RUSH: Austin, Texas, Ed, nice to have you, sir. Great you called.
CALLER: Good afternoon, Rush. It’s a pleasure to speak to you.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I’d like to start out by saying that I first found you on the radio about two years before Clinton was first elected, and I literally listened to you every day, all the way through his election up ’til about the — after the first (audio dropout) Bush and, of course, you kept whining over leaving him to the Bush era and I kind of turned you off, but recently turned you back on, and —
RUSH: I felt that. You know, I felt turned on recently, so it was you.
CALLER: (laughing) It could have been, and everybody told me to listen to you. I have two subjects I’d like to discuss. One is your comments on how the Dems have been wrong as far as the war, and then the other subject would be, why should I believe the Republicans (audio dropout) since they’ve been in office? But if we can, I think the Dems — I think they still have it right, and I think the right has it wrong. And I think I have a point of view that I haven’t heard anyone on talk radio speak of, and I think it’s important for us to recognize how many people have actually left Iraq since we went into Iraq, and keep in mind their population. I don’t exactly know what their population was originally before we went in, but I heard it was around 25, 27 million. What I’ve been able to see and read is, it’s around four to six million people have actually fled the country. That’s an important factor in why the surge has — or changes in (audio dropout) the last part of this year has occurred. So many people have left the country. But even more so than that, there has been such cleansing of the neighborhoods. We have to look back, when we went in these three religious groups or these three ethnic groups —
RUSH: Let me stop you. Ed, wait a minute. I’ve got a time constraint problem coming. Let me ask you a question.
RUSH: Why do you want to persist in seeing negative news? People are moving back in, and Baghdad is functioning, it’s been rid of Al-Qaeda. Some of these people that left after Saddam was routed left because they’ve been wanting to leave for a long, long time, they’ve been dying to get out. What is the point, and why do you want to see negatives here?
CALLER: Well, I’m not seeing negatives. What I want to say is more factually the truth. You’re saying that the surge has — is what has changed this. My contention is, it isn’t the surge that has changed it, it is that we allowed those three ethnic groups, those three religious groups, to go in to there —
RUSH: Right. And what caused that to happen? The surge plus Al-Qaeda brutalizing these people, they are joining forces, well, two of them are. The Kurds are still kind of lagging up there in the north hanging behind, but regardless, it’s all good news. It’s a positive outcome, and the Democrats are the ones that are going to have a tough time explaining their position on this.
RUSH: You know, a couple of things here about our last call. I continue to be — well, not really amazed, I’m actually a little bit enthused that we have so many liberal Democrats up there still focused on losing, still focused on the negative, still focused on, ‘There isn’t any success there.’ I think a lot of people are just reading talking points that they see on their blogs, or hear from their elected officials. It’s not bad for the election coming up, but it’s bad for the country when you have half the people, or half a political party in this country, looking victory and success right in the face and doing everything they can to deny it. Now, who cares how many people left Iraq? What was so great for them there in the first place? There were tortures and the rape rooms and all of this, there were chemical weapons used on people. What was so great for them there? How come you liberals who are so focused on the number of people that left in Iraq, how come you’re not seminally focused on how many people are leaving Mexico? Why is that not a big deal? And, if it’s so bad now, why are they coming back? They’re starting to stream back in. ‘Well, it’s not as many who left, Mr. Limbaugh, and you’re just trying to create a false impression that things are going well there.’ I hate to tell you libs, but the source of this information here is in the AP and the New York Times and Reuters and the Drive-By Media.
There’s another point that needs to be made about this, and our last caller was doing it, the three ethnic or religious groups, the Shi’a, the Sunni, and the Kurds. Now, here’s a piece by Christopher Hitchens. This is from Slate.com. It’s from October 17th, 2005. Let me just read you the 11th paragraph here. ‘When it comes to Iraq, one of the most boring and philistine habits of our media is the insistence on using partitionist and segregationist language that most journalists would (I hope) scorn to employ if they were discussing a society they actually knew. It is the same mistake that disfigured the coverage of the Bosnian war, where every consumer of news was made to understand that there was fighting between Serbs, Croats, and ‘Muslims.’ There are two apples and one orange in that basket, as any fool should be able to see. Serbian and Croatian are national differences, which track very closely with the distinction between Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic beliefs. Many Muslims are Bosnian, but not all Bosnians are Muslim. And in fact, the Bosnian forces in the late war were those which most repudiated any confessional definition. (And when did you ever hear the media saying that, ‘Today the Orthodox shelled Sarajevo,’ or, ‘Yesterday the Catholics bombarded Mostar’?)’
