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The ruling FOG (Forces of Greed) spin news stories in their favor and keep the masses distracted with celebrity gossip and reality shows. Each week on Clearing The Fog, host Margaret Flowers* features guests who are working to expose the truth and offer real solutions to the current crises faced by our nation and the world. Knowledge is power, and with this knowledge you will be empowered to act to shift power to the people and weaken the corporate stranglehold on our lives. This podcast is brought to you each week without advertising.

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*Clearing the FOG was founded by Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese in 2012 on We Act Radio. Kevin died in 2020.

Nicaragua Is Run By Women With A Revolutionary Feminism

As the Sandinista Revolution is finally able to make its platform a reality, Nicaragua has made significant achievements in healthcare, education, housing, renewable energy and food sovereignty, to name a few. One achievement that is starting to get more attention is the gain in equality for women. The Global Gender Gap Report for 2022 ranked Nicaragua 7th in the world for gender parity. Clearing the FOG spoke with Jill Clark-Gollub, who recently returned from a delegation to Nicaragua that focused on conditions for women. She describes the country as “run by women” who connect their feminism to the struggles against capitalism, colonialism and patriarchy. Clark-Gollub also dispels misinformation about Nicaragua being promoted in the US corporate media and explains how the US is working to undermine the gains of the Sandinistas through hybrid warfare.

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Guest:

Jill Clark-Gollub

Building A Global People’s Movement To End US Imperialism

Following a two-year organizing effort, the International People’s Tribunal on US Imperialism will launch in New York City on January 28. The People’s Tribunal will focus on US sanctions, blockades and coercive measures and how they impact people in the targeted countries. Clearing the FOG speaks with Helyeh Doutaghi, a co-chair of the Tribunal, a doctoral student at Carleton University in Ottawa, and an anti-imperialist activist, about why this is an opportune time to build a global movement focused on the United States, how the Tribunal will be structured and how the testimony will be used to hold the US accountable for its violations of international law. Doutaghi also explains how people in the United States are being misled so they will support the use of these illegal actions, if they are even aware of them.

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Guest:

Helyeh Doutaghi is an adjunct professor and a doctoral candidate in Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University. Prior to her doctoral studies, she completed her LLM in Transnational Law at King’s College London. Her research explores the intersections of sanctions regimes, imperialism, and international law. Helyeh is the co-chair of the International People’s Tribunal on US imperialism, and an anti-imperialist organizer in the student movement on the traditional unceded Territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation. Helyeh’s work has appeared in Leiden Journal of International Law, The Conversation, rabble.ca, Black Agenda Report, and others.

Martin Luther King Day Special Encore Program: Restructuring The Edifice That Produces Poverty

In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Clearing the FOG brought back an interview from ten years ago with Cheri Honkala of the Poor People’s Economic and Human Rights Campaign and Robert Pollin of the Political Economy Research Institute. The program is centered on Dr. King’s speech before the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in August 1967, “Where Do We Go From Here?” The guests, along with co-host Kevin Zeese discuss the current economic challenges and efforts to bring transformation at the local and national levels. That conversation is relevant today as we continue to face multiple crises, including climate chaos, the pandemic and a global war. King’s warning that it is the system that must be changed reminds us of the important task at hand.

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Peru: Mass Protests And Major Challenges Ahead For The Left

On December 7, 2022, the President of Peru, Pedro Castillo, was removed from power, arrested and imprisoned in what is being called a coup. This followed multiple attempts by the right-wing political parties and members of Congress to oust him. In response, more than a dozen Latin American and Caribbean nations refuse to recognize Dina Boluarte, who took over as president, and large numbers of people have mobilized throughout the country in protest. A general strike was declared on January 4, 2023. To help untangle the complicated political and social situation in Peru, Clearing the FOG speaks with Francesca Emanuele, a Peruvian doctoral student, political analyst and columnist.

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Guest:

Francesca Emanuele

Ajamu Baraka: The Left Must Draw Clear Political And Ideological Lines

As 2022 comes to an end and major crises abound, Clearing the FOG spoke with Ajamu Baraka, a long time human rights defender and co-founder of the Black Alliance for Peace, about the big picture of what is happening politically and upcoming opportunities to organize for change. Baraka discusses the continued move to the right in the United States by both of the major political parties and their voting bases, including those in the liberal class, the complicity of the corporate media and the rise of censorship and repression against those who do not adhere to the manufactured narrative. Baraka explains why the Left in the US must organize an authentic radical opposition to the ruling class and have a clear political program rooted in a people-centered human rights framework and where that work is happening.

