The bizarre celebration of North Korea's regime—through its representative, Kim Jong Yo, and its cheerleading squad—leads the COMMENTARY podcast crew to wonder at the degradation of the U.S. media and the continuing foolishness of the very idea of the "Olympic spirit." We also consider the White House domestic-abuse mess and the dangers of conflict between Israel and Iran. Give a listen.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Seven times a year with me as always senior editor, a green waldheim, Abe High John associate letter nor Rossman high. Now I John and senior rather sore of Mari High sore up, I jump. Gentlemen, the Olympics, R, R R upon US as always happens with every Olympics. There is some off the olympic story that obsesses everybody and gives the opportunity for hot takes an idiot opinions and stupid controversies, but I'm not sure this one is all that stupid, because what we have, of course, is the the arrival in young Chang in South Korea, of the sister of the dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong on his sister Kim Jong. You believe maybe yo, I'm not sure too, of course has been
it's pretty and silent, and was the scene of a shot tenth as an billion times on twitter inside I to MIKE Pence who was sitting next to her, and I am obviously provocative bit of seeding at the opening ceremony is sort of Mari. What happened to ignite the controversy that we are all now serve a wash em. Well, the views. I guess that Korea, the two teams from going to insular made an entrance together and that might pens and have never been more proud that he's our vice president, refused to stand up, because, obviously he wouldn't stand up for representatives athletes. There may be of this
monstrous slave state- and there have been other- I guess, cold interactions throughout you mentioned the side I and lots of our friends in the UN in liberal media have taken. This is an opportunity to praise or two sheer Kim Jong unceasing, Sir Visa V Mike pants are deplorable president and with Myspace Myspace. I apologise for not well I will go into, but anyway and it's been, they really discredit themselves. They really have embarrassed themselves and there's been a quite a backlash on twitter. I think
Rightly so. The way I put it in the pre show there was a front lash on twitter, because what ignited the controversy were tweets of news stories, Little Lena serve like to have ten fifteen word tweets of news stories. That would say things like despite MIKE Pen sabotage sabotage King John YO, his the head of these olympics. Those thing problem ass in the New York Times had similar ones, reorient writers, CNN at the arable right. So, and this then occasion backlash and people saying what on earth are you talking about? This is a representative of the worst regime on the planet earth and there is no competition between her My pants, who, as you know, was the congressmen government, the Anna, duly elected Vice President United States- and you may not like him but whatever he is. He is not. You know she is not. She,
the now or in the middle of the backlash to the backlash with I'm not sure we ve, even if we should explore the backlash first, because I either to arrest the backlash. But then you did have conservatives just conservatism. People go absolutely. You know anyone with any moral sense whatsoever, go absolutely hot wild, saying why're, you normal using this barb monstrous barbaric Even there was the second way that they did it, which was just about Kim Jong IL, but was about the cheerleaders north korean cheerleaders Abd AL. Are you not only? Are we only by only saw the headlines praising the the beautiful the most grievous offences for the Congo. Bet that I saw pence was barely and if he was mentioned, are all it was wrong Billy abusive praise of how this woman carried herself what she dressed like what
the action was like to her and might pence was sort of a bit player in those pieces. Those were really whatever they these pieces, and then there was, as I say this, the more liberal the media godlike thing progress more. There were some weird effort to analogies the two of them and to say that she had made a head and pence at hand and the prince had criticised The North Koreans Olympic Spirit. There were that was another one that pensive precisely because he, was sitting with ATO winners: parents, the the twenty two year old, who was effectively murdered by The north korean regime held in captivity for the for the evil ACT of trying to take a poster down in a dorm, and he was tortured for your return to the United States and died soon thereafter and the pens
I think if you want to know why I feel the way I feel about this regime. You should look at and you know I well. The Olympics are all well and good, but we need to remember I went beer, and so this was then. This was then taken by thinker. As an affront against the Olympic. This is where we get over, that agriculture should the backlash which is fast and ended. The olympic cheerleaders thing is just an out growth of this idea. The sort of curiosity at this display by these hostages who performing in unison. Your songs from the korean north korean mythology of the state and putting up the pictures of chemical songs face when he was like twenty years old and being of noxious, and that was like twitter fodder. These stories are a lot more detailed and what we see now from
