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Yesterday, the Pentagon announced that three US troops had been killed and dozens injured after a drone loaded with explosives struck them at a base in Jordan near the Syrian border. Now, none of that can be confirmed. The details, anyway, the location of the attack, and there's some question about whether that's true, but there is no question that American troops were killed yesterday, and the reaction to that, mixed with sadness, was highly political, in fact, even strategic. Within moments of this news breaking, Lindsay Graham, the Republican Senator from South Carolina, called for blood. Hit Iran now. Hit them hard, he tweeted. Nikki Haley, of course, piled on. Here's what she posted to X, quote, As a military spouse, my heart breaks for the families who lost loved ones. This shows the barbaric nature of our enemies in Iran, and it shows that they would not be attacking our troops if Joe Biden weren't so weak in his treatment of Iran. We should retaliate with full force, the full force of American strength. It's the only way to prevent further war. If we do not, these attacks will continue. Interesting. All of this came immediately. They were joined by West Clark, the former presidential candidate and commander of NATO, and buffoons like John Cornan, who apparently is a senator from Texas, etc.


All saying the same thing, Let's go to war with Iran. They all said this in both sides. Here's Nancy Pelosi on CNN telling you yesterday that anyone who is not for this, who would like, say, a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, is working for Vladimir Putin.


For them to call for a ceasefire is Mr. Putin's message. Mr. Putin's message. Make no mistake, this is directly connected to what he would like to see. Same thing with Ukraine. It's about Putin's message. I think some of these some of these protesters are spontaneous and organic and sincere. Some, I think, are connected to Russia. I say that having looked at this for a long time now, as you know.


You think some of these protests are Russian plants?


I don't think they're plants. I think some financing should be investigated, and I want to ask the FBI to investigate that.


It's hard for most people to believe that a person in his or her '80s could be evil, but is evil, and she's speaking lies. What you heard is totally dishonest. But there's a point to the dishonesty, and that is a war with Iran, which people in Washington have been agitating for for more than 20 years. So are we going to war with Iran? Are we already in a war with Iran? And if so, what are the consequences? Most Americans have no idea. It's not even something they're thinking about, but they should be. Joe Kemp is a former Green Beret. He's a combat veteran who lost his wife in one of these wars. He's running for Congress in Washington State in the third Congressional district, and he has an interesting and highly informed perspective on this, and we're honored to have him join us now. Joe Kemp, thank you so much for coming on today. When you see all of this, and you hate to be cynical, but you really can't be too cynical when you're dealing with the War Party in Washington, it did seem like a coordinated response very quickly, moments after the announcement of the tragic death of these American servicemen.


What do you make of the response from both parties in Washington to the deaths yesterday?


I mean, this whole thing, we've seen it coming, Tucker. We left our troops in these vulnerable locations, like on the Jordanian, Syrian, and Iraqi border. Our troops have been attacked, we think, at least 150 times since the October seventh incident began. And so we've seen this coming. This was an inevitable conclusion. So by leaving our troops in these locations, undefended, essentially, we left them there as bait because so many people in Washington Washington, DC, want to go to war with Iran. They want to go to a war with Iran so badly that we will prop up the government of Iraq while the government of Iraq is completely controlled by Iran. We spend billions of dollars every single year funding, arming, trading and equipping the Iraqi government so they can turn around and support the exact same militias that just killed our troops. Biden said it himself in his statement. He accused Iranian-backed militants operating in Iraq, in Syria, of conducting this attack killed the three Americans and wounded nearly 30 more. That is nothing short of saying the popular mobilization forces, which is the part of the Iraqi military that we support. So if you look at just the full scope of the way that we have arranged ourselves in the Middle East, who we're supporting and where our troops are, there's no other logical conclusion other than the fact that we have left them there as bait to be killed by Iranians at the time and place of their choosing so that we can continue to escalate towards a conflict with Iran.


And like you said, there was a very coordinated series of talking points that came out almost immediately that we need to go and strike back against Iran. And look, we do need to strike back. We can't just let this go unanswered. But if we start taking strikes inside of Iran itself, that is exactly what the Iranian regime wants. They will benefit from that. If we start attacking Iran, the way that we attacked Iraq, the way we attacked Afghanistan, then the Iranian government, the Iranian mulas, the Ayatollah, the People will rally around them in support. We should be taking calculated strikes back at Iranian proxy groups for self defense, and then we should immediately get our troops out of these foolish locations before we lose more blood and treasure for absolutely nothing in the Middle East and before we're sucked further into a regional war.


