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For FOX News, It’s A Happy War On Terror

Reported by Ellen - June 8, 2007 -

Colonel Oliver North checked in from the Philippines last night (6/7/07) on Hannity & Colmes for a rare look at the actual war on terror that Hannity is always ominously telling us is “the defining issue of our time.” Predictably, North’s report about a “major counter-terror operation” by a joint Philippine and US task force was so upbeat that it could just as easily have been written by the Bush administration, rather than by a news organization. With video.

North told the audience that the joint operation had killed two leaders of the Islamic terror group, Abu Sayaaf. He described it as “like hitting the jackpot in the global war on terror.” In this case, a group of Filipinos also hit the jackpot because the US turned over a $10 million reward to a group of citizens who helped bring about the successful operation. The fact that FOX News would bother to offer this report on a relatively obscure operation while largely ignoring the supposedly crucial front in Iraq and the “other war” in Afghanistan speaks volumes about how well (or not) those operations are going and the desire to put forth a positive spin on the Bush administration’s prosecution of the global war on terror.

North, Philippine Major Gen. Ruben Rafael, and American Major Matt Whitehead couldn’t seem to say enough good things about each other, their missions and the co-operation of the citizens.

The reason the private citizens were so helpful, Rafael said was because of the “good, excellent relations” between the citizens and the armed forces. “These guys are excellent,” Rafael said, noting that he did not want the Americans to leave.

“They don’t want to leave before the job is done.” North chuckled as he spoke.

Whitehead said the US forces are there to help, not fight, and that they are winning the hearts and minds (he used that exact phrase) of the local people “doing” medical and veterinary clinics, building roads, etc “All of our assistance that we render down here is all through, by and with the Filipino military… It’s very rewarding working with such a professional military… It’s their solutions, Filipino solutions for the situation down here.”

North said, “I want to make sure that everybody back home knows that these really elite warriors are not doing the fighting. That’s General Ruben’s folks. The fact is, these guys are here to help make it happen.” North later added, “I will tell you, Sean and Alan, this is a remarkable teamwork that’s been established here.”

Before closing the segment, Hannity worked in a quick effort to whip up some anti-Muslim hatred. Referring to the name “Abu Sayaaf,” Hannity said, “It means bearer of the sword, assassinations, kidnappings, extortions and killing Americans.”

Meanwhile, there has been no discussion about the recent warning from Dr. Mohammed ElBaradei, head of the IAEA, that the threat of nuclear terrorism is far graver than any threat from Iran. As the BBC reported in a frightening report that I don’t recommend reading during an evening when you’re hoping for a good night’s sleep anytime soon, the IAEA has been hunting down a terrifying amount of at-large radioactive material in the former Soviet Union, missing since the collapse of the former empire, and on the loose in places such as Georgia, “a fragile nation which barely controls its own territory, (with) secessionists within its borders (and) situated near some of the regions most intractable trouble spots, such as Chechnya.” The materials, “once used in a range of devices from communications to health care and now lost without trace with the collapse of the Soviet Union… (provide) health and security risks here; each one could be used as part of a dirty-bomb if the radiation were dispersed using conventional explosives.”

I apologize for the poor quality of the video. There was some bad weather in my neck of the woods and it interfered with my satellite reception.