RUSH: Yesterday on Meet the Press, Jim Webb got into a huge dust-up with Lindsey Graham, and it’s all about Iraq and getting out now versus waiting for September, even in the midst of what people now claim, and the interim report we got last week confirmed, that there is tremendous security and military progress being made. I think that is one of the reasons for panic on the part of the Democrats, and even some of these Republicans. The Republicans worried, they think that the ’06 elections were all about Iraq, and they want Iraq off the table, those Republicans that are up for reelection in ’08. So in the midst of all of this, we have four sound bites here. This is a pretty good dust-up. At one point Jim Webb could barely contain his emotions. I thought he was going to physically assault Senator Grahamnesty. Here is the first cut. Tim Russert says, ‘Senator Webb, are you trying to run the war?’
WEBB: No I don’t think that there is a war, to start off with. I think that this has been a botched occupation. It’s been going for four years. After the truly military part of it was done, this administration has failed in terms of bringing the right diplomatic formula to the table. All of the things that people like myself were predicting would happen if we went into Iraq are exactly the sorts of things that the president and the small group of people who have sort of rallied around him are saying will happen if we leave.
RUSH: Now, Russert then said to Senator Grahamnesty, ‘Senator Graham, you said this about Senator Webb’s amendment: ‘It would have been a nightmare of the ages if Congress had passed the Webb amendment and it became law because you’d have deployment by polls.’ Army missed its recruiting goals in June, 72% of the soldiers in Iraq are members of the Army. Is the Army being broken by this war and why not give these Army members in this war a year off after being deployed for a year?’
GRAHAM: The worst thing I think we could do in this war or any other war is start micromanaging the deployment of forces by the Congress. The operational control of the war residing in the Senate or the House would be a nightmare. Politicians are worried about the next election. Commanders need troops based on what happens on the ground, so I think any idea that basically allows Senators and congressmen to start to commanding the troops should fail and will fail.
RUSH: And then Russert said, ‘Well, how long do you believe the surge will last, you guys?’
GRAHAM: If General Petraeus comes back, he will tell us these things. I want to leave. No American wants to occupy Iraq, but history will judge us, my friend, not when we left but what we left behind. Do we leave a resurgent Al-Qaeda that will kill every moderate who helped us? Do we empower Iran, do they control the south of Iraq? Nobody ever asks the consequences, polls the consequences of this idea, just wash your hands of Iraq. I’m going to listen to this general and I’m not going to let any politician take the place of the general.
RUSSERT: I’ll give you a chance to respond.
WEBB: Lindsey’s had a hard month. You know, these people —
GRAHAM: Lindsey hasn’t had a hard month.
RUSH: Lindsey’s having a hard month. Now it really heats up here.
GRAHAM: — whether they reenlist in the highest numbers anywhere else in the military — (crosstalk)
WEBB: You know, this is one thing I really — this is one thing I really take objection to is politicians — (crosstalk)
GRAHAM: Let ’em win. Let ’em win. They want to win — (crosstalk)
WEBB: May I speak? It’s politicians who try to put their political views into the mouths of soldiers. You can look at poll after poll and the political views of the United States military are no different than the country at large. Take a look at the New York Times today. Less than half of the military believes that we should be in Iraq in the first place.
GRAHAM: Have you been? Have you ever been to Iraq?
WEBB: — have you ever been to these — I’ve covered two wars as a correspondent —
GRAHAM: Have you been to Iraq?
WEBB: I have been to Afghanistan.
GRAHAM: Have you been to Iraq, and have you been to Iraq and talked with the soldiers?
WEBB: You know I haven’t been to Iraq.
GRAHAM: I’ve been there seven times.
WEBB: You go and see the dog and pony shows.
GRAHAM: I’ve been there as a Reservist. I have been there and I’m going back in August.
WEBB: I’ve been a member of the military with the — (crosstalk)
GRAHAM: Something we can agree on, we both admire and the men and women in uniform.
