With war looming on the horizon and the issues currently confronting homeland security, Hardball talks to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) to find out what they think. Join the discussion at American University, March 5, Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET.
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN
Senator Dianne Feinstein was elected to the Senate in 1992 with the most votes cast for a Senator in U.S. history. She is a ranking member of the Technology and Terrorism Subcommittee and a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence. On these panels, Senator Feinstein is working on a wide range of legislation to fight terrorism and improve our homeland security. She has also sponsored and won passage of bills to improve our visa and border security system and prevent biological pathogens from falling into the wrong hands. On the Intelligence Committee, she helps oversee our nation’s intelligence and counter-terrorism programs and receives frequent classified briefings on top-secret intelligence matters involving the war on terrorism and international crises such as Iraq and North Korea.
SEN. RICK SANTORUM
Rick Santorum has served in the United States Senate since January, 1995. Now the third ranking Republican in the Senate, as Conference Chairman, Senator Santorum directs the communications operations of Senate Republicans, and is a high profile spokesman for the party. After the president’s speech on bringing peace to the Middle East, Santorum commented that “It’s important for America to understand the noble purpose that we’re engaged in here.”
“It’s not just the purpose of protecting ourselves and protecting the world from a tyrant, which is an important one. But it’s also really to liberate a people that have been oppressed, just horribly oppressed for the past 30 years and really create, as the president said, a new paradigm and hopefully a good paradigm for that whole region of the world, that’s been very troubled,” he says.
Find out more about what he has to say on on March 5, Wednesday.
The Hardball College tour airs from American University, at The Greenberg Theatre. Seating is on a first-come first-served basis.
Sen. Rick Santorum’s homepage
Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s homepage
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READ THE TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: I’m Chris Matthews from American University...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA.
MATTHEWS: ... from American University in the nation’s capital. Tonight, for a full hour the HARDBALL “College Tour”. A very grave night with 260,000 American troops converging on Iraq with Secretary Powell now saying that Saddam Hussein has refused to disarm, with the French, Germans and the Russians against us, is war just a matter of days?
Tonight, a debate, a discussion between two U.S. senators, Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a Republican, and Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, a Democrat. Let’s play HARDBALL. Tonight, two big events occurred today, which I want the senators to respond to. One, the French, the Germans and Russians met in Paris today and decided that they will stop any new resolution by the U.N. Security Council supporting an active military action against Iraq.
Number two, Secretary of State Colin Powell came out today in a long
statement, who said - Secretary Powell said that Saddam Hussein has now
refused to take the step, the strategic-he called it the political step
” of totally disarming himself of weapons of mass destruction. I want to ask Senator Dianne Feinstein first, from the country’s largest state, is war now just a matter of days?
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA), SELECT INTELLIGENCE CMTE.: Well, I hope not. I hope it will be given more time. One of the things you didn’t mention was Hans Blix’s statement where he said, in effect, that the Iraqis were cooperating to a greater extent. I believe 29 of the 100 missiles and the various entrapments that surround them have been demolished. I would be hopeful that we could give inspections more time. I hate to wage war based on weather. I don’t think that makes a lot of sense. And, you know, since we passed the resolution for use of force, it’s been a constantly evolving situation. You learn different things. You see different things. So, I hope that more time can be provided.
MATTHEWS: Senator Santorum, do we need more time now that the French, the Germans and the Russians have said they’re going to scuttle any effort to a second resolution, and with Secretary Powell saying that this man, Saddam Hussein, has had his chance?
SEN. RICK SANTORUM ®, PENNSYLVANIA: No, we’ve gone through 48 seasons of weather in Iraq since the Gulf War, and he has continued to thumb his nose at the United Nations and at the world community, and has refused to disarm. And the question is, are we going to hold him accountable? We have positioned ourselves. We’ve made everything perfectly clear as to what our steps are in the future, and he’s continued to thumb his nose. And I would argue that what the French and the Russians are doing is probably giving more aid and comfort to Saddam Hussein, and sending the wrong signal to him. The signal that...
SANTORUM: ... he may escape this without a war...
SANTORUM: ... and he should not have that feeling.
MATTHEWS: Let’s see how Secretary Powell said something like that-very much like that today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: The final element of that resolution, so that there could be no doubt about what would follow in the absence of compliance, it made it clear that if he missed this one last chance, that he committed new material breaches, then serious consequences would follow. Nothing we have seen since the passage of 1441 indicates that Saddam Hussein has taken a strategic and political decision to disarm. Moreover, nothing indicates that the Iraqi regime has decided to actively, unconditionally and immediately cooperate with the inspectors.
