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Hannity & Colmes Tries To Make The Iraq War About Democrats

Reported by Ellen - July 6, 2006 -

Last night (7/5/06) on Hannity & Colmes, there were three discussions purportedly about the Iraq war. But in each case, the real focus was on attacking Democrats, not terrorists. It was pretty clear which group is perceived as the more important target on FOX News.

The first discussion was an attack on Cindy Sheehan. A clip of her, demonstrating in Washington over the holiday weekend, showed her saying, “We are here to declare independence from war and occupation and oppression. And we are standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, American coalition and Iraqis who don’t have clean water to drink, who don’t have enough food to eat, who can get killed when they go to the marketplace to shop for their family, who can get raped by our soldiers just living, whose families can be killed. This war is a war crime, and our soldiers trying to survive are committing war crimes. We need to bring our troops home. We need to do everything we can to save our soldiers and to save the people of Iraq from our George III.”

It seemed a rather tame statement compared to the over-the-top rants of such H&C faves as Ann Coulter or Pat Robertson. But on Hannity & Colmes, Coulter and Robertson are always portrayed as “provocative” and “controversial” while Sheehan and the Democrats are tarred as unpatriotic opportunists who are harmful to the troops.

Ann Wright, a former State Department diplomat who resigned her post in protest of the Iraq war, was on hand to defend Sheehan. FOX News host (and convicted liar) Oliver North was there to attack her.

Wright did an excellent job putting the focus on the war and not Sheehan. But it wasn’t for a lack of trying by both hosts.

Alan Colmes started by asking Wright if Cindy Sheehan was “out of line” to use the phrase “war crimes.” He later said, “I think she spoke with what sounded like a broad brush and I know that will anger many people.”

Wright said “I think going to war in Iraq to start with was a war crime, to invade and occupy a country that had not done anything to the United States was a war crime, a crime of aggression.” She added that Sheehan hadn’t meant to anger the troops who are trying desperately to survive, trying not to kill innocent civilians but that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, thousands of homes broken into and families “disrupted.”

Colmes moved the conversation back to Sheehan and her statements. “I fear that that context, unfortunately, may be lost by those who just hear the phrase ‘war crimes.’”

Colmes did, however, make a good point when he told North that Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki has talked about soldiers committing war crimes. “I don’t hear people attacking him because he is an example of what we claim is what we’ve accomplished in Iraq.”

Sean Hannity tried, but failed, to trap Wright with one of his gotcha questions – asking if she agreed with some of “Cindy’s” other statements about President Bush.

Wright started to say that she agrees that Bush has gotten us into an illegal war but Hanity cut her off. “I didn’t ask you that,” he said brusquely. So Wright deftly rephrased her statement. “I would characterize it a little bit differently. I would say he has lied to us, he has been untruthful to the American public. He has gotten us into a war that is something we shouldn’t have gotten into.”

“We’re not here to debate the war,” Hannity snapped. “We’re here to debate the rhetoric of the hard-left people like yourself.” Then he jumped into his bullyboy pulpit and started smearing Democrats with phoney-baloney Hanctimony. “I can almost accept it from Cindy Sheehan but she’s used by the Democratic Party. John Murtha’s put out by the Democratic Party. John Murtha accuses our troops of killing civilians in cold blood. John Kerry, who stabbed Viet Nam vets in the back, says that our troops are terrorizing women and children in the dark of night.”

North chimed in. “Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has not repudiated the statements of Kerry, Murtha or these other kinds of comments being made by Ms. Sheehan and others… The Democratic Party is very quickly becoming the capitulatist Party.”

That prompted Alan Colmes to jump in. “That’s ridiculous to say that.”

Hannity said, “Right on the money, Colonel. Thank you.”

North added, “It may be ridiculous but it’s a fact.”

Comment: When has North, Hannity or the Republican Party repudiated the statements of Robertson or Coulter?

Much later in the show, filmmaker Patrick Dollard showed excerpts from his documentary called “Young Americans” about American soldiers fighting in Iraq. But again, rather than discus what our soldiers are doing, what it’s like for them to be there, what the conditions are, the emphasis was what Iraqis think “of the liberal anti-war movement,” as Colmes announced it. Clips were shown of Iraqi soldiers calling Michael Moore “a little bitch,” Later, soldiers were shown chanting “F*** you, Michael Moore.”

Dollard, slouching and swiveling arrogantly in his seat insisted he believes people have the right to protest the war. “Alan, Alan, you have not been able to display one bit of footage or one quote from me saying that people do not have that right.” Oh, no, of course not! He just made a movie cursing them out. But Colmes said, “I understand that.”

Proving again what a First Amendment champ he really is, Dollard agreed with Hannity that the left is stabbing our troops in the back and “for the most disgusting of reasons… they want to win the next two election cycles. The left has no real interest in analyzing Iraq for what it is.”

“You can disagree but this is different,” Hannity claimed.

Colmes, sounding angry now, said, “Apparently, you can’t disagree. You can’t say we’re there fighting for freedoms and then say to the left, ‘You can’t speak, you’re a traitor.’ You can’t do that.”

You can view both these segments on the FOX News website. (Click on "Click Here For More Video")

I’ll discuss the third Iraq segment in my next post.