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Guest:

Ajamu Baraka is a co-founder of and national spokesperson for the Black Alliance for Peace. Read his full bio here.

The Nuclear Industry Is Trying To Come Back; Here’s What They Don’t Want You To Know

At the most recent United Nations COP27 meeting in Egypt, the nuclear industry had a strong presence pushing nuclear power as a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels. Clearing the FOG spoke to Dr. Arjun Mkhijani, the president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, about why nuclear power is not needed and is actually counterproductive in the age of the climate crisis. Dr. Makhijani wrote the book on a roadmap to a carbon-free, nuclear-free future. An expert in nuclear fusion, he also talks about the Department of Energy’s nuclear fusion advances, which is actually a weapons program, and why this is a dangerous path. The false claims of nuclear fusion as a potential energy source are being used to justify this research.

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Guest:

Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President of IEER, holds a Ph.D. in engineering (specialization: nuclear fusion) from the University of California at Berkeley. He has produced many studies and articles on nuclear fuel cycle related issues, including weapons production, testing, and nuclear waste, over the past twenty years. He is the principal author of the first study ever done (completed in 1971) on energy conservation potential in the U.S. economy. Most recently, Dr, Makhijani has authored Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy (IEER Press), the first analysis of a transition to a U.S. economy based completely on renewable energy, without any use of fossil fuels or nuclear power. He is the principal editor of Nuclear Wastelands and the principal author of Mending the Ozone Hole, both published by MIT Press.

Biden ‘Brings’ Selected African Leaders To US To Expand Neocolonialism

President Biden “brought” leaders of selected African nations to the United States for a summit to “demonstrate the United States’ enduring commitment to Africa,” the White House claims. But just days before the meeting, the Biden administration imposed more economic sanctions on members of some excluded nations, a likely attempt to send a warning of what happens to those who do not comply with the US’ imperialist demands. The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) organized a week of actions to coincide with Biden’s summit. Clearing the FOG speaks with Rose Brewer of BAP’s Africa Team about the long history of US intervention to exploit Africans, steal resources, and suppress liberation movements and how this comes home to impact people and social movements in the US.

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Guest:

Rose Brewer, PhD is a Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor and past chairperson of the Department of African American & African Studies, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She holds affiliate appointments in Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies and Sociology. She received her MA and PhD degrees in sociology from Indiana University and did postdoctoral studies at the University of Chicago. A social activist and scholar, Brewer publishes extensively on Black feminism, political economy, social movements, race, class, gender and social change. She is one of the authors of the award-winning book, The Color of Wealth, a number of co-edited volumes including The U.S. Social Forum: Perspectives of a Movement; Bridges of Power: Women’s Multicultural Alliances and Is Academic Feminism Dead?: Theory in Practice. Most recently she co-edited, Rod Bush: Lessons From a Radical Black Scholar on Liberation, Love, and Justice. Her work includes more than 80 essays, articles, and refereed publications.

She held the University of North Texas Multicultural Lectureship Award, the Sociologist for Women in Society Feminist Lectureship in Social Change, a Wiepking Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Miami University of Ohio, The Havens/Wright Visiting Scholar Award, University of Wisconsin-Madison, was a 2013 Visiting Scholar in the Social Justice Initiative, University of Illinois-Chicago. She is an Ada Comstock Distinguished Women’s Scholar Awardee, College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Medalist, member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, a winner of the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Teaching award, and a Josie R. Johnson Social Justice Award recipient. Most recently she was honored with the Common Ground Consortium 2021 Intellectual Excellence Award. Dr. Brewer works for social transformation locally, nationally and internationally.

Dan Kovalik: We Are Already In World War III

Clearing the FOG speaks with Dan Kovalik, an author and lawyer with expertise in human rights and international law, about his recent visit to Russia and the Donbass region that was formerly part of Ukraine. Kovalik describes what he saw there and how the Russians he met view the current conflict as one between Russia and NATO at this point. Based on the direct involvement of the United States and NATO countries in the area, Kovalik argues that World War III has already begun and that the only way the West could fight such a battle, if it escalates, is through the use of nuclear weapons, which would devastate the planet but which are being normalized in Washington in a significant departure from previous beliefs. He concludes with his thoughts on what we in the United States need to do to prevent such lunacy.

