Citing probabilities of the Russian use of nuclear weapons in the context of the Ukraine conflict tells me that B Weiss does not understand the most basic things about statistical probability's use; that isn't at all unusual. _Many_ people have no idea why such probability assertions don't even qualify as educated guesses. Many very bright & educated people are statistically illiterate. She's among these.

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@Bari Weiss: this is important, so I'm kind of flagging this comment in the hope that it reaches you.

I just finished listening to your interview with HR McMaster, so I'm about two weeks late to this conversation. So, just in case you come across this:

McMaster's responses to your questions was disturbing for a lot of people. I'm one of them, just to make my bias clear. I do, however, want to push back against one hazardous sentiment that several people expressed, which is that you shouldn't be interviewing people (like McMaster) whose viewpoint is flawed, foolish, disingenuous or erroneous for some reason or another.

I emphatically disagree. McMaster is an influential public figure. He has a resume and credibility, at least in DC. His name sounds so dignified and authoritative. He knows people in high places. He's articulate and energetic. What he says and writes has actual consequence. Rather than arguing with him, you surgically questioned him in such a way that the hollowness of his thinking was inescapably obvious. His answer to "How do you respond to people who consider a negotiated end to war in Ukraine the wisest and least risky course of action?" was a pair of silky ad hominem arguments (1: yokels, 2: businesspeople) that sidestepped the question entirely. He showed us the hollow center at the heart of our current war fever. It was like jujitsu. I don't think he even knows what happened.

I would hire this guy to sell anything, but not to conduct foreign policy. You let him make that case for himself. Keep doing what you're doing. This is real journalism.

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Bari, I enjoyed the podcast but it was exceedling clear you and General McMaster had pre-agreed there would be no questions asked about former President Trump, his bromantic relationship with Vladimir Putin, what was said in their several off-the-record meetings, and how their interactions might have affected Russia's perception of the West in the runup to the Ukraine invasion.

For someone who has built a brand around truth and honesty, this very obvious omission speaks to an unwillingness of either you and/or General McMaster to aggravate the MAGA base of "he who shall not be named."

I am mindful of Eric Hoffer's famous quote, “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” Is your podcast now ushering us into the business phase of the 'truth and honesty' movement?

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What have we done?

Everyone knows that Russia, in and of itself, is a minor player in the world. So, why is there so much interest here. Has anyone asked this question of herself or of the "system"

We all know or should know that this emphasis on Russia started when they "interfered" in the implementation of "The Arab Spring". We could go into that in detail but that is a rabbit hole for another time.

The response has been "subtle" if I may call it that. Subtle but extremely violent in it's vilification of Russia and the assumptions that all of the evil people on earth were in cahoots to a good democratic solution in "the World". Does anyone care other than to get rid of this problem one way or the other? Or any other problem, for that matter. The "self-interest" card is and was played extremely well.

We are all so self-righteous, are we not? All we want is good in the world, is that not so? But we have learned from experts that "to hate the other" is "The Way"

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Brilliant! General McMaster was an outstanding National Security Advisor. I wish he was in such a leadership role now. Absent that, I hope senior foreign policymakers listen to him.

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Listened to this one driving from Whistler to Vancouver along the gorgeous Sea to Sky Highway here in British Columbia. I love Bari and her work. She asks exactly the same questions I would. This time I did clutch my pearls when she dropped the eff bomb (when quoting someone else). The podcast included discussions on nuclear warheads and nuclear bombs so the eff word was appropriate. And certainly in context. Once again, thank you for all your hard work and sharing it with us.

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The number one most important factor for determining quality of life on Earth is this:

What kind of system do you live under?

Think about it. If you tell us what kind of systems you live under - from systems of government, medicine, family, infrastructure, education, community, religion and more - chances are we can predict what kind of life you have.

Let's examine some recent problems: FTX. Voting systems. Medicine. Corruption. War. Homelessness.

It’s our own fault. All of it.

We have embraced the wrong kind of systems that govern over us - centralized ones - and they have become corrupted. It is time to change that. We need to understand and embrace decentralized systems, and fear centralized non transparent ones. And we need to be able to spot the difference.