Reporters is what I've, but again, I see as the backlash the backlash, which is a conspicuous effort to ignore the criticisms and a conspicuous, tenacious obdurate attempt to say. Look you go is our virtues signalling. This is your at you, don't know what you're talking about like it or not like hence bombed the north korean diplomas each year. A charm offensive here is working and it is this this reaction has literally nothing to do with North Korea. It is entirely an effort to posture against conservatives, because it ignores North Korea, north korean politics generally, and if you say that the the joint appearance, whatever it was between these two, let us teams has been a wild success and that this diplomatic offensive has charm the pants off the government and saw you demonstrating that you don't really know much about ray and politics is the sunshine government which has committed ideologically too,
reconciliation with the north. It is willing to be charmed. There is nothing North Korea could do very little that could do to uncharged this. This is or this government and the the joint appearance was not really well risk. Even by a lot of korean. We know how many pulling to the effect that the notion that has widely reported on is that the korean public was pretty frustrated by this. The approach creation of this part. One symbol of national pride by corrupt by north korean government, which did nothing to secure the honor, but a sort of appropriate at it for itself, and that's the blinkered again: sunshine government, which has city ideological affinity, for seventeen year old goal. That doesn't really speak to a lot of people who were in the twenties and thirty and forty, which is a lot of South Korea Mademoiselle actual regime in a general way that this also is like the epitome of serve a limp, picks politics, and in its why. I really have such a strong distaste for the Olympic, because the whole
a concept. Is that if you have the sort of a level playing field for the period of the Olympics, where were you the know, beat the regulars of competitions between states, about whose freer to end who, who is actually more industrious and and power. Cop patients. Those are all you know, supposedly set aside, so that countries can can put forth her best staffed leads to compete again each other in there and they are theirs, is fantasy that they are all the same for during that time, to sort of There is there's a there's. These you don't have to earn the rights to to share space with with the with the with the country that's freer than than than your country, or anything like that, and this this
set the stage for these kind of all kinds of odious comparisons. You there are not the same they're, not gonna. Do you shouldn't you should have to serve earned the right to compete with with with free or regimes you you should. You should not be used free regime should not be treated the same as free regimes and in the end, in the limits which we see Tom Tom again, they are all remember we spent the cold war with so we had an east german teams clearly break violating the rules using illegal drugs oh uh fighting or their judging was always politicized and right now it's not the Soviets. It's the Russians, but you know the Russian been banned from these alone. Ex, because of hoping and their individual russian athletes who are participate?
being, but are not representing Russia which cannot participate in the Olympics because of this decades. Tradition of you know of of doping. Illegal enhancement of their athletes, ability, which was you know simply for the purpose of glorifying their own state, so the Olympics is bad Every time there is an ellipse, some bad thing happens. It is really noxious and unpleasant. Even this limpets, you know for America and a how it's not marred, and it's not even this is in the event that we're talking about goes. Doesn't it goes in these limits but the news about the: U S, gymnastics team- and you know that horrendous sexual abuse, to which its members have been subjected over the last thirty years. All of that, that exists for the purpose of training. People for the Olympics And the power that is handed has been handed to these,
weird organizations to give them sufficient authority over these girls to make this possible. Tells you something about what people what links people are willing to go to to protest? to paid in this event that every four years has some members twelve. They wouldn't. They wouldn't commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the murder of the eleven. Israeli athletes at the seventy two games and our players vis behaved in Brazil and in twenty sixteen twenty there was there. There was the weird, This behaviour of the russian regime building the Winter Olympics Social Union wanting fourteen months after the invasion and of territory near now I mean Just it's just there is always some the wheel world intrudes in ways that make a mark. Ray of this idea that once every here, yes our athletes trend,
send cultural barriers to have a moment of veto peaceful one world is, Well, there shouldn't be one world ism, we're not at peace. It's all a fraud and the whole thing is is a multi billion dollar organization that that you know cons, countries into spending trillions of dollars and nothing, and you know in which is itself and there in their scandals. In all these fields, all the time about these organizations like I mean you, member the we didn't play in it, might in the Olympics, but there was the famous track scan no led by steam. Proof contain, though, though, the great runner out of out of Washington. State who realized, as he was doing this, that you know these alive, the athlete we're living in garbage travelling third class doing all this, whereas the people who ran the amateur track and feel dissociation we're all travelling first class
