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Ben Johnson

History Lessons for Chris Matthews and Ron Reagan Jr.

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Posted on October 23 2009 12:35 pm
History is hard when you have a thrill running down your leg.

History is hard when you have a thrill running down your leg....

For a show that prides itself on its knowledge of news and history, Hardball with Chris Matthews made some embarrassing errors last night, including the fact that Ron Reagan Jr. apparently doesn’t understand the Bush Doctrine. Chris and Ron, his guest “expert” on Afghanistan, came up with two historical inaccuracies within minutes of one another. When conservative guest Frank Gaffney said he hoped Afghanistan could be pacified, as Germany was after World War II, Matthews snapped:

Matthews: There were no American soldiers killed after V-E Day, and you know it. Stop bringing up. Stop.

Gaffney: There were people killed after V-E Day, as a matter of fact…

Matthews: Not in Europe…Not in Germany.

Gaffney: Yes, indeed, there were….

Matthews: When did this happen?

Gaffney: We had all kinds of operations that were going on by revanchist groups that were still trying to kill Americans and others.

Matthews: I’ll have to go and check this. There was no activity after ’45.

Gaffney: There certainly were activities.

Well, Chris, the group Gaffney referenced was called the Werewolves. Professor Perry Biddiscombe of the University of Victoria has described their campaign of bombings, snipings, and terrorism lasting from the collapse of the Third Reich “until at least 1947.” The History Channel even did a special on them called Nazi Guerrillas. I hope that helps. Thanks; Frank and I look forward to your on-air retraction tonight.

Now, for Ron Reagan.

In his position as conservative punching bag, Gaffney responded to Matthews’s question about whether the Afghan people would support continued U.S. military presence in their country. Gaffney replied they would prefer this to returning to the Taliban’s theocracy. “They would rather not be ruled by the Taliban again,” Gaffney said. “Would you, Ron? Would you want to be ruled by the Taliban?” Ron-Ron replied, “That wasn’t the reason we went into Afghanistan in the first place, Frank.”

Yes, actually, it was. Toppling the Taliban was the reason we initiated the war in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11, because that regime sheltered Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. President Bush swore that evening, “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.” You see, there was this thing called The Bush Doctrine. I seem to remember your belittling Sarah Palin on your radio show for allegedly not knowing what it was. However, the Bush quotation is still up on Wikipedia; check it out before your left-wing friends change the page.

Anything else I can help you out with?

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