Cooperate for the purpose of showing everything they have. Not cooperate for the purpose of seeing how little we can show them. The process is not performance. Concessions are not compliance. Destroying a handful of missiles here under duress only after you’re pressed and pressed and pressed and you can’t avoid it and you see what’s going to happen if you don’t start doing something to deceive the international community once again, that’s not the kind of compliance that was intended by U.N. resolution 1441.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Is Secretary Powell right, Senator?
FEINSTEIN: Well, you know, there’s been sort of a constant disparagement of arms inspections. First of all, we heard that, well, he had these missiles. Now they’re taking out the missiles. Well, that’s really not much. There are chemical weapons, and those discrepancies have to be remedied, and I would hope they would be remedied. It’s worth the time. Look, if you double, triple, quadruple inspectors, it’s better than war.
I have 8,000 National Guardsmen just called up over there. Forty-one
” excuse me-fifty-one percent of the Iraqi population is under the age of 19. Forty-seven percent under the age of 15. This is going to be hard, you know, 3,000-pound missiles. If we can avoid it, why not take some time? And if Mr. Blix believes that things are beginning to work, why not give him that opportunity?
SANTORUM: I would just argue that inspector are not investigators, and you can triple the number of inspectors, they’re bean counters. These are folks who are there to take the information that is given to them by the government and determine whether it’s verifiable information. they are not there to find anything. They are not Sherlock Holmes. They are accountants.
They are folks who have never-they’re never intended to do the mission that the American public or at least many in the world community believe that they’re sent there to do. What we will find six months from now, a year from now, by having three or four times the number of inspectors is Saddam will continue to deceive them, and they will find nothing.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you the central question that Secretary Powell made today, a point he made. He said forget all this stuff about occasionally. All right, we find some missiles, he agrees to get rid of some of them when we catch him. Secretary Powell said today, and he’s been a moderate on this issue, that this guy, Saddam Hussein, had all these years to disarm, and up until this moment, he has not made what he calls the strategic, political decision to get rid of his weapons of mass destruction. Do you believe he has made a decision to get rid of his weapons of mass destruction, Senator?
FEINSTEIN: Well, I would have no way of knowing whether he’s made that decision...
MATTHEWS: You see the evidence that he has.
FEINSTEIN: But wait one second. We’ve got a credible threat of force. This is the one thing that can compel him to make that decision. I think the fact that they made the decision to destroy the missiles is a case in point. And all I’m saying is delay it some more and let’s try.
MATTHEWS: Didn’t they destroy them after we caught them? They didn’t say, here’s what we’ve got. We said here’s what you got. And they said, OK, you caught me. Is that a strategic political decision to disarm himself of weapons of mass destruction? Does that constitute that to you?
FEINSTEIN: No, but you know...
MATTHEWS: So you agree with Secretary Powell?
FEINSTEIN: Well, with what?
MATTHEWS: The fact that Saddam Hussein has not made a strategic decision to get rid of his weapons of mass destruction.
FEINSTEIN: Well I would say about Secretary Powell’s comments, if he thinks that there’s obfuscation, which he pointed out, of the missile destruction, that that information should be given to the inspectors. I’m one that believes that the United Nations should use force to compel compliance, if necessary. But, what concerns me is the United States essentially doing this alone with Great Britain, with Bulgaria, with Spain, but essentially this is a United States action. And it’s important that the world community concur, because this war isn’t the be all and end all. There’s a life after that.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask everyone - we ought to get the camera set right now. I’m going to ask a big question of this room and get you all involved. I want everybody who thinks we have to go now, that we’ve played around with this thing long enough, it’s time now to act or stop talking. How many in this room, stand up if you believe that we have to take military action and applaud while you do so, please.
MATTHEWS: OK, we’ve got about (UNINTELLIGIBLE) OK, please sit down. I’d say a little less than a quarter of the room. How many people believe we should do what Senator Feinstein says, wait some more, inspect some more? Stand up and applaud.
MATTHEWS: OK, OK, thank you. How many people believe this is not worth a war period? Stand up.
MATTHEWS: OK, thank you. Senator Santorum, your reaction to that reaction?
SANTORUM: Well, look, war is never a popular thing and thank God it’s not. I mean...
MATTHEWS: I asked them if it was necessary, not popular...
SANTORUM: Well, but-well, a poll is a popularity contest. I mean, it is a feeling of an opinion at a moment in time. And I would suggest that a lot of these people and a lot of people in America have been all over the map on this issue because it’s a very difficult issue. The fact of the matter is that inspections have...
MATTHEWS: Well this side’s on the pretty left wing side of the map I’d say...
