One of the peculiar things about the Fox News Channel is that they actually do invite progressive guests onto some of the shows. Last night on the O’Reilly Factor (3/22/11), we saw Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin talkingabout Libya. Of course, there’s a political point O’Reilly is trying to make; in this case, he was contrasting Benjamin’s anti-war position to the pro-war positions expressed by some Obama-friendly MSNBC hosts.
O’Reilly’s got a point there. (This is not something I’m used to saying.) But never fear–he’s still perfectly capable of making his own completely absurd arguments. Like this:
O’REILLY: They have succeeded in stopping a slaughter that would have happened had they not started the bombing. Correct?
BENJAMIN: Well, we don’t know what would have happened. You can’t tell.
O’REILLY: Well, come on, Medea, you’ve got to do the math. You know? You’ve got to do the math.
BENJAMIN: How you can know what would have happened?
O’REILLY: Based on history. Based on what had happened in the past.
BENJAMIN: Look what happened when we were going to overthrow another terrible dictator, Saddam Hussein.
O’REILLY: Yes. Look what happened? He couldn’t kill anybody. We got him out of there.
BENJAMIN: We have Iraqis that….
O’REILLY: OK, that war didn’t turn out well, but it did — it did neutralize Saddam Hussein, and he couldn’t murder anybody else. And that’s why this action was taken.
BENJAMIN: And Iraqis now say they’re worse off, with millions of them having fled the country. We unleashed…
O’REILLY: They’re better off now than they were. Medea, they’re much better off.
BENJAMIN: I don’t think they are.
O’REILLY: You can go to Iraq and walk around. OK? You couldn’t do that under Saddam Hussein.
BENJAMIN: You can’t walk around very much right now.
O’REILLY: Let’s get back to Libya.
If I were Bill O’Reilly, I think I’d probably want to avoid bringing up the Iraq War as a model for the Libya bombings.