Following the Justice Department's announcement that an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States has been foiled, right-wing media called for the bombing of Iran. Indeed, conservative media figures have repeatedly endorsed military action against Iran and other countries.
DOJ Announces Alleged Assassination Plot By Two Iranian Nationals
DOJ: “Two Men Charged in Alleged Plot to Assassinate Saudi Arabian Ambassador To The United States.” On October 11, the Justice Department announced details of the alleged assassination attempt, charging two Iranian nationals in connection with the plot. From DOJ's press release:
Two individuals have been charged in New York for their alleged participation in a plot directed by elements of the Iranian government to murder the Saudi Ambassador to the United States with explosives while the Ambassador was in the United States.
The charges were announced by Attorney General Eric Holder; FBI Director Robert S. Mueller; Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; and Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
A criminal complaint filed today in the Southern District of New York charges Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen holding both Iranian and U.S. passports, and Gholam Shakuri, an Iran-based member of Iran's Qods Force, which is a special operations unit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that is said to sponsor and promote terrorist activities abroad.
Both defendants are charged with conspiracy to murder a foreign official; conspiracy to engage in foreign travel and use of interstate and foreign commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire; conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives); and conspiracy to commit an act of international terrorism transcending national boundaries. Arbabsiar is further charged with an additional count of foreign travel and use of interstate and foreign commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.
Shakuri remains at large. Arbabsiar was arrested on Sept. 29, 2011, at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and will make his initial appearance today before in federal court in Manhattan. He faces a maximum potential sentence of life in prison if convicted of all the charges. [Department of Justice, 10/11/11]
Right-Wing Media Call For Bombing Iran Over Alleged Plot
Newsmax's Kessler: “The U.S. Should Bomb Their Nuclear Facilities.” Reacting to the Justice Department's announcement, Newsmax chief Washington correspondent Ronald Kessler reportedly said that “the plot should be answered with a U.S attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.” From a Newsmax article headlined, “Kessler: Bomb Iran Now for Washington Terror Plot” :
Ignoring the magnitude of the plot by treating it as a criminal conspiracy -- rather than an act of aggression by a rogue nation -- would be appeasement on a par with America's acts at the beginning of World War II, said Kessler, an intelligence expert and best-selling author of books on the CIA and FBI.
“This plot shows how foolhardy it is to continue to allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon without taking it out,” said Kessler. “The U.S. should bomb their nuclear facilities before Iran gets a nuclear weapon which could be in the next year or two.”
Kessler described the plot to attack sites in our nation's capital as “an act of war,” adding, "It's the first overt sign of what everyone has feared, that Iran is a totally out-of-control government, an enemy and a threat.
“To just ignore it and be in denial, as the U.S. government has been, is risking our lives.” [Newsmax, 10/11/11]
Fox's Gutfeld: Foiled Iran Terror Plot Is “Great” For GOP Candidates Because “Everybody's For Bombing Iran.” On Fox News' The Five, co-host Greg Gutfeld said:
GUTFELD: This is also great for the Republican candidates, because you could be -- sound very hawkish on Iran and there's no blowback. You could say bomb Iran, everybody's for it. [Fox News, The Five, 10/12/11]
Fox's Dan Gillerman: “All Options, Including A Military Option Are On The Table.” On Fox News' America Live, former Israeli ambassador and Fox News contributor Dan Gillerman said:
GILLERMAN: I think what this means is that they are not taking sanctions seriously, they're not taking all this talk seriously, and they should be made to realize that the international community will not stand for a nuclear Iran and will not stand for Iran becoming a rogue nation, which harbors, perpetrates, and finances, and plots terror all over the world, and that all options including a military option are on the table to stop Iran. [Fox News, America Live, 10/12/11]
Fox's McFarland: Iran's Behavior “Lends Credibility To The Idea That The Military Option Should Not Be Off The Table.” On America Live, Fox's national security analyst KT McFarland said:
MEGYN KELLY (host): I want to pick up on your point then that if this is, or can be considered, an act of war, what is that mean? Is that a decision that our government will make, whether to use that terminology, and if they do, does that not raise the stakes?
