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Hannity

Al Haig Remarks on U.S. Role in Mideast Crisis

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," July 20, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Israeli officials met today to consider sending troops across the border into Lebanon. Israel's massive air campaigns has done damage to Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon, but the consensus seems to be that the only way to stop Hezbollah for good is to put troops on the ground.

Israeli officials say they won't stop their offensive until Hezbollah is pushed back 20 miles north of the border, creating a new buffer zone.

Joining us now with more on these developments, former Secretary of State Alexander Haig. Mr. Haig, thank you so much for being with us.

ALEXANDER HAIG, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Good to be with you, Alan.

COLMES: Should Israel listen to the international community, if they say, "Hey, halt, don't put ground troops, take is easy, let's not overreact here"? What should Israel's response be to all of these forces that are saying to them this is an over-response?

HAIG: Well, we always have in wartime a press-driven dialectic. You remember several days ago it said they couldn't win just with airpower alone, and then it said they'll have to do a ground incursion. Now they're saying you can't do a ground incursion, all of this being led by a propagandized press. You know, I don't blame the press. They're going to take what has been fed to them by either or both sides, but that's what's going on.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: General, Sean Hannity.

HAIG: Yes, Sean?

HANNITY: General, Sean Hannity. Welcome back. It's good to see you. Appreciate you being here.

HAIG: Good to be with you again.

HANNITY: Why doesn't Israel just do the right thing? Now that they've got an opportunity and now that the hostilities have been brought to them, they could do the people of Lebanon and the world a favor, and the Mideast a favor, by getting rid of Hezbollah.

HAIG: No question about it. But I'd also like to make the point that this air war has been devastating. They've cut off food and supplies. They've cut off a number of the rockets. There was a big drop today, and the rockets delivered. They've cut off the border with Syria. And they have a sea, air, and land blockade that's working. Half a million people have left that area.

And let me tell you, when you say the Lebanese army is threatening to join Hezbollah, they've largely joined Hezbollah. You know, they didn't sit there after they violated the U.N. resolutions and play cat and mouse; they intimidated the Lebanese army.

COLMES: General, we're going to take a quick break. We'll be back with you in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: We continue now with former secretary of state, General Alexander Haig.

All right, General, if in fact Israel moves in with ground troops as they are saying they may have to — as you acknowledge they may have to — what about the Lebanese army threatening to team and to work with Hezbollah?

HAIG: Well, they're doing that today, as a matter of fact. You know, they've been in a situation where Hezbollah has been dominating the country for four years. And they haven't been sitting down doing nothing; they've been cleaning house; they've been assassinating resisters.

And this is a pretty dominated situation at the moment. So we don't want the government to fall, but, you know, it's not the end of the Earth if it does fall. It's pretty well fallen as it is.

HANNITY: General, we all know who's really responsible. We know who's funding, we know who's encouraging, we know who's fomenting both groups. Hamas has in their charter to obliterate Israel. The stated goal of Ahmadinejad is to annihilate, wipe off the face of the Earth Israel. The real root cause of this problem is Israel and Syria.

What should the United States' role be in that conflict? And what should Israel's role be in that conflict?

HAIG: Well, what our role should be is to do away with Hezbollah as definitively as we can do.

HANNITY: But what about Iran and Syria? Aren't they funding them? Aren't they fomenting...

HAIG: A major blow to both. Right now, as you know, we're pretty well tied up in Iraq, and we don't have the luxury of going around banging everybody that we are justified in banging, and certainly Iran and Syria fit that role. But we've got to be ready. And I don't see us mobilizing. I don't see us getting ready the way we should if we were serious about that kind of a conflict.

COLMES: General...

HAIG: I don't think either of them want war, incidentally. Certainly, Iran doesn't want war. This is a diversion from their nuclear brouhaha, and they didn't expect it to turn the way it did. But Hezbollah got gluttony, suffered from gluttony.

COLMES: Hey, General, I asked you a moment ago about world opinion. This is Alan again. And you said it was the press.

Is it the press when the Vatican speaks out and says to Israel, "Take it down a notch," or when Spain, or when France — is it the press when the prime minister of Lebanon says the continued presence of Israeli occupation in Lebanese lands, like the Shebaa Farms, contributes to the presence of Hezbollah weapons? That's not the press talking, is it? That's international opinion, including the Lebanese prime minister.

HAIG: Well, you're talking a different subject. I was talking about the dialectic of how you fight this war, which we were debating at the time.

No, listen, I'm a good papist myself, so I'm not going to take on the pope. I happen to think he's playing God's role on Earth and doing the best he can in the job.

But don't expect anybody any more than that Canadian girl who said we may be in violation of — we may be war criminals for conducting this bombing. What else would she say? She's in charge of human rights at the U.N.

And then we have Kofi Annan, who's popping off like he didn't have anything to do with the failure and the creation of the problems that we're confronting today.

HANNITY: General, we appreciate your insight, your wisdom. Thanks for being with us. You're right there, winning the Cold War with President Reagan. Appreciate you being with us.

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