You really have to hand it to the Bush water carriers. They don't even flinch, having no shame, no remorse, no doubt. Yesterday's exchange between Chris Matthews and Ari Fleischer spoke volumes about why, in 2009, this country has so much ground to recoup. Here's the entire interview:
This stuff is breathtaking. Let's see if we can wade through this nonsense at all.
Fleischer: Of course, there is (sic) a number of people who believe in George Bush, believe in his policies, believe he helped contribute to a stronger, better America where we haven't been hit since Sept. 11...
Apparently Fleischer has been out of the country....what is "better" about our country as a result of Bush's presidency? The hallmarks of his presidency were 9/11, the Iraq War, and the Hurricane Katrina debacle. Those events were "better" in what way? (He just couldn't resist the 9/11 reference in the first 45 seconds, could he?)
Fleischer: Barack Obama should say thank you every day that he inherited a world without Saddam Hussein in it.
These folks won't give up on that, will they? Note to self, Ari - Saddam was not a threat to this country, He had no weapons of mass destruction. He had no delivery systems. The ultimate proof rests in the ease with which the Hussein rule fell - they offered virtually no resistance. Also - Iraq isn't near the United States - not even a long drive. How could they really be a threat to us?? (Going through all this stuff again is really dumb.....)
Matthews: Are you proud of the economic record of George W. Bush?
Fleischer: You know, I think he came in with a recession and left with a recession...
Matthews: No, really are you proud of it? Is it something to brag about?
Fleischer: Chris, it's not a simple, one word answer.
Well, Ari gave a one word answer: recession.
Fleischer: I think when people look back on the Bush years, the one thing people will remember the most is that he kept us safe, we've not been attacked since 9/11. The second is....Barack Obama has inherited a world without Saddam Hussein in it.
What bizarre logic. Somehow we're "safe" due to something the Bush administration did? Tell that to the more than 4000 American soldiers killed in Iraq and their loved ones - a war of choice that did not make us any safer. Tell that to the tens of thousands of wounded soldiers and their families who suffered casualties at the hands of the Bush administration. What sane person can argue that we are "safer" because we invaded Iraq? And just how is a world without Saddam a better world for President Obama?
Fleischer: We can all be proud that we haven't been attacked since Sept. 11...that's what people are gonna remember about President Bush's administration.
Perhaps Ari forgot about the anthrax attacks.
Why should we be "proud" - proud of what? Should we be proud of breaking international law when we attacked Iraq, a nation that was no threat to us, that did not and could not do anything to the United States? Should we be proud of killing hundreds of thousands - maybe millions - of Iraqi citizens as "collateral damage"? Should we be proud of our record on torture during this war?
It depends, then, on which "people" you're talking about who "remember" what happened.
Fleischer: Who is talking?...I don't recall you saying that James Carville, Paul Begala, those people shouldn't be on the air defending their boss.
What precisely does Fleischer have in mind that Carville and Begala had to defend that compares with the long list of egregious acts of the Bush administration? Are we going to compare the "sins" of Bill Clinton's White House tryst with Monica Lewinsky to the actions of George W. Bush? What is the moral scale that sets this kind of equivocacy up?
Fleischer: You were tough on President Clinton on his ethics and morality....how couldn't you be?
Gee, Fleischer, how couldn't you be tough on President Bush's ethics and morality? What was ethical or moral about the Iraq war? Does Fleischer really want to raise Clinton's sexual issues to the moral level of war?
Fleischer: He (Bush) wasn't warned directly, it was one of those vague warnings about Al Qaeda wants to attack in the United States.
What is this guy talking about? Richard Clarke writes vividly about his 'hair being on fire' regarding the seriousness and imminence of these attacks. Clarke could not get a meeting with Condi Rice on these issues. He was ignored. The Bush administration was not focused on terrorism before 9/11. That is the record.
Matthews: Do you believe that the administration made an honest case in taking us to war in Iraq?
Fleischer: Yes, yes...I said we were wrong, not dishonest...it was an intelligence mistake. We were all wrong.
I love it when people use the words "intelligence" and "mistake" together.
No, Mr. Fleischer, the mistake was a moral failure, a failure in judgement. Everyone didn't believe that Iraq had WMD's. The U.N. inspectors, who were doing their jobs right up to the start of Shock & Awe didn't believe there were WMD's. Scott Ritter, decorated U.S. Marine who was a major player in the inspection of Iraq as a U.N. inspector throughout the 1990's, knew there were no WMD's. He spoke and wrote about this passionately before the war.
These people are without conscience. There is no good reason to think they will ever admit their foolishness, their immorality, or amorality. I listened closely to Chris Matthews during the buildup to the War in Iraq. If he was against the war, which he now claims, I, for one, could not tell. That said, I applaud his current rage against the follies of the Bush administration. It may be too little, too late. But the likes of Ari Fleischer, who somehow musters the strength to go on national TV and tell more lies about the Bush administration, is beyond the pale.