RUSH: The Drive-By Media is just ecstatic over the announcement by Tony Blair that they’re going to start a troop withdrawal, the Brits are, from Iraq. They could not wait to find out what this is really all about. They just couldn’t contain themselves. They are so eager for defeat. They are so eager for us to pull out and be humiliated that they jumped the gun. Here is a montage of a CNN announcer, Wolf Blitzer. We have others from PMSNBC, Brian Williams, a whole bunch of them. You might recognize some of the voices.
(Dramatic Music) CNN VOICE: This is CNN breaking news.
WOLF BLITZER: We’re getting word in from London that Tony Blair, the British prime minister, is on the verge of announcing a major statement about troop withdrawals of British forces from Iraq.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Breaking news out of Great Britain, Tony Blair will be announcing tomorrow that the United Kingdom is abandoning Iraq and President Bush.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: The United States may be starting to lose a big ally in the fight in Iraq. This may be the beginning of the end of British involvement in the Iraq war.
RUSS MITCHELL: Since the very first day of the war in Iraq, Britain has been America’s number one ally. Now nearly four years later, Prime Minister Blair is to announce a major troop withdrawal.
CHARLES GIBSON: America’s closest ally in the war, Great Britain, is doing something President Bush said he never will — setting a timetable for bringing its men and women home.
ROBIN ROBERTS: Breaking news overnight, the British are leaving.
MEREDITH VIEIRA: The British on the march home from Iraq.
RUSH: Is this not funny? These people, they can’t contain themselves: Breaking news, da-da-da, da-da-da. The bottom line here is that they’re not totally leaving. It was a planned pullout, but the Drive-Bys are trying to treat this as a giant surprise. Here’s David Rodham Gergen last night with Wolf Blitzer, who asked him this, ?This is potential, very, very significant, not only obviously for Britain but for the Bush administration as well.?
GERGEN: That sound we’re hearing is the cracking of the alliance. It means Britain is starting to go its own way now and will leave President Bush more isolated, it will increase the pressure on President Bush here in the United States to begin pulling back American troops too sooner rather than later. Symbolically, it’s powerful news back here because Tony Blair has been the central ally for President Bush throughout this war.
RUSH: Quick question: Do you people know what this is really all about? Anybody have a wild guess what this is really all about? You have to have been following the news for a while to understand what this is really all about. There is a member of the British royal family, his name is Prince Harry, and Prince Harry wants to go to Iraq. He doesn’t want any special treatment. I don’t know what his title is; I don’t know what his rank is. I’ve seen pictures of him in what looks like to be a tank or an armored personnel carrier. He wants to go. I don’t think the British royal family wants him to go. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some pressure brought on Prime Minister Blair by the royal family here. At least it’s interesting speculation; you would have to consider it. Now, here’s a report from CNN’s Ed Henry today on the White House reaction to the British withdrawal of the troops.
ED HENRY: No matter how the White House tries to play this, this is clearly a blow to Mr. Bush, when you combine it with what’s just crossing the hours over the last hour or so that Denmark is also going to pull its troops from Iraq. The perception is reality, and the perception is that US allies are now walking away, and they’re shunning what Mr. Bush has repeatedly said, that setting a timetable and withdrawing troops is not the right way to go. His allies are now walking away.
RUSH: We did a Nexis search here, folks, this morning because I could not ever recall Ed Henry at CNN telling us that Denmark had troops in Iraq. I never knew from CNN that Denmark was part of our coalition. So we did a LexisNexis search, and we can’t find, of all the CNN transcripts, we cannot find a day prior to today where CNN reporter Ed Henry ever reported that Denmark has troops in Iraq. Now, this morning, the British Prime Minister Tony Blair addressed the House of Commons, announcing the hand-over in Basra. Here is his comment or portion thereof.
BLAIR: The next chapter in Basra’s history will be written by the Iraqis. I discussed this with Prime Minister Maliki, and our proposals have his full support and represent his wishes. Already we have handed over prime responsibility for security to the Iraqi authorities in al-Matuna and Dikar. Now in Basra over the coming months, we will transfer more of the responsibility directly to Iraqis. I should say that none of this will mean a diminution in our combat capability. The actual reduction in forces will be from the present 7,100, itself down from over 9,000 two years ago and 40,000 at the time of the conflict to roughly 5,500. However, with the exception of forces which will remain at Basra palace, the British forces will be located at Basra air base and be in a support role.
RUSH: Whoa, whoa, 5,500 are going to remain. Is that what we heard just now? We did, you heard right from the British prime minister himself Tony Blair, 5,500 are going to remain. It doesn’t sound like the Brits are pulling out. By the way, it’s not happening tomorrow, either. It’s scheduled to happen by the end of the year. You know what is the most amazing thing about this to me, Mr. Snerdley? The most amazing thing about all these Drive-By Media reports is that today, February 21st, 2007, some four years after the war began, we have learned from the Drive-By Media that we have allies in our coalition.
RUSH: I have two more sound bites I want to play about this British pullout in Iraq. First one Condi Rice. Audio sound bite five, Ed. She was in Berlin this morning.
