So how did it go? We talk about the first day of the impeachment hearings before going on to talk about Turkey, Gaza—and Abe Greenwald's remarkable December COMMENTARY cover article, "The Failure at the End of History." Give a listen.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
welcome into the commentary magazine podcast, I am John Pub Quartz editor of Commentary today is Thursday Nov 14th, two thousand and nineteen with me, is always senior editor, a Greenwald hello aid, Hi John Associated with Rothman hi Noah high Jump and in Washington senior writer, Christine Rosen HI, Christine so we had the first day of the impeachment here at public impeachment.
Inquiry hearings yesterday and I think it is fair to say that nothing that happened yesterday changed any Hanging from anything the day before yesterday, which really I think is not the purpose public hearing right, which is in theory, to start to start establishing the means by which your your case, the case for impeachment in the case of the democratic majority, starts building up steam.
Hi I watching with as dispassionate, and I as I possibly could. I think that, while the accounts of acting Ambassador Taylor and the State Department, official George can't about the art, confusions and mass and problems in the execution of foreign policy in the trump error were interesting and well taken and and and troubling, they were Inter woven, with these factoids pieces of data, suggesting the untoward behavior that should or could justify impeachment and in doing so, muddy the waters because they were making a case about Paul, see, failure and policy mass, and that has no place in an impeachment hearing, because the president's policy is not anything for which he should
thrown out of office and we've had you know forty five presidents and two hundred, and you know, however, many years since the presidency was founded and no one has ever been removed from office because he mishandled foreign policy matters or had a second diplomatic channel that was annoying to the state state. Anything like that that, as I say, say, I think this is a perfectly legitimate thing to be aired out in front from the american people and for the twenty twenty electorates to take into account as it decides. Who should be president in November twenty twenty. It is preposterous that that should be. You know at least half of what was being discussed yesterday if the purpose of the discussion was to make the case for impeachment. So in that sense I think that the day was a failure. Now that doesn't mean that every you know it's not like a it's not like the World Series are going to
seven days of hearings and if the Democrats win for the Republicans win three of the Democrats win like this is process. We know how long it's going to take their going to be other witnesses. Other witnesses. May may reveal things or offer a bomb shell conclusions or bombshell facts that we don't know about. So you have to keep your powder dry in saying that you know we have some notion now that this may not work at the with the debate Democrats wanted to, but but just judging on itself, I don't think it was a particularly mean full day. No way you may have a slightly different view. I tend to agree that we didn't learn anything especially new, with the exception of the amended testimony from Ambassador Taylor. Who's testified that native his over heard, the president in a phone conversation talking about it. This desire to see investing patients wapping bombshell there. We might learn that the president wanted investigations into Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton from Ukraine
by the way. This is a funny detailed for for people to be seizing on, if you think about it, 'cause. What I think he was saying is that his This guy Mister Holmes was sitting at a table with Ambassador Gordon Sunlin, while Gordon son lived was on the phone with Trump. In a restaurant heard things coming out of the ear speaker, bikes on Lindsay or including the word investigations. Now, if you walk, tv last night you heard people going well. This could really this this is it like. So a guy we're hearing. The word investigations coming out of a phone is that is not going to lead to the first removal of a president in american history. No. But with that being said, I mean major in anything new yesterday, but that doesn't mean that the case is better for Republicans. What we do know is incredibly damning there's no way around it. I the fact that we didn't learn a new bombshell revelation. Doesn't it
date. The last fifteen bombshell revelations. No I'm talking about the hearing itself is right and that's what it is and that's all it is. So what we're evaluating his performance is not facts right Christine I was just going to say that I think that that phone call story was interesting in part because it shows this contrast between the kind of career public servants who are testifying yesterday versus the Trump administration, and they are clear and absolute horror at how he runs his administration. That You know I do think people should be concerned. If that's the kind of level of thoughtfulness and care the president takes and talking to an aid, which is you know, an unsecured cell phone line, while sitting in Ukraine, which basically means you know, everyone in Russia was listening to their conversation most likely, but I think that that and for me that was the the the take away from the hearings yesterday. Was this culture clash between the Trump Administration, how it does business and kind of sees it's? It's
policy making and its foreign policy making, in particular, as a kind of wheeling dealing business, deal, making enterprise versus how career public servants who have done this for their entire lives expected him to behave so there were a lot of culture clash. That's something that that's sort of another rorschach test in that. If you like him, you like that he doesn't do things the way that that that exactly public servants to okay, empties out these threads a little bit, because these are the two republican lines now. The republican line from yesterday is two part one. This is also confusing. You can't possibly follow any of it, so don't try to yes, sir and to is that it is the president's prerogative to shape foreign policy in it. Action in which he so pleases and a valid argument. It would be at least the president were making it. He is not came in. His allies are committed to one narrative, and that is none of this happened. There was no quid pro
well, there was no offer. It was a perfect phone call. American strategy in Europe remains unchanged. Our objectives are unchanged. We do not have a new foreign policy under the Trump administration. Okay. Now here's my point about this: intermingling of two different things and Christina write an that what we- How was this culture clash and Abe's right that, if you don't like Trump, the culture clash horrifies you. If you like Trump, it's a sign that he you know business business as usual and he has his own way of doing things and even if you don't like Trump but don't think that he should be impeached, you could say well fine, I mean so you know he he's. Foreign policy is like a dumpster. Fire. But, as I said in my column, in the New York Post today, He told us it was going to be a dumpster fire and he got elected like it to be, but a fair is fair to Trump. He said he was going to be unpredictable. You want to tell anybody what he was going to do and you eat. You know
he was a snake before before you met him right. That was the the song, the Al Wilson Song that he would quote on the campaign trail like he said. I am going to do this. However, I'm going to do it You can all go to hell if you don't like it. Okay but Maybe you you made an interesting point, which is so they're saying nothing changed and it was a phone call and he sent them. He was the one who sent military to Ukraine in the first place. Obama- wouldn't even do it so, who are all these Democrats to be crying crocodile tears about how dangerous it was for the Ukrainian Stephen Con late the suspension or the elimination of aid and nothing happened right except
As aides said, there is the matter of Mick Mulvaney, the white, the acting White House chief of Staffs Press conference in a what what did mulvaney say in that now notorious press briefing he was asked by by reporter ET he characterized the the they call as quid pro quo and the reporter through tossed add Mulvaney Mulvaney said that's that done all the time get over it. So it's essentially would doing what no says saying that none of it ever happened. While simultaneously also kind of saying well, yeah, of course, that that no I don't, I don't think he was saying nothing. I don't know what while also saying right. Yes, it happened, but he did make it extinction by omission by folks exclusively.
