Once again chickenhawk Sean Hannity used the Palestinian unrest as an excuse to foment animosity against Iran. From the safety of the Hannity & Colmes studio, the non-serving Hannity fixed the facts around his cause as he did his best to talk other people into starting a war. Last night (6/19/07), he hit the neocon jackpot as both guests not only demonized Iran but threw in a couple of jabs at the Democrats for having compromised our national security for not being bellicose enough. With video.
Just one night earlier, Hannity & Colmes had hosted two reasonable guests who, to Hannity's obvious disappointment, offered ways they thought war could be avoided. One even talked about the opportunity facing this country right now to resolve at least some of the Middle East tensions. You can watch a video of that discussion on the Hannity & Colmes website. It's called On the Brink?
But last night, Hannity's warlust must have been at least somewhat gratified. In his first question, Hannity said that Middle East terror is being fomented by Iran. However, the “real journalism, fair and balanced” network's host never explained just how Iran fit into the picture. As a matter of fact, later in the discussion Dr. Fouad Ajami told Alan Colmes that Iran is not directly involved in the Hamas/Fatah conflict.
It took the other guest, Walid Shoebat, billed as a former Palestinian terrorist (but his current persona as a fervent Zionist was not mentioned), a few tries to get with Hannity's program. Hannity interrupted Shoebat as he explained why he thinks a Palestinian state "is a state of psychosis" in order to bring the discussion back to Iran. But when Hannity said, “You think the Iranians are on a par with the Nazis in Germany, no?” Shoebat got the message.
“Exactly right,” Shoebat said. “If we don't recognize this Nazi movement, and this Iranian expansion…”
Hannity interrupted to say, “It's the 1930's all over again.”
Ajami, a professor at Johns Hopkins seemed like a reasonable man who unwittingly fell into complying with Hannity's gameplan. Ajami didn't agree with the Nazi comparison but Hannity must surely have found satisfaction when Ajami called Iran a "deranged" regime. Ajami also said that the Iranians sense that there's a weakness in the US.
“Is there?” Hannity asked in an excited voice. Hannity interrupted Ajami as he was explaining that we're over-extended in the Middle East. “Could the weakness be connected to (Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid) sends American troops to Iraq, says the war is lost, says the surge has failed before we even finish the job? Does that contribute to it? The political situation here?”
“It does,” Ajami said. He went on to say that negotiating with Iranians had been a big mistake. But when an incredulous Colmes asked if Ajami meant that a perception of US weakness was because of Harry Reid's comments, Ajami immediately backtracked. He also said that Iran was a contributing factor but not directly involved in the split between Hamas and Fatah.
However, to Hannity's certain delight, Ajami continued, “It tells you something about the flexibility and the evil genius of the Iranians. Even though they are a militant Shia regime, they support the Sunni movement in Palestine, they support also the Sunni Taliban in Afghanistan.” I noticed he didn't say they support the Sunni insurgents in Iraq.
Though Hannity has yet to demonize Abbas, I'm sure he was squirming with chickenhawk joy in his comfy studio chair as Shoebat told Colmes that Abbas is a terrorist with whom the US should not negotiate.
But Hannity must have been positively orgasmic as Ajami said that this particular crisis arose because “The Clinton administration indulged Yasser Arafat and the price was the terrorism that we have seen. These are the children of Yasser Arafat, both of them: Hamas and Fatah.”
Not as good as blaming Clinton for the Iranian threat but it must have been a close second for Hannity.
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