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Daniel Ayalon, Stephen Hadley, Newt Gingrich, Joe Biden, Roundtable

Fox News Sunday

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace. Intense fighting in the Middle East overshadows calls for peace at the U.N., next on "Fox News Sunday".

The 25-day war in the Middle East rages on. What's the latest on the military and diplomatic front? We'll talk with a top counselor to the prime minister of Lebanon, Israel's ambassador to the U.S., and the president's national security advisor.

And in Baghdad...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. JOHN ABIZAID, CENTCOM COMMANDER: It is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: What does the Bush administration do now? We'll discuss the big picture with the Democrats' top foreign policy voice, Senator Joe Biden, and former speaker of the house, Newt Gingrich.

Democrats stymie Republicans in Congress. What happens now on the campaign trail? We'll ask our panel, Fred Barnes, Alexis Simendinger, Bill Kristol and Juan Williams, all right now on "Fox News Sunday".

And good morning again from Fox News in Washington. Here's the latest on the continuing conflict in the Middle East. Hezbollah fired a barrage of missiles into several northern Israeli towns. One missile landed near reserve soldiers, killing at least nine.

Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes and ground forces hit Hezbollah hard on several fronts today. At least 10 people were killed.

And at the U.N., diplomats are working on a draft resolution from the U.S. and France calling for an end to the fighting. A Security Council vote could come Monday or Tuesday.

For the latest from the battlefield, we turn now to Fox News correspondent Mike Tobin, who's on the Israel-Lebanon border.

Mike?

MIKE TOBIN, FOX NEWS: Well, Chris, we are at the location of the most deadly rocket attack in Israel to date. Of the 3,000-plus rockets that Hezbollah has fired into Israel, 100 came today. One of those rockets landed right in the middle of a group of army reservists who were getting their briefings before going into Lebanon. Ten of them are dead or 10 people are dead. At least nine of them are soldiers.

The wounded were air-lifted to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. Two of them are now in critical condition, riddled with shrapnel and suffering from tremendous blood loss.

Israeli aircraft participated in some 80 air strikes in the south of Lebanon today. One of their strikes hit a house in the south Lebanese village of Ansar. Five people at least from a single family were killed.

And all this bloodshed comes after the U.S. and France authored a U.N. resolution aimed at a cease-fire. It was rejected immediately by the Lebanese parliament speaker, Nabih Berri, who says it doesn't call for an absolute and immediate Israeli halt of military operations.

He prefers Lebanon's own seven-point proposal which calls for, among other things, an Israeli pullout from Lebanon and a resolution on the disputed Shebaa Farms region. Israel is skeptical about the plan because there is no guarantee in it that Hezbollah will not be able to rearm.

Of the 10,000 fighters who are on the ground now in south Lebanon, they are finding the resistance more stiff than anticipated. However, there is a report out today that Israel did -- among those Hezbollah fighters they have captured, they have captured one of the kidnappers involved in the original abduction of the two Israeli soldiers.

Chris, back to you in Washington.

WALLACE: Mike Tobin reporting from the border.

Mike, thanks.

Joining us now from Beirut is Mohamad Chetah, senior adviser to the prime minister of Lebanon.

Mr. Chetah, is this report out of Beirut official? Has the Lebanese government rejected the draft U.N. Security Council resolution?

MOHAMAD CHETAH, SR. ADVISER TO PRIME MINISTER SINIORA OF LEBANON: Chris, there was no rejection of the proposed resolution. We have a view of how best to have an immediate cease- fire and to make it stick and to solve the problems to prevent the conflict from reoccurring.

We want an immediate cease-fire because, as you reporter said a few seconds ago, people are dying and mostly civilians. We need to put a stop to it. Now, our plan has a number of important elements that will make it work. The proposed plan lacks the steps after the call for cease- fire to actually have changes on the ground.

Right now we have people locked in battle on the ground, and we have airplanes bombing towns and villages and we have rockets being lobbed to the other side.

What we are saying is that we should have an immediate cease- fire, and right away we should have a mutual separation where Israel does withdraw to the border and the Lebanese army goes into the south of Lebanon, assisted by international force that's already there, and controls all the military sites, all the bunkers, all the weapons that are in the south.

So very quickly we can have not only a call for a cease-fire, but a situation where the Israelis are behind the Lebanese-Israeli border and where the Lebanese army, which should be the army in control of the south, will indeed be the only force in charge of the south.

This is a very clear, laid out plan to get a cease-fire and to make it work.

WALLACE: But, Mr. Chetah, the fact is for the last two years the Lebanese army has not been able to establish control in southern Lebanon.

If, as this resolution provides for in the Security Council, Israel would be allowed to stay in southern Lebanon until an international force comes in at some point -- and it probably would be several days or weeks -- do you believe that Hezbollah will cease fighting?

CHETAH: Logic of the plan that we have laid out is not only to have steps to follow immediately the cease-fire and prevent it from becoming sheer words.

In addition to that, we have an agreement on the underlying issues that have caused the conflict to recur over the years. We have a very logical and sensible way to deal with the territorial problem we have in the south -- namely, the Shebaa Farms area.

As you probably are well aware, this is an area that borders the Golan Heights, and the border is not well-delineated, and we strongly believe that this slice of land, which is about 18 square miles, is Lebanese.

What we are saying is until that issue is settled, the U.N. should have custody of that piece of territories pending delineation.

That way we remove the underlying border dispute, if you wish, and the meantime we can work on all the arrangements, security arrangements, all the monitoring arrangements to go back to a stable and secure situation in the south based on an armistice agreement, something which we had for two decades in the '40s and '50s which can work.

WALLACE: Mr. Chetah, I believe you're not answering my question, however. What I'm asking you -- because all of those other issues -- Shebaa, the Lebanese army taking control down south -- all of those would come in a second resolution.

What I'm asking you directly is, if this week the U.N. Security Council passes this first resolution and it allows Israel to stay in southern Lebanon, do you believe that Hezbollah -- if Israel stops fighting, Hezbollah will also stop fighting, that there will be an immediate cessation of violence?

CHETAH: Yes, I do. And just to correct what you just said, the first resolution has the elements, the underlying elements, including Shebaa Farms and the other elements. The second resolution is supposed to include provisions for the international support, the international force.

What we are saying is that these elements in the first resolution will underpin the cease-fire and make it stick. We want an agreement on where we want to be.

In other words, we are now in a crazy war. We wanted the end to have peace and security and to have the Lebanese army in charge of Lebanese territory.

The issue is how to get from here to there. And we have a clear path. We are saying the Lebanese army, right after the cease-fire, right after the first resolution, takes charge of the south, takes over military positions at the same time that Israel withdraws to the border.

If we adopt a fuzzy plan waiting for some international force to be put together, in the meantime things can escalate, and they probably will, and can spill over to other countries in the region, and that's the last thing that anyone wants.

So let's follow a sensible plan, fill in the gaps that are in the current resolution, make it work and make it work now.

WALLACE: Mr. Chetah, we're going to have to leave it there. We want thank you so much for joining us today.

With us now here in studio, Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Daniel Ayalon.

Mr. Ambassador, welcome.

DANIEL AYALON, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO UNITED STATES: Thank you.

WALLACE: I'm going to ask you the same question I asked Mr. Chetah. Will Israel abide by the draft resolution that is before the U.N. Security Council now? If it's passed, will Israel stop fighting immediately?

AYALON: Well, absolutely. But for the draft resolution to pass, it has to be, I mean, imposed on both sides. And what it calls for very specifically is to deal with the root cause of this immediate conflict, which is the safe return and unconditional return of our two hostages, the two soldiers.

Once we get them back, then there is no reason to continue right now. Secondly, of course...

WALLACE: But wait, because that's not what it says. What it basically says -- these are issues that are going to have to be dealt with down the line.

AYALON: No, no.

WALLACE: You're saying that you're going to continue fighting until you get the hostages back.

AYALON: Absolutely. And also, the resolution clearly marks this as the root cause, and when it talks about a cease-fire, it's more than a cease-fire, Chris. It's the end of hostilities.

The end of hostilities includes this correcting the violation of the kidnaping. That means the return of the hostages. This is part of the hostilities. So this is embedded right there in the resolution.

Secondly, of course, it's the end of all the violence from the Hezbollah, and the most important is the disarming and the arms embargo -- that is, to make sure no more armaments from Syria and Iran go into the Hezbollah.

This is all part and parcel of this resolution. And once all these elements are in there, I can guarantee you that Israel will cease fire.

By the way, I'm quite surprised at the Lebanese of not taking it and endorsing this resolution. They are the ones who have said all along we want cease-fire, it's our people who suffer.

Well, what do they do in order to stop the suffering? I suspect that they do not work for Lebanese interests here, but for Syrian and Iranians.

WALLACE: Well, let me ask you about one of the points that they made, though. They say that as part of this cease-fire that Israel should pull out of southern Lebanon and let the Lebanese army take over.

Will Israel agree to do that or are you going to stay in southern Lebanon until an international peacekeeping force comes in?

AYALON: We will stay as long as we know that there is a new regime in place, which will make sure Hezbollah doesn't deploy there and disarm. The Lebanese...

WALLACE: Do you trust the Lebanese army to do that?

AYALON: Not quite. The Lebanese army had six years to do it. They have not done it. 2004, there was Resolution 1559 by the U.N. Security Council which was (inaudible). It was not implemented.

2000, Israel pulled all together implementing Resolution 475 of the U.N., and they had chance to implement their side -- that is, disarming the Hezbollah and deploy their own army. They didn't do it.

Back in 1989, Taif Agreement calls for the disarming of the Hezbollah and all other militias. All other terror organizations there were dismantled but the Hezbollah, because of the strength of Syria and Iran in Lebanon.

So we have to cut this Gordian knot. This is the root cause here, the grip of Iran and Syria over Lebanon.

WALLACE: What you're saying is that Israel -- even if this resolution is passed on Tuesday, Israel will keep fighting until you get your kidnaped soldiers back, until the end of rearming of Hezbollah from Syria and Iran, that you're going to continue to fight.

AYALON: Chris, this resolution has requests or demands from both sides, but first and foremost is for the other side to return the soldiers to us, the kidnaped soldiers, and to disarm the Hezbollah, and to impose an arms embargo on all the international crossings in Lebanon so Syrian and Iranian arms cannot go in.

If this is done by the Lebanese, of course we'll stop the fighting immediately.

WALLACE: And if it's not done?

AYALON: We will have to do it ourselves.

