December 4, 2006
Michael Moore Issues Iraq Withdrawal FatwaBy Noel Sheppard
Well, it only took three weeks for the first unhappy liberal to recognize that he might have been conned by the Democrats' bait and switch campaign scheme. It probably would have happened sooner, but the really dedicated pols have been too busy celebrating to notice all the pre-election promises being taken back like unwanted gifts the day after Christmas.
Surprisingly first in line at the returns desk was schlockumentarist Michael Moore who practically issued a fatwa at his website on November 29 demanding the new majority party bring American troops home from Iraq immediately or suffer the consequences:
Wow. They only get a month? Does that mean they've got to have troops beginning to come home by December 29, or is the official deadline a month after the new Congress gets sworn in?
Regardless of the specifics, them's certainly fightin' words. And, it appears that what has been leaked from the pending Iraq Study Group report might have had something to do with it, as Moore published the following New York Times article at his website November 30:
Is it possible Moore was made aware of this before the Times published its article, and that this is what precipitated his fatwa? Newsweek's Michael Hirsh wrote about the Iraq Study Group's disinterest in an immediate withdrawal of troops a day before the Times did:
Above all, sources indicate the Baker-Hamilton group will fudge the issue of what the size of the U.S. troop presence in Iraq should be, and what a specific timetable for withdrawal should look like.
So, as more and more Democrats have recently backtracked from their pre-election pledges to move for an immediate withdrawal and, instead, wait to see what comes from this panel, maybe Mikey issued his demands based upon the Newsweek piece, and posted the Times article later to make himself look especially prescient. This is, after all, a movie director that loves to play footloose and fancy-free with time sequences, facts, quotes, history - well, let's face it...just about anything if it strengthens the point he's trying to make.
As a result, in the end, probably only his hairdresser knows for sure.
That aside, this statement of his has ominous implications for the Democrats in the months to come, as it could represent the ceremonial beginning of the bait and switch veneer unraveling. Don't get me wrong, it was certainly never a question as to whether or not the charade would be exposed; as John McLaughlin would say, that was a metaphysical certitude.
The only variable was how folks were going to respond once they realized they had been duped. Would they be good party loyalists, and keep their mouths shut? Or, would they lodge a protest much as Moore has just done.
This is what makes his fatwa, and its timing, all the more appealing. In writing such a declaration within days of the Iraq Study Group's report, Moore has made it quite clear that his support for Democrats was solely based in the belief that they would withdraw troops moments after taking control of Congress. Anything less doesn't look like Life cereal, and, as you know, Mikey hates everything else.
As such, it's important not to ignore - despite his methods - the amount of time and energy Mikey has expended on this antiwar effort. Nor should one discount the likelihood that he sees his own reputation as being on the line here, and that the value of his celluloid product is going to substantially diminish if the Party that he has given so much support to doesn't achieve what it advertised.
This might be especially important to Moore who publicly asked Ralph Nader, the presidential candidate he had supported in 2000, not to run in 2004 due to the possibility Nader could take precious votes away from Kerry once again giving the election to George W. Bush. Having somewhat sacrificed his own personal convictions for Democrats in this fashion while acting as an important get out the vote tool the past two election cycles, Mikey might be feeling tremendous betrayal from politicians that have made antiwar pledges to keep him and his disciples in the boat.
This means that unless this statement is a publicity stunt on his part, or he is going to be easily placated by the Democrat leadership with a couple of Big Macs, Moore has clearly thrown down the gauntlet, and could readily mobilize his followers into quite a frenzy of discontent.
Bear in mind, it doesn't take a lot of time to put together a schlockumentary, especially when facts are irrelevant. Unless troops are arriving at airports all around the country post haste, theaters could be filled with "Nancy and Me" in time for the summer movie season.
Which raises another serious question: Can the Netroots be far behind? After all, would anybody have even heard of Daily Kos, Think Progress, Raw Story, or the Huffington Post if there hadn't been a war to protest?
Let's be clear about something - part of the membership requirement at any of these websites is the possession of a Fahrenheit 9/11 three piece gift set. This is the special collector's version that includes the DVD, the book, and the not to miss, must have soundtrack on CD so you can brainwash yourself while your driving. Without valid proof of purchase, a liberal has just as much chance of getting into one of these top left-wing blogs as Karl Rove.
Given this, if Mikey is indeed jumping off the Democrat bandwagon, how can Markos Moulitsas and Arianna Huffington stay aboard while saving face with their own devotees who likely are going to identify with Moore's position?
And while we're doing an anti-Iraq war roll call, how do Keith Olbermann, John Stewart, and Stephen Colbert fit into this equation? Or the rest of the Hollywoodans like Barbra Streisand, Alec Baldwin, Bill Maher, and George Clooney who vociferously supported Democrats that were supposedly going to get our boys home?
Now that Moore has pulled his finger out of the deception dike, shouldn't this create a cascade of well-known supposedly principled liberal elites issuing similar demands to the Party they gave so much time and money to? Or, will it turn out that all these holier-than-thou, do as I say and not as I do types were only interested in taking back Congress, and everything else was just so much pancake?
If so, this could all play out as preposterously as one of Moore's films: before the final credits roll, the Fat Man is proven to be the only member of this entire sickeningly arrogant group possessing anything close to resembling deeply-held beliefs.
Now that's a movie I'd wait in line to see.
Noel Sheppard is a frequent contributor to the American Thinker. He is also a contributing editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org, and a contributing writer to its Business & Media Institute. Noel welcomes feedback.