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The Lynching of the President
The American Spectator ^ | 1/25/2007 | Ben Stein

Posted on 01/25/2007 9:11:38 AM PST by NorCoGOP

So there I was, lying in my bed in Malibu with my dogs, watching Mr. Bush's State of the Union speech. I thought it was darned good. Realistic, gracious, modest, sensible. I happen to think we should get out of Iraq yesterday, but I thought Mr Bush put forward his case well. And Congress responded graciously and generously on both sides of the aisle.

Then, whaam, as soon as the speech was over, ABC was bashing him, telling us how pathetic he was, how irrelevant he was, how weak he was, how unrealistic he was.

Right after that, Jim Webb gave a very short speech biting Bush's head off -- but not making any concrete proposals about anything. No network person mentioned how simple minded and unrealistic he was.

Then, tonight, the next night, I walked into the kitchen where my wife had left the radio going with NPR to amuse the cats. NPR was having a call-in show talking about the State of the Union. The first speaker I heard was a country music legend, Merle Haggard, who said he had never seen things so bad in this country. Then a legion of anonymous callers chimed in with similar thoughts.

And suddenly it hit me. The media is staging a coup against Mr. Bush. They cannot impeach him because he hasn't done anything illegal. But they can endlessly tell us what a loser he is and how out of touch he is (and I mean ENDLESSLY) and how he's just a vestigial organ on the body politic right now.

The media is doing what it can to basically oust Mr. Bush while still leaving him alive and well in the White House. It's a sort of neutron bomb of media that seeks to kill him while leaving the White House standing (for their favorite unknown, Barack Obama, to occupy).

How dare NPR ask a country singer who hates Bush to spew venom at Bush? Merle Haggard is a truly great singer and musician, but he's just one old guy. There are plenty of country singers who love Bush and would campaign for him right now. And in what sense is Mr Haggard an expert on the state of the union?

The truth is that we are in a huge economic boom. We are coming off a mammoth real estate explosion that put the most Americans in history in their own homes. We have totally full employment. After decades of stagnation, real wages are rising. Gasoline prices are way, way down. The nation is wealthier than it has ever been (although this is very unevenly distributed). Opportunities for subsidized higher education are better than they have ever been.

Most important of all, who would have ever been rash enough on September 12, 2001 to say there would not be one major or even minor successful terrorist incident against the U.S. homeland in over five years? Who would have thought we would escape without more massive terror? But we have, and it is a foolhardy person who would say that's an accident. Bush may not have done it by himself, but he had something to do with it.

True, we are mired in a war without end, costing us far too may great young and old Americans and too many limbs and wrecked families and vastly too much money. But we all know we're getting out soon. It was a huge mistake, but I'd like to see a President who did not make immense mistakes. Compared with the mistakes of Truman and FDR and Kennedy, Iraq is a mistake, but not worse than theirs.

True, we have virtually no federal oversight of corporate looting and executive suite misconduct, but we didn't have any under Clinton either. The rich get away with murder. That's what happens in the real world. Bush is to blame, but all politicians cater to the rich, and Hillary will and Barack Obama will, too. It's nauseating and I fight it constantly, but that's life.

My point: let's be aware that Bush has presided over a lot of success in addition to substantial failure. My second point: no one elected the media to anything. If we let them lynch the man we elected as President we are throwing out the Constitution with the war in Iraq. In the studios and newsrooms, there is a lynch mob at work. Let's see it for what it is. We have a good man who has made mistakes in the Oval Office. He's the only President we have, and I trust him a lot more than I trust unelected princes of the newsroom.


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: liberalism
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To: rlmorel

Agree they still refer to the adulteress and impeached ex president as MR.President or President so and so


51 posted on 01/25/2007 10:04:36 AM PST by italianquaker (Democrats its time to fish or cut bait, no more blaming Prez Bush.)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe
That's a really good article. It is so easy to compare the Left to children because so many times, they act like little brats. John Cole Bear's mean-spirited stunt with the Fox microwave comes to mind.

To think of the Left as the drunken man, apoplectic with useless rage, bellowing out his selfishness in the street, in the night, with no concern for neighbors or common decency. The reasons for Leftist rage don't begin to compare to the sick thrill they get by exhibiting it.
The media loves to spotlight David Gregory, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews. Angry little brats. John Stewart is another, he has built an entire career on being snide. Bill Maher is certifiably insane from his anger.

I am a woman, and in my primal opinion, not one of the men I've cited is a masculine or virile man. They all seem watered down and weak. They will all become Don Imus, eventually. A stumblebum who needs Deidre's permission to even use the toilet. I don't need intimacy to see that every one of these metrosexuals is impotent. My definition of that that word is, "weak of mind, body, and character".
52 posted on 01/25/2007 10:09:54 AM PST by ishabibble (ALL-AMERICAN INFIDEL)
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To: pgkdan

heh you know Merle too?


