Commenting has been turned off for this post

When Tom Lehrer penned his little ditty about soldiering, albeit from lived experience, I wonder if he contemplated that the sad sacks, retards, and microcephalic officer corps he makes fun of were what kept him out of Hermann Goering's soap dish* just a few years before. Mr. Lehrer is still alive. What say you, Tom? But then, nothing like enforced service from the gifted kids at Harvard and Columbia to leaven the intellectual wattage of the uniformed services, eh? I mean, look at Admiral Rachel Levine.

*The reference is from Herman Wouk's Broadway Play, "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" where the defence-attorney character played by Henry Fonda drunkenly claps back at the slimy author who had just got rich from his book chronicling navy incompetence.

Expand full comment

re: the brewing Ferguson vs. Goldberg debate. Lionel Shriver's new novel, "Mania" set in an "alternate" 2011-2027 reality, which doesn't seem so alternate, weighs in on this brilliantly.

Expand full comment

Bari--second point. You said Hamas has two battalions left--"9,000 to 12,000 fighters." Um, in American terms, two battalions would be more like 900 to 1,200 fighters. Is this a decimal error, or does Hamas field monster battalions, or does Hamas have two battalions organized plus thousands more unaffiliated fighters? In American terms, a brigade would be 4-5 thousand and a division would be 12-15 thousand.

Expand full comment

I’ve noticed the term “battalions” gets used as a synonym for “units” a lot. Because it’s a military sounding word, better than “groups” or “organizations.”

Expand full comment

"Ah Hah!" the NPR blob will cry. "Uri Berliner sold out for the filthy lucre of The Free Press! All about the Benjamins, Baby...."

Expand full comment

The more important question is whether Israel be left in peace by the Islamist fanatics who are trying to excise it from the Middle East.

As long as its existence remains intolerable to these fanatics, Israel will be constantly forced to fight to survive.

The notion that the creation of a Palestinian state will bring such is a flight of fanciful imagination rather than a credible solution to the religious hatred that drives the aggression directed Israel.

Those Palestinians legitimately pursuing a nationalist agenda do not have the strength or popular support to prevent Gaza from being occupied by Islamist proxy fighters funded by Iran.

To the Islamist fanatics, Gaza simply represents a staging area for mounting attacks on Israel.

For its part, Israel must drive Hamas out of Gaza and occupy it to form a military buffer to prevent its use as a jumping off area for future Iranian funded Islamist terrorists.

The Biden administration is not willing to deal effectively with the Iranian theocrats who have made them look like fools for allowing and facilitating their development of nuclear weapons.

Until this situation is remedied, Iran will continue its aggresssion against Israel.


Expand full comment

Great news on Uri Berliner joining FreePress!

Expand full comment

Just finished listening to Honestly about whether Israel is winning or can win the war or really, the wars. Excellent hour and encourage everyone interested in the current crisis to hear it. A couple of observations. It’s clear from Spencer and Frantzman that the conflict is regional and global. Hamas, Hezbollah and Houthis are the tip of the Iranian spear, part of the Russia-China-North Korea and Iranian axis. And this administration- Obama 3.0 is and has been committed to Iranian appeasement irrespective of their Big Satan/Little Satan chants and the opposition of most Iranians to the Mullahcrocy. Biden is simply an imperfect figurehead.

On the bright side, Israel enjoys 80% of US public support. The election performance of the right in the EU is pro-Israel, and Eurovision public vote for Eden is encouraging.

Come November, there is only one choice that understands the Iranian threat and had that regime on the ropes. He was also, unquestionably, the best friend Israel ever had. There are many reasons to not find any common ground with Trump but the alternative is what we have today and more the same.

Expand full comment

I loved listening to this debate, but it was frustrating to hear both men say “who would replace Hamas?” “We need someone to step into the vacuum who would be better?” “Who would it be?”

As a woman and feminist passionate about addressing the global gender data gap in everything from tech to warfare, I was screaming at my phone: “WOMEN!! WOMEN IN POSITIONS OF POWER WILL STABILIZE THIS REGION!!”

So frustrating to hear otherwise educated and obviously intelligent men who are missing such a giant piece to the puzzle.

There is a direct, positive correlation in all countries on earth between stability, cultural influence, power, wealth, and technologic advancement and higher or equal status of women in the society. And it isn’t just a correlation. It’s causation.

Every country or territory on earth that is violent, unstable, poor and where people still live and die by the sword are countries that have the lowest rates of female empowerment and essentially pure patriarchy.