His point is that the idea here that we’re dealing with three distinct and separate groups, religious groups or ethnic groups, is not accurate, but it’s become the template, or the ‘narrative,’ as is the popular word today, and so people simply think that that’s the case. But who cares how they’re coming together and why. The fact is, they are, and it’s good news. I just happen to have here at the very top of the Iraq War Stack, a story from the New York Times today. News analysis, by Damien Cave: ‘Pressure for Results: The Politics of Tallying the Number of Iraqis Who Return Home.’ So while there’s great news being reported out there, the Drive-Bys still have — it’s just like the economic news we talked about at the beginning of the program — ‘Oh, yeah, sales are up 8%, people didn’t splurge, and it was only people at Wal-Mart and Target and Kmart. Nordstrom’s didn’t see a big increase and so forth and so on. It’s not that good, should have been much higher.’
No matter what the news, they can spin it badly. ‘At a row of travel agencies near the highway to Syria, the tide of migration has reversed: the buses and GMC Suburban vans filled with people heading to Damascus run infrequently, while those coming from the border appear every day. By all accounts, Iraqi families who fled their homes in the past two years are returning to Baghdad. The description of the scope of the return, however, appears to have been massaged by politics. Returnees have essentially become a currency of progress. … On Nov. 7, Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, the Iraqi spokesman for the American-Iraqi effort to pacify Baghdad, said that 46,030 people returned to Iraq from abroad in October because of the ‘improving security situation.’ But in interviews, officials from the ministry acknowledged that the count covered all Iraqis crossing the border, not just returnees. ‘We didn’t ask them if they were displaced and neither did the Interior Ministry.”
By all accounts — and this story even admits it — families are returning to Baghdad. But the whole point of this story is to sneer at the turn of events. In fact, on page two of this story, there’s even, ‘Well, yes, but, Mr. Limbaugh, some are leaving Syria and going back to Iraq because they can’t afford to live in Syria. These people are just actually nomads.’ So there you have it. Good news is happening, cannot be allowed to stand; has to be shaped, formed, and flaked.
Bob in Castle Rock, Washington. I’m glad you called, sir, you’re next on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. How are you?
RUSH: Just fine, sir.
CALLER: I wanted to give you some small business owner dittos and thanks to you for getting me started on a small business. Before I tell you my comment, I want to say hello to my dad in Edwardsburg, Michigan, who had a heart attack this morning, and I hope he will take care of himself. Hi Dad, I love you. So, my comment, Rush, is I just went to a party this weekend, a welcome home party for two Marines just back from Iraq. I’ve known these guys since they were kids, one’s my nephew. He’s an enlisted man, a lance corporal. The other is his best friend, a captain. One was in Haditha; the other was in Karma, Iraq, and what was really striking to me was to hear them tell exactly the same story from a very different perspective. The enlisted man, my nephew, says the kids loved him, people invited them in to eat dinner with them. They were welcomed on the street. We’re winning. The officer who is in charge of a recon battalion said there are neighborhood watches being formed, the police and everyday groups are being formed, are driving Al-Qaeda out and they’re all joining together; he says we’re winning. It was exactly the same message from the narrow enlisted perspective and the larger command perspective that really struck me. I thought, ‘I gotta tell Rush this,’ because this is exactly what we’re not hearing, and they both said the same thing as well. The media reports, it’s not at all like what’s being reported on CNN and MSNBC. And it was really striking to me to see those different perspectives from different levels of command or involvement, and yet they said exactly the same thing.
RUSH: Well, we’ve heard it a lot on this program. They call us. Returning military personnel from Iraq, even Afghanistan, call us and they will tell us these things, and they tell us the same story, they’re upset with what they see in the media. The truth is now there’s not much about this in the media at all, certainly not on TV because there’s no bombs to show, no IEDs blowing up, no smoking cars, no burning fires, no this or that anywhere, and so the news has gone off the front page, and now the story is how are the Democrats going to massage the turn of events here for their own political advantage? Thanks for the call, Bob. I appreciate it.