WALLACE: You'll have to do it yourselves, meaning...

AYALON: Absolutely.

WALLACE: ... more fighting.

AYALON: Yes, defending ourselves.

WALLACE: In the meantime, will Israel continue offensive operations in southern Lebanon?

AYALON: Yes. We have an obligation first to protect our own soldiers, our own towns. You've seen today we are receiving 100, 200 Katyusha rockets every day. This is a terror weapon, indiscriminate, which was especially converted to kill civilians like we had today, with shrapnels, ball bearings which are put in there.

These weapons is not against military. It's against civilians only, so of course we have to do it. We have to make sure that the Hezbollah is no longer on our border, at a safe distance, but most importantly that they are disarmed.

WALLACE: Ambassador Ayalon, hasn't this war been a very mixed success so far for Israel? Didn't your government badly underestimate the ability of Hezbollah to resist moderate Arab countries which in the beginning were condemning Hezbollah, are now lining up against Israel?

In fact, has the situation -- are the forces of extremism in the Middle East stronger or weaker at this moment than they were 25 days ago?

AYALON: I think when all is said and done, they will be much weaker. I don't think Israel miscalculated. I don't think we have handled ourselves badly. We have been very careful.

You have to remember, we are fighting an enemy which doesn't have positions. Hezbollah doesn't have camps per se. They embed themselves in and among heavily populated areas, so it's very tough for us to deal with that, because we do not want to harm innocent civilians.

Now, people are telling me well, the Arab world is mad now. They've always been mad. But what's more important now, frankly, is to deal the blow to terrorism. We will deal with the P.R. later. Most important now is to make sure that terrorism doesn't reign.

WALLACE: Ambassador Ayalon, we want to thank you so much for coming in today.

AYALON: Thank you.

WALLACE: For White House reaction, we turn to National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, who is with the president in Crawford, Texas.

Mr. Hadley, you heard the Israeli ambassador just say that a cease- fire resolution, if it's passed this week, does not necessarily mean they're going to stop fighting. You heard the same from the Lebanese official, Mr. Chetah. Where's the cease-fire?

STEPHEN HADLEY, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, I think we will get a cease-fire. I think what's interesting, if you listen to the comments of the two, everybody really agrees on what the elements of getting this to a resolution is -- that is to say, getting conditions in which the violence really can end and we can get a sustainable cease-fire, a sustainable cessation of hostility, so we don't revert back into this crisis.

Everybody agrees on what the elements are. The issue really now is down to sequencing, and what we've got going forward in the Security Council is basically a two-step process, phase one calling for a full cessation of hostilities, which is going to mean that Hezbollah has to stop all attacks and Israel will stop offensive operations.

We hope at that point that the violence can come down. It will not stop overnight. It never does in these situations, but the violence can begin to come down, and then we can move quickly to the second phase.

And the second phase requires the formation of this international force, the use of the UNIFIL force, the U.N. force that is already there, to support the Lebanese army so that it can move south, take control of the areas in southern Lebanon, and that will allow the Israelis to withdraw.

The reason we're doing it in two steps is so we can get some relief from the violence after the first resolution and then move very quickly to getting the international force organized, getting the second resolution adopted, so we can move to the end state that I think if you listen carefully, you heard both in the comments by the Israeli ambassador and the spokesman for the Lebanese government.

WALLACE: Well, I have to tell you, they seemed to indicate until those issues for the so-called second resolution are solved, they're not prepared to stop fighting.

HADLEY: Well, there was a little -- I think you heard it in the comments from the Lebanese initially. I think what we're having here is a situation where the resolution is not yet voted in the Security Council.

Negotiations continue. They will continue today. We hope that resolution will be voted late Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning. And once that happens, then the parties will have to make a decision.

And I think what you'll hear is both the Lebanese government and the Israeli government making clear that they don't like everything about this first resolution, but I think you'll find in the end of the day they are prepared to accept it as long as we can move quickly toward a second resolution.

And at that point, I think the international community will have spoken, will have called on the parties to comply with the resolution, and I think if one of the parties does not, we will have a good gauge as to who really is in favor of peace.

My concern is really at this point that Hezbollah will not cease its attacks. The Security Council will call on them to do so, and we'll also call on all states with influence with Hezbollah, particularly Iran and Syria, to use that influence to try and see after this first resolution that we can get a cessation of the hostilities and then move promptly to the second resolution and the deployment of the international force.

WALLACE: How quickly do you think you could get that international force in there?

HADLEY: That is the -- quite frankly, Chris, that's the long pole in the tent. That's why we've had to do two resolutions.

As you know, we would have preferred one resolution that had all the elements in it, but because it would have required the multi- national force to be ready to deploy, it means we would not have had a resolution for a series of additional days.

And so we agreed to split it really into two steps to try and use the first step to make clear where this is heading and to get a dropping down of the hostilities.

And then we would move, however, very quickly, in a matter of days, we hope, to get the international force formed, to get the second resolution adopted, and so we can move in the direction that really both the Lebanese and the Israelis want this to be moving toward, where Lebanese government authority is exercised throughout the country and the Israelis are able to withdraw from southern Lebanon.

WALLACE: Mr. Hadley, we have about a minute left. You said your biggest concern is will Hezbollah abide by this agreement.

