This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 29, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY HOST: Now for the top story tonight, another view of the Iraqi population. Joining us now from Washington is Entifadah Qanbar, the D.C. director of the Iraqi National Congress and spokesman for Hamad Chalabi, a member of the Iraqi Governing Council. Mr. Qanbar is just back from Iraq.
All right, where am I going wrong here, sir?
ENTIFADAH QANBAR, IRAQ NATIONAL COUNCIL : I think you have a national ally in Iraq, the Shi'ia. However, the Shi'ia have the 1991 complex. I think the biggest mistake happened that lost a lot of ground for the U.S. popularity is the acceptance of resolution 1483 and accepting becoming an occupier. I think the U.S. could have taken the higher moral ground again and become a liberator and let the Iraqis rule themselves. We said from day one we made this advice and people did not listen to us.
O'REILLY: All right now, you know, a lot of people don't know what that resolution is. So why don't you tell us what that is?
QANBAR: The resolution is, according to the resolution, the U.S. accepted herself to become an occupier in Iraq and to become the direct ruler in Iraq. Iraqis...
O'REILLY: What you wanted was as soon as Saddam was deposed, you wanted your guys to go in and take over without a vote or anything?
O'REILLY: All right, so what you wanted was as soon as Saddam was deposed, you wanted your guys to go in and take over without a vote or anything?
QANBAR: No, not our guys. We wanted to have a provisional government that could have worked between all types of Iraqis. We would leave seats open for those areas to be liberated. We would have our own flag. We would have a difficulty to put a flag...
O'REILLY: Yes but who is "we?" I mean, you've got -- the Sunnis don't like the Shi'ites and vice versa. Nobody likes the Kurds. The Kurds are -- feel oppressed. Come on, I mean you know what kind of tribalism you have in your country, sir.
QANBAR: I don't think that's true completely. I think if there was any sectarian animosity there, you would have seen much worse wars between those sectors. And the wars happened and sectors of the Iraqi people did not fight...
O'REILLY: All right. All right, so say you're right and America made this mistake by not handing over immediate authority to an Iraqi provisional council, although I don't know how they could do that with all the chaos, but say you're right.
I think anybody would say 700 dead, thousands wounded, shouldn't the Iraqi people say, hey, we're going to cut them a little slack? Maybe they did make some mistakes here, but they're really looking out for us. They want us to have freedom, but that's not happening in Iraq. And that's what I object to.
QANBAR: Bill, we have the 36th battalion Fallujah, fought along the U.S. Marines. We could have expanded this battalion and made it all over Iraq. And the Marines do not have to fight the front line. Iraqis could fight the front line. You have some bureaucrats here in Washington -- politicians do not accept this idea. Every time the Iraqis want to take over their own political leadership, somebody...
O'REILLY: But you're -- all right.
QANBAR: ...will jump individual and stop it.
O'REILLY: But you're getting at June 30. You're going to get your governing council June 30. And next year, there will be an election. The U.S. will provide security and so will the Brits.
QANBAR: Excuse me.
O'REILLY: Go ahead.
QANBAR: Bill, they're trying to give it now to the United Nations. They want to give an Arab nationalist, who says all over the place I am proud to shake as few Jews as possible, to rule Iraq, and to become the person who would put Iraq back and...
O'REILLY: All right, I have no use for Rahimi either, but look, you're always going to have political problems in this kind of a situation. What it comes back to is the Iraqi people at this juncture don't appreciate what America and Great Britain have done for them. And that really angers Americans, particularly military families who lost people, sir. You've got to understand that. This is -- this is tilting the whole thing here. You know, in the beginning, we all wanted to liberate you guys. We all were on your side. And now. it's about 50/50.
QANBAR: Well, we appreciate that, but being an occupier is not necessary. I think America was put in this hole by some permanent members of the security council. And that was not necessary. America could have stayed as a liberator and the Iraqis could have appreciated. This happened in France after the second World War. This happened in Germany. To go directly, rule Iraq did not work. And you know, a lot of Arab countries are, you know...
O'REILLY: All right. I got it, but I'm not buying it. I really am not buying it. I mean, we have done a tremendous favor for the Iraqi people. We have tried to rebuild the infrastructure. $200 billion of American tax money is going over there. And you guys don't appreciate it. You don't. And that's going to turn -- that is going to popular opinion against the Iraqi situation. And in the long run, it's going to come back to bite you all right you know where. And I'm going to give you the last word.
QANBAR: The thing is we can have an Iraqi government with American help as a strategic ally, and you'll see the situation will improve dramatically. And the Shi'ia still feel this is only a honeymoon and there's some minority will come back and rule them again. And this recruitment of generals is making the situation worse.
We need to have a new Iraq, where the Iraqi government represents and reflects the true combination of the Iraqi people, ruled by Iraqis with American help as a strategic ally.
O'REILLY: All right, Mr. Khanbar, we appreciate you taking the time to help us out. Thank you very much.
QANBAR: Thank you.
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