episode 201: “Surviving Hurricane Ian while Contemplating Nuclear Armageddon” with Brandon Weichert
This episode took a couple of twisting turns to complete. A few weeks back, I emailed my friend Brandon Weichert, a very smart geopolitical strategist and publisher of the Weichert Report, to ask if he could come on my show to talk about Ukraine, Putin and the possibilities of a nuclear war. He emailed back that “well, perhaps we could do the recording later this week or next weekend because I’ve got a category three hurricane bearing down in my home, presently. It might end up in Tampa, but we might be right in the epicenter”. In the event, the hurricane did land, and it landed right on top of Brandon. “Before the hurricane hits,” shares Brandon, “the night before, I’m watching local news and they’re saying it’s going to strengthen into a category four, but it looks like it’s still going to miss Southwest Florida, it’s going to hit Tampa. So we’ll be ok. Not great, but ok.” “Then I wake up at 7:00 or 8:00 am the next morning and my house is shaking and it’s like something from a disaster film. And this hurricane not only strengthened into a category four, but almost a category five! We lost power immediately. We had no internet, no nothing. So I could receive texts and phone calls, but I couldn’t make any and I couldn’t send anything out.” What happened next is quite a story, and a sobering look at what happens after a real disaster. Listen in as Brandon shares this first-hand experience surviving Hurricane Ian, but also as we segue into what’s developing in Ukraine, Russia and Putin’s nuclear saber rattling. There are troubling parallels explains Brandon: “So this was really a snapshot, I think, of what may happen if, God forbid, this issue with Russia and Ukraine goes nuclear or EMP Electromagnetic Pulse Weapons or involves cyber-attack or space attack or some combination thereof.” “Because the first thing that I learned, is that our infrastructure is going to collapse. No one will save us.” President Biden seems weirdly glib about the prospect of catastrophe, and some of his remarks sound almost as it he’s inviting it. It’s not just Biden. He’s joined in this by too many in official Washington, including Republicans like Lindsay Graham. People who say Vladimir Putin would never use nuclear weapons have not studied Putin, or at best, are making a judgement call about an unknowable mind. Talk of regime change and further arming Ukraine to win a decisive victory are beyond reckless. Instead, we need to use American power to wrap this war up and return Europe to peace. “We’ve gone on to push this to the red line of a nuclear war,” warns Brandon Weichert. “It now it behooves a great power like the United States to say, ‘It’s time for everyone to go to that big beautiful table, sit down and figure out how we’re going to get out of this situation.’” We unpack a lot in this episode. Given the existential stakes we face, Brandon’s assessment is definitely worth a listen.
episode 201 transcript
Speaker 1 (00:04):
Welcome to the Bill Walton Show, featuring conversations with leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and thinkers. Fresh perspectives on money, culture, politics and human flourishing. Interesting people, interesting things.
Bill Walton (00:25):
Welcome to the Bill Walton Show. I’m Bill Walton. Well, I’m delighted to be joined today by my friend, Brandon Weichert. As you may remember, he’s been on a couple of shows. He’s a geopolitical analyst and author of the very successful book Winning Space, and he also publishes the Weichert Report, which I highly recommend. And a couple of weeks ago, I asked Brandon to… Would he come back on? I want to talk about Putin and nuclear armageddon and all that sort of cheery stuff. And instead I got this email from him and he said, “Well, perhaps we could do the recording later this week or next weekend because I’ve got a category three hurricane bearing down in my home, presently. It might end up in Tampa, but we might be right in the epicenter”. Well, let’s fast forward to today. The hurricane did land and it landed, I think right on top of Brandon. So Brandon, tell us what you’re doing? You’re in Florida.
Brandon Weichert (01:28):
Bill Walton (01:29):
I’m up in Virginia.
Brandon Weichert (01:30):
Bill Walton (01:32):
What’s been happening? I mean, it must have been horrific.
Brandon Weichert (01:36):
Yeah, so I grew up here. We moved back here from Virginia a couple years ago, but I’ve been through half a dozen, probably actually 10 or 11 of these things, these hurricanes. This was by far the worst experience. Basically, it was a category three when I emailed you, it was out in the Gulf. Everybody was saying it’s going to hit Tampa and 9:45 PM before the hurricane hits the night before. I’m watching local news and they’re saying it’s going to strengthen into a category four, but it looks like it’s still going to miss Southwest Florida, it’s going to hit Tampa. So we’ll just get the, the outer bands will be fine. And I wake up at 7:00 or 8:00 AM the next morning and my house is shaking and it’s like something from a disaster film. And this hurricane, not only strength into a category four, almost a category five, but basically, and I only found this out, we basically lost power immediately. We had no internet, no nothing. So I could receive texts and phone calls, but I couldn’t make any and I couldn’t send anything out. So Gordon Chang, our friend…
Bill Walton (02:43):
Brandon Weichert (02:44):
He figured out that my hometown is right where this hurricane was hitting. And so he texts me and he’s like, Brandon, my… Lydia, his wife. He’s like, “Brandon, Lydia and I are watching the news and your home is in the eye of the hurricane”. And I’m looking out our, I left one window uncovered so I could see what was going on above our door. And I texted it, but it didn’t go through. I said, “Yeah, I can see that now. And as my neighbor’s roof is flying down the road”. And then basically it has…
Bill Walton (03:15):
I shouldn’t laugh, but you know…
Brandon Weichert (03:17):
No. But it was pretty… Even I was laughing at the time because it was sort of that dark humor because…
Bill Walton (03:21):
But the key point here is you stayed in the house through this.
