Rush Limbaugh

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Not until the news that there had been some rapes and other sorts of violence in later photo releases did I have those feelings. But in the first couple days, what I was hearing about these pictures from the political critics didn’t match the way I felt. What I would like for you to do is — and this is not going to be easy — because I’m going to try to describe feelings I had as I watched this but I don’t want to describe what I saw. Haven’t changed my mind about that. It’s going to be hard to separate the two, and if you don’t want to listen to it, I totally understand, and you can take some time here and go somewhere else if you don’t want your kids to listen to it, if they’re listening, and take them somewhere else and not listen to it. There’s no attempt to shock here. But for those of you that want to sit around and give this a go, I want you to listen to me describe the emotions I felt watching this execution and compare those emotions to the emotions you had when you saw the prison photos from Abu Ghraib, and tell me if there’s any similarity.
See, that’s what’s been missing all along. The left has been trying to demonize me for my initial observation of the first photos of Abu Ghraib, “Skull and Bones, college prank, college hazing, college initiation? Limbaugh is an insensitive boob!” They had to take me out of context to do it using what I said about the early photos and then applying my observation to what has since been released, which is far more horrible: homicides, alleged rapes and so forth, and yet those pictures are not the ones I was talking about. But if you didn’t know that you would assume that I was equating homicide, rape and murder with college pranks, which is the out of context that has been taken here with the left and the Skull and Bones comment. And so the headline’s out there: “Limbaugh Endorses Torture,” and my point all along is that perspective makes the attacks of the left on the Abu Ghraib photos and the military ineffective.
The Nick Berg execution video gives us that perspective. I think it bears me out, because what happened to Nick Berg did not happen to U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib and did not happen to prisoners. And keep in mind, I cannot emphasize this enough, Nick Berg was Jewish; Daniel Pearl was Jewish. That is a relevant fact here, a relevant factor as well. They would do it to anybody. They would do it to any of us. You want to talk about repulsed? You want to talk about revulsion and sheer rage and anger? When I hear Americans — and I don’t care who they are and where they are — when I hear Americans actually seriously blame these torture photos for what happened to Nick Berg, rather than blaming the five terrorists in the picture who did it, I can’t describe to you the combination of anger, outrage and utter frustration at the wanton stupidity of the people who say that, because this wanton stupidity is what will lead to us defeat.

This wanton stupidity is what will lead us to paralyzation. This wanton stupidity, if it were ever dominant in leadership positions in this country, would establish a moral equivalence between the people of this country and the five terrorists in the Nick Berg execution video. And the fact that any American can do this, the fact that any American with a brain who’s been paying any attention at all can ignore that 9/11 happened, can ignore that Daniel Pearl’s execution happened, can ignore all the terrorist acts prior to 9/11, and somehow see only the prison photos from Abu Ghraib and then blame those for what happened to Nick Berg… The degree of rage and frustration that that kindles in me is almost indescribable, and if there’s anything that depresses me, it’s that. If there’s anything that will take away from whatever, you know, the optimism that I have, it is the realization that there’s some real blockheads in this country who are so poisoned with their own hate and rage, probably self-hate as well, that they are incapable of rational thought — and those people scare me.
They scare me, if they ever become a majority. They scare me if they ever succeed in electing somebody like them to lead the country. After all the good this country has done for itself and its own population and for the other people of the world, how anybody can come anywhere near — including Senator Kennedy — and establish a moral equivalency between the people of this country, George Bush and Saddam Hussein, or the five terrorists that beheaded Nick Berg is beyond me. It literally is beyond me. I don’t even want to try to understand it. Just like I don’t want to try to understand why those people hate us, because it’s not relevant. Because if we are going to get into that mode of why do they hate us, then the next step is, “Okay, what are we going to do to change ourselves so they won’t hate us?” and that’s not possible, because they hate us for who we are, and who we are is who we are. Cannot be otherwise.
They’re the ones who are sick. They’re the ones who are perverted. They’re the ones who are dangerous. They’re the ones who are subhuman. They’re the ones who are human debris, not the United States of America and not our soldiers and not our prison guards. And the attempt to make this equivalence, the attempt to make this comparison to establish it in the eyes of as many people as possible is repugnant to me and I think is beneath many of the high officials, elected officials in this country who are attempting to do that. So what I want to do — take a break here — I’m going to come back; I’m going to try to describe how I felt as I watched this thing. I just want you to compare those feelings with your own when you saw these prison photos, and you tell me if there’s any similarity. It’s just an academic exercise because I’m here to tell you again, folks, all you need to know is, most Americans don’t want to see this execution video.
Most people cannot describe it. Most people don’t want to hear about it. Most people are not capable of it, and yet all of the so-called torture and violence that we’ve committed in that prison “we must see.” There are people saying, “You must see it! You must see the full scope of the American psyche on this. You must see what we as the American people are capable of.” Well, if we have no trouble looking at these photos out of Abu Ghraib, by comparison, if we’ve got voyeurs all over the place, and there are willing people fighting all over themselves to find as many pictures out of that prison as possible. At the same time, it’s unspeakable what happened to Nick Berg. That alone establishes a difference, for those with the courage to admit it.

