updated 7/14/2005 10:36:31 AM ET 2005-07-14T14:36:31

Guest: Robert Pape, Charlie Gasparino, John Avlon, Sabiha Khan, Rosa Brooks


TUCKER CARLSON, HOST (voice-over):  Is it time for this chief justice to hang up his robe? 

Why was Blair caught off guard by homegrown terrorists? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It is shocking really. 

CARLSON:  Plus, the heavy price of corporate greed.  But does the punishment fit the crime? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Bernie Ebbers is not giving up. 

CARLSON:  The kiddie video that's ruffling a few feathers. 

And we'll tell you why the pope isn't wild about Harry. 

DANIEL RADCLIFFE, ACTOR:  He can't have met many decent wizards, then.

CARLSON:  Yes, I've got a problem with authority.  I'll admit that, in a cheery way.  Not everyone likes the bow tie, I'll be honest.  But I like the bow tie.  I respect people who believe something, even if I don't agree with them.  It's my opinion, wrong as it may be. 


CARLSON:  Welcome to THE SITUATION.  I'm Tucker Carlson.  It's our month anniversary today.  Thanks for joining us. 

With NASA delaying Discovery's launch until Saturday at the earliest, we've still managed to pack the show with great stories, including a prominent senator linking Boston liberals with pedophiles, plus a new batch of greeting cards written for adulterers. 

But, first, I'm joined by the great Charlie Gasparino, business writer at “Newsweek”; and also author of the book “Independent Nation” and former chief speechwriter for New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, South Carolina's own John Avlon.

Thank you both. 


CARLSON:  The first situation is the health of Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, who was hospitalized today with a high fever.  Justice Rehnquist was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last October.  He was absent from the bench for five months afterwards in many oral arguments.  Today's development naturally served to stoke speculation on that he'd retire, giving President Bush two holes to fill on the nine-judge court.

And not just two.  I don't think people understand just how elderly the court is.  By the end of this president's second term, seven of the nine current judges will be 70 years old.  And the eighth will be 69.  At that point, John Paul Stevens will be 89 years old, almost 90. 


CARLSON:  That's right. 


CARLSON:  It's not all—exactly, which is another way of saying, it is not at all inconceivable this president will have four or five seats to fill on this court.  We're going to see this played out again and again and again.  So, if you're already red in the face about it, better get the heart medicine, because it's going to be—there's going to be a lot of this. 

GASPARINO:  And is it going to be a conservative court or kind of a Souter court?  I mean, that is a big question going forward.  And I think, if Bush turns his back on conservatives and starts, you know, appointing these middle-of-the-road—middle-of-the-road-type people, he's going to have a problem going forward.  And I think the Republican Party is going to have a problem going forward.

AVLON:  But the Republican Party is going to have a bigger problem going forward if they embrace the far right, because that's not where the country is.  The country is center-right.  It is not far right.  And if you get a court that overturns Roe v. Wade first order of business, the Republican Party is going to be in the minority...


CARLSON:  Spoken like a rabid centrist.  But I wonder if there is such a thing as a center position on the court.  At some point, you're either...


CARLSON:  On the defining issues of the court, you're either for Roe v. Wade or you're against it.  You're either for affirmative action or you're against it.  You're either for eminent domain or you're opposed to it. 

GASPARINO:  Or you could be like Sandra Day O'Connor and split the difference on...


CARLSON:  Right.  But on the issue...


GASPARINO:  And that's a—and that's a—and that's a problematic court, when you have that. 

CARLSON:  Well, it is, but it's also—I would say it's not even in the center, because on the issues that define the court right now, social issues, on the ones that matter to the average person, she was liberal. 

AVLON:  Well, she, I think, is the—was the ultimate independent swing voter.  And she held the court...


GASPARINO:  Liberal independent swing voter.

I mean, her position on affirmative action was hysterical.  I mean, you have to admit.  Half the—they can keep half the policy, but they have to throw out the other half of the policy.  I mean, where—where did she really stand on this? 

CARLSON:  I never figured it out.


CARLSON:  But I noticed “The New York Times” loved her. 


GASPARINO:  That means...




Next situation, Tony Blair talks tough about Islamic fundamentalists, saying he's shocked that last week's bombings were acts of British-born Muslims.  The prime minister today announced plans to close U.K. borders to those suspected of preaching religious hatred and to deport those Muslim leaders and clerics who are already doing it. 

Blair's critics, of course, say the new hard line is four bombs and at least 52 lives late, which is true, but still good for him, not that any of it matters.  Here's the problem.  Britain is about 3 percent Muslim.  These are people who are born there.  You can't deport your own citizens, right?  You're stuck with them.  These bombings show us that people who grow up in Great Britain are still capable of giving their own lives to subvert and destroy Great Britain. 


GASPARINO:  Although they do have an open-door immigration policy.

CARLSON:  Yes, they do.

GASPARINO:  Which is a problem—which is a problem that we have here. 

I mean, you can literally walk across the border, come to the United States and start proclaiming jihad.  I mean, that—that—that—that can happen here.  And I think we're going to have a problem with that going forward. 

AVLON:  Well, look, this a clash of civilizations.  And the culture transcends, you know, national identity.  It's rooted in religion.  Britain is waking up to the fact that evil lives next door. 

Here is the important part.  I think they've been too tolerant with coddling these Muslim extremists in specific mosques in the country, and that—you know, there was a pro-terror rally held there a month ago.  This is the fruit of that.  You needs to address that...


CARLSON:  And why is it—stand back for a second.  Why has Britain been so tolerant?  I'll tell you why.  Because Muslims in Great Britain, most of whom are decent, patriotic people...


CARLSON:  ... but still form a voting block.  There are enough of them there that they're a voting bloc.  Politicians have to respond to them, not the case now in the United States. 


CARLSON:  Soon to be the case in the United States, however, because of the war in Iraq. 

Because of the war in Iraq, you'll see in the next generation tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of Iraqis living in this country, at which point they will be a voting bloc.  So, the geniuses who planned this ridiculous war, I don't know.  Did they think about that ahead of time, that this will change the composition of America? 

