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Carter Book on Middle East Misguided?; Iraqi Professor Responds to Study Group`s Recommendations

Aired December 7, 2006 - 19:00:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST: Coming up tonight from Omaha, Nebraska, former president Jimmy Carter may be a nice guy but has he totally lost his mind?
Plus, the Iraq Study Group recommends a new course of action in Iraq. I like to call it Operation White Flag. Next.


ANNOUNCER: Tonight`s episode is brought to you by the members of the Iraq Study Group, Vernon Jordan, Sandra Day O`Connor, the tooth fairy, this guy and David Hasselhoff.


BECK: Well, hello tonight from beautiful Omaha, Nebraska, where I believe I`ve already eaten my weight in steaks. But the news today is out of Atlanta, where Kenneth Stein, who`s a longtime aide of former President Jimmy Carter, has resigned. He resigned from the Carter Center think tank, calling the former president`s new book on Israel and the Palestinians one- sided and filled with errors. Kenneth Stein is right. Carter`s book "Palestinian Peace not Apartheid" makes "Where`s Waldo" look like, I don`t know, "Catcher in the Rye".

So here`s the point tonight. Jimmy Carter, I am sure, is a very nice man, and I know that he loves his country, and I`m pretty sure he means well. But when he says that Israel`s treatment of the Palestinians is apartheid, quite honestly, no offense, he comes off looking like a fathead. And in this country I believe we need to get to a place where we can respect someone, disagree with him and then call him a fathead.

So here`s how I got there. The actual definition of apartheid is, quote, "a former policy of segregation and political and economic discrimination against non-European groups in the Republic of South Africa." Say what you will about the plight of the Palestinians, but apartheid is not an accurate way to describe their situation.

In fact, to even compare their plight to the apartheid in South Africa diminishes and tarnishes the entire legacy of the South African anti- apartheid movement.

Here`s why it`s not apartheid, President Carter. First of all, apartheid South Africa, blacks comprised the overwhelming majority of the population, and that majority was being oppressed.

First of all, the Palestinians are not in the majority in Israel. Second, the Israeli Supreme Court has made equality a priority. Promoting Arab landownership and equal education, even though the Palestinian school children are being taught that Israel should be wiped off the map. You saw that with your own eyes in our special a couple of weeks ago. Israel has many Arabs who are elected members of parliament, and they have appointed many Arab judges to the courts.

And fourth and most importantly, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert openly discusses a two-state solution -- Israel and an independent Palestinian state living side by side in peace -- as the only feasible end game. Hamas, the ruling party in the Palestinian Authorities, has refused to recognize Israel`s right to even exist.

Last week, Olmert said he was reaching out to the Palestinians for peace, offering a series of humanitarian and economic incentives if violence against Israel ceased. Within hours of that address, Palestinian militants in Gaza fired rockets into an Israeli town.

You know, when I went to Israel right after 9/11, I went there because I wanted to understand what was going on in the Middle East and the whole region. Honestly before 9/11 the whole thing could have gone into a whole giant sink hole and I could have cared less.

I visited an Israeli-run civil defense center in Jerusalem when I got there, and I learned a lot. Everyone there, Jew or Muslim, was receiving the same treatment. All of the instructions and the signs and everything else were in Hebrew, English and Arabic. They issued gas masks to everyone there. Anyone who was in Israel is under attack, doesn`t matter your race, color or creed.

But it`s not just Israel that Hamas is targeting. A few weeks ago a member of the militant week of Hamas called on Muslims around the globe to attack American targets.

Also, here`s what the head of Hamas security force recently said. "We are happy when any American soldier is killed anywhere in the world because the American army is an aggressor against all of the people in the world."

And apparently, members of Hamas are happy when they kill Palestinians, as well. Last week Palestinian militants targeted and killed a Palestinian member of parliament who is pro-democracy.

The message to President Carter and to everyone else who thinks like him is this: these guys will kill anyone who stands in their way, Israeli, American, Palestinian. It doesn`t matter. Does that really sound like a system of apartheid to you? There are many good Palestinians who are living under poor, awful conditions in the West Bank and Gaza.

But I`m not saying that the plight of Palestinians isn`t real. It`s just not being caused by Jews. It is being caused by their own politicians, like Hamas, who are keeping them down for their own personal, political and sometimes twisted religious game.