MATTHEWS: ... because less than a quarter say they’re for this war. Let me ask you, why are 94 percent of the people in Turkey against this war? Why are the German people, when you poll them, against this war? Why do none of the Arab states, including our best friends, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the other Islamic country Turkey, Jordan, none of them lifting a finger in this war, and they’re supposedly our friends in the region we’re worried about. How come our friends in the region don’t want to lift a finger to help us?
SANTORUM: Well first off, that’s not necessarily true.
MATTHEWS: Name one.
SANTORUM: Well, I mean, Jordan has not been unhelpful in this thing...
MATTHEWS: What have they done?
SANTORUM: Turkey has not been unhelpful, and...
SANTORUM: ... well, they have not. I mean, they’re not allowing...
SANTORUM: Excuse me, they’re not allowing us at this point to base troops, but we still have air bases there.
MATTHEWS: Well this is time we’re going to war...
MATTHEWS: We don’t want troops there next year, we want them there next week.
SANTORUM: They’re obviously-there are lots of contingency plans available for us to still launch the attack that we need to do without basing in Turkey...
MATTHEWS: Who are our friends? Who are our friends?
SANTORUM: Well the-well, Dianne listed a group of them, but that’s...
MATTHEWS: No, in the region.
SANTORUM: You don’t make foreign policy based on who our friends are.
SANTORUM: ... foreign policy...
MATTHEWS: We say we’re going to win that region to help our friends in the region...
MATTHEWS: ... million times, tell me who our friends in the region are.
SANTORUM: You - well, the Kuwaitis obviously are our friends in the region and you know...
MATTHEWS: There’s a democracy.
SANTORUM: Qatar is another...
MATTHEWS: There is a great democracy (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
MATTHEWS: They don’t have elections.
SANTORUM: Hold on-no-Chris, there are no democracies in the region period...
SANTORUM: Well Israel, and they are our friends.
SANTORUM: So, to suggest that because we have...
SANTORUM: ... we have other dictators who aren’t our friends in the region at this point in time should not be any great surprise. This is not a popular thing in - quote - “the Arab street”, but the bottom line is you don’t make foreign policy to make friends. You make foreign policy to protect the United States of America and our national security interest and do what you believe is in the best interest of the world.
FEINSTEIN: Can I respond to that?
FEINSTEIN: I think the United States has every right to protect itself. It has every right to respond to an imminent threat and it has every right to do so unilaterally. This, in my view, and I can only speak for myself, Rick, is not an imminent threat. To me, North Korea is a far more dangerous...
FEINSTEIN: ... than Iraq.
MATTHEWS: I’m sorry, Senator, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) we have a hard break.
We have to go or else we lose all contact with the university.
MATTHEWS: ... still be at Greenberg Theater at the American University in Washington, D.C. Please come back.
MATTHEWS: Coming back with Feinstein and Santorum. More on the war when we come back with HARDBALL. Hot topic tonight, war on the edge.
MATTHEWS: We’re back at the American University at the nation’s capital. I’ve got Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and I think it’s fair to call him a conservative Republican and Senator Feinstein, a moderate Democrat, I think it’s fair to say, from California. Let me ask you-let’s take a look at more of what Secretary Powell said today. It was a powerful statement. It looked to me like the drums of war. Here it is, secretary of state from today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POWELL: If Iraq complies and disarms even at this late hour, it is possible to avoid war. He’s betting, however, that his contempt for the will of the international community is stronger than a collective resolve of the Security Council to impose its will. Saddam Hussein is betting that some members of the Council will not sanction the use of force despite all the evidence of his continued refusal to disarm. Divisions among us, and there are divisions among us, if these divisions continue, will only convince Saddam Hussein that he is right, but I can assure you, he is wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Senator Feinstein, who is the secretary talking to there, the Europeans, who are recalcitrant or Saddam Hussein who is now the target?
FEINSTEIN: Well I think he’s talking to everybody. I think he’s talking to us, as well as to Europe, as well hopefully some of this getting through to Saddam, you know, and it’s a very strong position, no question. And you know, one of the things that I think all of us agree upon is the only thing that’s going to force a change in Saddam is force. Now, the question is, is the credible threat of force enough, or do we have to go in there and effectively destroy the country?
And that’s what concerns me, and that’s why I think it is worth an extra week or two. I think the gauntlet has been thrown. Saddam knows-he knows the troops are there. Turkey may not let us go, but that’s not going to stop the United States. All of these things, I think, are becoming self-evident. The question is, is it better to solve the problem by through inspection or by full-scale war and that’s what this is.
SANTORUM: I think we’ve got a credible threat of force now for several months and 260,000 American GIs plus the hardware that accompanies them is about as credible a force as the world has seen, and he’s still not complying. The fact of the matter is what Colin Powell was speaking to-who they were speaking-who he was speaking to are really the European countries. What is at stake in my mind is really the future of the United Nations, and you’ve got the French and the Germans and potentially the Russians now who are basically threatening to take the United Nations, which has been an effective tool...
