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Pod Save the World

Author: Crooked Media

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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
410 Episodes
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In a bonus episode, Tommy and Ben talk about the reports that Israel launched a retaliatory strike deep inside Iran, why Iranian leaders are downplaying what happened, why the logic of deterrence is stupid, and the Biden administration’s muted response. They also talk about supplemental funding bills for Israel and Ukraine that the House will vote on this weekend, the messaging incoherence of the US calling for a ceasefire in Gaza while sending Israel more weapons, the US vetoing a UN resolution on Palestinian statehood, and then they take audience questions from the Discord.
Iran Attacks Israel

Iran Attacks Israel

2024-04-1701:25:383

Tommy and Ben discuss Iran’s missile and drone attack on Israel and whether Israel will retaliate, Biden’s message of restraint to Prime Minister Netanyahu, the republicans calling for all out war with Iran, and what Iran’s strike means for efforts to end the war in Gaza and pass additional funding for Israel and Ukraine. They also talk about Ukrainian President Zelensky’s criticism of other countries’ willingness to shoot down Iranian missiles but not those from Russia, a grim anniversary for the civil war in Sudan, a mass stabbing in Australia, former US Ambassador Manuel Rocha pleading guilty to being a Cuban spy, and the arrival of Meghan Markle’s strawberry jam. Then Tommy talks with Middle East expert Khaled Elgindy about post-war reconstruction in Gaza, and what kind of political path forward could actually create a Palestinian state.Don't forget to vote for Pod Save the World for a Webby Award! 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.
Tommy and Ben discuss Biden’s call with Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu and threat to cut off US support for the war in Gaza, Israel’s announcement that it would open more aid corridors into Gaza, and the head spinning change in political support for the war in Washington. They also explain why Ecuadorian police raided Mexico’s embassy and sparked a global diplomatic crisis, Trump’s “secret plan” to end the war in Ukraine, the election of a pro-Russian president in Slovakia, the Japanese Prime Minister’s State Visit with Biden, how a trillion-dollar Saudi infrastructure project has already become a disaster, and the world’s saddest political tweet via the Tory Party in the UK. Then Ben speaks to David Miliband, the President of the International Rescue Committee, about the moral and legal imperative to try to save lives in Gaza.Pod Save the World is nominated for a Webby award for Best News & Politics podcast! Vote for us if you can.  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.
In the final episode of this four-part series, Rog and Tommy trace the massive flow of Saudi money into Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Wall Street, and how the biggest venture capitalists and A-list celebrities seem to no longer care about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. They also look back at the history of the US-Saudi relationship, and how President Biden went from pleading to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” to traveling there to fist bump Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah. And finally, they dive into the possible motivations behind Saudi Arabia’s investments, from the need to diversify the Saudi economy, to whitewashing the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and changing the subject from other human rights violations. Despite all the depressing news, Rog and Tommy try to find glimmers of hope where grassroots activism and football can lead the way in creating a more just world. All of this and more, on the final episode of World Corrupt, Season 2.
Ben and Tommy discuss an Israeli airstrike on an Iranian embassy building in Syria that killed several top Iranian generals, Israeli drone strikes that killed seven World Central Kitchen humanitarian relief workers in Gaza and what they tell us about Israel’s lack of concern about civilian causalities, and growing protests in Israel against Netanyahu. Then they talk about Trump’s “shadow Secretary of State” Ric Grenell, the Qataris investing in Newsmax, a 60 Minutes report blaming Russia for “Havana Syndrome”, and one year since Russia arrested WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich. Finally, they cover a new anti-hate speech law in Scotland, the barring of an opposition candidate in Venezuela, Chinese disinformation promoting Trump in the US, a big loss for Erdogan’s party in Turkey’s local elections, and Reagan’s almost assassin complaining about cancel culture. 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.
In episode three of this four part series, Rog and Tommy explore the rise of Saudi Arabia’s domestic football league and why superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are flocking there. iNews’s chief football writer Daniel Storey joins the show to tell the tale of one of those players, former Liverpool captain and one-time “moral center” of English football Jordan Henderson, whose move to the Saudi pro-league led to one of the starkest falls from grace in recent sporting history. Plus, Saudi Arabia has all but secured hosting rights for the 2034 Men’s World Cup....but did football’s global governing body FIFA rig the bidding process years in advance? And with Saudi Arabia also eyeing hosting duties for the 2035 Women's World Cup, former US Women’s National Team legend Megan Rapinoe gives her thoughts on what it would mean to play football's crown jewel tournament in a country where women are assigned a male guardian and homosexuality is illegal. All of this and more on the latest episode of World Corrupt. 
Tommy and Ben discuss the deteriorating relations between the White House and Bibi Netanyahu's government after the UN Security Council calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, the stalling hostage negotiations in Qatar, and Trump's PR advice to Israel. Then, they talk about the ISIS attack at a Moscow concert hall and Putin's response. They also discuss Hong Kong's new national security law, two surprising political resignations, a democratic election in Senegal, why the former president of Brazil was hiding in a foreign embassy, and Kate Middleton's cancer diagnosis. Plus, Senator Bernie Sanders and Ben discuss the looming famine in Gaza, conditioning aid to Israel, and changing US foreign policy for the better. 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.
Roger Bennett and Tommy Vietor take a look at the history of Saudi Arabia, US-Saudi relations, and the Kingdom’s path to becoming a geopolitical force. They trace the unlikely rise of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman from a lowly place in the royal hierarchy to de facto leader of the country, and examine his record of enacting major social reforms while brutally cracking down on critics and rivals. Guests Ben Hubbard, Sarah Leah Whitson, and Khalid Al Jabri provide insight through stories about the infamous lock-up at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the disappearance of even the family members of MBS’ political rivals. And finally, they unpack what MBS’ massive investment into soccer means for the global game. Listen to the second episode of this four-part series to find out.
Tommy and Ben discuss the looming famine in Gaza, reactions to Senator Chuck Schumer’s call for new elections in Israel, Trump’s claim that Jewish Democrats “hate Israel”, secret talks between the US and Iran over attacks in the Red Sea by Houthis. They also talk about Jared Kushner’s luxury real estate developments in Serbia and Albania, Putin’s overwhelming election “victory”, Senator Lindsey Graham’s visit to Ukraine, a new study on Havana Syndrome, Niger ending counterterrorism cooperation with the US, dates announced for the Indian election, and Trump suggesting action should be taken against Prince Harry if he lied about drug use on his visa application. Then Tommy speaks to Josh Geltzer, Deputy Homeland Security Advisor for the White House National Security Council, about the debate over reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. 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.
Roger Bennet and Tommy Vietor are back for Season 2 of World Corrupt! And this time, Rog and Tommy are diving into how Saudi Arabia, the biggest exporter of oil in the world and a nation in the news for human rights abuses, became the latest geopolitical power player sweeping global soccer. The Saudis have poured billions of dollars into the world’s most popular sport, including signing superstar players like Cristiano Ronaldo to eye-popping contracts. But the crown jewel in the Saudi investment portfolio? That would be the take over of one of England’s most historic football clubs, Newcastle United. A team with a rich history from an impoverished corner of the country, Newcastle had fallen upon hard times…and they welcomed the Saudis with open arms. But at what cost? Listen to the first episode of this four part series to find out.
Trump’s TikTok Flip Flop

