Should U.S. Examine Some Allies?
Aired November 25, 2002 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: CROSSFIRE: On the left: James Carlisle and Paul Begala. On the right: Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson. In the CROSSFIRE tonight: we get oil from them and sometimes hijackers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R-AL), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: But you have to always watch our back side, America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Is Saudi Arabia a friend or foe?
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SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: The Saudi-American relationship is at a crisis stage.
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ANNOUNCER: And how about that big neighbor to the north? Can we really trust the Canadians? After all, it was one of their government spokeswomen who called President Bush a moron.
And in Oklahoma, the feathers are flying because roosters are dying. Does cock fighting get your feathers ruffled? Ahead on CROSSFIRE.
From the George Washington University: James Carville and Robert Novak.
JAMES CARVILLE, CO-HOST: Welcome to CROSSFIRE.
You might call this our friend, foe or foul edition. We'll be keeping an eye on Saudi Arabia and on Canada and on some tough looking chickens in Oklahoma. But first you get to keep an eye on the best little political briefing in television, our CROSSFIRE "Political Alert."
President Bush signed the Department of Homeland Security into existence today in his little speech thanking people for making it a reality. He was even magnanimous enough to thank three, count them three, Democrats. Senators Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Zell Miller of Georgia, plus Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher. Heck, the Democrats have been calling for the department since January.
Firs the White House was dead set against it, until the president did an about-face last May. Now he's acting like he and his Republican crowd have actually done something. Mr. President, if you really want to accomplish something, listen to us Democrats more often.
ROBERT NOVAK, CO-HOST: You know, James, I've been listening to all the reports on television today about this event, biggest reorganization in the country since -- can I speak while you interrupt me?
NOVAK: And, you know it has not -- nobody has said, gee, they stole the idea from the Democrats. You're so obsessed with finding a political angle, you can't realize the significance of it.
CARVILLE: No, I said they stole it from the Democrats. Joe Lieberman called for it in January. It's obvious. You can't deny the obvious. It was right there.
NOVAK: Well I think you just repeated yourself.
CARVILLE: No, it's obvious.
NOVAK: Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana is sweet looking and soft talking. But this past weekend in Baton Rouge, she did an impersonation of fellow Cajun James Carville. She had just finished taping a tense 30-minute debate, when she turned to her Republican opponent, Susan Hawk Terrell, and said, "This is your last campaign."
Then, said the debate's moderator, she just stalked out of the studio.
Does that mean Mary Landrieu planned to hire a New Orleans hit man? Probably not. But the Republican candidate did feel threatened. What it probably means is that Mary Landrieu is very nervous about the December 7 runoff election, and well she should be.
CARVILLE: If (UNINTELLIGIBLE) felt threatened, she is really what you said about those good Canadians. She's a weenie. I can't imagine after a political debate something like that. I feel threatened about this. Well then don't come to Washington if you're that much of a weenie, Susan. You know? I mean, gee, you disgrace a nation, a great nation like Canada and you defend somebody like...
NOVAK: Why would she say this is your last campaign?
CARVILLE: Because she's saying I'm going to win this election and you're not going to run anymore. People, you know, when they run, they get in the campaigns, I've been in a thousand, they get a little fired up.
NOVAK: They say silly things, yes.
CARVILLE: Oh, she threatened me. I don't want to be there. Leave it to the CROSSFIRE alumni club to produce one of the most honest men in America. Former host (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Michael Kinsey (ph) agreed to be a judge for the National Book Awards this year. He admits he did it out of bounty and for a desire for free books, and, oh boy, did he get free books.
The awards people dumped 402 books on him and expect him to read every one. How many of you out there have read 402 books lately or even two? You college students don't count.
Anyhow, Kinsey (ph) now admits that he didn't read all 402 of the nonfiction books, and as for the winner, volume three of Robert Caro's autobiography of Lyndon Johnson, Kinsey (ph) (UNINTELLIGIBLE) how many of its 1,152 pages he got through. I think Mike did an honest thing. (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
NOVAK: Well, I could.
CARVILLE: I couldn't.
NOVAK: I know you couldn't, you couldn't read one book. But James, I'll tell you, Michael Kinsey (ph), when he was on this show, used to admit he didn't read the books of the people he was interviewing. And he should read Robert Caro's book word for word and you ought to read it, too, because you'll learn something about politics.
CARVILLE: You know, Bob, I don't sit here and try to tell people how smart and erudite and how learned I am. I didn't read 402 books this summer and neither did you. And that's just a fact.
NOVAK: These are the days that pride the souls of southern Democrats, and many think it makes sense to join the Republicans rather than fight them. Perhaps including Congressman Ken Lucas of Kentucky. He was talked into running for Congress four years ago by his old fraternity brother, the state's democratic Governor Paul Patton, whose political career is in tatters after admitting to an extramarital affair.
Lucas kept his congressional seat on November 5, with just 51 percent of the vote. During the just concluded lame-duck session of Congress, he met secretly with Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Could Ken Lucas soon be crossing the aisle over to the Republican side?
