RUSH: This is Nick in New Orleans. Welcome, sir. Great to have you.
CALLER: How are you doing, sir? Mega dittos from a fellow veteran. I served in the Iraq war and am third-generation military. My grandfather and my dad was in. I wanted to ask you a question about growing up. A bunch of veterans, some of my dad’s friends, one of the issues they had with Bush Sr. was behind the scenes how he treated General Schwarzkopf in the first Iraq war. Schwarzkopf begged him and begged him to take care of Saddam Hussein and Bush Sr. kind of caved in to the political pressures, and he told him no, they weren’t gonna go in and take care of it. If he would have listened to Schwarzkopf, let him do his thing, we wouldn’t have had the Iraq war that we have today. I wanted to hear your take on that.
RUSH: All right. I’ll give you my take. Let me restate, ’cause I don’t think… You said that you’re answering a question I asked. I got sidetracked but I don’t think I’ve asked a question about this; you did. But I’m gonna answer it here anyway. In Gulf War I, we had the Iraqis. I mean, they were fleeing. Folks, it was one of the greatest military events of our lifetimes. The Iraqi army was surrendering in six hours. They were waving the white flags around.
They were doing everything they could to give up. Saddam Hussein was simply huffing and puffing and tried to be the biggest guy in the Middle East to show everybody else in the Middle East that he was fearless when it came to standing up to the United States. He called it “the mother of all battles.” Look, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share with you that the media in this country was hyping the Iraqis. The media was writing stories about the near impossible task that the United States had before it.
The media was writing stories on all the body bags for American military personnel that had been ordered and all the caskets that had been ordered. The media was doing stories on how the U.S. military was totally unequipped for desert warfare. The U.S. military wasn’t trained and it wasn’t ready for warfare in the middle of the sands, in the middle of the deserts. They were building up Saddam Hussein like he was somebody that could not be beaten and that we had no business going there.
All of this was in service of criticism of George H. W. Bush, who today is being lionized as one of the greatest Republicans ever precisely because he raised taxes one day. You remember all of this, Mr. Snerdley? I’ll never forget it, folks. And I don’t know… If you weren’t alive or old enough back then, do not doubt me, because those stories about how we had no chance and we were up against an enemy we didn’t understand?
The media was even saying, “These people in Iraq, they just had an eight-year war with Iran. We don’t have any idea what we’re headed for!” Well, the truth was Saddam Hussein had depleted his people. He had lost them. His military was not loyal were to him. They were surrendering within six hours. This war was over in a couple of days, essentially. To get to the caller’s question, it was so bad that the Iraqi army was retreating, and Schwarzkopf did want to follow ’em all the way to Baghdad and wipe ’em out.
It was “Colonel” Colin Powell who advised not to do it. Colin Powell! Ultimately, the call was George H. W. Bush’s. The caller is correct here. Do not misunderstand. But it was on the advice of Colin Powell who said it would look very bad. It would look horrible for the gigantic the United States military to be slaughtering these Iraqis running for their lives back home to Baghdad. So it was decided to let them retreat and let them return, and I’ll never forget.
You talk about Schwarzkopf? The media was there when Schwarzkopf was just about to get in his Humvee and go to the surrender meeting with the Iraqis, and Schwarzkopf was giving orders to his staff. One of the orders that he gave was, “I don’t want any gloating. I don’t want any, ‘N’yah-n’yah-n’yah-n’yah-n’yah!'” He was telling them to play it straight and don’t lord it over these people. You can think of it what you will, but that’s what Schwarzkopf was telling his people.