On the investigation into this mystical two thousand and sixteen server that contains Hillary Clintons emails is buried in the backyard somewhere in Marpole, and that is That's the legitimate investigation, because that's investigation, two thousand and sixteen and it dovetails with- will parts investigation in the in the Justice Department, not the Christmas stuff. They were very cautious about tiptoeing around investigation to Joe Biden, understanding, perhaps correctly, that it is a much marks explosive revelation for the president to be investigating a potential opponent. Twenty sixteen, as opposed as last upon again, twenty okay, here's why? I think something that you said no at at the at the outset is a little problematic, because in your I had as somebody who has been following this. You know with a magnifying glass on the time it started what you just said about the search for an Marisma and Biden and Mulvaney, and all of this is perfectly clear and if you are a person
who an ordinary American, where you know, instead of your soap opera being on or the price is right being on. You turn on the tv yesterday, and there is this hearing going on if you think that any person in this country who has not been well, briefed in what has already been going on could follow. Five sentence is of what was being discussed yesterday. I think you are doing You are, you are unnecessary or wildly optimistic, and I don't take that as a stain on the proceedings. This is uh. Located matter. It involves a foreign country of which we know where people have weird names and that a lot of complicated things were going on. You had George Kent one of the two
people testifying saying in the course of the hearing that he himself as a as of the FIA official of the US government in twenty fifteen, was troubled by a Hunter Biden's presence on this board of this energy company, because he thought it raised the possibility of an appearance of a conflict of interest when the United States was pushing Ukraine to be on corrupt so and to deal with its problems. It's corruption problems- and here we are with the vice president's son on the board of this company. And that complicated his job and might complicate the american efforts right. So so, on the one hand, you have a little bit of a justification of the republican or Trump line about why this it's good to invest
gave and Hunter Biden and on the other hand, how on earth is anybody at its two thousand and nineteen. This was two thousand and fifteen. There were mentions of a prosecutor in twenty eleven, and it was a Porsche angle or Yanukovich, or his ulinski or the process shooters or or this one or that one and your head would just start spinning around well, that's where I'll give I'll give your narative credit. I mean if it's the republican objective to muddy the waters. They were successful at making what is, in my view, a very crystal clear narrative of malfeasance into that's a little less clear and if the by the way wants to rest. His argument on the the real societal scourge represented by the adult children of powerful people flirting ethics rules. Then yeah
I imagine that I'm a little more complicated in the near future, okay, but this is okay. So, let's go back to Kristin. Let's go back to the political theater aspect of this because you have a lot of questioners. Yesterday, Democrat questioners, who were at would ask these questions of Taylor and can't looking I I think for the sound bite that they wanted and they got one little version of it. When Kent can't only owned up to the fact that he thought that the reason that Trump had been doing all this was that he wanted to get dirt on arrival, two thousand and twenty, and that he said that and then Taylor said I agree, but for the most part they would say. Don't you think This isn't you was a war hero, as he said that, like don't you You was a war hero that this was very unseemly behavior. This was inappropriate or this was criminal and they wanted one, these guys to say this was criminal or
you know I can't and of course the weird part is that they're still serving so you know, That's the other bizarre aspect here is that well this no, I was gonna say that there was so much leading of the witnesses there like you yeah. It was kind of comical at moments, but I think this. Actually it's it's a good point, because it points to one of the troublesome aspects of the democratic narrative about impeachment right for a long time. It was policy dragging her feet, saying we don't do this, you know we don't need to do this. It will just keep. Instigating and then she said, oh well, impeachment has become a painful duty. I think that's the phrase she was using like oh, we hate to have to do this, but it's our obligation, Peter Cetera. Meanwhile, there's a whole nother thing going on the Democratic Party with the progressive wing, the squad, others who have said from day one
two thousand and sixteen have said we are going to impeach and remove this, you know insert your favorite profanity about Trump there. So there's been this idea that it's this painful thing that they're trying to resist which is closest message versus the extreme enthusiasm for impeachment of trump, since the moment he was elected is a contradiction and shift is not the man to kind of strata that divide right, because he just can't help himself from the sanctum american leading the witness is in that this sort of enjoyment of his position right now. I think it's it's a danger, if you're worried about what the public thinks of impeachment, because it is very complicated and it's not going to garner the kind of appeal to us because of our current media environment that Watergate did or even that Bill Clinton's impeachment dead. So I think, there's that that the Democrats need to get their narrative straight about whether this is a painful duty or a a something that
approaching with great zeal internally, as I was thinking about this in relation to mix and and and Trump and the hyper polarization all this, which is that the Watergate in seventy three and seventy four. I was a very complex political matter because, of course, you know, Nixon had won the largest landslide in american history up to that time, just in November of nineteen, seventy two and this phenomenon that we talk about about. You know the Democrats in Trump. This tricks or Republicans and Democrats. All this, like the entire country, was like this. I can't remember how many states, I think, Mixon one hundred and forty seven states, or something like that, which means that and the Democrats had a very large boarding house, meaning that in a probably half the districts in the country you had, if not more, I haven't looked it up, but you had Nixon districts that were being Rep,
