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 Ann Coulter Reply


 September, 2007


 Ann Coulter - When in Doubt, Exonerate Joe McCarthy

A Tale of Two Generals
The hard fact is that those who wear the label "Democrat" wear it with the stain of a historic betrayal.
Senator Joseph McCarthy, February 4th, 1954

By Al Owens
Democrats and liberals, according to conservative wingnuts like Ann Coulter, are all hoping the U.S. loses the war in Iraq. That’s simply not true. If Democrats really wanted the United States to lose a war, they’d campaign to have George W. Bush made president for life. And if that wasn’t enough, they’d beg the president to rehire Donald Rumsfeld.

Republicans always seem on the verge of labeling Democrats traitors because they fail to go along with the Keystone Kops maneuver du jour.

When General David Petraeus gave his long awaited report on the state of the quagmire in Iraq to congress this week, I couldn’t help but be impressed with his uniform. It was covered with ribbons, medals, stars. He’s a warrior, that’s for sure. But in front of congress (and the nation), he wielded pie-charts.

Yet, there were times when pie-charts and graphs wouldn’t suffice. Senator John Warner of Virginia asked the General a simple question, “If we continue what you have laid before the Congress as a strategy, do you feel that that is making America safer?” The general paused and replied, “Sir, I-I don’t know, actually. I have not sat down and sorted out in my own mind, uh-what I have focused on and been riveted on his how to accomplish the mission of the Multi-National Force Iraq.”

John Warner must be a traitor for asking such a tough question. The fact is, Warner is a Republican – so he probably doesn’t qualify under the Ann Coulter rules of liberal traitordom.

I don’t doubt the General’s hard work and sincerity. But I also believed the sincerity of another General, Petraeus’ boss at the time, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – General Peter Pace.

In June, when he announced he was leaving his job (getting pushed out really), he offered his assessment of the situation in Iraq. He cautioned against using the deaths of American soldiers as a yardstick for success in Iraq. He told reporters, “What’s most important is do the Iraqi people feel better about today than they did about yesterday, and do they think tomorrow’s going to be better than today?”

On Monday, Pace got his answer. According to an ABC/BBC/NHK poll, 65 to 70 percent of Iraqis say the surge has caused them to be less secure than before it. Seventy-eight percent of them feel things are “going badly” in the country. That’s up 13 percent since last winter. And what’s startling about the poll is that everybody who responded to it in Baghdad and in Anbar claimed the surge has made their security worse than it was six months ago.

Ann Coulter probably thinks those Iraqis aren’t going along with the neocon program, so they’re guilty of some form of treason. Who are these people who’d like to feel secure, but don’t?

Yet, she writes entire columns on the misstatements of journalists and others who’ve supposedly pulled for the enemy since this mess began. I can’t help but laugh, and then remind you that it was the misstatements of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney that got us where we are today.

We weren’t “greeted as liberators.” We didn’t find any Weapons of Mass Destruction. We aren’t paying for the war with the oil of Iraq. No direct ties between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden have ever been found.

If a New York Times columnist doesn’t get his facts straight, nobody dies. When the President of the United States misspeaks about the dangers posed by a dictator with few resources that can harm us, blood gets spilt. American blood.

I don’t expect right wingers to find the logic in any of this. After all, according to a recent New York Times/CBS poll 40 percent of Republicans still think that Saddam Hussein personally planned the 9/11 attacks. That’s why they’re so willing to cheer Ann Coulter when she claims Democrats are guilty of treason for wanting to put a halt to the war.

It’s the same ruse used by Joe McCarthy in the mid-1950’s. His 1954 statement, “Those who wear the label "Democrat" wear it with the stain of a historic betrayal,” was resurrected by Coulter a few years ago. “The Democrats are historically one of America's domestic enemies,” she claimed while hawking her book Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism, in 2003.

She devoted a whole chapter to Joe McCarthy. She somehow figured out that he’d been right all along about communists crawling all over the U.S. government.

That makes two people who have believed that. (Ann Coulter and Joe McCarthy)

She’d studied McCarthy enough to know that he’d frequently claim the Democrats had engaged in treason, but she somehow didn’t read the parts where the entire country figured out McCarthy was a flake.

That still doesn’t stop Coulter from branding as traitors those liberals who’ve offered their dissent regarding the war in Iraq. She frequently refers to the Democratic Party, for instance, as the “Treason Lobby.”

Coulter and her ilk fail to understand one of the fundamentals of a democracy. The same democracy neocons are so proud to foist on Iraqis, who are to this point, less passionate about, than being able to walk to the corner store and buy a loaf of bread – without cowering in fear.

That dissent, even words and ideas we don’t agree with, is what makes democracy a democracy.

Coulter too, would be the first person to have discounted the words of Edward R. Murrow, who may have been wrongly assailed as being a communist sympathizer for challenging Joseph McCarthy, but he was later proven to have been right in claiming, “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.”