'This Week' Transcript: Sen. John McCain

IGNATIUS: My contacts on both sides, U.S. and Pakistan, tell me that there is now an effort to create what you could call a new normal, after the bitter shock and disappointment of recent months, which culminated in the May 2 raid on bin Laden's compound. It's shocking to us that the Pakistanis allowed him to be there. It's shocking to the Pakistanis...

HAQQANI: We did not allow him to be there, David. He just happened to be there.

IGNATIUS: The American perceptions of this, Ambassador. And it's shocking to Pakistanis that their air space and sovereignty was violated.

So there is something of a low ebb, as it's been described in reports, and I think an effort to put things back together in a new framework, with new rules of the road, that -- sources speak about a new joint task force on counterterrorism, where the two sides will work together more closely, other things like that.

I think the American feeling is, this new normal will take a while to develop, and it won't ever be quite as strong as we might like.

AMANPOUR: Let me just ask you, you just said we want to know what other information they have. I mean, everybody presumably now is watching very closely Ayman al-Zawahiri, who this week took the lead of Al Qaida. Is anybody here concerned that this person now is going to feel pressure to launch a major attack on U.S. or U.S. interests, Liz?

CHENEY: Well, certainly. I mean, I think that whoever is the leader of Al Qaida, that's clearly their objective, and I think they'll continue to want to make themselves known, and I think, once again, that's why the sort of strain of isolationism that we began to see from some of the Republican candidates is so very concerning.

I think that we have to remember we are at war. The notion that we can somehow retreat, pull back from Afghanistan, for example, as you heard Ambassador Huntsman say, is very naive.

And I think a situation in which the United States, led by the, you know, Republican Party candidates for president begins to adopt a position where we believe our safety is guaranteed if we simply come back within the boundaries of our nation, is one in which we will surely be attacked again and one in which we are clearly less safe.

AMANPOUR: So let's talk about that. It's clearly -- it appears to be sort of a turning point moment right now. That debate on Monday in New Hampshire, with all the traditional defense and national security hawks, which is what the Republican Party has traditionally been, really sort of pulling back, you know, in a way that's alarmed the foreign policy establishment. Is this just a momentary change because of the budget problems, because of war weariness? Or do you think this sets a new benchmark for the Republicans?

CHENEY: Well, I think it's very important for Republicans to speak out, for Republicans who recognize how dangerous that path is to speak out. Clearly, you've got polls now that shows there is war weariness. Obviously, we've got huge and significant debt issues that we've got to be able to address.

Page
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...