ICYMI: Taliban Memories
The Taliban - we all know them, few of us love them, and it looks like they’re going to rule Afghanistan - again.
So, what was it like the first time the Islamic militants took over, in 1996?
Today, we have two journalists who were in Afghanistan in the 90s. Scott Neuman was working for United Press International and wrote from the scene.
Alan Chin is a photographer who went to Afghanistan to take pictures for The New York Times.
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The Saddam Hussein of the Caucasus49:56Aram Shabanian stops by this week to talk to us about the strong men of the Caucasus.We start with a deep dive into what’s going on in Armenia and Azerbaijan right now with a focus on the 1990s. Shabanian calls Azerbaijan’s President, Ilham Aliyevl, the “Saddam Hussein of the Caucasus” and comes to grip with the realpolitik of the conflict.Then we turn our attention to Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov and discuss rumors of his failing health, mixed martial arts, and how a brutal warlord became an internet meme.Angry Planet has a Substack! Join to get weekly insights into our angry planet and hear more conversations about a world in conflict.https://angryplanet.substack.com/subscribe
The Climate Doomer Episode49:58We’re taking another look at the climate here at Angry Planet. This week we’re joined by Peter Kalmus of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Talking to a scientist about how hot the planet is getting can be jarring. Kalmus, like other experts in the field, brings a sense of doom to the subject that fits perfectly in the Angry Planet cannon.Kalmus talks about dining with oil executives and shares his thoughts on How to Blow Up a Pipeline. We cover a lot of ground in this episode and we’re happy to have our listeners along for the ride. Next week we’ll try to get back to something more traditionally depressing like Ramzan Kadyrov or Armenia and Azerbaijan.Check out Peter’s research here.Angry Planet has a Substack! Join to get weekly insights into our angry planet and hear more conversations about a world in conflict.https://angryplanet.substack.com/subscribe
Fire Made Maui Look Like a War Zone57:27Mysterious producer Kevin Knodell comes on to Angry Planet this week to tell us about his recent reporting trip to Maui. A timeline of the firePlaying the blame gameMatthew screws up island namesThe politics of taro farmingYakistanThe Range 12 FireDon’t ask him about the fucking treeOur fiery futureAngry Planet has a Substack! Join to get weekly insights into our angry planet and hear more conversations about a world in conflict.https://angryplanet.substack.com/subscribe
The Cost of Africa's Latest Coup56:44On July 26, a military junta deposed and imprisoned Niger’s duly elected president, Mohamed Bazoum. You are probably saying three things—perhaps all at the same time:Where the hell is Niger? Who is Bazoum? Why the fuck would I care?That’s what this episode is all about. We answer those three questions and fill you in on the context around the event as well as the region where it happened, the Sahel, which is where Saharan Africa meets sub-Saharan Africa. It’s a place that’s at the mercy of natural disasters like severe drought and extreme flooding, and human disasters like mismanagement of the land and laws, jihadists, and just plain bandits.Aneliese Bernard joins us and knows what she’s talking about to a simply frightening degree. When not slumming on podcasts like ours, Bernard is director at Strategic Stabilization Advisors and Director of Research and Programs at Elva Community Engagement, and formerly worked in the Sahel with the U.S. State Department.She’s not a spy. She said so herself.
What Modern Genocide Looks Like01:04:45Christopher Atwood returns to the show this week to talk about a report he helped write for at the New Lines Institute. It’s an in-depth analysis of Russia’s ongoing genocide in Ukraine.Here’s a link to the report:The Russian Federation’s Escalating Commission of Genocide in Ukraine: A Legal AnalysisAngry Planet has a Substack! Join to get weekly insights into our angry planet and hear more conversations about a world in conflict.https://angryplanet.substack.com/subscribe
The Science and Terror of Nuclear Weapons42:33Joe Cirincione is back on the podcast this week to walk us through the science of nuclear weapons and give us his preliminary thoughts on Oppenheimer.Cirincione is a national security analyst and author with over 40 years of experience. He’s been a congressional staffer, a program director, a philanthropist, an advisor the the State Department and three presidential campaigns. Now, he writes at a substack.He’s recently completed a six part series detaling the history of the nuclear world. Get started on it by clicking below.https://joecirincione.substack.com/p/history-of-the-nuclear-world-partAngry Planet has a Substack! Join to get weekly insights into our angry planet and hear more conversations about a world in conflict.https://angryplanet.substack.com/subscribe
What Makes 'Oppenheimer' Great and Why It Sucks01:11:40Freelance journalist Kelsey Atherton joins Angry Planet to talk about Oppenheimer. The movie does a good, but not perfect, job with history and tends toward mythmaking. Matthew loved it and Atherton had some issues with it. In this wide-ranging conversation that covers nuclear history, our renewed atomic fears, and the people left out of the story, the two nuclear journalists dissect Hollywood’s latest blockbuster.The People Building AI with 'Existential Risk' Are Really Not Getting 'Oppenheimer'We Are All OppenheimerAtherton’s Wars of the Future Past12 Books and Movies to Check Out After 'Oppenheimer'What ‘Oppenheimer’ doesn’t tell you about atomic bombsAngry Planet has a Substack! Join to get weekly insights into our angry planet and hear more conversations about a world in conflict.https://angryplanet.substack.com/subscribe
The Support System That Keeps Ukraine Going42:32When you’re talking about disasters, natural and manmade, it’s always the first responders—soldiers, police, EMTs—who get all the credit. But what about the people who not only support the first responders, but who help people once the front line has moved on?On this show, we talk a lot about wars and weapons and such. We talk about geopolitics and strategy. We rarely talk about people who are working to make things just that little bit better.Today we’re changing that in the case of Ukraine. We’re going to talk about humanitarian efforts and what’s happening to people—not just soldiers—on the ground.Joining us are Britta Ellwanger of For Peace and Nelli Isaieva of Helping to Leave. Their efforts, and the efforts of those they work with make a huge difference in people’s lives in Ukraine, getting civilians and soldiers the aid they need when they need it, but also helping people get out of some pretty sticky situations using mostly the power of the mobile phone.Angry Planet has a Substack! Join to get weekly insights into our angry planet and hear more conversations about a world in conflict.https://angryplanet.substack.com/subscribe
TEASER: Inside Putin's Medieval Court22:00On this subscribers only episode of Angry Planet, Kremlin expert Mark Galeotti comes on to walk us through the military and political machinations of Russia’s “adhocracy.” According to Galeotti, Russia is a modern state that’s run by a Medieval court.He walks us through the implications of the Wagner mutiny, the different court players, and what the future of Putin’s court might be.Here’s Mark’s piece in The Economist that details Putin’s “self inflicted wounds.”Mark’s excellent podcast In Moscow’s Shadows is avaiable everywhere.Angry Planet has a Substack! Join to get weekly insights into our angry planet and hear more conversations about a world in conflict.https://angryplanet.substack.com/subscribeYou can listen to Angry Planet on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or follow our RSS directly.