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Fox News Backs 'Fist-First' Approach with Iran

Reported by Judy - April 19, 2006

Fox News is continuing to advocate a "fist-first" approach with Iran, even as its so-called experts acknowledge that the U.S. lacks the ground troops to attack Iran. As the video shows, Fox News personnel dispensed with using phony questions to get across their views and delivered them straight-up as fact.

On "Dayside" on Monday (April 17, 2006), substitute co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Juliet Huddy intervewed Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, whom Fox identified as a terror analyst, implying some sort of experience in the field perhaps working in the intelligence field. Actually Gartaenstein-Ross is a lawyer and right-wing blogger who writes for the Weekly Standard, the Washington Times and other neo-con biblical sources when he's not appearing on various Fox News shows. Gartenstein-Ross was supposed to be commenting on plans by Iran to recruit 40,000 suicide bombers to be used against the U.S. in the event of an American attack.

Despite the fact that Gartenstein-Ross's credentials are supposed to be in terrorism, Kilmeade and Huddy then went on to question him about U.S. strategy in its dispute with Iran over enriching uraniuim. In Fox-land, the fact that Ross has an accent and looks like he could be from the Middle East is enough to qualify him as an expert about anything going on in that part of the world. So Gutenstein-Ross went on to claim that negotiating with Iran would be a waste of time because its leaders are determined to have nuclear weapons.

Kilmeade then launched into a soliloquy about the Bush administration's "fist-first attitude" and European countries' desire to negotiate and said that "as we continue to talk, they laugh in the world's face." Gartenstein-Ross agreed, saying that with the hard-liners in charge in Iran, the Bush administration has a chance of getting Europe "on board" whereas apparently European nations would have been less willing to get "on board" if more conciliatory Iranians were in charge.

"On board" with what, exactly? Gartenstein-Ross went on to claim that although the U.S. ground troops are stretched then with commitments in Iraq, the U.S. could effectively attack Iran from the air. What nonsense. So the Bush cowboys drop a few bunker-busting bombs. Couldn't Iran send a few hundred thousand troops across the border into Iraq to attack U.S. troops there? Or is that the whole idea? Perhaps the administration hopes Americans would be so horrified by an Iranian counter-attack that they would support further action against Iran.

Kilmeade's dismissal of negotiations over the nuclear issue as mere "talk" is a dangerous over-simplification. Even Ronald Reagan carried out talks with the Soviet Union over nuclear weapons when the "evil empire" had thousands of nuclear warheads aimed at us and also had a credible means of delivering them. Iran has neither of those. Can't we negotiate with Iran without having it dismissed as just talk and a sign of weakness?

I never thought I'd say this, but man, I miss the sanity of the cold war.

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