Sunday, September 5


Today on Press the Meat: guests Newt Gingrich, Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) and Pat Buchanan:

Tim: Will the number of Americans killed/wounded have an impact on the presidential race?

Gingrich: This is a war election and the country will have to render summary judgment on Bush's policy, is he right or are Sen. Kerry's critiques more correct? Unequivocally, this is a necessary war, see the Chechnyans? The question is not war or peace, it's war or something much worse.

Buchanan: It's an unnecessary, unwise war by which the U.S. has inflamed the entire Middle East, and we've lost prestige internationally. Rumsfeld asked, are we creating more terrorists faster than we can kill them? The answer is yes. This war is creating a spawning pool for terrorism recruits. We've put Bin Laden in the mainstream of Middle East sentiments.

Russert: Kerry said would still vote to authorize war in Iraq. Will that resonate with Democrats?

Graham: What Kerry said is that he would have waged the war, if it turned out to be necessary, in a different fashion. I agree with Pat and add that the war in Iraq has been a distraction from the real war on terror. Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah hardly mentioned at RNC. Bush has made us less safe from terrorism, not more safe.

Russert: Should Kerry be explicit about what he'd do NOW on war on Iraq?

Graham: He has beene explicit. The issue is now beyond Iraq, it's Iran, Syria. Will we have a president for the next four years who'll apply the same standard of judgement in those countries that we've seen in Iraq?

Buchanan: The Iraqi peope are probably safer as result of the overthrow of Saddam. The risk is having overthrown this one devil we could have many more devils take his place. We face a real risk of having Iraq become a failed state. Saddam was a brutal thug, but we flew a thousand sorties over Iraq before the war and he didn't shoot down a single one. I would execute a strategic withdrawal fron Iraq. It will be better for us in the long run if we withdraw.

Gingrich: Iraq war was a very real part of the war on terror. Bush has a strategy, a strategy of building Iraqi political institutions, the Iraqi army. When we stay and we have courage, as we did in South Korea, Japan and Germany, we eventually help people form democracies. When we leave, we end up like Somalia. The question is, will Kerry hang tough? This was an evil regime and some of the evil men still have to be hunted down. There are a lot of places free today because America had the courage to hang with them.

Graham: The real issue is the decision-making that led us into the war in Iraq. Which of the many enemies we face around the world has the greatest potential to kill Americans? The answer is Al Qaeda and other terrorists around the world and not a distract8ion like a foe, but not a threatening foe, like Saddam.

Buchanan: Look, who promised us a cake walk in Iraq? It was the neocons. This was their class project, they imposed it upon the president, he has responsibility for it, why he has not removed these people from office I cannot for the life of me understand.

NG: We've found 12 chemical weapons laboratories in Iraq.

Russert: Bob Graham, you wrote you were given two different intelligence estimates on Iraq.

Graham: Would the world listen to us if we said so-and-so had a nuclear program and must be taken out? One lesson to take away from Iraq: the lack of credibility of U.S. intelligence. The Chinese are already questioning our intelligence re North Korea, affecting our negotiations.

Russert: Pat Buchanan, you've written (long quote about why the U.S. is being targeted by Al Qaeda). Are you suggesting our alliance with Israel is a reason for 9/11?

Buchanan: Sure. Bin Laden said so. If we want to drain off some of this hatred we have got to adopt a more even-handed policy re Israel and the Palestinians, stand up for some of the same rights for the Palestinians. Are they (Al Qaeda) attacking us because of who we are and what we believe or because of what we do? It's our policies that cause this. Bin Laden didn't stumble upon the constitution in a cave and decide to hate us. (Graham agrees.)

Gingrich: Listen to what they said. They want us to give up the right to have female soldiers go where we want, to give up influence on world-dependent oil supplies.

Russert: Newt, how about the investigation into Feith's office et al?

Gingrich: It is very worrisome that some U.S. security people are trying to destroy careers by leaking to the press allegations that are untrue. Notice, Chalabi was just cleared. We're seeing a strategy of smearing people out of public life, Congress should investigate.

Buchanan: We also neeed to investigate whether we have a nest of Pollardites who are transferring intelligence secrets to foreign governments. If this is what's going on we're getting dangerously close to the T word.


Post a Comment

<< Home