Just as predicted by The New Yorker's George Packer, FOX News is assisting the Bush administration with a post-Labor Day PR campaign against Iran. The first half of Hannity & Colmes was devoted to it last night (9/25/07), complete with a preview of a FOX News special "Iran: The Ticking Bomb" to air on both Saturday and Sunday. And despite the fact that the public favors diplomacy as a solution, the network that claims "We like America" offered only hawkish guests hawking regime change. The only debate was over how to do it. With video.
In Part 1, John "I want war against Iran" Bolton was the sole analyst regarding Ahmadinejad's speech to the United Nations. "Democratic strategist" Kirsten Powers, subbing for Alan Colmes, once again was more eager to brandish her conservative talking points (Columbia should not have allowed Ahmadinejad to speak, he's a very dangerous man, etc.) than to offer any real debate or balance. The video is currently posted on the Hannity & Colmes website.
After Bolton, there was a preview of the upcoming special in which Hannity narrated a film about "what a strike against Iran would look like." Surprisingly, even FOX News admitted that a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities would not be the cakewalk Iraq was supposed to be. So in the following discussion, the debate was about the narrow question of bringing about regime change. Author Michael LeDeen, whom I caught lying about his views on the Iraq war just a few weeks ago, advocated military strikes on "terrorist training camps" in Iran and Syria, along with action (presumably covert) to foment unrest. FOX News military analyst Chuck Nash, whose affiliation with the regime-change-pushing Iran Policy Committee was undisclosed, advocated "empowering the Iranian opposition and causing an internal revolution." He didn't rule out military action; he just thought "regime change" was a better option.
Powers, a former inmate of the News Hounds dog house, repeatedly distanced herself from liberals, repeatedly agreed with the conservatives and Republicans on the show, and her only "advocacy" on behalf of Democrats was to question the practicality of strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities. Coincidentally, that stance was the same one both guests put forth. Hannity was on the edge of his seat, hoping for military action - with other people doing the fighting, of course.
Nash told Powers, "The (International Atomic Energy Agency) has admitted that about a year and a half ago they found traces of enriched uranium that they could not tag to known facilities. So we're pretty much convinced that Iranians have facilities we do not know about."
Maybe so. But that doesn't mean the facilities are producing nuclear weapons. That point eluded Powers who either didn't know or didn't care that Mohamed ElBaradei, IAEA head, said a week ago, "I do not believe at this stage that we are facing a clear and present danger that requires we go beyond diplomacy."
Diplomacy was never offered as an option by anyone on the "we report, you decide" network's prime time debate show.