This partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, November 7, 2002 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House.
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SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Welcome to HANNITY & COLMES. We're glad you're with us. I'm Sean Hannity. Our top story tonight. The United Nations Security Council is, in fact, expected to vote tomorrow on a new and tougher resolution aimed at Saddam Hussein's refusal to disarm and cooperate with weapons inspections.
Earlier today, the French agreed to the wording of the new resolution, removing perhaps the final roadblock to passage of a resolution. But, despite the president's claim today that war with Iraq is his last option, is it simply now a matter of time?
Joining us is the former Secretary of State Alexander Haig. Mr. Secretary, welcome aboard. Good to see you.
ALEXANDER HAIG, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Good to be with you both,
HANNITY: All right. I'm dying to get your take on the election. We're going to get your take in just a few minutes here.
I want to talk about this resolution about -- more specifically about Russia and France. There is still some ambiguities that are there. Are you confident this is the right resolution and this is the right step to give him another opportunity?
HAIG: Well, I -- my preference would have been not to go for a resolution at all but to insist that we back the current resolutions, and there are plenty of them.
But, be that as it may, I think other voices prevailed in the administration. And, right now, it looks as though they've honed something that we could live with.
But the proof will be in the pudding. And the pudding is: Is Hussein going to follow through with what is necessary to maintain peace, or is he going to violate, which is clearly what he's going to do because he's been cheating and he doesn't want to get caught at it?
HANNITY: Well, we've -- as we've chronicled on this program, he's had 11 years to play his cat-and-mouse game, and, frankly, one of the people unhappy with Tuesday's elections, I have no doubt, is Saddam Hussein. He would have, I'm sure, preferred appeasement liberals to have been elected and to be in charge, and it probably would have helped his cause.
But what bothered me about the original revised draft resolution was it includes a greater role for the Security Council and they were concerned that the United States could take military action if the inspectors say that they are not complying. That was bothering the French, and that was bothering Russia, and this is the quagmire that many of us predicted we'd get into if we give other people a say.
HAIG: Well, there's no question about that.
I do think that our experts have assured the American people -- and that's the State Department because they're the ones that pushed the multilateral solution -- that this will not jeopardize our ability to take military action and will not require what the French have insisted they have, and that is another go at it if they are found cheating and then you decide what you do about it.
This will, apparently, authorize the kind of action that would be necessary, both by the United States unilaterally and with those allies who choose to join us.
HANNITY: Don't you think these election results that we had Tuesday sent a strong message not only to Democrats in the United States but the United Nations, the European Union, to France, to Germany, to Russia, and others that oppose our efforts to enforce the resolutions and the cease-fire agreement that this country is united and this country is standing behind a president who has moral clarity that's not going to let this maniac get these weapons of mass destruction?
HAIG: Well, there's no question that that's what the results of the election have to send as a message to the world at large. But beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and those that are opposed to us are claiming that this is going to make us more arrogant, more resistant to the global opinion that is necessary to back up military action. I don't think the president can or should or will be deterred by that kind of thought,
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: General Haig, it's Alan Colmes. Welcome back to the program.
HAIG: Thank you, Alan.
COLMES: Good to have you with us.
You know, the president started talking a more doveish language over the last month or two, talking about regime change, could -- you could have regime change even if Saddam stays in power. He went out of the way today to say that war is a last resort.
Was this something he did for the purpose of the election and he will take a more hawkish stance now that the election has passed?
HAIG: No, I don't for a moment think the president's been guided by the election in any way with respect to his opinions and attitudes with respect to the war against terrorism, and the war against
Iraq is a key part of that.
And don't fool yourself that the Arab-Israeli dispute, the Iraqi problem, and the war with al Qaeda are not intimately interrelated. They are, they have been, and they will remain that way. And when people
maintain it's otherwise, they don't know what they're talking about.
COLMES: Well, you say they're interrelated. I -- you know, still, every report that comes out, there's not been a link to al Qaeda. Saddam and al Qaeda have no relationship that we know of. In fact, there have been links to the anti-Saddam forces in Northeastern Iraq to al Qaeda, and that link has not been made. I'd like to see it, and, if you -- if you can make that case, I'd love to hear it.
HAIG: Listen, it's been made by no less a person than the head of the CIA, it's been made by our secretary of defense, and it's been made by the president. People just turn it off. They don't want to hear it, but it's a fact of life, and I...
COLMES: A link to al Qaeda has been made?
HAIG: ... assure you if...
COLMES: A link to al Qaeda has been made by those...
HAIG: If we do the right thing with respect to Iraq -- and that is to get rid of their weapons
of mass destruction and bring this guy down because he's going to come down without those weapons -- then we are going to see improvements in the situation with al Qaeda and also improvements in the Arab-Israeli peace process.
COLMES: If we're so concerned with weapons of mass destruction shouldn't we be more concerned right now with North Korea, given the statement they made a couple of weeks ago, in that they are much more advanced in terms of possession of nuclear weapons than Iraq is, and, if that's your concern, shouldn't North Korea be the focus?
HAIG: I wouldn't -- I wouldn't say necessarily that that's the case. Iraq was just a few months away when the Israelis took it out back in 1981, took out their production capacity for weapons-grade material.
Now, today, they've had an opportunity. The only thing that's holding them up is the sufficient amount of weapons-grade material, and that's been made very clear by all of the experts.
COLMES: But we know North Korea has weapons. They've admitted it. Iraq -- the CIA says...