53 posted on 01/25/2007 10:10:04 AM PST by sheana
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe

"I think the website had to use that term"

I see. Thanks. Actually, that article would deserve a thread of its own, I think.


54 posted on 01/25/2007 10:11:13 AM PST by dsc
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To: tob2

My cats are most definitely Republicans. They are anti-immigration (hate people coming over) pro-hunting, and definitely red-meat eaters. They like being homeowners. :D


55 posted on 01/25/2007 10:11:27 AM PST by ConservatismNow
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To: thinkthenpost

You guys are missing the idea of the article. Quit nitpicking about the Iraq statement! Ben Stein is talking about how even though he disagrees with some of the things the President has done, he's still OUR President.


56 posted on 01/25/2007 10:11:33 AM PST by ConservatismNow
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To: NorCoGOP

bttt


57 posted on 01/25/2007 10:12:55 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: sheana
heh you know Merle too?

No, I just pay attention. Every time a new country singer tries to establish his 'street creds' by talking about how great 'The Hag' is, was and ever will be that guy drops a couple of notches...IMHO.

58 posted on 01/25/2007 10:15:29 AM PST by pgkdan (Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions - G.K. Chesterton)
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To: NorCoGOP

Time is the only test of honest men, but you can recognize a leftist propaganda machine immediately.


59 posted on 01/25/2007 10:18:36 AM PST by AmericanMade1776 (Democrats don't have a plan)
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To: NorCoGOP
The truth is that we are in a huge economic boom.

This neocon POS needs to summon his illegal alien chauffeur and have him drive north a few hours to the home of FR where he can witness his "huge economic boom" firsthand.

60 posted on 01/25/2007 10:26:44 AM PST by Penner
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To: ConservatismNow
IMO:
I probably spent too much time on Iraq, but the Democrat response by Jim Webb when boiled down was about TWO things, IRAQ and the disparity of wealth in this country. I saw it like this, Cut and Run and Class envy/warfare and Ben Stein apparently agrees with the Democrats on the only two issues they raised following the SOTU.

I'm not a Bushbot, and I don't think you have to back the President on every issue, I sure don't, but because of how the media has IMO lied about the Iraq campaign just about the only thing the administration can point to as a positive is the economy and Mr. Stein's view point is contrary to that. I guess it's like this you can spend a hour an hour eulogizing some, laying the praise on, he's salt of the Earth. The last line, even though Jim molested collies he was a great man, well everything else you said in the last half hour is out the door, the only thing anyone will remember is Jim and Collies.

Thanks for the reply though, just my opinion here worth what you paid.
61 posted on 01/25/2007 10:29:14 AM PST by thinkthenpost
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To: dsc

Feel free to post it. Though the article was written a while ago, the main points remain true.


62 posted on 01/25/2007 10:31:39 AM PST by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Liberals are blind. They are the dupes of Leftists who know exactly what they're doing.)
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To: NorCoGOP

Ben Stein is correct in his article about the media trying to bash Bush into low approval ratings. The media Bush bashing played a large part in the last elections, sending many Republicans out of office as a consequence.

However, Mr. Stein sounds like a liberal democrat with his class warfare rhetoric. In fact, he even sounds like Senator Webb on that point. There is no inequality in our economy (That is a bunch of Leftist B.S. straight from their old Marxist rhetoric.). Our free market economy should be the only distributor of income and wealth, and our government should not interfere or try to reallocate what our free market economy has allocated. Mr. Stein calls himself an economist, but he is not much of one if he does not understand that point.


63 posted on 01/25/2007 10:47:18 AM PST by Hendrix
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To: pgkdan

Doesnt Gretchen Wilson and Haggard have a song about the PC World? Guess Gretchen is on the dark side too. Geez.


64 posted on 01/25/2007 11:00:45 AM PST by newconhere (bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. zap)
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To: ConservatismNow

SNORT! Now THAT is funny! Never thought of it that way, plus...they ALL know how to handle themselves in a fight...:)


65 posted on 01/25/2007 11:00:59 AM PST by rlmorel (Islamofacism: It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out. Or chops off a head.)
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To: NorCoGOP

Bump. Excellent editorial.


