Talk show host Doug Basham has tough words for his conservative audience: "When you elected a Republican administration, and especially after 9-11, didn't you think the secret would be to do the damn job they're supposed to do, as opposed to just running out the clock, so they didn't have to address the domestic problems their country and our country faces? And WHY can they get away with this kind of crap? As long as you line up like faithful little robots and keep chanting the Love Theme from the Iraqi Godfather...and as long as you don't hold them accountable for pulling the same kind of crap you'd never let the DEMOCRATIC party get away with it, why SHOULD they change? Sometimes, even when something's broken... as long as it still works... why fix it. And what 's broken quite frankly... is YOU."
Talk Show Host Challenges Conservative Listeners: Would You Support a DEMOCRATIC War in Iraq?
Although I have, in the past, devoted a great deal of time on my radio show railing on this, I'm starting to understand why people become partisans. To be honest with you, it's easier, it requires a whole lot less work and quite frankly, a whole lot less thinking. Whenever you don't understand something your guy or your administration is saying or doing, you can just say, "Well, they must know what they're talking about, after all, they' re...(fill in your party name here)...and all is well.
Being a devout NON partisan however, I can't do that. So when I don't understand something, I ask questions...a path that now sadly and erroneously I might add, (at least in the opinion of anyone with more than 17 functioning brain cells), is labeled as being a traitor who hates America...but fortunately, only by those too blind, closed minded, or afraid to learn the real truth.
The continuing saber rattling over Iraq.
And I guess this is where being a partisan comes in handy. You just repeat "weapons of mass destruction", or "he gassed his own people" 10 times a day, and again, all is well. Which reminds me, if Saddam Hussein gassed his own people, why do we say "he gassed the Kurds" instead of "he gassed the Iraqis"? The Kurds certainly don't consider themselves Saddam's people, so why do we? Oh, I forgot...necessary boogie man speak. The Kurds have considered themselves the world's largest ethnic group without a homeland ever since Kurdistan was erased from the world's maps after World War 1. And in all America's dealings with Saddam and Iraq, the Kurds have been nothing but a tragic side show at best, being used when they could hurt Saddam, and then dropped when their usefulness had run out.
And while we're at it, let's forget all the conflicting statements vis a vis Iraq from different members of this administration, and let's forget the embarrassing lack of evidence to back up their accusations, and let's pay no mind to all the multiple WARgasms (as another writer so aptly titled an article) this administration has had over Iraq. Let's just take a look at this one line from a story last Friday.
"Israel refused comment Friday on a suggestion made by US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that Israel should NOT RESPOND...if it is attacked by Iraq." What the Hell is that?
Like it's OK if we attack Iraq even tho' they haven't attacked us, and aren't likely to. Saddam has proven to be homicidal, yes...but suicidal?...but it's not OK for Israel to attack Iraq, even if Iraq DOES attack THEM...AGAIN? Who do we think we are?
Is this starting to sound familiar? Back in Gulf War 1, we told Israel the same thing. And they complied, after each one of 39 Iraqi launched scuds fell on their birth place.
One of the favorite sayings on Talk Radio is, "If you don't learn from history, you're bound to repeat it." Well.isn't telling Israel...again...to stand down if Iraq attacks it...again...a repetition of history...not learned from? President Bush said we shouldn't leave it to our children to get rid of Saddam Hussein. Kinda' makes you wonder if he wishes his Father had felt the same way. But let's also forget about blaming Bush senior for not taking Saddam out. For whatever reason, that' s what happened. BUT...asking Israel to NOT respond if Iraq attacks her? I contend if we had not made the same demand upon Israel during the first Gulf War, we just might not have to be spending so much time talking about taking Saddam out now. For the past 12 years, Mr. Hussein might very well have been having tea and tabouli.with Mr. Hoffa.
And if you do question this remark from Secretary Rumsfeld, doesn't it raise other questions in your mind?