So here`s what I know tonight. Israel, as I`ve been telling you last few weeks, I feel it in my gut, is being set up. Just like Neville chamberlain tried and failed to make peace with Hitler, Jimmy Carter`s plan with making peace with Hamas is a horrible idea. You cannot make peace with people who want to destroy you.

Here`s what I don`t know. I`m not sure what`s behind Jimmy Carter`s horribly misguided, one-sided view of the problem. Is he just really wrong yet again or is there something more?

Alan Dershowitz, he is a Harvard Law professor who`s been outspoken about this controversy.

Alan, is he touched in the head on this, or is there something more nefarious?

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR: No, I like Jimmy Carter. I voted for him and I supported him. He`s a decent man who wrote a very, very indecent book. I don`t know why he wrote it. I can`t probe his motives. But I can tell you that his book will set back the cause of peace and will encourage terrorism.

It sends a message to the Palestinian terrorists, look, continue to do what you`re doing and I`ll support you. And it sends a message to the Israelis, no matter what you do, you won`t get support by people like me and by people from the hard left in the United States.

It`s a terrible book for purposes of trying to promote peace.

Look, I wrote a book called "The Case for Peace". I want to see the two state solution. I want to see the end of the occupation. Jimmy Carter`s book sets that back terribly.

BECK: And let me -- let me say the most unspeakable think that I can think of, and this is possibly done just to sell books?

DERSHOWITZ: I don`t think so.

BECK: He puts apartheid -- really? He puts apartheid in the title and yet in the book he says, "Well, it`s not really comparable to apartheid." Why -- why...

DERSHOWITZ: Of course it`s not. Why would you do that?

BECK: Why would you do that?

BECK: Well, I think he really wants to get publicity for his anti- Israel approach.

Look, the most extreme thing he does is, we all know that Israel offered the Palestinians a state in 2000-2001, 95 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of the Gaza. Bill Clinton said that and he said Arafat turned it down. Dennis Ross, our man there said that. Prince Bandar, the prince in Saudi Arabia, said that. Only Yasser Arafat disagreed and said no, no, no, it was really the Israelis who turned it down.

Jimmy Carter chooses to believe Yasser Arafat over Bill Clinton and all the Americans. If I were Bill Clinton, I would be livid. I suspect Bill Clinton is livid. He`s being called a liar by Jimmy Carter, and yet Bill Clinton has not spoken up.

And one of the reasons, by the way, is Jimmy Carter, who wants America to speak to Syria and Iran won`t speak to his opponents. He will not sit down on a one-on-one on television or on the radio and have a discussion with me or anyone else who knows the facts. He insists going at it alone, and he is conveying misinformation, ahistorical facts to American audiences on every television show in America.

I challenge Jimmy Carter, my old friend, somebody who I supported, to sit down with me on any television school, at the Kennedy School, anywhere, and discuss in a rational way these issues. And I will show how wrong he is historically and how wrong he is in his assessment of this situation.

There can be peace tomorrow in the Middle East. If the Palestinians only accept Israel`s right to exist, renounce violence, we will see the end of the occupation. If Arafat had said yes in 2001 to Barak`s offer, Ehud Barak`s offer, we would be celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Palestinian state instead of a continued occupation.

How do you ask Israel to give land for peace when it gives land back in Gaza and that land is used for rocket launchings, kidnapping and terror?

BECK: Yes, you can`t. Now, let me go back to Jimmy Carter. I want to focus on him for a second. It seems to me -- and you know, I know you voted for him. I`m sure you voted for him. I wouldn`t have. I mean, I think he was a horrible president.

But it goes beyond just being wrong, in my opinion. He seems to look for the -- he seems to look for the worst in us, or not believe the best in us but believe the best in these horrible dictators and thugs.

DERSHOWITZ: You`re absolutely right about that. He loved Yasser Arafat. He bounces his baby on his knees. He loved Assad, a dictator who killed 10,000 of his own people, and he couldn`t stand Golda Meir. And he lectures Golda Meir, saying Israel isn`t religious enough. It should be more religious. Imagine how critical he`d be if Israel were more religious?

He can`t stand Begin. There are two or three Israelis he likes, Israelis who agree with him. But he seems to love every Palestinian, every Arab. He doesn`t have it in his heart to condemn Hamas. He thinks Hamas would really recognize Israel eventually. He sees the bad and the worst in everything America does and everything Israel does, and he sees only the best in everything the Palestinians and the Arabs do.

At bottom, this is a deeply, deeply anti-American book as well as an anti-Israel book.

BECK: OK, Alan, we`d love to have you back. I`d love to spend an hour with you some time. Thank you very much.

