Tuesday, January 24, 2006

# Posted 9:07 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

TODAY'S HYPER-PARTISAN RIDICULOUSNESS: From both sides of the aisle, of course. First, Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) told Jim Lehrer last night that
Many of us, both Republicans and Democrats, were terribly disappointed when we found out that instead of catching Osama bin Laden when we had a chance to catch Osama bin Laden, our most elite forces were yanked out of Afghanistan and sent into Iraq.
If one assumes there was an actual thought process behind this statement, I'd have to guess that Leahy was taking about our missed chance to catch Bin Laden at the battle of Tora Bora. But that was a good fifteen months before the invasion of Iraq, so Leahy must be imagining a whole lot of yanking. But getting the chronology wrong is really just kid's stuff compared to this next gem from Leahy:
Nobody asked if they were Republicans or Democrats killed on 9/11. Americans were struck. And yet we found out that this administration had the evidence before 9/11 where they could have stopped it, didn't use it.
By the way, the subject of the interview with Leahy was illegal wiretaps. Lehrer had just interviewed Al Gonzales and brought Leahy on to give the Democratic perspective.

Since the Attorney General's basic argument was that he's not allowed to explain why the administration couldn't ask for a warrant, Leahy should've been able to mount a pretty good counterattack without wandering off into Cloudcuckooland.

But moving on, here's some Republican idiocy. Last Friday on Hardball, Chris Matthews unveiled a new weekly feature known as "Hot Shots", in which invites MSNBC pundits Joe Scarborough, Tucker Carlson and Rita Cosby onto to his show to look back on the week that was. Here's what Scarborough had to say about the latest threat from Bin Laden:
The president is just not going to back down, and so bin Laden is actually parroting a lot of what we've heard from Democratic leaders across America over the past two or three years and also, of course, Michael Moore and other leftists.
And here's Tucker Carlson on the same subject:
There's no question, and anyone who reads bin Laden's statements yesterday will come to I think the same conclusion, that he is parroting the Democratic left talking points about Iraq. I mean, it's uncanny, it's unbelievable—point by point by point, all the way down to mocking Bush for his remarks on the aircraft carrier, the “mission accomplished” speech so derided in the years since. There's no question.

But that's not a slur on the Democratic left.

I mean, he's copying them, not vice versa.
No, of course that's not a slur on the Democratic left. Why would anyone think that? After all, bin Laden is just copying the Democrats. Just like Stalin was OK because Mao stole the whole mass starvation idea from him.

Anyhow, this all reminds me of what my brother once said to me. He said all conservatives seem to do is pick on the most extreme liberals, while liberals pick on the most extreme conservatives.

And now, I can add, centrists pick on both extremes.
(7) opinions -- Add your opinion

In fairness, Michael Moore himself said "(hey, did you get the feeling that he had a bootleg of my movie? Are there DVD players in those caves in Afghanistan?)" about an earlier statement by OBL.


I think it's pretty clear that Osama is paying attention to US media and trying to tailor his criticisms to those made by Bush critics. He's clearly trying to pick up on what seems to work. He does want to influence Americans, after all.
What Leahy says is consistent with the facts.

Our elite forces were slipped into Iraq well ahead of the invasion (March 2003) when they could have been pursuing OBL throughout 2002.

They were looking for WMDs, monitoring force movements, etc.
cs: your proof of this contention is what? And if so many Americans left, why didn't Afghanistan go right back to the Taliban when Iraq was liberated? If elite units had been sent into Iraq before the liberation, they would have headed right for Saddam and his top guys. There's no evidence at all that happened. If Osama is alive, he's in Iran. That's why it made little sense to look for him in Pakistan or Afghanistan.
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robert, first to your points.

"if so many Americans left" We are talking about the SOFs not the regular Army and National Guard. There are few of them; they don't grow on trees.

"If elite units had been sent into Iraq before the liberation, they would have headed right for Saddam and his top guys." If this was as easy as you blithely write, then Bush/Rumsfeld are even more idiotic than it now seems.

"If Osama is alive, he's in Iran." OBL is an upper class Saudi Sunni. Iran is Shiite. They don't get along. At all. Al Queda is of Saudi origin and Saudi financed. Iran has nothing to do with it.

Now to the argument at hand.

The battle of Tora Bora is mid-December 2001:

The invasion of Iraq is March 2003:

The SOFs pullout took place during 2002:


Therefore it is reasonable to say that Leahy is consistent with the available facts.

Conservatives may pick on the most extreme liberals, but these days the most extreme liberals happen to be at the center of the Democratic party. Where was Michael Moore at the Democratic convention? In a seat of honor. Where can you find John Kerry today? At the Daily Kos.

cs: Humorous as usual. Thanks for the laughs.
Anything to keep the Right Wing wackos entertained.
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