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Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Parchments
Can Iraq be saved?
Guests: Fox News military analyst Col. David Hunt & Fox News analyst Dan Senor

"One hour from now, President Bush will explain his new strategy in Iraq: about 20,000 more U.S. troops to stabilize Baghdad and a timetable for the Iraqi government to defend the country itself. Will it work? The odds are against it, but it's possible. Once again, a stabilized Iraq fighting against terror would benefit the USA and the world, no question. But the media now has a vested interest in seeing the Iraq campaign fail. No question about that either. Most newspaper editorials hammered Mr. Bush this morning. And the TV verbiage was the same way. So "Talking Points" believes no matter what President Bush does, and no matter what actually happens in Iraq, many in the press will spin negative no matter what. Now there are two reasons for this. Criticism of the Iraq War has been so intense, that the press cannot turn back now. The anti-Bush people would never admit they were wrong if things do improve. And most of the media wants to see a Democrat elected president in 2008. They certainly don't want to see a hawk like John McCain get in. So expect the negativity to continue. But it would be a mistake, a mistake to believe that the press has caused the debacle in Iraq. That is not true. The Bush administration overestimated the Iraqi commitment to democracy and underestimated Iran's ability to cause chaos in that country. Those were the two major mistakes in the Iraq campaign. And the press had nothing to do with them. However at this point, you should no longer expect to get an objective view of the Iraq situation. It simply will not happen. I say give the effort one more chance in Iraq. But if there's no improvement by summer, it is over."

Former Administration spokesperson Dan Senor said, "I think we believed that this country had this nationalist history that would, you know, sort of a communal repression that they suffered, they would all come together and get behind this democracy. And the democracy would solve everything. That basically the security situation would be solved with a political tract. Col. David Hunt said an increase of 20,000 troops would not help the situation: "The reason it won't help is because as we heard when we were in Iraq together, Iraq will turn on a political and economic success, not military. Our military's done all they can do." The Factor felt outside forces were also contributing to the chaos: "Iran and al-Qaeda seizing upon the chaos that you see to exacerbate it to light the fuse to make more of it, that was the other big mistake. Shouldn't the United States government have said we've got two enemies, Syria and Iran right on the border?"
Universal healthcare in California
Guest: Author Sally Pipes

The Factor explained Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's healthcare plan: "He believes everybody in his state should have healthcare, including the children of illegal aliens and perhaps the illegals themselves. The governor says he'll raise taxes on doctors and hospitals to pay for the $12 billion program. Those increased taxes, of course, will be passed on to the patients." Sally Pipes, author of the book "Miracle Cure: How to Solve America's Healthcare Crisis and Why Canada Isn't the Answer", said it was going to cost California more to implement the plan than if it did not: "I don't believe it's going to be cheaper. First of all, if we provide health insurance, just like we provide welfare and education for illegal aliens, think about people that are illegal in other states. We're going to get a huge influx of illegal immigrants into California. And that's going to make it even more expensive." The Factor said, "So it's the magnet approach; all the other illegal aliens in the country would say hey, look at California, I can move there and get free healthcare."
Trump & O'Donnell feud update
Guest: Roger Friedman, FoxNews.com

The Factor laid out the scene at ABC's The View: "The nasty feud between Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump has ensnared the legendary Barbara Walters, a huge asset for the ABC Television Network. The question is, all of this good for business? And what will ABC do about it?" FOX News' Roger Friedman said Rosie was probably on the way out: "Rosie only signed a contract for one school year. You know, she's very devoted to her children. So she said she would work from September to June and then decide again. And as things stand now, what I'm told is that she would prefer to go." The Factor guessed that ABC probably didn't think Rosie was worth all the trouble: "I don't know if ABC is going to be comfortable with the controversy level that Rosie O'Donnell is going to bring in. And I'll tell you why. A new Gallup poll says only 28 percent of Americans like Rosie O'Donnell. They might like the ratings spike, but you can't do it for long the way she's doing it."
Collegiate "naked parties"
Guest: Author Alexandra Robbins

The Factor explained the controversy at Yale University: "At Yale University a group called the Pundits apparently organizes get-togethers where students go to off-campus houses and shed their duds. Now this sounds like the usual college shenanigans. But in 2002, a Yale student, Tiberio Frisoli, was convicted of sexual assault after attending one of these naked parties." Alexander Robbins, a Yale grad and author of the book, "The Overachievers: the Secret Lives of Driven Kids," said the problem was more rampant: "Oh, there are many more groups than just the pundits hosting naked parties at Yale. And this is happening all over the country. I personally don't flash and tell. But suffice it to say that when I was at Yale there were naked parties very often." The Factor wondered if Robbins was letting the naked parties off easy: "So you don't see a down side to this. And you say that this sexual assault that happened after one of these naked parties, it could happen in any mixer with everybody with their clothes on."
Bush's new plan for Iraq
Guest: Fox News analyst Gen. Wesley Clark

General Wesley Clark said the idea that Iraq should have be easy from the beginning was an illusion: "The whole idea that you could roll into Baghdad and be treated like the liberation of Paris, it was a fantasy. There was happiness to some extent when we came in. But that's a far cry from the country just forming itself and moving on. It was the end of the government, the end of the army, the end of a functioning society. And the Shia had a grudge against the Sunnis and against Saddam." The Factor asked, "If you're the commander-in-chief, do you give it one more chance? And do you do it like this?" Gen. Clark said, "What I would do is I'd take a group of high level diplomats that had the confidence of the president. And I'd write out a list of principals of what I wanted to see in the future in the Middle East. And I'd send them off on a Gulf Stream and tell them, "Don't come back until you've talked to everybody, including Iran and Syria." And I'd have with them -- I'd have a kit bag of carrots and sticks. And it might have economic aid; it might have economic sanctions." The Factor argued that diplomacy was for suckers: "I agree with you that we have to confront Iran in a diplomatic way. Where I disagree with you is that you seem to be putting hope in that strategy. I don't put much hope in that strategy. And I'll point to North Korea, and I'll point to other fanatics. Because these people are bent on destroying us, they want to kill us. So you can talk to them all day long."
What to expect from Bush's critics
Guest: Fox News contributor Dick Morris

Dick Morris said it was Gen. Wesley Clark who was harboring illusions: "If you talk to Iran, you're not going to bomb them. You're not going to impose economic sanctions. You're not going to be able to bomb them while you're talking to them. They'll string you out. They'll go along." The Factor thought Morris was reaching a bit: "But I don't think it's bad to establish dialogue with these people at this point." Morris thought some hawks like Iraq Study Group Chair and died-in-the-wool realist James Baker had a craftier plan up their sleeves: "I think Baker is would cut a deal with Iran where we basically say you can kind of have Israel. You can kind of have the Middle East. You can treat this as your sphere of influence, give us an easy exit from Iraq and let's work together in the region. But that ignores the fact that Iran is dedicated to a second Holocaust." The Factor didn't disagree: "That's what I said to the general. I said these people are killers, and I don't see them cooperating with us."
Book Mentions
Check out the books mentioned during this show.
Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids
by Alexandra Robbins

Read more...
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