DERSHOWITZ: Thank you.

BECK: Now listen. It might be -- it might be very helpful as a refresher for President Carter to take a look at the history of the region and realize it`s just a little bit more complex than Israel is just being a bully.


ANNOUNCER: And now the history of the Middle East in a couple of minutes. Chapter one.

BECK (voice-over): Around the turn of the century the Jews decided we need a homeland. What I`m looking for is a nice MLT, mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, and maybe, I don`t know, a homeland.

So they all started to begin gathering. The Zionists are coming to reclaim the homeland.

Palestinians, who aren`t really called Palestinians. They`re Syrians. They`re kind of wandering around, tending their flocks, walking around basically in the desert. Find themselves with a bunch of Jews there in the desert with them.

Would you like a nice MLT?

Meanwhile, back in Britain they`re starting to ask themselves, "Queenie baby, what do we do? All these Jews are here, and they`re going to be starting picking fights now with the Arabs, and the Arabs aren`t going to like it."

"I don`t know. Can`t we just split the land?"

Arabs don`t like the idea. "Wait a minute. Who are all these people coming in, trying to take all of our land?"

"We`re the Jews. And let me tell you something. You know what this place really needs, is a nice Jewish deli. Want some lox?"

Now, comes the U.N. The United Nations decides, "You know what? We`re going to split it all up. We`re going to give half of it to, quote unquote, `Palestine,` which is actually Syria, and the other part to the new Jewish homeland. That way everybody`s happy. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha."


On May 14, 1948, the Zionists declare their own state along with the United Nations. The next day the Palestinians, aided by the armies of Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and, whoa, Iraq -- got to love them -- launched a war to prevent Jewish independence and to secure control of all of the land.

Fortunately, in that war the Zionists not only managed to pull all the areas assigned to them by the United Nations but seize part of the land designated for the Palestinian state, as well. In other words, they kicked ass.

Here`s the thing everybody always leaves out of the history books. The other areas designated for the Palestinians by the United Nations were taken, not by the Israelis, but by Jordan and Egypt. Jordan annexed the West Bank, while Egypt said, "Hey, Gaza district, you`re ours. You`re ours."

But don`t worry, in the next episode we`re going to find out that neither Arab state allowed the Palestinians to form their own independent government in either of these areas. Ha, ha, ha. Those wacky Arabs. Ha, ha, ha.

ANNOUNCER: This has been the history of the Middle East in a couple of minutes on the GLENN BECK program.


BECK: All right. The Iraqi Study Group came out with its recommendations yesterday. And well, I didn`t really read it cover to cover, but I bet it`s fascinating. The gist of it is get out of Iraq by 2008 and let`s play patty-cake with Iran and Syria.

You know, good idea, I guess, if you know, want to eventually get vaporized by terrorists or rogue states like Iran. But, hey, different strokes for different folks, I guess. People who are really concerned about the report are the Iraqis themselves, or at least some of the leaders.

The leader of the Sunni political group, the Iraqi Accord Front, said he doubted that the U.S. government would comply with recommendations to withdraw a large number of U.S. troops from Iraq, quote, "as such action would lead to more violence in the country."

Thabit Abdullah, a native of Baghdad. He`s also a professor of York University in Toronto.

Thabit, is governing by study groups and commissions the right thing to do here for the Iraqi people?

THABIT ABDULLAH, PROFESSOR, YORK UNIVERSITY IN TORONTO: To tell you the truth, I think most Iraqis, the average Iraqi on the street thinks that this report is completely irrelevant.

BECK: Is that because...

ABDULLAH: Nobody paid any attention to it.

BECK: OK. My guess is the people on the street don`t trust us anymore.

ABDULLAH: That`s why...

BECK: Right. They don`t think we`re going to stick around.

ABDULLAH: That`s why it wasn`t widely reported in the press. There hasn`t been much of a discussion of it. You know, one of the positive changes ever since the fall of the dictatorships, has been the great media that`s developed in Iraq, and it`s a very lively media, very dynamic reports. And there are call-in shows, as there are in the United States.

But amazingly, this report has not, you know, triggered the same kind of enthusiasm as it has in the United States. Mainly because Iraqis don`t trust Americans.

BECK: Right. And I think that`s clear. I mean, I`ve been saying for, what, since summer, I think, we`re getting ready to pull out. It`s clear. We`re sending all of the signals. It`s almost like this report is just a formality.

