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FOX News Chickenhawks Regret Strait Of Hormuz Incident Didn’t Turn Into Armed Conflict

Reported by Ellen - January 10, 2008 -

On last night’s (1/9/08) Hannity & Colmes, “fair and balanced” FOX News stacked its panel with chickenhawks eager to escalate tensions against Iran. Sean Hannity and Geraldo Rivera expressed outright disappointment that the recent incident in the Strait of Hormuz hadn't turned into armed conflict between the US and Iran – with other people doing the fighting and dying, of course. The other guest, the non-serving Dan Senor also ratcheted up the hostilities. Alan Colmes was the lone voice of restraint.

Less than a week after Hannity ran away from Ron Paul supporters angry that FOX News wouldn’t include him in its last debate, Hannity was ready to talk tough. “It wouldn’t have bothered me one bit, Geraldo, if we blew those ships right out of the water.”

“The captain would have been justified,” Geraldo readily agreed.

“What ought we do with Ahmadinejad at this point?” Hannity asked Geraldo who is not exactly a foreign policy expert. “He continues to pursue weapons of mass destruction,” Hannity claimed. Oh really? Where did he get that information? From Curveball? Because last I heard, our National Intelligence Estimate said otherwise.

Geraldo didn’t want to talk about that. “We’ve got to make very clear rules of engagement that allow us to fire a shot across the bow at 300 yards, engage with deadly force at 200 yards.” As precedent, he cited the fact that similar rules are in effect on Humvees in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Something tells me the Iranians would not see why rules established by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan should apply in the Strait of Hormuz.

Colmes said, “It’s good that there was NOT a shooting incident.”

But he seemed to be the only who thought so.

Hesitantly, Geraldo said, “You know, it’s good except what happens next time, Alan?”

Colmes continued, “Do we know exactly what happened because I don’t.” Colmes added that there’s an incentive, as Bush goes to the Middle East to build a coalition against Iran, to try to show that Iran is provocative.

“But that’s skepticism, Alan,” Rivera said. He claimed that this can’t have been faked because there’s a video. (Comment: Just like there couldn’t be any doubt about Iraq acquiring uranium because a forged document said so, eh?)

Senor, who formerly worked for the CPA in Iraq, said he had just returned from the Gulf. “And I will tell you that you talk to the players up and down, they are terrified of Iran. They don’t need an incident in the Strait of Hormuz to terrify them.”

“What harm would have come if we had fired a 50 caliber machine gun at one of those vessels?” Rivera asked.

An astounded Colmes said, “It could have escalated! Escalation is the harm that could have come.”

“They’re the ones who are being provocative,” Hannity said petulantly.

“I don’t want war with Iran,” Rivera claimed. “But any vessel that comes that close to a Navy war ship, it does so at its own peril.”

Sickening and terrifying. That’s all I can say.

By the way, Colmes explains why he thinks this could be another Gulf of Tonkin on his blog, LiberalLand.