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Guest:

Dan Kovalik graduated from Columbia University School of Law in 1993.  He then served as in-house counsel for the United Steelworkers, AFL-CIO (USW) until 2019. While with the USW, he worked on Alien Tort Claims Act cases against The Coca-Cola Company, Drummond and Occidental Petroleum – cases arising out of egregious human rights abuses in Colombia. The Christian Science Monitor, referring to his work defending Colombian unionists under threat of assassination, described Mr. Kovalik as “one of the most prominent defenders of Colombian workers in the United States.” Mr. Kovalik received the David W. Mills Mentoring Fellowship from Stanford University School of Law and was the recipient of the Project Censored Award for his article exposing the unprecedented killing of trade unionists in Colombia. He has written extensively on the issue of international human rights and U.S. foreign policy for the Huffington Post and Counterpunch and has lectured throughout the world on these subjects. He is the author of several books, including his most recent, “The Plot To Overthrow Venezuela, How The US Is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil,” which includes a Foreword by Oliver Stone.

A Report-back From The COP27: Building A People’s Movement To Solve The Crisis

Clearing the FOG speaks with Kali Akuno, who is a member of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and the It Takes Roots delegation to the recent COP27, about what happened at the meeting and how they are building a growing global movement to address the climate crisis. Akuno talks about how this COP compared to previous meetings such as the greater influence of the fossil fuel and nuclear industries, repression of political expression, preventing access to movements on the front lines and the destructive influence of the United States’ representatives. The COP process is failing and in response, people are creating alternative spaces for strategy and organizing.

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Guest:

Kali Akuno is a co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson.

Kali served as the Director of Special Projects and External Funding in the Mayoral Administration of the late Chokwe Lumumba of Jackson, MS. His focus in this role was supporting cooperative development, the introduction of eco-friendly and carbon reduction methods of operation, and the promotion of human rights and international relations for the city.

Kali also served as the Co-Director of the US Human Rights Network, the Executive Director of the Peoples’ Hurricane Relief Fund (PHRF) based in New Orleans, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. And was a co-founder of the School of Social Justice and Community Development (SSJCD), a public school serving the academic needs of low-income African American and Latino communities in Oakland, California.

Glen Ford And Kevin Zeese: The Nature Of Fascism

In this episode, Clearing the FOG brings back excerpts of a discussion from November 2018 with the now-deceased Glen Ford, the co-founder and Senior Editor of Black Agenda Report, and Kevin Zeese, the co-director of Popular Resistance, about fascism in the United States. This interview covers the origin of fascism in the United States and how it was emulated by European Nations and brought to Latin America through US intervention as well as how fascism is manifest today with support by some who would consider themselves on the Left. Ford and Zeese talk about the rise of fascism in Brazil and how consent for war with Russia and aggression toward China was manufactured. They end with suggestions for what we need to do now that are just as true today as it was four years ago.

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Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition Escalates Solidarity With Palestine

As the Israeli State intensifies its violence against and displacement of Palestinians from their homes, international Palestinian solidarity organizations are making new plans to challenge the illegal Israeli occupation. Clearing the FOG speaks with retired Colonel Ann Wright who recently represented the US Boats to Gaza campaign at a meeting of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition in the United Kingdom. Ann Wright has participated in five trips to confront the blockade of Gaza and deliver desperately-needed supplies, including when Israeli Occupying Forces attacked the ships and killed ten civilians. Wright talks about the new plans for 2023, the dire conditions that Palestinians experience in Gaza and what people in the United States can do considering that the US provides financial support and political cover for Israel’s atrocities.

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Guest:

Col. (ret.) Ann Wright spent 29 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves. In 1987, Col. Wright joined the Foreign Service and served as U.S. Deputy Ambassador in Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan, and Mongolia. She received the State Department’s Award for Heroism for her actions during the evacuation of 2,500 people from the civil war in Sierra Leone, at the time the largest evacuation since Saigon. She was on the first State Department team to go to Afghanistan and helped reopen the Embassy there in December 2001. Her other overseas assignments include Somalia, Kyrgyzstan, Grenada, Micronesia, and Nicaragua. She has an MA a law degree from the University of Arkansas, and an MA in national security affairs from the U.S. Naval War College.

