This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 22, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to this special audience edition of "Hannity." And tonight, I'm joined by renowned Middle East experts, selected officials, political analyst and much more. Now, in a moment, you're going to hear directly from our audience but first, on a week when President Obama made his very first trip to Israel since taking office more than four years ago, we continue to see more of the same from our campaigner in chief.
Now, he met with Israel's leaders, he spoke to the youth, but as usual, he offered no real solutions for Middle East peace. And despite attempting to bridge the gap that he created with one of our biggest allies, it's going to take a lot more than a few days in Israel to fix the reckless foreign policy of the past four years. Now, luckily, President Obama is aware of the challenge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I'm meeting none of these challenges will be easy.
OBAMA: This is not easy.
OBAMA: Ultimately, this is really hard problem.
OBAMA: It is a hard slog to work through all of these issues.
OBAMA: Some of it is just because it's hard.
OBAMA: Precisely because it's hard.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HANNITY: Yes, Mr. President, aside from hitting the links with Tiger Woods and paling around with Jay-Z, Beyonce, you know what? Being the leader of the free world, that's hard work.
Now, although Obama received the warm welcome for most Israelis, his trip, well, did not go entirely as planned. Now, it started with protests in the West Bank and that included burning of the American flag and the burning of images of Obama himself.
And then there was some car trouble when the armored Cadillac limo that was supposed to transport the president all throughout the holy land, well, that broke down. They put in the wrong fuel and it had to be towed. And what would be a presidential speech be without, well, few hecklers. Listen to what happened in Jerusalem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I believe your future is bound to ours.
(CHEERING AND BOOING)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: And with reminders throughout the week of his failures to address tensions in the Middle East for the past four years, what happens from here? Is Obama going to continue his foreign policy approached that simply does not work? Or is he going to chart a new course?
To help answer that question, we bring in now our distinguished studio audience. Good to see you all. Thanks for being here. You can give yourself a hand, you know.
All right. Am I wrong, show of hands, my belief, strongly held belief, one of the biggest challenges the world now faces is the rise of radical Islamists. How many of you agree with that? Anybody disagree? Nobody here disagrees? Do you think for better or worse has Obama made the situation in the Middle East better? Raise your hand? worse? OK, why?
RICHARD MINITER, AUTHOR, "LEADING FROM BEHIND": The approval of the United States is lower in the Arab world that it was in the George W. Bush -- he has presented an unclear message as to where the United States should be going and where the Arab world should be going, and he's refused to call the Jihadist what they are, an enemy of civilization, both of the Arabs and of us. And the call for continuation of the war on terror. He refuses to use the word enemy, he used the word Jihad and to engage in ideological war which this war, like the Cold War, is.
HANNITY: All right. Before we get everybody else's comments. Remember Georgetown University, there was crucifix, and early in the Obama presidency -- remember they covered that. OK. Let's take a look at Obama, this is him speaking and over his head is a picture of a known terrorist. His name is Yasser Arafat. Now, if they're going to cover the cross, I wouldn't speak with a picture of Arafat over my head as a U.S. president, would you Monica Crowley?
MONICA CROWLEY, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I absolutely would not. But have you noticed, no criticism of this, no criticism.
HANNITY: Except for me.
CROWLEY: -- except for Sean Hannity and the rest of us here on this panel. No criticism, the media completely in his pocket. We've talked about this many times. When you talked about if he has made the situation in the Middle East worse, if he's exacerbated tensions, if he has encouraged the rise of the (INAUDIBLE), I would argue absolutely. Look at the policy toward Egypt. A long standing U.S. ally, he throws overboard, what are we getting in his place? The Muslim Brotherhood, a sworn enemy of the United States in the West. Look at Libya, yes Moammar Gadhafi was a terrorist who had killed Americans but by the time Barack Obama became president, Moammar Gadhafi was cooperating with our intelligence services providing huge amounts of intel about Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood operations in North Africa. He is now gone. What do you have in his place? Chaos. But also Islamists, Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda. And it's happening across the Middle East with his assent, with his encouragement. So, you can only come away with looking at Obama's Middle East policy as something that is against U.S. interests and the interest of the Islamist that are taking power.
