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“Pod Save America” cohost Tommy Vietor thought foreign policy was boring and complicated until he got the education of a lifetime working for President Obama’s National Security Council. On “Pod Save the World,” he and former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes break down the latest global developments and bring you behind the scenes with the people who were there. New episodes every Wednesday. To get access to extended ad-free Pod Save The World episodes, sign up to be a Friends of the Pod member at crooked.com/friends

Location:

United States

Description:

“Pod Save America” cohost Tommy Vietor thought foreign policy was boring and complicated until he got the education of a lifetime working for President Obama’s National Security Council. On “Pod Save the World,” he and former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes break down the latest global developments and bring you behind the scenes with the people who were there. New episodes every Wednesday. To get access to extended ad-free Pod Save The World episodes, sign up to be a Friends of the Pod member at crooked.com/friends

Language:

English


Episodes

Can Ukraine Outlast Putin?

2/21/2024
Tommy and Ben discuss the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the military defeat of Avdiivka, panic at the Munich Security Conference over Republicans blocking more aid to Ukraine, and how Ukrainians have adapted to living in a state of war. Then they talk about calls for accountability for Alexei Navalny’s death and his wife Yulia’s promise to continue Alexei’s work, the arrest of an American dual national in Russia, Tucker Carlson’s Moscow metro propaganda videos, and an update on Russia’s space nukes. They also look at Netanyahu’s insistence on invading Rafah, a pro-Israel group’s attack on a Washington Post reporter, the Indonesian elections, why Jared Kushner is still a sniveling little prick, and a very Australian mankini scandal. Then Tommy talks with Mstyslav Chernov about his incredible documentary, 20 Days in Mariupol. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

Duration:01:29:08

Dissident at the Doorstep Episode 7: Lost And Found In Translation

2/17/2024
With a new position at the Catholic University of America and funding from a rightwing think tank, Guangcheng takes on a new challenge: strengthening his English. We examine why this became such a top priority for Guangcheng and his patrons, what it means to traverse borders and negotiate between languages, and how Guangcheng’s political beliefs are translated by different audiences in a country that elected Donald Trump.

Duration:00:38:27

Breaking: Putin Kills Alexei Navalny

2/16/2024
Tommy and Ben discuss the breaking news that Russia’s most prominent opposition figure, Alexei Navalny, has died while in prison. The only information available so far is coming from prison officials and Russian government-run news channels, who claim that Navalny collapsed. Tommy and Ben talk about Navalny’s legacy, nearly universal blame being put on Putin for his death, Biden’s response, and what this means for Russia’s opposition and political future. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

Duration:00:50:14

Trump Tells Putin to Invade NATO Nations

2/14/2024
Tommy and Max Fisher talk about the disastrous humanitarian implications of Israel’s impending offensive in Rafah, the Biden administration’s shifting tone towards Israel, and efforts to reach out to the Muslim American community in Michigan. They also talk about Trump’s comments encouraging Russia to invade NATO members who don’t spend enough on defense, react to Tucker Carlson’s (boring) interview with Vladimir Putin, Pakistan’s shocking election results, the chances of Irish reunification, and King Charles’s quirky views on modern medicine. Then Ben speaks with New Jersey Congressman Andy Kim about his campaign to oust Senator Bob Menendez, and how corruption impacts America’s foreign policy. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

Duration:01:20:18

Dissident at the Doorstep Episode 6: The Great Moving Right Show

2/10/2024
Almost one year after arriving in the US, the New York Post publishes a story suggesting NYU is trying to sever ties with Guangcheng. Guangcheng alleges the university is bowing to pressure from the Chinese Communist Party. Guangcheng’s hosts at NYU accuse right wing political forces of misleading him. Things get very messy. Where Guangcheng lands next sets him on a path that eventually leads to throwing his support behind Trump for reelection in 2020.

Duration:00:42:37

Tucker Carlson Goes to Moscow

2/7/2024
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 Vladimir Putin, El Salvador’s election and Bukele’s rising popularity, polling in Europe that forecasts momentum for far right parties, a historic first in Northern Ireland, King Charles’ cancer diagnosis, Rishi Sunak’s insane fasting regimen, and Liz Truss’ plans to attend CPAC. Then Tommy speaks to Alex Ward, national security reporter at Politico about his new book “The Internationalists”. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

Duration:01:33:20

Dissident at the Doorstep Episode 5: Guangcheng’s Year of Living Famously

2/3/2024
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.

