RUSH: This is from yesterday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos during the roundtable. Former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke was on the roundtable along with ABC News analyst Martha Raddatz and the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, and this is what Clarke had to say.
CLARKE: What it tells you is that Iraq is not just a training ground, it’s a motivator. There would obviously be some terrorists even if we weren’t in Iraq but I believe there are many more terrorists because we are in Iraq. It’s enough of a motivator that people are willing to go and risk their lives or lose their lives, people who would otherwise just be sitting around in mosques somewhere complaining about all this, because we are occupying Iraq still, are willing to go out and fight.
RUSH: This is unbelievable. Two things here. One: Isn’t he sort of confirming the flypaper theory that the libs tried to have fun blowing up all weekend long? Number two: They’re just sitting around the mosques feeling bad otherwise, if we weren’t in Iraq they’d just be sitting around in the mosques somewhere complaining about all of this, but because we’re occupying Iraq still they’re willing to go out and fight? Forgive me. I don’t understand. I literally don’t understand the thinking. There has to be a mind-set here that causes this kind of thinking, and that is we’re no good; we deserve to lose. We cause all this. If we weren’t doing any of this there would be some terrorists there, but mostly they’d just be sitting around the mosques complaining. This guy used to run counterterrorism in the Clinton and Bush administrations. He knows that attacks occurred on Americans before we went to Iraq. At some point we’ve got to do something about it, do we not? We just can’t sit there and let them indiscriminately bomb us. Do we want that kind of life? Do we want to sit around and wait every two or three years, a World Trade Center-type blast to go off and then we go through the memorial and we go through all the promises to get even and to let it go and don’t do anything about it? Is that how we want to live? It sounds like it when you listen to people like Richard Clarke. Let’s now contrast this with the president. The president was at the FBI training Academy in Quantico, Virginia, this morning. He spoke about the war on terror. Here is a portion of his remarks. This, I think, the Limbaugh Echo Syndrome here.
PRESIDENT BUSH: The terrorists want to attack our country and harm our citizens. They believe that the world’s democracies are weak and that by killing innocent civilians they can break our will. They’re mistaken. America will not retreat in the face of terrorists and murders. And neither will the free world, as Prime Minister Blair said after the attacks in London, our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people. The attack in London was an attack on the civilized world, and the civilized world is united in its resolve. We will not yield. We will defend our freedom.
RUSH: Right on, right on, right on. And the president continued here, once again explaining the strategery in Iraq.
PRESIDENT BUSH: We’ll keep the terrorists on the run until they have no place left to hide. And the war on terror, Iraq, is now a central front. The terrorists fight in Iraq because they know that the survival of their hateful ideology is at stake. They know that as freedom takes root in Iraq, it will inspire millions across the Middle East to claim their liberty as well. And when the Middle East grows in democracy and prosperity and hope, the terrorists will lose their sponsors, they’ll lose their recruits. They will lose their hopes for turning that region into a base of attacks against America and her allies.
RUSH: Now, that is right on the money, and the president made this comment. Again, he’s at Quantico, Virginia, at the FBI training academy — and I just want you to contrast that with the attitude of Richard Clarke and all the others, “Yeah, the reason we’re in Iraq is why they’re in Iraq, and they’re killing us, and they’d otherwise just be sitting around planning to kill us, but now they’re actually engaged in it because we’re there. We ought to get out,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. A personal note here to Koko, webmaster. Koko, I want you to get this bite that I just played, audio sound bite #3, and I want you to go back to last week when I had the call from a young man, a liberal who wanted to know what the long term strategy was, and I gave him an answer that is a much longer version of this. But I want you to post those side by side, the transcript of what I said and the audio as well plus this bite by the president because it’s what is really at stake and it is why this is going to take awhile and it’s what the objective is and that is to establish in that part of the world where there’s nothing but a 14th Century mind-set, establish a 21st Century mind-set based on freedom, because we trust free people to act in their own self-interest, we trust free people that they won’t become terrorists and murderers and wackos and thugs, dictators, and the like. Much rather trust basic human freedom, and that’s what the policy in Iraq is really all about — and I’d like to have that reiterated in case those of you listening today, some of you may have missed last week’s program. Here’s another example of Limbaugh Echo Syndrome because we have done this countless times, and we’ve put the evidence on our website. Here is the president talking about World War II and Germany and Japan in particular.
