looking back

cnn, march 7, 2003

...Stepping into the CROSSFIRE is actress and anti-war activist Janeane Garofalo.



CARLSON: Nice to see you. Janeane, thanks for joining us.

GAROFALO: Thanks for having me.

CARLSON: I absolutely respect the opinion of many people who disagree with the idea of a war in Iraq. I guess what I don't respect, and I'm a little bit offended by, are the constant descriptions of motives that President Bush must have. This is all for the oil companies. It's to avenge his father. This sort of stupid kind of psycho babble, psychoanalysis. The president says in the end he's doing this because he thinks Saddam Hussein is a threat to the United States. Do you believe that?

GAROFALO: I actually don't. I agree with you, I don't like those facial things like, "It's oil, no blood for oil." I think oil is a part of it. I think oil is a part of it.

I actually do not believe him when he says that Saddam is an immediate threat or a threat to America. I felt his press conference last night was an absolute non-event. I feel like the American people are being lied to and manipulated. He's trying to force 9/11 and Saddam together.

He's banking on the ignorance or the disinformation of the American people. And I think it's unfair. Can I read a quote of why I actually am going to be marching?

CARLSON: Well hold on. Before we get to your march, I'm fascinated of this idea of why Bush would do this. Why he would risk his presidency, why he would send Americans to their deaths and kill American soldiers to perpetuate this lie that you just accused him of perpetuating.

Why would he do that? What's the motive?

GAROFALO: Actually, I think that there are two things. One is called "The Project for a New American Century," which is a paper from 1997, I believe, that was worked on by Wolfowitz, Perle, Libby, Abrams (ph), I think maybe Cheney, which talks about going into dominate the Gulf region for the resources and also for the geopolitical dominance in a post Cold World War world. The Gulf region is very valuable.

Then there's a paper that James Baker worked on called "Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century" that he gave to Dick Cheney five months before 9/11 saying that we should go into Iraq.

CARLSON: Well, wouldn't it just be cheaper to negotiate better oil contracts, which we could?


GAROFALO: Well, I don't know. I actually don't know. It seems like it's an idea that Wolfowitz and Perle and some of the other gentlemen in the administration have had for a long time. I don't know why we can't negotiate or something, but can I read a quote by George Bush Sr. about why I -- because it concurs why I'm going to be marching tomorrow. Is that OK?

CARLSON: Sure. Hit us with it.

GAROFALO: OK. This is by George Bush Sr. from his book "A World Transformed." "We should not march into Baghdad. To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us and make a broken tyrant into a latter-day Arab hero. Assigning young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight in what would be an unwinable urban guerilla war, it could only plunge that part of the world into ever greater instability."


CARLSON: You do realize that was in reference to another war under totally different circumstances?

GAROFALO: That's written in 1998. It was written in 1998, and I don't know whether he was just specifically referencing that war, but what he's saying, that's exactly right. And, also, the letter that Colleen Rowley wrote to the FBI yesterday, saying that she doesn't understand why we're going into Iraq when the al Qaeda -- the hunt for al Qaeda is not nearly finished.

It's a distraction to go into Iraq. And that she feels, as an FBI 22-year bureau agent, that Iraq is not an immediate threat.

CARLSON: But we just captured the [ first of many] number three member of al Qaeda who planned 9/11...


shoulda listened to the bowler


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