The Atlas Society Ukraine Discussion with David Kelley, Richard Salsman, and Robert Tracinski

April 22, 2022 01:03:36
The Atlas Society Ukraine Discussion with David Kelley, Richard Salsman, and Robert Tracinski
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The Atlas Society Ukraine Discussion with David Kelley, Richard Salsman, and Robert Tracinski
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Show Notes

Join The Atlas Society for a special discussion on the war between Russia and Ukraine. Listen and Dr. Richard Salsman and Robert Tracinski discuss Objectivist interpretations of America’s foreign policy and their differing opinions in a civil and open manner. Professor Salsman argues that Ukraine does not deserve U.S. help and based on America’s national self-interest it should NOT get involved in the conflict, at present. Robert Tracinski, on the other hand, advances that America should be doing more to curtail a blatantly aggressive Vladimir Putin and provide more assistance for Ukraine. Our founder, Dr. David Kelley, will moderate as the duo will present their understanding of the history that has led up to the current conflict and what foreign policy options should be pursued to bring resolution.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hi everyone. I'm David Kelly. I'm the founder of the outlet society, which is sponsoring this session. Um, we are, uh, one of the leading, uh, non-profit organizations, the leading one, introducing young people to the ideas of mine, Rand. Uh, so the war Ukraine is been front page news, um, for two months now, ever since, uh, Russia invaded today, we're gonna discuss that war and what, uh, the us policy should be, should have been, should be going forward. Um, I'm gonna moderate the discussion. Our speakers today are two of our out the society scholars, uh, Robert Kansky and Richard Salzman, uh, just a board of introduction of, of each of them. Uh, Robert has been a, uh, very prolific writer for 25 years. He publishes the Kazinski letter that, um, I hope some of you are familiar with, uh, he writes extensively on, uh, for other publications, uh, does podcasts and so forth. Speaker 0 00:01:10 Uh, he conducts clubhouse sessions for us every week and, um, he is now, um, and he's recently published a really interesting book on, uh, a readers died to Atlas shrug called who's. So who's John gold. Anyway. Good question. Uh, Richard is a professor of political economy at duke university he's. He also has published numerous articles, uh, five books, uh, the most recent of which is where have all the capitalists gone. I highly recommend, uh, Richard has represented TAs at a lot of, uh, conferences. Uh, he does a clubhouse session, uh, at least once a month. And, uh, he also conducts a monthly markets and moral seminar for student oriented. Uh, before I turn the floor over to our speakers, <affirmative> I wanna say a few words about the topic and about our format. Uh, the response of the us is to the what's happening in Ukraine is a matter of foreign policy. Speaker 0 00:02:15 It's not a philosophical issue per se. Now, like any Phil, any issue, uh, there are philosophical, uh, premises at work here, and those explain some of the differences, um, in AISM, um, a key premise, which I think we all agree on, um, in this, in this session, um, is that a nation's foreign policy should promote the national interest of that country. Um, a as a nation, it should not, uh, a nation building for its own sake and certainly altruistic aid just out of fitting or sympathy, um, is, is not appropriate. Um, but applying that principle of, you know, we call it America first, if you don't mind the Trump connection, um, applying that principle and identifying what our interest actually is objectively is, is hard because it involves a lot of other knowledge about history, um, military strategy, uh, a number of other fields. And so that, um, I thinkers who've shared the same basic philosophical outlook may well differ because they differ, um, in their interpretation of these other fields. Speaker 0 00:03:29 Um, and this discussion is gonna be an example, Rob and Richard, uh, do differ, um, on the views of foreign, uh, in their views of foreign policy regarding you Ukraine. So we're gonna begin with, uh, opening statements, um, and each speaker will, um, talk about three topics. Okay. The background and current state of the conflict, both the long term and short term situation. Um, secondly, America's interest, what is the interest of the us in this conflict or the lack thereof, and finally, what specific support, if any, should us provide to Ukraine, and then we'll turn to for the discussion, um, uh, and question by the speakers and myself, uh, I'd also urge you to, uh, we have a portal, um, on Ukraine, um, on our website, it has, uh, links to many, many articles, uh, by Richard, Rob, um, and some other writers. Speaker 0 00:04:39 Now, I, you wanna emphasize that the issue today is about America's interest. It's not about sympathy for Ukraine or admiration for their, their bravery. It's not about horror at Russia's brutality. You know, our hearts may be wrenched by what we see in them, in the, in the news, but the feelings don't dictate interest. And, um, that is our question, what case can we make for, and against America helping Ukraine in some way? And if so, what way, um, point, you know, we we're dealing with this issue because it's, it's urgent, but we also hope that, uh, um, it, it provides you with a good illustration of what our, our organization, as a whole stands for, which is open objective, the ability of people who share the fundamental principles of the philosophy to disagree us debate, um, in the, in the, uh, in, in the interest of advancing our understanding of the world and of the philosophy. So with that said, um, let's turn it over, uh, first to Rob. Speaker 1 00:05:59 Okay, great. I, I really like that introduction. I actually have on the, sort of on the top of my notes here, I have written, uh, the word <inaudible>, which is, uh, for star Trek fans know that it's the ancient Vulcan discipline of suppressing the emotions and working only by pure logic. And, uh, you know, I think people our right to have an emotional reaction to what's going on in Ukraine and to, you know, you see the, the photos, you hear the stories, uh, their right to have those emotional reactions, but to understand what's behind that, and what's really going on, we need to go back to the factual base and that's where I'm gonna start. I like the way David laid it out. So I'm gonna start with the factual background of, you know, the history of this and what's going on. Uh, and by the way, I've got, I'm gonna sort of do a brief overview here. Speaker 1 00:06:42 I've got a, a piece just published in QUT in the last couple of days where I, I go over this, it's called the Ukrainian for nobody's pawns. And, uh, so I could trace this history all the way back to genus Khan, uh, because he's the, you know, it was the Mongol invasion that sort of produced, uh, strong man rules of absolutest rule, uh, to Russia and buried it deeply in the Russian psyche. But I'm gonna start a lot more recently. Um, and that is in 2004, there were two big events, one in Russia, and one in Ukraine that I think set the stage here. And the one in Russia was the prosecution of Macel Kovski. Now Kakowski was one of these, uh, oligarchs, these billionaires that, that rose up to wealth through the carving up of state owned assets at the end of the, at the collapse of Soviet union. Speaker 1 00:07:29 And he was prosecuted in 2004, not because he was somehow, especially corrupt. In fact, the opposite. He was starting to, you know, move over to sort of west journal or European standards of accounting for his business and that sort of thing. He, he was prosecuted because he was supporting political activity, independent of Vladi Putin, independent of the Kremlin. And that was, you know, he