66 posted on 01/25/2007 11:01:08 AM PST by khnyny
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To: zook
The MSM and Dims have been after Bush's hide since the day he was elected. I think we all understand that fact and read/listen around it.
I still can't understand why the war in Iraq is so unpopular. The Islamonuts want to convert us to Islam or kill us. And we are establishing a democratic Iraq right in the middle of them. A country that will be able to protect itself. If we bug-out now Iran will fill the vacuum we left behind. So within a year we will be facing an Iraq with an Iranian management. And you can bet that OBL and his cutthroats won't be far behind.
67 posted on 01/25/2007 11:05:06 AM PST by ANGGAPO (LayteGulfBeachClub)
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To: ANGGAPO

Any rational thinking, relatively intelligent person should be able to understand why Iraq is an important campaign in the WOT. That so many don't says a lot about the state of our country.


68 posted on 01/25/2007 11:08:57 AM PST by zook (America going insane - "Do you read Sutter Caine?)
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To: Hendrix

"However, Mr. Stein sounds like a liberal democrat with his class warfare rhetoric. In fact, he even sounds like Senator Webb on that point. There is no inequality in our economy (That is a bunch of Leftist B.S. straight from their old Marxist rhetoric.). Our free market economy should be the only distributor of income and wealth, and our government should not interfere or try to reallocate what our free market economy has allocated."

It's not class warfare rhetoric. His father worked for Nixon, and Stein himself has a great conservative resume.

It is well to remember that even von Hayek said that there is a role for government in maintaining a level playing field so that the free market works properly.

I'm not sure what exactly is going on in America today, but I am increasingly convinced that there is a major trend underway.

In the 50s, any man who was a high-school graduate and veteran could support his wife and kids on his salary alone. Since arriving in Boise (and I admit that one city is not a scientifically valid sample) I have observed that the huge majority of jobs available pay from $7 to $10 per hour. That includes major employers such as Micron and Hewlett Packard.

$10 per hour is $20,800 per year before taxes, which is only $800 above the poverty level for a married couple with two children. For our family, the poverty line is $33,600, which is $16.15 per hour. Since April, I have seen very few jobs open anywhere that pay so much.

At the same time, executives are pulling down seven, eight, even nine figures, all for doing nothing more than running companies into the ground with bad decisions and corruption.

I don't know what macro factors are producing this situation, but it's beginning to look to me as though the free market is not functioning properly. If it were, surely failure would not be rewarded so handsomely.

It also seems to me that there are thousands of men who could do a better job than these nine-figure executives, and would be glad to do it for $100k. If the free market were working properly, wouldn't that be happening?

One thing that always happens in human society is that the cream rises to the top, then scum forms on top of that. I suspect that we have a budding aristocracy, the scum on top of the cream, more interested in preserving its own privilege than anything else, and that this is bringing more severe stratification.

Of course, the solution to this is not to redistribute wealth through taxation. That never works. However, I would like to see wiser men than I find a way to set the free market free again.


69 posted on 01/25/2007 11:18:06 AM PST by dsc
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To: dsc
"It's not class warfare rhetoric. His father worked for Nixon, and Stein himself has a great conservative resume."

It is class warfare rhetoric. He is using the exact same language and logic that the Left is using, talking about inequality of wealth and income distribution, etc. It is pure Marxism no matter how you slice it or dice it.

"It is well to remember that even von Hayek said that there is a role for government in maintaining a level playing field so that the free market works properly."

He was not referring to wealth redistribution, socialism, and the Welfare State, which is what the Left is trying to lead us into. He was talking about a limited role of government to make sure there is good contract law, good anti-competition laws that prevent people from colluding and avoiding competition, etc. You have misquoted him and his ideas.

"I don't know what macro factors are producing this situation, but it's beginning to look to me as though the free market is not functioning properly. If it were, surely failure would not be rewarded so handsomely."

You obviously don't have a clue about free market capitalism. If these people were really failing as you say, they would not be paid what they are being paid. The market pays people what they are worth. You have bought hook, line, and sinker into the Left's propaganda about "executives making too much money", "too much wealth and income inequality", "people are not living a higher living standard than in the past", etc. Every bit of that is a lie. People today are living a higher living standard than every before, including the middle class. Most people could live on one income if they really wanted to live a lifestyle that comes from one income, but they want more and more (bigger houses, big SUVs, etc.) and the government is taxing more and more, so it takes two incomes to get all of this.

Ben Stein is a liberal on fiscal matters--not a conservative. Nixon certainly was not a conservative either. He even did such stupid things as price controls, etc. Ben Stein is dead wrong about our economy, and so are you.
70 posted on 01/25/2007 11:42:56 AM PST by Hendrix
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To: zook
Ben! You mean you're just now figuring this out? I thought you were smarter than that!

No kiddin'!!! I'm shocked that HE'S shocked!!!