And I can`t imagine how, if you are an Iraqi citizen, where we`ve said, hey, Kurds, rise up and then we screwed the Kurds, and now we go in to stabilize the country, make the situation much, much worse and then start sending signals that, hey, we`re out of here. You guys are on your own. How are they possibly for us?

ABDULLAH: Yes. You know, I don`t mean to be disrespectful. I studied in the United States and I admire much about America. But this must be one of the most shameful periods in American history.

I was one -- I was one of the Iraqis who was jumping up and down. I saw the statue fell. I thought this was the opportunity to begin to rebuild my country after 40 years of fascism and terrible sanctions and wars and so forth.

But really, from beginning to end, the whole American attitude has been disastrous. From the low number of troops to unwillingness to really invest what is required.

BECK: Yes.

ABDULLAH: The United States should not have come into this if the American people and the American administration was not willing to commit what it needs.

BECK: Yes. Professor, you`re not being disrespectful. I mean, you were educated in American, and so was I. I`m an American citizen. And I have to tell you, it`s more than shameful. I believe this is quite possibly the most morally bankrupt thing we have ever done.

We have -- we have endangered millions of lives. They knew how to survive under Saddam Hussein. We have opened up a can of -- I believe, almost evil of biblical proportions. And they said we`re out.

ABDULLAH: I`m sorry. The other really terrible irony to this is that this was supposed to be the prelude to democracy and prosperity throughout the region.

BECK: Yes.

ABDULLAH: I was living in Syria when the Americans went into Iraq. I can tell you the Syrian regime and Iran were trembling. But now after -- well, it didn`t take that long. About a year after that, both regimes have become stronger there. Especially Iran has an incredible reach now throughout the Middle East that it did not have before.

So in every respect this report simply declares the defeat of the United States.

BECK: Professor, unfortunately, we have to leave it there. And I`m sorry for what we`ve done to your country. I hope that we can reverse it, if we would ever get serious. Thanks for your insight.

Tomorrow night we take a break from all of the chaos around the world and we talk to Nancy Grace for the full hour. It is a side of her you have never seen anywhere else. We`re going to talk about her life and her career. Don`t miss it tomorrow night.


BECK: All right, every day you can hear my radio program on stations all across the country, including 1370 WSPD in Toledo, Ohio, which, by the way, we will be at a week from tomorrow in Toledo. Grab your Christmas tickets. We`re going to be filming for television that night. And if you can`t find an affiliate in your area, sign up and listen online at my web site at

Michael Graham, he`s from 96.9 WTKK in Boston.

Hello, Michael.

MICHAEL GRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Glenn Beck living the dream, Toledo, Ohio, in December. Man...

BECK: Yes, doesn`t get any better than that. I`m in Tampa next week.


BECK: Yes. So, Michael, water on Mars. I was surprised that we think we may have found it and nobody is talking about it today.

GRAHAM: Well, first of all, I mean, this is NASA. Do you trust anything NASA says? They can`t even tell the difference between kilometers and miles, as they demonstrated when they sent a probe bashing into the surface of Mars.

BECK: I don`t think -- I think they`re pretty amazing, myself.

GRAHAM: I`m telling you, that drip that you`ve seen, the little stain, is probably the oil casing from the thing they slammed into Mars four years ago. But, I mean, come on, it`s NASA. They`re dopes. I`m expecting somebody to say, "Wait a minute, wait a minute, we got a loogie on the lens. That`s nothing. I don`t trust NASA. Here`s the deal...

BECK: Wow. You know what? I think NASA is one of the -- one of the few governmental organization that do things right.

GRAHAM: Yes, yes, like that wonderful space shuttle program. You know, the problem with NASA is they want to bring excitement back to space exploration because that means more money.

BECK: Yes.

GRAHAM: But right now the only assignment they have is that space shuttle liftoff, which is the same kind of excitement you get when you board an airplane with six imams and a suitcase full of box cutters. It`s not the excitement NASA is looking for now.

BECK: Holy cow. Have you ever seen -- have you ever witnessed the space shuttle take off?

GRAHAM: Not on the ground. Only on television.

BECK: Oh, well, when you see it, you will realize...

GRAHAM: It`s cool.

BECK: ... it is one of the -- it is one of the wonders of the world. You will not believe that man can do that when you see it firsthand.

GRAHAM: It`s cool. It`s wildly expensive. It`s the dumb way to explore space. The smart way is with unmanned probes, the Hubbell. Not putting people in space is the smart thing to do. But there`s no glamour, there`s no excitement, which means there`s not as much money.

