Video: Maher bummed to hear that Iraqis don’t prefer life under Saddam; Update: Morale dips?

posted at 1:23 pm on August 25, 2007 by Allahpundit

Go figure — the 85% of the population that isn’t Sunni doesn’t pine for the Arab Stalin who tormented them. We already knew that, of course, and Maher probably does too but he can’t resist the zesty moral equivalence of the comparison. NYT reporter Damien Cave sets him straight. Given all the Times-bashing the righty blogosphere does, it’s worth acknowledging that their Iraq team plays it pretty straight: Cave, John Burns, Michael Gordon (whom the left loathes for his military “stenography”), Ed Wong, etc. It’d have been easy for Cave to seize this as an opportunity to make himself a media property by telling Maher what he wanted to hear. Kudos to him for resisting.

Watch the whole clip as he’s got plenty of insights, not all of which are encouraging. His metaphor about a hammer hitting a ball of mercury is especially sharp. Click the image to watch, then come back and watch the clip below of Michael Ware picking up where Cave leaves off about what America owes Iraqis. He’s another guy who takes a beating from time to time but seems to be on the mark more often than not. His point here about just how far the Maliki government has degraded is sobering, and probably not an overstatement. The surge is working, says Jeff Emanuel, on the ground southeast of Baghdad, but who picks up after the surge leaves off?

Too bad Michael O’Hanlon waded back into the fray to bait the nutroots. After this, Cave was all set to become their new hate object.


Update: Cave says morale is generally high, the LA Times begs to differ:

As military and political leaders prepare to deliver a progress report on the conflict to Congress next month, many soldiers are increasingly disdainful of the happy talk that they say commanders on the ground and White House officials are using in their discussions about the war…

But the disparities in living and working conditions among soldiers heighten resentments, chipping away at morale. So does the feeling that the mission is futile, a belief fueled by the Iraqi political stalemate and the unreliability of Iraqi forces.

“There are two different wars,” said Staff Sgt. Donald Richard Harris, comparing his soldiers’ views with those of commanders in distant bases. “It’s a dead-end process, it seems like.”

Asked to rank morale in his unit, Harris gave it a 4 on a 10-point scale. “Look at these guys. This is their downtime,” he said, as young soldiers around him silently cleaned dust from their rifles at a battle position south of the capital. A fiery wind blasted through the small base, an abandoned home surrounded by sandbags and razor wire.

“It sounds selfish, but if we just had phones and Internet service,” said Staff Sgt. Clark Merlin, his voice trailing off.

WaPo says the White House isn’t planning any troop cuts beyond rotating the surge brigades out when their tour ends in April. That would leave 130,000 still on the ground at this time next year. Good news for Iraq, but probably electoral disaster for the GOP. Oh well.

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Hey Bill, when ya kill one of those bastages you have effectively outlasted him.

As for the partitions there was one great partition before we got there, you had the baath party on one side and everybody else on the other.

TheSitRep on August 25, 2007 at 1:37 PM

Why is it when Maher gets interviewed they give the title of ‘comedian’? Don’t comedians actually have to be at least somewhat funny?

terryannonline on August 25, 2007 at 1:39 PM

That was good. Even as hard as Maher tries to insure we can’t win the GWOT, he himself can’t win at his own game. He’s a failure at failing. What a loser.

Guardian on August 25, 2007 at 1:49 PM

Even better was Tim Robbins looking like the complete idiot he is during the panel discussion. He just couldn’t, and wouldn’t, admit to himself that some Iraqis don’t want us to leave. The panel was practically screaming “Tim, you’re wrong!” and the man still refused to accept reality. Ya gotta get that vid, AP!

The Sinner on August 25, 2007 at 1:52 PM

I strongly urge Mr Maher to live in Cuba and tell us if he is better off there than living here

William Amos on August 25, 2007 at 1:59 PM

Democratic responce to “Bush’s war”

We have seen this “movie before” and we know how this ends.

Max Cleland speaks out

William Amos on August 25, 2007 at 2:06 PM

Bill, just go ahead and convert to islam now to avoid the rush.

These Hollywood idiots who don’t want us to fight to defend our (and their) way of life are the ones that have the most to lose. They seem to think that it won’t affect them personally. But when Abu Azziz Achmed takes over, there ain’t gonna be anymore Hollywood! Get it, Bill? Your cushy job, gone. Your palace in Beverly Hills, gone. Your beach home in Malibu, gone. Your ten Beemers, gone.