entered by democratic members of the house. Now remember, there was no vote right to vote. Didn't happen. The fact saturn and the stuff that was coming out about Nixon through nineteen, seven thousand three hundred and ninety four in this relentless you know the investigations and of the newspaper and what the house was coming up with him, and all of that really did shift public opinion in a way that made it possible for Democrats to do this, not only you know entirely safely and and to advocate for the president's impeachment. Now it's two thousand and nineteen and the interesting thing is you have who is it? Was it to leave? Who said we're going to impeach the MF? I think it was a right yeah. So is his shirt? T shirts made up saying that right so She can say it. The question is and what Poulos he was worried about where those forty Damn
cats, one in twenty eighteen in district had been formerly held by Republicans Ann wood. The impeachment case be made well, enough so that they didn't have to face their first reelection, which is you know, which is often quite shaky, um with this question of whether or not Democrats had abused their power in office or to force them into this question of whether they had to vote for this matter, that it's possible that their district would be fifty the foreign and against in the you could have half the district just deciding I hated the vote and it could be the signature reason that they, you know, might be in jeopardy with voters. If that's the case, this is where the steaks turn out higher than they appear, because you I see these polls that say that fifty percent of the country want want the president impeached. But if you divide it up and went district by
district. I'm sure what you have is ninety percent in blue States- and you have you know ten percent in twenty percent in deep red country, and you'll, have it very, very, very mixed in these other place, is an mixed is not where you go with impeachment Remember removal requires two slash three of the Senate to vote for removal, meaning that what the Coming father saw even though sent it was a person, not a representative body when they, when they wrote the constitution, people didn't vote for the Senate until the early twentieth century, but was that there had to be a national consensus to remove the president and the consensus had to be pretty overwhelming and that would be represented by the Senate. Overwhelming consensus, two slash three vote and that's what that's? Where shift in this entire proceeding is playing with fire because whatever,
irresponsibility is shown by the Republicans and trying to muddy the waters and all of that. If the case is not overwhelming, they are playing risky game. Now they may think that it isn't risky or that it's not risky for them. The people who vote for impeachment and everybody's got to do what they gotta do on their own, but there playing a risky game forcing forcing Sir- presupposes that people can be convinced, and I think that's unfounded. I don't so I think what we're dealing with is motivated reasoning. Ok, I don't suspect a lot of people are, can vincible, but here's especially in the so. If you t that. Karlyn Bowman has a very good piece in Forbes or friended. The poll polling expert, the American AIR Prize Institute in Forbes this morning and when she says yellow call. These polls say that it's five thousand and fifty for impeachment, but
if you then say shouldn't where is impeachment in the mat in important matters facing the country, it falls to third or fourth or fifth, and if you kind of write the question in a way to suggest that there is one slash three option other than impeachment, which there, which of course there is there is. There is your your favorite, which is essential, but I mean there's no constitutional option in there's. No, like there's no remedy punishment remedy, in which there being a real things, are done to some. But that number goes to sixty forty who support something like that. This is two or three two now you know that this all that could change, but that's just not only that you don't have people who are persuade Rible, but that the Democrats think that they have the numbers to impeach and they're impeaching on quick
and and that this might come to look like either in abuse of power or some form of out of touch that that, if the Republicans get to hey which they're not going to say yet right, because they want to say the trump did absolutely nothing wrong and every the call was perfect. Even they don't really say that, but they sort of wanted licitly support that idea also, I think it's dangerous to rely on the numbers that favor impeachment, because those numbers changed very quick do you remember that they rose from forty to yeah yeah dramatically, and I think that that understandable that was an understandable reaction to the breaking stories, the it sits out there with nothing new with sort of new camera angles on the same event that don't sort reveal reveal anymore. I think you, I think those will those
will drop well. It could be. I'm just saying like we, I believe presume we presume Noah's presumption. Is that you got this hard, fifty one I I hate is right there in just to okay Starfleet, yet AIDS thought I'm my assumption is that I don't have the data to suggest it, but my assumption is that they rose that rapidly because those numbers, just all of a sudden, included everybody who doesn't already approve the presidents job performance. So. It was essentially a mirror image of job performance, which represents the ceiling right. However, so so I think there are pitfalls. Let me just go into two more people are talking about this now, which is that let's say that they do in peach and they impeached before years. End
so they will have to be a trial in the Senate, the Senate. You know they're these now, with articles about with that Senate trial. Be long, would it be short Richard Burr that has the Intel the set Republican have the centel to me said that hearings would be six weeks long, interestingly enough, Lindsey, Graham of Course, stepped down as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, because he didn't want to be anywhere near this have but this comes of course, literally, as the Democrats are about to vote, would come in I so in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, and there are six