Can you?

Once we recognize a system has been corrupted, it’s time to bust out the anecdote: TRANSPARENCY and DECENTRALIZATION.

Who wants to be part of a society of problem solvers instead of just complainers? Please, let's talk.


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15 hr ago

"The idea that Zelensky was “ushered into power” by the CIA is about as smart as the idea that Trump got elected in 2016 because Russia hacked the elections (or because white Americans are all racists - take your pick)."

You could be right - except for all the evidence in one case and none in the other.

"It shows a deep ignorance of Eastern Europe and in special of the former Soviet states. Now, the lack of knowledge doesn’t surprise me; I was born and raised in a former communist country and I participated in mass movements very similar to the color revolutions. I don’t expect Americans to have that knowledge and life experience."

I'm not "Americans." I'm AN American, (if we can keep it). You know nothing about me, my knowledge, or my education. Glad you got out, though.

"What I find shocking is the deep contempt and condescension of some Americans toward East Europeans."

Never seen it, so I couldn't tell you about that. It might just be a personal problem. I do have a warm feeling toward Highlanders, though. Especially Clan Gunn.

"So a country like Ukraine is populated by subhumans who couldn’t possibly hold free, democratic elections on their own; they couldn’t wish and fight for a free, prosperous, independent life. All what they know and is to be remote controlled by the CIA and whatever other powers. From what dark depths of your subconscient does this come from?"

Where did it come from? Why, that's no mystery. It came from you. You alone. Here in America, we call that a "straw man."

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Bari, the way you are going is John Bolton next?

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Bad broadcast Bari! You gave this dangerous man a Forum for the old American war plans

He argued FOR Viet Nam War?


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Pure propaganda Bari. You’re way out of your element. Stop!! McMaster is misleading (lying) you and us

Stop this war!

Stop financing Zelenskyy!

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America will eventually have to learn that yes, some wars are forever. Of course, nation-building in places like Afghanistan are dangerous and expensive absurdities, but our enemies don’t stop if we just ignore them. A painful lesson was already delivered but not learned in Iraq: the US can withdraw its troops, but it has to send even more and spend more money to eliminate ISIS (which is not fully done, by the way). You want to ignore them and hide in fortress America, “where we have so many things we have to fix before thinking of faraway lands”? They will bring their death and destruction right to your American doorstep. You think it’s great the US is finally out of Afghanistan ? Give it a couple of years and you’ll see what brews there under the Taliban. You think that if you serve Ukraine to Putin on a silver platter he will just be satisfied and go back to providing “freedom and prosperity” to his Russian subjects?

Only hard lessons will shatter this ideologically-induced myopia. Maybe a new 9/11, but this time with nastier weapons or a defeat in Asia at the hands of China, essentially a new Pearl Harbor. I wish this isolationism mania would recede at a lesser cost, but I doubt it. How much money and Americans lives will it take?

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Couldnt disagree more

We make a Mess in every one you mention and just Leave!!





And Billions to Zelenskyy and destroy Ukraine

We will Leave there too


Delusions you have.

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Excellent interview, Bari did a great job of asking all of the “tough” questions that isolationist usually mention. The answers were very clear and simple, great things to learn for somebody with isolationist inclinations but sincere desire to know more. Unfortunately, these days American isolationism comes as a “package deal”. If you’re, for good reasons, disgusted with most of what the MSM says, then you have to be isolationist because they are “globalists” (or whatever). If you’re disgusted of how the left and their MSM appendix have for years peddled the “Russia collusion” lies, then Russia must be really good, and therefore Ukraine must be bad. If, for very good reasons, you can’t trust most of what the MSM says, then you have to get your opinions from RT, which happens to be the vilest, lowest form of Russian imperial propaganda. Unfortunately, parsing through the comments on Common Sense (not to mention Matt Taibbi’s TK) I could hardly find anybody espousing isolationist views without a true religious fervor, ostensibly opposite but closely reminiscent of those who think that not voting for the Democrats “puts democracy in danger” or the hardcore climate catastrophists. Given the rich history of isolationism in America, Churchill seems to have been right: the world is definitely unteachable.

