CNN Anchor to President Bush: 'You’re Part of the Problem'

During the September 27 edition of "Situation Room," CNN host Jack Cafferty went on a rant over the Bush administration’s handling of the war on terror. After noting that Presidents Musharraf and Karzai, of Pakistan and Afghanistan respectively, are publically feuding over dealing with the terror issue, Cafferty "spoke" the words he believed the two men wish to say, but can’t:

Cafferty: "...I think both of these guys are probably reluctant to say, ‘You know President Bush, you’re part of the problem. You decided to invade Iraq. You had the Taliban on the run. You had killed a lot of the people in Al Qaeda. You had, uh, uh, what’s his name, Osama bin Laden cornered in Tora Bora. You had all these people in your gun sights when all of a sudden, Afghanistan became number two on your priority list because you wanted to run off and wage war against Saddam Hussein.’ But nobody’s going to say that, ‘cept maybe me."

Well, nobody except congressional Democrats, from whom Cafferty seems to have borrowed talking points.

The entire "Cafferty File" commentary, which aired at 4:33PM EDT, is below:

Cafferty: "You know, a couple things occur to me. One, you know, they’re talking about Islamic extremists in each other’s country. Find a Middle East country that doesn’t have Islamic extremists. That’s breaking news. They’re everywhere. They teach this stuff in Saudi Arabia. The royal family there being good close, personal and business friends of the Bush family. They have schools there that teach people to hate and want to kill us. So those kinds of things are everywhere. Pervez Musharraf talked about his country being stable. It occurs to me that one of the reasons maybe it’s stable is that there aren’t a bunch of outside armies running around inside the borders of Pakistan, like there have been in Afghanistan going clear back to when the Russians invaded that country. But more importantly, that the cause of, of some of the resurgence, if you will, of the Taliban has to be traced to the decision by the United States to put 150,000 troops into an invasion of Iraq. What do you think would be the problem with the Taliban if we left all those soldiers in Afghanistan? Do you think they’d have been a 50 percent increase in the heroin poppy or the opium poppy production? Do you think the women would be running around that country now, reportedly some of them are having to wear burqas again as the Taliban begins to reassert its influence? I don’t think so and, and I think both of these guys are probably reluctant to say, ‘You know President Bush, you’re part of the problem. You decided to invade Iraq. You had the Taliban on the run. You had killed a lot of the people in Al Qaeda. You had, uh, uh, what’s his name, Osama bin Laden cornered in Tora Bora. You had all these people in your gun sights when all of a sudden, Afghanistan became number two on your priority list because you wanted to run off and wage war against Saddam Hussein.' But nobody’s going to say that, ‘cept maybe me."

Another example of Cafferty taking his cues from left wingers is the line about the Saudi royal family being "close, personal and business friends of the Bush family." One could note that many U.S. politicians have maintained tight diplomatic relations with this group. But the real point here is that Cafferty essentially repeated the allegations and conspiracy theories of Michael Moore in "Fahrenheit 9/11."

The CNN anchor apparently got himself so worked up that, after the above rant, he almost forgot to pose his question to the audience and had to be reminded by "Situation Room" host Wolf Blitzer:

Blitzer: "Jack Cafferty said it. You got a question for our viewers?"

Cafferty: "Well, I, you know, we throw it out there and let them decide. They’re smarter then we are anyway. Who’s to blame for the deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan? Email your thoughts to Caffertyfile@cnn.com or cnn.com/caffertyfile."

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org