The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

09 June 2006

Zarqawi, Neal Boortz, Rush Limbaugh, Talk Radio

TABLES TURN

As Second Setback Shakes 'Progressives', Talkers Benefit





After a second major victory for conservatives and Republicans in a single week, both sides of the ideological divide have now been forced to reconsider how they read the poltical tea leaves.

For lefties, the setbacks began on Tuesday, with a disappointing loss for Democrats in California's hotly- contested and competitive 50th Congressional District.

With surveys showing significant Bush and GOP unpopularity, Dems are now forced to confront the only poll that really counts: election day.

Providing a second significant blow for "progressives" was today's confirmed execution of Iraqi al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Concerning the Iraq conflict's progress, that's had the immediate effect of taking the wind out of left- wing sails. Only by falsely claiming that Zarqawi wasn't especially important to the insurgency can liberals hope to circumvent this tremendous setback.


For conservative talkers, the effect has been both immediate and dramatic. Sweeping away the recent gloom and doom over the GOP's sad state of affairs (especially given frustration with Bush over the illegal immigration issue), these developments provide a huge morale boost.

Listening to both libertarian Neal Boortz and conservative Rush Limbaugh's programs Thursday, it was impossible to miss the sudden mood shift. They sounded upbeat and energetic. These stories provide not only a shot in the arm for the right, but spin control manuevers from the left have also created fresh fodder to fuel upcoming monologues.

Among our observations today:


Over what he saw as the mainstream media's diversionary tactics to downplay positive aspects of Zarqawi's capture, Boortz was on the rampage. And when he later interviewed Ann Coulter (whose recent controversial comments about 9/11 widows made a lot more sense when explained at length), it was amazing to sense how quickly the news cycle had already moved on to something bigger.


Right out of the gate, Rush Limbaugh demonstrated a renewed vigor, after a relatively rare week of positive developments. Liberal bloggers who tried to downplay today's events, such as those at the DailyKOS, provided easy targets for the talk titan. Reviewing the distinct differences in network coverage was another popular topic.

Rush wondered whether liberals had made the mistake of "believing their own press" rather than taking a realistic assessment of their current fortunes.

What he didn't mention: in absorbing all of the gloom- and- doom coverage, did conservatives also make the same error with the feeling that everything was hopeless?


Even the callers were picking Thursday's low- hanging fruit. One woman who phoned Howie Carr's regionally- syndicated New England- based show noted her disgust at seeing NBC's Today Show stick to fluff topics (such as June weddings) as other networks covered press conferences and other fast- breaking Iraq developments.

And with late news of a second major terrorist killed today, momentum in Iraq has clearly taken a substantial shift.


ALSO: A major coup for FOX News Radio's John Gibson Show: a testy interview with ultra- lefty Michael Berg, father of activist Nick Berg, who was beheaded by Zarqawi's terrorist thugs in Iraq.

Increasingly part of the radical Cindy Sheehan crowd, the elder Berg sees no difference between Zarqawi and Bush.

Expose The Left has the story and audio.

ALSO: Sister Toldjah monitored Air America's hosts, which was probably about as much fun as eating bugs on "Fear Factor". Thanks, Sister Toldjah!

Your Amazon orders that begin with clicks here, regardless of your final purchases, are vital to supporting this site's efforts. Thanks again! Note: Amazon is now shipping copies of Ann Coulter's Godless.

Zarqawi graphic: FOX News Channel

25 Comments:

  • Nick Berg is not related to Daniel Perle who you are thinking about. Nick Berg is the father of Nick Berg, Jr. who's head was sawn off in Iraq by Zarqawi's bloody hands and the video was posted on the internet. Nick Berg, Sr. lost his mind when his son lost his head.

    By Blogger Marian, at 09 June, 2006 02:17  

  • You beat me to the correction.
    Nick Berg's father is now running for congress. When his son was murdered he blamed George Bush, surprisingly he has become similar to the four 9/11 widows whose grief is their shield for saying outrageous, idiotic things.

    By Blogger Skeptic, at 09 June, 2006 02:29  

  • He'd better watch himself, or else Ann Coulter will give him the same treatment she gave those 9/11 "widows."

    Why is it that the left seems to love making hatred for America their M.O. ?????? Especially when leftist bloggers and their pals the Democrats call the death of Zarqawi a stunt--A STUNT?!?! WHO DOES THE LEFT THINK THEY ARE? Oh, I forgot, THEY HAVE NO USE FOR AMERICA!!!!!

