The first COMMENTARY podcast of 2018 finds me, Noah Rothman, Sohrab Ahmari, and Abe Greenwald discussing the remarkable uprisings in Iran, the ways in which they discredit the Obama administration's nuclear deal with the mullahs—and the ways the Obamans are shamefully trying to defend themselves. Give a listen.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Some regions Oh, welcome to the commentary magazine, podcast, I'm John passwords. The editor of Commentary magazine me so three road monthly of intellectual analysis, political, probably and cultural criticism from a conservative perspective. Join us, a commentary magazine that come where we give you a few free, reeds and ask it: is Dr Ninety, maybe five for digital subscription
twenty, then maybe five for an all access of commercial, including our beautiful monthly magazine in your mailbox eleven times a year with me, as always in this new year of twenty eighteen, a green while their senior editor hello, Abe, high John Happy New year to know a Rossman, our associates they're happy new Year, John and Sore of Mari R C, a writer Howard. Sort of happy new year. Good, so gentlemen, we come to the new year with hope, or admiration or a longing to see the aspirations for freedom and free from oppression of the iranian people, who are hundreds of thousands of them rising up against.
Mullahs and the regime saurabh. You are yourself and Ronnie, and you came to the United States at the age of eleven thirteen. Thirteen and- and you are that's not even two decades for two decades ago, if I have the math my late? Ninety ninety eight ninety, ninety eight, so almost twenty years, give us a sense of what you understand is going on on the ground in IRAN. Will let me start with quick note of apology and thanks to my colleagues, because we were supposed to go on a blogging break over the past, couple weeks and in this big news happened in IRAN, and I they bothered each of you with various things to get a cover Posada. Thank you for that. So what's happening in IRAN is AIDS.
Is a nation wide protests that began in a city in the northeast called MASH Hub, which is home to the east, the shrine of the eighth. She ate a moms very holy place this year, Muslims and it's very conservative, impious city, And the initial spark, as I understand, was over news of of corruption, or financial malfeasance involving one of these large. Charitable foundations that are essentially slush funds and money laundering and essentially corruption black, all that are associated with the iranian regime. The clerk ruling clerics with the revolutionary guards and with their various children, princelings and that news combined with very high inflation and job business and the sense of people couldn't by eggs, and I was one of the kind of main issues that drove this sparked April
tests that was initially local, but then very quickly spread to the rest of the country. Its now been it in some two dozen cities the iranian regime has responded playing by the kind of authoritarian play book. They ve tried lock. Certain social media sites that are onions used to organise they ve blocked access to key subway stations, Tehran, but there have been. Nevertheless, people have the numbers of continued to grow in the biggest was about three hundred thousand, who came out in Teheran twenty four hours ago, and the day they ve never. Also. There was a march on As I understand a march on Khomeini's Bates, which Sorry, harmonies Bates, so Saddam is his his estate or his mansion, this clear. So precisely I tell Romania was the father of the Iranian Revolution, iraqi, seventy nine and the They told me, nay, is the currency of current Supreme leader of the Moloch receive.
Right, which has a panel of what aid or thirteen twelve. Twelve twelve who sit on the guarding eighteen. I think who sit on the guardian so so function effectively as a as we call it Turkey Abe serve up an oligarchy government. That is pretty much totalitarian. Quasi, causing a degree of artificial civil society forth its on Quite North Korea. Where am I I apologize. I always make fun of western politicians who go like Khomeini company and then I'd. My messed up the two, but where What's most notable about the slogans are two things. One is the fact that they are militancy: Anti regime, A lot of people in the West, especially on on the left or among Democrats, were invested in this idea that this was
This remained an economic protests are ignoring the fact. The slogans are deaf to the Islamic Republic, death to harmony death to Hezbollah, which is this she ate militia regime supports in Lebanon. And, though you know, death to the principle of the guardianship of this jurists, consult which is the theory of governance that Khomeini invented, which they created a supreme religious jurists should guide the nation as an absolute, almost absolute ruler, people are out on the streets, Terry comedies picture and saying death to the principle that gives you your power, legitimate, Sir Power so so very radical movement, but will see whether or not it can actually change on the ground, because Kate is very
A brutal regime, be it's a regime that was founded by revolutionaries, so there are very good at dealing with revolutionaries. That's why the troubles when dealing with with idea logical, revolutionary regimes is when you attempt to break them down you're dealing with people who themselves wage the revolution in order come to power, so they know the tricks wrestle with Molly. So there's some demographic distinctions with the protesters from two thousand nine and in why that represents a threat to the regime. More so perhaps than two thousand nine given the trajectory, The country's political evolutions in some yeah- and this was of appointing MR when I was addressing the slogans- the slogans in two thousand nine began with. Where is my vote? and then gradually became more radical, because that protest grew out of a electoral. This. Where millions of Europeans believe that I think fairly or rightly
that the iranian regime had rigged that year's election, so that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the more hard line. Radical candidate could could win over the mildly reformers, are more reform as candidates who are running, and it will as largely limited to Teheran and it was, there, was brought out a certain kind of upper middle ass. Young Europeans, who were in instead as a whole in the regime, but had issues, I'm Edina Girod this uprising is, is the engine it is the iranian working Class or the kind of the dead. Proletariat and then the kind of semi proletariat for sub proletariat of people who are utterly on the margins of society who are supposed to be. The revolutions base than in the past,
we made the revolution for the dispossessed against the arrogant and the powerful. With these people. I have watched for nearly four decades as it as the regime has been both reports. Seven unable to deliver on its kind of promises of prosperity for the dispossessed and there the answered were who are dying in the regimes various adventures abroad and who gave huge numbers in the IRAN, Iraq, war and their children are growing up, just wondering what are we getting out of IRAN? If we can, you know, even if we can't afford a dozen eggs for poor p, in countries like IRAN, the one protein who can still gonna put on the table for children is eggs. You can make an omelette so once buying a dozen eggs becomes inaccessible for you, then you have nothing to lose. You know, I think it's important to note in this regard, that.