exploiting them for their own. This is, and this is a classic thing, with sports, where the sports are run not for the benefit of the athletes, but for the benefit of these intermediate officials who then basically steal all the money that the athletes should have got. I also want to mention the cultural politics of this. I mention this in the in the pre show. Otto Warm AIR was first arrested in the first footage of of him crying in a north korean court. I say court and quotation marks because it is a mockery of a sham of it. I mean, but nevertheless he either their outlets. Liberal outlets who put up those photos, because this is the age we ve gotten to and said He here you go that this is the face of white privileged being checked by woke people of color. You know this kind of, and that's that that's the frame that serious journalists imposed on on the king
young YO story, the image of her giving the side I and she can go to hell to our vice president. Was you know even the aid Washington Post Rapporteur put that up and said You no serious side, I add pence edits this interim. Its reminiscent of that same frame of you know, look at this a wise face the asian woman showing up the bigoted evangelical. You know wise press I doubt it that's why massive and that's why this isn't frivolous. This is really dangerous because, with having no knowledge of korean politics? You pay it is like a domestic story. That's a domestic story, the on a wine beer. Why privilege frat cultures? that sort of thing the audiences Americans by Americans for Americans? you're, covering this like it's a trite little fashion show you my.
Think because you're the intended audience Americans that it's kind of harmless and stupid its signalling. It's not really a big. The honestly, it's a big deal because the objective of the deeply archive is to weaken the american peninsulas, the position of the peninsula, and that is achieved through public opinion. So you Europe and the green public, has to think that America's military position on the peninsula is an obstacle to peace. This quote, unquote. Charm offensive has resulted in a visit by do you, John you. To the Blue House or into the presidential palace insult, etc. Building a reciprocal invitation to the president to visit Pyongyang a lot people are saying this is a really great idea. It's not great for the american position, anything that cuts the american position out of the magic process on the peninsula is bad for us, the extension and contributing to that your party,
ok. The other thing is that I've been having fights on tv and msnbc about this. For a year, which is that every time something happens on the korean Peninsula or the north, grants should offer missile or they do a ballistic test and there's a response in the United States are trumps as something of this. That the whole thing is, I'm so scared, I'm so so terrified trumpets, gonna start nuclear war. This is so terrifying, MRS, so awful short look at what trumpet Doing Trump is not the aggressor. The United States is not the aggressor here we are not doing anything. North Korea is testing intercontinental ballistic missiles with the sole purpose of targeting or haven't you it states in gun sites, the provocation, Our there's the misbehave here is theirs. They are danger. They are the evil. They are the threat, but because we look at it, things through our own narrow domestic lands and because everybody here tromp and everybody in the liberal media hates Trump. This turns into Trump
being somebody who was somehow forcing the North Koreans to be here? if the way that they are behaving, and if he only just was calm and quiet and behave like the south korean regime as Noah summarised that none of this would happen, and, of course all that would happen if we did is that he would accelerate his none of this is no. This is behaviour has been going on for seventy years. If I read a book about risk or South Korea, North Korea intentions in North Korea behaviour. This is this, is the play block ran how abuse the the the Sunshine government right are really kind of stupid? Okay, so presidents weekend is coming up, and so our friends at Casper inviting our listeners to take advantage of Casper's, competitive, limited President's day offer for the first time ever Casper MAC.
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So we have a White House scandal of the week. The uncovering of the fact that Rob Porter these staff secretary had been credibly accused of domestic violence against his two x wives and a girlfriend, and after some very peculiar forty eight hours worth of suffering that seem largely to have been the work of his current girlfriend. Whitehouse communications director hope picks. He was fired and removed from the White House premises with the oddity, as Noah will now share with us
but he's on his way out the door getting a big hug and a kiss and a smooch in a hail fellow well met from none of the President United States. Donald Trump expressed no sympathy for the women that the porter apparently abused, but to express great sympathy for porter. And for his own protestations of innocence and how we needed to take porters protestations of innocent seriously. Yeah. That's that's where this ultimately go is that it was completely bizarre and remarkable to see the president take ownership of this scandal. Previously he could actively claimed to have been a victim of an over protective staff and be a pretty incompetent one. They didn't their story straight. This is John Kelly. Went out in front of this thing that the the images broke of photographs, photographs women who have been beaten and abused instead reason their interviews all broke? At the same time?