So now Mars trying to get excited about a couple of drops of water. If they find the microorganism, big deal. People who think of life on other planets don`t think about bacteria.

BECK: Do you know -- do you know how many people in this country -- wait a minute. Do you know how many people in this country deny that there is life in the universe?

GRAHAM: Oh, come on!

BECK: They think we`re totally alone. Come on, Michael.

GRAHAM: I know. I understand what you mean. There are some people with certain religious views. But here`s the deal. Americans want to see space ships -- until there`s a spaceship over the White House blowing it up, it`s not life on other planets. That`s how we feel about this.

And by the way, I want to -- this does raise an interesting theological question.

BECK: Yes.

GRAHAM: If aliens from other planets do blow up the White House, will then "The New York Times" start using the phrase illegal alien? I doubt it, but we can only hope.

BECK: No, I don`t -- I don`t believe they will. They will find that they are somehow or another superior, clearly.

GRAHAM: It was our fault. It was our fault. We made them bad.

BECK: Yes.

GRAHAM: It`s our fault.

BECK: We are dumping our trash out into space.

GRAHAM: It`s our fault. All America`s fault. We deserve it.

BECK: Michael, thanks a lot.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

BECK: We`ll be back in a minute with "The Real Story" next.


ANNOUNCER: It`s been a great year for inventions: the solar powered salad spinner, the cordless jump rope, hummus in a tube, but only five will make Glenn`s top inventions of 2006 list. Find out which ones by going to consider or iTunes. Then download d Glenn`s podcast, "Sick, Twisted Freak".


BECK: All right, welcome to "The Real Story."

Earlier in the show, we started talking about the Iraq Study Group`s report. But aside from the two guys who the committee is named after, Baker and Hamilton, do you really know who`s behind this report? The real story tonight is that, if you want to understand their recommendations, you have got to understand, not only how they formed them, but who`s responsible for them.

Here is a list of the other eight group members. There`s Lawrence Eagleburger, Vernon Jordan, Ed Meese, Sandra Day O`Connor, Leon Panetta, William Perry, Charles Robb, and Alan Simpson. Now, that is a lot of really, really smart people, far smarter than I am. But what do they all have in common with me? None of us have "former general" after our name. None of these people have any real experience in fighting a war.

Sure, now, they have met with a lot of people with military experience, but shouldn`t at least one person in this group, maybe, just have a little insight on how this war is fought and won?

The other thing that nobody seems to really be talking about is: How did they do their hands-on research in Iraq? Well, according to James Baker, the group spent three days -- three days over there. But in that three-day period, only one member, former Senator Robb, left the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad.

Now, I may know this comes as a shock here to you, but the military said that leaving the Green Zone could be dangerous and, as James Baker said, quote, "We didn`t want somebody to write a story that we were cowboying down there in Iraq," end quote. No, you definitely don`t want that.

I mean, when I go to the Grand Canyon, I always stay inside the tourist welcome center because that`s where they have all of the great pictures and the postcards. It`s so much better than actually going outside to the actual canyon, because, well, that`s dangerous out there. It`s a war zone.

Let me give you another example of why I think, in this case, it was actually appropriate to criticize the way they did their research. Let`s say you run a business. It`s not doing well. So you go out and hire a team of consultants. Would you higher a team of consultants with no actual experience in your business to come up with the solutions?

So the consultants come back. They tell you that you`ve got to cut all of your prices in half, close four of your stores, and set up meetings with your competitors. Well, you`d naturally want to know how they came to those conclusions.

Did they go out and visit your stores? Did they watch some of your customers and employees firsthand? Or did they just sit in an office and make some phone calls?

When you hear frightening recommendations like the ones made by the study group about engaging directly in talks with Iran and Syria, it`s only fair to ask how they came up with those ideas.

Perhaps not coincidentally, today is December 7th. It is the 65th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, an attack that finally woke this country up to the fact that we could no longer avoid war. So with that in mind, the real story today is that appeasing our enemies in Iran and Syria and compromising our demands in hopes of peace will end the same, exact way it did 65 years ago.

I have been telling you for a while that I think we`re now in the year 1938 and the clock is ticking. Well, tonight, I`m going to be even more precise. I believe the exact date of today is September 26, 1938. That was three days before Prime Minister Chamberlain signed the infamous Munich Agreement with Hitler, an agreement that, to this day, stands as a shining example of how appeasement never works.

