Sean Hannity recently joined his Fox News colleague Glenn Beck in pushing the theory that Middle East protests may lead to global unrest and, in Hannity's words, "World War III." Hannity previously claimed in 2006 that World War III (or possibly World War V) was already here.
Hannity: World War III May Be Upon Us
Hannity: Egyptian Revolution Could Lead To "A Modern-Day Holocaust" That Could Evolve Into "World War." From the February 7 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
HANNITY: Let me ask a worst case scenario. Let's say -- we got Jordan, obviously now has their problems.
K.T. McFARLAND (Fox News contributor): Right. They're in play. Yeah.
HANNITY: They're in play. Egypt, Tunisia --
HANNITY: -- Algeria, Lebanon --
HANNITY: We've got Syria, and then we look at this little country Israel. And the desire of radical Islamists to take Israel and wipe it off the map. What is the worst-case scenario? If Israel gets surrounded like that, it's -- they're going to feel cornered, weapons are going to start flying.
McFARLAND: Yeah. And in 1973 where I was in the White House at the time, Israel -- all the Arab countries united against Israel, fought against it --
HANNITY: Went to their borders.
McFARLAND: -- went to their borders, attacked Israel. Israel took the first blow so that they wouldn't be accused of anybody by starting this war.
HANNITY: And won. And kicked the living daylights out --
McFARLAND: But when the Israelis needed to be resupplied, the United States attempted to resupply. All of the European countries said you cannot stop here and refuel on your way to Israel.
McFARLAND: What would happen in an environment where the Arab world-producing countries say we don't want to have anybody resupply Israel. Then you'd see a situation where Israel could slowly choke to death without --
HANNITY: We could see a modern -- you're saying we could see a modern-day holocaust.
McFARLAND: Yeah. Well --
HANNITY: Does this have the potential on a worst-case scenario to evolve into a world war?
JOHN BOLTON (Fox News contributor): I think it certainly it could.
BOLTON: When you combine this with Iran's continued pursuit of nuclear weapons and the likelihood, if they get nuclear weapons, that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey will get nuclear weapons as well, you could see a very volatile situation even under the best of circumstances. [Fox News, Hannity, 2/7/11]
Hannity Asked Rumsfeld If "World War" Is A Possibility. From the February 8 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
HANNITY: As we look now at the current conflict emerging in Egypt, in Jordan, and Yemen, and Tunisia, and -- you obviously are following events very closely.
If the Muslim Brotherhood gets power there, do you think they would try and follow through on [Iran leader Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad's desire to wipe Israel of the map? And do you think that then becomes "they are the little Satan and America is the big Satan"? Do you think that we could have a world war out of this?
RUMSFELD: Well, if you think of the Iran model where there was a popular revolution, and it wasn't the populace that ended up in charge -- it was a very small, radical extremist clique -- that risk exists. I think it was Winston Churchill who said that autocrats or dictators ride a tiger and they're afraid to get off.
It -- you don't know what's going to happen. And you naturally sympathize with the desire for people to have freer political systems and freer economic systems. I remember the old saying that there'll be no peace in the world until every man is free because to every man he is the world.
HANNITY: Well, in that sense, is the Obama administration making a mistake -- it seemed like they were ready to dump [Hosni] Mubarak and throw him overboard as soon as, you know, they saw these images coming out of Egypt.
Now it looks like Mubarak will at least hang on 'til elections. And then, now they're re-examining their relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood. And the Muslim Brotherhood will have some power, influence now in Egypt. [Fox News, Hannity, 2/8/11]
Hannity: "Is This The Potential For World War III?" From the February 10 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
DOUG SCHOEN (Fox News contributor): Jihad is not only an international phenomenon, it is domestic, sleeper cells. We have to face the reality.
HANNITY: Is this the potential for World War III?
SCHOEN: It is the potential for the systematic attack on our values and on our nation. We don't know enough to answer that. It is all heading in the wrong direction. We have to stand up for our interests. [Fox News, Hannity, 2/10/11, accessed via Nexis]
Hannity: "My Fear Is We Would Literally Have The Potential Of A World War Emerging If Things Go Entirely The Wrong Way." From the February 22 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
HANNITY: I really fear, in a worst-case scenario, that these democracy movements don't evolve as some are telling us -- remember, some members of the Carter administration told us Gandhi was going to take over when the Ayatollah came out of hiding in France.
And my fear is we would literally have the potential of a world war emerging if things go entirely the wrong way. I'm not saying it's going to happen, but the possibility --
SCHOEN: Every development we've seen has been bad for the United States and bad for democracy. We're for freedom, but we're also for our values and our democracy.
HANNITY: Is it possible? If the stars align in the wrong way, does this become a potential for world war -- the west versus radical Islamic states?
SCHOEN: It certainly becomes possible that we could have regional conflicts with North Korea, with Iran --
HANNITY: And Sudan -- North Africa, the Middle East?
SCHOEN: -- which could potentially spread. Yes, they could spread. Look, I'm not here to say World War III is coming, but this is a grave situation for our country.
HANNITY: The price of oil -- oil, now, the energy --
SCHOEN: -- is spiking.
HANNITY: -- the economy's lifeblood. You got 10 seconds.
DAVID BRODY (CBN News White House correspondent): Yes. Doug said it's about values, Judeo-Christian values here in the United States, but where is it in the Middle East? And that -- the underpinning is the problem.
HANNITY: So I'm not off base?
BRODY: Not at all.
HANNITY: Am I on base?
BROOKE GOLDSTEIN (attorney): No, I think we're already in the middle of World War III.
HANNITY: All right, we got to run. [Fox News, Hannity, 2/22/11]
Beck Also Sees Possible World War. On the January 31 edition of his Fox News show, Beck said that the uprising in Tunisia is the "Archduke Ferdinand moment I've been telling you about." The assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand precipitated World War I. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 1/31/11]
Hannity Also Warned That We Were On Brink Of World War III, Or V In 2006
Hannity: "The Middle East [Is] On The Brink Of World War V." In July 2006, Hannity declared: "We are loaded up today, as the Middle East on the brink of World War V, here." Hannity did not explain what he regarded as World Wars III and IV. But earlier in the show, Hannity had suggested that the escalation of violence in the Middle East and a terrorist attack in Mumbai, India is evidence of World War III, stating: "[I]s World War III breaking out in the Middle [East]? It may very well be." [ABC Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 7/14/06]
At The Time, Beck Also Thought We Were In The Middle Of World War III. From the December 19, 2006, edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:
BECK: Do you believe that if -- first of all, do you believe we`re in a World War III? I think we`re in World War III, and I think it is an end game that they`re trying to play, just like Hitler was trying to play an end game with the West. Do you believe that, if we lose this, this is the end of the West as we know it, or that`s at least what our enemies would like to bring about?
WINSTON S. CHURCHILL (member of UK parliament): Well, I don`t know if it`s the end of the West, but it would be so devastating. If we cut and run in Iraq, the demoralization of the American nation, the demoralization of the U.S. Armed Forces, it will be something every bit as traumatic as the defeat in Vietnam 40 years ago.
And it will be something that will be with us for decades, and it will do untold damage to the interests of the West, to the interests of the United States.
BECK: OK. Thank you, Mr. Churchill. What a pleasure. Thank you very much, sir. [CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, 12/19/06]