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November 21, 2005

Comments

Gary Maxwell

Sure Chris those splodeydopes are just misunderstood, MORON.

Wayne Moore

By "the other side", Matthews seems to mean the Islamofascists.

owl

Mr Chris Matthews---I will put him up against anyone on TV for having been the harshest war critic. He wants to understand all those people wanting to blow and chop us up. He has had Carter on his show several times to explain it. You have to think "Carter" to understand his plan of attack.

paul

Apparently they took his lithium away, when he tried to cross the border.

paul

Some questions for Chris:

Do you even report on Iraq?

I can't recall the last time he interviewed someone there-or even had it as a story, anywhere in the show. Is there a quintiscential Hardball episode that attempts to explain Iraq, or the people we face?

In order of importance for Chris's show?
Scooter Libby, and THEN everything else.

It's like watching a drunk driver who will come barreling through the intersection between 7-8, every weeknight.

Davis

There is a photograph in Monday's Globe and Mail newspaper of Chris Matthews and Conrad Black together at a function in Toronto last Saturday. (sorry - no link - I saw a faxed copy).

Maybe they were discussing Patrick Fitzgerald, who took time out last week from chasing politicians to indict Black and some associates from Hollinger newspapers (Chicago Sun Times).

Jor

Although not stated correctly, he basically has a point. Calling someone "evil" is not going to help you minimize their influence at all. If you understand what motivates them, and what could possibly allow them to gain supporteres (or other evil doers) and then negate that -- you would be much better off. Obviously, we didn't do this at all in Iraq -- and well, we are going to turn the corner any minute soon. Using your head, isn't the same as capitulating to the terrorists. You know that. In the end, I don't think Mathews statements helped the insurgency as much as the idiots/hacks Bush put in charge of the CPA. I'm sure, you'll report on that shortly.

Before the election, I would have thought it would have been in year 7 before things became this bad, but my goodness -- we still have three more years of pure ocmedy. And it appears even more likely that many, many, many more embarrassing details are on their way out.

owl

Jor
The day Matthews and Carter have a "point" is the day the world ends.

Jor

Owl -- who is in charge, Mathews or Cheney? Who do you think is actually losing Iraq? HMMM.. people who have absolutely no idea what they are doing *cough*Cheney*cough*. About half of the thinking-republicans realize this by now, better to abandon ship now, than in a few weeks, when many more details you decided to ignore as we marched to war suddenly become reported on.

dogtownGuy

Someone explain to me the ease of which the left has referring to Bush as "Hitler" , but find "pet owner" appalling and require "pet stewards", let alone Islamofacist as "evil"

Ponderance and understanding of the enemy sounds sophisticated and rational but could take generations if ever...meanwhile dirty bombs at best take weeks.

Lew Clark

What I want to know is, were the veins standing out on Matthews neck and was spittle flying out of his mouth, when he made this statement? Because he is most wise, astute, and articulate at these moments.

Gary Maxwell

Jimmy Fing Carter. The most milquetoast President of my lifetime, and maybe ever. He would put on his cardigan like Mr. Rogers and then have a little chat with us about how the world would never be the same and we just needed to learn to get by with less. And he could not figure out how to stand up on his hind legs when the Iranians invaded our soil by taking over the embassy. Probably the most pathetic performance ever and Reagan mercifully blew him away.

Funny thing though with Deomcrat former Presidents, they just dont know to shut up.

Chris Mathews is stupid but fortunately he is watched by almost noone except his little brother, and Jor.

epphan

Jor:

You seem to have a deep "understanding" and are much smarter than us simpletons...Yet the islamofacists would still slice your head off...funny how that works.

Jor

dogtown, if you actually read anything on "the left", you'd realize very few people refer to Bush as hitler. There is almost unanimous opinion that he is an incompetent fool, who is in way over his head -- some even think he may be "good intentioned". Yet, incompetent fools incharge of the most powerful country in the world is usually a bad idea.

IF you're not certain what I mean by incompetent, c.f. Katrina. Or Brownie.

Dwilkers

Yeah dogtownGuy. If you actually read what the left has to say you'll see they, like Matthews, are quite thoughtful.

owl

Hey Gary, I watch Matthews, all I can stand. Otherwise, how are you going to identify the next DNC campaign? They may start it on the front page of the NYT and WaPo but it moves directly to Matthews. And then it takes on a life of it's own. So if you watch Matthews, you know the latest BEFORE they do the movie. I swear it. Sometimes even before the book. It is the fastest way to identify the campaigns. I was on Joe like a bug.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'IF you're not certain what I mean by incompetent, c.f. Katrina. Or Brownie.'

You're not going to like this NY Times story:

http://flyunderthebridge.blogspot.com/2005/11/how-ya-gonna-keep-em-down-in-french.html

Gary Maxwell

Owl:

You must have a cast iron stomach. I did catch Zell Miller way back when he basically made Chris wet his pants. Great moments in TV.

But no one watches Him Owl. The must have another way to disseminate their talking points. Mor people at the Whole Foods Market most nights than watching Hardhead.

SteveMG

My guess is that Matthews was referring to domestic political opponents and not the Islamists or radical Islamic terrorists (or whatever name one wishes to employ).

Geezus, I hope so.

Although it is interesting that some (many? most?) on the left who dismiss let us say the Christian Right as evil theocratic monsters also argue that we must have a more sophisticated understanding of the root causes of radical Islamic discontent.

Nuance for me but not for thee, so to speak.

And sorry Jor, the scholarship on those on the left who embrace the above latter point (and variations of it) is pretty voluminous.

Nice try though.

SMG

millco88

TM,

An Animals reference on a Monday; I think that qualifies as a good day.

