Loesch was on Larry King's program several weeks ago with Stephanie Miller, James Carville, and Penn Jillette. Jillette was complaining on the program that no one is articulating what we are really doing in Afghanistan and he went on to say that we should, "just stop killing people." Loesch's brilliant response (4:30 mark) was:
We aren't killing people.Here's what Penn had to say about her response (warning: f-bombs dropped):
Loesch then went on to make a 12-minute video in response to the 60 seconds Penn spent mentioning her. Her basic response can be summed up as follows:
penn i am so totally your biggest fan but omg i cant believe that you disagreed with me so here let me say a bunch of cliches about afghanistan that completely ignore the fact that you read the news and are not asking for mindless platitudes but for actual concrete benchmarks. also here watch this clip of me nodding and saying "yep" in agreement with you for over 2 minutes, see we agree all the time and you really should share some of your twitter followers with me. in conclusion, omg you know zz top? you're just like way too cool for me. just kidding, no i'm not, yes i am.Seriously though, Loesch's response was pretty sad. First of all, she claimed that Penn never asked her "what are we supposed to be doing in Afghanistan?" Actually, Larry King directly asked her (4:05 mark) "Dana, do you see an endgame?" and she responded with the completely empty comment, "go in there and get it done." He then asked her again (5:50) what the endgame was and she said:
I can tell you how I would like for it to end. I think Petreaus is going to get us in and get us out. Finish the job, get out. Make sure that they have a stable government, we have people over there that are voting. Women are being freed; you don't have many progress without struggle some time and I'm glad we didn't turn a blind eye to the struggle over there. As a woman, I can say that. But yeah I like Petreaus getting in there, doing the job, getting out, bottom line.But, of course, this is exactly the kind of empty rhetoric - completely ignorant of the complicated situation in Afghanistan - that Penn Jilette was criticizing.
Still more amazing: even after Jillette criticized her, she failed (5:26) to add any substance to her "critique:"
Let's see, our job in Afghanistan was to stabilize a country that was being ruled by the Taliban, where women and children were being killed daily by the Taliban. Our job was to go over there, Karzai, some people don't like him, some people think he's working all right, he's now the President in Afghanistan, and we turned what was an enemy state, what was a germ bed of terrorist activity, where 9-11 was hatched, we turned this country into an ally as opposed to an enemy. Now it's being stabilized and we're trying to help them maintain their own individual liberty. Because for whatever cracked-out reason, people like to think that Democracy is a patent that is inherent to only white anglo saxon Protestant United States Citizens and it's not. So that's the point I would have made.Again, this completely misses the point of Jillette's question. Of course everyone would like to see a country that has a wonderful flourishing democracy where no one is being oppressed by the Taliban. However, what he was asking was: what are the actual specifics of what the country would need to look like in order for us to decide that it was sufficiently "good enough" for us to withdraw troops, and how can we get to that point? And Loesch, of course, does nothing to answer those questions.
As to Jillette's comment that we should, "just stop killing people," Loesch again reiterated (7:16) her claim that "We're not over there killing people" and compared Penn to Jane Fonda. She continued (8:30):
Yes, death sucks. War sucks. But I always hear these people saying "we gotta stop killing people! We gotta stop killing babies!" First of all, I'm not even going to address that as if I'm accepting that premise....There are so many things wrong with her response. First of all, Jillette said that we were killing people, and she tried to twist the comment into a claim that the only thing we were doing is killing people. Nope, sorry, two completely different English sentences with two completely different meanings. Second, she immediately tries to turn this into an attack on the troops, when it clearly was a critique of U.S. policy. Troops are generally expected to follow the orders of their commanders in spite of their own political beliefs. But countries can make mistakes. So, as anyone with a brain realizes, it's possible to criticize a country for going to war without thinking that the troops are responsible for the bad decision and the consequences that result. But of course Loesch like all good neocons likes to hide her hawkish positions behind the troops in order to stifle debate. And finally, there could be no more telling quote about Loesch's approach to politics than her statement that she wouldn't "accept the premise" that women and children are being killed. It's one thing to say "yes, it's true that innocent people are dying as a result of our military activity, but more innocent people would have died if the Taliban was still in charge." But Loesch doesn't even have the intellectual honesty to make that claim: instead, she pretends that no innocent people are being killed at all.
I'll conclude by noting that I really don't have my mind made up about Afghanistan. I see a lot of problems with us pulling out of the country, but I also have not seen a clear plan for how we can be successful in creating a stable, democratic country given the current dynamics. But if we're going to have an honest debate that attempts to make the best decision, it's important that we don't simply turn a blind eye to certain facts just because they don't fit with our preconceived ideology.