“You know, we’re not gonna treat these people like we just defeated ’em,” in other words. “We’re not gonna make ’em do 20 push-ups and run a bunch of laps or whatever. We’re gonna sign the surrender thing here and then we’re gonna pull around and we’re gonna get out of there,” and that’s exactly what happened. Now, the caller’s point is that because we allowed the retreat, because we didn’t follow that ragtag army of Saddam’s and wipe it out on the way back to Baghdad…
If we had done that, then there wouldn’t have been the weapons of mass destruction version of the Iraq war. Well, I don’t know. Ten years separates all that. Well, maybe 12 years, 1990. (interruption) Well, if we’d taken out Saddam… Don’t forget, Saddam had lit a bunch of oil wells on fire in Kuwait. Remember? Nobody in the media was worrying about climate change. Nobody wanted to blame Saddam for causing climate change or pollution or any of that. They were praising Saddam’s military technique, making it tough to follow the guys out of there because he’d set all the Kuwaiti oil fields on fire.
We had to get “Red” Adair and a bunch of guys. John Wayne had to go over there and put out those oil well fires. The United States had to save Kuwait twice in this. You remember all those oil well fires? It was huge. But it was “Colonel” Colin Powell at the time who advised, “Let ’em go. Don’t follow ’em. There’s no PR advantage in going and getting them.” Now, Schwarzkopf… I think the caller is saying Schwarzkopf wanted to go get them.
But I’ll never forget, folks, when the troops came home from this, it was one of the greatest few months in American history. It was the shortest war. It was just a total, complete, slam-dunk, kick-ass victory up against the media saying the U.S. had no chance. Sam Donaldson! I remember Sam Donaldson of ABC News talking about all the body bags and how the United States had no business fightin’ a war like this ’cause it’s not our home turf and we don’t know how to fight in deserts and we can’t survive and they’re the experts in it and they’re gonna flank us. They’re gonna outrun us. They’re gonna out-survive us.
It made me livid at the time, and that was because… I guarantee you, if Bill Clinton had been president, if a Democrat had been president… When Clinton was bombing aspirin factories, they were praising him. In the Sudan. Remember that? He blew up a Tylenol factory in the Sudan to distract people from Monica Lewinsky and then blew up a building in Baghdad with a janitor in it on Saturday night to distract people from Monica Lewinsky. And he got praised to the hilt for being a courageous wartime president.
RUSH: Here’s Tim, San Francisco, as we head back to the phones. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Yeah. No. They could not put up with it at all. They could not tolerate one second of it. Hey. You know, I wanted to give a war fighter’s perspective of what I thought of George H. W. Bush, because I served, I was a fighter pilot in the first Gulf War and all through the in-between years. And I saw it firsthand. We all in the military thought George Bush was a wimp.
RUSH: You in the military thought George Bush was a wimp during the first Gulf War? Did he hang up? He didn’t drop. He hung up! The guy was a seminar caller. San Francisco, flew war fighter craft in Gulf War I, “we thought George Bush was a wimp,” and hangs up? You think the line was disconnected? That line wasn’t dissected. He hung up. Why would somebody think Bush was a wimp? Let’s take him seriously. Maybe I’m wrong. We’ll give the benefit of the doubt. Tim in San Francisco, it was a pretty bad phone line, I have to admit. Of course, they all sound bad to me.
He said Saddam’s forces were high-fiving for years (long pause) we had the no-fly zone, but they say Saddam was firing on us in the no-fly zone. Oh. So he said Bush is a wimp because we didn’t follow him in there and wipe ’em out because, oh, he’s another — okay. Okay. Well, maybe Tim wasn’t a seminar caller and maybe he didn’t just hang up after saying George Bush was a wimp. I don’t know, wimp? I’m just telling you that Colin Powell got to him.
What will the media say? What will the pictures look like? They’ve already surrendered. We can’t just follow ’em back on the road to Baghdad and wipe ’em out. It will make us look bad. Hey, folks, I mean, that is a prison I can’t tell you how many people are in, personally. It’s really bad when a nation — and this is what the left does to us and too many people on the right worried about what our image will be, worried about what people will think of us. The only thing that matters is U.S. national security. If you’re dealing with something you think is a threat, you have to eliminate it and wipe it out.