Brandon Weichert (03:26):
Yeah, most of us did down here because we were told it was going to hit Tampa.
Bill Walton (03:29):
Yeah. And what town are you in the town?
Brandon Weichert (03:29):
I’m in Cape Coral.
Bill Walton (03:32):
Brandon Weichert (03:32):
I’m in Cape Coral. So we’re about half an hour north in Naples and about 15, 20 minutes south of Sarasota. So it’s a sleepy town, it’s obliterated. I mean I grew up here, it is decimated. And I don’t post the pictures because it’s other people’s misery. So I’m trying not to be one of those people. I did take video and pictures, but I haven’t posted really any, because it’s just, I don’t think appropriate. But the scenes are post-apocalyptic. We have had looters, we have a lot of looting problem and I live in a pretty nice area. In fact, we’ve got a lot of cops that live here. They’ve posted signs, “You loot, we shoot”.
Bill Walton (04:13):
Yeah, I’ve seen them.
Brandon Weichert (04:14):
Yeah, I’ve got one on my neighborhood sign, right out front, our street sign. This is a gated community where we live. Yeah.
Bill Walton (04:24):
So, from the time it first hit, until it began to abate, How long was that? 12 hours, 24?
Brandon Weichert (04:31):
It felt like an eternity. I was here, it was probably 18 hours, I want to say.
Bill Walton (04:38):
Okay, then it abated the water must out came in. And then at what point did people start coming back in to assess damage and start working?
Brandon Weichert (04:47):
Well, that’s the thing. They couldn’t get back in here. All the roads were blocked. Pine Island is the… I mean literally it’s two miles away. My wife and I spend almost every weekend on Pine Island. It’s gone, it is destroyed. It is like the green zone of Baghdad in 2003, I’ve got fleets of Chinook helicopters flying over me every 15 minutes, doing relief operations. The infrastructure is gutted here. We, as I said, this is almost 12 days after the hurricane today, an hour ago, we just got safe drinking water, power, internet, our air conditioning units back. So we were sleeping in really conditions that were horrendous, no sewage, no running water, we were having to rely on… In fact, it was so bad they were bringing police from North Florida to help our police force. And furthermore, it got so bad that we had basically military curfew.
We were under almost Marshall Law here. We had a curfew, 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM, there were no street lights, pitch black. We live in a swamp, not good to be out at night. And we had national guardsmen at every intersection, heavily armed, were ready to roll if somebody started something. So this was really a snapshot, I think, of what may happen if, God forbid, this issue with Russia and Ukraine goes nuclear or EMP Electromagnetic Pulse Weapons or involves cyber attack or space attack or some combination thereof. Because the first thing that I learned, is that our infrastructure I lived it is going to collapse. No one will save us. Our local utilities company, LCEC was woefully under prepared. Our city leadership were woefully under prepared for this catastrophe. And I can get into that, why, because I think also it applies to what other cities are going to have to do, to prepare for the coming…
Bill Walton (06:50):
Well, yeah, I wanted ask about that. You say woefully under prepared, are they recovered or are they in action? I mean, what do you mean by woefully under prepared?
Brandon Weichert (06:58):
So we are co-op here, an electric co-op, as opposed to FPL, which is a standard energy company, Florida Power and Light. FPL’s large, they basically manage most of the state’s energy grid. But for whatever reason, my locality here decided 40 years ago when it was a really small town. We have now almost 200,000 people and growing, living here. But when it was a very small town in the 70s, they decided to do a co-op and not have to deal with FPL directly. The co-op at basically buys energy. My understanding is, that buys energy from FPL and then we pay LCEC to distribute that energy to our homes in the Cape. The problem is, it’s like a mom-and-pop operation. So they’re already small. There are weird bylaws in the co-op manual that prevents a co-op in the state of Florida at least, from receiving any aid from non co-ops.
There’s very few co-ops in the state. So they had to delay getting help. They didn’t have enough personnel already, that for whatever reason we had a very small amount of people working for LCEC for the last several years. They’ve had a worker shortage. So that played into it. Then I found out recently, and this is all rumor, but they’re coming from people that I know are in the know locally that basically LCEC failed to identify before the storm, a proper staging area where they could corral all their people and resources.
Bill Walton (08:26):
But I want to generalize from this because…
Brandon Weichert (08:27):
Yeah. We can extrapolate, yes.
