Episodes
Tommy and Ben talk about US strikes against facilities in Iraq and Syria used by Iran-backed militia groups, White House denials that the conflict in Gaza has drawn America into a regional war, haunting statistics for children in Gaza, souring public opinion on the war, and dehumanizing commentary about the Middle East. They also discuss how Biden’s foreign policy agenda is being held up by Congress, Zelensky’s potential government and military shake-up, Tucker Carlson’s interview with...
Published 02/07/24
Following a tense negotiation between the US and China, Guangcheng arrives in the United States. He is greeted with a hero’s welcome. He gives speeches. He wins awards. And he tries to adjust to life in New York, hosted by NYU. But quickly cracks start to emerge beneath the glamorous facade.
Published 02/03/24
Tommy and Ben talk about the drone strike by an Iranian-backed group on a US base in Jordan that killed three US service members, the pressure on Biden to retaliate against Iran directly, and the muddled politics of war. They also cover allegations that UN employees in Gaza participated in the October 7th Hamas attack, the International Court of Justice’s ruling about genocide charges against Israel, and Nancy Pelosi’s odd criticism of activists calling for a ceasefire. They also discuss NATO...
Published 01/31/24
Guangcheng escapes house arrest, but he’s not free yet. Without a real plan or a place to hide, he turns to the US embassy in Beijing. His moves set in motion a diplomatic maelstrom, where top officials from the two most powerful countries in the world negotiate over his fate – and their own.
Published 01/27/24
Tommy and Ben discuss the latest news out of Gaza, including a potential ceasefire deal that would include a two month stop in fighting in exchange for hostages, a look back at Bibi’s rejection of a two-state solution throughout his political career, and the news that the Biden administration is preparing for a sustained military campaign in Yemen. They also talk about the UAE funneling weapons to Sudan, mass protests in Germany against the far-right ADF party, British conservative’s...
Published 01/24/24
Guangcheng is kidnapped by Chinese authorities and thrown in jail. By keeping him under lock and key, the government hopes to take away his power.
Published 01/20/24
Ben and Tommy discuss US airstrikes on the Houthi rebels in Yemen and why they are unlikely to deter them, and provide background and context on the Houthi’s origins and motivations. They also cover the latest in Gaza and frustration with the administration’s refusal to change course after 100 days. Then they discuss the recent spike in gang violence in Ecuador, efforts to prevent Guatemala’s new President from being sworn in, Taiwan’s election results and North Korea announcing the end of...
Published 01/17/24
Guangcheng fights his biggest case in China – exposing the brutality of the One Child Policy. This, and a series of public and legal victories in the early 2000s, makes him into an icon in the US and an enemy of the state in China, an unlikely place for a blind man who grew up in a poor village. So how did it all begin? We talk to Guangcheng himself to find out.
Published 01/13/24
It’s 2011. Hollywood A-lister Christian Bale is in China and gets punched in the face by security guards for trying to visit Chen Guangcheng, a local human rights activist under house arrest. It’s all captured by a CNN crew and broadcast across the world. A few months later Guangcheng would escape to the United States. But after you arrive in America as a hero, what happens next?
Published 01/13/24
Ben and Tommy cover the major developments in the war between Israel and Hamas, including the widening difference between Netanyahu and Biden on post-war planning, increasing criticism of the Israeli war effort within the Democratic Party, and the escalating risks of a regional war with Iranian-back proxy groups like the Houthi rebels and militia groups in Iraq and Syria. Then they discuss Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s secret hospitalization, foreign governments funneling money to...
Published 01/10/24
Ben and Tommy cover the major developments in the war between Israel and Hamas, including the widening difference between Netanyahu and Biden on post-war planning, increasing criticism of the Israeli war effort within the Democratic Party, and the escalating risks of a regional war with Iranian-back proxy groups like the Houthi rebels and militia groups in Iraq and Syria. Then they discuss Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s secret hospitalization, foreign governments funneling money to...
Published 01/10/24
What happens when someone becomes a human-rights icon – but then turns out to stand for something else entirely?
Published 01/06/24
Tommy and Ben discuss the dire humanitarian situation on the ground in Gaza and the disconnect between the Biden administration’s words and deeds when it comes to protecting civilians in Gaza, including the veto of a UN Security resolution calling for a ceasefire and additional weapons sales to Israel. They also discuss Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Washington and plea for more security assistance, and republican efforts to tie Ukraine funding to border security, the mess...
Published 12/13/23
Tommy and Ben discuss the latest news from Gaza, including Israeli forces moving into southern Gaza, the Biden administration’s shift from a “hug Bibi” strategy to publicly criticizing Israel, and the ongoing skirmishes between the US military and Iranian proxy forces. They also talk about the latest controversies and accomplishments at the COP28 climate summit, how the UAE is fueling the civil war in Sudan, a US ambassador turned Cuban spy and the complicated, but mostly terrible, legacy of...
