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FEDAYEEN ANDREW SULLIVAN! Our own Fedayeen are now making long lists. Careful, Bill! Your name could be on one:


RISE OF THE FEDAYEEN: Andrew Sullivan was sulfurically angry, as always. In a New York Times report, R. W. Apple had attributed the famous “house of cards” statement to Vice President Cheney. In fact, it was Richard Perle who called Saddam's regime a “house of cards”; Cheney hadn’t used the expression. On Wednesday, the Times corrected its error. But you know Sullivan! He knew what Apple’s misstatement really meant, and he shared the information with readers:

SULLIVAN: Amazing. Another front page Big Lie from Raines and company…More and more, readers are beginning to realize that Raines’ NYT doesn’t just spin against the Bush administration on an hourly basis. It also merrily lies to keep the propaganda war going.
For Sullivan, Apple’s misstatement wasn’t just a mistake; it had to be a “another Big Lie.” The Timesman had used Cheney’s name instead of Perle’s “to keep the propaganda war going.”

Dear readers, don’t make the slightest mistake. The Fedayeen Andrew Sullivan is now hard at work, rounding up names of all the traitors who will have to be dealt with later. Thursday evening, they blanketed cable. On Hardball, for example, Chris Matthews confronted a Fedayeen, David Frum. Frum had written an article in National Review blistering “unpatriotic conservatives” (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/24/03). Matthews tried to give the nasty scribe a chance to walk back his language:

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about something. I am going to bring this up. This is the National Review. I grew up reading this. I love Bill Buckley. I don’t like this headline. I want you to defend it. It says “Unpatriotic Conservatives.”…Pat Buchanan and Bob Novak are called unpatriotic in this article. Do you like that headline? You don’t call them this, the headline rather does.
Of course, Matthews was being far too kind; in his article, Frum says that anti-war conservatives “explicitly yearn for the victory of their nation’s enemies” and “have finished by hating their country.” But Frum—a cowardly man when directly confronted—fiddled and diddled and avoided the question. So his Hardball host asked it again:
MATTHEWS: Are Novak or Buchanan or even any of these parties unpatriotic? Are they unpatriotic?
Once again, Frum tried to duck:
FRUM: What we are facing here, let me—we are facing as in the conservative world, people who are wishing and predicting American disaster, not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan. Bob Novak publishes his first piece blaming 9/11 on Israel. He wrote it the day after 9/11, published it the next day.
Still unable to get a response, Matthews asked his question for the third and fourth times! Finally—kicking and screaming as cowards always do—the bold little Frum almost answered:
MATTHEWS: Well, do you think it’s fair to call Pat Buchanan and Bob Novak unpatriotic?

FRUM: I would say they have been defeatists—

MATTHEWS: Are they unpatriotic?

FRUM: And I think in wartime—in wartime, to be defeatist is to wish your country ill.

“ OK, thank you very much,” Matthews said—amazed to think that a Fedayeen had been sitting right there on his set!

Frum brought his small, nasty mind here from Canada. But make no mistake—on Thursday night’s cable, the domestic Fedayeen could be found wherever you wandered. For example, a home-grown member, Morton Kondracke, was sliming John Kerry on Special Report. Kerry had made a statement Mort didn’t like—the solon had said that some foreign officials felt that Bush engaged in a diplomatic “breach of trust.” Kondracke belongs to our own Fedayeen. So he knew how to play Kerry’s statement:

KONDRACKE: I mean, he seems to be crediting those officials and he used the word “breach of trust,” so he is emerging now as the Franco-Prussian candidate for president of the United States you know, and not the American candidate for president of the United States.
“That’s it for the panel,” Brit Hume said. Mort had had the final word—John Kerry isn’t American.

But the Fedayeen Queen really took the cake, on the O’Reilly Factor. Michelle Malkin is always prepared to name names of anti-Americans here in our midst. Thursday night, O’Reilly tried to talk Malkin down—but she managed to name many traitors.

O’Reilly began the segment on an ominous note:

O’REILLY: Some people have actually hurt the USA with their statements and reports, as you saw with Peter Arnett. Should those people pay a price after the war is over? And who are they?
Malkin was ready to “come up with some names,” as her host asked her to do. But when she said that Peter Jennings “basically is essentially serving as the U.S.-based correspondent for Al-Jazeera,” O’Reilly tried to put on the brakes:
O’REILLY: Well, let me stop you there. I mean, I need you to back it up, because what I’ve seen of Jennings, and I’ve watched because I’m a friend of Jennings, and I got a lot of radio calls about him: He’s skeptical. He’s skeptical, but I haven’t seen him, you know, do anything other than be skeptical.
Sorry, Bill. “I think it’s more than that,” Malkin said, offering an example so utterly foolish that it truly beggars imagination (see below). According to Malkin, Jennings had been “hyping in the most positive light…the thuggery that’s going on.”

Pushed by O’Reilly, Malkin finally gave a specific example—an example that was utterly foolish (see below). But remember: People like Malkin have stalked democracy ever since the concept was born. Thursday night, they were once again stalking the land, naming names of those among us who are “unpatriotic,” “un-American,” and secret al-Jazeera. Remember—Saddamism tempts us all over the world. Its weak-minded acolytes seek out The Other; they’re allways prepared to name many names. Thursday night, O’Reilly and Matthews tried to complain. But careful, Bill! And careful, Chris! The Fedayeen Andrew Sullivan is picking up steam. Just like that, they could names your names also.

THINGS THAT UPSET MICHELLE MALKIN: It’s hard to be a bigger nut than the Fedayeen Queen, Michelle Malkin. Pushed for an example of Jennings’ “al-Jazeera” loyalties, she finally came up with a case:

MALKIN: I’ll give you a specific example of a story he did. While everybody was talking about, was talking about the brutality of the Saddam Hussein regime, he was touting artists and writers in Iraq who were marching in support of Saddam’s defense of the homeland.

Excuse me? I think he’s going to pay.

“Excuse me? I think he’s going to pay,” the thuggish little Fedayeen said.

What was Malkin talking about? She had gone all the way back to January 21 to get her disturbing example. Here is Jennings’ report from that date, at the end of that evening’s World News:

JENNINGS: Finally this evening from here in Baghdad, about a nation that is more than Saddam Hussein. For many years now, the United States and most Americans have looked at Iraq and tended to only see its dictator. But this is a country with a very long history of, among other things, arts and letters.

(Jennings voiceover) This week, we were surprised to see several hundred artists and writers walking through the streets of Baghdad to say thank you to Saddam Hussein. He had just increased their monthly financial support. Cynical, you could argue with this particular time, but the state has always supported the arts. And some of the most creative people in the Arab world have always been Iraqis. And whatever they think about Saddam Hussein in the privacy of their homes, on this occasion, they were praising his defense of the homeland, in the face of American threats.

Jennings said he was “surprised” to see artists march for Saddam. He said that their recent pay raise could be called “cynical.” He suggested that the artists may not support Saddam in private. This led to a human-interest report by Dan Harris—a report about how little symphony musicians are paid in Iraq. (“The government pays them, but the salary is so meager, they all have to work second jobs.”) Yet this two-month old nonsense was Malkin’s example of why Peter Jennings is plain “al-Jazeera.” On the basis of half-witted nonsense like this, crackpots like Malkin now go on TV to announce who will have to “pay a price.” Is anyone else reminded of the cruel teens who drove Mao’s cultural revolution?

But then, crackpots increasingly drive our discourse, telling us who should pay a price. Will your “good guy” pundits dare to speak back? Or will they cower and quake in a corner?