Angry words over an emotional issue

Ordinarily, Sunday’s news talk shows bore the hell out of me. Most of the time we get nothing but partisans from each side spouting carefully-rehearsed talking points in monotone.

Sunday’s Meet the Press, however, broke out of the ordinary with an incredible display of anger between opposing sides on the Iraq war, reflecting in large part the anger that has split this country because of a despotic President who send American men and women off to die for a war based on lies.

Freshman Democratic Sen. Jim Webb faced off against Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham in a fiery debate that showcased the difference between the anger that drives the majority of this nation and the lockstep ignorance of the GOP sycophants who still defend George W. Bush’s failed war in Iraq.

At times it seemed the two might come to blows. Webb had every reason to deck the obnoxious, sniveling Graham. I admire his control. I would have kicked Graham’s teeth down his lying throat.

Graham, as desperate as any Republican who must still try to find a way to defend the immoral and illegal actions of an out-of-control President, twisted the facts, manufactured the data and lied outright.

He claimed a carefully-staged ceremony of 600 American troops re-enlisting in Iraq was an indicator of overwhelming support of the war by rank and file soldiers when, in fact, re-enlistments are down across the board and more and more troops fight being sent back for fourth and fifth deployments in a war that cannot be won.

“I was in Baghdad on July the Fourth of this year,” Graham said. “We had the highest re-enlistment-the largest re-enlistment ceremony in a wartime environment known to our country.”

That’s because the military bundled re-enlistments over the past several months into one ceremony, a fact not mentioned in the Armed Service press release. The “ceremony” was a propaganda event that overlooked the drop in re-enlistments across all the military services along with the dramatic decrease in numbers of those joining the services for the first time.

The Army recently dropped its recruitment guidelines to allow convicted felons to serve, a move that has outraged those currently in uniform.

At another point, Graham said “I’m going to listen to this general (Petraeus), and I’m not going to let any politician take the place of the general.”

He repeated the phrase several times, ignoring the fact that it is a politician named George W. Bush who tells him, the generals and everyone else that “I run this war.”

Another exchange between the two:

SEN. WEBB: Less than half of the military believes that we should be in Iraq in the first place.

SEN. GRAHAM: Have you been to Iraq? Have you ever been and talked to them? I’ve been seven times.

SEN. WEBB: You know, have you ever been to these—I’ve been—I’ve covered two wars as a correspondent…

SEN. GRAHAM: Have you been to Iraq?

SEN. WEBB: I have been to Afghanistan as a journalist.

SEN. GRAHAM: Have you been to Iraq and—have you been to Iraq and talked to the soldiers?

SEN. WEBB: You know, you haven’t been to Iraq.

SEN. GRAHAM: I’ve been to—I’ve been there seven times.

SEN. WEBB: You know, you go see the dog and pony shows.

SEN. GRAHAM: I’ve been there as a reservist, I have been there and I’m going back in August.

SEN. WEBB: That’s what congressmen do. Yeah, I have, I have—I’ve been a member of the military when the senators come in.

SEN. GRAHAM: Well, all—listen, something we can agree on, we both admire the men and women in uniform. I don’t doubt your patriotism.

SEN. WEBB: Don’t put political words in their mouth.

SEN. GRAHAM: You know, my election…

SEN. WEBB: You do it—you’ve been doing it ever since I’ve been in Congress.

Graham is, and always has been, a slimy son-of-a-bitch, a dirtbag lawyer who tried to double dip as a military attorney while serving in Congress (a court forced him to give up one job or the other and he chose Congress).

In cases like this, I’ll trust the judgment of Webb, a decorated Vietnam veteran who served as Secretary of the Navy and assistant secretary of defense. His son was deployed to Iraq, which gives him another source for what soldiers are saying and thinking, and he knows a hell of a lot more about combat than a deskbound former JAG lawyer.

After putting up with Graham’s tirades, Webb summed up the situation when he said:

“I’ll let (the American people) judge what you said.”

According to the polls, most already have.

Comments

  1. Warren

    I can’t help but wonder what the debate was like in Nazi Germany leading to, and in the early stages, of WWII. I can imagine the same sorts of BS from a power-crazy government led by a megalomaniac, with a lot of jack boot licking from the likes of Graham.

  2. LurkingFromTheLeft

    Today’s Meet The Press…

    …was SOOOOO boring after last week’s classic match and meeting of the minds and the mindless –

    …the only good part was David Brooks BEGINNING to show his brains are returning but I doubt it will last –

    …and HELEN – you really ought to try and say what/how you REALLY feel here –

    …holding back isn’t good for the blood pressure! –

    …keep it up! –

    LFTL

  3. Helen Rainier

    Piping in a bit late here — however, I thoroughly enjoyed (albeit vicariously) watching Sen. Webb bitch slap the sniveling Graham. What especially infuriated me was Graham trying a big issue out of having been to Iraq — while Webb hasn’t. Lindsey, you puke, when you have gone to Iraq, you have had military security all around you. Unlike the honorable Senator Webb, you have had zip for actual ground combat experience. You are a f*cking JAG officer — not disparaging JAG attornies as they do important work — but when I was on active Army Reserve duty, the JAG units were generally looked upon as being more a “party” unit as opposed to units who had combat or combat support or combat service support missions. Bravo, Senator Webb for bitch slapping the idiot mealy-mouth Graham. He deserved every word you threw in his tanned face. BTW, Lindsey, your soft mushy voice grates on my nerves.

  4. jbaspen

    Doug –

    I’m curious. I think it’s a fair statment that you’re not terribly impressed by many politicians these days. Would Senator Jim Webb be an exception to this assumption?

    Thanks! JBASPEN

  5. erika morgan

    erika morgan
    I was thrilled to find this article. I usually try to watch “Meet the Press” at 6-am on a Sunday Morning. The speech seemed animated to me but my audio was cut completely off for just the hour of this program, once it got started. I receive my signal the old-fashioned way over the air as I haven’t a dish and am too far out for cable or fiber-optics. It really is a wonder to me what this interfering with real news has become in this country, it is exactly what they taught us in school, that the Russians were doing in the USSR. Thanks for providing some radio free America Voice we need it.

  6. almandine

    As Soon As… the Iraqi government – whoever that is – signs the law that allows Cheney’s energy buddies to divvy up the Iraqi oil profits… in the name of revenue distribution… the war will end. Til then, que sera.

  7. Elmo

    Graham epitomizes those Republicans who made up their own oath of office. Instead of promising to support and defend the Constitution, they replace the word “Constitution” with “Republican Party”. They are beneath contempt.

    Sadly, the Democrats aren’t significantly better when it comes to supporting and defending the Constitution. They lie down on the job and allow the Executive Branch to trample them down and grind them into mush.