updated 6/5/2007 5:23:31 PM ET 2007-06-05T21:23:31

Guests: Ryan Lizza, Paul Waldman, David Caplan, Cristina Gibson

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight: First the “war on Christmas” and now this.  Bill O‘Reilly blames secular progressives—can I say this with a straight face?  He blames secular progressives for the tuberculosis scare.  I‘m not even making that up!  We‘re going to tell you how he did it and why he did it, coming up.

But first to Iraq, not a laughing matter, where America just completed the two most bloody months in the history of that war.  And over the past four days, the first four days of this month, at least 17 U.S. soldiers have been killed.  Now word that some of the top commanders in that country, our commanders in Iraq, are concluding that the troop surge is just not working.  You know, “The New York Times” reported this weekend that there was an internal military report showing that more than two out of three neighborhoods in Baghdad are not under the control of the U.S.  military.  And they‘re getting less support from the Iraqi forces than expected.

And today, unfortunately, more grim news regarding those missing U.S.  soldiers as an al Qaeda Web site showed their ID cards while claiming they were executed in retaliation for U.S. actions against Muslims.

Meanwhile in Baghdad, the bloody hand of al Sadr has reappeared with sectarian killings on the rise as the Mahdi Army has stormed back into Baghdad and has resumed their bloody attacks on Sunnis.

Now, four months into the surge, some are saying that the outlook‘s increasingly bleak.  And you know what?  That is bad news for all the people in Iraq.  It‘s bad news for American troops, who, let‘s face it, are putting in a heroic effort despite some bad leadership.  And it is a bad bit of news for a U.S. president who seemingly staked his legacy on a victory in Iraq.

So the question tonight is, is that military win forever slipping beyond the grasp of George W. Bush?  Here now to answer those questions and much, much more, Ryan Lizza, senior editor for “The New Republic,” “Congressional Quarterly” columnist and MSNBC political analyst Craig Crawford, and two-time presidential contender and former White House communications director Pat Buchanan.

Let‘s—Pat, I‘m going to start with you.  It looks like things are getting worse for the president at home and for the troops abroad.  Do you think we‘re reaching the point of return for Mr. Bush, where at some point very, very soon—the point of no return—at some point very, very soon, he‘s just going to lose all of his support and is not going to be able to save his legacy?

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  I think, Joe, if what we read in “The New York Times”—and that was grisly and it was a very grim report—that the Americans got 30,000 troops in there, the Iraqis 30,000, and 21,000 police, which is over 80,000 people, and they‘re not handling it, and the Iraqis really are not standing up—if General Petraeus comes back with a report like that in September, I think there are going to be about two questions, one of which, What would we need to win, and is it really doable?  And so I think we‘re approaching a real crunch in September, but I don‘t think anything will happen, Joe, before then.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Pat, though, look at this quote, where generals predicting the control of the neighborhoods in a few months is necessary, saying, We have within the next four months to move the Iraqi security forces more towards holding the areas we have cleared.  But the situation is actually getting worse, Pat, isn‘t it, where you actually have two out of three neighborhoods that are not in our control.  And you‘ve got the—al Sadr coming in.  You‘ve got the Mahdi Army coming back in.  You‘re got Shia once again killing Sunnis, Sunnis blowing up Shias, Sunnis blowing up al Qaeda.  I mean, it is an—and Shiites killing Shiites.  I mean, it seems like we‘re slipping deeper and deeper into a chaotic situation there.

BUCHANAN:  It is utterly chaotic, Joe.  And the Americans are the—

American casualties are horrible and they‘re terrible.  They‘re only a tiny fraction of the Iraqi casualties.  And it looks like what the Americans are doing in a lot of cases is sort of temporarily keeping Iraqis from murdering Iraqis.  Now, I don‘t know how long the United States can really keep that up if the Iraqi army doesn‘t stand up to do this.  Now, this army fought for eight years against a superior Iran and succeeded in holding them off.  It appears they do not want to fight and die for this government or so-called democracy the way they wanted to fight and die for their country against Iran.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, and Pat—Pat, how in the world can the United States, how can the United Nations, how can any foreign force come into Iraq and stop Iraqis from killing Iraqis if Iraqis want to kill Iraqis?

BUCHANAN:  You know, the only one that could stop them before was apparently Saddam Hussein.  But in truth, Joe, our invasion ignited this larger, wider war.  Initially, they were attacking us out in Anbar.  The Sunnis were attacking us.  And then al Qaeda attacked the Golden Mosque.  And then the Sunnis kept attacking the Shia.  They‘ve got themselves now a bloody sectarian civil, chaotic war going on.  And I tend to agree with you, I don‘t think we got the forces in place to stop it, from that report.  If that report is the basis of the September report, I think a big change is going to be made.

SCARBOROUGH:  Craig Crawford, it‘s looking more bleak by the day for the president, isn‘t it.


don‘t know how it gets much worse, although this president just keeps bouncing back, keeps playing this rope-a-dope.  I smell a set-up in these revelations in “The New York Times,” Joe.  And that is the set-up for the next surge.  I mean, going back to the talking points I heard from Republicans leading up to this last funding debate, one thing I kept hearing them say, sort of tucking in at the end of their statements was, Well, we don‘t have enough troops there.  We actually don‘t even have enough troops there.