Have you gotten any indication, directly or indirectly, from Hezbollah, from Syria, from Iran that they are prepared, one, to lay down their arms and stop their attacks on Israel and, two, to stop the shipments of weapons from Syria and Iran into Lebanon to Hezbollah?

HADLEY: Where we have been dealing, of course, is with the Lebanese government. It is the Lebanese government and the Israeli government that are going to be called upon to carry out this resolution.

It will be a responsibility of the Lebanese government to bring the various Lebanese parties along. It will be a responsibility of the Lebanese government to ensure that there is not a flow of weapons and armaments from places like Syria into Lebanon to resupply Hezbollah.

These are responsibilities that the Lebanese government will have to undertake, and the international community is prepared to provide every assistance to the Lebanese government so they can do so.

WALLACE: Mr. Hadley, we're going to have to leave it there. We want to thank you so much for sharing your Sunday with us.

Up next, we'll discuss the big picture with Senator Joe Biden and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. From Israel to Iran, are we safer in the Middle East or not? We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: With talk of a cease-fire on the Lebanese border and a possible civil war in Iraq, where are we now in the Middle East?

We want to take a look at the big picture with Senator Joe Biden, the Democrats' point man on foreign policy, who joins us from his home state of Delaware. And here in studio, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Gentlemen, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday".

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Good to be here.

WALLACE: I want to start with a question -- the issue I was discussing at the very end there with Steve Hadley. The Bush administration -- Secretary of State Rice -- set this marker, a sustainable cease-fire, a cease-fire that would fundamentally change the situation in that part of the world.

Speaker Gingrich, do you see the compromise that you hear coming out of the U.N., the answers you heard from Steve Hadley today -- do you think it will accomplish that kind of a sustainable cease-fire?

GINGRICH: Let me say, first of all, I watched with fascination your interview with the Lebanese advisor to the prime minister. And what I heard was a man who's much more afraid of Syria and of Iran than he is of the United States and France.

And what he was saying was they're not going to disarm Hezbollah, they are, in fact, not going to be able to implement the cease-fire.

But I think you have a spirit building here almost like Munich in 1938 where the desire to be self-deluding leads people to say things that are patently not possible.

Let me just give you one example. There was already a 2,000-man international force on the Lebanon border. It's been there since the late 1970s. It's called the United Nations forces. It failed totally.

I see no evidence, and certainly nothing from Hezbollah or Iran, that indicates this cease-fire will be anything except a defeat for the democracies and a victory for the terrorists and the dictatorships.

WALLACE: Senator Biden, same question. Do you see a sustainable cease-fire out of what we're hearing from the U.N.? And directly on these points, who is going to disarm Hezbollah? Who is going to stop the shipment of weapons from Iran and Syria to Hezbollah?

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), DELAWARE: The answer is I come pretty close to agreeing with Newt on this one. I don't see a sustainable cease-fire without a whole heck of a lot of luck. It requires a really robust force.

One of the problems we have now is we've so squandered our strength in the region that we have to let the French lead, because the guy who gets to say we'll take troops in there is the guy who gets to call the shots.

The French are the only ones between us who are saying they're going to send troops in there, so it limits our ability to really impact on what the cease-fire is.

And quite frankly, Newt, I don't know how we get the disarmament of Hezbollah unless we somehow cut Syria out here as the middleman, and no one's talking to them that I know about, and no one has a plan how to take them out. So it seems to me like it's a pretty rough spot.

WALLACE: Senator Biden, let's take a bigger look at the entire situation here. To the degree that what we're seeing right now is a struggle between the forces of freedom, led by the U.S., and the forces of extremism, led by Iran, who's winning in the Middle East now?

BIDEN: Well, let me tell you, we're not -- let's just judge this by the president's own standards. He talked about the axis of evil. He announced it three years ago, implying we're going to do something about it.

You have the Shia much stronger now in Iraq than they ever were. You have Iran much stronger and moving toward a nuclear weapon. You have North Korea with 400 percent more fissile material.

Judge them by the standard -- talking about democratic elections. Well, democratic elections are not -- I mean, democracies are not made by a single election. We have emboldened Hezbollah, emboldened radical Shia. We've emboldened Hamas. They've won elections.

We find ourselves in the position where bin Laden is still alive and well. We find ourselves in a position where there is a -- you know, there was that famous snowflake that was put out by the secretary of defense. You know, he calls these ideas he spreads around for comment.

He said are we creating more bin Ladens and terrorists than we're killing. And I think the answer to that is yes. There's not much of a comprehensive strategy, and I, quite frankly, think we're worse off now than we were before this administration initiated its efforts in the region.

WALLACE: Speaker Gingrich, I want you to respond to that, but also, specifically this question: How real is the danger of a Shia crescent from Iran to the Shiite militias in Iraq and now to Hezbollah, an empowered Hezbollah, in Lebanon?

GINGRICH: Well, let me partly pick up where Senator Biden had us, and that is that it's more than an Islamic problem. You have the North Koreans who are desperately trying to get nuclear weapons and who clearly had the Iranians with them when they fired missiles on the 4th of July in what I think was a deliberate act of contempt for the U.S.

You have Hugo Chavez from Venezuela just finishing his fifth visit to Tehran. So I think it's more than even an -- I think there's a sort of world association of terrorists and dictators who would like the world made safe for extremism and dictatorship, and they understand they're all opposed to us, and they collaborate in ways we don't, frankly, understand.

