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Fox News' Gibson: Bomb a Democracy "With Clean Conscience
News Hounds
March 10, 2005

Fox News' John Gibson has gone even farther than other journalists in falling, hook, line, and sinker, for the Bush claim that the Iraq elections are related to some Lebanese demonstrating for the removal of Syrian troops from their country. Gibson went over the line on "The Big Story" Wednesday (March 9), however, when he said the U.S. could bomb Lebanon "with a clean conscience" if it votes democratically to retain Syrian troops.

The connection between the Iraqi elections and recent Lebanese demonstrations, of course, is ridiculous. Lebanon has been holding democratic parliamentary elections for years. They did not need to see the election in Iraq, where candidates' names were not even made public until the day of the voting, to learn about democracy.

Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor of Middle Eastern studies, explained the matter on his blog recently. He wrote:

"Moreover, the anti-Syrian protests were not a signal that the Lebanese wanted to be like American-occupied Iraq. They were a signal that the Druze, Maronites and a section of the Sunnis had agreed to try to push Syria out. It was the US who had invited Syria into Lebanon in 1976. And it was a sign that Lebanon is still deeply divided, since the Shiite plurality largely supports Syria. Given the pro-Syrian sentiment in some Sunni cities like Tripoli, it may well be that a majority of Lebanese want Syria to remain in some capacity. If that were true, what would it do to Mr. Bush's master narrative of the march of democracy?"

Gibson offered up his chilling answer as to what should happen if "the terrorists" (those Lebanese, including some members of Hezbollah, who want Syrian troops to stay) get the most votes in Lebanon.

"Well, fine. At least we'd know; at least we'd know we tried. And if we have to bomb a democracy back to the Stone Age because it was sticking with its roots and sending terrorists to attack us, we could bomb it back to the Stone Age with a clean conscience," he said.

Lebanese demonstrating in support of foreign troops in their country is the same thing as "sticking with its roots and sending terrorists to attack us"? Where does Gibson get off saying that? Has Hezbollah attacked us? And aren't the Shi'ites the people in Iraq we're protecting?

Gibson added that bombing a Lebanese democracy would silence America's critics. His nonsequitur was: "You wouldn't have a bunch of Ward Churchills on the air saying it was our fault and that if we'd only given democracy a chance, things would have worked out. We'd miss those people decrying the American propensity to attack first and reason later."

Gibson said that democracy may not be perfect and that even Usama bin Laden might win an election somewhere.

"In fact, in two or three countries we call friends, I think he'd take the top spot in a landslide," Gibson said. "We would just have to console ourselves that democracy has given us a clear picture of exactly where our enemies stand. And we can use that picture in our targeting computers."

And to think just a few minutes earlier on the same show, Gibson aired a tape of Bush saying, "Free societies don't attack their neighbors."

No, "attack" is too wimpy. They bomb them back to the Stone Age, right Herr Gibson?

Fair and balanced means you can make things up and pretend it's fair and balanced. Where I come from it's still called a lie.