President Biden shut the Houthis down...


...except on Fox & Friends: Let it be said that Max Boot might be wrong in his assessment. 

Also, Kevin Drum might be wrong in assuming that Boot is right.

That said:

In this column for the Washington Post, Boot asserts that President Biden shut the Iran-sponsored Houthis down in the wake of the January 28 drone attack which took the lives of three American soldiers on a base in Jordan.

According to Boot, the president accomplished this through a set of subsequent military strikes. Boot's column in the Post appears beneath this headline:

In the shadow war with Iran, Biden just scored an unheralded victory

For Kevin's account of what Boot said, you can just click here. Kevin's headline reads like this:

President Biden forced Iran to back down

Again, we don't have the expertise to say that Boot is right. But we'll remind you of the reaction on Fox & Friends Weekend on the Saturday and Sunday mornings which followed the first two sets of retaliatory attacks.

It was Saturday morning, February 3. On Fox & Friends Weekend, Pete Hegseth seemed quite sure about what had happened, as we reported that day. 

At 6:03 a.m., he set the tone quite quickly. He paraphrased a congressman who had said, according to Hegseth, that last night's strikes were "really nothing more than a fireworks display."

In fairness, that was Hegseth's paraphrase of what the congressman had said. At that point, producers played tape of the congressman's actual statement. The statement had been made to Sean Hannity, and it had gone like this:

"Sean, I just heard tonight from soldiers who are down range right now, and they're telling me this is going to equate to nothing more than a multimillion-dollar fireworks show."

So the congressman had said, based on what he'd heard from a bunch of soldiers who would have had no obvious way of knowing what they were talking about.

Hegseth paraphrased the assessment and then, at 6:04, on came retired Brigadier General Anthony Tata, who seems to specialize in spotting the traitors found all over the land. The general's most memorable statement came at 6:07:

"This is all a psyop on the American people and the world, quite frankly."

On Fox, Taylor Swift had been said to be psyop by the nitwit Jesse Watters. Now, it turned out that these first air strikes were just a psyop too.

The friends kept this going through the weekend, with Hegseth reinforcing the "fireworks display" idea and Rachel Campos-Duffy wondering, as he constantly does, if this whole thing was all Barack Obama's doing and idea.  

We offered three reports on those two mornings, reports we'll link to below. The first report concerned all the inflammatory claims Tata had made down through the years since his retirement as a (one-star) general.

That's what happened on Fox & Friends Weekend. Here's what isn't going to happen: 

No one is ever going to ask Hegseth to evaluate what Boot has now said. 

That "fireworks display" has now been termed a success. Is it possible that Hegseth's initial assessment, delivered that first Saturday morning, was less than exactly correct? 

This is the way American journalism works when its participants are strictly "segregated by viewpoint." Did the fireworks display turn into a win?

No one is going to ask Pete Hegseth. For that reason, the instantly self-assured Fox News friend will never have to tell.

This works the other way too, of course. Given the segregation of staffing by viewpoint, statements made on Blue America's cable news program also go completely unchallenged, unchecked and unassessed.

We'll offer a first example tomorrow, with others along the way.

Hitting the links: We posted three reports that first weekend. You can click the links:

SATURDAY: Who the Sam Hill is Anthony Tata?

UPDATE: Now for the rest of the Tata tape!

SUNDAY: A second wave of airstrikes last night!

On Fox & Friends Weekend, Rachel was sure that it must be Obama. Hegseth seemed sure it was fake.

No one was there to question their views. Red tribe viewers heard no other viewpoint. 

They'll never be asked about what they said, and they'll never be forced to tell.


  1. "According to Boot, the president accomplished this through a set of subsequent military strikes."

    Wait a second, all I'm seeing in the last couple of days is this: "We favour a diplomatic solution, we know that there is no military solution" U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking told reporters.

    Well, one of them has to be full of shit. And I think I know which one.

  2. Somerby refers to some unidentified congressman being quoted by Hegstreth. What is the purpose of not identifying him? This is Somerby's game and when I see someone doing stuff like this, I automatically change the channel. It screams "untrustworthy".

  3. "and Rachel Campos-Duffy wondering, as he constantly does"

    Last I heard, Rachel Campos-Duffy's pronouns were she not he.

    1. " ... pronouns were she not he." You may know about pronouns, but you don't know about agreement of subject and verb.

    2. 7:29 PM tries to correct a commenter's grammar but makes of mistake of their own. The problem is that "she" is only one pronoun. 5:58 PM should have said "pronoun was she not he" or "pronouns were she/her not he/him".

    3. 7:36 PM tries to correct 7:29 PM correction of 5:59 PM and 7:36 PM makes mistakes of their own.

      I probably made mistakes of my own too !

    4. Anybody that doesn’t make mistakes isn’t alive.

  4. "On Fox & Friends Weekend, Rachel was sure that it must be Obama. Hegseth seemed sure it was fake.

    No one was there to question their views. Red tribe viewers heard no other viewpoint.

    They'll never be asked about what they said, and they'll never be forced to tell."

    The obvious conclusion to be drawn from this is that Fox News is an unreliable news source and no one should watch it.

