It’s our last show for 2018, sadly there’s just not that much to talk about. Darn. Nothing going on, no controversy, no conflict. Just some old friends (and Ricochet editors Jon Gabriel and Bethany Mandel) shooting the breeze for 70 odd minutes. Enjoy and we’ll see you next year.

And please: if you’re not yet a member — JOIN RICOCHET!

Music from this week’s show: All I Want for Christmas Is Whiskey by Dan Rodriguez

Subscribe to Ricochet Podcast in iTunes (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in iTunes or by RSS feed.

Please Support Our Sponsors!

Podcast listeners: Now become a Ricochet member for only $2.50 a month! Join and see what you’ve been missing.

There are 22 comments.

  1. Member

    Tom Cotton should stay in the Senate. He could serve there and do a lot of good, for years to come. But at the very best, he could only be SecDef for a maximum of 6 years. Probably less than 2. And after that, he couldn’t just go back to the Senate.

    It would not be a good move.

    • #1
    • December 21, 2018 at 7:04 pm
    • 6 likes
  2. Member

    The Mrs Fields promo code is still Ricochet, not Standard. And the Hopsy promo code is still Ricochet, not Martini.

    • #2
    • December 21, 2018 at 7:07 pm
    • Like
  3. Coolidge

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Tom Cotton should stay in the Senate. He could serve there and do a lot of good, for years to come. But at the very best, he could only be SecDef for a maximum of 6 years. Probably less than 2. And after that, he couldn’t just go back to the Senate.

    It would not be a good move.

    Yes, this should be called the Jeff Sessions Syndrome – give up a long term stable job for a cabinet position, and within a week, be threatened of being fired. Tom Cotton would make a fine Sec of Def in the Nikki Haley administration.

    President Mattis wouldnt need a Sec of Def, he’d just peel an union before every summit meeting, and everyone will be very agreeable.

    • #3
    • December 22, 2018 at 2:07 am
    • 6 likes
  4. Member

    Empire. Is it manageable?

    The local morning show had a libertarian on and he flat out said that you shouldn’t start a war unless you intend to colonize the place. Make money off of it. That actually might’ve worked in Afghanistan. Make all of the death, destruction, and waste pay off.

    • #4
    • December 22, 2018 at 2:14 am
    • Like
  5. Member

    I have a new theory. For the last 100 or 300 years, someone is going to be hegemonic. And then the theory is it might as well be the United States leading the West. So we have a hegemonic government, and “smart people” wanted it run “conservatively” by “experts.” I.e. Tom Nichols. The Fed, the military, all of the nonpublic goods that the federal government generates etc. Some of the stuff is international like the EU the EMU and the international monetary fund. All of the big central banks our effectively international hegemons.

    Here is a tweet storm about it.

    I say all of that stuff has gotten unmanageable and regressive, and that’s why so many political systems are going haywire.

    So now Trump is doing dumb things. Macron same. Germany. The German bank is going down the drain, Deuchebank. The EMU can’t stop Italy on their budget because they can’t invade within army.

    Eastern Europe is going way right.

    On and on.

    Watch the Yoram Hazony lecture at Yale. He explains the stuff in plain English, but I do think financial markets in central banking drive it to, and he doesn’t get into that very much.

    • #5
    • December 22, 2018 at 4:56 am
    • 1 like
  6. Member

    The picture says it all: This was a wonderful Podcast. While eating breakfast, I enjoyed it so much…

    Rather than rhythmically defending Trump, Peter gave us a thoughtful rendition of why he is wrong to do what he has done.

    Bethany was, of course, super. She is quietly funny. Also engaging, commonsensical, and humble. Don’t ever lose her, guys.

    The rest were good. But those were the highlights for me.

    Happy Christmas, Everyone!

    • #6
    • December 22, 2018 at 5:30 am
    • 2 likes
  7. Coolidge

    I wonder how many columnists got caught out, with a ‘quiet news day’ column written last week, for this weekend’s papers?

    I think the ‘good’ way to think of Mattis leaving, is that the training wheels are coming off president trump. Will he roll down the block and do a face plant in loose gravel? or will he ride away like the wind?

    • #7
    • December 22, 2018 at 6:45 am
    • 1 like
  8. Member

    If Trump can end just half of Obama’s shadow wars, he should be given Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize. 

