Fox’s “straight news” anchor Leland Vittert blatantly advocated for a new war against Iran while talking with Trump Squad member Rep. Lee Zeldin.
You may recall that in March, Donald Trump lashed out at Vittert for having the audacity to question Trump’s “national emergency” rationale to justify taking money out of military funding for the wall.
But today, Vittert seemed outraged that we haven’t already started to bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. And I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts, as my mother used to say, that Vittert’s hard push for war was directed from above. If nothing else, you can see him looking down, as if reading notes, while he speaks. Hardly the demeanor of someone feeling bellicose. The point is, if I am right, we can expect more of this kind of dangerous rhetoric from Fox personnel.
In October, The Daily Beast described Zeldin as "on a quest to become the newest, most pugnacious member of Trump's 'squad.'" Fortunately, Zeldin, who is also a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee seems more anxious to battle Democrats than Iranians.
Vittert, on the other hand, came close to demanding military action against Iran.
VITTERT: Look back in history over the past 40 years. Iran has never really acted like a normal country. The couple of times they have was not because of a show of force, it was because of an act of force by the United States. When is the time to stop talking, as everybody seems to be doing, and start acting against the people who have tried to take over the U.S. embassy, who’ve shot down our drones, who are mining tankers?
Zeldin gave a long, confusing answer that seemed both bellicose and cautious. He also pretended that Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement has somehow strengthened the U.S. hand, rather than inflamed the tensions.
ZELDIN: Yeah, I mean, there are – so [with] the maximum pressure campaign, we have primarily four instruments of national power: diplomacy, information, military, economics. For there to be change within Iran, this is not something that the United States wants to and necessarily should shoulder that burden on our own. Secretary [of Defense] Esper spoke earlier about the international community stepping up more, that’s important. But it’s also important for those millions of Iranians inside of their country to want a better future for their nation, to take control of their own destiny on their own. It’s their nation, not ours.
But we’re going to protect our troops, we’re gonna protect our people – I was just, last week, as you mentioned earlier in the program, throughout the CENTCOM area of operations where we have troops – not just in Iraq but elsewhere, focused on the Iranian threat, a threat on land. It’s a threat at sea, it’s shipping routes, it’s making sure that the Straits of Hormuz are open for shipping and the Straits [Bab-el-Mandeb?] and what’s going on in Yemen with the Houthis.
The Iranian threat is one that - they’re really financing Assad in Syria, they’re propping up Hezbollah in Lebanon, so our actions towards Iran isn’t just a message being sent as far as what that military option looks like, conventional to unconventional, but in real time what we’re doing to be able to help other middle eastern countries protect against destabilizing their region and one country to the next, one threat to the next, ensuring that the good guys are winning because there really is a new sheriff in town and it’s more than just withdrawing from a fatally-flawed Iran nuclear deal, JCPOA, but it’s one that needs to be multifaceted.
But at the end of the day, to the first point that I made, the best-case scenario is for millions of Iranians to take control of their own destiny and not expect the United States to do it for them.
Watch a “straight news” anchor bang the war drum when the Fan in Chief is likely watching below, from the January 2, 2020 America’s Newsroom.
The whole praise-the-military thing has always given me the creeps (started when I had to recite The Charge of the Light Brigade at school). Part of my unease, as an adult, is the unrefutable knowledge that soldiers are never so lavish with praise. They know what war is like. No, the most lavish lip-service to the military comes from people who do everything in their power to avoid being anywhere near a war. Trump was of age to serve in VietNam but his daddy paid a lot of people to invent and keep alive that bone-spurs story til the war was over.
What’s this Normandy analogy to send in wave after wave after wave after wave of troops? Protect an embassy “at all costs”? Seriously, pull the ambassador and staff out rather turn Baghdad into Omaha Beach, dude. Heard of “diplomacy”? Oh, I forget the MAGA Cult of Trump has 2 unsubtle and unsophisticated diplomatic modes: Love letters and baseball bats. Isn’t that some sort of fetish (flashes of Trump and Kim Jong-un in the Lincoln Bedroom)… never mind… I feel sick.
Unmentioned is the Trump (and Don Jr.) big boast of Dear Leader’s “decisive” action, as opposed to Obama’s and Hillary’s response in #Benghazi!. Yet, we hear in this segment after 2 days of Iraq embassy attacks by unarmed protesters Trump has merely ‘boldly’ stationed several thousand troops somewhere vaguely in the theater. How much time was wasted while Trump played golf? We don’t know. Co-hosts TwiddleDumb and TwiddleDumber (you sort them out) never ask.
All this because Mr. Art of the Deal broke a deal with Iran and the ultimate deal maker can’t forge another one. Zeldon is proud of it. I think he’s an idiot stirring this hornets’ nest up. And, even then, this whole riot thing could have been avoided because we had advanced intel and Dear Leader could have brokered a diplomatic solution. But it’s New Years at Mara Lago and parties and marathon days of golf and Fox News binge watching and McDonald’s cheeseburgers in bed.