Published 12/06/23
Ben and Tommy discuss the ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas and how the US and Qatar helped broker it, Qatar’s unique role in international diplomacy, the debate over conditioning US aid to Israel, what we know about the Palestinians being released from Israeli prisons, and Elon Musk’s cynical trip to Israel. Then they cover right-wing populist election victories in the Netherlands and Argentina, reports that the US thwarted an attack on a Sikh separatist on American soil, leaked...
Published 11/29/23
In a special episode, Tommy and Ben discuss the upcoming COP28 conference in the United Arab Emirates. They speak about the climate summit’s importance, hear from activists from the Pacific Asian community, break down the science behind a 1.5 degree celsius warming, and the cynicism around the large presence of fossil fuel lobbyists and the host country’s oil rich economy. Then, Ben speaks with John Kerry, the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate from the US, about what’s on the agenda this...
Published 11/22/23
Tommy and Ben discuss the latest news out of Israel and Gaza, including the legality of targeting hospitals, French President Emmanuel Macron’s call for a ceasefire, the growing divide between the US and Israel on long-term governance of Gaza, efforts to rescue the 240 hostages held by Hamas and militant groups, and first-hand accounts from two innocent people caught in the middle of this war. They also discuss the UK’s cabinet shakeup and the return of David Cameron, the nightmare facing...
Published 11/15/23
Tommy and Ben talk about where the world stands one month after Hamas’ attack on Israel, including the declaration from Gaza’s health ministry that 10,000 civilians have been killed, Netanyahu’s statement about Israel taking “indefinite” security responsibility in Gaza, Biden’s push for a pause in fighting, and the successes and fails of American diplomacy thus far. They also discuss growing calls in Congress for a ceasefire, dismal approval ratings for Biden from Muslim voters and anti-war...
Published 11/08/23
Tommy and Ben talk about the latest news out of Israel and Gaza, including the Israeli ground offensive, the death of over 3,000 children in Gaza, a rise in anti-semitic incidents around the world, and what a temporary ceasefire could achieve. Then they define some of the terminology being used to describe what’s happening in this current conflict, the need for long-term thinking about what happens to the people in Gaza, blood thirsty and misguided solutions from GOP Presidential candidates,...
Published 11/01/23
Tommy and Ben discuss the latest news from Israel and Gaza including the staggering figures of over 5,000 civilians dead in Gaza, the slow pace of aid arrival, the release of four hostages, and they hear the experiences of a woman with five family members kidnapped by Hamas. They also talk about the emotional impact of Biden’s visit to Israel compared to Netanyahu’s response, media organizations correcting the record on the Gaza hospital strike, and the sanitization of war through language....
Published 10/25/23
Tommy and Ben talk about the breaking news of an airstrike hitting a hospital in Gaza, killing hundreds of staff, patients, and civilians. They also discuss Biden’s upcoming visit to Israel and negotiations around hostage rescue and aid packages, Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meetings with regional leaders and resistance to taking in Palestinian refugees, new reports on Hamas’ lengthy, detailed planning for the attack on Israel, and thoughts on alternatives to a massive Israeli military...
Published 10/18/23
Tommy and Ben talk about the developing situation in Gaza where 1.1 million people have been told to evacuate northern Gaza in advance of an anticipated ground invasion by Israel. Two people on the ground in Gaza explain the logistical obstacles to evacuation and why many civilians have refused to leave. Then Ben and Tommy discuss how Republicans are losing their minds talking about Israel, pro-Palestine protests around the world, growing anger towards the Netanyahu government, and they take...
Published 10/14/23
Tommy and Ben talk about the latest from Israel and Gaza, including the Netanyahu government’s policy and intelligence failures, the devastating toll on civilians in Israel and Gaza, questions about hostages and reports that Israel may launch a ground offensive into Gaza. They also cover the varied international response to the attack, the history of Hamas, and conflicting reports about Iranian culpability. Then Ben talks to Gregg Carlstrom, the Middle East correspondent for The Economist,...
Published 10/11/23
In a special episode, Ben and Tommy talk about the deadly terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel, how Israel’s intelligence community failed to detect it, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaration that his country is “at war” and what comes next, President Biden’s response, and what this all means for Israel’s political future.
Published 10/08/23
Tommy and Ben talk about the waning support for financing the war in Ukraine, both in the US Congress and in Europe, Elon Musk’s visit to the southern border, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley responds to Trump’s threats, Trump’s former Chief of Staff John Kelly tells CNN about Trump’s disrespect towards veterans, the UN authorizes a mission to Haiti, Canada and India continue their war of words, and the end of “Panda Diplomacy.” Then Tommy speaks with Sue Mi Terry, a former CIA...
Published 10/04/23