“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 developments and bring you behind the scenes with the people who were there. New episodes every Wednesday.
Tommy and Ben discuss the anti-covid lockdown protests sweeping across China, soccer and politics at the World Cup, including the US win over Iran, Biden’s steady effort to thaw relations with Venezuela, updates from Ukraine, Belarus and Malaysia, news about the royal family and a victory for a boring French man. Then Ben is joined by Emma Belcher, President of the Ploughshares Fund to discuss how credible Russia’s nuclear threat really is.
Tommy and Rog discuss what has been a surreal tournament thus far, from FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s astoundingly tone-deaf first-person speech, to a crackdown on armbands, to which countries have had the courage to stand up against injustice.
Tommy and Ben cover the latest news out of Russia and Ukraine including reports that a Russian missile struck Poland, President Biden’s trip overseas, why this was a terrible week for Cryptocurrency, the UAE’s efforts to influence US politics, news about foreign corruption and influence peddling in Washington, the Iranian regime cracking down on teenage protests, a deadly attack in Turkey, and why an FBI investigation has angered the Israeli government...
Ben and Tommy cover the ongoing debate about whether the US should be having talks with Russia about the war in Ukraine, and how Republican control of Congress might impact US military support, rare candor from a Russian oligarch, disgraced Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is back, a racist lawmaker is condemned in France, the climate change summit in Egypt and more...
With the beginning of the tournament just over two weeks away, Tommy and Roger dig into the significance of athlete activism as they learn more about the dangerous and abusive living situations faced by migrant workers. Formerly imprisoned migrant worker Malcolm Bidali recounts the abuses he suffered in Qatar. Human rights activists Nick McGeehan and May Ramanos also join to articulate how and why athletes and fans alike need to keep the pressure on FIFA even after the World Cup concludes.
Tommy and Ben rejoice over Jair Bolsonaro’s defeat in Brazil and stress over early exit polls from Israel’s election that suggest Bibi Netanyahu might get back into power. Then they cover the latest in Ukraine, tragedies in South Korea and India, the potential national security implications of Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, and some unexpected good news on climate change...
Tommy and Roger consider the complexities and deadly consequences of Qatar hosting the World Cup. You’ll hear from human rights activists and experts about what life is like in Qatar for migrant workers, and from Norwegian FIFA president Lise Klaveness and pro footballers Megan Rapinoe and Tim Sparv about the power of sports activism in the fight for justice.
Tommy and Ben cover the wild week in British politics, the push for diplomacy in Ukraine from progressive Democrats, why former Chinese President Hu Jintao was dragged off stage at China’s party conference meeting, the US-Saudi relationship, former Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu’s right-wing comeback bid, Brazil’s upcoming election and more. Then Ben is joined by British Labour MP David Lammy to talk about new British PM Rishi Sunak and the future of the Labour Party.
Tommy and Roger look at how a country roughly the size of Connecticut with documented human rights violations was awarded the World Cup bid. They’re joined by Tariq Panja of the New York Times to discuss FIFA’s corrupt history, and global sports expert Simon Chadwick to explain the concept of sportswashing and why Qatar would want hosting duties in the first place.