Matt Lauer interviews Lynne Cheney (Image: Media Research Center)
In an interview with second lady Lynne Cheney, the “Today Show’s” Matt Lauer equated the Islamic radicals in Fallujah terrorizing Iraq with George Washington’s Revolutionary War army.
Questioning Cheney about her new children’s book, “When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots,” the NBC host asked Cheney, in light of the current offensive on Fallujah, to apply to today the lesson of a “rag-tag group” going up against a powerful, well-equipped army.
Lauer was rebuffed by the vice president’s wife for equating Washington’s troops with the radical Muslim terrorists then clarified his line of questioning.
“I’m just saying, but the insurgents believe they’re fighting for a cause as well,” Lauer explained. “They don’t believe any less than we believe.”
The conversation Tuesday was recorded by the Virginia-based Media Research Center.
Lauer: “Let me talk about this idea that a rag-tag group, not well-fed, not well-clothed, completely under-equipped as compared to this great British army and the Hessian could accomplish this. And let me ask you to think about what is going on in Iraq today. Where the insurgents not well equipped, smaller in numbers, the greatest army in the world is their opposition. What’s, what’s the lesson?”
Cheney: “Well, the difference of course is who’s fighting on the side of freedom. Ideas motivate people. And the idea of freedom is such a mighty one. There’s a very good book by a man named David Hackett Fischer has written a book called Washington’s Crossing. And I spent a good deal of time talking to him. He talks about how this is an entirely new thing. These are people who are fighting not because they had to, they could walk off. At one point Washington had to convince many of them to stay.”
Lauer: “I think he promised them more pay, actually.”
Cheney: “He did. But he also told them they were fighting for a mighty idea. And I think the same has been true. The same advantage has been at the back of Americans forever. We have a mighty cause in which we’re fighting.”
Lauer: “I’m just saying, but the insurgents believe they’re fighting for a cause as well. They don’t believe any less than we believe. And yet — ”
Cheney: “Well, but Matt, you’re being awfully relativistic here. I mean, the insurgents are killing Iraqis by the hundreds, Iraqis by the thousands. It’s not as though this is a matter between just ‘on the one hand on the other hand.’ We are on the side of freedom. We are on the side that I think that idea is so powerful and does give us wind at our back.”
Similarly, in an Oct. 18 interview on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” the Media Research Center noted, host Chris Matthews painted the Iraqi insurgents as modern Minute Men in his discussion with former President Jimmy Carter, author of a novel set during the Revolutionary War.
Matthews asked Carter whether in the Founding Fathers’ “insurgency against a powerful British force, do you see any parallels between the, the fighting that we did on our side and the fighting that is going on in Iraq today?”
Carter replied, “Well, one parallel is that the Revolutionary War, more than any other war up until recently, has been the most bloody war we’ve fought. I think another parallel is that in some ways the Revolutionary War could have been avoided. It was an unnecessary war. Had the British Parliament been a little more sensitive to the colonial’s really legitimate complaints and requests the war could have been avoided completely, and of course now we would have been a free country now as is Canada and India and Australia, having gotten our independence in a nonviolent way. I think in many ways the British were very misled in going to war against America and in trying to enforce their will on people who were quite different from them at the time.”