If these idiots really were “liberals” they’d fight to defend their liberty. But they’re NOT liberals, they’re *socialists* who make their money through Capitalism and then bash it to alleviate their guilty conscience, knowing that they did nothing to earn all of that money. WE on the Right are the TRUE liberals … in the classic sense of the word. It is the Conservatives (Classic Liberals) who join the Military to defend Bill and Rosie’s right to whine and complain about America’s “evils” while they do nothing but appease and encourage our enemies. They’re traitors!

Rant OFF

Tony737 on August 25, 2007 at 2:08 PM

Maher sure doesn’t like having his leftwing, treason-luvin’ ideology rammed up his fat butt on his own show, does he?

I came across an archived file I saved about a year ago, the other day. It came from LGF, and it lists the heroes of Hollywood from WWII. These are the actors who put their film careers on hold and joined the military. The information is in the public domain, BTW. Pay special attention to the entry for Audie Murphy.

The source:

Hollywood, Now and Then

An LGF reader forwarded this revealing look at Hollywood, now and then:


In contrast to the opinions and feelings of today’s Hollywood, the real actors of yesteryear loved the United States.

They had both class and integrity. With the advent of World War II, many of our actors went to fight rather than stand and rant against this country we all love. They gave up their wealth, position, and fame to become service men and women, many as simple “enlisted men”.

This group of only 18 men earned over 70 medals in honor of their valor, spanning from Bronze Stars, Silver Stars, Distinguish Service Crosses, Purple Hearts, to one Congressional Medal of Honor.

Most of these brave men have since passed on.

Real Hollywood Heroes

Alec Guinness (Star Wars) operated a British Royal Navy landing craft on D-Day.

James Doohan (“Scotty” on Star Trek) landed in Normandy with the U. S. Army on D-Day.

Donald Pleasance (The Great Escape) really was an R. A. F. pilot who was shot down, held prisoner and tortured by the Germans.

David Niven was a Sandhurst graduate and Lt. Colonel of the British Commandos in Normandy.

James Stewart entered the Army Air Force as a private and worked his way to the rank of Colonel. During World War II, Stewart served as a bomber pilot, his service record crediting him with leading more than 20 missions over Germany, and taking part in hundreds of air strikes during his tour of duty. Stewart earned the Air Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, France’s Croix de Guerre, and 7 Battle Stars during World War II. In peace time, Stewart continued to be an active member of the Air Force as a reservist, reaching the rank of Brigadier General before retiring in the late 1950s.

Clark Gable (Mega-Movie Star when war broke out): Although he was beyond the draft age at the time the U.S. entered WW II, Clark Gable enlisted as a private in the AAF on Aug. 12, 1942, at Los Angeles. He attended the Officers’ Candidate School at Miami Beach, Fla. and graduated as a second lieutenant on Oct. 28, 1942. He then attended aerial gunnery school, and in Feb. 1943 he was assigned to the 351st Bomb Group at Polebrook where he flew operational missions over Europe in B-17s. Capt. Gable returned to the U.S. in Oct. 1943 and was relieved from active duty as a major on Jun. 12, 1944, at his own request, since he was over-age for combat.

Charlton Heston was an Army Air Corps Sergeant in Kodiak.

Ernest Borgnine was a U. S. Navy Gunner’s Mate 1935-1945.

Charles Durning was a U. S. Army Ranger at Normandy, earning a Silver Star and awarded the Purple Heart.

Charles Bronson was a tail gunner in the Army Air Corps, more specifically on B-29s in the 20th Air Force out of Guam, Tinian, and Saipan.

George C. Scott was a decorated U. S. Marine.

Eddie Albert (Green Acres, TV) was awarded a Bronze Star for his heroic action as a U. S. Naval officer aiding Marines at the horrific battle on the island of Tarawa in the Pacific, Nov. 1943.

Brian Keith served as a U.S. Marine rear gunner in several actions against the Japanese on Rabal in the Pacific.

Lee Marvin was a U.S. Marine on Saipan during the Marianas campaign when he was wounded, earning the Purple Heart.

John Russell: In 1942, he enlisted in the Marine Corps where he received a battlefield commission and was wounded and highly decorated for valor at Guadalcanal.

Robert Ryan was a U. S. Marine who served with the O.S.S. in Yugoslavia.

Tyrone Power (an established movie star when Pearl Harbor was bombed) joined the U.S. Marines, was a pilot flying supplies into, and wounded Marines out of, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Audie Murphy, little 5’5“ tall 110-pound guy from Texas who played cowboy parts?

