Thursday, September 28, 2006

Republicans On Iraq: Divorced From Reality

This interview with Rep. John Boehner on 'Hardball' seems a key one for two reasons. Firstly, the level of denial expressed in it (Boehner still insists that Saddam had WMDs and ties to 9/11... things even the President has stopped insisting at this point!) is borderline pathological. Secondly, this guy is the majority leader for the United States House of Representatives. If our current Congress cannot even accept reality as it is, then no rational person should look to them for leadership on the war. Rational people may agree and disagree on Democratic party positions on what to with the Iraq debacle (I favor leaving, as soundly as that can be accomplished), but at least they operating from the real world. That makes them the winners of this debate by default to begin with, and by continuing to call for the necessary change and accountability after that.


And a partial transcript-
MATTHEWS: "Should Congress have authorized this war in Iraq?"

BOEHNER: "Absolutely."

MATTHEWS: "Why? What good has it done us?"

BOEHNER: "Beyond liberating the Iraqi people, we have taken the war to the terrorists. There is no question..."

MATTHEWS: "The terrorists were in Iraq when we got there?"

BOEHNER: "Whether they were there or not, it is now the central front in our war with al Qaeda."

MATTHEWS: "That may well true because we went there..."

...."There are no weapons of mass destruction, there's no connection to the 9/11, the president and the vice president admitted, and there was a war that the vice president never predicted."

BOEHNER: "Chris, while we have not found weapons of mass destruction, the whole world believed that he had them. I believed that he had them. What he did with them, we don't know."

MATTHEWS: "Did he have them?"

BOEHNER: "I do believe that he had them. And I do believe that we did the right thing by taking out a dictator who was causing insurrection in the entire region."

MATTHEWS: "Do you believe he had a role in 9/11?"

BOEHNER: "Not a direct role, a supportive role."

MATTHEWS: "What was the support?"

BOEHNER: "Training terrorists, training camps in Iraq..."

MATTHEWS: "For 9/11?"

BOEHNER: "For terrorists. There is no question that he supported their activities. He supported the training camps up in northeastern Iraq. There is no question about it."

MATTHEWS: "So Saddam Hussein was in league with the al Qaeda group?"

BOEHNER: "He was providing cover for them, yes."

MATTHEWS: "I keep trying to find that evidence, Congressman, and I can't find it. Nobody has come up with that. The vice president was asked about it, the president was about that, they both admitted recently that he had no role in 9/11....

.... What was his indirect role? Did he help 9/11?"

BOEHNER: "Not directly."

MATTHEWS: "OK, OK. You keep going back to that."

I would hope that Rep. Boehner is not so deluded that he actually believes all this.

UPDATE: Senator Trent Lott (the former Majority Leader with chronic foot-in-mouth disease) said today that "Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me." Also, upon being asked if Iraq was a topic at a meeting he had at the White House, he said "We don't [obsess on that] and the real people out in the real world don't for the most part." These are your duly elected leaders, folks.

Finally, more great headlines from Iraq!:
-AP: Poll: Iraqis back attacks on U.S. troops
-Washington Post: Most Iraqis Favor Immediate U.S. Pullout, Polls Show
-AP: Saudis plan long fence for Iraq border
-Reuters: Quarter million Iraqis flee sectarian violence
-Boston Globe: Cost of Iraq war nearly $2b a week


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