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So if we could just go back to something you said at the beginning, which I think is demonstrably true, that American policymakers have left American citizens in these countries in order to be killed so they can justify killing more American citizens in a broader war against a very well-armed country, Iran. If that is true, that's evil. That's a crime. And by the way, I should say, because you almost never say it, that your wife was killed in one of those countries as one of those people. You ran for Congress, you almost never mentioned it. Perhaps it's too painful, and I'm sorry to bring it up now, but you have lived this. So how is that not a crime?


It's 100% a crime, Tucker. Look, I lost my wife a month after Trump gave the order for our troops to be withdrawn from Syria because Trump ran on defeating the Islamic Caliphate, ISIS, and that needed to be done. Unfortunately, ISIS was a byproduct of the Iraq war, the invasion, and all the blunders that we made there. But Trump inherited that problem. We had to deal with it. We had to go take out the caliphate. We did that in very short order. Trump gave the order to withdraw, and that's when the DC war machine, which unfortunately is controlled by Republicans and Democrats and even more powerful unelected bureaucrats, turned against Trump to leave our troops there. And she was killed. And a lot of the justification for leaving our troops in Syria and in Iraq has been to prevent so-called Iranian influence, malignant Iranian influence to counter Russia. That is nothing more than us baiting a trap for ourselves to get our troops killed to encourage and then really to justify a further war against Iran. It's absolute insanity. We have to ask ourselves as American citizens, what do we gain from this? If we're going to deploy our troops and we're going to lose our best and our brightest, and we're going to spend trillions of dollars, what do we, the American people, gain?


At the same time, we just lost three Americans defending the Jordanian-Syrian border. Our border is wide open. Fentanyl is killing over 118,000 of our citizens. 10 million illegal invaders have come into our country. So where are the priorities of our ruling class? And I think it's absolutely evil. I think it's completely and totally treasonous, and we need to get these people out of office as soon as possible.


Well, and it's also there's something bigger, it seems to be. I have no evidence, but just watching. There's like a spirit of insanity or delusion that's descended on Washington. It's almost like ergetism or something you read about in the Middle Ages where the whole village goes crazy and commit cannibalism. I mean, here you have just one example. John Cornan, who's a senator from Texas, whose state is being invaded by millions of people. You can't get your child into the NICU in Texas hospitals. You can't use the emergency room in Texas hospitals because they're full of people breaking our laws from foreign countries. So Texas is collapsing under the weight of this. And John Cornan entire day is spent worrying about the territorial integrity of foreign countries. How do you explain that? It can't just be payoff from Lockheed, or maybe it is. I don't know. What do you think?


I think a lot of it is this deeply entrenched mentality in Washington, DC, which most certainly has financial interests assigned to it. However, I do think there is a lot of people, and a lot of them, like you pointed out, like Nancy Pelosi, are in their 80s, and they've always thought this way, this with us or against us mentality that says, Hey, you're either for the next war, the most current war and the current thing, or you're with the terrorists. You just are kowtowing to Vladimir Putin. It's the exact same mentality that got us into the Iraq war. You're either with us or you're with the terrorists. Look, Tucker, I would love to come on here and defend neoconservatism as someone who lost my late wife in these wars, as somebody who lost countless friends, as somebody who fought myself, 11 combat deployments. I spent most of my 20s and 30s in Iraq. I would love to tell you it had worked, but it simply did not. That's a very hard thing to admit. I get into arguments all the time with fellow veterans about this exact same topic. I think a lot of this is literally the gambler's fallacy.


There's a lot of people who think, Hey, if If we just keep trying, if we keep attempting to spread freedom through the barrel of a gun in trillions of US dollars, this time it's going to work. Let's just double down. This is how really nice casinos are built in Las Vegas off of this exact same mentality. I think that combined with the financial interest from Lockheed Martin and every single defense contractor and putting someone like Lloyd Austin as the Secretary of Defense who's still on the board at Raytheon, I think that factor with that mentality and people not being able to to admit that we got this wrong and then making adjustments to our policy, I think that gets us in this current situation because it's actually challenging to thread the needle. Where do we go from here? We can't just let the Iranians attack and kill our people. But at the same time, we know if we go to war, if I ran, this is going to be a disaster. There's no data that says, Hey, maybe if we just go to war, if I ran this time, it's going to work out great.