CARVILLE: I wonder if all the people who eviscerated Jim Jeffords for doing that will eviscerate Ken Lucas for doing that. Is there a double standard operating here? If you're a Republican, it's OK to switch to a Democrat. But if you're a Democrat, it is not OK to switch to a Republican. I'm not part of that double standard.
NOVAK: Well I'll tell you, the difference is that Ken Lucas may have to switch to survive. Jim Jeffords didn't.
CARVILLE: Incoming Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott has just spelled out the Republican social agenda for the new session of Congress. Lott tells "The Washington Post," "The country is hungry for policies that discourage abortions and encourage churches and other groups to help families."
Wait a minute, when they talked about social issues during the campaign, they hardly ever did. The Republicans were promising prescription drugs for Medicare and better schools. And all of a sudden that's morphed into anti-abortion judges (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for people on welfare. Now we know what the Republican agenda really is, shoving Jerry Falwell down everybody's throat.
NOVAK: I wonder -- quite apart from Jerry Falwell, I wonder, James, if you think the American people like partial-birth abortion, like sexual promiscuity by teenagers? You think so?
CARVILLE: I don't think that they want to ban abortions like you do. You want to ban all abortions, even in the case of rape and incest. I don't think we'll see American -- don't you want to do that? Don't you want to ban all abortions, even in the case of rape and incest?
NOVAK: I certainly do.
CARVILLE: Doesn't Trent Lott want do that?
NOVAK: Can I answer a question. Isn't it just your typical demagoguery that, in fact, all they're talking about now is banning partial-birth abortions. Are you against banning those? I asked you the question.
CARVILLE: Of course not. You want to ban every abortion...
NOVAK: No, answer my question.
CARVILLE: I said I'm against it. You want to ban every abortion including rape and incest? That's what you and Trent Lott want to do. That's on the agenda. One more vote in the Supreme Court and your rights are going out the window, because that's what they're doing.
NOVAK: That's all that is coming up in this session. And you're exaggerating it and you know you are. Shame on you.
CARVILLE: I'm not exaggerating a thing.
NOVAK: The Federal Election Commission today agreed to let candidates for federal office pay themselves salaries. Salaries out of the political donations they received. Now, under this ruling, they're being limited by the amount of pay they would receive on the job. That's a mere $150,000 a year for members of Congress.
What an opportunity for a sharp operator. Get a nomination for the minority party in the congressional district, raise $150,000, not much today, and pocket it all without even campaigning. Actually, that's probably more legitimate than the elected members of Congress getting $150,000 in taxpayers' funds also for doing nothing.
CARVILLE: Well, I'll tell you what, it makes a lot more sense to take the money than to put ads like Saxby Chambliss did, accusing Max Cleland of being a bad American. So what the hell is that?
NOVAK: He never said he was a bad American.
CARVILLE: He said he didn't care about national security. The man lost three limbs in Vietnam...
NOVAK: He didn't say that either. That's a lie, too. He said he...
CARVILLE: He said what?
NOVAK: He said he lacked the courage to go against the labor unions and that's what he said in the ad.
CARVILLE: Yeah, that's not calling somebody a bad American? To say that you would give up something...
NOVAK: Well you lack the courage...
CARVILLE: I'll tell you what, he never served a day in Max Cleland's...
CARVILLE: I'm saying it is better for him to take the money and go put that kind of junk you Republicans put on the air.
NOVAK: Well you lack the courage to go against the labor (UNINTELLIGIBLE), too.
Coming up, we get to pick on two long time friends of America. One country, the world's leading supplier of oil, is accused by critics of also producing terrorist hijackers. The other country, long America's top supplier of snow and frigid air masses, now also is producing noxious hot air.
And our quote of the day is a political song and dance you can see right through.
CARVILLE: Welcome back. It came out this weekend that the FBI is investigating whether money from Saudi Arabia's government got into the hands of at least two of the September 11 hijackers. Supposedly, money passed through the hands of the wife of the Saudi ambassador to the United States, got to a couple of Saudi students, who may have given it to a pair of the eventual hijackers. This story has people asking whether the Saudis are friends or foes.
In the CROSSFIRE, Cliff May, of the Foundation of the Defense of Democracies, and James Zogby, President of the Arab-American Institute. Welcome.
NOVAK: Mr. May, I wonder if we can cut through all of this because I've been around this town a long time. I've never seen such an attack on Saudi Arabia. Isn't this all part of a plot that is hatched in Israel that, what you do is you attack Iraq, you get the oil supplies from Iraq, that means you don't have to -- the United States doesn't have to rely on the Saudi Arabian oil supplies. You destabilize the Saudi Arabian government, change the balance of power in the Middle East, and you change the ratio of oil politics? Isn't that what is going on?
CLIFF MAY, FOUNDATION FOR THE DEFENSE OF: This is an Israeli Jewish plot you're saying? That's what you're saying on this show?
NOVAK: I don't think I said the word Jewish, did I?
MAY: It's an Israel plot...
MAY: No, no, no, it is not. Bob, I'm a little shocked to hear you say that. Let's understand a few facts that need to be related together. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on September 11 were Saudis. Osama bin Laden is a Saudi. Most of the suspects held in Guantanamo are Saudi.
