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Hannity To US Citizens In Lebanon: Drop Dead

Reported by Ellen - July 30, 2006 -

Updated with video. Finally a guest on Hannity & Colmes (7/28/06) not crying for war with Iran and Syria – and a moderate Muslim critical of the Bush administration to boot! But chickenhawk Sean Hannity was so busy showing off his inner warrior he didn’t have much time to spend on the topic which was supposed to be about evacuating Americans from Lebanon. Warning: Don't watch the video on a full stomach.

The guest was Nabih Ayad, attorney for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee which is suing Secretaries Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld for failing to protect US citizens in Lebanon.

Hannity’s preening belligerence was on view from the start when he attacked Americans for going to Lebanon in the first place – and he misrepresented the US government’s position in the process. “Since November, our government has said don’t go there. It’s a bad place for Americans to be. DON’T GO THERE. If you go there, then you bear the responsibility of what happens. Isn’t that true?”

No, it’s not true. I found a copy of the 11/7/05 travel warning and it does not say Americans should not go to Lebanon but that they should “carefully weigh the necessity of their travel to Lebanon in light of the risks noted below.” I searched the State Department website and found no admonition that Americans in Lebanon should not count on the State Department for help. To the contrary, the site states, "The U.S. Embassy is monitoring the situation in Lebanon closely and is assisting American citizens to depart safely." There is also information about evacuation.

Nevertheless, our fearless armchair fighter announced, in so many words, that Americans in Lebanon more or less deserved what they got. “You know what, Nabih? You want to take away all accountability and individual responsibility, which I think is the biggest problem this country has. You know what? If your government tells you not to go and you go, that’s your fault.”

Next, Hannity ratcheted up his melodramatic browbeating. “Now I want to ask you about Islamic facism. Do you believe that it’s a very sick, twisted ideology that people that are strapping bombs on their children and sending them into pizza parlors and malls and telling them that they’re gonna get 72 virgins. We agree on that, right?”

Ayad remained polite and composed throughout the interview. “Sir, we condemn all forms of violence. This lawsuit has nothing to do with those issues.”

Hannity interrupted. “I didn’t ask you – I’m asking you another que- I’m asking you about Islamic fascism and whether or not you think – to what extent is this a threat to the world, those people that strap bombs on their children and tell them that there’s going to be 72 virgins in heaven if they kill innocent children. Do you think that that is a worldwide threat like Nazi-ism?”

“Well, sir, I think you are diverting the issues here. We’re talking here, we’re here on the show, it’s about the lawsuit, The ADC vs. Condoleezza Rice.”

Wagging his finger in the air, Hannity interrupted again. “Do you think Islamic fascism is a threat to all of civilization? …You won’t condemn that?”

And so it went until Alan Colmes jumped in. If ever there was a segment that embodied a disconnect between Hannity and Colmes, this was it. Unlike the posturing Hannity, Colmes engaged in a real discussion and one that actually criticized Bush and his Middle East policies.

Colmes covered a lot of territory in his brief time. “Let me talk about the fact, I think it’s quite ironic that we can get bombs to Israel a lot faster than we can get Americans out of Lebanon back to the United States… We talk about wanting to create democracy in the Middle East. Lebanon is a burgeoning democracy. Beirut becoming a world-class city. I would think President Bush would be happy that Americans would be supporting that because isn’t that what they’re promoting – the idea of creating democracy in that part of the globe, something Lebanon was on its road to becoming. Americans went there supporting that very idea.”

Ayad said, “That’s what we don’t understand, sir. Why is the United States government putting missiles, satellite-guided missiles, in the hands of Israel on last Thursday morning while there’s still at least 25,000 US citizens on the ground? It’s basically like the government is attempting to destroy its own citizens, which as you know is unconstitutional and it’s totally unfair to those people that are there, the US citizens who are trying to evacuate.”

Colmes replied, “The amount of money it costs to evacuate Americans – we’re talking about a pittance compared to what we spend in Iraq on a daily basis, to what we spend shipping bombs over there. We’re talking about not very much money at all, making sure Americans come to safety. This is the role of the US State Department, as they themselves acknowledge.”

“Well, absolutely. I mean, if you look at it, the United States basically did not start evacuating United States citizens, their constituents, until a week after the bombing started. And yet, if you look at the close proximity with the country of Israel and the United States, you would think that Condoleezza Rice, appointed to protect the interests and the constitutional rights of its constituents, would at least lift the phone and ask for a cease fire, at least for an eight hour period so those United States citizens can jump on UN buses, get to the ports and get out of there. Intead, what this government is doing is rush-shipping US missiles to Israel to bombard their own citizens, which is really, really deplorable in itself, sir.”

Hannity jumped in again. In his condescending voice, he said, “Nabih, Israel is a victim of terror. We’re at war with Islamic facists and you can’t even condemn it. I find that shocking. You won’t – would you like another opportunity to do it?

“Sir, I condemn all sorts of violence.”

Louder, more aggressively, Hannity asked, “You condemn Islamic facism, specifically?”

“I can’t speak, sir. There are different parts around the world that (unintelligible).”

Hannity shook his head with contempt. “Unbelievable”

Sean Hannity: Serving America with television histrionics, give or take 25,000 American lives.