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Hoover Institute conversation of Stephen Kotkin, Niall Ferguson, John Cochrane

Superb difficult discussion What do you all think?

david fb


We have seen two weeks of skirmishes.

Hezbollah has rockets but little offensive power.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad again have very little offensive power and are sitting on rockets.

Israel has a huge forward offensive posture.

Iran has no forward offensive power for its airforce, navy, or army that would matter. The US and Israel can knock out their offensive vehicles.

Attacking Iran does not mean peace. Fergie does not understand Muslim cultures at all. The cultures are decentralized states. This means chop off the head and another grows back.

Israel has been given the cards in this hand. The reason Israel over the next three months will devastate Hamas and Islamic Jihad. At some point, the tribal leadership will take over.

Israel works well with the Palestinians who are Israeli citizens, living in the West Bank most of the time, and living in Jordan. That does not mean Israelis are popular. But guess what if Jews lived only in the poorest ghettos of Muslim nations with no Israel we would not be popular no matter what.

The cards have been given to the West. We have excuses to restart the Cold War. This is at an economic exclusion of the East.

Russia is seeing an acceleration of very high inflation rates. Next year those rates will be hyperinflation. Ukraine will win this war with our war on the Russian economy.

There will be no nuclear war or hey it is all over and guess what it does not matter. That can not really be leveraged other than no ridiculous acts that were unneeded on our side.

The news we do not have how are Iranian US negotiations going?

Iran and SA are jealous of each other. SA has enough oil for a place at the table in the West. Iran does not have enough to work with the democratic republics while maintaining a theocracy.

Iran is trying to build a lot of chips to play on the table. The skirmishes with Israel are not chips for Iran. Iranian leadership is bigoted and no one bigoted really wins anything.


Bouncing around listening to this. The idea of an armistice between Russia and Ukraine was a non-starter.

Instead, Biden has well outsmarted Putin. Until Putin demands an armistice there will be no armistice. Putin must grovel. He won’t grovel.

Why would Putin grovel? What would happen to cause that? His army won’t be paid by the middle of 2024 with anything worthwhile as pay. His weapons manufacturers won’t be able to afford the materials needed. He will run out of munitions.

Biden is fully aware of this. He may not make a public case for anything very well but he has been the most effective president since Reagan/HW.


The economist on the far side is not comprehending demand-side economics. Investments in infrastructure roads up to factory doors, foundries, and utilities pay for everything else that the factories produce.

The odd thing China can not attack Taiwan because the communists would be seen as killing Chinese people. The people of the Han.

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Stephen Kotkin does not read the NYT

The Captain

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LOL. Kotkin barks that out as a polite riposte when being overly badgered by Ferguson. But Kotkin is definitely thinking at a level far above the normal NYT reportage.

d fb


There was also an undertone of Kotkin vs. ‘economists.’

The Captain