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Congress to Revisit Iraq War Policy; John Mark Karr Arrested Again; Are Live Earth Concerts Hypocritical?

Aired July 9, 2007 - 19:00:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, showdown over Iraq. Congress really didn`t get it when America said no to immigration reform. And they`re about to make the same mistake in Iraq. What Bush and the Republicans need to hear before they make a move.

Plus, John Mark Karr, arrested again. The alleged victim, his 86- year-old father. But wait, his 22-year-old girlfriend says he`s innocent. Wait a minute. John Mark Karr`s girlfriend?

And, two people gored. Dozens injured. Yes, good times for all. It`s the annual running of the idiots and bulls.

All this and more, tonight.


BECK: Well, hello, America. It is I, your fattest host on television.

Talking about Congress, back from their summer break, and they are wasting no time getting back to wasting your time. It is politics as usual. The talks of impeachment, investigations and continued funding for the Iraq war. But the last one has a new twist. More senators now have told the president that they can no longer support his strategy, and they`re Republicans.

So here`s the point tonight. Congress is following public opinion and not leading it, and that is going to be trouble for all of us. And here`s how I got there.

Two weeks ago, it was Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana. He opened the flood gates of Republican defection. Until Lugar jumped ship, senators Chuck Hagel and Gordon Smith were the lone GOP voices against the president`s Iraq policy. But now the hawks are turning into cute little doves and flying away.

President Bush is hemorrhaging Republican support so badly that "The New York Times" reports that he may be forced into announcing an accelerated troop withdrawal. That is, if you can believe "The New York Times". They`ve had kind of a credibility problem lately.

In a statement released earlier today, White House spokesperson Tony Snow said these reports are, quote, "way ahead of the facts." And, you know, that could be true.

Say what you will about president Bush, this guy has always gotten the picture in the Middle East. You may not agree with what he`s done in the Middle East but he gets it.

While the Republicans may be abandoning him, I don`t think that bothers him. I believe he will stand strong, even if that means standing alone.

Normally now, I love it when Congress gets gridlocked. You know, as long as they`re fighting with each other, nothing much gets done and these days when Congress actually tries to get something done, it`s usually the wrong thing. But with Iraq, the stakes are just too high.

As usual, politicians have completely misread the American people and what we`re saying. We are not opposed to fighting the war in Iraq. We are opposed to losing the war in Iraq.

How we got into this war is a dead issue. It`s too late. Forget about it. But the way Washington is mismanaging this war is resulting in dead soldiers.

If the Congress thinks that things are bad now in Iraq, oh, wait and see how much worse things will be in 18 months after we cut and run.

So tonight, here`s what you really need to know about this story. Iraq is not Vietnam. It may sound counterintuitive, but oh, how I wish it were only Vietnam. If we leave Iraq now, national humiliation will be the least of our troubles.

If this fight goes unwon, it won`t be just the radical mullahs in Iraq, but the radicals in Iran and al Qaeda will also swoop in and fill the power vacuum with their terrorist network and continue to try to kill you and me and freedom loving people all across the globe.

But before they come for us, they`ll go after the entire Middle East. It is not just $3 a gallon gasoline at stake, gang, but our very lives. And Congress had better wake up to that fact. Stop thinking about the re- election and let our soldiers win the war and keep America safe while changing the face of the Middle East.

Max Brune is a senior fellow for national security studies at the Council of Foreign Relations.

Max, where do I have this one wrong?


BECK: So in other words, you agree with me? I got it right?

BRUNE: Oh, I think you have it right and, unfortunately, I don`t think that most people in Congress are paying attention. They`re listening to the public opinion polls which tell them people want to get out of Iraq. But I think, as you correctly said, what people really want is an acceptable outcome in Iraq.

And unfortunately, pulling U.S. troops out right now is not going to reach an acceptable outcome. It`s going to make things even worse than they already are. And so I don`t think that the American -- the electorate is going to be in a forgiving mood in the fall of 2008 if things are going to hell in a hand basket over there.

BECK: It`s going to make -- make things for the Republicans -- I mean, they`re getting the blame for the war now. My gosh, if they cave, they`re not only the people that got us into the war, but they`re also the ones that lost the war.

