It's been a while, and an alert reader noticed that I haven't passed out any "Idiot of the Day" awards in some time. I certainly didn't forget about the awards, and there hasn't been a shortage of potential recipients. Between the MSM and Democratic politicians, there is a veritable cornucopia of possibly candidates. However, the blog has been focused on other matters, leaving the idiots to their own devices. Until now.
MSNBC talk show host Chris Matthews has managed to end the idiot award drought, thanks to his recent comments in Toronto. Speaking to political science students in that city, Matthews opined that most Americans have still not learned to know their enemies, instead of just hating them. "If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up," he observed. "The person on the other side is not evil, they just have a different perspective."
Let me get this straight. Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaida killers really aren't terrorists, they just have a different point of view. And maybe if we try to understand their perspective, we can all live together in peace and harmony. Riiighttt......
Matthews also recited the tired Democratic talking point that President Bush squandered a chance to "bring the world together" in the fight against terrorism by invading Iraq. Never mid that 30+ countries joined the coalition anyway. Or, that many of the nations that opposed the war were either (a) vehemently anti-American (think Cuba or North Korea); (b) spineless and unwilling to face the task at hand (Germany), or (c) already in Saddam's pocket (hellooo France).
It is easy to dismiss Matthews's global "analysis" as the half-witted musings of a former Democratic party hack who acquired his world view at the knee of Tip O
Neil. But, regrettably, Mr. Matthews has a national stage for his views, in the form of his low-rated talk show. That's why his comments deserve the appropriate level of ridicule and derision, since they have no basis in fact.
One final thought: if the U.S. made no effort to "understand" its enemies, then we would use the same strategy pursued by the former Soviet Union in its invasion of Afghanistan. As you'll recall, the Soviets carpet-bombed large swaths of Afghan territory and tried to terrorize civilians, in an effort to defeat the mujahedin. The strategy was a complete failure.
Instead of using overwhelming firepower, the U.S. has deliberately placed soliders in harm's way, in order to minimize civilian casualties. We've also spent millions on nation-building programs, designed to create democratic institutions and bring millions of Afghans and Iraqis into the political process. Military and political leaders far brighter than Mr. Matthews understand that Islamofacists can't be defeated through "understanding." They must be defeated militarily, politically, economically and educationally, and that's why we're pursuing those options in Iraq and Afghanistan. By comparsion, the "accomodation" policies that Matthews seems to support are little more than a variation on the "peace through surrender" option now in vogue with the American left.
For his Chamberlainesqe approach to the War on Terror, Chris Matthews is our latest recipient of the Idiot of the Day Award.