Most Decorated serviceman of WWII and earned: Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, 2 Silver Star Medals, Legion of Merit, 2 Bronze Star Medals with ”V”, 2 Purple Hearts, U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, 2 Distinguished Unit Emblems, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with One Silver Star, Four Bronze Service Stars (representing nine campaigns) and one Bronze Arrowhead (representing assault landing at Sicily and Southern France) World War II Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar, Expert Badge with Bayonet Bar, French Fourragere in Colors of the Croix de Guerre, French Legion of Honor, Grade of Chevalier, French Croix de Guerre With Silver Star, French Croix de Guerre with Palm, Medal of Liberated France, Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 Palm

Contrast the above list with sniveling little traitors like Tim Robbins and his wife, Susan Sarandon, Charlie Sheehan (and also his old man who think because he played a President on TV, that anybody gives a sh*t what he thinks), and, of course, Bill Maher who is the subject of this thread.

However, if you are looking for a modern day Hollywood patriot, then look at “Lt. Dan,” (AKA Gary Sinise), who has made repeated trips to Iraq and Afghanistan at his own expense to entertain the troops with his band. And who has organized and founded Operation Iraqi Children.

georgej on August 25, 2007 at 2:09 PM

The Sinner,

Who is Tim Robbins and why should I care what he thinks?

bnelson44 on August 25, 2007 at 2:11 PM

God is Michael Ware tedious!

I saw a comment somewhere, I can’t recall, and it was just outstanding and it applied to Dan Rather and it is just if not more descriptive of Ware;

If he was doing a story on the invention of the light bulb the headline would be “Candle making industry braces for disaster”!

186k on August 25, 2007 at 2:37 PM

Good catch georgej

Guardian on August 25, 2007 at 2:37 PM

So I was stuck in a hospital waiting room the other day, sitting in the only available chair — directly underneath the blaring television. It was tuned to CNN and had a sign affixed: “Do NOT change the channel.” Larry King was on with Bill Maher. I assumed it would be a quick interview, but he had this ass-hat on for the ENTIRE HOUR. So I had to listen. And listen. What I came away with was a fairly certain assessment that Maher is both mentally unstable, and very poorly read. He’s sick AND dumb. Moreover, he is possessed of such an obvious self-loathing, that it’s almost painful to watch. I don’t want to go too far here, but I don’t think this guy’s mum loved him very well. He is a sniveling, pasty, unhappy, and very likely impotent man who only feels better when he lashes out at others, particularly others who remind him of those guys in junior high who never picked him for their teams.

I was on the verge on changing the channel anyway — damn the fascist sign — when I remembered I had my lovely little tiny iPod shuffle my husband bought me for my birthday in my purse. A little Rolling Stones, some Head East, and some Prince (from when he was cool) later, and Bill Maher and his sad, sad illness was just a distant memory.

Let’s all promise never to speak of him again, shall we?

Rational Thought on August 25, 2007 at 2:40 PM

Hey, Bungalow Maher
What did you kill, Bungalow Maher?
Hey, Bungalow Maher
What did you kill, Bungalow Maher?

He went out tiger hunting with his elephant and gun
In case of accidents he always took his mom
He’s the all American bullet-headed Saxon mother’s son
All the children sing

Hey, Bungalow Maher
What did you kill, Bungalow Maher?
Hey, Bungalow Maher
What did you kill, Bungalow Maher?

Deep in the jungle where the mighty tiger lies
Maher and his elephants were taken by surprise
So Captain Marvel zapped in right between the eyes, zap!
All the children sing

Hey, Bungalow Maher
What did you kill, Bungalow Maher?
Hey, Bungalow Maher
What did you kill, Bungalow Maher?

The children asked him if to kill was not a sin
“Not when he looked so fierce”, his mummy butted in
If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him
All the children sing

Hey, Bungalow Maher
What did you kill, Bungalow Maher?
Hey, Bungalow Maher
What did you kill, Bungalow Maher?

Oh ho!

Hey, Bungalow Maher
What did you kill, Bungalow Maher?
Hey, Bungalow Maher
What did you kill, Bungalow Maher?

doriangrey on August 25, 2007 at 2:48 PM

I have a real problem with Michael Ware that is not related so much to his reportage as his commentary. He makes breezy pronoucements about things as if they are final, certain, and fixed, and he is easily goaded into hyperbole by the CNN anchormen in Atlanta.

The final straw for me was just a bit ago. Ware prounounced with utter certainty that the US Government’s categorization of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization would have no effect because “the US doesn’t do business with the Revolutionary Guard anyway.”