    • #8
    • December 22, 2018 at 7:34 am
    • Like
  9. Member

    Until a general is elected president, generals don’t make foreign policy. Foreign policy is the presidents perogative and generals carry out the will of the president (who is accountable to the people). If in doubt of this, consult history, MacArthur in particular. If you disagree and prefer military dictatorship (where the military make policy), then speak up and make your case. However, be forthright about your un-American views. 

    Instead of measuring the cost of military involvement in world regions, such as Syria and Afghanistan in terms of dollars, measure the cost in terms of soldiers lives. How many are you willing to sacrifice?

    The policy of sending of our soldiers to police the world is too important to be decided by a general, no matter how venerated that general may be.

     

     

     

    • #9
    • December 22, 2018 at 8:58 am
    • 2 likes
  10. Member

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    I wonder how many columnists got caught out, with a ‘quiet news day’ column written last week, for this weekend’s papers?

    I think the ‘good’ way to think of Mattis leaving, is that the training wheels are coming off president trump. Will he roll down the block and do a face plant in loose gravel? or will he ride away like the wind?

    I had a piece on the ‘Trump economy’ last spring for a website I contribute to, they generally take a week to edit and post it. I pointed out that a correction was likely but investors would shrug it off and buy the dip.

    A day or two after I sent it to my editor the markets did just that rendering my prediction obsolete. If only it had gone up immediately the handful of people who read it would know that I am indeed an all knowing Cassandra….

    • #10
    • December 22, 2018 at 9:53 am
    • 1 like
  11. Member

    Watched this one on a walk in the park. The squirrels were a little startled by the occasional “f-yeah” durring the excellent foreign policy discussion.

    I’ve never been prouder to be a member of trumps base, as so defined.

    Looking forward to “Dork and Stormy” on Netflix.

    Merry Christmas, everyone!

    • #11
    • December 22, 2018 at 12:44 pm
    • 1 like
  12. Member

    Gee, there are a lot of scared drama queens out there. Do you really think 2000 American troops can’t be replaced by others in the area? Are you sure we can’t even return if things go very south? What about covert ops? Will we not continue to have ships and bases in the region? 2000 troops on the ground were never preventing very much. Very disappointing analysis re Syria.

    • #12
    • December 22, 2018 at 3:01 pm
    • 3 likes
  13. Member

    ParisParamus (View Comment):

    Gee, there are a lot of scared drama queens out there. Do you really think 2000 American troops can’t be replaced by others in the area? Are you sure we can’t even return if things go very south? What about covert ops? Will we not continue to have ships and bases in the region? 2000 troops on the ground were never preventing very much. Very disappointing analysis re Syria.

    I am in contact with someone knowledgeable this is the same thing.

    • #13
    • December 22, 2018 at 3:47 pm
    • Like
  14. Member

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    I am in contact with someone knowledgeable this is the same thing.

    What do you mean?

    • #14
    • December 22, 2018 at 4:09 pm
    • Like
  15. Coolidge

    Mr Nick (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    I wonder how many columnists got caught out, with a ‘quiet news day’ column written last week, for this weekend’s papers?

    I think the ‘good’ way to think of Mattis leaving, is that the training wheels are coming off president trump. Will he roll down the block and do a face plant in loose gravel? or will he ride away like the wind?

    I had a piece on the ‘Trump economy’ last spring for a website I contribute to, they generally take a week to edit and post it. I pointed out that a correction was likely but investors would shrug it off and buy the dip.

    A day or two after I sent it to my editor the markets did just that rendering my prediction obsolete. If only it had gone up immediately the handful of people who read it would know that I am indeed an all knowing Cassandra….

    I am also a man ahead of my time. Unfortunately only about 15 minutes.

    I appreciate there being an editorial process at a news site, but isnt a week too long?

    • #15
    • December 22, 2018 at 6:55 pm
    • Like
  16. Member

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Mr Nick (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    I wonder how many columnists got caught out, with a ‘quiet news day’ column written last week, for this weekend’s papers?

    I think the ‘good’ way to think of Mattis leaving, is that the training wheels are coming off president trump. Will he roll down the block and do a face plant in loose gravel? or will he ride away like the wind?

    I had a piece on the ‘Trump economy’ last spring for a website I contribute to, they generally take a week to edit and post it. I pointed out that a correction was likely but investors would shrug it off and buy the dip.

    A day or two after I sent it to my editor the markets did just that rendering my prediction obsolete. If only it had gone up immediately the handful of people who read it would know that I am indeed an all knowing Cassandra….