On March 19, 2003, the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Ann Wright cabled a letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin Powell, stating that without the authorization of the UN Security Council, the invasion and occupation would be a violation of international law. She was one of only three persons who resigned from the U.S. government in opposition to the Iraq war. Since then, she has been writing and speaking out for peace.  Ann Wright is on the national staff of CODEPINK.

Ann Wright fasted for a month, picketed at the US prison at Guantánamo, Cuba, served as a juror in Bush “mock” impeachment hearings, traveled to Iran as a citizen diplomat, and has been arrested numerous times for peaceful, nonviolent protest of Bush’s policies, particularly the war on Iraq. She has also been on delegations to Iran.

She has travelled to Gaza three times in 2009 following the Israeli attack on Gaza that killed 1,440 and wounded 5,000. She also visited Gaza in 2011 and 2012. She was an organizer for the 2009 Gaza Freedom March that brought 1,350 persons from 44 countries to Cairo, Egypt, in solidarity with the people of Gaza.

She was on the May, 2010 Gaza flotilla that was attacked by the Israeli military and was an organizer for the 2011 US Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope and a boat leader on the 2015 Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Within days following the Israeli attack on Gaza in 2012, she helped organize a delegation to Gaza. In 2013, she was a delegate on the 100 woman group to Gaza for International Women’s Day which was stopped by the Egyptian government. She was a boat leader on the 2015 Gaza Freedom Flotilla and was a boat leader of the Zaytouna, the Women’s Boat to Gaza in 2016.

She has travelled to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen to talk with families whose family members have been killed by US assassin drones. She has been arrested in New York and Nevada at US drone bases for protesting US killer drones.

She was a delegate on the 2015 Women Cross the DMZ which featured peace conferences in both North and South Korea. She has traveled to Jeju Island, South Korea three times in solidarity with opponents of a naval base being constructed to port ships carrying the US aegis missile offense system. She has been on two speaking tours in Japan in defense of the Article 9 anti-war part of the Japanese constitution. She has been a guest speaker on the Peace Boat in a trip through Northeast Asia.

In 2015, she travelled to El Salvador and Chile with School of the Americas Watch to ask the governments of these countries to stop sending their militaries to the US Army School of the Americas where soldiers from Central and South America were trained and then were a part of killing their fellow citizens.

In 2016, she was in Standing Rock, North Dakota in solidarity with native Americans in attempting to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Miko Peled: ‘The Danger To Palestinians Has Never Been So Severe’

The recent elections by the Israeli State will likely bring to power what author and activist Miko Peled calls “the most openly fascist government” in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Peled wrote about Netanyahu, a known war criminal who was re-elected as Prime Minister, in Mintpress News. In this interview on Clearing the FOG, Peled explains why the danger to Palestinians has never been greater and why international action to end the occupation is critical. He discusses the rise of the far right, the escalation of violent attacks on Palestinians, retaliation against Palestinian journalists and activists, including the dire case of Issa Amro, and how Palestinian resistance is changing.

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Guest:

Miko Peled is an author, writer, speaker, and human rights activist living in the United States. He is considered by many to be one of the clearest voices calling for justice in Palestine, support of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and the creation of a single democracy with equal rights in all of historic Palestine. Educated in Jerusalem, Japan and the United States, Peled is also an accomplished professional martial artist. For 23 years, Peled ran a martial arts school that was dedicated to teaching leadership skills and non-violent conflict resolution through martial arts. 

Miko is also a contributor to several online publications (Mint Press, The Electronic Intifada, Democracy Now, Mondoweiss), authors this blog (mikopeled.com), and produces The Miko Peled Podcast, all of which he dedicated to advocating for the creation of one democratic state with equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians. He travels regularly to Palestine where he speaks and works with the popular resistance, the BDS movement, and other justice groups. As a result, he has been arrested several times by the Israeli authorities for his activism.

