Monday during his opening monologue, Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson questioned why those who appear to be proponents of an armed conflict with Iran were taking the so-called deep state at its word on the Iranian threat.
He noted that some of those people were outspokenly distrustful of that same “deep state.”
Transcript as follows:
CARLSON: If you were in an airport over the weekend, you may have seen American troops on the move, leaving their families on their way to the Middle East. A month ago, not one in a hundred Americans was thinking about Iran. Now, suddenly, we’re on the brink of war. In Washington, that is considered an upgrade — indeed, a massive improvement. It’s harder to get rich and powerful in DC during peacetime. Our leaders have a built-in bias for war. And so they descended on television studios over the weekend to describe in detail the kind of violence they’re prepared to wreck on a country very few of them know anything about. Here’s Senator Lindsey Graham, for example:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: If the Iranians his American targets, and American interests, and American allies, we will respond militarily. If they hit us again, then I would not want — I would not want to be working at an Iranian oilfield, because I think the president is determined to bring this regime to its knees if they continue to be provocative.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meanwhile, assured reporters that the U.S. seeks quote, “de-escalation” with Iran, even as — just moments later — he suggested the U.S. might bomb dozens of sites inside Iran itself:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRENNAN: President Trump is saying that there are 52 sites that the U.S. would target if Iran retaliates. How is that consistent with what you say is your message of de-escalation?
POMPEO: Entirely consistent.
BRENNAN: Threatening to bomb mainland Iran?
POMPEO: The Iranian leadership needs to understand that attacking Americans is not cost-free.
To take a terrorist off the battlefield does not increase the risk of terror. The risk of terror is increased by appeasement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: “The risk of terror is increased by appeasement.” It’s a good line. It may be true. Of course, the risk of terror is also increased by bombing other people’s countries. That’s also true, indisputably. It’s hard to remember now, but as recently as last week, most people didn’t consider Iran an imminent threat. Iranian saboteurs weren’t committing acts of terror in our cities. Oh, but our leaders tell us, they were about to, any second.
That’s why we struck first. What’s so striking is how many people appear to accept this uncritically. Just the other day, our intel agencies were considered politically tainted and suspect. These are the people who invented excuses to spy on the Trump campaign, purely because they didn’t like the candidate’s foreign policy views, and then pretended he was a Russian agent in order to keep him from governing. Remember that interlude? Our friends in the intel community did that. And by the way, they also lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction back in 2002 and got us into an utterly pointless war that dramatically weakened our country.
The people now pushing conflict with Iran did that. It seems like about 20 minutes ago, we were denouncing these people as the Deep State and pledging never to trust them again without verification. But now, for some reason, we do trust them, implicitly and completely. We believe whatever they tell us, no matter how outlandish. Iran did 9-11! “Oh, ok. Didn’t know that. But if you say so, Mr. Unnamed CIA Official. Happy to send my kid to the Middle East a week after Christmas on the basis of your anonymous and unverified leak to The New York Times. You’ve earned my trust through years of lying to me.” Maybe this will all turn out all right. We’re certainly praying for it. We love this country. But in the meantime, pardon the skepticism.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor