On this week's first COMMENTARY podcast, we stand agog at the personal $32 million payout by former #1 cable news star Bill O'Reilly and what it means about the sexual harassment scandals and the way they are changing the rules. Then we move on to simpler matters, like American foreign policy and the ambush in Niger. Give a listen.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to a commentary magazine podcast today is Monday October. Twenty four twenty seven team, I'm John Priority editor. Commentary magazine thee seventy three year old monthly intellect, will probably political analysis and cultural criticism from a conservative perspective, join us a commentary magazine cam, where we give you a few free reason and ask you to subscribe. One thousand nine hundred and ninety five get to a digital subscription. Two thousand nine hundred and ninety five get to an all access, especially including our
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Which is will just take this whole thing. Why go the whole thing goes away so either subscriber the whole thing goes away again: a male body with your mail box, singular anger even here in Europe. Your birdhouse include enjoy enjoy the bird house. If you don't have anything to listen to what your staring at the stupid birds. Ok, guy this began the we learned that, remarkably enough, we learn that. Bill, O Reilly, former superstar. Cable television news Lego by Fox last year in the wake of various sexual harassment allegations personally settled with the lead, oh pundits, prosecutor defined the attorney lease we'll personal for thirty two million dollars months before Fox extended his contract six months before Ex said goodbye to O Reilly. Thirty, two million dollars. So that just think about that, for a minute that
they large or settlement, I believe, than any we have heard of thus far for anyone in the annals of the sexual harassment stories. I don't even think that in some of these settlements that take the kid who was allegedly molested by Michael Jackson, monotonous and who met a settlement. Had a settlement as large as this week I know what it means we don't know. We don't know what kind of deal was, but if it chills frankly did chills the blood end It really does make the case that any effort that one might make to say that these sorts of things are a real are being hyped. Her being politicized or something like that. He agreed to This was a settlement to which he agreed in order to keep her claims from going public. So he did something per
a bad unbelievably bad. We don't know what, and maybe we will now, even though its walls was to be private well on Armenia, whatever we suspect it still remains the case that settlement is not admission of guilt Yes, legally, we have to say that this aromas lie emission of guilt. In every other possible way. The settlement is an admission that he has thirty three thirty, two million dollars land grab just hand to somebody in order to make her go away, while it's not billow, really isn't really the issue anymore. Isn't this a win now we're talking about institutions, and we know it and hardware and harshly for we're talking about institutions in some ways I we're doing better. We wisely, but we also time whether Winston Company here there's an for to make this about fox, and it is about fox to some extent, because it strikes me that there is very little way that somebody that something going on this way that would require this level of a settlement from an individual and not from the company, could have been unknown to the company. Having said
All of that. Having said all that, what we are talking about here is a floodgates bursting in which, among other things, a confidentiality agreements, are no longer confidential. I mean that's the key thing Somehow somebody at the New York Times found out what LISA The agreement was an airport a secret Harvey wisely, as he spent twenty years sign these deep give is women money to keep them quiet and that you signed in India in the NBA, is for life and the only we course that someone has of signs and envy you know who does something like that is that they threaten
to be sued for violating that agreement right now. It strikes me that anybody who is worried that the response to somebody revealing a settlement that was made is that they might get sued by the company for having settled a sexual harassment claim that person is probably pretty safe. It strikes me right now. Who's going to who's, going to go who's going to go legally after summer
who is now we now committed. It has now been those who has now been the purported victim of a of eight of a crime that is now serve like the crime of the moment, while others and this there's a sort of like a like a legal puzzle that kicks in with. If that could kick him, when you do that, because the those those agreements don't hold, if the if a person is, is involved in a crime, then then you have to talk about what what what happened? If your ass, because otherwise you are your getting your potentially abetting crime. If you dont, if you don T the least, tell the authorities right, that's right, although right so you have that down Brenda on the part on yourselves and them. Yet in the person who was not carried out in the rain, Anyway, so basically, no one is safe, no institutional, safe, you know about, but- and there is this- one
saying, which is that there is another story. This weekend about the writer director James, tell back, who is though he has a movie coming out, is an enormous has been, but this seventy five. Seventy six year old, I used to wander around New Yorker, but I guess I did for decades wandering. They are trying to pick up by saying that he was a movie director him. He wants photograph them have dinner with them, do stuff like that and then apparently did gross and disgusting things in their presence. What's interesting about this- is that the tell back story was well known as early as nineteen. Eighty nine, when Spy magazine did a story about his behaviour in his conduct, openly published it. Everybody in New York, like I used to see toll back wandering around the upper West side hitting on women. I mean it's not like. This was a cynical This thing, the question is when this is going to come, not to Harvey ones.
