What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Conservative Humanitarians

When the United States launched an attack against Iraq in March 2003 to rid the country of deadly weapons of mass destructions, most conservatives supported President Bush and his decision to go to war. As time passed, with no WMDs found, conservatives still supported President Bush. And when we finally learned earlier this month that the Iraq Survey Group had stopped its hunt for WMDs (registration may be required to view the story at the Washington Post), conservatives didn't have much to say. Perhaps they had forgotten the original reason. They're now on board for the new reason, to spread democracy to Iraq and to liberate the Iraqi people.

Suddenly conservatives became humanitarians, with their phony concern for the Iraqi people. Invariably, on a show like Hannity and Colmes, Sean Hannity would launch into a tirade when pitted against a liberal guest who opposed the war. Sean would say something like this:

"There were mass graves, Michael. What about that? What about the rape rooms and the torture chambers? Should we not have gone in to put a stop to Saddam Hussein's tyranny?"

Most conservative pundits spoke of Iraq the same way, referring to mass graves and rape rooms and torture.

Which got me thinking: what did conservatives have to say about Iraq in the 1990s? After all, it was that decade that produced mass graves, and rape rooms, and torture. Wouldn't conservatives have spoken out against the human rights violations in Iraq during the 1990s? You'd think so.

You'd be wrong.

In extensive review of years worth of transcripts from shows like Hannity and Colmes, I couldn't find a single instance where Sean Hannity mentioned how the United States needed to liberate Iraq.

My research tool is Highbeam Research. It's like a low-cost version of Lexis-Nexis. It doesn't have a huge database like Lexis-Nexis, but it does have Fox News transcripts.

So, on to Sean Hannity. What did he have to say about Iraq in the 1990s? I performed a Boolean search with the terms "Iraq" and "Democracy," searching from 1996 to 2000. The result? Three hits. Let's see what Sean Hannity had to say about Iraq in the 1990s:

Hannity and Colmes, March 24, 1999:

"HANNITY: (to guest Gary Bauer) I am a big believer in covert operations. For example, when we bombed Libya and we nearly got Muammar Qadhafi. What happened? He was awfully quiet for a good many years. I believe that, for example, if -- if we had targeted Saddam Hussein personally, many, many lives could have been saved, but there's an executive order that prevents the United States from being involved in any assassination attempts. So if we're talking about Milosevic, if we're talking bout Saddam Hussein or Muammar Qadhafi or Ayatollah Khomeini or any of these people around the world, should the United States perhaps covertly be involved, covert operations, in assassination of foreign leaders?"

Hmm. No mention of rape rooms or torture or mass graves in Iraq. The other two hits were unrelated to Iraq.

Now what? Well, how about a search for "Iraq" and "liberation"?

Nuts. Nothing. Although there are a few instances of Sean Hannity criticizing Bill Clinton's decision to send troops to Kosovo. You know, not supporting the president when we have troops in harms way. I guess that only applies to Republican presidents, eh, Sean?

Well, shoot. I guess I'll try "Iraq" and "rape" and see what I get.

Nothing. Damn.

Hannity's a wash. How about Ann Coulter? Surely she's said something about Iraq in the past.

Guess what? Nothing.

Rush Limbaugh. I'll bet he's said something about Iraq and the horrible conditions Iraqis lived under during the 1990s.

I guessed wrong.

Not a single right-wing pundit spoke out against the horrible conditions in Iraq in the 1990s. None I could find, anyway. So, reader, if you have a link to any republican or conservative advocating the liberation of the Iraqi people during the 1990s, drop me a line.


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