BRUNE: That`s exactly right. And that`s why I think the desire to strike some kind of deal, this grand bargain which you`re hearing from Republicans on the Hill and from some people in the administration, I think, is deeply deluded, to think that they can get out of the current dilemma by somebody saying let`s cut the troops.

Well, we tried that last year and we saw what happened. The situation got much, much worse, and in fact, it`s pretty ironic that the new strategy that people are talking about is pretty much the same as the old strategy of as we -- as the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.

What we found was no, the terrorists are standing up. The terrorists are making gains. And now General Petraeus is starting to roll them back. He and his troops are fighting hard, but they`re making progress on the ground.

They`ve only started their major operations in the last month, and already Congress is throwing up its hands and saying, "It`s lost, defeat is here. We can`t win." Well, give them a chance. That`s what I say.

BECK: Let me ask you this, because you`re a -- you`re a historian on war. You studied the history of war. And I asked this question on the air today when I was talking about what the American people are really feeling.

What Americans -- they`re frustrated because we`re not losers. And I don`t think that -- I don`t think there`s a soul in America in the heartland of America that believes, if we fight a war to win, we will lose. I think we -- they just know we`re not fighting this to win.

Have we ever lost a war that we intended on winning?

BRUNE: Well, the only major war we`ve ever lost was Vietnam and, obviously, that was a failure of will. It wasn`t a failure of the brave men and women in the armed forces. They were fighting. They were making progress. In fact, by 1973, they had more or less safeguarded the security of South Vietnam.

And at that point, Congress came in and said, "That`s it. We give up. We`re going to cut off the South Vietnamese. We`re going to let the north take over." The result, of course, was millions of dead people in Southeast Asia and a communist offensive around the world including places like Afghanistan.

BECK: OK. So let me go here. Because let`s stay on Vietnam for a second. The ramifications for us leaving Vietnam, Pol Pot. People -- I mean, people were just mass slaughtered because they knew America was now out and we would never come back.

BRUNE: Right. Right.

BECK: What are the ramifications? Take me out to the election `08. We start pulling our troops out right now. What does the Middle East look like? And Republicans listen to this. What does the Middle East look like at election time?

BRUNE: Let me put it to you this way. If we pull out precipitously right now, 18 months from now we could be looking back on this period in Iraq as being this golden age of tranquility and peace. Things could be so much worse 18 months from now that this will seem pretty good by comparison.

I think what you would see happen very quickly in the case of Iraq is a power struggle between al Qaeda and the Islamist republic in Iran. You would see a major civil war. You would see casualties skyrocketing, possibly, from 100 or so a day to maybe a thousand a day or more, possibly even reaching genocidal proportions.

You could see terrorists establishing a base of operations in western Iraq. You could see Iran establishing its dominance over southern Iraq. You could see neighboring states being drawn into this civil war. You could see refugees and terrorists and other spillover dramatically affecting the rest of the region.

So it`s going to get pretty ugly. And in fact, the spillover of a civil war and an American defeat in Iraq could be far uglier than the spillover from our defeat in Vietnam, because Iraq is much more strategically placed than South Vietnam was.

BECK: Yes. There`s no way to -- there`s no way to get away from -- I mean, Vietnam, you know, it didn`t affect our lifestyle here.

Here it`s not only going to -- not only will we see the images of the mass casualties, but we will also feel it at the gas pump, as well. It will affect us and our economy.

Max, thank you so much. We`ll have a conversation again.

Coming up, John Mark Karr is back. Perhaps you remember him from that little false confession he made to JonBenet Ramsey`s murder. This time he`s under arrest after a fight with his 22-year-old girlfriend, which begs the question: he`s got a girlfriend?

And al Qaeda has found a nice cozy home inside Iran. Well, now the Bush doctrine says we should take action. So why aren`t we following it? I`ll tell you why in tonight`s "Real Story".

And before we go, just a reminder that tonight`s show is brought to you by the sleep number bed by Select Comfort. Find your sleep number today at a Select Comfort store near you.


BECK: Well, there`s a small little item in the papers you might have missed. Al Qaeda is setting up shop inside of Iran. No, no, no, that`s good news. How complicit Iran is in the activities, if at all, is still to be determined. But at the very least, they are turning a blind eye to a very real threat against us.

Hmm. When are we going to take action here or are we already? Answers in tonight`s "Real Story".