WEBB: Don’t put political words in their mouth. (crosstalk)
GRAHAM: You know, my election — I’m up for election — every Republican who’s supporting this position —
WEBB: You know, you said on the floor, ‘Let them win.’
GRAHAM: This is not about my election, my friend, this is about the next generation.
WEBB: You said on the floor this week, ‘Let them win.’
GRAHAM: The troops are not the problem. The troops can win.
RUSH: Here’s what interests me about this, besides the obvious dust-up there and Webb saying that Graham’s never been there and Graham’s said, ‘I’ve been there seven times.’ ‘Well, you got the dog and pony show,’ you didn’t really go out and see the troops. What interests me is that Jim Webb’s son, from his second marriage (he’s been married three times) has been there, may still be in Iraq, I don’t know. But Senator Webb has never visited Iraq, even though he’s got a son there. I find that a little odd. Especially when he can go any time he wants on the US government dime. He can go in comfort. If I were a senator and my son was there, and I was able to travel there and do fact finding on my own, you bet I would. Yet he dismisses Graham having gone there seven times as some kind of a guided tour. Then he completely writes off what Graham says, who’s been there, conveniently dismisses his many trips there as propaganda, and this phrase, ‘Stop putting political words in the mouths of soldiers.’ That’s the new mantra.
What a great point, everybody. Now supporting the troops in their mission is putting words in their mouths. By the way, that New York Times poll that was referred to by Webb, you go back, the New York Times fudges their polls and doesn’t release all the data in their polls, and this is a great example, too. There was a poll in May that nobody really got a look at. There wasn’t much made of it because the news about the troops and their attitude about Iraq did not fit the action line of the template for the New York Times. Now, they can go out and they can produce any kind of poll result they want to give cover to people like Jim Webb and others who want to yank our forces out of there and secure defeat. Now, the one question that Russert did not ask on the show yesterday of either of these two guys, nobody will ask it, ‘Why don’t you wait ’til September?’ Why do we have to get out now? Why won’t you just wait until September? If Congress doesn’t want to give the Petraeus plan three months, then how much time would you give the plan B that you’re demanding? The Baker-Hamilton plan, would you give that three months? Would they give Harry Reid’s surrender plan three months? The Murtha plan, withdraw to Okinawa.
The list of plans that’s been offered by the Democrats is endless and they’re all basically the same and that’s ‘pull out now.’ But the sad reality is, this is what you have to know, they’re not debating plans, they are debating political strategies. You’ve got high-minded, principled politicians who are not looking at solutions, they’re looking at polls. You want a poll, here’s one they can see. Newsweek, July 11-12, they can be any of the polls: 27% approve of Iraq, 68% disapprove, 5% are undecided. Now, what does this mean? 27% approve of Iraq, 68% tonight, if you have half a brain whether you use it or not the news that you hear day in and day out is 100% bad news about Iraq. Am I right? Yes, I am right. Always right. Love hearing myself speak when I’m right so I love hearing myself speak. The news is universally bad. Either there’s no good news or there’s no good news reported. So what do we have? We have 100% bad news, and it’s been bad news every day for four years, and still we only have 68% opposed? One hundred percent negative pictures and only 68% in the Newsweek poll are ready to quit? The most biased, negative news coverage of any war in our history — that includes Vietnam — and it turned only 68% against the war after four years.
Now, as you know, I’m an optimist and I’m a person of good cheer and I look for the good news as often as I can in the midst of what appears to be bad news. But it’s over the top now, and this reason for wanting to get out now, I’m telling you, for the Democrats side, they fear a report and pictures that will show this mission working.
