Don’t Tell O’Reilly, but His Iran Blockade Idea Already Worked

Crooks & Liars (9/26/12) notes Bill O’Reilly is proposing a naval blockade of Iraq:

Says O’Reilly:

We’re going to block it, nothing in, nothing out. OK? That’s what we’re going to do. And if you challenge the blockade, we’ll do what we have to do like the Cuban missile crisis, same thing–not gonna do it, not gonna let your nukes in Cuba. Kennedy did that. Not gonna let your nukes in Iran. BANG! That’s what we’re gonna do. So you’ve either got to stop now and not force us to do it, because if you force us to do it, we’re gonna do it, and then it’s going to be really, really bad for you.

By “BANG!,” O’Reilly apparently means that the U.S. should threaten to use nuclear weapons, as Kennedy did during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

O’Reilly’s suggestion has a remarkable justification:

I would draw up a naval blockade of Iran and I would make those plans public and I would say to the world if they don’t let the UN inspectors in at a certain time, in whatever time it may be.

UN inspectors, of course, frequently visit Iran–they’ve spent a total of 4,000 person-days there. O’Reilly is, of course, following the proud tradition of pretending that the enemy state brought on war brought war on itself by refusing to submit to required inspections–though usually you wait until the inspections are no longer ongoing before rewriting history.

(It’s true that the UN’s IAEA seeks access to sites that Iran is not obligated to open to inspection–sites that have no demonstrable connection to Iran’s nuclear energy program–and when Iran has allowed inspectors into such areas in the past, they’ve found nothing. The strategy of insisting that a country under the threat of armed attack open up all its secret military facilities to inspection by forces aligned with the countries threatening to bomb those same facilities was, of course, used to great effect in the run-up to the Iraq War.)

Even Fox News analyst Ralph Peters–who, as Crooks & Liars has noted, is deranged–thought this was a bad idea, telling O’Reilly: “Iran’s not Cuba, it’s not an island. Most of its weaponry and black market supplies come from Russia.”

O’Reilly had a comeback to that: “Yeah, but you starve ’em.”

Which is, for the record, something he’s advocated before, when he advised that the people of Libya should be forced to suffer after the 9/11 attacks:

And we mine the harbor in Tripoli. Nothing goes in, nothing goes out. We also destroy all the airports in Libya. Let them eat sand.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.