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 09 June, 2006 06:33  

  • Too bad we didn't get him 3+ years ago.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4431601/

    "But NBC News has learned that long before the war the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation and perhaps kill Zarqawi himself — but never pulled the trigger."

    By Blogger Robert, at 09 June, 2006 10:45  

  • Robert

    When you hear the stories about Clinton having three chances to off OBL but always passing, what do you say? So is it true now because you like what it says and it fits your own myopic view of the world or ???

    By Blogger Seriouslyunserious, at 09 June, 2006 11:16  

  • Seriouslyunserious.

    What the F does Clinton have to do with the newstory I posted? Can you defend anything Bush does or didn't do without bringing up Clinton? Bush clearly didn't go after Zarqawi in 2003 for political reasons.

    BTW - When Clinton did try to KILL Osama, W made fun of it. "When I take action, I’m not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It’s going to be decisive."

    Bush has decisively failed to get Osama for the past 4+ years.

    By Blogger Robert, at 09 June, 2006 12:51  

  • Robert - you forgot one point in your article:

    "“People were more obsessed with developing the coalition to overthrow Saddam than to execute the president’s policy of preemption against terrorists,” according to terrorism expert and former National Security Council member Roger Cressey."

    In June of 2002, the cleanup in Lower Manhattan had just been completed. We were nine months into Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), which would last in the active combat phase until May of 2003.

    The rumblings of taking down Saddam were already starting, but practically everyone in the press was insisting on letting sanctions work, let the UN inspectors do their work, the US cannot act unilaterally, blah, blah, blah.

    If Dubya had acted on this, he would have been crucified worldwide. So instead, he waited for the UN negotiations to play out their course, knowing all the while what the end result would be, but allowing the United Nothing to come to the same conclusion.

    That 20/20 hindsight thing sure is pretty cool.

    A parenthetical story: From 1920 to 1924 there was a Japanese student enrolled at Harvard. This student, in 1922, disappeared for three months and was later observed by Mexican agents observing American oil shipping activities in Tampico, Mexico, prior to returning to Harvard. His presence had been made known to J. Edgar Hoover. He could have been picked up at that time on an immigration visa violation but he wasn't. That student's name was Isoroku Yamamoto. Later, this story would be just one of the threads that got woven into the tapestry of the U.S. Guvmint having foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor, but instead let it happen because FDR wanted us in a war that the American public did not support; thus, he needed an overt act to be committed by someone against the US - another USS Maine or the like.

    The path of hindsight never leads to satisfaction. It requires only looking backward instead of looking forward or concentrating on the now.

    By Blogger JD, at 09 June, 2006 13:00  

  • JD,

    I think your assertion that Bush would have been "crucified" if he had taken out Zarqawi is quite silly. We had the world on our side in 2002 and the world would have understood. Zarqawi was hiding in the No-Fly zone in Northern Iraq and it wouldn't have been that difficult of a mission.

    And what negotions with Saddam are you talking about? Saddam let the inspectors in and they were inspecting. (Funny how they didn't find anything) The US's stated public goal in early 2003 then was diarmament of Iraq - not regime change or democracy at this point, although we know now Bush had completely different plans.

    By Blogger Robert, at 09 June, 2006 13:17  

  • If the police told drug dealers when they were going to execute a raid on a crack house, and the drug dealer had the ability to deny the police full access, or to stop the raid itself, would anyone ever believe that not finding drugs meant the drug dealer never had drugs? Of course not, yet people in their hatered for Bush are willing to believe inspectors who were denied full access and sometimes even kicked out made a valid search of Iraq, it's idiotic. Saddam had all the time in the world to move and conceal stuff. A valid UN inspection is like bigfoot, there are a lot of stories and even some fuzzy pictures, but they don't exist.

    By Blogger Lonewatchman, at 09 June, 2006 13:53  

  • Lonegunman, don't forget in your analogy that Hussein knew we were going to be coming a year before we went in. Bush held out because he didn't want the elections to affect the war. Even then he was beat up by the liberals for using the war to get Republicans elected.

    That gives a lot of time to hide the goods.

    By Blogger tradersmith, at 09 June, 2006 16:27  

  • Robert thanks for the intelligent response ( ? ).

    You are deluded and blinded by hatred. What evidence do you have that we have been doing anything other than tracking this weasel for months and finally found him still long enough in a spot that we could get the F 16 in position and smoke his ass.