We've actually got to assess the past mistakes that we made, make adjustments, and then chart a more pragmatic way forward, but at the same time not lose sight of what's happening in our own country. I don't go anywhere in my district in Washington State without someone telling me a personal story about how the fentanyl crisis has affected them, how the wide open Southern border is literally killing members of their family. So we need to prioritize this whole idea that we can be at war with the entire world is absolutely absurd, while at the same time not prioritizing our own nation. We've got to get our priorities in order.


I've always wondered how someone like you must feel who, as you just said, spent a good part of your life on 11 combat deployments and lost your own wife in these wars. When you're denounced as a tool of Vladimir Putin or in the last race, you ran neocons, subverted your message by claiming you were a CIA operative when you were arguing against the CIA's paramilitary involvement in these countries. The whole thing was so dishonest. But how does it make you feel? I don't think you need to prove your loyalty to this country. You already have, to be denounced in public as a traitor to your country?


When it happens somewhere around the first 10 to 100 times, it hurts and it makes you really mad. And then you get in this effort to prove why you're not what they say you are. I'm not a Nazi because I'm not a Vladimir Putin puppet because. But then you know what? Actually, or somewhere around the 101st time and the 1,000th time, you can only laugh at it because it's so preposterous. The people that are arguing that we should forfeit our own territorial integrity for the territorial integrity of, I don't know, Ukraine or the Jordanian border, those are the people that will call us traitors, especially when the vast majority of them arguing for this have never had any skin in the game. As a matter of fact, I think the vast majority of them don't know anyone personally who went over and fought these wars. There's something liberating and being called that repeatedly over and over again, because then you can truly see things for the way that they are, that this is literally just propaganda to attempt to intimidate people to shut them up. I'm glad that you're doing what you're doing, and you give us a platform where we can actually speak truth to power and show people what's actually happening in this country and how our foreign policy establishment is absolutely just really destroying the United States of America.


They're attempting to make us sacrifice our Republic for an empire that does nothing for the American people.


Amen. So nicely put. I I would recommend the famous Eisenhower speech at the end of his term around 1960 or '61, the military-industrial complex, which is worth watching. So let me just ask you one last question because he called it 60 years ago. You referred to what a war with Iran would do to the United States. I don't know that a lot of people in this country fully understand what Iran is as a nation state. It's not Afghanistan. What do you think the immediate and then longer term effects of a war with Iran would be on the United States?


Immediately, it would be very bloody. I have no doubt that we could probably defeat some of their air defense and go in there and have another shock and awe campaign. But again, we saw how the shock and awe campaign in Iraq really didn't actually work in the long run. I have no doubt that we'd have some immediate results that people would cheer about here in the United States. But Iran, Persha, has always been an empire. It's been around longer than any of the other players in the modern Middle East right now, and they are not going anywhere. Right now, Iran has a lot of internal problem. They have a lot of internal strife with the Ayatollah, and that government has only been in power since 1979. But again, if we start conducting strikes in Iran, everyone in Iran will rally around their leader, and they will become even more revolutionary. Then we will have Iranian proxies throughout the entire region that will be conducting attacks just like we had in Jordan. Really in the long term, Tucker, the axis that has been built really since Putin invaded Russia, and we decided that since Putin invaded Ukraine, and we decided we were going to throw this massive sanctions package at them, China has come in as a major player, and we are deeply compromised by China.


They control a lot of our economy. They control global manufacturing. They're deeply embedded in Wall Street, and they've also made deals with the Iranians. They want access to Iranian Petro, not to mention the fact that Biden killed off US energy independence, and now he's going after LNG, and the world's biggest LNG exporters are Iran, Russia, and Qatar. So this access would become very powerful. If we get deeply involved and deeply entangled with Iran, we are playing right into China's hands because China would like nothing more than for us to be committing our military industrial base to a war in Eastern Europe, in Ukraine, and then to be committing our conventional military power, our blood and our treasure, back in the Middle East. That will make the Pacific, our actual border, extremely vulnerable to Chinese aggression. Or China will simply just watch us bleed out economically as we bleed out on the battlefield on these couple of different theaters. It's absolute insanity. It's opening up Pandora's box. And again, for what gain to the American people.


I think that's the most reasonable, common sense-based factual assessment I've seen of this from anyone. And the fact that you're not in Congress tells you a lot about the forces you're up against. But Godspeed. Joe Kent, thank you for summing it up for us today. I appreciate it.


So much, Tucker. I really appreciate it.


Thank you.