GASPARINO:  There's also an aspect here of political correctness. 

Let's face it.  You cannot say certain words on television.  You can't say

·         on BBC, they outlawed the word terrorists.  They were bombers.  They weren't terrorists.  There's a problem with that, I believe.  You're not really telling people the truth about what is going on.

CARLSON:  And the reason is, of course, because it's a political constituency now. 


CARLSON:  Next situation, Senator Rick Santorum has found yet one more way to make Senator Ted Kennedy hopping mad.  In a 2002 column about sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, the Pennsylvania Republican wrote—quote—“It's no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm,” the pedophile storm, in other words. 

In recent days, Santorum has refused to back down.  Today, Senator Kennedy, who has represented Massachusetts since the last ice age, called the column irresponsible, insensitive, inexcusable, etcetera. 


SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS:  On behalf of all the victims of abuse and the people of Boston and Massachusetts, I ask that he retract his unfounded statements and apologize. 


CARLSON:  Well, it doesn't take a lot to make this guy mad. 

I will say, you know, Santorum didn't explain really what he meant.  And everyone is going to jump on me, I know.  I will just make this one point.  I don't know if what he said is...

GASPARINO:  Are you Catholic, by the way?

CARLSON:  I'm not.


CARLSON:  I'm Episcopalian, which has its own problems and burdens. 

But we'll forget those now.


CARLSON:  But, look, the pedophile scandal was not worldwide.  It's a worldwide church, but it happened mostly in America.  And it was mostly committed by priests from a certain generation, which is another way of saying American culture did influence this scandal in some way.

GASPARINO:  Right.  And—but these cases occurred all over the country. 


CARLSON:  Yes.  Absolutely, they did. 

GASPARINO:  And, you know, there is a problem with the Catholic Church, I believe is celibacy among priests.  I mean, let—let—let married people become priests.  I mean, who better to talk about the family than a married father? 


CARLSON:  But why didn't you see this—but Catholic priests in Europe are celibate.  And you didn't see—you saw some in Ireland. 

GASPARINO:  How do you know?  I mean, you just don't know.


GASPARINO:  I don't think.  I mean, I—I don't know.  I mean, maybe there's not the degree of the scandal over there, but I'm sure it existed. 

AVLON:  This is idiotic and offensive.  Look, this is like blaming Wichita, Kansas, for the BTK killer. 


AVLON:  It's not cultural liberalism that created the Catholic scandals in church.  It was Bernard Law aiding and abetting evil priests who were predators.


GASPARINO:  Although there is a certain liberalism within the Catholic Church that allowed it to fester.

Let's face it.  They allowed these guys to keep going, to basically doing what they're doing, not report them to the police, because they wanted to help their brothers. 


AVLON:  Is that liberalism or is that negligence? 


GASPARINO:  There was an acceptance of this, I believe, to have—by the way, they tried to—they basically tried to reform them.  That's liberalism right there.

AVLON:  Oh, it's...


CARLSON:  Yes.  I mean, I'm not—I'm not ready to blame liberals for pedophilia. 


CARLSON:  I'm not.  And I'm not suggesting that at all. 

I—I do think, though, this was a horrible thing, a nightmare, and that we should get to the bottom of why it happened. 


CARLSON:  As is so often the case, people recoil in horror and they don't pause to think, well, about how did this actually take place? 


CARLSON:  Well, it didn't take long for the sixth book in the “Harry Potter” series, entitled “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” to get publicity before its July 16 release date.  That's this Saturday, for those of you who want to buy it. 

According to a German author, Pope Benedict, then a cardinal, wrote her two letters back in 2003 claiming books about the boy wizard subtly seduce young readers and—quote—“distort Christianity in the soul before it can develop properly.”

Well, you know, I think it's fair to take “Harry Potter” seriously.  I mean, millions of kids read the books.  If they're bad for you, I'd like to know.  It turns out, I have actually read all the “Harry Potter” books, because I have got four kids who like “Harry Potter” books. 

GASPARINO:  And you're a devil worshiper now, right?

CARLSON:  They're not bad.  I mean, they're kind of formulaic and boring after a while.



CARLSON:  But they're not evil at all.  I don't know what he's talking about.

GASPARINO:  He's insane.  


CARLSON:  The pope is insane? 

GASPARINO:  I think so.

CARLSON:  News flash.

GASPARINO:  That's right. 


CARLSON:  Is that what you're saying? 

GASPARINO:  Are you quoting me on this? 




CARLSON:  I don't think you're on the record. 

GASPARINO:  Listen, if you want to know why the Catholic Church is becoming increasingly irrelevant, it's because these guys are doing this.  They're not paying attention to the pedophiles. 


AVLON:  Yes.  The pope should have better things to worry about.  I mean, it's in the fiction section of the bookstore.  I don't know why people have a hard time getting this.

And—and the idea that this is somehow the greatest threat to the minds and souls of young people everywhere is just, you know...

CARLSON:  Well, I mean, to be—I mean, to be accurate, he was then Cardinal Ratzinger when he wrote this letter.  He was not the pope at the time.  He wrote this letter two years ago.  It came out this week, mere days before the publication of this book. 


CARLSON:  I don't know.  I smell a hand—the Scholastic publicity department.  I'm not accusing anyone. 

GASPARINO:  That's why you should never put anything in e-mail.  You know that.


GASPARINO:  Or in letters. 

CARLSON:  Never do. 


CARLSON:  I don't think the pope uses e-mail.

AVLON:  Especially if you're running for pope, yes. 


CARLSON:  All right. 

Coming you, Tuesday is a big day in the Natalee Holloway case in Aruba.  Why does the whole story have one of America's most prominent opinion writers so bent out of shape?

Plus, why aren't conservative groups protesting the dangerous mixed messages of SpongeBob SquarePants?  Because liberals beat them to it.  We'll explain paranoia run amok as THE SITUATION rolls on.

Stay tuned. 


