The British Empire, and other European powers, began to leave South East Asia in the aftermath of World War 2. The region has changed dramatically since this era; a period when British troops were fighting communists in Malaya, several years before the US attempted its own communist suppression in Vietnam. It was during the British Empire’s response to Chin Peng’s insurgency that the colonial rulers committed an atrocity that could be called ‘Britain’s My Lai’. On this edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan is talking to Christopher Hale, a distinguished freelance executive producer, producer/director and writer, to discuss British rule in Malaya, post-colonial South East Asia, press constraints in Malaysia and Singapore, Donald Trump’s tenuous grasp of history, and the incomparable Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte, a man who has claimed to have personally killed criminals, among other controversies. Christopher has numerous documentary credits to his name, for the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery, and National Geographic, amongst other broadcasters. His programs include ‘Why Reading Matters’ for BBC4, ‘The Year the Earth Went Wild’ for Channel 4, ‘Naked Science: Universe’ for National Geographic, ‘Oasis of the Golden Mummies’ for Discovery, ‘Accidents in Space’ for BBC/Travel Channel, and many more. Christopher’s 2013 book, ‘Massacre in Malaya: Exposing Britain’s My Lai’, covers the Malayan Emergency of 1948–1960, which was the longest war waged by British and Commonwealth forces in the twentieth century. Christopher has also written a number of books on wartime Nazi Germany, including ‘Hitler’s Foreign Executioners: Europe’s Dirty Secret’. For more information on Christopher and to check out his voluminous work, visit http://www.christopherhalemedia.org/. You can find Christopher on Twitter at https://twitter.com/chalemedia.
In this edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by John Ashmore, chief reporter for PoliticsHome, to discuss the latest developments in British politics. Is Theresa May on borrowed time? How relevant is Tony Blair? Plus a look at Grenfell, Brexit, terrorism, Donald Trump potentially visiting the UK, and much more. PoliticsHome describes itself as the most viewed and valued specialist online news source in Parliament. You can find the web site at www.politicshome.com. You can find John on Twitter @smashmorePH.
The United States Intelligence Community concluded with high confidence that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In this edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan is joined on the line from Israel by Ran Levi, an accomplished technology expert, science author and podcaster. In this episode, Aidan and Ran discuss the Russian hacking and/or cyber-meddling, and whether this type of outside interference can be stopped or whether it will also affect the 2020 U.S. presidential election. What exactly did the Russians do? And how did they do it? This episode also takes a look at the recent ransomware attacks which counted the British National Health Service amongst its victims, Donald Trump’s use of Twitter, the echo chamber mentality of social media, a possible showdown between NATO and North Korea, and much more. Born in Israel in 1975, Ran studied electrical engineering, and has worked as an electronics engineer and programmer for several high tech companies in Israel. Ran has written three books in Hebrew, Perpetuum Mobile, The Little University of Science, and Battle of Minds. You can find Ran on Twitter @ranlevi or visit his web site at www.ranlevi.com. Ran’s new podcast, ‘Malicious Life’, has topped the iTunes charts in Israel and is available at www.malicious.life. You can tweet Aidan with your thoughts @theaidanproject.
Aidan and Ran’s previous episode together is called ‘Malicious Assured Destruction‘.
Donald Trump is indeed the pro wrestling president. In this edition of the podcast, Aidan looks at President Trump and the entirely surreal manner of his presidency. We have an emerging problem now of a dangerous new normal. Trump must be the mistake, the anomaly, the Chernobyl. We must push back at Trump’s vile online ranting, but not at the expense of challenging his policies. You can tweet Aidan with your thoughts @theaidanproject.
In this bonus edition of the Aidan Project Podcast, enjoy previously unreleased audio from Aidan’s conversation with Jared Miracle from the episode, ‘The Great Cat Massacre’. In this ‘Project Extra’ episode, Jared explains the curious case of one Steven Seagal, the famed actor, producer, screenwriter, director, martial artist and musician. Seagal is not quite the famous action movie star he once was, but he has nevertheless found his way into the news on a regular basis since his ‘Under Siege’ heyday, albeit for frankly surreal reasons. This includes a report from August 2016, when Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko welcomed Seagal to Minsk with a carrot and two watermelons. And, wouldn’t you know it, Seagal has made no secret of his support for Donald Trump, ironically a man whose entire administration seems very much ‘Under Siege’. Jared Miracle holds a doctorate in anthropology from Texas A&M University, where his research focused on transnationalism and folklore between East Asia and the West, especially where violence and the fighting arts are concerned. You can follow Jared on Facebook (facebook.com/jaredmiraclewriter) and Twitter (@DocKungFu).
In this edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by Iraq-born writer, Sami Ramadani, to discuss important questions regarding Iraq and the Middle East. What is happening now in Iraq? We are now 14 years on from the controversial invasion, yet Iraq is not at peace, not least because of an ongoing battle with ISIS. Sami provides a whistle-stop history of the struggle of the Iraqi people, from imperial oppression from the United Kingdom up to the occupation of US-led forces in 2003. Sami also discusses US foreign policy under the Trump administration, speculating on a potential showdown with Iran. Sami grew up in Baghdad, but departed as a political exile during Saddam Hussein’s reign. However, despite his objections to Saddam’s government, Sami argued against US-led sanctions and opposed the 2003 invasion and occupation. A semi-retired lecturer in sociology, Sami writes on Middle Eastern affairs and sits on the Stop the War Coalition’s steering committee. For more information on Sami, you can find him on Twitter (@SamiRamidani1) and the Guardian web site (https://www.theguardian.com/profile/samiramadani).
In this edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by Gary Herman to discuss press freedom, fake news, citizen journalism and the future of a free press in a digital age. Also discussed on this show is Donald Trump’s scheduled autumn visit to the United Kingdom, why journalists often refrain from pressing public figures on evaded questions, ‘Stop Funding Hate’, the lack of trust of the public in the media, Facebook as a news source, Leveson, and much more. Gary is a member of the British National Union of Journalists and has been campaigning for press and broadcasting freedom for 37 years. Gary sits on the National Council of The Campaign for Press & Broadcasting Freedom (http://www.cpbf.org.uk/), which is funded by membership and trade unions. Established in 1979, the CPBF strives for a more accountable, freer and diverse media. Gary has a background in journalism and writing, beginning his career as a freelance journalist and author, specialising in film and popular music and authoring or co-authoring a number of books. If you would like to find out more information about Gary, you can visit http://www.keywordsassociates.com/.