SANTORUM: ... for maintaining peace, and turn it into a toothless tiger, a debating society and potentially irrelevant in solving world problems...
MATTHEWS: Was there anything this president or any president could have done to bring the French along, the Germans along, the Russians along, the Chinese along?
SANTORUM: I would ask Colin Powell because he’s the one that advocated that position six months ago...
MATTHEWS: He tried to do it.
SANTORUM: He tried. He went to the president-you remember there were two camps.
SANTORUM: He went to the president and said, come on, try, let’s get these folks on board, they’ll be with us. And they gave a commitment, as you know, to Secretary Powell that if they went along with a resolution, they’d be there for the second one, and they lied.
MATTHEWS: Yes. You’re talking about the French.
SANTORUM: The French.
FEINSTEIN: Can I say...
FEINSTEIN: ... one other thing?
FEINSTEIN: One other thing. You know, after Secretary Powell’s address to the United Nations, I thought for a time inspections won’t work. And then I began to think, he pointed out a terrorist camp in Northeastern Iraq, said that ricin had been known to be bought out of that camp, and we knew about that camp for some time, I believe. Therefore, why didn’t we just take out the camp? See, we have every right, if you suspect something is somewhere that is a threat to the region or us, to take it out without full-scale invasion...
MATTHEWS: Like the Israelis did...
FEINSTEIN: ... and the loss of a lot of lives.
MATTHEWS: ... in ’81.
SANTORUM: We have fired a few cruise missiles, I remember the last time - the last administration, when there was an incident, whether it was the embassy bombings or the USS Cole, we’d lob a Tomahawk missile at somebody and blow up a tent somewhere in the middle of the desert. That didn’t effectively deter terrorism. It didn’t effectively - it’s not been effectively...
FEINSTEIN: I have to agree with that, but this is a little different.
MATTHEWS: This is a hard target we’re talking about. This isn’t...
MATTHEWS: ... just sort of make a message. It’s should we have hit that target...
SANTORUM: But that’s a terrorist training camp. That’s not the issue of disarming from your weapons...
SANTORUM: ... of mass destruction...
MATTHEWS: Let’s come back. I want to talk about whether the Iraqi people will welcome us as liberators or as invaders. When we come back, big question. Back with HARDBALL...
MATTHEWS: OK, we’re back at American University and its students. And I think, my hunch, for what it’s worth is we’re going to war within about a week or so. I want to go and I want to know-young lady, what’s your question? Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Feinstein, I’m wondering if you think that the United States ties with allies such as France, Russia and Germany will be threatened in the future by President Bush’s current fierce determination to go to war, or do you think this is just conciliatory disagreement among friends?
FEINSTEIN: Well, there are two schools of thought. One of them is that the French, German, European alliance has a lot of vested interest in having a good relationship with the United States. The other school of thought is that this is a real cultural clash between the two, and that Europe has changed, possibly because Europe has had two world wars on its own soil and understands the enormous cost of war that this culturally, there’s been a change in Europe toward a much more sophisticated, slower diplomacy than we are accustomed to with our sort of, you know, go to it attitude. Now, which of those two is actually correct? I don’t know. I suspect it’s a little bit of both.
MATTHEWS: Next question, please.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is for Senator Santorum. My question is, if you accept the case for the argument that the president is making for war sooner rather than later, isn’t his inability to bring along key allies like France, Russia and Turkey really a failure of leadership-i.e., it’s not the message, it’s the messenger.
MATTHEWS: Go ahead Senator.
SANTORUM: No, I don’t think so at all. I think the fact is that we have a very broad coalition, a strong coalition of people that will support us, and I think you have, I think Dianne laid out well, just very different cultural problems in Europe. And I think Rumsfeld laid it out probably better than anybody else talking about the old Europe and the new Europe. But I would say when the French and the Germans felt the pressure on the doorstep and that’s Kosovo, they were very, very happy to get engaged in a war...
SANTORUM: ... when they felt their interests were at stake.
MATTHEWS: OK, thank you. We’ve got to bail.
SANTORUM: That’s a different story here.
MATTHEWS: Here we are on Ash Wednesday night in Washington, D.C. at American University. Coming up, Steve Emerson, the expert on terrorism. Stay with us.
MATTHEWS: This half-hour on HARDBALL, how will the war against Iraq affect a war against al Qaeda? We have terrorist expert Steve Emerson and more debate between Senator Santorum and Senator Feinstein. Back with more HARDBALL after this.
