Pepe Escobar, one of our favorite globe-trotting journalists and offshore voices, joins us for this fascinating analysis of the French war in Mali, the bloody hostage scene in Algeria, and blowback from the “liberation” of Libya. In this wide-ranging discussion, we start with the American sideshow on Benghazi, while no one talks about the blowback from the ouster of Qaddaffi and the mercenaries and rebels who got rearmed and cashed up in the Libyan adventure.
Mr. Escobar breaks down the various armed factions and some of the leaders in Mali, details the hostage showdown at the gas facility in Algeria, and tells us that the arms and money for the rebels are coming from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Escobar has travelled in this region, and offers colorful descriptions of the people and places. We talk about America’s new Africom command post, and the role of 3,500 US troops who were sent to Africa recently. He gives us a sense of France’s interest in the uranium of Niger and the gold in Mali, which are likely to conflict with US intentions. Escobar also touches on China’s expanding, but non-military, presence in Africa.
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Pepe Escobar, born in Brazil is the roving correspondent for Asia Times and an analyst for The Real News Network. He is an investigative journalist with three decades of experience in covering politics and conflicts around the globe. He’s been a foreign correspondent since 1985, based in London, Milan, Los Angeles, Paris, Singapore, and Bangkok. Since the late 1990s, he has specialized in covering stories and cases from the Middle East to Central Asia, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was in Afghanistan and interviewed the military leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masoud, a couple of weeks before his assassination. Mr. Escobar has made frequent visits to Iran and is the author of three must-read books: Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War, Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad During the Surge, and Obama Does Globalistan.
Here is our guest Pepe Escobar unplugged!