Bill O’Reilly loses the argument and then loses his temper. Oliver Willis has the details. Watch it:
NBC News reports, “Coming on the heels of a controversial ‘surge’ of 21,000 U.S. troops that has stretched the Army thin, the Defense Department is preparing to send an additional 12,000 National Guard combat forces to Iraq and Afghanistan.” The one-year mobilizations are involuntary and will begin early next year. Watch Keith Olbermann’s report on it tonight:
Yesterday, former President Jimmy Carter revealed that he was barred from visiting Syria last year when he was abroad monitoring the Palestinian elections: “I have known President Bashar al-Assad since he was a college student, and I thought it might be helpful if I went and urged him to support the peace process in the Middle East. But for the only time in my life as a former president, I was ordered by the White House not to go.” Watch it:
Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, also praised Pelosi’s trip, stating, “It’s long overdue, as a matter of fact.” He added, “When there is a crisis, the best way to help resolve the crisis is to deal with the people who are instrumental in the problem.”
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Today, Fox News’s Your World with Neil Cavuto did a segment devoted to making the case that “Albert Gore is a very dangerous man.” Energy CEO Bob Murray said, “Albert Gore is the shaman of global goofiness, and we’d better not be listening to him.” He added that the “science is [still] out” on global warming.
Yesterday, the White House bypassed the Senate and recess-appointed Republican fundraiser Sam Fox as U.S. ambassador to Belgium. Fox contributed $50,000 to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group that slanderously attacked Sen. John Kerry’s (D-MA) Vietnam War service.
Today, Rush Limbaugh claimed that the Senate
Judiciary Foreign Relations Committee had deprived Fox of his “freedom of speech” because it would not confirm him “until he would go up to Kerry and apologize for supporting the Swift Boats.”
He added, “This is the kind of move that garners a lot of support from the people in the country. This shows the administration willing to engage these people and not allow them to get away with this kind of — well, my term — you don’t have to accept it — Stalinist behavior from these people on that committee.” Limbaugh’s guest, Vice President Cheney accepted the characterization, stating, “Well, you’re dead on, Rush.”
Judiciary Foreign Relations Committee never voted on Fox. Last month, the White House pulled Fox because it believed “his nomination would not have passed” the Senate. The Committee never told Fox that his nomination was contingent on him apologizing to Kerry.
Note to Cheney and Limbaugh: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin killed between 3 and 60 million people. There is no comparison between this man and the Senate’s opposition to Fox, who supported a group that slanders U.S. veterans.
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Approximately nobody seems to have understood what I was trying to say about KenCall yesterday. In retrospect, that’s because I didn’t actually say what I was trying to say. What I was trying to say, however, was that it seemed to me that either the government of Kenya or else Tom Friedman was making a mistake about what the real obstacle was to Kenya becoming a major IT outsourcing destination. The problematic phrase, to me, was this: “the Kenyan government is now working feverishly to get connected to the global fiber-optic network, via an undersea cable, which would make bandwidth here cheap and plentiful enough for all sorts of outsourcing.”
Yesterday, President Bush visited Fort Irwin, California, the main desert training camp where most U.S. soldiers are sent before deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. Bush told the troops:
Ours is a remarkable country when people volunteer to serve our country in a time of war. The amazing thing about our United States military is thousands and thousands have signed up knowing full well that we’re a nation at war. The government didn’t say, you have to do this, you chose to do it on your own. You decided to put your country ahead of self in many ways.
That message must have resonated in a unique way for some of the soldiers present. As Salon.com’s Mark Benjamin reported recently, Fort Irwin is where some soldiers with debilitating injuries and other medical conditions, including female soldiers who were pregnant, were deployed for weeks:
Hernandez is one of a dozen soldiers who stayed for weeks in those tents who were interviewed for this report, some of whose medical records were also reviewed by Salon. All of the soldiers said they had no business being sent to Fort Irwin given their physical condition. In some cases, soldiers were sent there even though their injuries were so severe that doctors had previously recommended they should be considered for medical retirement from the Army.
Military experts say they suspect that the deployment to Fort Irwin of injured soldiers was an effort to pump up manpower statistics used to show the readiness of Army units. With the military increasingly strained after four years of war, Army readiness has become a critical part of the debate over Iraq.
As Steve Benen noted, Bush’s remarks to the soldiers yesterday hardly produced the rally-like atmosphere of years past. Reuters reported that troops “sat quietly at their lunch tables, some joined by family members, as Bush spoke.” The Houston Chronicle’s Julie Mason described the event as “less than a rally, more than a stare-down,” and said the troops were “strangely quiet.”
to a level not seen since the 1950s, Joseph Chamie, former director of the United Nations Population Division and an Iraq specialist has said.”
On PBS yesterday, Gen. David Petraeus tried to boost up Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) much-maligned visit to Baghdad’s Shorja market: “He was not protected by a cocoon of security. Yep, there was security there, but he out — actually he helped the Iraqi economy quite a bit, bought a number of carpets, in fact.” McCain did not reveal his goods, but Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) contributed to the economy by purchasing “five rugs for five bucks.”
On Rush Limbaugh’s radio show this afternoon, Vice President Dick Cheney attacked the House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) for refusing to use the phrase “global war on terror.” Cheney said Skelton exhibited “flawed thinking” and was “dead wrong on this.”
As ThinkProgress reported, in attacking Skelton, Cheney is also attacking President Bush, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers — all of whom have stated that the “global war on terror” is misnamed. Rumsfeld explained:
It is not a ‘war on terror.’ Terror is a weapon of choice for extremists who are trying to destabilize regimes and (through) a small group of clerics, impose their dark vision on all the people they can control. So ‘war on terror’ is a problem for me.
In his defense of the phrase “global war on terror,” Cheney repeated his long-running canard that Iraq was linked to 9/11. “There’s no way you can segment out” the war against terror networks, Cheney said, because al Qaeda (through Zarqawi) was “operating in Iraq” before “we ever launched into Iraq.”
In fact, last year’s Senate Intelligence Committee report found, “Saddam Hussein attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate and capture al-Zarqawi and that the regime did not have a relationship with, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward Zarqawi.”
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