On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity falsely claimed that President Obama “seemingly apologiz[ed] for our engagement in the war on terror” when Obama said "[t]he United States is not ... at war with Islam." In fact, in those same remarks, Obama also stated that “Iraq, Turkey, and the United States face a common threat from terrorism” and that “we are committed to a more focused effort to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda.”
During the April 6 edition of his Fox News program, Sean Hannity falsely claimed that during President Obama's recent trip to Europe, Obama “seemingly apologiz[ed] for our engagement in the war on terror, the war on terror that the 9-11 Commission report said was being waged on us that we weren't paying attention to.” Hannity went on to state: “I view this as almost a Dixie Chick-type moment for him.” Later in the program, Hannity said of Obama: “When he used the statement earlier that 'the United States is not and will never be at war with Islam,' I was like, 'OK.' There was no president that ever said we were going to have a war against Islam. And it seemed to me like when he was apologizing earlier last week, you know, to Europe for America's arrogance, that this was an attempt to apologize for the toppling of Saddam Hussein and the war on terror.” Hannity later added that Obama was “basically apologizing for engaging in a war on terror when the whole conclusion of the 9-11 Commission was they were at war with us.” In fact, while Obama stated during his April 6 speech before the Turkish parliament that "[t]he United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam," Obama also stated that “Iraq, Turkey, and the United States face a common threat from terrorism,” that “we share the common goal of denying Al Qaeda a safe-haven in Pakistan or Afghanistan,” and that “we are committed to a more focused effort to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda.”
From Obama's speech:
Make no mistake, though: Iraq, Turkey, and the United States face a common threat from terrorism. That includes the al Qaeda terrorists who have sought to drive Iraqis apart and to destroy their country. And that includes the PKK. There is no excuse for terror against any nation. As President, and as a NATO ally, I pledge that you will have our support against the terrorist activities of the PKK. These efforts will be strengthened by the continued work to build ties of cooperation between Turkey, the Iraqi government, and Iraq's Kurdish leaders, and by your continued efforts to promote education and opportunity for Turkey's Kurds.
Finally, we share the common goal of denying al Qaeda a safe-haven in Pakistan or Afghanistan. The world has come too far to let this region backslide, and to let al Qaeda terrorists plot further attacks. That is why we are committed to a more focused effort to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda. That is why we are increasing our efforts to train Afghans to sustain their own security, and to reconcile former adversaries. And that is why we are increasing our support for the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, so that we stand on the side of their security, their opportunity, and the promise of a better life.
Turkey has been a true partner. Your troops were among the first in the International Security Assistance Force. You have sacrificed much in this endeavor. Now we must achieve our goals together. I appreciate that you've offered to help us train and support Afghan security forces, and expand opportunity across the region. Together, we can rise to meet this challenge like we have so many before.
I know there have been difficulties these last few years. I know that the trust that binds the United States and Turkey has been strained, and I know that strain is shared in many places where the Muslim faith is practiced. So let me say this as clearly as I can: The United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam. (Applause.) In fact, our partnership with the Muslim world is critical not just in rolling back the violent ideologies that people of all faiths reject, but also to strengthen opportunity for all its people.
As Media Matters for America documented, on the April 3 edition of his Fox News show, Hannity played a truncated clip of Obama saying in a speech that day in Strasbourg, France: “In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America's shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” Hannity then said: “And the liberal tradition of blame America first, well, that's still alive.” Hannity later asked: “Why is there this anti-Americanism in Europe?” However, immediately after the part of the speech Hannity played, Obama criticized anti-Americanism in Europe and Europeans who “choose to blame America for much of what's bad,” and also referred to “the good that America so often does in the world.”
From the April 6 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
HANNITY: And welcome to Day Number 77 of the age of Obama, and it is looking dangerous, and that is our headline on this Monday night. And joining us now with more on the president's trip is former Clinton adviser, author of the best-selling book Fleeced. DickMorris.com, where you can get videos and his columns for free when you log on. Dick, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.
MORRIS: Good to see you, Sean.
HANNITY: All right, so it starts out with the president of the United States of America telling the rest of the world that America is an arrogant country and then seemingly apologizing for our engagement in the war on terror, the war on terror that the 9-11 Commission report said was being waged on us that we weren't paying attention to. Now, I can't -- I view this as almost a Dixie Chick-type moment for him. Your thoughts?
HANNITY: When he used the statement earlier that “the United States is not and will never be at war with Islam,” I was like, “OK.” There was no president that ever said we were going to have a war against Islam. And it seemed to me like when he was apologizing earlier last week, you know, to Europe for America's arrogance, that this was an attempt to apologize for the toppling of Saddam Hussein and the war on terror.
JOHN BOLTON (former U.S ambassador to the United Nations): Yeah. He is still trying to distinguish himself from the Bush administration by creating a false narrative about his predecessor. Look, over the last 20 years, the United States has gone to war to expel Iraq from Kuwait and protect Saudi Arabia -- both Arab countries -- defended Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo, overthrown the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. There are an enormous amount of things we've done to benefit Muslims in countries all over the world. We have nothing to apologize for.
HANNITY: Yeah, well, I think Barack Obama -- and this is the message that I think is becoming loud and clear, with the defense cuts, the cuts in strategic defense, the apologies for America, America he calls arrogant, basically apologizing for engaging in a war on terror when the whole conclusion of the 9-11 Commission was they were at war with us, and I think we're headed back here. Now, we have -- General [David] Petraeus is predicting that Israel is very likely going to strike Iran's nuclear facilities. Do you think Barack Obama, based on these actions, is showing any strength that he would back Israel in that attack, which I would deem necessary at this point?