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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  November 15, 2007
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Topic category:  Other/General

Laura Ingraham Views the Surge Clearly

I DO know that after her successful cancer treatment, Laura went to visit American and Iraqi troops and to do her radio show from Iraq. She did not stay in a hotel room, do her show from a hotel balcony or any other Green Zone location or have illusions about the difficulty of the task undertaken in Iraq.

Rachel Sklar's recent Huffington post piece, titled "Laura Ingraham, Headed For A Hotel Balcony In Iraq Real Soon," is an acerbic attempt to disparage prompted by Laura's memorable appearance on ABC's "The View," at which Laura demonstrated that one well read and well spoken conservative can out-debate four liberals.

Ms. Sklar's title is intriguing, but misleading.

I don't know whether Ms. Sklar has been to Iraq.

I DO know that after her successful cancer treatment, Laura went to visit American and Iraqi troops and to do her radio show from Iraq. She did not stay in a hotel room, do her show from a hotel balcony or any other Green Zone location or have illusions about the difficulty of the task undertaken in Iraq.

The first entry in Laura's Iraq trip journal reflects Laura's perceptiveness as well as her patriotism.Day 1: Feb. 5th, 2006

First let me repeat what I already knew--the troops serving over here are a stellar, inspiring group. I have been thoroughly impressed from the moment of our first contact with the 4th Infantry Division personnel who helped faciitate our trip into Iraq. In the middle of the night we were whisked off to an undisclosed location, and a few hours later flown to Baghdad by a great Air Force crew out of Alaska and a trusty old C-130. A number of government contractors were on board, all with the requisite body armor and kevlar helmets. The pilot was kind enough to invite me to sit on the flight deck for the flight, so I had the chance to see Baghdad's early morning sky. His co-pilot, navigator and engineer were funny, smart, and very upbeat about their role in the mission. Everyone here at Camp Victory and Camp Liberty are taking good care of us.

The mess hall experience--two meals already--has been a blast. Of course the security situation here is still terrible. The continuing terrorist threat is obvious by the number of cement barricades and checkpoints, the practical limits on where we can go, and the security sweeps even inside military bases. The asymetrical warfare being waged by the Islamo-fascists continues to be a difficult challenge.

The good news is that training of Iraqi forces continues apace and more of the security operations are being turned over to them every month. I will meet some of these brave men on Monday. I wish every American could see even the small part of the operation here that I've seen so far. They'd be more proud of our military and more grateful to be Americans.

Ms. Sklar cleverly began her post by conceding the obvious: "...Laura Ingraham is a very smart woman....She's a former Supreme Court law clerk, Reagan Administration speechwriter, multiple author, and high-rated radio host (the most listened-to female radio host in the country) and is also an articulate and telegenic TV commentator. She's not a fringe player, either; she was just on 'This Week' with George Stephanopoulos and was just signed to Fox, where she now appears regularly on O'Reilly. This is fact, not opinion...."

Then Ms. Sklar turned catty and contemptuous toward the classy Laura: "This...does not go to the content of her remarks, or books, or how, er, nice she comes off as being. (I'll save you wondering: She doesn't.) So with a woman as intelligent as Ingraham, as used to fending off perceived liberal attacks, you'd think she'd have come up with something a little sturdier to support her position that the Iraq war was going well yesterday on 'The View.'"

Laura's articulate support of the liberation of Iraq and the need to succeed infuriates Ms. Sklar and her let's-lose-and-leave ilk.

Ms. Sklar: "'We have, right now in Iraq really good news coming out of Baghdad,' said Ingraham. Well, let's hear it! 'We have violence down, sectarian violence down, the al-Qaeda is being pushed out...you can stay with your narrative that we're big losers and we're going to lose in Iraq, the truth of the matter is things are turning around for the better.'"

The Surge IS working, as even some of the anti-war mainstream media are acknowledging. But Ms. Sklar stubbornly insists that it's too late, we've lost and the sooner we leave, the better.