members of the Senate currently in in the race right, including two of the three leaders Right Warren Sanders. Thank you have clover char. You have Booker. If you have Harris in, you have Michael Bennett now granted Michael Bennett is sort of like an also ran, but that six senators cool by you know, by requirement would have to leave the campaign trail and be in Washington four to five days a week right when the primaries and caucuses are happening. This, I think, is what Nancy this is. Where I mean I don't care, who I don't care, whether they wander around and Iowa New Hampshire trying to get votes, but that's all We're are this is where we get into the yeah, you know. Maybe the public should decide this in twenty twenty, because what happens the demo
nominating process is going to be deeply affected by this event. Not just the Dutch just what happens in it, but the very fact that it takes place in the course of the nominating process written in my view, two reasons why leadership was afraid of this course. One is that too, is that there's going to be equivalent. The Senate is foregone conclusion. No one is persuade Rible, and that is not has nothing to do with the facts of the case. It is a transactional relationship with this president. He represents an opportunity for them, a political opportunity, material opportunity and that's not going to change and therefore his acquittal is going to be representative, not of the facts of the case but of the facts of the presidency. And if he is re elected all behind this acquittal and every I want to say that this conduct was perfectly board and totally normal and part of the presidency. Now will have a lot of logic behind that, and therefore we a future in which the president can weaponize foreign policy against domestic adversaries at will. And Republicans are not going to love it when it's a Democrat,
eleven right yeah. Well, not just that I mean, then we do have the fact that you could have a situation in which every president going forward is impeached. If you know I mean, after the state water, sellout look yeah the word making arguments for Obama's impeachment people were certainly making. Arguments for W Bush is impeachment. The idea was, we just went through this hell with Clinton to what purpose were not. Going to do this again, but you know turns out twenty years is a long time, and and the idea that you know the idea that impeachment has been a remedy in search of the thing that it could redeem from before Trump was sworn in. I mean I can said this before in the spot. You know I could point to ten different conversations I had with people who are already wondering how he could be impeached even before he became President United States, and so you know this. This is a remedy.
It will be true of everybody now going forward that the, unless I will go ahead, christian sorry, I was just going to add to that that as an electoral strategy for a president or seeking a second term if they are uh, successful in removing trump, but he is then voted out, as particular voted out by a landslide that The message to Democrats is, it worked. It worked. It was as part of effort to boot,
their own candidate over Trump. It was successful and that's not a strategy. You want to see Republicans using against democratic by the way. What's interesting here is that there's been this kind of weird debate over what Clinton's impeachment meant for Clinton right, because- and I think that the answer there is interesting- an bad in this way, which is that in some weird personal way, it helped Clinton, that is to say his numbers went up. He ended up being very popular by the time he ended office all stuff started to fade. He became kind of like a tumblr, a comedian he took crack,
a lot of jokes about his own personal, Miss Behavior and how we beat the Republicans all of this and then he left office. On the other hand, he Gore should have been score should have won the twenty, the two thousand election, the third term he lost. He lost entirely because of the problem almost certainly because of impeachment. The Democrats, were, you, know, lost seats in the house and to get a Republicans held on to the to the House in in two thousand and or would not be seen with his word on hand, and you could argue that Hillary Clinton did not win the presidency in two thousand eight or in two thousand sixteen, because of this
Atto cast over her husband, so in an odd way, Trump personally could be helped. Maybe in some odd, because he'll look bullet proof and like he's now, he he's he keeps triumphing over his enemies, but I mean I don't know what the other part of that equation is here. Like obviously, Clinton have to stand for for for reelection, but I just don't know that the Democrats now remember also going back to Nixon. I'm sorry, but remember that the impeachment inquiry in the house in nineteen. Seventy four was being run conservative, southern Republican with some conservative Democrat SAM Irvin, who is this The segregationist I mean
SAM Ervin, was, as you know, sort of right wing Democrat as you could have an. Therefore it wasn't like he was being you know he was being persecuted by the northeastern liberal elite. It didn't look like he was being pursued by the northeastern liberal elite. That, he said was out to get him Nixon, but Adam Schiff is like you know, I mean Adam Schiff is no different from, Carol that, like if Darrell Issa was the perfect republican hitman Adam Schiff in his personal, bearing in his sanctimony and Uriah Heep, Miss and and his and his patent honesty like saying he doesn't know who the whistle blower is. Of course he knows who the whistle blower is. I mean he how he said they said it forty times, As I said, I didn't know, he was the first time I know dad said I don't know. Is it before it? Well, I know who, it's blower is I'm not gonna
his name, but I know who he is, and so does Adam Schiff and Adam Schiff. You know this is a so it's a distinction, a difference about whether or not Adam Schiff knows who the whistleblower is or his chief, half knows who the whistleblowers blowers. His chief of staff only is a is a person, plays a role in this because he works for Adam Schiff. So you know it's not like he doesn't institutionally his office knows who the whistleblower is, and the did he can say that after having been exposed a couple of times and various lies about the whistleblower, shows that he's, probably not the right person is Christine said on the apparently the other person who could have done it. Jerry Nadler sold mishandled handled, his hearings
