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RUSH: Let me move on to something here, speaking of the war in Iraq. Great piece today by Jack Kelly in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the headline: ‘It’s True: Iraq is a Quagmire — But the real story is not something you have heard.’ I mentioned this last week. People are beginning to use the word victory in the current context, more frequently, more and more, and it’s not being reported, obviously not. ‘Our strategy is flawed, and it’s too late to change it. Our resources have been squandered, our best people killed, we’re hated by the natives and our reputation around the world is circling the drain. We must withdraw.’ But these are not the words of Dingy Harry or any other Democrat. Mr. Kelly writes, ‘I’m channeling Osama bin Laden, for whom the war in Iraq has been a catastrophe. Al-Qaida had little presence in Iraq during the regime of Saddam Hussein. But once he was toppled, al-Qaida’s chieftains decided to make Iraq the central front in the global jihad against the Great Satan. ‘The most important and serious issue today for the whole world is this third world war, which the Crusader-Zionist coalition began against the Islamic nation,’ Osama bin Laden said in an audiotape posted on Islamic Web sites in December 2004.

‘Jihadis, money and weapons were poured into Iraq. All for naught. Al-Qaida has been driven from every neighborhood in Baghdad, Maj. Gen. Joseph Fil, the U.S. commander there, said Nov. 7. This follows the expulsion of al-Qaida from two previous ‘capitals’ of its Islamic Republic of Iraq, Ramadi and Baquba. … ‘Iraq has proved to be the graveyard, not just of many al-Qaida operatives, but of the organization’s reputation as a defender of Islam,’ said StrategyPage. … You may not be aware of the calamities that have befallen al-Qaida, because our news media have paid scant attention to them. ‘The situation has changed so unmistakably and so swiftly that we should be reading proud headlines daily,’ said Ralph Peters, a retired Army lieutenant colonel.’ Where are these headlines? They are not there because they don’t fit the narrative.

I have a whole stack of news out of Iraq and how good it is. Let’s just start with the first one at the top of the stack. This is from the New York Times: ”US Says Attacks in Iraq Fell to Feb. 2006 Level .’ The American military said Sunday that the weekly number of attacks in Iraq had fallen to the lowest level since just before the February 2006 bombing of the Shiite shrine in Samarra, an event commonly used as a benchmark for the country’s worst spasm of bloodletting after the American invasion.’ So the levels have reached the pre-Samarra mosque blast that was destroyed, sparked the so-called civil war that never was and Jack Murtha is constantly railing about. But there is no civil war. In fact on page two: ”These trends are stunning in military terms and beyond the predictions of most proponents of the surge last winter,’ said Michael O’Hanlon, a military analyst at the Brookings Institution, referring to President Bush’s troop reinforcement plan. ‘Nobody knows if the trends are durable in the absence of national reconciliation and in the face of major US troop drawdowns in 2008.”

In the Los Angeles Times today: ‘Despite persistent sectarian tensions in the Iraqi government, war-weary Sunnis and Shiites are joining hands at the local level to protect their communities from militants on both sides, US military officials say. In the last two months, a US-backed policing movement called Concerned Citizens, launched last year in Sunni-dominated Anbar province under the banner of the Awakening movement, has spread rapidly into the mixed Iraqi heartland. Of the nearly 70,000 Iraqi men in the Awakening movement, started by Sunni Muslim sheiks who turned their followers against Al Qaeda in Iraq, there are now more in Baghdad and its environs than anywhere else, and a growing number of those are Shiite Muslims. Commanders in the field think they have tapped into a genuine public expression of reconciliation that has outpaced the elected government’s progress on mending the sectarian rift.’

So, a question. If Shiites and Sunnis are working together, you don’t have a civil war. There never was a civil war, but there certainly isn’t one now. Every Democrat ought to be forever discredited on this issue because of what has happened, because of the greatness of the United States military, because of the perseverance of their commanders and the perseverance of the president, by the way, who refused to buckle and to capitulate for calls to give up and surrender. I read this news, and admittedly now, it’s in the New York Times and the LA Times, and it’s out there, and it is what it is. But it is not being picked up by any of the broadcast networks, and I doubt that it will be. Of course, Democrats are not going to be asked about this, because it will take them into areas that they don’t wish to go. If they are asked about it, ‘Ah, this is just temporary, and the real problem is the Iraqi government hasn’t been able to put itself together politically. This doesn’t really mean anything.’