All right, I’m going to give this a go. This is not going to be easy, and if you don’t want to listen to this, then please don’t. I mean, don’t listen to it and get offended and upset and call somebody and complain, because nobody’s going to listen. You have been warned. I got on this website and felt just a tremendous degree of anticipation at first because I’d seen all the still photos, and I’d seen some portion of the video that was shown on television yesterday before any of the violence began. And the anticipation was such that I had a rapid heartbeat, because I thought I knew what was coming. I heard the word “beheading,” and I had remembered that Daniel Pearl had refused sedation, and I remember how he had been beheaded, and I was expecting that here. That’s not what happened. I am watching Nick Berg sit with his arms around his knees, describing his families’ names, where he’s from, himself.
These five cowards standing behind him all hooded, afraid to be seen, afraid to be recognized, just pure cowards — and I hated them. I hated these bastards, because I knew what was coming, and I brought to the witnessing of this video all of this shock and outrage over these prison photos, and I knew what was coming, and I was just enraged. And then the terrorist who is said to be Zarqawi starts reading, [sarcastic tone] very bravely from a prepared statement, and at that moment I said, “It’s not even in your heart, is it? Can’t even just say it, has to be written down. Gutless wonder.”
And his masked cohorts, just standing there, and this very frail and small-looking American — who I knew was Jewish, and that enraged me as well — was just sitting there, docile. I couldn’t tell if he knew what was headed his way or not. I have no idea. Still don’t know. I had the sound up some. I couldn’t hear it, computer speakers. I heard enough as it went on to get the drift. But to cut to the chase, there was a sudden lunge, one of these masked cowards made a sudden lunge for the neck of Nick Berg and they rolled him over and produced what looked to be a long knife. I’ve seen the Pearl video too, but this is not like that, if you’ve seen that. This took multiple swipes because this is not a sharp knife, and I was mesmerized. I will admit I could not turn away from it. I couldn’t watch it either. It was tough. I could not believe I was watching this.
Remember, now, talk about perspective. I’m not watching this in a vacuum. I’m already angry as hell knowing what I’m about to see, and I’m angry as hell because of the moral equivalence that has been going on, angry as hell at the attempt that some of my fellow citizens have made previous to this video being seen, to describe what I was watching as having also taken place by Americans, and I was just fuming, and I wanted to jump into that computer screen. I wanted to somehow grab that guy and take him out of there.

I wanted to personally go in and level those guys. There was a flood of powerlessness to stop it even though I knew it was old and there was no stopping it, but you think you can; you want to. This was not a beheading. The news is calling it a “beheading,” and the media is calling it a beheading. This is not a beheading. This was… Folks, cattle have it better. This was not even a slaughter. This was slow. This instrument was purposely — saw, whatever it was — was not sharp. The screams that emanated with each stroke of this instrument were just shocking because you know that Mr. Berg felt everything happening to him — and he looked surprised.
It was a combination of numbing and heart palpitations at the same time, and then these cowards, at the conclusion of it, display their work. I thought I saw a couple smiles through the mouth holes in the mask, and at that instant I wanted to call George Bush and say, “Level the place. Turn it 20,000 degrees and let’s start over. We’re not dealing with human beings. We’re dealing with human debris,” and there’s no other way to look at them, and there’s no other way to deal with them. They don’t deserve to live. They don’t deserve sympathy. They don’t deserve understanding. They don’t deserve compassion. They don’t deserve traditional justice. That’s what I was thinking. To hell with rights and all this stuff. I wanted to be in the charge leading into that room to wipe ’em out.
RUSH: And after all of that, I then decided that were Nick Berg a part of my family, I don’t know how I’d deal with it. It was bad enough watching a fellow American undergo a purposeful execution. I’m going to tell you again, folks: No guillotine here. There’s no “beheading.” Don’t fall for this beheading business if you haven’t seen this. If you have, you know what I’m talking about. It’s not, and I just couldn’t even begin to comprehend what it would be like for a family member to have to live the rest of your lives with this.
And in the context of that, whatever anybody in that family thinks, says or feels, they get a total pass from me. Whatever they think, say or feel is totally understandable. I don’t care what it is. It is just unbelievable, and especially having seen it, to continue to hear some Americans try to establish some degree of similarity between the kind of people we are and the literal human debris that make this their life, just beyond my comprehension. I don’t even want to try to persuade them or talk to them. It is not possible. They’re not rational themselves, people who are able to make this kind of equivalence.

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