We have the Wahabi sect in Saudi Arabia publishing around the world the worst sort of hatred against not just Jews, but against Christians, against Shiites, against traditional Muslims. Do you think there might be any possibility that there is some connection between what I just talked about with you and we know the Saudis are not really cooperating with the U.S. in the investigation?
NOVAK: You left one enormously important fact out, that all these dastardly characters that you mentioned, Saudi Arabians, are against the royal regime in Saudi Arabia. Is that true or false?
MAY: I'm afraid that's not entirely true.
NOVAK: Oh, please.
MAY: How many assassination attempts have there been against the Saudi royal family? How many bombs have gone off in Riyadh and Jedda? No, it is not true. And just let me point this out to him, James.
We have never heard the Saudi government apologize or tell -- or say that what Osama bin Laden did was wrong. It is an offense against Islam and should be -- well, it is the truth.
CARVILLE: Look, let me tell you. You know why conservatives love the Saudi government? Because it stands for everything they do. It oppresses women, it forces religion down people's throat, and it loves money above everything else. Those are the three fundamentals of conservatism.
JAMES ZOGBY, PRESIDENT, ARAB-AMERICAN INSTITUTE: But anyway, James, that's the Republican Party. And I don't disagree with you about that, but I'm here as a Democrat with you to tell you that you're wrong about the relationship with Saudi Arabia. Bottom line.
CARVILLE: Does the Saudi government oppress women? Does it oppress women?
ZOGBY: It is a different culture and a different society and it is moving forward...
MAY: Let me show you...
ZOGBY: I let you blabber for a while. Let's go forward. The point here is that this dog doesn't hunt. Princess Haifa, whose father was assassinated by an Islamic extremist, did not fund -- you know, don't be disrespectful. Her father was assassinated. She did not fund terrorism.
This story should not be playing for three or four days because, basically, if people read the "Times" story and not the "Newsweek" story, if people had listened to what the administration and FBI are saying, some folks playing this for political advantage would not be getting the air time they're getting. And that's the problem here.
This is not a real story. This is a friend and a relationship we ought to value when we ought not to be blowing this up.
CARVILLE: Let me show you a clip from United States' Richard Shelby, not from Israel, but from Alabama, not a Democrat -- not a Democrat, but a Republican. Let's see what Senator Shelby had say about all of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHELBY: People say, well, what a good ally they are. Well, a good ally would not be putting impediments all the time in the way of us being involved in the Persian Gulf. Perhaps in the war that will probably come with Saddam Hussein.
They have to prove that. But let's follow the money. If we follow the money, we're going to get to the truth, and I think the truth will not be very nice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZOGBY: James, not the brightest light -- bulb on the tree right now. This guy -- no, I'm just telling you, I know Shelby. You know Shelby. The fact is...
CARVILLE: He's the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
ZOGBY: I know, but he does not have his facts right on this. Saudi Arabia is cooperating. Look, let me...
CARVILLE: I think Senator Shelby is a bright fellow. ZOGBY: Let me just tell you something right now. FBI had these two guys in question, they had them detained, they investigate them. They let them both go, number one.
Number two, they are holding literally hundreds of other people. Why did they let these two guys go and they've continued to hold some other folks unless these two guys were not involved in terrorism.
NOVAK: I want Mr. May to respond. But I just want to -- you said they're not supporting the war on terrorism. I'd like to give a chance for a spokesman for the Saudi government, Adel al-Jubeir, the foreign policy adviser to Saudi's Crown Prince. Let's listen to what he said yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADEL AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER: We have provided the FBI with backgrounds on these individuals. We have worked with the FBI and with the U.S. government, other agencies of the U.S. government, to track the financing of terrorists around the world. We have frozen accounts. We have worked with our charities. We have audited them.
We have put financial control mechanisms back in place. We have uncovered cells not only in Saudi Arabia, but a number of other countries. We have worked for the extradition of individuals from other countries to Saudi Arabia or to the United States. We have shared intelligence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOVAK: What is incorrect about that?
MAY: A couple of things. One is that there is not one Saudi citizen who has been put on trial for anything related to al Qaeda and terrorism. And we know that prominent Saudi citizens have financed terrorism around the world. By the way, I want to agree with you on one thing. I do not believe the princess purposefully is involved in a conspiracy to get money to terrorists. I doubt that the wife of the ambassador would do that.
I don't think it is really frowned on. We do know -- and I hope you understand this and will say this -- that prominent Saudi citizens absolutely have spent millions of dollars on terrorism and -- let me add this, the Wahabi...
ZOGBY: The reason why we're here, Cliff, is because a story broke out...
MAY: I will do that. Because Wahabism is a cult, it is a death cult. It is not traditional Islam and it is spreading hate around the world.
ZOGBY: It is not. A little knowledge is a very dangerous thing. NOVAK: Mr. May...
MAY: Please, Mr. Novak...
NOVAK: No, you're not here to make a speech. You're here to answer questions.
MAY: I'm here to answer your questions, sir. Ask a question.
NOVAK: Wait a minute. I asked you the question about whether or not that was correct...
MAY: It is not correct.
NOVAK: Just a minute, please.