Gary Maxwell

Incompetent fool = Jimmy Carter

You should not speak of a Past leader of the Democrat Party that way.

KevInRedBoston

Give me a break Jor?
How does labeling something "evil" retard one's ability to understand what they're all about? Maybe WE do understand them and have come to the correct conclusion that they're evil?
How does understanding Hitler make him not "evil"? How about Stalin or Mao? Maybe people who share your opinion are the ones who don't understand, or maybe they just don't want to understand?
Instead of pontificating on this website log onto www.cspan.org and read what the president has actually said instead of what the media has told you he said? Bush explained to all who cared to listen what the terrorists believed, who they are, and what they want for this world we all share. He quoted them verbatim. Even the media has reported what these terrorists say, how can you say we don't understand? On top of that Bush took the time to explain to all who would listen what the point of the WoT was, and how Iraq was central in that fight. Do the lines, "Terrorists, and those who support them", "hijacked a religion", and "Axis of Evil" ring a bell? Please read his speech shortly after 9/11 and then his follow up State of the Union address. It’s pretty clear.
Moving on...How exactly does muttering the phrase "using your head" solve this problem? It's just another talking point leading to nowhere. Use your head to do what? Bang it off a wall at the UN for oh I don't know, a decade? "If I were president I'd use my head; vote for me". "If I were president I'd lead a kinder, gentler war". Give me a break. How does that translate into policy?
That's the problem with a lot of people sharing your view point; they can't get past their catch phrases. They'll fight logic and fact with some sort of argument about how calling a spade a spade disables us from understanding the threat, and that somehow means we're wrong. The beauty of it for "your side" is that you never have to prove you're right. It’s like listening to a backseat driver whose ripe old age of 9 gives them the ability to speak, but not on much they know anything about.
I'm sorry if I was rude, or unnecessarily harsh; I just can't stand all this rhetoric devoid of substance any more. After almost three years of listening to baseless attacks devoid of fact, or at least accurate fact, I'm kind of losing my social graces here. 9/11 was the 40th Muslim terrorist attack (FORTY) on the US and its time people started calling a spade a spade and stop shying away from a difficult job. The same people that are scared out of their wits at the mention of "god" in public trip over themselves to believe we've misunderstood Muslim fanatics. Its not that we don't understand the terrorists, it’s that you aren't willing to accept the truth that comes with understanding. If the world had accepted the truth of Nazi Germany a little earlier who knows what could have happened, or not happened in that case.

Peace is a spoil of war, not the product of apeasement.

Jim E.

"But no one watches Him Owl."

Apparently Libby does.

The Unbeliever

"Past" leader? Isn't Carter still wandering around giving speeches, doing international photo ops, and attending various DNC functions?

Pardon my confusion, I'm simply unsure what passes for "leadership" nowadays on the Dem side of the aisle...

DougJ

Mathews is nothing more than mouthpiece for the loony left these days. If he does one more piece on "torture", he should be water boarded himself.

He's Exhibit A of proof of the librul bias in media. Some days he makes Olbermann and Kooper look moderate.

Gary Maxwell

He did sit in the Presidential box at Democrat convention come to think of it. Right next to another leader of the Democrat Party.

owl

I realize I am only 1 of the 10 watching him but think Andrea Mitchell and then straight on to Russert. People do watch Timmy and Matthews does the dirty work for them.

SMG-----you really have to watch him if you don't think I am serious. He and Carter believe we should understand those poor terrorists (who really are not terrorists but misunderstood victims that we, the evil USA do unspeakable things to). Oh, he would exempt Osama. But even then, we were the reason Osama turned on us, etc etc etc.

owl

This is the show they define their message.

TP

Then, again, Jimmy thought the Ayatollah was some kind of Persian tent revivalist. Come to think of it, he was partially right. : ^ )

Trained Auditor

"Owl -- who is in charge, Mathews or Cheney? Who do you think is actually losing Iraq?" - Jor, above.

This gets to the heart of the matter. Jor inadvertently makes profound point of which I don't think many are aware.

When the Bush Administration realizes our dominant liberal media have (perhaps unwittingly) made themselves combatants in this war, we will be much better prepared to strike the enemy's war-fighting capability and support apparatus.

SteveMG

Owl:
you really have to watch him if you don't think I am serious.

Dunno. Matthews was (maybe I should say was?) a pretty strong anti-communist Democrat along the lines of the Scoop Jackson. He didn't embrace any type of moral equivalency during that period (he's noted his affection for JFK) so I find it difficult to believe he would argue a (type of) equivalency today.

Given the documented history of the press just flat out misquoting folks or getting facts wrong, I'll hold my powder.

arrowhead

Chris Matthews is no stranger to the absurd and distasteful comment. One that stands out in my memory is a remark that he made following 9/11 to the effect that it was a shame that it (9/11) had not occurred during Bill Clinton's presidency so that "...he could have known his moment of greatness."

Great guy, that Chris.

DougJ

Chris Matthews is a close friend of Joe Wilson and a Jimmy Carter apologist. What else need be said about him?

noah

I used to watch Matthews years ago when I had cable. Now the only time I see him is in clips on the web the last being post indictment when he and Katrina whatever (Nation) were totally exposed by Deborah Orrin as both foolish and illiterate. But he used to be liberal and sorta funny...I guess the BDS got him. Sad...we could use more honest liberals.

But Carter is a total nutcase, sort of a moonbat precursor. I actually saw him weeping on TV when the Sandinistas were booted out of office by a free and fair election. What wouldn't I give for that clip.

Syl

What else need be said about him?

He has a great smile, though. :)

Syl

Jor

About half of the thinking-republicans realize this by now, better to abandon ship now, than in a few weeks, when many more details you decided to ignore as we marched to war suddenly become reported on.

