On the April 23 broadcast of his Fox News Radio show, John Gibson argued that the Iraqi people -- whom he described as "knuckle-dragging savages from the 10th century" -- are at "fault" for the situation in Iraq. While discussing Iraq, Gibson said: "The one thing that drives me up the wall is [people] saying, 'Look at all the deaths you Americans have caused in Iraq.' No! 'Scuse me? We invaded the place, we knocked over Saddam, and then Iraqis began killing each other." Later in the show, Gibson agreed with a caller that the Coalition Provisional Authority's 2003 decision to purge the civil service of all former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party and disband the Iraqi army "was a mistake." Gibson then stated: "[B]ut who is doing this killing? Give me a break. These are Iraqis killing each other. So what did we do? If you're saying it's our fault that we unmasked them as knuckle-dragging savages from the 10th century -- fine! I'll take credit."
Gibson made his comments while criticizing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) April 19 statement that "[t]his war is lost." (Reid went on to say that "the war, at this stage, can only be won diplomatically, politically, and economically.") Gibson was asking listeners to call in and help "expand my vocabulary of nasty things I can characterize Harry Reid as."
From the April 23 broadcast of Fox News Radio's The John Gibson Show:
GIBSON: Harry Reid, help me with my vocabulary. [Caller] in Cleveland. [Caller], you're on the air.
CALLER 1: Hey, how are ya?
GIBSON: Dandy. I'm looking to expand my vocabulary of nasty things I can characterize Harry Reid as. Are you here to help me?
CALLER 1: Yeah, he's a punk.
GIBSON: Ehh -- four letter words, [caller], are a little on the funky side.
CALLER 1: Well, you know, I -- the one thing I can say is that I supported this war from the beginning and I --
GIBSON: Me, too.
CALLER 1: -- I really thought -- I really, about six months ago or so, I started saying, "It's unwinnable," and I, you know, I just figure, well, maybe we ought to start pulling out, but you have to, right now, say, they're doing this surge, I don't know if it's going to work or not, I'm not a military tech, you know, person --
GIBSON: [Caller], let me just tell you. This is the real deal: If this war is lost, it's Iraqis who lost it. The one thing that drives me up the wall is saying, "Look at all the deaths you Americans have caused in Iraq."
No! 'Scuse me?
We invaded the place, we knocked over Saddam, and then Iraqis began killing each other. They didn't go to the U.S. commander and say, "Pretty please, may I go kill some Sunnis?" "Your commandership, sir, may I go kill some Shia?"
No. They just went on a killing spree of their own and it's not our fault. And the war is lost --
REID [audio clip]: This war is lost.
GIBSON: -- are contemptible words. Contemptible. You got a new word? [phone number]. I need more words. Gibson on Fox.
GIBSON: [Caller] in Kentucky.
CALLER 2: Look, Harry Reid's a buffoon, but I think you're being a bit disingenuous --
GIBSON: All right.
CALLER 2: -- when you say that we're not responsible for the chaos in Iraq. I mean, who was it that disbanded their security forces and left that country in an unstable state?
GIBSON: Look, good point. The Bremer period is going to take the fall on the Iraq story -- dismantling the Baathist organization, not letting anybody who was a Baathist run the electric system or the sewage system or the garbage pickup or any of that stuff. They're going to take the hit on it. And the Bremer period where they disbanded the army, that's going to take the hit on it -- I guarantee you.
But, and that's a mistake, I agree that was a mistake, but who is doing this killing? Give me a break. These are Iraqis killing each other. So what did we do? If you're saying it's our fault that we unmasked them as knuckle-dragging savages from the 10th century -- fine! I'll take credit. But thanks -- but thanks for the observation, [Caller].