One of the triggers or what were told is where the triggers the princess was that the promise, after the run deal was struck with the United States, and I guess other western powers in twenty fifteen. That's releasing about a hundred billion dollars in iranian assets that have been held in the last really pretty much for decades. That you know this massive infusion of capital into the iranian regime would would trickle down or do more than trickle down and make a better life for the eighty five million Iranians who live under the regime and apparently that money has vanished into the mysterious coffers of the government, for whatever it wishes to do with it, and it has not used any of that and remember this. Isn't the normal amount of money to come in at one go to lighten the load
lighten the burden of the of the everyday iranian, and that is pre striking, of course, because that was one of the key promises of you. Remember the famous interview that Barack Obama gave to Jeffrey Gilbert of the Atlantic, he said look out. We don't expect that the deal will turn a run into a democracy, but it will the possibilities that it will improve the lives of or or very array iranian to give them a new kind of voice in their own countries. Future blah blah. This is one of the reasons that the that the the deal is worthy of support and apparently he's only now have the total evidence from the behavior of a roni and some cells that, after two years after two and a half years after the deal, was struck, that no no alleviation of their own social burden has been provided to them by the government as a result of this enormous influx
capital, and that should have some bearing on american policy considerations, because we always when weighing sanctions on on regime we always have debate about. Well, sanctions just impact the everyday people in that country and when? Why are we just hurting them when, when we have a problem with the regime, sworn in fact, look at this week, This is a case where you see, with sanctions, lifted enormous influx of cash and the people and the ordinary everyday people are suffering chests, and this is I get a little heated over this whole event, It took a kind of a twitter break over them
over the time. We were aware that I wasn't often I was still just keep appearing in following these events. Sincere another. My heart was light learned when taking note lurking onto and among the foreign policy luminaries, think tankers administration boosters, who I follow. The Obama ministers correct the universal reaction to these protests was not elation or separation or even muted, cautious hope. It was bristled defensiveness, the prospect of this regime demonstrating some fragility and comfort, patient that it had done precisely what the critics of the around deal said. It would do with these unfrozen, access, which is fundamentally Ray Interventionism, fund terrorist a broad, and then that us saying this now it is the people of IRAN is suppose it regime supporters by the way, these disaffected old people in that in the bottom step. Have society who were thought to be members of the of the coalition that that mullahs could count on those are the people who are saying it and in the event,
this regime demonstrate some fragility, which we all thought we agreed was a good thing. It would become a total repudiation of the above ministrations approach to this regime. We said that it was a failure of imagination, You do not envision a world without the mullahs that this thing Craddock society was not a force nature, a fixture which we all had to come to terms with it was something that, be combated and ultimately destroyed. If it was, if the movement was right, and facilitating that movement should be our objective, not facilitating continued existence of this regime, so these events have attained. She too soon narrative that regime that opponents of the Ariane deal advanced. And you can see of people who are who supported the engagement process. Not happy about this. Snuff not run out, and I'm going out is literally. We literally have evidence Philip Gordon Sisson, secretary of State for european affairs under Barack Obama,
not badly or time saying what the United States do in response to this is nothing should stay quiet. Why? Because, if we involve ourselves, it's giving a worse on the protesters and Samantha Power, the utterly morally disgrace for review and ambassador person was entire. Darker was made on the notion that you have to come back genocide and then stood there, silent and quivering and clinging to her Waldorf, a story apartment by her fingernails When a move out, while Obama allowed the syrian people to be genocide, it under her watch sets tweeted some about how yeah we want freedom for IRAN, but we won't. Let me because of the travel ban like that this is there response to like a major, spontaneous. Rising in a country of on freedom, and why is no says because of the because the deal than we have this other secondary fact, which is that the reporting western reporting
Taiwan is disgracefully bad, some ways I'm cases, because the Iranian have have raised the bar and the cost of being able to report honestly by doing things like throwing the wash the post Jason had pronounced, resigned, resigned, J, trumpet trumped up charges against the Washington Post, portages resign and thrown in jail for two years for no particular reason that everybody can see accept making sure that no western reporter was ever gonna be in Tehran without looking over his shoulder for fear, it would be thrown into Evin prison, real quick, I dont want to give a minute Obama administration officials like Samantha Power away out of their culpability for this crime, this by saying that this was a utilitarian approach to the rain, a rainy relations and they ran deal, and what have you is a worldview and
flawed worldview, but one that's extremely familiar. If you study the history, the Soviet Union, it is that the Soviet Union was a fixture. It was something which we had to come to terms with that could not be combated. Entity adopter Reagan, s reproach which was too check the legitimacy of the regime in total was counterproductive, american interests abroad and american grand strategy. It was an. It was an unproductive strategy that should be abandoned was reckless and that's the kind of world view that allowed in some like the Arabian to come into a bit. Can I just I just want to quote a piece in the liberal Atlantic, even the liberal Atlantic a Karim such a poor, who is a professor at Georgetown, who I just wanna. Really that's, so he said well So there's been a revolutionary change and IRAN since two thousand nine, which is that the country is one mobile with its two levity.