But first, John Mark Karr, a.k.a., the nut job who falsely claimed he murdered JonBenet Ramsey, a.k.a. Captain Highpants. Remember how high he wore his pants?

He has a new girlfriend. And yes, it`s not that old hag Dakota Fanning but Brooke Simmons, a 22-year-old woman from Georgia. Well, it`s not all paradise.

Over the weekend, police booked Captain Highpants for battery against his 86-year-old father and for obstructing a 911 call. Apparently, Highpants` dad, Wexford Highpants, called 911 to defuse an argument between his son and Ms. Simmons.

Simmons said the argument got blown out of proportion and is still standing by her, uh, man.

The whole thing begs the question, what kind of woman dates a lunatic? I mean, he didn`t kill JonBenet, but he still claimed he did, which to me is almost as disturbing.

Plus based on what he has said in the past, am I alone thinking it`s only a matter of time before he leaves her for a much, much younger woman - - girl? So who is Brooke Simmons, and dare I ask is there something wrong with her?

Dr. Gale Saltz is a psychiatrist at New York`s Presbyterian Hospital, and profiler Pat Brown.

Gale, let me start with you. What would compel a woman to date a guy like this?

GALE SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST, NEW YORK`S PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL: Well, not knowing Brooke Simmons, the possibilities are kind of infinite, but they range from joining someone who is sort of psychotic, and when two people join in a psychotic idea or fantasy, that`s called folio deed (ph). There`s actually a psychiatric term for it.

But there are also women who you might know. You know, they write to people in prison. They are attracted to people who commit crimes. Maybe, possibly because they have fantasies themselves of committing aggressive acts and they want to identify with somebody who`s done that.

Or they have a rescue fantasy of sorts that also may have come out of past experiences of their own. Perhaps they were abused. Perhaps they were saved or were not saved in some way, and they want to save someone else. They have an idea that they can rescue, they can save, they can give absolution to somebody.

BECK: Pat, do you know how they met? Did they -- wasn`t she writing Bible scriptures to him or something?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Oh, it`s just so sweet, isn`t it, Glenn? I`ll tell you. These women find a myriad of ways to get a hold of these losers. But I think this is the real crux of it all, Brooke, dear little Brooke, is a big loser herself.

And now she`s got a problem. She wants attention. She wants everybody to recognize her as someone special. Now, she can go with Max the grocery clerk, but then her specialness will extend down to the Super America. And that`s not very thrilling.

Now, she`d really like Tom Cruise or she`d like the Brad Pitts, but quite frankly, they`re not going to go that low to get a girl. So she finds someone else, someone who`s a bigger loser than she is, and who could be a bigger loser than John Mark Karr? So now she`s got this guy. But he`s in the limelight, so now she`s in the limelight.

And look what he`s achieved, she`s now nationally known. Brooke has won the day.

BECK: OK. So now you -- I mean, you know, your language is a little harsh. But actually...


BECK: But actually, there is something to this, Gail, where she has said, you know, it`s always an adventure when she goes out with him. So I mean, really, what Pat is saying is kind of true, that she might just be -- be looking for the excitement of being always gawked at.

SALTZ: You know, certainly there is some psychological draw. Women, anybody who does any act, especially when it seems strange to others, there`s some psychological draw in it. And whether it`s the excitement of being with somebody who is sort of bad, you know, a bad boy, or evil or is disturbed in some way.

Or as I said, whether it`s a psychological need to rescue and save, clearly she`s getting something psychologically out of it.

But I think it`s too reductionistic to say, oh, she just wants attention. I mean, people have -- have reasons that they`re character (ph) and logically driven to do something that`s in their mind that may actually harm them.

BECK: Well, then let me -- then let me go here. Pat, back to you. Let me ask you if Gail is right and it is, let`s say she wants to save, why isn`t she saving victims? Why are these people like, "Oh, I want to rescue." Why don`t they ever go and rescue the victims?

BROWN: Exactly. And that is a problem. I`ve worked with women who are writing these guys in prison, the serial killers. And I say, wait a minute. These people, these horrible men have murdered women and children. Why don`t you go to their families and help them? Why don`t you help rape victims?

Well, the problem is, if you`re a narcissist, helping rape victims doesn`t get you very much attention. They`re -- you know, it`s usually a low key kind of operation. And they need you, but not in a way that`s so big, and they don`t give you so much back.

