Guests: Azzam Tamimi, Peter Greenberg, Bill Press, G. Gordon Liddy, Laura Schwartz, Kimberly Caldwell
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Welcome to the show. We‘re coming to you today from Los Angeles, where I‘m in training for the new season of “Dancing With the Stars.”
More on that later.
But first, to the deadly, serious business of terror plots in the U.S. and the U.K.
Here‘s the latest.
Passengers at Heathrow were forced to wait outside in the rain as the turmoil continues at the world‘s busiest airport. British officials lowered the threat level from critical to severe, but they fear an attempted terror attack is still highly likely.
Meanwhile, a British Airways plane headed for New York turned around and returned to London after about 90 minutes after someone apparently snuck a cell phone on board and it went off.
And here in Los Angeles, police evacuated an Alaska Airlines flight today after reports of “a suspicious item” which turned out not to contain explosives after all.
But with terror fears rising on both sides of the Atlantic, my next guest says the U.K. terror plot was likely a big hoax all along.
Joining me now from London, Dr. Azzam Tamimi. He‘s the director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought and a senior member of the Muslim Association of Britain.
Dr., thank you for coming on.
Why do you call this a hoax? On what grounds do you say that?
AZZAM TAMIMI, INST. OF ISLAMIC POLITICAL THOUGHT: Well, after disrupting the lives of air travelers around the world, and especially in this country, we have been told that this entire alleged plot was uncovered by the Pakistanis. The Pakistani intelligence seemingly arrested a man, a British man of Pakistani origin in Pakistan, and this is where it all starts.
And I don‘t have any confidence in the Pakistani intelligence or in any intelligence in that part of that world because they function as contractors. They do things in order to appease certain circles, and we‘ve been there before. The British intelligence services have...
CARLSON: Well, wait a second, wait a second, wait a second. So, wait, you are basing your claim that this is likely a hoax simply on the fact that you don‘t like the ISI, the Pakistani Intelligence Service, and that they‘ve been wrong before? I mean, do you have evidence that this was a hoax? Because it‘s an awfully poisonous things to say otherwise.
TAMIMI: I don‘t have evidence that it is a hoax, but there is no evidence that it was real. You see, the—when the Brazilian young man was shot dead, for 24 hours everybody in this country from the prime minister downwards were claiming that he was a terrorist.
TAMIMI: And then they discovered 24 hours later that it was not true.
CARLSON: Well, wait a second. Wait. Wait, Mr. Tamimi. I believe I was, I think, with you in London shortly before that, and we did a couple of shows there.
CARLSON: You‘re forgetting the predicate to that event. Yes, that man was shot, and that was obviously a tragedy, but his death was preceded by very real terror attacks committed by very real fanatical Muslims who wanted to lash out against Great Britain.
I mean, they existed. They were not a hoax. And those people exist.
Your claim, your broader claim, is that somehow Great Britain and the United States and Pakistan now are trying to defame Islam, but there really are Islamic extremists who commit acts of terror.
TAMIMI: Of course there are extremists everywhere, and this is not Islamic. This is nothing to do with Islam. This has to do with the political crisis.
And I don‘t agree with describing it as Islamic. And I don‘t agree with George Bush when he said Islamic fascists, because fascism should never be associated with Islam.
What I‘m trying to explain to you is that in June we had an incident in Forest Gate in east London, when the British police stormed into a house, shot one of two brothers, then arrested the two, interrogated them for two weeks, and then it turned all out to be nothing. There was no dirty bomb, there was no plot whatsoever.
What I am saying today is that it is likely to be another intelligence failure simply because politicians don‘t want to admit the reality. The reality is that this is a crisis of their own making because of the foreign policy they‘ve been pursuing.
CARLSON: Well, wait a second. You‘re making two arguments simultaneously that cancel one another out.
You are saying on the one hand that all of this is made up, it‘s a figment of the overheated imagination of anti-Muslim Westerners, right? And then on the other hand you‘re excusing terror attacks by saying they‘re legitimate responses to political crises like, you know, what‘s happening in Israel.
I mean, so you‘re basically saying these attacks don‘t exist, but when they do exist, they‘re justified.
TAMIMI: I don‘t justify or accuse any such attacks on innocents.
Killing innocent people is not justified for whatever reason.