Duration:00:50:50

Will Biden Bomb Iran?

1/31/2024
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 member fears about Russia, Trump floating major tariffs on China, a Kenyan court blocking the deployment of police to Haiti, and French farmers laying siege to Paris. Then, Tommy speaks with Ali Vaez, Iran Project Director at the International Crisis Group, about Iranian proxy groups, why Iran funds them, and the US conventional wisdom that Iran can only be deterred through military action. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

Duration:01:27:41

Dissident at the Doorstep Episode 4: Coming To America

1/27/2024
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.

Duration:00:47:12

Netanyahu Rejects a Two-State Solution (again)

1/24/2024
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 continuing attempts to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, Elon Musk’s visit to Auschwitz, and an odd auction item belonging to Winston Churchill. Then Ben speaks with Ricardo Zuniga, the former US Special Envoy to the Northern Triangle and Senior Advisor at the US Institute of Peace about the spiraling gang violence in Ecuador. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

Duration:01:17:16

Dissident at the Doorstep Episode 3: A Dissident Is Born

1/20/2024
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. But his imprisonment transforms him into a cause and a symbol of dissent in China and across the world. Then after years of detention, Guangcheng decides to try to make an escape. But how and who can he turn to?

Duration:00:36:57

Biden Launches Airstrikes Against Houthis in Yemen

1/17/2024
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 efforts to reunify the Korean peninsula. Then Tommy speaks with Oona Hathaway, Director of the Center for Global Legal Challenges at Yale Law School, about South Africa’s charges of genocide against Israel at the International Court of Justice. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

Duration:01:21:03

Dissident at the Doorstep Episode 2: The Barefoot Lawyer

1/13/2024
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.

Duration:00:47:08

Dissident at the Doorstep Episode 1: Batman Gets Punched

1/13/2024
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?

Duration:00:28:14

How Israel’s War with Hamas Could Escalate Into a Regional Conflict

1/10/2024
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 Donald Trump and NJ Senator Bob Menendez, reports that US objectives in Ukraine are changing, and the fallout from an “almost naked” party in Moscow, the stabbing of an opposition leader in South Korea, protests in Germany, and a new Prime Minister in France. Finally, Ben speaks with Taiwanese journalist and podcaster Emily Wu about Taiwan’s upcoming election on January 13th. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

Duration:01:20:39

Introducing “Dissident At The Doorstep”

1/6/2024
What happens when someone becomes a human-rights icon – but then turns out to stand for something else entirely? Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng was locked up for fighting against China’s One Child Policy and suffered years of unlawful imprisonment. In 2012, following a daring midnight escape, he landed in the United States a hero. But that’s only the beginning of his story. Just a few years later, he would re-enter the spotlight as an avid Trump supporter and a “Stop the Steal” rally-goer. How did this happen? Alison Klayman, Colin Jones, and Yangyang Cheng set out on a journey to find out – did Guangcheng change, or was he totally misunderstood from the beginning? From Crooked Media, This is Dissident At The Doorstep.

Duration:00:03:19

Zelensky's Plea To Congress

12/13/2023
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 at the UN’s climate summit, a territorial dispute between Venezuela and Guyana, a masked mystery candidate running for president in Ghana and Elijah Wood’s Russian propaganda blunder on Cameo. Then, Max Fisher joins the show to discuss trends in global elections in 2023, and how 2024 may be the biggest election year in history. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

Duration:01:04:33

Henry Kissinger’s Complicated Legacy

12/6/2023
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 Henry Kissinger. Then Tommy interviews Vermont Senator Peter Welch about why he’s calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and what’s going on with Biden’s supplemental funding bill for Israel and Ukraine. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

Duration:01:15:20

How Long Will The Ceasefire In Gaza Hold?

11/29/2023
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 documents exposing the UAE’s plans to use COP28 to sell more oil and gas, and former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s run-in with a whale. Then Ben talks to Juliette Touma, Communications Director for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, about humanitarian efforts in Gaza and what she witnessed on her recent visit there. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

Duration:01:27:51

Climate Special: A Look Ahead At COP28

11/22/2023
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 year and the challenges of securing funding to follow through on the global commitments made towards mitigating climate change. We end the show with a Q&A segment for subscribers. To hear that segment in future episodes, and to get ad-free Pod Save The World, subscribe to Crooked's Friend of the Pod service at crooked.com/friends For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.

Duration:01:07:10