MATTHEWS: You know, that was a beautiful view of the Washington Monument. We’re here in the nation’s capital at American University, and I have to tell you everybody loves this city and comes here as a tourist or just as a citizen. It is amazing to see this beautiful city, but what bothers most of us is to see those-that SAM missile sites right at the Washington Monument-right next to the Washington Monument you just saw. You didn’t see in that picture is they’ve got this military gear, this artillery to shoot down incoming.
Steve Emerson is joining us right now in the audience. He’s one of the great terrorist experts in the country. Too bad we don’t need you, but we do. Tell me about the Iraqi agents in this country, Steve.
STEVE EMERSON, MSNBC TERRORISM ANALYST: I think the FBI Is very concerned that Iraqi agents have insinuated themselves in the past few years, but there really is no hard intelligence suggesting that they’re poised to strike. They are much more concerned, I think, at this point, with those that sympathize with the need to sort of avenge the war against Iraq, the notion of the personal jihadist or the lone wolf, those that are inspired to carry out attacks because of what they feel it is a war against Islam.
MATTHEWS: So, it’d be more like a small arms operation. Somebody running into a bus depot or somewhere shooting up people. It wouldn’t be a big deal.
EMERSON: Well, look, after 9/11, anyone’s guess at this point because they carried out operations in the past of that magnitude, and who knows whether Khalid Shaikh Mohammed had other operation planned prior to 9/11 that are just coming...
MATTHEWS: I’m talking about Iraqis.
EMERSON: Right. I understand. But the Iraqi situation, if you look back in ’91, Iraq definitely sent agents around the world to attack U.S. targets, including several arrested in the United States. So, we can only go on the basis of history, it would appear that they would try to do something here.
MATTHEWS: A lot of people who disagree with this war, I guess I’m one of them, have wondered and have been concerned that this attack on Iraq is going to be the greatest recruitment poster in the history of Islamism. That what it’s going to do is give pictures over Al Jazeera to every person watching television, in Cairo, Jakarta, Americas, anywhere in the Islamic world including Pakistan of Americans killing Arabs. Do you-are you afraid that will become a recruiting poster for al Qaeda and more terrorism?
EMERSON: Well, I think that there is justifiable concern that an Iraq war could provide fertile recruitment for Islamic terrorists.
MATTHEWS: Is that bin Laden wanted in the first place to start an East/West war where the East had to decide which side it was on.
EMERSON: Well, I’m not so sure. I think he actually envisioned the United States actually being sort of totally fatigued from war and retreating from its international commitments. But I must say that on the other hand, I think we have to look at the fact that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in the long term to the extent that they could be deployed against U.S. targets may provide just as much of a threat as those that are instigated by Islamic terrorists in the short term.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. And by the way, is Shaikh a title or a name?
EMERSON: That’s his name.
MATTHEWS: OK. Is he-his capture, does that eliminate a major operation against the United States that we’ve been hearing about? Them coming here with something big from al Qaeda?
EMERSON: There is-I spoke to several intelligence and law enforcement officials tonight-and there’s no knowledge at this point until they fully, I guess, read in his hard drives, look at his cell phone records and see who he’s been in contact with over the last year and a half. At this point, there is a fear that he put people in place. After all, 9/11 three and a half years, and basically, he would do or Osama bin Laden himself would carry out operations every two years. So the likelihood is that something was already set in motion.
EMERSON: The only question is whether his arrest accelerates it or deters it.
MATTHEWS: But, wouldn’t there be two reasons for them to attack now if they have a plan in effect, which is one, this guy is under truth serum probably right now, and he’s ready to squawk. Number two, we’re starting a war.
EMERSON: Well I think he probably would talk because he’s going to be disoriented and they’ll probably take away the Krispey Kremes that he’s been so used to. But...
MATTHEWS: OK, thank you very much, Steve Emerson. Let’s go to the question of-Senator Feinstein, doesn’t the successful capture of Khalid Mohammed prove that this president, with all the apparatus of control he has, can fight the war on Iraq and also fight al Qaeda?
FEINSTEIN: Well, we have another situation. It’s North Korea, as well.
MATTHEWS: But can he do those two?
FEINSTEIN: And I think probably can do those if we also have to stay the course in Afghanistan. I think one of the real problems is Taliban and al Qaeda in the hinterland (ph) waiting to come back the first time our head is turned. But, if I could just for a minute, because I’ve read Mr. Emerson’s book, at least one of them, and I think very highly of it.
I’ve also read a lot about Osama bin Laden and what he is trying to do and establish. And I think that there is a school of thought that’s credible that what this is all about is leading up to a kind of clash of civilizations. That his ultimate goal is to establish a Muslim world under Sharia. In other words, religious governments that begin in the Philippines, go through Southeast Asia, the subcontinent and into the Middle East, and if you-you know, his fatwas, to kill the infidel, in a sense leads to that as well. And Abu Sayyaf wanting to do the same thing in the Southern Philippines.
