Sunday, November 6, 2016

Porkins Great Game: Episode #16 - Moderate Rebels & Heroin Warlords

After a long hiatus, Pearse Redmond and I are finally back with a new episode of Porkins Great Game. We start off by looking at the recent parliamentary elections in Georgia and the latest Saakashvili scandal. 
Our second segment focuses on Afghanistan. We talk about Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's return, the Qatar talks and the growing rift between the Taliban and Pakistan.
Afterwards we move on to Syria. Pearse and I discuss the situation in Aleppo, the push for war and the risk of a direct military confrontation between the United States and Russia.
Staying with the Syria theme, we try to make sense of the strange case of Jaber al-Bakr, certainly a worthy addition to our collection of weird terrorism stories.
At the end of this episode, we reflect on the death of Uzbekistan's leader Islam Karimov and the appointment of Shavkat Mirziyoyev as his successor.

You can find more information on this episode on Pearse Redmond's website where you can also download the MP3 file:

Show Notes:
Georgian Elections:
The New Great Game Round-Up: Georgia Investigates Another Saakashvili ‘Coup Plot’

Western-Backed Chechen “Freedom Fighter” Named as Istanbul Attack Mastermind 
The New Great Game Round-Up: Georgia Elections: Russia Wins, Saakashvili Loses
Ruling party in Georgia wins constitutional majority after vote run-off

Hekmatyar’s Return:
The New Great Game Round-Up: Afghanistan Rehabilitates the ‘Butcher of Kabul’

Pakistan-Taliban Rift:
Taliban and Afghanistan restart secret talks in Qatar
The New Great Game Round-Up: Taliban Restart Talks With Kabul from Position of Strength
Exclusive: Former Leader’s Bombshell Letter Exposes Internal Taliban Struggles
The New Great Game Round-Up: Are the Taliban Breaking Ties with Pakistan?
Upset at being sidelined in talks, Pakistan warns Taliban

US vs. Russia in Syria:
Syria ‘Cease-Fire’ Brings U.S. & Russia Closer to War
Washington War Party Urges Obama to Go to War against Assad & the Russians
Jihadists and other rebels launch new offensive in Aleppo
‘We were living a real tragedy in east Aleppo’: One family’s journey across the city amid the bloodshed
Russia tells rebels to leave Syria’s Aleppo by Friday evening

Weird Terrorism Stuff:
The Jaber al-Bakr Story: How a White Helmets Volunteer Almost Blew Up Berlin Airport
Germany convicts 4, calls US-backed Syrian group Ahrar al-Sham a “terrorist organisation” 

Karimov's Death: 
Majlis Podcast – Uzbekistan without Karimov
Majlis Podcast – Uzbekistan under Mirziyaev

Andrea True Connection – “More, More, More”