The downward slope of his career or and aware somebody like ass we join. The actress decides that it is no longer the ultimate threat to her livelihoods to go after him but whether somebody on the a list in Hollywood and it, but what's more, a beloved, beloved figure in Hollywood. I don't know who this is because by definition I don't know who it is. I mean there are rumours, there's a director who was sued in civil court on on Pool party grounds and having sybaritic pool parties with underage young men, but that case was settled. As far as we know that no, I think part of it was also dismissed anyway. There things going on that. We don't know about at once and until it gets to somebody big Who is really powerful now the whole thing that everything has changed? My won't happen. I don't think yet notes it's a weird
because we're supposed to be in this moment where people are finally speaking up, but yet its if they're like time capsules, you know it's it's it's all about. What happened then right- and you know- I mean that part of the point here is- that rose Mc Gowan settlement with wine sitting was twenty years ago. And she clearly felt as though the last year she did not, but this year she felt as though he was it was beyond his reach to hurt her somehow and of course, you know, one assumes that the payout was long since done so that you know part of the way. Some of these things are sometimes structured is that people pay the annuity out and that's also by silence, because the notion is use somebody violates the confidentiality agreement, and then you can simply cut off the payments, and then they have to sue you to get the money you can say. Well, whatever is the case you now you violate the agreement, its different from
the great the person who made this settlement suing. The person who is theoretically the victim that looks credibly bad are honouring. Tibet can be a last one, oh by the way they work in areas where this could be a sort of working together season won't tell that was like low hanging. Fruit is my point Eric he was there and everybody knew about him and there was no. It was kind of in a screen place. I mean you know you wrote a movie called the pick up. Artist in India was there was then, with a pang of Arthur literally portrays him walking round the upper West side. Picking up women, without the imo, we director come back to my hotel room and I'll do an audition for you. This was just a kid play by Robert Danny Junior, like working his game threat in New York till back by the way I report with equal parts, horror and fascination when he they stood student at Columbia, University wrote a article four commentary in July of nineteen
sixty seven about a Norman mailer. So you can look that up. If you, if you're of a mind to seeing the weight of the routes and origins of the peccadilloes of a of sexual harasser long before, I think he was probably harassing anybody else, Y know. So I guess the real question that was raised all this is, does it have larger meaning, except for the largest possible meaning, which is that The whole relation between men and women and power in the egalitarian workplace, yet with that we're living in a time where rules we thought, or a lot of us thought I've been living in them as it as a supervisor. I thought for more than thirty years
I had sexual harassment training in nineteen. Eighty four, when I was twenty three years old and I was there- I was first given of management position. Like I was told you can't say this cancer, that you can't do this. You can't do that. Meanwhile, by the way my bosses were sexually harassing anybody that moved so the wash in times when I was there may pass at a matter made a positive at a young reporter and he was sent to Islam Abad with us, Radio Shack trash aid computer to become the bureau chief in Islamabad so I've been there. But you know that the ATLAS On the one hand, the atmosphere was terrible and, on the other hand, there Was all this consciousness that there was trouble like you, couldn't just do anything and get away with it and that, particularly in places where they were observed, liberal local laws about this like in the District of Columbia, you better be careful
But I think to thirty thirty years on, you know the rules. Haven't really change that much I think, honestly, that everybody sort of posturing resided this thing, there's an effort on the part of victims, rights advocates and and feminists in the political blogosphere to say that this is institutional on part of every institution. We are talking about only the most visible institutions here of television and film. We are not talking about virtually every other industry in which this behaviour endemic and then there are people on the other side of this debate. Who would say that the very nature of the fact that we are all talking about this? People are coming out in India are holding in tens of millions of dollars. That by silence don't buy, silence anymore indicates the extent to which things have changed, and this is a different era, and then you have edifices, like least
bloom Susan Glory, already daughter and who is posture it as this social justice advocate for most of her life being exposed as a hollow fraud, which is as Harvey ones, It is perhaps the most delicious outcome of all of it that a lot of it seeks to deal with grander themes, then, are justified by the nature of the actual subject matter, because it is personal for so many people and because it has to do with a very topical and emotionally charged. Subject: witches discrimination in the workplace, sexual discrimination, sexism and been bigotry in General
where it has captured than their national attention. But I can't help it thinking that we are engaging in a bit of a performative display about the nature of where we are in a society. As things have changed, or has things have not changed? I think, there's probably more evidence to suggest that both sides are invested in the answer to that question, and both sides are ex exaggerating the extent to which they would like things to have two either changed or not changed. Two other two things raising this, which is that there are a lot of people saying, and I think that there are some grounds to this, that this is a reaction, liberal reaction to the election of Trump that Donald Trump gets elected a month after the access Hollywood tape, which reveals is, you know, piggish behave,
toward women. Are things he'll say about women and a lot of us thought he was through. We was finished by that that this was gonna, be approved, that he was inappropriate unfit to be president, and, of course, that wasn't the case and in serve impotence and rage and anger at the inability of this to be the ending of Trump. This is, M M a month of this resistance. A year of this were resistance, and we resist and we're not allow this to govern us, and we are going to change things. Harvey wine steam is ultimately the person who got his come up and because the electorate did not did not reject Trump, and I think there are some grounds to that. We'll get me it's it's fascinating because it was Ashley Judd. Famous liberal like who was gonna run against Miss Mcconnell. Remember there was a whole thing about how Ashley Judd was going to challenge which were conall in twenty forty. For the Senate, and she ultimately didn't do it.