MATTHEWS: Does our war with Iraq...
MATTHEWS: ... help expedite that?
FEINSTEIN: ... you see this is one of the thing that, you know, we can-that’s why we have to be so careful, because we don’t want to bring on what we want to prevent, and that’s the issue. And the real answer is, no one knows the answer.
SANTORUM: Well I would suggest the answer is that they have to have funding. They have to have a base in which to operate, and they have to have support. They can’t do this in a vacuum. And the president made it very clear after September 11 and anybody who harbors terrorists, supports terrorists are going to be acted upon. And obviously, Iraq has harbored terrorists and supported terrorists. That’s not the reason that we’re fighting this war, but I think we send a very clear message that those who defy the international community are going to be held to consequences, and that’s what’s going on here in Iraq. There are, I would say, salutary benefits...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
SANTORUM: ... for going on in Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
SANTORUM: And that...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
MATTHEWS: All right, thank you. We’re going to come right back...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
FEINSTEIN: Now they’re yelling.
MATTHEWS: Let me - OK...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
SANTORUM: We’re on a college campus.
MATTHEWS: How long are we going to put up with this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
MATTHEWS: We’re going to come right back. By the way, either of you want to come down here and say something to the microphone? Anyone speaking English or just in a chant?
MATTHEWS: Line up-all four of you line up or shut up. Line up - (UNINTELLIGIBLE) microphone. You can speak-one of you at least, and let’s get it out of you. Let’s get a message out of you. What’s your point? Let’s hear it. You first.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The point is, is that this discussion is being framed about our security...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... about weapons of mass destruction.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to know about the humanitarian cost of the war. I want to know...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... about the sanctions for the past 12 years. I want to know about how we used to be allied with Saddam Hussein when we were fighting against Iran. I want to know about how Turkey, who we want to be our ally, also persecutes the Kurds. I want to know about these kinds of issues...
MATTHEWS: OK, let me ask you. What’s your question? Just ask a question. It would be easier that way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. A question I would like to ask is, how-
OK, give me a second.
MATTHEWS: No that’s all right. In other words, why are we still fighting? I get your question is why are we still fighting if this is the case? And you say security is something in quotes. It’s not a real problem, and you say weapons of mass destruction are something in quotes. Is oil something in quotes, too? Or is just the things you don’t like in quotes? Let’s get on here.
MATTHEWS: Let’s go.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is about the future of the world, basically.
MATTHEWS: I know, OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is about peace and teaching peace versus violence.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of culture are we creating in the United States by...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... teaching our children that we solve conflicts...
MATTHEWS: Can we...
MATTHEWS: Can we get an answer to that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... Iraq.
MATTHEWS: Can we get an answer. Let’s get an answer. Senator Santorum...
SANTORUM: Well number one, I think the president has done everything possible to achieve peace. What he’s done is given an ultimatum to a man who is a brutal dictator, who has killed hundreds of thousands of his own people...
SANTORUM: ... who routinely uses (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and torture. This is a man who has no friends in the region. You talk about friends, he has no friends in the-he has no friends in the world. The fact of the matter is what we’re doing here is as much a liberation of people who have been, just like we did in Afghanistan...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) liberating the people of Iraq?
SANTORUM: The sanctions...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... or are they causing them not to get medicine, not to get health care, not to get education?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about the sanctions? How have they liberated...
MATTHEWS: Miss, Miss, we’ll get an answer to that question and we’ll have the next question, right?
SANTORUM: The sanctions were an attempt to use diplomatic and other means other than force to achieve the purpose, and they have failed, and they failed miserably. I would agree with you that they have failed the Iraqi people, but we have tried everything with peaceful measures to get Saddam Hussein, to get rid of his weapons of mass destruction, which we know he has, and which the world community knows he has. He has refused to do so. If he refused to get rid of a weapon of mass destruction, he must have alternative motive by which you want to maintain them, and that is to use them, and that is, I would argue, much more threatening to the peace and stability of the region and to human rights than anything else.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A quick response to that is you frame this entire argument as if it’s the United States versus one person Saddam Hussein. I hope that when we have these kinds of dialogues and discussions, remember that we’re not just talking about the life of one person, we’re talking about millions and millions...
MATTHEWS: What is your response to what the Senator just said about having-holding weapons of mass destruction and refusing to give them up. What’s your position on his weapons of mass destruction? You.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I’m being told to move.
MATTHEWS: Well, that’s all right. What’s your answer? Quickly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you ask again? I’m sorry.