this weeks ago, where Cory, we would ask you like ran away with the hearing that that plus he looked at it simply camp each year. He can't do it like it'll it'll, be a it'll, be a zoo, so I don't know, do you think there's a all. The mail also be admits it's problem, but it's a consideration here that, because the first day was so lackluster a lot of will be tuning out the the the hearing from here on, let's sort depends on whether the whether they remain first of all do most people are watching them. So what what matters is the clips that emerge from them right? So it matters what the sound bytes are that are produced, so people could watch it, but if there is actually likely or something electrifying, is there something Alexis and everybody will know yeah, which is why maybe it was a tactical mistake to start with Taylor and because whatever they are not electrifying
and then Kent Kent's like Central casting George Kent, the third with the bow tie and the vest and the pocket square. You know. Yeah I browse it was a fascinating. Like I didn't know, people like him still exist that I thought that all moved to Sarasota for golfing in Sarasota, I'm going to pause here to talk to everybody about our sponsor today, expressively Pia. If I can read this hold Ok, so look you know. One hundred million people recently had their personal information stolen in a major data, breach, social security numbers contact, details, credit scores and more all taken from capital. One customers, I'm a capital customer that kind of worries me it's a good chance. I you were affected. I don't think I was affected, but my now I'm scared these could tax are getting more frequent and more it's not just capital, one Equifax, Facebook, Ebay, Umar,
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procedure. Yesterday the present is that the White House trying to look presidential hosting an anti american anti semitic, Anti democratic, tyrannical goon. Um and acting like he was the most wonderful person on earth. No, you were Well, he said he was a guy. The guy doing an amazing is beloved by his people, doing amazing job first people who has a fantastic relationship with the current and also please only friendly reporters ask him. A question is: if there were anyone left in Turkey is not a friendly report of the rest of them are you know I will say this commentary magazine in two thousand and eight we published a piece called Turkey from ally to enemy by Michael Rubin. That was in two thousand and eight. So too early on early on this and is hosting are the one after everyone did the decimal favor of taking
making Syria off our hands right here to one spent the press conference really just tickling the presidency Rogina stones who was going after. The cracks in the house that tack and Democrats in the house lavishing the Republicans in the Senate, with praise going after Barack Obama's flood foreign policy and somebody brief there to one with the president's bug. A boos were and did a really good job, so he's a good and he showed a Kurt Kurt it. He should have propaganda video about the curtains as well on his Ipad, which was a nice sense right. You know, generally, I mean in terms of display and I think the EAST room, wherever they were, I mean just a really repulsive attack on American Americans in the opposition party and then the president heaping praise on this murder. This dictator is really unsatisfying. When we remember the guy was at last year arrest.
Sixteen thousand people in like three hours in a in a supposed that he might himself of staged. We have. We have aired one attempting to buy off people like Michael Flynn and Rudy Giuliani in the f. To have the United States government turn over to it. This cleric goal who lives in Pennsylvania because he believes school and he wants literally the United States term over so he can kill him and, in the United States, actually take money from him in order to Try to facilitate this effort. I mean and last time Aaron was here, didn't his goons physically rough, Amir yeah right, yeah yeah there was a this is again. Something so weird it's hard to fathom, but and The turkish embassy in Washington official, like turkish security people, beat up
Esther's on american soil, and I believe nobody was arrested. So it's it's it's a terrible thing and though it does not, I have to say connect I actually I'm I was gonna, make a transition some going to want to talk about something else before we do that which is the what's going on in Gaza right now and with Israel and Gaza, so Israel's been hit by about four hundred fifty rob it's in the last two days after the targeted assassination of the head of palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza. Now this is interesting because this cannot be seen independently of the larger existential conflict in the Middle EAST that centers on IRAN's long Jihad is a vassal of IRAN in Gaza, as is, and then in the north,
Hezbollah just north of Israel in in Lebanon. Hezbollah is the other vassal and there, all kinds of signs that IRAN is starting to get more and more adventurous, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps announced yesterday that Israel would be destroyed soon and that they would. They have new weaponry that they're going to use is that, they won't show iranian media, because it's so advanced that it's you know it's just going to be crazy. How amazing it is- and we already know that IRAN struck site in Saudi Arabia a couple months ago and
the big question here is: are we seeing the beginnings of a regional war between Israel and IRAN through proxies and not just what is really going to do, and it appears that Islamic Jihad, which is not particularly friendly with the body. Runs Gaza, which is Hamas MAS, felt it necessary to say that they would go to war on Islamic Jihad side because of the zionist monster, but it doesn't want to reveal he doesn't want to, because you know Israel can basically hit what it wants to add. Will in in Gaza and the Hamas leadership could get killed just like the just like it's a when she had to get killed and and all of that, so if you were a good blog post about that splits thanks the other. The and the other interesting thing to me about all this, which end connects to the the IRAN angle, is that
unlike in years past when terrorists in Gaza would do something that would elicit israeli response, and then Gaza, everyone in Gaza in Hamas would would sort of go internationally, looking for sympathy, and they get a lot of it. And, of course there are critical, empathy from the Sunni Arab allies, This is now all complicated by the fact that Islamic is the allied with IRAN and they got this the soon as in the region, are certainly not interested in going to war, a a a a a that means war, but in in in sort of attacking Israel. Well, who is there sort of but of the surface ally against IRAN for the
