Need To Know with Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger
Episode 79: The Great Bug Out

Jun 13, 2014
Direct Link to MP3 File

NTK FeatureJay and Mona both thought of Saigon this week as the monsters took Mosul and Tikrit and set their sights on Baghdad. It’s a moment of shame for the country, they agree, but the frightening and surreal aspect of the story is the total inability of President Obama to learn from his mistakes. Carter, for all his many faults, could be swayed by reality. Obama seems immune to it.

As grim as the news is this week, the always spirited and insightful Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post cheers up the Need to Know hosts by helping to analyze Eric Cantor’s loss – and defending his reputation. We close with a few smiles about Hillary Clinton’s many stumbles.

Music from this week’s episode: 

Barber, “Adagio for Strings”

  1. Gaius

    Jay Nordlinger has advocated arming the rebels in Syria. Now he wants us to bomb essentially the same groups in Iraq. This “war will come to you” mindset seems rooted in a pre-”arab spring” mindset. It looks at the moment as if the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites more than conflict with the west will dominate the middle east for the foreseeable future. Unlike Vietnam, Iraq will remain a nation divided making it an unlikely base for planning future 9/11′s . Iran has every reason to intervene on the side of Malaki, which it already has, as it did for Assad. Nordlinger is right that Iraq’s future looks grim, but this does not mean that it remains a matter of national interest for the U.S.

    By the way I am neither a Buchananite nor a Paulite nor a leftist. I continue to believe that the toppling of Saddam Hussein was the right choice. Being an interventionist however does not mean believing that intervention is the appropriate response to every international crisis. There is no reason that a principled interventionist cannot believe, as I do, that there has not been a situation requiring US intervention since 2003.

  2. Michael Sanregret

    Just a general observation.  I think the Syria “red line” incident confirmed for the world that Obama has no idea what he’s doing (or perhaps he just doesn’t care).  I think a lot of bad people started scrambling to take advantage of the next three years.  I think what ISIS is doing is part of that.  I’m not a particular fan of the ruling family of Saudi Arabia, but I worry that they’ll be overthrown in a revolution and replaced with something a lot worse.

  3. BuckeyeSam

    Jen Rubin seems to stand alone in lamenting Cantor’s defeat. Glad to see him go, though I regret the establishment hasn’t gotten the message. Jen Rubin says classy speech? He didn’t mention Brat as the victor at all.

    C’mon, Mona, the Graham race and the Cantor race were completely different races. The House is our last stand against amnesty, and Cantor was dead set to see it through.

    Jay, the defeat of Cantor advances conservatism because conservatism will die amnesty.

    I hope this podcast improves because the Jen Rubin interview was an extraordinary turn down.

    I stopped listening when I heard that it was the first meeting of the “Eric Cantor for President” meeting. Thanks, but no thanks.

  4. Nick Stuart

    A lot of what Mona and Jay said about Iraq has merit. However we shouldn’t forget:  In general, the Iraqi people wanted us out, Maliki definitely wanted us out. They got what they wanted, and now they have what they have.

    Barack Obama bears a major share of responsibility also, but it’s not entirely his fault, as Andrew McCarthy points out here:  http://www.nationalreview.com/article/380398/dont-blame-iraq-obama-alone-andrew-c-mccarthy

    I was in favor of going into Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein because it was just a matter of time before he reconstituted his WMD program (q.v. the Dulfur Report) and was clearly going to be a continuing threat. Likewise going into Afghanistan. But these should have been short sharp punitive expeditions. “Hit it and Quit it”

    My kids are either out, or soon separating from the military, and I’m glad. Anyone who thinks we should reengage in Iraq, or continue in Afghanistan, should send their kids to do it, not mine or someone elses.

  5. PHCheese

    You can be sure BHO is playing golf today. He is a national joke.

  6. Eugene Kriegsmann

    Obama is fully awake! Can you say Cloward-Piven? There is too much and too many actions all occurring at a time when Obama feels least vulnerable. He is doing what he was put into the spotlight to do. None of this looks like happenstance or chance.
    As to the Cantor situation, I suppose I am projecting, but so is everyone else. I think that the growing frustration with the Obama administration, with Obama’s total disregard for the law, has simply caused people to react at any level at which they can. Cantor has appeared to be a friend to Obama as opposed to an opponent on the issue of immigration. It was the one place, perhaps, the voters could strike back at the Obama agenda, or at least that part of it that the RINOs seemed to support. The near destruction of Marco Rubio over the same issue should have served as a warning.  

  7. Grendel

    Nick Stuart: A lot of what Mona and Jay said about Iraq has merit. However we shouldn’t forget:  In general, the Iraqi people wanted us out, Maliki definitely wanted us out. They got what they wanted, and now they have what they have.

     Well, they wanted us “out”, but–being Moslem Arabs they are not strong on logical consistency–not necessarily out.  A status-of-forces agreement would have been possible to keep a substantial US holding force, but the Obamaramalamadingdongs sabotaged the negotiations, either deliberately or incompetently.  Life is neat and simple only in their smug little minds.  We still have multi-divisional-sized establishments in Europe, Japan, and Korea.  Korea went through a half-dozen cycles of military to civilian to military and finally to democratic government.  The Iron Curtain would have reached the Tyrrhenian Sea if in 1945 the US had declared “We’re gone.  That means we won.”.  The Democrats threw away (Republican) US victories in Vietnam and Central America, and they are doing it again in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The Democrats have been anti-American since 1972.

  8. Richard Fulmer

    In the rush to point out Hillary’s error in stating that Lincoln was once a Senator, people are ignoring the fact that she – like Obama before her - was comparing herself to Lincoln.