NOVAK: That they're not cooperating with terrorism. And I want you to listen to the response to the Saudis by this official spokesman of the U.S. State Department, Richard Boucher. Listen to him. You laugh, but listen to him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD BOUCHER, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: We, I think, have made clear again and again and again we believe the Saudi response on matters involving the war on terrorism has been very strong. We've worked together on law enforcement. We've worked together on financial matters. We worked together on intelligence, military, and other aspects of cooperation against terrorism. On the issue of finance, it is an area of extensive cooperation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOVAK: That's the voice of the U.S. government, not the Israeli government.
MAY: I appreciate your view on that. Let's just say that we agree on this, that we hope the Saudis will let us use the basis we have built to defend them on their territory if we should need them to defend ourselves against Saddam Hussein. Because the Saudis haven't agreed to let us use that.
MAY: Look, we are hopeful that they will cooperate. We have a troubled relationship.
CARVILLE: Cliff, let me say -- they're not putting one person on trial, right?
ZOGBY: Not one.
CARVILLE: Senator Shelby says follow the money. Now I want to show you something here, Mr. Zogby. This is what we're going to call Carville's curve. We'll do it like this.
President Bush says you're with us or against us on a war on terrorism. You're with us or against us. See? And if you have no oil, you're here. See. And you got a lot of oil, you're over here.
Now, if you got no oil, say your Liechtenstein, you really got to be with us. But if you're Saudi Arabia and you got a lot of oil, then you can be against us. You see? This is all about money. This is not about anything else.
NOVAK: What's your question?
CARVILLE: My question is, if you have a lot of oil, it don't matter if you're with us or against us on the war on terrorism.
CARVILLE: This is about money, not principle.
ZOGBY: James, that -- actually, keep it up over your face, it was a lot better looking.
CARVILLE: There you go.
ZOGBY: Let me make a point. You were wrong.
CARVILLE: I'm wrong?
ZOGBY: I'm about to tell you why.
CARVILLE: All right.
ZOGBY: They have been partners with us for the last four decades. They have fought with us. They have supported us. In ending the Cold War, they played a significant role.
I don't know why our president, our State Department spokesperson, the FBI reports are not believed. And an anonymous Senate committee report right now, which is rebutted by the FBI, is getting the copy that it is getting. There are those -- and I'm sorry, Bob, I don't agree with you, but there are those who want to destroy this relationship. I think if they do...
NOVAK: What don't you agree with me on?
ZOGBY: About the conspiracy aspect of this. What I do agree, though, is that Osama bin Laden is coming out the winner in this. He did what he did. He sent those bastards to kill our people to destroy the U.S.-Saudi relationship, and there are people in the U.S. Senate...
NOVAK: We're out of time.
ZOGBY: ... who want to play that game with them. And I think that that...
MAY: Here is what the -- here is what the Saudis say about us. The Koran forbids taking Jews and Christians as friends. That applies to every Jew and Christian with no consideration as to whether they're at war with Islam or not. That's bad.
NOVAK: Cliff May, thank you very much. James Zogby.
CARVILLE: If you've got money you don't have to be with us.
NOVAK: We may be able to trust the Saudis, but can we trust our shifty neighbors to the north? Old Canada is in the CROSSFIRE.
And then we'll watch the feathers fly in Oklahoma, where the people who run cock fights have unleashed their ultimate weapon, trial lawyers. And our quote of the day comes from yet another Democrat who has to get away from his past or at least Whitewater.
NOVAK: Democratic Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts wants to run for president, but, first, he has to weather a 12-page warts and all profile by Joe Klein (ph) in "The New Yorker" magazine. The article gets into his service in Vietnam.
He is throwing away his combat ribbons, his disastrous first marriage, his second marriage to an heiress of big Republican money, political widow Theresa Heinz (ph). And a one-time lifestyle that earns John Kerry our quote of the day. "I knew how to have a lot of fun, sometimes too much. There were plenty of times when I was disengaged, frivolous, four sheets to the wind on a weekend."
James, you can understand that, can't you?
CARVILLE: I can really understand that. It sounds just like James Carville. I'll tell you, John Kerry is an honest guy. I think he'll make a heck of a race. We'll see what happens.
NOVAK: I would like to hear some of his stories from those weekends..
CARVILLE: I wouldn't mind, too. You wouldn't want to hear mine, though.
NOVAK: Last week, a number of our viewers took offense when I called Canadians weenies and demanded we do something about it. So stay tuned. We'll prove it. And if you don't like weenies, how about a little fresh chicken. Down in Oklahoma, those are fighting words, man.
CARVILLE: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. We're coming to you live from the George Washington University in Foggy Bottom,in beautiful downtown Washington, D.C. That's "O Canada, " the Canadian national anthem you hear. For some reason a co-host on the right side of the table seems to have a problem with our big friendly neighbor to the north.
Oh, sure, the Prime Minister Jean called President Bush a moron last week, big deal. But he's been called worse than that by plenty of Americans. Is that any reason to pick on Canada?
Joining us is Ken Rockburn of the Canada's Public Affairs Channel. He is the host of "Talk Politics." And with us in Washington, syndicated columnist Jonah Goldberg who wrote a national review article that blasted Canada.