    I could give a flip about Clinton, I just knew how you would react to a story about him having acted politically. Thanks for demonstrating my point to anyone else reading here.

    By Blogger Seriouslyunserious, at 09 June, 2006 18:00  

  • Robert posted:
    I think your assertion that Bush would have been "crucified" if he had taken out Zarqawi is quite silly. We had the world on our side in 2002 and the world would have understood. Zarqawi was hiding in the No-Fly zone in Northern Iraq and it wouldn't have been that difficult of a mission.
    Wait a minute... I thought the mantra of the Left is that Saddam and Iraq had NOTHING to do with Al Qaeda! Now we have admission that the Number 2 guy of Al Qaeda was hiding in Iraq in 2002, well prior to our invasion and overthrow of Saddam?

    I guess that puts the whole "Bush Lied - there wasn't any tie between Iraq and 9/11" thing out to pasture... I mean, if Saddam was harboring top Al Qaeda operatives prior to our invasion, well, that does say there was some sort of relationship there, and it's not much of a stretch at ALL to think that Al Qaeda was in Iraq prior to 9/11 as well...

    By Blogger Lynnwood Rooster, at 09 June, 2006 18:02  

  • "We had the world on our side in 2002 and the world would have understood."


    Uhm ex-squeeze me? But didn't France, Russia and German want zip to do with us going after these islamo-fascists because they had some connection to Hussein? So when we got that rat in his appropriate rathole, those three country's ticket for oil--UP IN SMOKE!

    Of all the countries in the world, England, Australia, Bulgaria are squarely with us at least as far as I know. Spain after Al-Qaida attacked in 2004 cowtowed and elected a socialist for its leader--voting out Bush ally Aznar. Italy is now on the fence since Berlusconi is no longer in charge and the new PM may be more left leaning.

    Canada, however has gone to the other side of the fence thanks to the election of conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper--and of course the big terror bust last week.

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 09 June, 2006 19:02  

  • But didn't France, Russia and German want zip to do with us going after these islamo-fascists because they had some connection to Hussein?

    If by "some connection," you mean multi-billion dollar oil contracts with the Hussein Regime and billions in kickbacks from the UN Oil-For-Palaces program, then... yes.

    The only reason the "world was with us on 9-11" is because they were happy that America had been bloodied. After we started standing up for ourselves, support from the Eurotwits evaporated rapidly.

    By Blogger V the K, at 10 June, 2006 14:36  

  • Lynnwood Rooster said:
    Wait a minute... I thought the mantra of the Left is that Saddam and Iraq had NOTHING to do with Al Qaeda! Now we have admission that the Number 2 guy of Al Qaeda was hiding in Iraq in 2002, well prior to our invasion and overthrow of Saddam?


    Either you are just plain ignorant or you are lying. Zarqawi was in the no-fly zone and was out of the reach of Saddam. The fact is that Bush let him get away because it it would hurt the chances of invading Iraq. Now the Right wants blame the left for Bush's incompetence. That's SOP for the Republicons. It's pathetic.

    By Blogger pbrauer, at 10 June, 2006 19:05  

  • In a shocker, Saddam had control over the land.
    -=Mike

    By Blogger MikeinSC, at 10 June, 2006 23:00  

  • Lynnwood Rooster wrote
    "Wait a minute... I thought the mantra of the Left is that Saddam and Iraq had NOTHING to do with Al Qaeda! Now we have admission that the Number 2 guy of Al Qaeda was hiding in Iraq in 2002, well prior to our invasion and overthrow of Saddam?

    I guess that puts the whole "Bush Lied - there wasn't any tie between Iraq and 9/11" thing out to pasture... I mean, if Saddam was harboring top Al Qaeda operatives prior to our invasion, well, that does say there was some sort of relationship there, and it's not much of a stretch at ALL to think that Al Qaeda was in Iraq prior to 9/11 as well..."

    I was listening to Hannity on Friday and he quoted a statement by Bin Laden calling Zarqawi "the prince of Al Qaeda in Iraq". He was using this to show Zarqawi's linkage to Al Qaeda.

    Here is a link to an article about Bin Laden's statement: http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/12/27/binladen.tape/

    This would tend to show an Iraq/ Al Qaeda/ Zarqawi link.

    The problem with Lynnwood Rooster's assertions that "the number 2 quy of Al Qaeda was hiding in Iraq in 2002", and "I guess that puts the whole "Bush Lied - there wasn't any tie between Iraq and 9/11" thing out to pasture", is that the Bin Laden was welcoming Zarqawi into a union with Al Qaeda story is dated Monday, December 27, 2004 .