LOL. Sounds like a threat. I'm shaking in my boots, er slippers.

What part of 403-3 do you not understand? (rhetorical, I know the answer) We're not abandoning ship. Period.

I saw Charlie Rangel today. He was screaming that the Murtha proposal was so we could have a dialog on the war. But he refused to enter a dialog on the war, only criticized Republicans for not wanting a dialog.

Seems to me the Dems do NOT want dialog at all. They just want to rant and rave and stamp their little feet.

Much like Jor.

Sue

I suspect Matthews was referring to the terrorists when he said 'other side'. He almost swallowed his pretty white teeth when Reagan called the Soviet Union evil.

Sue

Syl,

I posted on another comment thread about Rangel's appearance today. He was mad about having to vote Friday on an immediate pullout, even though he and 12 other democrats have signed on to a bill calling for the 'immediate cessation of funds to the war and an immediate pull out'. Like his restarting the draft bill. He merely wants to talk the bill to death instead of voting on it. He was mad when he had to actually vote on the draft bill he authored. :)

Crank
Good is a point of view, Anakin. And the Jedi point of view is not the only valid one. . . if one is to understand the great mystery, one must study all its aspects, not just the dogmatic, narrow view of the Jedi. If you wish to become a complete and wise leader, you must embrace a larger view of the Force.

The irony is that Matthews' audience, such as it is, was largely built of conservatives in the 1990s because he was so hard on Clinton for his disonesty. In that sense, Matthews is an old-fashioned good-government liberal. But he really has lost his moral compass at this point.

owl

I agree Crank. I remember watching him when at least I thought he was fair. Forget it. He moved into straight lying. I have heard him tell more straight out lies than ANY other on TV, and that's not easy. He just let Iraq drive him nuts. He was so angry when his party voted for the war, he went over the edge. One man on a mission. This is not your old Matthews and has not been for a long time.

BTW, his target is Cheney. It has been Cheney 2 to 1 over Bush. He HATES Cheney.

SteveMG

Crank:
Matthews is an old-fashioned good-government liberal. But he really has lost his moral compass at this point.

It's important to remember the Matthews - like the lefties squawking today - was a vehement opponent of the 1990 Gulf War and argued then that the danger was allowing Cheney (then SecDef) and the hawks too much power.

Substitute "neocon" for "hawks" and OIF for Gulf War and he hasn't really changed too much. He's always had a hard-on (pardon some locker room language, ladies) for Cheney.

His compass was always off re Iraq.


SMG

JM Hanes

Matthews thinks the Prez is an idiot being run by Cheney. He thinks we went to Afghanistan for revenge (apparently OK) and to Iraq because Cheney wanted to go for his own reasons and launched a mushroom cloud to do it. He was fine back when he was dealing with domestic policy; the real problem is that he's completely out of his depth on the international stage.

On the plus side, however, he has spent a lot of time bringing attention to wounded vets, which he actually manages to do in a gratifyingly non-partisan way.

r flanagan

Actually I wasn't that thrilled when his
idea of domestic policy was to root
for Clinton's impeachment. I used to switch
to , God forgive me, Geraldo.

Dwilkers

After studying the quotes a bit...assuming the press has it right...it is clear Matthews was talking about the head-choppers.

Its...well I dunno what to say about it. Our polity is nuts nowadays.

owl

BTW, you can trace it all back with Matthews to the Peace Corp. He thinks the head choppers are the same people he met then (okay, maybe not). But I swear it changed his life and he mentions it a LOT. That and Cheney.

r flanagan

A couple of facts in case anyone cares.

I heard Matthews claim a while ago(maybe 2 years ) that his was the most watched cable news/talk program during its hour. That was
also when he explained that he had known Bush would win in 2000 since the winner was always the one for whom "the sun shone on his face".

Charlie Rangel was decorated for his service in Korea. As I recall he was a seargent in
a company cut off when the Chinese came across the Yalu , when the officer commanding
the company was killed Rangel took over and commanded them as the fought their way out.
If anyone has better information I'd be
happy to be corrected.

Gary Maxwell

I dont when that was, but he is the least watched guy on Cable now. Its not even close to him being in the race.

hrtshpdbox

I knew there was SOMETHING I actually liked about Rangel.

Sue

What does Rangel's service have to do with his recent comments?

r flanagan

Sue,

Re Rangel's service.

That facts are all that I can tell
It's up to you to use them well.*
* Cassandra And we know what happened to
her.

richard mcenroe

Wow!

Then Rangel has unassailable moral authority and we should implement the Democrats' plan to bring back the draft immediately!

Good thing I'm old and prior service so I can be so enthusiastic about that...

r flanagan

Or more accurately you should
have written THAT DEMOCRAT'S PLAN
etc.

r flanagan

And probably I shouldn't comment since
I was never drafted myself. I volunteered.

Sue

Bob Dole was a decorated WWII hero. Does that mean he should have been president instead of Clinton? Or for that matter, GHWB was a WWII veteran. We should have used this argument then. We might have had 8 years without a Clinton nightmare.

Oh, wait, I remember. Non-service in the military was a non-issue, taboo in fact, when Clinton was running for office. Seems to me democrats make up all the rules.

Sue

TM,

I just got the irony of the title to this thread. "I've Given Up". I think I'll join you and stick a fork in this thread. :)

Syl

Well, I give up too. I watched Hardball faithfully until mid-2004.

There's always a tipping point. Mine was when he had those anti-Bush 9/11 wives on and pretended they represented ALL of them.

That was it.

r flanagan

Sue
You're absolutely right. Dole and Bush Sr both performed heroically in combat. In fact I think Bush may have been the youngest combat pilot in WW2.

