Monday, April 23, 2007

It was Sunday after all...

And what is Sunday if it isn't Punk Juan Williams day over at Fox. This week was no different.

First this at the hands of Brit and Bill on the Supreme Court's Gonzalez v. Carhart ruling:

JUAN WILLIAMS, NPR: Well, I think that the difference here is you've got Hillary Clinton as a candidate. You've got a female candidate. And I think that it's very clear that she's making a concerted effort to try to stir women as part of her base, and I think this issue plays right into that hand.

I also think it plays into the hand of just changing the landscape, the political landscape in the country at the moment.

I think people are going to say that if the court is going to start intruding in this way, well, what are they going to do on affirmative action? What are they going to do on election law? What are they going to do about religion in the public space?

This court has now become a real political symbol of the right wing in the country, and I think it's scaring lots of people in the middle and the left.

KRISTOL: The court upheld legislation that was passed with 65 senators voting for it and, I think, about 290 House members. That's an intrusion in politics? That's deferring to the legislative branch.

If the Democratic Congress wants to repeal the legislation that was passed in 2003, they can do so. The court is not imposing anything on anyone.

They are saying that one does not have a constitutional right to a medically unnecessary partial-birth abortion.

WILLIAMS: You know what? I think this is an interesting argument, because to my mind, OK, let the states decide. But the court is involved.

And if the courts are involved, how can they say to a doctor, "No, you can't do this on this woman? It's a matter of saving her life? OK, you can do it. But if it's a matter of her health, no, you can't do it?"

As the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists...

HUME: The Congress did that.

WILLIAMS: No, the courts have also said...

HUME: I know that, but, Juan, this was not a ruling that the Constitution forbade partial birth abortion. This was a ruling that said that Congress has a right by its majority vote, representing the people, you may recall, to oppose such a ban. That's what happened here.

States 1, Juan 0.

Not to be outdone by his own ridiculous arguments, at the very end of the panel discussion he gets into it again with the dynamic duo, this time on who is doing all the killing of Americans in Iraq:

WILLIAMS: Wait a second. Brit says this is laughable. You say it's a disgrace. I think he simply said the truth. I mean, it's unavoidable.

How can you say, watching the kind of carnage that takes place there on a daily basis, that this is not an effort that is misbegotten at this point?

Most Americans think we should never have gone in there. So he's speaking in a voice that represents the majority of the American people.

Secondly, when he says that it's lost, he's talking about the idea that we need to have a diplomatic, economic, political solution. We're not seeing any political progress in the country.
In fact, the al-Maliki government looks to me to be weak and weaker, and getting weaker, with the withdrawal of people like al- Sadr's forces from the parliament, and from support of his government.

So what we have here is a civil war in which Americans are caught in the middle. So the idea of withdrawing -- it's not a strategy, as the president said. What Senator Reid is talking about, what most people are talking about, is trying to contain it.

I think that we have General Petraeus coming here this week. And the Republicans want to make the case that it's Senator Reid and the Democrats versus the troops, that the troops are standing tall and the Democrats aren't supporting them, or, as Brit said, it's pulling away from fighting Al Qaida.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. What we're doing here is we want to fight Al Qaida. We want to fight terrorists. We should have gone after them in Afghanistan.

Going into this war in Iraq -- well, we got rid of Saddam Hussein, but I don't know why we need to be there right now. What is the point?

HUME: Fighting Al Qaida. How about that? Do you like that idea?

WILLIAMS: Well, I'd love to fight Al Qaida. But do you believe that we're really fighting -- are our people dying because of Al Qaida? Or are we dying because of an intramural fight between three...

HUME: Well, they're connected, Juan, but Al Qaida is a very major actor in Iraq now. There is no doubt about that.

I mean, if you look at what we're now seeing from these spectacular -- we've done some good here in terms of the this terrible violence that was going on among the militias. That has subsided.

What we're getting are spectacular terrorist attacks by Al Qaida in Iraq.

WILLIAMS: I think you're getting spectacular attacks by Sunnis, by Shiites, against each other. We're trying to build walls to try to separate. Why do you think we're building -- we're not building walls to separate Al Qaida out. We're building walls to try to separate one warring faction from another.

And I think it's just like -- there's no end in sight to this. Of course we should pull out. Why shouldn't we pull -- what are we doing there?

LIASSON: What do we do after we pull out?

WILLIAMS: Well, we have to...

KRISTOL: We are fighting Al Qaida. Have you talked to a single person who's fought over there? Have you looked at one of their -- what do they do each day?


KRISTOL: Do you think they just drive around aimlessly to get blown up randomly by Shia and Sunni? They are fighting Al Qaida in Iraq.

What is happening in Anbar province? What is happening in Fallujah? What are the Marines doing in Ramadi? They're fighting Al Qaida.

WILLIAMS: They're trying to stabilize the environment.

KRISTOL: They're fighting Al Qaida.

WILLIAMS: No. They're trying to stabilize an environment so that political progress can take place, and...

KRISTOL: And who is killing them? Whose bullets are killing these...

WILLIAMS: Both sides are -- everybody's.

KRISTOL: That's not true. Mostly it is Al Qaida.

WILLIAMS: Oh, you don't believe that there are Sunnis involved, there are Shiites involved in killing Americans?

KRISTOL: There are some Shiites involved in killing Americans.

WILLIAMS: OK. I'm just saying...

KRISTOL: But Al Qaida is the main enemy.

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