H.R. McMaster joins James, Peter and Steve Hayward to discuss the Biden administration’s feckless policy on the war in Gaza; he explains Hamas’ battalion strength and the IDF’s delayed invasion of Rafah, along with the political balancing act that’s keeping the president from doing what he must.

Plus, the hosts enjoy the overdue campus crackdowns and consider the Trump campaign’s pitch for a return to normalcy.

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There are 15 comments.

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  1. Wolfsheim Member
    Wolfsheim
    @Wolfsheim

    Another splendid podcast…On a relatively minor point, the battle against international terrorists being much more important and so splendidly discussed, I am grateful for the mention of Joe Biden’s unhinged comment about Japanese “xenophobia.” I wonder who pushed his button on that one…I walk into a convenience store in our city, just outside of Tokyo, and am met at the counter by young, Japanese-speaking kids from Nepal and Vietnam who have learned all of the verbal and non-verbal skills required of service personnel in Japan, which is slowly but surely becoming a multi-ethnic society, without, we hope (!),  national suicide. Tomorrow I shall attend mass at a small church, where many of the young people are Vietnamese. They tend to hang around together, and some of them do not speak Japanese well, but in the long run they will have to assimilate…Unlike Al Gore, we believe in the true meaning of e pluribus unum.  

    • #1
  2. StChristopher Member
    StChristopher
    @JohnBerg

    What were the books on Viet Nam that were recommended?

    I’m not sure that Trump “surrendered” to the Taliban.  Wanting to leave the country was not surrender.  In hindsight I think the withdrawal was a mistake (and the execution a disaster).   We had things under control before deciding to throw it all away.  Leaving Afghanistan, however, is a judgment call for political leadership.

    • #2
  3. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    StChristopher (View Comment):

    What were the books on Viet Nam that were recommended?

    I’m not sure that Trump “surrendered” to the Taliban. Wanting to leave the country was not surrender. In hindsight I think the withdrawal was a mistake (and the execution a disaster). We had things under control before deciding to throw it all away. Leaving Afghanistan, however, is a judgment call for political leadership.

    I don’t think Trump would have actually left, both because it would have been giving away previously hard-won victory; the cost wasn’t that high any more, and the US casualty rate was less than that of regular training in the US.  The military advisors were against it, and he had the “out” that the Taliban was not following the conditions that had been set.

    FJB ignored the military advice and did it anyway, and did it quickly and haphazardly, because he wanted an applause line for a speech on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

    • #3
  4. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    kedavis (View Comment):
    I don’t think Trump would have actually left,

    I agree. 

    I don’t know what the financial issue was, but the ability to have radar suppressing jets between Iran, Russia, and China was a terrible thing to give up. I mean.

    Having said that, the state department, and the military did a lot of lying about the success of the country up to that point. 

    • #4
  5. Tedley Member
    Tedley
    @Tedley

    Wolfsheim (View Comment):

    Another splendid podcast…On a relatively minor point, the battle against international terrorists being much more important and so splendidly discussed, I am grateful for the mention of Joe Biden’s unhinged comment about Japanese “xenophobia.” I wonder who pushed his button on that one…I walk into a convenience store in our city, just outside of Tokyo, and am met at the counter by young, Japanese-speaking kids from Nepal and Vietnam who have learned all of the verbal and non-verbal skills required of service personnel in Japan, which is slowly but surely becoming a multi-ethnic society, without, we hope (!), national suicide. Tomorrow I shall attend mass at a small church, where many of the young people are Vietnamese. They tend to hang around together, and some of them do not speak Japanese well, but in the long run they will have to assimilate…Unlike Al Gore, we believe in the true meaning of e pluribus unum.

    Where are you at?  I live in southern Yokohama.  I don’t spend enough time on Ricochet, so it’s my fault, but I didn’t know anyone from Ricochet is in Japan.

    I also see the foreign workers in the convenience stores, they’re helping the labor shortfalls, although more are needed. 

    • #5
  6. Tedley Member
    Tedley
    @Tedley

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    I don’t think Trump would have actually left,

    I agree.

    I don’t know what the financial issue was, but the ability to have radar suppressing jets between Iran, Russia, and China was a terrible thing to give up. I mean.

    Having said that, the state department, and the military did a lot of lying about the success of the country up to that point.

    We lost a lot of actual and potential military and diplomatic leverage when he pulled us out.  A gift to all of those leaders.

    • #6
  7. Tedley Member
    Tedley
    @Tedley

    General McMaster mentioned the endless war in Afghanistan, and it’s one thing that’s long bothered me:  I think this interminable mantra about “end the endless war” is a sleight of hand to shift responsibility among govt agencies.  Why not point the finger at the military, since they are respectful of civilian oversight and won’t point out that it wasn’t their decisions that screwed things up.  The military had already conquered Afghanistan, so it had completed its end of the bargain, but the occupation of a country is normally the responsibility of the State Department, and that’s who made the egregious errors.  The military had long before finished the military mission, and was only there to help provide security and respond to developing threats, maintain bases for our troops to operate from, and train and work with the Afghan military to pacify the nation.  It was dumb choices made by the diplomats, such as trying to democratize a nation populated by a primitive culture, instead of putting the survivor of the old king back in charge working with the local leaders via the Loya Jirga, with the US and Afghan Army assisting them in securing their territories.  My two cents.