But as to the "taboo",in fact the 92 convention , in prime time on all the networks , showed a very effective film clip `of him climbing on to the deck of the sub that rescued him when his plane crashed.


DougJ

This whole idea that service constitutes patriotism is laughable. Patriotism means standing by your country. These Dumborats like Rangel don't know the first thing about that. Cheney may not have served but he's ten times the patriot DeRangel will ever be.

Freedom is on the march.

ordi

It is interesting how Matthews and the Dems give the benefit of the doubt to terrorist

and more harsh words toward Bush and Repubs.

But don't you dare use the "U" word anywhere near a Dem!

Jim Rockford

The typical response of a fool, such as Carter, is to ascribe beheading 16 year old Catholic HS girls in Indonesia, or 9/11, or 3/11, or 7/7, or Bali, or Amman, or Tunisia, or ... pick your terrorist atrocity where terrorists DELIBERATELY murder up close and personal helpless and innocent people whom normal, decent human beings are hard-wired to protect, as "not evil."

That my friends are the hallmarks of a fool. Carter was a fool with Iran, Matthews is a fool (as well as most of the Democratic Party) in refusing to see evil and call it by it's name.

There are MANY points where I part company from GWB. But at least as stupid as he often is he's not a total fool like Matthews. He sees evil and calls it's name.

r flanagan

DOUG J

I DISAGREE AND WILL CONTINUE TO THINK IT'S PATRIOTIC
TO SERVE IN THE MILITARY, PARTICULARLY
IF IN COMBAT AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU
PROVIDE LEADERSHIP AT A TIME WHEN OTHERWISE
AMERICAN SOLDIERS WILL DIE. AS RANGEL DID.
OR JUST FIGHT BRAVELY AS GHW BUSH DID.


I ASSUME YOU WOULDN'T LABEL THOSE FOLKS
AS UNPATRIOTIC.


OF COURSE THERE ARE PATRIOTS WHO SERVE IN
OTHER WAYS. AND THERE ARE PEOPLE LIKE CHENEY IN
THE 60s WHO DECIDE NEITHER TO JOIN THE
MILITARY NOR TO SERVE IN OTHER WAYS. I DON'T LABEL THEM UNPATRIOTIC. JUST
NORMAL PEOPLE EXERCISING THEIR RIGHT TO
SIT THIS ONE OUT.

I HAPPEN TO HAVE MORE ADMIRATION FOR THOSE WHO SERVE .

goddessoftheclassroom

When I teach the book Night by Elie Wiesel, many student state that Hitler was crazy. I remark, "No, he was brilliant. He knew what he wanted, how to implement it, was a hypnotizing speaker, and he achieved most of his goals. He wasn't crazy; he was evil, and you students need to be able to spot that in your leaders."

I love watching the light bulbs come on behind their eyes.

DougJ

Rflanagan, I disagree. REAL patriots don't cut and run. It doesn't matter what you think of the mission, it doesn't matter that you think it is a losing cause. Cutting and running is simply wrong. It's that simple. America is strong when it stands tall. We will prevail -- always -- when we show resolve. I am thankful that we have a leader who knows that, who doesn't care what the polls say about Iraq, who doesn't care what lies the librul MSM tells about the "insurgency", but who knows, in his heart, that we will prevail and that we will bring freedom to a country that has never known it before.

r flanagan

Bush and Cheney are not evil. And I'm sure they sincerely want to do what is best for this country. And the same is true of Murtha , Kerry , Rangel , McCain , GHW Bush , and "Swift Boat O'Neil". I choose to admire and label as patriotic those who served in combat regardless of their position on withdrawal.


boris

Benedict Arnold was a war hero.

Murtha, Kerry and Rangel are not forever immune to criticism just because they saw combat.

To the extent their politics help the enemy in time of war, that goes beyond lack of judgment. It implies a significant break with fellow Americans on an issue already decided democratically.

Cecil Turner

I'm sure they sincerely want to do what is best for this country.

Well, that certainly seems to be inconsistent with allegations they lied us into war, so hopefully you'd agree such rhetoric is overwrought.

And the same is true of Murtha , Kerry , Rangel , McCain , GHW Bush , and "Swift Boat O'Neil".

I suspect that's true. Unfortunately, some apparently view the prospect of losing the current war with equanimity. Worse, they apparently believe political expediency trumps considerations like troop morale and the propaganda value of their statements to the enemy. (At least, that's the only sensible explanation I can come up with for things like Rangel's demagogic draft proposal or Kerry's "Winter Soldier" idiocy.)

I choose to admire and label as patriotic those who served in combat regardless of their position on withdrawal.

All very nice. But the issue here is one of strategy, not personal bravery. (Some of the bravest guys on the planet were last century's French cavalry and paratroopers, and trust me, you wouldn't want 'em planning your operations.) On that score, Cheney is a whole lot better qualified than Rep Murtha. Further, Murtha personalized the argument with this irrelevant chickenhawk argument:

"I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."
If someone subsequently calls him a name he doesn't like, I'm sure he can handle it. Publicly labelling an ongoing war as "unwinnable" and calling for an immediate withdrawal is irresponsible--it has a material effect on combatants' morale and inspires the enemy to an extra effort in order to tip the scales back in D.C.--and Murtha either knows that or ought to.

capitano
We await clarification from Matthews or his Spokesfolks. Suggested spin - by "other side", Matthews meant "Republicans".

I don't think so.

Confirmed: Matthews said something very similar almost a year ago:

MATTHEWS: Well let me ask you about this. If this were on the other side, and we were watching an enemy soldier-- a rival, I mean, they're not bad guys especially, they're just people who disagree with you; they are in fact the insurgents figthing us in their country -- if we saw one of them do what we saw our guy did to that guy [the playing-dead terrorist], would that be worthy of a war-crime charge?