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  I'm someone, you twit.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  Oh, sorry, Plankton.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  (INAUDIBLE) And I will rule the world!


CARLSON:  Coming up, a former guest on this very show says I'm a sexist.  What's got her so riled up?  Find out when THE SITUATION returns. 


CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

It's time for “Op Ed Op Ed.”  We spent the day going through almost every paper in the country, looking for the most interesting op-eds.  We found three, to which the three of us will respond in 20-second segments. 

First up, Rosa Brooks—she's a law professor at UVA in Charlottesville—came on the show last Wednesday to talk about a column she had written about Judy Miller.  I gave her a hard time.  She wrote a column about that.  It's in—it's in today's “L.A. Times.”

Here is what she writes—quote—“Complaining about my cattiness in describing Miller's rapid transformation from the reporter journalists loved to hate into a 1st Amendment heroine, Carlson”—that's me—

“objected that—quote -- 'If Miller were a man, you wouldn't have written that, would you?'  Happily, I was able to assure him that I am catty in an equal-opportunity way.  But is he?”

You be the judge.  Here was the exchange. 


CARLSON:  That's the cattiest thing I think I've read this week.  What does that have to do with Judy Miller and her going to jail, A?  And, B, if she were a man, you wouldn't have written that, would you? 

ROSA BROOKS, CONTRIBUTOR, “THE LOS ANGELES TIMES”:  Oh, I don't think that is true.  I'm catty to everybody.  I'm an equal-opportunity catty person, Tucker. 


CARLSON:  I'll admit I like Rosa Brooks.  I thought she was kind of charming. 

GASPARINO:  You're a sexist pig.


CARLSON:  I love that.  Well, that's the question.


GASPARINO:  If my wife was here, she would smack you.

CARLSON:  That's the point I want to make.  A sexist pig?  It's so '80s.  It's so out of another time.  It's like leg warmers.  It's like John Travolta the first time.  I mean, it just evoked these childhood memories.  You're a sexist. 

GASPARINO:  You're a dumb-dumb.

CARLSON:  Yes.  You're—you're mental. 


CARLSON:  I don't think people talk that way anymore.  It was nice to see that, preserved somewhere in the kind of frozen deep freeze of academia, people are still using the term sexist. 


CARLSON:  Good for Rosa Brooks.

GASPARINO:  It's also—yes, I mean, listen, I think you're a sexist. 

But, you know, who cares what I think?


CARLSON:  Thank you, Charlie. 

GASPARINO:  I thought that was a good interview with her, by the way. 

CARLSON:  Well, I appreciate...


GASPARINO:  It was excellent. 

CARLSON:  Thank you. 

AVLON:  You know, there's always something a bit risky about three guys sitting around a table judging—judging...


GASPARINO:  That's why I passed the ball to you.

AVLON:  Thanks.  I appreciate that.

But, you know, in the full article, she was making actually a point about the lack of women columnists and how this is affecting—and she blames it on a conservative tone in the media, that there's been a—liberal media has been pushing the pendulum on the other side. 


GASPARINO:  ... better men at this.

AVLON:  Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, there are a lot of great columnists out there. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  Not all women are liberal. 


CARLSON:  Also, her column was unacceptably catty, as charming as she was, attacking Judy Miller using anonymous sources, for being unpleasant.  It was—it was catty.  There's nothing wrong with being catty.  It's kind of amusing.  I'd eat dinner with Rosa Brooks any time. 

All right, in “The Washington Times” today...

GASPARINO:  You can have her.


CARLSON:  Tony Blankley writes that network and cable television are irresponsible in covering the news—quote—“The lack of news coming out of Aruba has not stopped cable television from putting on wall-to-wall coverage of that non-event for almost a month now.  But network reporting of the Islamist terrorist attack on London subsided within hours.”

Well, not on this network.  We actually went to London and kept it up for a couple days.

GASPARINO:  Right.  Right. 

CARLSON:  He makes a point.  And the point is, people actually are more interested in Aruba, I'm sorry to say—it's not a defense.


CARLSON:  Than they are in terrorism.  I got a list of the top-rated cable television programs this week, “Real World,” “Family Guy,” “Law & Order,” “Futurama,” “Family Guy,” “Family Guy,” wrestling.  I mean, not one of these is a documentary about the roots of Islamofascism. 


CARLSON:  You know, it's a commentary on the interest of the nations, unfortunately.

GASPARINO:  Listen, it's—part of our job is not just to give people what they want, but what is important. 

CARLSON:  No, you're right. 

GASPARINO:  And I think—listen, I think he makes a good point, in that maybe it was too much, too skewed to Aruba coverage and not enough.  And there could have been more on the bombings in—in London. 

AVLON:  Yes, absolutely.

Look, I mean, this is a national narcotic.  It's celebrity trials. 

It's Aruba.  It's Laci Peterson.  This is the illusion of news.  Why?  Because it's comparatively comforting.  You know, the terror bombings are too real.  And people want a distraction.  That doesn't mean, however, it's not important.  And there is a responsibility at editorial pages and TV producers to help keep the country's eye on the ball by—by shifting the coverage back and not just feeling at the mercy...

CARLSON:  Well, it is too scary.  That is—that is the problem with it.  It's too much.  It makes people squirm, so they turn it. 

All right, next, “The Minneapolis Star-Tribune,” an otherwise sober newspaper, Bea Arthur of “The Golden Girls” fame writes that foie gras, the food, pate, ought to be banned—quote—“Foie gras is an illness—it is literally fatty liver disease.  It's an indelicate delicacy once favored by gourmands that decent people now won't touch, once they understand how it was prepared.” 

Bea Arthur.  Next, Estelle Getty on sushi.


CARLSON:  Betty White on the cruelty of caviar.

AVLON:  That may happen.  Watch what you wish for.


GASPARINO:  I still can't pronounce foie gras right.

CARLSON:  Foie gras.  And you know what?  I hate to say this.  I'm sure it is the product of cruelness, treatment of animals.


CARLSON:  And I love animals.  But it is excellent. 

