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.