She's. No, so the fact that it was a liberal Ashley Judd going after liberal Harvey White seen that's an important detail about the fact solidarity was over but web. But so great, though, is that everyone is calling out everyone as a hypocrite on this amino Liberals are now saying you know, let's not by the fake outrage from conservatives. Upper Harvey wants him because they accept trump. But then you could just as easily say well, if you supported the Clinton's than you overlooked, Traddles, that's the elephant in the room rights. Everyone is eating this thing up. It's it's another extension of the collection, yet both sides are completely nullified by except, if you're kind of you know where we are, which is that you know, if you never championed either the Clinton's or trump you can, you can
if this and say oh, this is discussed. If this were a real circular firing squad, you'd, see liberals going after the Clinton's Hillary Clinton specifically and built one specifically. We gave you a pass. You didn't deserve you're, not single, so we'll see. Then the other thing about I mean, let's face it, the ultimate thing, also has to do with whether you believe that there is something particularly pernicious in thee. Miss behaviour of men toward women and part of that. What rests uneasily whiff, feminists and people like, because that is a slight at. Sheer gender, egalitarian ism, but I've Difficulty myself with the idea that men have a particular responsibility to not be piggish overtly hostelry sexual toward women purely the women that they work with, and so I got no problem with Clinton. The attacking limb. No problem with attacking trump. I got no problem with attacking anybody as far as I'm concerned. On those grounds, it's a little way
a little more heavily for people who do not come at that with this route position, The idea that are arm are observed, sexual romantic connections whenever you want to Allah between men and women have Courson horribly over the decades now granted You know the mad men world the sexual harassment of the nineteen sixties and casual massaging of the popular culture, the nineteen sixty. That was a real thing, but of course, women were. Scarcer in the workplace and we're not in position the power, and you know, and a lot of things did happen positively in those work, places like people marrying each other, you know like fire. Secretaries, Wang bosses and stuff like that, like it was a whole, every the whole frame was different and the frame was I'm sure it was
some ways much worse, and what, with the way is now is much worse because manner, I think much freer, less furtive and think actually there's something cool about it in a way that maybe they they didn't so much before it has a very. Mr Straw Humphrey Workplace. Family. Very monies have a really good at so the enemy here in this debate is generalization. Knew of both sides are guilty.
Expanding out an imposing on institutions. They have no experience in a no knowledge of and no history of, dealing with their preconceptions when it comes to the nature of relationships and workplace between men and women, and it is, it is not helped this debate at all. I mean I mean: do you just think about the idea of using the Harvey once seen as a sort of stand in for me from four four men in power at the workplace? That's that's deeply problematic. Where there were withered, not everyone is it is. It is our view once absolutely guile, o Reilly, thank God or Bill Clinton orator or Rodriguez work. You know James tell back hanging around point. Making could explain so guys, let's outlets pull back a little bit and talk about one of my favorite sponsors ever because one of my we're products ever away travel, so guys
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When I'm good morning, America and affirm that the work on account of the phone call between her and Donald Trump. Last week the condolence called its president made the report of it by congresswoman. Frederico Wilson was accurate that he made her cry that he didn't remember her husband's name and that it was a terrible experience for her. The president them very unfortunately responded Think, unfortunately, and said I am going to quote here. I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sergeant Le David Johnson and spoke his name from beginning without the station exclamation point so he doesn't call her. A liar is not saying he's liar, but this
now. You know is now very strongly imply. Yet this is now day six of this controversy and end the thing in aid of this specific controversy. Well them put his verses Widow Oak effort that the thing is, if you don't believe that when he initially called her who intended to slight her- and I certainly don't believe he did- now, he sort of is I mean how you see no end in in defending himself. He is sort of you know, he's he's Ribby classier thing to do would be not to respond to say we do not wish Well, it is not through a horrible thing, that's it and if we were being honest, both sides this issue was that the people who are with Frederick Wilson, who is a show border and who, as you know, her
beer is been something a vague performative Democrat. You know her by her hat, so that speaks to her performative value. She didn't really deserve the treatment that she had received at the hands of members of the White House, but should give as good as she got. She made some sort of erroneous since accusation of racism against Tron Kelly. So she had her own her own motives here and she talked about how how please she was to be in the sky, light and Donald Trump supporters ab What we want into litigate this vote because they wanted to litigate every fight, everything that has no policy value and impure cultural value is a source of entertainment and a source of validation for them. So both trumped support there's a trump opponents are really hoping that they get into this quagmire. Your battle over the honour of this gold star family, whose name is being dragged through the right. So I think is pre symbol that, of course, he didn't call her cause. He wanted to give thence to her-
the issue has to do with whether he be knows how to behave appropriately in a moment like this in a grave for a moment like this and clearly, Kelly when he spoke for the White House Briefing Room suggested that he himself was nervous about this the president, asked him if he should make a phone call and he said, don't he said: there's no. You can say that will make it better. The only calls that we cared about when my son died were the calls from his buddies. There's no You can say: there's nothing you can say, but he decided to make the call and Kelly got outraged on his behalf that Frederico Wilson had then we tailed the contents of the call. That was a as that were a violation of the sacred nature of this
phone call well, where's that we urge that we should actually emphasise that point that it wasn't. The White House brought this up and was in the family that brought this up. The person who introduce this into the ether was Frederick, whilst right, but Frederick Wilson, again, Hater Liker die. You think she was greater thing. She was appalling, checking whether or not this was post facto we're, not post facto Frederico Wilson. Today, MRS nonsense said that Frederico Wilson listen I'll call at at their request and that but she said was a hundred percent, true, meaning that they were all outraged by what has happened on the call. This was what Kelly worried about when he told trap, not trump monotony, not how the because, since there is enough You can say that will make anything better dont make them the possibility of you know, stepping on land mine is with. You know that the wrong moment in somebody's life is very, very you know, Sir various like that's a horrible horrible you'll want to be