But if you write a serial killer in prison, he will write you back and say you`re the most wonderful thing in the world, you`re my -- my support. You`re my wonderful lady. That`s what they want to hear.

They`re narcissistic to the core, and they`re picking someone out who can make their -- make them feel really, really great about themselves. And they really don`t care about the rest of society at all. They don`t care about the victims. They don`t care about the rest of us humans. They just care about what they can get out of this creep.

SALTZ: But you know what, Glenn, this woman, she`s lost her family. Her family has turned their back on her. But the church -- church has turned their back on her. I think -- you know, again, it`s probably very complicated, whatever`s going on. It probably is what we would call disturbed in some way.

But I think it`s probably more than just a narcissist looking for attention. Because in fact, in many ways, in much of her community, she`s lost all attention.

BECK: OK. So how do -- so how do you break -- because you know what? I have to tell you. I -- my whole life seems to have been involved in some way or another with abuse. It`s -- it`s so rampant.

How do you tell someone and save them from this kind of thing? How do you shake them and say, "What the hell is wrong with you?"

SALTZ: Well, you know what? Sometimes it`s possible, and sometimes it`s not. You bring up a really good point. But -- but what I am saying is essentially, you know, the knowledge is power.

If you can convince this woman -- and she would probably need to go to a therapist, at least -- to get some insight into that what she`s doing is actually self-destructive and that it must be some repetitive pattern of some sort. I mean, she`s divorced at 22. Something already destructive essentially has happened.

So she needs to understand what has driven her. Is there a trauma in her past? Is there abuse? I don`t know.

BECK: Pat.

SALTZ: But something is driving her.

BECK: Real quick. I`ve only got about 20 seconds left. As a profiler, is this -- is this kind of behavior -- are there -- do people get involved sometimes and they feed the monster? Do you understand what I`m saying?

BROWN: Absolutely. Absolutely. That`s what bothers me so much. They`re aiding and abetting creepy people like this. I don`t have the sympathy Gail has for them. I think that they`re choosing to go against society and against the humanity of society by supporting these people.

They like -- they`re like them. So if they`re going to be with them and they`re like them, I don`t think we should give them a whole lot of attention and a friendly nod, you know. We should put them where they belong, which is with them.

BECK: Ladies, thank you very much.

Coming up, Al Gore`s Live Earth falls flat all around the globe. I`ll explain why this entire event may have spread more hypocrisy than awareness.

Plus, which headliner has a larger carbon foot print than an entire African nation? Oh, unfortunately for them, I have the answer, next.

And a little later, Cindy Sheehan is out of retirement and making demands. Why this former champion of the left is now Nancy Pelosi`s biggest nightmare.


BECK: Well, if you watched Al Gore`s Live Earth concert this weekend, or as I like to call it, Crap-a-palooza, then you must have been thinking what the heck is the carbon footprint on this thing?

Well, I`ve got just a few of the numbers. According to a London newspaper, the "Daily Mail", the artists traveled a combined 222,624 miles to get to the various concerts. That is nearly nine times the circumference of the planet. But I`m assuming they didn`t get there by Prius. A lot whole of airplane fuel there.

Total carbon footprint of the event, likely to be at least 31,500 tons of carbon emissions, according to John Buckley of

The question is, would it have been better for the environment to, you know, I don`t know, just like make a quilt out of hemp and just pass it around or something?

Joining me now is Michael Brune, executive director for Rainforest Action Network.

Mike, a lot of people, a lot of environmentalists, not just, you know, typical skeptics like me, are saying that Live Earth, a little hypocritical, seeing that Madonna has the carbon footprint of, I think, it`s 14,000 people in the country where she adopted her son. Did you find it a little hypocritical at all?

MICHAEL BRUNE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK: No, I mean, you can make some criticisms if you want, but I think that we should probably be applauding these people who stood up and took a stand to fight climate change and to make the country and the world a better place.

BECK: So do you buy into indulgences? I mean, I`m sorry, not indulgences, offsets.

BRUNE: You know, I think that offsets are probably a nice gesture, but they`re more of a distraction than anything else.

BECK: Don`t you find them to be -- I mean, it was a Freudian slip there to call them indulgences. I mean, that`s what the Catholic Church was selling for forgiveness.


