In the course of Matthews dialogue with Lester Holt, guest-hosting on this morning's "Today," Holt raised the possibility that President Bush might choose to expand the war into Iran:
Holt: "The president of course has stepped up language against Iran for its interference within Iraq. He sent a naval aircraft carrier group to the Persian Gulf. If he makes this now against Ahmadinejad, if Ahmadinejad becomes the 'poster thug' in this case, does that increase support for the war?"
Matthews: "Well, the president may well choose to widen the war for political reasons . He may do it for military reasons. We do have our troops under assault in Iraq and he has to protect the troops. And if there is Iraqi [sic, presumably Iranian] involvement in the other side he has to take steps. The danger is we might cross the border into Iraq [sic, again surely referring to Iran], therefore triggering a reaction from Iraq, from Iran rather, and then we go to war with Iran. And I think the President might well want to do that. Who knows what evil lurks? But the fact of the matter is that the American public may never get a say in this. The Congress may never get a say in it."
You be the judge: video here.I read "evil lurks" as referring to President Bush, Matthews way of saying "who knows what Bush might be up to next?" For those would argue that the "evil" Matthews was referring to is Iran's, have a good look again at the statement. "Evil lurks" immediately follows Matthews' speculation that President Bush might want to go to war with Iran. Matthews' comment immediately following "evil lurks" reinforces this interpretation. He complains that neither the American public nor Congress might ever have a say on Bush's plans.
But, altogether now, as Andrea Mitchell has assured us, Chris Matthews is not a liberal.
Mark was in Iraq in November. Contact him at email@example.com