was targeted what it was regarded as widely regarded as the politically motivated prosecution. Uh, the secretary to the judges on his case came out later and said, well, like everything that, that the judge did, all his rulings, all his, uh, the sentences, everything was sort of dictated from, from above by Moscow. So it was a, a politically motivated, uh, prosecution aimed at someone who was engaged in political activity that was independent of the Kremlin. And that was sort of the turning point for Russia, where it was an announcement by Putin to the oligarchs, to the, uh, the, the, to the businessmen, to the people who had carved up the state assets and, and grown immensely wealthy said, you can keep your money. Speaker 1 00:08:33 You can, you know, buy ridiculously large mega yachts and cruise around the Mediterranean, but you have to stay outta politics, right? You have to, you, you don't get involved in politics. You let that be our domain and you remain subservient to the political rule, uh, coming outta the Kremlin now. So that was a return to this tradition of strong man rule in Russia now, same year, very different events in Ukraine. So in Ukraine, there was an election where there were two, uh, guys, Victor Chenko and Victor, Y Kovich who were, who were up for election. And, uh, Y uh, Y Kovi was viewed as the more Russia friendly, uh, Chenko was viewed as the more European friendly winning integration with European union. And Chenko suddenly came down with this extreme, this like severe case of dioxin poisoning and the guy nobody ever found out exactly how it happened, but the guy was suspected of doing it, fled to Russia. Speaker 1 00:09:25 Russia has a long history of poisoning, political opponents, um, and he survived though, and still ran. And then they, uh, OV fact and rigged the election and they were caught rigging it, you know, they had recordings of them saying, you know, what should the vote percentage be at the end? And it was, uh, you know, a lot of observers talking about the, the various ways in which the election was unfair. And that led to a, um, uh, mass street protests, uh, in the, in the central square, the, the Madon in, uh, uh, uh, in, in, in Kiev. And it was actually called the Euro Mighton, which is, you know, the idea of being, uh, that, uh, it's, it's about the wanting to be tied to, to the European union. And so these mass protests happen, and Y Kovitz responded by basically, uh, uh, conf uh, uh, the mass protest happened and the protest eventually forced a Revo because, you know, it was, uh, uh, widely acknowledged that the, that the vote was unfair. Speaker 1 00:10:24 It forced a revote, and in the fair Revo, uh, Chenko won and Y OVI was defeated. So what we have there in 2004 is the beginning of this divergence between Russia and Ukraine of Russia are returning to a tradition of strong man rule and Ukraine sort of insisting, and, and in way, in many ways, for the first time, insisting on a more quote, a liberal democratic model in the sense of having free elections and being able to choose their leaders and not having, not having the strong man, uh, being able to vote. That's the beginning of the divergence. Now, what happened is the next big event is in 2014, uh, Y the Chenko and his, his group were, uh, the opposition to basically to Russia had been divided and bickered amongst themselves. And, uh, Y Kovi had actually gotten elected, uh, uh, and was back in office, but he had promised that he would continue with a treaty, uh, seeking a economic integration with the European union. Speaker 1 00:11:26 And then at the last, what happened in 2014 at the last minute, uh, he re re uh, pulled Ukraine out of this treaty, uh, and sought a deal with, with Russia that was going to basically make them make Ukraine economically dependent on Russia. And that was the contest that was going on in the sort of Eastern European and post Soviet space at the time is that, uh, V Putin was trying to get together a sort of anti-European union, a, a union of Asian states, uh, bringing together a lot of the former Soviet republics, and especially in central Asia and bringing their own sort of union to counter the European union. And Ukraine basically said, you know, the people of Ukraine had said, we want to go with Europe. We wanna be part of, uh, Europe and work on the European model. And the, uh, Y COVID was starting to bring them over to this Alliance with Russia, and specifically what was exigent about that was not just the economics of it, but it was the fact that this Russian sort of anti EU was a, a group of strong man dictatorships, you know, a lot of former Soviet republics, which were ruled by a strong man. Speaker 1 00:12:33 And so it was really a contest in political models. So again, there was these huge protests. There was the Euro Mighton, which is, you know, the Euro part was very pointed there. It was the idea that we want to be part of Europe, not just economically, but we wanna be on a European political model. Uh, and, uh, uh, the, the protests were met, you know, the, so the, the, the suspicion of the protestors that Y Kovi was trying to create a strong magnet dictatorship was kind of confirmed by the fact that he immediately responded by passing a bunch of restricted laws that would, you know, basically outlaw all protests and, uh, control, uh, limit the limit free speech. And he also sent the, the bear co into this main square, and they shot a bunch of protesters. And the problem that happened, that when he cracked down, he made public support, the protest simply grew, uh, uh, and, uh, he was, you know, the parliament convened and, and voted basically devoted about <inaudible> from office, essentially a peace and, and fled the country. Speaker 1 00:13:38 And then of course what the, you know, having and having after he fled the first thing that they, the people did is they held a new election and they disbanded the bear co to the riot police. Um, so the Russian response to that was to invade Ukraine. It was to seize thera, pit peninsula, and then to start a sort of, uh, fake uprising in the Eastern provinces of Ukraine, the Doba region. And, uh, I call it a fake uprising because, you know, the, the, it brought us the term little green mens. This is the idea that they were suddenly, these, these men dressed in camouflage or dressed in green army uniforms were showing up who were Russians, who were their, uh, Russian soldiers and, and Russian special forces people who were showing up in this region, uh, basically organizing and supporting this supposedly spontaneous rebellion or uprising against, uh, against the Ukrainian government. Speaker 1 00:14:31 And so they were called referred to as little green men because the, they come from, but of course, everybody knew where they coming from. They were coming from Russia. So to sum this all up, what you have, I, the history of this and the background as I see it is you have two countries that are very similar in a lot of ways, um, have many of the same problems, but over the last 20 years, they've been moving in different directions. Uh, Russia is moving back more towards back towards the model old model of strong man role, where you have one central guy, LA Putin dictating everything to everybody else, Ukraine moving in the direction of trying to create a quote unquote liberal democracy. I don't, I I've about the term democracy, but the, the liberal part, the, uh, of trying to create a free society with elections, where people choose their leaders and defining themselves in those terms. Speaker 1 00:15:16 Uh, so I think that's the reason why Ukraine, the reason why put, sees Ukraine is a threat, is that Ukraine became a center. You know, there's a number of cases of dissonance, Russian dissonance, who moved to Kiev because it was a place that they could speak freely against the Russian regime while still being in a Russian area where a lot of people speak Russia, but while still being a