BECK: Well, "You pay me this money and then we`ll forgive it." And it doesn`t really change anything. I mean, is that -- as an environmentalist, when you look at the list of the -- where is it, the four things, the seven things environmentalists they ask you to do, they ask you to change four incandescent light bulbs in your house, shop for energy efficient appliances, shut off electrical equipment in use, take public transport or car pool at least once a week.

There`s nowhere in here about vegetarianism or anything like that that would make a real impact on the environment.

BRUNE: Yes, and I think that if there`s criticisms of the concert, it could be that the focus could be on the things that matter the most. But I wouldn`t criticize the artists who performed. I think the most important is to focus on the biggest sources of greenhouse gases, like cars and coal.

BECK: But see, you`ve bought into it. That is not the main cause. It is animal gases that produces more than CO2 than any of the cars that we`re driving.

BRUNE: Sounds like a bunch of bull to me, Glenn. I think that the biggest source of greenhouse gases -- it`s a fact -- is coal, coal-fired power plants. One of the points on the platforms is to enact a moratorium on new coal fired power, which to me seems like the best way to go, because we can produce clean energy, or we can save energy and not produce any of the pollution.

BECK: Are you for nuclear power?

BRUNE: No. Of course not.

BECK: Well, of course not. I mean, it`s clean energy. Of course you wouldn`t be for that.

BRUNE: Well...

BECK: France is 80 percent nuclear energy. I thought everybody loves France.

BRUNE: It`s clean energy if you don`t factor in the threat of nuclear proliferation or what a terrorist might do to a nuclear power plant.


BRUNE: The best way to produce energy is by saving it. And that way we all win. We...

BECK: It`s saving it, it`s not producing it, Michael.

BRUNE: Right.

BECK: There`s a difference. We`ll talk about this some other time. Thanks a lot, Michael. Appreciate it.

Coming up next, a story you`re not going to see anyplace else, gas prices. Weird. Where did all the hype go? Why the national average still is at $3 a gallon for no good reason. That`s tonight`s "Real Story". Stick around.


BECK: Coming up, Cindy Sheehan in `08. Believe it or not, not comedy, kids. May actually happen if Speaker Pelosi doesn`t start impeachment proceedings against the president. Threats? Really, Cindy? What is she thinking? I mean, I come up empty on that one, but I`ll ask somebody who may know a little later.

But first, welcome to the "Real Story," where we cut through the media spin to figure out why a story is actually important to you. September 11, 2001, a date that this country and its foreign policy supposedly changed forever. Remember, 8:30 that night, the president addressed the nation in shock, and he included for the first time these words.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.


BECK: Boy, he has aged, hasn`t he? It was the beginning of the Bush doctrine. And nine days later, when the president said, quote, "You`re either with us or you`re with the terrorists," it was pretty clear exactly what he meant. Now, five years later, we once again find ourselves victim of terrorism. No, not on our own soil, not the ones over in London, but in Iraq. We have all heard stories now by this time that Al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq are attacking and killing our troops there. But the real story is: Who is harboring these terrorists? What a surprise: It`s Iran!

According to the "Financial Times," Al Qaeda has set up a base inside Iranian territory to finance and communicate with their fighters in Iraq. At a minimum, the Iranians are simply tolerating this, but some officials now actually believe that they`re encouraging it. To me, it doesn`t matter. Either way, Iran is harboring terrorists. So why haven`t we followed the Bush doctrine and declared war on Iran?

Well, actually this one is kind of complicated. I`ll tell you why, and it`s something that a lot of people have figured out years ago: We already have declared war on Iran. We did it when we went into Iraq. No one, including the president, ever made that case to the people, but I have said it all along, and I believe it with everything in me that it is our strategy to surround Iran with democracies and pop the head of the snake. They are the root of all the trouble in the Middle East. Maybe now, as the debate over Iraq is about to pick up once again, it`s time to finally be completely honest with the American people.

We are fighting Iran. And just because we may be doing it inside the borders of Iraq doesn`t make the outcome any less important. Winning in Iraq will mean the defeat of Iran without one boot or one bullet ever having to cross that border. I don`t know anybody who wouldn`t support that, if they only understood it.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the author of "My Year inside Radical Islam." Daveed, this is truly saying the enemy of my enemy is my friend, because Al Qaeda is Sunni, Iran is Shia, but they are united in defeating us.