But what I‘m trying to say to you is that unless we understand why they happen—you see, when there is a crime somewhere, when a young American schoolboy goes into the school and shoots his mates, the investigation has also to focus on why such a young man behaves in such a horrible way. You don‘t excuse him, you don‘t justify what he did, but you need to understand. Sociologists come in, psychologists come in order to understand, and we need to understand why we have a phenomenon of terrorism. That is one thing.
The other thing is that intelligence keeps failing. The American intelligence services and the British intelligence services have not been catching terrorists or potential terrorists. They‘ve been attacking innocent people, and the terrorists manage to get away with the terrorism.
CARLSON: Well, wait a second. Then how can you explain the fact that the United States has not experienced another September 11th? Surely you don‘t think it‘s because al Qaeda has given up its war against the West. No, it‘s because actually the governments of this country, the United States, and the U.K., and other governments, including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and our allies around the world, have actually done a pretty good job fighting al Qaeda.
I mean, what‘s the other explanation?
TAMIMI: Well, the explanation is that 9/11 was one off. It‘s simply unrepeatable because it happened at a time when the system of surveillance, when search into airplanes never existed in the United States of America, and al Qaeda managed to seize an opportunity at a given moment that is simply unrepeatable.
Now, tell me, the people in Guantanamo Bay, if the United States of America thinks they are terrorists and has something against them, why not put them on trial? Why are they being...
CARLSON: But, see, this is apples and oranges. You know, Mr. Tamimi, I have to say—and, look, I‘m not in love with the situation at Guantanamo Bay. I don‘t think most Americans are. I think it‘s a pretty unhappy situation that we all hope is resolved soon. But you are part of the problem when you begin to make arguments like that.
Your essential argument is the West deserves what it gets because of what it‘s done to Islam. And that‘s totally a poisonous argument. You are basically encouraging people to commit acts of terror.
TAMIMI: That‘s not true. You are making your own collusions.
What I am saying is that every action has a reaction. You go to Iraq, you bomb the Iraqis, you kill them, you turn their lives into a mess, what do you expect? Do you expect—there will be some people who will be frustrated, who will be angry, who will try to avenge that. Why, in the first place...
CARLSON: Well, but, these weren‘t—but, wait a second. These weren‘t Iraqis arrested in Great Britain. They were British citizens born in the U.K. And, in fact, among them were two people whose families weren‘t even from the Middle East, two white guys who converted to Islam.
So, you take that set of facts, you look at that, and you look me straight in the eye and say there‘s nothing wrong with the brand of Islam to which these men ascribed? You can‘t say that. I mean, you are in denial about the rot at the root of this great world religion, and it‘s a shame. It doesn‘t do anyone any good to deny that.
TAMIMI: Well, if you say these young men were not Iraqis and have nothing to do with Iraq, what are your troops doing in Iraq? Are they Iraqis? Why did you go into Iraq, invade the top of its regime and cause mayhem and anarchy in Iraq?
CARLSON: Are you trying to get me to defend the war in Iraq? You‘ll never get me to defend that. I think it was a tragic mistake, and I have said so literally for years.
My only point is, when people do bad things, don‘t make excuses for them. Don‘t blame the Jews, as you always do. “Oh, well, Israel did that, Israel did that.” I‘m not even defending Israel. I‘m merely saying there‘s no excuse for plotting to blow up civilian airliners ever, so don‘t make excuses for people who would do that.
TAMIMI: Well, I would recommend that you read my writings. I never blame the Jews. I think the Jews are victims, they‘ve been all the while victims.
I blame the Zionists. And I do make a distinction between Zionists and Jews. There are many Jews who are appalled by the Israeli government, who disagree with its policies, and who don‘t even recognize the legitimacy of the state of Israel.
CARLSON: But, look, let‘s say everything—look, I‘ll even grant you that distinction, though I don‘t buy it personally. I‘ll just grant it to you for the sake of argument.
Let‘s say everything you say about Israel is true, Israel is an evil, fascist power. OK, fine. It still doesn‘t excuse the acts of terror committed against innocents by people acting in the name of Islam against Israel. It just doesn‘t excuse those acts, and you shouldn‘t excuse them either.
TAMIMI: Well, you shouldn‘t start blaming the people who are responding to oppression. It was Israel who started the problem.
Israel occupies Palestine. Israel suppresses the Palestinians.
Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 and now.
