RUSH: Gee, I’m totally confused over what’s happening in Egypt. Can you imagine poor ol’ Mubarak? I mean, the message he’s been getting, ‘Stay. Go. No, stay. You better go, but don’t go ’til September. No, we don’t want you to leave, you better stay,’ and then the king of Saudi Arabia calls Obama, (paraphrasing) ‘Don’t you humiliate my man Mubarak.’ Obama says, ‘All right.’ Now we wake up today and we find out the military is gonna take over the country, which is a violation of the Egyptian constitution, by the way. The constitution says that the succession of power is supposed to go to the speaker of the Egyptian parliament, so it’s effectively a coup. Now, the military is the glue that holds that country together at the same time. But looking at the pictures on television, our media, CNN, like Suzanne Malveaux, have you seen her? She’s so excited she dressed up like Cleopatra today on CNN. It’s amazing, if you haven’t seen it out there. Well, maybe Nefertiti, I’m not sure which, but one of the two.
So the news media over there and the supposed Democrat-craving protesters in the streets seem to be all for this, but it’s confusing to me because we’ve had different messages every day from our regime, and our regime is going out of the way saying we have nothing to do with this. They got spokesmen out there saying, ‘Hey, this isn’t us,’ but anybody in their right mind knows, understands the regime wants everybody to think this is Obama’s move, that this is Obama’s influence being felt. But until it actually happens we just have a couple of people telling the news agencies that Mubarak will step down tonight, but until he actually does it, we don’t know. We’re waiting for his address to the nation of Egypt. CNN says that Egyptian TV’s running a crawl that says Egypt is changing. Now, up till now all their programming had been very pro-Mubarak, so something obviously is happening. But I’m just wondering if the Egyptian military cleared the move with Obama. Did they get yesterday’s memo it’s okay now for Mubarak to stay? That was the message yesterday.
Remember all the confusion with Wis? Sent Frank Wisner over there to nudge the guy out. Wisner from our State Department goes over there and says the guy is staying and Hillary and Obama have to stand up and say that Wisner is not speaking for them. It was a fire drill, can’t say what kind of fire drill, it will upset those people. Yeah. (laughing) Can’t say anything anymore. But it is. We’re trying to keep up with this. Now, clearly it is a revolution, ladies and gentlemen, if I may be serious for a moment, but it’s not usually the first revolution that is the problem. When the Russians overthrew the czar they installed a Republican government under Alexander Kerensky, but then the Bolsheviks overthrew him and that’s how we got a communist Russia, and eventually a Soviet Union. The same thing in Germany after World War I, the people overthrew the Kaiser, instituted the Weimar Republic but the Weimar Republic was soon overthrown by the Nazis.
So it’s the second revolution that counts. So I don’t know whoever’s behind this, if they don’t survive — the military is aligned with them — if they don’t survive this is the Muslim Brotherhood waiting in line to then overthrow whatever happens here? And it may take years for all this to play out. We don’t really know, despite the efforts of our media. I know what they want. What do they want? They want, by tonight, by the evening news tonight, the US media wants to be able to say that Barack Obama has transformed Egypt into a democracy of peace-loving people and that their economy is going great, that the joblessness numbers are going down. They want to be able to wrap this up in a pretty little bow and say Egypt’s fixed by the evening news, certainly by the Sunday shows on Sunday. And that’s what they’re all angling for. But there hasn’t been any consistency from the White House on what their message is and what their position here is.
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It really is interesting to me that if all this pans out as we’re being told, that Mubarak is gonna hand power over to the Egyptian army. Now, people that claim to be in the know and understand what happens in Egypt know the army’s key to everything over there. If the army would align with Mubarak then that’s it. If the army aligns against Mubarak, then that’s it. They apparently really are the institution that’s gonna determine the future there. But the Egyptian constitution — and sadly we know constitutions don’t matter much anymore, certainly not here, certainly not in Egypt — but the Egyptian constitution clearly states the succession of power supposed to go to the speaker of the Egyptian parliament. Now, a couple of stories have said that this guy Suleiman is gonna end up being the head honcho there, but we don’t know for how long.