MATTHEWS: What do you say to the argument made that we have got to stop this man from holding and building weapons of mass destruction?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don’t believe, I think, giving credible evidence about terrorism or about weapons of mass destruction, and I’m ready to hear more. I believe what the-Senator Feinstein said that we still have that time period, which we can work with. And I believe that preemptively striking Iraq is going to create more violence and more hate...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... and more racism in the world, and that’s what we need less of.
MATTHEWS: OK, thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. Let’s go.
Let’s go. Thank you. All right, Senator Feinstein.
FEINSTEIN: Let me suggest to this young woman, there’s a book you might enjoy reading. It’s “The Reckoning” by Sandra Mackey, and it traces the history of Iraq, a country that has always known brutal rule and how Saddam came into power and how he continues power. It gives you specifics about where he used weapons of mass destruction against villages in the Kurdish area against Iranian troops.
I mean, this is a man who said to his two sons-in-law, you know, come back from Jordan, all is forgiven, and then he murdered his sons-in-law. This is a country where secret police are virtually almost on every street, where people are constrained, afraid. There is no freedom, not at all. This is not a man that is respected or liked or even want to be tolerated by any of his neighbors, but he has ruled with this iron hand.
And this makes-this is what makes the situation complicated because he’s a hateful figure, and he’s not going to change and he trusts no one. And people have tried to remove him, to take him out, and then he comes right down and takes out their families. So, it’s a very hard situation.
FEINSTEIN: The question is, what do we want to achieve? Is it...
MATTHEWS: That’s the question.
FEINSTEIN: ... do you want disarmament, or are we going to take him down as well?
MATTHEWS: Let’s come back...
FEINSTEIN: And I submit we’re going to do both.
MATTHEWS: Senator Feinstein, Senator Santorum, we’re going to come back with that question. Why are we fighting this war? More student involvement. More Q&A when we get back at the American University.
MATTHEWS: How come the old people in this country are against this war and the younger people seem to be more for it? Big question. I don’t understand. Let’s talk about it with the college kids at the American University here in Washington.
MATTHEWS: We’re back at American University. By the way, I hope we’re going to show some more of that-John F. Kennedy spoke here 40 years ago, advocating the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty-amazing. Let’s take a look at this speech he gave here at the American University back in June 1963.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN F. KENNEDY, FMR. PRESIDENT: What kind of a peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced in the world by American weapons of war, not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and build a better life for their children. Not merely peace for Americans, but peace for all men and women. Not merely peace in our time, but peace in all time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Imagine having him as president. Steve Emerson, the threat from North Korea, size it up.
EMERSON: It’s a major threat, but they’re not as, at least according to intelligence officials, not as irrational, let’s say, as Saddam Hussein. He-North Korea would like to probably take out South Korea and like to have the threat of a nuclear attack on the United States without having carried it out. Problem is that you never know when the maniac in charge of North Korea will decide to press one button because he’s not deterred by rational behavior.
MATTHEWS: Suppose he wants to make some money on the market of weapons of mass destruction. What might he sell in the near future to somebody’s who dangerous?
EMERSON: His most immediate commodity would be some type of fissional material, uranium, plutonium. That would make somebody able to carry out a dirty bomb scenario. That’s the real fear right now because what he’s producing is a lot of plutonium.
MATTHEWS: But no missiles, he couldn’t sell missiles?
EMERSON: You could sell missiles to perhaps Yemen or something, as he tried, but you wouldn’t sell to it terrorist groups.
MATTHEWS: OK, thanks. Senator Feinstein, your response.
FEINSTEIN: Well I...
MATTHEWS: You’re in the Intelligence Committee. You know a lot of this stuff.
FEINSTEIN: I disagree with Steve somewhat because you know they’re moving 8,000 plutonium rods to Yongbyon. Nuclear weapons could be their crash crop. They have no cash crop, they have no economy. It’s a totally degraded economy. They have a brainwashed military, ready to fight, fierce, ready to fight. They have 800,000 troops right over the DMZ with enough heavy artillery to partially demolish Seoul and kill millions, which makes them very difficult because if we were to take out their facility, they would react immediately...
MATTHEWS: So, what can we do?
FEINSTEIN: ... on Seoul.
FEINSTEIN: Well, as you know, the stage 2 Taepodong can hit Alaska. The stage 3 Taepodong, which has not been tested yet, can hit anywhere in the United States. It is generally assumed that they have one to four nuclear devices now. Now whether that’s in warhead form or any-I don’t know. But to me, this makes them a real threat.
MATTHEWS: What do we do?
FEINSTEIN: I think you sit down with them bilaterally.
MATTHEWS: What do you do?