    The story states " the tape would mark the first time the al Qaeda leader has mentioned al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian terrorist whose group had been responsible for numerous car bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq.

    Al-Zarqawi recently renamed his group from Unification and Jihad to al Qaeda in Iraq.

    Bin Laden went on to state "We, in al Qaeda organization, welcome him joining forces with us, a great welcome and this will be a great step towards unifying the mujahedeens' efforts in establishing the nation of justice and destroying the nation of evil.

    "We ask God to accept this unity and bless it and for all to know, the dear mujahed brother Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is the prince of al Qaeda in Iraq, so we ask all our organization brethren to listen to him and obey him in his good deeds."

    Again this happened in late December 2004, so clearly Zarqawi was not affiliated with Al Qaeda in 2002.

    Nice try though.

    By Blogger Ezsuds81, at 11 June, 2006 06:43  

  • "If by "some connection," you mean multi-billion dollar oil contracts with the Hussein Regime and billions in kickbacks from the UN Oil-For-Palaces program, then... yes."

    v the k, that's what I meant--not to mention Oil-For-Food.

    By Blogger The Real Bob Anthony, at 11 June, 2006 10:21  

  • Hey Brainless Baloney,

    Guess who's in your old Sunday night slot on Kiro710?

    David Goldstein!

    Justice served you freaking, lying right-wing failure!!!!

    Look what you're reduced to: brown-nosing wingnut radio liars who still have a job!!

    By Blogger Dovish, at 11 June, 2006 14:14  

  • http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4431601/

    This story is all you need to know. The right wing Bush apologising media, forgot all about this story and paraded Zarqawi's death as if this is the end of terrorism. Somehow the right wing media forgets that we could have stopped this man 3 years ago. Wing nuts, why are you crying about the media at all? The media reports your little pro-wrestling like storyline exactly the way you want America to think. Zarqauwi is dead, let's ignore the past and forgive Bush for everything!!!IF you still latch on to this 'lib media' insanity, you really are delusional. The picture of Rush holding the American flag is treason in itself Brian. That is an insult to America.

    By Blogger rightwingwhiner, at 11 June, 2006 20:29  

  • pbrauer posted:
    Either you are just plain ignorant or you are lying. Zarqawi was in the no-fly zone and was out of the reach of Saddam. The fact is that Bush let him get away because it it would hurt the chances of invading Iraq. Now the Right wants blame the left for Bush's incompetence. That's SOP for the Republicons. It's pathetic.

    Or maybe I just know a few things beyond what your DNC talking points address? Like the fact Saddam was active in the No Fly Zones at least since 1994...

    And what about the repraisals against the Kurds and the Shiites? Draining of marshes, gassing of towns, all seemed to happen within the no-fly zones. Saddam certainly seemed to have NO problem moving troops in and out of the no fly zones.

    Not to mention the fact we moved 54,000 troops into Kuwait in two YEARS after the no-fly zones, to counter the big Iraqi army build-up on that border.

    Yeah, I must be ignorant or lying. Never mind the facts - Bush is evil, so anyone who says anything positive about anything our President does must be a lying moron!

    Ezsuds81 writes:
    The problem with Lynnwood Rooster's assertions that "the number 2 quy of Al Qaeda was hiding in Iraq in 2002", and "I guess that puts the whole "Bush Lied - there wasn't any tie between Iraq and 9/11" thing out to pasture", is that the Bin Laden was welcoming Zarqawi into a union with Al Qaeda story is dated Monday, December 27, 2004 .

    Hmmm... Here's a reference stating otherwise, that Zarqawi was working with al-Qaeda for several years before his organization OFFICIALLY joined al-Qaeda.

    Oh, and there's other information about other al-Qaeda/Saddam links as well, like from ABC News' translation of official 1995 Iraqi documents. Still gonna stick to the whole "no WMDs, no Iraq/al-Qaeda links" canard? After all, the Clinton administration's position was that there was a strong connection.

    Regardless, I will concede that it's possible that there wasn't an official link between Zarqawi and al-Qaeda prior to 2004; however, I stand by the implication that al-Qaeda was active in Iraq and with Iraq prior to the invasion, and that Zarqawi and al-Qaeda worked together prior to the official merging of the two groups.

