Friday, April 14


What planet does Bill O'Reilly live on?

Driving to a meeting early this afternoon I heard him on the radio discussing the calls for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation. With his usual twisted logic and limited information, Bill declared that for two years after the invasion of Iraq there was no progress, but in this past year things have "TURNED AROUND." Bill said that he "respects" the generals who've come out against Rummy, but he trust the Fox News military analysts more -- after all, they're "the best." And the Fox analysts say we're making progress now. So why dump Rummy just when things are really moving positively? (Wes Clark is a Fox military analyst -- have you heard him uttering any comforting homilies about how well things are going in Iraq?)

The whole world is watching Iraq with bated breath, dreading but anticipating a full-scale civil war. Sectarian violence at the very least approaches such a state. Three years into the war we still are having very limited success at training Iraqis to "stand up" in the military and police. More Americans have died in the war during the first two weeks of March than during February or January. The Bush administration has announced that the U.S. will cease reconstruction efforts in Iraq. Months after national elections, there is still no government, and little forward movement towards forming one. Yet Bill O'Reilly thinks we're making "progress" because Fox analysts tell him that things have "turned around" in Iraq.

Now I'm listening to Fox News (a rare event). Fred Barnes says the generals have joined the anti-war movement, the political left, the cut and run crowd. It's just the Army generals who are complaining because Rummy has been trying to transform their branch. You don't see any Navy or Air Force guys griping! It's just the Army who don't like Rummy and Bush rejecting their ideas of how it should be organized. Juan Williams says, wait a minute -- there are Republicans among these generals. How can you say they're part of the anti-war crowd? Fred retorts, we're in the midst of a war! Of course their public statements are aiding the anti-war movement! Juan says what if they were all for the war but are protesting the way it was executed? Charles Krauthammer opines that the real question is the danger to the principle of elected government deciding how and when we go to war. He says it's only banana republics who elevate the sense of the generals above that of the civilian government.

Can you imagine characterizing the generals who have spoken out (only after their retirement, mind) as ANTI-WAR or aligned with the POLITICAL LEFT? Can you imagine calling them, in the manner of Congresswoman Mean Jean Schmidt towards Cong. John Murtha, "cut-and-runners?"

Good Lord, help us. These men have a huge audience, and people actually TRUST THEM.

UPDATE: Did I just hear Tommy Franks on Hardball, in defending Don Rumsfeld, speaking complimentarily of Douglas Feith, the man he once called "the f------ stupidest guy on the face of the earth"??? What a turkey Franks turned out to be. He's got two copies of his book prominently framed on either side of his face as he talks to Tweety.

UPDATE II: Here's one of those vaunted Fox military analysts: Retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a military analyst for Fox News and the Weekly Standard, on war in Iran: “I can lay out a campaign today that will take Iran down very quickly.” McInerney on war in Iraq in 2002: “[I]t will be a war that is shorter than” the 1991 Gulf War, which lasted 42 days.

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