The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Season 13 Episode 64

Douglas Feith

0
Aired Weekdays 11:00 PM May 12, 2008 on Comedy Central
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
7 votes
0

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Douglas Feith
AIRED:
Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense (2001-2005), discusses his new book War and Decision and the perception of the war in Iraq.

Jon focuses on Hillary Clinton's campaign manager McAuliffe's guffaw on Meet the Press and Senior Wedding Correspondent John Oliver also discusses Jenna Bush's nuptials.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Wednesday
No results found.
Thursday
No results found.
Friday
No results found.
SUBMIT REVIEW

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

    FILTER BY TYPE

    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (7)

      • Jon Stewart: It seems like, in reading it, the basic idea of the book is that a lot of what we know about the run up to the Iraq war, a lot of conventional wisdom, is wrong. This idea, and I think it's something that you might take offense to, that we were misled into war somehow. Now, from this side of it, I always felt like we were misled so let's bridge that gap in ten minutes. What makes you say we were not misled? What was so honest about it?
        Douglas Feith: I think the administration had an honest belief in the things that it said. Some of the things that it said that were part of the rationale for the war were wrong but errors are not lies. I think much of what the administration said was correct and provided an important argument that leaving Saddam Hussein in power would have been extremely risky even though the president's decision to remove him was extremely risky.
        Jon Stewart: Let me stop you there. The president's decision to remove him was extremely risky. That's not the sense that the American people got in the run up. The sense that you got was we'll be greeted as liberators, it'll last maybe 6 weeks, maybe 6 months, it'll pay for itself. All these scenarios that were publicly proffered never happened. You said something that I thought was interesting. "The common refrain that the post war has been a disaster is only true if you had unrealistic expectations." Where would we have gotten those expectations?
        Douglas Feith: Well, there were a lot of things that did not go according to expectations. We know that the war has been bloodier and costlier and lengthier than anybody hoped but the president had an extremely difficult task. After 9/11, there was a great sensitivity to our vulnerability.

      • Douglas Feith: There was a serious consideration of the very great risks of war and I think that many of them actually were discussed with the public but, to tell you the truth, looking back, this administration made gross errors in the way it talked about the war, some of them were very obvious like the WMDs.
        Jon Stewart: …If you knew the perils but the conversation that you had with the public painted a rosier picture, how is that not deception?
        Douglas Feith: I think a lot of people's perceptions of what was said are filtered through the recent history and the recent history has been very unhappy in a lot of ways…and people look back and I think they misremember a lot…
        Jon Stewart: ...I think I remember pretty clearly the general tenor of what the government was saying to the people in the run up to the war. We have two choices. The risk of doing nothing is far greater than the risk of going in. But the risks of going in were never quantified…A willful selling of the positive and a pushing back of the negative.

      • Douglas Feith: The administration grossly mishandled the public explanation…I don't think it was dishonesty.
        Jon Stewart: Just because your intentions are good and noble and you believe it to be the right move for the country doesn't make it honesty. I'll say why I think why: because you removed the ability for the American public to make an informed decision and once you have removed that then you no longer have, I think, the authority. Because what you've done is you've told us what part of the argument you think is appropriate for us to know about.

      • Jon Stewart: There was no momentum for a war in Iraq. The momentum had to be generated somewhere. Afghanistan had its own momentum. We were attacked from there. Bin Laden was taking refuge there with the Taliban. To get the country to mobilize in Iraq took effort.
        Douglas Feith: I think you're looking at it differently from the way we're looking at it.
        Jon Stewart: I believe that is correct.

      • Douglas Feith: There was a moment when the president wanted to focus on diplomacy…it was more than a moment. It was a period of months…The president didn't want to put out a signal that he had decided to go to war when he hadn't decided…

      • Jon Stewart: This administration is very sophisticated in the art of propaganda and public relations.
        Douglas Feith: I disagree…I strongly disagree.
        Jon Stewart: Being bad at it doesn't mean you're not sophisticated.

      • Jon Stewart: I appreciate you being here. I know you and I disagree somewhat on the war. But we may agree. What's your favorite baseball team?
        Douglas Feith: Philadelphia Phillies.
        Jon Stewart: Oh man, we really disagree. Mets!

    • NOTES (1)

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

    Season 13 Episodes

    See All
    Ep 161
    Philip Seymour Hoffman
    Ep 160
    Don Rickles
    Ep 159
    Gov. Mike Huckabee
    Ep 158
    Matthew Alexander
    Ep 157
    Ron Howard
    Ep 156
    Arianna Huffington
    Ep 155
    Calvin Trillin
    Ep 154
    Anne Hathaway
    Ep 152
    Richard Belzer
    Ep 152
    Jon Meacham
    Ep 150
    Denis Leary
    Ep 149
    Sir David Frost
    Ep 148
    Bill O'Reilly
    Ep 147
    T. Boone Pickens
    Ep 146
    Thomas Friedman
    Ep 145
    Paul Rudd
    Ep 144
    Chris Wallace
    Ep 143
    Indecision 2008 - Ameri...
    Ep 142
    Doris Kearns Goodwin
    Ep 141
    Bill Kristol
    Ep 140
    Barack Obama
    Ep 139
    Steve Martin
    Ep 138
    Campbell Brown
    Ep 137
    Jon Corzine
    Ep 136
    Tom Brokaw
    Ep 135
    Christopher Buckley
    more
    More
    Less