If the Israelis wanted peace, why not accept the cease-fire offer that was given to them by Hamas many years ago and the call for a cease-fire by Hezbollah so many days ago before we arrived today...
CARLSON: Yes, I‘m sorry, you‘re not going—I‘m not an Israeli government spokesperson. I can‘t answer that question. I‘m merely saying there‘s no excuse for trying to blow up a plane. That simple.
Mr. Tamimi, thank you for coming on. I appreciate it.
Still to come, are you any safer now that you can‘t carry a bottle of water on to your domestic airplane flight? Is this really the best the government can do to protect unsuspecting passengers from terror?
And cease-fire in the Middle East. It looks like a victory of sorts for diplomacy, but who are the winners and who are the losers after a month of deadly conflict? And has anything really changed?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We‘ve got a lot to discuss. It‘s very important for the American people to know that we‘re constantly thinking about how to secure the homeland, protect our interests, use all assets available to do our jobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So banning carry-on water bottles and shampoo, forcing passengers to take of their shoes at security checkpoints, this is how we‘re securing the homeland these days. It seems like, from a layman‘s point of view, maybe we could be doing a better job than that.
Joining me now to talk about it, Peter Greenberg. He‘s the travel editor for “The Today Show” and author of the book “The Travel Detective.”
Peter, do you think any of this makes us safer?
PETER GREENBERG, “TODAY” SHOW TRAVEL EDITOR: Well, you know, it‘s interesting. Before 9/11, what was airport security? It was an attempt to psychologically deter emotionally disturbed people.
After 9/11, I would make the argument that a lot of the security was to try to make people who don‘t fly very often feel better. But those of us who do fly often, well, we sometimes know better. And the problem right now is there‘s not a unilaterally good application of security across the board, and what is across the board doesn‘t sometimes make common sense.
For example, you mentioned taking shoes of. Well, we understand why we take our shoes off. We can thank Richard Reid for that, the famous shoe bomber. And what was he trying to do? Light his shoes on fire to detonate some plastic explosive with matches. Thankfully, he got caught and it didn‘t happen.
So now we take our shoes off to put them through, what, metal detectors that can‘t recognize plastic explosives.
GREENBERG: I don‘t understand that. Then there was...
CARLSON: Wait—and if I could just stop you, not just that. Congress itself, not—not any federal agency, but the Congress of the United States banned cigarette lighters on airplanes, but not matches. In the name of protecting us from future Richard Reids.
GREENBERG: Well, that‘s the funniest thing of all. They ban the cigarette lighters, but you‘re allowed to bring up to four books of matches. I don‘t know who‘s not getting the memo here.
So, then you‘ve got the other issue here. And we‘ll get to the new restrictions that have been—that have been announced today. But then you have the other thing that we talked about last week. You know, while they‘re doing increased security of passengers going through checkpoints—and I‘m all in favor of that if it makes sense—they‘re still not inspecting the cargo that‘s carried on commercial airplanes in the same baggage hold as my luggage. That makes no sense.
Now, when you go to the actual reaction from last Thursday, I understand why they did it, I think you understand why they did it. I understand that they had to do it quickly because they felt they had a ticking clock here. But now they‘re going to have to redefine some of those restrictions because, in the heat of the movement, a lot of them now in retrospect didn‘t make a whole lot of sense.
CARLSON: Wait. Can you just go back to something you said just a minute ago? You said that before 9/11, airport security was designed to deter emotionally disturbed people. I‘ve never heard that. What does that mean?
GREENBERG: Sure. That meant people who wanted to hijack the plane and go to Cuba or hijack the plane and go, you know, to their grandmother‘s house.
GREENBERG: The point is—and by the way, that security worked to a certain extent, because at airport garbage receptacles within 100 feet of security checkpoints, the FAA will tell you they found lots of discarded weapons, handguns that were carried in purses or in—or in carry-on bags. So, that did have an effect.
GREENBERG: But when you have a determined hijacker, a determined terrorist, that‘s not going to make the difference. The difference is, how are you going to fight the next war and not the last war?
CARLSON: So that‘s—and so—and you said after that, and this is interesting, that basically this is, as I read someone describe it recently, this is security theater what we‘re going through. The purpose of this is to make us feel better, not to scare away al Qaeda.
Is that right?
GREENBERG: Well, think about this. They‘ve been playing a game of red light-green light with the shoes for a while. People don‘t realize this, but, you know, you always had the right up until today to not take your shoes off.
