'This Week' Transcript: Tony Blair


Well, we were just -- we were just looking for that, where he's basically said that he's announcing the end of the Iraqi combat mission in -- in the -- the U.S. combat mission in Iraq. People are concerned that there's still not a government there, that there's potential vacuum being created. What do you think the legacy of that will be?

WILL: Well, the -- the basic rule for presidents and for everyone else is, don't speak unless you can improve the silence. And I don't think he improved the silence with this, because what he said was, well, we're done with Iraq.

The trouble is, Iraq can't -- what, five minutes -- five months on, doesn't have a government. Now, we went through this when -- when our party system emerged, first with the 1880 election, took us 36 votes in the House of Representatives to pick Jefferson as president over Aaron Burr. So new nations have these problems, but this is a nation without Madison, Jefferson, Marshall, Hamilton, Washington, people like that.

AMANPOUR: We've brought up Iran in the discussion, and also Tony Blair brought up Iran and its nuclear program, basically, I thought, with quite a hard line on what it would take to confront and prevent Iran from the worst-case scenario. People seemed to me, both the White House and elsewhere, sort of pedaling back on any kind of military solution to what's happening in Iran. Do you think that that could...

FRIEDMAN: You know, there was a very interesting debate that happened in Iran this week, where Ahmadinejad, the president, did -- there was al-Quds Day, annual celebration about Jerusalem and solidarity and whatnot, and there was a whole movement inside Iran that said, "Knock off the al-Quds stuff. Let's talk about our country, what's broken here. Stop trying to distract the Iranian people."

This was inside Iran. This was loud. These were his opponents. I believe Iran as a regime, like the Soviet Union, totalitarian regimes like this are totalitarian, they break from the top. And I don't know when or how, but this one's not going to be broken from the outside. If it breaks, it'll break from the top.


KRUGMAN: ... this is not 2003. People in this country, people are -- you know, the public no longer believes that drop a few bombs, shock and awe, and we can remake the world in -- in our image. So I think there's -- people are just not willing to cede this.

WILL: I think a race is on. I -- I believe that you cannot have totalitarianism, as classically understood, autarky imposed on the mind of a country in an age of cell phones, the Internet, satellite dishes, and all the rest.

So regime change, I think, is coming to Iran. The question is, there's a clock ticking. And the Israelis are not going to wait on regime change to save them from a nuclear weapon, if it takes five years.

AMANPOUR: Well, the -- the administration seems to think that its peace efforts towards -- you know, to get the Israelis and the Palestinians together are actually being more accepted and more welcomed by Israel because of the way it's dealing with Iran. What are you getting from the Israeli side on that?

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