They ought to be punished at the ballot box next November, both as a party and individually, profoundly, for doing everything they’ve done to try to sabotage victory, to impugn the honor and the integrity of US troops. Ralph Peters is right. There ought to be all kinds of banner headlines celebrating the great work of the men and women in the United States armed forces, but it just doesn’t fit the template. It’s a shame. It doesn’t matter, folks. We are not going to go silent. Check this from Newsweek, Rod Nordland: ”Baghdad Comes Alive.’ — For the first time in years, the Iraqi capital is showing signs of life. But the calm is all too fragile, and it’s an opportunity the government cannot afford to miss.’ This guy, Rod Nordland, returned to Baghdad after being gone for four months, and he was stunned by what he saw.

‘For the first time, however, returning to Baghdad after an absence of four months, I can actually say that things do seem to have gotten better, and in ways that may even be durable. … Emerging from our bunkers into the Red Zone, I see the results everywhere. Throughout Baghdad, shops and street markets are open late again, taking advantage of the fine November weather. Parks are crowded with strollers, and kids play soccer on the streets. Traffic has resumed its customary epic snarl. The Baghdad Zoo is open, and caretakers have even managed to bring in two lionesses to replace the menagerie that escaped in the early days of the war. The nearby Funfair in Zawra Park — where insurgents used to set up mortar tubes to rocket government ministries, and where a car bombing killed four and wounded 25 on Oct. 15 — is back in business.’ In fact, in certain parts of Baghdad, you can even get a martini. ‘People are buying alcohol again — as they always had in Baghdad, until religious extremists forced many neighborhood liquor shops to close.’

This is phenomenal news! It is profoundly phenomenal news, and you’re probably only hearing about it here. In fact, the Washington Post, Peter Baker: ”For Bush, Advances But Not Approval’ — The war in Iraq seems to have taken a turn for the better and the opposition at home has failed in all efforts to impose its own strategy. North Korea is dismantling its nuclear program. The budget deficit is falling. A new attorney general has been confirmed despite objections from the left. … In many ways, the shifting political fortunes may owe as much to the absence of bad news as to any particular good news.’ Well, yes! The absence of bad news? But then they make a great effort here to point out that it isn’t helping Bush in the polls, see, and that’s what they are deliriously happy about. Just be patient, folks. Hang in there, be tough. This is the United States of America. Our military is a typical example of all of our country. It is exceptional and the United States of America is exceptional. It’s just a shame that a major political party refuses to see it, this exceptionalism, refuses to trust it, in fact, may even resent it. The country may be too wealthy for them to actually create the dependents that they so desperately need to keep winning elections.


RUSH: All right, to the phones we go, to Bob in Pittsburgh, nice to have you with us, sir. Hello.

CALLER: Rush, I can’t believe this. Pittsburgh Steeler dittos, buddy, but I’m too upset to talk about them, they upset me yesterday. Rush, first of all, I can say so many things, just thank God for you. That’s all, I’m going to keep that concise because you’re just — thank God for you.

RUSH: Thank you, sir. Thank you very much. The Steelers will be okay. That was a trap game. I knew that was going to happen yesterday, and Miami is another trap game. But they got the trap game out of the way —


RUSH: But that was — they stunk up the place. They were horrible. You know what happened, can I tell you what happened yesterday?

CALLER: Tell me.

RUSH: The New Jersey Jets are a hapless bunch. They are so bad that their fans don’t even want to watch them, so there were more Steelers fans at Giants Stadium with Terrible Towels than there were Jets fans. The place holds 78,000 people and the Jets’ players got fired up by that. They got mad that there are more visiting fans at a home game of theirs than there were their own fans.

CALLER: Rush, Steeler fans are just like your fans. They are just amazing, amazing people —

RUSH: Really are.

CALLER: — everywhere, all around the world —

RUSH: Gary Myers wrote about this today in the New York Daily News, a very esteemed and distinguished football columnist, and he wrote, ‘Steeler fans have been known to infiltrate the stadiums of their opponents.’

CALLER: Absolutely.

RUSH: Infiltrate!

CALLER: Absolutely.

RUSH: No infiltration. They bought tickets and walked in there, wearing their Steelers Terrible Towels. Anyway, I know you didn’t want to talk about the Steelers because it made you sick, but it was a trap game, it was bound to happen. Better to get it out of the way now. The biggest problem, the Steelers cannot beat anybody on the road, and that’s a big problem.

