In a segment that should be required viewing for every American who cares about the truth, Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow ripped Republicans who were wrong on Iraq for promoting war with Russia.
RACHEL MADDOW: The Iraq war looms really large over all of the decisions that we make now about national security. Nobody really wants to go war with Russia over this Crimea thing, but if we did want to….
JON STEWART: Nobody? I’ve been watching the news.
MADDOW: Well, we are Ukrainians now, according to Senator McCain.
STEWART: It’s incredible too, how quickly they jump, and we listen to all of these individuals who were so wrong, led us so astray on the Iraq war, and their immediately on television with such great confidence. Ah, it’s been 48 hours, we’re so naive. Attack! The hubris has been incredible.
MADDOW: Yeah, and that’s because there hasn’t been accountability for the people who were wrong the first time. The people who said we ought to go. It’s not going to take very many people. It would pay for itself. Doesn’t matter that we’re not going to set up a government, Iraq will be right up on its feet. It will be a Jeffersonian democracy in the heart of the Middle East. I mean those guys got like. Paul Wolfowitz got to go like run the World Bank. Really? You shouldn’t be running a light rail system in a small town in a country other than this one that we don’t like. You can’t actually have credibility on national security issues. You can’t be Bill Kristol, for example, who’s banging the drums harder than anyone else that we ought to go to Iraq, and that it would work out great, and now banging the drums for any subsequent war, and shame on us for even asking their opinion.
STEWART: It always shocks me, when they go, we’ve got Dick Cheney on the line, and then you know, these guys are wrong about everything. And you just want somebody to say, you’ve been wrong about anything. I always say to you imagine going to work for eight years, and being wrong, and then towards the end of that time, shooting an old man in the face, and still people ask your opinion about things.
MADDOW: People ask your opinion specifically about like executive power, and the use of force, and lying to the American people. It’s tough. I feel like the reason why Iraq still looms over what we do is because it is kind of the original sin of the 21st Century, and until we reckon honestly with why we did it, we’re never going to escape that, and we owe to ourselves to get past it.
The reason why there has been no accountability is that the mainstream media played a big part is selling the Bush administration’s lies about the invasion of Iraq. In order for the media to hold Republicans accountable, they would first have to hold themselves accountable. It is much easier for the media to pretend that John McCain was never wrong, and to have him as a guest on various programs 11 times in seven days.
Telling John McCain that he is wrong about Iraq, would require the media to admit that they were wrong to have never challenged the previous administration’s war propaganda. Since the corporate media will never as an institution admit that they were wrong, Republicans who got everything totally wrong, not only get a free pass, but they have been promoted to exalted high guests on foreign policy issues.
The people who lied the nation into war and their media accomplices should be banished and never asked their opinion on these issues again. On matters of war and peace, John McCain, Dick Cheney, Lindsey Graham, and other Bush foreign policy acolytes in the Republican Party and the media should never be asked for their opinions on these issues again.
Maddow and Stewart are two of the few media figures that keep reminding the American people of the deadly follies in the recent Republican led past. By trying to bury their mistakes Republicans are not only trying to whitewash their slate clean, but they are also setting the stage for a future repeat of their own unlearned lessons.