Oliver North Talks with Sean Live From Iraq
This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," December 12, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: First, with parliamentary elections just three days away, the majority of Iraqis feel positive about their lives. They're optimistic about their future. An ABC News poll released today, 70 percent of Iraqis say their lives are good, which might surprise some people that are biased by the media coverage.
Joining us now with the very latest on the ground in Iraq from Ramadi tonight, the host of our own "War Stories," Colonel Oliver North. Colonel, welcome aboard. Thanks for being with us. Give us the latest as we head into these historic elections.
OLLIE NORTH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sean, on E-Day minus-three, I'm standing here with Sergeant Major Duke Kilgore, the sergeant major of 3rd Battalion 7th Marines, who hails from Willard, Ohio.
The Iraqi elections, which are going to select 275 members of the legislature to serve for four years, are indeed just three days away. Today, members of Iraq's military, their police and emergency services, voted early. Some of the 15 million of Iraq's 27 million people are eligible to vote.
We were there with U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Wal Cheshire with the military transition team and Colonel Abu Haider, the commander of the 1st Brigade of the 7th Division.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. COL. WAL CHESHIRE, ADVISOR TO THE IRAQI ARMY: Elections is not something that they've had a lot of familiarity with in the past, so this is a step. And I think it's a big step for them.
COL. ABU HAIDER, IRAQI ARMY (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I think that today, it's a very bad day for the enemy of Iraq, for the enemies of Iraq.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NORTH: General George Casey, the senior U.S. military officer here in Iraq, was there, and he gave us his prediction for Election Day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. GEORGE CASEY, COMMANDER OF MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE IRAQ: Across Iraq, I think you're going to have a large turnout. I think you're going to have probably some low-to-moderate levels of violence, but I think the people of Iraq are going to demonstrate that they are committed to the democratic process and it's going to be a great day for Iraq.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NORTH: And, Sean, one of the reasons why it's going to be a great Election Day is because of marines like Sergeant Major Kilgore here, who have made every effort to work with the Iraqi forces and provide a secure environment for the folks out here.
And I'll give you a chance to hear from a guy who knows this place on the ground from his second tour out here. Sergeant Major Kilgore, you know the security situation out there. This has been the most violent city on the planet Earth. Can there be a safe election?
SGT. MAJ. DUKE KILGORE, 3RD BATTALION, 7TH MARINES: Colonel North, you're absolutely correct to say it's the most violent area out here in Iraq. Yes, sir, there can be a safe election.
The people who are out there going through the houses, going through the searches, are turning it around at this time. They're more friendly than ever. The Marines report back that they're not seeing as much resistance when they go through the houses, when they go through the shops. So, yes, I do believe it can get better, sir.
NORTH: Last election here in Al-Anbar, fewer than 5 percent of the people actually voted. And yet 58 percent voted around the rest of the country. This is the heart of the Sunni triangle. We hear predictions that it's going to be a much larger turnout. Is that what you're expecting?
KILGORE: At this time, sir, we do believe it's going to be a larger turnout, in the sense that we're seeing more posters going up...
HANNITY: How much time?
KILGORE: ... to support each one of their members that they want to go out there and vote for. Yes, I do believe this is going to be a bigger turnout, sir.
NORTH: Sean and Alan, I tell you, from all of my trips out here, this last couple of days has been — even though there's still violence — some of the most tranquil that we've seen in this very, very violent city — Sean?
HANNITY: Colonel North, this is a story we're not getting from anybody else, anywhere else in the media. We'll see you tomorrow night. We'll see you the night after. We're three days away from making history. You tell those guys we're thinking of them, they're in our prayers, and thank them for all they're doing out there.
Thank you, Colonel. We'll see you tomorrow night, sir. Thank you.
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