SANTORUM: I disagree with that. I think what you do is, you use the people in the region, the Chinese and the Russians in particular. I mean, every issue of international security should not always have the Americans solve it.
SANTORUM: If the Chinese want to be a world player, then they should act like a world player.
MATTHEWS: What’s the danger of U.S. delegates sitting down with their delegates and talking it over?
SANTORUM: Because all that does is reward bad behavior. They’re going to want simply some sort of chip and, you know, after they’ve upped the ante, they’re going to want more. That-and look, in 1990 — it was ’94, the framework agreement the Clinton administration did just that. They gave them more money, they gave them more aid.
SANTORUM: This is-as Dianne said, this is an economy that is flat, that’s going nowhere, and so they’re looking for help. We shouldn’t give it to them.
SANTORUM: We shouldn’t elevate their government to the stature of the United States.
MATTHEWS: We’re out of time again. We’re coming back with Senator Feinstein and Senator Santorum. More talk about this war, more about-when we get back.
MATTHEWS: Well it looks to me like we’re going to-the senators have to be more diplomatic, but I think we are getting very, very close to war. So I want to ask these students to ask us the big questions. Go ahead young lady.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the major claims, the U.S. claims for war is the fear that Saddam will give al Qaeda weapons of mass destruction. Now we know that Saddam and al Qaeda don’t have a good relationship as Osama bin Laden believes that Saddam is an infidel.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe that Saddam will still give these weapons to al Qaeda even though al Qaeda wants the regime overthrown?
SANTORUM: Well first off, that isn’t the major claim for war. The major claim for war is that in 1991, he said he would destroy his weapons of mass destruction. He has not destroyed them, he has no intention of destroying them, and he has the potential of using those on his neighbors, as well as other places. A corollary post September 11, which makes it more immediate, is yes, he has relationships with terrorist organizations. I agree with you. His relationship with al Qaeda is somewhat tenuous, but he does have relationships clearly with a lot of other terrorist organizations who have killed Americans.
MATTHEWS: Next question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Bush has said that if we do overthrow the regime in Iraq and we’re going to have to conduct nation building, and this would require a long-term U.S. troop commitment. What happens if we start taking more serious casualties after the conflict has ended during this nation-building period?
MATTHEWS: Great question. Senator Feinstein.
FEINSTEIN: Well, of course that’s a major problem. One of the things that have concerned a number of us in the Senate is the fact that the plans for after are not well understood or known. They’re not costed (ph). We don’t know for how long. We do understand there’ll be an occupation, don’t know for how long, how many troops. General...
FEINSTEIN: ... Shinseki said 100,000, and that was disputed, but with no real substitute.
FEINSTEIN: Who would lead a government, an American for a period of time?
FEINSTEIN: I think that would be a huge mistake.
MATTHEWS: OK. The bottom line is a lot of the ideologues behind this war, who were for this war for a lot of bigger reasons than just arms violations by the Iraqi government, say that we are going to liberate Iraq when we get there. We’re going to spread democracy, if necessary by, force. They’re going to cheer us when we get there. We’re going to be seen as liberators. Do you believe that will be evident in the weeks-not every day, but in the weeks afterwards, will there be obvious evidence the people cheered us when we got there?
SANTORUM: If you talk to all the defectors from Iraq, the answer is overwhelmingly yes. If you look at the streets of Iran after September 11, they were, you know, there were candlelight vigils in support of the United States.
SANTORUM: These are repressed people who-I believe the president -
” people want to be free, and when...
SANTORUM: ... you liberate them, they...
MATTHEWS: And you expect-you predict now that once we’re in there, they will cheer our arrival.
SANTORUM: You know, eventually. I mean, I’m not saying they’re going to line the streets like they did in Paris in World War II, but the fact-because there’s still fear...
MATTHEWS: Is that a credible prediction?
FEINSTEIN: It’s a credible prediction. The question comes whether we kill a lot of people first, then they might not be so delighted to see us. So...
FEINSTEIN: I mean I wouldn’t put my money on that, but it’s a credible prediction, we would hope for that.
MATTHEWS: OK, I’ve got to make it...
MATTHEWS: I think that is the question that’s going to pause over our history, how well we were received, because we’re going. March 19, next week, two-I think it’s St. Joseph’s Day-two weeks from now. We’re very religious tonight on Ash Wednesday.
Majority leader Bill Frist is going to be here on - not here, he’s going to be at Vanderbilt. We’re moving on in two weeks. Tomorrow night on HARDBALL we’ve got former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. Thank you very much Senator Feinstein.
FEINSTEIN: You’re very welcome. Thank you Chris.
MATTHEWS: I’m a big fan. And in a different way, I’m a big fan of yours-much different.
Up next, “MSNBC” with Joe Scarborough.
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