So while much of the communications into those line during the post election revolution, protests were on twitter until they just shut and access to twitter. Another forty, eight million mobile phones in IRAN, the population, eighty five million, so there is non governmental communications, independent communications, making. Some of these things possible right, also, because that means that Iranians have smartphones in their pockets and they it's not so easy to block your access to find out what's going on in the rest of the world, so what we say will immediately get to them, for example, of what the West says. So this is what the a poor says, while Iranians have of a much better understanding of how elsewhere as living the rest the world is headed, less clear idea of how Iranians are living given to effective distortion of western media coverage since two thousand nine and even before the door. It. Professional journalist covering IRAN intimidated, expelled and, in some cases the present the few journalists remaining in IRAN rightfully worry about their personal safety. Many of the
history, writer scholars, nurse of their generation have been similarly banished from Iraq. At the same time the regime was promised. We provided visas and access to those whom they know will provide for LEO coverage, and we have the specific ace of Thomas ordering breaking Eric Times bureau. Chief in Toronto, there were re reporter who as essentially written those kind of death, grace whole cover economic approach. As you have aroused all praise of the regime and support for peace, is that be cited. Fifty years from now as part of the horrible legacy of how people disorder the covered, the way that Walter Durrant he was eighty years ago Herbert Matthews who cover it was really was the your tabs
the Soviet Union, that that night, he twisted like authorities and Herbert Matthews within your terms reporter in Cuba, the nineteen Fifty's sorry said, wrote these pieces about how the Arabians now love their regime even more because they hate trump because of the travel ban that was in November and the other day said he's having some trouble reporting on the extent of the protests, because here Driver is afraid that His car will be sabotaged if serving literally says. He can't report honestly and what's going on, because his drivers, CARP might be wrecked, here's the thing that they should be noted about reporting from IRAN, which is rising news organisations. Should be really consider this, because a for the most part of EAST Europe credit at you. You are dealing with fixtures right who
translations for you who can set it set your butt sources, as you would in any other country, but in Europe. In the case of IRAN. Those fixtures if they are not themselves men connected or member resolve the Ministry of Intelligence. They are. They have to answer to the Ministry of Intelligence, official so subversion. Maybe they're Lebanon. The figures have gone on to write books in English about their experiences where they would they would come. Famous reporters from the West and then they would be called Every few weeks to ask you know what does he think what is a reporter thinking and and where are you making him and so on and so forth, so this is a kind of reality at in with Europe, in an iranian subjects, being interview by Thomas urged Brink, and if you have a translator sitting there, and even if you don't chancellor there's a minder in the room whose face
the subject of the interview, if not that, then, it, just assume that they might be heard or or listen to I'll bet, then that's how you get sick, he pieces that got so utter demolished by recent events, was with break a month ago. Writing a p saying, despite You know cynicism toward the regime and their did station of the mullahs. They ve round it behind around the flag and around the regime? Because of trouble Bela capacity in his his threats to block away for the from their nuclear deal had written a month later. The cash I explodes it gets better. I think with a writing. The dirty does what the Wall Street Journal in and some others do, and I think the washing now, to have people in Beirut or Istanbul and at interview experts, as they can out of the country you know. The other thing that has to be said is that there are very good at this around like their regimes that were bad at it or very heavy handed or retail vicious. But you know this is a With long despite the horrors
iranian revolution solely with long connections. The United States, as as as Serbs, own English tests, the inevitable more well people speak was very well. They know they have they, then they know We are dealing with a mixture of know how to deal with westerners that the best possible face- this was often not true behind the iron curtain where it was very thuggish the handling of pupils very thuggish, but that is not true in MILAN and Natural, the herbal jarred method or one Zyobites person, building up this regime in this conversation is, though it was in a relatively sophisticated unable to survive and withstand all these assault. Its foundations and it may well be, but there are cracks, that have begun to be showing not just the videos that we ve seen on twitter of protests where people are lighting. Governors mentions on fire and attacking besieged, but initial they broadcast fate.
Probably regime linked media outlets broadcast. Grievances of some of these protesters, as though they were legitimate and gave them Read some rationale behind it, and also we had the reports now that there will no longer be arrests of woman who declined where his job in public is that correct There was another thing: these are canadian, as they may be confronted, but not maybe we not be arrested, Yellow Lucy I think it's important to know that What we are seeing here, as you know, second major protest in less than a decade and of course the last one was put down fairly savagely and and and with great authority, and that may well happen with this by the. Closure of the weak, but a regime that faces, I think, has as a sort of faced an upper middle class, educated class, a leaders revolt in two.
Thousand nine is now facing a populist working class revolt in twenty it was so. What by were also a sign that the famous populist this this act of these rights of these protests. From below now you know it's coming to you live from, you know from cities that no american I've ever heard of in the north of Iraq, like this is a very significant fact to be dealt with it. It means that the unrest is now the womb in others. No real unrest from the Green Revolution, people. It's now gone. It's now slice down through every sector. Of the economy. Now this is a very strong regime internally in the sense that I don't think the protests can survive over I'm without some involvement of a leading governmental fan.
