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No Joy In FOXville Over Iran’s Peaceful Release Of British Captives

Reported by Ellen - April 5, 2007 -

You’ve never seen such glum faces over a soon-to-be peaceful resolution to a potential international crisis as those displayed by “pro life” Sean Hannity and Oliver North last night (4/4/07) on Hannity & Colmes. In three segments devoted to Iran and the war on terror, interspersed with lots of Democrat bashing, there was not one expression of joy, pleasure or gratitude that no loss of life had occurred and that a potentially explosive confrontation was about to be avoided. In fact, the displeasure and disappointment that there would be no escalation (at least not in the immediate future) was plainly evident. With video.

Part 3 of the discussion was framed around a Democratic staffer’s memo urging aides not to use the term “global war on terrorism.” Rather than discuss the real issue behind the memo – whether efforts in Iraq should be linked to the U.S. fight against Al Qaeda – FOX News falsely conflated it with the situation in Iran in a sly attempt to make Democrats look like terrorism deniers. “Great American” Sean Hannity either willfully or negligently overlooked the memo’s intent in order to exploit it for his own divisive purposes. “The Dems wanting to ban the term ‘the global war on terror’ just proves everything we’ve been saying, Colonel North, that, you know, they are the party of appeasement, surrender and defeat.”

Alan Colmes, referring one of North's statements in a previous segment, said to him, “You want to punish Iran. You’ve got Tony Blair saying, ‘We respect Iran. We bear no ill will toward Iran.’ Isn’t this the kind of rhetoric you want to use diplomatically to get hostages released? Or do you want to use the bellicose rhetoric of war and create more of an international incident?”

Sure enough, North wanted to use the bellicose rhetoric of war. “It’s a lawless regime that acts with impunity because they know we’re going to back down and give them exactly what they want. That’s what’s happened here.” As proof that North might be a barrel short of a shotgun, he also told Colmes he'd be going on "a mission" to the Middle East later in the summer. I suspect he meant on assignment.

Hannity channeled his chickenhawk disappointment into bullying guest Abbas Milani, Director of Iran Studies at Stanford University. Unfortunately for Hannity, Milani was not intimidated. As Hannity demanded “yes or no” whether Milani wanted to “sit down with the Holocaust denier,” Milani responded that Oliver North was the person who negotiated in secret with the Iranian mullahs. Comment: I hope many, many guests - and Colmes, too - continue to remind North of his "dealing with the Iranians" past.

Hannity never denied Milani's assertion. Instead he kept up his bullyboy browbeating or his attempts at such as he continued flailing as if Milani were some kind of substitute for Hannity’s thwarted dreams of war with Iran.

But Milani got the last word. As Hannity continued his tirade against Milani for suggesting the US should have discussions with Iran, Milani said, “The United States had great enmity with Soviet Union, with China. That did not stop them from conversing.”