LIMBAUGH: Another Mike, this one in Olympia, Washington. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.This isn't the first time Limbaugh has suggested that no good soldier could possibly be a Democrat. He said Democratic congressional candidate, marine Major Paul Hackett had gone to Iraq to "pad his resume."
CALLER 2: Hi Rush, thanks for taking my call.
LIMBAUGH: You bet.
CALLER 2: I have a retort to Mike in Chicago, because I am a serving American military, in the Army. I've been serving for 14 years, very proudly.
LIMBAUGH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER 2: And, you know, I'm one of the few that joined the Army to serve my country, I'm proud to say, not for the money or anything like that. What I would like to retort to is that, if we pull -- what these people don't understand is if we pull out of Iraq right now, which is about impossible because of all the stuff that's over there, it'd take us at least a year to pull everything back out of Iraq, then Iraq itself would collapse, and we'd have to go right back over there within a year or so. And --
LIMBAUGH: There's a lot more than that that they don't understand. They can't even -- if -- the next guy that calls here, I'm gonna ask him: Why should we pull -- what is the imperative for pulling out? What's in it for the United States to pull out? They can't -- I don't think they have an answer for that other than, "Well, we just gotta bring the troops home."
CALLER 2: Yeah, and, you know what --
LIMBAUGH: "Save the -- keep the troops safe" or whatever. I -- it's not possible, intellectually, to follow these people.
CALLER 2: No, it's not, and what's really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.
LIMBAUGH: The phony soldiers.
CALLER 2: The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they're willing to sacrifice for their country.
LIMBAUGH: They joined to be in Iraq. They joined --
CALLER 2: A lot of them -- the new kids, yeah.
LIMBAUGH: Well, you know where you're going these days, the last four years, if you signed up. The odds are you're going there or Afghanistan or somewhere.
CALLER 2: Exactly, sir.
Of course, Limbaugh has a long history of disparaging General Clark:
RUSH: The administration is calling it a war? They don't even think it is a war! There is no war! John Edwards has said it. Now Wesley Clark, "Ashley Wilkes," is saying it."
Blast from the past, in 2003, when Wesley Clark was mulling a run for the presidency, Rush accused him of conduct unbecoming an officer (El Rushbo baselessly charged that Clark "had to beg Bill Clinton for his fourth star. Military people think that he didn't earn it--that he hasn't deserved it--that Clinton gave it to him anyway").
What makes this more interesting was that Rush got this from a Lowell Ponte article from Front Page Magazine which is run by David Horowitz who is still subject to charges of violation of the Espionage Act.
When the GOP won control of Congress in 1994, one of the first acts by many freshmen (calling themselves the "Dittohead Caucus") was to award Limbaugh the title of "honorary member of Congress" in recognition of his support of their efforts during this period
Here's Kate O'Beirne in the National Review:
[Y]ou inspired me this morning. There's no reason that I have to do that. I'm -- and at least I think I do, but when I listen to you, I get all the information I need, and I -- and I -- it is -- I have a confidence in the President, in the policies, in the goals. I have -- I know his conviction. I know he's right and I know he has the leadership to do it. What I don't have, and what I can only get from you, is the cheerfulness of your confidence --
Now comes a well-financed media campaign against Rush Limbaugh in a fruitless attempt to discredit him as a forthright apologist for the detainee abuse. Conservatives should take heart. First, the un-listenable (in every sense) Air America squanders buckets of liberal cash and now the Left is generously funding David Brock as their utterly implausible media watchdog. His first big target is Rush. The Left has always regarded the most-successful radio-talk-show host in history as a malevolent propagandist, and their acolytes in the White House press corps eagerly embraced the Brock smear and badgered Scott McClellan to repudiate the phony charge. They were sensibly blown off. But, a partisan parasite finding eager hosts among White House reporters is a depressing spectacle. And, just as calls for Don Rumsfeld's resignation are aimed at President Bush, the attack on Rush is designed to discredit conservatives.
Rush's angry, frustrated critics discount how hard it is to make an outrageous charge against him stick. But, we listeners have spent years with him, we know him, and trust him. Rush is one of those rare acquaintances who can be defended against an assault challenging his character without ever knowing the "facts." We trust his good judgment, his unerring decency, and his fierce loyalty to the country he loves and to the courageous young Americans who defend her.
As of 2005, Arbitron ratings indicate that the Rush Limbaugh Show has a minimum weekly audience of 13.5 million listeners, making it the largest radio talk show audience in the United States. Such high ratings have been a consistent hallmark of his showAnd yesterday, the most influential radio commentator in the country said that military people who spoke out against the war were "phony soldiers."
On August 19, The New York Times published an op-ed by seven members of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division. They ended their assessment of the situation in Iraq with the following passage:
In a lawless environment where men with guns rule the streets, engaging in the banalities of life has become a death-defying act. Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise, while we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence. When the primary preoccupation of average Iraqis is when and how they are likely to be killed, we can hardly feel smug as we hand out care packages. As an Iraqi man told us a few days ago with deep resignation, "We need security, not free food."
In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are -- an army of occupation -- and force our withdrawal.
Until that happens, it would be prudent for us to increasingly let Iraqis take center stage in all matters, to come up with a nuanced policy in which we assist them from the margins but let them resolve their differences as they see fit. This suggestion is not meant to be defeatist, but rather to highlight our pursuit of incompatible policies to absurd ends without recognizing the incongruities.
We need not talk about our morale. As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.
On September 12, The New York Times noted: "Two of the soldiers who wrote of their pessimism about the war in an Op-Ed article that appeared in The New York Times on Aug. 19 were killed in Baghdad on Monday."