GREENBERG: And then they would say to you, “Oh, you don‘t have to take your shoes off, but they wouldn‘t tell you why. And then you would go through security, ah, now that you didn‘t take your shoes off, we can do secondary screening.
As of today, everybody has to take their shoes off, and you don‘t have the right to say no. But you didn‘t really have the right to say no to begin with, because once you got through that metal detector, they were going to screen you anyway.
CARLSON: Well, how long do you think this is going to go on? I mean, this—let me just say, I‘m sure you have the same reaction as somebody who travels a lot. This makes me more nervous because I see the ineptitude of some of these screeners.
Some of them are great. Some of them are very much not great, though, and it makes me more uncomfortable.
How long are these steps—how long are they going to continue do you think?
GREENBERG: Well, actually, this doesn‘t make me more nervous, because when you think of the mentality of the terrorists, they don‘t go for the path of most resistance, they go for the path of least. And right now, I don‘t think they‘re looking at airports. They‘re probably looking at ports, where only seven percent of the containers are inspected.
So, I mean, for those of my friends who are very scared to fly right now, I say, no, now is the time to go. You may stand in line longer and you may not be able to take your lip gloss, but you‘re going to get there.
CARLSON: Right. Just don‘t hitch a ride on a container ship, because that could be dangerous.
CARLSON: Peter Greenberg, thank you very much.
GREENBERG: You got it.
CARLSON: Still to come, Hezbollah claims victory over Israel, but are there any real winners after a month of fighting? And has anything really changed in that region?
And, what is the story with reality television? Well, I‘ve made it my personal mission to find out. I‘m here in L.A. training for “Dancing With the Stars.”
More on that when we return.
CARLSON: Still to come, the Middle East cease-fire, can it last and has it really changed anything. Also ahead, to prepare for “Dancing with the Stars,” we get some reality TV advice from an “American Idol” finalist. We have that in just a minute, but right now here‘s a look at your headlines.
CARLSON: Time now for “Beat the Press.” First up, “Good Morning America” on “ABC”, that show hyped its exclusive interview with Jill Carroll, she‘s the “Christian Science Monitor” reporter who was held captive in Iraq for nearly three months. But take a look at what was happening just a network away on the “Today Show” on NBC at exactly 7:32 a.m. That was precisely the same moment “GMA” was running their exclusive. Two exclusives.
Simultaneous exclusives on different networks. Impossible? Strictly speaking, yes. Common? Quite. Next, another from the land of exclusives, this one comes to us from the “Fox News Channel.” Friday night, Bill O‘Reilly interviewed White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, he‘s a former “Fox News” anchor himself of course. Tough guest. Well “Fox” seems to think it was. Take a look at the banner they flashed during the interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president is not going to sign on to anything that isn‘t going to push Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon, it‘s going to prevent it from being a state within a state, it‘s going to put an end to Hezbollah‘s ability to fire rockets into Israel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So “Fox News” does an interview with one of its former employees whose job it is to talk to the press, and they call it an exclusive. When I become secretary of fun in the Tom Tancredo Administration and come back on MSNBC to do interviews on the “Willie Geist Show,” we will have the self-discipline not to advertise it as an exclusive. We‘ll be honest with you. That‘s my promise. Well finally an interview that‘s getting quite a bit of buzz, Mike Wallace‘s sit down with the president of Iran. A lot has been said about that interview, many are saying Wallace was too soft with him. Take a look and judge for yourself. Here‘s part of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE WALLACE: Who supports Hezbollah? Who has given Hezbollah hundreds of millions of dollars for years? Who has given Hezbollah Iranian made missiles and rockets that is making—that are making all kinds—may I ask my question please, sir?
IRAN‘S PRESIDENT: Are you the representative of the Zionist regime or a journalist?
WALLACE: I am a journalist. I am a journalist.
IRAN‘S PRESIDENT: This is not your malice, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: First let‘s just note the obvious that Mike Wallace sounds a lot like Zulu from “Star Trek” in that interview, I‘m not exactly clear why. But here‘s the point, Mike Wallace has taken a lot of heat for this interview, a lot of people implying that he sucked up to the maniacal president of Iran and in fact if you see the interview, that‘s just not true. He gave the guy a pretty tough time. So good for Mike Wallace. My one and only time ever defending him, but it‘s just not fair to say he gave the president a pass, he didn‘t. How would you like to help us “Beat the Press”? Give us a call and tell us what you‘ve seen, the number here 1-877-BTP-5876. Numerically, 877-287-5876.