that position in and by the waves, the most grace personal on earth could get in that position. That's gonna do with somebody got nothing to do with the response. It's got to do with the feeling of you, no anger and rage and disappointment and horror of the of the person who was grieving, and if you can't mitigated that's why you know a letters written and you know I them, but a couple people said, like I think colleagues, if somebody said, got such a letter from you know the present. There is a phrase sources Kelly set, a friend of his got such a letter and it was a beautiful letter, but there was a phrase in it that had rankled, because there's nothing you can say so you know you know that that is that's. Why we have these ritualistic ways of dealing with mourners. Here you go in you, do you say, I'm sorry for your loss or if you're Julius am do, you know, may be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and
somebody not that you and then that's because it's the most awkward thing on earth right, ok, So if we move on, of course, what's happened. Now is because this, because these for Americans were ambushed and kill the measure we are now there, there is an effort being made on the part of both up liberals and people on the serve anti war, libertarian right to raise questions about what these format doing in these air. In the first place, which is not anything that has been made public, we can speculate that they were in Africa as there are America military personnel in Africa to help train locals to deal with the
either. Isis affiliate I'll show Bob, which has been spreading its tentacles through Africa and that we did so were part of a deal with the African Union, which a sort of like the NATO of Africa that we're not women in and them, and that this is have support structure and that we don't even know if there more men in these we don't know how many Americans are in these are Congress can find out where you know it's, not the public, matter, but their Americans all over the place and a lot of places doing in there. You know a lot of them are doing training and these guys that ambushed. So the question, then, is this: there's this very cynical. I think grotesque effort to say that there is an analog between what went on here and what? What, I'm in Benghazi that Benghazi issue all had to do with whether or not Americans, knowing that there was an attack going on in Benghazi, whether the weather, the both whether we responded adequately the forces
in charge of the hermit respond, responded adequately to the attack on our consulate in Benghazi or or facility, or whenever was, and whether, the after afterwards, whether there was a lot of lying going, but what had happened. This was simply for guys getting ambushed. You know, and that's when you say he was doing what he wanted to do is doing what he was doing, what he chose to do, which is apparently the thing lip Trump said it started this all off that he said something awkwardly that was probably misheard by by MRS Johnson or by the people who were listening on the phone that that's what it's like they were, they are trying to help in the war on terror and they got waylaid not that there was a fire fight. No, between between us and now at an Al Qaeda ices of Al Qaeda failure, not about the the
that people are making on the right and the left about american commitments abroad in the post Nine eleven environment has almost nothing to do with Chad, Mally Molly or Al Qaeda in the Islamic, my grab well sure bomb or any of that. It's about retrenchment and the desire to have american troops come home from all these sprawling commitments in not just North America, but South Mary in Africa and Asia and South EAST Asia, in Central Asia in Micro, each of the really are everywhere and that's a valid complaint is one that we lit. A gate every four years and every four years Americans are told by somebody that they are going to commit to retrenchment, but it's time to come home and every four years that promise is broken. Because it's not a realistic promise and nobody's willing to be honest, a realistic with about it. That's why we have a choice
it was in New York Times and reason magazine coming from polar ideological, opposite places, reaching the same conclusion, which is my particular election. My grievance here The reason why we are abroad and if only this sort, Little thing would change if only Donald Trump Travel Ban was rescinded, if only Obama hadn't gotten engage in Libya, if only Indecision decision, twenty three years ago were made differently, we wouldn't be in this place and it sort of fatuous,
exercise on the reality. Is that every last three presidents of random retrenchment, the last three presidents have backed off of it. There is a reason for that. It states just not feasible and nobody will tell you that put us. There is also another dimension to the debate that that's now in sport by this, which is the one about secrecy and transparency. There's this idea. What was I didn't know who knew that that that they were troops overrun easier, and you know that's also, I think, disingenuous because in reality who doesn't know that things are going that that that that their american merging loosely investments and operations going on around the world that we then went up into a privy to we ve seen senator saying- and I had no idea, but it was reported in the embassy news That is why we didn't know these diplomas now what's going on, there is something very dear friend and congresses within its rights and frankly, they are obliged to hold hearings on the matter. Public hearings. I think that the american public deserve to know what's happening when troops are deployed to places where they can be killed
So absolutely true answered when, but the reality is, the nature of the mission is not something to which we are going to be pretty innocent beyond our abilities as having a specific mention right now, of course Is this all the time like there was all this remember the whole thing about how, in other words, they were always saying we were never told that x was going on in Iraq and then, of course, it turned out that they ve been briefed on exactly the thing that they said they did no better they didn't know about the Wireless wiretapping, which of course they have been extensively briefed on so there their version of doing this is to lie and say: oh, no, no anything I didn't, or maybe they were asleep in war and paying attention and we knew who cares. But you know the the ability to pass the buck is very serious one in Washington and when you have a you know uneasy villain like George W Bush, then you can just sable boosted, I'd know anything about, and but you don't know what to get your point about. Does last three presidents saying we're not you know where we're not going to be another adventurous than they are before. We know we're going to retrench and then they don't.