Action say when it wants to use this to change the balance of power inside the country, but here's a point a meagre make also, but about the Obama. Duration in IRAN deal you, After now wonder how much sooner this might have happened without the IRAN deal in the end, the end, the influx of of of cash, and a much easier it might have been now firms in the? U S, to have some options in terms of trying to isolate the regime. The iranian regime, without you I'm deal now what It would be around elders, the the there is so does the international markets have so involved? are so involved in IRAN and in rehabilitating the image of that regime that it makes it that much harder for four. For us,
the sort of did to isolate them and entered and to get some sort of coalition? I would imagine if this occurred in a world without the around deal, that the call for Anna ran deal would be that much stronger because it would mean that these people need to engagement with the western world. They need the benefits of trade they now these unfrozen assets, then they need that took the rewards of engaging with the internet responsible international community and, as a result of these protests, confirm that, because this has happened in a World post, Tracy P away, it is repudiation of everything that we were told would occur as a result of the jails appeal, not least through. I remember Obama himself in interviews, I blame with Jeffrey Goldberg and then Other administration officials saying that repeatedly, Maria for others that they expect IRAN to you is the money that that accrues to them from the nuclear deal to uplift they're on their own people,
as an end, not that that you would that the money look, subs numerous statements here is that you would not end up in the in the Irish Sea in Deserts security apparatus or guess what working class Iranians, are using slogans like not as in an Antelope Non John, I'm better you're on which means not Gaza, not Lebanon. My life only for IRAN there's another one c d: S Sugihara how acone effective a hollow mark on which means. Let's hear the bees do something for us, meaning do something economically for us, so so much for the kind of Marie harder than roads. Theory that around waste the money get it will never die. It's the same theory that's been around for a century. It says it is. It is based in a word that is, as we discussing the pre show not limited by the way to the left is shared by the right, but it is a theme theocratic. The vision of what the United States is capable of that events occur or do not have. As a result of american inaction or inaction, and that we are therefore
control of virtually all events that occur in the face of the planet earth, while the other way of looking at it is that this is a term that is incredible. That odor, since the lay thirty's she's appeasement, Evans. Obviously, a bad odor cause appeasement was the explicit policy. The british government dealing with the Nazis Chamberlain government was you apiece get them to be heavily want, and it was discredit by nazi behavior but the problem. But it was a theory and it was a perfectly legitimate idea. Ok, so I got a regime like it doesn't like you. You got two ways do with you can confront and try to overthrow it. You can lick her. You can go to war with it or you can see. If you can say, look let's. Let's, let's make a deal together, it's nice will be nice. I will give you what you want, so you go away right. I mean give you what you want and then you'll be satisfied, you'll go away and
oh policy in theory, if somebody is now, is not looking to contest her overthrow the existing system, and thus would you the momentum of the appeasement to project its power forward and leap frog. You write so effectively when we do things like the IRAN deal. We are what we are using a policy of appeasement? Its legally look? We await you have a nuclear weapon. You know really do whether it will give you a hundred billion dollars will lower the Google will restrict the sanctions and then you could just joy. You just like everybody else, I don't want to be like everybody else, you know who would like to be like everybody else, ordinary Iranians who would like to be able to afford eggs and, like you know, make sure they do they. They have their kids ever Nature- and they might have a a better future and when they know that their government has gotten a hundred billion dollars in hand and is keeping it and isn't pass, it isn't like
in taxes, providing new benefits, lowering the cost of goods that the government itself imports. That is a very serious business and appeasement doesnt work. Seems like an iranian regime there whose whose pursuit of nuclear weapons is itself a, was itself a child to the existing natural national natural, orderly, telling us and in the knowledge that it is a natural or the status quo of uranium, irrelevant Chesterton Irredentism power. You cannot be transformed into a status quo power by giving you a pellet, a cash or a chunk of territory, and that thus to honour would say to be fair to a bomb in the sense, though he used, all their cell will be of little help. The people in the above a blood he his route cut, got argument about. The IRAN deal was look. We can push this ten twelve years in the future. Who knows what happens? Ten, twelve years in the future, a writer what I did was prevented them from becoming a nuclear power for twelve thirteen year so ass. The unspoken per
about what happens in ten thirteen. We know that, but his unspoken part as well- maybe you know magical happen with there, that the regime change or will develop a you know, photon weapon, the will destroy their nuclear weapons or something like that. But there were gonna go nuclear early. Our only option according to him was war to stop it from doing itself where it. When I wanna go to war, we can at least kick the candle the road through today, I think, was his main. That's. What I really wanted was to prevent either an American under israeli Shrike right exactly for reasons that that Ok. So what's interesting, you get about the Iranians and makes us different. Is that while I think it's perfect, Further, we assume that other regimes, the Middle EAST are at root, Anti American. We, we have been told and served in speechless personally better than I can, but we were long told that the truth about the iranian people is that after Khomeini's death and various things that
reverted to their to essentially a pro american view or feeling in the body politic. In the early toy there was there was. There was great optimism in the early twentieth century that this young Second generation, after after they re revolution, was pro western, wanted western vat wanted educated people very middle class and want to raise that and then and then the The election of outward demigod, who was everything was, was everything that they didn't want to have happened depressed and demoralize them, but that, but that the route feeling in the back, We politic of IRAN is not anti american in the way that it is or anti western. The way that it is another. Turkey aura each by the arab world. Here they are scared of you, that's broadly correct. I think there is an element of.
Iranian admiration and desire to gonna- be like everyone else, and especially to be America as they perceive it? There is also a strong strand of iranian nationalism that transcends just this regime and a sense that it is it's a nation, that's it! grievances against history, going back to Alexander the girl its invasion of Persia and a series of humiliations from the outside? That's Always that is always that some long grievance able to it. But it's it's a revenge. Twenty four hundred years of grievances it is just as it is. In that sense it arrive anxious country or mindset by under. Previous regimes other than this one. It always negotiated, these things in a sort of normal nation state a terrorism was not its main form of statecraft, so it was
famous quote from Henry Kissinger, where he has repeatedly said: IRAN needs to decide whether it wants to be a cause or a nation is one the Messianic she ate revolutionary thing, we're just wanna, be a normal country like they Saudi Arabia, which look at those about it. Sorry, I complicated, but you know a normal country in the re other by John. You know Azerbaijan is a normal country with, but isn't Lincoln seed of any you purely objective as realist approach. Foreign policy is that it rejects ideology is a route as a tool of statecraft in a way that is just unreasonable and even a little self deluded. When we hear the ideology is always a factor, but you know it could be sense of like persian greatness that has displayed territorial disputes with arab states over various islands in the Persian Gulf, but does train she, fishes all over the world and send them to South America to set up. You know a drugs fucking cells and sulphur. That's what
the iranian regime and eager to your gun it's obvious, gave up on the coffin the common turn and the prophet turn, but they didn't upon exporting Marxism, Well me that you all national and ethnic minorities, I don't really know stopped being a cause. But maybe the iranian people. I think I think that the deepest thing that can be said about the iranian people. Isn't there necessarily pro american, but that they just want to be a normal nation state, their diet of being a cause? So in nineteen. Eighty, eighty one great writer vs my portable called among the believers, and it was his assertion that the story of the Iranian Revolution was is that IRAN had modernized too quickly that the policy family have embraced a kind of technocratic, authoritarianism without any.