I kept hearing that over and over again, and I really do think what we‘re going to hear from this administration, a lot of their friends on Capitol Hill towards the end of the summer is, Well, we need more troops.  With more troops, we can actually get this done.  Give us a chance.  It‘s sort of like buying a stock that‘s just plummeting.  You know, you keep buying it to protect your losses, until pretty soon, you have a million shares in a bankrupt company.

SCARBOROUGH:  And the question, Craig, is, how can the Democrats not stand up to the president, if that takes place?  If the situation gets more and more bleak, how do the Democrats who got elected get us out of Iraq allow a second surge?  You‘ve been predicting this for a while, Craig.  And I‘ve got to say I believe that‘s the president‘s next move.  That‘s the Republican Party‘s next move.

CRAWFORD:  Well, Democrats are counting on, you know, breaking the Republican coalition.  The only reason the Democrats haven‘t been able to pull this off—I mean, 61 percent of the House Democrats voted against this most recent funding through the summer.  So the only reason they aren‘t succeeding is because Republicans have been holding together in favor of the president‘s plan for unending war, unlimited resources and no end in sight.  Until Republicans start breaking away from that policy and voting with the Democrats, then it is not going to change.

BUCHANAN:  I don‘t think another surge is in the cards, Joe.  I don‘t think so.

RYAN LIZZA, “THE NEW REPUBLIC”:  Yes, I don‘t think so, either.

SCARBOROUGH:  You really don‘t think so?

BUCHANAN:  No, I don‘t.

LIZZA:  Look, the first—I think—I agree with Pat, and for two reasons.  One, we don‘t have any more troops to send over to Iraq.  I mean, that‘s the basic reason.  But even if we did, 10,000, 20,000 troops are not going to solve this problem.  They would just be swallowed by the city of Baghdad.

CRAWFORD:  What we learned—just a few weeks ago, we learned the Pentagon had notified 35,000 troops to be ready to go out to Iraq.

LIZZA:  But the report in “The Times” points out the fundamental problem here.  We can‘t do it alone.  We‘re relying on the Iraqi security forces to back us up, to hold these areas after we clear them.  And we can‘t do this alone.  Unless we have a partner in Iraq, it‘s not going happen.  But even...



LIZZA:  ... any more troops.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... the same question—Ryan, I want to ask you the same question I asked Pat Buchanan.  I mean, let‘s say that we had some partners in Iraq helping us out here.

LIZZA:  Yes.

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s say we had France,  we had Germany, we had Russia, we had China, we had the United Nations, we had the type of coalition that George Bush, Sr., had in 1991 when he went into Iraq.  Still, how do we stop Iraqis from blowing up Iraqis?  If Sunnis want to kill Shia and Shia want to kill each other and Sunnis want to kill each other, there‘s nothing that we can do to stop that, is there?

LIZZA:  I agree with you.  There has to be some incentives for those folks to come to the table.  And you know, I think that the one way to force them might be the threat of getting out.  I mean, that argument looks better and better.  But while we‘re there, it doesn‘t seem like...

BUCHANAN:  You know...

LIZZA:  ... like the civil—like we‘re doing anything to prevent this civil war.  So the logic of, Hey, let‘s use the threat of a withdrawal to get these guys to the table seems smarter and smarter to me.


BUCHANAN:  Joe, let me interrupt there.  Look, people say there‘s only a political solution here.

LIZZA:  Right.

BUCHANAN:  I don‘t believe that.  Look, you know why I don‘t believe it?  Our Civil War didn‘t end in a political solution.  It ended in the crushing of the South.  The Russian civil war didn‘t end in a political solution.  The Vietnamese civil war didn‘t end in a solution.  The Cambodian civil war didn‘t end in a political solution...


CRAWFORD:  Amen to that!  I say amen to that, Pat.  You know, I mean, civil wars—civil wars just have to run their course.  There are very few examples...

LIZZA:  Well, I don‘t—I don‘t buy that argument.

CRAWFORD:  ... civil wars being stopped artificially.

LIZZA:  I don‘t buy that argument, the argument that we should just let them kill each other and...

BUCHANAN:  I don‘t say you should let me.  I say this is what they‘re going to do.

LIZZA:  ... or that it‘s inevitable.


LIZZA:  Well, you know, that didn‘t happen in the Balkans.  In the Balkans...

CRAWFORD:  I say we let them.

LIZZA:  In the Balkans, after some blood-letting, we brought people to the table.  The Dayton accords were successful.  The bombing in Serbia was successful.  And the Serbs and the Kosovars...


LIZZA:  ... stopped killing each other.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... Ryan...

LIZZA:  It‘s not impossible.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second, though, Ryan, though.  You can look at Bosnia.  You can look at Lebanon starting in 1975.  There are very—in fact, I think—I think it was in “Foreign Affairs” last month, there are very few examples of being able to negotiate your way out of a civil war.  It just doesn‘t happen.  So I mean...

