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Muslim Viewpoints on Middle East Crisis – Kasich Isn’t Interested

Reported by Chrish - July 16, 2006 -

Kasich had what looked to be (to a casual observer or a brainwashed follower) a “fair and balanced” discussion about the Middle East crisis with retired General Wesley Clark, Edina Lukovic from the Muslim Public Affairs Council and Joe Cirincione from the Center for American Progress.

Clark stated that Israel’s focus needs to be on Hezbollah, but the problem with the air campaign is finding targets . That is made difficult for Israel because they have limited intelligence on the ground. To Kasich’s question about Hezbollah’s use of sophisticated Iranian weapons, Clark responded that the weapons being used are no challenge to Israel and as such, are terror weapons.

Kasich then asked Ms. Lukovic (whose name was not on the chyron) why there was a “lack of strong Muslim condemnation of Hezbollah.” She responded that as an American citizen she couldn’t speak for Muslim countries; but that both the EU and Muslim countries are calling for intervention because there are “too many civilian casualties.” Kasich then responded that he didn’t agree with her because intervention would “encourage Hezbollah to continue to engage.” (Comment: no, intervention would act as a force to encourage both sides to de-escalate). Joe Cirincione then said that Iran could be moderated by President Bush but, because of his disengagement with Iran, he has lost control and should sent Dr. Rice to Iran to establish a dialogue.

Of course, Kasich didn’t want to hear that and immediately said “how can you get the Road Map back when Iran says that Israel has no right to exist.” Ms. Lukovic responded that she agreed with Cirincione that the “US needs to become more fully engaged" at which point, Kasich interrupted her and said “listen, we worked with the EU to engage Iran and it’s going nowhere.” Lukovic then said that diplomacy is a “long hard path” (Comment: isn’t that what Bush said about diplomacy “taking time?”) to which Kasich responded that “until the militias recognize Israel’s right to exist and the rest of the Arab world says this guy’s gotta go, nothing will change.” Kasich interrupted Ms. Lukovic’s response about “voices on the other side that we need to listen to regarding this illegal occupation…” by saying “I gottcha, there isn’t an illegal occupation and they’re trying to destroy Isreal.”

Later in the show, Kasich interviewed a “former Lebanese terrorist who was trained to fight and kill Jews and hate Christian” (words said by Kasich that were also shown on the chyron). Zachariah Anani, whose story is told on the Walid Shoebat website (another “former Islamic terrorist” now turned Israeli supporter), told about being raised in a “religious family” and then “following the light” after he turned 13. He then converted to Christianity as a result of an encounter with an American Baptist street preacher when he was 17 – at which point he gave up his evil ways. Kasich asked how his “group” reacted and Mr. Anani responded that they tried to kill him. Kasich then asked him “what can Americans do?” to which he responded that they need to change the educational and religious systems in the Muslim world. (Comment: and how can “Americans” do this?) Of course, this was the last word of the interview.

Comment: Once again, Fox shows that “fair and balanced” is skewed to only those who support Isreal – no other viewpoints need apply. Kasich’s distain for Ms. Lekovic was apparent in the unprofessional way in which he interrupted her. He was also not pleased about Joe Cirincione’s comments either (Center for American Progress is a liberal think tank – nuff said!) Kasich’s interview with Mr. Anani was typical in its lack of background and serious questions.

But Kasich did say something interesting that might show that News Hounds is read by FOX employees. Last week I questioned whether Kasich ever did any preparation for his interviews. Before one of the other interviews on this show, he mentioned that he had read the guest’s information sheet. Of course if you read the sheet two minutes until showtime, you really don’t have much time to do research and formulate intelligent questions. But that is real journalism – an alien concept for Fox News.

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