I don't disagree with much of what Senator Biden said about analysis. I think this has turned out to be much harder than we thought it would be. It is much more difficult than we would like.

But the question is do you then find a way to withdraw, which is certainly what the left wing of his party would do, or do we have -- accepting that he and I both agree that we're not doing what we'd like to get done here, do we find a way to strengthen American involvement and do we find a way to have new strategies designed to defeat the dictatorships, not to appease them?

And I think that's going to be one of the most important arguments of the next two years.

WALLACE: Well, such as?

BIDEN: I agree.

GINGRICH: Well, I mean, I think, first of all, several points he made. I think that we should have a strategy for Syria.

Part of the strategy should be diplomacy, but part of the strategy should be to make quite clear to the dictatorship that in the absence of their agreeing to abide by certain conditions, one of which is no longer to be involved in Lebanon, we will take steps to replace the regime over time.

It's a very fragile, Allawi-dominated -- they're a sect, a minority sect, of about 6 percent of the country. They're not a powerful regime.

Second, I think we have to confront head-on how dangerous Iran is. Third, I think...

WALLACE: Well, wait. Wait, wait. How do you confront how dangerous Iran is?

GINGRICH: Well, you have a -- there's a reporter at Fox who is Iranian who can tell you chapter and verse about how many people there are in Iran who don't like the current regime, how many opportunities there are to begin to undermine it, how many things we could be doing if we were broadcasting into Iran more than three hours a week. I mean, the fact is we have not had a Ronald Reagan-style effort to use every element short of the military to -- both diplomatic, economic, political information, to change these regimes.

And I think we also have to win the argument in Europe. Three quick examples. Ahmadinejad, every time he calls for the elimination or the destruction of Israel, is violating U.N. Charter chapter two. There ought to be a motion to censure him.

The cost of the Lebanese war should be borne by Syria and Iran because if they weren't financing and supplying Hezbollah, there would be no problem there.

The third example is the Iranians' certain involvement in Iraq, which we don't, frankly, take head on for a variety of reasons, but which is a real problem.

And I think that the United States has to -- because I believe this is, in the long run, life and death because of the threat of nuclear weapons, the United States has to redouble and rethink what we are doing, because this isn't good enough.

But the answer is to make sure we win, not to find a clever way to surrender and pull out.

WALLACE: Senator Biden?

BIDEN: I agree, there is no clever way to surrender and pull out. We pull out, it's a gigantic loss. But if you notice what Newt said, which is essentially a refutation of the bush doctrine, he said part of this is you have to negotiate.

Look, there is no reason why the Allawi government in Syria doesn't understand that looking north to Iran is not in their long- term interest. But what do we do? We don't even talk to them. I don't mean talk to them nicely, talk to them about what good guys they are. Figure out what's in our mutual interest.

We, in fact -- as far back as six years ago, I called for us providing for aid to NGOs in Iran, us to talk to democratic forces in Iran. And what did we do? We had this absolute embargo. We could not talk to anybody in Iran.

Newt is right. Seventy-five percent of the people in Iran hate their government. We should be negotiating out loud with Iran so that we have two purposes here. Let the whole world know that we're being reasonable, and let the Iranian people know what they are missing. Build that pressure upon that government.

The truth of the matter is there is no easy military option like a lot of the bravado that goes on on the right wing of his party. It does not exist. You haven't seen this administration draw any red lines in Korea or in Tehran.

So we have to use the totality of our strength, which includes our diplomacy. Why should we be afraid to talk? It seems to me we are squandering it.

WALLACE: Senator Biden, given the fact that you talked about the right wing of his party and he talked about the left wing of yours, I feel free to now bring a little politics in.

You support Joe Biden in the -- Joe Lieberman, rather, in the Democratic primary in Connecticut, which is this next Tuesday. If he loses, will you continue to back him as an independent?

BIDEN: I'm not going to comment on that until it's over, because as soon as I say that, then I'm making a comment about whether he's going to win or lose. He's going to win. I'm with him. I'll judge that question after, in fact, the primary is over.

My expectation is I will be supporting the Democratic nominee named Joe Lieberman.

WALLACE: Speaker Gingrich, if the Democrats vote down Lieberman, basically because he was an antiwar candidate and Ned Lamont wants to get out of Iraq, what does that say about the Democratic Party heading into November?

GINGRICH: Well, you have a number of things building. You have this report that Nancy Pelosi has indicated she would appoint Alcee Hastings to be head of the Intelligence Committee, which would be a stunningly irresponsible act since he is only the ninth person in history to be impeached and removed as a federal judge, and the idea of him chairing the Intelligence Committee basically means that the system will just break down totally.

You have Congressman Dingell, a potential chairman for the Democrats, saying there's no moral difference between Hezbollah and...

WALLACE: I mean, forgive me. Well, I do want to say that she's also issued a statement saying, in fact, that no committee chairmanships will be set until after the election.

GINGRICH: Right.

WALLACE: But in any case, what would it say about the Democratic Party?

GINGRICH: OK. And then third, you have what I think is a legitimate insurgency in Connecticut which needs to be met head-on and debated head- on, which is people who say this is so hard, it is so frightening, it's so painful, can't we come home and hide.

