Fred Thompson wastes no time in saying something stunningly stupid.

I wasn’t expecting much from newly announced GOP Presidential contender Fred Thompson given his very conservative statements before he ever entered the race, but I assumed he’d at least get a week in before saying something stupid. I was wrong.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Freshly minted GOP White House hopeful Fred Thompson puzzled Iowans yesterday by insisting an Al Qaeda smoking ban was one reason freedom-loving Iraqis bolted to the U.S. side.

“They said, ‘You gotta quit smoking,’” Thompson explained to a questioner asking about progress in Iraq during a town hall-style meeting.

Thompson said the smoking ban and terror tactics Al Qaeda used to oppress women and intimidate local leaders pushed tribes in western Anbar Province to support U.S. troops.

But Thompson’s tale of a smokers’ revolt baffled some in the audience of about 150 who came to decide whether the former Tennessee senator is ready for prime time.

“I don’t know what that was about,” said Jim Moran, 72, who had driven from nearby McCook Lake, S.D.

The Iraqis in Anbar Province switched sides because of a smoking ban? Um, OK, Fred. If you say so. Personally, I think it probably had more to do with those terror tactics you mentioned, but if you wanna say it was a smoking ban then, well, you’re entitled to look like a total idiot if you really want to.

6 thoughts on “Fred Thompson wastes no time in saying something stunningly stupid.

  1. Um, so if any of them visit here and see all the areas where we don’t allow smoking, will they switch back?

  2. Actually, the smoking ban did have a big influence in Anbar.  It’s useful as an example of a case where ordinary Iraqis rejected the fundamentalist dogma of Al-Qaeda.

    Al-Qaeda cut off the fingers used to hold a cigarette of anyone seen smoking.  Now, obviously, in a country where pretty much everyone is addicted to smoking, this is going to have a big impact, especially because of the barbarism of the punishment itself.  Yeah, it’s easy to make fun of (“Ha ha, right, Iraqis revolted because of a smoking ban!”).  But it’s also true.

  3. “Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) had tarnished its name here by publicly attacking and murdering children, videotaping beheadings, all while imposing harsh punishments on Iraqi civilians found guilty of violating morality laws prohibiting activities like smoking. The AQI installed Sharia court had sanctioned the amputation of the two “smoking fingers” for those who violated anti-smoking laws.”

    – Michael Yon, independent journalist, writing from Iraq

  4. Uh, most smoking bans don’t involve finger amputation.  So, I highly doubt it was a *smoking ban* that did it. smile

    Perhaps Mr. Thompson might have been a wee bit more accurate had he talked about amputations for punishment, beheadings, etc.

    The author of the post is correct:  Thompson said something idiotic.

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