place where they have reach within Russian media. So it was like this, this little enclave of a place that was very much like Russia, but was becoming, but was creating a liberal model and giving these liberal voices freedom. And I think ever since then, he's been sort of circle around Ukraine, trying to work himself up, uh, to this invasion. Uh, and the invasion had no specific cause there was no particular breaking point that, oh, we have to evade. Speaker 1 00:16:00 Now. It was very much he invaded because he could, it was a very much that a might makes right. Sort of situation. Now that brings me to the question of American interests. Now, I think we're agreed that us interest should be the goal, but I kind of everybody says that, you know, even the, the ones, the, the schools that we think are totally not interested in American interests will at least pay lip service to the idea that, oh, this is an American interest. The difference here is I think in a narrow versus a wide error interpretation of what those interests are. I, I, that you mentioned America first, the hardcore America first guys, I think have an extremely narrow conception of American interests and, and, and how that's implemented. And I often say America first, uh, often, usually in practice means America last because it means America should be the last to act. Speaker 1 00:16:47 America should be the last to try to have any influence in the world. Uh, we should wait for everybody else to do so. And, and, and, uh, you know, let Putin and let the Chinese and let all these people, let them push themselves out and expand. And we're gonna be the last people to try to have a say in what happens and in trying to influence the world. And that's what I mean by expansive versus narrow. So I see the basic contest in the world and the basic contest that involves American interest is that of freedom versus dictatorship. And the, the current version of it is a free society versus authoritarianism. You know, we're not the communist aren't communism doesn't really exist anymore, even in China. Uh, but what you have is a new model of authoritarianism. So the dividing line is liberal democracy versus authoritarianism. Speaker 1 00:17:30 And the basic question I see is, are we gonna fight this battle far, you know, farther are away from us, uh, early, uh, you know, fight it early and often when it's far away from us, or are we gonna basically wait until it's close by when you think about Atlas shrugged, you know, one of the contexts for Atlas shrugged is that every other country in the world has become a people state. And the United States is sort of the last one left. And, uh, I think IRA has specifically left out the aspects of that, but the idea is you don't wanna wait until America's alone. You wanna do it while the frontier between freedom and dictatorship is as far away from our borders as, as practical. Uh, so basically we do what we want to be ice alone, isolated in the world, or do we want the authoritarians of the strong man and the dictators to be isolated? Speaker 1 00:18:13 So, you know, in 1940, you could have said, where's the frontier between freedom and dictatorship while the frontier would've been London, right? <laugh> in, in 1949, the frontier would've been west Berlin, uh, in 1989, you could have said the frontier between freedom and dictatorship was in PO and Czechoslovakia, uh, in 1991, maybe in Lavia because they had this struggle. They had to do with it, uh, against Russian troops to, to get their independence. And now I think this, this, this dividing line, this frontier between free societies and authoritarianism, dictatorship has moved all the way to Kiev. And I think that we have to think of this in term of pushing back the sort of frontier of chaos, um, because you know, you have these author, the authoritarian model that is trying to be pushed onto every one country after another, uh, and is trying to spread back into Europe, which had been a bastion of, uh, free societies and even more so after, uh, after the collapse of the Soviet union. Speaker 1 00:19:12 And so then the other aspect of this though, is that the might makes right kind of aspect of this invasion. There's something called the international system or the liberal international system, or the rules based international order, various different terms for it. But an idea that sort of has, has been established at least in Europe, after the cold war, that you can't just evade other people that it might doesn't make, right. That there's rules, you have to, um, follow them. And I see this also, in addition to being an attempt to expand authoritarianism, it's also an attempt to collapse this international order. And I think we don't realize how great an interest we have in that international order, how much security and much, it, it, it doesn't push us back. It keeps us sort of being pushed back into the state of nature. Now it used up all by time on all these things. Speaker 1 00:19:58 So I think that's the fundamental American interest, um, that is that we're pushing back the frontier between dictatorship, uh, or freedom and, and authoritarianism, uh, that we're doing it with allies instead of a law own, and that we're doing it to help sort of keep the international, this international order alive so that it's not just a war of all against all. And it's not just chaos. Now, I used up all my time on that. We have one last question, just what to do, and I'm, I don't even get much time on that because what we need to do is not very much at all. You know, the good thing about this is the Ukrainians willing to fight, and they're able to fight. They've the, the fact that we're talking about this two months later means they're capable of, of, of fighting and, uh, and they're willing to fight. Speaker 1 00:20:42 And that, uh, the Eastern Europeans are highly engaged in destiny of the polls. And the checks are doing a lot to help. Even the Europeans, even the Western Europeans, uh, have shocked me by how much leadership, uh, they've been offering on this and actually doing something for a change, which I didn't think was possible. Uh, and so I really think all that we need to do is, you know, offer our moral and a moral and intellectual and, um, diplomatic support and to be the arsenal of democracy, sort of like we did with the, uh, with, with Britain in the late 1930s, you know, during the early years of world war II, before we entered, be the off, be the arsenal democracy, provide them the weapons that they need to fight. And this is really like a, a golden opportunity for us, cuz the best war is one that we have to send their soldiers to. Speaker 1 00:21:28 Right? The best war is one where we get an ally to do the fighting for us and to break the power of the Russian army, which I think the Ukrainians have the capability of doing and all we need to do is just send them, okay, here's some weapons that we'll help you fight. So that's the, the, so I think this is, this is attempt to, uh, an opportunity to basically strike a blow in favor of a non chaotic international order, a liberal, uh, uh, one in which liberal societies are sort of setting the terms, uh, to beat back authoritarianism and to do it at very little costs to ourselves. So I think it'd be almost like crazy not to support the Ukranians and to, uh, who provide them with, with weapons that they need. Speaker 0 00:22:11 Okay. Thank you, Rob. Um, uh, and thank you for saying so almost on time. Uh, one minute, that's very good. Uh, uh, that I know how Speaker 1 00:22:23 It's a record. It's a record for me. Speaker 0 00:22:25 Yeah. <laugh> um, and now I'd like to invite, uh, Rick you to the floor, um, to, um, make your statement. Speaker 2 00:22:34 Thank you, David. And thank you for, uh, participating in this, this I'm enjoying this, I believe a more direct, uh, concrete explanation to be distinguished from justification explanation for the Russian invasion. Asian of Ukraine is