And I think if Lamont wins next Tuesday, it will be the beginning of an extraordinarily important period in American politics and in American history, for all of us to have this debate. How dangerous are the terrorists? How dangerous are the dictatorships? And what does America have to do in that kind of a dangerous world?

WALLACE: Senator Biden, you've got 30 seconds to respond.

BIDEN: Look, no Democrats are saying come home and hide. The Democrats are saying my God, this administration has dug us in such a gigantic deep hole, they seem to have no learning curve, there's a civil war emerging in Iraq, our troops are there, even the administration has said two years ago in a civil war we cannot determine the outcome.

This administration shows no ability to put any pressure on the so- called unity government to do what has to be done to get a political settlement there. They have no plan. They let 1559, the Lebanese situation -- everyone knew there'd be a vacuum filled when Syria left. We did nothing, nothing to promote filling that vacuum.

WALLACE: Senator Biden...

BIDEN: There's no plan on this administration. That's what worries the American people and Democrats.

WALLACE: Senator Biden, Speaker Gingrich, we want to thank you both for policy and for politics. Always a pleasure to talk with both of you.

BIDEN: Thank you.

WALLACE: Coming up, our Sunday panel on that proposed U.N. cease-fire and the bleak Pentagon assessment of the situation in Iraq. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BOLTON, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: It begins the process of putting in place the foundation for a lasting solution to the problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: That's U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton discussing the draft resolution calling for a cease-fire along the Israeli- Lebanese border.

It's panel time now, and we welcome a first-timer, Alexis Simendinger, the White House correspondent for National Journal.

Thanks for joining us. We promise to be gentle with you today.

ALEXIS SIMENDINGER, NATIONAL JOURNAL: Thank you, Chris.

WALLACE: But just today.

SIMENDINGER: Just today.

WALLACE: And here as well, Fox News contributors Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol, also from The Weekly Standard, and Juan Williams, from National Public Radio.

Juan, we should note, is the author of the new book "Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-end Movements and Culture of Failure that are Undermining Black America and What We Can Do About It". Other than that, it's not about much, is it?

(LAUGHTER)

JUAN WILLIAMS, NPR: I think you'll enjoy it.

WALLACE: Well, good luck with it.

WILLIAMS: Thanks very much.

WALLACE: Bill Kristol, the U.S. and France think they have come up with a cease-fire that's going to end the fighting between the Israelis and Hezbollah. From what you've heard today, have they?

BILL KRISTOL, WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, I think they've come up with a cease-fire resolution. I think we'll have a lot of talk about cease-fires for the next week or two or three, and we won't have a cease-fire, because there's a war going on between Israel and Hezbollah, and Hezbollah is not going to accept the legitimacy of the state of Israel.

They're not going to withdraw from south Lebanon. They're not going to repudiate terror. They're not going to give back the Israeli soldiers they kidnaped. And so the war will go on.

WALLACE: Do you agree, Juan?

WILLIAMS: Well, I think that's right. I mean, I don't see that we have a real resolution in sight that all the parties are buying into. What we have are people doing shuttle diplomacy from capital to capital, back and forth.

The people at the U.N. really don't have a voice here. And unfortunately, the U.S. as a negotiating force in this is, you know, absent. Our troops are in Iraq. Our troops are not there available to act as this force, so we're dependent on, guess what, France. It's ironic.

WALLACE: Fred, I have to say I was struck in my interview with Stephen Hadley, the president's national security advisor, when I said to him who's going to disarm Hezbollah, who's going to stop the shipments from Syria and Iran, and he said the Lebanese army.

FRED BARNES, WEEKLY STANDARD: Yeah. Well, that's just not credible. I mean, we know the Lebanese army is, what, 80,000 troops. It's feeble. There's a wonder -- there's some doubt whether they could even get down to southern Lebanon without help. It's a divided army.

Undoubtedly, there are going to be many sympathizers with Hezbollah in it. Clearly, they're not going to disarm Hezbollah. There's only one group of people who can disarm Hezbollah, and that's Israel.

So, look. We're not going to have a cease-fire until Hezbollah is facing severe defeat and will then want one. Before that, we're just not going to have one.

WALLACE: Do you agree with that, Alexis? And if that's true, I think we're talking about weeks, not days, but weeks of more fighting.

SIMENDINGER: At least, and I thought what was interesting, listening to Steve Hadley, is he didn't describe anything that the administration is pushing that would seem to in any way curtail Israel's efforts to do exactly what Fred was talking about, which is to keep mobilizing against Hezbollah for, as the resolution says, at least 30 days.

They have this sort of general time period listed in the resolution -- weeks. It sounds like weeks.

WALLACE: Bill, I was struck in the conversation that we just had with Newt Gingrich and Joe Biden how basically pessimistic they are about the current situation, not just along the border, but across the Middle East.

This tells you what kind of person I am. On my vacation, I was watching you last week when you said that you thought it had been a bad few weeks for the global war on terror. Seven days later -- any better?

KRISTOL: Yeah, I think so. I mean, I think the Israeli security cabinet's decision Monday night to go in on the ground and then the commando raids this week and the general damage they're now doing to Hezbollah is good for those of us who believe there's a global war on terror.

Hezbollah is a key part of that war. Hezbollah's backers are Iran and Syria. They need to be weakened as well. But look. It's been a tough -- I think the administration has made a lot of misjudgments in the last few weeks and months.