    And somehow I think this is well beyond any acknowledgement of being incorrect that we can expect from pbrauer, or most of the foaming-at-the-mouth Democrats (NOTE: not all Democrats are foaming-at-the-mouth; it seems that a very vocal minority has hijacked the party of Scoop Jackson, Henry Magnuson, John F. Kennedy, and Joe Leiberman).

    By Blogger Lynnwood Rooster, at 11 June, 2006 20:55  

  • RWW said: "http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4431601/

    This story is all you need to know.
    "

    Asked and answered, RWW. See above in the thread.

    Nice try, though.

    I would encourage you to check some of the links provided by the Rooster before closing off your mind to the debate.

    Assuming, of course, that your mind is open to debate in the first place.

    By Blogger JD, at 11 June, 2006 21:51  

  • The MSNBC Story is not the only one out there.
    US 'allowed Zarqawi to escape'
    By Chris Evans
    May 1, 2006
    AdvertisementAdvertisement
    The United States deliberately passed up repeated opportunities to kill the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, before the March 2003 US-led invasion of that country.
    The claim, by former US spy Mike Scheuer, was made in an interview to be shown on ABC TV's Four Corners tonight.
    Zarqawi is often described as a lieutenant of Osama bin Laden, whose supporters masterminded the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.
    Mr Scheuer was a CIA agent for 22 years - six of them as head of the agency's Osama bin Laden unit - until he resigned in 2004.
    He told Four Corners that during 2002, the Bush Administration received detailed intelligence about Zarqawi's training camp in Iraqi Kurdistan.
    Mr Scheuer claims that a July 2002 plan to destroy the camp lapsed because "it was more important not to give the Europeans the impression we were gunslingers".
    "Mr Bush had Zarqawi in his sights almost every day for a year before the invasion of Iraq and he didn't shoot because they were wining and dining the French in an effort to get them to assist us in the invasion of Iraq," he told Four Corners.
    "Almost every day we sent a package to the White House that had overhead imagery of the house he was staying in. It was a terrorist training camp . . . experimenting with ricin and anthrax . . . any collateral damage there would have been terrorists."
    During the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, Zarqawi's presence in the north of the country was used by US officials to link Saddam Hussein to terrorism.
    Zarqawi has twice been sentenced to death by Jordan's state security court.
    He was first sentenced in absentia in November 2004 for planning the murder of a US diplomat in Jordan. The second sentence, last December, concerned plans to attack a border post between Iraq and Jordan.
    LINK

    By Blogger pbrauer, at 11 June, 2006 23:59  

  • Lynnwood Rooster wrote:
    "Regardless, I will concede that it's possible that there wasn't an official link between Zarqawi and al-Qaeda prior to 2004; however, I stand by the implication that al-Qaeda was active in Iraq and with Iraq prior to the invasion, and that Zarqawi and al-Qaeda worked together prior to the official merging of the two groups."

    I think you have pointed out that it is still unclear exactly what links (if any) existed between Iraq, Al qaeda and Zarqawi before President Bush had our troops enter Iraq.

    As time goes by it appears that the justifications President Bush used for war, become more and more questionable.

    http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/IraqCoverage/story?id=144396&page=1&WNT=true

    CIA Questions Saddam's Ties to Al Qaeda
    Bush Administration Claims That Zarqawi Sought Safe Haven in Iraq Put in Doubt

    http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/1546

    Reputed Terrorist Al-Zarqawi Still Shrouded in U.S.-Fed Myth, Mystery

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9831216/site/newsweek/

    Fabricated Links?
    A CIA report casts new doubt on links between Iraq and Al Qaeda

    By Blogger Ezsuds81, at 12 June, 2006 03:28  

  • A relatively minor setback for Air America/prog. talk is WHJJ 920 in Providence, RI, jettisoning Randi
    Rhodes in favor of Michael Savage.
    The curator of the Political Zoo was bounced from WPRO 630 as Jay Severin was added to their lineup. Buh bye Randi!

    from North East Radio Watch:
    >>
    A further update to the evening talk shuffling taking place in RHODE ISLAND: with Jay Severin replacing Sean Hannity in the 7-10 PM slot on WPRO (630 Providence), Hannity moves to the 10 PM-1 AM slot there. That displaces Michael Savage, who moves up the dial to Clear Channel's WHJJ (920 Providence), knocking ideological opposite Randi Rhodes and local host Geoff Charles off the late-night lineup.

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 12 June, 2006 05:57  

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