Episode

8/18 The Endless Consequences of Borderless, Forever Wars w/ Spencer Ackerman

August 18, 2021

Sam and Emma host Spencer Ackerman, author of the Forever Wars newsletter on Substack, to discuss his recent book Reign Of Terror: How The 9/11 Era Destabilized America And Produced Trump. Sam, Emma, and Spencer jump off of a Charlie Kirk nativist clip to dive into the start of the war on terror as the rebirth of white replacement theory, starting with domestic attacks on Muslim Americans post-9/11 and giving way to Trump. They look into how the war on terror turned the enemies into those escaping the conditions we created, diving particularly into the parallels between the anti-sharia law policy passed in thirty different states and the current debates on Critical Race Theory in kindergarten, helping to create this apparatus of suspicion treating immigration as the vector of a national security threat. Next, Ackerman walks through the mutation of the political tool of the war on terror through the Bush years, bringing in a torture regime and normalizing violent nativism in policy, and ultimately being reaffirmed and reinforced by Obama’s attempts at “humanizing” it through drone strikes, before working through how Trump was able to capitalize on the tool. They wrap up the interview by looking into the importance of public pressure on the security apparatus, pushing Biden to end the license for US presidents to use this tool. Sam and Emma also cover general updates on the situation in Kabul as the US evacuates Afghanistan, and the state of the Delta variant as Texas Gov. Abbott has a breakthrough case get through three vaccinations.

And in the Fun Half: Twigs from New Mexico calls in to discuss the importance of MR and TMBS in converting him from libertarianism, Josh from Chicago ponders where US imperialism will go next, and the WH press corps takes on the true populist stance of maintaining our military presence in Tajikistan. The MR crew spectates the continuing Fox & Frenemies beef between Kilmeade and Doocy as one worries about his career and the other about his livelihood, and Ryan from NH discusses why the left should stand stronger behind the withdrawal, plus, your calls and IMs!

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