For example, does it make you question the validity of the "weapons of mass destruction" rhetoric we've been force fed for the past several weeks? If Donald Rumsfeld truly believes Iraq has WMD's, how in the world can he justify telling Israel to stand down? And how can you justify throwing your allegiance blindly.behind an administration that makes statements like this, and not ask more questions? I contend that sometimes "Well, they must be right, they're whatever"...just doesn't cut it.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told Congress on Thursday that it would be in Israel's "overwhelming best interests" not to intervene if the United States went to war with Iraq. Arrogance...or ignorance...or all of the above? I would suggest the appropriate Israeli response would be..."Overwhelm THIS, Rummy."
What I want to ask those who have become so fluent in "weapons of mass destruction" speak...and "he gassed his own people" speak...where were you 6 months ago, or a year ago? Where was your concern for the Kurds back then. If I'm not mistaken, back then, the Kurds were just another bunch of radical Islamics we were supposed to be at war with. And why weren't you afraid of Iraq and their weapons of mass destruction back then? Probably because the powers that be were telling you to be afraid of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, and later of course, just al-Qaeda, as Osama bin Laden became Osama been forgotten when we couldn't find him...which is no big deal heck...half the time we can't even find Dick Cheney...but when the war effort stalls, and the administration decides to switch boogie men in mid trail, the partisans follow along blindly, and start chanting "weapons of mass destruction" and "he gassed his own people" in unison ad nauseum.
I heard someone call Talk Radio this week and tell the host "I understand we have to attack Iraq, and YOU...referring to the host...understand we have to attack Iraq...but why can't the rest of the people understand it?" I submit the caller and host don't "understand it" as much as they think they do. If they did, they' d have been "Kurd crying" and calling for Saddam's ouster on the phone and radio months ago...long before it became fashionable to do so,and long before they were TOLD...to do so.
I further submit that those who delight in proclaiming how much everybody ELSE in the country has been "dumbed down"...what they're interpreting as "understanding" is nothing more perhaps than obedience, brought on by either a) partisanship, b) ignorance, c) fear, or perhaps d) all of the above...and what they're also interpreting as their own NON dumbed down-ness, might really be a demonstration of no real, original thoughts of their own, which may not be dumb, but it may not be too smart either. And the next time they start expressing their heart felt "Kurd concern", ask them how many people they know from ANY country.who have ever gone over there to help them.
You want to prove it to yourself? The next time you're talking to someone and they parrot the administration's words. "We've got to get rid of Saddam"...ask them this simple 2 word question. I've asked it on this show countless times and haven't gotten an answer thus far. Why? Because the administration (their programmers), haven't informed (programmed) them yet on how to respond. After we get rid of Saddam...ask them simply... then what? This is not Gulf War 1, where the main objective was to chase Saddam out of Kuwait. This is Gulf War the Sequel, where the main objective, regime change, involves a whole lot more than chasing. It involves running the economy, keeping domestic peace, and protecting the borders. What model are we going to use, Afghanistan? Nope, haven't done it there...Hell, we haven't even done it HERE AT HOME!! But we HAVE to get rid of Saddam.."weapons of mass destruction...gassed his own people...ohmmmmm".
And here's the clincher. Ask them how much they'd understand we HAVE to go to Iraq...if it was the DEMOCRATIC party that was telling them we'd have to go. And if they say they'd support either side, don't say anything. Just keep looking 'em straight in the eye. They'll crack.trust me.
Not to mention the fact that for years, talk radio callers have bemoaned our quote unquote "Gutted Military". If you believe that, why then, do you want us to get involved in another war when we haven't finished the one we're already involved in...with a gutted military? Let me guess. Is it because you think George W. has restored our military? You are wrong, boot camp breath.
According to an article by Mark Helprin in the Wall Street Journal on Monday Sept 16th , Bush's first military budget represented virtually no change from Clinton's last one. His 2nd, after September 11th.a tiny increase. And the 3rd, altho' much trumpeted.wholly insufficient. Consider these stats...in peace time years of the latter Ã??Ã?Â½ of the 20th Century, the US annually spent an average of 5.7% of GNP on defense. In wartime, 13.3%. The President's 3rd Budget?...less the purely operational costs of the war?...3.1%. Like it or not, the article continues by stating that the Clinton administration, you know, they of the "gutted military"...directed a larger share of America's resources to defense. So why did you think otherwise? I'll give you a clue...ohmmmm. It's what you were told to think by those you trust, your leaders, both in government and in the media, as in...talk radio, you know, the medium you listen to...to hear the truth, aka...whatever you already believe. (More on this in my upcoming book "Why Modern-Day Talk Radio Sucks").
