Newsweek Hails Victory in Iraq

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," March 1, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: All right, well, talk about Shock and Awe. This is worthy itself of a Fox News Alert.

Take a look at that. Bush was right. Did you take a look at the Newsweek magazine today? "Victory at Last: The Emergence of Democratic Iraq." It's a 180 from this "We Are Losing" cover that was back in November 2006.

So, the press sometimes gets it, belated, or are they just getting it late wrong or right?

Former Secretary of State Larry Eagleburger joins me now.

Larry, what do you make of this?

LAWRENCE EAGLEBURGER, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, what I make of it is, either they have changed the staff on the magazine, or somebody has gotten honest. But I — on the other hand, I have to tell you, Neil, I think they may be going a little bit too far in what they said.

I'm hopeful that it will be victory at last in Iraq, but I can't be sure of that yet. And I don't think they can either.

CAVUTO: You know, I read the piece...

EAGLEBURGER: So, I think they have gone a little too far.

CAVUTO: No, you're right, Secretary. And I read the piece in full just to grasp what they were saying. And I don't want people at home to be concerned. They weren't above taking some shots at the previous administration, all the things, as you intimate, could go wrong in setting up a democracy in Iraq...


CAVUTO: ... like all the times we have seen violence in Iraq.


CAVUTO: But what they are saying is that this unusual experiment, as I think they called it, could pay rich dividends, if it's pulled off. And — and early signs are that it is being pulled off. Nevertheless, the attention, quite properly, the magazine says, is on Afghanistan. And that is a whole 'nother issue.

But what do you make of the fact that, if Iraq can pull off a democracy in that neck of the woods, it would be a big thing, as President Bush said it — said it would? What then?

EAGLEBURGER: I think it's — I think it's an impressive achievement even thus far, that it's an impressive achievement.

If they can pull it off, as you say, to the point where they have a follow-on government, and they have elections, and everything is — proceeds as it should, I think it makes a major change in the area. And the rest of the countries in the neighborhood, the average person is going to be looking at them and saying, you know, if they can have that, why can't we? And maybe the U.S. isn't so bad in all of this, if what they have done is given the Iraqi people a chance for some real democracy.

So, I think, both in terms of its impact on the way we will be looked at, and, more important, how the Iraqis will behave themselves, and what that may mean for the region, it will be one major achievement. It really will.

CAVUTO: Well, you know, at this point...

EAGLEBURGER: You know, it isn't going to be...

CAVUTO: Go ahead. Go ahead.

EAGLEBURGER: I was just going to say, it isn't going to be because of the naysayers, of which the — Newsweek was one. It's going to be basically because there were enough people who said from the beginning, we are going to make this thing work. And they made it work.

CAVUTO: Now, there are always going to be those, including the vice president, by the way, taking credit these days — that's the present vice president, Joe Biden, for a lot of the improvements we have been seeing in Iraq — but this is the same vice president who, as Senator Joe Biden, had warned that, at best, we could look forward to an Iraq that divides itself into three countries...

EAGLEBURGER: That's right. That's right.

CAVUTO: ... and all having various factions in charged.

Now, of course, that tune has changed. But we don't tend to call those folks up in the media. Obviously, President Bush, and the lives lost in Iraq, and people question, what is worth it, that's fair game, I guess, but I don't see it being reciprocated in a harsh light on present administration folks.

EAGLEBURGER: I have to tell you, Neil, having been in the not-present administrations more often than — you know, I was on the other side here many times — I got a bit paranoid, because I reached the point where I didn't think, no matter what we accomplished — and we did accomplish some things — that, no matter what we accomplished, we were going to get shot at by most of the press.

And with the exception now I would say of you and Fox and a few like that, there is still very little in the way of balance. And those of us who think we may have accomplished something in the past — and I think that Iraq is an example of that — that's George Bush creation, much more than anybody else's — I don't think we're going to get any — they're going to get any credit for it anyway.

And it — but I don't — I also don't know how you turn that around. If the prejudices within your establishment — I mean by that the press — are...

CAVUTO: Right.

EAGLEBURGER: ... as hard over as they are, I don't know how you turn it around, because it's only the press that can do it.

CAVUTO: Well, we might have seen a watershed moment in light of that cover, because I will tell you, you know, I was imbibing a little bit before I had read the cover story, but, man, oh, man, I thought maybe imbibing too much.


CAVUTO: But, Larry Eagleburger, former secretary of this fine country, thank you very, very much.

EAGLEBURGER: All right, sir.

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