the multiyear eastward expansion of NATO. So I'm not gonna go back to Ganges con, but I will go back to the cold war. NATO was formed in 1949 after the war. Let's remember that the us emboldened and built up the Soviet union during that war, by helping Stalin and Len lease and all that. And then in the postwar negotiations turning over, uh, most of Eastern Europe to that dictatorship. So the us already made a mistake there, but then they had a cold war, uh, as, as it's been called and NATO was formed first with 12 countries, us and others. And in that pact, the us basically agreed to provide national defense to 11 foreign countries, totally unconstitutional. Speaker 2 00:23:41 The United States constitution does not require that the us defend anyone other than American citizens. I I've talked previously about the idea of allies and friends. So there can be a case made there, but the fundamental point should be, uh, no foreign country should be accessing us military, uh, basically sourcing out their military that doesn't make them a country if they don't have their own military defense. Now the Warsaw pack wasn't formed until six years later. So quite interesting, it wasn't NATO was not formed in reaction to the Soviet union and its satellites developing their own military Alliance. The Warsaw pack was put together after in 1955. And, um, you know, all the usual characters of Romania Bulgar, all the Eastern European countries now fast forwarding. Now, what was the purpose of those two? The, the us, the Soviet union was on record for wanting to basically vanquish the United States. Speaker 2 00:24:38 So they were a clear enemy and an existential threat to the United States. They got nuclear weapons. They stole from us basically soon after the war, the Cuban missile crisis showed that they could be very aggressive. So there's no question in my mind that to classify correctly, the Soviet union during the cold war as aortal enemy of the potential mortal enemy of the United States was a valid thing. So possibly, maybe NATO was justified it, but again, I don't think in the sense of providing national defense and using the American taxpayers to, uh, defend other countries, I thought that I think that was invalid. We've been perfectly normal for those 11 countries to join on their own and say, we're gonna stand up, uh, against the Soviet union. Now here's the real turning point at what gets us to this. The turning point is not, you know, crazy elections in Ukraine 10 years ago, where oligarchs being arrested, it's much more fundamental than that when the cold war ended in 1991 and the west basically won, it was an, an enormously, uh, important opportunity for the west to bring Russia into, um, the C of friendly nations. Speaker 2 00:25:48 Did it mean that they were, uh, a re uh, you know, automatically overnight a pro capitalist Liberty loving country? No, but just as China has started to change in 1978 and no lo no longer moist it's undeniable that starting in 1991, the Russia was no longer stuck. Speaker 2 00:26:09 Uh, but instead of dismantling NATO or even putting NATO on a schedule, which I think it would've been a better idea just to make, to, to allow everyone to adjust accordingly the optimal policy would've been to say, as long as Russia behaves itself over the next decade, by the end of the century, we'll disband NATO. We'll get back to a, a, a world where grown up countries are supposed to defend their own borders and defend their own systems. Not only did NATO not do now, of course, the Warsaw pack was dissolved because the Soviet union was dissolved. So NATO was now up against no other military Alliance in the form of the war Warsaw pack. So it couldn't even justify itself on the grounds that, well, the war off pack still exists. Of course it didn't exist. Now, if the NATO just stayed as it was with its 12 or 15 members, that would be one thing, but it spent the next 20 years expanding. Speaker 2 00:27:03 And not only that expanding eastward toward the Russian border, it added most of the former Warsaw PAC countries in to NATO. Now, I believe this is the point where NATO became not a purely defensive Alliance, although I never think it was totally just that, but a clearly offensive one, because it was not facing a threat threat from Russia. Russia was not a threat militarily to really, really, to anyone in the nineties. And I would say even in the two thousands, now this is not just ancient history because Putin himself was elected in 2000. So that's a long time ago and he's been, uh, elected and reelected, I think four or five times now people can dispute the validity of those elections. He usually wins by something like 50 or 60%. There are 10 or so rival parties, including the communist party that tend not to win. Speaker 2 00:27:56 And so I wouldn't even classify Russia as an authoritarian autocracy. It's not, and I wouldn't even classify Putin as an autocrat, but to, to me, that's beside the point he has said repeatedly. And the Russian people believe this as well. And I think it's perfectly valid that this Eastern move of NATO right up until the Russian border is threatening. I, I think it is totally threatening, especially when you have a us establishment spending decades, trashing Russia, calling Russia a, you know, uh, a manipulator of our elections when he sees the us going in and toppling autocrats from Egypt to Pakistan, to Libya and elsewhere, and leading at leaving absolute chaos in may have, I should add Iraq and Afghanistan, just one asterisk us policy intervention. After another, again on this ground that we're gonna have democracy and people are gonna vote for, uh, the replacements of these autocrats. Speaker 2 00:28:56 And, and the result has been absolute mayhem and the destruction of American soldiers and the destruction of American war material, and the run up in the national debt to 30 trillion, just to series of chaotic moves totally due to this idea of like the forward strategy of freedom, which Bush pushed starting, I think in 2003 or so, uh, that is really the instigation for this. Now 2008 people forget that in Georgia, Georgia was also flirting with adding it, uh, joining NATO now to, by this time, by the way, NATO had 30 members. So it had gone from 12 or 15 members when the cold war ended to almost doubling to 30 and always moving eastward. And, uh, the Georgia and Ukraine have spent the last decade or more, uh, basically toying with and flirting with the idea of joining NATO and Putin and Putin knows this and knows what it would mean and knows that it would basically be joining a military Alliance. Speaker 2 00:29:54 It's not a free trade zone. It's a military Alliance. It's a commitment on the part of the United States and others to go to war for 30 other countries or 29 other countries. So it's no small thing. Now, interestingly, both, uh, Georgia and Ukraine have not been able to get in NATO guess why they are so corrupt and they are so unstable. And, and there, there are eligibility requirements for getting into NATO. Believe me, NATO would love to add them. And, but they're just so bad that, um, they can't really be characterized as, you know, liberal democracies moving in the right direction while Russia is moving in the other direction. Uh, the, the data are unmistakable. You can look it up, whether it's a measure of economic freedom or a measure of corruption, Ukraine and Russia are neck and neck on both measures. They're about the same. Speaker 2 00:30:49 So, and they have been changing over time. They've been getting slightly less corrupt if that's possible and slightly freer, actually over the last 10 years, both of them, but they're both way down the ranking list terms of economic freedom and the, and the cleanliness, so to speak of their politics. So it's just a myth that the invasion or the conflict between the two has anything to do with some kind of diverging, uh, political economy model. That's not true at all. Now, the