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Overheard on the Viagra-Oxycontin Expressway

[ 0 ] February 27, 2007 |

For no especially good reason, I happened to be listening to Rush Limbaugh this morning and overheard one of the most remarkable rants ever. For starters, while on the subject of Moktada al-Sadr, Limbaugh implausibly claimed that the failure of the US to “level Fallujah” in April 2004 somehow “strengthened his hand.” Sadr, of course, is Shi’a, while Fallujah is a Sunni city. So that was a moment of high comedy that was utterly lost on the caller who wondered — Rubble Boy-like — why we weren’t “quietly” assassinating people who were causing trouble for the US in Iraq.

Limbaugh then proceeded to explain that if history taught us anything, it was that the US managed to win the second World War because it decided — wisely, in his view — to target civilians and collectively punish them for the crimes of their governments. The rules of war, he explained, are “different” now. (This is of course not true; while the conduct of war has changed, the rules of war have not. Or, rather, they have — in response to the senseless atrocities of World War II. But this is a niggling point to someone who believes that rules follow conduct and not the other way around. So much for law and order, I suppose.)

I’m not sure who Limbaugh would urge us to “target,” though I’m utterly fascinated at the short distance that Limbaugh and his listeners traveled from the assassination of a cleric to the “leveling” of Iraq’s civilian population.

I wish I knew how to retrieve transcripts for talk radio programs so quickly after they air, but I’m assuming the good people at Media Matters will be on this soon enough.

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