71 posted on 01/25/2007 11:44:38 AM PST by paulat
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To: NorCoGOP

The media is already suffering puchback, they are losing viewers and readers in vast numbers. They will bias their way into irrelevence. A decade ago they were semi trusted. Today no one pays any attention to the dolts at all.


72 posted on 01/25/2007 12:09:44 PM PST by Jim Verdolini
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To: Psalm 73

I keep a radio on in the Hen House at all times to deter predators. It's on local conservative AM Talk Radio, and it seems to work.

So, if your theory is correct, my hens are Republicans and the "predators" that would want to kill them are liberals, because the conservative radio "scares" them away and we all know what girly-men liberals are and how they can't defend themselves against THE FACTS of any matter. :)


73 posted on 01/25/2007 12:16:29 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: NorCoGOP
And suddenly it hit me. The media is staging a coup against Mr. Bush.

Congratulations, Ben Stein! You have just discovered America. And gravity too!

The liberal news media has been doing such things to Republicans and to Republican war efforts ever since Dwight Eisenhower left the White House.

74 posted on 01/25/2007 12:17:25 PM PST by Polybius
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To: NorCoGOP

"In the studios and newsrooms, there is a lynch mob at work. Let's see it for what it is."

Ben's opinions carry a lot of weight. I think this is one of the strongest cases (outside of the one Rush makes daily) as to what's REALLY going on and why the reality of each of our lives is so different from the one portrayed each day in the MSM.


75 posted on 01/25/2007 12:18:44 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: NorCoGOP

I do not think it was a mistake to go into Iraq. Ben is wrong there. But right to point out the attempted coup of the DBM.


76 posted on 01/25/2007 12:26:39 PM PST by WashingtonSource
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To: NorCoGOP

bump


77 posted on 01/25/2007 12:30:46 PM PST by lowbridge ("The mainstream media IS the Democrat Party". - Rush Limbaugh)
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To: ConservatismNow

LOL. Go, kitties, go!


78 posted on 01/25/2007 1:20:18 PM PST by tob2 ( "I may not be perfect but I'm always me." Anon.)
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To: NorCoGOP
And suddenly it hit me. The media is staging a coup against Mr. Bush. They cannot impeach him because he hasn't done anything illegal. But they can endlessly tell us what a loser he is and how out of touch he is (and I mean ENDLESSLY) and how he's just a vestigial organ on the body politic right now.

The media is doing what it can to basically oust Mr. Bush while still leaving him alive and well in the White House. It's a sort of neutron bomb of media that seeks to kill him while leaving the White House standing (for their favorite unknown, Barack Obama, to occupy).

If you really love President Bush you'll think -- and even more strongly, feel -- that way. My father felt that way about Nixon and Watergate, and I certainly felt the same way about Reagan and Iran-contra. I can understand why many would see things as Ben Stein does.

But I really can't myself. Bush and Cheney are big enough. They've given as well as they've gotten. They've had enough good luck to go along with the bad. They haven't been hobbled or crippled by criticism. It's all politics and media as usual. So it's hard for me to see them as victims.

What's changed? One thing is that the mainstream media doesn't have the power and credibility it once did. When Ben Stein was working for Nixon it really mattered what CBS or NBC, Time or the New York Times thought about the President. The established media had power. They had no competition. And they could pretend to speak with a fair, unbiased voice.

Today, everyone knows that the big networks and major newspapers represent one point of view. And they have plenty of competition from the new media. So one can ignore what the Washington Post or the Boston Globe or CNN or ABC thinks about President Bush. The other side of the coin, though, is that one can't complain as much about what they say, since it doesn't carry the weight it once did.

79 posted on 01/25/2007 1:47:56 PM PST by x
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To: NorCoGOP
I almost agree with Ben Stein. Iraq was not a mistake. It was necessary for winning the war on terror.

It may not be the "in" thing to do on Free Republic lately... but I will admit freely that I admire this President and I support him.

80 posted on 01/25/2007 1:50:32 PM PST by carton253 (Duncan Hunter for President.)
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To: NorCoGOP

If Bush showed some balls, the media couldn't touch him. But he doesn't. And his pussy father shamed his family when he went ahead with a Bush Award for Public Service to Ted Kennedy TWO DAYS after Kennedy called his son--the President--a "liar" on the Senate floor. HE gave him the medal anyway! What absolute fools the Bushes are. They love their enemies and their enemies shit all over them. All they seem to care about is having people like them. Reagan couldn't give two shits about what the media and elites thought about him. All he cared about was the PEOPLE. Bush has made a huge error kowtowing to the evil elites for 5 years. He just seems weak, and Americans don't respect weakness, and the media viper feed on it like piranhas.


