All-Star Panel: Cold War chill between US, Russia?

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," June 19, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER: Looking live now early Wednesday morning in Cairo, Egypt.  That is Tahrir square. Protesters out there, they're out there because of the election. And who will replace the former president Hosni Mubarak. Now he had a stroke today according to Egyptian officials, and at least two sources say he is now clinically dead. What does that mean? That he is not going to be revived. Essentially, one source saying that the Egyptian government says he is dead. 

What does this mean and the election results after a long time in Egypt back and forth about leadership? We're back with the panel starting there. Fred? 

FRED BARNES, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, I mean, some people, including me, will look back and compare it to the Muslim Brotherhood who are taking over, Mubarak looks not as bad as we thought, and particularly, if you are a Christian. You know, the 10 million Christians in Egypt, are they going to be protected, or are they going to be persecuted.  I think they're going to be persecuted. And Mubarak at least protected them. 

BAIER: Juan? 

JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR, THE HILL: That is true. There is no getting away from the whole issue of Mubarak as a stable force in Egypt. The question is whether or not his use of the military, the fact he was a strong hand there, led to abuses. And that is why you see those people gathered tonight in Tahrir Square. They want him gone, they want him dead. They were not satisfied with the verdict. They wanted a death sentence for him. 

BAIER: Quickly, the military is really the big question and how it reacts in Egypt. 

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Absolutely look, the demonstrations had started before the announcement. Tahrir Square is now a Brotherhood demonstration. These are people supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and demanding the installation of their candidate as president and the cancellation of the measures the military had taken to weaken the office of the presidency and to dissolve the parliament. 

And I think ironically the death of Mubarak will increase the crowd in the square, because it will draw in the liberals who are not Islamists to celebrate his death. And this could lead to quite a revolutionary situation in the streets Thursday when they announce who won the election. 

BAIER: The other story we're following, as the G-20 continues in Los Cabos Mexico, the meeting between president Obama and the Russian president Vladimir Putin and the icy stares between the two and the body language was really something to watch as the tension between the two countries continues. Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: So much for the great reset. From reports that we are hearing, Putin lectured Obama on Russia's interest in Syria, which is sort of reminiscent of the Khrushchev-Kennedy summit early in the Kennedy term where Kennedy was completely humiliated, lectured by Khrushchev, left, sort of, in a sense of demoralization which encouraged Khrushchev to put missiles in Cuba. 

This is Putin who thinks in strategic terms speaking to somebody he considers an adolescent. Imagine -- Russia right now is preparing to send three warships to a port in Syria, which is its facility. Each of the ships is capable of carrying 300 marines. We are doing nothing except complaining and issuing statements. The Russians are asserting themselves on the ground, preventing any embargo, and asserting strategic interest. And what is Obama doing in what was for 30 years an American preserve the Middle East? Nothing. 

BAIER: Juan, how big a problem is this tension? 

WILLIAMS: This tension is growing by the day. And what's come out of the meeting is the idea that Putin was offended by State Department statements after the recent election, suggesting that corruption was involved. He is upset at the Congress possibly freezing assets from people who have taken away rights, ownership rights in Russia. He is upset with President Obama over Syria, because he sees Syria as an ally. It is not a good relationship.

BAIER: Quickly 

BARNES: I don't think he is reacting because he feels dissed somehow by Obama. This is the way -- I mean, this is Putin. This is who he is, utterly immune to any of the charms or persuasiveness of President Obama, who still thinks, well gee, if I'm nice to him, well then we'll get something out of it. The reset was a bad idea in the first place because it was fundamentally based on a false premise, that somehow relations with Russia had gotten bad because of President Bush. The problem is not Bush, it's Putin. 

BAIER: That is it for the panel. But stay tuned for one show's explanation of the interruption in the Rose Garden.

Content and Programming Copyright 2012 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.
 

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