GASPARINO:  Right.  I mean, listen, steak is the product of cruel and unusual treatment of animals, right?  They pack them in.  They cut their heads off.  They watch them bleed.  But I'm going to have a steak at Elaine's (ph) tonight.

CARLSON:  Well, you—you take a stand against Bea Arthur. 

GASPARINO:  That's right.   


CARLSON:  You're a brave man, Charlie. 


AVLON:  This is so easy to make fun of on so many levels. 

CARLSON:  Defend it, John.

AVLON:  Yes.  Well, look, I'm not going to do that quite. 

What is this impulse to banning things that make people uncomfortable?  Take a stand against it, fine.  If you have got a problem with food that's created by torturing animals before they're harvested, fine.  Make the point.  It's not going to affect me from enjoying a steak.  Had one last night.  Make the point.  But don't—stop retreating to this banning things we dislike. 

CARLSON:  Just because I don't like it doesn't mean you shouldn't be allowed to do it. 

AVLON:  Yes. 

CARLSON:  The central tenet of libertarianism.


CARLSON:  Say it loud.  Say it proud.

GASPARINO:  You wouldn't want to...


GASPARINO:  You wouldn't want to show your kids, though, how they make foie gras, right? 

CARLSON:  No, I wouldn't at all.  I probably wouldn't even want to feed it to them.  I'll stick to McNuggets for the time being. 


CARLSON:  All right, ahead in our “Free Speak” segment, looking into the minds of suicide bombers.  Is the war in Iraq question creating a new generation of these attackers?  My next guest says yes.  And he's next. 

So, stick around. 


CARLSON:  Welcome back. 

As terrorism experts analyze the attack in London, police believe at least three of the bombers were born and raised in the U.K.  What led these young men to turn against their home country?  Was it Islamic fundamentalism that drove them to blow themselves up? 

My next guest has studied suicide attacks since 9/11.  He says these attackers may have been compelled by more secular, political goals than simply religious fervor. 

Joining me now, terrorism expert and the author of “Dying to Win,”

Robert Pape, who is also, we should say, a professor at the University of -

·         University of Chicago. 

Mr. Pape, thanks a lot for joining us. 


ROBERT PAPE, AUTHOR, “DYING TO WIN”:  Thank you for having me. 

CARLSON:  I should also say you've compiled the world's largest database on suicide terrorism.  You studied every suicide bombing in the world since about 1980, so you're a good guy to ask, obviously, the guy to ask.  You make the point, if I understand it correctly, that, most of the time, suicide bombing is a response to foreign occupation, you say, not a product of religious extremism.  Can you explain that? 

PAPE:  Yes.

Over 95 percent of all suicide terrorist attacks around the world since 1980 have in common not religion, but a clear strategic purpose, to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland or prize greatly. 

CARLSON:  But I can think of many examples of—well, I'll give the most obvious one.  The United States has troops in over 100 countries.  But we're not facing suicide bombers from any group other than Islamic extremists. 

PAPE:  We have advisers in over 100 countries.

But if you look around the world and you try identify where we have combat troops stationed, that is, large combat troops, tanks, fighter aircraft, you'll see that they're heavily concentrated in the Persian Gulf.  And I'm not saying that foreign occupation is the only condition.  That's a necessary condition. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

PAPE:  In my book, I develop several other key conditions which also have to exist.  One of those is a religious difference between the foreign occupier and the local community, because it's the combination of the presence of foreign combat troops, plus a religious difference, that enables a terrorist leader like Osama bin Laden to paint us as a religiously-motivated aggressor and use that to instill fear in communities, to inspire numerous people to oppose our presence. 

CARLSON:  And, yet, as far as I know—and I think this is correct—the bulk of U.S. forces still in Asia, not the Middle East, Asia, where there are, of course, religious differences between most of the U.S. forces and the local populations.  And you haven't seen suicide bombings there. 


CARLSON:  My point is, isn't there something special about Islamic fundamentalism that's causing the terrorism that's so bedeviling the world right now? 

PAPE:  The answer is, there's not something special about Islamic fundamentalism.  In fact, since 1980, the world's leader in suicide terrorism isn't an Islamic fundamentalist group at all.  They're the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, a Marxist group that is completely secular.

They draw from the Hindu families of Sri Lanka.  The secular Hindu Tamil Tigers have done more suicide terrorist attacks than Hamas.  The secular Hindu Tamil Tigers invented the famous suicide vests for their suicide assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991. 

The Palestinian and al Qaeda and other suicide terrorist groups got the idea of a suicide vest from the Tamil Tigers.  In my book—you're right that, in Asia, there's no suicide terrorism against us.  But, in my book, I point out that, in addition to the necessary condition of foreign occupation and a religious difference, there's a third critical difference, which is a prior rebellion. 

So, the fact is, if we ever saw a local rebellion...


PAPE:  ... against the presence of our troops in South Korea, that might actually lead to suicide terrorists.

CARLSON:  Don't you think you're downplaying, though, the religious aims of al Qaeda?  And al Qaeda is what I think most Americans are concerned about, not the Tamil Tigers.  And al Qaeda has made it pretty clear it would like to establish an Islamic state in the Middle East. 

PAPE:  I have no doubt that Osama bin Laden harbors additional goals beyond expelling foreign combat groups from the Persian Gulf. 

However, this has also been the case with other groups, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon in the 1980s.  And, as the foreign forces left, that is, as American forces and as French forces and Israeli forces left Lebanon, Hezbollah didn't use terrorism for those other essentially domestic political goals. 

CARLSON:  OK.  But...


CARLSON:  But suicide terrorism isn't the only threat.  I sort of see where this is leading.  And I half agree with you.  But you seem to be suggesting or saying point blank that pulling out, withdrawing offshore, you say, I believe, in your book, is one way to stop suicide terrorism. 

But if the United States withdrew offshore in the Middle East, it would risk the development of lunatic governments that might threaten us in other ways, say, with nuclear weapons. 