Spiritual framework and that the result was a revolt against, but against the problems of modernity. That too, that's a lie, I told so. Many who would have been in exile for fifteen years in Paris was nonetheless able to lead a revolution from abroad in part because the what was being on offer was so unfulfilling and that the idea of turning your RON from a nation into a cause was, in credibly we're vivifying and exciting to the people of the time in the in the seventies, but has become this oppressive mantle forty years later. Let me give you an example of how of of of his point. Under the Shaw The sharp set up a programme to provide health care and pensions for prostitutes in Teheran, rhetoric in the nineteenth sixties, there was a very famous: they would have terror on issues like the red light, district and arrogant.
Therefore a long time, but then the shots government came and said in its in it's kind of far ahead of its own population and among sure, it's a good idea, but anyway EAST it try to do admit. The Netherlands does now, which is to set up degree of other welfare net for before the launch of the night. The ladies in white and and of course it was. I was out of tune with, with with Iranian, are like it's out of tune with it is ultimately collapse for all sorts of reasons, but is but not least because intellectuals, were seduced by all the great ideologies of the nineteenth century and by the great ideologies I mean. The awful ideologies of the nineteenth century but now the Iranian have have lived through that four. For that,
given its more that's easy so but barbaric among the revolutionary Guard, they now tired of of living as cause me now, because that would be ineffective if, if there is a weakness, thereby we're time of here, so the Irish Sea is the iranian Revolutionary Guard Council what the Islamic Revolutionary Guard core. Sorry figure boy was that bad okay? So so you have these two government, this is a word of internal discipline right and an external power. So there's the resolution, a guard court And then there are the best siege militia militia. Ok, so these are both rich there. Slightly independent, but not really independent of the regime there now, and so these are the two forces that in
theory. If the regime were to collapse, one or the other of the West actually have to turn on the regime in some fashion because they can always be deployed. If, if this revolted, if there's a crackdown on this result, is destroyed will be destroyed because they are sent out to destroy it entirely right so ably were oh, yes, I would rise knows. My question is to do to what extent you no one would we were talking about the general feeling of not wanting to live as a cause, but as a regular countrymen. I think if there, if the fur they're, the ones, legendary fervour of of the realm of the revolutionary guard. If that is, if that wanes or if that's, if there's a if they ve there, sort of tired of the cause that would be a reason for hope among the protesters and people who want to see a for a free IRAN, here's how that fault line works
So the Islamic Revolution, a guard was set up right after the revolution, as as its praetorian guard, the you're being that IRAN would have a regular army, which was a conscript army and irregular Navy and irregular Airforce, but that those ultimately were not reliable, that it needs to be a specifically an ideological repressive apparatus which, in the early days of the revolution, would wipe out the other, allies of Romania, the leftist marxist, the Nationalists, all those other groups that had Wage, the bearer launch the revolution and carried it to it. Conclusion, then they wake them out and also to suppress kind of ethnic. Turmoil whether it was the Kurds in the in the west of the country or the Arabs in the south, and then, of course it is spearheaded the war effort for eight years. This can bring Ro grinding IRAN, Iraq war that involved exchange of chemical weapons, a million people died so
those IRA, GC officers who made as they see who made all the sacrifices are now when their fifties sixties. Kind of thinking like. Why are there? x, are some of them, certainly having wire the cleric still in charge of country. We are the ones who dominate the account, and they were the ones who pay you know go out to Syria would go out to Lebanon, who you know under up on certain conditions: we managed to ship weapons, the Hutus and Yemen we're doing all this. Why should we are in Nigeria, where in some what why are we where we letting him the mullahs run this? So that's that's. The kind of potential turn of one of them turn doesn't mean their less ideological, or maybe I don't know, but the main thing is that they want to be a faction. That doesn't necessarily see its interests. Aligned with the with the clerical class anymore, so This conversation needs to be interrupted for metal for a little bit I can
talk to you guys about our newest sponsor for two thousand and eighteen quip, the quip toothbrush cuz guys, let's be honest, you know your dentist's told you. You were supposed to brush your teeth for two minutes. Twice a day, you know that you know you don't do it, but you know you're supposed to, but you don't do it. Do you So you know, maybe some of you do most of you don't and if you don't, and even if you do- and even sometimes you do you, what you need is a quip toothbrush, to express that looks like it was designed by apple and cleaned Premium electric brushes, but without the high price, it is the new electronic to rush quip is the tax. Just the right amount of vibrations into an ultra slim design was guiding pulses to simplify better brushing at a fraction of the cost of Your brushes, it comes with a mountain, goes right on your mirror fitting see,
Mostly into your daily routine, no charger wires means quivers compact and lied to make brushing twice a day easy at home and on the road also offers an optional subscription plan delivery brush heads on a dentist recommended remote schedule for just five dollars, including free shipping. Worldwide quip is backed by a network of over ten thousand dental professionals- oblique dentists, hygiene. I genesis and dental student, so no and I were both sent the quick brush we're both using, and I will say that as a matter of design, it's beautiful, it looks beautiful. It's that you as a very good, case. You stick it right on her mirror until wants the mirror it fits in perfectly. It is pretty vibrate personal, but it its small small headed toothbrush, not like a big giant because it vibrates it comes with its own toothpaste,
I learned something interesting from this, which is that I've been using way too much toothpaste on my toothpaste, bracelets, better use, a small amount and the Big America's it spreads better at it. It doesn't have a lot of weight such- and if you do that, also you can leave the toothpaste on your teeth. Look you don't have to win some off gleam, leaving a little bit of rents and that it stays out helps keep you clean. I like I'm really enjoying using it. I am brushing like the dentist told me, there's an interesting instructs manual that amused Noah. We all know that it serve explains, do how to brush her teeth. Having said that, its very structure that tells you that you're holding you probably holier toothbrush wrong you're doing the wrong way that if you use vibrator and the brush together, you're gonna get the proper amount of cleaning If you feel cleaner. I'm really enjoying it. I recommend it now. You like
to admit I use an arena uses everyday, so we're both using of every day. We, like quip, you will equip so right now go to get quip dot com that get quit dotcom. Slash commentary to get your first refill pack, free with equip electric toothbrush. That's your first refill pack free at get quip. Dot comes commentary. That's g each. You you ip dot coms, ash commentary, and we sake quip pursued commentary magazine, podcast now, moving from the international ramifications and the internal domestic ramifications of the iranian people, tests. We then come to the american political question of the response: the iranian protest, particularly on the part of the trumpet ministration. I have to say that most of us, I think, including never trumpet. Like our good friend, Brett Stevens that have responded favourably said that trumps.
