• This is a rush transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," May 31, 2008.

    PAUL GIGOT, HOST: Coming up next on the "Journal Editorial Report," he is under attack from John McCain for his lack of experience. But will a summer trip to Iraq help bolster Barack Obama's foreign policy credentials.

    And a look at Scott McClellan's controversial new memoir. What is says about its author and what it says about the Bush White House.

    And the great space debate. Who should pay for projects like the Mars Lander? We will hash it out after these headlines.


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

    Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said this week that he is considering a trip to Iraq before the November election but dismissed as a political stunt an invitation by Republican rival John McCain to make the visit together. McCain has been hammering Obama for making just one trip there in 2006 and has been playing up in recent weeks his opponents lack of foreign policy experience, as well as Obama's statement last year that he would meet without preconditions with leaders of countries like Iran and North Korea.

    James Rubin was assistant secretary of state during the Clinton administration. He's now an adjunct professor at Columbia University's School of International Affairs.

    James Rubin, welcome.


    GIGOT: Good to have you here.

    Let me start by reading you a quote from Joe Lieberman in the "Wall Street Journal," an independent Democratic Senator, who has endorsed McCain. And he recently wrote, "Too many Democrats have seemed to have become confused about the difference between America's friends and America's enemies." Who does Barack Obama think are our enemies?

    RUBIN: He is quite clear that iron and North Korea and others are a danger to the United States. And Senator Lieberman is trying to confuse the issue by a rather selective approach to foreign policy in that piece. Let me address directly the point.

    GIGOT: You said a danger but you didn't say enemies. Are they enemies?

    RUBIN: I don't know. Enemies — we are not in a state of war with Iran. Traditionally, the word enemy is for a state of war.

    GIGOT: But they are in a state...

    RUBIN: We are in a state war with the Shiite militias and al-Qaeda we are in a state of war. Iran has policies that we object to and we reject.

    GIGOT: But there...

    RUBIN: And we should confront.

    GIGOT: But they are contributing to the deaths of Americans, if you listen to the American military in Iraq, by supporting some of the rogue militias. Shouldn't that make them enemies?