HANNITY: This is a great point. Because he did go on his apology tour, I'm going to play that cut in just a second here, but it's interesting, Congressman Louie Gohmert, because we're giving Mohammed Morsi who referred to our allies -- the Israelis -- as the descendants of apes and pigs, we're giving him F-16s, we're giving him tanks, we're giving him $1.5 billion. And then, you know, I'm trying to understand the logic behind this.
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT, R-TEXAS: Well, and that is why he is doing so well amongst radicals and why he's not doing well with most of the Muslim world. I mean, you know, I have met with Muslims in the northern alliance in Afghanistan. They know they have been thrown under the bus. The people that defeated that, the Taliban initially, you go around the world in different places, Muslims that have sided with us, they've been thrown under the bus. So he is out there plugging the radicals. And you bring up Arafat.
You remember George W. Bush would not meet with Arafat in the White House because he knew how that devastated our friends and encouraged our enemies. You remember even in the gulags in the Soviet Union, when Reagan said evil empire about Soviet Union, they applauded. It gave them strength. It helped them push forward. And, you know Sharansky talks about that. And this president doesn't get it.
HANNITY: Natan Sharansky talks about.
GOHMERT: Sharansky. He asked it. He was in the gulag and when they found out a president used those two words --
HANNITY: It helped.
GOHMERT: -- it made incredible encouragement.
HANNITY: And that of course, there was fame infamous speech about Alexander Soldinetson (ph), remember?
GOHMERT: Oh, yes.
HANNITY: And then it comes to America and says, hey you guys are blowing it too, here.
Two things, this week, Ambassador Bolton, good to see you too, and we're going to get everybody in, I promise. King Abdullah of Jordan said, we're making a big mistake by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. Before I ask you a question, I want to take you back to Barack Obama's apology tour and ask you if this was effective and if you can tie the events together. Let's roll that tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
OBAMA, APRIL 3, 2009: America, like every other nation, has made mistakes and has its flaws. In America, there is 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 has shown arrogance and been dismissive even derisive.
OBAMA, JUNE 4, 2009: 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that have provoked was understandable, but in some cases it led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideas. We're taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay close by early next year.
OBAMA, APRIL 17, 2009: While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have at times been disengaged and a times we sought to dictate our terms.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HANNITY: Ambassador, arrogant, derisive, contrary to our deals, America is guilty of torture, and yet, we're giving money to the Muslim Brotherhood. Tell me what is wrong with that when you juxtapose those two? What's wrong with that?
JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Look, those kinds of comments don't win us any friends, they're seen as signs of weakness and they are. They're seen as signs this president thinks history began with this administration. And when we tolerate and indeed encourage Muslim Brotherhood type movements around the region and disregard friends like King Abdullah, like our other friends in the Arab world, we are giving encouragement to those who are going to try to overthrow them. And that's why if we think things are bad in the Middle East today, get ready, they're getting worse.
HANNITY: And King Abdullah said that the Muslim Brotherhood were wolves in sheep's clothing. What are they going to do with the F-16s that we give them? Or the tanks we give them or the money that we give them? What do you think they'll do with those?
BOLTON: Well, I think he should suspend all assistance to Egypt until Morsi apologize for some of the things he said. I think it's worth pursuing the military in Egypt, that's the only stable pro-American element --
HANNITY: Wait a minute. Hasn't the military now, the leaders have been replaced by puppets of Morsi?
BOLTON: Before he completely replaces them and undoes all the aid that we have given him over the years. It's a very important country because if Morsi reneges on the Camp David accord, the foundation of our policy in that region for 30 years, we in Israel are in real trouble.
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