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Chickenhawk Hannity Second Guesses John McCain On Obama’s Afghanistan Policy

Reported by Ellen - December 2, 2009 -

Chickenhawk Sean Hannity hosted Sen. John McCain to discuss President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan last night (12/1/09). McCain is a 22-year veteran of the Navy but Hannity repeatedly second guessed his support for President Obama’s policy. Hannity also attacked Obama for not sending all the troops that Afghan commander Gen. McChrystal has asked for. Then, in a typical Hannity moment of misinformation, he "forgot" that President George W. Bush had ignored the recommendation of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki in 2003 about the need for hundreds of thousands of troops in Iraq. Instead, Hannity complained that Obama had not made the "full commitment" to the war that Bush had. With video.

In his introduction, Hannity said Obama’s speech “sounds like a half-baked strategy” and was so “politicized” that “all we’re left with are more hollow proclamations, more GITMO-esque deadlines.”

Well, someone who knew a bit more about war strategy than Hannity disagreed. But Hannity, who stated he had read McCain’s statement in support of Obama in advance, thought he knew better. Quoting McCain as saying that Obama had made the “right decision,” Hannity asked derisively, “It’s the right decision to only give three-quarters of Gen. McChrystal’s request? That’s the right decision?”

McCain noted that both McChrystal and Gen. Petraeus thought that Obama was committing to a sufficient level of troops “to get the job done.” McCain also noted that Obama was counting on additional troops from NATO.

McCain added that he had “grave concerns” about announcing a “date certain” for withdrawal but reiterated his support for the policy.

McCain also said, “If I’m concerned about anything, it’s the civil side, including deep divisions within our embassy in Kabul.”

But Hannity, so newly interested in Afghanistan (I can hardly remember him uttering a word of concern about that theater during Bush’s presidency) didn’t seem to notice. He was more intent on attacking the president as “rather naïve” for envisioning a world without nuclear weapons.

“All in all, as you look at the president’s speech tonight, and it gives only ¾ of what the general wants, talks about a timetable for withdrawal, all in all, how would you grade this policy after three and a half months of dithering as Vice President Cheney said?” Hannity "asked," as the segment drew to a close.

“The delay was unnecessary,” McCain said. “But the fact is that this is one that General McChrystal, Secretary Gates, General Petraeus believe will succeed. And that is a counterinsurgency strategy that’s properly resourced…. I support this policy… The fact is, I believe it can succeed.”

That was not the answer Hannity was hoping for. He said, “It seems like he’s putting his foot in the water… doesn’t seem like he’s willing to take the plunge, like President Bush, with that full commitment and I’ve got to wonder what message that sends to our enemies.”

President Bush’s full commitment? You mean like his refusal to listen to Gen. Eric Shinseki, head of the Army, when he said hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed in Iraq? The same hundreds of thousands of troops Bush later sent, after "a senior administration official" told the Village Voice newspaper that Gen Shinseki's remark was "bullshit from a Clintonite enamoured of using the army for peacekeeping and not winning wars?"