The age of Trump makes for strange bedfellows. This week retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters suddenly finds himself a darling of the left. A man who called President Barack Obama ‘pussy’ and said of Islamic militants that we should ‘kill them, keep on killing them, until you kill the last one and then you kill his pet goat,’ has resigned from Fox News in moral protest.
Renouncing his contributorship with the network, a top prize for conservative media mavens, Peters says he is ‘ashamed’ Fox has become a ‘propaganda machine’ for the Trump White House.
Implicit in his criticism is horror at where the president has taken right-leaning thinking in America: away from Bush neoconservatism and strident support for imperial adventure to the more nebulously-defined ‘America First’.
‘In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration,’ Peters wrote in a message to colleagues announcing his resignation. ‘Over my decade with Fox, I long was proud of the association. … Now I am ashamed’.
The New York Times hilariously underplays Peters’ profile: ‘typically hawkish’.
In fact, Cockburn notes, Peters went from Iraq cheerleader in the mainstream to strident, notorious bloodhound as the American Right grew less reflexively hawkish following the 2003 debacle.
On top of the goat comment and calling Barack Obama a pussy, here are some highlights:
- His July 2017 crucifixion at the hands of Tucker Carlson. When Carlson said the U.S. should be strategic in containing Vladimir Putin — ‘how many wars can we fight at once?’ — Peters compared Carlson to the appeasers of Hitler. Carlson was not pleased; he referenced the exchange after the resignation Tuesday: ‘Ralph Peters has been in the news lately. Check out our interview with him from last summer. It says it all’, the commentator tweeted. Carlson soon after had a similar exchange with the hardliner Max Boot, a segment in which the reporter expanded his greater war on neoconservatism. Boot, now at The Washington Post, hailed Peters in his ‘Conservative Commentator Revolts Against Fox News’ Wednesday: ‘It’s not hard to see why Peters is ashamed. Fox has turned itself into the American version of RT, Vladimir Putin’s propaganda TV.’
- Voting for the ‘despicable’ Hillary Clinton.
- Saying in 2002 that a war in Iraq should theoretically ‘be a relatively easy win for the United States’.
- More evidence that Peters is a vaunted prediction man: in February 1991, he published a book called ‘the War in 2020′ that detailed United States’ war to defend the Soviet Union against the grisly troika of Japan, South Africa, and the Arab Islamic Union, a confederacy of radical Islam.
- And his likely new audience at new neocon homeland MSNBC should note, Peters once said the Democratic response to a rapturous Congressional reception for Benjamin Netanyahu in 2015 was like that of ‘snitty, b*tchy high school girls.’