  9. Richard Fulmer

    Nick Stuart:

    My kids are either out, or soon separating from the military, and I’m glad. Anyone who thinks we should reengage in Iraq, or continue in Afghanistan, should send their kids to do it, not mine or someone elses.

    I think that ensuring that the American soldiers who died in Iraq did not die in vain is a poor argument for staying there.  This is not to say that we should not have left troops in the country, but arguing that we should risk more lives simply because others were lost makes little sense to me.  I’ll listen to arguments that staying in Iraq would have been in our national interest but not to emotional appeals.

  10. Matt Bartle

    I understand giving Eric Cantor credit for some of the things he did as majority leader. That’s fine.

    But I strongly object to one thing Jennifer Rubin said: she called the immigration debate “small ball.” This is NOT small ball! If the Democrats succeed in legalizing 12 million new Democratic voters it will change the electoral equation and make it much harder to elect Republicans. Not to mention the other changes it will inflict on society, on the culture, on entitlement programs, etc. This is a big deal and lots of Americans take it very seriously.

    When George W. proposed “comprehensive reform” it created a full-fledged revolt among the base. I didn’t like opposing Bush but I did. They called it a Conservative crack-up, but I remember Rush saying “This is not a crack-up; this is a crack down!” And ultimately that initiative failed. Now here we go again, and it looked like Cantor was on Obama’s side.

    We have to scare the living daylights out of the ruling class so they pay us some attention. Making them lose elections is the only way we can do it.

  11. Ryan M

    Nick Stuart:

    My kids are either out, or soon separating from the military, and I’m glad. Anyone who thinks we should reengage in Iraq, or continue in Afghanistan, should send their kids to do it, not mine or someone elses.

     I don’t know if this is really a fair thing to say with a purely voluntary military (paid, but not drafted).  I know you love your kids to death, and I’d hate to see mine go, but I think that’s a bad way to think about our soldiers.

  12. Ryan M

    Richard Fulmer:

    In the rush to point out Hillary’s error in stating that Lincoln was once a Senator, people are ignoring the fact that she – like Obama before her – was comparing herself to Lincoln.

     Didn’t she compare herself with the Senator from New York, though?  I think she was just trying to be clever.  I don’t blame her for that.  I’ve done the same thing.  Good lord, I can sound like a genius in one sentence and then add 2 and 2 to get 5 in the next sentence.  I’ve read a ton – more than most people my age – and I make stupid mistakes all the time.  That’s why we fact check.  Now… Hillary should have fact checked her speech.  So it does deserve an eye roll.

  13. Benjamin Glaser

    One thing that is nice about this podcast is that we know what the “beltway” conservatives think.

  14. Tom Meyer, Ed.
    C

    Gaius: I continue to believe that the toppling of Saddam Hussein was the right choice. Being an interventionist however does not mean believing that intervention is the appropriate response to every international crisis. There is no reason that a principled interventionist cannot believe, as I do, that there has not been a situation requiring US intervention since 2003.

    Nick Stuart: I was in favor of going into Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein because it was just a matter of time before he reconstituted his WMD program (q.v. the Dulfur Report) and was clearly going to be a continuing threat. Likewise going into Afghanistan. But these should have been short sharp punitive expeditions. “Hit it and Quit it”

    Well said, gentlemen.

  15. Giantkiller

    You know what mystifies me?  This continual refrain that no WMD were found in Iraq.  Read the open source reports – there were tons of chemical agents and munitions found, and signs of even more.  Admittedly, the nuclear program was agitprop, fooled Saddam and fooled us.

    That said, I am sorry we are losing Iraq, and there was some hope of a real country taking root there, with a government – eventually – of decent people.  Maliki is, in fact, a piece of work, but the essential fact of Iraq is that it only existed in the mind of the people for a very short time, if at all.  They remain tribal in their affiliations, and absolutely divided in their religious (hence regional) allegiance.  I mourn for the men and women who died there, and hate the current monstrous behavior of the animal who calls himself “al-Baghdadi” –

    I am really torn about the way ahead – I do not know what I would do, if I had the power to make decisions for the US.

  16. madpoet

    One thing that struck me about this podcast was the admission that there was not a lot known about David Brat, followed by the speculation made by Jennifer Rubin and seemingly reflected by our esteemed hosts that “the more virtuous candidate lost”, or words to that effect. 

    If Jennifer Rubin or anyone else has evidence of David Brat’s lack of honesty, character, virtue, etc., then fine. Let them present it. That didn’t happen here. Instead, we have this unsupported assertion and a shaking of the head. Yet the hosts have lectured the tea party in episodes past that there should be “no enemies on the right”.

    If the Republican Party is to remain united, it is not merely the Tea Party wing of it that needs to moderate itself. It’s also the older hands, the current incumbents, the more established commentators and columnists who need to weigh the impact of their words and how they’re perceived. Reconciliation will require BOTH parties to take some action. Otherwise, you merely continue to alienate those who might put their passion behind your candidates and positions, fracture the electorate further, and ensure more Democrat victories.

  17. Keith Preston

    I suppose it’s silly to comment this many days on since this podcast was “published”, but one of the reasons I was happy to see Cantor lose was because we were seeing constant reports that as soon as primary season was over, the House leadership was going to go forward with “comprehensive immigration reform”.  The conservative base translates this as “amnesty” (also known as “Republican suicide” and “BREAKING THE LAW.”)

    Well, then a scalp had to be taken.  Regardless of polls showing that BOTH Republicans and Democrats opposed amnesty, each party had it’s own donor class driving this issue forward in spite of voter dismay.   When you ignore the will of the voters, eventually, someone’s going to be sent to the guillotine.

    The sad truth is, it’s looks like the majority of the Republican caucus in the House has decided it was limited solely to Cantor and we STILL don’t trust the House not to stab the voters in the back…again.

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