other interesting thing is if you chart those same measures versus the United States, those two countries are becoming freer and less corrupt relative to the United States. So just to bring the United States into this, the us has been losing economic freedom and becoming more corrupt by these metrics for 15 years, since 2007. Now crimee, um, the key more recently politically electorally there was, I, I, I don't really, uh, concur with the way the 2014 election was described here. Speaker 2 00:31:51 There was a co to unseat, Y Kovi Yona Kovi won the election. And because he was friendly to Russia and because the Ukraine was trading with Russia, and because by either way, most of the oil and gas pipelines into Europe goes from Russia under Ukraine. It's not true that Putin had no interest in dealing with the EU. It sells most of its oil and gas to Germany and EU nations. One of the reasons it built the, uh, pipelines under the BTIC sea is that Ukraine was coming more and more precarious and Russia needed to sell its oil and gas to basically go around Ukraine. This is a Russia that's trying to trade more, not war more, but when you COVID was elected, there was a coup that overthrew him and the United States participated in that coup and Putin knows that that was not. Yeah, I think it was described as he was impeached for some corruption. Speaker 2 00:32:48 He was not, there was a violent coup that literally overthrew yo C in 2014. And that is what made Putin annex the crime. Because in addition to that coup the whole Eastern province of Don BOS declared their in two of the republics there declared their independence. They were so disgusted with the treatment of Y Kovi that they declared their independence and Russia didn't even recognize those declarations until last February. So it caught right away declared, um, confirming the, the independence of those two, but it, didn't now fast forward to why now Putin knows darn well that Joe Biden and the Biden crime family are totally connected with Ukraine. This has been well documented. And he knows, I think the real turning point of late was not only Zalinsky being elected in 2019, but his, uh, Alliance with Biden and Putin knows that. And Zelensky, since he was elected in 2019, has, has, has been building up his case for getting into NATO. Speaker 2 00:33:56 And I think Putin's, and the Russians are totally within there rights to say that's unacceptable, especially given how corrupt he is. Uh, Zelensky himself is being idolized as a kind of poster child for libertarian Jeffersonian, which is ridiculous. He, he won the election with 30% of the vote. That's it? In the first round, 70% of people didn't even want him. Um, so that's my, as back here, I don't really think that there's any evidence that this is like the beginning of a Hitler move throughout Europe. A lot of people are saying that that would be one way of saying the us should intervene for that reason. Um, this is to me, uh, Putin saying I'm sick and tired of this Eastern expansion of NATO. I won't put up with it. I certainly won't put up with it on my border. This needs to be a neutral state that we trade with. Speaker 2 00:34:45 It can't be one that's in Alliance with the United States, especially with the United States that has a recent record of toppling regimes and leaving chaos in its wake. Okay. National self-interest. Um, I, I did some of this yesterday, so just as first per principles, just as a reminder, uh, I think we agree on this though, that, that, uh, egoism rational self-interest national self-interest who guide the United States. All right. So that means what is the essence of the United States? To me, the preservation and protection of Liberty, the pres preservation and protection of the Liberty of Americans, not of other nations of other people's. We can certainly be a role model. We have been, we have a declaration, we have a constitution, we have a history. If people can't figure out how to be free by looking at the United States of America, then we have a problem already. Now, the proper function of government to defend individual rights, the three functions, police, courts, and military, but in the military, it has to be national defense. Speaker 2 00:35:46 It can't be national offense. It can't be imperialism. It can't be colonialism. It can't be nation building. We can have alliances with other countries. We might even come to the, their aid if they're attacked, that's okay, but that's not what's happened here. Russia has not attacked us. Russia is not an existential threat to the United States. Russia, isn't the best behaving nation on the planet, but there's a bunch of others that aren't well behaved either. It's just not in America. Self-interest and I would go the other way and say, it's in America against America's self-interest to involve itself at all anymore. To the extent it has already in Ukraine. And it already has given them aid and military equipment and advisors. And, and I'm hearing from the other side here that basically you want to militarize this and get the us involved. The us has to declare war. Speaker 2 00:36:32 If it's gonna be a constitutional Republic, it shouldn't just be going to war, uh, even by the 80 steps, but that's exactly what's happening. It's totally improper. It's totally unconstitutional. The us constitution not only says Congress must declare war. That means they have to debate these things. By the way, they haven't done that since 1940s, us has been involved in five wars and it doesn't declare them or debate them anymore. That's authoritarian as far as I'm concerned. Um, so, um, I see my time as that I only have 30 seconds left. So I, I think I've said, uh, a little on the background, more on the background than anything we have more to discuss about that America's self interest, what it entails, what it should be doing. It should withdraw any support, military diplomatic, or, uh, financial from Ukraine. It should not be helping Ukraine in a fight against, uh, Russia. And it certainly not, should not even be imposing. This might be even more controversial economic sanctions, diplomatic sanctions on Russia. It should not be doing that. So I'll, I'll stop there. I think that's 15 minutes, right? David You're muted. David I, there you go. Speaker 0 00:37:43 Yes. Thank you. Um, I have a lot of street noise outside my window. Uh, uh, thanks you. Thanks for both of you. Um, let I, I'm gonna, um, now and, and, you know, welcome, uh, for their discussion and responses, but let me, uh, let me start, uh, as a moderator by just asking, uh, each of you, as you know, in simple terms, what you see as set, the essential difference between the positions that you laid out and in particular, is it difference on question one about, you know, the, what the facts on the ground are and the history? Is there a question about interpreting American interest? I think it's between those two, but anyway, so let me open the floor. Um, uh, Rob, do you wanna, you wanna start with Speaker 1 00:38:37 That one? So, so I, I think we are, you know, you mentioned before that, you know, foreign policy is not a philosophical issue. Philosophy gives you some overall framework for it, but it's very much a factual issue. And Richard and I are living in two factually very different worlds, right? So, um, he, he lives in a world where, so like one of the differences here, I think that the fundamental difference of those is he talks about Putin being elected. And while you could dispute it, but he's, he's been elected and he is not really an authoritarian, but then he talks about the, uh, the Biden crime family and talks about America being authoritarian, because we haven't declared war, but by the way, that that's not, I used to say, why don't we declare wars anymore? And then I realized that we have past numerous authorizations for the use of military force, which is a declaration of war. Speaker 1 00:39:24 I mean, there's no functional. I actually