Media Blog

Dan Rather Revives the Chickenhawk Rule for Pundits

Dan Rather was on CNN’s Reliable Sources yesterday and had this to say about “hawks” who are advocating military action around the world (Transcript via TPM):

Well, absolutely. Look, the war drums have been beating along the Potomac for some little while, accentuated in recent weeks and now in recent days. As a citizen — let me take my journalist hat off for a moment — but, as a citizen, this worries me a great deal. Because as a journalist who has seen war zones, I’m not padding my part here, but I’ve seen war up close not like the combatants do, but the savagery, the brutality of war once we put the nation at war … All of these people on television — some of whom I have enormous respect for — but it unsettles me to hear them say, listen, we, the United States, we have to, quote, “do something” in Ukraine, we have to do something in Syria, we have to do something in the waters around China, we have to do something about what’s happening in Yemen, we have to do something in Iraq, we have to do something about ISIS, what they are talking about are combat operations.

My first question to anyone who is on television saying, “We have to get tough, we need to put boots on the ground and we need to go to war in one of these places” is, I will hear you out if you tell me you are prepared to send your son, your daughter, your grandson, your granddaughter to that war of which you are beating the drums. If you aren’t, I have no patience with you, and don’t even talk to me.

Well, as it was President Obama beating the drum for intervention in Syria, I look forward to Rather asking the president which branch of the armed forces Malia and Sasha will join. 

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