So I don’t know what you would call this, a military coup, a military taking over? I know there aren’t any constitutional fetishists in Egypt worrying about this. I have a fetish for the Constitution according to critics here. There doesn’t seem to be anybody like that in Egypt that we’re hearing about. And that’s just it, we don’t know all the factions involved in this. But is it a coup, if Mubarak willingly resigns and the military takes over? It seems to be it’s a coup if they force Mubarak out. Of course, the argument could be made that that has happened. So regardless, if we have a military coup, what does that mean? This is one of the rare times where our media has been pro-military. I mean, it’s amazing. It didn’t take long, this Mubarak guy may as well be Satan incarnate. It happened in a couple of days, and he’s gotta go. And when that happens then everything is hunky-dory. Here’s audio sound bite number five. This is this morning on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington, described what she thought of all this. She was asked specifically, ‘Andrea, was this much of a surprise?’ hearing that Mubarak is il finito?’
MITCHELL: They clearly have been talking nonstop. Joe Biden has been talking to Vice President Suleiman, the intelligence and military contacts back and forth. We understand that officials are in the Situation Room at the White House, officials at the State Department all waiting to hear the final word. The last thing they want is for this to be perceived as an American-run operation, not something that comes from Egypt itself. But there have been constant conversations in person, on the phone with foreign leaders, with King Abdullah and Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah in Jordan, the Israelis, Defense Minister Barak was here yesterday meeting with all of the top officials. So you can imagine how closely this is being coordinated, being watched here.
RUSH: Aweee. The administration, the regime does not want any credit here. Andrea Mitchell tells us that no matter where you go the State Department, the Situation Room, the Pentagon, they don’t want this to be perceived as an American-run operation. Ha. (laughing) Just the opposite of that. They all do. They want this to be seen as an Obama-run operation, make no mistake about it. So the foreign minister of Egypt says that the United States is trying to impose its will over there. This was on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Although Jim Lehrer was not there, Senior Correspondent Margaret Warner interviewed Ahmed Aboul Gheit. She said, ‘The United States has had a lot to say about all this, and just yesterday Vice President Biden called your Vice President Suleiman and asked for a prompt and meaningful change, immediate progress. How do you take that? I mean, do you regard that as helpful advice from a friend?’
GHEIT: No, not at all. Why is it so? Because when you speak about prompt, immediate, now, as if you are imposing on a great country like Egypt, a great friend that have always maintained the best of relationship with the United States, you are imposing your will on him.
RUSH: Well, okay, the Egyptian foreign minister thinks that the regime is imposing its will on Egypt. Clearly Mubarak doesn’t want any of this, so you’d have to say that it is a military coup, if he doesn’t want any of this. If you break the law, it’s a coup. The constitution says that the order of succession goes to the veep. Now, the media is covering here for Obama. He doesn’t want any credit until he can be sure it will work out all right, and then he’ll take all the credit. He can’t take the credit right now, hell, things might blow up over there. But when it’s safe, when the bets are in that it’s safe to take credit, that everything is calmed down sufficiently so to take credit for all this, then they’ll move in and do that.
RUSH: Leon Panetta, who is the Director of Central Intelligence, was testifying on Capitol Hill at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on international security threats. Mike Rogers (Republican-Michigan) said, ‘CNN and Fox are currently reporting that Hosni Mubarak may step aside today, and I want to give you the opportunity for the first time to talk to the American people about your assessment and real-time intelligence about this, where we need to go.’
PANETTA: We provided a number of reports about what was taking place there. We teed up, duhh — these issues — and, as you can see, I got the same information you did, that there is a strong likelihood that Mubarak may step down this evening which would be significant in terms of where the hopefully orderly transition in Egypt takes place.
RUSH: Now, the bottom line is he doesn’t have any intel at the time. This was this morning in testament before a House Intelligence Committee hearing. Panetta did not have any intel. He went on to say that I know exactly what you do, and I know what you know same way you know it: News reports. So the Director of Central Intelligence was not at least willing to admit that he had any intelligence suggesting this was gonna happen. So everybody’s trying to make it look like this was a big surprise, that everybody woke up today and news reports were that Mubarak is stepping aside and you hear Panetta here: ‘Hopefully the orderly transition in Egypt takes place.’ It’s amazing how quickly a media narrative is established.
It’s amazing how it gets rolling, and how everybody ends up being wedded to it. Without any question, without any disagreement, without any doubt whatsoever, the assumption and the media narrative is: Mubarak’s gotta go. Last week was there anything of this in the news? Well, I don’t know when it started. The day before we saw protests at the square in Cairo, was there any indication whatsoever that anything was going on of this nature in Egypt? No. One day we see the place populated with protests, and the narrative immediately became, ‘Mubarak has to go! This is a democratic uprising. Mubarak must go. We gotta get rid of Mubarak,’ and then the next day, ‘No, Mubarak’s gotta stay. We gotta keep him in there ’til September.’
The next day, ‘Mubarak’s gotta go and he’s gotta go now.’ Well, what does ‘now’ mean? Well, ‘now’ meant ‘yesterday.’ Then the next day, ‘Weeeell, we sent this guy Wisner over from the State Department to nudge him out, and our guy publicly says, ‘It would be wise to keep Mubarak in power for a while in the interests of stability. It would be very imprudent to nudge him out now,” and that became the theme of the regime. ‘Well, no, we don’t want to move him out now,’ and Gibbs was saying, ‘It’s none of our business here. It’s up to Egypt what they do. We don’t have anything to say about this. We just want it to happen orderly.
‘We want it to happen now, but how it happens and what happens, that’s up to them.’ I’m always amazed at how quickly these narratives, these templates spring up; and once they do, every report, every story about it is based on that template. There hasn’t been any discussion of, ‘Well, wait. Why does Mubarak have to go? What all of a sudden happened? Mubarak didn’t change overnight into a rotten guy. He’s either been one all along or he’s not as bad as people have been saying. He is an ally of the United States.’ Why are we paying Leon Panetta? He doesn’t know anything more than what CNN knows? That’s kind of embarrassing. Well, maybe he knows and doesn’t want to say so.
But it’s still kind of interesting that the director of CIA says, ‘Well, I found out about it same way you did, ha-ha-ha, watching Cleopatra report it on CNN! I don’t know any more about it than you did except we do expect the guy to announce that he’s getting out of there later tonight.’ You have to think they know more than what’s on television at CNN or Fox or wherever. But he didn’t say that they did. So there’s a lesson in everything, and this is an abject lesson in media templates and how they get started, of narratives and how they stick, and how everybody just remains totally loyal to the narrative. So now, without anybody really being able to tell us why, ‘Mubarak has to go. He’s gotta go. It’s the only way to save Egypt.’
From what? Who’s lurking in the wings? What’s Egypt gonna become?
‘It doesn’t matter! Mubarak has to go.’
What do you mean it doesn’t matter what happens to Egypt?
‘Well, it’s a democratic uprising, Limbaugh. You ought to know this!’
Well, why should I accept that it’s a democratic uprising when I have word that the Muslim Brotherhood’s intimately involved in this? I don’t care when they entered the scene. They may not be leading this, but it’s clearly, as I say, folks, the second revolution oftentimes that’s what you really have to pay attention to. And I dare say that most of the people reporting on what’s going on over there are clueless. They’re just paying attention to the template. The template is’ ‘Mubarak has to go, there’s a democratic uprising, and we are pro-democracy,’ and that’s it, and anything that doesn’t fit the template we don’t hear about it. So we are keeping a sharp eye. They keep moving back the time. Apparently, Mubarak was supposed to have this press availability, this statement at 1:15 our time; 45 minutes from now. That’s been moved back. We now do not know the precise time. But press continues to say he’s gonna step down shortly, that he’s meeting with his VP. There was a report that he was over at a Red Sea resort, but he’s not. He’s in the Egyptian capital in his house meeting with his vice president right now. So all we can do is sit around and wait and see what happens within the confines of the media template that’s out there.
RUSH: Sherry, Moline, Illinois, welcome to the Rush Limbaugh program. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Mega dittos from the Quad Cities. I just want to say that I take comfort in the sense that with regard to Egypt, I don’t think the citizens of Egypt trust Barack Obama. At least they’ve got his number and you can’t get away with charm and charisma replacing character with those people, and I —
RUSH: Wait a second, now. Why do you think the people of Egypt don’t trust Obama? Where have you seen anything to indicate that?
