Bear with me on this one because I don't normally construct my posts in this fashion. Normally, I digest a topic, then sort of regurgitate it with my own take, but General Wesley Clark's performance against noted Fox News blowhard Neil Cavuto deserved to be acknowledged point by point.
Clark appeared on Cavuto's Your World program yesterday and he did a tremendous job of calmly and carefully shooting down all of Cavuto's talking points.
Cavuto started out with the talking point that we haven't been attacked in almost five years, which is a popular one lately amongst the GOP talking heads. My only hope is that the next time one of these administration moutpieces say this sort of thing that someone will actually bring up the anthrax attacks of late 2001 and watch their collective heads explode. Alas, General Clark was not armed with that knowledge to use against Cavuto today, so my need to see exploding heads must be put off for another day.
Clark then amazingly, yet simply, summarized just how badly the Bush administration has screwed things up. I'll quote the whole passage (Atrios has the whole video and the following quoted passage):
The attack on 9/11 occurred on the president's watch. He took us into a war with Iraq we didn't have to fight. It's been used to incentivize recruiting in Al Qaeda. The nu,ber of people who are affiliated with Al Qaeda worldwide has more than doubled since 2001. Our armed forces are bogged down in Iraq. We haven't been able to effectively engage with North Korea. We're hearing the tom toms beating for war with Iran. I think the American people can judge. This administration's policy has been a mistake and he's not made us safer. He's left us more vulnerable.Cavuto then came back (dripping with condescension might i add) with a "if we weren't fighting them in Iraq, where would they be?" to which Clark correctly responds that "they" wouldn't be fighting anywhere since it's the Iraq war that has "incentivized" them to take up arms against the U.S. See what General Clark is doing here? Cavuto pulls out his talking point, Clark smacks it out of the park.
When Cavuto tries to switch gears by referring to the Cole attack and the 1993 WTC attack, Clark smartly calls him on the awkward shifting away from Clark's important point about the nature of the war in Iraq and then responds accordingly by saying that those attacks had nothing to do with Iraq and that we should have continued the charge in Afghanistan. Cavuto, sensing he's lost that battle, again shifts gears back to the Cole and the '93 attack, stating that we didn't respond to those attacks, which of course Clark refutes as well, stating that the people responsible for the '93 attack are rotting in jail and that a plan was developed to respond to the Cole attack, but couldn't be implemented because of the administration change and Bush's subsequent ignoring of the plan, specifically calling out Condi Rice for not heeding the plan.
Cavuto then starts to get nasty by "questioning how genuine" Clark is on the subject because he claims all the Dems can do is complain when "we haven't been attacked in five years." To quote Cavuto, "Would it have killed any of you [meaning the snivelling, appeasing, slave-loving Democrats assembled today] to at least admit that we haven't been attacked?" (It's actually quite pitiful that at this point Cavuto's entire attack has devolved into, "well, can't you admit at least this one small point so I can save a little face?") Of course, once again Cavuto is totally wrong, this time on two counts. The first is that Harry Reid, right at the beginning of the lead-in video stated how glad he was that there hasn't been an attack, and then as Clark began the interview, he also expressed that sentiment, and Clark reminded him of these facts.
And of course, this is again completely glossing over the fact that FIVE PEOPLE DIED AS A RESULT OF A TERROR ATTACK USING A BIOLOGICAL WEAPON! (Those five people are Robert Stevens, Kathy Nguyen, Ottilie Lundgren, Thomas Morris Jr. and Joseph Curseen. Read more about the attack over at Wikipedia.)
Mr. Cavuto, we have been hit since 9/11. And those anthrax attack has never been solved and no person or group has ever been arrested and those five victims' deaths have not been avenged.
I make an effort to rarely watch Fox News and more than likely could not pick Neil Cavuto out of a lineup on any given day, but I'd like to thank General Clark for showing up in the viper's pit of Fox and being able to hold his own, not by out-shouting a condescending loudmouth, but by out-facting him. Cavuto got owned today and General Clark cannot be praised enough for his masterful performance.