PAPE:  I don't for a moment believe that we should withdraw hastily or precipitously.  And, in fact, I wouldn't define our policy principally against the terrorists. 

However, the fact is, the United States' main interest in the Persian Gulf is not micromanaging the domestic politics of states.  It's in securing access to oil. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

PAPE:  And so, if we fight another war, it should be over access to oil.  And I'm very much in favor of guaranteeing that, even at the price of a war. 

We have an alternative strategy, however, to secure that interest. 

It's called offshore balancing. 

CARLSON:  Right. 

PAPE:  In the 1970s and '80s, the United States secured its interests in oil without stationing a single combat soldier on the Arabian Peninsula. 

CARLSON:  But—but—but it didn't—I mean, quickly, it didn't work very well, did it?  I mean, there was still profound instability in the Middle East, to the point where we were compelled to go in again with troops.

For instance, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, which got this whole horrible ball rolling in the first place.

PAPE:  It worked marvelously against Saddam Hussein in 1990, because, you see, we had built the military bases, so that we could rapidly deploy hundreds of thousands of combat troops to the Persian Gulf quickly in a crisis, rather than stationing them there on a near permanent basis.

CARLSON:  Right. 

PAPE:  And we, relatively quickly, reversed Saddam Hussein's aggression against Kuwait, which, of course, we should do again.

But, see, the presence of our forces is creating as much instability as it is actually providing help. 


PAPE:  The main instability to the Saudi government at the moment is from...

CARLSON:  Was our presence. 

PAPE:  ... the presence of our forces.


CARLSON:  Yes.  Well, I agree with—I agree with—I agree with you there. 

PAPE:  By staying there, it's helping Osama bin Laden. 

CARLSON:  Mr. Pape, Robert Pape of the University of Chicago, influential on Capitol Hill, author of “Dying to Win,” a new book, thanks for joining us.  We appreciate it. 

PAPE:  Thank you for having me. 

CARLSON:  Coming up, the states of affairs proved rocky for Bill Clinton and Prince Charles.  Would infidelity have turned out differently for them if they would have had the latest in adultery accessories?  Judge for yourself next. 


CARLSON:  Welcome back to the second half-hour of our nightly SITUATION.  Sitting in for the Bahama-bound Rue McClanahan, I'm Tucker Carlson. 

Still plenty of stories ripe for the pickings.  Let's dive right back in with Charley Gasparino and John Avlon. 

You know, I don't agree with everything that Robert Pape just said. 

AVLON:  He made some good points. 

CARLSON:  He made some good points.  You've got to give him credit, though, for raising the question:  Why do they hate us?  I mean, I personally—I mean, I don't think people even stopped to consider that. 

GASPARINO:  But aren't you tired of asking that question? 

CARLSON:  No, I'm not, because I don't think that question is an excuse to blame the United States.  I think it's a way to figure out how to keep it from happening again.  And I don't buy the idea they hate us for our freedoms.  They hate us because they're Muslim and we're not. 

CARLSON:  Or they hate us because we support Israel. 

AVLON:  Look, and that long as that question's not asked in kind of a defeatist, you know, reactive, “Oh, woe is us” kind of way, he's making a point that's interesting, that, look, there's a strategic interest they're trying to pursue and that's why they're blowing themselves up.  Fine.

But the idea—you know, Tamil Tigers seem like a convenient dodge from the obvious point, which is that there are no Lutherans walking into Walgreen's and blowing people up.  This is -- 19 out of 19...

GASPARINO:  Don't give anybody the idea.

CARLSON:  It's not a dramatic religion, Lutheranism.  No, it's not. 

AVLON:  And so, you know, I mean, let's not ignore the obvious in the effort to be, you know, academically intelligent, you know? 


GASPARINO:  What was his point about the Tamil Tigers?  I didn't quite get it.  Just that, you know, Muslims didn't invent the suicide bombings...


CARLSON:  Here's I think the bottom line with suicide bombing.  There's a messianic quality to it. If you're blowing yourself up, if you're dying in a cause, you're probably motivated by the thought you're moving on to something better.  Almost by definition there's a religious element.  Marxism is a kind of religion, of course.

AVLON:  The one thing he also forgot is that, let's face it, Bin Laden is a great propagandist.  So of course he's going to use the fact that we have bases there. 

CARLSON:  That's true. 

Next situation, crime and punishment.  Bernard Ebbers, the disgraced CEO of WorldCom, could spend the rest of his life behind bars, probably will, in fact.  Earlier today, he got the toughest sentence in the annals of recent corporate crime, 25 years behind bars.  Even with time off for good behavior, Evers won't get out until he's 85 years old. 

He's doing time for his role in the collapse of WorldCom, largest corporate fraud in U.S. history.  You know, I'm not defending Bernie Ebbers here, because that would be wrong. 

GASPARINO:  Stupid, too. 

CARLSON:  I'd just like to point out that the mean sentence for murder in this country 20 months—I mean, 20 years rather, 20 years.  So he got more than the average, or essentially the average, murders. 

AVLON:  Right, but in the world of financial scandals, this was a mass murderer.  I mean, this is the largest corporate scandal in American history, and it was not a victimless crime.  Millions, billions of dollars stolen from investors because of his either incompetence or complicity. 

CARLSON:  Again, I'm not defending him.  I think he ought to have gone to prison.  But a little perspective is in order.  He didn't kill anybody.  He didn't make me afraid to go to the liquor store at night. 

GASPARINO:  Listen, part of me agrees with you.  I've been covering Bernie Ebbers for a number of years.  I know him fairly well.  He's actually a pretty nice guy personally. 

The problem is, is that, you know, the WorldCom fraud did affect average people.  It wasn't like these other frauds—like, for example, identity theft, right, credit card fraud.  You actually do get your money back most of the time. 

People did not get their money back when they invested in WorldCom. 

And they lost their life savings.

CARLSON:  Absolutely.  And I think he ought to do hard time.  I just think that rapists ought to get more time.  I mean, it's a relative measure.

GASPARINO:   How many years should he have gotten?