RUSH: Let me say something here that some will no doubt consider controversial. It’s actually a question: ‘What is the great downside if we stay in Iraq and fight this enemy?’ What’s the downside? Do you realize how this is all being portrayed to us? The downside is staying. The downside is winning. The downside is dealing with this enemy. The upside is losing! The upside is getting out of there. There is no military reason offered by any people supporting a withdrawal, no military reason at all. It’s pure liberalism as reasons — and they’re absurd! They’re ridiculous, and they secure defeat. I guarantee you the Democrats would love for there to be this notion in the voters’ minds of defeat in Iraq while the president is a Republican. This is a pure political calculation. But what is the downside if we stay in Iraq and fight this enemy? I want all of you who are feeling upset about this — and I want all of you who may be in that 68% number that Newsweek produced — to ask yourselves a question. How is it affecting your life? Why is it affecting your life to the point that you want to stop it? Is it you just don’t want to hear about it anymore?
You don’t want to hear about the carnage, you don’t want to hear about the bombs, you don’t want to see the pictures of flaming cars? Then don’t turn on the news! But there’s something much larger going on here than our selfish feelings about what makes us uncomfortable, as we go about our day, when this incident, this war — aside from you military families — is not affecting any of us personally, unless we let it, unless we get totally bogged down in all of this, let it affect our mood and this and that and everything. But that’s no reason to pull outta here (New Castrati impression), ‘Because people are uneasy, because people are uncomfortable, Mr. Limbaugh! They don’t like what they see.’ Well, then don’t watch it! War is hell. I couldn’t believe Webb said it’s not even a war. This guy wants to run it, and he doesn’t even think it is one! The facts are these: Our armed forces have kept much of this enemy bogged down in Iraq, and they have done exactly what they’re supposed to do, and that is keep our homeland safe, keep all of us safe. They’re doing exactly what they were supposed to do. Now, I know that the media and the Democrats want to continue to portray everything as a failure or loss, and I know they want us to leave Iraq, and I know they want us to leave now, but so what? They don’t run the country, folks.
The Democrats and the Drive-By Media do not run the country, and they do not run the military. They may think they do; they may think that they have the power to by creating all this angst in as many hearts and minds of the American people as possible, but they don’t have to win the White House before they can pull any of this stuff off. In the meantime, before they win the White House, they’re trying to destroy America’s morale, not only the uniformed people, but yours. They’re trying to make you think you live in the worst country ever. No economy, no future. We’re getting shorter now because we don’t have health care for everybody — all of this rotgut. And it’s all aimed at getting you to admit in a poll by 68%, that you disapprove of what’s happening in Iraq. Well, who the hell are we? We’re not running the thing. ‘But, Rush, this is a democracy. It’s a representative republic.’ That’s right, and as such, we have a commander-in-chief, and we’ve got the people running this and they’re in charge. Now, it hit me the other day: the whole notion of staying and seeing this through, what’s the downside to that? As long as a pro-national security president sits in the White House and enough Republicans in Congress support him, who cares what these people demand? Who cares what the Democrats demand? Who cares what Jim Webb demands? Who cares what Ted Kennedy or Dick Durbin or Pelosi or Reid demands?
Who cares? Who cares what members of the Drive-By Media have to say? They’re not running the show? They might think they are, but they’re not. I’ll tell you this, despite all these years of these antics from the left wing, the Democrats have yet to lay out a comprehensive, detailed plan for defending this country from this kind of enemy. They don’t present one plan. Well, I’ll take that back. ‘Global test’ was offered by John Kerry, and of course there’s the obligatory trip to the United Nations every time somebody does something we don’t like. But they don’t have a comprehensive plan to protect this country — and they dare not offer one now that uses the military because they’ve just trashed the entire mission of the military. They’re demanding withdrawal and nothing else. We are allowing ourselves here, folks, to be stampeded into doing the unthinkable: pulling our forces off the battlefield against enemies that will strike us in our cities if they can, and in fact did! It’s not as though this enemy has not made itself known to us on a personal basis. The Drive-Bys, the Democrats are trying to rush us into defeat with the help of some Republicans. But they’ve really given no reason for meeting their timelines and their demands for withdrawal.