Ace also here.

Here's a suggestion: Have him give the same speech -- word for word -- to the NYFD or NYPD and see how they react.

JayDee

"If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up. The person on the other side is not evil -- they just have a different perspective."

It's astonishing how the presumption here is that by "the person on the other side" Matthews meant Zarqaqi style terrorists. It isn't anywhere implicit in his comments that he meant that. In fact, given the general political wonkiness of his program, I would assume by "the other side" he meant the other political side. Given the vicious nature of inter-American political discourse at the moment, that really is a pretty dangerous statement as well, but hardly treasonous. Not yet, anyway, though I think Cheney's working on it.

So Matthews is another pariah to you guys? Do you have anyone at all outside of Fox News that you don't loathe? The paranoiac fear of the right wing, despite their position of near absolute power, is hard to understand, except for the fact that they are terrified apparently of accepting any of their due responsibilities for the dire straits they've brought their nation to. They love the power and the bullying rights it brings, but the obsessive need to blame all problems on "the others" is probably the root of their paranoia.

Cecil Turner

. . . if we saw one of them do what we saw our guy did to that guy [the playing-dead terrorist], would that be worthy of a war-crime charge?

Now there's an example of an issue where first-hand combat experience would actually be helpful. If Matthews had checked with a combat vet, he might understand that a shamming terrorist would be a war criminal, whilst a guy shooting one (if he honestly thought he was in danger . . . which from the tone of voice, this guy obviously did) would merely be mistaken. Wouldn't fit his narrative nearly so well, though, would it?

JayDee

An excellent point that really needs to be made is that this country really needs to stop indulging in mindless hysteria and start behaving like adults with the capability to solve our problems. There are many questions of extreme complexity that need to be discussed. For one, what is the nature of the terrorist threat to the American mainland at this point in time? Is it from a state sponsored form of well financed sophisticated attack? Or from a more primitive cell of illegal immigrants with boxcutters and laptops? What is the current state of our defense against either of these threats? What is the forward looking plan against both kinds of threats? In what way is our blundering police action, soldiers-as-target-practice adventure in Iraq helping defend us against either threat?

In discussions of Iraq, the most compelling argument against withdrawal that I've seen is NOT that terrorists will seize the state. It's the idea that the inevitable civil war will draw in regional neighbors and cause a huge regional conflagration. So what are the diplomatic, political activities underfoot to manage this inevitability? At what point do we acknowledge that the US has limitations when dealing with a region over which we have no dominion and a culture we have difficulty comprehending or respecting. We are not the only people on earth in danger from Islamic terrorism, and we are not going to solve this problem aif we continue to pretend we are the only ones with the power to control it.

I think the reason the rightwing is losing this argument with the public right now is because they have disintegrated into nothing but hysterical fear mongering. If you attempt to engage in a pragmatic, rational discussion with a rabid rightwinger, you can set your watch by the 60 seconds it takes for him to start screeching about BEHEADINGS! It isn't that we don't face a real threat from terrorism. It's just that the paranoia and hysteria of the right wing is paralyzing the conversation.

r flanagan

Without making the charge itself I see no inconsistency in thinking that Cheney and Bush are devoted to the USA and that they lied us into a war they felt was absolutely vital. Wouldn't you?

Sure official lying weakens a democracy like lots of other things that also happen all the time.


r flanagan

Just to add a little fuel to the flames
I assume I'm the only commentator who's
seen the photo of Chris Matthews pouring a bottle of beer over Kerry's head.

Wanna know where it appeared ?

DougJ

Cowards cut and run. Patriots don't, heros don't, Christian don't. Jesus didn't cut and run in the Garden of Gethsemane. George Washington didn't cut and run when he crossed the Delaware. Lincoln didn't cut and run in Gettysburg.

Heros persevere. Heros have resolve. Heros stay the course.

We will prevail in Iraq because GOD HAS BLESSED THESE UNITED STATES.

Cecil Turner

. . . and that they lied us into a war they felt was absolutely vital.

They thought the war was absolutely vital, despite the fact that there was no threat, and so they had to lie about the threat? Leaving aside contrary CIA reports, it's hard to view this argument as even internally consistent.

JayDee

It's not consistent. If their concern was threats to the United States, they would have addressed the situation in Afghanistan and consolidated all diplomatic options before using non military means to force Saddam from power in an orderly manner. They would have galvanized the entire international community - the huge portion of humanity that is endangered by Islamic fundamentalist terrorism - and coordinated a hardminded, realistic defense against an amorphous, non-finite, international threat.

The sad truth is this administration did NOT put America's best interests first in this case. They did NOT make the best decisions regarding our national security. Instead they unnecessarily depleted our military preparedness and exacerbated an ancient regional conflict. They energized Islamic terrorism, helped it to disperse and gave it a fervent focus.

Why do all this? The answer is obvious to everyone who reads. Their think tank elitists had the arrogant fantasy that they - supermen that they anointed themselves to be - would use OUR military as a geopolitical tool to reshape the Middle East according to the blueprints they'd concocted in their ideological vaccuum. And they correctly assessed that the USA now possessed sufficient numbers of citizens lusting for a bellicose, sanctimonious stance by America on the international stage.

We see now the wreckage of their arrogance. It's time to move past the hysteria they used to whip up their supporters and start to puzzle out the Rubik's cube of dilemmas their irresponsibility has created.

SteveMG

JayDee:
Why have the comments and statements by Democrats in the 1990s about Iraq suddenly disappeared. Nowhere to be found, or heard?