CARLSON:  I don't know, maybe 25.  But then your average rapist ought to get 35.

GASPARINO:  He got 25.

CARLSON:  Exactly.  But what I'm saying, he got much less than the average rapist.  And that's weird.

Another courtroom situation, this one in the great flinty state of New Hampshire.  The town of New Ipswich is taking a novel approach to illegal immigration:  charging immigrants with criminal trespass.  The feds were not interested in Jorge Mora Ramirez, a 21-year-old Mexican, who grants he's in this country illegally.  So local police charged him with criminal trespassing, which carries $1,000 fine.

The case went to court yesterday, and the Mexican government is footing the bill for the defense, the Mexican government.  OK, this is a country that is so corrupt and mismanaged people like Mr. Ramirez, understandably, leave, right?  It's a country in which people are starving to death, and yet the government of Mexico, our so-called ally, is paying for this guy's multiple-attorney defense team.  How does that work exactly?

AVLON:  I love the idea of a Mexican lawyer in New Hampshire fighting for his guy.  But you know, look, we have laws for a reason.  I'm the grandson of immigrants.  Very proud of that.

But you know, illegal immigration affects local communities.  If the feds aren't going to step up and enforce their laws, this is a novel solution to a problem.  As long as it doesn't get picked up my xenophobes who too frequently end up ruining this debate.  It's an interesting approach. 

CARLSON:  Well, then why doesn't President Bush, next time he's talking to his good friend, fellow cowboy, Vicente Fox, say, “Hey, wait a minute, pal.  Stop abetting criminal trespassing and the law breaking in our country”? 

GASPARINO:  Well, why doesn't John's good friend, John McCain, actually do something about the border problems in Arizona?  I mean, listen, this issue really just shows how the issue of immigration really resonates with average people.  And it's not resonating in Washington.  It's one of the biggest disconnects in politics. 

CARLSON:  Are you going to ask John McCain that, John? 

AVLON:  I will defend John McCain on this. 

GASPARINO:  On this one? 

AVLON:  Yes. 

GASPARINO:  How about on this one?  Defend him on this.  I dare you. 

AVLON:  Well, I tell you what.  I mean, you were talking about voting blocs early on.  And it's a real issue. 

GASPARINO:  That's a cop-out, not a defense. 

AVLON:  No.  No.  No.  But let's talk about the reality why Washington uses the rhetoric but doesn't get much done. 

CARLSON:  Because both sides are against reform.  The Republicans are against it because big business likes cheap labor.  The Democrats are against it because they think illegal immigrants will grow up to be Democratic voters. 

GASPARINO:  There you go.

AVLON:  And John McCain won't rock the vote on this one, huh? 


CARLSON:  The government in Mexico, which doesn't have enough money to feed its own citizens, colluding to break our laws.  I think it's infuriating. 

Next situation, Spongebob Squarepants banned in Broward County, sort of.  The cartoon sea sponge is the favorite of kids everywhere.  But Bob's not a hit with the diversity committee of the Broward County schools.  They're a cheery bunch, you can bet. 

They say a DVD starring Spongebob, which was intended to teach tolerance to preschool and elementary kids, actually promotes a homosexual agenda.  Broward committee members said, quote, “These people are trying to mess with our kids' minds.”  I would say the diversity committee is trying to mess with people's minds. 

GASPARINO:  You know what I love about this story, though? 

Conservatives are actually on the diversity committee. 

CARLSON:  It was actually liberals, I think, on the diversity committee. 

GASPARINO:  No, I think it was a combination of the two. 

AVLON:  Well, that's appropriate.  But just, quick time out here, what is up with conservatives fighting the culture wars by attacking fictional cartoon characters?  Why do they keep flying this into the flame? 

CARLSON:  It's a bad P.R. move, but what is it with liberals fighting the cultural wars in kindergarten?  Why are kindergarten students watching a video about values?  Parents teach values.  If my kid's school was teaching them about values, I would be annoyed.  That's my job.  That's not a teacher's job.

GASPARINO:  Especially the words they cloak them in, “diversity.”  I mean, that in and of itself is one of the most politically correct loaded words I've ever heard. 

AVLON:  Well, look, America is fundamentally diverse.  It's the reality of life here.  One of the things I thoughts funny about this, this is about “We Are Family.”  And one of the objections was it was too inclusive, that you might be sending the wrong message about everybody being, you know, brothers and sisters, and that might not be the case from some perspective. 

CARLSON:  Yes, there is something a little threatening about Spongebob. 

Next situation, greeting cards for cheating spouses.  No, we're not fooling around.  These cards are meant for the “other” woman or man in your life.  The Secret Lover Collection of 24 cards features heart-warming messages, sentiments like a Christmas card that reads, quote, “As we each celebrate with our families, I'll be thinking of you.” 

Cards are sold out of boutiques.  And not surprisingly, you can also pick them up at hotels.  But how dumb is this?  OK, you're having a secret affair.  So here's an idea...

GASPARINO:  Maybe it's not traceable, not like an e-mail. 


CARLSON:  Yes, send a signed document—a signed document conceding you're having an affair through the public mail.  Who would do this? 


GASPARINO:  It's better than an e-mail, because if you send an e-mail, it's there forever, right?  They can go into your computer and get it.  I mean, this is, you know...

CARLSON:  Why would you send mail at all? 

AVLON:  The lack of genuine emotions involved to have to revert to Hallmark cards or its spin-off...


CARLSON:  Well, that's a good point. 

AVLON:  But there are a lot of different ways to take this story, right?  Funny, absurd.  I'm going to choose unkind, you know?  Because let's not lose sight of the real issue here.  This is somebody making money off of other people's misery. 

CARLSON:  That's true.

AVLON:  And I think we can be glib about it, we can thinks it's notoriety, it's a free market, fine, but there's moral implications.

GASPARINO:  If they're dumb enough to pay for this...

CARLSON:  Well, I agree with that.  These are cards for people who want to be on record as having committed adultery.  Perfect for your alimony hearings.

GASPARINO:  What would Rick Santorum say about this? 