Trump’s TikTok Flip Flop

2024-03-1301:27:335

Tommy and Ben discuss plans for delivering aid to Gaza through a maritime route and floating pier, US “red lines” over an Israeli invasion of Rafah and the public war of words between Biden and Netanyahu in weekend interviews. They they talk about Viktor Orban’s visit to Mar-a-Lago, concerns from the intelligence community about giving Trump classified briefings during the election, the debate over banning TikTok, election news in Portugal and Turkey, a mass kidnaping in Nigeria, a failed constitutional amendment vote in Ireland, and the photoshop scandal that is fueling even more rumors about the Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton. Then Ben does a deep dive on the deteriorating situation in Haiti, which has become overrun by gangs, with Renata Segura, Deputy Program Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the International Crisis Group. 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.
And, we're back! Join Roger Bennet and Tommy Vietor for another season of World Corrupt, with a focus on why Saudi Arabia is investing billions in football. Episode 1 coming March 16.   
Tommy and Ben discuss the futility of aerial aid drops by the US in Gaza, Kamala Harris’ speech calling for an immediate ceasefire, Netanyahu rival Benny Gantz’s visit to Washington, and do a preview of President Biden’s State of the Union address. Then they discuss the breakdown of order in Haiti as gangs overrun prisons, a German audio leak about long range missiles for Ukraine posted by Russian state media, France enshrining abortion into their constitution, the thousands of Russians who came out for Alexei Navalny’s funeral, repercussions for multiple US leakers of classified intelligence, and Tucker Carlson’s about face on Putin. Then Tommy speaks with Kholood Khair, a Sudanese political analyst and founder of the Confluence Advisory think tank about the civil war in Sudan. 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.
Ben and Tommy discuss President Biden’s claim that a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas may be imminent, the domestic political problems the war is creating for Biden, the latest on efforts to defer attacks by Iran’s proxy groups in the Middle East, and some rare good news about Iran’s nuclear program. They also discuss the staggering casualty numbers from the war in Ukraine, claims that a prisoner exchange involving Alexei Navalny was in final stages before his death, new reports about extensive Russian efforts to interfere in our elections, right-wing autocratic creeps at CPAC, an investigation into the Mexican president’s ties with drug cartels, Saudi Arabia dumping money on celebrities and CEOs in Miami, and why Taylor Swift’s dad was throwing punches in Australia. Then Ben talks with Wai Wai Nu, a human rights activist and founder of the Women’s Peace Network about the civil war in Myanmar. 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.
Guangcheng has put his life on the line to stand up for noble causes and principles. He has also thrown his support behind Trump and, more recently, a range of intolerant ideas. There are so many things to admire about him, but there are others that are hard to excuse. We thought with this series that we could show how all these things could be true at once. But as we got closer to the end of the story, we learned just how hard that really is. 
Can Ukraine Outlast Putin?