DAVEED GARTENSTEIN-ROSS, COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Right, Al Qaeda isn`t just Sunni, either. Al Qaeda also has a record of brutality against the Shias. If you look at the prominent bombing of the Askariyya mosque in February of last year, the one that set off all the sectarian confluence that ravaged throughout the country in 2006, that was carried out by an Al Qaeda faction. And that Askariyya mosque is a very well-regarded mosque by Iran, as well as other Shias.

In addition to that, the group that harbored Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, the Taliban, they almost went to war with Iran in 1998 after the Taliban killed about nine Iranian diplomats. Iranian troops massed at the border with Afghanistan, so it really is an enemy of my enemy strategy, and one that has no long-term sustainability.

BECK: It is exactly the way we viewed the world in World War II when we got into bed with the Soviet Union. We needed them to defeat, and then we went to war after. These guys will kill us, and then they`ll go back and kill each other until the Muslim that`s Muslim enough with the most gun wins, right?

GARTENSTEIN-ROSS Yes, that`s basically correct, although they sometimes stop to kill each other along the way, as they do now in Iraq.

BECK: They believe that we have already lost the war -- this is my sense -- that we have already lost the war, that we have already signaled to them we`re gone. And do you believe that it is this reason that we are seeing this increased pattern of trouble? I mean, we`re seeing it now in Pakistan that I don`t think very many people are paying attention to. We`re seeing it now with Al Qaeda in Iraq. And in London we`re seeing aggressiveness all throughout the Middle East. It`s because they`ve already said, "They`re on the ropes. Hit them."

GARTENSTEIN-ROSS Yes, there are multiple reasons for that. One reason is that our military right now is very much overstretched. And in the view of Iran, they can keep poking us because we`re not going to hit back. We`re not in any position in which we have the ability to do so.

Beyond that, you have groups like Al Qaeda basically gaining safe haven. You mentioned Pakistan, where three of the tribal agencies now are in Al Qaeda`s control. Pakistan has guarantied that they will not carry out military strikes against Al Qaeda within these tribal agencies. As they gain more geographic area, and the 9/11 Commission reports says that, as they gain more geographic area, they have much more ability to strike in the west.

BECK: Most people are not paying attention to what is happening in Pakistan. I mean, I read "The New York Times" yesterday, and there was a little story -- I don`t know, it was in the A section, but it was deep about the A section, about this big, about how they tried to kill Musharraf again this weekend, and there`s that standoff at the Red Mosque, et cetera, et cetera. This is spooky stuff. If we lose Musharraf, that really puts Al Qaeda or the Taliban, their ilk, in charge of nukes, does it not?

GARTENSTEIN-ROSS It very well could. And it`s worth noting that the assassination attempt against Musharraf that occurred on Friday came a lot closer, according to my intelligence sources, than Pakistan`s government is willing to admit. Part of the question is, who ends up taking the reins of power if Musharraf ends up being assassinated or else otherwise deposed? What we can hope for it is that it will be another military dictator similar to Musharraf who will have a relatively pro-West line, but that can`t be guaranteed.

And you have figures like Hamid Gul, who is a former head of the ISI, who still wields a lot of power within Pakistan, who are not just openly sympathetic to Al Qaeda, but are openly aligned with Al Qaeda. If one of those figures ends up taking power in Pakistan, then our enemies don`t need to wait to develop nukes in Iran because they`ll already have them.

BECK: Daveed, thank you so much.

Now, if you`ve watched the news recently and you felt like something was missing, you know, you could on the foiled terrorist attacks, plenty of global warming fear mongering, what`s missing? What are the stories that you`re not hearing? Well, let me ask you this: Have you noticed a strange absence of the stories about how high gas prices are? Where are the politicians standing outside of gas stations demanding investigations and hearings as to why the national average is still about $3 a gallon? Hello, Chuck Schumer, are you still in office?

It seems that Americans, including our politicians, have finally woken up to the fact that $3 a gallon is just the new $2 a gallon. That`s what it`s going to be. Great news, right? Yes, sure it is, until you consider that we`re at $3 a gallon now without any hurricanes bearing down on us, no Middle East wars that are heating up, at least that are affecting oil prices, no threats of OPEC shutdowns. So what happens when one or more of those things inevitably occurs?

