You have to see the whole thing to believe it, but I decided to try to transcribe the juicier bits, especially the ones almost lost in the crosstalk. I refer to a recent panel discussion of the Syrian missile strike on the Laura Ingraham Show, during which Fox News commentator Sebastian Gorka proved he was unafraid to deploy the carrot salad and even the fish sticks against co-panelist Col. Douglas Macgregor (U.S. Army ret.) in response to Macgregor's criticism of the strike -- clearly, a red line for Gorka. "Shame on you" for being "obnoxiously obtuse" and "questioning" a "four-star-retired-Marine-Corps-legend," etc., etc. But that wasn't all. Before the segment was over, Laura was admonishing "Sebastian" not to get on his "moral high horse" with her! All in all, great television, but it also speaks to a significant divide among Trump supporters.
Here is Macgregor's opening comment about the strike:
COL. MACGREGOR: Well, I find the whole thing perplexing. First of all, just a week after the president announces his intention to withdraw troops from Syria, suddenly the Syrian government that has effectively won the civil war -- the civil war is practically over -- decides to launch a chemical attack? Seems very odd.
Then we see sarin and chlorine gas used together. That's never happened before. That's a first in the history of chemical warfare. Doesn't make any sense.
Then, finally, we said, well, we didn't really inform the Russians -- but we know the German press has told us over the last 24 hours of consistent back-channel reports between Washington and Moscow, so [it's] quite obvious that we made the Russians aware of what was going on. They got out of the way. And we picked targets that I think in retrospect will turn out perhaps not to be what we thought, so I think this is another cosmetic attack that makes the morally righteous in Washington feel good but changes nothing on the ground.
Here is Sebastian's opening comment about the strike -- and Macgregor:
GORKA: Well, look, Laura. I know a lot of people are queasy tonight, but they should -- look (exasperated sigh), Col. Macgregor is being obnoxiously obtuse. The president needs to be listened to. This isn't about Rwanda, this isn't about Sudan. This is a battlefield where chemical weapons are on the loose with multiple actors, many of them jihadists. This is a regime that has committed mass murder. His father was a mass murderer, and so is Bashar Al-Assad.
The idea that this is irrelevant to America is so a-strategic it beggars belief. The president is not an interventionist. He's not going to deploy 160,000 troops like the Bush administration did, but we have to assert our - moral - clarity. You do not get to use illegal chemical weapons against women and children.
And I was in the White House a year ago, and I saw the intelligence, and guess what, colonel, it was the Assad regime that did it. And when a four-star-retired-Marine-Corps-legend like the current Secretary of Defense tells you that we have seen the intelligence and it was Assad, everybody should take that to the bank, and shame on you for questioning General - Mattis - retired.
MACRGEGOR: Well, I have met General Mattis and I am happy to question it because I don't think General Mattis meant what he said --.
GORKA: You don't have the clearances, and you haven't seen it, colonel!
MACGREGOR: Well, you would be surprised at the clearances that I have, but the bottom line --
GORKA: Have you see intelligence?
MACGREGOR: But the bottom line --
GORKA: Have you seen intelligence?
MACGREGOR: Sebastian, will you please calm down for a second?
GORKA: No, it's outrageous.
MACGREGOR: We've been, we've been down this road before. We launched cruise missiles in 1999 against a factory --
GORKA: Not with this president. Not with this president.
LAURA One at a time ...
MACGREGOR: We launched against a factory we said was building missile parts in 1999 and connected to Al Qaeda. It was a milk production facility. We've had so much misinformation. It is absolutely not clear what happened a year ago. I completely reject that.
GORKA: It is to me. You were outside the building.
MACGREGOR: Well, it's not clear to me. Absolutely not. And I have spent my life in the military and I have seen intelligence manipulated repeatedly over the last 25, 26 years.
GORKA: I'm glad you know better than this president and his secretary of defense.
MACGREGOR: So, I absolutely -- I think President Trump needs to listen to the 50 million Americans who voted for him.
GORKA: It was 60, actually.
MACGREGOR: -- ... and they didn't support this.
GORKA: I'm glad you speak to all Americans, colonel. I'm glad you've made yourself the spokesman of 60 million Americans. That's very modest of you.
Is this for real? Laura is now segueing to the War Powers Resolution but who can concentrate with that Gorkish fusillade still ringing in the ears? It's a long segment, however. Laura's voice becomes audible again, asking about the "international community."
LAURA: We hear a lot about the international community ... so where's the world community?
GORKA: It doesn't exist. Without American leadership there is no action.
LAURA: Yeah, well, we're out of money, we're out of money, We have no dough. It's not 1995 anymore, Sebastian. It's not like --
SEBASTIAN: So we let children get gassed.
LAURA: I'm not saying that. I'm not saying that.
SEBASTIAN: What's the point?
LAURA: If we have a country that is desperately in debt and getting weaker and weaker and weaker, according to our debt, year after year after year, at some point somebody is going to have to pay the piper ...
SEBASTIAN: So our morality -- but what's that got to do with national security? What has that got to do with moral rectictude? With moral rectitude?
LAURA: ... Moral rectitude is great but if we are a broke nation at some point the American people ... are going to say: You know something? I'm not voting for this anymore. They're going to elect, like, Elizabeth Warren. That's what I'm worried about.
SEBASTIAN: Fine! That's democracy. That's democracy.
If that's democracy, what was voting for Trump -- and over exactly such economic quandaries and a desire to put American interests first? Strategy aside ("President Warren" aside), consider Gorka's pitch to viewers: the president needs to be listened to, shame on you for questioning General Mattis.This is not how most people define citizenship in a democratic republic. Americans are at their most American when they think and question for themselves without being overawed by "authority" or rank.
LAURA: Sebastian, last word.
GORKA: Just listen to what the president said. He said very clearly, we are not there to do some kind of intervention like in the Gulf War back in two thousand and three. We are there to make a stand against one of the most heinous forms of weapons known to man that are illegal. And America as a brand -- if we do nothing, then America, as a nation, starts to lose its meaning for what it represents.
I know you believe in what that nation represents. You're a believer. You believe in the eternal values that Our Founding Fathers instilled in in Our Founding Documents. If those documents mean anything today we take this action.
LAURA: Yeah. I think we can all pull out quotes about, from the framers, about foreign entangelments, I mean --
GORKA: It's not funny, Laura. It's not funny.
LAURA: It's not funny. But Sebastian, Sebastian, don't, don't get on your moral high horse with me, okay?
LAURA: Don't, don't, don't play that game with me tonight, alright?
GORKA: But you're making like a joke, you're making like a joke. It's not a joke.
LAURA: It's not a joke. What I'm saying -- you're raising the flag of the Framers. I can qoute an Alexander Hamilton and a George Washington to you tonight where they're warning us --
GORKA; On chemical weapons?
LAURA -- about getting American entangled in foreign affairs over which we have can have little effect.
GORKA That's not what the president is doing. That's not what he's doing
LAURA: That's not what I'm saying ... all I'm saying ... we can't ... the framers ... it's a complicated situation. Let's now go to Fox News Jennifer Griffin....