Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

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Friday, November 18, 2005
Laura Ingraham's deep thoughts, vol. 1

Talk show host Laura Ingraham has apparently checked her brain into the same feel-good convalescent clinic Danny Bonaduce's wife schlepped him into on his VH1 reality show.

On her radio show today, while taking calls from Republicans who now feel misled on Iraq, Laura went to the Dick Cheney well to criticize retired Marine John Murtha for stating the obvious point that the war is going very, very badly for the U.S., and she tried to make the case that Murtha has made common cause with Michael Moore (apparently, Americans only think things are going badly in Iraq because they're being forcibly kept from all the great good news that's going on over there! Woo hoo!) ... But the real kicker in Ms. Ingraham's eternal quest to give Dartmouth College a bad name (David Brock famously called her "the only person I knew who didn't appear to own a book or regularly read a newspaper...") came in response to back-to-back callers who made two thoroughly sensible points:

1) Dick Cheney and the administration have zero remaining credibility even with fellow Republicans after having succssfully sold the bill of goods that not only did Iraq have WMD that posed a "grave and gathering threat to the continental United States but that we knew where it was; that Muhammad Atta was in Prague with the Iraqi intelligence services and a candlestick and so Iraq was involved in 9/11; and that once we invaded we would be "greeted as liberators" and

2) we didn't have enough troops going in and so we (and the Iraqis) are thoroughly screwed now.

To that, Ingraham had the following two-party reply: "there are always disagreements among experts during war planning" and besides, "where were we gonna get more troops, man?"


There were no disagreements among those who know something about war (which obviously excludes Mssrs. Bush and Cheney) -- people like Collin Powell and the leadership of the United States Army, including its then chief, Gen. Shinseki (but not former Navy pilot Don Rumsfeld, who seemed more concerned with trying out his theories on "transformation" than about actually achieving Mr. Bush's quickly inflating war aims) -- about the fact that we would need hundreds of thousands of troops to pacify the 22 million-person nation of Iraq. Read this (from James Fallows), this (from Michael O'Hanlon of Brookings) and this (also from O'Hanlon, for the Army War College). And the only people who believed we would be "greeted as liberators" were the military service-free neocon think tankers, their Iranian spy friend Ahmad Chalabi, and their patrons inside the Bush administration (Rumsfeld and his cabal-mate, Dick Cheney,) who having hijacked American foreign policy, clearly misled the president on that score, because despite not being a "nation builder" or a neocon himself, he seemed to believe it too. As for the WMD, it is for good reason that the Pentagon is finally investigating the likes of Douglas Feith for his role in massaging the facts that went both to the president and to the pliant Congress before they voted this president a blank slate to go to war...

And where were we gonna get the troops??? Laura, are you HIGH??? The U.S. sent half a million troops to the Gulf region in 1991 just to kick Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard out of northern Kuwait! What happened to those troops? Were they beamed up into outer space with Gene Roddenberry's remains? Apparently Ms. Ingraham's fact checkers don't read books or newspapers either, because to date, more than 1 million -- that's million -- members of the United States armed forces have already been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan (but mostly Iraq), many of them more than once -- some of them more than twice. You don't have to take that from me, or from the "liberal" media, either, Laura, the staggering number was first reported by the Moonie UPI and the right-wing Washington Times last December...!

The United States currently has some 1.4 million active duty armed forces personnel -- plus hundreds of thousands of Guardsmen and Reserves. We have the troops, it's just that they've been deployed and redeployed and re-redeployed to Iraq in Rumsfeldian force sums of 135,000 to 160,000, rather than the overwhelming force called for under the now thoroughly proven Powell Doctrine (which is now as solid as ... well ... the theory of evolution ...) Had we sent them in in overwhelming numbers to begin with, as Laura's astute callers pointed out, we might not find ourselves stuck in an intragensigent insurgency -- against us, by the way -- today. And even if Laura's absurd statements had been absolutely true -- as both her callers pointed out: if we didn't have the troops to go in heavier than we did, we had no business invading Iraq.

Tags: , Middle East, War, Foreign Policy, Media, Laura Ingraham
posted by JReid @ 11:56 AM  
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