    • #7
  8. Tedley Member
    Tedley
    @Tedley

    I loved General McMaster’s point, there should be a show created called Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous covering the leadership of Hamas, to show how they are living high on the hog while the average Gazan’s life is terrible. 

    • #8
  9. Tedley Member
    Tedley
    @Tedley

    39 minutes into the podcast, General McMaster mentioned Biden’s pre-invasion actions that undercut support for Ukraine, saying basically the following: “When we demonstrate our irresolution, when we demonstrate weakness, that emboldens Ayatollah Khamenei, that’s what emboldened Putin.  Look what the Biden administration did.  They withdrew our naval vessels out of the Black Sea.  They suspended lethal assistance to the Ukrainian armed forces.  President Biden went over to meet with Putin in Geneva and said, “Here’s all the things I won’t do to support Ukraine, here’s our red lines.”  Then they evacuated all of our advisors, they evacuated our embassy, and they scuttled our embassy.  And so, it’s like they green-lighted the invasion of Ukraine.”

     I don’t remember hearing about all of the acts General McMaster mentioned, specifically pulling the US Navy out of the Black Sea, withdrawing advisors, ending lethal assistance, scuttling the embassy, then listing what he wouldn’t do to support Ukraine.  Am I the only one who’s been under a rock?  From a military perspective, it’s a disgrace, essentially as bad as what Obama did to Ukraine.  And these guys think that they’re the leading lights for foreign policy….

    • #9
  10. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Tedley (View Comment):

    I loved General McMaster’s point, there should be a show created called Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous covering the leadership of Hamas, to show how they are living high on the hog while the average Gazan’s life is terrible.

    How would the Gazans see it?

    • #10
  11. AMD Texas Coolidge
    AMD Texas
    @DarinJohnson

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Tedley (View Comment):

    I loved General McMaster’s point, there should be a show created called Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous covering the leadership of Hamas, to show how they are living high on the hog while the average Gazan’s life is terrible.

    How would the Gazans see it?

    I think most of those college students have tv’s

    • #11
  12. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    AMD Texas (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Tedley (View Comment):

    I loved General McMaster’s point, there should be a show created called Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous covering the leadership of Hamas, to show how they are living high on the hog while the average Gazan’s life is terrible.

    How would the Gazans see it?

    I think most of those college students have tv’s

    I meant the Gazans.  The people actually in Gaza.

    • #12
  13. Wolfsheim Member
    Wolfsheim
    @Wolfsheim

    Tedley (View Comment):

    Wolfsheim (View Comment):

    Another splendid podcast…On a relatively minor point, the battle against international terrorists being much more important and so splendidly discussed, I am grateful for the mention of Joe Biden’s unhinged comment about Japanese “xenophobia.” I wonder who pushed his button on that one…I walk into a convenience store in our city, just outside of Tokyo, and am met at the counter by young, Japanese-speaking kids from Nepal and Vietnam who have learned all of the verbal and non-verbal skills required of service personnel in Japan, which is slowly but surely becoming a multi-ethnic society, without, we hope (!), national suicide. Tomorrow I shall attend mass at a small church, where many of the young people are Vietnamese. They tend to hang around together, and some of them do not speak Japanese well, but in the long run they will have to assimilate…Unlike Al Gore, we believe in the true meaning of e pluribus unum.

    Where are you at? I live in southern Yokohama. I don’t spend enough time on Ricochet, so it’s my fault, but I didn’t know anyone from Ricochet is in Japan.

    I also see the foreign workers in the convenience stores, they’re helping the labor shortfalls, although more are needed.

    Good to know that there’s another Ricochet member here! I’m in Chiba…Japan’s disastrously low birthrate means that immigration is inevitable. But it must be accompanied by assimilation…Some years ago I was in hospital for some weeks and came to know Filipina nurses, who were working extraordinarily hard, courageously, and cheerfully. One of them told me of the struggle to learn Chinese characters (kanji) well enough to pass a test that will allow her to stay on. One may think that such a requirement is nitpicking, petty, and even “xenophobic.” But it isn’t. In the old days, immigrants to America had to learn English to obtain US citizenship. No? 

    • #13
  14. AMD Texas Coolidge
    AMD Texas
    @DarinJohnson

    kedavis (View Comment):

    AMD Texas (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Tedley (View Comment):

    I loved General McMaster’s point, there should be a show created called Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous covering the leadership of Hamas, to show how they are living high on the hog while the average Gazan’s life is terrible.

    How would the Gazans see it?

    I think most of those college students have tv’s

    I meant the Gazans. The people actually in Gaza.

    It was a joke

    • #14
  15. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Reagan took office in 1980?  Still can’t believe Peter said that.

    • #15
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