PRESIDENT BUSH: The only way to make sure our country is secure in the long run is to advance the cause of freedom. We have seen freedom conquer evil and secure the peace before. World War II, free nations came together to fight the ideology of fascism, and freedom prevailed — and today Germany and Japan are allies in securing the peace. Today in the Middle East, freedom is once again contending with an ideology that seeks to sow anger and hatred and despair — and like fascism and communism before, the hateful ideologies that use terror will be defeated by the unstoppable power of freedom and democracy.
RUSH: Right on! Right on! Right on! What we can add to this is, you know, we had the LIFE magazine, the New York Times stories that we have posted at various times on our website that showed just how challenging the post war period was, particularly in Germany, and we posted both the New York Times and LIFE magazine talking about how it would never work, how the US soldier was hated, how we were despised, how random criminal acts were occurring because we were occupying these countries. It’s amazing when you read these stories from the mid-1940s and contrast them with the same publications today, TIME Magazine, and the New York Times, it’s amazing. It’s like they went back to the 40s, got the basic shell of the story, rewrote it, changing only the names and the locales. It is just stunning to see how defeatist the press was in Germany and our ability to revitalize Germany after World War II, and to a lesser extent Japan as well. But the lesson to be learned is how long we were in Germany — well, we’re still there, with bases. But we were there many, many moons, ladies and gentlemen, reestablish that country as a democracy, which it has remained today. Quick time-out. We will be back. In other words, we’ve done this before. It can happen. It is possible. They were Nazis. You know, these guys are the modern equivalent of who the Germans were back in the 30s. It can be done. As long as we’ve got people like Richard Clarke — oh, before I go to the break — you heard what the president just said, “Free nations can come together to fight the ideology of fascism and freedom, prevailed today in Germany and Japan our allies in securing the please,” blah, blah, blah. You’ve got to hear this. MSNBC did a little analysis of the president’s speech right after it was over, and they had <a target=new href=”http://www.pbs.org/weta/washingtonweek/aroundthetable/priest.html”>Dana Priest</a>, who is a reporter for the Washington Post, and the host said, “We’ve been reporting the president’s approval numbers have been flipping over the past couple of months. One of the reasons, one of the main reasons why he was reelected polls show is that Americans for the most part felt like the president could do a better job protecting them from another attack, and in fact we heard the president say it again today, he said we’re going to continue to take this fight to the enemy. But is London a little too close to home for people in America? What do you think the impact, the fallout, will be?”
PRIEST: I do think that that is one of the reasons he gave the speech because in taking the fight to the enemy, he’s defined that as Iraq, which is very far away, and Afghanistan which is very far away, so I do think that people are going to want to know after all this time why you can’t detect, you can’t even get warned about an attack as devastating as London. Unfortunately, terrorism experts will tell you that is the nature of terrorism now. It is more difficult to determine who’s involved because, as they killed off Al-Qaeda leadership, which they did in the last three years, a new, larger, more diffuse movement replaced it, and that movement doesn’t necessarily need to take its cues from Osama bin Laden or any of the leaders in London.
RUSH: Okay, what do we do then, Dana, give up? What do we do, blame ourselves and slap our wrists for causing it? No. They keep throwing people at us, we keep coming at ’em. We keep going back at them and that’s what we’re going to do. This notion here that the reason the president gave the speech is because taking the fight to the enemy, he’s defined that as Iraq and Afghanistan? No he’s not. He’s defined it as the war on terror and we’ll go wherever we have to go to stop it. By the way, I hope that someday means Syria and Iran, but that’s just me, just a little aside. But this business, I think people are going to want to know after all this time why you can’t detect, can’t even get warned about an attack as devastating as London. I can give you a partial reason: We have a pretty comprehensive Patriot Act, and they don’t. Tony Blair tried for a very comprehensive Patriot Act and it was shot down. In fact, it’s kind of disheartening, but the Brits have actually asked us for assistance now in solving this. They haven’t a clue, folks. They haven’t a clue. But we do, and they’re coming to us and asking for assistance. They have not put in as part of their legal infrastructure a mechanism whereby they can identify and target potential suspects, even detect potential suspects, and there’s a huge difference. I’m not saying that’s the whole reason, but it’s got to be a large factor.
