An explosive commentary from Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes

  1. last night. I just read his comments this morning on cbs
    He criticised president Bush and our generals for "treating us like children." And he has particular disdain for them using the phrase "coalition forces".

    We have 300,000 men and women in the war, the Brits 45,000, and Australia 2,000. "There is no COALITION'', he said.

    All those other 43 countries simply "wished us well."
    And ........well, what a monologue!
    Powerful stuff from a man who participated in WWII and has covered every war since.

    His main point is the dishonesty in reporting.
    Wasn't there someone on this BB who said honesty and truth are the first casualties of war?

    Rooney called it this week.
  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   sbic56
    Darn. I wish I would have seen that commentary. Rooney usually tells it like it is. The ol' codger is nobody's fool!
  4. by   sbic56
  5. by   Furball
    I stopped listening to Andy Rooney when he said women shouldn't do sports reporting.
  6. by   Shamrock
    I have a hard time listening to him because I can't take my eyes off his brows. They are WILD!!
    He certainly made some very salient points.
  7. by   jnette
    One thing for sure about Rooney... you love him or you hate him.
    'Cuz HE sure doesn't give a hoot either way ! He DOES speak his mind.
  8. by   Q.
    I wonder how the Brits and Aussie's feel about basically being regarded as irrelevent in the war?
    I wonder how we'd be looked at if instead of saying "coalition forces" we said "American forces" as Rooney implies?

    Not too diplomatic of Rooney, I might add.
  9. by   fergus51
    I thought it was true for the most part. Rooney acknowledged the British and Australians and never said they were irrelevant. He said OTHER than them, the coalition of the willing was made up of countries who aren't really contributing in any way and are being used for PR solely. Who can argue with that? I don't see any Icelandic or Eritrean casualties of this war, do any of you?

    Exact quote:
    "The fact is, though, we're in this thing with the British, who have 45,000 soldiers there, and the Australians, who have 2,000. That's it. The other 46 wish us well or let us fly bombers over their country. Big deal."

    I think if anything, associating the work our troops are doing with this coalition is a little insulting. I realize it is diplomatic to pretend the others are a real help, but c'mon, we all know they aren't.
    Last edit by fergus51 on Apr 7, '03
  10. by   molecule
    the point about using the term 'coalition forces' is straight on topic when talking about using language as propaganda for political purpose. the term evokes the broad fighting coalition in the first Gulf War. the coalition of today, their GDPs and the resources offered can be found listed on the following site:
    >Now up to 47! Our 10 latest allies are: Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Iceland, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Palau, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Uganda!<<
  11. by   Q.
    I think that Rooney's statement of saying "big deal" of the use of airspace, bases and other assistance is a bit naive, to say the least.

    Secondly, I think it's worth noting that some countries, namely Japan who has voiced support but does not any troops fighting, is I think in part due to Japan's Constitution which doesn't allow for troops to be deployed in foreign wars.

    And I disagree, I think they are a big help. Britain's forces are the ones who discovered the mass grave at an old Iraqi military base that they have seized, just to name one off the top of my head.

    So, to clarify:

    The United States needed the "go ahead" from other countries, as we couldn't do this unilaterally. Now that we have a "go ahead" from over 40 countries, now it's "no big deal." Why did we need them in the first place then?

    If the United States referred to the forces as "American forces" you know damn well we'd be chastised for it. So now, we say coalition forces and we're criticised for that too.

    Pardon my confusion but I can't keep track of all the "wrong" things the United States is doing. It's hard to keep straight what everyone wants. It seems to change daily.
    Last edit by Susy K on Apr 7, '03
  12. by   sbic56
    Like O'Reilly and Limbaugh, Rooney is a commentator, not a diplomat. He doesn't have to be cognizant of alienating people, like say, a president, for instance, does.

    All Rooney is saying is that this is an unpopular war to many and that to sugar coat this fact by coining phrases such as "coalition of the willing" and "operation iraqi freedom" in an effort to make the war effort appear widely accepted and totally altruistic is merely our method of propaganda.
  13. by   Q.
    Okay, so if the UN had given us "permission" to invade Iraq, and did not provide any forces, (France, Germany) would that have mattered to people? Because now it seems like people are saying that "support" only means with troops.
  14. by   eddy
    If you look back at some of the other pieces Rooney has done on the war, you'll find that he:
    - stood against us going it alone
    - has strongy criticized France for their stance
    - feels that once the war started we should still support our troops but it doesn't mean we have to be happy they are there or that we support the "way" (unilateral) in which we chose to have them go.

    Andy Rooney said in a recent piece,

    "You can't beat the French when it comes to food, fashion, wine or perfume, but they lost their license to have an opinion on world affairs years ago. They may even be selling stuff to Iraq and don't want to hurt business.

    The French are simply not reliable partners in a world where the good people in it ought to be working together. Americans may come off as international jerks sometimes but we're usually trying to do the right thing.

    Americans have a right to protest going to war with Iraq. The French do not. They owe us the independence they flaunt in our face at the U.N.

    I went into Paris with American troops the day we liberated it, Aug. 25, 1944. It was one of the great days in the history of the world.

    French women showered American soldiers with kisses, at the very least. The next day, the pompous Charles de Gaulle marched down the mile long Champs Elysee to the Place de la Concorde as if he had liberated France himself. I was there, squeezed in among a hundred tanks we'd given the Free French Army that we brought in with us. "

    He continued,

    "The French have not earned their right to oppose President Bush's plans to attack Iraq.

    On the other hand, I have. "

    In an earlier piece prior to war,

    "Those damn polls we can't get away from indicate that Americans are evenly divided over whether or not we should attack Iraq. That's what I am - evenly divided. Hard to decide.

    A lot of idealistic Americans think it's wrong for us to be the ones who start any war. Others think we should attack before Saddam Hussein does something with the weapons we're guessing he has.

    Our leaders won't tell us how they'd go about it. Donald Rumsfeld, our secretary of defense, doesn't tell us much of anything anyway.

    He says things like, "I don't care to respond," or "I have no desire to discuss the issue," or "I have no information whatsoever" or "I have no information on that," or "I have no idea."

    We have everything we need for a war.

    We have 1.3 million soldiers.

    There are 40,000 colonels alone.

    We have 1,500 heavy bombers.

    It seems likely that once we've bombed the hell out of Iraq, we'll drop several thousand of our special forces in there. Try to find Saddam Hussein; it's like finding Osama bin Laden.

    In addition to conventional weapons, we have all the stuff we suspect Hussein has or is getting: ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. And you can bet we have stores of anthrax and other test-tube killers. Hussein used mustard gas on the Iranians 15 years ago but mustard gas is old-fashioned now.

    Our military people support the plan to attack Iraq, of course. And you can't blame them. They've lived their whole lives for this. If you had all those weapons they have, you'd want to see if they worked, too.

    The president admits he has a special reason for hating Saddam Hussein: "So after all, this is the guy who tried to kill my dad at one time," the president has said.

    Well, I have a vindictive streak myself. My worst side would enjoy seeing us attack Iraq.

    But then I think of all the young American sons who would lose dads who have never been president, and all the good, innocent Iraqis too. And once we blow Iraq to pieces, we'll have to spend years putting it back together. Our plans seem more vague than secret.

    President Bush isn't sitting in his private quarters in the White House watching 60 Minutes, waiting to hear what Andy Rooney thinks. But if he was listening, I think what I'd say is, "Please don't do it alone, Mr President.""

    Anyway... just thought I'd throw that in for what it's worth.