Apparently, there had been a lot of background work on this done. One of porters, Ex wives approached white, has cancelled on began to this, and the FBI has ass girlfriend approached on extra really happy. I said that told Kelly in November that there were problems getting this security clearance rapporteur as a result of these things, so he knew the original statement. Was this guy's fantastic and then twenty four hours later came out and said you know well with violence is bad This is deplorable behaviour etc. So forth OPEC's had, apparently drafted this statement which you shouldn't have because they have a romantic relationships, are trumpeter said you know like us, Let me down here and he said this guy's he's only than great for us. We wish him well, no mention of the women no mention of women in general, and then he spent begin tweeting about how the meat to movement is a witch hunt that results in men getting good men having their careers ruined the result of allegations, there's no due process any more for men, that's all
a part and parcel of the instinct that lead people like Alex Marlowe over a bright bird to say we need to send people down Alabama to discredit rumours accusers, not because remorse such a great guy, but because The press is setting a standard to which Donald Trump can measure up and we need to protect the president from that standard and from women in general and men what use women or what Rather, women who accuse men of misconduct, because the president is ultimately going to suffer from a standard of behaviour that treats women's, have been abused as though they ve been. The presidency has just decided to adopt this scandal. As his own, and he really probably didn't, have to okay. So what what would but would Brok Obama have said Oh, I was that I didn't know that any this until I read in the newspapers and I'm just as horrified as you are right. That's what he would have said it was usually lying when he set out, but nonetheless that that is what a normal person dies when he wants to have plausible
I ability of involvement in a scandal. Now you look at this and then it makes you start speculating about why Trump did what he did here do you like Rob Porter sure is he had totally maybe dead? Maybe there, who knows apparently party, did a good job. Staff secretary is a complicated bureaucratic job There are two oddities about it, one of which is its unclear, how he performed this job, which involves the handling of the paper work in the White House. Without a security clearance, language means, but he didn't have a code. Word security clearance. You don't have in terms of code word security clearance. I can tell you from having been through this process myself, so there were documents if he couldn't handle that
very strange thing Kelly had to know that that Kelly knew that there were documents that he couldn't handle, because Kelly couldn't have discussed them with him because he didn't have proper clearance. So there's no way the Kelly didn't know that there was. There were extreme reasons why the porter couldn't get the security clearance and ordinarily, nobody could perform that jobs are either he Spectacular at it in a way that meant that you know this one area there had to be another official who could proffer the papers and he would be left out of it or there also the distinct possibility that the security that there was a security breach of the White House and that the stuff was mishandled and that Porter actually was handling called word classified information because he could do whatever it because they go against workers the Trump. Why has this kind of an anti no mean places we can see in a mushroom
they follow rigorously follow these protocols. Only a serious investigative effort would lead to some exploration, then clearly, congresses, the Republican Crawl Congress, as I do that but it does raise the question of. Why is he being so nice to porter? And you cannot look at this and think these not being nice to porter cause. He doesn't want porter. They go off and become an enemy outside the White House. Right he's has been cashiers and have a lot of trouble. Getting more work has become a plea to publicly exposed laid out batter, and you know he could give would be better and then he could become a source and then he could go to smaller and trumpet Clearly it seems to be less arid speculation to say, but like Why would he do this, except that he wanted a porter to think kindly of him well
I have a reason why the gate he would have done it otherwise, because it's a cultural fight and he's invested in these cultural fights there he is. Like seems to be the ones who cares what, when he speaks and on issues like this he's Please sort of more fluent in and articulate, even though its offensive in horrifying, but he served speaks he get. To the point quicker he served seems to have thought about. What is what, he's gonna say more than when he speaks about dumb actual policy, the region I am somewhat sceptical about the idea that he was doing to protect himself from Porter becoming an enemy is that this is not the way Trump has handled. Others who have left administration I mean he seizes is beginning with call me and then ending up with what say you know abandoned. I mean he. If he is he's, gonna go to war with people who would do
