I met Rehan at the beginning of Covid on a ranch in Santa Fe. After mentioning that my podcast features taboo conversations about a variety of topics, he asked if I’d ever discussed terrorism and the War on Terror & started talking about how bizarre he thought it was that the US had waged an entire war against what he described as “local gangsters”. I was intrigued, to say the least, and a year and a half later, we sat down to talk about it. Rehan grew up in Pakistan, but came to the US for college, and has lived here ever since. He’s a journalist, writer and a playwright, currently working on a project for Frontline/PBS about majoritarianism. We speak about the fallacies surrounding the War on Terror (of which there are many), and unpack how on a grand scale, the US effectively fabricated an enemy, and constructed and proliferated a war based on misguided judgement and vastly overblown risk.
Rehan’s book recommendation: The War At the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosa
Songs featured: “Masters of War” by Vieux Farka Touré and Julia Easterlin and “War” by Edwin Starr
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