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November 21, 2005

Chris Matthews: Our Enemies Are "Not Evil-- They Just Have A Different Perspective" [Caveate REMOVED]

Full quote:

"If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up. The person on the other side is not evil -- they just have a different perspective."

Some of those minor differences of perspective that we blindly call "evil:"

"...A gruesome videotape posted on an Islamic militant Web site Tuesday showed the beheading of an American contractor who had been looking for work in Iraq...Berg then was pushed to the floor and screamed as one of the executioners wielded a large knife. The man sawed off Berg's head while the other captors shouted: "Allahu Akbar!" Arabic for "God is great."

-- From USAToday

"...Fifteen people were killed when a car bomb exploded in a busy Baghdad market...The latest attack, which targeted a local market in the Jesir Diyala district of southern Baghdad, was followed 90 minutes later by another car bomb attack in the centre of the capital...The market bomb, hidden in a parked car, wounded some 20 people, all of them civilians...The second blast, which targeted a police patrol, left three policemen and two civilians wounded...A week ago, another car bomb killed four women and wounded some 40 people at another Baghdad market in the southeast of the capital..."

-- From Sify

And it all started with this rather innocent misunderstanding:


I think we've heard just about all we need to hear from Chris Matthews.


Thanks to RCL.

Was Chris Just Talking About Understanding That Domestic Political Opponents Have a Different Perspective? Some suggested this interpretation, but that does not appear to be what he was talking about.

Let me quote more from the article. You be the judge:

Four years after 9/11 and the "crazy zeitgeist" that permeated the United States, most Americans have still not learned to know their enemies instead of just hating them, U.S. political journalist Chris Matthews says.


He said Bush squandered an opportunity to unite the world against terrorism and instead made decisions that have built up worldwide animosity against his administration.

He seems to be talking about "enemies" and "worldwide animosity." So I take his talk of understanding the guys "on the other side" as being about Muslim radicals. Not Democrats or Republicans arguing about strategy.

That said, I'd like to see the full transcript when available to confirm this.

Confirmed: Matthews said something very similar almost a year ago:

MATTHEWS: Well let me ask you about this. If this were on the other side, and we were watching an enemy soldier-- a rival, I mean, they're not bad guys especially, they're just people who diagree with you; they are in fact the insurgents figthing us in their country -- if we saw one of them do what we saw our guy did to that guy [the playing-dead terrorist], would that be worthy of a war-crime charge?

Thanks to Tony B. for reminding me of that. I had expected lots of links at the time for catching him saying that, but no one really seemed to care.

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posted by Ace at 03:19 PM

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