a war would ban lovers now realize award ban and after that, after bit, what Bannon said in in the Michael Wolf Book, Baron was out for six months. They still good relationship and that I blew it up, so I don't think it reasonable to assume that he was really good at his job, because really good at your job is a relative term. You know you're, surrounded by by a certain type of person in this White House. The amount of people who professional Republicans, professional political operatives who are allowed at this level The White House is really small lot of em weren't very well acclimated to that kind of work. So I'm sure he did a pretty good job now too things happen. So the other thing that have on Friday is that Rachel Brand, the deputy turning general resize, associate charge or resigned tat third ranking person in the Justice department. Highly respected lawyer. Everybody knows are like sir, and think she's toughened she's grade and she left after nine month,
after by the way, it's important to note though she saw the word, came out that she got this fantastic job offer from Walmart decides to take it, which you can imagine very lucrative. But you know getting yourself into account. Conferral position and is it is, is a giant pain you have to assemble all this paper. You have to submit to multiple interviews. You have to meet fifty senator. They have to meet a hundred seller. You have to do all this work for months I'll pay, the huge labour, and then you get yourself confirm and then nine months later you walk out the door. There is no way to look at this and not say she was getting herself the hell out of Dodge and why She was getting resolve the holidays dodge we don't know. We don't know if it's because she doesn't like what's going on the just farm, we are now if she doesn't like which use me asked to do. We don't know she's worried that she's gonna be asked to take over If Trump fires row Rosen Stein her, maybe it's appear. We don't know any of this. What we know is none of this looks
good- and it says something bad about what's going on and what what's fascinating about it is that why once again, the guy had a good couple weeks. Time, a good couple weeks, as poles are gone up. Three or four points you now. Ok, so the stock market tumbled. But you can't say that You know that the narrative that he was being used being hard done in the face investigation of Carter. Page was starting to bear some fruit, like every things were going his way, and once again he and his people you know, like totally ruin a good upward trajectory they screw up their own upwards. I don't, I don't think you can blame the sun his people again. I know I don't think that They could blame it on Kelly. This whole would Kellynch Hall Pixel whole picks, but It has all these because, usually that distance itself from the F B, I think I don't think that translates to the general public are like the memos. It's complicated. It's it's destroy now, but it but it creates whatever bypassing. I
Real question here is John Kelly: Chief of staff pride. Oh, said three different things: three different contradictory stories he supports Porter Then he says he wanted Porter out and forty minutes. We know that's not true, as when he found out. He didn't firemen forty minutes, and then he instructed everybody in the White House to say that that was what he had told them, and we know that he hadn't said that that was you tell me most bore interesting. Is that people The white has have long knives out for Kelly. Now, if Kelly is the guy making the trains run on time and making the system work and suppressing all the leakers, and all that why People in the White House want him gone when he has brought a degree of professionalism too. That organization is very interesting. It seems to me equally interesting is the President's sort of allowing this to happen, and that's like his email right. We understand that he has the allows five items to develop Herman spits them again.
Each other and allows them to compete for his aunt for his. You know affections and interests, and that sort of seems like what we're watching here, where people go on tv and so what position themselves as the heir apparent. So with that in mind, you know, sometimes when you have a bad day and things aren't going so well, you know you just need you just need a shave use the nice so like a good shave, makes it feel, good Enginrie, a good shave from Harry Shave, raises here to help you keeper nears resolutions to the most common years. Resolutions are one be smarter, with personal finances right well, Harry shave can save you a hundred bucks a year, fear frequent chamber and to take visit better physical care of yourself well Harry's products of one, countless grooming, words and I'll. Keep you looking for great? So why Harry's? It's all about a great shame at a fair price, which is why over three million guys or switch theories, Jeff and Andy towards
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I've come slashed commentary just pay for shipping, claim your free throw offer from Harrison. Thirteen dollar value for free, when you set up you just cover shipping for atrocities the weighted Ergonomic, Razor handle five precision, engineer, blades of lubricating Strip and Termer Blade, Flattering shave, jello travel by clever, so to get your retrial set? Now go to Harry's Dotcom, Slash commentary right now that areas that come slash commentaries? A lot of people are worried that there is a war developing in the Middle EAST is effectively between Israel and IRAN, which of course, is terrifying beyond belief. The thought of it these two most, but most militarily powerful countries in the region. With IRAN, of course, uniquely irredentism hostile to Israel and wishing for its destruction very quickly. Iran sent drone. Syria into israeli territory is real shot down flew into
