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FOX News Presents Military Action Against Iran As The Only Viable Option And Without Drawbacks

Reported by Ellen - April 30, 2006

In a discussion about Iran Friday night (4/28/06) on Hannity & Colmes, both guests hyped military action against that country. No potential pitfalls were presented and the whole thing was made to sound like another cakewalk. Substitute co-host Rich Lowry seemed all for it and even Alan Colmes made no argument against it.

Lowry opened the discussion by asking, “If this diplomatic roadblock can’t be moved and Iran continues to thumb its nose at the UN, is military action the only remaining option?” The answer was never in doubt.

The first guest to speak was former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. He expressed a lack of confidence in the UN. “I think force, in the last analysis, is the ultimate answer.” He added, “But I think we have a long way to go before we get there.”

The other guest, FOX News military analyst Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney, said that forming a “coalition of the willing” would provide a workable military solution.

Lowry made his sentiments clear by asking what was the bare minimum needed “to make this happen militarily?”

As McInerney responded that the support of two or three Muslim countries, “even if it was tacitly” was all that was needed, Lowry said enthusiastically, “That small? Just a couple of airbases, basically, and a slight diplomatic cover?”

McInerney thought covert action was also required so that Iranians can “take their country back.” McInerney, like most if not all FOX military analysts, was ready for action. “That means we’ve got to start with the dissident groups right now and start working on that.”

Colmes asked, “Is there any proof, Mr. Secretary, that Iran’s program isn’t purely civilian?”

Eagleburger stuttered for several seconds before finally saying, “How can I answer the question? It may well be at this point purely peaceful but the fact of the matter is… there is no question that they have a weapons alternative. We have to take that as a given. I don’t see that there’s any other choice for us.” He thought there was a slight chance that Iranians might overthrow their government but he reiterated that he thought force would likely be required.

The segment ended without anyone discussing the possible downsides to such action. In fact, just like in the run-up to the Iraq invasion, the whole thing was presented as though there were no downsides. Completely overlooked were the views of experts like Richard Clarke and Steven Simon, respectively, former national coordinator for security and counterterrorism and former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council. Clarke and Simon considered, then rejected bombing Iran during the Clinton Administration because “the highest levels of the military could not forecast a way in which things would end favorably for the United States.” (my emphasis) Read their New York Times op-ed (reprinted by Randi Rhodes) for some real balance to this very important issue.

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