Your description of the situation in Iraq seemingly begins and ends with the election of Bush in 2001 and ignores a wealth of statements and policies advocated by a wide bi-partisan group of officials and elected representatives about the dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

From Ted Kennedy to Orrin Hatch. From Sandy Berger to Bill Kristol. From Ken Pollack to Michael Ledeen. And that's just US voices. All were in agreement about the true nature of the Iraqi regime; and it wasn't a good one.

The scholarship on this is not disputed. It's just ignored. I can send you hundreds of links - thousands really - of statements by Clinton officials and foreign heads of state all detailing the threat to Middle East peace (such as it is) emanating from Saddam Hussein.

This was not some myth created by the neocons to impose a Pax Americana on the region or by "rednecks" who, you argue, need to somehow prove their masculinity by warring with other peoples (just a suggestion: dump the psychobabble for a bit, please).

Or were all those words simply Dick Morris triangulation by the Clintonistas in an attempt to showcase their national security bona fides?

Whatever the case, they're on record. And that documentation shows that there was near universal agreement - at least from those individuals who weren't bought off by Saddam's corrupt food-for-oil scheme - that regime change was needed in Iraq. The only question was how and when.

Syl

We see now the wreckage of their arrogance. It's time to move past the hysteria they used to whip up their supporters and start to puzzle out the Rubik's cube of dilemmas their irresponsibility has created.

Dilemmas? Ask Osama.

kim

Oh, Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood.
================================================

TexasToast

“The final communique, hammered out at the end of three days of negotiations at a preparatory reconciliation conference under the auspices of the Arab League, condemned terrorism, but was a clear acknowledgment of the Sunni position that insurgents should not be labeled as terrorists if their operations do not target innocent civilians or institutions designed to provide for the welfare of Iraqi citizens.

The participants in Cairo agreed on 'calling for the withdrawal of foreign troops according to a timetable, through putting in place an immediate national program to rebuild the armed forces ... control the borders and the security situation' and end terror attacks.”

--- From the AP.

The Iraqi government we installed is saying that the Sunni insurgents should not be labeled “terrorists.” They want us to leave. Why are we worried about Chris Matthews?

Crank

Matthews has now responded to criticisms of his speech in an email to RedState.

Sue

Texas Toast,

I could have sworn the Iraqis voted on their government. Did we rig those elections too? I get it, like the moon landing, it was a trick of the camera when they held up their purple fingers.

What I want to know is what did the democrats know about this and when did they know it? It would be just like them to have been prewarned of the Iraqi's statement and use it to their political advantage. This way, they can claim it was their idea, when the president starts reducing troops next year, as was the plan anyway. You got to hand it to democrats, they are sure sneaky...

SteveMG

Getting back to the original topic - Matthews comments - he e-mailed the Powerline crew with the following:

I told the students that the way to deal with terrorists is the way Golda Meir did after the attack on the Israeli Olympic athletes: hunt them down and kill them one at a time and be rough about it.

Every person in that room heard my say this. I don't know why the reporter chose to conflate my remarks about our need to get behind the forces in the Muslim world into my approach on how to deal with terrorists.

Feel free to check with the University of Toronto students who invited me to speak.

It still ducks the question, it seems to me, as to how Matthews views the insurgents in Iraq. Terrorists? Or legitimate fighters against an occupying force?

SMG

JayDee

SMG, I really can't figure where the rightwing decided the particular logic you just regurgitated was a compelling defense. They've pulled a bunch of out of context quotes and mangled quotes from any Democrat they could google and threw them in a big pile as if that amounted to a coherent argument.

Yes, other people thought Saddam was dangerous...the same sources also can be found on record with reservations and questions, unreported from RNC Propaganda Central. Yes, Saddam had used WMD in the past... and uh, yes, Clinton's 1998 bombing raids put the finishing touches on those capabilities. Yes, there are many on record supporting the concept of "regime change"...however none advocating massive conventional military invasion and occupation. It's all a load of bull. The RNC that is selling it knows it is bull, and unfortunately, they also know they have minions like yourself willing to regurgitate it on command.

Do you actually believe it,though? Do you honestly believe there was this way and no other to oust Saddam and protect US interests in the Mideast - national security interests? Do you honestly believe your government endeavored to AVOID this conflict or can you see now - like most of the rest of the world - that they instead actively sought to promote this conflict as an inevitability?

The evidence is all too clear at this point that the Cheney/Rummy/Wolfy/Perle PNAC party boys took advantage of a state of temporary national grief to provoke hysteria and ram through their great dream of being kingmakers and worldshapers. They used the silly fool they had positioned as a figurehead to play president and they ran their country into a morass that has undermined its best interests in the long term. The hysteria is receding and the country is beginning to remember that they're adults who can come out from under their beds and accept their responsibilities as citizens. I don't understand why anyone of your intelligence is still willing to swallow RNC talking points without reflection, but those of a less partisan ilk (99% of the country) are very much over the fear mongering hysteria of 2003 - 4.

SteveMG

TexasToast:
The Iraqi government we installed is saying that the Sunni insurgents should not be labeled “terrorists.” They want us to leave. Why are we worried about Chris Matthews?

Good grief.

The Iraqi interim or transitional government was elected by the Iraqi people in January. We didn't install it.

Second, they specifically said that insurgents that do not target innocent civilians or institutions designed to provide for the welfare of Iraqi citizens were not terrorists.

You conflated that to "the Sunni insurgents." Surely you can see the difference?

Third, of course they want us to leave. And we want to leave. They didn't say immediately did they?

No, the call to withdraw the troops was "according to a timetable, through putting in place an immediate national program to rebuild the armed forces ... control the borders and the security situation' and end terror attacks.”

That's what we're doing now. We're rebuilding the army and security forces and will hand off those duties to them when they're ready. Then we leave.