Still to come, President Bush‘s foreign policy, is it hurting us in the war on terror and turning the rest of the world against us? That story and many others when we come back.
CARLSON: Still to come, soon I‘ll be “Dancing with the Stars”, brilliant decision or poor career choice. We‘ll ask a popular reality contestant who knows the answer. We‘ll be back in just 60 seconds.
CARLSON: Time now for a segment we call three on three where we welcome three of the sharpest people we know to discus three of today‘s most interesting stories, we get right to it. In Washington we are joined by Bill Press, who‘s the author of “How the Republicans Stole Christmas,” also from Washington, host of the “G. Gordon Liddy Show” and the author of “Fight Back, Tackling Terrorism Liddy Style,” G. Gordon Liddy.
And from New York City democratic strategist and former adviser to President Clinton, Laura Schwartz. Welcome all. First up, the Mideast cease-fire, a diplomatic victory of sorts but with the IDF and Hezbollah still staring each other down, how long can it last. Bill Press, how long can this last and is this really a cease-fire or is it just imposed from the outside and certain to fail?
BILL PRESS, AUTHOR, “HOW THE REPUBLICANS STOLE CHRISTMAS”: Tucker, no cease-fire in the Middle East has ever lasted very long. I don‘t think this one will either. I would be surprised if it lasts a week. I still think it‘s good because I think it gives an opportunity to get the peace process back on track if the Bush administration is ready to focus.
CARLSON: Gordon Liddy, do we want a cease-fire? It‘s unclear what the United States government wants out of this?
G. GORDON LIDDY, HOST, “THE G. GORDON LIDDY SHOW”: If I were the president, I would not want a cease-fire. I think he was forced into it pretty much. He gave Ehud Olmert as much time as possible, but Ehud Olmert has no military experience and oddly enough his defense minister has no military experience and they hesitated in sending in the large land forces and he who hesitates is lost.
CARLSON: Laura do you think that the United States made a mistake by pushing Israel into the cease-fire?
LAURA SCHWARTZ, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well you know in all it seems that we united our enemies and divided our friends when we started this process or when we didn‘t start this process. But I think the cease-fire is the only way to go to at least find out what we‘re going to do next. Although I‘m with Bill, I mean we‘ve lasted what 12, 13 hours at this point. I can‘t see it lasting until those international Lebanese peacekeeping troops get in there.
CARLSON: Well here‘s the problem, this is the question of winners and losers. Hezbollah says it‘s won a strategic historic victory against Israel, while President Bush says Hezbollah was defeated. So who really won? G. Gordon Liddy, it seems to me Hezbollah won overwhelmingly and without question, they still exist, Hassan Nasrallah is still alive. That‘s a feat no Arab army has pulled off ever in fighting Israel.
LIDDY: I agree with you. The last day before the cease-fire, Hezbollah rained hundreds of rockets down on Israel. Clearly they are capable of doing that and that is a defeat for Israel. Because prior to now, no one has been able to stand up to the Israeli panzers and these people did.
CARLSON: So how Bill is this good for us, I mean if Hezbollah which not only despises Israel but has pledged the destruction of the United States, doesn‘t, I assume plan to make good on that any time soon. They still hate us, they‘re more powerful in the region, isn‘t this a disaster for the United States?
PRESS: First of all, I‘ve got to agree with Gordon, I think Hezbollah is the winner. Their staying power was amazing, that they held up 30 days against probably the third largest military force in the world, and they‘ve lasted longer than any Arab force that has ever, ever in history fought Israel. Certainly since the beginning of Israel in 1948. But Tucker I agree with you, so if Hezbollah wins, which I think they did, then the United States is a big loser here. I think the president made a huge mistake, here is where I disagree with Gordon, in waiting so long to act. It made us look rudderless, it made us look like we were looking the other way when one of our allies, Israel is destroying another ally, Lebanon, using U.S.-made weapons. What kind of foreign policy is that?
CARLSON: Do you buy that Gordon, was Lebanon really our ally?
LIDDY: Lebanon is not really our ally. Hezbollah is part of the government of Lebanon, and really the government of Lebanon is Hezbollah. Not the alleged government of Lebanon. They don‘t have any power.
