CNN foreign affairs analyst Fareed Zakaria – who has recently had off-the-record conversations with President Obama on foreign issues – noted the president's "restraint" in his dealing with the "Arab Spring" and the conflict in Libya Wednesday. Zakaria previously gave a thumbs-up for Obama's Mideast speech in May and later defended the president's plan for removing American troops from Afghanistan.
The point-of-note is that this is the same analyst whom, according to the New York Times, President Obama "sounded out" while shaping his foreign policy. The two simply had "off-the-record" conversations on foreign issues, according to Zakaria, and the CNN host claimed he was not an advisor to the President.
On ABC’s World News on Sunday, a report by correspondent Jim Avila highlighted the complaints of left-wing mayors who expressed wishes that more defense spending would be redirected at projects in their cities.
The NBC correspondent speculated about what other items could be paid for using the money used by the Pentagon in Afghanistan and Iraq, and concluded the report seeming to suggest that spending on the wars had played a role in causing "damage" to the economy of the U.S. Avila: "It's a growing part of this country's war fatigue - a decade of human cost and damage to a struggling economy."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week that even after President Barack Obama withdraws 33,000 soldiers from Afghanistan by September 2012, there will still be “twice as many” U.S. troops in the country as there were when he took office.
On Wednesday, CNN's "Obama Adviser" aka Fareed Zakaria praised the current White House resident's Afghanistan address as a "remarkable speech for an American president."
On the CNN program bearing his name Sunday, Zakaria continued lavishing praise on our Commander-in-Chief saying, "Obama has basically made the right call" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As she steps into her new role as CBS News Chief White House correspondent, Norah O'Donnell may have made a good impression on the man she'll now be covering with comments she made this weekend.
While chatting with the panel of "The Chris Matthews Show," O'Donnell told the host that President Obama has more aggressively prosecuted the War on Terror than George W. Bush (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd recited Obama administration spin as he gave a fully positive assessment of the President's Wednesday announcement of an Afghanistan troop withdrawal: "The President went with the most aggressive compromised withdrawal plan he could get commanders at the Pentagon to sign off on."
Moments later, Todd declared: "It was a sober sounding president, not a triumphant one, who announced from the White House that he's fulfilling his promise to begin the drawdown of U.S. forces next month." The headline on screen throughout the report touted a line from the speech that the White House was probably pleased with: "'A Position of Strength'; Obama Defends Plan For U.S. Troop Withdrawal."
President Obama announced last night that he will withdraw his entire 30,000 troop surge from 2009, bringing home 10,000 troops from Afghanistan this year, and an additional 20,000 troops by the end of next summer.
The plan is a much more aggressive withdrawal than recommended by the Gen. David Petraeus and other Pentagon officials, who recommended one more fighting season against the Taliban to maintain the recent gains American troops have made.
Check out a video of his speech after the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
The New York Times may flinch at the thought of cutting Medicare or unemployment benefits to cut deficits, but reporters have quickly warmed to the idea of a speedy withdrawal from Afghanistan in the name of cost-cutting.
At Big Government yesterday, Kristinn Taylor and Andrea Shea King compiled overwhelming evidence refuting one key element of a cease-and-desist letter sent to Fox News by lawyers for former Obama administration "green jobs" czar Van Jones. In doing so, they referenced and credited a video I posted in September 2009 of an anti-American rally in Oakland, California on September 12, 2001 where Jones spoke. They pair did a great job, and I appreciate the credit.
I would like to give Taylor's and King's work greater visibility, and extend it just a bit, especially because you can virtually bank on the fact that the establishment press won't touch it -- or if they do, they won't accurately report it.
While the prospect of a US withdrawal from Afghanistan is looming, some are at work pushing a revisionist history of America's involvement there. One NPR host even went so far as to claim that the Taliban, the brutal government toppled during the 2001 US invasion, "was never an enemy of the United States."
Even a cursory review of the history of the invasion belies that hat statement, made by radio host John Hockenberry, also a former ABC and NBC reporter, whose show "The Takeaway" broadcasts on NPR stations nationwide. Check below the break for video and a transcript (via former NBer Jeff Poor), as well as a brief but thorough debunking of Hockenberry's preposterous claim.
Fox News haters love to advance the myth that the network pushes exclusively conservative views and the anchors surround themselves with right-leaning yes men who never question them.
On the latest installment of "Fox News Sunday," liberal political analyst Juan Williams challenged host Chris Wallace's view of the public's support for the war in Afghanistan leading to a humorous exchange (video follows with transcript and commentary):
New York Times reporter James Dao has filed his second story in nine days critical of the Afghanistan war. First came the 3,000-word Sunday front-page story on May 29, "After Combat, the Unexpected Perils of Coming Home," emphasizing the negative from the start:
Capt. Adrian Bonenberger made plans for his final patrol to Imam Sahib. But inside, he was sweating the details of a different mission: going home. Which soldiers would drive drunk, get into fights or struggle with emotional demons, he wondered....The final weeks in a war zone are often the most dangerous, as weary troops get sloppy or unfocused. Once they arrive home, alcohol abuse, traffic accidents and other measures of mayhem typically rise as they blow off steam.
In the Bush years, the hottest, most telegenic politician in Washington was a Republican (or “pro-defense” Democrat) who would oppose President Bush in Iraq. Democratic Rep. John Murtha was red-hot, and so were critical Republicans like Chuck Hagel. But in the Obama years, backing away from Obama’s war policy doesn’t exactly give you the same cachet.
On Friday, on the front page of Politico, reporter David Rogers wrote “Top Dem Becomes War Critic: Obama ally losing faith on Afghanistan.”
Time magazine's Joe Klein this weekend claimed President Obama has a better relationship with the military than George W. Bush did when he was Commander-in-Chief.