CARLSON:  I don't know.  I don't know.  I bet he's opposed to it.  Just a guess.  I haven't talked to the senator about it, but that's my assumption. 

But thank you both, John, Charley, appreciate it. 

Coming up, there's a jihad on.  But is there a punishment too harsh for the kind of people responsible for last week's London bombing?  A Muslim leader says yes and weathers my storm next.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  A curious situation tonight from the West Coast where Islamic leaders are criticizing the California National Guard for a flyer posted by a guardsman at its Sacramento headquarters.  The flyer suggested the U.S. execute Islamic terrorists with bullets dipped in pigs' blood. 

Muslims, of course, are forbidden by their religion from eating pork or having any contact with pigs.  One of the outraged is the Council on American-Islamic Relations.  Their communications director in Southern California, Sabiha Khan, joins us now. 

Ms. Khan, thanks a lot for joining us.  I should say at the outset, we asked the California National Guard for a statement about this flyer, where it came from, and I want to read it to you first off.

Quote:  “The flyer was a personal item that was posted in a soldier's work area.  It does not reflect the policies or the viewpoints of the California National Guard.  The flyer was inappropriate for the workplace, and it has been removed.”

The point, of course, is this was not an official flyer posted by the National Guard, U.S. government, anyone else.  It was one guy's.  Anything to be upset about here? 

SABIHA KHAN, COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS:  Well, and we appreciate that point, but the fact of the matter is, people who were visiting the base saw it.  And so if they saw it, other members of the National Guard as well saw it. 

I think the most important thing why people are upset is that it unfortunately sends a message that this is a religious war and that unfortunately that American Muslims are not welcome to defend our own country.  And there are about 15,000 in the Armed Forces today and that...

CARLSON:  Oh whoa, whoa, whoa.  I'm sorry, Ms. Khan.  Hold on.  Slow down.

It says in no place in this flyer, that I think we've characterized accurately, that American Muslims aren't welcomed to serve, and many serve very honorably in the Armed Forces, as you just pointed out. 

It merely says that terrorists ought to be executed with bullets coated with pigs' blood because that would be extra offensive to terrorists and they deserve to die in an extra offensive way.  You must agree with that. 

KHAN:  Well, about this specific story, first of all, it's a historical myth that Blackjack Persian did such a thing.  But secondly, it basically talks about what the myth is out there that Islamically speaking that something that happens to your body bars you from going to heaven.  And that points to a religious context, unfortunately. 

And anybody who is, you know, smart enough will take that as something against—going against the Muslim religion, saying something very unfair and very unfortunate against Muslims.

CARLSON:  But wait a second.  It's not against—hold on, I want to be absolutely clear.  This flyer does not attack Muslims.  It attacks Islamic terrorists.  The two, as you often point out correctly, are completely different. 

Most Muslims in the world are lawful, and law-abiding, and peaceful people.  These are Islamic terrorists.  So as I understand it, you're not allowed to insult your enemies?  It's OK to kill terrorists, but it's not OK to insult them when you kill them?  Is that what you're saying? 

KHAN:  Well, our enemies are people who have no moral or normal value.  It doesn't matter what religion they are.  And we need to go after them because of what they've been doing. 

But the fact of the matter is, this story is one that's been circulating but unfortunately also has religious context, somehow pointing that Islam says that, if you have pigs' blood, then you cannot go to heaven. 

And, you know, we can still—we can say, you know, the terrorists are horrible.  We can say a whole bunch of things, but leave it out of religious context because people, unfortunately, will take it.  And not just...


CARLSON:  Well, wait a second.  But the terrorists themselves put their terrorism in a religious context.  They say we're doing this because of our religion.  We're inspired by our understanding of Islam. 

It's a perverted understanding, I think we all agree.  But they're the ones who put it in the religious context.  So a very simple question, what would be wrong with putting pigs' blood on bullets and using them to kill terrorists? 

KHAN:  Well, our own President Bush has said this is not a religious war.  And Tony Blair and the high commission in England have made a distinction between Islam and the terrorists attacks.  Then why are we falling into the terrorist rhetoric?  That's what Usama bin Laden wants.  He wants to divide us.  And he wants to make our soldiers increasing targets in the Muslim world. 

CARLSON:  But, wait, hold on.

KHAN:  So why are we following them and not our president? 

CARLSON:  Here's where I'm confused.  When you see a flyer that attacks terrorists, people who take life indiscriminately, who kill civilians, who are fighting the United States, why do you see an attack on terrorists as an attack on you? 

KHAN:  Well, that's the whole thing.  The whole point of the poster—

I mean, you can read it the way you want.  But people who do see it often see the story as pointing to the religion.  And you know, the more important thing, really, is the fact of the matter that, as well it puts our armed soldiers in danger overseas when we have rhetoric like that, because people can see through that, unfortunately...


CARLSON:  Ms. Khan.  Ms. Khan, our soldiers are already in danger overseas.  There are fighting people who want to kill them.  Seventeen hundred of them have already been killed in Iraq, even before this poster became public.  You're not suggesting that the terrorists kind of like us, but this is going to—you know, this is going to tip the scales, and now they're really going to be mad?  They're already really mad.  They already hate us. 

KHAN:  No, there are people—what I'm trying to say is there are people out there who are trying to increasingly make it a religious war, including those terrorists like Usama bin Laden and other extremists.  And we have to keep our eye on the ball that, in fact, it is a war against terrorists, regardless of their religion. 

CARLSON:  OK, OK, well, to some extent, I think you're right.  That reminds me of a fascinating column by Tom Friedman the other day in the “New York Times” in which he pointed out that no Muslim group in the world -- and I think you researched this—has issued a fatwa against Usama bin Laden yet. 

There was one, of course, issued against Salman Rushdie for writing a novel that supposedly insulted the prophet Mohammed, but not yet against Usama bin Laden.  Why do you think that is?  It sounds like cowardice to me. 

KHAN:  That actually is untrue.  Thomas Friedman has twisted facts once again.  Basically every religious leader since September 11th has denounced Usama bin Laden and terrorism... 