Syria to retaliate for the violation of its sovereignty and the course of a limited run. An Israeli was very plain- was struck by a soviet Anti aircraft missile and was down below in israeli territory the pilot survival, and that was very injured, then Israel retaliate for that by essentially flying a major formation planes into Syria and levelling half the syrian air defences and destroying half the syrian air Force in an afternoon. So now we sit, and now the world is worried. That more is going to happen, and it's really terrible and at a man so complicated situation, because there are now this
means that there are now one two three four five countries fighting around in Syria and Lebanon. So there's in the air, Syria itself, Russia, the United States, which is running bombing raids in Syria, IRAN and Israel. Are you forgotten about that coalition? That Brok, Obama organised and twenty fourteen, including me, powerhouses united Arab Emirates, this kingdom, Saudi Arabia? Those were members of the coalition since sort of fail fallen behind in their obligation to pick up were Noah left? on Obama bashing. I think this simultaneously demolish she's too Obama era. Myths are shibboleth. The first remember was the fact that one of the reasons- a bomb administration, Shawls and their echo chamber, media allies insisted that the? U
I couldn't do much in Syria was because of Syria's indomitable, all powerful, in the air defence system, russian supply their defence system in afternoon. These his cup in and rubble, have to the syrian AIR Force and those s for hundreds couldn't couldn't do much. The second one jetting is is more depressing. Is the fact that the date of one of the justifications, the president, meaning former President Obama, heard about why he was reluctant to act in Syria was well. What are we gonna do in their? How would how would our presence there reduce instability when, in fact we could just be one more layer of instability in an already come complex situation. What could be more unstable? What could be more dangerous to world peace? One
as President Obama Far President Obama, then the situation we already have, which is you have on the revenge, is power seeking to extend its reach, which are already has over Iraq, which already has Lebanon- and now I will she use go all the way toward the Golan Heights and in its turn, our chairman enemy, Israel. Then you have Russia, which wants to the displaced? The? U S as the principal outside power in the Middle EAST and you have their fear her planes constantly having to sort of the conflict in this horrible verb that the abominable We came up with conflicts on Deacon flush of right now, the matters even worse than the verb, exactly a you have. Elvis and Israel as upright player, which ultimately doesn't want to shape the out.
Of the syrian civil war. But it insists that either encroachments on its territory or the dam, the transfer of strategic weapons to iranian proxies that are constitutionally committed Israel's destruction. It will stop those things and then you have the. States is no mention of this. This message, as is there and the lack of U S, intervention, to try to they realise at early on has not created a more stay, a situation. I just want to add another thing: it blows of love. It's it's another data point in long string of of data. That's that's blown this up at another Obamacare.
Which is that the iranian regime is, is worthy of rehabilitation are capable of it are. You knows it was it's time to welcome them into the responsible community of nations in and that their strikingly ran deal would in fact temper their aggressive, remembered edge. Daisy Jacob blew the Treasury yeah yeah glue, Jackleg Jack. We went in front of the war strengthen institute, and he said I paraphrase, but pretty close quote the arena. We it we predicted Iranian. Will you most of their military, must have a debt, the money that will accrue from them from the iranian deal on bread and butter or siphoned off that some butter. I think, as the expression of your guns well but bouquet exactly, but they used it to butter up their dry the programme, it seems. So this is what your sort of identifying is. What all of us were afraid of when the syrian states coming apart is of
not only that projects, instability outward, which is absolutely happened, but would eventually attract great power in the great powers that have been attracted. This is we ve talked about worrisome, six I'd powers that are all on the ground with competing five items and that this conflict, when ISIS receded and disappear, it was destined to become a great power contest and those are really dangerous. What we saw here was an school leaving series of retaliatory strikes, we're somebody to said, let's stop That doesn't always happen and you don't always get to the point where you can say. Let's stop this consensus, cascading series of retaliation, disproportionate retaliation before thing Let's get really out of hand. No, we don't know that it's a with another had stopped and B. We also know that there is all that much more that can be.