Who makes them superior to everybody else? Why is it their timeline of July is the one that should be the benchmark, when the original plan as proposed by the president and General Petraeus, is September? Now all of a sudden, ‘Well, we don’t know what they’re doing, Dick Durbin knows how to handle this! Jim Webb knows how to handle this. We need to get out of there in July!’ Well, why? Tell us. Nobody will ask them. That’s why I am repeating it constantly. So it’s a (sigh) frustrating thing here — especially when we’re on the move. We are making progress, good progress. (I think this is one of the factors, by the way, in this ratcheted-up desire to get us out of there this month.) But too many people are allowing the idiocy of the left and the political agenda of the left to intimidate them, to clutter their thinking, and to make it the benchmark against which we measure everything else — and everybody goes on the defensive. When the Drive-Bys and the Democrats start making these demands and they’re powerless to implement their demands, why does everybody go on the defensive? Now, don’t misunderstand here, because I know what the selling point is. I know what they say to get us out of there: soldier deaths, troop deaths.
I’m not saying that over 3500 dead soldiers — not all of them killed in combat, by the way — that’s not to be dismissed, because these people are the most honorable and precious of all Americans. But when you consider, ladies and gentlemen, that we are fighting an enemy in Iraq — Al-Qaeda in Iraq, and their surrogates and their supporters — and that they killed 3,000 unarmed civilians on our own soil in less than a few hours, we have more than held our own against this bunch of people. We are fighting and we are winning, and now we’ve got a general that every one of these Democrats unanimously confirmed to the post. He is in charge, pressing the war against the enemy, and the demands of the left that he be stopped in mid-battle and forced to surrender is a disgrace. It is a 100% disgrace, and it’s unwarranted. It’s an unwarranted response to what’s going on over there. It’s obvious what they’re up to. The better the news, the better the military progress, the more panicked they become to lose — and there are some Republicans who are running scared because they look at the results (as I mentioned moments ago) in ’06, and they say, ‘Gosh, I gotta distance myself from the war, or at least appear to be critical of our progress here so I don’t get caught up in the next landslide defeat.’
Well, we’ll deal with what the Republicans ought to do to win in ’08, but it certainly isn’t running away, and it isn’t being cowardly, and it isn’t — when you’re an elected official and then this is your job, to run away from it is not going to stand you in good stead. What these Republicans and others have to understand is that the opponents, the Democrats, the Drive-By Media, all the left, they have no plan for fighting this enemy, just as they absolutely had no plan for defeating the Soviet Union. If you think this bunch doesn’t need to be defeated, and if you think Al-Qaeda is just going to go away when we go away, you have another think coming. This is more hideous and dangerous than anybody is letting on. I will bet you that if anybody in the intelligence community were to tell you and me what they know about what’s going on out there, that we wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. That’s how dangerous it is. When you’ve got the upper crust of Islamofascist culture, doctors and so forth, getting brainwashed and becoming terrorists in the UK, folks, I’m telling you, it’s far more serious than anybody wants to realize. If we pull out and don’t defeat this enemy, we’re just going to have to do it at some other point. We will, at some point, have to deal with this. I got to thinking this the other day. I got mad at myself.
After a pretty good monologue on Friday about all this, I got mad at myself because even I was acting defensive about it. I was taking their talking points and responding. Who are they? Screw them! They are not in charge of this. They are not the commander-in-chief. They have the power of the purse, and that’s it, and they don’t have the guts to cut the money off. That’s their power. That’s what they could do to pull us out of there, but they don’t dare have that vote, and these resolutions have all failed. If we have 68% of the American people think this is bad news and ought to be out of there, it ought to be a slam-dunk in both houses of Congress to get that resolution passed and it ought to be a slam-dunk to get it veto proof. But the resolutions are symbolic. As long as they don’t touch the money, as long as they keep allocating more in fact, all this is just political rhetoric and BS. (sigh) As far as Republicans are concerned, I think it’s time that they started acting like statesmen. Of course, we discussed this last week, too. There aren’t very many left. But they need to be condemned for joining the left, abandoning their obligation to protect the country and support the troops and condemned for failing to speak the truth about what’s going on here. What is it…? Do you know how many kids are killed every year in car crashes in this country?