Bill Walton (08:30):
You and I are both worried about saber rattling and Joe Biden making cocktail chatter about nuclear armageddon.
Brandon Weichert (08:38):
As he’s on the beach.
Bill Walton (08:39):
As he’s on the beach. And so generally though through, as you look at other people responding or what’s happened after the hurricane hit?
Brandon Weichert (08:50):
Bill Walton (08:50):
What’s the general experience in Florida?
Brandon Weichert (08:54):
Well locally, we all came together for the most part, the community here. There’s very little funny business. There’s some, like my HVAC guy tried to bilk me out of $3,000 and I caught him and he tried to say my AC unit compressor was fried. That was not the case, it was a Burt wire. So I had another guy come out here and for free, fixed my AC unit. So things like that are happening. Like I said, there’s limited looting going on, but by and large, our community has come together. We are all helping each other out. We all came together as a community because we had nothing for 11 days. And by the way, 5% of the city, which is one of the most populated areas, by the way, remains without power indefinitely. The infrastructure damage was so significant. And so, my parents live in that side of the cape, so who knows when they’re going to get power back.
But by and large we came together because we had nothing left. And many of my neighbors lost everything. And I mean they’re homeless. So, we in our home really got away, relatively scare free. But I know people who are destitute from this. People had to make mortgage payments on homes that were swept out to sea, you still have to pay your mortgage on that. You’re paying for the land at that point. The rumor, and this has been unconfirmed, but the rumor is that they were finding hundreds and hundreds of dead bodies in Sanibel Island, which is just across the bridge from us. Pine Island…
Bill Walton (10:24):
The reported number’s much lower.
Brandon Weichert (10:26):
Yeah, because, now my wife works with the hospital system here. She’s heard rumors, we haven’t been able to confirm it.
Bill Walton (10:33):
Brandon Weichert (10:34):
But the coroner’s office, supposedly the shed hooks are flying out lots of bodies. I don’t know if that’s true. But the fact of the matter is that we came together, we’re still together, but the basic stuff of modern life was not available to us. And for some people it remains that way. And if in the case of Pine Island and Sanibel and Fort Myers Beach, it’s going to be years before they get back. So my point with all this is that, we see the saber rattling going on with Ukraine and Russia. We see that our president is almost glib about the prospect of catastrophe. And in some cases it sounds like he might be inviting it, for whatever reason. But basically…
Bill Walton (11:19):
He’s Mr. Corn Pop. He’s, he always has been. I mean he is been this way.
Brandon Weichert (11:23):
Bill Walton (11:24):
Forever, I mean he’s now blustering…
Brandon Weichert (11:26):
I mean… Yeah.
Bill Walton (11:27):
And we’ve been in a state of nuclear. Americans have not really paid attention to this current…
Brandon Weichert (11:34):
Bill Walton (11:35):
Threat ever. Not until…
Brandon Weichert (11:36):
Not since the 60s.
Bill Walton (11:38):
Brandon Weichert (11:38):
Not since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Somebody said this is like the Cuban Missile Crisis, and in some ways it is. In other ways, this is more like the 1983 Able Archer incident in which Reagan rightly, did the largest NATO military exercise right on the border of the Soviet Union. Yuri Andropov, who was a mentor to Vladimir Putin, who was the fiercest red communist leader since Stalin. Luckily, he was old and died quickly. But Andropov was in charge during that mission. And Andropov was convinced that Ronald Reagan was a Christian crusader who wanted to initiate nuclear war to bring about the return of Christ. And so, when the Able Archer exercises began, there were the largest NATO exercise in its history at that point. Andropov did not believe that it was an exercise and he put his nuclear forces on such a high alert that one silo almost launched because it received an incorrect order.
And if it wasn’t for a silo commander saying, “I don’t think this order is legitimate”, we would’ve had a nuclear missile launched. That’s how close we were. And so that was Andropov in charge. And it happened almost again, I believe under Gorbachev. And Gorbachev was new better than to push the limits on that. But Andropov was an ideologue, a rabid one. And Putin loves Andropov. Putin worships Andropov. So when we see what’s going on in Ukraine today and we hear the saber rattling and we look at the technology that Russia has at its disposal, not just nuclear weapons, but Electromagnetic Pulse Weapons. I know you used to have Dr. Pry on frequently and that was…
Bill Walton (13:16):
Yeah. Dr. Peter Pry.
Brandon Weichert (13:17):
Bill Walton (13:17):
God bless him.
Brandon Weichert (13:18):
Yeah, he was a pioneer at the EMP Commission. But Russia has that technology since 1962 and they perfected it. They have cyber attack capabilities, they have the ability to attack our satellites. You and I’ve talked about that before.
Bill Walton (13:31):
Let me just take a quick pause here.