Three four tweets on the subjects have been good have have expressed the proper amount of support for the protesters. The sense of the regime needs to be careful. The world is watch all that, so the question of this raises is Are we moving into a new phase as we enter? We approach the beginning, Second year of the trunk presidency. This, along with various other things, that we ve seen in foreign policy terms, is Trump transmuting himself from a potentially irredentism foreign policy. President who was going to overthrow the republican parties and the conservative movements approach to foreign policy matters over the last thirty forty years is. Is that now has that Bin
rode by the wayside. Are we looking at the emergence of a conventional republican administration with a conventional republican foreign policy? That is supportive of efforts to secure freedom from tyrannical regimes, and you know taking a hard line against players who are trying to upset the international order. Like Russia's effort against Ukraine, where we have now authorized the ability of the regime in Kiev to two by anti aircraft, missiles and other things, Noah yeah. I think so too the extent I mean If you're gonna say this is new trump, there you're wrong. There is no such thing as new Trump, but I think we have witnessed is the extent to which Donald Trump is willing to outsource the job of the presidency
particularly when it comes to foreign affairs, to the members of his administration- has closed circle within the West Wing, which Don't think is really all that much of a irredentism force anymore, it was populated by initially was populated by individuals. I didn't trust very much on your MIKE flints will have eager Steve balance. People like Michael unhorsed on the National Security Council, but I ve been relatively sidelined. Fur jitney genuinely conventional figures who are adopting a much thus it illogical foreign policy, then was that did Barack Obama, the Obama's sort of flatter themselves. The notion that they were these foreign policy realists who didn't have any ideological bone in their Bali body when in fact they conduct in one of the more ideological foreign policies of the last half century in, and also that the anti the NEO conservative approach of George W Bush is far more ideological, but they tried
Reinvent American Grand strategy in American Alliance and that's what we were afraid of when Donald Trump came to power Our concern with my concern was that would adopt the same pride, approach to the conduct of american foreign policy by to remain the world. And he has not done that- has in fact been much harder on Russia than I thought you would be. And much more deferential. Tour conventional allies in in Europe has been far less interested. In renegotiating our trade arrangements, with the exception of not resuscitating teeth creepy, which was dead when he inherited. It has done a very good of his administration, has done a very good job of isolating north korean inducing chinese cooperation in a project and so on and so forth. While there are valid concerns about this administration conduct foreign policy, particularly when it comes to our free trade arrangements and perhaps and needlessly antagonistic immigration regime, which I wouldn't support,
what we ve seen so far, is defensible and laudable, even and something that I don't think we should be all that upset about, and so to the extent that you see, Obama administration officials not getting really hacked up about it like who's in rice did in the New York Times it is in reaction to the fact that their reputations are being dismantled. One report about using Hezbollah at a time I have to I have to agree with what No, I was just making a little list of my own and I sure am missing some bad things that I think we first certain I am certainly in our pages weave, praise individually and our contributed as well the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem, but the announcement that it would the egg pulling out of the Paris agreement. The statement on IRAN just now. This kind of forceful statement authorizing shipment of were of lethal weapons to Ukraine, bombing Assize, camel
airstrip military spending up pale the United Nations defending Israel, I mean it There is so many instances where you see people tweet either some whenever trump friends or people associate with the previous administration Jose this. This is abnormal Tromp says something, and usually it is bizarre, went one. For example, Trump goes on this like Gibberish ran about Anna Winter. It's totally abnormal vanity fair, yet exactly. On the other hand, we ve forgotten how abnormal it was basically have her. You know bill airs befriending Rashid Gilead, he loving left. As professor you know, it was abnormal for the. U S, services, to gang upon Israel at the: U N, it's it's! It feel said the steward to a good could contribute This is a very strong, never tramper and he pitied base
This is kind of normal when the? U S were Hayley, treats powers who gang upon Israel the way she did. It kind of feels like we're back to like America as you can do it for this, is that MRS Thyssen to know his point about it. If you're not running an ideological administration, this is just one The bare minimum looks like got at an end and what you know we can we can sort of overstayed. Did that the joy here, but it's really, it's really a sense of relief. It's like of this is that this is the bare minimum. Now kid and needs to be said. I think everybody at this table agrees that this is not Donald Trump foreign policy if he had read I've, read and of written extensively. At this point about his national security review, which I read I don't think the President read It- does
He did. He wouldn't have given the speech that he gave, which was a mega speech, a campaign theme speech about immigration being or chief national security threat and so on and so forth. In all this self inflated populist nonsense, which is not in that document and people are imposing on that document. Things like argues, abandoning american values and giving up on traditional American. You know where as better than than other nations like human rights and what have you in the promotion of democracy- and it is not- is not Super, emphasising that it doesn't come right up front, but it definitely discusses the extent to which threaten democracy and rogue regimes. To be isolated and confronted and informed, robust fashion, I would imagine, tend. The Obama administration has just based on its current track record. This is not an administration that seeks to go along and get along. It seeks to confront win net win. It can at that done without needlessly antagonizing or destabilizing the international environment. Look the story,
around August. Twenty sixteen was that behind the scenes, when Trump talk to Republicans, he would say things like really think I was going to win the nomination. I just want to score wins. I want to win, and then you know, basically, I'm going to hand over for I'm going to hand over the policy to you, because this is not my field. So If that is true- and I heard it from very senior sources, and so I trust that what was being said was right. He made an enormous mistake in the early going. Who knows why and who knows too, who simulator by over involving himself in the specifics of the health care reform package, which he did not understand and where he torpedoed tour- three Earl The possibilities of you know republican consensus on the bill to save ii.