LIZZA:  But there are examples, is all I‘m saying.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... how in the world do you stop a civil war?

BUCHANAN:  Hey, Michael (SIC), you know how the Serbian civil war ended.  The Croatians sent 100,000 troops in and grabbed all the area they wanted, and then it stopped.

SCARBOROUGH:  The thing is, does anybody really believe here—Craig Crawford, you don‘t believe that we‘re going to be able to get Richard Holbrooke back and sit everybody down, we‘ll say in Cincinnati, and sit the Sunnis down with the Shia and the Kurds and come up with a solution.  I mean, it‘s going to be like Lebanon, isn‘t it.  They‘re going to have to keep killing each other until they figure out where the power lies.

CRAWFORD:  Until they‘re all dead or they just get tired.  I mean, I really don‘t...


CRAWFORD:  ... our troops could redeploy to the borders and protect the borders as much as possible and just let this thing happen.  I don‘t see any other way.

BUCHANAN:  Joe, I see an India-Pakistan solution, de facto partition, people moving in one direction and another.  The Sunnis got the west, the Kurds are north, the Shias the south, and Baghdad‘s going to be a bloodbath...

LIZZA:  But what are you going to do...

BUCHANAN:  ... until people separate themselves.

LIZZA:  How are you going to do that?  I mean, this is what I don‘t understand about this plan to partition Iraq.  I mean, you‘re basically...

BUCHANAN:  They‘re going to do it themselves.

LIZZA:  Well, OK, fine, they can do it themselves, but it basically is going to amount to, you know, ethnic cleansing on a pretty massive scale.  There are a lot of mixed areas in the country.

BUCHANAN:  That‘s exactly what is going on now.  We‘re trying to stop it, but we‘re not being successful.

LIZZA:  But your plan would encourage it...


BUCHANAN:  I‘m saying the American people—if this report comes in in September, and somebody calls for a surge, the American people will say, No way.  A lot of Republicans will say, No way, no surge.

LIZZA:  I agree with you there.  I agree with you 100 percent there.  I mean, There‘s not going to be a second surge.  I mean, the Republicans will be the ones...

BUCHANAN:  If there‘s no second surge...

LIZZA:  ... that will stop it.

BUCHANAN:  If there‘s no second surge and you can‘t stop the killing, what do you do?

SCARBOROUGH:  I think you get out.

CRAWFORD:  This administration will attempt a second surge.  You might be right, Republicans will stop it, but that‘s the test.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey—hey...

CRAWFORD:  Will Republicans line up for it?

SCARBOROUGH:  Finally—OK, let‘s talk politics really quickly Pat Buchanan, as we go from this segment, at least.  On “Fox News Sunday,” Newt Gingrich suggested the Bush administration is dysfunctional, sort of an obvious statement but not coming from a Republican who may be running for president. Take a listen to what Newt said.


NEWT GINGRICH ®, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  The government is not functioning.  It‘s not getting the job done.

I warned all last year that I suspected we were  drifting into a catastrophic defeat.  I don‘t see any other way to read ‘06 except it was a defeat.  And if we don‘t have a serious, open discussion of where we are, I don‘t see how we‘re going to change.


SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Buchanan, a lot of Republicans are saying that behind closed doors now.  Newt Gingrich is saying it publicly.  What does that mean for the president and the party?

BUCHANAN:  Well, first, Newt Gingrich is right with the neocons in getting us into this war.  But what it‘s saying is that, no doubt, Bush is in trouble.  I think what Newt is doing is Newt realized that he was going to go ask the girl to dance, and somebody stepped in front of him named Fred Thompson.  And I think his one big chance to step in as the alternative candidate to the top three may have passed him by and he‘s trying to recoup some ground.

SCARBOROUGH:  That sounds awfully cynical, Pat Buchanan...


SCARBOROUGH:  ... but we‘ll...

BUCHANAN:  I was raised by Richard Nixon!


SCARBOROUGH:  You were raised on Richard, weren‘t you!  Hey, everybody, hang on.  Right after the break, we‘re going to be asking whether the war in Iraq is to blame for home-grown terror.  And now there are new charges that the JFK plot to blow up the airport and kill tens of thousands of people could be a result of the Iraq war.  That‘s next.

Plus, the Democrats battle over whether the U.S. is really safer after 9/11.  Hillary Clinton says it is, but Obama says no.  We‘ll have my real deal ahead.

And later: Bill O‘Reilly blames the tuberculosis scare on culture wars.  Is he turning a health scare into a political issue?  Does he have a point, or has he run out of things to talk about?  That‘s ahead.



GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST, ABC “THIS WEEK”:  Let me pick up on something you said just there.  You believe that these home-grown terrorist plots are being inspired by the U.S. work in Iraq right now?

REP. JACK MURTHA (D), PENNSYLVANIA:  Absolutely.  George, they were inspired by them all over the world.  Our presence in Iraq, our occupation of Iraq gives these people the inspiration.


SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s a guy I know well and like a lot, served with him for several years, Congressman Jack Murtha, saying home-grown terrorist plots like the alleged plan to bomb fuel pipelines at JFK airport are provoked by America‘s presence in Iraq.  Is that the case, or are Democrats off base?

Our all-star panel is here with analysis.  Let me ask you—we‘ll start with you, Craig.  What do you think about Jack Murtha‘s claim that Iraq is inspiring Muslim terrorists, giving them this exciting new idea to attack America?

CRAWFORD:  He does not speak for most Democrats in saying that, I can tell you that, even those who might privately want to debate that question, maybe even lean towards his views, aren‘t ready to say it publicly.  Ron Paul—you know, in the last Republican debate, Ron Paul got beat up by Rudy Giuliani for making the same claim about 9/11 itself.  I think that‘s getting Murtha pretty close to Rosie O‘Donnell country...


CRAWFORD:  ... with most Americans, and not a place Democrats want to go.  But once again, he‘s the canary in the coal mine.  He likes to get in there and see if there‘s air to breathe.  And I think on this one—I don‘t think the public‘s ready to—ready to accept that argument.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you know, Pat Buchanan, we‘ve been hearing for some time that George W. Bush‘s policies in Iraq would inspire Islamic terrorism against the United States of America.  And my gosh, that makes perfectly good sense because we all know George W. Bush‘s war in Iraq is what caused Osama bin Laden to attack us on September 11, 2001, right?

BUCHANAN:  No.  No.  Let me say this about Osama bin Laden.  The...

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second, Pat.

BUCHANAN:  September 11...

SCARBOROUGH:  Wait a second, Pat.  Pat, since you didn‘t take my...


SCARBOROUGH:  Since you didn‘t bite, actually...

LIZZA:  I‘ll play.

SCARBOROUGH:  ... the point is, September 11 happened before we attacked Iraq!

BUCHANAN:  Well, here‘s the...

SCARBOROUGH:  And that‘s why these type of arguments seem so stupid!

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, wait a minute, now.  September 11 was the mass murder of 3,000 Americans, unforgivable, unpardonable, unjustified.  However, it was not simple terror, it was political terror.  What was the terror motivation of Osama bin Laden‘s terror?  If you read his declaration of war against the West in 1998, Joe, there were three motivations.  The most important was the presence of American troops on the sacred soil of Saudi-Arabia, and expel them.  The second was the persecution, in his judgment, of the people of Iraq, with all these sanctions that he said were killing hundreds of thousands.  And third was the occupation or the Israeli occupation, which we support.


BUCHANAN:  Those are his...

SCARBOROUGH:  ... you‘re missing my point, though.

BUCHANAN:  Yes.  What is it?

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re missing my point, though.  My point is that Jack Murtha and a lot of Moveon.org types blame George W. Bush for this.  As you said, Osama bin Laden declared war...


SCARBOROUGH:  ... against us five years...


SCARBOROUGH:  ... before the invasion of Iraq.

BUCHANAN:  Well, that‘s exactly right.  The Osama bin Laden war against us dates back to the Gulf war, then the move into Saudi Arabia of all those American infidel troops and what he called his camp prostitutes, the American female soldiers.  This drove these guys bananas.  And their idea was to drive us out of the Middle East, the way they drove the Russians out of Afghanistan, with terror.  But terror in that region didn‘t work, so they concocted this horrible act of terror in the United States of America.  But there‘s no doubt U.S. occupation and invasion of Iraq has inflamed the whole region, expanded the swamp of hatred of the United States from which these recruits come.  That is undeniable.

LIZZA:  Yes.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, I don‘t—I don‘t know exactly whether we‘re—I think I agree, Ryan Lizza, with Hillary Clinton.  I think we are safer today than we were on September 11, 2001, because we‘ve sent a very strong message, whether it is a mess and whether Americans are against it and whether they want us out or not, the bottom line is Osama bin Laden figured out that when you knock down two American buildings, chances are good that if the president‘s George W. Bush, he‘s going to take over two Muslim countries.

Now, that inflames a lot of people, but at the same time, it is a cold, nasty calculus that Osama bin Laden has to understand!

LIZZA:  I think...

CRAWFORD:  And he actually said that in some of his writings before

9/11, some of the things he said about what he wanted to do, you know, to -

he had sort of that Unabomber prose that was hard to get through because a lot of it didn‘t make sense, but if you really sort through a lot of what Obama (SIC) said, that was the scenario...

LIZZA:  Osama!  Osama!

CRAWFORD:  ... he set forth, is that by—by driving us nuts, we would—he would entangle us in the Middle East and ultimately destabilize Saudi Arabia.  That was what he set forth...

LIZZA:  But Joe...

CRAWFORD:  ... as his long-range goal.


LIZZA (on-camera):  Joe, I doubt what Hillary was saying is that George Bush‘s invasion of Iraq is what‘s made us safer.  She‘s probably just saying that some of the measures that we‘ve taken in homeland security have made us safer.  I doubt that she believes the Iraq war has made us safer.

BUCHANAN:  But we...

