On Tuesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy and Doug Kellett – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Leahy and Kellet spoke with weekly special guest and Washington-based reporter for One America News Network, Neil McCabe about Macron’s strange move to sneak in the Iranian foreign minister at the G7 Summit over the weekend.
Towards the end of the segment, the men contemplated the history of the French and their relationship with Jews concluding that the historical strain of anti-Semitism could still be of influence.
Leahy: We are joined by our good friend and journalistic superstar and army reservist who can still run a nine-minute mile. A good friend from One America News Network, Washington correspondent Neil McCabe. Welcome, Neil.
McCabe: Hey good morning men. Good to be with you.
Leahy: So I saw on Facebook you were running like a 920 mile the other day. (Kellett chuckles)
McCabe: I do that to sort of force myself to keep going. I’m afraid somebody will say, “Hey, are you still running?” So I just keep posting it to sort of self-shame myself. Not that anyone who’s Irish-Catholic would know anything about that.
Leahy: No, said Michael Patrick Leahy to Neil McCabe. (McCabe chuckles) So, Neil, I will say you have inspired me. I’m doing this Keto diet and my goal is 200 by 2020. I was 236 in mid-May. I’m down to 217 now. And so I’m going to start running again. I used to in my long-past youth I used to run marathons. My daughter’s invited me to run a 5k. I think I’m going to do it.
Kellett: Oh wow.
McCabe: Oh great! Do it. Good deal. I’m amazed Keto’s still around. Isn’t that the guy that lived with OJ Simpson?
Leahy: Yeah, thank you, Neil.
Leahy: So tell us about this very interesting story. It looks like the French President Macron kind of pulled a quick one by sneaking in this Iranian guy at the G7 summit. What is going on with that Neil?
McCabe: We deal with the same thing here in Washington but it’s interesting to see especially the French and the Germans sort of deal with the same thing. That Trump will just go away. And we have to prepare for the post-Trump world which will happen in January of 2021.
And so the Iran nuclear deal right? Remember when you’re foreign minister Boris Johnson of the UK begged Trump to stay in the Iran deal. And you know Boris Johnson seems to have understood that Trump is not going away and I’m going to deal with him as he is. Macron invites the foreign minister of Iran to the G7 and basically says, “Hey, let’s fix this now.”
Leahy: But Doug, is the Iranian guy a member of the G7?
Kellet: (Giggles) Not that I’m aware of. Is he Neil? (Laughs) I think Neil’s right though. Bring everybody in. (Inaudible crosstalk) Neil, I mean I think your right though about they’re waiting for sort of the post Trump era. This time they had the get-together and really not much really came about did it? Did you see anything that was really significant here?
McCabe: No. What happens is though the longer that Trump is President the more people just get used to it. And when you think about it in the context of re-election. Do people want the change? Having gone through all of the work and exhaustion of the first four years of the Trump presidency. (Leahy laughs)
People start thinking, “You know what. I’ve cracked the code here. I seem to understand what Trump is doing and do I really want to just throw that away?” And it’s interesting when you look at how these Republicans’ from farm states like Joni Ernst, the Senator from Iowa running for re-election. She’s a Republican and she talks about the effects of the trade war against our farmers. Or Kamala Harris and the President and his trade wars.
What they don’t say, and they must have internal polling telling them not to, they don’t say, “We have to give into China.” And I think a lot of Americans had no idea that things have gotten so bad that we can’t have Christmas if we don’t have China. Like China controls everything. And when you have people saying, “Well, we’ve got to agree with China. We’ve got to give into China.”
I think a lot of people are starting to understand what Trump was talking about was real. And we’re seeing it with Iran. The Iranians have this magnetic sort of power over the Europeans, specifically the French. And I think unfortunately a lot of it is the fact that the Iranians are enemies of Israel.
And even if the French don’t want to destroy Israel they certainly want to keep it in check. And there’s a lot of people who want to use Iran to keep Israel in check. And that’s an unfortunate dimension of what we saw play out over the weekend.
Leahy: Neil, that is a very good point. And I wonder if you could elaborate on it a little bit. I’ve always wondered what the connection is between France and Iran. What is that special connection? And you’re saying that in part it’s because the French government wants to, you said, “Keep Israel in check.”
Is there an element of Antisemitism in that? What’s the basis of that? And by the way, in France, let me just say, during World War II there were a number of French in the Vichy government that did not distinguish themselves.
McCabe: There were Jews transported from France to the camps during World War II. And certainly, during Vichy France, the Jews were counted as a second class citizenship. And so I don’t want to say the French government. Let’s just say the French culture, the French people, there’s a dangerous strain of Antisemitism that plays itself out and that is sort of focused and concentrated on Israel which is why you saw, I don’t know if anybody is old enough to remember the Arab Spring when Democracy was coming to all these Arab nations.
When the revolts started in Syria there was no way the West was going to allow Syria to fall. Certainly not Barack Obama. And so they ended up propping up Assad. And one of the reasons is because if you had taken Assad out of Syria and there was sort of a normal, Democratic government in Syria, you would not have this sort of ‘Damocles’ next to Israel.
Leahy: Wow that’s something. Of course, you know we talked about the historical strain and Antisemitism in France. I recall in our history books in the 1890’s the famous Dreyfus Affair where a Jewish officer in the French army was falsely accused of committing a crime. I think committing espionage and was imprisoned in Devils Island?
McCabe: Devils Island.
Leahy: Yeah. But what about Macron? What’s the story on this guy? This is a guy who got elected President of France when he was 35 years old. He’s got the 60-year-old wife, his former teacher who was married to somebody else’s his wife. Has been for some time. I heard what Mark Steyn said yesterday.
If you look at the styles of the two, Macron versus Trump, Trump was out there and took questions like 120 some odd questions over an hour and a half. While as Macron was as Steyn said, “Ran a more imperial presidency.” What’s going on there with Macron and his style?
McCabe: You guys are in Tennessee. And so I guess in Tennessee it’s OK to say that when a guy marries a woman 30 years older than him he might be a weirdo.
(Leahy and Kellett laugh)
Leahy: Doug, is that a technical term that we might use for a guy who marries?
Kellett: I’d have to look up the definition of that.
Leahy: It’s a little odd.
Kellett: Yeah, it’s a little unusual here. It happens.
McCabe: If you knew a guy who married a girl 30 years older than him. He might be the only guy you knew who married a guy 30 years older than him. But putting that all aside, Macron has problems. He has problems adjusting. He was supposed to be, let me say this.
He’s like Mayor Koch. Mayor Koch in New York knew what had to be done but didn’t have the guts to do it. And then Giuliani went ahead and did all the brutal things he needed to do to fix New York.
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