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Special Report Roundtable - August 7

FOX News Special Report With Brit Hume

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Whatever happens in the U.N., we must not create a vacuum into which Hezbollah and its sponsors are able to move more weapons. The -- the -- the -- sometimes the world likes to take the easy route in order to solve a problem, our view is that it's time to address root causes of problems.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANGLE: President Bush speaking today from Crawford. Now, some analytical observations from Fred Barnes, executive editor of the "Week Standard"; Juan Williams, senior correspondent for National Public Radio; and the syndicated columnist, Charles Krauthammer, FOX NEWS contributors all.

Charles, so we -- now the situation where Lebanon and Arab League are saying, "wait, wait, wait, wait." The U.S.-French idea of letting Israel stay in place, once a cease-fire begins isn't acceptable to them. They want to send 15,000 troops from the Lebanese army to the south to work with the existing U.N. force there, which is an observer force. What's wrong with that?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: What's wrong is that the Lebanese army couldn't take on the Fredonia, let alone Hezbollah, and U.N. observers have been there 20 years and have done absolutely nothing except to get killed. So, it's a phony proposal and it's not even a matter of sequencing, it looks like it's a matter of timing, it's not. It's a matter of substance. If Israelis leave ahead of the time, as the Arab League is demanding, and you send in the so-called Lebanese army, which is useless right now, in the absence of a real strong international force, Hezbollah is going to come back and we're going to start exactly where we were in the beginning. The Hezbollah will have won, Syria will have won, Iran would have won. If you have the sequencing as the French and American resolution insists, you leave Israel in place until the strong international force arrives, then you can have a change this status quo. What you can have is a real force. Hezbollah is pushed out. It's a defeat for Hezbollah and it's a victory for Israel and the United States.

ANGLE: Juan, what do you think?

JUAN WILLIAMS, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: Well, I think it's a matter of how you claim victory and I think much of what we're seeing now is sort of end-game, where people are try describing exactly how they can see things evolving, developing, if you will, so that they can claim victory. And from -- it's interesting, though, from the Lebanese point of view, you can understand the claim of sovereignty, that once we have a cease-fire, why are you telling us that we're not going to be in control of our own country. And essentially what you're doing then is seeding (ph) everything up to that 20-mile, 15-20 miles up to the Litani River and saying that's really going belong to this international, multinational force. And the question is, from the Lebanese point of view, I suspect, is that they would say is this multinational force doing the bidding of Israel or are they going to, in fact, be doing the bidding of the Lebanese people?

ANGLE: Fred.

FRED BARNES, "WEEKLY STANDARD": You know, the fact is that Lebanon with Hezbollah there doesn't have control, sovereignty, over its own country's sovereignty as things are. They have a better chance of getting sovereignty over the southern part of their country with an international force than they do if Hezbollah is going to be there. I mean, nobody -- think -- I don't think anybody, who pays any attention to the Middle East, thinks that the Lebanese army, which, I mean, you ought to hear what some Americans -- officials want for this -- American officials, what they think of that army, it's even worse than Charles suggested. I mean, they're pathetic and they're divided anyway between those who are sympathetic to Hezbollah and may be members and who are.

ANGLE: Well, and some suggest they couldn't even get to the south without international help.

BARNES: Exactly, without someone carrying them there, as one what one Bush administration has said. So, I mean, does anybody think if Hezbollah wants to walk right through them and go right back to the border, armed to the teeth, they're going to stop them? I doubt it. Look, Israel, you can't expect Israel, a country that merely wants security along its northern border to accept the fact that all of a sudden this army will be made up of, you know, 15,000 "Rambos."

ANGLE: Yeah. Go ahead.

KRAUTHAMMER: Israel has never had any claim on Lebanon. It left Lebanon in 2000, it doesn't have a claim on its territory, the only reason Israel is in Lebanon is because it was attacked. Every time the Israelis are attacked, they counterattack and take territory, they have to, and then the Arabs scream "occupation." Well, there was no intended occupation, Israel had given it up in 2000, but it's been forced to a defensive occupation now, and unless it's replaced by robust force, we're going to have war again.

WILLIAMS: Look, I mean, it seems critical, I mean, you have to acknowledge, Charles, they were there for 18 years, and in fact, Hezbollah was created in response to their occupation.

KRAUTHAMMER: And they went in this response to PLO attacks in 1982.

WILLIAMS: But, so, at some point, then you can understand why the Lebanese would feel reduced, diminished, in terms of their own sovereignty but the idea that, oh, you're saying we can't control our own land. Of course, the army is in effectual, there's no argument about that. They're a terribly weak army. But at some point you have to work with the Lebanese government and that's the concern of U.S. officials even as we speak here tonight. The concern is that you allow a legitimate Lebanese government to replace Hezbollah, you don't weaken them to the point where there's nothing to rely on but the multinational force.