I mean, I think, in the end, what what what you see there is how well this is the joke of how where we are all neoconservatives now right, like part of it, is that what we do and there's a range of what we do cause. Of course, you have Bush, who would be a little bit on the more activist side of it. Obama would have less active aside, and we would argue and argued in the pages of commentary, been on our blog for eight years that the less active aside led to a. Led to a power since coal. You know in a lot of places, particularly in you know, in between Syria, Iraq that lead to you know the conditions that to the rise of ISIS among others, but you know sing calls all over the place that allowed bad actors to gain purchase, but that so so that's the Obama side, which was maybe which was under the law. So active aside, Bush being on the more active aside, we don't know where Trump will be or won't be, but that
This is their their. There are There is the famous Washington memo, rather the air the apocryphal Washington memo that Kissinger hands to Nick and it has option a option b, an option see in relation to the soviets. An option a surrender, you, surrender to the self you give up. We let them take over America. An option c. Is nuclear global thermonuclear work, war leading to the destruction of all the earth option b as containment, ok, Those are the three options, so you pick tape, it's not going to surrender and your I've got it and then, of course, the joke is, of course there must be more many more options, but in the end there may more options. So in relation to the war on terror, there's like capacity, surrender. America becomes a Muslim brotherhood country and then option see is a complete imp.
Cereal domination of the globe, like the British in the nineteenth century, we go into twenty five countries. Take them over kill all the native leaders Stall second sons to run colonial out. Hosts and then option b is kind of what we do and and and the thing about option b is that within the range of option b? In truth, if you wanna politicize and any of those options will then than you they're, they're they're. All battled ran echoes of because we go with me. The actual war. That's bad, that's wrong! If we, if we look at it, situation like willingly now, where words probably about Americans training others to do to do work, that's bad too. Aren't you want to send? No one of you want to use drones, that's bad too. That's evil. That means everyone and then, by the way, when you dont can't do any of these things, and then there is a problem, and there is a huge refugee flood and it's bad, not to upset you better accept them. You ass ours. Its ability, if you dont, if you don't
and what of refugee law refugees you gotta do something! That's it that's why? Ultimately, the The argument on the part of the populist right, the libertarian right the non intervention is left, is all disingenuous because There have been a lot of mistakes in the war on terror, but just about all of them have to do with America's fear of footprints in fear of over commitments and scaling back and doing things on the cheap, and they would that's result because of a sop to these individuals who don't want to do anything at all. They were being honest in their position. It would be told Engagement total non interventionism- and you know Fortress America, which is always proving to be a fallacy, and that's why I ran into from twenty eighteen to two thousand and nine and two thousand and seventeen are both very similar years from a neoconservative perspective, because we were privy to a lot of huffing and puffing from people. On both the right and the left depending on the year about how They finally exile the NEO conservative from Washington. Well guess what you can't there
no going away because there not not an ideological persuasion. It's about practicality, right in the end. The reason that you can have you know up again. I dont think that Bush, Obama were following the same policies, but in the words Obama was not a non interventionist and trumpet terms. That is really not a non interest Next I mean you know. He committed to the fight in Rocca was abandoned, Tropic right because he was up, suing Obama's policy and he committed recommended to the fight in Afghanistan, ways are under I my point, which right or point which is that is an ideological persuasion retrenchment. Is it a ology independent? the facts on the ground. Well to be fair age meant everything to do with the facts on the ground and we try. The truth is that we tried retrenchment. There was a basically seventy year period, the I'd say to me we're retrenched after the Vietnam WAR.
