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Panel on Rising Tensions in the Middle East

By Special Report w/Bret Baier, Special Report w/Bret Baier - August 4, 2010

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Special Guests | Bill Kristol, Erin Billings, Charles Krauthammer

Watch the latest video at FoxNews.com

This is a rush transcript of "Special Report With Bret Baier" from August 4, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)adsonar_placementId=1499756;adsonar_pid=150758;adsonar_ps=-1;adsonar_zw=336;adsonar_zh=170;adsonar_jv='ads.adsonar.com';

GEN. THOMAS MCINERNEY, (RET.) FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: This is a huge deal because it means that no non-stealth aircraft can survive the surface- to-air missile threat that the Iranians will put up. And that means that the Israelis have got to strike very quickly.

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: Iran is very concerned that an attack by Israel or perhaps even by the United States may be imminent. That's why there is a lot of speculation in the region that they're trying to provoke an incident between Lebanon and Israel hoping to divert Israel's attention, resources to its northern border and away from the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: What's this all about? The Iranian regime is claiming on state-run television that is has obtained four S-300 long range surface-to-air missiles which, if true, would boost Iran's ability to defend against air strikes on its nuclear facilities. They say they got it from Belarus and another source. The Pentagon and White House saying they have nothing to support that, whether it's true or not.

Yet, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs asked about a possible U.S. strike or plans of it this past weekend. Take a listen:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADM. MIKE MULLEN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I think the military options have been on the table and remain on the table. And certainly in that regard, it's one of the options the president has.

DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS: But the military has a plan should it come to that.

MULLEN: We do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: What does this all mean in the big scheme of things? Let's bring in our panel: Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard; Erin Billings, deputy editor of Roll Call, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer.

Charles, let's put this in perspective. We know that the Israeli prime minister made a secret not-so-secret trip to Moscow to try to prevent Russian from selling these missiles to Iran. If they have them, what is the significance here -- or even if they don't, what's the significance?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I'm not sure it occurred. Belarus, allegedly the source, has denied it and the Russians have denied it. The U.S. is skeptical and I think the Israelis are skeptical as well. But I think -- and if it did happened it would be a big deal because it would accelerate Israel attacking. If they have a few of the batteries it would make Israeli attack right away because if they have a lot of batteries it would make an Israeli attack almost impossible. But even if it didn't happen, it's important because the Iranians are saying it, touting it, basically saying that you can't attack us.

I think this is of a piece with some of the other things we've been seeing. We have president of Iran saying that Israel is planning attack on two countries. I think he was meaning Lebanon and Syria. You had attacks on Sinai into Israel presumably by Hamas. Hamas is agent of Iran. You had rockets from Gaza in to Ashdot, a city in Israel. Hamas again, very tied. This would undoubtedly be a Hamas rocket.

And you have the incident in Lebanon. The Lebanese incident looks as if it was not staged by Hezbollah or by the government. Nonetheless, I think what Iran is doing is playing at brinksmanship. It's worried. When it hears the chairman of the Joint Chiefs saying not only is the military option on the table, but we have a plan, that worries them a lot because the United States could inflict tremendous damage on Iran if it wanted to.

That's why I think it's playing brinksmanship as a way to remind the world we can start a world with Israel anytime through Hezbollah, Lebanon or Gaza, and we presumably have the missiles to shoot down American attackers or Israeli attackers.

It's a high-stake game and I think the Iranians are getting a little bit worried about the change in attitude of the United States.

BAIER: As you look at the map, obviously everything is condensed in this area of the world in the Middle East, as we talk about many times. And Charles, you mentioned the action from the south and the north on Israel in recent days. Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke about that, and Iranian president reacted in Iran. Take a listen:

continued...

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Join our live-streaming webcast and chat, for the reactions you didn’t hear from the panel, and a chance for you to weigh in with your thoughts and questions LIVE.

Connect with Special Report MyspaceFacebookTwitterEmailAudio PodcastPanel Podcast All-Star Panelists -- Thursday, August 5 Charles Krauthammer

Krauthammer writes a syndicated column for The Washington Post. He is also a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and The New Republic, and a weekly panelist on Inside Washington.

Stephen Hayes

Stephen Hayes is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard in Washington, DC, and author of two New York Times bestsellers. He writes frequently on electoral politics and national security.

Julie Mason

Julie Mason is the White House correspondent for the Washington Examiner. Prior to joining the Examiner in 2008, Julie spent 20 years at the Houston Chronicle, where she covered local, state and national politics and the White House. Julie is an at-large board member of the White House Correspondents Association.

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This is a rush transcript of "Special Report With Bret Baier" from August 4, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. THOMAS MCINERNEY, (RET.) FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: This is a huge deal because it means that no non-stealth aircraft can survive the surface- to-air missile threat that the Iranians will put up. And that means that the Israelis have got to strike very quickly.

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: Iran is very concerned that an attack by Israel or perhaps even by the United States may be imminent. That's why there is a lot of speculation in the region that they're trying to provoke an incident between Lebanon and Israel hoping to divert Israel's attention, resources to its northern border and away from the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: What's this all about? The Iranian regime is claiming on state-run television that is has obtained four S-300 long range surface-to-air missiles which, if true, would boost Iran's ability to defend against air strikes on its nuclear facilities. They say they got it from Belarus and another source. The Pentagon and White House saying they have nothing to support that, whether it's true or not.

