Real Time host Bill Maher argued to his Late Show counterpart Stephen Colbert on Monday night that Republican rhetoric regarding fighting Islamic extremists is misguided.
“They talk about wiping them out,” Maher explained. Colbert added that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has talked about “turning the desert into glass” with attacks on the Islamic State group.
“‘Right, they’d give up to him because he’s a chicken-hawk with a law degree,” Maher scoffed, adding, “That’s crazy — just the idea that you can ‘wipe them out.’ This is the old Vietnam model. Body counts. Remember Vietnam?”
“I don’t, Bill; I’m much younger than that,” Colbert quipped.
“You can’t wipe people off the map — that’s not gonna happen,” Maher continued. “What you have to do is wipe out the idea. It’d be one thing if the terrorists did not share ideas with lots of mainstream people who follow the Islamic religion. But they do.”
The two hosts sparred when Maher told Colbert he wasn’t likely to be invited to any of his dinner parties on account of Colbert being a Catholic while he is an atheist — though Maher did concede he was raised in the same faith.
“Come on back, Bill,” Colbert said. “The door is always open; golden ticket right before you. All you have to do is humble yourself before the presence of the Lord, admit there are things greater than you in the universe that you do not understand and then salvation awaits you. Take Pascal’s Wager: if you’re wrong, you’re an idiot. But if I’m right, then you’re going to hell.”
“I do admit there are things in the universe that I don’t understand,” Maher countered. “But my response to that is not to make up silly stories.”
Watch the interview, as posted online on Tuesday, below.