take of a group that IRAN, sponsors right and all so by the way. Egypt, which is one of the two major countries that we're talking about here, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. It's got its own problems with Islamic Jihad an negotiated some kind of ceasefire and they disobey you know, right and and and and as a gesture goodwill, Egypt, let out a couple of islamic jihadists from its jails, and then you know launch actually get off like this happened. So, what's interesting- is that in the in american domestic purposes. Is that with this, comes a week after Bernie Sanders went to Jay Street, the you know, one of the two or three leading candidates for the democratic nomination and said that We should suspend aid to Israel and give that money to Gaza, so that really be great because you know, but God
It is more money to re purpose into rocketry to fire. It israeli towns, because you know, they're really going to spend it on social justice concerns and things like that, and I and, of course, that's an interesting touch point for the next year in the politics of next year, which is we had. We had sanders, we had Blue Chad, we had Warren all speaking extraordinarily critically of Israel at the J Street meeting, and now you know if, if an act tool. War breaks out between you, know: Middle Eastern Arab or Persian Muslims and and and israeli Jews in the course of a presidential, election, where are the american people,
the american people are going to side with IRAN against Israel. And I don't just mean you know the american people meeting the you know: red states versus the blue states like a Buttigieg, continuing to run at his competitors from the right has just get out of pro is Pro Israel response to this, the defending Israel's right to self defense. Everybody in the damn field condemned the rocket attacks, with the exception of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders right, and so this, this is an interesting rubber meeting. This is going to be an interesting rubber meeting the road moment because not to into the larger question, forget the larger question of Jews and how Jews vote and all that which is a which is an interesting, a game for a lot of people like us, but doesn't really have a larger electoral consequences. The unite six, remains a and is it the world's only. I believe, except for some of her
the world's only stayed in with whose population is like over what you know largely favorable toward Israel against. It spoke against its enemies, and, if you're talking about Israel versus IRAN. That's going to be an eight thousand and twenty nine ten matter and you have now. You have now Democrats democratic presidential candidates on the record, as antagonists of Israel um You don't want to be on the other side of a ninety ten. Eighty thousand twenty dispute informed pop because people don't really that much about foreign policy and no by the way in the other interesting thing here for for trumpism and land on the one hand and sort of Elizabeth Warren. We should pull out of everywhere and the other is no install. Talking about american participation here, this is going to be a conflict that is fought in the middle between people in the Middle EAST and therefore this
and that we should that we don't have a whole hearted interest in in supporting Israel against this, you know theocratic millenarian regime that wishes to wipe it off the face of the earth. You know you have to be well in the event of that kind of a conflict which, I don't suspect is in the offing. But if it were, american involvement would consist of military support and diplomatic offensives and those will be very public and we would be having a very public debate over those within the republican coalition, because because you have to remember the person who has Donald Trump's here on foreign policy is rand. Paul It's not, but he's also got Jared Kushner's here and he's a darker and David Friedman. The ambassador has a random call makes this public. He doesn't. Israel does not in the aid will not need american active american military support. It may need intelligence, help and stuff like that, tells insuring and eight it already gets eight and and and that
will become a political anyway. The whole point here is it'll be a proxy war in any case and the same thing as the case, which is that, if, if, if we're as a proxy war between Israel and iranian proxies, the american people are going to support Israel. That's that's, and the and the credit candidates who have decided for whatever reason that this is uh place they want to be, are going to be crosswise, including democrats of their own, they well it'll. The fishers will be much more visible on the left. They won't be nonexistent on the right. No, they won't be, but them largely be. Let me put it this way: ran Paul, may have the president's ear and people what people don't want his heart. I think honestly general, but people would in that kind of a foreign policy document. People don't want is american. You know parking wars in the Middle EAST. This will not be an american war in the Middle EAST and won't even be close to being an american war in the Middle EAST and
and unless it won't and in the event ok, alright, ok, escalate. Ok, but not now that you don't need even to go there, because, obviously, if IRAN, if we're now, if we're getting into a situation which Americans actually have to be actively involved in a war with the rhyme. Then all then God, then then we're than without it. We have a whole set of other speculations. We have to get if, if, if we're closer to it it IRAN, Israel, war, proxy war- then we should be. It is in large part due to Rand, Paul Type farm policy, which is six restraint above all else and has it has prevented us, Donald Trump from from smacking down around everywhere, I made it raises. The stakes: will look at this route, see agents, I think, there's an interesting point to be made here, but Israel, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which is that Israel hits Islamic Jihad right
does a targeted assassination in order by the way to minimize all civilian casualties like it wants to paralyze islamic Jihad without killing fifty thousand people around it right. So target, assassinates the head of Islamic Jihad, Hamas beautifully says with you. We will now destroy you right and then Israel said it. You know, rockets are fired, by Islamic Jihad, not by Hamas and Israel. Retaliates Israel sends a message to Hamas, which is let's, eight out of it. Don't don't screw with us we're not kidding, and you know what Hamas did we're staying out of it. So this is deterrence in its pure form in a weird way, because you don't ordinarily, have two military forces. In the same, you know geographical place.