ANGLE: OK, when we come back with our panel, Joe Lieberman still trails anti-war challenger, Ned Lamont in Connecticut a day before their political showdown. What would a Lieberman defeat mean for the other races and what would it say about the Democratic Party? The all-stars weigh in on that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Joe Lieberman may say he represents us, but if it talks like George W. Bush and acts like George W. Bush, it's certainly not a Connecticut Democrat.

ANNOUNCER: Ned Lamont, another flip-flop. He says he doesn't like negative ads, but he's been running them for three months. He says he's for more healthcare coverage, but he voted to cut healthcare. Ned Lamont, saying one thing, doing another.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANGLE: And we're back with our panel. This is one of the most interesting races, and not only is it interesting to see what happens to Joe Lieberman, who's been around for a while, but also, seems to be a bellwether for the Iraq war as a national issue, Charles, and where the Democrats may go on national security. Lieberman said today that if he loses, the message will be that Democrats who have a strong position on national security will not be welcome in the Democratic Party.

KRAUTHAMMER: I think he's right and I think it will be a crisis in the party. Look, I think Lamont represents not just anti-war leftism, but mindless anti-war leftism. The war in Iraq is going to end, Americans will be at it at (ph) one point and Bush will be gone which is what is the fuel of his campaign, but what's going to happen after? We're going to be in a war on terror, and Lamont's position on Iraq is U.S. out, U.N. in. That's completely idiotic. You can say U.S. out, but to imagine that the U.N.'s going to do anything in Iraq is ridiculous.

And on Iran, which is even a larger issue, he says that our problem in nuclear negotiations is that we ought to involve allies and we should be offering carrots. We've been offering carrots out of our ears and we've had allies working on this for three years. This is a man who's living on a planet which is incredibly unrealistic, and if his party follows this road it will be on national security issues on the defensive for decades.

ANGLE: Juan.

WILLIAMS: Just let me just say, not true. That this is not Vietnam, is what -- I mean, if that's what Charles' model is, I think, because that's what happened coming out of Vietnam. But in this case, you have such an overwhelming number of Americans who say that road we're on in Iraq is the wrong road and don't believe that anything good is coming of it, but it's hard to, therefore, measure, Charles, and say "Ned Lamont has this idea and Joe Lieberman and President Bush has a better idea." To the contrary, President Bush's idea is stay the course and we appreciate his resolve and nobody thinks getting out will do the job, but people are looking for new ideas, and if he has a new idea, let's throw it in the pot, let's look at it.

BARNES: Lamont. It isn't' a good idea, it's an old idea and Charles is exactly right. Look, the last time the Democrats went through this was at the tail end of the Vietnam war, and they nominated McGovern on the anti-war -- basically a peacenik candidate, and they were on defense on national security for several decades. Now I think that if this happens -- look, the Democratic Party is already mostly force averse, and they think the way to handle any world problem is to have diplomacy, and if you act nice toward Iran and countries like that, you'll get things out of them because they just want our attention. And, I mean that's foolish. The quotes in the piece in the "New Republic" -- in the "Wall Street Journal" by Marty Peretz of the "New Republic," it showed how totally na

ANGLE: Well, let's just -- let's show that. Marty Peretz, editor in chief of "New Republic" wrote in the "Wall Street Journal" today that "The left is trying, and in places succeeding, to take back the Democratic Party.Ned Lamont is Karl Rove's dream come true. If he, and others of his stripe, carry the day, the Democratic Party will lose the future and deservedly."

BARNES: Look, matter is basically a liberal Democrat, but he's a hawkish liberal Democrat and there was a great tradition of the Democratic Party, going back to FDR, JFK, Henry Jackson -- if Lieberman's gone, that's the end of it.

WILLIAMS: Well, wait a second. How is it gone?

KRAUTHAMMER: As Peretz had pointed out in that piece, the essence of Democratic approach to our enemies in the world, and there are a lot of them and there are bad guys, is essentially appeasement. You talk with them, you sit down, have a chat, you offer a carrot or two and see what happens.

WILLIAMS: You know, this is unbelievable.

That's what the Democrats are offering and they haven't had any alternative on Iran, on Iraq, on anything...

WILLIAMS: But Charles, Charles.

KRAUTHAMMER: They're going to go nowhere.

WILLIAMS: Democrats in the Senate have stood by President Bush overwhelmingly on Iraq. What are you talking about? You are trying to somehow say Joe Lieberman -- but the American people, Democratic base is not with that.

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