It's been the plan for 2 years.

SMG

JayDee

Interesting thing in mathews' remarks is that we here in America - an ocean and a continent away from Islamic terrorism - are so much more hysterical and terrorized by it than the tiny nation of Israel living in their midst. They can survive this threat using wit and muscle, yet we here in America are kept from having a rational discussion about it by nonstop shrilling from the Hannities amongst us that we're all about to be BEHEADED!

It's funny to read Sue now saying that "oh yeah, now that we're leaving anyway, the Dems want the credit"... Leaving anyway? How many hours ago was it she was screeching about staying the course and keeping the ISLAMOFASCISTS away from our wholesome homeland? We have SIXTEEN frigging bases now in Iraq. What do you think the REAL plan over there is? I'm not making any predictions, just saying it's time for all of us to start relying more on our common sense and less on our infantile phobias.

SteveMG

JayDee:
I know it's November 22 but your response is conspiratorial silliness.

Out of context quotes?

You mean to tell me that when Clinton and Berger and Albright and Cohen were making speech after speech after speech telling us of the dangers of Iraq under Saddam Hussein they were part of the neocon/PNAC conspiracy?

The record on the this is absolutely irrefutable: throughout the 1990s there was bi-partisan agreement that Iraq under the Baathist Regime posed a threat to the world that needed to be removed.

Sorry, this faux historical amnesia may work within the leftwing circle you travel in, but it's not working here.

SMG


Syl


I think some people are under the impression that all the insurgents are Islamic terrorists like Zarqawi. They're not. Some of them are. Most of them aren't.

Zarqawi complained about them in his letter. He called them cowards because they just laid down IEDs and ran. They weren't willing to blow themselves up for the cause.

Actually, Zarqawi complained about everybody. Such a hard life he has. Sheesh.

Anyway, the IEDs are set by sunni and baathist insurgents (they're not necessarily the same). Car bombs are set by Zarqawi types. Rarely do you find an Iraqi behind the wheel of an exploding car.

That doesn't mean the insurgents aren't acting like terrorists, but they mainly target coalition forces though they could care less about collateral damage.

The ex-baathists and sunni insurgents can be brought into the political process. The al Qaeda types, the Iraqi's who have been radicalized, won't.


Syl

JayDee

Who is hysterical? Seems to me the anti-war crowd are the hysterical ones.

Chris is among those who don't think in strategic terms, neither do they understand the root causes. Iraq is about root causes more than picking off terrorists one-by-one.

And we're picking off terrorists. The most important ones to pick off, though, are the layer just under the leaders. Meaning those between bin laden and cells and those between Zarqawi and his foot soldiers.

We've done an excellent job of picking those guys off. That's the priority. The foot soldiers and cells are taken as we find them. The leaders are useless without their command and control layer.

JM Hanes

JayDee -
"I think the reason the rightwing is losing this argument with the public right now is because they have disintegrated into nothing but hysterical fear mongering."

Via Howard Kurtz, Michael Crowley comments:

A new Pew Institute poll helpfully reminds us not to take U.S. public opionion about foreign affairs too seriously. When asked whether certain countries posessed nuclear weapons, nearly a third said that Libya does. More people--55 percent--believe Iran has nuclear weapons than think Great Britain (52 percent) or France (38 percent) does. Only 48 percent got Israel right. And just over one-fifth didn't know or weren't sure about Russia--Russia! Which has some 20,000 nukes. Yeesh.

On a slightly more pertinent note, the poll found that the savvier Americans are about global affairs (based on their knowledge of key world figures and events), the less likely they are to support a quick withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Sixty-six percent of the least knowledgable folks--i.e., ones who couldn't even ID Vladimir Putin--support a fast withdrawal. Only 48 percent of the best-informed ones took that position. Perhaps that offers some small consolation to the currently besieged stay-the-course crowd.

owl

SMG...Matthews will have heck ducking these questions. He never uttered a peep today but he has discussed the "other guy" so many times, in so many ways, no way to duck it.

Yes, I believe he would say he meant to hunt them all down (question if he said to kill them)one by one. He believes we can use the Kerry solution....we are going to treat them like criminals and track them, give them a trial and then imprison them.

He talks a lot about the "other guy's feelings". He loves any subject where he can project the "ugly American". Just a fact.

To be exact, I am being to think he is in here as Jay Dee.

owl

BTW all....I know I have posted it before and probably most of you have already picked up on it by now anyway, but the Democrats will run their 2008 campaign on "Culture of Corruption". I have heard those exact words too many times now. Frist,DeLay, Plame and that is the reason they have to keep chanting "Bush Lied" and manipulated intell and ignore that they said the exact same thing. Makes you wonder if Woodward is going to bag a realllly big one for them. They just have to chant and the MSM will do their work on the public. It will be promient in 2006....not the war. "Culture of Corruption"

Syl

the Democrats will run their 2008 campaign on "Culture of Corruption".

Coming from the "Culture of the Carnivores" why am I not surprised.

clarice

Actually, I think that, too, has flopped. Delay will be cleared soon. No one knows who Libby is and Fitzmas flopped. Indeed, I doubt that Libby will be convicted of anythinf. Abramoff is unbelievable but both sides are equally implicated.
And Bush Lied is their exploding cigar.

Plus everytime Clinton opens his mouth, even the dumbest voter remembers what corruption means.

Now, it I could find a way to get Carter talking more, 2006 would be a Republican rout. LOL

r flanagan

Abramoff..both sides are equally
implicated ? If that's true then you guys really do have a gripe against the MSM
because so far all that's come across to a casual reader (me)is that
Abramoff was a young Republican and the
guy who pleaded guilty ( and is going to give back 19 MILLION $s -no piker he)
used to work for Delay.