Such hypocritically was said on "The Chris Matthews Show" just moments before Klein noted that the military were "very much opposed" to attacking Libya (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Left-wing Columbia Professor Jeffrey Sachs, a frequent Morning Joe guest, has accused US special operations forces of committing "high-tech murder on a large scale" for their targeted campaign of killing or capturing Al Qaeda Taliban forces in Afghanistan.
Sachs made his contemptible accusation on today's Morning Joe in the course of a discussion of the PBS Frontline documentary "Kill/Capture" on the JSOC operations. Stephen Grey, a producer of the documentary, was a guest.
Ever looking to criticize the American populace from his cardboard platform, filmmaker Michael Moore lashed out Thursday on CNN at supporters of Osama bin Laden's assassination. "We've lost something of our soul here in this country," he said of the mission to kill the al Qaeda leader rather than capture him and try him in court.
A guest on Piers Morgan Tonight, Moore contrasted the assassination with the post-World War II Nuremburg trials. He claimed that America then, unlike now, put itself above the level of its enemies by trying their leaders instead of simply executing them.
The liberal filmmaker ripped Americans' disregard for a trial and their support of an assassination. "The second you say that, you're saying that you hate being an American," he huffed. "You hate what we stand for, you hate what our constitution stands for....We should be standing up and saying 'listen, damn it, we're Americans. This is the way we do it. You commit a crime, we put you on trial.'"
President Barack Obama's Ground Zero visit yesterday was "pitch perfect," according to former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, despite reports that the commander-in-chief was rude and dismissive toward at least one American who lost a family member on Sept. 11, 2001.
On the May 6 edition of "Morning Joe," MSNBC anchor Willie Geist asked Meacham to characterize the significance of Obama's visit to the site where more than 3,000 people were slaughtered in an attack planned by deceased al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
"I thought it was pitch perfect in the sense of it was not about him," intoned Meacham, who now occasionally writes for Time magazine. "It was not the grand speech; it was him doing a kind of human interaction with the folks."
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday had a highly-contentious interview with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
"The Last Word" host repeatedly interrupted his guest leading her to say after one such incident, "Lawrence, you have a bad habit with your guests. You never let them answer a question" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The New York Times's supposedly momentous decision to omit "Mr." from references to Osama bin Laden in its Monday obituary is apparently working to distract critics from the item's other problems.
Along with Michael T. Kaufman, Kate Zernike, whose primary vocation seems to be finding racism in the Tea Party movement where none exists and otherwise smearing its participants, comes off as almost critical of how bin Laden was "elevated to the realm of evil in the American imagination once reserved for dictators like Hitler and Stalin."
Imagination ("the faculty ... of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses")? Babe, I don't know about you, but we didn't imagine September 11. We saw it. Others directly experienced it. Many died. Do you remember?
The obit's topper for me is the (in my opinion) deliberate historical revisionism in the following passage (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On NBC's Nightly News on Monday, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel used a report on the history of the war on terror to attack the Bush administration for going to war in Iraq: "...when civil war in Iraq broke out, American troops were stuck....it was a distraction from the United States' original mission to find Bin Laden, stop Al Qaeda, and prevent another 9/11."[Audio available here]
Engel began his report by describing the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan following the September 11th attacks, but soon shifted into commentary as he mockingly proclaimed: "...regime change in Afghanistan, done with few troops and high technology, seemed so easy. The Bush White House tried it again in Iraq." He further ranted: "Afghanistan and Iraq were lumped together in what was called a 'global war on terrorism.' The truth was, there was never a connection between Iraq and Osama Bin Laden. There were no weapons of mass destruction, either."
Sunday was an historic day for America, an historic victory in the War on Terror - Usama Bin Laden, the man who had ordered the death of over 3,000 Americans on 9/11, had finally been killed. It was also an historic revelation that, conducting the war according to far-left liberal policies would have prevented this day from ever happening.
In his May 2 Swampland blog post "Osama Gone, and Now...", Time's Joe Klein makes some arguably contradictory assertions in his thoughts on the role former President Bush played in ultimately finding and killing Osama bin Laden:
Update (17:38 EDT on May 4): Rush Limbaugh mentioned this post on his May 3 program. You can listen to that by clicking here.
Well, this should be interesting.
The AP is reporting (preserved here in case the report devolves, as such things very often do) that "secret prisons" and "harsh interrogation techniques" were involved in getting the "first strands of information" that ultimately led to Sunday operation which killed 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden.
It's only a three-paragrapher, so it follows in full (for fair use and discussion purposes). Get a load of the final paragraph:
Not waiting for history to play out, a New Times caption writer, below a picture of celebrants of Obama Bin Laden's demise outside the White House, has written: "As crowds gathered outside the White House, there was little question that Mr. Obama's presidency had forever been changed."
On Friday's "Inside Washington," during a discussion about American foreign policy in the Middle East and Africa, PBS's Mark Shields actually said, "The most urgent priority that we have is to find jobs somehow, not simply for Americans, which is an urgent priority, but for young Egyptians" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Of all the reasons to send our people to fight and die in Afghanistan, spending $2 billion per week in the process, Howard Dean has managed to come up with perhaps the worst: feminism.
On today's Morning Joe, Dean explained that "the whole reason" he used to support President Obama's waging of the Afghanistan war was that leaving the country would plunge its women back into "the Stone Age." But now that Afghan President Karzai has showed insufficient support for women's right in Dean's eyes, it's time to get out.
Charles Krauthammer had quite a battle this weekend with "Inside Washington" host Gordon Peterson and fellow panelist Mark Shields.
The fireworks began when Peterson quibbled about how we haven't raised taxes to pay for the wars we're currently waging leading Shields to call them unpatriotic as a result (video follows with transcript and commentary):