Done at the moment, because the israeli strike was so overpowering number one business, real, quick. This is sort of overtaken the news that probably should have been a big, restoring the United States, which was yet another conflict between American for says, enforces loyal to Damascus again were on the ground, were deployed in the sovereign country, were attacking its forces there attacking us. We have no legal authority to be their Congress as and when a touch it. What have you among his forces who engaged with russian contractors. So we were shootin at Russians. Russians were shooting at us. That's really dangerous right now baculus again on what it was that would have encouraged the Arabians to test Oh, is really toughness by setting the strong across the border. What what they were up to, why it happened
out of interesting things are going on. You know the reins: can we the newspaper like anybody else? There is a political crisis in Israel. A baby Netanyahu is in trouble. He has new stories last week suggested that he was going to be indicted this week, which would forces of media resignation as Prime Minister, the attorney general of Israel has now requested that the prosecutor they have a different, slightly different system, has worked the prosecutor, stay this for the moment and will see they probably will. But, as is the case. Ok, that situation, so it could have been the Iranian, were testing Israel at a moment of political weakness or thought at a moment of political weakness and probably having largely the opposite, a fact which is, if you create a political crisis or international crisis. The last thing people in the country are going to want to do even our, including, if you have them
right to hold up on. This are gonna. Why you know like have up, have a prime ministerial crisis when there is an open conflict, two with IRAN who's the guy shading who's in charge, who has who has the least Thea the skills to manage the moment again? There's a comedy in the world serve foreign policy establishment, which seems to have decided that there is some way of making cheap hey against the Trump administration by claiming that this only happen, because we are not entity in the Middle EAST and we are now in their negotiating or doing something or other like there would be anything that we could possibly do and so far it appears that the Trump Administration is doing
exactly what it ought to do, which is expressed support for for Israel against IRAN, which is what we should do. Israel's our ally in IRAN is basically our enemy in, despite our wonderful having them hundred bill, dollars an end so which have tat sake. I Well imagine just to keep keep up with the Obama bashing here have this happened a few years ago. Could you imagine I can John Kerry coming out in saying something like we were sorry to see the escalation of of of of studies on Israel's part. It's not helpful. What we need now are all sides on every one of the writings out. The area would try to call an international conference about the players and or here Try to shuttle between you know, Jerusalem and now and then bend in Tehran You know wherever he were Geneva or something like that, create some a massive thing clutch that way.
Embarrassing, you can understand how runs sense of its place in the region is threatened by the existential threat to Damascus. Until it sets pay its partner in the Assad regime yeah. Of course, he would say that he could say anything That was the whole point is that is that there was a kind of of vocabulary, that of the entire dealing with anything involving is will the vocabulary is totally beside the point here we're saying cautioning both sides to show restraint, which is Lee, was the usual turmoil. Is a caution. Bus I'd show restraint if you're talking about terrorism on the ground in Israel, where bleed out like seven miles from each other, but
when a one nation violates the airspace of another nation? Having declared that its intention is the removal of that first nation, from the face of the earth and you're gonna council restraint on the part of the nation whose airspace was violated, who whose failure to respond to such a thing could lead to violations of airspace. That would make your hair stand on end. I mean that is remember. Everybody s to remember that in iranian proxy has a hundred thousand warheads missiles like an that warheads, and we like. You know like gold surface their vessels sitting in southern Lebanon waiting to be fired off at Israel at some point that Israel has a fantastic missile defence system which is which is, but you know it's a clear if they were somehow managed and how they would do it, because you do two hundred thousand people to do it. It's his fire off them all at once. You now, of course it would overwhelm the missile defences.