looked into this, what's the functional difference between the a U M F authorization for the use of military force and a declaration of war. And the answer is there's no difference. So the idea that we never declare war Congress supports all these Congress has approved, uh, uh, packages of aid to Ukraine. So congressional approval for what we're doing is what we've done. It's not authoritarian, but if you think that the us is authoritarian and Putin's regime is not, that's a fundamentally different set of facts that you're dealing with. Um, and so I think that explains a lot of it. I think, you know, it's something I've noticed among the sort of anti interventionists and especially the American first and, and nationalists conservative types, which is, it's like, they're so angry. And so, um, opposed to the American elites that their whole focus is on the American elites are rotten and they're horrible, and they're destroying the country and there's this sort of attitude of anything therefore we're against and anything they're against we're for. Speaker 1 00:40:21 And so, you know, Putin seems good because he's not, you know, he's not the, the state department establishment who is so horrible and rotten and corrupt. Um, so the, I think that that it's that factually different worlds that we're in now to talk about those facts though. So Russia has a long history now of suppressing, uh, opposition, uh, that they have, uh, they've used this war excuse to shut down the last of the independent media in, in the country. But they've been suppressing the in independent media for a long time by using this sort fascist model that they have, where they don't nationalize the companies, but everybody has to, you know, all the oligarchs basically have to answer to Putin or face some sort of persecution they've assassinated, uh, numerous, uh, uh, critics of the regime. They've tried to assassinate more so that right now there's a guy, Alex Naval who's in prison, uh, in Russia. Speaker 1 00:41:18 So Naval came to, uh, prominence by exposing the corruption of the existing regime in Russia. And one of the things he did is, you know, by publicizing look at this giant mansion that Putin has where he, you know, technically doesn't own anything, but he has this giant mansion look at this giant yacht that he has exposing the degree to which basically the, the state, the, uh, the, um, the resource based economy of Russia is being Lood by the top guys in the regime. And for doing that, and for being a, a, uh, a threat to Putin, he's been repeatedly subject to trade prosecutions, uh, rigged prosecutions. He, uh, they tried to poison him with, uh, nerve gas on a, on an airplane flight. Uh, a year ago he came back to Russia and then they immediately prosecuted again and put him in jail. So he's actually a, you know, he, he's a political prisoner essentially. Speaker 1 00:42:10 And so Russia has, and there's another top bleeder who was shot while walking down the street. Uh, there's a journalists have been pushed out of, you know, journalists have a tendency to fall out of windows. Uh there's uh, the reason, one of the reasons the United Kingdom is so deeply involved in Ukraine and, and supporting Ukraine is because there's a series of assassinations carried out on British soil, uh, including, uh, a, a nerve acid tack on Sergey. Streetball, who's a, you know, an exiled Russian, uh, this is Putin going after his Russian enemies, but that one ended up killing two totally innocent bystanders who were British citizens. Uh, there's a suspicious death of Boris Barofsky, there's a whole, uh, the guy who had Poon put in hist, uh, lit vanco. So there's this whole series of assassinations carried out on British soil as it attempts by Putin to basically, uh, uh, to kill off any of his critics, not just within, within Russia, but overseas. So there's a long documented history of this. Um, and, uh, Speaker 0 00:43:09 So Robert, are you saying, are you saying then that, um, uh, the, I, I don't, I don't know if this falls under, uh, Richard's, uh, freedom Indi index or corruption index, but he's saying Russia actually is worse. Um, when you take these incidents into account. Speaker 1 00:43:28 Oh yeah, yeah. The freedom and corrupt, the corruption of freedom indexes, uh, uh, only they're statistical Indies. They take statistics into account. They don't take into account all the other aspects, including the fact that, you know, basically critics of fat and re Putin end up, generally it exile dead or, uh, IM prison. Uh, so, you know, this is not a, I don't, there are very few people who would argue as Richard does that. This is in somehow a free political system <affirmative> and it, oh, by contrast, ours is a free political system. We're not, it's not an authoritarianism. There is not, we're not ruled by the Biden crime family. Uh, so the idea that somehow this is, uh, I think it, one of the things I argue against is this sort of catastrophism about, especially about America. Oh, America's going downhill. We're declining power, all horrible. Speaker 1 00:44:17 If you get too overwhelmed by the catastrophism, you start to think, well, America's so bad that anything else, you know, that, that we have no, right. Basically to vast judgment on others, that if America's so bad, uh, we're the bad guys in the world, and everybody else isn't so bad. And I think that is this sort of upside down view of the world. Um, now the other thing I find interesting about Richard's case, and I, I wanna give him time to respond. But other thing about Richard's case is it's not a case that's NATO expansion. From what I understand, it's a case against NATO in the first place that NATO should not have existed. And I wanna talk about, to just take one minute more minute to talk about why NATO existed in the first place and the rationale behind it and how that applies here. Speaker 1 00:44:57 NATO existed. Not because there was a, uh, an east block or not, because there was a, a Warsaw pack. It existed because there was no need for Warsaw pack stolen ruled all of Eastern Europe, uh, through puppet regimes. But all also what happened is it came out of the Berlin air. And the idea that, that the Russians basically said, we're gonna block a Berlin. We want west Berlin. We want to occupy it. And we came in and said, no, we're gonna have an airlift. We're gonna support west Berlin. We're gonna keep them from being swallowed up under the Soviet, under Soviet rule. And, uh, the, that period, the rationale for, or NATO when the rationale for NATO was we can't slip back and let Russia pick on the Soviets, pick off one country at a time, you know, focus on well, west Berlin's tiny. Nobody's gonna defend them. Speaker 1 00:45:43 We'll pick them off. And then we'll take another little slice over here. We're gonna take another slice over here. We can't let them pick us off one at a time. We have to band together. And I, the purpose of NATO is always a defensive Alliance because article five and NATO doesn't get triggered. If, if, if a NATO member initiates a war against someone, article five is not triggered. Article five is only triggered if a, a member of NATOs attacked. But I think those purposes actually to is broader that it is to be the Lahan that, you know, it it's that that brings order or to the state of nature in a way, and enforces an international order that prevents a country like Russia, dictatorship like Russia from going and invading and, and, and it NA as neighbors. So, I mean, you know, the idea that somehow NATO was expansionist because we just hate Russia. Speaker 1 00:46:28 Why would Finland and, and Sweden are now petitioning or about to petition to draw? Why would they break? They haven't been involved in a war. They've been deliberately neutral in every war since 1939. When, when Finland was invaded by the Soviets, why would they suddenly break that tradition of neutrality? Well, you, you basically have to say, I know better