'This Week' Transcript: Target Libya


WOLFOWITZ: No, no, you can't -- you can't compare the regime in Bahrain or even the regime in Sana'a to Gadhafi. But, yes, there is a certain -- there's something in common here, which is that regimes that don't represent their people are not only wrong, they're ultimately unstable. And I think what we should be working for in Bahrain, what we should be working for in Yemen are governments that are much more representative of their people so that we can work with them better. But they're not -- it's absolutely wrong to compare what's happening there with what Gadhafi is -- is doing and has been doing for 40 years.

WILL: There is no limiting principle in what we've done. If we are to protect people who are under assault, then where people are under assault in Bahrain, we are logically -- not only logically committed to help them, we are inciting them to rise in expectation. The mission creep here began, Paul, before the mission began, because we had a means not suited to the end. The means is a no-fly zone. That will not affect the end, which is obviously regime change.

WRIGHT: Look, Yemen and Bahrain have the same problem that we do in Libya. Forty-five people were killed by the regime in Yemen, peaceful protests on Friday. You have the same thing in Bahrain.

This is -- the Obama administration has been responding very slowly at the outset to this kind of colossal transformation in the Arab world, and it's finally begun to kind of -- in response to what's happened in Tunisia, then in Egypt, and now in Libya, but it -- to develop a strategy, but it doesn't have a policy across the region that is consistent. And I think it's going to catch us at some point.

HARMAN: Two points. I agree with that. We don't have a security narrative across the world. And we absolutely need that, because these countries are connected to each other. One fruit vendor who immolates himself in the boonies in Tunisia has set off a firestorm, an earthquake -- let's use Japan as the metaphor -- across the region.

Two points about this. One, Congress. The leaders of Congress were briefed last Friday at the -- in the Situation Room. Many were part of the recess and weren't there. That is not, by my lights, briefing Congress. Congress needs to be called back and discuss this and authorize or limit...

AMANPOUR: Isn't it too late?

HARMAN: ... the mission. No, I think the president is lawfully acting under his emergency powers as commander-in-chief and the U.N. resolution. And we didn't ask Congress to approve Bosnia. But I think Congress needs to act.

The other thing is, this is a zero-sum game militarily. We are stretched to the limit. And the assets we put into Libya we are taking away from somewhere else. And it's not just warships, people, and money. It's brain cells.

AMANPOUR: All right. Let me then ask you -- since you've just said that, last lightning round then. Is this, as the president said, in the U.S. national interest?

WILL: It is not worth war.

AMANPOUR: U.S. national interest?

HARMAN: It is not as direct a threat to us as Yemen and Pakistan.

AMANPOUR: U.S. national interests?

WOLFOWITZ: I think, if Gadhafi were to survive, it would be very much against American interest, very seriously so.

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