So this is a situation in which the ordinary vocabulary of diplomatic nonsense would literally no role, and that you can imagine it less. Can a more conventional administration, the Trump administration, simply defaulting to it, because what on earth you say about something like some time it's better to say nothing if there is a crime tourism, though, and I ll stand on all the Obama bashing. We ve all done- that's all absolutely true of, but if there is criticism of the Trump administration, it's slightly the fact that Dave of the two halves of great rhetoric when something like this happen, though back Israel, when, when approach as happens in IRAN, the president's sounds much more resolute. Vice president sounds much more resolute and Obama did in two thousand nine. Having said that, its did their Middle EAST strategy as a whole is still pretty ad hoc, its haphazard, so as threats of sanctions here, a little tough rhetoric here, backing Israel there, but on the whole,
other than destroying ISIS, which is terrific and in the? U S view has to take a lot of credit for that did we really seated Syria to IRAN and Russia's machinations, the the? U S, In the same way. Remember them the Obama administration. There would read these big conferences. Over Syria and the big players would be Russia, IRAN and Turkey. They would be in the main room and the U S would send like a pathetic observer. That dynamic, fundamentally hasn't changed on in the under the Trump administration. It is ultimately now the? U S and its allies that have the major say in what happens in in Syria after Assad That could be empowering IRAN as well to think that they might want to test Israel. So the trumpet nutrition is not entirely blameless. In my mind, no
the Lamb list is not the right man and yeah. I mean look for there, not good at foreign policy. Don't get me wrong, I mean I think you know this is not there, that men are not managing the chaos all that well, but what they are not doing is interposing themselves or interposing the United States. In the circumstances in which the put in which the material role of the United States would probably be unhelpful, particularly in the short run you now, if Deak Infliction, is real between. Real in IRAN, in other words, if Israel, neither Israel neuron, really wants to go any further with this. If, let's say the release of the drone was a mistake or was you know, Emmy, which is very possible, were like for the testing, has a parameter acid, whatever,
and in the inner amateur were pretty well double player like the United States, can help quietly and usually oats invisibly, not publicly, with some form of de escalation like we, you now wave that that is very clear until person is going to the region and whatever, but I think as you know in General Lee your grading on occur. But you know you had a very activists, foreign policy under Obama that had deleterious consequences, and now you have a kind of inactive foreign policy that you now we'll see what the consequences are. This could be the beginning of something horrendous and worse, but it also could not have been talking a lot about Russia and IRAN and Israel in the United States and what kind of glossing over the role of Turkey is playing, which is increasingly menacing and crew. The more problematic and frustrating for the United States than even russian involvement, and they were targeting. Russians were using artillery to convey the diplomatic messages to the inhibit states for quite some time. They would target troop positions within three years.
Kilometers of U S, positions on on american troops in the news that to convey some sort of a can idea about the territory that they were trying to defend. It was very dangerous, but Barely Turkey is involved in another on the ground operation. It was about. A year ago, the United States deployed some armoured personnel vehicles to Northern Syria in order to deter and explicitly Wouldn't you coalition spokespeople explicitly did at her actions by turkish forces against its kurdish allies on the ground. Other engage in offensive operations and we have high level diplomatic personnel travelling to Ankara to try to convey to the turkish officials that this is a very bad idea and were again where were all on the ground, shooting in different directions at each other's proxies here, what is probably the most dangerous theatre? in anywhere in the world because of the extent to which one of those proxies
issued in the wrong direction or we can shoot at each other. The idea that a conflict between two NATO allies is unthinkable, is sort of going to be tested, I think, probably within the next year. Here. What went on in Turkey's long term position in the NATO alliance is itself something that will undergo rigorous testing at some point. The next. What happens? If you know how I d, do you? Do you invite? section or article four, sort of an Inter internet alliance conflict that section as article by article five art five as mutual defence. Article four is consultations ahead, the invocation of article four Turkey's invoke article four on several occasions, because it's very frequently threatened veil being on the periphery. So it's not afraid of invoking article four. But what happens if it doesn't knows? I mean this is not something Turkey's.
We're tree developer. Whatever was there not envisioned in its membership and NATO? Let's just say the notion that it would become a nation effectively. Hostile to you know, the interest of the senior partner in the NATO alliance was not anything that we envision when an end in is a test for the alliance over time, because how Israel, how Israel, how the United States and Turkey can be in an alliance together when there when they believe their interests, are diverging in turkey- is a to leave you now when in Vienna, brotherly relationship with IRAN is very unclear. Anyone and increasingly with Russia, writers wearily so with that we will bring some days crushing ferocity. To close, it is a pleasure to speak to you again after a hard
week of dead dead distances and illnesses, and fortunately, unfortunately, this network Fortunately, this flu doesn't seem to be ending, but maybe we will we will escape its return so out with that for a green wall, Noah Rothman Answer Album REM words keep the candle burn.
Transcript generated on 2019-12-12.