    I am also a man ahead of my time. Unfortunately only about 15 minutes.

    I appreciate there being an editorial process at a news site, but isnt a week too long?

    Thank whatever deity you believe in, that it’s only 15 minutes. Remember, 20 minutes into the future is Max Headroom.

    • #16
    • December 23, 2018 at 12:13 am
    • Like
  17. Member

    ParisParamus (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    I am in contact with someone knowledgeable this is the same thing.

    What do you mean?

    I wrote that poorly. It was from a guy on Twitter that I trust. He was over there. He said the same thing.

    • #17
    • December 23, 2018 at 12:56 am
    • Like
  18. Member

    James not himself? Could it be that women don’t wear all their bathing suit on Brazilian beaches?

    • #18
    • December 24, 2018 at 4:35 am
    • 1 like
  19. Thatcher

    I would submit that one of the big problems about both Syria and Afghanistan is there is no clear definition of a mission statement. Nor is there a clear understanding of what “victory” would look like in Afghanistan. That is a problem. I am all in favor of killing terrorists in job lots, but if that is the mission, state it that way. Afghanistan has another issue in the government there cannot fight an American style war against the Taliban. It is too expensive for them to do without massive financial and military adviser support (a few years ago the US and NATO countries spent more on the war in Afghanistan than the Afghan GDP, which will make tough for the Afghans to continue to fight as we are teaching them how to fight). Afghanistan is a very poor country, if you remove the heroin trade, with nothing much to trade, no direct access to western trading partners except by air. No railroads, no good roads and no access to the sea. All of which makes trade a tough nut to crack. On the other hand, it has made a pretty good magnet for terrorists which makes them easy to find and kill.

    • #19
    • December 24, 2018 at 6:47 pm
    • 3 likes
  20. Listener

    I’m surprised that nothing much is being said about the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. That is precisely the type of government — opportunities and rights for women, protection of rights, including freedom of religion — that many hoped could be developed (though others thought it implausible). Apart from articles by Johannes de Jong* and a very few others, there has been scant attention.

    More typically, one finds the idea that the only two prospects available are supporting Islamist radicals or else the existing regime. Yet, this is simply not true. The Democratic Federation of Northern Syria should be preserved. Apart from Israel, it is the nearest example in the region to a western liberal democracy.

    *p.s. Johannes de Jong has served as a correspondent for The Stream with many articles about Iraq and Syria. Here is an article relevant to the Federation from December 14, 2018:
    Will President Trump Sacrifice Israel’s Safety, and Thousands of Christians in Syria, Just to Appease the Turks?

    • #20
    • December 26, 2018 at 7:12 pm
    • Like
  21. Listener

    Chabad guy here. First of all, thanks for the shoutout, Peter. I promise if it’s ever me asking you, I’ll stop to chat despite your non-chosen status. (If the guys were more experienced, by the way, they’d at least have given you a card about the Seven Noahide Laws.)

    Also, to clarify what Rob said about Tefillin, they’re in fact made of leather, not cloth, with parchments containing sections of the Torah on the inside.

    • #21
    • December 30, 2018 at 2:10 pm
    • 1 like
  22. Listener

    There are possibly conflicting messages about how the withdrawal from Syria has started and yet how we won’t leave Syria until ISIS is fully gone and we are confident our allies for that fight are safe. Our main ally is the SDF, which is the defense force of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria.

    The DFNS is not seeking independence, but instead a new decentralized federated solution for the future of Syria, similar to the Swiss structure. From an interview with Syrian Christian leader Sanharib Barsom, Co-President of the DFNS:

    The U.S. sought to plant a tolerant democracy in the Middle East in its invasion of Iraq. That seems to have failed. Is the Federation of Northern Syria an organic version of what America sought?

    Indeed it is. We of the (Christian) Syriac Union party had this idea a long time ago. The peoples of Syria must coexist. We must respect each other. All groups must have equal rights to freedom of religion. Women can’t be excluded from government. The three major ethnic groups in Syria are Arabs, Syriacs and Kurds. Each of them has found itself face to face with ISIS. We’ve learned the hard way that we can only survive and defeat the terrorists together.

    From
    Syrian Christian Leader: We Have the Formula For Peace

    Yet how many are even aware of the existence of this Federation of Northern Syria as a functioning example that includes diverse coexistence, women’s rights, and freedom of religion?

    • #22
    • January 13, 2019 at 9:49 am
    • Like