Brandon Weichert (13:31):
Bill Walton (13:33):
This is the Bill Walton show. I’m here with Brandon Weichert and publisher of the Weichert Report and lots of terrific books in space and nuclear strategy and all the things we really need to be concerned about now. And we’re segueing, we’ve been talking about the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Florida and a very difficult job. Responders and community people are going to have rebuilding. And we’re segueing into, well okay, if this happened with just a hurricane, what might something nuclear mean for the United States.
Brandon Weichert (13:33):
Bill Walton (14:09):
And what’s our survivability? And we’re talking about our relative lack of any kind of preparation for this. You listen to what Biden said. He said, at this cocktail party, I guess that was fundraiser, he said, “What we’re trying to figure out”. He’s telling everybody, “What we’re trying to figure out is, what’s Putin’s off-ramp. Where does he get off? Where does he find a way to get out? Where does he find himself in a position that he does not only lose face but loses significant power within Russia?” And this thing seems to have a political divide and that the Biden administration’s been bent on regime change in Russia from day one. And it’s really has a lot to do with Trump.
Brandon Weichert (14:59):
Bill Walton (15:00):
And there are a whole lot of people that say, “Joe, if you think we ought to try to negotiate something between Ukraine and Russia to get people to stand down, we’re being Trumpers.”
Brandon Weichert (15:12):
Bill Walton (15:12):
And we’re trying to help Putin. We’re not trying to help Putin, we’re trying to help ourselves.
Brandon Weichert (15:18):
Bill Walton (15:19):
Brandon Weichert (15:20):
Bill Walton (15:21):
Take… And I’ve got a lot of other, I mean…
Brandon Weichert (15:23):
Bill Walton (15:24):
Elites have gone all in on this, the journals are…
Brandon Weichert (15:27):
They have. So here’s the thing, I fundamentally believe, it is in our interest to make sure that Russia doesn’t capture all of Ukraine. I don’t believe it is in our interest to push Russia so hard and so far that Putin believes he’s got nothing but…
Bill Walton (15:45):
Brandon Weichert (15:45):
Nukes to escalate to. I think we’ve reached a good point in the conflict where, as the world’s supposedly sole remaining superpower and really Ukraine’s chief benefactor. The White House, the United States leadership should say, “Zelensky, you’ve done a very admirable job defending your country. You were aggrieved, it was wrong what the Russians did to you. It was not right, it was not legitimate what they did. You have defended your country. You have solidified your country’s right to survive and be an independent state and we will promote and protect that as best we can. But now is the time because you have a position of strength now in this fight, finally. You got to negotiate because if you don’t, those off-ramps are being closed. Putin does not see an off-ramp and that’s the scary thing.”
Bill Walton (16:34):
Well, unless we give him one, I don’t think he will see one.
Brandon Weichert (16:38):
Which is what I think we should do.
Bill Walton (16:38):
And we piling on.
Brandon Weichert (16:40):
Bill Walton (16:40):
We also gave…
Brandon Weichert (16:41):
You have to ask yourself why.
Speaker 4 (16:41):
I want to say…
Bill Walton (16:46):
Now my wife is jumping in here. This is…
Speaker 4 (16:49):
That’s the clearest…
Bill Walton (16:50):
Dear, come around here to the microphone phone.
Speaker 4 (16:54):
I think that’s the clearest statement what you just said about Ukraine that I’ve heard anyone say and you can’t…
Brandon Weichert (16:59):
Speaker 4 (17:00):
Bill Walton (17:04):
Brandon Weichert (17:05):
Well, thank you.
Speaker 4 (17:06):
Okay. I [inaudible 00:17:06]…
Bill Walton (17:07):
Just stay out of my spotlight…
Brandon Weichert (17:10):
Bill Walton (17:11):
Brandon Weichert (17:13):
What is it George Carlin said, “I’m ahead of my time. Unfortunately it’s only by about half an hour, but I’m ahead of my time”. And I really do believe that there is a middle ground here on the issue of Ukraine and that’s it. And unfortunately, our side of the aisle has taken up this line where it’s like, “Who cares about Ukraine?” And then the other side like Biden is basically saying, “Let the nuclear bombs drop”. It’s like their Major, Kong riding the bomb on the way down in Dr. Strangelove, that’s Biden right now, what you said…
Bill Walton (17:13):
That’s Slim Pickens.
Brandon Weichert (17:51):
That’s right. And my thought on this is, we should go until we hit the red line of nuclear war and we’re there now. And so now it behooves a great power like the United States to say, “It’s time for everyone to go to that big beautiful table, sit down and figure out how we’re going to get out of this situation. Because Ukraine is worth defending as we have done, but it is not going to worth going to nuclear war over”. Really, very few things are, and after what I just went through with our loss of infrastructure from a storm, most American towns, I suspect particularly small and medium sized ones, have an infrastructure that looks very similar to what I have here. And the Russians have the capability if they so choose to use EMP, to use nukes, to use cyber, to use space based attacks to deprive us of the modern accoutrements that make our society the most advanced and sophisticated there is today.
