• This is a rush transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," April 7, 2007.

    PAUL GIGOT, HOST: This week on the "Journal Editorial Report," President Bush goes on the offensive, telling congressional Democrats to stop playing politics on Iran, and start funding the troops.

    Plus, Nancy Pelosi on the road to Damascus: The House Speaker tries her hand at shuttle diplomacy and stumbles.

    And Rudy's revelations: The former mayor of New York is grabbing headlines these days, sometimes for the wrong reasons. Will it hurt his presidential bid?

    Our panel weighs in, after these headlines.


    GIGOT: Welcome to the "Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.

    President Bush threw down the gauntlet this week in the battle over Iraq war funding, calling congressional Democrats irresponsible, and more interested in fighting political battles in Washington than giving U.S. troops what they need on the ground.


    GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So my attitude is enough politics. They need to come back. Pass a bill. If they want to play politics, fine. If they continue to do that, I will veto it. But they ought to do it quickly. They ought to get to the bill to my desk as quickly as possible. And I'll veto it. And then we can get down to the business of funding our troops without strings and without withdrawal dates.


    GIGOT: Just what message is the debate here at home sending to the rest of the world? Here with some perspective is syndicated columnist Mark Steyn, author of the book "America Alone." He joins me from Chicago.

    Mark, great to have you here with us again back on the program.

    Let me ask you about the outcome of the British hostage dilemma. The London Times said that relief at the release of the hostages was tempered by dismay at the humiliation that Britain was -- endured as a result of this crisis. Do you think Britain was humiliated?

    MARK STEYN, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST & AUTHOR OF "AMERICA ALONE": I think to be humiliated you have to feel you have got something at stake. And I think the reality is there was an enormous shrug by the British public.

    Basically the British public did not get outraged by this. And I think that, in itself, communicated profound weakness to the world. So I think to be humiliated, you have to have some kind of residual national pride, feel there's something is at stake. And clearly, it is not just the Royal Navy, not just the government, but large numbers of the British people gave up on this.

    GIGOT: Well, what does that tell about the British public mood. Have the British people finally become a lot more like the rest like Europe in their views toward terrorism in the Middle East?

    STEYN: I think so. I think in Washington, in a few years, we're going to be holding a lot of conferences on who lost Britain. I think there has been a profound psychological deterioration in one of America's last remaining serious allies.

    And you have to recognize that Iran correctly identified the junior partner of the alliance in Iraq as the soft underbelly of the great Satan, and managed to prod it quite effectively. Another six British troops were killed in southern Iraq just in the wake of this release.

    So Iran clearly understands that this is the weak pressure point in the alliance.