Ms. Sklar:

"...Ingraham makes those statements without really providing backup, which would be nice, or context, which is key. It's true that numbers are down in recent months roadside bombs and deaths of both Iraqi civilians and American soldiers [note: Mr. Sklar provided that backup]. But Ingraham doesn't acknowledge a key factor in the dropped numbers: Population displacement. The Iraqi refugee crisis is huge, as giant chunks of people have been driven from their cities by the same sectarian violence she claims is down. Well, sure it's down now, after displacement or ethnic cleansing. So that's sort of a Pyrrhic victory. Also, the sad fact remains that 2007 with six weeks to go has become the deadliest year for American soldiers in Iraq."

What really irks Ms. Sklar, it seems to me, is that Laura is a very persuasive patriot who wants the United States to win instead of lose and to fight terrorism abroad instead of at home.

Ms. Sklar: "...rather than grapple with what is really happening over there complicated progress, hobbled by steps back with every stride forward Ingraham turns it into an issue of patriotism. Hear the tone in her voice as she responds to Barbara Walters, who makes the legitimate point that the 'I think this is a country that is still unhappy about it.' (For evidence of same, see: Election 2006, House and Senate.) Responded Ingraham: 'But could it change, Barbara? Do you want to win in Iraq?' Again, the tone: Slightly accusatory, more than a little condescending. The 'Do you want to win in Iraq?' canard is oft-used by Conservatives in these debates, explicitly making it an us-versus-them equation, where the only answer is 'yes' which means the only alternative is to support the war. The real question is not 'Do you want to win?' but 'What is the best and safest way to end the war, to keep our troops and nation safest?' but that's a much more difficult question, and one which has to acknowledge the patriotism of both sides. Ingraham, of course, is not interested in such discourse."

It's not a canard. The best way to keep our nation and troops safest is to win the war.

The notion that everyone who opposes the war is a patriot is a canard.

It was Congressman James Clyburn, a leading Democrat member of the House of Representatives from South Carolina who acknowledged that it would be bad for the Democrats if the United States made progress in Iraq.

Washington Post, July 30, 2007:

"House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said...that a strongly positive report on progress on Iraq by Army Gen. David Petraeus likely would split Democrats in the House and impede his party's efforts to press for a timetable to end the war."

"Many Democrats have anticipated that, at best, Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker would present a mixed analysis of the success of the current troop surge strategy, given continued violence in Baghdad. But of late there have been signs that the commander of U.S. forces might be preparing something more generally positive. Clyburn said that would be 'a real big problem for us.'"

Was he speaking as a patriot or a political partisan?

Ms. Sklar: "It's a tired argument, one that should really be obsolete in 2007, after so many false promises and hoped-for-corners-turned and six-more-months and obfuscations and scandals. But it's the kind that Ingraham has been putting forth for literally years, back when she claimed that journalists in Iraq weren't bothering to go out with troops because it would mean leaving their hotel balcony. This, of course, fed straight into the 'media ignoring good news from Iraq' theme even though journalists in search of a feel-good story would either find it cut short by a murder or be injured before they could get there. Is it important to note that there have been improvements in Iraq? Absolutely. Is it just as important to do it responsibly? Yes. But that's a 'View' Laura Ingraham has much less of an interest in taking."

Defeatism and deception.

On March 21, 2006, Laura explained on NBC's The Today Show that coverage of the Iraq War by NBC and other networks was slanted to encourage opposition to the war and did not include "good news" stories.

Laura: "To do a show from Iraq means to talk to the Iraqi military, to go out with the Iraqi military, to actually have a conversation with the people instead of reporting from hotel balconies about the latest improvised explosive device going off."

A valid point!

Ms. Sklar preached the gospel of context, yet failed to note that Laura had walked the walked as well as talked the talked.

P.S. Lest her readers doubt that she really is catty, Ms. Sklar added this postscript: "Also, [Laura] was wearing black sequins on O'Reilly last Friday. I'm sure she was going out, but, well, it was weird."

Your deception is deplorable and your postscript is weird, Ms. Sklar.

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is gaynormike@aol.com.


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