And we can’t survive. We cannot survive without that basic infrastructure that is woefully vulnerable. And so what I think we should be doing, if Biden is so gung-ho and the Democrats are so gung-ho about taking on Russia, why aren’t they calling for space based missile defenses? Why aren’t they picking up that clarion call from Reagan in 1983 when he said, “The only way we’re going to ever be protected from Russian nuclear threats is to build an advanced defense system”. We have that capability now. Myself, Brian Kennedy over at the Claremont Institute as well have all been saying, if you look at the technological capabilities we have today, in 18 months with a full born government effort, we could get basic space based defenses in orbit that will do a good job. We could build off from there, do a good job of protecting us and mitigating the Russian or Chinese nuclear threat. We haven’t done it.
Bill Walton (19:55):
But Brandon, the problem I have with everybody giving all this strategic advice, and not you particularly at all, but it seems to me we’re working with the weakest national security team we’ve ever had in this country’s history.
Brandon Weichert (20:11):
Well yeah, I mean…
Bill Walton (20:13):
I just, you correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me like Lloyd Austin and Mark Milley and Tony Blinken and Jake Sullivan and what’s her name, Valerie, I’m sorry? Victoria Nuland.
Brandon Weichert (20:26):
Victoria Nuland. She’s been arguing for regime change from day one.
Bill Walton (20:32):
Brandon Weichert (20:32):
They don’t seem to think in the way you’re thinking.
No, they think, they would say if I said this that I’m a crank or I’m a Russian plant, I’m the furthest thing from a Russian plant. The Russians murdered…
Bill Walton (20:44):
They’re calling you, they’re calling us Trumpers because we think we ought to be thinking about a way to do…
Brandon Weichert (20:50):
Well thinking strategically, that’s what we’re doing.
Bill Walton (20:53):
Brandon Weichert (20:53):
It’s not strategic to risk nuclear war. What I would say is, let me give you an example. Jake Sullivan, boy wonder. Jake Sullivan is considered the left, the way they build him out is that he is this the smartest man since McGeorge Bundy, Kennedy’s National Security Advisor, that he is amazing.
Bill Walton (21:13):
McGeorge Bundy was the one almost got us killed in Cuban Missile crisis.
Brandon Weichert (21:17):
Oh I know. And he screwed up Bay of Pigs as well.
Bill Walton (21:21):
Brandon Weichert (21:22):
But that’s how the media builds him. This Jake Sullivan who has Yale and he’s Ivy League and all that. But the story, I might have shared this with you the last time we spoke, but over the summer at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Sullivan was talking on a panel and he made an unsolicited comment, he was trying to be funny but he was being serious. And he said, “You know, before I became National Security Advisor, I didn’t even know what a supply chain was”. And I heard that and I’m like, “You went to Yale?” This is frankly, the Ivy Leagues aren’t sending us their best if that’s the case because what a thing to say as the National Security Advisor after we just went through COVID. What a thing to say…
And it shows that this guy and everybody around Biden are clueless about practical makeup of America, about what a supply chain is, about the dangers of when a decision is made at the political level. And they don’t understand how it’s going to be applied and the ramifications of that on ordinary life. This is a very dangerous… We are being led by toddlers waving guns around.
Bill Walton (22:31):
I hadn’t heard that. That’s stunning because everybody studied war and through history knows it’s supply chain.
Brandon Weichert (22:37):
Bill Walton (22:37):
Nine times out of 10 is the decisive factor.
Brandon Weichert (22:40):
Well, just remember that old, I think it was the UPS commercial from the mid 2000s, That’s Logistics. They would always have that, I mean this is basic stuff and he doesn’t know that. And that’s who is the gatekeeper for all national security policy decisions in the White House is Jake Sullivan. And that’s leading us. And it’s very scary. And I keep harping on what I just went through because it really made it personal for me when I got power back and I start reading today all that’s gone on. And in Ukraine and I’m like, I’ve got very reputable people at Heritage Foundation at the Hudson Institute who I love and respect who are saying that Putin is just bluffing. And I’m going, I don’t think this is a bluff because here’s why. The Russian economy managed to stave off collapse for the last six to eight months.
But now the sanctions are starting to have a bite. Now the Russian economy is somewhat slowing down and it looks like the trend lines indicate that it’s going to keep slowing down. Vladimir Putin has to deliver economic prosperity to his people to stay in power. The war is risking that. And so what’s going to happen, I suspect if current trends persist that in six to eight months Vladimir Putin’s going to be in a position where he’s losing the war conventionally, there are no off-ramps to the war. His economy’s collapsing, even with China and India buying his oil, it’s not enough. And then at the same time, people are getting discontented in Russia and that’s going to create a situation of regime change in Russia, which is what Biden wants. The problem is, Putin’s not going to just sit back and let that happen. He’s going to do something to try to deliver a victory for his people.
