Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Getting to the Bottom of the "Phony Soldiers" mess

I decided to cut through the crap that is the spin of both sides on this issue (I just do NOT trust Media Matters after the Imus garbage), and I actually read the transcript from Rush's own site with an eye to giving Rush the benefit of the doubt. (Rush famously edited this transcript to remove a minute and a half- so it's even more biased in his favor). I figured I would find that it was much ado about nothing, and certainly no worse than the silliness over the General Betray-Us incident.

What I found was that the entire segment was far worse than anything I could have imagined- talk about poisoning the well of free speech and civil dialogue! He was not, as some of his defenders claim, talking about one soldier who "washed out" of the military- if he was, then he misspoke in a glaring fashion. The comment he was responding to was saying that NONE, ZERO, NADA, of the soldiers whose anti-war comments have appeared in the media are "real soldiers." He proceeded to talk about the case of Cpl. MacBeth, to suggest that MacBeth was an example of what he was talking about- but in no way could you interpret what he was saying as being limited to Cpl. MacBeth.
Also, a few other notes from the segment:
1. Before the phone call that gave rise to this whole mess, Rush took a call from an anti-war Republican (actually, a pro-pullout Republican, which is slightly different). He repeatedly refused to accept that this guy was a Republican. He repeatedly accuses the guy of lying, saying that no Republican could POSSIBLY support a withdrawal. So, in essence, there is a conspiracy of people who want to call his show and lie about being a Republican so they can talk against the war
2. I haven't seen this reported anywhere, but apparently Limbaugh is still convinced that on the WMD issue, "We all know they (the WMD's) were there..." He actually agrees with his caller that the WMD's not only WERE there, but that they still ARE there, and are being used against our troops! The apparent source for the claim is this Fox News article from 2004 which talks about two incidents where old WMD containers were apparently used in the IED- this was the only article I could find on the subject, and it does not appear that anyone ever actually verified that there were live gases in the explosives.

So, to sum up- Rush thinks any soldier opposing the war is a "phony soldier", any Republican opposing the war is lying for political purposes about their party affiliation, and there not only were, but continue to be, WMDs in Iraq....But Ron Paul is the delusional one?