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Nov 19, 2022·edited Nov 19, 2022

No....... The Nazi loving and Democracy Hating Ukrainians are not winning.......End the propaganda bull. It's not our fight. Biden is dangerous. Seriously dangerous because he thinks he is a tough guy. This ends in another Failure for the USA. Haven't won a war since WW2 ( Granada? ). Enough with war mongering podcasts....no war.

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In short let me tell you why I am your subscriber: I want to read pieces, opinions and ideas  that I cannot find on brainwashing FOX or MSNBC and the likes. Your choice of what you write about and whom you interview is as important as the content. You must have known in advance, as all of us of your subscribers know, what a "war, war and war" guy like McMaster would have to say. He has all the rights in the world to hold those opinions but if I want to listen to them and the likes I pick up my remote or subscribe to WP or NYT. If you want to keep me as a subscriber, go beyond giving stage to the opinions, people and the ideas that are mass marketed by the mind controlling mass media that serve the red or blue colors of the establishment that are  driving this country to ground. 

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McMaster is a great speaker and writer, so I’m glad you interviewed him on this subject Bari. Thank you.

His critics should read McMaster’s 2020 book, “Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World”, which is a careful analysis of global risks and how to prepare for them. And it’s ironic when some commenters blame him for Vietnam, or being a warmonger, when his 1997 book “Dereliction of Duty : Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam” shows his own willingness to look critically at not only our involvement in Vietnam , but political/military decision making generally.

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Unsubscribe here and turnon your TV.

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I haven’t had television in 30 years. I read, broadly and extensively. After a lifetime of reading I’m sure I still know very little. However, my limited understanding of the world tells me that McMaster and Bari both have a good grasp of reality, and that McMaster’s views on the subject discussed are well founded.

It would take me a long time to write a comprehensive and coherent defense of my views on this subject, a justification I doubt most commenters here want to read. Hence my limited original comment.

But I’ll say the following: any argument about aiding Ukraine has to start at a point in time. For example, the argument for not aiding Ukraine was stronger two years ago than it is today. But today, like it or not, we are a committed partner, and withdrawing support after such investment shows weakness and invites our adversaries – Putin, Xi, Iran and North Korea – to continue slicing the salami, and invites our allies to hedge their bets with China and Russia. For example, at what point does South Korea or Japan decide that for their own security and economic viability that accommodation with China is better than defense agreements with the US. Or at what point does Saudi Arabia decide that selling oil in yuan, and thus weakening the dollars role as the worlds reserve currency, benefit it more than its weakening alliance with the US. A US that continually starts to help, then gets scared and withdrawals, does not inspire confidence.

Yes, I know we have a lot of feckless allies that don’t live up to their military commitments. And the Biden administration is terrible in so many ways, not the least of which is its declining military expenditures (in real terms) and the general bankrupting of America.

One of America’s greatest strengths, its abundant energy supplies, has been completely ignored by the Biden Administration. The drop in the price of oil in the second half of the 1980’s bankrupted the Soviet Union and greatly hastened its fall. In 2014 the oil prices worldwide dropped again do to fracking in the US, and Russia’s economy suffered greatly as a result. Our oil wealth is worth many army divisions in its potential geopolitical influence, but we don’t use it.

There are certainly short-term risks in aiding Ukraine against Russia, especially the nuclear risk. But the greater risk is letting them continue to think they can continue their incremental domination outward of our allies and others who fall with their expanding spheres. They will continue expanding until they see the risk is greater than the reward.

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Why not invade and bomb other coubtreis and kill their leaders? Democracy or not internally in these counties has nothing to do with it. What gave us the right to invade Iraq? How about bomb Lybia and kill their leader? Did you see the destruction of civilian targets by US air power in Serbia? The list is long but for people like you it is all about God given imperial power that we think we have and above all a set of mind boggling double standards. Putin is just a poor imitator of a failing US imperial playbook.

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