RUSH: Here is Forrest in Upper Michigan. Forrest, I’m glad you waited. Great to have you with us, sir. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, thanks, Rush. How are you doing?
RUSH: Very well.
CALLER: Hey, just a comment on the caller that said that Americans don’t really want to go to war. Well, let’s give him this: He’s correct. We don’t want to go to war. You’d be pretty hard-pressed to find an American that would tell you, “Hey, let’s go to war,” no more than you’d find an American that said, “Hey, I want to have a root canal.” (chuckles) You know, we know when we have to do things, and we’re dealing with leaders of countries that openly, not a couple of times, but for years have sworn to take down America as well as Israel. How many times do we get attacked before we push back and draw the line in the sand and prevent what’s happening already to Israel be struck time after time? You know, when we got struck at Pearl Harbor, when we jumped into the European front, we didn’t want to do it, but we knew we had to —
RUSH: Well —
CALLER: — and —
RUSH: Ah, ah, ah! (chuckles) Some of us didn’t want to do it, but some did.
RUSH: Or it wouldn’t have happened. Look, you’re exactly right. We get attacked, and we have to respond. No question about. Except in World War II, the Germans didn’t attack us. The Japanese did. (impression) “What business did we have getting involved in Europe? Japanese, that’s enough. They attack us at Pearl Harbor, fine. We gotta hit back.” What the caller you’re referencing was talking about is, for lack of better description, the Buchanan wing of the Trump coalition — and I use this not to be critical of anybody, but just to signify something.
There is a segment… We don’t know how big. There’s a segment of the Trump voter base, and Buchanan is perhaps the leader of this, that believes one of Trump’s primary messages in the 2016 campaign was we were through dropping troops and ammo everywhere in the world there’s a skirmish, that it’s none of our business. (summarized) “Ninety-nine percent of it’s none of our business. We got no business getting involved, it’s been a mistake, and it’s leading to the weakening of the United States.
“It’s dispersing too many of our resources, leaving us vulnerable for real problems that might crop up.” The Buchanan wing, whatever size it is, thinks that that is the primary reason Trump got elected: To stop the neocons. The neocons were the warmongers — supposedly warmongering conservative Republicans (who now make up many of the Never Trumpers, by the way) who wanted us involved everywhere we would be. We were gonna wipe out everything we could for whatever reason.
I’m simplifying this. But Buchanan is out there with his latest column warning Trump (summarized), “Do not do this. You’re gonna lose your base. It’s gonna be called Trump’s War instead of Bush’s War, and if you don’t want to have what happened to Bush in Iraq to happen to you, then don’t mess around with this Iranian business.” That’s the Buchanan wing of the Trump base, and that’s the advice, and this guy was calling to react to that. I gathered from his comment that he agreed with it, that Trump has no business…
(summarized) “If the Iranians hit a Japanese ship or a ship that’s flying a Japanese flag, then let the Japanese deal with it! It’s none of our business. Why do we have to deal it?” Now, I don’t know what percentage of the Trump base is made up of that kind of thinking. (chuckles) I happen to think that the number one, the top ingredient of the Trump base is the build-the-wall coalition, the “stop-the-illegal immigration coalition, the shore-up-the-borders-and-end-this coalition. But I don’t deny there’s many in the Trump base that also do not want the U.S. to continue this practice of…
Well, a great illustration would be something we’ve talked about earlier. So Osama Bin Laden gathers his henchmen, and 9/11 happens — and in the Buchanan world, the right response would be to find bin Laden and take him out. But don’t go to Afghanistan and get bogged down there for 20 years, which is what we did. And then Obama came along, and he pledged to get us out of all these plays during his campaign ’cause Obama didn’t want to be there.
But when Obama was elected somebody got hold of him and told him how the Washington establishment works, and he said, “Look, dude, it’s gonna really be beneficial to you to keep these wars goin’, man. You’re gonna get donations. You’re gonna get… The whole military-industrial complex that everybody thinks is Republican is gonna love you. You’re gonna have opportunities for crony capitalism and socialism like you can’t believe.”
So Obama’s sending troops everywhere, in direct contravention of what his promises were during the campaign. So this brings us to Trump. Now, this incident involves an attack on a United States drone. That’s ours. It’s not a drone that’s got the Japanese flag on the tail. It’s us. So this is an attack on the United States. Are we to say, “You know what? Nah. We can’t respond. It’s too small. It’s not worth responding.” I don’t think that’s the attitude of Trump.
I think Trump voters would fully understand if there were a proportionate response for something like this, but not sending troops by the tens of thousands to Iran to conquer the country and occupy it. But I don’t think Trump wants to do that. We played the sound bite where Trump is holding out the possibility that this whole thing was a mistake; some idiot pushed the wrong button in some Iranian military installation and our drone ends up being knocked out of the sky.
