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FOX News Sunday Perpetuates Myth That O'Hanlon and Pollack Are "Anti-war" Democrats

Reported by Marie Therese - August 7, 2007 -

On Sunday August 5, 2007 FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace interviewed Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, two men who supported the war in Iraq from the very beginning, but who have lately been critical, not of the war itself, but of the way in which the Bush administration has handled the military and political aspects of the conflict. They recently collaborated on an Op-Ed in the New York Times entitled A War We Might Just Win. O'Hanlon and Pollack, having returned from Iraq, made the argument that we must give General David Petraeus' "surge" more time. For the past week FOX News hosts have misled their viewers by describing O'Hanlon and Pollack as anti-war Democrats instead of correctly informing their audience that both men were vocal supporters of the Iraq war. With video.

Since the appearance of the Op-Ed, the Vice President, various media outlets and, of course, some FOX News hosts have identified O'Hanlon and Pollack as "left-wing" Democrats who have split with their fellow liberals on the question of the "surge." The two analysts even describe themselves in the column as having been harsh critics of the way the war has been run. However, the truth is quite different.

At Salon.com, Glenn Greenwald wrote an immediate and scathing expose of O'Hanlon and Pollack, showing in painstaking detail that neither man could even remotely be called "anti-war" and were, in fact, among the cheerleaders for the 2003 attack on Iraq.

In the Salon article, Greenwald writes, "The Op-Ed is an exercise in rank deceit from the start. To lavish themselves with credibility -- as though they are war skeptics whom you can trust -- they identify themselves at the beginning 'as two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration's miserable handling of Iraq.' In reality, they were not only among the biggest cheerleaders for the war, but repeatedly praised the Pentagon's strategy in Iraq and continuously assured Americans things were going well. They are among the primary authors and principal deceivers responsible for this disaster."

He went on to enumerate the pair's history of acting as water-carriers for the Bush administration, claiming time after time they would appear on the scene and guarantee that things were getting better, the light at the end of the tunnel was in sight, blah, blah, blah. Pollack, in fact. is closely aligned with AIPAC and, according to Wikipedia, a U.S. government indictment "alleges that Pollack provided information to former American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) employees Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman during the AIPAC espionage scandal." AIPAC is well-known for supporting an aggressive, militant American middle eastern policy.

The liberal reaction to the Op-Ed was so strong that Chris Wallace was forced to include a reference to it in the interview, citing Greenwald's Salon post and Crooks & Liars as well.

In response to Wallace's promptings, Pollack and O'Hanlon rehashed their argument in favor of prolonging the surge int 2008, e.g., that there are definite signs of improvement in Anbar province, Ramadi and Baghdad which require that we stick to the Petraeus plan. They claimed that our soldiers' morale is high, but admitted that while there are improvements on the military front, the Iraqi political process is bogged down.

However, it was obvious by the end of the segment that neither O'Hanlon nor Pollack was willing to make any definitive statement. In fact they appeared to backpedal from their pie-in-the-sky column in the Times.

When asked by Chris Wallace which Democratic candidate each was supporting, Michael O'Hanlon readily answered "Hillary Clinton." Kenneth Pollack, however, was clearly taken aback by the question and refused to give an answer.

Perhaps he's not really a Democrat, after all?