Bill Walton (24:33):
But regime change. I mean there are a couple scenarios of regime change in Russia is one of them is you got a lot of old tough guys and…
Brandon Weichert (24:44):
It’s not going to be better like who replaces them.
Bill Walton (24:45):
In Russia, they don’t take Putin’s been tough enough.
Brandon Weichert (24:48):
Bill Walton (24:49):
Then the other hand, you get 4,000-5,000, 6,000 who’s counting nukes floating around.
Brandon Weichert (24:54):
Bill Walton (24:54):
So if the tough guys don’t take charge, the probability is we’re going to have some sort of civil war.
Brandon Weichert (25:00):
Bill Walton (25:01):
People grabbing pieces of this arsenal.
Brandon Weichert (25:03):
And this is exactly what I’ve been lading about.
Bill Walton (25:04):
And that is far more danger.
Brandon Weichert (25:06):
Bill Walton (25:06):
But instead we’re speculating on personality. I’m surprised they haven’t gotten out an astrological chart on Putin saying, “Oh, okay.”
Brandon Weichert (25:15):
But I do think that as the situation gets bleaker over there, he’s going to be more inclined to use nukes. And the people at Heritage and Hudson, who I think are brilliant, they might be wrong on this one because it’s so bleak. And you look at the rhetoric coming out of Russia, I mean they’re talking like the mullahs in Iran about going to nuclear war with the quote pedophiles and satanists of the West. And so this is not a good position to put the Americans in. What the American leadership should be doing is recognizing that, Putin just might actually do it because he thinks he’s going to get a bullet in the back of his head if he doesn’t try to get a victory using any and all means necessary, even at the risk of escalating into direct war with NATO. And I don’t think Putin fears Biden the way that he feared Trump as well, it’s a whole nother thing.
And you’re right, if Putin does get overthrown, I’ve been writing about this for over a year. That’s not necessarily a good thing because it could lead to someone worse than Putin or it could lead to that multi sided Beirut style civil war with nukes, loose nukes, which is worse, it’s worse than Putin. So it is a very frightening situation we find ourselves in. And nobody in Washington’s minding the store.
Bill Walton (26:31):
When do the Europeans, when do the Germans in particular, want to weigh in on this to say, “let’s wrap this up” because…
Brandon Weichert (26:38):
Bill Walton (26:39):
It’s now… Well, let me complete my thought here. We’ve got the Germans now who are suffering from no natural gas, buying it in the open market. We’re seeing electricity prices in the UK, what are they, 10 times, what they were before?
Brandon Weichert (26:53):
Bill Walton (26:53):
Germans are likely to face the same kind of numbers without natural gas. The German petrochemical industry shuts down, they’re going to suffer a world of economic hurt. And now we’ve got the Nord Stream pipeline sabotaged and we can speculate who, but it seems to me if I’m in Europe, but I’m watching this spectacle of Biden Spatting off in cocktail parties, I want to say, “Look guys, we live here. This is real.”
Brandon Weichert (27:23):
Bill Walton (27:23):
“Got to put this thing, we got to wrap this up.”
Brandon Weichert (27:26):
Yeah. So certainly the Germans want that, but Olaf Scholz and his administration, his government, they’re very wedded to NATO and they’re very wedded to the Americans. And that’s, they’re not going to let that happen. And I think that if the election of Meloni in Italy is any indication. Meloni is a new far right individual, she’s not part of the old right. And the assumption in Moscow is that the far right of Europe and the far left, that if conditions in Europe can get bad enough, those types of parties can retake power from the more neoliberal establishment and that they will be more inclined to make peace separately with Russia and basically divorce themselves from NATO and America on Ukraine. But Meloni in Italy, the assumption was she was going to do that. And she’s been very clear that while she’s not pro EU and she is part of the new right, she’s very much pro NATO and she’s very much pro Ukraine.
And so, while in Germany it’s a little bit of a different dynamic, the relative assumption or the general assumption rather, that these new right parties are going to be automatically ushered into power and that they will automatically do deals with the Russians. I think is wrong because, so much of Europe is economically and diplomatically dependent for so long on the United States. So I don’t think the Germans, they’re going to suffer. I think that Europe’s going to suffer a very bleak winter of discontent. But I think at the end of that winter, it is probable that they will still not divorce themselves from the American position. And that means, that’s a good thing for us. And that we don’t going to lose allies over this probably, but it’s also, so it shouldn’t behoove the American administration to not burn through all of its diplomatic capital with Europe over this issue.
What the American administration should be saying is, “We recognize the hardship that Europe is going to be enduring. Let’s make a deal now because Ukraine has won this thing. Let’s let the Russians save face because it doesn’t benefit us to lose Putin, if the alternative is going to be something worse. And it’s not going to be a democracy, it takes over Russia. And so let’s do a deal where we give him the little bit of the East, that’s Russian speaking. We save the Europeans from the winter of discontent. We look like the heroes. We avoid a nuclear war, we avoid the nightmare scenario”. But the Biden administration either won’t or can’t do that. And I just want to speculate here, I don’t know where I saw this on social media, but I do think there’s something to it. Hunter Biden spent a decade in Ukraine making $50,000 a week working as a consultant for Burisma, which is a Ukrainian natural gas company. Hunter Biden knows nothing about natural gas. I know more about natural gas than he does. And so the question is, what we see…
Bill Walton (30:13):
Well, I think you know a lot more about natural gas.