Hezbollah has the power.
CARLSON: Laura, maybe someone going back three weeks ago should have said, someone from this administration should have thought ahead a month and seen that the outcome was almost inevitably the strengthening of Hezbollah and said to Israel, look, you know, we appreciate what you‘re doing, we totally understand what you‘re doing, we think you‘re morally right in doing what you‘re doing, but what you‘re doing is going to wind up helping Hezbollah and that‘s bad for you and for us, so stop it.
SCHWARTZ: Exactly. And like today, you know people are going back into southern Lebanon and Hezbollah is embracing them and saying we‘re going to rebuild your homes, we‘re going to make it stronger, and in fact they will recruit and they will still find a way to get the weaponry in. You know they have Iran behind them. It really is emboldened, I would have loved to see our foreign policy teams look at that like you just said Tucker. What if they‘re emboldened by this? What do we do then? That‘s what we have to think about now.
CARLSON: Yeah what do we do then, Gordon?
LIDDY: Here‘s the problem. Bush gave them the time to do what they had to do. Israel did not do what they had to do. With Ariel Sharon had been the premiere, he would have sent in massive land forces, tanks, and everything right from the beginning, and he would have crushed them.
PRESS: Gordon, our memory is not that short. Ariel Sharon tried it, he tried it, and it failed. I mean, this is just a repeat of the failure of Ariel Sharon. You are not going to bomb these terrorists into submission, that‘s not the way you‘re going to solve the war on terror.
LIDDY: I agree, you‘re not going to bomb them, but you have to send in your infantry and tanks.
CARLSON: Did it fail though Bill. I mean up until the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, you weren‘t seeing rockets in the hundreds flying over the border into Haifa, you just weren‘t, so maybe actually it succeeded.
PRESS: No I think it failed, because it emboldened Hezbollah, they‘re the ones who emerged out of Ariel Sharon‘s ashes to be the power in southern Lebanon. How do you call that a success? And then Olmert decided he would just repeat what Ariel Sharon tried to do as a double failure and both times we stood by and let them do it.
LIDDY: Olmert faltered.
CARLSON: What should we have done, Laura? And be realistic here. I mean nobody, let‘s not pretend that anybody in either party is going to stand up and start bossing Israel around, because you know that‘s not going to happen, so what should this government have done?
LIDDY: The Israeli government or our government?
CARLSON: The U.S. government.
SCHWARTZ: Right. And you figure if we were in Israel‘s position, we would have gone all out, get them everywhere we can.
CARLSON: Yeah but we‘re not. Hold on, everyone always says that and I mean, I love Israel and I identify with Israel and I think that Israel did what I would have done, I agree with that completely. But we‘re not Israel, so from a foreign policy point of view, that‘s an irrelevant statement that means nothing.
SCHWARTZ: I think we never should have withdrawn our envoys from that region in Syria and other areas. We should have put an envoy immediately together, both members of congress and foreign policy experts and said we‘re going to get on the ground and we‘re going to take care of this, we‘re going to work out some sort of cease-fire so we can figure out where to go next, completely disarm and take away the respect of Hezbollah, but it‘s a very tough motion. This is the Middle East in progress, and we have no answers right now and that‘s the scary part.
PRESS: Tucker, let me give you my quick shot. I think on day one, that President Bush should have called on both sides to lay down their arms and stop the fighting, sure, Hezbollah started it, Israel was the victim here again. Our best foreign policy I think was to say, both sides lay down your arms and then we should have pulled everybody together and had direct talks with everybody involved, including Iran and Syria, and the fact we won‘t talk to them is monumentally stupid.
LIDDY: Let me dissent.
CARLSON: What do you think Gordon, should we talk to them?
LIDDY: Full disclosure. These are Israeli paratrooper wings that I‘m wearing so you can understand where I‘m coming from. The opportunity was given by the United States to the Israeli government. The government of Ehud Olmert, who is a nice man, I‘ve known him since he was the mayor of Jerusalem, he hesitated. He who hesitates is lost. You‘ve got to go in with massive ground forces, supported by air, and do what you have to do. He was not prepared to do that, and they‘re paying the price right now.
CARLSON: But isn‘t it though, I think everyone agrees that in hindsight, but isn‘t that easier said than done. 18 years in Lebanon, a lot of Israelis see it as their sort of Vietnam quagmire scenario. It‘s a touchy subject there. Do you think he politically .
