Category Archives: Republicans

Megyn Kelly’s Come-Back

Iraq, Neoconservatism, Propaganda, Republicans, Terrorism, War

If I have underestimated Megyn Kelly of “The Kelly File,” it is not for lack of trying not to. I moved from enthusiasm to disappointment in short succession, as it became clear Kelly’s hour on Fox News had degenerated into a smarter, prettier version of Bill O’Reilly’s “The Factor”: Rah-rah for every single form of false jingoism imaginable.

However, Kelly often surprises. She certainly rattled the vampiric Dick Cheney:

MEGYN KELLY to Dick Cheney: “In your op-ed, you write as follows: ‘Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.’ But time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well, sir. You said there were no doubts that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. You said we would be greeted as liberators. You said the Iraq insurgency was in its last throes back in 2005. And you said after our intervention, extremists would have to “rethink their strategy of jihad.” Now with almost a trillion dollars spent there with 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?”


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Is Laura Ingraham Dissociating From The ‘War Party’?

Bush, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Neoconservatism, Republicans, War

Is broadcaster Laura Ingraham prepared to entertain the fact that her passionate populism may also require that she reject the War Party’s recreational wars? “Congressman Gutierrez,” she said on ABC’s Power House, “is closer to the Republican grassroots on this issue [Iraq], than the Republican leaders are. He’s on to something.”

What did Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez say?

“We shouldn’t have been in Iraq in the first place,” he said. “I voted against the incursion in Iraq. They said we would be welcomed as liberators; we weren’t. They said it was going to be paid for; it wasn’t. We should never have been there. This is a centuries-old fight between Sunnis and Shia.”

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Obama Wags The Dog; GOPiers Bite

Barack Obama, Politics, Republicans, Terrorism

The Republicans are something. Barack Obama wags the dog; suddenly deciding to “capture” Benghazi terror suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala, after reporters have been sharing strawberry frappes and gulping mango juice with him for ages. And all Republicans can cavil about, in the wake of the capture, is whether Khattala belongs in Guantanamo Bay or the federal court system.

Barack Obama’s administration is, for once, being publicly affected by scandals that previously went unreported: The incriminating IRS emails have vanished. Started by Bush, Iraq’s unraveling continues apace under Obama. Central America is rushing the southern border. Veterans are waiting to die on the government’s watch.

Obama “purposely diverts attention” from all these, and Republicans take the bait.

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Rand Paul Has Been Forewarned

Elections, IMMIGRATION, Politics, Republicans

What a pity voters didn’t deal Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. the fate they dealt House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va): “In a stunning tea-party smackdown against the establishment GOP Tuesday evening, Cantor lost his bid for the Republican Party nomination against tea-party backed candidate David Brat by more than 11 percentage points.” (WND)

Where voters are aware of a candidate’s vocal support for amnesty; they’re likely to react. Rand Paul had better do an about face (something he does quite well) about amnesty.

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UPDATE II: Lynching In-Absentia

Justice, Media, Military, Republicans, War

Pitchforks hoisted, the media-military collective has gathered to lynch Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in absentia. Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly have been especially quick to fill their studio colosseums with lynch-mobs eager to convict the man without due process. An example of the many leading questions with which the crowds were prodded:

All right, you — you lost your son. Every one of his platoon members said he left of his own volition. They heard a radio transmission saying there’s a guy looking for the Taliban, and that your son was among those that gave his life. They spent over two months looking for him. I can’t think of anything worse than losing a child. What’s your reaction to all this? (Interviews @SeanHannity, June 06, 2014 ‘No apologies’ for Taliban trade: Families of fallen respond to Obama. Guests: Cheryl Brandes & Ken Lucconi, parents of Matthew Marinek, Andrew & Sondra Andrews, parents of Darryn Andrews.)

Megyn Kelly has been almost as “fair and balanced” as Hannity in her assorted exclusives: “Platoon opens up about Sgt. Bergdahl’s desertion: Soldiers set the record straight amid outrage over trade.” Her suggestive kind of questioning: “… Raise your hand if you think he deserted. Wow. Raise your hand if you have some question about whether he deserted. Wow. All right.”

In this atmosphere, one worries that Bowe Bergdahl will off himself as soon as he can.

UPDATE I: Neither side is admirable or believable. Journalism should come closer to that truth.

UPDATE II: I don’t like Bergdahl and his creepy parents one bit. (I called them creep from day one.) His comrades, who seem to be as collectivist as they come, insist on exacting admiration for their mission. I don’t like any of this charade.

