Friday night on his MSNBC show, Chris
Matthews said the riots in Egypt prove the Iraq war wasn't necessary. Matthews said President Bush
had hoped to encouraged this kind of protests by lying about weapons of
mass destruction. From the transcript:
Leading off tonight: Unrest in Egypt. Proving the Iraq war wasn't needed, these protests in Egypt, as well as in Yemen and Tunisia, are all aimed at dictators supported by the U.S. The demonstrations have not yet turned anti-American, but they could. These are the events the Bush administration hoped to encourage by lying about weapons of mass destruction and invading Iraq.
Conservative bloggers took exception to this approach. John Hinderaker at Power Line was one of them: "What possible reason is there to begin one's coverage of events in Egypt with partisan references to George Bush and Iraq?" He asked. "How on earth do riots in Egypt and Tunisia 'prov[e] the Iraq war wasn't needed?' Two weeks ago Egypt and Tunisia were quiet; was that evidence that the Iraq war was needed? Libya is quiet still; is that evidence that the Iraq war was necessary?" Furthermore, Hinderaker says, "Why would 'lying about weapons of mass destruction' cause Egyptians and Tunisians to riot, either in 2003 or seven years later? What in the world--in short--is Matthews talking about?"
Adding to conservatives' feeding frenzy, Matthews later noted that Egypt had many resources, such as the Panama Canal. Oops.
- Pot, Meet Kettle, Glenn Reynolds writes at Instapundit. "Chris Matthews, who derides Palin as stupid, says Panama Canal is in… EGYPT! It is, of course, the kind of mistake anyone can make on the air. But it’s true--if Palin made it, it would be proof of stupidity. So, goose, meet gander."
- Unthinkingly Anti-Bush, Warner Todd Huston writes at Right Pundits.
This is Bush Derangement Syndrome at it’s most virulent, and stupid. Matthews has allowed his hatred of Bush to crowd out even the tiniest bit of logic, here. The simple fact of the matter is that Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, the situations in the Arab Middle East and near areas have been brewing for many decades. George W. Bush neither caused, started, nor enflamed the mess that these Arab dictators have built. In fact, every president from Truman onward had his hand in the Arab Middle East so to pin all of it on George W. Bush is simple-minded and childish partisan hackery.
- Way Too Biased, Hugh Hewitt writes. The canal gaffe is just another example "of an almost nightly unwinding of the Matthews' psyche that underscores why his network ought not to be running the first GOP debate, whether or not Chris is in the room or on the phone or connected by blackberry. Mr. Panama Canal is NBC, and NBC is Chris Matthews. And the sports guy from the far, far way-out-there west."
- Then Matthews Changes Course, Noel Sheppard observes at News Busters. Interestingly, as noted by Fox Nation, on Matthew's Sunday talk show, he asked his panel whether the riots showed Bush was "better equipped to than this President to deal with this crisis." Sheppard writes,
Strange question coming from a man who earlier on Friday blamed the crisis in Egypt on Bush and the Iraq war. ... Regardless of your political leaning, you would have to think that Dick Cheney and Colin Powell would have performed far better than what we've seen from Obama's support team as it pertains to this crisis thus far. ... Obama and Company are being reactive as opposed to proactive thereby making the answer to Matthews' question about which administration is better equipped for this crisis to clearly be Bush.
- More Anti-Colonialism to Boot Don Surber notes Matthews said Egypt was a "real nation," not one with borders arbitrarily drawn in the sand by the British. "I like all that bit about fake countries," he says. "How did Europeans get in charge of Africa again? Oh yea, it was a primitive, uncivilized place and--1,800 years after Cleopatra croaked--so was Egypt. It's not that a man quick to pounce on mistakes of Sarah Palin made a mistake," he continues with regard to the Suez vs. Panama gaffe, "it is that we have another anti-Western liberal spewing their dated anti-colonial ignorance on national TV. By the way, both canals were designed and constructed by Westerners."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.