Wednesday, August 24, 2005

‘Take him out’ can be a number of things


Normally I’d invite you to provide captions for this picture,

and you may still do so, but I need to identify the woman for you. Bush’s people found themselves an anti-Cindy Sheehan, a Stakhanovite military mother, Tammy Pruett (even the name is over-the-top homespun) who has not one, not two, not three, but four sons in the military in Iraq. Come back with your hillbilly armor or on it, she told them.

Bush said, at that event in Idaho, that after 9/11, “We faced a clear choice. We could hunker down, retreating behind a false sense of security, or we could bring the war to the terrorists, striking them before they could kill more of our people.” I’m sorry, that was the choice? First, putting aside the whole “Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside America” thing, who had a false sense of security after 9/11? So that’s obviously not actually a choice at all (the word “false” was kind of a clue), and what he’s saying is that there was only one choice, doing exactly what he did.

He says of the “Terrorists [who] have converged on Iraq” (he’s still pretending that only non-Iraqis are fighting us; I think he secretly believes that the Iraqis actually did dance in the streets and throw rose petals in our path) that they “lack popular support so they’re targeting innocent Iraqis with car bombs and suicide attacks.” As opposed to the smart bombs and depleted uranium shells we used?

Pat Robertson takes back, sorta, the whole hey-I-know-let’s-assassinate-Hugo-Chavez thing, saying, “I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him.” I’ve read that sentence several times now, and I can only think that by “accommodate,” he means “not assassinate.” And then he compared Chavez to Hitler and Saddam Hussein, so it wasn’t really much of an apology. When I first wrote about this, I didn’t include a joke I decided was a bit weak, that Robertson wasn’t advocating breaking any commandments because it says Do Not Kill, not Do Not “Take Out.” But today Robertson himself gave a variant of that joke, saying his comments had been taken out of context: “I didn’t say ‘assassination.’ [Actually, he did] I said our special forces should ‘take him out.’ And ‘take him out’ can be a number of things, including kidnapping; there are a number of ways to take out a dictator from power besides killing him.” And you could have meant “take him out to dinner and a movie,” but you didn’t. You could have meant “take him out to the ball game, take him out with the crowd, buy him some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, I don’t care if he ever gets back, wink wink,” but again, you didn’t.

Checking back through my old notes (which are archived dating back to 1986, links on the right, I pause to remind you), I find that Robertson said in February 1988 (when he was running for president) that he would have had Qadaffi offed (and that he wanted Ollie North as his veep; I’d forgotten that). And he sent money to the Contras and RENAMO.


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