LIZZA:  I don‘t think anyone—I don‘t think anyone would agree with that...

CRAWFORD:  And I thought that was a reasonable thing for her to say. 

I mean, it might not be for a lot of Democratic activist voters, but going

looking forward to the general election...

LIZZA:  Look, there‘s...

CRAWFORD:  ... this is something...


CRAWFORD:  ... most people do think, that we‘re...


SCARBOROUGH:  We‘re going to have to wrap this up, guys.  Thanks so much.  Pat, I‘m sorry.  I‘ll get you in the morning sometime this week.  Craig Crawford, I know you didn‘t mean to say that it was Barack Obama that wrote like the Unabomber but Osama bin Laden.  Ryan Lizza...

CRAWFORD:  Thanks for cleaning that up, yes.

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s all right.  We‘re having to clean each other up this past week.  Ryan Lizza, thanks so much.

Coming up next: Are the cultural wars to blame for last week‘s TB scare?  Bill O‘Reilly goes out on a limb, says yes.  Is he finally over the line, or could he have a point?  That‘s straight ahead.  But first, David Letterman celebrate‘s Roger Clemens‘s comeback next in “Must See S.C.”


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, it‘s time for tonight‘s “Must See S.C.,” some video you got to see.  First up: Roger Clemens missed his first start with the Yankees today, and many fans are wondering if age is catching up to him.  But David Letterman shows us why the team is standing by their man.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We here at the New York Yankees are thrilled to announce Roger Clemens has decided to rejoin the Bombers.  It is with open arms that we welcome back not only Roger but the entire Clemens clan, his wife, Debbie (ph), his sons, Koby (ph), Cory (ph), Cody (ph) and Casey (ph), his grandchildren, Kyle (ph), Cassidy (ph) and Katie (ph), and his great-grandchildren, Christy (ph), Connor (ph), Cooper (ph) and Kayla (ph).  Welcome back, everyone.  A message from the New York Yankees.


SCARBOROUGH:  And then President Bush continues his unintentional bid for “Late Show” dominance with another great moment in presidential speeches.


FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  ... that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself!

JOHN F. KENNEDY, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!

GEORGE WALKER BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  ... because as a person whose job it is to make decisions, you got to understand that I‘m making them on—on—on...


SCARBOROUGH:  And coming up: Are politics to blame for the recent TB scare?  Bill O‘Reilly‘s blaming it on secular progressives.  We‘re going to talk to somebody who says Billo‘s crossed the line in blaming secular progressives for infectious diseases.  And later: Paris Hilton‘s first day in jail.  Can the party girl survive her full prison term?  We‘re going to show you what she had to say just before being thrown in the slammer.



SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up, Bill O‘Reilly says so-called “secular progressives” are to blame for a recent TB scare, but did Mr. O‘Reilly cross the line with that latest attack?  That story and much more in just minutes.

But first, tonight‘s “Real Deal.”  You know, during the Democratic presidential debate last night, Hillary Clinton uttered the unthinkable. 


SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK:  I believe we are safer than we were.  We are not yet safe enough.  And I have proposed over the last year a number of policies that I think we should be following. 


SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s unthinkable because so many political hacks and party operatives simply don‘t think when it comes to matters of war and peace.  John Kerry campaigned on the notion that the war on terror was not a war at all, but rather a police action.  And his former running mate took it a step further by calling the war on terror nothing more than, quote, a “bumper-sticker.”  It was a canned political line inspired by the fringes of a Democratic Party who seems to hate their own president more than they fear Islamic terrorists, whose long-term goal, friends, is to destroy America. 

For those Democrats who mock those of us who speak in such terms, let me remind you that, in about 18 months—that‘s all it is, that‘s all you have left of George W. Bush‘s presidency—in 18 months, chances are very good that a president from your own party is going to be sworn in as commander-in-chief.  That president will then be responsible for stopping the next terror attack on our homeland, and you will support that president, because she will be you‘re your own party.  And you will loathe Republicans who mock her efforts to keep all of safe in this country.  I know this because I‘ve seen this cycle of political myopia first hand.  It even blinded me for a short while, but no longer. 

For those Democratic activists who hate Hillary Clinton for taking a stronger line on national defense issues, trust me.  You‘re going to be praising her the second she‘s your nominee.  And then, and maybe only then, you will see how prescient she‘s been being strong on defense and on being unyielding on the war on terror. 

Now, Barack Obama may excite you right now, and John Edwards, who knows, maybe he‘s won your heart, but their debate performances have shown why Americans will never trust them to be commander-in-chief.  After two American cities are nuked, we‘re going to need a president a lot more concerned with things other than first responders.  And chances are also good that Mr. Edwards‘ bumper-sticker then will be revealed on showing just how detached he and the Democratic base has become, again because of their hatred of George W. Bush. 

You know, I‘d like to ask all the Democratic candidates two simple questions:  First, do you think Osama bin laden would use nuclear weapons on American cities if he had them?  Of course he would.  And, two, do you think it is likely Al Qaeda terrorists will get their hands on nuclear weapons in the next five to 10 years? 