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‘Keeping Track Of Which Countries The US Has Wrecked’

Healthcare, Iraq, Military, Republicans, War

On the radio, Friday, in the car, I heard Sean Hannity say that each Iraqi should have been made to pay America (which Hannity equates with the American government), in compensation for the blood our warriors shed in liberating those Iraqi ingrates.

Where does one start? How does a person’s worldview evolve to reflect the exact opposite of reality? Propaganda. You propagandize yourself as much as you propagandize others.

Mr. Hannity was suggesting a source of funds to compensate veterans for the indignities afflicted on them by Veterans Affairs Department.

Have Republicans not heard about privatization? Presumably, Mr. Hannity’s “patriotic” listeners find a suggestion of stealing from a poor people whose lives the US has destroyed way sexier than, say, privatizing that pit of perverse incentives that is the VA. It’s a socialized system much like Obama Care.

I suppose that, as Fred Reed says, “The world is full of countries, and it’s hard to keep track of which ones you’ve wrecked.”

And wreck Iraq we did. The truth is that, “More than one million Iraqis have died as a result of the conflict in their country since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to research conducted by one of Britain’s leading polling groups.” (See Reuters as well as “Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey.”)

If personal stories are what you hanker after, here is the most excellent Arwa Damon’s report straight from the mouths of some sad, sad Iraqis:

Ten years on, one can easily look around Baghdad and see a veneer of normalcy. But nothing about Iraq or what it has been through is normal. The cloak of sorrow that hangs over the capital is more suffocating than ever, even if violence is slightly down.
“We’re not living,” one Iraqi colleague told me. “We’re just surviving.”
I think the ones who are good left, and only the bad people stayed here.
It’s as if the violence created a façade. People were so focused on staying alive they didn’t fully notice the corruption, suspicion and tribalism that had seeped into society and government. Now that attacks are down — and fewer Iraqis are killed every day — all that and more has risen to the surface.
Basma al-Khateeb and her two daughters, 22-year-old Sama and 14-year-old Zeina, are among the remnants of Baghdad’s elite — a family that could have left but chose to stay. Basma is an IT professional and well-known activist.
We’ve known Basma and her family for years — she is a regular guest on CNN — and have always marveled at their courage and determination, a love for country that trumped their desire to escape.
But even Basma is uttering what for her was unimaginable. “I lost hope six to seven months ago,” she said. “You don’t feel it’s home any more.
She paused, crushed by the weight of her own words. “Did I really say that?”
“Now the fear is different,” she explained. “You don’t know who is in the next car. They look at you as if you are different, your clothes, or even your gestures, your body language is different. We’re not comfortable being around the streets.”
“I think the people changed,” her daughter Sama added. “I think the ones who are good left, and only the bad people stayed here.”
It’s such an emotional, mentally complex notion that the family struggles to clearly define it — to be an alien in your own country.
“It’s a different culture, it’s a tribal culture. Before, there was no kind of culture that was dominant.”
Now there is. The streets feel hostile, and people continue to be wary of each other.
For the young, there is no room to mentally expand. For a professional like Sama, it’s either adopt the “principles” of corruption or find yourself unemployed.
“I had hope in the beginning and then I lost it,” she says. “It was like climbing the stairs and then there’s no end to it. You have to go down the stairs again. And that is depressing and very disappointing.
“This is no place for us. Because if I stay here, I have to be corrupt also, to live, to survive.”
In another time and place, Sama might have pursued her passion for the arts. She plays the piano beautifully. It’s a dream she plans to pursue far from her homeland.
As for Zeina, who has known nothing but war, she too wants to leave. Her first memory is of violence. Her defining moment of the last 10 years was a church bombing in 2010 in which her best friend was killed.
For their mother, this is the only home she has known. “I don’t want to have another home.”
But Basma wants something better for her daughters.
“In a certain time, at a certain point, it’s best for them to leave,” she says. “For study or work … for them to find out about themselves (and) be strong. They will not be strong here.”
Tragically, so many Iraqis I know echo those same sentiments. For the vast majority of them, the defining moments of the last 10 years are not of Saddam Hussein’s trial and execution, the drafting of the constitution or dipping their fingers in purple ink in the first elections.
It is the moment they last saw their loved one, gave them that last hug or kiss goodbye — not knowing it would turn out to be such a precious moment — before they were inexplicably, harshly torn away.

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