The statement is just so shockingly ignorant of the financial and political repercussions of the terrorist classification, and he said it with such certainty that to my mind it calls into question his judgment across the board.

mjgreco on August 25, 2007 at 2:49 PM


Thanks for the reminder. I’ve read write-ups on most of those distinguished gentlemen and their service, but it’s always good to remember that being a celebrity doesn’t mean your spine and soul are missing, even if it seems that way today.

There were a couple of great ahtletes who walked away from their careers to do their duty in WWII as well, most notably Ted Williams. Barely more than a year after becoming the most recent man to hit over .400 in the Major Leagues, he accepted a commission with the Marines, serving as a flight instructor for Navy and USMC pilots in the F4-U Corsair, known at the San Diego training facility as “the ensign eliminator”. By the end of WWII he was serving out of what is now NAS Barber’s Point on Oahu. He returned to active duty 8 years later during the Korean war, flying 35 combat missions in the F9F Panther, and earning both the Air Medal and the DFC.

Combined, he missed more than 5 full seasons of his baseball career, with the WWII years being bookended by two Triple Crown (league leader in average, RBIs and home runs) seasons, 1942 and 1947. What might he have accomplished on the ball field during his prime?

A grateful nation salutes the sacrifice of ALL who serve.

Freelancer on August 25, 2007 at 2:53 PM


thank you, I’ve been looking for something like that.
I’m submitting it to Digg to let the whiners see what real patriots were like.

appleann on August 25, 2007 at 3:18 PM

Maybe next time these “journalists” might try READING THEIR OWN WORDS LIES BEFORE THEY GO TO PRINT?

From the LA Times:
As military and political leaders prepare to deliver a progress report on the conflict to Congress next month, many soldiers are increasingly disdainful of the happy talk that they say commanders on the ground and White House officials are using in their discussions about the war…
…“It sounds selfish, but if we just had phones and Internet service,” said Staff Sgt. Clark Merlin, his voice trailing off.


NightmareOnKStreet on August 25, 2007 at 3:18 PM

I hate Bill Maher. I don’t know why anyone gave that jerk a job, much less a TV show.

CP on August 25, 2007 at 3:20 PM

Forget the anti-war nonsense you hear. The truth is that our troops want to continue this struggle. I know. I’m here. And I’m listening to what they have to say. They’re confident as never before that we’re on the right path.

Should we rob them of their victory now and enhance al Qaeda by giving them a free win? How can we even contemplate quitting now? …

bnelson44 on August 25, 2007 at 3:43 PM

I strongly urge Mr Maher to live in Cuba and tell us if he is better off there than living here

William Amos on August 25, 2007 at 1:59 PM

Yep ! ! There’s so many other Hollerwood types
That should join him in Havana Land

Texyank on August 25, 2007 at 3:48 PM

Maher, when on THE Factor with O’Reilly, announced he wanted Silky Edwards to be the next leader of the Free World. This should remove any credibility the man could have possibly ever had. He, Silky and Robbins are like those who are so shallow they cannot think out of the box because they don’t have a clue the box even exists.

volsense on August 25, 2007 at 3:57 PM

Curt at Flopping Aces has a nice takedown of the LA Times trash piece: Flopping Aces – CURT: Latrine Writing at the LA Times

Michael in MI on August 25, 2007 at 4:18 PM

I’m was so replused by Maher i could only stomach him for 38 sec. just about as long as i can Whorealdo and or Maher on the BOR program.

oldernslower on August 25, 2007 at 5:25 PM

But the disparities in living and working conditions among soldiers heighten resentments, chipping away at morale.

The source of one of their nicknames for General Petraeus.

MB4 on August 25, 2007 at 6:00 PM

I agree with RationalThought about not mentioning that, now unmentionable, guy anymore!

Weebork on August 25, 2007 at 7:14 PM

Bill Maher owes his fame and career to the dumbing down of America.

Montana on August 25, 2007 at 9:25 PM

Thank you bnelson44, it’s because of people like you that my wife doesn’t have to wear a burqa and my daughter will be able to get an education.

Tony737 on August 25, 2007 at 9:42 PM

Oh well.

Stankleberry on August 26, 2007 at 1:47 AM

Gravity overcomes levity.

Maher sucks.

profitsbeard on August 26, 2007 at 1:58 AM

A belated entry to the current Hollywood patriot list:

Karri Turner from JAG (played Harriet). She’s made 6 USO tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.

I’m sure that there are more.

georgej on August 26, 2007 at 6:28 AM