Friday, November 25, 2005

If You Thought Bill Was Bad...

Granted, Chris Matthews isn't a former president, but he still carries a good deal of journalistic weight in this country, so it was pretty disturbing to read what he had to say in a speech at the University of Toronto recently.

Edmonton Sun
November 21, 2005

Bush Wanted "Big Bang" - TV Host

TORONTO - Years after 9/11 and the "crazy Zeitgeist" that permeated the United States, Americans have still not learned to know their enemies instead of just hating them, said American political journalist Chris Matthews yesterday.

In a speech to political science students at the University of Toronto, the host of the CNBC current affairs show "Hardball" had plenty of harsh words for U.S. President George W. Bush, as well as the political climate that has characterized his country for the last few years.

"The period between 9/11 and (invading) Iraq was not a good time for America. There wasn't a robust discussion of what we were doing," Matthews said. "If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up. The person on the other side is not evil. They just have a different perspective."

"The smartest people understand the enemy's point of view, because they understand what's driving them."

He said Bush squandered an opportunity to unite the world against terrorism and instead made decisions that built up worldwide animosity for his administration.

"We had strong international unity coming out of 9/11. The world was never so united against terrorism and we lost that," Matthews said. "That is the great tragedy of the Bush era."

When asked what caused the U.S. to invade Iraq, he said it was a combination of factors.

"I think the father-son relationship with the Bushes is part of it. I think the oil thing is part of it," Matthews said of the current president and his father, George Bush Sr., who was president during the Gulf War more than a decade ago.

"Our friendship with Israel (is part of it) and 9/11 created a kind of crazy Zeitgeist in the country. Bush wanted to do something big. It couldn't just be tracking down al-Qaeda. He wanted a big bang. I think it's a mixture of these things."

Matthews said the current president is guilty of not knowing enough about the world and not keeping up with current events, as was evident in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and the slow reaction to the crisis in New Orleans.

Notice how Matthews conveniently neglects to mention anything about Saddam Hussein's unspeakable atrocities when asked about what caused us to invade Iraq. But, I have to say that, for me, he lost any semblance of credibility when he made what was arguably the most asinine statement I had ever heard from someone in the journalistic profession. It happened a number of years ago, and I've since forgotten most of the details, but his comment became indelibly etched in my memory, and I've had absolutely no respect for him ever since. What happened was, during a TV interview, he was asked a question about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and his response was that he sometimes feels that "these people enjoy killing each other." At that moment, I was overcome with an insatiable urge to throttle the damned idiot. So, maybe that's why, as infuriating and inappropriate as his speech in Toronto was, I can't say I was surprised.


At 4:16 AM, Anonymous seawitch said...

Chris mathews is asinine. His show as well as most of the others is a joke. Just a bunch of shouting and no real debate.

As far as the world reaction, the rest of the world would have liked it if we had played the victim role rather than going on the offensive.

I really believe that they would rather have seen us stayed knocked to the ground rather than picking ourselves up and defending ourselves.

Most journalists appearantly have not read any history about Israel and the Palestinians. That's the only explanation for the slant against Israel among most media unless it's just a pure and simple case of anti-Semitism.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Bush has shown the Islamic world that America is prepared to knock down one evil regime per building knocked down in America.

At 3:50 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Seawitch, I think you are absolutely right.

Beamish.... that sounds pretty good.

Rory, I can understand your being pissed about CM. I'm with you all the way!

At 3:50 PM, Blogger patrickafir said...

You know, what strikes me the most here is the crazy zeitgeist remark. I guess a widespread feeling of shock, anger, fear, and revulsion is just insane in Matthews' universe. Perhaps if he lost a loved one in a jihad terror attack, it wouldn't seem so bizarre. I have my doubts, though.

At 10:59 PM, Anonymous Felis said...

"The person on the other side is not evil. They just have a different perspective."
This is a very typical argument coming from the radical left.

By repeating this crap over and over again they try to convince their audiences (and themselves for that matter) that the various Islamist Ideologies and regimes using them are really represententing the people who are in fact forced to live under these regimes and ideologies.

And so if you attack Sadam you attack all Iraqi people and so on.
Please note that it was exactly the same with the Soviets (identified as the Russians).

At 8:11 AM, Blogger Rory said...

I'll second that. And even on the few occasions when I've tried to watch his show because there was a guest I was interested in seeing, Matthews' gatling gun delivery is so irritating that I usually end up turning it off.

Mr. Beamish,
I'd like it even better if he made it "two evil regimes."

Can you imagine the chutzpah of that guy? First of all, that comment about the Israelis and the Palestinians was so totally off the wall, I wondered if Matthews would ever have the nerve to show his face in public again. But, I needn't have worried. Somehow, making half-assed comments, especially when they involve Israel, never seems to be a career-killer for some in the media. And his speech in Toronto really stunk to high heavens, but in all likelihood it'll win him more praise than scorn.

Ain't that the truth? "Crazy zeitgeist" indeed. What the hell got into him to make him say something so utterly inappropriate? I can only assume he felt he was preaching to the choir.

Excellent point. It's interesting how many radical Muslim regimes looked to the Soviet model.

At 9:00 AM, Anonymous rachy said...

I was going to say exactly what Felis said, my jaw dropped open when I read that line. Another typical thing of the left is criticising but without offering an alternative. If this guy thinks that the US squandered the national unity which came about as a result of 9/11, then what exactly is his suggestion on how to defeat terrorism with this unity?

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Mark said...

I'm sick of the "squandered goodwill" bullshit. James Taranto said it best a couple years ago:

If the rest of the world only loves us when we're dying, they can go straight to hell.

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Rory said...

I know. Can you believe it? Even if somebody once had a relatively high threshold for that kind of thinking, they'd have to find it appalling in light of the attacks on 9/11. And as a fairly liberal Democrat myself, I'm still waiting for all of those "geniuses" to come up with a solution.

Exactly. Who the hell needs their damned sympathy?

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Mark said...

And as a fairly liberal Democrat myself, I'm still waiting for all of those "geniuses" to come up with a solution.

One huge reason I am DTS now, instead of the Dem I was for 28 years.

At 7:54 AM, Blogger Sergeant America said...

Matthews said the current president is guilty of not knowing enough about the world and not keeping up with current events, as was evident in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and the slow reaction to the crisis in New Orleans.

One more opinion by an agendaholic whose only claim to fame may be vitriol and a fantastic ego? Chris Matthews would find fault with his own birth if it would serve a purpose and reflect badly upon our Nation.

Pathetic little man ... :(

At 5:30 AM, Blogger Rory said...

Sergeant America,
I agree. He is pathetic, and have you noticed that he seems to be beating this Valerie Plame story to death? If he's so concerned about leaks, why isn't he spending more time investigating who leaked the information on those alleged "torture prisons" in Eastern Europe? Obviously, that doesn't fit his agenda.


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