LIDDY: No, he should have raced to the Litani River all the way up and then turned interiorly and had to fight them foxhole by foxhole.
CARLSON: Bill you don‘t agree?
PRESS: Tucker, this is Vietnam all over again. Gordon is making the same arguments that the hard liners made in this country about Vietnam, go in with massive firepower. Ask Lyndon Johnson how well that worked out. It was a wrong strategy, it was an unwinnable war.
CARLSON: But in the end, you can, I mean ultimately, superior firepower does win out if you‘re willing to be extreme enough, doesn‘t it? I mean there are examples of that if you really want to crush your enemy and you‘re physically capable of so doing, as Israel is, you can.
PRESS: I think that‘s the old strategy for the old war and the war we‘re fighting today against the extremists of every stripe that does not work. They just go underground and they pop up somewhere else. We‘ve seen that happen over an over again. Take Iraq.
LIDDY: There‘s only about 10,000 of Hezbollah fighters over there.
SCHWARTZ: And then it multiplies.
LIDDY: The idea is to kill them.
CARLSON: But Laura tell me, is it necessary, you often hear people particularly people on the left say that the United States need to be more even handed in its approach to these conflicts in the Middle East. Really between Israel and its Arab enemies, that we need to be sort of a better referee, a more impartial observer. Do we need to be?
LIDDY: Should we have been that even handed with Adolph Hitler?
CARLSON: No, I just want to know why the left is always saying that.
Do you think that‘s true?
SCHWARTZ: Right, because the left think we should be the ultimate statesman of the world and we need to, we‘ve lost a lot of our credibility, let‘s face it. And just like Israel, Bill was saying should have gone in with much more fire force all the way up to the Litani River. We should have gone in with more troops in Iraq. And it‘s always hindsight is 20/20. But we as America have got to be that faith to the world, that beacon of hope that gets in there and directly talks to people and puts them on a track that maybe there will be an outcome to. But there is no clear winner in this today, there won‘t be in another 20 days and I tell you we‘re going to have the conversation in the winter.
CARLSON: Another war on terror.
Has President Bush‘s bravado turned the world against us, that‘s what many claim, just when we needed allies most, supposedly the president‘s tough talk calling out Islamic groups, calling them Islamic extremists or Islamic fascists for instance, is in turn causing more young disaffected Muslims to join up to radical Islamic causes, is that true, is the president in fact creating the very terrorists he seeks to destroy? I think this is one of the dumbest theories I think I‘ve ever heard. Bill Press, do you see any truth in this?
PRESS: Well, Tucker, I‘ll give you a target. I see a lot of truth in it. I think the president‘s policy in Iraq has emboldened people against us. Just ask the question, is there more anti-American hatred today than there was five years ago or six years ago when George Bush took office? Absolutely. Part of it is the war in Iraq, I think a second part is his failure to act more immediately in Lebanon, but I have to say another part of it is something you and Peter Greenberg were talking about in the last segment. I think we‘re fighting in terms of security, the last war as well. We‘re still worried about shoes and how to get in the cockpit rather than liquid explosives that we ought to be worried about. So I think on both ends, this president doesn‘t have a clue.
CARLSON: What do you think of that Laura?
SCHWARTZ: I think that if we can spend $5 billion a month in Iraq and go further in debt this country, let‘s start spending a billion dollars a month in transportation security and let‘s get all of the cargo checked on planes. Let‘s give our first responders what they need.
CARLSON: No, are you kidding? And then turn into the authoritarian state we despise in the first place?
SCHWARTZ: Hey if it‘s going to keep everybody safe. There‘s no boundary to keeping us safe. So let‘s start investing in that.
CARLSON: Wait, slowdown. Of course there‘s a boundary, we shouldn‘t accept some risk? What do you think, G. Gordon Liddy, shouldn‘t we accept some risk in our life?
LIDDY: Tucker, let me address this. I have flown El-al. El-al is the safest outfit in the world in terms of transportation. And I asked them, I said, you know, what‘s the secret? He said the secret is over there in the United States, you people are looking for nail clippers. Over here, we‘re looking for terrorists and I would remind you that Joe Fos, congressional medal of honor from Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Was on his way to West Point, he had the medal of honor in his pocket and the TSA told him you‘re going to have to take that pointy thing and throw it in the basket over there. They didn‘t even know what it was.
