training rebels in Syria, detailing how it strengthened extremist groups including ISIS and al-Qaeda. We use mainstream media reports and government documents to conclusively show how the US knew it and its allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey were fueling genocidal Salafi militants.
Moderate Rebels episode 1 - Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton discuss the Democratic Party's obsession with Russia, how this fixation is used to prevent progressive change, the lack of evidence for ambiguous accusations of "Russian interference," and how the neoliberal Resistance™ actively cheers on Trump when he is bombing the Middle East.