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Gibson asks if Palestinian chaos is mirror of Iraq (if we ever leave)

Reported by Chrish - June 14, 2007 -

Although the tabloid program The Big Story stays away from the topic of the war in Iraq, host John Gibson brought it up twice today 6/14/07 in an interview with former UN Ambassador John Bolton. Of course, he was making the point that if we withdraw our troops the situation will resemble the near-chaos happening right now in the Gaza Strip.

Gibson was heard saying on his radio program yesterday 6/13

"Some time ago, I decided, you know what, I am just not going to pay a whole lot of attention to what's going on in Iraq 'cause I'd like to give General Petraeus and the soldiers a chance to win this before me and everybody else who follows it day by day, inch by inch have decided they lost it."

and

"I decided some time ago I'm just not going to talk about this [Iraq war] anymore because I want those troops to have a chance to win even if they have to shoot some people I don't think need being shot at any given moment. But even if they have to do things that people here don't want them to do in order to win - just leave them alone, let them win. Having said that, and studiously trying to pay attention to other things that attract our attention, like the thought of Paris Hilton on a jail toilet without a door worried about whether someone is going to take a picture..."

and

a bit later, to a caller, Gibby says, "I've swore off Iraq news for a few days to see if that helped these guys instead of looking over their shoulders every 5 seconds."

(H/T reader/commenter dd)

Bolton was on the BS to talk about Hamas and the apparent takeover of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas' compound, and the consequences for the Hamas/Fatah coalition, and for Israel.

Gibson started the interview asking if this is what Iraq would look like if we withdraw, complete with picture book graphics to make his point. Bolton replied that it's a good indication, then said Israel has no one to reconcile with at this point since the PA is defunct for all intents and purposes. It was clearly a well-planned and executed maneuver, ("a coup" interjected Gibson) and it "raises the question, what outside assistance or direction they got, from Syria, from Iran..." Gibson said he wouldn't assume they were doing this all on their own, and Bolton replied that we need to look for a bigger pattern, we'll need to keep an eye on Lebanon to see if Hezbollah renews its effort against the democratically elected government there. This is nothing but bad news for Israel, who now has a terrorist organization on its border.

Gibson returned to the Iraq angle, asking if this is what we'd see if we left, factions killing factions? Bolton said we've been seeing that for four years, and one of the things the "surge" was designed to do was show that there is a possibility for a peaceful, civil society.

Asked if he knew how the surge was going (way to investigate, Gibson!) Bolton replied it's too early to draw a conclusion, and those who have already drawn conclusions one way or another are doing so based on preconceptions. Does that include his former colleagues at the UN?

This was the opening for Gibson to bring in Harry Reid, whose alleged (disputed) remarks about Generals Pace and Petraeus predictably sparked a loud uproar in the right-wing media. Did Harry Reid call General Pace incompetent? Did he call Petraeus a failure?

Bolton thinks these "personal attacks" coarsen the debate and demean the Senate (unlike, say, telling a Senator "go fuck yourself" on the floor). Puh-leeeeze! Harry Reid is entitled to voice his opinions, all of them, without this "gotcha" game.

Bolton reiterated several times that General Petraeus was "recently" confirmed to excuse the perceived lack of progress, which is much like saying Bush was only "recently" inaugurated when he received the "bin Laden determined to attack..." memo.

As if the few sentences were all Harry Reid had to say about the war and policies, Bolton repeated that "personal attacks" demean the Senate and Reid should talk about policies and strategies rather than people.

Since General Pace has just been replaced as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, it seems that Reid is not the only one who thinks he is incompetent. Some reports say he would have faced a confirmation battle that would have focused on the past four years' failures in Iraq. Others say he was "let go" because he didn't toe the White House stance on Iran. Maybe he'll write a book.

Anyway, Gibson got in his worst-case scenario digs for an Iraq withdrawal, and Bolton made the connection (with a Cavuto) between the Palestinian fighting and White House targets Iran and Syria. Building a case, drip drip drip.