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In-Depth Interview: Globetrotting Journalist Pepe Escobar Comments on Attack on Saudi Oil Plex, and His Exclusive Prison Interview with Lula

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In this first of two podcasts, Pepe Escobar returns.  He makes news by confirming that Yemen’s Houthis do have drone and missile assets.  And he shares his recent return to his native Brazil, where he interviewed former president Lula in prison, and had dinner with Lula’s successor, Dilma Rouseff.Joe Lauria of Consortium News did an excellent debrief of Escobar on the presidential interviews in Brazil, you can watch it here.  Part 2 of this conversation covers Escobar’s recent visit to Hong Kong, where he lived for many years.

We open this interview with Escobar’s observations on the recent attack on the Saudi oil complex at Abqaiq.  While the US and Saudi Arabia are blaming Iran, and providing no actual evidence, Escobar relates that his contacts in Iran tell him that, while the Houthis get training and military advice from Iran, there is no command/control connection between Iran and Yemeni rebels.  While we do explore hypothetical false flag ops by the US or Israel, Escobar believes the Houthis are capable of the actions they have claimed responsibility for.  He calls it a major game changer, Asymmetrical war with a “capital A”.

Then we shift to Escobar’s remarkable visit to Brazil, where he and other reporters interviewed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, better known as Lula.  It took 5 months to secure the interview at Curitiba prison, and Escobar found Lula eager to talk, especially about international affairs and the American interference in Brazil that enabled the rise of Jair Bolsonaro.

Escobar compares the work of Robert Mueller on Russiagate to the “Mr. Clean” image that Brazilian judge/prosecutor Sergio Moro enjoyed, until Glenn Greenwald’s reporting at The Intercept exposed Moro’s scheming that led to the imprisonment of Lula just before the elections last year, where he would likely have defeated Bolsonaro.

The resourceful Escobar also managed to get invited to dinner in Brasilia with former president Dilma Rouseff, who succeeded Lula and was later impeached. Both former presidents blame the US Deep State under Obama for the NSA surveillance and other US actions that took down the Workers’ Party after Lula formed the BRICS alliance with Russia, China, India and South Africa–and Lula candidly told Obama they wanted to trade in other currencies, not the almighty dollar.