than the Europeans what's threatening them. Uh, they know that, you know, being next to Russia is a threat to them and they Don it to be Finland doesn't wanna be re Finland. Uh, so, you know, and that's, that's the, that's the, the last thing I wanna say, which is, this is not a war we're starting or creating. This is a war that's gonna happen, whether we're involved or not, the Europeans who have a much more direct interest in this than we do, you know, the polls and the, and the checks and, and, you know, behind that, the British, and, and to some extent, the French and, and, and Germans, they're the ones who are leading this and taking the lead, and this war's gonna happen, whether we're involved or not. Right. So it's really a matter of our saying, which side would we prefer to win? And also, you know, how much more damage do we wanna have happen, uh, uh, while we sit back and watch. Speaker 0 00:47:38 Okay. So, uh, what I'm hearing is that, uh, one point of difference is, uh, the history and, uh, purpose of NATO. Um, and another is the interpretation of, uh, Putin as an authoritarian, uh, and his system as authoritarianism. Um, uh, Richard, what do you see as the fundamental issue? Speaker 2 00:48:00 This, this might, yeah, this might surprise you. I think it's the second. I think we differ actually more on what is America's interest Speaker 0 00:48:08 Mm-hmm Speaker 2 00:48:08 <affirmative>, so here's how I, and some of it is factual, uh, the history, some of it is, but I think the second framing is what makes Rob look at certain facts and elevate them, you know, to a statute that I don't think is relevant. So, so to me, you know, a long account of political shenanigans and, and, uh, poisonings and stuff like that, it's very kind of concrete, bound and journalistic. Um, it's not a way to characterize an entire regime, although it's, you know, it's anecdotal for sure, but the numbers, I name shouldn't be the, the metrics I cited. Shouldn't be just dismissed as statistical. These are attempts by the, uh, scholars and statisticians to really measure, uh, the freedom and corruption of these two regimes. Now, I never said, uh, that the, uh, Russians are, you know, more authoritarian than America. I said, the Biden crime family, the reason the Biden crime family is relevant here is it's specifically tied in to Ukraine that has been well documented. Speaker 2 00:49:13 I'm sure Rob knows those numbers as well as anybody. So that's the real key, and that's what Putin's looking at. And that's why Putin didn't do anything when Trump was in power, because Trump was not, uh, playing puppeteer with Ukraine. Biden definitely is Biden is an ally of Ukraine Biden. And the Biden crime family have profited directly from Ukraine Biden. Unlike Trump has, as recently as last September said, yeah, you might go into NATO. They're not in NATO. There's no obligation for the us to support Ukraine or Georgia or anyone else they're not in NATO. If these treaties mean anything, let's not play fast and loose with them and say, well, we should help them. Uh, there's no treat. What is the point of these treaties I'm against NATO to begin with, but now it's just being used as a pretext to say, well, anyone who gets in trouble, you know, will be helped by NATO. Speaker 2 00:50:07 That's just irresponsible. Um, that's one thing. Um, the other thing is, I don't think it's relevant to go into, although it's just to correct the record more than anything, uh, at, to the, to the details of whether Ukraine in Russia are worse than each other, regarding corruption and economic freedom. The point I thought we were trying to make was what is America's interest, because there are many other countries on the list that are more corrupt and less free than these two. And they're BR and they're brutal regimes. I mean, uh, Saudi Arabia is a brutal regime. Why are they an ally of the United States, Iran as a brutal regime? Why is Biden negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran? Uh, I'm not saying this for future view, Rob, I know you oppose those things as much as, as I do, but I think there is an important matter here of the us voice and its consistency. Speaker 2 00:51:01 And if it's inconsistent, uh, other countries, especially astute ones like Russia are gonna, they're very perceptive as to what we're doing, how we're performing. And it it's undeniable that the us military foreign policy performance of the last 20 years has been absolutely horrific. And I believe it's actually been horrific precisely because of some of the doctrines you're endorsing the forwards strategy of freedom, make the world safer democracy. You and your own statement said something like we should be promoting democracy. I mean, we should not be promoting democracy. Democracy just means voting and voting is not a fundamental. And would it be nice for all these other countries to recognize individual rights and Liberty? Yes, it would it, but if it doesn't, if they don't our only foreign and mili military policy obligation, both constitutionally and morally is to figure out whether their friends and FOS of us directly, not whether they're friends and FOS of their neighbors. Speaker 2 00:52:05 Certainly if you analyzed Hitler in the early years, and you could see that he was not only invading locals, but he was, he had a full range project bad as that was. I think it wasn't valid to declare war on Germany until Germany declared war on us, which they did. Of course, uh, they hadn't, uh, directly aggressed on us yet. But David and I were talking about this just yesterday. You can go after someone who threatens you. I think you can even say that about Iran when it says death to America or death to Israel, and Israel's an ally. Um, and notice Japan's an obvious case, Pearl Harbor, a direct attack. So the us first response should've been against Japan, which it was, but the idea of saving in Europe from Hitler, if that was the motivation, that's altruistic, that is other oriented. That is the us military and tax money is going to the help of other, uh, citizens in other nations, which, I mean, it's just morally wrong, but I'm confused why those on the right don't care to psych the constitution, the constitution forbids it. Speaker 2 00:53:10 It is absolutely unconstitutional for the Congress to be funding anything without declaring war and those not those aren't declarations of war, those little funding, authorization of force. There, there are ways to sidestep the declaration requirement. Uh, this is not well known, but the us constitution also limits declarations and war to two years. Nobody knows that it's in the constitution. It says two years. So there's laterally a sunset provision, literally in the us constitution as to the deployment and declaration of war in the deployment of forces 20 years in Afghanistan is not two years, 20 years in Afghanistan of emboldening, the initial enemy, the Taliban, they were stronger when we left, we left them $83 billion worth of war material on the tarmac. Speaker 2 00:54:05 And I don't in the readings. I've read of what you've written. Rob. I don't think you wanted the us to pull out of Afghanistan ever in those 20 years. And I, I don't get that. That is to me, a total sacrifice of American reputation, prestige, financial solvency, credibility. I don't really blame the Pentagon. The military's great, but it's directed by a bunch of buffoons. It's directed by a bunch of, altruists the rules of engagement we know, and I know, you know, this, that you're not for this either the, the altruism in the actual, um, exercise of military power. So this is apart from the altruism driving the foreign policy choice to begin with, let's go bring democracy to savages in Afghanistan. Once you go there on top of that, there's altruism in the rules of engagement, tying their hands behind their backs, every lawyer behind every soldier, the just war theory of Michael Walzer don't don't have any, um, collateral