Have slightly who have different. You know, command structures, and all of that so and then we have IRAN. We didn't. We haven't responded four times or something like that to various iranian provocations, and IRAN is now getting more adventurous and if we get if, if Noah's. Nightmare scenario takes place. We somehow get drawn into a regional conflict in the Middle EAST, the with the case question will be. What did we do? Because the only reason is because there is no appetite. I thank in turn around for an overt conflict with israeli forces. It wouldn't be of winning venture, so it could be in in transaction, is to expand the theater of operations and to draw the United States in, even though it's a less seventy just click on their part in part, because the Trump Administration has demonstrated a willingness only it too, in reciprocity in proportionality, which are something that around would benefit from and that they could advance our interests by striking at targets in Iraq, so you could kill a couple
Americans in Iraq, advance Israel and iranian interests right and but did them believe that they will be preserved in the event of hostilities right. However, what we do know is that what IRAN is saying that doesn't mean it won't actually will want to do this, but what it is saying is it now has the technical means directly to attack Israel from its. Toward remember. It's nine hundred miles away from Israel and you have the central problem of firing thing at Israel, which is that if you go astray, you could kill a lot of Palestinians, an you could hit the dome of the rock. You know you could hit holy muslim sites and it's you know it's. You know it's uh, that demonstrated no willing unwillingness to engage in that kind of activity in Iraq yeah, but they don't care about that. This is the dome of the rock like you they
destroy the dome of the rock so easily and the whole point is the Jerusalem has been oddly. You know this oddly escaped rocketry, for you know, since rocketry became the weapon of choice in the wars, because the both Hezbollah and Hamas and Islamic did, none of them can can be reason. Sure that they can control where the Rockets land in Jerusalem and that's something that they don't want to deal with. Ok, let's move on to the uh thing I wanted to make the bridge do for on our website, you will find today our December issue and air. On our website is the lead article by one, eight Greenwald, the failure at the end of history, a very important piece I wanted a to talk a little about it, so that I could get you excited to go to commentary magazine dot com. To read it where we give you a few free reads and ask you to subscribe, one thousand nine hundred and ninety five for a digital scruton, two thousand nine hundred and ninety five for an all access subscription, including arm
monthly magazine in your mailbox eleven times a year, and it's possible that, before you hear us again on Monday, are newly designed website will be up for your viewing pleasure it may be, it may not be. But if it is you already have experience is the wonder of a Greenwald's article in our old format. Today, as you listen to my voice anyway, the failure at the end of history. Failure at the end of history so at the end of the cold war. There was this idea embrace it in the in the US, I'm on left and right alike that okay, capitalism is now triumphant, freedom is on the march globally What we need to do, in regard to the country the former Soviet Union and China, which which was beginning to make some economic reforms, was to open up. Commercial cooperation get involved.
In the private sector, these countries facilitate that, through our actual policies and, in doing so. We would of course, see to make money, but in the process spread freedom, make their governments better make them more accountable and that's not entirely now, looking thirty years back how, Things have turned out right, okay, so just to just to get to connect this to to the everything we've been talking about in relation to impeachment. As you say, we thought we could make they would become more like us right and instead, as some of the things going on between the United States and Ukraine proved, we are becoming more like them right because, after the fall of communism, Corruption completely remained in place, and a lot of these
This is war kleptocracies and that Titus intimately with with the politics in these kleptocracies and we sort of instead of them to raise their standards. We lowered ours as we began, doing, increasing business with them, and that happened pretty early on and we examples on both sides of the aisle here right. So, on the one hand, we have this whole question of whether or not in a preview this time. The The vice president would ever have dared to get on the board of a ukrainian energy company, run by a plutocrat and on the other hand we have Paul Manafort. Then, who became Trump's campaign manager taking ten? millions of dollars under the table from russian plutocrat and corrupt rain, Ians and somehow bringing that expertise to bear on trying to get the
the United States elected. So you have a campaign that you have the son of Vice president of a campaign manager. We have the trump family? And then we have this general perception that this is way the world works like this is trumps. You know cynical reading, which is don't you know, don't be a baby. The the you know, dealing with corrupt people is what what what we do in the world, and so if we have to be a little corrupt to handle it, That's life, not he says it that way, but that's the implicit and then one of the most recognized just wanted quickly. There's also this commercial aspect of it too. That's our politics whereas once there was something noble about doing business in these in these countries I hope that they would open up and and reforming and grant more freedoms. We now are in the position where we find it. For example, the NBA sort of battling how how how telling to literally to write it to to Beijing for daring to
because someone associated with them spoke up on behalf of freedom yeah in a tweet right right, Christine Well, one of the one of the things I was thinking when I was reading eggs excellent pieces that this also has provided a great deal of fodder for the more radical progressive left to critique alisme right, because or what John said this was bipartisan effort but what they call Neoliberalism exactly so that there's also been a way in which this originally well intended effort. Created political stress in our system on both sides, but particularly on the left- and this is you know this- to help drive the Bernie Sanders stuff. This. This is help drive a a critique from the hard left the moderate center and of liberalism into right exactly so that so that you have, you know you have these, national agreements and modalities like the like trade promotion? You know the Tpp which
Obama supported Hillary Clinton, supported and suddenly became clear that all you had to do was say that there was this thing. Helping with trade in China in the in the Democratic Party and you, or on the wrong side of history and Hillary Clinton had changed her tune, but I think anybody who around in the MID 90s Nosan had experience of being archly lectured by people about how, if you were sceptical of China's ultimate transition into a democratic state. They would wag their finger, they would say how many times have you been to you know? to Shanghai or how many times have you been on the interior? You don't know what you're talking about economic freedom does bring political freedom, good point with some job America justification to Taiwan won in South Korea and the other asian tigers who did actually part the