NOVAK: Mr. Rockburn, I got -- I created a little bit of a stir when I called you a country of wienies. When the communications director of the prime minister called the -- said what a moron about the president of the United States. That's a government -- senior government official. I understand that she offered to resign and promised -- and Prime Minister Chretian refused our invitation.
Now who's the moron?
KEN ROCKBURN, HOST, "TALK POLITICS": Now, it is interesting you'd say that. But for one thing, I want to say I'm glad on after the Saudis but before the chickens, that's a good sign for Canada, I think. But also, you know, this was an official who said this in a room where somebody -- a reporter overheard it and reported it. It'd be like Ari Fleischer saying something like this and some reporter, about five feet away, hearing it and reporting it. It is the same thing. It means nothing. The prime minister didn't say it. So what's the problem?
NOVAK: The opposition politicians in Canada think it was terrible. A lot of people in the press do, and the prime minister just so hard headed, he wouldn't accept her resignation.
Do you approve of the prime minister on that?
ROCKBURN: Do I approve that he didn't accept her resignation?
ROCKBURN: Well, I don't -- I mean, frankly I don't -- I think that is a decision that is totally up to him since he didn't make the remark. And since it is a tempest in a teapot, I'm astonished it is getting the kind of attention on CNN and from people like yourself that it is getting. This is nothing, lighten up.
CARVILLE: Before we go into this, let me show you the offending comment by my colleague on the right, Mr. Novak that started this sort of international bruhaha here.
ROCKBURN: Did he use the word wienie
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOVAK: If you like the Canadian wienies so much, why don't you go there?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARVILLE: Let me ask Mr. Goldberg.
How does a the government in Canada get in there?
Is it like Saudi Arabia or just a royal family or like the United States where the Supreme Court Appoints it or do they actually have election up there?
JONAH GOLDBERG, "NATIONAL REVIEW": It's a remarkably undemocratic country.
GOLDBERG: Its Senate is appointed by the prime minister and so it its...
CARVILLE: Is Britain an undemocratic country?
CARVILLE: How is Canada less Democratic than Britain?
GOLDBERG: Well look, if you want me to get my comparative government textbooks out...
GOLDBERG: Well, OK, well they deregulated the House of Lords in Britain. In parliament you can have free votes, and you can have members parliament in Canada actually break with their party. In Canada -- in Britain, you can do that. In Canada, you cannot break with your party.
ROCKBURN: Hang on a second. Hang on a second. Talk to -- talk to a Canadian about this. 56 members of the ruling liberal party voted against the prime minister less than two weeks ago on an issue.
CARVILLE: This guy writes an article in the national review and you have background.
GOLDBERG: Now look -- Look, the story -- there is an unprecedented civil war within the Canadian liberal party, regardless. The reason -- the reason the moron story is significant is because -- is not because it is a gaffe, it's because it actually reflects what the Canadian -- what the liberal Canadian government and a lot liberal elite, on the east coast of Canada, believe about the United States. Canada is remarkably anti-American in the last ten years. ROCKBURN: Oh, nonsense, nonsense, nonsense. We love you like brothers. In fact, what he said is Mormon, he didn't say moron.
NOVAK: All right, Mr. Rockburn, I just want to play something that your prime minister, who I just -- I just love. You make fun of him up there in Canada, and we make fun of him too. But this was not making fun. This was on the occasion of a first anniversary of the terrorist attack on America, and let's listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEAN CHRETIEN, CANADIAN PRIM MINISTER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) you know, we look upon as being arrogant, self-satisfied and greedy and with no limits. And 11th of September is an occasion to realize it even more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOVAK: Now, what he is saying is it was America's fault by being greedy and self-satisfied and arrogant. What do you think of that, sir?
ROCKBURN: Bob Novak, You should be -- you should be totally ashamed of yourself to draw that inference from what the prime minister of Canada said. That is spin of the worst kind and you know it. He did not say that. He's never said that. He said that we should start paying attention. We should start paying attention to the divisions in the world if we want the world to be a better place. That's what he said. Come on.
NOVAK: Let me give you, Mr Rockburn, what a columnist, a Canadian columnist...
ROCKBURN: I can hardly wait to see who this is.
NOVAK: Just a minute, sir. A Canadian columnist Herman Gooden (ph) said...
NOVAK: Just a minute. I can't really talk when you interrupt me.
NOVAK: I want to give you what Herman Gooden (ph) said responding to the incredible diatribe by Chretien. He said "I've come to see Chretien like some unshakeable nightmare of a house guest who won't shove off and let his host get on with the job of sweeping up. We can gather up the empties and refuse to disguise our yawns. We can change into our pajamas and brush our teeth, dripping white suds on the leftover canape crust. But he will not take the hint." That's what a Canadian says about your prime minister.
ROCKBURN: OK, well, that's pretty good rhetoric. But Who is this guy? I don't know who he is
GOLDBERG: Look, Mr. Rockburn there have been polls of Canadians and 80 percent of Canadians think that the United States is partly the blame for September 11.
ROCKBURN Who said that? What the poll? Name the poll. Lets hear the poll. Come on.
GOLDBERG: Look I was reading, I think it was in "The Toronto Star" today.
