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Hannity And Bolton Develop Sudden Concern For Iranians’ Well-Being - Just In Time To Attack Obama

Reported by Ellen - June 23, 2009 -

After years of longing for war against Iran, Sean Hannity and Fox News contributor John Bolton have developed a sudden affinity for the Iranian people. I’m sure it was just a coincidence that this newfound sensitivity dovetailed neatly into new opportunities to criticize President Obama, this time for not standing up forcefully enough on their behalf. Then, in an irony that seemed to be lost on the two chickenhawks, beat their chests with further bellicosity. Then, revealing an astounding arrogance, Bolton admitted the U.S. is not able to provide much assistance to the dissidents anyway. With video.

After calling Obama “timid” (a term that just happened to echo the GOP party line), Hannity said, “This president needs to learn a lesson from one of his predecessors.” He played a clip of former President Reagan speaking out on behalf of dissidents in Poland.

Of course, there are huge differences between Iran and Poland. For one thing, the Polish government was a Soviet puppet regime, unlike the home-grown Iranian government. As Anonymous Liberal writes in a cogent blog post, “The puppet regime in Poland couldn't very well accuse the reformers of being the stooges of a foreign power because that's exactly what they themselves were.” Furthermore, A.L. goes on to say, “Poland and the United States did not have the sort of antagonistic history that Iran and the United States have. Therefore, when Reagan expressed solidarity with the Polish reformers, it didn't undermine them politically. Iran is a totally different story. Iranians still resent the U.S. (and justifiably so) for its role in orchestrating the 1953 coup that removed Iran's democratically elected leader. In the 1980s, the United States actively supported Saddam Hussein's Iraq regime in the Iran-Iraq war, a war in which millions of Iranians were slaughtered. And our last president labeled Iran a charter member of the Axis of Evil. Suffice it to say, politicians in Iran aren't exactly tripping over themselves to secure the coveted United States endorsement. The last thing Mousavi and his supporters want is for the President of the United States to express his solidarity with their cause. That would play right in to Ahmadinejad's hands.”

Indeed, one of Iran's most high-profile opposition clerics, Mohsen Kadivar, told The Daily Beast, “What Obama has done so far is about perfect... We don't need any special support from (the U.S.). The green movement for democracy and liberty in Iran is independent and we don't need anything from the foreigners. We should get democracy ourselves.”

But that view was shut out on Hannity last night (6/22/09). I didn’t see it on any other show on Fox News, either.

Instead, Hannity called on former U.N. ambassador and current Fox News contributor, John Bolton. Bolton’s main credential for being an authority on Fox can only be his enthusiasm for war. He was so disliked and disrespected that a Republican-controlled Senate blocked his nomination in 2005 after hearings the Washington Post described as “dominated by heated testimony from former colleagues and several intelligence officials; they described Bolton as a bully who pressured analysts, cherry-picked intelligence and hid information from the secretary of state.” He became ambassador via a recess appointment by then-president George W. Bush. After the mid-term elections in 2006, when Democrats won enough seats to take control of Congress, Bolton's formal nomination was doomed and he resigned.

As usual, the “we report, you decide” network did not reveal Bolton’s controversial past and identified him merely as “former U.N. ambassador.”

It was obvious Bolton is still salivating for war against Iran. He slammed Obama not just for being timid but also accused him of being “disingenuous.” Bolton said, “The real reason that he (Obama) won’t speak out has nothing to do with this argument that we don’t want to meddle... the real reason is the president is determined to find a way to try and negotiate with the regime... about their nuclear weapons program. This is a policy doomed to failure.”

After criticizing Obama for being determined to negotiate (as opposed to being more militaristic, one presumes), with stunning hypocrisy, Bolton feigned concern for the Iranian dissidents. “He is abandoning the people in the streets and not providing any possibility of concrete assistance to them.” But wait, it gets worse.

Hannity, too, was a new picture of solidarity with Iranians. “Ambassador, it shocks the conscience,” he said melodramatically. “This young girl, a 16 year-old girl, literally gunned down in the streets (meaning, of course, Neda). Now, we don’t have the ability to get information about how many people have actually been killed here. But if the United States of America doesn’t stand for the cause of liberty and freedom and we’re willing to deal with these totalitarian regimes, what message does this send?”

In other words, Hannity was suggesting we should go to war because it’s the decent, freedom-loving thing to do. Something tells me Neda and her peers would see it differently.

Bolton predicted that the uprising in Iran would not succeed. He offered his marching orders for Obama. According to Bolton, Obama “ought to make it clear, as Reagan did, that he does not stand with the regime going forward and that he’s prepared to provide assistance to the dissidents inside and outside Iran.”

Apparently still eager for war (where other people would do the real fighting and dying), Hannity ratcheted up the antagonistic rhetoric against Obama by suggesting that his silence represented “a green light to the mullahs for a crackdown.”

But in a stunning turnaround, Bolton said that since the Bush administration did not do enough to “prepare adequately for this potential revolutionary moment, we’re not really in a position now to offer much concrete assistance.” He said he didn’t want the country to “urge people in the streets and then watch them die.” He’d rather, he said, “be a little bit prudent and prepare for the long term where we really can provide concrete assistance.” So what’s Obama supposed to do, according to Bolton, talk tough now and bomb later?

Hannity didn’t ask for any further explanation. Instead, he moved on to discuss North Korea.

Bolton urged military action against them, too.