I'm out of the house to describe it. Like you know the soviets worse or on the March in Angola, Nicaragua in Afghanistan. The Iranians took over in the the less took over in IRAN the command took over in IRAN. We were licking our wounds and because we had basically and announced that we were treating from the work battlefield whatever. That means a lot of advances were made against us that then Reagan and to reverse turn internet was quite easy to reverse it, but the cost was very high. No, that was you, don't have to go back for in history and twenty ten we withdrew entirely from Iraq and now we're back right as a result of brightness S. So the point is the weird point about all this. Is that the armed with it then, I think we're making. Is that the is that the ultimate the model is: is the modest option, like the the the non modest option would have been an
by the way some of this is dealt with of necessity. What are the one of the interesting counterpart counterfactual about Iraq? Is Two thousand and three turkey refuses to allow us to send the to deploy troops into move down from Turkey into a rock, thus leaving the north of Iraq. Basically, you know where you can some clothes off all the all points of exit and everyone's moving at once from all directions surrounding the regime and and cutting off right. So Turkey didn't let us in, and we have two choices at that point: one of which was to basically call off the war or to go in with the with with a situation that we were in if too he had allowed us to go in. We would have had three hundred that tourism. Fifty three hundred thousand men on the ground in Iraq. We in the end we have a hundred and fifty two hundred, sixty thousand of them, and people like backs boot and others. You're saying we don't have enough men to secure the country
indeed because of the situation in the north, the okey, army, melted away and returned. You know in the form of the you know this this for this the uprising which the aid was a terrible situation because they vanished and then they then they came back to fight against us. I bring this up only to say that you know it's not like Follow you necessarily want to do it on the cheap Sometimes you were compelled by circumstances do on the cheap and, if the only if the, play way around it. So it is a decision decision to go on a rock is a bad one. It's not necessarily a bad one. If you get Turkey to let you in which Turkey would have done five years earlier, if they're, the one hadn't been running, turkey we would have, we would have would have
hen, Turkey, letting us into a rock also if it weren't for the just to go back for that, have worn for the best vacation policy. Things might have gone very differently to because that put a hundred thousands of racumin out of work at home street. And then they they became polluters where there was a bar. The weird part there is that that again the strategy that seem to reside on a more robust american presence than we had in the first place. I mean that's the joke that would be a logical decision. The d pacification was, you know you got to do, got to get you in order to prove that you're not going to stand for this kind of this kind of car. From these people so anyway, you're going to second guess all over the place we are bottom line is that this was opposed nine eleven imperative and, in the absence of an Iraq, intervention, view still would be in North Africa. You still often still would be all or surrounding a rack and in trying to pacify
Insurgents in radical islamist networks and you'd still be overthrown. I in Yemen in pakistan- that's that's nine! Eleven that wouldn't change. Whereat wooden disappear because you didn't invader, I can do now. I mean look anyway. You slice of the present the point that were making is, that is, that within a range of behaviors. The idea that America is modestly to somewhat robust Lee Interventionist is the core truth when we are not when we don't do anything when we don't draw the red line and Syria when we don't do anything when the Russians do. Its Windsor than they take a bite out of Crimea, when we don't respond to things bad things happen when we respond to things bad things sometimes happen, though, oddly enough, more to us, often then people than to other people, and why is it like
this because, where the most important and most powerful in the richest country in the world and the only one that basically is there with a conviction that war that part of our wish or has been, were until recently the conviction that part of our, but we need what we need and what the world needs a sum assertion of a kind of liberal order. So people up leave. That any more as much as they used to there is this alliance of the Sanders left and the trompe in right now. On these matters. You have Republicans at the gate. California, Republicans we're still ban in speaking hissing engine of George Bush and John MC, in both of whom they voted for very enthusiastically back in two thousand two thousand for two thousand eight, so you have to fantasy. This delusional fantasy that weaken retrench there live from tree.
If term tries it, let em try. It then we'll see, then will really read the whirlwind. There's one example of one exception on the left about where there they were very upset that we didn't inactive forward, leaning, aggressive policy, and that is when the White House saw memo. That said,. Hoddan determined to attack the United States corner there. Then we warn at war, but we were supposed to have gone to wars in seat it or or overtly too got to go. Turn over Middle EAST ever to Afghanistan, to make sure that none of this ever happened right than that. That should have been that that should be instantly produce this this huge effort and they would have been would have loved that. That would mean that we are using my mind so supportive yeah yeah sure. I'm sure that David corn would have really really been widely supported, that any
so where we are going back to Nigeria, and the moment that were in is this idea somehow that term d? The death of these for Americans is a sign that our foreign policy is on the wrong foot and I would say if it could be a sign that our power of foreign policy is on the wrong foot. If maybe something really important this happening in the year we ve committed too few assets to make it happen. But we don't know that because we do know what they're doing they could just be their training. A police force to know had had had as that's it. That's the point, it needs to be made more often, is that these really so satisfied critics of american foreign policy, extroverted foreign policy, talk about war no end endless war sleeves it's not really a war, its sittings, this unpleasing action, is counter insurgency really modest footprints are all that
required we're not talking about massive ground troops in cancer movements attacking other nations. These we're talking about really small insurgencies that can be dismantled mostly from the era when the occasional special forces operations it's a very light footprint for a guy, global war, so we should really keeping in perspective the extent which we are extended abroad. It's a pretty modest extension. Well, let's talk about the one placing we are building is something else, but anyway, active countermeasures is something is much smaller, but let's talk about where we are at war, where we have been in perpetual war is in Afghanistan right, that's in fact where we have been uninterruptedly at war for sixteen years, but are we at war in this understood in the classic understanding of war?