CALLER: Well, the media doesn’t show a lot, but when I was watching probably Fox News or something when there was just some fighting, I just feel that, gosh, there’s really nothing real specific. They don’t like America, they don’t want America to intervene, and I guess it’s just an extension of —
RUSH: Now, that’s interesting. If this protest is made up of anti-American people, people with anti-American sentiments —
CALLER: I don’t know that it’s anti-American sentiment, but I just think there’s no room, this is too serious of an issue for their nation and for the world for Barack Obama’s little personal gain or personal —
RUSH: Well, yeah, but, look, you have to understand the personality type we’re dealing with here. There’s no nation or issue bigger than Obama.
CALLER: Well, there is if you’re living in the shoes of an Egyptian person right now, and I guess that’s my main point.
RUSH: Yeah, but Obama’s not living in the shoes of an Egyptian person. Obama is under the crown of The Messiah.
CALLER: Well, and he can deceive himself all he wants about his delusions of grandeur, but when the people need, you know, which is what this country may need at some point, too, you know, food on the table and choices about employment and seriously troublesome issues about day-to-day issues —
RUSH: Well, look, there’s no question Egypt has unemployment problems, they have some economic problems, most nations do. Most authoritarian dictatorship-type nations do, there’s no question about it. But the idea that this mob is not anti-American, I mean they weren’t nice to Anderson Cooper 69 over there. I mean they beat Anderson Cooper upside the head so much he left. And now he’s on Letterman telling everybody how rotten it was to get beat upside the head while trying to do his job as a journalist. And they knew that he was a journalist. Other Americans have been threatened. Other American journalists have been threatened over there. One of the things that I do, ladies and gentlemen, when I don’t know what’s going on, and clearly, I’ll be honest, I don’t know what’s going on here. I wouldn’t have the courage, nor would I be audacious enough to try to tell you that I have the slightest understanding what this is. This is one of those times where I just step back and observe. And I’m very suspicious of anybody who tells me with ontological certitude that they know what this is about in every degree.
I have yet to be convinced this has anything to do with pro-democracy, at least as we think of democracy. When I see the Muslim Brotherhood involved in this and I know who they are and I know what they believe, I can’t just throw that out because they make up only 20 to 30%, it is said, of the people who are protesting. I know how rent-a-mobs work. I know how mobs can be assembled, paid for, and put together. When I see a protest in Egypt with most of the signs printed and painted in English, my antenna go up. Why? They don’t speak English. It’s not the mother tongue in Egypt. So clearly we’re being spun by any number of factions where this is concerned. That’s why I was talking about the media template earlier. We’re all supposed to think that the most rotten SOB on earth today is Hosni Mubarak. The most despicable, deadly, despised person, leader on earth is Hosni Mubarak, and he’s gotta go, and our media is going to devote its resources 24/7 until he’s gone, ’til there is some sort of movement by Mubarak that he’s moved on, gotten rid of, resigned, or what have you.
I just get suspicious watching all this, and I’m patiently waiting to find out what this is actually all about. I see our president at the very early stages of this try to take ownership of this mob, go out and make a speech to ’em from the White House with all that godlike reverb in it. (imitating Obama) ‘People of Egypt, we hear you. And we hear you, and we hear you. We know that you want democracy. And we demand your demands, and we want a transformation of power now.’ Okay, so you’re influencing what happens over there from the White House with a godlike reverb. There is too much of this to be suspicious of, to accept the media narrative, which is Mubarak’s horrible, he is despicable, he has to go. I know a little bit too much history, history of revolutions, first and second revolutions. I know the part of the world this is happening. I know that this country, come hell or high water, is an ally of ours. But is that being thrown up for grabs now as well? This is a region that’s clearly, clearly unstable.
