HANNITY

Global Unrest a Growing Concern at Home

Sen. John McCain weighs in

 

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 20, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MONICA CROWLEY, GUEST HOST: Over the past year, America has witnessed firsthand the severe consequences of electing a president with no prior foreign policy experience. From the Arab Spring of discontent, which saw the overthrow of the Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak ,and later, the capture and eventual killing of long time Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, to the administration's reckless determination to keep its'08 campaign promise of ending the war in Iraq regardless of the ongoing fragile and chaotic conditions on the ground there. Through it all, we have seen a shocking lack of bold, responsible leadership from our own commander in chief. And now with the unexpected death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, national security is once again thrust to the forefront of the political discussion. But after a year of such disappointing and dangerous foreign policy fumbles, how could anybody still think President Obama deserves another four years.

Joining me now with reaction, Arizona Senator John McCain. Always nice to see you sir. Welcome.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: Thank you for having me on, Monica.

CROWLEY: Well, we have a lot of ground to cover with you tonight, Senator. First of all, we've got dictators from the Middle East to North Korea really biting the dust, which sounds like a good thing but the lesson of history is that oftentimes those dictators are replaced by somebody or something worse. What is your sense of what is happening now in North Korea and is there anything that the United States can do beyond leaning on China?

MCCAIN: Well, we may have saved the taxpayers several million dollars by his departure because we were about, again for the umpteenth time, trying to bribe the North Koreans into abandoning their nuclear arsenal with millions of dollars in food aid, which most of which is we find out goes into the hands of the elite and does not do anything to alleviate the suffering of the people of North Korea, which is horrendous. We just saw the departure of one of the most brutal dictators in history.

The people that can affect the situation in North Korea is not the United States, it's the Chinese. The Chinese prop them up. If the Chinese wanted them to act in a responsible way and move forward towards a democratic, unified Korean peninsula, they could do that. Instead, the Chinese continue to prop them up.

Monica, I don't mean to change the subject. But the latest outrage of course is the vice president's statement that the Taliban is not our enemy. I have been flooded with comments and tweets and comments about that from men and women who are serving in the military. And the best of all that epitomizes what the reaction of the men and women who are serving, he says, "Well, if they aren't the enemy, who has been shooting at us all this time?" I mean, it is unbelievable that the vice president of the United States, who does have some foreign policy experience, albeit almost always wrong, including saying the surge would never succeed that operation Desert Storm was like Vietnam.

But I mean, for the Vice President of the United States to make a statement like that is an insult to the men and women who are serving today, as that young man from Afghanistan wrote where they're being shot at. But also, what about the families of those who have been killed by the IEDs that the Taliban have manufactured, the same Taliban that sheltered bin Laden and was responsible for 9/11. What about all that? It's just disgraceful. And the Vice President has some cockamamie idea that we can negotiate some kind of peace settlement with the Taliban while we are leaving. And by the way, news reports are that they want to trade as confidence building measures, release some Taliban from the prison in Guantanamo. This is the most wrongheaded kind of thing that I have ever encountered.

CROWLEY: Senator, this statement from Biden is absolutely outrageous. You are hundred percent correct. But I have to asked you, are you really surprised given the fact that this administration does want to talk with the Taliban, they do want a political settlement in Afghanistan so we can hightail that out of there, they way they high tailed that out of Iraq. Plus, they have sent John Kerry, they're reaching out to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Brotherhood which is openly sworn for the destruction of the west and Israel. This is an administration that says, well, on one hand we're fighting Islamic terror on the other hand, we're getting into bed with some of the same terrorists.

MCCAIN: Well, let me just point out again, in Iraq while the president and the vice president have taken another victory lap, things are deteriorating very badly in Iraq as many of us predicted if we didn't leave a residual military force behind. And even Wendell Goler of Fox keep saying, while we couldn't get an agreement on immunity. We couldn't get an agreement on immunity because the president did not want to stay in Iraq. And we could have gotten an agreement, I know that for a fact because I was there at the time, but we never gave them the number of troops that they wanted to stay there and what their mission would be.

And now, we are seeing very serious political upheaval in Iraq with Maliki calling for the arrest of the vice president, abandonment of the parliament. You could see Senator Biden, then-Senator Biden's wish to have three different countries actually happen, not exactly in the way he envisioned.

CROWLEY: By the way, Senator, you know where he got that idea to partition Iraq into three different areas, he got it from the Ayatollah Khomeini. So, that tells you where Joe Biden is coming from.

I'm also very worried about losing the very fragile gains that we have made in Iraq in the cost in terms of blood and treasure. But my eye is particularly on the predator next door, Iran. Because as soon as we're out of there, there's no deterrence. And Iran could go in there, they don't have to go in with an occupying force, they could in by controlling (INAUDIBLE) faction and they're going to go in and take over the country just straight through influence, and then we will have lost everything we worked so hard for.

MCCAIN: Monica, Sadder (ph)has already said, he would view the remaining members of the U.S. embassy, which they envision as being a large force, as quote, "occupiers." They have held their fire while the troops were leaving because they didn't want anything to impair that. Sadder (ph) has a very key place in the Maliki government. And by the way, Maliki has still never appointed as minister of defense or interior. He controls all of the reins of government.

And yes, Iran's influence is increasing and it is continuing to do so. And I can tell you that unless something turned around, we may see an incredibly a chaotic situation in Iraq which would only open the door to more Iranian influence and maybe return sectarian violence and Al Qaeda in Iraq. I'm very, very concerned.

CROWLEY: I have to tell you, Senator, we are all focused on the economy here at home and of course, the presidential election coming up next year. But the world has a way of thrusting itself upon the scene whether we wanted to or not. We've got North Korea, the Middle East falling to the Islamist, Vladimir Putin being more aggressive now in Russia. The world has a way of inserting itself and the United States is, I don't thin,k very well prepared. But we thank you sir for your service.

MCCAIN: By the way, did you -- could I just mention, did you see that Mr. Putin, after I tweeted to him, Dear Vlad the Arab Spring is coming to a neighborhood near you. He said that I was crazy, affirming some of my critics' suspicions.

CROWLEY: You know what, that is a huge compliment coming from Vladimir Putin. Senator, always nice to see you, sir. Merry Christmas.

MCCAIN: Thank you.

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