I mean how have we been at war in the classic understanding of war, the entire time? No because sometimes refined, sometimes rent? Sometimes we ve had a hundred and fifty thousand people there, and sometimes So we ve had sixteen thousand five thousand or eight thousand like this The very strange way to look at it were not that we are there. You know we're there as a kind of rum rain plug to make sure that things don't crater and some I'm that requires offensive action and its now become. Very clear to us that it's not clear that any offensive action is going to create the conditions under which we will renovated revolutionise the place, although you know Ferris, fair people, jobs and form
for us and others say the transformation of Afghanistan is the least written story. Ever the Kabul is an entirely different place, obviously other places helmont in places like that have not gone through such a transformation, but but that we have had an enormous impact on on on Afghanistan, as you can imagine from the amount of material and that has gone through there, but that were there because leaving would be worse. It's all of this is always about how leaving would be worse, not better, even Trump, God convinced that leaving would be worse. Trunk are convinced that leaving the fight against ISIS would have been and if you think, trumpets malleable and is under the sway of his generals. Brok, Obama was convinced of the exact same thing, The only about Obama is that he then trimmed it right. He agreed to a surge in Afghan US
but he, but he put an m d on urban, another dollar eight and then back off a permanent withdrawn right, because because everything that we do- and this is, I think ultimately, where we're talking about option b, right as as as I laid out what we do for the most part in terms of the consensus of the United States. Is that we do what we do in part because not doing it would we believe, and most people believe make it worse, and so it's actually not a very satisfying way to go about doing things too much long trying to things somewhat better, particularly when you make larger promises than you can keep you now bringing democracy the world or whatever something they have mostly were there, because not being there would be worse so. That is not a very. I would say that is not a revolutionary foreign policy. That is not a foreign policy that you know must be extirpated from the earth.
If anything, it is a kind of baseline of having any policy right, which is you can affect gigantic what wondrous change and if you believe that is soundless believed in the two thousands. You learn better yeah. You learn better than to think that someone's finger being held up with purple ink on it was going to change the world just as liberals and Andy you know, Sir Techno fantasy lists believed that you know the fact that there was twitter. Inter we're square was going to lead. Wasn't wasn't gonna led to the to the installation of of Muslim Brotherhood government, that's an ideological democracy, projects, promotion and broad as ideological and that's definitely arguable has had some pretty myopia, but I would I would urge the version that I think able to, but I
argued that the democracy erosion again is a relatively cheap muddling way to do this, you don't Paul knowing opposes democracy and on the other, you don't want a ban. At all. You do is like you, you have a war, government falls and you have to do something has to take its place. So what are we going to? What are we going to put in a regency now we're going to we're gonna say try this and it works doesn't work. I don't know how you know. I don't know what would have been better worsen in Iraq. The only thing that would have been better under those certain. What would it not to go in at all. If you go in what are you going to do? You're not going that you're not going to promote democracy? Why not what it? What else you going to do you're going to give it to you and give him all of the you're going to hand it to a local chieftain, but and in tat time, be a good idea, but periods of retrenchment. What happened while so? after after the the Soviets rooted out of Afghanistan, American in in after seventy nine,
America's interest in Afghanistan dwindled down to nothing that that is that created the conditions that that there were at least allowed for the conditions whereby the town, ban were were hosting Al Qaeda Charlie. What Charlie Wilson, the congressmen who was more than anybody else, you know serve responsible for rallying support and Capitol Hill for covered programmes to help out the Soviets against them. He said we won And then we have set up the endgame, because that's what we do. We also That was part of the lesson. Was you don't just leave and then let the stated nature take hold and yet That is the modest position. It's not the activist position right at the edifice position frankly was the two then leave oracular when we did and watch Al Qaeda interact, reconstitute diseases and and
many have started up the last in the maximum position, which nobody ever really gives any voice too, is the American Raj, had harangue. By doing it any rally to Sunday of honesty out which they claim which they claim, we were what what we're about. We were so not about the imposition of an american rights that the earliest poster rock policy put him either was gonna, be put in place by J garner the first provisional chief, american chief in Iraq was precisely to withdraw raw politically and have some kind of you Know- lay a Loya jirga, patchwork of Iraq, divide things up so that we would have no fingerprints on it. Then somebody said well what the hell you about getting. There is nobody who can run things every day that we like was includes in one for twenty years, like they're, not gonna have the so we
even our. I was even our fantasy that we could do that at the beginning. Are and to see whether we wouldn't have to commit are committed democracy, promotion or commit to anything. Serious, but even talking about Iraq is beside. The point is not really about Iraq is the point is that even if we didn't go into Iraq, we would sell me in all these places, advising all these governments about how they can thwarting defend defeat. There is lost in sir, hence in there in their neighborhood, so that that threat would be there. That's Post nine eleven world and the reality of the postman eleven world is one that has been acknowledged by every president, but not by their supporters. It's about time. They do so right, although in trumps case. The only thing we know that he's really activist about in in rhetoric is stopping North Korea and that's the only thing that he commits his. You know his own blood and treasure, and two hundred and forty characters
was is, is is North Korea, where we have very few up, I mean that's. The joke is that we have Many more options in a lot from places to calibrate are calibre What we can do and our options are you now narrowing by the minute with North Korea? Anyway, So I think the whole point here is that we start with a president complaining. We start with a president complaining that a widow wasn't fair to him and we end up with the modesty of american foreign policy. Fundamental modesty, lurk in foreign policy. And it said it we muddle through. That's what we do, because that's man has fallen That's the niggers we're trying to manage competing interests, none of which want us to do anything where most people don't want to do anything right. So I have to do something about yeah yeah, but we have a few people happy there
