All-Star Panel: Reaction to conflicts in Ukraine, Gaza

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," July 23, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY, SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Just look at what President Obama and the majority leader have planned for the coming days.

The president is off campaigning for a workforce training bill he's actually already signed. It makes no sense. But this is a man who just cannot stop campaigning.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, D - CA: I'm not going to tell the president what to do. But I think the world would very much expect his increased attention on this matter. And I think there ought to be increased attention.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Two more Ukrainian jets shot down in eastern Ukraine today.  Vladimir Putin out blaming the West and Ukraine. We're back with the panel. Steve, you can hear some bipartisan angst, obviously, about President Obama's schedule continuing. But what about the situation in Ukraine?

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, good for Dianne Feinstein for actually saying like that. She will no doubt be getting calls from the White House. She is absolutely right. The president needs to be paying more attention. The fact that he is not paying attention I think gives the de facto green light to somebody like Vladimir Putin who is supporting these Russian separatists. The big to pieces of news today were that the Ukrainian fighters were shot down, as you suggest, and that Russian troops were moving, again, to the Ukrainian border. This is clear that Vladimir Putin doesn't see anything the U.S. has done since the shoot-down of the Malaysian Airlines plane as having any real consequences. He is not afraid of the consequences. He is not afraid of the West, and he doesn't think that this president has taken this crisis seriously. I think he has good reason to come to that conclusion.

BAIER: A.B.?

A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THE HILL: Well, I don't think there is anything President Obama is going to do militarily that will be supported by this country. If you look at recent polls over the last just week alone you see Americans thinking that we should be doing less to counter Russian aggression, which is really quite stunning.

President Obama has to use rhetoric or sanctions. He has tried on his own to use sanctions. He hasn't gone far enough, of course, with what they call sectoral or level three sanctions that would really, really hurt. He was on the phone with President Putin the day that the airliner went down because Putin was be upset with what he sees as another step towards painful sanctions. He can't convince the Europeans yet to get on board. Unless he changes our energy policy it's hard to imagine how he is make Putin hurt.

And it looks like with two downed jets and insurgent admitting today that they did have the Buk missile technology and more of an incursion into eastern Ukraine, Putin will do whatever he wants. So President Obama should probably be using rhetoric and not be at fundraisers. I think Putin watches that too. And I believe in optics. I think he should be back here talking about it. But, frankly, until the Europeans get on board, I think his hands are tied.

BAIER: Charles, I want to turn to you Israel and Hamas, the Gaza Strip.  The U.N. secretary-general out with a statement after we talked about on the show these rockets found in a U.N. school. Here is what the secretary- general put out today. Now the rockets are missing. "The secretary- general was alarmed to hear rockets were placed in a UNRWA school in Gaza and that subsequently these have gone missing. He expresses outrage and regret at placing of weapons in a U.N. administered school. The secretary-general calls on all of those who have any influence over militant groups to send an unmistakable message that this is unacceptable." Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: This statement tells you all you need to know about how corrupt and corrupted the U.N. is in the conflict between Israel and the Arabs. Number one, the missiles haven't gone missing. We know what happened. The U.N. workers returned them to the "authorities," quote, unquote, which means Hamas, they will be used against innocent Jews.

Second, the expression of outrage, that he is shocked, shocked to discover there are missiles in the U.N. school is preposterous. How do you smuggle 20 missiles into a classroom? Can you imagine the principle in the U.S. saying, well, I really am not sure how they got there? What did the Hamas do, put them in a golf bag, walk them in and say he is preparing for the Gaza open? The U.N. workers -- UNRWA have collaborated with Hamas for years and years.  They know that there are missiles in the schools, in the hospitals, in the mosques, and they know what's going to happen. Kids will be killed and that's going to be on television.

And the secretary-general complains that this was smuggling into the schools. The problem isn't smuggling. The problem is that the use of human shields is a violation of the fundamental law of war. That's what's happening and the U.N. is aiding and abetting it.

BAIER: You know, another thing Charles raised some eyebrows at the U.N. today, and that is that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is flying around for emergency meetings on a plane funded by Qatar, the country of Qatar, which a lot people know is a supporter of Hamas. So why would the U.N. take the plane provided by Qatar?

KRAUTHAMMER: Because the U.N. doesn't even care about appearances anymore.  The bias it has against Israel, its Human Rights Commission today said was going to open an inquiry into the human rights violations out of the Israelis when the ones, the use of human shields, the rocketing of innocents, is what is happening on the part of Hamas. We hear almost nothing about that. The U.N. is so committed to the Palestinian cause, and in this case the Hamas cause, that it doesn't even care about appearances.  And after all, who but you and a few other outlets are going to report it?  How many have reported the rockets in the school?

BAIER: I don't know, but it's not many. I guarantee you that. Panel, stay tuned for some thoughts on the New Hampshire Senate race. We'll have you weigh in from Washington. I'm here in Concord. Stay with us.

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