RUSH: Here’s Elizabeth in Melbourne, Florida. Hi, I’m glad you called.
CALLER: Rush, thanks so much. Can you hear me?
RUSH: Yeah, just fine, thank you.
CALLER: Okay, great. My question is this — actually, I’m a huge fan. I want you let you know that as well. But my question is this: Do you really feel like we’re going to be able to get the Iraqi people to become more of a nation of a democracy where they debate and they argue like civil human beings making that a first resort he instead of violence, violence being a last resort. Do you really feel like they’re going to change, other people.
RUSH: Do you mean debate and argue like civil human beings as we do here in America?
CALLER: Like we do here, yeah. (giggles)
RUSH: Do you call what we do here civil? (giggle)
CALLER: Not really, but it’s just a little more calm.
RUSH: You know what? Here’s the way I would answer your question. With all due respect I think the nature of your question illustrates one of the challenges that we have. I think the premise in your question is flawed. The premise in your question, as I heard it, is that the Iraqi people are violence-prone and are oriented toward that, and so how can we change that. See, I don’t believe that the Iraqi people want to live their lives in endless violence and threats, just like you and I don’t. I think they’re human beings just like we are. Can we help that country to become a thriving nation of free people making up their own minds? Yeah, it’s already starting to happen, far sooner than it happened in our own history of independence — and I have every reason to believe it can happen because I believe in human nature.
CALLER: Okay. You don’t feel that we’re not dealing with a more difficult type based on — I’m not making any comments on religion, but based on — their extremely different religious beliefs? It’s just a completely different animal we’re dealing with. You don’t think —
RUSH: Yeah, I don’t think that that has a whole lot to do with it. I think that most people, regardless what their religion is, want to live in peace. There’s a distorted view of Islam because of the terrorists, but most of Islam is fairly peaceful. It’s just it’s so large, it only takes 1% of that religion to become terrorists and you’ve got about, you know, you get millions and millions of people represented by 1% of the worldwide number of people that practice Islam, and these are fascists. These are Islamofascists, and they’re not the standard-issue Iraqi citizen. These are the so-called insurgents. They’re nothing more than imported terrorists and they are trying to kill the Iraqi people. They’re trying to intimidate them into giving up this quest for freedom because it’s the biggest threat that the Islamofascists face. But yes, as one who believes in human nature, I think: Just like in America, I don’t care what your religion or your race, your sexual orientation or any of that. Whatever. You want the best for yourself. You want the best opportunity you can provide for yourself, for your children, for your family, and you want relative peace, and you want the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness — and I think that’s what the natural spirit of the human creation. I think all people around the world are made the same in that regard. It’s just that they live under tyranny or dictatorship for so long, it’s like imprisoning animals and you beat them over so long.
It’s going to take them awhile to forget that and become trusting again of people that live around them or what have you. But, yeah, at some point we’re going to have to give this a shot because trying to appease these people who kill and murder randomly and indiscriminately is not working, either, and I think of all the things that are on the table, this is the one that provides the best shot and the best chance. I believe it really boils down to nothing more than I believe in the basic goodness of most people. Now, in any group of people you’re going to have some scalawags. You’ve got criminals. You’re going to have a percentage that are not mentally right. All those things are going to be factors no matter what group of people from whatever country or culture you put together. But on balance, the vast majority of people are just plain old normal — and that means they want certain things, and most people don’t want to live like they’re living in Iraq today. They didn’t want to live that way under Saddam and they don’t want to live that way under some mullah. Same thing? Afghanistan. Wherever people have been liberated, and the liberators have stuck around to guarantee it — like Germany, like Japan — we have now functioning democracies and the great thing about a democracy, and the great thing about a free people is: They never attack their neighbors. They will defend themselves if they are, but they don’t become attackers. They don’t become plotters. They don’t become occupiers. They don’t become people that gobble up the real estate of other people and hold it. We’re not that. We are liberators. We’ve liberated over a billion people since our founding, and this is just the latest example of it, and history tells me that, yeah, it can succeed if we stick to it.
CALLER: Okay. Thanks, Rush.
RUSH: Okay, Elizabeth.