With Chamberlain visiting Hitler in a futile effort to save the peace, it was Winston Churchill who stood up and appealed directly to the United States to get involved. Listen closely to his words on that day. Quote, "If the government and people of the U.S. have a word to speak for the salvation of the world, now is the time. And now is the last time when words will be of any use. It will indeed be a tragedy if this last effort is not made in the only way in which may be effective to save mankind from martyrdom."

Nine days later, after the Munich Agreement had been signed and the world cheered, Churchill spoke again. Quote, "I will begin by saying the most unpopular and most unwelcome thing, what everybody would like to ignore or forget, but which must nevertheless be stated, namely that we have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat."

At the time, at the time he made that speech in the House of Commons, Churchill could count on one hand the number of friends and supporters he had in parliament. He was all by himself. Today, who`s going to stand up and willingly face that same kind of abandonment and alienation? I`ll tell you what. I will, and I hope you will, too.

But which of our leaders has the guts to say that -- say the things that nobody wants to hear today, and that`s this: There is no appeasing those who don`t want to be appeased. Whether or not we want to go to a war is irrelevant. The war is already on, and it is much more expansive than just the war in Iraq.

The only question is whether we`ll fight back now or wait for the next December 7th.

Max Boot is the author of "War Made New: Technology, Warfare and the Course of History, 1500 to Today."

Max, September 28, 1938, what do you think of that position in time in relation to where we are now?

MAX BOOT, AUTHOR, "WAR MADE NEW": Well, there`s no question that, if President Bush were actually to implement the recommendations of the Baker- Hamilton report, it could well be a recipe for another Munich, as you suggest, because we would have to sell out a lot of our friends and a lot of our interests in the Middle Eastern region to try to get the help of Syria and Iran. And at the end of the day, we`re still not going to be able to buy peace.

I mean, I thought the recommendations in the report were the height of fantasy, the height of unrealism, because what they`re saying is that we ought to ask our enemies to bail us out in Iraq. Now, why should our enemies help us out? And what will the price tag be?

In the case of Syria, they`re going to want Lebanon back. They`re going to want to dominate Lebanon. We`re going to have to sell out the democratic revolution in Lebanon.

In the case of Iran, they`re going to want carte blanche to develop nuclear weapons. Is that really what we want, at the end of the day?

I mean, the commission report didn`t spell out what the cost would be, but the cost would be prohibitive. And at the end, we still probably wouldn`t have peace in Iraq, just as all of the concessions that Chamberlain made to Hitler in 1938 did not buy peace. They made war more likely.

BECK: I mean, yes, Max, here`s what people don`t understand. We enter negotiations -- and, I mean, I can understand it. Americans are different. We just assume that everybody wants to live in peace.

The leaders over in the Middle East do not want to live in peace. They do not -- I mean, if it means coexisting with us or Israel, they don`t want anything like that. So how is it that we can live in this world of Willy Wonka, where the wallpaper tastes like snozzberries, where you can actually be instructed to sit down at the table with people who want to kill you and expect positive results?

BOOT: I think we have to stop this ostrich-like behavior and pull our heads out of the sand and realize that Iran, in particular, has been making war on the United States since the revolution of 1979. They`ve been killing Americans, as they did in the bombings in Beirut in 1983.

And right to this present day, they are facilitating the shipment of arms into Iraq, where it`s going into the hands of terrorists who are killing Americans. And we refuse to recognize this, and we refuse to carry the war back to Iran or Syria, despite all of their productive acts.

And instead, what we`re seeing from the Baker-Hamilton commission is a preemptive sellout, which is not going to achieve what we want.

BECK: At least any time I`ve ever gone to a negotiating table and I`m trying to negotiate anything -- buying a house, a new contract for my job, whatever it is -- you`ve got to have some leverage. You have to have some power.

This Baker-Hamilton report is being viewed over in the Middle East as our defeat. What leverage do we have? What is it that we`re coming to our enemies with? I mean, they don`t -- they clearly don`t fear us. They know we`re just trying to get out. What leverage do we have?

BOOT: Well, we don`t really have any leverage. And if you listen to people like Baker and Hamilton, they will tell you that they think that Syria and Iran have an interest in preventing chaos in Iraq. And I don`t quite understand why they think that`s the case, because Syria and Iran are benefiting from the chaos in Iraq right now.

The last thing they want is us out of Iraq, Iraq stabilized and an American ally that would threaten them. Why would they help to bring that about? I`m really scratching my head, and I can`t figure out why these supposed elder statesmen think that this is going to happen. They`re not going to help us out; they`re happy with the status quo.