The United States And Its Media Are Preparing For War On Iran

The United States seized the opportunity when protests over the death of Mahsa Amini started in Iran to push a narrative of mass dissent and repression in the country. This is a narrative the US used in the lead up to its invasion of Afghanistan. There are other signs and evidence of US interference in Iran to foment regime change and justify military intervention. The US Special Envoy to Iran said last week that the military option is on the table. Clearing the FOG speaks with Dr. Foad Izadi, a professor at the University of Tehran, about the demonstrations, how Western media are pushing misinformation and how the actions of the United States are counterproductive. He explains that if the United States actually cared about women in Iran, it would end its illegal sanctions.

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Guest:

Dr. Foad Izadi’s research and teaching interests are interdisciplinary and focus on United States-Iran relations and U.S. public diplomacy. His book, United States Public Diplomacy Towards Iran, discusses the United States communication efforts in Iran during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. Izadi has published numerous studies in national and international academic journals and major handbooks, including: Journal of Communication Inquiry, Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy and Edward Elgar Handbook of Cultural Security. 

Dr. Foad Izadi is an associate professor at the Department of American Studies, Faculty of World Studies, University of Tehran, where he teaches M.A. and Ph.D. courses in American studies. Izadi received his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. He earned a B.S. in Economics and an M.A. in Mass Communication from University of Houston. Izadi has been a political commentator on CNN, RT (Russia Today), CCTV, Press TV, Sky News, ITV News, Al Jazeera, Euronews, IRIB, France 24, TRT World, NPR, and other international media outlets. He has been quoted in many publications, including The New York Times, The Guardian, China Daily, The Tehran Times, The Toronto Star, El Mundo, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The New Yorker, and Newsweek.

Haiti: US Manufactures Crisis To Justify Repression Of Popular Movement

If you live in the United States, you probably believe that the problems in Haiti are cholera and gang violence and that the Haitians need our help in the form of a multinational military force to ‘restore order.’ Clearing the FOG speaks with Chris Bernadel of the Black Alliance for Peace’s Haiti/Americas Team about the bigger picture of the United States’ long term interference in Haiti to suppress social movements and install US-friendly regimes. Bernadel describes how it is the United States that has manufactured the current crises in Haiti with the help of a compliant media and is now trying to send an unaccountable military force to suppress mass mobilizations that have been going on for two months against the de facto prime minister, Ariel Henry, and devastating inflation.

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Guest:

Christopher Bernadel is a member of the Black Alliance for Peace’s Haiti/Americas Team and works with the Haitian social movement MOLEGHAF.

‘Ridiculous Things Are Happening’: NATO Begins Exercises That Risk Nuclear War

The proxy war between NATO and Russia being waged in Ukraine has taken a dangerous turn and the risk of nuclear annihilation is growing as a result. Clearing the FOG speaks with Scott Ritter, a former US Marine intelligence officer and United Nations weapons inspector, who explains that the recent murder of Darya Dugina, the attack on the Nordstream Pipelines and the bombing of the Kerch bridges are terrorist attacks linked to Ukrainian and US intelligence agencies. Ritter says the NATO military exercises simulating a nuclear attack against Russia that start this week could trigger a nuclear war and should be postponed, but “there are no adults in the room” willing to do that. Ritter also predicts how the conflict is going to end.

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Guest:

Scott Ritter is a former Marine intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union, implementing arms control agreements, and on the staff of General Norman Schwartzkopf during the Gulf War, where he played a critical role in the hunt for Iraqi SCUD missiles. From 1991 until 1998, Mr. Ritter served as a Chief Inspector for the United Nations in Iraq, leading the search for Iraq’s proscribed weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Ritter was a vocal critic of the American decision to go to war with Iraq. He resides in Upstate New York, where he writes on issues pertaining to arms control, the Middle East and national security. You will find his articles on Consortium News.

Scott Ritter has testified before a combined Armed Services/Foreign Affairs hearing of the US Senate, and before the House Foreign Relations and National Security committees. He has testified before a combined Armed Services/ Foreign Affairs hearing of the US Senate, and before the House Foreign Relations and National Security committees. He has spoken to NATO, the United Nations, the British, Canadian, Italian, French, Iraqi, Japanese and European Parliaments. He has done public speaking engagements at Harvard, MIT, Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, Yale and Columbia, and dozens of other public and private universities and colleges across the country. He has spoken before the Council on Foreign Affairs, Chatham House and RUSI (in London), and various World Affairs Councils. Ritter is the author of numerous books.

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