But what struck me watching Gingrich and Biden is you can -- two people could look at a situation objectively, say it's tough, there have been setbacks, there have been mistakes, the enemy is stronger than we would have hoped.

But one political party can then take a somewhat defeatist attitude and say it's tough, I guess we have to pull back. The other can say it's tough, we have to redouble our efforts. And that struck me as the contrast between Newt and Joe Biden.

WILLIAMS: So in other words, Bill, what you're saying is you're back to the Bush equation, either it's stay the course or cut and run.

KRISTOL: No. It's improve the course or cut and run.

WILLIAMS: Yeah. Well, if it was improve the course, great. But I don't see any policy, any strategy for improve the course.

If you believe that having continuation of Israel raining bombs on Lebanon improves our situation, Israel's situation or the United States' situation, I think you're wrong.

You see these pictures of Nasrallah being carried around inside Iraq. Is that good for the United States? Is that good for the war on terror? I don't think so.

Do you think that the fact that we have chaos breaking out inside Iraq strengthens Iran or weakens Iran? I think that strengthens Iran.

Do you think the idea that we have our allies in Europe and in the Arab world on the other side of the fence when it comes to this U.N. resolution and calling for a cease-fire on the part of Israel -- I think that's bad for the U.S. and bad for Israel to be isolated.

WALLACE: Three rhetorical questions is all you get.

WILLIAMS: I mean, seriously, how is that better, Bill?

BARNES: Look. All these other countries are not on the other side. They may be saying things critical of Israel and the United States. In truth, privately, they're for Israel destroying Hezbollah.

And the more damage done to Hezbollah by the Israelis, the better off the U.S. is, the better off the fledgling democratic government in Lebanon is, the better off Israel is, the better off the world is.

WILLIAMS: Fred, we were in a private briefing...

BARNES: Forget about popularity, people carrying around a picture of Nasrallah. People will forget about him if Hezbollah is crippled.

WILLIAMS: But, Fred, we were in a briefing this -- I'm not going to say who was talking to us, but we were in a briefing this week at the State Department, and guess what they're saying -- is that if you weaken that Lebanese government, essentially, you're strengthening Hezbollah, because Hezbollah will deliver in terms of feeding people, taking care of people, social services.

I think that's a real threat, and that's why I think the U.S. has upped this week its pressure on Israel to stop the fighting.

WALLACE: Alexis, you will you learn that if you don't jump in, nobody's going to make room for you.

But let me ask you this question, because I thought Bill put his finger on it. Is it stay the course on the part of this administration or improve the course? Do you see any sign -- things obviously are not going well in Iraq.

We have these very pessimistic projections from General Abizaid and General Pace this week before a senate committee that sectarian violence is worse than ever, at least raised the possibility of civil war.

Is there a plan out there to improve the course?

SIMENDINGER: Well, I think the administration's idea was to stay the course, to improve the course. But the problem is the assumption had been, as Bill has pointed out, that the United States would back Israel, Israel would then assault Hezbollah, and Hezbollah would be, as they described it, neutralized.

But what information has come out since then is that Iran has been -- and Hezbollah has been stockpiling Iranian arms to the point that they have weeks, maybe a month, even though they've been degraded to some extent by Israel.

So how has that improved the situation? What is the evidence necessarily -- and that's what the administration is sort of at a loss here this morning to describe to you, is what is the evidence of that improvement.

I was a little surprised that Steve Hadley was not immediately talking about efforts already underway to try to assemble that multinational force. He didn't mention anything about any instant efforts to position French troops or anything else.

It doesn't seem like they think that Israel is accomplishing the goals.

WALLACE: Well, you did a very good job. You got the last word. For a newby, that's terrific. Thank you.

We need to take a quick break here, but coming up, how do the policy fights between Republicans and Democrats in Washington play out on the campaign trail? Some answers when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: On this day in 1945, President Truman ordered an atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Tens of thousands were killed in the attack, but it brought a quicker end to the war in the Pacific.

Stay tuned for more panel.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY): This is not 2002, 2003, 2004, '05, when you appeared before this committee and made many comments and presented, you know, many assurances that have, frankly, proven to be unfulfilled, and...

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Senator, I don't think that's true. I have never painted a rosy picture.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: That exchange Thursday between Senator Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was part of a testy hearing on the war in Iraq.

And we're back now with Fred, Alexis, Bill and Juan. Well, the Clinton-Rumsfeld face-off was part of a Democratic effort to set the battle lines for the debate over Iraq as we approach the November election.

It seems to me, Fred, that the Democrats, after some disarray, have come up with a decision all they're going to say is we have to begin getting out by the end of the year. Republicans are going to stick by the president politically -- not policy, politically. Who's got the better side of the argument?

BARNES: Obviously, with things not going well in Iraq, Democrats have the better side of the argument right now. What interested me there in the Hillary Clinton-Donald Rumsfeld clash was that it told you a lot more about Hillary than it did about Rumsfeld.

I mean, she doesn't -- she clearly doesn't want to wind up in a presidential race where Joe Lieberman is in his senatorial race. I mean, she said earlier -- virtually said some months ago that she was duped into endorsing the war, voting for the war resolution, and so now she's going through all these problems there.