The real story is, we have all once again become complacent without even bothering to solve the actual underlying problems. Oil prices are now at about $72 a barrel; that is up 40 percent this year alone. To put that in context, oil was about $78 a barrel after Hurricane Katrina. Yes, so we`re $6 away from that high, and I don`t know if you noticed this, New Orleans isn`t underwater this time around.

But look at what`s missing. There is barely even any media coverage on this story at all. And, worse, there`s no fear, there`s no concern about what this means for the future or what it could mean to our economy. Earlier this year, a rumor about a U.S. warship firing a missile in the Persian Gulf made it to the trading floor, and oil prices jumped $5 a barrel in seven minutes. That was a rumor. Imagine if it wasn`t just a rumor.

Experts say that any kind of major supply disruption, whether natural or through a terrorist attack -- remember, Al Qaeda has clearly said they intend to target our oil supply -- could easily send gas over $5 or more a gallon. Is that when we all start caring again? Is that when we see Chuck Schumer? Instead of being reactive and complaining every time gas prices hit a number that we don`t like, why don`t we use this newfound ambivalence towards $3 gas as an opportunity to be proactive and come up with some real alternatives?

After all, rising gas prices aren`t the problem: They`re only the symptom. The real disease, which will likely be terminal unless we stop it, is our massive addiction to oil.

That`s the "Real Story" tonight. If you`d like to read more about this or if you`ve found a "Real Story" of your own that you`d like to tell us about, please visit and click on the "Real Story" button.

Coming up next, Cindy Sheehan wants the president impeached or she`s running for office. Yes, sounds crazy, but it`s true. We`ll have the complete story for you in just a minute. Stick around.




BECK: Cindy Sheehan, she`s like a Barbra Streisand that just won`t go away. "I`m going to retire. It`s my farewell concert. OK, well, that`s not this concert. I mean, the next concert will be my farewell." She said she was getting out of politics; now she`s getting back in because Nancy Pelosi is letting her down. She`s built a whole life where she`s against something, not for something. And I think she went home for a few weeks and realized how empty her life really is. Usually retirements aren`t like summer vacations.


BECK: It`s been six, six long, long weeks, and Cindy Sheehan is finally coming out of retirement. That`s great. Cindy Sheehan says now she`s going to run for Nancy Pelosi`s congressional seat, if the speaker of the House refuses to support the impeachment of President Bush within the next two weeks. You can say what you want about Cindy Sheehan, but she`s in step with the American people.

Joining me now is psychologist Pat Love, who happens to have a son in the Armed Forces. Pat, I`ve got to tell you, when I first heard this story, I thought to myself, "I feel bad for her," because it feels to me -- and I don`t know, I`m not a psychiatrist, but I am a thinker -- it feels to me she went home, realized how empty her life is right now, and she needed to get back in for some sort of purpose. Do you read it that way at all?

PAT LOVE, FAMILY THERAPIST: Well, I didn`t ever think of that. What hit me this morning when I read the news was that, first of all, it seemed like a grandiose gesture. But when she retired back in May, my heart really went out to her, because I thought her grief had been so public that it made sense for her to have privacy. And having a son who was in the military during a war time, I really had compassion for her.

And now, for her to come back, it bothers me. I have to say I have concern for her, because I know how traumatic this is, and I also know, as a professional, that grief is so unique and so personal to each individual. And it`s not uncommon if you`ve lost a child, whether to drunk driving or a perpetrator or protecting your country, to actually want to channel that grief into the good for society. So the sublimation, the act of sublimation, which is a very common way to handle grief, is not uncommon. What I worry for is the stress that it causes for her and also the message that she sends to others.

BECK: Well, here`s what bothers me, and maybe you can make sense of it. She is on a negative course. I mean, I don`t think that -- Americans are a positive people, and we look for dreamers and believers in a better future, et cetera, et cetera. And I think she`s diluted herself towards that. But yet she`s getting back in because Nancy Pelosi won`t impeach the president; it`s almost like a vendetta against Bush.