CALLER: And they tend to play down to their competition, too. It drives me crazy. They’ve done it for years. But I love the Steelers, and, Rush, just to get right to it, the president, I love President Bush, but his silence drives me crazy. He could have laid this groundwork for the past eight years of how wonderful, how wonderful our Armed Services are, our soldiers. I think he should have ran to that microphone every single chance he got, and every question he was ever given as to what’s going wrong in Iraq, he should have said, ‘Yes, I’ll tell you what’s going wrong in Iraq, but not until I first tell you what all these young men and women have done, and just A to Z told them everything, every wonderful thing they have done, and then say, okay, now let’s touch on what’s going wrong,’ because, of course, there are things going wrong. And in this case, Rush, it would have been set up perfectly for him to go right back to that microphone and say, ‘This is what I’ve been telling you all along. He has driven me crazy with his silence, Rush.’

RUSH: Well, you’re echoing sentiments that I hear about not just the president, but a lot of Republicans. They just don’t have good PR communication skills. I hear you, man. I don’t have an answer for you. The president is not one who touts his achievements. He doesn’t tout himself personally. He doesn’t lead, as I mentioned earlier, a politically ideological movement, and he really –may be this will help you and others to understand President Bush more than anything else — he really has an awe and a reverence and a respect for the office of the presidency. That’s rarefied air. That is a small club, the number of people who’ve held that job. He thinks that one of his most important duties is to do nothing to besmirch it, to cause it disrespect, and that’s why he doesn’t get partisan, that’s why he doesn’t do partisan things or speak in a partisan fashion, outside of some campaigns. I do think, however, that when we get into next year and the Republicans have their nominee, I do think that he’s going to take the gloves off. I think you’re going to love what you hear. I’m just guessing, but I think he’s going to be actively involved. He has this attitude of reverence for the office that he’s not going to demean it. I think he thinks that getting political and touting himself and this sort of stuff demeans the office. That obviously is a historical view that he’s taking, and a view regarding his own legacy of occupancy. Yeah, I appreciate, Bob, the call.

This is Chris in Cleveland. Hi, Chris. Nice to have you with us.

CALLER: Hey, Rush, how are you, buddy?

RUSH: Good, sir.

CALLER: I actually gotta tell the previous caller to watch out for the Cleveland Browns because we’re on a come-up this year, too.

RUSH: Yeah, you guys might have just found your way into the playoffs yesterday.

CALLER: Oh, man, that was an amazing play, and I —

RUSH: That’s one of those destiny things, you make that field goal that way, that’s destiny. That means there’s good things headed for your team.

CALLER: Well, I didn’t call for that reason either, Rush. The reason I called, is, I’m young, I’m 28, and I am prior military, and, you know, I’ve been listening to your show off and on. Actually, I would consider myself more Democrat, but I’ve been listening to your show, so I could become educated on the right wing of this country —

RUSH: Good for you. That’s the way to be.

CALLER: Excuse me?

RUSH: I said good for you. Way to be.

CALLER: Well, I gotta be, Rush, I can’t talk about anything if I don’t know anything —

RUSH: (singing) I Gotta Be Me, Sammy Davis, Jr., 1968.

CALLER: (laughter) Well, the reason I called is I hear about all these things about how our military is doing overseas, and I gotta say God bless the troops because we are the finest in the world. I agree with that, Rush. My question and my fears are almost this, Rush, and that is, we get these reports from the higher-ups, we get these reports, but we’re not getting these reports from the grunts, we’re not getting these reports from the, you know, people like that. You know, reenlistment is down —

RUSH: That’s not really true. The Newsweek story was a guy not higher up, not a high official or anything. I’ve got a couple buddies over there that e-mail me, and they’ve told me how well things are going. But this is basically Drive-By Media reports telling us this.


RUSH: Robert, cell call from Paramus, New Jersey, nice to have you with us, sir. Hello.

CALLER: How you doing, Rush? Good to speak with you.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: You shock me. It sounds like you’re sugarcoating this whole Iraq thing. Seventy percent of the country doesn’t even have clear water. The way you make it sound, if we left today, everything is fine.

RUSH: Wait, you’re putting words in my mouth out there, dude.


RUSH: I never said if we left today things would be lookin’ fine.

