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Sean Hannity Smears London and Great Britain

Reported by Ellen - July 12, 2005

It takes a special kind of man to smear a city and a country less than a week after they've been attacked by terrorists. Sean Hannity didn't let a little thing like compassion or sympathy get in the way of condemning the mayor of London, ostensibly for being too friendly with a Muslim cleric Hannity found distasteful, nor from holding Great Britain responsible as an accomplice. With his usual smug self-righteousness, Hannity asked, "Is the mayor of London's friendship with the controversial cleric a sign that Britain didn't take terrorism seriously?"

Jim Carafano from The Heritage Foundation was on hand to join in the attack, not so much on the mayor (undoubtedly a disappointment to Hannity) but on those softy Europeans who won't crack down on freedoms the way we are. He said there are "two problems here. One is you have people who have this over-the-top rhetoric - it's racist, it's facist, it's incendiary but they're expressing their freedom of expression to do that and... (Europeans) don't want to say 'are these guys really terrorists or not?' Now in the United States after 9/11 we made the hard decision to pass things like the Patriot Act, to say 'Look, OK, we have to go look and see if these people really are a problem are not.' In Europe they refuse to do that. They refuse to do the politically hard thing to separate really bad people from people who are just big mouths."

The second problem, according to Carafano, is that "even if these guys aren't terrorists, and this (cleric) may not be a terrorist, they are abetting and aiding and encouraging these guys and even though they may be not breaking a law, there's not the political will to stand up and say 'this is wrong and what you are saying is a lie.'"

Comment: In other words, big mouths are bad people too, according to Carafano, and those pesky British and Europeans ought to just crack down on them.

Hannity didn't dwell on that, of course. He was more interested in attacking the mayor of London. Hannity said, "Here's what I want to focus on, though. The mayor of London embraced this man, called him a moderate, called him a man of peace, specifically went to bat for him. Specifically embraced him and this is a man that said and instructed his followers, quote 'Oh God destroy the Zionists, the American, the British aggressors,' he said... Why would the mayor of London embrace such an extremist?"

If Hannity was so interested in exploring the motives of the mayor of London, he might have done better having a guest willing to discuss them but Carafano was more interested in bashing the Europeans rather than just the English. Carafano said, "It's symptomatic of the Europeans." He added, "You know 99.999 percent of immigrants aren't terrorists. 99.9 percent of Muslims aren't terrorists but virtually every terrorist is a Muslim and an immigrant. Now separating the good from the bad requires people to do the politically hard thing, to go in and figure out who's good and who's bad but most of the European leaders - and the mayor's quite typical - have refused to alienate the communities and put public safety and put common sense first."

He didn't mention, nor did Hannity ask, just how the Europeans were supposed to figure that out. By starting a police state? Making Muslims register and wear arm bands? Nobody seemed to think about how Bush made his own mistakes confusing those Arabs who were really our enemy (Al Qaeda) and those who weren't (Iraq). But time was up. It was Alan Colmes' turn.

Colmes, clearly skeptical, asked, "Do you for one second believe that Britain and Mayor Livingstone don't want safety?... Do you really believe that they are somehow on the side of the terrorists?"

Suddenly, Carafano was a fan of the British saying that they "are really, really good on counterterrorism. As a matter of fact, of all the Europeans, the British really, really take this seriously, they really, really do. But they haven't done the hard thing which is you have to go into these communities and you have to separate people that are really bad from the vast wealth of people that really aren't."

But it was clear that this particular cleric was a "bad guy," that his condemnation of 9/11 and last week's attacks weren't enough. Carafano asked, "When was the last time he condemned the bombings in Iraq? And the answer is, he never has. When was the last time he renounced terrorism as an act of jihad? And the answer is, he never has." Are the Europeans supposed to do the "hard thing" and send him to jail for that? It would seem so.

Colmes then revealed that a lot of conservatives have Mayor Livingstone in their sights because he has made scathing comments about President Bush.

Comment: I'm sure that had nothing to do with it. We all know that it's only the Democrats who play partisan politics.

Carafano said "This is more than just the mayor of london. This is a European-wide problem. The Europeans have a different security concern than Americans. American Muslim communities are ethnically and geographically dispersed. Our communities are very easy to get into. There's very good assimilation. In Europe, it's totally different. In Europe, you have groups that are ethnically and geographically from the same country. They go into one area, they congregate and they're perfect places for these guys to knock around in. They've been there forever, people are afraid to expose them and the Europeans are unwilling to go and root out these guys."

Those wimpy Europeans are just too concerned with individual rights and liberties, apparently.

Hannity ended the segment by saying he appreciated "this information you're passing on."

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