Six thousand. Six thousand kids, 48,000 people, killed in car crashes, and you don’t see the Democrats demanding we get off the roads, pull off the highways, or whatever. None. But 3600 soldiers in war where casualty is part of the job, it’s part of the business. The people that sign up and volunteer know it. (sigh) I think it’s a battle of wills now, folks. We’re not suffering massive casualties here, as in past wars. We haven’t been hit again. We’re on the move. Why in the hell surrender? It’s because the same appeasers who tried to undermine Reagan want to undermine this effort. The same appeasers, the left,who undermined Nixon during Vietnam, want to undermine this effort, and I said, ‘Screw them! Who are they? They are not elected run the country. They are not appointed to anything. They don’t have the power to do any of what they’re demanding.’ Why does anybody listen to them? I know the Republicans listen to them because the media amplifies what they say, and asks, ‘What do you think of Senator Foghorn Leghorn’s response that we ought to get out of there?’
‘Well, I’m looking at this,’ the Republican says.
So the Drive-Bys promote these guys. I understand that. It’s time to stand up against them. We can do it here. Do we want to allow the leftists in this country to force defeat on the battlefield? Again, it’s time to call ’em out. They don’t support the troops! They don’t support the troops’ families. They don’t support the military. They don’t support the war effort. They don’t support national security, any of it. They don’t support these things. They want to tell you that they do. They can put Webb out front and a handful of others, but he and they are not representative of the vast majority of military personnel and their families.
RUSH: We have all these polls about Iraq, the American people don’t want this, the American people don’t like that, you ought to get out of there, we can’t win and so — and of course we gotta act on that poll! Why, we gotta take action on that poll! Well, let me tell you, there are far more Americans who support what’s going on in Iraq than support Congress. Congress’ approval numbers are lower than the approval numbers for the war. So if we’re going to react to polls on a consistent basis, then we are saying to Congress, ‘We don’t trust you. We don’t trust what you’re doing and what your legislation promises to do.’ Immigration is a great example. ‘We don’t trust you.’ So why, in the midst of ago politicians, congressmen, and men and women in Congress polling worse than support for the war, are we listening to what any of them say about what we ought to? How can you go from not trusting them in the immigration bill, knowing full well that they had no intention of ever implementing most of what was in that… How can we go from that and then anoint these people with some sort of religious credibility when it comes to the Iraq war? There’s so much inconsistency. That’s why governing by polls — and president said it last week in his press conference. If the men and women in uniform knew their commander-in-chief were taking focus group results and managing the war with it, do you think they’d have a morale problem? Damn right they would.
RUSH: Another Curt from Fort Knox, Kentucky. Curt squared, you’re next.
CALLER: Hello, Rush.
CALLER: Great to talk to you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I was calling, I was infuriated yesterday watching Meet the Press when Jim Webb went nuts with Lindsey Graham there. At least one cool head prevailed, but there was something that you guys didn’t replay. I don’t know if you caught it or not. I barely caught it. I watched it twice after watching it again on a rerun.
RUSH: Get time off?
CALLER: Actually he said something about time off but then he mentioned not having the military members go back overseas for three years after doing a tour. I don’t know how he could factor in three years, where he pulled 36 months out olf.
RUSH: You’re making my point. Who cares what he says? Jim Webb, he’s a freshman senator. He’s got (raspberry) for power! (Raspberry) for power. Who cares what he says? All he’s trying to do is make military families think he’s got concern and compassion for them because he’s responded to what he thinks is truth in the polls.