I would love nothing more for this to be a Democratic uprising. I would love nothing more than for this to be the result of our success in Iraq, the Egyptian people saying, ‘Hey, if they can do elections and choose their own leaders, why can’t we?’ So we’ll see. We’ll see if that’s what this turns out to be. You remember when the head honcho in Pakistan, Musharraf, was in the media’s crosshairs? Had to get rid of Musharraf, the guy was rotten to the core, he was despicable. You know, back in the Clinton years — we even did a parody on it — out of the blue the media narrative was that Clinton had to fire Bill Sessions, the FBI director. Clinton didn’t say it. Somebody started the whole narrative. Gotta get rid of Bill Sessions, have to fire Bill Sessions. So for a week the drumbeat to fire Bill Sessions was heard and finally Bill Sessions got fired as the director over the FBI. Same thing, okay, Musharraf in Pakistan has to go. What happened when he resigned? What happened when he went? What happened when the media narrative was listened to? Pakistan’s Musharraf had the media’s crosshairs in his back, Pervez Musharraf. And we got rid of him. Now, is Pakistan all that much better off now? Remember, he was the guy that was the problem in Pakistan. Pakistan was unstable, problems across the boarder with Afghanistan. Musharraf has to go. So we got rid of him. Are we any better off now? I’m just suspicious of this stuff, folks, pure and simple.
RUSH: You know, it’s almost like the US media, State-Controlled Media and the Obama administration want Mubarak to fail. Isn’t that the worst thing that you can hope for for a leader? Isn’t the worst thing you can do to a national leader is to hope he fails? And hasn’t all this really been oriented around Mubarak failing? The State-Controlled AP: ‘Mubarak Meets with VP, Protestors Flood Square,’ and all of these announcements, by the way, are coming from the military. There’s a pull quote from the story: ‘Egypt’s military announced on national television that it stepped in to safeguard the country and assured protesters that Mubarak will meet their demands. Strong likelihood he’ll step down today.
‘Egypt’s military announced on national television that it stepped in to ‘safeguard the country’ and assured protesters that President Hosni Mubarak will meet their demands in the strongest indication yet that the longtime leader has lost power. In Washington, the CIA chief said there was a ‘strong likelihood’ Mubarak will step down [today]. … ‘All your demands will be met today,’ Gen. Hassan al-Roueini, military commander for the Cairo area, told thousands of protesters in central Tahrir Square,’ which is a circle, by the way.
All of your demands! ‘All of your demands will be met today,’ the military told the crowd. ‘The military’s supreme council was meeting Thursday, without the commander in chief Mubarak, and announced on state TV its ‘support of the legitimate demands of the people.’ A spokesman read a statement that the council was in permanent session ‘to explore what measures and arrangements could be made to safeguard the nation, its achievements and the ambitions of its great people.” ‘All your demands will be met today,’ said the military commander for the Cairo area.
Thousands of protesters. That is a huge day. (laughing) I mean, there’s a lesson in this for the Tea Party. Can you imagine..? Can you imagine us marching on Washington and have the chairman of Joint Chiefs come out and say, ‘All of your demands will be met today’? Can you imagine that? I mean, that’s the way to understand this. You know, Joe the Plumber, Sarah Palin, and a couple others lead a march of people on Washington — three or 400,000 people — and here comes the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, ‘Okay, okay, okay! All of your demands will be met today.
‘President Obama will leave tonight,’ and the worldwide media is on an Obama watch. ‘Will he go? Will he go? Will…he…go? Obama is the worst guy in the world!’ That’s what we would be going through were this happening here. Hey, we’ve got rampant unemployment, we’ve got economic unrest, we’ve got a lot of people not really happy about the way things are going, we’re being spent into oblivion. Food prices are rising. There isn’t any corn out there ’cause it’s all being used to power automobiles. Yeah, no inflation, we’re told. Everything is fine, everything’s hunky-dory, everybody has a great future.
RUSH: Whoa! Wait a minute, now! CNN: ‘Egypt’s Info Ministry: Mubarak Is Not Leaving.’ Fox says: ‘Egyptian Officials Say Mubarak Stepping Down.’ CNN says Mubarak isn’t… Snerdley, it’s easy for somebody to sit here and say, ‘I told you so,’ but from the moment this program started… I would like to go back and see if I made it clear in the first hour of this program that I’m not convinced this is happening. ‘Mubarak Not Leaving.’ All these reports. We don’t know now whether that’s true or not. Meanwhile, where’s Obama? He’s at a candy store in Wisconsin signing copies of his book. Does he run around with copies of his book in case people want a signed copy? Okay, well, we gotta constantly keep up with things that are breaking and happening as the program unfolds before your very eyes.
