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War Hawks Fly High on FNL

Reported by Nancy - January 4, 2005 -

During the last hour of FNL today (1/4), David Asman did one interview that was so outrageously beyond the bounds, even for FNL, that I thought it deserved its own separate entry on this blog.

At 12:35pm, saying that "truck convoys" were seen going from Iraq "to Syria before the war," Asman speculated whether they might have contained WMDs. He asked "How long before we actually teach Syria a lesson?" & interviewed Bill Cowan (ret Lt Col). Cowan said that "nobody paid too much attention at the time" & suggested that those convoys might have contained "prescursor materials" for WMDs. Asman asked "Do we have anything on ground to check out Syria?" Cowan didn't answer directly, but noted that "historically they've had" WMD (bio & chem) "programs of their own." Asman brought up the possibilty of a connection between Syria & insurgents in Iraq. Cowan said there's "no question at all whatsoever," & claimed that Syria has been "aiding & abetting" & "financing" insurgents. FNL showed a picture of Syrian President Assad & Asman sarcastically commented, "Like father, like son," then noted that Syria's ruling party is the Baath party, as it had been in Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Cowan said Syria is worried because "they've now got a democracy" on their border [comment: they've had Israel on their border for 50+ years, & Turkey since post-WWI; does he not consider Israel or Turkey a democracy? Is he referring to occupied Iraq as a democracy?]. Cowan added "plus they're Sunni" [comment: according to the CIA factbook, Sunnis make up about 75% of Syria's population but, as in many countries, there are significant religious minorities (Christians ~10%; Druze, Alawites & other Muslim groups) & even a tiny Jewish minority]. Asman then asked "What's our wake up call, how do we tell 'em we're not gonna take it any more?" Cowan replied "good question" & both agreed that "diplomacy doesn't seem to work," with Asman adding ominously: "We know what the answer is." The interview then went off on a tangent about OBL.

General Comment: Note Asman's language. It's hard to convey, with mere words on a page, his tone of sarcasm & contempt or the enthusiastic way he was pushing the concept of US military action against Syria. Cowan joined right in, with sweeping claims ("no question at all whatsoever" re a Syrian connection to anti-occupation activities in Iraq) reminiscent of the phony "intel" cited by reactionaries to justify the war in Iraq. This interview had nothing to do with journalism (good, bad or indifferent) -- there wasn't even an attempt by FNL to hook it to a current "story" other than the gratuitous mention of OBL near the end -- & everything to do with advancing a particular agenda.