A fascinating, if somewhat frightening panel discussion on Fox News from the past week has been circulating on Youtube. It includes host Sean Hannity providing a novel solution to the problem of rising petrol prices for Americans:

"Why isn't Iraq paying us back with oil and paying every American family and their soldiers that lost loved ones or have injured soldiers. And why didn't they pay for their own liberation?"

Clearly annoyed at how those ungrateful Arabs could short-change America, he added:

"You know we have every right to go in there and frankly take all their oil and make them pay for the liberation, as these Sheikh etc etc, you know were living in hotels in London and New York as [Donald] Trump was pointing out. And now they're gauching us?"

To counter being criticised for cherry-picking the ramblings of a peripheral figure - I think it's worth reminding you that Hannity's evening programme, as per the latest ratings, averages 1.97 million viewers in the United States. The following provides a disturbing peek into the immensely popular right-wing media in the US.

Here's the link to the Youtube clip - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vA8WtrnyTA4

It comes with a full transcript of the discussion, which I've pasted below:

Sean Hannity: I interviewed Donald Trump earlier this week and we were talking about OPEC, and it infuriates me, gas is now going to go up to three, four, five dollars a gallon again. You know we're going to head right up in to that territory, which is another tax on the American people, we have all this oil in this country, every time the oil debate comes up we get lectured, 'O it's going to take years to do it.' We could literally do this immediately and here it is Kuwait, this country would not exist for us and their oil minister is out there lecturing us and basically saying, 'no no no you can handle that, get used to it, we're going to jack up these prices.'

Pat Caddell: Ten dollars a barrel.

Blonde to the right: Wondering when the liberals are gonna blame the high prices on Bush and Cheney?

Sean Hannity: Well that's going to happen soon.

Elise Jordan: It's just so disgusting, I really think we need to use our leverage here against these autocrats. And not be pushed around when we're the ones securing Kuwait, we're the ones securing the Saudis. And they're bragging you know, now - 'O Hundred dollars a barrel'. But what I think interesting though, they aren't factoring in Iraq and Iraq's increased oil production over the next ... [Interrupted]

Hannity: But there's two things I've said, I said why isn't Iraq paying us back with oil and paying every American family and their soldiers that lost loved ones or have injured soldiers. And why didn't they pay for their own liberation? [Message from Hannity] For the Kuwait oil minister - how short his memory is!

Elise Jordan: Mhhm

Sean Hannity: You know we have every right to go in there and frankly take all their oil and make them pay for the liberation, as these Sheikh etc etc, you know were living in hotels in London and New York as (Donald) Trump was pointing out. And now they're gauching us? And say 'Oh of course we can withstand ...'

Pat Caddell: Not only that, we have that - first of all. But oil, remember that there is so much oil. The world is drowning in oil right now. But the dollar, remember having driven the dollar to where it is - down. What it's doing is, because oil is priced in dollars, they're raising it (i.e. oil prices) to make more money. And the problem is we're chasing our tail here with this.

Sean Hannity: Mhhhm

Pat Caddell: And it's outrageous. The fact of the matter is - and there's a lot of speculation, but these guys, the Kuwaitis - when I saw that I went oh my God you know? People they just ...

Sean Hannity: Exactly!

The blonde next to Hannity: How much jobs can we create if we just unleashed our economic ...?

Sean Hannity: And build nuclear power plants, that's simple. All the above and then we can develop new technology in the process.

Elise Jordan: And also not have weak foreign policy muscle. Because that - I mean they're (i.e Gulf leaders) are showing out by doing this ...