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Great Britain - Our Wish Should Be Their Command

Reported by Ellen - July 8, 2005

Last night, Great Britain joined the growing list of countries that FOX News thinks we should push around - Aruba, France, Germany and, of course, Iraq, are some of the others. "Virtuous" Bill Bennett visited Hannity & Colmes to tell everyone why the British should continue to fight the War on Terror Bush-style. He got a good dose of reality from Alan Colmes but, sadly, Bennett seemed more interested in ideology than facts.

Bennett started out his session with Sean Hannity by saying that his big concern is what direction Great Britain will go, will they go "the direction of Spain?" He didn't think so because yesterday was Britain's Pearl Harbor, in Bennett's view, "as Pearl Harbor was for us when we came strongly to their aid and went full in and they could go full in now. This is a very critical question for Great Britain. I think they will step up to it."

Sean Hannity called the attacks "just a beginning" to the terrorists' sick, twisted and "lobotomized state of mind." Then, perhaps thinking he'd provide an inducement for the British to go "all in," decided to use the moment to bash the mayor of London for not hating enough the people Hannity thinks should be hated wholeheartedly. According to Hannity, the mayor was too supportive of a Muslim cleric who was too sympathetic to suicide bombers. Hannity demanded, "Are we unwilling to take strong stands against people that we know are supporting terror activities?" What he really meant was that the British should be willing to take the kinds of stands he wants them to.

Bill Bennett not only agreed from a strategic point of view, he turned it into a morality play. "Well, you know, Sean, it's the struggle for the British soul... The British have to decide who they are... The British lion has roared before. Will it be defeatism or will it be a kind of surrender-status mentality? Or will they step up? They'll step up, I believe... because they stepped up in World War II and this is a people that knows how to fight. The British lion will roar."

Next it was Alan Colmes' turn. Colmes was as pragmatic as Bennett was grandiose. Colmes said, "I wonder if we need to focus properly here. This isn't about Pearl Harbor, it's not a nation state, it's not WMD's. These are bombs. Who knows who set them? We don't know who did. We need a lot of information on this at this point."

Bennett: It was an analogy, Alan, not an identity relationship... The question is, where are the British going to be on this. As you know, Blair has taken a lot of criticism, a lot of heat, a lot of internal dispute. He was clear today, he was firm in his resolve. (As ChrisH says, look for the word "resolve" - along with "freedom" and "democracy" - to be the buzzwords of the GOP for the forseeable future.) The question is, does he rally all Englishmen or most Englishmen to his side or do they decide to take another approach, like that of Span?

Colmes very concisely zeroed in on almost everything that is wrong with Bush's War on Terror in a few sentences: Doesn't this show we're not safer because we invaded Iraq? World terrorism increased. This could happen almost anywhere. We are a vulnerable and open and free society. And going after insurgents in Iraq or going after another country like that doesn't safeguard us against this kind of a situation.

Bennett (getting defensive): I think it's kind of ridiculous to take this opportunity to make a case against Iraq. I've heard Democrats all day saying this. What in God's name are they talking about? Would you prefer to be fighting Zarqawi in West Texas? I don't understand this.

Colmes: It's not about Zarqawi.

Bennett (voice rising): The War On Terror is about Zarqawi as well as these people who acted in England, as well as the people who acted in 9/11. Whose side do you think these guys are on?

Colmes: Oh, come on. Don't accuse people of being on the side of the terrorists because they don't agree with how we're focused on the War On Terror. We have to protect - as Sean pointed out - our ports, we have to protect our transportation systems...

Bennett: Excuse me Alan, excuse me Alan, excuse me Alan... We are fighting civilization against barbarism, Alan. That's what this is about.

Colmes: The question is, how do we do it. Shouldn't we pay more attention to protecting our borders, protecting our ports, protecting our mass transit system, protecting our water supply system as opposed to invading countries that were not involved with 9/11 in the first place?

Bennett (sarcastically): You mean, we could have protected against 9/11 based on all the accurate information we had. We do all of the above, Alan. We do all of the above.

Then, Bennett turned back to telling England what it needs to do. "It has to clamp down on jihadism. It's running wild over there. And they've got to clamp down. They've got to learn a lesson - believe it or not - from France, which is weak externally but very strong domestically. You know what they need in England, Alan, they need a Patriot Act.

Patriot Act is another phrase that we're bound to hear a lot of in the upcoming weeks.

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