BECK: As a historian, is it frustrating when you see history repeating itself so clearly?

BOOT: It is. And what`s also frustrating to me is to see some of these false historical analogies that are being trotted out in support of these recommendations. For example, Jim Baker talks about how Iran helped us out in Afghanistan in 2001. Well, they did help us out somewhat. But the reason they helped us, they were scared of us.

After 9/11, they thought that first we would go onto Afghanistan and then we would come after then. And so they wanted to appease us; they wanted to help us out. The situation is completely different from what it is today where they know we`re weak. We would have to come crawling on our hands and knees, begging them to help us out, and they have no incentive to do that, because we would be negotiating from weakness, not from strength.

BECK: Right. Max, thanks a lot. That is the "Real Story" tonight, like it or not. If you`d like to read more about this or if you found a "Real Story" of your own, tell us about it, please. Visit and click on "The Real Story" button.

And don`t forget: Tomorrow night, I talk to Nancy Grace for the full hour. It is a side of her you have never seen. We talk about her life, her career, and her critics. Don`t miss it, tomorrow night, right here.


BECK: I got to tell you, if I had a job that allowed me to take a month off and do whatever I wanted, I`d probably be like the guy from "Super Size Me" and eat nothing but McDonald`s for 30 straight days. Yes, I wouldn`t write a book or make a movie about it or anything. I just really, really like McGriddles.

But our next guest decided to spend his thirty days immersed in the conservative culture, instead of McGriddles -- whatever -- and he did write a book about it. John Moe is the author of "Conservatize Me: How I Tried to Become a Righty with the Help of Richard Nixon, Sean Hannity, Toby Keith, and Beef Jerky."

John, you started like I did in Seattle, but you were a liberal. Now you call yourself politically agnostic-independent. What exactly does that mean?

JOHN MOE, AUTHOR, "CONSERVATIZE ME": That means that I don`t think I`m really tethered to the left as my background would suggest. I grew up in Seattle and raised by European theater folk. And, as you know, Glenn, deep-blue area, Jim McDermott is our congressman here.

BECK: Oh, yes. Oh, I know.

MOE: And after my month on the right, I think I`m somewhere out in the woods. You know, I`m not cleaving to either the right or the left, and I`m some bizarre shade of purple.

BECK: You know, did you find, when you immersed yourself for 30 days, and I assume that you really tried to find answers -- I did the same thing. And what`s so frustrating is I think most people on the left and the right really haven`t thought things through. They don`t know why; they just tether themselves to somebody else. They`re like, "Yes, I`m kind of like that guy." Did you find that?

MOE: Well, absolutely. The world is hard, and it`s hard to figure out. I mean, you know this as well as anybody.

BECK: Yes.

MOE: You know, you have issues that are very clear and you can say, "Oh, I know this is right and that`s wrong," and along comes something like Darfur or, you know, even Iraq now.

BECK: Right.

MOE: And for a lot of people, they`ve got to get their kids to soccer practice. They can`t try to figure out all the intricacies of policy. They say, "OK, well, what does Ken Mehlman say? Or what does Howard Dean say, or Rush Limbaugh, or Al Franken?" It`s easier that way. That`s why people do it.

BECK: So when you started, did you hate conservatives, because, you know, we all like to starve children, and, you know, oppress minorities, et cetera, et cetera? Were you part of the group that was like, "Yes, that`s who they are"?

MOE: I hope to be invited to those parties where people roll around in piles of gold coins stolen from third-world nations. I wanted to get in on some of that action.

But, no, I didn`t conservatives at all. And my brother-in-law is a Bush appointee. I mean, he used to work for the Christian Coalition. And on family vacations, you know, we`d have these long discussions where I think we kind of, you know, helped to each humanize the other side.

But I wanted to -- and so I suspected, though, there was something to real, live contact, and listening, and civility that could be more instructive than these cartoons that both sides make of the other. I mean, it`s fun to think of the righties as all wanting to invade Venezuela tomorrow or the lefties, you know, mandating gay marriage for everybody. It`s a simple way to go through life.

BECK: Right.

MOE: But I thought it was more interesting...

BECK: It`s not really true.

MOE: ... if you listen and talk to people. You can still have fun, but you might learn a lot more, you know?

BECK: OK, so tell me -- let me just tell me -- you tell me the pros or cons on -- let`s start with Hannity.