They couldn't have theirs, they could do that. He wouldn't except ass. He would accept that nobody, they didn't know what to do he was largely responsible for the failure of the health care plan and from that point onwards, his own practical policy, intrusions into the process. As far as we can tell had been relatively modest, if even that, and particularly where it MR to foreign policy, though he may heap, though he spoke first, Sixteen months on the campaign trail as a kind of anti Republican for policy. Consensus revolutionary, in which everything that happened over the last thirty years was bad and remember. He did this. He took out ads in the New York Times, so the nineteen eighty say that raids foreign policy towards the Soviet Union was bad everything Bush
It was bad everything. Bush junior did was bad everything, everybody did was bad he's the only one who knows how to do anything right and so there is reason to believe that he would be a revolutionary president on foreign policy. It turns out that he's not because he's dilatory and he doesn't tat. You know she changing policy isn't just simply matter willing. It there's a whole architecture of policy. Change has to go with it and is abandoned the possibility of that kind of architectural change by allowing Rex pillars and not to staff, the State Department bye, bye having no one to observe, enact his will and am and whatever his will might be, and he appointed Jim Madison Secretary, defensive mcmasters Secretary as as national security adviser, and while they are not, they are defended
to actually, which is to say there are not particularly guided by biological drives. There well educated you no serious guys who study history and study defence and study foreign policy. But they know what they don't like and what they don't like, what they like is american victory and what they don't like is serve globalist internationalism of the real globalist form, not what the banner nights call glow listen but meaning like you, surrender American. Standing up what America's national security interests to international opinion. So that's where maybe the Paris he's a court or Paris peace accords. Maybe the Paris climate accords do nothing, but american leadership means accepting consensus and an integrating consensus. National international opinion right, when its thrice of admission for all this by the way seems to be that all these people have to.
How'd- you know it yes, broken by obsequious public displays of obeisance to Donald Trump, so great significance. And now there are two things. I discover that he does not seem to demand that a man now I don't know of managers not demanded of the of the uniformed. Really is aggravated by the uniform Kelly has once he's a uniform, maybe John Kelly, any dynamic master of both engaged, and these simple displays varying degrees. But these displays of right have occurred So I just think that will be. What we are seeing is a kind of when people when Magua people trompe him. People demand that the never trumpery- and I'm now talking about in this case, if they're talking about the most extreme never tramper swine, but what we demand, that they never Trumpery Zena like that. Me and say that Trump is wonderful
I think it was you know, one of you said the prick him that they item five when they thought he was going to be a way they like them found they said when they thought he was going to overthrow forty years of, foreign policy consensus they wanted, and now that he's being a conventional republic and that their that's good too, and we're supposed to bow to him, no matter what he does, that, which is the ultimate truth of the you must bow. Is that it's all idea that one is was to bow before power and leaders, and I thought by the way as conservatives that was something we did not hear you two Americans It was that we were sceptics about about. You know right, so Inessa residential surety us saying you guys? Mortal I made a mistake here, because all these wines are occur, as a result of the adoption of what we reckon Then you should around right and you, if you had your brothers, you would be doing in some cases, the very opposite. What he's doing right
now. The other thing I think we're too magnanimous to make that man I too far too, and I don't care what they did not arrive, that's bacon. They can think whatever they want to think. This remains the most bizarre intellectual movement of all time, which is that it is really important to them. The people on the right who are critical of trump cease being critical of Trump well he's the president. The Republicans have majorities in the House and Senate like what does it matter, whether were critical of trump or not? They that their winning their their white House, our people to get staffed in it and they also strangely its enough for us to say well he's doing some things we like in some things. We don't like that they don't even that that's their blind to that they don't They can't see that when we say because it was always an eagle movement for all of them. This is why it is also an old out, and there is also a who it's all
Oh, this is the real question, which is how much of what your driven by is, whether you make the right enemies and granted that a lot trumps enemies are loathsome and that their though hey that they oppose him is to that you know or republic. Whatever is to say that you know everything. Net neutrality will kill people, and he saw the tax bill will kill people and everything will kill, kill people everything. Oh people, so you know basically any any support for any of this, as it is, is a surrender to murder conspiracy commit murder somewhere, that's LOS them Then indeed, in our trump is a brighter of the left and of political orthodoxy and pc, and if that is what drives, if that is thing that drives you most, especially in a big tempted by that very feeling ass. He of says them,
I then of undoubted love him he would have. No, then you love him whatever, because what he's really doing is sticking his middle finger up against conventional liberal wisdom, but if, but if that's not, The main motivator of your approach to life than you might have a son a different view of how he's done it for example, just finished but the you know so. The tax bill is a political victory. That should have been really difficult to secure without republican House Republican, tenable, The president was made needlessly more difficult by trumps own bumbling handling of the healthcare bill. Had it been hands, more appropriately in the bill had been passed more quickly. There would have been more money for the tax cut and that money for the task. Have made unnecessary. The really bad features of this bill, including the reduction of state and local tat,