    But look how cleverly Somerby used his quotes from Fox to undercut Biden's victory! One might think that was his only reason to repeat the noise from Fox -- to discredit any success Biden might claim from dealing successfully with the Houthis.

  5. In fact, the Houthi attacks continue. It's very disappointing that the US can't defeat a ragtag bunch like this. It suggests that our military isn't vey effective.

    E.g. see yesterday "Yemen's Houthis claim new attacks on British and Israeli ships in Red Sea"

    1. David Russian Troll, the Houthis' attacks on US forces have stopped.

  6. Somerby and his fanboys are pretty blatantly propagandizing from a right-wing perspective. If I wanted to read that stuff, I know where to find it. So, I am not going to be commenting here any more. It hasn't been fun or interesting here for a long time now.

    1. Bob stopped asking us to listen to "the Others", once we started reporting back what "the Others" were saying.

    2. 6:37 PM is right. This is a crappy blog. I comment here only because I'm paid to.

    3. 6:37 - Oh, my! You would never have abandoned your patriotic duty of saving us gullible liberals from Somerby's propaganda unless Putin got to you, too!

    4. Somerby's Right-wing Grievance of the Day blog will carry-on without you.

    5. The fanboys' gloating is hilarious.

      Somnerby's a moron, but the fanboy comments do amuse.

  7. It's very strange for Drum to quote a neocon like Boot without qualifying his track record and support for U.S. imperialism.

  8. Notker Wolf has died.

  9. Oops. Looks like Bob might have botched the description of the Houthi situation. The following is from Boot's column:

    On Feb. 2, U.S. forces dropped more than 125 precision munitions on 85 targets in Iraq and Syria belonging to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and its affiliated militia groups. The U.S. Air Force even deployed giant B-1 bombers that flew all the way from the continental United States. According to U.S. Central Command: “The facilities that were struck included command and control operations centers, intelligence centers, rockets, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicle storage, and logistics and munition supply chain facilities of militia groups and their IRGC sponsors who facilitated attacks against U.S. and Coalition forces.”

    Five days later, on Feb. 7, a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad killed a senior commander of Kataib Hezbollah, one of the most dangerous Iranian-backed terrorist groups. This demonstrated not only how precise U.S. weapons systems are but also how successful U.S. intelligence was in tracking the movements of senior Iranian operatives.

    The clear message was that other Iranian commanders would be next if they didn’t knock off their attacks against U.S. troops. And guess what? Iran did stop. Things could change at any moment, but a senior U.S. defense official told me last week that there hasn’t been an Iranian-directed attack against a U.S. military base in either Syria or Iraq since Feb. 4. By contrast, there were at least 170 such attacks between Oct. 7 and Feb. 4.

    This is an important and unheralded — if likely transitory — victory in the long-running shadow war between the United States and Iran, which stretches all the way back to 1979. “It’s by far the longest pause in such attacks since the start of the Israel-Hamas war,” the U.S. official told me, “and we believe it reflects a deliberate decision by Iran to rein in attacks by its forces in order to avoid escalation with the United States.”

    If this had been the Trump administration, the president would probably be taking victory laps in crude, all-caps social media posts. Biden is more cautious, probably because he knows the attacks could resume at any time. “We’re not under any illusions,” the defense official told me. “Iran continues to pose a serious threat to the United States and our interests in the region. Under certain circumstances, attacks could restart, but we demonstrated that we’re willing and able to defend our forces.”

    In the meantime, the Iranians and their proxies continue to test the United States in other ways. The Houthis, in particular, continue their strikes against shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, forcing U.S. naval forces to regularly shoot down their drones and missiles and to bomb their launch sites — although a U.S. commander told reporters on Wednesday that the Houthis appear to be running low on munitions.

    Administration officials say the Houthis are not as responsive to Iranian directions to stand down as other militia groups are.

    1. The Obama/Biden admin made an agreement with Iran to halt their nuclear weapon program, Trump tore that up in a tantrum and made the world much more dangerous.

  10. This NASA engineer was born April 9, 1921:

  11. Biden should get credit for this, too:

    "Israel’s troop drawdown left Gaza with no active battles.
    The Gaza Strip, for the first time since November, is now without a major active battle. Israel’s military announced yesterday that it had withdrawn from southern Gaza, leaving fewer than 5,000 Israeli troops in all of the territory.

    The war, according to analysts, appears to be entering a new phase in which Israeli forces will mostly mount brief raids into the enclave before retreating to Israel."

    And despite opposition from Republicans and Republican-appointed judges, Biden is still trying to lessen student-loan burden:
    "President Biden announced a large-scale effort to help pay off federal student loans, after his initial attempt was blocked last year by the Supreme Court. The new plan would eliminate debt for more than four million Americans and reduce the burden for about 25 million others. It is likely to face legal challenges that could take months to resolve."

  12. Fox news yesterday said thet immigrants were going to use the 4 minute eclipse to sneak across the border. It never ocurred to Fox that they couls just as easilt wait until dark. But DUH!

    1. Let's face it. Right-wingers are nothing, if not lazy. There's a reason Alito and Thomas (two of the laziest Supreme Court justices, this country has ever seen) are Right-wing heroes.

    2. Thomas wondered if the pubic hair on his coke can belonged to Anita Hill, this is the level at which they operate.