Can Ukraine Outlast Putin?

2024-02-2101:33:056

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.
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. 
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.
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.
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.
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Comments (187)

Pedro Harcourt

what's wrong with you? go back to the Balfour declaration. dum dums. get the Jws out of Europe. duh....

Apr 20th
Reply

r8z77

We would have called it "An Idiot Abroad" but it was alrready taken......https://archive.ph/Xr4i9

Feb 22nd
Reply

Bea Kiddo

Why the f is Tucker the fckr even allowed to talk to Putin and claim to be a journalist or any kind of news source. What a trip. Get ready for more of a shit show and Russia messing with our elections.

Feb 8th
Reply

Pedro Harcourt

because oil,the stability of the u.s. Petro dollar, and Israel as a proxy/projection of American power. democracy has fk all to do with it. $$$. and it all comes back to domestic politics. "It's the economy stupid ".

Jan 31st
Reply

Joe A. Finley II

We need a post-Israel-Hamas conflict follow-up with Tony B in which he basically is a HYPOCRITE when talking about Ukraine's future (systemic destruction of families and infrastructure, systemic food and medical insecurities, etc.) when it comes to the civilians of Gaza.

Jan 20th
Reply

Gina Ruzicka

✅WATCH>>ᗪOᗯᑎᒪOᗩᗪ>>LINK>👉https://co.fastmovies.org

Jan 18th
Reply

Kevin Webb

I'm curious what permanent solution exists to free Gaza from Hamas and terror groups generally. also, can those Shopify ads go. I almost stopped playback.

Jan 17th
Reply

Pedro Harcourt

why are you calling it a "war "?

Dec 13th
Reply

Aakash Amanat

Pod Save the World" is a podcast that stands out as a powerful and insightful resource for those interested in global affairs and foreign policy. Hosted by former Obama administration officials, Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, and Ben Rhodes, the podcast offers an informed and thought-provoking analysis of critical international issues. https://www.croozi.com/Business/locv?uid=653e7273f1b47&n=Kraft-Paper-Printer The podcast's in-depth discussions with leading experts and policymakers provide valuable insights into the complex world of diplomacy, geopolitics, and international relations. http://connect.releasewire.com/company/kraft-paper-printer-326883.htm

Nov 2nd
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Jesse B

Ilhan Omar needs to shut the fuck up. Nobody cares you were a refugee, you have zero actual connection to Israel or Palestine and your hysterical wailing is entirely meaningless to those actually suffering. Same goes to all these naive college students jerking each other off with their liberal tears while proclaiming Israel the real terrorist state. You have no actual connection to either group of people and your protests accomplish jack shit in alleviating suffering. STFU

Oct 26th
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Carson Chiu

>Stoke fears of ethnic cleansing >tell ethnic armenians they should leave before Azerbaijan takes back their territory >ethnic armenians leave >accuse Azerbaijan of committing ethnic cleansing ???

Sep 28th
Reply

Will Jones

rqiaq0

Jun 26th
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Itay Avi

you guys are attributing dogma and idealism to a corrupt leader whose only driving force is pragmatic avoidance of legal consequences. Bibi doesn't give a flying duck about his coalition partners and he didn't want this match up "all along." he probably detests them. they're just useful.

Jan 5th
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Étienne

Really disappointed by this series of PodSave the world. It has always topped my podcast list but this was an embarrassment. Roger should take up language classes to correct his dialect and be more genuine instead of cavorting his voice in every sentence. I have always appreciated your geopolitical analysis and hold high respect for Tommy and Ben. So this is a sincere review and a request, against my discontent.

Nov 14th
Reply (2)

Étienne

Roger's voice is superbly annoying. Please refrain from getting him overthe podcast ever again. Also absolutely pathetic episode. Half the time sponsorship, other time Roger blabbing his stupid experiences. No actual valuable content. Really disappointed. Had to make an account just to put in this review.

Nov 14th
Reply

Itay Avi

nothing muddies the waters and creates ambiguity about US policy toward Taiwan quite as effectively as contradictory messages depending on who is asked

Sep 21st
Reply

Itay Avi

so fucking obsessed with Israel stfu

Sep 8th
Reply

Itay Avi

Calling Abbas powerless is ridiculous. The boys also never once said that what he said in Germany is demonstrably wrong. Progressive media needs to stop the Palestinian circle jerk

Aug 24th
Reply (1)

ID25905423

Outstanding podcast. How can I help?

Aug 7th
Reply

Itay Avi

rich of American privilege to blame Israel for the slow down of peace process with the Palestinians while excusing American political deadlock for inaction on everything. No Israeli government has had the political mandate to negotiate for peace in over 3 years. Palestinian politics are in shambles. Instead of throwing blame around PSTW can be more nuanced in this discussion: the same powerlessness exists domestically in the US.

Jul 21st
Reply
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