RUSH: Well, now, we sweeten the pot a little bit. Reuters with a story that the Muslim Brotherhood is not happy with what’s happening here. The Muslim Brotherhood thinks this is a military coup that’s taking place over there. They don’t like that. They want to run the show, not the military, and now the Muslim Brotherhood has a spokesman. This Reuters story, I read this very quickly, let me see if I got this right. The problem is not with Mubarak as far as the brotherhood is concerned, it is with the regime in toto. The problem is not with Mubarak. It is with the regime. That is Essam el-Erian of the brotherhood which is banned, seen as Egypt’s biggest organized opposition group, ‘I feel worry and anxiety. This looks like a military coup. The problem is not with the president, it is with the regime.’ Well, now, that adds clarity, doesn’t it? CNN is still reporting he’s not going anywhere? They’re the only ones. All the other networks: Mubarak to meet protesters’ demands. Mubarak to step down. Egyptian officials saying Mubarak will leave. Mubarak will be flogged at dawn. Mubarak marched to the sea in chains. Mubarak dead and buried as of noon Saturday. CNN says he’s not going.
Toby in Miami, great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It’s such an honor to talk to you. So I think the reason the media have it in for Mubarak is because he does recognize Israel, and most Arab countries don’t, and I think they take it as like normal and expected that of course the Arab street is anti-Israel. And all these years they’ve always talked about all the supposed, you know, human rights violations that Israel is —
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait just a second. You’re going faster than I can understand. Are you saying that Mubarak likes Israel and the street doesn’t? Is that what I heard you say?
CALLER: Right. I think that’s how the media understand it. I mean Mubarak doesn’t really like Israel, but least Egypt has been at a cold peace with Israel as opposed to war. They do have, you know, diplomatic relations. And I think that the media are assuming that the man in the street in Egypt that acts like real Muslims, real Arabs, are naturally not gonna want to have relations with Israel. And to me that’s normal and expected and right, and it’s somehow anti-democratic that the Egyptian government recognizes Israel. It’s obviously not what man on the street wants.
RUSH: Yeah, but what about you?
CALLER: What do I want?
RUSH: Yeah, what do you want?
CALLER: Well, I want Mubarak to stay in office or if he doesn’t I’d like to see, you know, a government in power there that continues to recognize Israel —
RUSH: You want Mubarak to stay in office because of his relations with Israel, right?
CALLER: Because as Arabs go, he is moderate. And the fact is we haven’t had a war with Egypt in all these years.
RUSH: All right, so we’ve got a bunch of different reasons here. Mubarak’s gotta go because he’s too cozy with Israel. Mubarak’s gotta go because the mob’s hungry and doesn’t have enough money. The Muslim Brotherhood is saying, ‘Hey, by the way, it ain’t just Mubarak, it’s this whole stinking regime, and if you don’t get rid of all of them, we ain’t going away.’ That’s what the Muslim Brotherhood is saying. Yeah, baby, so we got clarity here. This gets foggier and foggier. If I’m reading this right, Egyptian-run state TV is denying that Mubarak’s going anywhere. Egyptian-state-run TV is denying that Mubarak will step down. The Wall Street Journal is also reporting what CNN is reporting, this information minister’s denial that Mubarak will step down. So what do we have here? Ever since this program started at noon, Mubarak’s gone, he’s gonna make a speech within a half hour to an hour, he’s gonna split the scene. We got tanks and barbed wire fence outside the palace where he’s gonna make the remarks, then he’s gonna go.
Then we have other saying, ‘No, he’s not leaving.’ Foreign ministry says he’s not leaving, backed up by CNN and the Wall Street Journal, and then the Muslim Brotherhood pipes up, ‘Hey, wait a minute now, we got a military coup going on here and we’re not happy about that, and it ain’t gonna matter if you just get rid of Mubarak. It’s this whole regime that we don’t dig, and if you don’t get rid of the whole regime then we’re not happy here.’ That would mean Suleiman, the VP, is not approved by the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, CNN is quoting an American official which says Egypt’s Vice President Suleiman will take power. CNN is reporting that Egypt’s information ministry is saying that Mubarak is not leaving. (laughing) Yeah, it’s from CNN: ‘The Egyptian information minister denies that President Hosni Mubarak is stepping down, state TV reported.’ Well, the crowd has been told by the military guy that your demands are gonna be met tonight, that you’re gonna get what you want tonight, and now if all of that’s bogus? Ho-ho-ho, me!