LOVE: Right, right. And I think that`s what is going to hit people in the wrong way, because it does feel more negative than positive, because when she was promoting peace, you could understand that she would want to save the lives -- you know, losing a child is unconscionable. And it makes sense that you would want to prevent that tragedy for other people. So to work for peace and to work for a peaceful end for our soldiers, for our military, makes a lot of sense. But when it comes out in a negative way, I think many of us who have compassion now have concern.

BECK: Yes. I have heard her say things akin to, you know, "Bush killed my son," et cetera. Can you heal while you are campaigning to get a guy -- I mean, I guess John Walsh comes to mind. I mean, can you really fully heal like that when you are really just pushing to get the guy?

LOVE: Right. When you use your pain for the good of society, as long as the motivation, is this for the greater good? I don`t know, because I haven`t talked to her personally, but it`s coming across in such a negative manner, you could see where, in her mind perhaps, it is promoting peace, preventing this tragedy from happening to other families. But as long as you`re moving toward the greater good, that`s how sublimation works.

BECK: And if you have a family like she has, she has lost many members of her family. They don`t want anything to do with her. So she`s really kind of been left alone in many ways. Is there -- I mean, that can`t be healthy.

LOVE: It can`t be helpful, because what heals is time, helping others, and having love and support from people around you. Perhaps these are the people who are supporting her. We don`t know. I know that this can`t happen in isolation, and it can`t happen if you`re on a negative charge.

BECK: Is there a healthy way to mourn and do this without escape? Do you know what I mean? Is it important for you to stay at home, and just face it, and deal with it, and look into it, or can you do it as publicly as she has?

LOVE: You actually can do it, but the key is, is it for the greater good? Are you healing or are you hurting? And if the greater good is being served, then she is going to heal. You don`t ever get over it. You do. You manage it. And managing it in a constructive way -- this is my concern, is her coming back with a more of a vendetta voice instead of a voice of healing, a voice of peace, makes me concerned for her welfare and those of us.

BECK: Pat, thanks a lot.

Coming up, we go running with the bulls, sangria and charging, angry bulls with sharp, pointy horns. No, it seems like an excellent combination; it really does. What could possibly go wrong? Tonight`s "Story Count" in just a bit.


BECK: So as you may know, I do a three-hour radio show every day. This TV show is only an hour. I mean, not a lot of time to get in every story. So here`s where we`re going to catch you up on all those stories that might have slipped through the cracks over the weekend in a little segment my content-hungry producers like to call "Story Count." Original. Maybe we should "Countdown" the stories.

Anyway, as you probably know, it is a big sports weekend, and I`m not talking about Wimbledon, which I`m not even sure if it was even played or if that was just a joke on me. This past weekend was the World Wife Carrying Championships. Yes, all the top wife carriers were gathered in Finland on Saturday for this annual event where the only rule apparently is don`t drop your wife. No upsets this year. The winning couple from the perennial Wife Carrying powerhouse nation of Estonia, each got a plasma TV, as well as their wife`s weight in beer. Marry fat, large women.

On to East Dublin, Georgia, for the 12th annual redneck games. Yes, it`s like every single Jeff Foxworthy joke rolled into one. And there is no escape. Some events included watermelon seed spitting, hubcap hurling, bobbing for pig`s feet, which would make me barf, and connect the dots on the back of this guy. Yes.

Finally, to Pamplona, Spain, for the running of the bulls, although from the look of this video, perhaps they should call it the running from the bulls. It is natural selection, I believe, at its finest. What a bunch of morons. Am I the only one finding themselves rooting for the bulls every year? For those keeping score at home, so far this season the bulls are in the lead, 2-0. And yes there have been two morons that have been gored. But, hey, still five days to go. Go, bulls!

Now, you say you love being chased by bulls but you`re a vegetarian? Don`t worry, also in Pamplona is the sixth annual running of the nudes. Give the folks at PETA a big hand for taking an already idiotic event and making it even more idiotic. And the worst thing is, I don`t know if you noticed this, these people are not even nude. PETA uses this annual event to protest what they feel is cruelty to the running of the bulls. Now all we need is a new event to protest the cruelty of these people running around in their underpants, especially that guy behind that chick. I mean, disturbing, isn`t it?

That`s all we`ve got tonight. Don`t forget, if you want to know what`s on tomorrow`s show or if you`d like a little more in-depth commentary on the news of the day from me -- I mean, hey, go for it -- sign up for the free daily newsletter at From New York, good night.