select ability and words, flexibility which would be fine and the context a much more serious tax reform plan, but not this, which your basically using money from aye tat states to pay for the tax cuts for low tax dates. Nonetheless, you know the tax bills. Wonderful, quite so they weigh one a political victory which is sort of the bare minimum that you want from your own party right is for it to secure tax cuts of your Republican, just like securing tax increases is the bare minimum shall put your democrat, but it doesn't mean that it's a moral victory, doesn't mean that its world historic victory and we don't know what the practical effect
It's gonna, be if it's good, if it's really good, if there's a enormous spurt of economic growth and grain and hill deserve credit or the whole Republicans will help, he won't really deserves much credit. Despite Paul Ryan's avocation of his exquisite presidential leadership, the bill was written on the floor of the Senate, largely as far as we know without much input from the White House and beyond That was drums. Exquisite leadership in this case was actually the hell I wave on the centre right. Ok, so might might my point as it may, we it may not? It may have a great effect that may not, but you don't you dont assert its greatness before there is any practical results. And similarly, you know, as with all such things. If this all works out, then what them. Everybody's opinion will have to be revised if things go really. Oh for the iranians- are we handle it. Well, then, thou be a huge they'll, be a little
just that this was a more serious administration that appears. I still think that the fact that you know he tweeted three or four good things about IRAN. And then this morning we woke up to a tweet about how whom I Baden should be thrown in jail because she was hacked and the Yahoo hack, like twenty million other people indicates that what- motivates him isn't seriousness about IRAN, but simply the continuation of his culture war and rising up his base, which has the practical effect of making impossible. For him to expand its base out from the thirty seven thirty eight percent- that these God and thus will lead to a republican calamity in November. I certainly think I've I've fall. Eminem saying this in the pressure I've fallen for that in the sense that, because I expected to distribute a ban night can isolationist administration. Then you get. President twinning sensible things which are certainly in Ireland, women over what present Obama did. But then you
as a risk. I think for people like me to then you know her praise, or or not, all the administration to account as much as then you think, while this is he's not being Copies being like mcmasters he's being pansies Ward was suddenly rethink lab. We were talking about this before rethink some opposition to some policies that were like super Magda I don't think I'd have fallen for the. What is it the travel ban, focusing on array, yet? No. He always, though you know, because it was an attempted assassination of a Sally diplomat. Therefore we should cut of all iranian immigration into the United States as though we don't have a gigantic arraign in expatriate communicative, well, integrated and an insult. And more more than well integrated. Yeah, I mean you know among the most impressive immigrant refugee, whenever you want to call of groups of the last forty years are radiance
most of whom seem delivering LOS Angeles anyway. I think The key here is that you want a great trump on occur. Fine, you don't insists that you know so fine, so be graded. Flatters, I'm not a grin player later in general and I'm not going to be great and later in this specific case, we now, I would look like balls and strikes said it's like the veil of ignorance. The John Walls is famous veil of ignorance, you didn't know anything about IRAN or about Obama, about everything, and you woke up to see their arabian protests seeking for from a tyrannical regime- and you saw it trumps, spawns, he would say that was good absent everything else. If you are incapable of saying that it was good, then you who are being blocked from a kind of real
mystic assessment of what is being said in the new visual case. If, on the other hand, all you say is, this is just another fantastic thing that Trump has done and then you would or the veil of ignorance case of you wake up in the morning. It he's calling for the arrest of a woman who did nothing because he's just looking to continue this relentless efforts to distract from his own legal troubles and your unable to look at that and say that's bad than you have this. You are you're just a mirror reflection as a trump him of the anti trump hysterics or you can do what I do think essentially we're talking about, which is not be great and player and take while we expected it and ass. An oh look to see, see minus, ok, that's, but that's better than in half right or You could even say that really would say to see. Plus not modern ay, and if you call this, if you call this administration a when you have
some poles having Democrats with an eighteen percent advantage going into November twenty sixteen despite the economy, then you are a grave and flavour and you I am. You- should accept inflation everywhere. Lord knows how we are going to be responsible for the deaths. Decimation of republican majorities in Congress come November. Is our fault we're trumpery? While they were not even a never trumpery, I never was never trouble. I can't stand being called them ever temper. All never tried was was a hashtag that somebody invented it's not a movement. It was never a moment. It was a bunch of people on Twitter. I me I said that I thought the trouble unfit for the presidency. I see no reason to revolt to revise my understanding of what that means moral matters, a practical matters. What we look for leadership, however he's president. So his fitness is not MIKE is not. You know, no one
it didn't win that argument, and so his presidential. Judging by what the results are. That's all we can do. And that's all we can do for today. No has given me the big cut signed, so we're done so we are going to cast, a veil of ignorance over the next three days in two days and joining on Thursday, so for Meanwhile, the harassment and Santa Maria I'm John passwords.
Transcript generated on 2019-12-12.