RICE: The coalition remains intact and in fact the British still have thousands of soldiers deployed in Iraq, in the south, and any decisions that they make are going to be on the basis of conditions. But it is the plan that as it is possible to transfer responsibilities to the Iraqis, that coalition forces would no longer be in need in those circumstances.
RUSH: And Dick Cheney was on the aircraft carrier, what is it, the USS Kitty Hawk today, Jonathan Karl from ABC had a quick sit-down with him, said, ?Mr. Vice President, Tony Blair’s announcing that the British are beginning their withdrawal from Iraq. Are you concerned about that??
CHENEY: I look at it and what I see is an affirmation of the fact that parts of Iraq where things are going pretty well. In fact, I talked to a friend just the other day who had driven from Baghdad down to Basra in seven hours, found the situation dramatically improved compared to where it was a year or so ago, sort of validated the British view that they have made progress in southern Iraq, and that they can therefore afford to reduce their force levels.
RUSH: So there’s the vice president and Condoleezza Rice putting the correct spin on this. The Brits are not pulling out, they’re not gone, they’re not leaving in toto. The Drive-By Media is simply caught up in their own agenda and ecstatic thinking this is the death knell for the war in Iraq and the Bush administration. To the phones, to Chicago, we start with Susanna, glad you called and it’s great to have you with us.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush, and thank you for providing me with hope during the early dark days after 9/11. Let me get right to the point, which is that after listening for weeks to critics of the surge talk about how useless an additional 21,500 or so troops would be to the actions in Iraq, we now learn that the potential loss of something like 2,000 or so British and Danish troops are going to be a monumental catastrophe.
RUSH: Yeah, I know. It’s a good point. It’s an excellent point. It’s just confirms that the Drive-Bys, A, misreported this, and, B, that they have an agenda. They tried to create the impression that all the British troops were leaving, and not only that, because Blair has decided to throw in the towel, that the whole thing’s a failure. This is journalistic malpractice. Your point is brilliant, I think. 2,000 Brits is a lot? Even if all of them, 7,000 leave, ?Oh, no!? but they’re trying to portray this as Bush’s best buddy leaving him in the school yard to face the rest of the world’s bullies and so forth. And, you know, it’s getting more and more apparent, whenever the Drive-Bys get in unison on anything, you really have to go the 180. You have to just distrust it.
RUSH: It’s amazing. Susanna, thanks for the call.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush.
RUSH: Dan in Auburn, California, just north of Sacramento. I’ve been there many times. Welcome to the program, sir.
CALLER: Good morning to you.
CALLER: You’re our new president, Rush Limbaugh.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: (Laughing.) It’s an honor to speak to you. I just have to say that we cannot win this war because that’s all they know over there is they keep putting these suicide bombs out, and we cannot fight that, no way in hell. We just can’t fight — they do things so secretly, that’s all they know. That’s their life! They bomb people.
RUSH: You know, this troubles me. I know what you’re saying, they bomb people, they have these IEDs, they’re coming from Iran and wherever else. I watched Flags of Our Fathers over the weekend while suffering the severe ravages of whatever mysterious virus I have, and I was a little disappointed in it in that it did not show the full scale of the conflict in Iwo Jima. I think about the Battle of the Bulge, where our intelligence screwed up and underestimated the size of the enemy by 300,000 to 400,000 troops, and I think back to all of the tough times in World War II and other times in history where great American valor took place, and I wonder how many people were out there saying, ?We can’t.? You’re telling me we can’t compete against bombs, we can’t compete against secret bombers. That’s absurd, Dan, and it troubles me that you think this. It troubles me that a lot of Americans probably have bought into this notion. What you’re saying, Dan, is we can’t stop this enemy. If they’re in the United States doing this, we can’t stop ’em. So then if that’s your attitude, you may as well surrender. Just don’t take the rest of the country with you.
RUSH: Bill in Charlotte, North Carolina, welcome to the EIB Network, sir. It’s great to have you with us.
CALLER: Mega dittos, Rush. Been trying to get through to you for years, my friend.
RUSH: Yes, sir. I’m glad you made it.
CALLER: Yeah, good to be home. Home on leave here. Master Sergeant serving in the United States Army for almost 25 years, thank you very much.
RUSH: No kidding? Well, we’re honored to have you with us, sir. Thank you.
CALLER: Yeah, I just wanted to comment, having been over there in Iraq and in Saudi Arabia, Basra particularly, that’s a very safe area, stronghold we’ve got right now.
RUSH: Of course it is, which is why it’s free to turn it over to the Iraqis —
RUSH: — to control it. This is not a defeat. This is not a retreat, right?
CALLER: Exactly. It’s a realignment of forces. And we’re doing it all the time all around the world.
RUSH: Yeah, still working on it in Germany. We do, we have troops in a lot of these places. South Korea, still working on it there.
CALLER: That’s where I first heard your show.
RUSH: South Korea?
CALLER: When I was over there. Armed Forces Network.
RUSH: Way to go. And you’ve been in 25 years?
CALLER: Roger that.
RUSH: Well, we’re honored to have you on the program. I’m glad you called, and that’s excellent expert testimony of what’s happening in Basra. Baghdad is, a couple other places, Baghdad’s the lone outpost there of true civil unrest.