Female Palestinians should be inserted into positions of authority and power, and then aggressively guarded by Israeli soldiers from any male influence including husbands, fathers, brothers and sons. This would instantly stabilize the region.

Expand full comment
Jun 27·edited Jun 27

This is Leslie writing, a man. Substack gets our e-mails mixed up.

That is an interesting hypothesis; I'll grant you that. But if the very survival of those women in power in Gaza had to be gainsaid by the armed force of foreign troops -- Israeli no less! -- and you are right: it surely would, how does that set Gaza (or Judea, or Lebanon, or Syria) on the road to becoming an independent matriarchal nation? As soon as the IDF pulls out, the men will take down the women because the women have not the temperament or the physical strength to employ violence effectively themselves, and must always rely on men to keep order using the state's lawful monopoly on violence. Even if all your cops are female, and all the sergeants and division commanders and chiefs and the commissioner of police are all female reporting to the female Supreme Leader, they can't collectively control a national mob of angry armed men. Not until you do a whole lot of social engineering among your country's women which probably culminates in sub-replacement fertility. (Which, in the case of Gaza, would be a good thing viewed objectively, but probably not so by Gaza's leaders whoever they might be.)

The world might well be a better place if women were in positions of power in more places, although I'm betting you didn't care much for Thatcher or Meloni. But women can hold power only if they can resist efforts by men to unseat them. And for that they need other men loyal to them, leading to the question, why should men be loyal to a female leader if they know she will prevent them from ever taking power themselves, as men? In countries with strong institutions, where resisting violence isn't a daily feature of politics, these men are loyal to "the Crown" or "The Constitution" and it doesn't matter who the Prime Minister is, personally. And she will eventually retire and a man can vie to take over. But in Arab/Muslim countries, the only institution is Islam or the tribe/family. Women, like all other leaders in such shit-hole places, need a personal power base. But women cannot physically overpower men determined to take them down. So how to enlist men to defend you with violence while telling them that neither they nor their sons can ever rise to the top, only their daughters, and then only if they don't want to be mothers?

Expand full comment

Nobody said anything about matriarchal except you. I said if they put women without male influence into positions of power in Palestine, the region would stabilize and there is a 100% chance the women- no matter how antisemitic, or uneducated or brainwashed- would be “better” than Hamas.

You’re right that women aren’t physically capable of protecting ourselves against male violence, although I don’t necessarily agree that we don’t have the “temperament” to defend ourselves. Thats why I already said it would require men cooperating and defending the women.

I don’t know what “sub replacement fertility” means and it doesn’t sound relevant to what I said. But since men have proven throughout history that they’re willing to have sex with dead bodies, non human animals, prepubescent children, each other, and women who don’t accept physical and sexual violence, I’m sure that 99% of Palestinian men would be willing to keep having sex with women who don’t allow themselves to be oppressed.

Statistically, women, no matter their political persuasion, put more money into children, education, and infrastructure that benefits women and children. More female politicians in general is conducive to a more prosperous and safer world for women and all children regardless of gender, which logically means also safer for men bc all men were once children, because women are less violent in general and more focused on the success of children, regardless of any women that may or may not be outliers.

I can’t comment on every single policy of Margaret Thatcher and Giorgia Meloni and whether their policies would be more bloodthirsty and selfish if they were men bc that’s theoretical, although it’s an interesting thought experiment.

Your question doesn’t accurately reflect reality. Women aren’t asking men to be “loyal.” We’re asking men to stop physically and sexually controlling and assaulting us. Ceasing attacking and abusing someone isn’t a request for “loyalty.” It’s a request for nonviolence.

It’s interesting you see women in positions of authority as “preventing men from taking power.” Clearly a lot of men view any advancement of women into leadership positions as bias or unfair towards themselves, regardless of how many millennia men have had almost all leadership roles. It’s funny you wouldn’t consider every single country on earth having all female leaders for 100 years just a drop in the bucket on the way to correcting the gender imbalance, bc that is how you should perceive it based on logic and numbers and not emotions.

Women have innate power in that we naturally control the means of (re)production. Thats why men control and oppress us, and it’s the reason these Hamas apes are raping and probably trying to impregnate the Israeli women they kidnapped. Men intuitively know that women ARE the nation. So they try to “conquer” the nation by making it theirs in some way. They ultimately fail every time, however, because they’re fighting against reality. And the reality is that every human being who has ever lived shared their blood with a woman, the first person they heard speak was a woman, the first and really only place they truly felt safe was inside a woman’s womb, they shared a heartbeat with a woman, and the truest love they will ever experience is from a woman. Thats why men constantly create laws, policies, religious and social norms to oppress women: because patriarchy is something you have to constantly try make happen and then constantly upkeep through force ie it’s not the natural order of things.