opening to the west led to led to you, know, sort of advance and ultimately in in political freedoms, but of course those Weren'T- those had never been communist countries and we're talking here about, this country's countries, where state hours, power and state control and all of that had an ideological, logical framework. That was simply transferred into sort naked raw power right to serve reward your crow and then then take whatever It was you had and when China decided in two thousand and fifteen, basically that it was done playing footsie with personal freedom, which is what she did in twenty fifteen, that the expansion of personal freedoms that started the chinese miracle, the to get rich, is glorious and allowing private property and private ownership, and all of that, when he was good, made it clear, he was going to choke off all political statements and political
now we see Hong Kong threatened with the very same thing, disillusion. The cases that people like. Me and others were making in the 90s suddenly started seeming. Not so you know, oh you just want to keep the cold war go you just want to act like the Chinese are but they're, not it's all. You know you have no idea of like that amount of money we can make their and they want to be rich to when it turns the fans. Have, I'm sorry, upping its antacid piece in a really great thesis and thing. I appreciate all of it. The problem that I that I can't encounter- and I don't have a solution for this- is that when particularly when the NBA stuff was going on and it's not just them, it's a ton of firms that are catering to Beijing's authoritarian impulses in order to maintain access to the chinese market. In the the response I see from sort of traditional Conservatives is to choke off access to the chinese market. In essence, adopting chinese
positions in values in order to combat chinese positions in value, doesn't seem to me to be an effective, effective approach to what is really at a loss of a patriotic sentiment. I mean this would be in the in the past in a generation or two ago. This would be something we have to talk about voluntarily for commit to sacrificing capital and leaving it on the side, and that would, demonstration of values. I suspect. But I don't know, I don't know how chinese behavior can be adapted or molded by simply withdrawing from the playing field. It seems to me that would only reaffirm what are already pretty bad practices and take us. Take our so it's off the table. Well, the the one the one place. I would it's not that you would what were tracked it because of moral outrage. She would retract, because the deal is bad I mean that's ultimately, the issue here is: are these good deals or bad is the ideal is having your
actual property, stolen and repurposed by chinese businesses. That will then Andreas and have to worry about that. No the NBA doesn't, but every other company in that does business in China. You know basically said makes deals with these local companies that it turns out most of the the to be owned by the chinese military and basically get access to intellectual property steal it and then create domestic markets for it, and maybe export mark it's eventually for things that they got. Out of our hands and repurpose our technology to very bad. And what would that do that too? And you are seeing some some withdrawal from those products where the cost benefit analysis no longer makes sense, but for an mba, for example, which has tremendous cultural cachet in the United States and obviously a lot to lose in in China. It's they're not worried about a cost benefit. Analysis of the clouds benefit. Analysis will always make more sense to engage with the Chinese, even
that means sacrificing american values in the process. So how do you combat that? I think the main thing here is that one, if This is there to maximize profit in to return value to shareholders and not to you know, be an expression of american evangelism about freedom and free markets and and free speech and all of the then then they're doing what they they're doing, what they do out of out of self interest. They just don't get to claim that what they are doing, he is doing anything but advancing their own naked, narrow corporate self interest. Not there. No grander thing is being done here. Then selling goods in a in a in a in a non free country and- and that is not you don't have to with pack it. You don't have to prevent it, but you certainly don't have to celebrate it or act like anything. Good is being done yet it just. It bears mentioning that so that part of the dream is dead. Right and that's the failure at the end of history was
this notion that since there was going to be no competing idiot, logical philosophy to free market capitalism, democracy that there only be free, capitalist, free market, capitalism and democracy. It turns out that there can be all kinds of fun. Huh only bastardized a regimes that that have a little bit of this and a little bit of that little bit the other thing and there and they're they're, certainly they're better than the evil. Monstrosities that killed and imprisoned. You know million billions, but they're. Nothing, nothing good can be nothing. Much good can be said about them, and corruption. In fact, can sort of even act and organize itself like a sort political force in in in and of itself and do harm in the way that an ideology could and then we get back to the infection. This so in the infection which is Michael Flynn,
you know serve. The country in the military was head of the Defense intelligence Agency felt himself are done by Rock Obama who fired him as head of the defense intelligence agency and then he turned around and started selling himself to put in an air to one is an ignoble thing like that is, and not only just ignoble, because I you know we could get a character. I said however, we wish to, but as as you say, the peace No one before this era would ever have even contemplated behaving in this it would have been so shameful. So embarrassingly shameful that they never would have done it for Flint have gone gone to. Moscow sat at Putin, Let a gala for RT, the the Russian owned the state State television network get paid,
to give a speech there. It's it's disgusting also noting that no other member of the brass retired or active has performed in that capacity. You have to have a certain ideological inc, nation towards the strongman Putin, is steered one right vision of how to control open one which is particularly palatable to the to the president, made his first NSA. Well that true, but I'm just saying like if you think that there aren't people in you know, I mean remember that Manta forts partner, you know Manta Ford, pardoned in in the pit Destas and and and various other people, like I'm just saying that the the main chance there was. This idea that we were doing all this global stuff, and then, of course, also just the money was just you know fantastic, so
Well, you could do good and make a lot of money and then suddenly you couldn't do good, but you could still make a lot of money and you could sell your soul for Blucher an and people who would not have done so in previous eras of all colorations have done so, and that's just the fact of it. It's completely routine, Ized and and it will be more routinized by precisely what we said about the president and his kids and on this whole question of playing of of of footsie, that was played not and not but whatever I am they get away with. There is by. Is this really nickel assumption that everybody does. It reality is no, everybody doesn't do it, but enough
people like people are plenty enough. People have done it to make that argument not instantly dismissible, which I think is the ultimate case of how we became more like them and they didn't quite sure, come like us in the same way anyway. So the failure at the end of history commentary magazine dot com go take a look, have a wonderful weekend for Avery Waldo Ruffin, Christine Rosen and John Podhoretz. Keep the candle burning.
Transcript generated on 2019-11-20.