McFARLAND: It raises the stakes enormously. What are things that we might do other than sanctions? I mean, we can scold them, but that's not very effective. We could put a blockade around Iran. You know, it's certainly -- if Iran continues with its nuclear weapons program and sort of thumbs its nose at the world, it lends credibility to the idea that the military option should not be off the table, for example. [Fox News, America Live, 10/11/11]
Charles Krauthammer: “Even If We Are Not Going To Do An Attack ... Why Did We Take It Off The Table?” Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer criticized the Obama administration for the “usual rubbish about sanctions and isolation” and for taking an attack on Iran “off the table,” saying:
KRAUTHAMMER: [W]hat did we hear within moments of the announcement? As we heard earlier in the show, a statement that this was not an issue for a Pentagon response, this was not going to be a tripwire for a military action, but we'll hear the usual rubbish about sanctions and isolation which mean nothing.
Even if we are not going to do an attack, say an attack on an al Quds camp, why did we announce it within hours, why did we take it off the table? Why do the Iranians always have to know that on this, on nuclear issues, on attacks on Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq, they are always can act with impunity? [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 10/11/11]
Conservative Media Repeatedly Call For Attacking Iran And Other Countries
Hannity On Iran: “We'd Need Every Bunker Buster Bomb We've Got, But I Would Use Them.” On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity advocated pre-emptive strikes against “every darn military site” in Iran. From the show:
HANNITY: I would support Israel as soon as possible, physically, militarily, and I'd knock out every darn military site they have. You're asking what I would do? I would not let the world risk a madman, like Ahmadinejad, have nuclear weapons with multiple threats to wipe Israel off the map. I would take out those nuclear sites.
HANNITY: The Iranians, very smartly ... have spread it all throughout the country. We'd need every bunker buster bomb we've got, but i would use them -- every one of them. [Fox News, Hannity, 7/12/10]
Hannity Suggested That “The Only Way To Stop” Iran Is To Attack The Country. During an interview with Middle East expert Walid Phares and Raphael Shore, the producer of Iranium, a documentary about Iran's nuclear program, Hannity suggested that striking Iran was the “only way to stop them.” From the February 18 edition of Hannity:
HANNITY: Do we have to take their facilities out? Is that the only way to stop them?
SHORE: I think we've seen from recent events in Egypt and what's starting to happen now in Iran is that there is another way. Military option has to be considered, there's no question, but we see that revolution is possible. We see that regime change is possible, the people can rise up.
HANNITY: So from the democracy movement within and try and bring them down from within first, if that fails, you have no choice. You've got to strike. Pretty fair?
SHORE: It certainly has to be taken very seriously.
PHARES: It is fair. It is fair.
HANNITY: Well, I agree with you. The question is will the United States stand with Israel? Because I think Israel is the first target and the United States is the second one, and the West -- the entire West. [Fox News, Hannity, 2/18/11]
Krauthammer Advocated A Series Of “Air Attacks” To Get The Iranians' Attention. On The O'Reilly Factor, Krauthammer discussed military options to get Iran's attention, saying, “You could do a lot of damage.” From the broadcast:
KRAUTHAMMER: Even if you're a believer in sanctions, the idea that sanctions or negotiations are gonna do anything in the absence of a credible stick, a credible threat is nonsense. And this administration has sort of, almost, ostentatiously stayed away from any discussion of a military attack. I mean, the implication is they're not even considering it.
BILL O'REILLY (host): Now say you were president -- President Charles Krauthammer. We have a big military expenditure in Iraq and a big military expenditure in Afghanistan. We simply don't have the forces to invade on the ground. That would be horrible anyway. So what would you do? What kind of a military Plan B would be realistic enough to get the Iranians' attention?
