Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – We’re not talking about defending the beaches of San Diego. We’re not talking about defending the beaches of Norfolk, Virginia. We’re not talking about stopping an invasion that’s about to happen in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. We’re not talking about the beaches of New Jersey being stormed. We’re not talking about people coming in across our northern border into northern states through Canada. Yet we have all the machinations and all the great men of state of our once-great republic, that isn’t even a republic anymore, insisting that it is our moral responsibility to get involved here. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Let’s go to Peter Hitchens, writing at Daily Mail UK Sunday, “Before we Bomb Syria, Shouldn’t we Seek Proof of Guilt?” Why would you want to do that? It’s a lot more fun to just start lobbing these things from the safety of submarines and attack ships and what have you. Just so you know, ladies and gentlemen, there is a contingent or fleet of American naval ships that are moving into position off the coast of Syria today, if they’re not already there.
Late last week, the BBC began blasting the airwaves with stories about a chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus. Initially, its reporters and presenters were reasonably careful to point out that the videos on which this claim was based were unverified – and in fact impossible to verify. As has since become quite clear, the site of the alleged atrocity is very difficult to reach. This fact would be well-known to those who released the films.
Mike: AG, wasn’t there a story yesterday about UN inspectors not being able to get to the site of these atrocities because snipers are trying to take them out?
AG: I think they got to the sites, but they had definitely been shot at a couple times.
Mike: They were being shot at as they were on their way to the site. Gee, I wonder if that’s by coincidence. There would never be anything so contrived as that, Mike, come on.
If you want absolutely proven atrocities, all you need to do is look at Egypt, where the new military government, lawlessly installed by violence, has openly engaged in several severe massacres of ‘its own people’, in most cases unarmed and defenceless. Yet because these massacres were done with bullets, or for some other reason I can’t fathom, no cruise-missile attacks on Cairo are currently proposed. [Mike: There’s a lot more at play there than just that, Mr. Hitchens.] Ask yourself about this. The contrast couldn’t be clearer. Known, undeniable mass-murders, of which there is no doubt, and whose culprits are known and undisputed, bring no outrage. An alleged mass-murder, whose culprit is not proven, is the subject of huge outrage.
I cannot say how many times I have heard people assert that there is ‘little doubt’ the Syrian government used chemical weapons – in fact I just heard this tricky phrase on the BBC’s radio news.
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How does one quantify doubt? How much doubt does there have to be, when a quite possibly unlimited war is in question? If there is doubt of any kind, surely we shouldn’t be broadcasting or writing as if there were no doubt, let alone talking about embroiling ourselves in a vast and probably endless sectarian war between Shia and Sunni, now rapidly catching fire in the region?
Easy enough to lob a cruise missile into Syria from a submarine, no doubt. But what sort of child imagines it would end there? [Mike: That’s a good question.] If the missiles failed to shift President Assad, what next? And there are other horrible possibilities I will leave it to you to work out.
In a criminal trial, doubt simply has to be reasonable to prevent conviction. [Mike: We saw this recently, ladies and gentlemen, a very famous case. Perhaps you’ve heard of it, the State v. George Zimmerman.] But where has reason gone in this episode? The ridiculous William Hague, who seems to have become sabre-rattler in chief just as this country has sunk to the level of a third-rate military power, talks and acts as if the matter is settled. Our Prime Minister has abandoned one of his holidays to hurry back to London for a meeting of the grandiosely-titled ‘National Security Council’. Not only is this name copied from the Americans. It is a body which we managed very well without for many centuries of free and independent (and secure) existence. Do these people think they are in an episode of ‘The West Wing’, that seductive drama of power-pornography, in which minor politicians imagine themselves as mighty political hunks? I have to conclude that the answer is ‘Probably yes’.
Have I missed something here? I do not (at the time of writing, 1.00 pm on Monday 26th August) recall there having been a single item of independent verifiable proof of the proposition that the Syrian government is responsible for this episode.
