Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Join Jim and Greg as give President Biden credit for correctly labeling the Ottoman slaughter of Armenians last century as a genocide, They also rip John Kerry for reportedly telling Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif that Israel was responsible for more than 200 attacks against Iranian interests inside Syria. And they shake their heads as Vice President Harris seems unmotivated to solve the border crisis yet copies of her kids book are showing up at a migrant facility in California.
It was Christmas 1962 and I only had one wish: I needed advice on how to make Jimmy Murphy like me. So that meant I wanted the Magic 8-Ball, Mattel’s amazing creation that produced misty, cryptic answers to your yes-no questions in a little window on the globe’s base.
Me: “Does Jimmy Murphy like girls who wear lipstick?” Magic 8-Ball: “As I see it, yes.”Me: “Should I tell him I like him?” Magic 8-Ball: “My sources say no.”
I loved my Magic 8-Ball. It made navigating the treacherous waters of fifth grade so much easier and provided a sure and comforting compass. What’s more, if you didn’t like the Ball’s answer, you could ask over and over until you got the response you wanted. I used my Magic 8-Ball so often I completely wore it out and had to ask for another one for my birthday the next year. My question had changed to “How can I make Randy James like me?” but my desire for advice had not (changed, that is). And that desire still exists, to some degree, today.
As the impeachment drama kicks off, Jim and Greg nearly injure themselves rolling their eyes as a longtime Republican aide who is pro-impeachment suggests allowing a secret ballot vote in the Senate to improve the odds of President Trump being removed from office. They also slam Trump for warmly welcoming Turkish President Erdogan despite his atrocities towards the Kurds and other antagonism towards the U.S. And they cringe a bit when looking at numbers suggesting Democrats might have a chance at winning Georgia this year, although they do find a deeply satisfying silver lining.
I have to wonder if this is not the theme of President Trump’s foreign policy. It is the eve of hosting the controversial Recep Tayyip Erdrogan. The Turkish leader has been the source and thorn for some years to many, since taking leadership of Turkey, an American ally and voting member of NATO. Trump has […]
A young veteran reminded me of the truly ancient roots of conflict in the Middle East, pointing to lines we do not even see on the sand and soil. This prompted me to return to a summary sketch I laid aside months ago, after fleshing out an account of what we now call Iran. Then the House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution condemning the Ottoman Empire for committing the first genocide of the 20th Century…and 12 Republicans joined Rep. Ilhan Omar in opposing the resolution! What? Why? What follows is a single summary of the other three big players, historically, now known as Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
Iran and Egypt can point to the most ancient civilizations, as their progenitors were contemporary regional powers. The clash between them was captured in the ancient Hebrew texts, as the Jewish people were caught in the middle. Saudi Arabia comes next, with claims to punching far above their weight with armies fired by the fervor of a new faith, and more recently of being the secular and religious guardians of the faith. Finally, the Turks can claim to have been the most successful and latest power to rule the region for centuries after imposing final defeat on the (Christian) Eastern Roman empire.
It’s all good martinis today! Join Jim and Greg as they stunningly applaud former President Obama for telling liberals that just blasting people for not being sufficiently woke actually accomplishes nothing. They’re also glad to see the House of Representatives vote overwhelmingly to blame Turkey for the Armenian genocide committed over a century ago and discuss why that matters now. And they discuss the financial and ethical headaches facing the likely Democratic challenger to Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins.
David French joins us for a drink today in place of Jim, who will be back on Friday. Today, David and Greg discuss the courage of Enes Kanter, a Turkish player for the Boston Celtics. In the wake of widespread NBA cowardice on China, Kanter continues to defy the repressive Turkish government even though it persecutes his family members and he faces threats against his life. They also wince at President Trump’s Twitter-esque letter urging Turkish President Erdogan to seek a cease-fire with the Kurds and blast Trump for pulling back so suddenly in Syria that our own military is scrambling to get out of there. They work in a much-needed laugh as Beto O’Rourke now admits he would have law enforcement come and take away your AR-15 and any other weapons he would ban.
At the conclusion of today’s episode, they pay tribute to the late Rep. Elijah Cummings and then remark on David’s upcoming departure from National Review to join a new venture known as The Dispatch.
Since the three press conferences addressing Turkey, Kurds in Syria, and U.S. forces, there has been a near-miss of US soldiers. The hostile take is from Newsweek. The Department of Defense statement, on the record, gives us the facts we know from the US side.
The facts of this situation, even taken from the Newsweek post, contradict the “abandoned” narrative. That is, US forces were in an observation post within visual distance of the Turkish border, and close to some Kurdish positions, from which there may have been mortar, light artillery fire, across the border into Turkey. It is a long border, with lots of points of contact, compared to the small, shallow border section the past days’ actions and chatter concerned.
It is true both that being within a few hundred meters of an exploding artillery shell is not risk-free and that the carefully worded DoD report, suggests either just one shell or one volley of shells, since it was “explosion,” not “explosions.” Missing from the description is whether the US and Turkish forces were in direct radio contact locally. I would guess not, from the circumstances.
