Sean Hannity and his prevaricating pal, Oliver North, reprised their mean-spirited petulance on Hannity & Colmes last night (4/5/07) over the release of the British captives by Iran. While the rest of the world rejoiced and breathed a sigh of relief that the international incident had concluded without violence or escalation, Hannity and North, along with dubious Middle East “expert” Mark Steyn were angry that none of that HAD occurred. Drop-outs Hannity and Steyn put on their World Leader caps and offered some instruction for Tony Blair. With video.
Hannity (as well as Steyn and North) argued that British negotiations for the captives (with US cooperation) had only set the stage for more seizures. The argument might have carried some weight if “real journalism” FOX News had found a credible expert to make such a claim. Since his role in the Iran Contra affair 20 years ago, for which he was indicted on 16 felony counts and convicted of three – later overturned on a technicality, North has not held any position in foreign policy. Steyn is a high school drop out turned disk jockey turned critic of Islam with a history of faulty judgments including a December 2003 prediction that the Iraq insurgency would peter out in six months.
The only other guest was one of the 1979 hostages whose main role in the discussion seemed to be invoking comparisons between the two incidents.
North couldn't seem to find enough people to insult and demean in order to drum up war fever. He likened Tony Blair to Neville Chamberlain. He said the Iranian imams are “chortling in their beards” and maintained a condescending attitude whenever Alan Colmes expressed any skepticism at his hawkish ways. The only thing North didn't say (and nobody on “real journalism” FOX News asked) was why, if it's so terrible to negotiate for hostages with an “axis of evil” like Iran, North had no problem selling Iran TONS of weaponry in 1985-1986 in return for the release of American hostages.
Steyn had only distaste for what most people thought of as a happy ending. He called it, “One of the most significant humiliations in the history of the world… This is an embarrassment.” He made the questionable argument that Colmes was wrong to say that nobody had died because British credibility had died along with a part of American credibility (unlike all the credibility created for the countries by the Iraq war, I suppose).
At the end of Part two of the discussion, Steyn made the ominous pronouncement, “The problem of the Islamic Republic of Iran should have been settled 28 years ago.”
That's when college dropout Hannity put on his World Leader cap and gave his marching orders to Tony Blair. “So Tony Blair should go before the press tomorrow and say that standing orders are now in place, that if the Iranians ever act like this again, that the British Navy and Marines will be ordered to fire upon any attack on any sailor or any marine at any point or any time and that there will be dire consequences for any such actions.”
Steyn, who was schooled in England before dropping out at age 16, added his counsel. “Exactly. This should be regarded in much the same way as, for example, when a British warship fired on the Chesapeake 200 years ago, an American warship, (North chuckled with approval as Steyn spoke) that essentially you should understand when you're in a state of war, and that's the lesson that Tony Blair should draw, and Royal Naval ships in that part of the world should act as you've just described whenever they see Iranian vessels approaching.”
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