You know, Lieberman's problem, as Bob Kagan wrote in the Washington Post today, is that he's never more candid. He's been fully for the war and he hasn't thrown up all these excuses -- well, it hasn't gone the way I thought it would go, and, you know, they told me there were going to be WMD there, and so on.

He hasn't used any of those. And she is going as far as she can in criticizing the war without actually recanting her vote.

WALLACE: Yes, because she has never recanted the vote.

BARNES: She never said that.

WALLACE: Alexis, you know, on the one hand, you can already see it. The Republicans are going to say -- and you saw Newt Gingrich saying -- you know, it's a question of the Democrats wanting to cut and run. They want to pull out. They want to give up because things have gotten tough.

Obviously, the Democrats are going to say the Republicans are just going to continue carrying on the big money. Who's got the better side of the argument?

SIMENDINGER: Well, I don't think it had to be a choice, because we're still pre-election. So for each party, there's an element of value and truth in the positions that they've staked out.

You know, what Fred was talking about was interesting. Senator Clinton made sure that she lured Secretary Rumsfeld to that hearing expressly to lay that out. In this case, the Democrats want to say that the administration is lacking a plan. That works for the Democratic Party. It works for the antiwar wing of their party.

Republicans want to say we're sticking with the president because the president says we can succeed and they don't want to abandon him. That works for their base, too. It doesn't necessarily have to be at this point in time, in August, a mutually exclusive advantageous position.

WALLACE: Bill, assuming that Joe Lieberman goes down in Connecticut on Tuesday -- and if you believe the polls, he is going to go down -- does this empower the antiwar element in the Democratic Party? Will this have legs beyond Connecticut?

KRISTOL: Oh, sure, defeating an incumbent senator in a primary is a big deal. You know, Reaganites defeated incumbent Republicans, liberal Republicans, in New Jersey in 1978. Jeff Bell beat Clifford Case, and in 1980 D'Amato beat Javitz. And it marked a transformation in the Republican Party, and that turned out to be a successful political transformation.

I don't think going in a defeatist way for the Democrats is going to end up being politically successful, but it will change the dynamics in the party.

Now, if Lieberman wins as an independent in November with overwhelming Republican support, which I think he has a good chance to do, that would also be important, because it might suggest that this was a mistake for the Democrats to have thrown out Joe Lieberman.

SIMENDINGER: We should say we're not sure he's going to go that route.

KRISTOL: Oh, I think he's going to run as an independent. They're recruiting a campaign team and...

SIMENDINGER: But there's heavy pressure on him, though.

KRISTOL: Yeah, but he will -- because he's not a recanter, as Fred said, because he believes in what he's done, I think he'll stand -- you know, present himself to the voters of Connecticut. And if he loses in November, then he'll become secretary of defense, we'll finally get Rumsfeld replaced and we'll win the war. It will be the best... WILLIAMS: Control yourself. You're getting out of control here.

WALLACE: This is a great scenario for Bill Kristol.

WILLIAMS: You're having a dream here.

WALLACE: All right.

WILLIAMS: No, look. How can it not be anything but beneficial for Democrats at this point? Sixty percent of the American people -- two- thirds of the American people -- say they don't think what's going on in Iraq is going to come to any good, that there's no good conclusion to this war.

So that is a strong sense that if you say let's have an open- ended commitment to Iraq, the American people are like wait a second, our young men and women are dying over there, we've put so much in, these people are committing suicide.

Nobody is saying that we're running away from them. That country is imploding. That's the problem. And so that's a benefit and that's why Joe Lieberman has a strong problem on his hands as far as the Democratic Party. The risk is, of course, that people say oh, you're always weak on defense, you're always talking about pulling out, we've got a war on terror to fight.

That's the Democrats' burden to bear.

KRISTOL: I think a defeatist Democratic Party will defeat a demoralized Republican Party this November, in off-year elections, which will be a referendum on President Bush, who's not too popular, and on the Republican leadership in Congress, which hasn't been too popular.

So I think in the off-year, the Democrats will do fine this November. It will be a bad election night for Republicans this year.

But for 2008 for a presidential election, if the Democrats go the way they look like they're going, which I would say is a defeatist way -- it's a huge problem. People are not going to elect a commander in chief who is not committed to defeating the terrorists rather than retreating from them.

WILLIAMS: Why is it that -- what language. Defeatist. Why don't you think of language about change the course, we can do better? Why is it that you say that's defeatist to say hey, we're getting ourselves in a trap here, we're the ones getting shot at by Shiites and Kurds and Sunnis, we didn't pay for that, we didn't go in there to do that? Is that why we sent our young men and women to die?

KRISTOL: No. I think that's defeatist, what you just said.

BARNES: One thing about Lieberman, you know. You already hear from Democrats who have supported him that he shouldn't run as an independent. You heard from Tim Kaine, the governor of Virginia; Frank Lautenberg, senator from New Jersey. And so it's important for Lieberman, if he loses the primary, not to lose by a lot, by more than, say, more than 10 points or 15 points. If he does, he's not going to be credible as an independent, at least in the beginning, and there will be a huge chorus of Democrats saying he shouldn't run as an independent.

WALLACE: You know, it's amazing, because I think none of us, if you had at the beginning of the year talked about this, would have thought that Lieberman was in any trouble. He's obviously in very serious trouble coming up on Tuesday.

Thank you, panel. That's it for today. See you next week.

For more visit the FOX News Sunday web page.

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