If those Hamas apes do impregnate some of these women, and the women give birth to their rapists babies…they will still fail. Bc the very fact that women are women is gestate life means that that babies’ true and natural loyalty will be to the Israeli mother, not the father, bc our mother’s body is our one true indigenous homeland.

Thanks for engaging in discussion with me.

Men get very upset when I mention things like this that to me are non controversial and actually crucial to the success of societies, but to men who have had these topics censored from them via patriarchal propaganda, they can sound shocking. I appreciate you listening to me and considering my data-driven theory of middle eastern regional stability. A great book to read that goes into this gender-based theory of Middle East instability is “What Went Wrong? The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East” by famed Orientalist/public intellectual/political commentator and expert on the Middle East Bernard Lewis. You can also find more info on this theory in many, many books by feminists. A good place to start is Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Perez.

Expand full comment

That last paragraph. Wow. That’s Fantasy Island. Sorry.

Expand full comment

Prove it. Name a country that has huge gender inequality that isn’t poor, violent, authoritarian/unfree, low GDP aka to use Donald Trump’s term: a “shithole.” I’ll be waiting.

Expand full comment


Expand full comment

Japan is currently ranked at #20 out of the total 195 countries in the world on lists of countries with the best opportunities for women. This means it consistently ranks in the top 10% of counties in the world for women, or, it’s a better place to be a woman than 90% of counties. Try again.

Expand full comment

Have you spent much time in corporate Japan?

Here are some nice countries that I’ve worked in where women are rarely seen in positions of govt or business leadership:


South Korea


Expand full comment

Yes I’m well aware how men treat women in Japan. It’s still, statistically, a better place to be a woman than 90% of countries. That should give you a clue about how men treat women, globally, if Japan is top 20.

UAE and South Korea are similar to Japan. UAE is ranked #25 for women- so top 13% in the world for women, and SK is ranked #31 for women, so top 16% in the world for women.

There’s a lot of corruption and authoritarianism in all these countries. But they’re among of the most powerful and successful on earth, and they’re also far ahead of most countries when it comes to not enslaving and oppressing women, although as you pointed out, are women equal or as free as men in these countries? Absolutely not. Imagine if these countries treated women like the U.S. or France or Sweden. They’d be unstoppable, more democratic, richer, and better places to live.

Try again.

Expand full comment

Need to bomb Qatar off of the map

Cut the money train to colleges....

Expand full comment

Happy there's going to be a Goldberg-Ferguson debate hosted here. I read both essays and I'm on team Goldberg (i.e. point taken, but it's hyperbole).

But Ferguson's case does give me the willies.

Expand full comment

"Read Rupa Subramanya on why the U.S. should have dropped the case against Assange."

Better, read Noah Rothman on why Assange should have been prosecuted in a courtroom:


Expand full comment

"The showdown of the year is Ferguson vs. Goldberg."

...two writers I like and recommend. Although I've always voted left, I've never been tempted to ideologically 'purify' my reading. That would be ridiculously self-sabotaging.

Expand full comment

Regarding the capitalism/communism schism in the world simplifying everything... there's a simple beauty to that analysis, but there are serious complications. In theory, it makes a lot of sense. But it's not reality as the world has now adjusted to post-Berlin Wall.

Two major factors to consider: Islamic states are not democracies, but they do welcome trade and a certain amount of economic freedom. Whether they work toward the end of the non-Islamic world (like Iran) or not is another axis in this world.

Second, the capitalist Western nations are outsourcing more and more manufacturing to communist states, sacrificing security and wealth on the altar of this new religion related to climate change.

These two factors both work heavily to China's advantage and have created friendships (Russia and China, for example) that can only exist to eliminate America's superpower status.

If this religion continues to dominate Western politics, Russia will find success in its expansion and we all need to teach our children to speak Mandarin.

Expand full comment

From the looks of the "children" at the colleges, they're learning Mandarin on their own, and a lot of other "stuff."

Expand full comment

To celebrate the 4th of July I read the Declaration of Independence at a picnic for family & friends

Expand full comment

This comment is really only adjacent to some of the content today, but I would be very happy if Bari Weiss and Douglas Murray debated Krystal Ball and, well, name any other Hamas apologist.

Expand full comment

Couldn’t agree more on the movie rec! Love 1776! Wonderful actors and singers; a gem!

Expand full comment