He gave them every opportunity to back off of this and stop sounding like they were acting in an offensive, purposeful way, and it calmed the stock market. It calmed a lot of things. So, yeah, if you get hit, you have to retaliate in some way, shape, manner, or form. They’re meeting this afternoon in the White House Situation Room with a bunch of congressional committee chairmen, chairwomen, to have them briefed and all this explained.
I just think… To sum this up, I think the vast majority of Trump voters, if Trump were to take some kind of proportionate response here, would not hold it against him. He went in and did what he did in Syria and got out. Well, I mentioned this earlier. At the top of the program, I mentioned that there have been people — and they’re advising Trump. There have been people itching to take Iran off the map since the Jimmy Carter days, folks. And they’re still there, they’re still in Washington. There’s a bunch of military people who are itching.
They want to take any excuse whatsoever to wipe those people out, to be done with Iran. Some of them are four-stars. Some of them are retired. Some of them are think tank specialists and analysts, and some of them have access to Trump, and they’re out there advising him. And then they’re going on TV and they’re advocating the policy. They’re not saying that they’ve told the president. (impression) “I’ve just told the president that…” But they are advising him. He’s getting all kinds of advice about this.
The Iranians have been chipping away at us since they took our embassy people hostage back in 1979. Of course, people have forgotten that Jimmy Carter. What a sad period! What a sad… Jimmy Carter. In the midst of all it is, Jimmy Carter, you know, is showing up on TV wearing a cardigan because the White House thermostat in the wintertime is turned down so low because there’s an energy crisis. He’s trying to set an example. (summarized) “We all need to be uncomfortably cold together as a national sacrifice.”
Carter went on, in the middle of his presidency, to describe the general sense of malaise that existed in the country. We had to create the Misery Index as a quantitative way of understanding how bad it was. Then this hostage crisis came, and it totally occupied Carter. It paralyzed every aspect of his presidency. He mounted a rescue effort, and it blew up in the desert. The helicopters that were supposed to fly in there and rescue the hostages got grounded by sand in the engines.
Jimmy Carter, sadly, became a laughingstock because the bombed-out, failed rescue effort became symbolic of his entire presidency. Then the 1980 presidential campaign comes along, and our hostages are still being held — and this was the reason for the birth of the television show Nightline. Nightline started as (impression) “Day 2: America Held Hostage. Day 5: America Held Hostage. Ted Koppel hosting. Day 20: America Held Hostage.” Finally, they just created a show called Nightline and made Ted Koppel the host.
It went on for hundreds of days. We get to the 1980 presidential campaign. I’m sure some of you starting to remember this. Ronald Reagan, during the campaign, let it be known that when he became president, this hostage crisis was ending the next day. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. So the election is held, and Reagan wins, and the Iranians release the hostages. Jimmy Carter’s in the White House still looking at the pictures of those helicopters grounded in the sand, saying, “How did this happen?”
(interruption) Well, it was around… (interruption) It was close to Inauguration Day. It was a big, big ceremony and so forth. So the Democrats couldn’t handle this. Democracy couldn’t stand it! Jimmy Carter’s stewed about it. He’s devoted a year and a half of his presidency to getting ’em back, and all Reagan had to do was promise the Iranians that they were coming back if he was elected president. Day after the election, the Iranians started making noises, “Okay. Okay. Okay. What — what — what… We’re gonna get ’em back to you.”
So then the Democrats said, “We can’t let this stand. So the Democrats came up with a theory later on in 1991 that George H. W. Bush sat in the backseat of an SR-71 in a secret flight to Paris to meet with Iranians to beg them not to release the hostages during the 1980 campaign, that we would do right by Iran and make a secret deal: “If you hold the hostages until after Reagan is elected, we will be forever…” A professor at Columbia University, Gary Sick, wrote the book! It was totally made up! There was no flight to France on an SR-71.
There was no secret meeting with the Iranians. But when Gary Sick’s book came out, the then-Speaker of the House, the Democrat from Washington, Tom Foley, said, “Well, these charges are so serious, we need to do an investigation.” They had an investigation in the House of Representatives whether or not George Bush had flown to Paris to have secret meetings with the Iranians on keeping the Americans hostage until after the election! The media picks it up and they created that story out of nothing, and it survived!
They gave Gary Sick all this media time. He’s all over media selling his book. It’s 1,000% made up! But the Democrats had to do something (and the media) to explain, “How the hell could this guy Reagan get ’em back just by being elected when Jimmy Carter devoted a year and a half to getting ’em back and became nothing but a laughingstock in the process?” So the point is, a show of strength and commitment got the hostages back.
We didn’t fire a shot. But that all… (sigh) You know: Hello, Ayatollah Khomeini. So Jimmy Carter kicks the Shah of Iran out. That gives us the Islamic Republic of Iran with the Ayatollah “Hominy,” as Pierre Salinger pronounced it. Anyway, I could talk about this for the rest of the program because it’s so instructive. The point is, it all ended with Reagan’s election. But, ever since, there have been people itching to take Iran out once and for all, and they’re still around — some of them — advising Trump to do it on the basis of this drone attack.