This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," August 15, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Iran and Syria proudly proclaim victory for Hezbollah and slam Israel and the United States in the same breath. Syria's president mocks U.S. plans for a new Middle East, calling it, "an illusion destroyed by Hezbollah's success on the battlefield," and also warns that future generations in the Arab world will find a way to defeat Israel. And Iran's president repeats that sentiment, saying Hezbollah has "hoisted the banner of victory over Israel and crushed the United States' hopes for a new Middle East."
Let's bring in former secretary of state General Alexander Haig. Nice to see you, sir.
ALEXANDER HAIG, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Good to be with you, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: In light of the fact, sir, that Iran and Syria are involved in this whole sort of war between Israel and Hezbollah, and in light of the fact that where we now stand in this war — the world stands — should the United States talk to Iran and Syria and try to resolve something in the Middle East?
HAIG: Well, you don't talk to religious fanatics. And I'm not talking about Syria. Syria is a tool of Iran today and it has been for some time. But it's been a tool for other people, as well. Iran is the ideological core of our problem. And you know, there's been a lot of talk about who won and who lost. That hasn't been decided yet because it was costly for both sides. But I think it will be decided very shortly, dependent on how the West reacts, how the United Nations reacts to what is obviously going to be a total fracturing of the agreements made by the other side.
VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of what Israel got out of this — they wanted the two kidnapped soldiers from July 12. They didn't get that. They wanted to destroy Hezbollah. They didn't get that. And what they've got is a promise, but they had a promise before, that Hezbollah would be disarmed and dismantled. They've lost a lot of soldiers. They've got Iran and Syria claiming victory and Hezbollah claiming victory and also vowing to destroy — or they've called for the destruction of Israel. What did Israel get out of this?
HAIG: Well, we don't know how much damage Israel really did. The reports I've seen, it was far more substantial in terms of lost lives to Hezbollah in leadership positions, and damage, of course, unfortunately to Lebanon. So the infrastructure problem is not insignificant.
The real problem, however, is this war has yet to be decided. It's not over. There's a facade of a temporary cease-fire, but whether you look at it as a matter of weeks or years, they'll be back at it again because the outcome of this conflict is really not settling anything. And those people who — on the other side, who have an obligation and agreed to an agreement have already started to renege on it. We've seen that with Lebanon. They're not going to disarm Hezbollah. We see it with Hezbollah that says it's not going to disarm. And of course, Syria and Iran sit and pontificate with cost paid whatsoever on their part.
VAN SUSTEREN: So — I mean, you've got a whole lot of military experience. Do you anticipate that this is going to — this cease-fire is going to break down because Hezbollah's not going to be dismantled and Israel goes back into war, and this time, for lack of a better term, sort of finishes it off with more of the sort of agreement from the world because they abided by the U.N. cease-fire?
HAIG: Well, I think it's time the Western world looked at this thing with the kind of an eye that's necessary, and that includes the United States. My problem is Iran. And either Iran is brought to task for its continual violations of accepted rules of international law, or we're going to be the victim of Iran one way or the other.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, they apparently — I mean, the president of Iran has set August 22 as the date when he'll decide whether he'll stop the enrichment of uranium or not. Reuters at least is reporting tonight — I think it's the only news organization — is that the president has said that he has no intention of stopping the uranium enrichment. So now what?
HAIG: So that's obviously a crunch. And now they're cocky. Now they think they have won a victory, and if they didn't, they'll talk themselves into believing that they did, and that's all that matters because these people are ideologues. I'm always nervous about governments that let idealism take over practical, pragmatic foreign policy, and we've done a little of that ourselves in recent months and years.
VAN SUSTEREN: General Haig, always nice to see you, sir. Thank you for joining us.
HAIG: Good to see you.
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