CARLSON:  No, hold on, excuse me.  That's different—denouncing is different, as I understand it, from issuing a fatwa, which is a decree, right, that could only be issued by people of a certain rank in the religion, is that right? 

I mean, I could not issue a fatwa.  I could denounce.  There's been no official fatwa issued by any religious leader?  Has there been, or is that wrong?  Do you know of one?

KHAN:  There has.  There has been fatwas against what Usama bin Laden has done and that anybody following him, from high people like Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Sheikh Tantawi.  Recently, in Spain, they've done the same thing.  So really, Friedman ignores those facts.  And I don't know how he even got published in the newspapers. 

CARLSON:  Interesting.  OK, thank you, Ms. Khan, Sabiha Khan, we appreciate it very much. 

KHAN:  You're welcome. 

CARLSON:  Ahead on “The Situation,” grandma got run over by an electric go-kart.  Are these speed-racing senior citizens skilled drivers or will they soon be splattered across the “Cutting Room Floor.”  Find out next.


CARLSON:  Welcome back.  Time for the “Cutting Room Floor.”  We sweep up all the odds and ends of news—OK, all the weird stuff—we couldn't pack in the show earlier.  And we bring them to you.

Willie Geist has the stories.


CARLSON:  Hey, Willie.

GEIST:  We want to apologize to all the Max Kellerman junkies, the Kellermaniacs, for his absence this evening.  He was on his way to—actually, I think he was getting his beard shaped up, which is sort of an all-day process.

CARLSON:  I guess it is.

GEIST:  But he's also headed out to Vegas to cover a fight.  So he'll be back with us tomorrow night. 

Got a good stack for you, buddy.

CARLSON:  We should plan not to fight any professional boxing.  Not just a brawl in a bar.

All right.  The first story is for all you race fans that are out there.  It's not NASCAR, but Dutch electric kart racing is just as thrilling, if you ask me.  Senior citizens from 13 homes in the Netherlands saddled up in karts that do not appear to have been designed for competitive racings.  The fastest buggy topped out at about seven miles per hour.

GEIST:  Look at that heart-pounding action as they come around those turns at four miles an hour.  Although I will say they've come a long way at these, you know, old folks homes.  They used to sit around and play gin rummy, and now they're drag racing at the speedway.  I say, good for them.

CARLSON:  They actually make golf carts that go faster than that. 

They make fast golf carts.

GEIST:  Next year they should use the golf carts.

CARLSON:  They should.

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg wants to keep the lines of communication open to the public literally.  Bloomberg reminded New Yorkers yesterday that his home phone number is listed in the white pages.  And he welcomes their calls and complaints. 

No, really.  The mayor said, quote, “I work for the people.  That's part of the job.”  His only request is that people don't call him in the middle of the night. 

GEIST:  Why?  Why is he doing this?  The mayor of New York, like you don't have enough problems you need Joey in Staten Island calling you?  “Mike, my hot water's out.  What are you going to do?”

CARLSON:  That literally happened to him. 

GEIST:  He has enough to worry about. 

CARLSON:  But the “why”?  There's an election coming up.  I think that may have some small part of it.

GEIST:  Well, he looks good.  And actually, some woman called and got herself—she was going to get kicked out of public housing, and he put her back in.  So it's great for people...


CARLSON:  But I trust New Yorkers to have the politeness and the self-restraint required not to bug him at home.



GEIST:  I think he'll live to regret this.

CARLSON:  Well, soccer has become so popular around the world that they've practically run out of human beings to play it.  So they're left with this, an international tournament for robots.  Osaka, Japan, is hosting 300 teams from 31 countries this week for the Ninth Annual Robo-Cup.  The organizers of the tournament hope to eventually create a team of robots so good it can beat the human world cup champion. 

GEIST:  Hmm, good luck.  So is there where we are now, in the whole robot thing?  Remember 20 years ago, the futuristic movies, they were fighting our wars and performing operations?  So basically they play soccer at this point?

CARLSON:  Look, I understand if they beat the Russian chess master, Deep Blue wins.  But never soccer. 

GEIST:  No, they beat other robots in soccer. 

CARLSON:  Soccer's kind of dorky, though. 


GEIST:  I'm a little disappointed with the progress of the geeks, I have to say. 

CARLSON:  It's when they start playing hockey that I'm going to be concerned. 

GEIST:  I'll be impressed. 

CARLSON:  Well, who says we don't have any allies in the war on terror?  The owner of a Danish pizzeria has been arrested for refusing service to French and German tourists because their countries don't support the U.S.-led war in Iraq.  The owner was charged with discrimination and fined $900 bucks.  He refused to pay and was jailed for eight days.  The man said, quote, “Eight days is a small price to pay when American soldiers go to Iraq and risk their limbs and lives.”

GEIST:  Good for him.  I know whenever I want a good slice of pizza, I head right down to the nearest Danish restaurant, because they're—the German tourists are the ones who should be arrested for going to a Danish restaurant for pizza.  They got the wrong guy here.

CARLSON:  In their black socks, those Danes have a way with mozzarella.

Well, this might be the worst case of “be careful what you wish for” ever recorded.  Glenn Alvin Reed delivered a profanity-laced tirade in Waco, Texas, last week in a courtroom.  He told a jury he didn't care if they put him away for the rest of his life for stealing a cell phone. 

Well, ask and ye shall receive.  The jury deliberated for just 15 minutes before sentencing Reed to 99 years behind bars, 99 years.  The 31-year-old was convicted as a habitual offender because he had prior felony arrests. 

GEIST:  That's a healthy dose of Texas justice, my friends.  Sometimes you put yourself out there and it pays off.  Other times, you go away for 99 years. 

CARLSON:  Glenn Alvin Reed.  They all have three nicknames.

GEIST:  I bet he wished he could have that one back.

CARLSON:  That's THE SITUATION for tonight. I'm Tucker Carlson. 

Thanks for watching.  See you tomorrow.



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