Well, unfortunately for all of us, for our families, for our children, for our friends, for our communities, for our country, the evidence, the intelligence is so strong that the answer to both of those questions may be yes.  This is no time for the type of silliness that‘s infected the left wing of the Democratic Party.

Likewise, it‘s no time for the type of stubbornness and short-sightedness that‘s marked the Bush administration‘s Iraq policy over the past several years.  Now, George W. Bush and his most strident allies in Congress tell us there is a war on terror that spans the globe.  They tell us threats are multiplying by the day, in Iran, in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, and in radical Muslim groups that know no boundaries, and I agree with them.  And yet they act as if the war on terror begins and ends in Iraq. 

The Bush administration‘s policy of loading all of their chips on this one country makes as much sense as General Dwight D. Eisenhower deciding in 1942 that he was going to move all of America‘s troops to North Africa, that he and FDR decided that World War II would be won or lost against the Desert Fox, regardless of what was happening on the western front, or the eastern front, or in Italy, or in the Pacific.

I wonder, how would historians treated FDR if he had told Americans that a retreat from North Africa alone would amount to a total surrender of our country to Nazi Germany?  Not very well, I would guess.  So why is that exactly what the Bush administration keeps telling us now? 

We‘re tying down the fastest and most powerful fighting force in the history of mankind, a force that could sweep into any capital on the face of the Earth within a month, but is instead getting blown up by the day by the crudest of improvised devices.  And, my gosh, these guys are walking around Iraq with targets painted on their backs. 

It is insanity, and I say that as a dove—not as a dove.  I say that as a hawk.  I say that as a hawk who wants the radicals in Iran to know that we do have the ability to sweep into their country, destroy their nuclear programs, incapacitate their armies, and kill their leaders if we have to, and after doing that, getting our troops out of Iran until such time we have reason to believe once again that they want to follow through on their threats to destroy the United States of America. 

You know, friends, tonight our troops are stretched so thin in Iraq that the Iranians and our enemies abroad have nothing to fear.  They are emboldened.  I know we have a president more obsessed on history‘s verdict than the global war on terror.  That‘s got to change, and it‘s got to change with the Republicans in Congress who have reflectively supported our president over the past several years, even when challenging him would have been better for Mr. Bush, better for the Republican Party, and better for Americans.

You know, it‘s time for Republicans and Democrats alike to start worrying about the safety of Americans more than the strength of their own political parties.  We are, John Edwards, in a war on terror.  Our enemies do want to kill our families and destroy our country.  And they hate us.  They don‘t hate us because we love freedom; they hate us simply because we‘re not their brand of radical Muslim.  It is time to focus on the real enemy, and it‘s time for our leaders to get serious. 

You know, the American hour is upon us now, and how we respond today is going to determine whether we win this war, where nothing less than our civilization is at stake.  It‘s frightening, and it‘s made even more frightening by those who are not showing true leadership in Washington, D.C. 

And that‘s tonight‘s “Real Deal.”

Now we move onto somebody who probably disagrees with me, Bill O‘Reilly.  He‘s in hot water after suggesting politics could be to blame for last week‘s TB scare.  While much of the criticism has been aimed at the Center for Disease Control and border security, what about the infected man himself?  Could his own personal politics have led him to put hundreds of others at risk?  Bill O‘Reilly says yes.  Take a listen.


BILL O‘REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST:  What the story comes down to is philosophy of life.  Traditional values people put others on a par with themselves.  That‘s the Judeo-Christian tenet, love your neighbor as yourself. 

Secular progressives put themselves above all others.  That philosophy says, “Me first, and then I‘ll worry about you.”  As a nation, the USA has been successful embracing the traditional point of view, but today that‘s being challenged, and this TB case is a great example. 

Are Andrew Speaker and his wife bad people?  Probably not.  Did Speaker put his own welfare above everything and everybody else?  You bet he did. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Is Bill O‘Reilly right to connect the dots or is he way off the mark?  Here now, Paul Waldman.  He‘s a senior fellow from the famously anti-O‘Reilly watchdog group Media Matters.

It seems too easy.  Bill O‘Reilly blaming the TB scare on secular progressives.  What‘s your take on it, Michael?

PAUL WALDMAN, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA:  Well, you know, Bill O‘Reilly is becoming really an almost comical figure, but I think that this is really indicative of a mindset that you see in a lot of right-wing talk show hosts, present company excepted, of course.  But, you know, right now... 

SCARBOROUGH:  Wait.  Hold on a second, Paul.  Are you saying I‘m right-wing?  I think I just kicked the heck out of President Bush.  Does that make me a right-winger?

WALDMAN:  You‘re a much more complicated figure than some, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I am complicated, no doubt about it.  But go ahead.

