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Hannity

Richardson: This Affects All of Us

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes", March 17, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Joining us from Santa Fe in New Mexico is their governor and former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Bill Richardson is with us.

Governor, thank you for being with us.

You know, I'm watching this very closely here, and it's another devastating attack in Iraq. We saw what happened with the terrorist attack in Madrid and the subsequent election, and a dramatic shift in what the poll data was showing prior to that.

Are we losing the war on terror?

GOV. BILL RICHARDSON, NEW MEXICO: No, we're not losing the war on terror. What we need to do, Sean, is we need to really now start building an international coalition.

If we're going to succeed against terrorism, this is where we try to put aside our differences with Europe, with the U.N., with Muslim countries on Iraq and say, look, this is affecting all of us. It's affecting almost every continent.

And what I think the first step we need to do, Sean, is at least in Iraq, let the Iraqi Governing Council -- they're going to the U.N. Security Council to ask for U.N. support and assistance, technical assistance, constitutional assistance between now and June when the transfer of power takes place.

HANNITY: Let me ask you this. You know, look, I think that's all well and good, but the president tried to do this, governor.

The president tried 1441. We had 12 years. We had 17 resolutions. And I don't think there was the will within the international community to hold, in the case of Saddam Hussein, him responsible for his own cease-fire agreement and his own resolutions.

And if the -- if the world community is not going to back up what they pass, what is the point of going to them in the first place?

RICHARDSON: Right now, Sean, I am just afraid that American troops are doing police work; they're very vulnerable. We are seeing an increase in terror and violence, and that's working very much against us. If we share the burden, if we build alliances.

HANNITY: We tried. We tried. We begged the French. We begged them to join us. They passed the resolution saying there'd be consequences.

RICHARDSON: We go to the United Nations and say, OK, Iraqi Governing Council. This is coming from the Iraqis.

HANNITY: Again?

RICHARDSON: The Iraqi Governing Council that we have put together, and back them up. The Iraqi Governing Council wants the U.N. to help between now and the transition.

HANNITY: Governor...

RICHARDSON: By that, I mean civil administration, police work.

HANNITY: I've got to -- look, I think we do support it. I am convinced that the United Nations, as an agency, has been rendered impotent, because we passed one resolution after another. We promised severe consequences.

And when the moment comes that we've got to hold these terror regimes or these dictators responsible, they back down. They back up. They go into meetings and then they just pass another meaningless resolution.

And the idea that we're going to go back to these people -- and that's what I like about George Bush. He says what he means and he means what he says. And he follows through on his promises.

RICHARDSON: But Sean, look what's happening now. Right now our troops, the situation in Iraq is not in good shape. You agree with that.

HANNITY: No, I think we're in great shape. I think we're in great shape, compared to where we were, sir. We've got 25 million people freed. Uday and Qusay are dead and Saddam is captured.

RICHARDSON: I worry about our troops. I worry about our international standing. I worry that we don't have a strategy for getting out, for reconstruction, for a transition.

And all I'm saying is, look, forget the Security Council. The Security Council, remember, of the United Nations is five countries: France, Britain, the United States, China, and Russia.

But what we need to do is take the lead, the United States, in the Security Council, and say to the Iraqi Governing Council, yes, we accept what you're proposing. Get the Iraqi Governing Council together.

The U.N. is very good at technical assistance, at reconstruction. They're very good at civil administration.

COLMES: Governor, it's Alan Colmes.

RICHARDSON: They should be doing this.

COLMES: Welcome you, good to have you back on the show.

Just to pick up on Sean's line of questioning. Why would those countries who do not go along with us last time, why would they now go along with the United States and what we want to do there, if they wouldn't go along at the time we actually went to war in Iraq?

RICHARDSON: Well, first of all, the Iraqi Governing Council, this represents the Iraqi people. They're asking for this.

And I think the United Nations knows that it has an obligation to be part of this. The U.N. is now concerned for security reasons.

But if we put our muscle, and we get our allies and say to our allies. I think we've got to be a little humble and say, "Look, we're in this together. We all have to help. We all have to get peacekeeping."

Secretary Powell in India and Pakistan, he's asking those countries for Muslim troops. We should really push that.

The president of the United States, I think, should go to Europe, talk to NATO, the European Union, an international conference and say, "Look, we have got to have international support for our objectives in Iraq. We did the right thing. We should take the steps needed to build a reconciliation and reconstruction. Let's put our differences aside. Let's get an international effort that involves..."

COLMES: The attack in Baghdad that we just -- that just happened, is this really an attack on America? Is that a statement to this country?

RICHARDSON: Well, I think it's an attack on -- by a bunch of Iraqi terrorists that don't want to see a successful Democratic transition, and they're unhappy with an American occupation.

I think we've done the right thing, but I think we have to act.

And what are we going to do? Accept a bombing like this every day and then just wring our hands? We ought to have a strategy, an endgame. We don't have that. That's what I'm proposing.

COLMES: What makes us think we could ever stop this type of terrorism? At any point this can happen, what makes you think we'd ever stop it?

RICHARDSON: Well, it's going to be very difficult to stop it. But at least if you have American and Muslim troops and European troops, and you have an intelligence network, you have an Iraqi Governing Council that is getting United Nations support, I think those terrorists are going to have second looks if they're going to go after such an international coalition.

Right now, what is the cost? Oh, you're going to upset the Americans? You're going to upset...

COLMES: Very quickly, we have to break in a second. John Kerry said today that he would convene an international summit to coordinate these efforts. Would John Kerry do a better job facing this than George W. Bush?

RICHARDSON: Well, yes. I believe that John Kerry knows alliances. He knows international coalitions. And I believe he would -- by him making this proposal, I didn't even know he was making it. It makes a lot of sense.

HANNITY: Governor, I don't think we'll ever get France, Germany, Spain and Russia to ever go along with the United States. I just don't believe it, but maybe one day you'll be right.

Good to see you, Governor.

RICHARDSON: Thank you.

HANNITY: Thank you for being with us.

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