And speaking of the war we're already involved in...Let me read the first sentence of another story that might perhaps serve as a reminder who our real enemy still is, or at least in my opinion, should be... "A network of Muslim terrorists has been organizing across Southeast Asia to stir up inter-ethnic bloodshed, attack regional and US targets, and replace moderate leaders with Islamic states, according to the government of Singapore."
Does that pretty much firm it up for you, Mr. President?
It's nice to have faith in those you voted for, and I understand that that's the whole foundation on which partisanship is predicated. But if they say or do something that seems contradictory or lacking in the "moral equivalency" buzz phrase they like to throw around, shouldn't you ask what the Hell it means?
If you're wondering why so many other countries are against us going into Iraq, consider this from the Observer. Senior UN figures spoken to by The Observer said that there was no "Afghanistan Solution" to the problems of Iraq, because it was not clear who would take over the leadership if Saddam Hussein is removed." What? Like the Afghanistan solution is a good one? Don' t tell Hamid Karzai. He's still shaking from the latest attempt on his life. If anything, I would suggest it IS our Afghanistan Solution that has shown other countries how difficult and complex an undertaking it is nowadays to overthrow and reform an Islamic country.
Am I the only one this week that thought the events of the week just MAY have been a message from a higher power...the Lackawana 5, turned 6, turned 7, maybe as high as 9 or 10 or more, along with Saddam Hussein agreeing to readmit weapons inspectors, and then the suicide/homicide bombings in Israel followed by the buildings fallah down...in Ramallah town. Maybe these events collectively...were a 'sign' if you will that said..."You're going after the wrong guys. How many of the 9-11 homicide hijackers came from Iraq? How much money has Saddam Hussein spent subsidizing the spread of radical Wahhabi Islam around the world? Al-Qaeda and any other radical Islamists are your enemy. Focus.don't chant."
Instead of going on international television this week, and engaging in what, at least to me, amounted to little more.than pouting...I would suggest the President could look upon these events and their overall outcome.as a VICTORY, albeit a diplomatic one and not military...but one that could now allow him to return to his own War Doctrine undistracted.
If he continues to pout. I would think some will start to believe that all this saber rattling over war with Iraq has less to do with weapons of mass destruction and more to do with what others have suggested all along, namely #1) oil, #2) re-writing Poppa's legacy, and/or #3) to serve as a distraction in the upcoming election from such troubled areas as the economy, joblessness, the stock market, corporate scandal, aviation security, homeland security, our open, porous borders, or our ineffectual domestic security agencies. Like this is a big secret.
Consider this line from a story in the New York Times a few days ago. It reads "Senior Republican Party officials say the prospect of at least two more weeks of Congressional debate on Iraq is allowing their party to run out the clock on the fall election, blocking Democrats as they try to seize on the faltering economy and other domestic concerns as campaign issues. Scott Reed, a Republican consultant, said: 'The secret to the election now is to beat the clock. Every week, you can hear the ripping noise of another page of the calendar coming off the wall. Another week has gone by. And there's only six more to go'.
I don't know... when you elected a Republican administration, and especially after 9-11, didn't you think the secret would be to do the damn job they're supposed to do, as opposed to just running out the clock, so they didn't have to address the domestic problems their country and our country faces? And WHY can they get away with this kind of crap? As long as you line up like faithful little robots and keep chanting the Love Theme from the Iraqi Godfather...and as long as you don't hold them accountable for pulling the same kind of crap you'd never let the DEMOCRATIC party get away with it, why SHOULD they change? Sometimes, even when something's broken... as long as it still works... why fix it. And what 's broken quite frankly... is YOU.
Doug Basham hosts a weekly talk show out of Las Vegas on KDWN AM 720, a 50,000 watt conservative talk station that reaches 14 western states as well as Canada and Mexico. His web site can be found at http://www.dougbasham.com