Brandon Weichert (30:16):
So, thank you. The question is what was he doing?
Bill Walton (30:18):
Brandon Weichert (30:19):
Obviously he was influence peddling.
Bill Walton (30:21):
Brandon Weichert (30:22):
So I don’t know where I read this online, but there’s a theory out there that perhaps the reason Biden is so hands off with holding Ukraine back, I mean Zelensky is out basically saying drop the nukes now America before Russia does. So that’s where Zelensky is, mentally. The question is, why is the lone superpowers leader Biden not saying, “Yeah, we’re not doing that for a regional conflict in Southern Europe, it’s not happening”`. Instead, Biden’s sitting on a beach sipping Piña Coladas talking about we’re reaching nuclear war. I wonder if it’s because the Ukrainian government has something on Biden, has something on Hunter Biden. I mean we know what Hunter Biden’s proclivities are. We’re sure they…
Bill Walton (31:01):
Brandon Weichert (31:02):
Well look, let me speak for me. I would make a rather large bet that they have something on Biden and both Bidens and…
Bill Walton (31:11):
Brandon Weichert (31:11):
Now this though gets into this whole discussion where American Wall Street Journal, et cetera, generals I know and love, are saying…
Bill Walton (31:11):
Brandon Weichert (31:19):
“Well, I got to be tough and stuff.”
Well we do have to be tough and we have them.
Bill Walton (31:23):
We got to be tough, when we have president like Joe Biden in charge.
Brandon Weichert (31:24):
Bill Walton (31:25):
We got to be careful about tough talk.
Brandon Weichert (31:28):
Yeah. Well the thing is that we have been tough. We’ve been very tough. We have depleted our reserves of essential weapons that will be needed to defend Taiwan to defend… And again, I want to make it clear, I am very much in support of defending Ukraine sovereignty to a point. We have done a lot, we have risk World War III to defend Ukraine. I think that we’ve reached the point now and let’s face it, whether the Ukrainians and Russians want to admit it, what’s going on between Russia and Ukraine is a family squabble. They are all ethnic Slavs, mostly believe in the same religion. They have a shared history. The Kievan Rus’ was the genesis, the progenitor of the current Russian civilization, then the Mongols invaded. But the bottom line is this is a family squabble. Those are the domestic spats, ask any cop. The domestic spats are the worst calls to get.
So America’s basically been put in the middle of a domestic squabble, a family fight. We’ve got to now be the arbiter here and say, “You know, Ukraine, you’ve done a bang up job defending yourselves. We now need to ratchet this down because it’s not good for anyone”. Our friends, the Poles who I’m a big supporter of, I understand they don’t want to see that happen. But I’m the biggest loudest supporter of Poland. And I think this is a window of opportunity for Poland for us now to redirect resources into building up the Visegrád states, the four Visegrád states led by Poland, giving them the tools, giving them what they need to not only build up their economy and the wealth.
Bill Walton (32:57):
Give me a refresher course. What are the Visegrád states?
Brandon Weichert (33:00):
The Visegrád states are Poland, Hungary, Lithuania and Romania, I believe. And you can also throw Ukraine in there. And we should also be building up the Nordic states to not invade Russia, but to create basically a wall of prosperity and steel that deters Russia in the long run. So we make a deal with them over Ukraine now. We divert a lot of resources into that Visegrád-Nordic axis. Make sure that they become economically dynamic. Give them the weapons they need to deter any future Russian aggression and there won’t be any Russian aggression in the future. The reason Putin did this is because he thought Ukraine was an easy target. He thought he could go in and walk all over Ukraine and he thought Biden would let him. He was wrong, but now it’s time for Biden to step up and say, “Now we need to start ratcheting down a little bit.”
Bill Walton (33:50):
Okay, we need to wrap up for today.
Brandon Weichert (33:53):
Bill Walton (33:53):
I’ve got about 10 more hours of conversation though I want to have with you on this. Let’s plan on talking in 3-4 weeks to do a follow up. But where do you think we’re now in the beginning of the second week in October. Let’s give ourselves a deadline, let’s get together in the next 3-4 weeks again.
Brandon Weichert (34:13):
Bill Walton (34:13):
Where do you think will be we’ll be then?