WALDMAN:  Right now, Rush Limbaugh is probably trying to figure out how he can blame this on the Clintons, and Michael Savage is trying to figure out how he can blame it on gay people.  And for Bill O‘Reilly, it‘s the secular progressives.  And it‘s really just kind of absurd—it‘s a little hard to follow his logic, I guess, you know, without knowing anything about this guy or what he thinks—it‘s somehow the same people who are waging the war with Christmas and the war on Easter are now supposedly want to spread TB, because they don‘t care about other people, or something. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I think his point is, Paul, that we‘ve become a more selfish country, that the secular progressives have stripped us of our moral fiber.  And, you know, a new Gallup poll asks Americans to rate the state of moral values in America.  Only 1 percent of Americans rate our values as excellent; 16 percent say good; 39 percent say fair; 44 percent say poor.  You add that up, my gosh, I mean, that‘s over, what, 75 percent, 80 percent that say we don‘t have good values.  It sounds like they agree with Bill O‘Reilly. 

WALDMAN:  No, I think that people, who have all kinds of different beliefs about things like religion, think there are moral problems in our country today.  What that has to do with secular progressives, I think that it‘s really hard to figure out. 

But, you know, this isn‘t the first time Bill O‘Reilly has taken some kind of tragedy like this and used it for his own agenda.  When all those children were killed in that fire in the Bronx, he said that that was the fault of secular progressives.  You know, as I said, it‘s a little hard to follow his logic, but that‘s where he always ends up going.

SCARBOROUGH:  So what‘s the point here?  What‘s the point on this attack on secular progressives?  What is it?  What is an S.P.?  When did Bill O‘Reilly start doing this?  And what‘s the point? 

WALDMAN:  He started about a year or two ago, and his last book was all about this, how the secular progressives are dragging down America.  And I think that what it shows is that he just needs an enemy, and it doesn‘t really matter what the issue of the day happens to be, whether it‘s a war, or whether it‘s a guy who may have spread a resistant strain of TB, he‘s going to try to find a way to relate that to his enemy.  And, you know, it‘s just kind of ridiculous.  I kind of picture his couple of million viewers sitting at home, saying, “What on Earth is he talking about?” 

SCARBOROUGH:  And that‘s a good point, Paul.  Hey, Paul, thank you so much for being with us.  That‘s a good last point that you made.  I think there are a lot of people—I think, in fact, the majority of Americans may agree with Bill O‘Reilly on a lot of different issues, but at certain points, when you start blaming secular progressives for this tuberculosis scare, at that point, I think a lot of people rolled their eyes and just wonder what the guy‘s thinking. 

Anyway, coming up next, I wonder what Paris Hilton is thinking with her first day in jail almost over?  How she got slammed on live TV before entering the slammer, and what her fellow prisoners are saying tonight.  That‘s next.  And later in “Hollyweird,” what do Britney and Lindsay have in common besides their public meltdowns?  Well, their moms are now trying to exploit their daughters‘ success.


SCARBOROUGH:  You know, if, for some reason, you felt a little more safe, felt like your kids were a little more secure today, as if a dangerous presence had been removed from American society, well, you were right.  Paris Hilton is behind bars, and she‘s serving her 23-day sentence.  She reported to jail late last night, just hours after walking the red carpet at the MTV Movie Awards, where she managed to get one last public humiliation in for good measure before serving time.  Take a listen.


SARAH SILVERMAN, COMEDIAN:  The judge says that it‘s going to be a no-frills thing, and that is ridiculous.  She is totally going to get special treatment.  As a matter of fact, I heard that, to make her feel like more comfortable in prison, the guards are going to paint the bars to look like (bleep).  Is that—I think it‘s wrong, too.  I just worry that she‘s going to break her teeth on those things.  Anyway...


SCARBOROUGH:  She does not look happy.  So how‘s the slammer suiting Paris after the first, oh, I don‘t know, 20 hours or so?  Let‘s bring in David Caplan.  He‘s senior correspondent from VH1‘s “Best Week Ever.”

David, what is the latest on Paris Hilton tonight? 

DAVID CAPLAN, “STAR” MAGAZINE:  Well, the latest on Paris Hilton is that she‘s actually adjusting pretty well to prison.  Her lawyer visited her today in prison and, in fact, she actually skipped lunch in favor of this meeting with her lawyer.  And her lawyer is saying that Paris is adapting to prison life well, and then the spokesperson for the jail added that Paris is being calm, she‘s behaving, so, so far, so good, but the fact that she skipped lunch in favor of her lawyer means she probably hasn‘t taken a liking to the food and is trying to get extra days off of her prison sentence. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I would guess.  Now, Paris spoke to reporters on the red carpet last night, and I think she‘s been reborn.  Take a listen to what she said.  You don‘t have that?  All right. 

Well, do you think Paris Hilton—should we expect Paris Hilton to start carrying around a Bible, sort of trying to turn over a new leaf? 

CAPLAN:  Absolutely not.  I mean, we saw before she went into prison, she did all these photo ops for publicity, but I don‘t think when Paris emerges from prison will she become this new person, nor in prison is she going to like find God or something.  You always hear these sort of stories with celebrities.  I really think, with her, she‘s so superficial that she‘s going to stay the same afterward, and she‘s going to capitalize it.

SCARBOROUGH:  And so how much longer is she in prison?  Is she going to get off for good behavior?