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, the one that would be obvious would be an air attack. But it wouldn't be a one shot, one-day deal. It would be a series of attacks like a two-week campaign that the kind that we had in a much easier situation, of course, in Serbia. But if you unleash the U.S. Air Force with our carriers, you unleash our Cruise missiles, and you unleash our capacities from the bases nearby, you could do a lot of damage. And you return, as we did in Iraq, as we attacked in the early days of Iraq, we can do a lot of damage. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 4/20/10]
Bill Kristol: “I Think We Have To Have A Credible Threat Of Force And The Preparation To Use Force Against Iran.” On Fox News Sunday, Fox News contributor Kristol advocated “a credible threat of force and the preparation to use force against Iran” :
KRISTOL: I think that we are just feckless here in the sense that we're not being serious about the Iranian nuclear program. And we're not being serious --
CHRIS WALLACE (host): What does being serious mean in your terms?
KRISTOL: Well, what'd be serious would be if the president of the United States and the secretary of the United States said that all options are on the table. And --
WALLACE: Well, that doesn't mean anything. They have -- and they do say that.
KRISTOL: Well, Mrs. Clinton notice didn't say it in her most recent speech about this. And Obama keeps talking about how he wants to give diplomacy his chance for all this to -- I mean, I think we have to have a credible threat of force and the preparation to use force against Iran. It'd be much better if we used force against -- to delay the Iranian nuclear program than if Israel did, and there's no evidence that the U.S. government is being at all serious about the use of force there. [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 4/4/10]
Instapundit On North Korea: “If They Start Anything, I Say Nuke 'Em. And Not With Just A Few Bombs. ... And It Would Be A Useful Lesson For Iran, Too.” In a post on Instapundit, blogger Glenn Reynolds referred to an attack by North Korean on a South Korean island and wrote:
If they start anything, I say nuke 'em. And not with just a few bombs. They've caused enough trouble -- and it would be a useful lesson for Iran, too. We can't afford another Korean war, but hey, we're already dismantling warheads. ... [Instapundit, 11/23/10]
Big Peace: “Now Would Be The Right Time To Contemplate And Carry Out Limited Military Strikes On The Infrastructure Of The North Korean Government.” In a post on Andrew Breitbart's Big Peace about North Korea's attack on a South Korean island, blogger Peter Schweizer wrote that “we need to take this opportunity to punish the North Korean government for what they have done.” From the post:
So how should we respond? Both ignoring their actions and giving them the aid they seek gives them what they want and rewards their behavior. Having lost strategic surprise, we need to take this opportunity to punish the North Korean government for what they have done. Now would be the right time to contemplate and carry out limited military strikes on the infrastructure of the North Korean government. Or more specifically, to strike at the heart of their nuclear capabilities. Doing nothing will only encourage more of the same behavior. And giving them aid in response to this temper tantrum will embolden them further. [Big Peace, 11/23/10]
Michael Savage Pushed For Dropping “A Neutron Bomb On The Entire Tribal Region Of Pakistan.” On his syndicated radio show, Michael Savage criticized President Obama's reported comments (Savage misattributed them to a Defense Department official) that the United States can “absorb a terrorist attack” and that the country “absorbed [9-11] and we are stronger,” saying:
SAVAGE: Now, I was furious when I read that because he shouldn't be telling me that. He should be telling the enemy that if he so much as set off a firecracker, we'll emolliate your nation, you bastard. Don't even dare tread on me. You set off a firecracker in America, we'll burn your house down. I never saw anything like this. Am I alone in this?
SAVAGE: I think that they should go after the terrorist in his homeland. I think we should attack them first. I think we should emolliate [sic] the entire tribal region of Pakistan. I think we should unleash a neutron bomb on the tribal region of Pakistan, after giving them 24 hours' notice that we're going to emolliate [sic] the entire tribal area, we want the women and children out. And let all the brave terrorists stay there behind and then just drop one. I'm sick of this. [Talk Radio Network, The Savage Nation, 10/12/10]