MOE: Hannity, I would say I`m a con on that particular issue. He might have some persuasive things to say, but all the way through the book, I was trying to read his book and kept falling asleep. So as a sedative, a pro; as a philosopher, con.

BECK: All right. Not necessary. He`s a friend of mine. Not necessary. SUVs, pro or con?

MOE: SUVs, again, pro to drive; con for what I suspect they`re doing to the world. But, man, you know, I`m tempted to go test drive another one tomorrow, not that I can afford to buy it. But, oh, they`re luxurious.

BECK: Yes, exactly right. Beef jerky?

MOE: Beef jerky, absolute pro.

BECK: I mean, it`s in the title of your book.

MOE: It`s in the title, and I believe it`s in my veins right now. I`d say I`m to the point of an unhealthy chemical dependency on beef jerky at this point.

BECK: You know, I got to tell you, once we get you into the conservative camp on beef jerky, you`re halfway home. You are.

MOE: That`s right. It`s a gateway drug, isn`t it?

BECK: It is, it is. Thanks a lot.

Since 1927, "Time" editors have named the "Person of the Year" on their cover of a special issue of the magazine. The title is given to the person who, for better or worse, the magazine`s editors believe had the greatest impact on the year`s events. This year`s "Time Person of the Year" will be announced on CNN December 16th during the 8:00 p.m. hour, Eastern time. Here`s a look at one of the contenders.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Putting the power in your hands. YouTube kicks off a revolution, as millions of people share videos on the Web. It`s the dawn of the new way to communicate, which wins YouTube a nomination as "Time" magazine`s person of the year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s interesting, it`s fun, but, you know, that specific technology (INAUDIBLE) but it`s a pretty simple technology. There are people who would see YouTube user-generated content as frivolous compared to the hard realities of the world, people dying in Iraq, people starving in Africa.

But the thing about YouTube is that it also shows you that. You know, so many of the interesting YouTube videos have been from American soldiers in Iraq, and you actually get to connect with them in a way that the nightly news never shows you, that newspapers can`t convey in the same emotional level. So, frivolous within a moral calculus, maybe, but there`s no limit to the amount of things YouTube can show you.


BECK: All right, let`s get right to the e-mail.

From Hugh in Cincinnati, "Glenn, being the thinker that you are, please give me a way to get a plasma TV into my house. I`ve already asked for it for Christmas, I was shot down. Lead me to the promised land, oh, my shepherd."

Well, Hugh, here`s what you have to do. Now, it`s not going to seem logical to you right off the bat. Stay with me. You will have that new plasma screen hanging on the wall within a month.

What you need to do is buy your hyperactive kid the Nintendo Wii, and install it on whatever the TV is that you want to replace. Then, you just sit back and wait. The Wii`s controller works like a motion sensor, so you move your arm up in the same motion as a tennis forehand, and the guy on the screen does the same thing.

Now, there`s a strap on the controller, but Nintendo is investigating to see if there are any problems with the strap -- uh-oh -- because kids are swinging their arms too fast and the remotes are flying right off into the TV screen. Uh-oh, looks like broken TV. So you`re going to look like a hero to your kid by buying him a Nintendo. And once the TV is busted in two days, "Honey, looks like an opening for a flat screen." Plus, at post- Christmas sales prices, just in time for the NFL playoffs. You`re welcome.

Lori in Tennessee writes, "Glenn, I read a story about how the soldiers in Iraq are using silly string to detect trip wires. There`s a private pilot flying somewhere over there because the postal service can`t send it by air, due to it being considered hazardous material."

Lori, this is an amazing story of the resourcefulness of our military. When they walk into a room, they spray silly string around. And if the string falls all the way to the ground, that means there`s no trip wires that can set off bombs. If the string gets caught in the air somewhere, they know exactly where it`s safe to walk.

Marcelle Shriver`s son is in Iraq, and he told her about this. Now she`s collected over 1,000 cans of silly string that`s going to be delivered to the military.

This isn`t the first time our soldiers have innovated like this. My favorite is the "Pope Glass." This is where they have welded old, bulletproof windshields to the top of Humvees to give the gunners more protection. It`s kind of like an improvised Popemobile. Building useful tools out of common items that you just have lying around, honestly, it`s like we have an army of really bad-ass Martha Stewarts, isn`t it? That`s kind of weird sounding, quite frankly.

You can e-mail me at or you can check out the Web site at And we will see you tomorrow, you sick, twisted freaks.


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