This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 23, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: As a rebel victory in Libya looms so does the prospect of a post-Qaddafi Libya. And concerns are rising tonight about what the country might look like after his fall. Now, the draft constitution of the new Libyan regime has already appeared online and it states that, quote, "Islam is the religion of the state and the principle source of legislation is Islamic jurisprudence (Sharia)," law. So, is this a huge matter for concern?
Joining me now with analysis, the former ambassador to the U.N., Fox News contributor, potential presidential candidate, John Bolton. Ambassador, how are you?
JOHN BOLTON, FORMER US AMBASSADOR: Good to see you, Sean.
HANNITY: All right. You know, it is sort of like, when everything was happening with the Arab spring. I'm saying, you know, wait a minute, listen to the Muslim Brotherhood that is saying prepare for war with Israel. It now appears, in my estimation and I think you agree, that the likelihood is they are going to take over, am I right?
BOLTON: Yes. Sweetness, light and democracy are not about to break out. And Libya is a perfect example. Having gotten rid of Qaddafi, and I think it is clear now, he cannot regain control of the country. The issue of what happens next is very much up in the air. And we've spent six months watching this happen and we have not prepared for it.
HANNITY: Well, and these are very simple questions to me. And, you know, what happens in the short term, I know the president is on vacation, I know he didn't have time for an economic plan, but maybe if he could take a little time off the golf course, what's going to happen in the short term, what happens in the long term? You know, if you have to give your best guess, what should America's role be here?
BOLTON: In part is why you have a State Department and Defense Department to do a little long range planning. The first question is how Qaddafi actually exits? Because if it is a very bloody fight to the end, if he carries through on his threats, these circumstances will make it difficult to create a true government of national unity, number one. Number two, the rebels themselves are very internally divided. We know there are some who do believe in democracy, a pluralistic society. But there are plenty of others who believe the exact opposite. And the balance of power within the rebel council is not known at this point.
HANNITY: What's interesting if you read this constitution, and you and I actually had a private discussion about this last night. I mean, it talks about freedoms. It talks about freedom of the press and freedom of assembly and all these freedoms. They are all words. Then it goes into the Sharia law aspect of it. And I think we have a pretty good idea what would emerge if in fact as they say here that Islam is the religion of the state and the source of their legislation is Islamic jurisprudence, Sharia law. We know at that --
BOLTON: Right. Over the years, I've had a lot of discussions with Arab diplomats about women's rights. And they are all in favor of women's rights, subject to Sharia law as a slight qualification. And I think that's a good example of what remains to be thought out. And you've got to go beyond the transitional national council. They know they are playing to the West, they're on their best behavior. It is the people we don't know about, it's the people who aren't talking English to the Western reporters who pose the real problem.
HANNITY: Yes. All right. How are we to interpret the president's actions here? Does he now agree with George W. Bush in terms of preemption? Because I thought that's what he ran against.
BOLTON: He did. And there's an important philosophical difference here. We did not authorize military force in the president's mind to overthrow Qaddafi because of his threat to return to international terrorism. But rather under this diaphanous doctrine known as the Responsibility to Protect, which would have us launching American military force on humanitarian missions everywhere. He has never backed off that. So, people say, well, he achieved his objective, he did not achieve the military objective he started out with.
HANNITY: You know, this is a little frustrating to me, as a conservative, I mean, George W. Bush sought and he received the authorization for the use of force, as it relates to Iraq and the war on terror. And as a matter of fact, as it relates to Iraq, I mean, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.
BOLTON: Of course, this isn't war. You know, under that State Department's definition. And that I think really shows that the president is being too cute by half here. And it does undercut American credibility overseas. I think people understand the games that are being played. It does not help us in the future.
HANNITY: Well, it seems that the White House wants to use this -- they are still crucifying George W. Bush over his policy with Iraq and his virtual silence about what happened here. I'm not a supporter of the war powers act. But the reality is, it still is the law of the land. And unlike George Bush, Bush sought authorization for the use of force. Obama did not. Why is there no outcry in that case? And again, we don't know the outcome here is going to be. And I think there's this rosy projections of democracy braking out in Egypt, North Africa, and the Middle East. I don't believe any that.
BOLTON: It is not going to happen. I'm happy to see the war powers act trashed. The sooner it gets repealed the better. But very interestingly here, the President also made a big point of how he went to the U.N. Security Council to get authorization. But only to protect the Libyan civilians, not to overthrow Qaddafi. So, there's real hypocrisy even in the way the administration has conducted the military operation.
HANNITY: If I can change a real quick. We don't have a lot of time. I thought it was humiliating and embarrassing with our vice president in China. You know, don't count the U.S. out, even though the IMF projects their economy will out performed ours and be larger than ours by 2016. And then he defended their brutal one-child policy, saying, look, I fully understand it, I'm not second guessing one child per family, you know, this is otherwise, one person is going to be paying for four people, it is not sustainable. Now, this is a policy of forced abortion. This is a policy that has been brutal to women and girls.
BOLTON: Anti-girl policy, no doubt about it. Well, I find it just unspeakable that he would say this. If you don't want to say anything, don't say anything. But to say you understand it, I don't understand it. I don't think the American people understand.
HANNITY: Wait a minute. But isn't it because that basically the vice president is at the altar of the communist Chinese begging them not to pull out the billions and trillions that they've lent us?
BOLTON: That's the impression he's giving. And by the way, you know, I don't believe these Chinese economic statistics. There's a lot of prosperity in China after switching to market forces 25 years ago. But if you think those statistics really tell the full story in China, you ought to think again. I'm not worried about China over taking the United States any time soon.
HANNITY: Well, if we keep, you know, going in the way we are going. As a matter of fact, you saw in the Washington Post today, you know, in 18 months it will be official that President Obama has created less jobs than any other president in modern history.
BOLTON: And put us four trillion dollars -- the difference is we hold the key in our hands. We can change this.
HANNITY: Are you running?
BOLTON: I'm still thinking about it. I'll know by Labor Day.
HANNITY: All right. Ambassador Bolton, good to see you.
BOLTON: Good to see you.
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