CAPLAN:  Right now, we‘re looking at 23 days.  So essentially almost 22 days, and like, again, she had this meeting with her lawyer today, and I was hearing she‘s really hoping to even have that sentence cut further.  So she‘s 23 days, so she only has 23 days to write that memoir, sell it after she gets out of prison, and make millions and millions of dollars. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s just not right, David.  It‘s just not right.

CAPLAN:  It‘s a travesty.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, stay with us, David, because “Hollyweird” is coming up next.


SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, now‘s the time to start pushing your kids into acting, and who cares if they don‘t want to go?  It‘s time for “Hollyweird.”

First up, Nicole Richie.  Is she going to be following her friend, Paris, to prison?  Here now to give us the inside scoop, Cristina Gibson, a reporter from E! Online‘s “The Awful Truth.”  And David Caplan, who‘s still with us.

David, is Richie going to jail?

CAPLAN:  She is very concerned she is.  Nicole Richie was busted for DUI, and she could be sent to jail like her friend, Paris.  And Nicole recently said that she‘s really scared that she‘s going to end up in prison.  So here‘s crossing our fingers if you‘re not a big Nicole Richie fan. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Cristina, may be bleak for this former power couple, right? 

CRISTINA GIBSON, E! ONLINE REPORTER:  It might be.  I mean, they kind of threw the book at Paris, so it‘s not that unlikely that they might do this with Nicole.  Now, she pled not guilty, but if she is convicted, she faces mandatory jail time.  So it‘s not that out of the question. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And how long would that be?

GIBSON:  I think it‘s a minimum of 90 days and up to a year. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Wow, that is fairly intense. 

GIBSON:  Yes, it‘s a long time.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hey, let‘s talk about Lindsay Lohan, who seems to be flirting with jail at some point.  Lindsay Lohan‘s mother has always wanted her own TV show.  She‘s even referred to herself as the white Oprah.  So now, is her dream about to come true, Cristina?  What do you hear?

GIBSON:  I don‘t know.  You know, I‘m as surprised as everybody else today to hear this news.  I work there, and I‘m thinking, “Oh, she has a show?  Who knew?”  So she refers to herself as the white Oprah.  She wants her own talk show.  Maybe this is her way of kicking off her TV career.  So it should be interesting to see what happens. 

SCARBOROUGH:  David Caplan, the white Oprah?  My gosh, aren‘t you supposed to be able to answers peoples‘ questions about their problems with kids? 

CAPLAN:  Yes, I mean, Dina has always wanted to have a career.  And I‘ve got to add, by the way, that Dina told me in an interview a few months ago that it was Lindsay‘s friends who referred to her as the white Oprah.  So it‘s not a title Dina likes necessarily, but I don‘t believe that she‘s going to be doing a show for E! in which she wants to have Alli, her younger daughter, and Cody in to star.  That‘s going to look too tacky, and she‘ll appreciate it‘s too cheesy.

But she‘s dying to have her own talk show, so if any takers are out there, call Dina.

SCARBOROUGH:  We shall see.  Now, speaking of celebrity moms, there was word today from ABC that Britney Spears‘ mother could be filling on “The View,” but now it looks like she actually may not be.  Cristina, what‘s going on with this story? 

GIBSON:  Britney‘s mom was supposed to appear on “The View” Wednesday in their hot topic segment, and I guess she was going to talk about Britney or some other topic, probably Britney.  But now word is that she will not be appearing.  She‘s been removed from the Web site, and ABC told me it‘s not happening. 

So I don‘t know if she had a change of heart or if Britney called her and said, “Mom, you can‘t do this,” but she will not be seen on “The View.”

SCARBOROUGH:  Mom, get off ABC‘s Web site.  I think that‘s what happened.

And, finally, David, Paula Abdul spent most of last week in tears over a leaked audiotape where Paula is heard sobbing and badmouthing her former spokesman.  Now she‘s reportedly having problems with her new publicist.  What‘s the scoop?

CAPLAN:  Yes, surprise, surprise, representing Paula Abdul is no easy task.  She actually may be without a publicist.  There is this taped leak of where she‘s screaming and very hysterical with her former publicist, Howard Bragman, and then with her new publicist, it seems those two have parted way, as well.  So she is on the verge right now, because someone like Paula Abdul needs a strong handler behind her.  And if she doesn‘t have it, watch out.  Lots of more tears.

SCARBOROUGH:  Cristina, it sounds like she‘s spinning out of control. 

GIBSON:  I think she needs a week at the spa or something.  Now that “American Idol” is over, she should have some time off, take a break, get her head together, find a new publicist, and have a fresh start, because things haven‘t been going so well for Paula. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Not so well at all.  Hey, Cristina Gibson, thanks so much.  David Caplan, as always, greatly appreciate you being with us.

That‘s all the time we have for tonight.  We will see you back here tomorrow night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  But up next, it‘s “Predator Raw:

The Unseen Tapes.”



Copy: Content and programming copyright 2007 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2007 Voxant, Inc. ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.


Watch Scarborough Country each weeknight at 9 p.m. ET


Discussion comments