you people this is America, also, so, if their, if, if a billion people start starving somewhere because of a famine, you think the american people dont care. Yes, they care. Now, though they care they give billions of dollars. America again get money, look what's happening. In Burma, liquors there's something we all get that They were the only ones who care no. No, no! No! No! No you nobody! Nobody! I don't does well, but you do now know it were the only ones that care is almost every year, more than anybody else, various relevant or mail, but first of all it is that's the nature of humanity. Like you get out, know you, you do great people on a curve. There's no absent, now. What will happen? Not all mother. What will happen in Burma is? There will be an ethnic lines with a taste of genocide and then in five or six years will have really hard wrenching retrospectively and introspective Hollywood. Please about how more should have been done. Well nobody's doing anything right now, but bustle experiment, but but but but
farmers and other example where, during the Obama years, that was talked up as hate. Look that that's a place it's getting together. That was Hitler, Glens big! That's right! Yes, without us. You know these. This can happen. We don't need to be in every place, doing everything in its it. There is so there you go to a given. That's the other thing about. Bravo will end on this, which is of course, that one of the other things were Burma is that we got waylaid and an gulled by the fact that there is this sort of great human rights figure Everybody in the world rallied around and thought was a good western. You know a person of peace, and was men is sort of like a combination of I dunno men, Dela and Mozilla, and you know it was the sort of like a figure of harm. And it turned out that she is perfectly the answer answered, she is perfectly capable of presiding regenerate side. If that's what she knew,
still consolidate her power, and we have that fantasy that somehow we had, we had an ex fat. We had a glorious Nobel Prize Winning X factor who is going to help us or even now, Democrats and Republicans alike in this country, want more even issue non binding, condemnatory resolutions because it might in peril. Her power? And she is the last great hope. So, as I said we muddle through, because that's that's, that's the all. We have again like Nobody cares, but there's also, if you came up with, if you had a live yet up a plan to help Burma. That would be nice hard to know what to do. When you don't I'm right, but there is one planet and that this reference in oppose. I wrote recently of fur Commentary magazine reaching back to two thousand nine from peace by Todd Limburg, who wrote very astutely. As much as everybody make it really really mad about it. It is the case that there is one mechanism by which
an ongoing genocide can be stopped, and that is the application of american military power, beginning middlemen and nothing else, some of it the application married. What does not mean the giant footprint of american military power? it can mean if you are successful at its application, as was the case say with Gaddafi, getting rid of his nuclear weapons in Libya. The applicants in one place is unfortunately, can have ancillary positive consequences when you say to Burma, so killing their anger or will do something which to be fair, if Trump isn't just a paper tiger blow hot it could be one of the ancillary positive consequences of his acting like a crazy person, which is what he said is that people don't know what I'm gonna do. So maybe I can people into doing things without my having to act just by talking, of course, if it keeps talking and and does nothing, it will have the very opposite,
The other thing is that we keep talking in what he does with his talking is attacks widows, that's really gonna help me there and I want to end on this because I think no one iron agreement- and we had some argued that this last week, which is that There is this a general argument abroad that you note, when trumps fans think that you know that which does not kill him, makes him stronger. So everybody thinks he's dead, dioxins, Hollywood tape or because I'm Cassiar COD and he's survives them- and so that proves that the that the risk, the dangers that people himself in actually are what causes kryptonite and give him. You know cause him to repel kryptonite or something like give him his power and he really knows how to handle this, and no one knows how to deal with them in it's amazing, and I think this story, Mrs Johnson gives the lie to that, which is to say that I do believe that there are many people in his beloved supporters who thrill at this, even though
even though some of the media is a widow, but ok, so he'll? Do it to anybody right? He'll do a tool with Oh that's how he ll fight it'll due to a widow, but there is no buddy outside of his own course supporters who feels that way about what what he did and the whole point of a base. Is it a basis that which you grow out of you plant at you posted you, put it into the foundation and then use was to build on top of it. To stand on the base and say this is my base. Look at my back, It's really great cause. It's not big enough. It's not big I think he's not getting anything done and he doesn't get anything you want and he can't even get out in so that address that constant. Challenging the integrity of his base re making. Reaffirm their support for him by challenging them in putting them impositions that this company either. You challenge me you're with me on everything or nothin here the problem
with having a ceiling and establishing you're ceiling at forty percent. Is that doesn't mean that the our the floor whenever it is they that doesn't mean that it can't corrode it. You know it it'll it'll stay there for joy that, but you know, if you dont, add water to it. If you dont, add material to it, it's gonna start fading, but he Where will heal he'll, never act in a way that calculated to grow his base that stay? I bits it's right either because he won with forty six percent, and maybe you can do it again, but you know nobody. What you? Don't? Nobody ever one in a two person race with forty six percent before so maybe can't do it again and you can't use forty five or whatever for fifty two past elections it out with its not that big whatever you call it isn't that biggest assent
size, but none the less. You know what you really want is to be the person who got forty six percent, then in the next election gets fifty two percent and if he's not, that he could get six percent and someone can get fifty two percent against him, which is what happened with Obama and Mackay. So with that will close up shop. I was hoping we're gonna, be twenty minute shorter, but you know we're just we can't stop talking and yet, That's why you need to subscribe to commentary magazine that calm and you know if enough at some point, will do some kind of a pole and see if you want us to shorter, didn't seem to factor on the down We have no idea whether people even listening to this point, but if you are thank you very much but encounter amazing that common subscribe or a bring while the endorsement, I'm John put words, keep the candle burning.
Transcript generated on 2019-12-13.