Have I been giving Ted Koppel too much credit all my life? Because whoever showed up wearing his skin today on This Week with George Stephanopulos behaved like such a drooling font of unparalleled nonsense that introducing it as "Ted Koppel" didn't adequately prepare me to have my mind blown away by some of the most specious crud I've heard in a long while.
This Week's panel was hot on the trail of the Obama "false flip-flop" meme: where the McCain camp paints Obama's unhesitating position on Iraq as a sudden and unexpected change of course and the press puts on the court stenographer's cap and tsk-tsks it into infinity. Well, Ted went a few steps beyond:
KOPPEL: You know, George, you said we'll get to the energy thing later. Let me suggest we get to that right away. I think his advisers have conveyed to him what has known all along: U.S. troops are in a part of the world that produces a vast -- not the majority, but a huge amount of oil and natural gas. We will have U.S. troops in that region for years to come, whether we want to or not. And I think Senator Obama has come to that realization. He's come to know that you cannot pull all the troops out of Iraq, unless you put them somewhere else. You talked a little bit about Iran and about the dangers in Iran. This is not a time to be saying, yes, we're going to pull all the U.S. troops out of there, come what may.
Koppel went on to say that involved upwards of "80,000 to 100,000 troops" in Iraq "three to five years from now."
Where to begin? Maybe with the notion that Obama needed "advisers" to tell him, last week, that Iraq was an oil-producing nation, and that this sudden realization is what has powered Obama's flip-flop...you know, the one that hasn't even happened yet!
Then you get this nonsense: "I think Senator Obama has come to that realization. He's come to know that you cannot pull all the troops out of Iraq, unless you put them somewhere else... This is not a time to be saying, yes, we're going to pull all the U.S. troops out of there, come what may."
But Obama hasn't recently "come to the realization" that you "cannot pull all the troops out of Iraq" without putting them somewhere else. In fact, this is the very thing he has been advocating - redeploying these resources to fight and defeat al Qaeda. Remember al Qaeda, Ted? Afghan-Pakistan border dwelling al Qaeda? Attacked us in 2001? Since let off the hook by the merry appeasers of the Bush administration? That was the "come what may" that the Bush White House turned into one big "What? How come?"
But Koppel didn't stop there. A few minutes later, ABC's viewing audience got hit with this claptrap:
KOPPEL: And that what he is showing, essentially in just about every decision that he has made, and you can refer to it as a flip-flop, each flip has been in the direction of showing how tough he is. None of them has moved in the direction of softening a position. He's been doing nothing but hardening positions all along. And I think that's wait that he shows that he's tough enough to be president.
Wow. So "toughness" is best demonstrated through a willingness to occupy troubled Middle East nations - thus fomenting international terrorism - because their oil needs to be secured - thus bringing the nation no closer to ending our nation's oil addiction? Why stop there? Why not be a President who's tough enough to hammer a nail into his own skull with a rock?
Someone needs to drive over to Ted Koppel's home, where I believe you will find his cocooned corpse, laid out next to a seed-pod from a distant, and idiotic, galaxy.