damage on citizens. So certainly don't, uh, target citizens will Truman target citizens. I don't know why anyone, very few people go back and say, Nagasaki and Hiroshima shouldn't have been done because he knew he was gonna eviscerate millions of citizens. Right? Why was it justified? So the, Speaker 0 00:55:28 If I could just, uh, interrupt, we, we've only got about five minutes left and, um, I think there's a, a ton of things we could talk about. And, um, you know, when you look at the big picture and think about Iraq and, uh, Afghanistan, um, yeah, there's, it's, you know, you us, um, can look pretty yous policy, a pretty abysmal, but I, I wanna just, um, focus on, get this back to this issue of Ukraine. And, um, um, and, and to the question, what actually is our interest, not how badly we've sacrificed that interest in previous sessions, but just what would, what is our interest? Um, let me ask you this, you look at the statistics and, and, um, I'm a big fan of statistical evidence cause anecdotal evidence, um, is, you know, limited in all the ways we understand, but statistics are a little limited too, because you have to have something you can easily measure or at least measure somehow. Yeah. And, um, I wanted to ask you, uh, it looks like whatever the similarity in, in, in internal freedom and corruption, whatever similar it, there is in the standing of Russia versus Ukraine. Speaker 0 00:56:48 It seems as if the very desire, uh, on what looks like a majority of Ukrainians to affiliate with the west and the comfort apparently that most Russians have with students rule, um, whether we call it a authoritarian or not, is it, I mean, I think it's fair to say it's a strong man. It's not a, uh, uh, Speaker 2 00:57:15 Yeah, Speaker 0 00:57:17 Anything close to, you know, the American model. So, um, it looks like there's a, a cultural difference and that cultural difference is being expressed in different goals. Ukraine seems to be wanting to move one way Russia, another, I do give any credibility. I, and I, I don't know how you would measure that, uh, culture statistically, but, um, it sounds like that's part of the, of the difference in opinion here. Speaker 2 00:57:49 I think that if you just look at the map and actually what's going on with the war now, and the history of the Don BOS region, Ukraine is going through a civil war in slow motion. Maybe the co in 2014, I think was the beginning of it. However, so it's not, Ukraine is Western and Jeffersonian liberal and Russia is, you know, a faint hint of Stalin. The whole Eastern part of Ukraine is pro Russia and anti. The other part of Ukraine. The Western part of Ukraine wants to align more with Europe, but can't even say that Russia doesn't wanna rely with Europe economically. It does more trade with Europe than Ukraine does. So Russia's one part of Russia's concern is precisely what's been happening to them. Namely, we'll cut off your oil and gas exports. The environmentalists love that the neocons love that the militarists at, um, but this is a threat to, this is a threat to Russian's economic exports. Speaker 2 00:58:53 Not, not it's call it it's military exports. And, and I think that's very, I think that's one of the reasons Putin almost symbolically before the invasion said, I recognize the independence of these two provinces. Now these republics, it had been declared eight years ago and he didn't do anything about it. Now he's basically saying if that is the only way to create a buffer between us and NATO, the NATO that Ukraine is begging to get into, then it's worth it. It's not the beginning of a multistate expansion westward it's, uh, I'm gonna wreck the place if necessary, just to create a buffer. I am not gonna allow NATO in here. And, and, and one last point about Selinsky he banned all political parties and he conscripted all males between 18 and 60. He literally constricted them overnight. So the idea that he's this Jeffersonian liberal figure is nonsense. Speaker 2 00:59:45 So one of the reasons the Russians are winning and I believe will win this war is they don't fight wars the way the us does altruistically. It believes in total war, it believes in all our total war. And the only reason it's taking time is I think they're actually pulling lunches a bit, but, um, the idea that they're targeting civilians and stuff like that, I mean, it's a different philosophy of war, but to reject that philosophy is one of the reasons the us has lost five wars in a row. OK. Uh we're um, I'm gonna extend this by, uh, uh, a minute or two for Rob to comment, and then I need, I need to wrap up or, um, my position with the Atlas society toast. Speaker 1 01:00:28 I, I, I will try to get my whole re battle into one minute. And that is going back to the idea that I think this is factual. Richard's in a totally different factual universe than I am. And, and there, the fact is that there's so many things like wanna respond to here, cuz there's a bunch of facts he gave that are just dead wrong. Uh there's the fact that Russia has a long history of initiating frozen conflicts. Uh, there's the, this idea that the 2014 was a coup what kind of coup is followed by immediately disbanding the riot police and holding a new election. That's some odd definition of coup I've never encountered before. There's just so many factual assertions. And I just wanna put that out there that I can't answer them all. There's no way I can answer them all, but people need to look into this one. Speaker 1 01:01:08 Last thing I just we're talking about statistics. Richard cited the idea that 30%, only 30% of Ukrainians voted for Zelensky in the first round. Well, first of all, that's exactly the same about the French election is happening in two in two days, uh, you know, um, uh, Emmanuel Macron, who's likely to win only got like 23% in the first round. It just shows that Ukraine is a multi-part democracy where you have a lot of different things. Now I say liberal democracy. I put the liberal in there because that's the important part, but it, you know, so the fact that he got 30% and his 30% was more by the factor of two to one, then the, the second, uh, highest candidate in the, in the actual final round of voting, he got 70% of the vote. This is clearly a guy who has massive support. Speaker 1 01:01:51 And if you look at the, how Zelensky became famous, it was, he did a TV show where he, he, he plays a guy who, an ordinary guy who gets elected president of Ukraine, then life imitates art. But he in the show the whole basis for was the guy. I has a viral video where he goes on a Ty rate complaining about official corruption. So that's, you know, another big difference is that Ukrainians voted 70% of them voted for this guy, cuz they said, he's gonna take on corruption. Whereas in Russia, corruption is all, you know, Russia also has a lot of corruption, but it's all run outta the Kremlin by the guy who has apathy on political power. So anyway, like I said, there's all sorts of other factual things that we are completely in different universe on, but we can't answer them all in, in the time we have left. Speaker 0 01:02:30 All right. Well thank you both for, um, you know, a deep and, uh, interesting, uh, discussion you, you, our, uh, I'm a scholar, but I am awed by the depth of knowledge and, and thought that you put into it. Um, but we do have to close. And so, um, I wanna thank both of you and our audience for, uh, joining us today. Uh, if you enjoyed this video, um, please we have a wrapped of other things available on our site. We have events happening every week, um, and, uh, which you will find on our events page. And um, if you Really like what you're seeing on our, our page, uh, uh, please consider a contribution to the outlet society again. Uh, I wanna thank everyone. Um, and, uh, I'm afraid that's going to be it. Speaker 2 01:03:33 Thank you, Rob and David so much for this. I enjoyed it.

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