CARVILLE: You know what, they've accused Canada of being wienies. They have accused you of being totalitarian, you know, the same as the government of Saudi Arabia. I love your country. I love Canadians.
ROCKBURN: Thank you.
CARVILLE: You know what
ROCKBURN: Come here don't bring your gun.
You caan love people around the world, and like your country, too. I don't need to go there. You hate Canada. You hate France. You hate everything. You like Saudi Arabia and you hate Canada. I would rather spend a year in Canada than a day in Saudi Arabia. How about that?
GOLDBERG: I agree with that.
CARVILLE: How about that? I love your country.
ROCKBURN: Fifty-five million Americans, according to a poll that I saw, say that they are in agreement with the kind of things that Canadians are in agreement with.
GOLBERG: Fifty-five million Americans?
GOLDBERG: There has never been a poll in the history of the world of 55 million Americans.
ROCKBURN: Come on up here. Come on up here. It is a great place. Come on up here. We welcome you.
CARVILLE: We actually got a real Canadian here. We have a real Canadian. Give him a round of applause, folks. We love the Canadians.
Identify who you work for, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Harvey Hendelson (ph) from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. And my question is what happened to freedom of speech? Are Americans so thin-skinned, like in every government officials talk first and think about it later.
CARVILLE: Go ahead.
GOLDBERG: Look, this is something you hear from Canadian critics all the time, but if you actually read Canadian press, what they're saying about the United States is so much worse than anything American critics have been saying in the last six months. Anti-Americanism is so rife in the Canadian press when they call the United States comparable to the Soviet Union...
ROCKBURN: Wait, hold it, hold it. Who said that? I recall Pat Buchanan calling us Soviet Canuckistan.
GOLDBERG: But Pat isn't a government official. Thank God.
CARVILLE: Do you think you can you can go down there and shut them down? Maybe send Rangers in and shut down Toronto...
CARVILLE: ... or whatever it is?
Go ahead, ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm Catherine Mendelson (ph) from Montreal, Canada, now living in St. Petersburg, Florida. And I'm your number one fan, Mr. Carville. I'd like to know why should...
CARVILLE: I love you! I love you Canadian red heads, too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'd like to know why should Canada be held respond for the American public voting in a very uninformed president?
NOVAK: I'll tell you something Miss Mendelson (ph), most Americans love this -- our president. He has a very high political rating. and don't think that James Carville is typical. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wasn't discussing his popularity. I was discussing his intelligence.
CARVILLE: That was a very short discussion, lady. That took about two seconds. GOLDBERG: This is -- this is perfectly illustrative. I think -- you're being very honest. I think this government spokeswoman is being very honest. The Canadian government has a lot of contempt for the U.S. government.
CARVILLE: Should we invade them?
GOLDBERG: No, we shouldn't...
CARVILLE: Shouldn't we go up there and kick a little Canadian butt?
GOLDBERG: We should be honest about how much they're -- they're letting us down -- their obligations.
CARVILLE: They're just as bad as Saddam Hussein.
NOVAK: Mr. Rockburn, do you think that this exhibition that you and these Canadians put on really help you in the United States tonight?
OK. Well, that's...
CARVILLE: ... the answer he deserved.
ROCKBURN: Did somebody just call me a government spokesman, or did I miss something there?
GOLDBERG: I think you missed something. It is not unusual.
ROCKBURN: Very funny. Oh, by the way, Preston Manning -- I wanted to tell Jonah before we quit here, Preston Manning is the head of the Reform Party, or was, and not the New Alliance Party. There is no such Party in Canada as the New Alliance Party.
GOLDBERG: If you want to hinge all your arguments on a typo, be my guest.
NOVAK: Some of our Canadian viewers have adapted to computer technology. We'll let them "Fireback" at us in a little bit. But first, let's look at a culture of nonweenies. We call it old Oklahoma, where they're fighting about cock fighting.
CARVILLE: Earlier this month, the citizens of Oklahoma voted to ban cock fighting, it some cases making it a felony punishable by two years in prison and fines up to $25,000. But it isn't a dead issue just yet. The chicken breeders went to court and won temporary restraining orders, allowing cock fighting to continue. What is so terrible about a few dead birds? After all, Americans are going to be gathered around millions of dead birds in just a few days.
Stepping into the cockpit on CROSSFIRE is Wayne Pacelle, senior vice president of the Humane Society of the United States of America -- Mr. Pacelle, before he starts, you cannot expect humane treatment on this show.
WAYNE PACELLE, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, HUMAN SOCIETY: There you go.
NOVAK: Mr. Pacelle, have you ever seen a cock fight?
NOVAK: Now, tell me what -- I've seen one, it was in Puerto Rico a number of years ago. I enjoyed it tremendously.
PACELLE: That's unfortunate.
NOVAK: Well, I had a very enjoyable evening. Tell me what you object to about it.
PACELLE: Well, it is certainly not my idea of fun, Bob. It is two roosters that are bred for aggressive characteristics, pumped up with stimulants, and they have knives or ice pick-like devices called gaffs (ph) that are affixed to their legs, and they're placed in this pit where they can't escape, and they're forced to fight to injury or death, all for amusement and illegal gambling. Let's just say, this is not some novel idea. A majority of states banned cock fighting in the 19th century.