Yet, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs asked about a possible U.S. strike or plans of it this past weekend. Take a listen:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADM. MIKE MULLEN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I think the military options have been on the table and remain on the table. And certainly in that regard, it's one of the options the president has.

DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS: But the military has a plan should it come to that.

MULLEN: We do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: What does this all mean in the big scheme of things? Let's bring in our panel: Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard; Erin Billings, deputy editor of Roll Call, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer.

Charles, let's put this in perspective. We know that the Israeli prime minister made a secret not-so-secret trip to Moscow to try to prevent Russian from selling these missiles to Iran. If they have them, what is the significance here -- or even if they don't, what's the significance?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I'm not sure it occurred. Belarus, allegedly the source, has denied it and the Russians have denied it. The U.S. is skeptical and I think the Israelis are skeptical as well. But I think -- and if it did happened it would be a big deal because it would accelerate Israel attacking. If they have a few of the batteries it would make Israeli attack right away because if they have a lot of batteries it would make an Israeli attack almost impossible. But even if it didn't happen, it's important because the Iranians are saying it, touting it, basically saying that you can't attack us.

I think this is of a piece with some of the other things we've been seeing. We have president of Iran saying that Israel is planning attack on two countries. I think he was meaning Lebanon and Syria. You had attacks on Sinai into Israel presumably by Hamas. Hamas is agent of Iran. You had rockets from Gaza in to Ashdot, a city in Israel. Hamas again, very tied. This would undoubtedly be a Hamas rocket.

And you have the incident in Lebanon. The Lebanese incident looks as if it was not staged by Hezbollah or by the government. Nonetheless, I think what Iran is doing is playing at brinksmanship. It's worried. When it hears the chairman of the Joint Chiefs saying not only is the military option on the table, but we have a plan, that worries them a lot because the United States could inflict tremendous damage on Iran if it wanted to.

That's why I think it's playing brinksmanship as a way to remind the world we can start a world with Israel anytime through Hezbollah, Lebanon or Gaza, and we presumably have the missiles to shoot down American attackers or Israeli attackers.

It's a high-stake game and I think the Iranians are getting a little bit worried about the change in attitude of the United States.

BAIER: As you look at the map, obviously everything is condensed in this area of the world in the Middle East, as we talk about many times. And Charles, you mentioned the action from the south and the north on Israel in recent days. Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke about that, and Iranian president reacted in Iran. Take a listen:

continued...

< 1 2 3 4 5> adsonar_placementId=1499753;adsonar_pid=150758;adsonar_ps=-1;adsonar_zw=612;adsonar_zh=140;adsonar_jv='ads.adsonar.com'; Show Transcripts

Choose a category

The Grapevine The GrapevineBrit Hume's CommentaryAll-Star Panelist Interviews

Latest Transcript

August 04, 2010

Please click on a date for previous transcripts:

Loading Datepicker Thursday on Special Report

A California judge has struck down the state's same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional.  We'll have the latest on the Prop 8 ruling fallout and what it means for the country. 

Exclusive Interview With President Obama

• Part 1: Obama on health care

• Part 2: Obama on foreign policy

• Read the transcript

Special Report Poll Take Our Poll(polls) Special Report Online

Every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET After the Show

Join our live-streaming webcast and chat, for the reactions you didn’t hear from the panel, and a chance for you to weigh in with your thoughts and questions LIVE.

Connect with Special Report MyspaceFacebookTwitterEmailAudio PodcastPanel Podcast All-Star Panelists -- Thursday, August 5 Charles Krauthammer

Krauthammer writes a syndicated column for The Washington Post. He is also a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and The New Republic, and a weekly panelist on Inside Washington.

Stephen Hayes

Stephen Hayes is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard in Washington, DC, and author of two New York Times bestsellers. He writes frequently on electoral politics and national security.

Julie Mason

Julie Mason is the White House correspondent for the Washington Examiner. Prior to joining the Examiner in 2008, Julie spent 20 years at the Houston Chronicle, where she covered local, state and national politics and the White House. Julie is an at-large board member of the White House Correspondents Association.

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GEN. THOMAS MCINERNEY, (RET.) FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: This is a huge deal because it means that no non-stealth aircraft can survive the surface- to-air missile threat that the Iranians will put up. And that means that the Israelis have got to strike very quickly.

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: Iran is very concerned that an attack by Israel or perhaps even by the United States may be imminent. That's why there is a lot of speculation in the region that they're trying to provoke an incident between Lebanon and Israel hoping to divert Israel's attention, resources to its northern border and away from the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: What's this all about? The Iranian regime is claiming on state-run television that is has obtained four S-300 long range surface-to-air missiles which, if true, would boost Iran's ability to defend against air strikes on its nuclear facilities. They say they got it from Belarus and another source. The Pentagon and White House saying they have nothing to support that, whether it's true or not.

Yet, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs asked about a possible U.S. strike or plans of it this past weekend. Take a listen:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADM. MIKE MULLEN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I think the military options have been on the table and remain on the table. And certainly in that regard, it's one of the options the president has.

DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS: But the military has a plan should it come to that.

MULLEN: We do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: What does this all mean in the big scheme of things? Let's bring in our panel: Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard; Erin Billings, deputy editor of Roll Call, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer.

Charles, let's put this in perspective. We know that the Israeli prime minister made a secret not-so-secret trip to Moscow to try to prevent Russian from selling these missiles to Iran. If they have them, what is the significance here -- or even if they don't, what's the significance?

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