CARLSON: That is actually pathetic.
PRESS: It is. I got to say that I‘m glad that this plot last week happened in the—I‘m sorry it happened, but I‘m glad it happened in the U.K. and not here. I mean, they found and rounded up 24 suspects. We couldn‘t even find 11 Egyptian students that came in to this country on July 29th with visas. Didn‘t have no idea where they were. They were all over the place.
CARLSON: Wait a minute, hold on. A, I think we have got them all, but B, don‘t we want to live in a society where you‘re not stopped at every freeway off ramp and asked to produce your papers, where we have freedom of movement? Where we have anonymity, where you can disappear into the fabric of America. I mean isn‘t that a good thing really?
PRESS: Look, I‘m a liberal, but I‘m telling you in this day and age when 17 Egyptian young men come in here for a month and we lose them and have no idea where they are, I don‘t think Homeland Security is doing its job.
LIDDY: I agree with my liberal friend, Mr. Press, and my problem is giving those guys a visa to begin with.
CARLSON: I am with you there. G. Gordon Liddy, thank you from Washington. Bill Press, Laura Schwartz from New York, thank you all very much.
SCHWARTZ: Thanks Tucker.
CARLSON: Coming up, if you thought you had seen the last of my dancing, think again. Now training for “Dancing with the Stars,” but first up, some advice from a reality television star who has been there. Just ahead.
CARLSON: Well, there‘s an example of the bizarre and appalling “American Idol” auditions going on today outside Giants Stadium. Knowing that I would like to avoid that humiliation on “Dancing with the Stars,” I figured it might be a pretty good idea to ask an actual contestant about what to do and what not to do while in front of the judges. Kimberly Caldwell was a finalist during season two of “American Idol” and is now the co-host of “Reality Chat” on the “TV Guide Channel.” Kimberly welcome. Have any advice for me?
KIMBERLY CALDWELL, FORMER FINALIST ON “AMERICAN IDOL”: Hi Tucker.
Ok, I have some tips. Are you ready?
CALDWELL: Listen, they‘re very important. First is never talk back to the judges. That‘s a no-no. Two is if you mess up before ...
CARLSON: Wait a minute, slow down. That‘s going to be almost impossible to follow that piece of advice. Why? They don‘t like it?
CALDWELL: No. Yeah, the fans don‘t like it, I‘m telling you, on “Idol” when people talk back, they go. So it‘s just a tip. You don‘t have to take it.
CARLSON: No, I‘m paying close attention, trust me.
CALDWELL: Ok, so the second one is if you fall or you mess up, smile and keep going. But if that doesn‘t work, you can always cry.
CARLSON: Does crying work for men as well as women?
CALDWELL: Yes, it does, for sure. For sure. I don‘t really have any people that I come right to my head right now, but yes, it does.
CARLSON: Kimberly, come on, let‘s be real, if I burst into tears on “Dancing with the Stars,” it‘s over for me. I mean, come on. Ok, what‘s number three?
CALDWELL: Come on, just listen to my tips, I‘m very serious here. Ok, number three is when you‘re done dancing, the host is going to show a little thing at the bottom of the screen it‘s going to say to vote for Tucker, dial 1-800-04, right? So then when you‘re done with that you have to go, -- ok?
CALDWELL: Are you down with me, ok. Are you down with me, ok. And then the other one is, if it‘s possible, have a showmance. Find one of the other contestants that you think is hot, maybe have a little flirting going on and then you pop up in magazines and then you‘re the star of the show.
CARLSON: Wait. So I should flirt with the other contestants?
CALDWELL: Yes. You should.
CARLSON: Ok. What do I do about my wife at that point?
CALDWELL: Oh, then it‘s the affair and supposedly that‘s really big right now. I don‘t know.
CARLSON: Ok. That sounds—that seems like a lot. So I can‘t talk back to the judges, I have to keep smiling even if I screw it up, I have to hit on fellow contestants and then I have to cry on stage. It seems to me even if I win at that stage, I‘ve lost, if you know what I mean.
CALDWELL: No. No. See reality television forgives you for everything.
CARLSON: Kimberly you would know. I appreciate it. Thank you.
CALDWELL: I would know.
CARLSON: That‘s it for us. Coming from Los Angeles today, thank you for watching. Up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris. See you tomorrow.
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