The perpetually anti-war Ed Schultz took his seat behind the desk at MSNBC studios Monday with the expressed mission of selling Barack Obama's air assault on Libya to his viewers.
So passionate was the "Ed Show" host in supporting the President he several times showed video footage of downed Pan Am flight 103 while claiming that Moammar Gaddafi was responsible thereby justifying an attack on him over 22 years later (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
ED SCHULTZ: President Obama has decided on a more focused, realistic approach. He’s trying to give the rebels who want democracy a fighting chance at just that, and trying to stop Gaddafi, this is the human thing to do, from slaughtering his own people. Now aside from all the reasons for this mission, you will never convince me that Gaddafi didn’t have a hand in the Lockerbie bombing. You’ll never convince me that Gaddafi hasn’t supplied resources to terrorists. Given the fact that Americans died on that 747 over Lockerbie, I’m all for this mission. I think the President of the United States Barack Obama deserves the benefit of the doubt and our support.
Interesting defense. Readers are reminded that Pan Am 103 was downed in December 1988. That's a reason for going after Gaddafi now?
As for "slaughtering his own people" and supplying "resources to terrorists," the same was true of Saddam Hussein.
That hasn't stopped Schultz from repeatedly claiming that wasn't enough of a reason to invade 18 months after 9/11. Why would these issues support attacks on Libya if they didn't justify an Iraqi invasion eight years ago?
Alas, when MSNBCers like Schultz are defending politicians they support, facts, reason, and any past positions previously expressed mysteriously become irrelevant:
SCHULTZ: As a country we really don’t have much of a stomach for this right now, and a lot of us are torn because of what all of our needs are here at home. But remember, and this needs to be pointed out: there have been no lies told; no fear games have been played on the American people; intelligence hasn’t been cooked, and; there truly is a coalition of the willing.
"There have been no lies told."
I guess Schultz missed this report from Time magazine Monday:
As it turns out, Gaddafi hasn't done enough to justify humanitarian intervention—despite their rhetoric to the contrary, the administration and human rights organizations admit that reports of potential war crimes remain unconfirmed. Instead, interviews with senior administration officials show that the rehabilitators convinced Obama to go to war not just to prevent atrocities Gaddafi might (or might not) commit but also to bolster America's ability to intervene elsewhere in the future.
That isn't necessarily a bad thing. The ability for the U.S. to muster international force to prevent thugs from killing innocent people is important. But the president and some of his advisers are so eager to rehabilitate the idea of preventive intervention that they're exaggerating the violence they say they are intervening to prevent in Libya. “The effort to shoe-horn this into an imminent genocide model is strained,” says one senior administration official. That's dangerous. Americans deserve an honest explanation when their leaders take them to war.
Well, apart from not getting it from Obama, they're certainly not going to get it from a shill like Schultz.
As for the "coalition of the willing," this is another falsehood the media have been shoving down Americans' throats since Friday. As Fox reported Monday, President Bush had double the partners entering Iraq as Obama has on this Libya mission.
But Schultz was on a roll, and he certainly wasn't going to let the truth interfere with his mission:
SCHULTZ: I have always believed that Gaddafi was a terrorist. Let’s look at the tape again of flight Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Do you need any more evidence? Has Gaddafi ever proven his innocence? […]
I’m with the President on this one, and I think if it is defined the way he says it is, limited in scope, this actually could be a situation where we don’t hear from Gaddafi for a long, long time.
Maybe so, but we haven't heard from Saddam Hussein for many years. I doubt Schultz sees that as a justification for that war.
In fairness to Schultz, he did invite on guests Monday evening that were opposed to this move by Obama, in particular Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh.) who reiterated his claim from earlier in the day that this could actually be an impeachable offense by the President.
However, Schultz was resolute in his support even doing a segment later in the program wherein he rationalized the financial cost of the mission because it's a pittance of what we're spending in Iraq and Afghanistan. This of course assumed our role ends as quickly as Obama and Schultz believe it will.
Add it all up, and it sure was interesting watching this devout anti-war liberal sell this military action to his devout, anti-war, liberal viewers.
Appears to have worked, for his poll question Monday was, "Do you support military action against Libya?" At press time, almost 2/3 of respondents had said, "Yes."
Ed should be very proud of bringing that many like-minded people over to his new way of thinking.