NOVAK: Well, a lot of states banned boxing in the 19th century as well, and we were smart enough to change those bans.
PACELLE: None of these bans have been repealed in any of states.
NOVAK: But I just wondered if -- are you against killing these chickens for eating them, for fried chicken? We have millions of chickens killed in this country every year, and not humanely. Their throats are slashed. What do you think?
PACELLE: Well, there is a big -- there is a big problem with industrial farming in the U.S., where animals are...
NOVAK: Are you against killing the chickens for food?
PACELLE: We're certainly against industrial farming where animals are packed in small cages or crates and forced to live miserable lives. But one important distinction, one very important distinction, is that those animals are raised for food. Now, many people are vegetarian and opt for another way. But this is just killing for amusement.
NOVAK: So it is OK to slash their throat for food? PACELLE: No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that it raises a certain questions...
NOVAK: Are you for it or against it?
PACELLE: Well, I'm against it, but I'm certainly against industrial farming.
NOVAK: Thank you. Now I know where you're coming from.
PACELLE: Well, I'm just wondering, are you against dog fighting, because dog fighting...
NOVAK: No. I -- I don't really -- are you against bull fightings?
PACELLE: Of course I am against bull fighting.
NOVAK: Well, that is one of great sports in the world. I love bull fighting. Go ahead.
CARVILLE: Well, I mean -- I'm a little -- I'm little bit on the fence in this...
PACELLE: How can you be on the fence on this issue?
CARVILLE: ... I'm from Louisiana. Well, I think it is a pretty inhumane thing.
CARVILLE: What I find convincing is every time voters have a chance to vote on this, they vote not to have cock fights.
PACELLE: And again, we're talking 48 states out of 50. We're not talking some new experiment that is going on. Forty-eight out of 50, 96 percent of states, and voters do it by overwhelming margins.
CARVILLE: But Bob -- let me give him credit here. He makes a good point. If I'm going to be upset about this, I am not going to be upset at Thanksgiving dinner. Yesterday, I made a chicken and sausage jambalaya. The rice didn't come from an animal, but -- it was damn good. And I will tell you what, it was good.
PACELLE: If you take the attitude that one form of animal use is acceptable, then you can't criticize anything else. We will be left with everything. You'll be left with cruelty to animals, you will be left dog fighting. Can't we independently assess these issues and make a judgment? Now, on the factory farming issue, you know, it is terrible. The old days when chickens used to scratch in the backyard and have some access to freedom of movement, that was one thing. Now they're all raised in industrial farms and it raises an important question.
NOVAK: Do you personally know any chickens? You seem to -- you seem to be able to psycho analyze them. They got a little tiny brain, they don't feel anything...
PACELLE: Bob, I don't know if you have spent much time on farms, but an industrial farm versus an old style...
NOVAK: Well, I don't care. I'm asking about chickens.
PACELLE: Well, they're animals, Bob. Do you not accept that they're animals?
NOVAK: ... that they are in agony?
PACELLE: They have -- yes, they have a nervous system. Of course they have a nervous system. Do you dispute that? This is the anti-science view here?
NOVAK: I just wanted to have -- we'll put up on the screen a quote from Tillman Hammonds, he is a breeder in Oklahoma. He says, "That is they are bred for," that is cock fighting -- just a minute please. Let me read it and then you get to talk. "Why, I've bred them for 40 years -- their gameness and fighting ability."
That is their only purpose on earth is to fight. That's what they are bred for.
PACELLE: You could say that about pit bulls. You could justify dog fighting with the exact same arguments. Is it OK to set two dogs and have them engage in a three-hour fight, to tear each other to death just for amusement and illegal gambling?
NOVAK: What would you do with the animals? Just breed them out...
PACELLE: They're being bred for the specific purpose of injuring and maiming each other for human amusement.
NOVAK: What is wrong with that? They're animals.
PACELLE: Animals matter. We have 50 anti-cruelty statutes in this country.
NOVAK: That's the problem with this country.
PACELLE: Well, I don't think so.
CARVILLE: What's the problem with this country? Anti-cruelty statutes? NOVAK: Too many -- that's right.
PACELLE: This is incredible. This is mind boggling.
CARVILLE: America needs more cruelty. That's the one thing that people have to have, kids need more cruelty. They need to learn about cruelty, right?
PACELLE: You know, the big link between animal cruelty and human violence -- people who perpetrate acts of animal cruelty when they're young often graduate into serial killers.
PACELLE: Look at all the backgrounds of every serial killer; you'll see each one of them had animal cruelty as part of their own background. It's true. Look it up.
CARVILLE: I'm not saying you're not right, I just need convincing on that.
PACELLE: I'm not saying every cock fighter is going to be a serial killer, I'm saying that cruelty to animals...
NOVAK: What do you think of the people who are going to eat their turkey on Thanksgiving Day? Do you think they're animal cruelty -- I mean, you know how they kill those turkeys?
PACELLE: No. I don't think -- it is not a malicious act, Bob. Except for perhaps in your case, you might enjoy maliciously killing one of these turkeys for food.
