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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Stop playing war


Iranian women at target practice

On Hardball, Matthews, Milbank, and Buchanan discussed "rallying effect" of attack on Iran

Summary: On Hardball, Chris Matthews, Dana Milbank, and Pat Buchanan discussed what they agreed were the likely political benefits to President Bush and congressional Republicans if he were to launch a pre-emptive war against Iran.

On the March 15 edition (7:00 p.m. ET hour) of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, and MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan discussed what they agreed were the likely political benefits to President Bush and congressional Republicans in November 2006 if Bush were to launch a pre-emptive war against Iran. Buchanan posited: "I don't think he's going to do it for political reasons, but if he did do it for political reasons, you'd do it in October," because "you'd get right up the polls ... you'd win the election." Matthews, who confessed to being "staggered by the possible truth" in Buchanan's comments, invited Milbank to comment. Milbank noted that "[t]here is undoubtedly a rallying effect," but, according to Milbank, the question regarding a possible war against Iran launched partially -- or purely -- for political gain is: "Exactly when do you do the action, and exactly how long do you stay up at the top of the heap here?"

As of this posting, the transcript of this exchange was not available on the MSNBC website, nor was it available in the Nexis or Factiva databases. The transcript of the March 15 (5:00 p.m. ET hour) edition of Hardball, which featured Buchanan opposite former Clinton White House chief of staff Leon Panetta, is available on MSNBC.com and on Nexis and Factiva. The transcript below was drawn from Media Matters for America's archive and from the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy weblog.

....................................

MATTHEWS: Yeah, but a very small percentage say we should take pre-emptive military action.

BUCHANAN: Well, once, I know, nobody thought we should go into Grenada. But when [former President Ronald] Reagan went into Grenada, everybody said that was a wonderful thing to do. If he hit them -- but you wouldn't hit them tomorrow.

MATTHEWS: That was a -- that was a win.

BUCHANAN: Well, that was a win, but listen, you don't hit them, tomorrow --

MATTHEWS: But Granada can't get anything -- in the Arab world, in the Persian world, it's a lot of opportunities out there to do damage against us and Israel --

BUCHANAN: I don't think he's going to do it for political reasons, but if he did do it for political reasons, you'd do it in October.

MATTHEWS: Why? To win?

BUCHANAN: Sure, you'd get right up the polls. Just like, you'd go right up, you'd win the election.

MATTHEWS: Dana, I'm staggered by the possible truth in what he just said. That a blitzkrieg-type action by the president -- do something before the public even thought about him doing it -- would put him on top of the heap again.

MILBANK: There is undoubtedly a rallying effect. There's no way, there's no way around that. The question is: Exactly when do you do the action, and exactly how long do you stay up at the top of the heap here?

Are these people crazy? If we so much as toss a bomb on to Iranian soil, the Iraqi shia will go batshit. And if they go batshit, the US Army will pay for it.

posted by Steve @ 12:33:00 AM

12:33:00 AM

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