In light of the Turkish offensive into Syria against Kurdish forces US options might be limited. The Turks have some leverage in any response from the White House whether it’s sanctions or drawing one more line in the sand. The Incerlik Air Base located in Adana, Turkey and NATO tactical nuclear warheads are stored on […]
If you watch and listen to three sets of statements and answers by our current administration, you will get an interesting picture of our actual current policy. The first is by President Trump, answering a reporter’s off-topic question when he signed two executive orders on transparency in federal guidance and enforcement (a serious push back on the growth of an unaccountable fourth branch of government in the administrative state). The second is a Pentagon briefing on the deployment of Patriot Air Defense/Anti Missile units and two Air Force fighter squadrons to Saudi Arabia, in which both this action and comments on Syria are interesting. The third is a White House press corps briefing by Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin.
President Trump has laid out three possible courses of action in the longstanding conflict between Turkey and those Kurds living in eastern Turkey and across the border in Syria. As has been explained repeatedly elsewhere, these are not the same Kurds abandoned by George H.W. Bush and now supported in northern Iraq by President Trump. These are different groups with different politics.
The Turks have never treated their Kurdish population well. In turn, those Kurds, in the context of the Cold War, understandably turned to Moscow, as any group that was going to get outside support was going to be compatible with Soviet communist doctrine. Given all that, we should not bite on the “dirty commie” line too hard, and should remember that J. Edgar Hoover was busy trying to run the same line on black and Jewish civil rights leaders, a number of whom did turn to seek support where they might find it. All of which is to say that there ain’t no good guys in the local cast of characters, and there is a long standing quarrel with blood on both sides.
Hey, we finally we have a good martini and it only took us until Thursday! Today, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America appreciate a bipartisan group of lawmakers blasting the NBA for kowtowing to China. They also slam the Biden campaign for whining that the New York Times is making common cause with Breitbart.com by covering Hunter Biden’s overseas activities. And they hammer President Trump for not worrying if thousands of ISIS prisoners go free because of Turkey’s attack on the Kurds because most would only wind up in Europe again.
President Donald Trump announced his desire to withdraw from Syria as one of his goals as president. I thought about this and it sounded like a good idea. The country of Syria has been a “thorn in the side” of many countries and people for a very long time. Syrian refugees are scattered across the world, like the Jews – desperate to return home, to family, history, their land – the land of their ancestors. Their president has been a “thorn in the side” of many countries and an enigma – what do we do with him? Bashar al-Assad never wanted the throne. Who knew?
Turkey wants its borders back. Iran wants a rumble. Israel just wants its security and safety, as the Jews begin another Yom Kippur. How long has this country and region been in turmoil? Is this a region that we can bring democracy to, or stability at minimum, as past administrations have tried? Is Donald Trump asking those questions, as our young soldiers hold the line?
The search is still on for a good martini this week. Today, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to the Turkish military striking Kurdish targets just two days after the U.S. announced it would move forces out of the area so Turkey could attack one of our closest allies in the fight against ISIS. They also shudder at rape allegations against former “Today” show host Matt Lauer and at new revelations about the steps NBC executives took to downplay Lauer’s actions and stop journalist Ronan Farrow from releasing his Harvey Weinstein story that started the #MeToo movement. And they recoil as two NBA fans are removed from an NBA game in the U.S. for bringing signs and voicing support for Hong Kong.
We’ve got nothing but bad martinis today. Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are frustrated by President Trump ordering the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, even as Turkey specifically says it wants us gone so it can attack our Kurdish allies who did more than anyone else in the region to confront ISIS. Jim and Greg also swat away the NBA’s pathetic apology to China after the general manager of the Houston Rockets tweeted out that people should stand with Hong Kong. And they groan as they see polls for the upcoming legislative races in Virginia looking very rough for Republicans.
Jim Geraghty and Gregory Knapp of National Review discuss the impact of the Istanbul mayoral results on Recep Erdoğan, President of Turkey, and his party. They cover the entrance of Joe Sestak, former congressman from Pennsylvania, into the Democratic presidential primary. And they discuss the emerging rivalries between fans of different Founding Fathers in response to Alexander Hamilton’s exploding popularity.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are happy to see Vice President Pence laud our NATO partners for contributing more to the common defense and building greater cohesion while also calling out Turkey for its troubling embrace of Russia and a more Islamist outlook on the world. They also welcome the March jobs report, which shows greater gains than expected and is a major improvement from February. And they discuss West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin openly longing to run for governor in 2020.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see President Trump making a detailed case for border wall funding in tonight’s televised address, a more effective strategy than tweets and sound bites. They also like National Security Adviser John Bolton’s clarification that the Trump administration does want to get our troops out of Syria but we also have no intention of letting ISIS grow again or letting Turkey slaughter the Kurds. They slam the door behind failed Virginia GOP Senate and gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart, who says he will not run for re-election to his local office and is getting out of politics. And Jim is in rare form as he and Greg discuss the fact that every year is an election year in Virginia.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the news that American pastor Andrew Brunson was moved from a Turkish prison to house arrest, and they condemn the bogus allegations that Brunson provided aid for the failed coup. They also welcome the news that the ten most popular governors in America are Republican— great news in a year when most governorships are on the ballot. And they condemn the insanity of Santa Barbara, California, threatening fines and jail time for restaurant servers handing out plastic drinking straws without being asked, but Jim also sees a fantastic business opportunity there.