NOVAK: That's right. I really hate turkeys.
PACELLE: Yeah, apparently you do.
NOVAK: I eat them up, too.
PACELLE: Most people do it because that's what's put in front of them. But most people should think about these issues and, you know, shouldn't denigrate an issue because it's an animal.
PACELLE: Thank you.
NOVAK: Thank you very much.
PACELLE: Thank you very much. Thank you.
NOVAK: Next on "Fireback," one of our viewers explains why James Carville needs to find his trash can again. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
NOVAK: Time for "Fireback," when the viewers fire back at us. Quincy Morgan of Hamilton, Ontario says: "Dear Bob, as a Canadian citizen, I would just like to thank America for defending our borders, enabling our economy and generally treating us very well despite our detached government's inability to do any of the above, or even have the good grace to be thankful for it." Quincy Morgan, it just proves that not all Canadians are weenies.
CARVILLE: No Canadians are weenies. They're a great nation, they are a fine people. "James, your insipid yelling and rude interruptions add nothing to any supposed validity your" ...
NOVAK: What's going on?
CARVILLE: I don't know what's going on, but we'll try again. "James, thanks for trying to defend us during this whole moron debacle. I like to think of America the same way I think of my rich uncle. He's loud, he's got a big heart, a big wallet, and he screws up a lot, but I love him anyway." Diane Randle, Calgary, Alberta. Diane, we love you, too.
NOVAK: Diane is a Canadian weenie. That's exactly it.
CARVILLE: No, she's not a Canadian weenie. She says she loves our country. I love hers.
NOVAK: Yeah. I need love like that. Here is the one I was supposed to read. Deanne Marion in Buffalo, New York writes: "James, your insipid yelling and rude interruptions add nothing to any supposed validity your opinions may have. Please, go get the garbage can." Ladies and gentlemen, I'm asking you a question, do you like him better with or without the garbage can? How many of you prefer the garbage can? Let's hear applause.
NOVAK: Thank you.
CARVILLE: How many of you prefer not the garbage can?
CARVILLE: All right. Here we go. Oh, "Dear James, are you really as obnoxious as you seem, or is it an act?" Joan Davis, Philadelphia. Actually, Joan, I'm a lot more obnoxious than I seem. I really try to tone it down here on CROSSFIRE. Just...
NOVAK: No act.
NOVAK: Believe me, it's not act. Go ahead, ma'am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, my name is Allison Andersen (ph) from Provo, Utah. And I just want to say that cock fighting is as American as bull fighting is Spanish. So what are you going to outlaw next, apple pie?
CARVILLE: Well, I don't know, being that 48 out of 50 states have it outlawed. But must be something -- maybe they are, but 48 out of 50 is a pretty good number.
NOVAK: Next question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. My name is Reynaldo Rivera (ph) and I'm from Fairfax, Virginia. The U.S. preaches and encourages freedom of speech, however, when a Canadian expresses his or her opinion, it becomes an issue. Shouldn't anybody in the world have the right to their opinion?
NOVAK: No, I'll tell you why. Because she was a senior government official, and if Ari Fleischer called the moronic prime minister of Canada a moron, he should be fired.
CARVILLE: The difference is, the prime minister of Canada is not a moron. You shouldn't have called him that.
NOVAK: Next. Put your mike up to your face.
CARVILLE: Go ahead. Blurt it out, son.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Clinton administration?
CARVILLE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) why wasn't -- if it weren't for the homeland security thing, why wasn't something done in the Clinton administration? A lot was done, son. And it is the Democrats that want an investigation and a commission to see what happened. It's the Republicans that are fighting this, and if we had had that commission, we'd know about these Saudis now. You all are scamming the truth. Scamming the truth.
NOVAK: Answer his question, why did they declare a homeland security -- created the Homeland Security Department during the Clinton administration?
CARVILLE: Why did the Bush administration fight it after the Democrats proposed it? Get the commission, get the truth, America.
CARVILLE: The truth shall set you free.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Ian Shoraum (ph) from Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Canada gives us hockey, Wayne Gretzky and snow, and Saudi Arabia gives us a bunch of its citizens in a very large plane. Isn't it obvious who's our friend and who's our foe?
NOVAK: I don't like hockey, but I like oil.
CARVILLE: Son, let me tell you what: Saudi Arabia gives us oil, and as long as they do that, and as long as these guys are making money, it don't matter where they are on terrorism. That's the lesson of this. If you got money, you can do anything you want right now. And that's just the truth of the matter.
They got -- you know, and that's what we talked about tonight, that's what this chart, this Tim Russert board inspired chart that I did tonight.
NOVAK: OK. I'll tell you this, one thing I do think about this Canadian thing, I'd like to say, that there is a solution to the Canadian problem, and I think the Canadians (UNINTELLIGIBLE) will agree. Why don't they have the three western provinces, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta, come into United States? They'll all be Republicans, and you'll have a constant Republican majority. Isn't that a good idea?
CARVILLE: That's another real stupid idea.
From the left, I'm James Carville. Good night for CROSSFIRE.
NOVAK: From the right, I'm Robert Novak. Join us again next time for another edition of CROSSFIRE. "CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT" begins right now.
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