Friday, June 9


Boy, wingnut radio talk show hostMike Gallagher must have raised his blood pressure about a hundred points today with his tirade against "liberal treason." Mike said he "wish[ed] we had the guts" to stand Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Michael Berg, Jerry Springer, Randi Rhodes, Al Franken and the entire Air America staff "up against the wall, give them a cigarette, tie them to a pole and shoot them for the traitors they are." Gallagher asserted at different times that liberals are just plain evil, traitors, "Bush-haters" and as crazy as any mental patients in a psychotic ward.

Seems Stark and McDermott's less-than-celebratory remarks about the killing of al-Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi sent Mike over the edge, and statements on their Air America radio shows by Jerry Springer and Randi Rhodes on the same subject further inflamed him.

I heard all this driving to a photo shoot location. Driving BACK, I heard O'Lielly going off on the same subject. (I would listen to Air America more, but the signal in Dallas is so weak, half the time I can't get it at all and the other time I have to tune out incredible static to understand anything. So alternatively I tune in to the wingnuts to laugh -- or cry -- at their rants.)

Here's the way I see it. Zarqawi was a murderer of innocents, so I won't lose any sleep over his death. But who are we kidding, really, to believe that taking him out is going to be a magic bullet (no pun intended) to improving the situation in Iraq? We may not be big on martyrs in the U.S.A. but in the Islamic world, they are. For every terrorist that we might demoralize by Zarqawi's death, at least one (or more) will be created or re-energized to avenge the "prince of Al-Qaeda in Iraq." If you take away anything from watching Steven Spielberg's Munich, it should be recognition of the fact that the cycle of violence is never-ending -- one terrorist act spawns an act of revenge that inspires retaliation that leads to more acts of vengeance ad infinitum. So how are we in the United States, or our servicemen and women in Iraq, going to be any safer as a result of Zarqawi's death? I'm not saying we shouldn't have tried to take him out -- of course we should, and I'm glad we did -- but what really will change as a result? Not much, say experts.

Zarqawi was a murderer. That's a fact. But who can honestly dispute Jerry Springer's assertion that, "We never should have gone in from day one. Now — and I understand tens of thousands of people have been killed because we chose to go into Iraq. That is true. We killed a hell of a lot more people just by the decision to go into Iraq than ever died at the hands of Zarqawi." That's also a fact.

UPDATE: Eric Boehlert elucidates on the Pete Stark remarks.

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