JayDee

I think JM's quote above is correct on both points - both that the average American is unfortunately dumber than a rock and that those with more knowledge are less likely to favor a quick withdrawal. I myself don't advocate any position at this point. The things I've learned about the situation have only opened my eyes to the enormity of the debacle the neocons created, not to the appropriate exit strategy.

How could any knowledgeable person claim to understand the situation? Over 2100 Americans dead, over 15,000 maimed and for what? To finally bring those old kissing cousins Iran and Iraq together?

JPost.com » Middle East » Article
Nov. 23, 2005 2:07
Khameni to Talabani: Seek date for US withdrawal
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
TEHRAN, Iran

Iran's supreme leader urged the Iraqi president on Tuesday to seek a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, saying the American presence harms the country.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who is paying a three-day visit to Iran, a country the United States accuses of meddling in Iraq but that is closely allied to Iraq's new Shiite and Kurd-dominated leadership.

Leaders from Iraq's divided Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish communities agreed in a conference in Cairo this week to call for a timetable for a US withdrawal, but gave no specific time frame and tied it the training of Iraqi forces to carry on the fight against Sunni-led insurgents. The interior minister said this week expected Iraqi forces to be capable of taking over security duties by the end of next year.

Khamenei denounced what he called US attempts to hurt warm Iranian-Iraqi ties with "lies and slander" and urged Iraqis to resist American pressure on them to reduce relations with its neighbor.

The Shiite parties that dominate Iraq's government have been close allies of mostly Shiite Iran's Islamic government since many of their leaders fled into exile there during Saddam Hussein's rule. Kurdish parties also built ties with Iran during that time.

Niiiice.

It doesn't look like our current government has the brain power to figure out this situation though. According to today's WaPo, American troop withdrawals timed for the Pub election cycle are already in the works, with US brigades being drawn down from 18 to 15...and sent where? Kuwait! Basically, Murtha's suggestion - you know, the guy they were trashing as a coward and a moonbat (with rounds of approval on this site), until their focus groups forced them to pull back.

There's no indication that security has improved enough to allow us to "stand down while they stand up". So why the planned drawdown? Political expedience and utter cluelessness of how to deal with the monster they created. Yet we still have Syl-types thinking we're over there routing out every last terrorist from every last hut as the only way she will ever be safe in her own home again. How sad that ignorance has penetrated so deeply, and how convenient for the political machine that reaps those benefits.

SMG, sorry, you haven't made even the beginnings of a rational case. You can fill a book with all the warnings about the threats posed by Iraq and Korea as well. Any intelligent human being understood Saddam was evil. Only one group of think tank elitists made the leap from there to creating a hellfire of human misery in the name of testdriving their elitist theories and fantasies.

And clarice, as always, you represent that charming aspect of wingnuttia - magical thinking. Dream on, darling.

TexasToast

SMG

Sorry

The idea that it was "always the plan" doesn't really fit with "Mission Accomplished". These guys didn't think there would be an insurgency and therefore didn't plan for one. The "plan all along" will be conveniently tied to the election cycle because, really, there is no other choice. "I am not leaving until I am good and ready" has been prouldly said by many a drunk before beind deposited on the sidewalk by the bouncers.

Sue

Jay Dee,

I don't screech. Not even in real life. Something tells me you do though.

Sue

Pointing out the obvious here, but when I claim a democrat is using the drawing down of the troops for political purposes, I'm screeching. The democrats amongst us using the same argument against republicans are thoughtful, non-screechers.

:)

If I really were a screecher, I would screech right about now.

JM Hanes

JayDee,

I'm not sure what draw down you're specifically referring to, but I do know that there's always been a planned draw down post-Iraqi election, because they beef up the numbers in advance -- just as they did for the the first election and the constitutional referendum. Of course they pull back to Kuwait! Where else are they going to go? That's one of the fundamental flaws -- let me count the ways! -- in Murtha's whole "redeployment" scenario.

Iraq absolutely must seek rapprochement with its neighbors, and that includes, perhaps especially, Iran. The ties between them are a double-edged sword. Talabani is starting to look like a real strategic thinker to me, although he's definintely a guy on a tightrope. He's making nice with Iran, while at the same time, he's reassuring his Arab neighbors by distinguishing between Sunni resistance (who are to be brought back into the fold) and al Qaeda terrorists (who must be eliminated).

On the Iranian side, it's interesting that he's meeting with Khamenei -- especially if he's not meeting with Ahmadinejad. A showdown between those two is definitely lurking on the horizon, and ironically, it's quite possible that Iraq may actually end up being able to influence events in Iran by virtue of the very ties that some find so worrisome.

The Democrats' demand for a timetable has forced Talabani's hand. As a political, if not practical, matter he has got to establish Iraqi control, and his own credibility, over the withdrawal of U.S. troops in order to get the kind of support he needs from neighboring states. One of Murtha's many mistake is in thinking that what the U.S. does will be what effectuates such regional support. In fact, it's almost the opposite.

To oversimplify wildly, Talabani needs to be able to say if I get your support I can send the Americans home. If we make that determination unilaterally, we'll be pulling the rug out from under him -- right when he, and by extension we, need it most. Aside from encouraging al Qaeda & insurgents to wait it out, if we announce a departure date independent of Talabani or events on the ground, we dramatically reduce one of the most compelling incentives for regional commitments to the government we leave in place. And that is a very, very bad idea.

owl

"I myself don't advocate any position at this point. The things I've learned about the situation have only opened my eyes to the enormity of the debacle the neocons created, not to the appropriate exit strategy"..........Jay Dee

I bet you do not have a position at this point Jay Dee.

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Wilson/Plame