Senator Joseph I. Lieberman on the Glenn Beck show on Aug. 22. Transcribed by The New York Times. BECK: Today is such an important day. Could we start there with what is happening in Iran. They just said they want to start serious negations with us. LIEBERMAN: My read on that is to stick with the demands that the United Nations made. I means, look, there’s a history here. The administration, for all the criticisms it takes for being unilateral, it chose to go at the relations with Iran in a multilateral way and the Europeans negotiated with them for, what, two years and it came to nothing and it’s hard not to conclude that this country, a terrorist government at the helm, with a guy who now is the president who is a fanatic by anybody’s reasoned estimation has to be dealt with seriously to stop him from getting nuclear weapons. BECK: Why don’t more people see that. If I hear one more person say, `Well, we dealt with the Soviet Union -- the Soviet Union didn’t have a death wish.’ LIEBERMAN: You know, there is a big truth there Glenn, that I think all of us who are in public life or people that speak to a lot of people through the media have got to hammer that in. I mean the cold war was at the edge of nuclear disaster for a long time and we fought a lot of battles in which people lost their lives during the Cold War, but we always had the confidence that the leadership of the Soviet Union, as fanatical as it was, was not crazy and therefore they would not do anything to really ultimately get into a nuclear war. This is a person at the helm of this government and these fanatical radical Islamic terrorists honestly in some ways love death the same way we love life in our culture and it makes them very different from the Russians and in some ways makes them frankly more like the fascists that we fought during the Second World War. BECK: I am so afraid that we are going to see Lebanon fall into the hands totally of Hezbollah. I mean with the shelling on the northern border of Iraq with Iran that you're gonna start to see Iran come into Iraq. The entire Middle East is gonna be on fire. And we are going to find ourselves like Ray Nagin found himself with buses in a parking lot. Why is it there aren’t more politicians saying, guys this is world war three. We are in deep trouble. LIEBERMAN: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know the answer to that. And I am afraid some of it is that so many people in both parties go at politics as if it was a sport in which you are on one team, the Democratic team or the Republican team and the aim is for that team to win. And when you do that you forget that there are larger interests, which is the interests of the United States of America. The other thing going on here is that, you know, people don’t like to face the reality of danger and maybe some politicians don’t like to be the ones to talk about it. But everything you’ve just said is right. And maybe in the days between now and the fifth anniversary of Sept 11th -- I happened to be -- after you were off the air, I want to assure you - I happened to be spinning the dial and went to Court TV and they were replaying a doc they did on 9-11. Its heartbreaking, but it’s infuriating what they did to us. And they will do it again, they tried to do it last week, until the plot was broken up. Everything you just said about the middle east is right. You gotta look at what happened in Lebanon as another battlefield in what is a global war in which Islamic extremists have attacked us. And they are in it for the long haul. You gotta look at the question of how we end our involvement in Iraq in the same way. If we walk away then the Iranians will -- as sure as I am talking to you -- surge into Iraq, certainly take over the south and take and the oil that’s there. BECK: We will have -- $200 barrel oil. LIEBERMAN: We'll have $200 barrel oil, we'll be paying six or seven bucks a gallon. And that'll just be the tip of it. I mean, there'll be instability and war throughout the Middle East. We've got to wake up to this. It is the test, unfortunately, of not just this generation of American leaders, but of the next generation as well, because this enemy ain’t going away. BECK: I've been saying this before we even went into Iraq, that we're trying to change the face of the Middle East. The weapons of mass destruction was a nice side benefit. We were trying to go and pop the head of the snake in Iran. That's what we were trying to do. And I don't think anybody had the courage or could actually come out and say that with world politics the way they are. LIEBERMAN: Well, you're right. And I think if I fault the administration for anything before the war -- because I think we did the right thing in going in to overthrow Saddam - - it's that they oversold the WMD part of the argument. I go back to 1998, with legislation introduced with John McCain and Bob Kerrey, it said that our goal had to not be to contain Saddam but to get rid of him. And why? A dictator, a mass murderer. I hope the public follows what’s going on in the trail of Saddam now. That this is a guy -- he had weapons of mass destruction. He had gas, and of all the leaders in the world today, he used them, to kill thousands and thousands of people. So we did the right thing, and now we’ve got to finish it in a honorable way. We just can’t accept a loss there, because it will haunt us and our kids and our grandkids. BECK: I have said before we went in that we are sitting at 1939, right before World War II, that some were engaged in this but most of the world was in denial in 1939. I think this Hezbollah peace treaty is our Chamberlain moment and 1941 is right around the corner. LIEBERMAN: Well, there are very, very severe echoes of all that. I agree. You know somebody said to me that Iraq, if you look back at it, is going to be like the Spanish Civil War, which was the harbinger of what was to come. Also as the Nazis began to move in Europe, we tried to convince ourselves we contained them. And we obviously didn’t and then we paid the price. I just saw some remarks that Churchill spoke in 1940, and he said -- I am paraphrasing, I don’t have it in front of me -- and he said what is our aim in this conflict, it has to be nothing less than victory because what is on the line is our survival as a country and as a civilization. And those are big words. BECK: I really truly believe the west is over if we do not win this conflict. LIEBERMAN: Yeah, I agree. And its going to be a long one. And unfortunately you can see in this country, you know, and certainly in Europe, the same kind of emotions — and understandable human emotions, but leaders have to try to change them — which is to turn away from it and to deny it. And to go into a kind of isolationism. I believe a lot of mistakes were made on the tactics and the methods that were followed, certainly after the fall of Saddam. Iraq has now become what everyone thinks it was before, another battlefield in this war with Islamic terrorists and we’ve got to end it with a victory.
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