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Moore vs. O'Reilly
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This is a pretty lame exchange, actually, but I thought I'd share anyway.

First of all, Moore had some conditions before appearing on the show, namely:

Moore, the director who made "Fahrenheit 9/11" and created one of the election season's biggest uproars, said he wouldn't go on "The O'Reilly Factor" until O'Reilly saw the entire movie. And he said any conversation would have to be aired without any editing and with the opportunity for Moore to ask O'Reilly questions.

I find the "no editing" condition especially laughable, considering the heavy-handed editing Moore himself employs, but nevermind.

O'Reilly starts out by asking:

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: The issues… all right good. Now, one of the issues is you because you’ve been calling Bush a liar on weapons of mass destruction, the Senate Intelligence Committee, Lord Butler’s investigation in Britain and now the 9/11 Commission have all come out and said there was no lying on the part of President Bush. Plus, Vladimir Putin has said his intelligence told Bush there were weapons of mass destruction. Wanna apologize to the president now or later?

MOORE: He didn’t tell the truth, he said there were weapons of mass destruction.

Now, I'm not sure Bush ever actually said flat out that there were weapons, that he knew what and where they were...but he did strongly insinuate that there were weapons. Thing is, O'Reilly's right...he wasn't alone. Nearly every intelligence agency in the world thought he had WMD. The U.N. thought he had WMD (otherwise, why bother inspecting?). Hell, some suggest that Saddam thought he had WMD. So Bush wasn't exactly alone in his assessment.

As it turns out, nobody outside of Iraq (not many inside) knew the actual state of Iraq's weapons capabilities. That uncertainty could easily have been assuaged if Hussein had fully complied and cooperated. If there had been and establishment of trust since the end of the Gulf War, there would have been less reason to be wary of Husseins capabilities and intentions. The bottom line is: We didn't know. And we didn't know because Iraq never fully cooperated, creating an atmosphere in which giving them the benefit of the doubt didn't make any sense. Now we do know that his weapons capabilities were far more decimated than we (and everyone else) thought. And that's a good thing. And in the process of removing that doubt, we've dethroned a genocidal maniac and given one of the most repressive regimes in the world a chance at democratic reformation.

Moore then gets to ask O'Reilly a question:

MOORE: Over 900 of our brave soldiers are dead. What do you say to their parents?

O'REILLY: What do I say to their parents? I say what every patriotic American would say: “We are proud of your sons and daughters. They answered the call that their country gave them. We respect them and we feel terrible that they were killed.”

MOORE: But what were they killed for?

O'REILLY: They were removing a brutal dictator who himself killed hundreds of thousands of people.

MOORE: Um, but that was not the reason that was given to them to go to war: to remove a brutal dictator.

Well, was. Saddam's character and behavior had everything to do with why we went to war. We could not trust his word and he was utterly uncooperative with every international edict issued since the end of the war in which he invaded Kuwait. France has nuclear weapons, but we are not waging war on them because of the nature of their government.

Anyway, they don't get many questions in, and most of the "debate" is repetition and squabbling, which generally goes to show that extreme elements don't do a very good job of discussing and debating relatively complex issues.

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