Brandon Weichert (34:15):
Well then, it’s we’re just starting Putin’s last conventional strategy, which is, he’s going to try to surge forces into Ukraine, those additional forces he called up. He’s going to have trouble doing that because a lot of the people don’t want to fight. And then they just blew up this bridge. Ukrainians did linking the two sides together. So he is going to have difficulty doing that, but he is going to try to surge forces there. He’s going to also then ratchet up his nuclear threats. But his main primary objective for the next probably few months is going to be to starve Europe of energy, to freeze them out so that when we’re coming out of the holidays, going into the new year, coming into the early spring, he will then he thinks have the Europeans on their knees so much that they’ll start to wither. They’ll start to seek a nego…
Bill Walton (35:03):
That’s my guess that’s what he want to be doing.
Brandon Weichert (35:05):
If it doesn’t work though, then he’s got no choice. Then it’s time to escalate.
Bill Walton (35:10):
Well, I’ve got to drop up. I’ve quick footnote to this show before we get to the next one. Who sabotage Nord Stream?
Brandon Weichert (35:18):
I believe, it was the Russians. And I can tell you why if you want. I’m happy to tell you. So remember, okay, Vladimir Putin is the guy who on the eve of his election to initiate a war with Separatist Chechnya, he had his intelligence operatives stage a terrorist attack on an apartment building full of Russians and blew it up in the dead at night and blended on the Chechnians that initiated the war in the 90s. That was almost disastrous by the way, for Putin. The Russians were not ready to fight that war as if thought as much as he thought. So there’s a pattern here. The second point is, yeah, he could have just turned the taps off, he could have done that. But by blowing it up this way, I think, it was a provokatsiya, it was Russian provocation. By blowing it up this way, it sows doubt in the minds of at least part of the western population.
Because many people are sitting around going, “Why would he have blown up his own pipeline?” And then we start to think, “It must have been our CIA. It must have been our side that did it”. And there are all these rumors out there. I am not convinced just judging what I know about Putin. Furthermore, I really suspect that Putin is trying to send a signal to the West that I can do this to the pipeline. I can also cut your undersea cables connecting Europe to North America, which will basically isolate Europe and Ukraine away from the telecommunications networks of the world. That’s my working theory. I could be wrong though. I’ve heard very compelling theories that it was our side. I don’t know for sure
Bill Walton (36:55):
Or could be just climate, I think.
Brandon Weichert (36:57):
It could have been an accident. It could have been an… Steven Bryan says that he thinks it was basically a workplace accident. The Russians gnosis. Who knows?
Bill Walton (37:05):
What I’m seeing is it didn’t… The holes don’t look accidental. But I haven’t been down there to take a look myself. So Brandon, this is extremely interesting, extremely timely. And also in 3-4 weeks we’ll learn more about your recovery operation in Florida. And I’m wishing you well and anything we can do, let me know.
Brandon Weichert (37:26):
We’ll do, thank you.
Bill Walton (37:27):
Anyway, This is Bill Walton Show again, with my friend Brandon Weichert talking about Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Putin and Hurricane Biden and trying to figure out whether we’re going to survive this madness. I think we will, but it’s going to be a close thing.
Brandon Weichert (37:45):
It’ll be painful.
Bill Walton (37:45):
It’ll be painful. So anyway, thanks for joining and as always, you can find us on all the big major podcast, webcast platforms, Rumble, YouTube, et cetera. And we’re also, this show will also be on CPAC now, next week, I think it’s October 11th. So thanks for joining and we will talk with you soon.
Brandon Weichert (38:06):
Bill Walton (38:07):
Hope you enjoyed the conversation. Want more? Click the subscribe button or head over to the billwaltonshow.com to choose from over a hundred episodes. You can also learn more about our guests on our Interesting People page and send us your comments. We read everyone and your thoughts help us guide the show. If it’s easier for you to listen, check out our podcast page and subscribe there. In return, we’ll keep you informed about what’s true, what’s right and what’s next. Thanks for joining.
Episode 208: “How Policy Responses to the Pandemic Continue to Shatter Our World” with Jeffrey Tucker
The world has suffered and continues to suffer catastrophic economic and social damage from the Cov...
To put it mildly, the expected massive Republican Red Wave in the recent 2022 midterm elections didn’t materialize. Even...
In this episode I’m joined by Bion Bartning, the founder of...
Recently The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by my guest on this episode, Yale freshman Saha...
Episode 204: “The Climate Change Industrial Complex: Trillion $$$ Promises That It Can’t Keep” with Myron Ebell
In this episode I’m talking again with Myron Ebell, Director of the Competitive Enterprise Instit...
“There is more respect to be won in the opinion of this world b...
Episode 202: “Biden’s Playing Nuclear War Brinksmanship with Russia; Meanwhile China Looms” with KT McFarland
In the 20 months that Joe Biden has been President, his decisions and rhetoric have made the world ever more combustible. Eve...
Election process isn’t a sexy topic, but if we want to preserve our democratic system, and keep our Republic, election inte...
“These are the cold, hard facts: Russia, the country cornering the European energy market, is profiting from...
In the decade since Barrack Obama remarked that “it would be so much easier to be the President o...