81 posted on 01/25/2007 2:08:20 PM PST by montag813
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To: carton253
I almost agree with Ben Stein. Iraq was not a mistake. It was necessary for winning the war on terror.

Invading Iraq was not a mistake. Acting like pussies once we got there was a huge mistake. Had we killed another 250,000 Iraqi civilians and eliminated Tikrit and Fallujah from this Earth, killed Al Sadr and hundreds of others (MacArthur hung 950 Japanese agitators in a relatively tame occupied Japan), stuffed ham into the mouths of every killed insurgent and burned their bodies, forgot about stupid elections until every ounce of resistance was brutally crushed, we would have no problems there right now whatsoever. Where the hell is the rage we all felt on 9/11? Who gives a shit about Arab democracy (as if there ever could be such a thing)? We wanted vengeance and we got Realpolitik instead.

82 posted on 01/25/2007 2:14:31 PM PST by montag813
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To: x
The media has less influence, but they still have plenty to do damage. Anytime there is a method for broadcasting propaganda, that propaganda is going to have an effect and influence some people. It is just like advertising. It does not work on everyone, but it works well enough to get some people to buy your product. Bush and the republicans have got to learn to effectively push back and challenge the media and point out what they are doing. That needs to be done daily and it is not being done.
83 posted on 01/25/2007 2:41:17 PM PST by Hendrix
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To: Psalm 73
Odd, my cats like NPR also - and they're not even Democrats, I don't think.........

I have decided that cats are social conservatives (individualists), but fiscal liberals (what's theirs is theirs and what's yours is theirs).

84 posted on 01/25/2007 2:49:28 PM PST by FairWitness
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To: thinkthenpost

Agreed. Well put.


85 posted on 01/25/2007 3:15:20 PM PST by rlmorel (Islamofacism: It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out. Or chops off a head.)
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To: Hendrix

"It is class warfare rhetoric."

You have mistaken it for class warfare rhetoric, and then closed your mind on that error. If you knew Stein, you'd know better.

"You obviously don't have a clue about free market capitalism."

And you obviously don't have a clue about not being an obnoxious jerk. My initial reaction was to respond to each of your erroneous points. Upon reflection, I don't care to discuss this or anything else with someone who behaves as badly as you. You can post me again when you grow up and get some manners.


86 posted on 01/25/2007 3:56:03 PM PST by dsc
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To: RobRoy

> When you throw a stone into a pack of wild dogs, the one that yelps loudest is the one you hit.

(HeeHeeHee!) Well said! And *that* saying's a Keeper!


87 posted on 01/25/2007 4:06:37 PM PST by DieHard the Hunter (I am the Chieftain of my Clan. I bow to nobody. Get out of my way.)
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To: DieHard the Hunter

I must confess I forgot to give credit for that. It is a statement made by a character in a Louis L'amour short story. The character was Chick Bowdrie, Texas Ranger.


88 posted on 01/25/2007 4:43:00 PM PST by RobRoy (Islam is a greater threat to the world today than Nazism was in 1938.)
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To: NorCoGOP

Reminder bump - way past time to fix media's wagon. ;-)


89 posted on 01/25/2007 9:12:17 PM PST by Tunehead54 (Nothing funny here ;-)
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To: montag813

I have to disagree! GW isn't trying to be liked by being nice to his enemies. He just isn't giving into the same hate that they are throwing at him. The man has class. I also don't see him as weak, but he is one of the strongest leaders I have every seen. A weak person would never have kept focused on the WOT but would have "cut and ran". All while he has been under constant assault, not just from liberals but also increasingly from the his own party.

To be hated as much as he is and to not hate back says alot about his character. Most people could not handle it.


90 posted on 01/25/2007 9:33:25 PM PST by upsdriver
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To: upsdriver

I don't think there was any "class" in H.W. Bush going ahead with the "public service" award for Ted Kennedy two days after the creep called his son--the President--a "liar" on the floor of the Senate, something which had not been done in anyone's memory. Character involves courage. The courageous move would have been for H.W. to tell Ted not to bother making the trip.


91 posted on 01/25/2007 10:20:46 PM PST by montag813
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To: montag813

Well, to me, the situation is a little more complicated than your solution would dictate.


92 posted on 01/25/2007 11:05:10 PM PST by carton253 (Duncan Hunter for President.)
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To: NorCoGOP
But we all know we're getting out soon.

We are?

It was a huge mistake,

Really Mr. Stein? Have you consulted the ordinary Iraqi about that? Have you asked any Kurds?

93 posted on 01/27/2007 6:51:14 PM PST by prairiebreeze (Eurotrash sickens me.)
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