HAIG: Well, yes, but they have yet to use those weapons. You know, these are not the same cases. North Korea is a different case. North Korea is an evil empire, as part of the axis of evil as well, but North Korea has never used weapons of mass destruction against their own people or their enemies.
HANNITY: We're going to take a break.
HAIG: Iraq has done both.
HANNITY: We'll get the secretary's take on Tuesday's election when we get back.
And then Dick Gephardt will no longer lead his beaten party. So who can pick up the pieces and bring it all back together? And will they go decidedly left in the U.S. Congress on the Democratic side? We'll check in with Geraldine Ferraro.
And is Martin Luther King off limits for white Republicans? Well, the governor-elect of Georgia is under attack for quoting Martin Luther King. Why is that? We'll find out.
COLMES: Welcome back to HANNITY & COLMES. I'm Alan Colmes.
Later on in the show, has the new governor of Georgia already alienated the African-American community by quoting Martin Luther King? We'll tell you all about that.
Right now, we continue with Alexander Haig.
General Haig, was the election on Tuesday a mandate for Bush to go after Iraq?
HAIG: Well, I think it was a real endorsement of the president who tells it as it is and who is reflecting the kind of character that is necessary to lead this country. It's a demonstration of the impatience of the American people with the inactivity in our legislature brought about by the Democratic opposition.
So I think now we will find a year after the 9/11 debacle that we may have some organizational changes which the president's been trying to get unsuccessfully, and I think the world has the message that they're behind the president in this country on what he is doing in foreign affairs.
COLMES: Let's talk about a year after the debacle of September 11, and I want to put on the screen words from the Hart-Rudman commission, the second one that they came out with just a couple of weeks ago, and here's what it says.
It says, "A year after September 11, American remains dangerously unprepared to prevent and respond to a catastrophic terrorist attack on U.S. soil. A war with Iraq could consumer virtually all the nation's attention and command the bulk of the available resources.
"While 50,000 federal screeners are being hired at the nation's airports to check passengers, only the tiniest percentage of containers, ships, trucks, and trains that enter the U.S. each day are subject to
examination, and a weapon of mass destruction could well be hidden among this cargo."
We didn't listen to Hart-Rudman the first time. A year later, this is still a vulnerability. Shouldn't this administration have done something about this in the intervening time since last September 11?
HAIG: Well, I think a fellow who travels as much as I do sees dramatic changes in all of our airports all over the country. There's still a great deal more to be done.
The real problem has been the inability for the president to get the organizational arrangements that he's asked for under Governor Ridge, and I think it's an absolute outrage and a disgrace that we're not supporting the president in a national crisis.
HANNITY: Hey, I -- and I travel a lot also, General, and I've got to tell you something there have been enormous changes. We still need to go further. Our borders are still vulnerable. There's still a long way to go.
But here -- our own CIA director said we're almost as vulnerable as we were prior to September 11. On the very same day he said that, Tom Daschle and the Democrats, leaders in the Senate, walked away from the homeland security bill. The exact same day.
HAIG: You know, that's the problem. You put your finger on it, Sean, and that's what I think the American people demonstrated they're fed up with, and I think the Democratic Party is beginning to get the message.
HANNITY: Well, I hope you're right, and I -- and we discussed this a lot leading up to the election. There's been a radical shift.
This is the Democratic Party that wanted to abolish the CIA in the '90s. They rendered it impotent. They were voting for nuclear freezes, while you guys in the Reagan administration were ending the Cold War.
They've been nowhere to be found on defense appropriations or strategic defense. And now, all of a sudden, they want all the great protections in a year. It's amazing.
HAIG: Well, let's be careful. There are many, many good, sound thinkers in the Democratic Party.
HANNITY: Like who?
HAIG: Unfortunately, the mainstream has been so far to the left that they've been unable to pull their acts together and look at the real dangers facing our country, and the,...
HANNITY: All right.
HAIG: ... president said it today, security, security, security.
HANNITY: He did. Homeland security. And that's his number one goal, and that's where he's prioritizing, and I think the president's a hundred percent right, and he's leading in that effort a hundred percent.
Where do we go from here in terms of Iraq in real terms? I don't believe he's going to allow unfettered access. I don't think you believe that. So it's really just a matter of time. The first indication we have that he is not abiding by this agreement -- don't we have to be ready to act immediately?
HAIG: Well, there's no question about it. But remember now that this approach that we've taken is going to be a month -- if it is approved tomorrow -- before we would be in a position to even begin to assess the product of the inspections we're imposing.
So we're talking about another month's delay, another two weeks beyond that to get the inspectors on the ground in Iraq. So there's a month and two weeks -- or a month and a half before anyone could even make a judgment as to whether or not he has violated his word again, which he will do.
COLMES: General Haig, we have to -- we have to go. By the way, Democrats were the first ones for homeland security. They just want worker protections. But they were the ones out front on that issue.
HANNITY: Yes. Keep saying that, Alan.
COLMES: They were.
HANNITY: Maybe you'll get people to believe it.
COLMES: We're going to take a break.
We thank you, sir, for being with us.
Coming up, Dick Gephardt is the first Democratic leader to bow out. Who's next, and who can save the party? We'll debate that.
And then, why is the African-American community so upset with Georgia's governor-elect? We'll show you exactly what he said that may have caused that, coming up on HANNITY & COLMES.
Click here to order last night's entire transcript.
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