CALLER: You’re saying everything’s great.

RUSH: Look, I’m reading to you from the New York Times. I am reading to you from the Los Angeles Times. I was reading to you from Newsweek. I was reading to you from a guy named Jack Kelly at the Pittsburgh Gazette. I was reading to you from a whole bunch of different people who belatedly — and I’m sure begrudgingly — have to report this good news.

CALLER: Okay, so what do you think, though? Forget about what these people are writing. Do you think things are going great in Iraq, that we can leave pretty soon, and nothing bad is going to happen?

RUSH: You know, it is the premise of your question that is somewhat irritating to me. I’ll be glad to answer that, but I first want to ask you one back.


RUSH: Why are you so seemingly hopeful that things not improve? What is it about this that you want it to fail?

CALLER: Okay. Now you are assuming that I want it to fail. All I’m calling up is because you’re talking on the radio like things are going so great, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, things are not that great.’ And you’re making it sound like they are great.

RUSH: They are great, and they are vastly improved, and I have great trust and faith in the United States military, and I have great trust and faith that the damage we’ve incurred against Al-Qaeda is far greater than anybody knows and hasn’t been reported. I think is reason for optimism. I’m an optimistic guy.

CALLER: The way I look at it, Rush, you have like about six to eight million Iraqis who have left Iraq — Baghdad —

RUSH: They’re coming back.

CALLER: There’s nobody left to kill.

RUSH: Oh. Oh!

CALLER: There’s nobody left to kill.

RUSH: Oh, who said that? There’s nobody left to kill, David Obey. David Obey of Wisconsin. I didn’t know you were a Democrat plant. This isn’t CNN!

CALLER: Oh, my God, a Democrat plant. I’m at the motor vehicles having my car inspected. I’m no Democrat plant.

RUSH: Are you an illegal immigrant trying to get a license? (laughing)

CALLER: No. Illegal immigrant? No, no. Rush. Come on.

RUSH: I’m just having fun.

CALLER: I know, I know.

RUSH: I’m in a frisky, frolicky mood here. I want you to look positively at this, Robert, I want you to know that things are improving. You have to be able to see what is and react to it. Nobody’s using final victory here, nobody’s saying, ‘Okay, it’s VI day, victory in Iraq, we bring everybody home,’ nobody’s saying that.

CALLER: But that is victory, that’s what I want to see. I want to get us outta there. I don’t to spend anymore of my tax dollars over there. I want to spend it over here.

RUSH: We’re spending more money here than you can shake a stick at. Why do you want to lose?

CALLER: I sure as hell don’t want to lose.

RUSH: That’s what’s going to happen if we pull out of there.

CALLER: I want to get outta there, I want to get outta there.

RUSH: That’s Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid talking, we pull out of there just to give you more tax dollars to spend here. You can’t mean that?

CALLER: So you’re saying we’re going to stay there forever, there’s no getting out. If we get out, we lose, that’s what you’re saying.

RUSH: I’m telling you that responsible leaders of this country are going to do what’s necessary to protect our national security, and they’re going to pay for it, they’re going to come up with the money to pay for it. You better get ready because I’m going to make you a prediction. The people in the Democrat Party that you’re echoing their words, you had better be prepared, because next year, early next year, once they have their candidate, Mrs. Clinton, you are going to witness one of the biggest turnarounds on national security by the Democrat Party you’ve ever seen. You’re going to wonder what happened to them. Once they’ve got your money for the primaries, and once they’ve got their candidate all wrapped up, once they fund-raise as much as they can from MoveOn.org, you’re going to see — not all; I mean you won’t see Harry Reid or Pelosi doing it — but Mrs. Clinton and others are going to have a little shift here because she wants to be elected president, and people elect presidents on part because of how they feel the candidates will do in protecting the country, national security, and we certainly are threatened.

Mrs. Clinton is going to let it be known that she’ll do whatever it takes to protect this country. Mrs. Clinton’s already said she could not commit to getting troops out of Iraq in the first four years of her presidency. She’s already throwing these little hints out. So you better get ready to be shocked and stunned when a serious number of Democrats start talking about the bad guys as the bad guys and not Bush as the bad guy. When they start talking about our real enemies as our enemies, I’m afraid some of you people are going to need counseling. You’re going to have felt betrayed and it’s going to be Battered Liberal Syndrome all over again.

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