There is some evidence, none of it direct, that a chemical outrage of some sort did happen. [Mike: Then he gets into some of the history behind other incidents of where there “cannot be any doubt.”]
Examination of one previous chemical weapons episode, in May ended with Carla del Ponte, a member of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria suggesting that the rebels, rather than the government, had used chemical weapons. [Mike: They do believe in martyrdom. This is not beyond the pale, folks.]
On that occasion, the White House had its scepticism turned on “We find it highly likely that chemical weapons, if they were in fact used in Syria – and there is certainly evidence that they were – that the Assad regime was responsible,” spokesman Jay Carney said.
Atrocities happen. The Syrian government may be guilty. If it is, I am myself just as much against intervention as if it hasn’t, though I understand that others may feel differently. But it seems to me that there are several reasons to be careful. The first is that we seek to believe evil of those we have already decided to be enemies, especially in democracies where voters must be persuaded to sign the vast blank cheque of war.
The 1914 stories (in the modern world, in the early months of the first great modern war) of raped nuns and babies tossed in the air and caught on bayonets, as the Germans marched through Belgium, were all lies. In fact the German troops did many wicked things (invading troops almost always do this, especially if brave civilians resist them) but not these atrocities. Yet they were universally believed, at a time when disbelief might have been better.
Mike Church Show Transcript – U.S. Senators Don’t Support The American People, But Maybe They Support The Muslim Brotherhood
Then there is the case of the mass-rape of German women by the Red Army when they stormed into Berlin in 1945. Nobody now disputes that this horror happened. But because they were our allies, we refused to believe it, or kept quiet about it.
It is said that the only lesson of history is that nobody learns any lessons from history, and I am now old enough to believe that this may be true. [Mike: Isn’t that a bold and on-time statement.] But before we sign the current blank cheque, being placed in front of us, for William Hague’s War [Mike: This is the equivalent of the Secretary of Defense for the UK.], I thought it reasonable to ask for proof of the allegations on which the war will be based. Can anyone help?
Mike: Your problem, Mr. Hitchens, is that you are proceeding from the standpoint or the point of view that the truth actually matters in these matters. I am here to say today I am of the opinion that the truth does not matter in these instances. What matters is the naked and wanton display of power. Powerful men like to appear powerful. Powerful men like to appeal to their own vanity. Powerful men throughout history have appealed to their own vanity. Wars of unimaginable horror and consequence have been launched by the vain. We ourselves in the Western world have entered into wars launched by men of vanity who were convinced [mocking] “We have to act and we have to act now.” Then the loss of tens of thousands — I heard Andrew Wilkow pointing this out about World War I and President Wilson’s getting American troops involved in that slaughter. Who speaks for the soldier? Who speaks for the widow? Who speaks for the sister that loses a big brother? Who speaks for the grandfather who loses a grandson?
We’re not talking about defending the beaches of San Diego. We’re not talking about defending the beaches of Norfolk, Virginia. We’re not talking about stopping an invasion that’s about to happen in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. We’re not talking about the beaches of New Jersey being stormed. We’re not talking about people coming in across our northern border into northern states through Canada. Yet we have all the machinations and all the great men of state of our once-great republic, that isn’t even a republic anymore, insisting that it is our moral responsibility to get involved here. For what purpose? As Patrick J. Buchanan points out today, cui bono, Latin for “for whose benefit?” I might have the answer to that question as well.
The time is now, ladies and gentlemen, to raise your voices against this and demand that the Congress of the United States get their behinds back to Mordor and to either stop this madman before he starts another war or gets us embroiled in another war in the Middle East, or if we’re going to get embroiled in another war, at least do it with the blessing of the Congress of the United States, meaning that all of us are on the hook for it, too. I don’t think that can happen, do you? Yet here we are talking about this as if it’s a foregone conclusion. The president doesn’t have the power to act unilaterally here. Last week I laughed about Senator Coburn saying: Well, the president is getting perilously close to impeachable offenses. Perilously close? He’s about to commit another one, for heaven’s sake! Stop him, Senator Coburn, stop him.
End Mike Church Show Transcript