Transcript: Seymour Hersh On America's Attack On Iraq | Nov 01, 2004

Alan Gregg sits on a couch in front of Seymour Hersh.
Alan is in his sixties, has a short gray goatee, short brown hair, and is wearing a black suit and a white shirt.
Seymour is in his sixties, clean-shaven with short brown and gray hair. He is wearing a black suit, blue shirt, and red tie.

Alan says WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHAT'S
HAPPENING IN IRAQ TODAY --
RISING DEATH TOLL, GROWING
NUMBER OF INSURGENT ATTACKS,
COST OF 300 MILLION DOLLARS A DAY.
YOU SAY THE INSURGENCY
IS OUT OF CONTROL.

A caption appears on screen. It reads “Seymour Hersh. Author, ‘Chain of Command’.”

Seymour says OH, MY GOD, YOU
KNOW, IT'S WON.
I MEAN, WE'RE IN A
CHAOS SITUATION THERE.
WE'RE IN A SITUATION WHERE
THERE IS NO CENTRAL CONTROL
OF THE GOVERNMENT.
ABSOLUTELY.
MY FRIENDS INSIDE HAVE BEEN
SAYING THAT FOR SIX MONTHS.
IT'S LOSE-LOSE.
SO THE QUESTION IS,
HOW DO YOU CHANGE IT?

Alan says BEFORE THERE BECAUSE I MEAN,
WE KEEP ON HEARING ABOUT
THE INSURGENTS.
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THEM?
IS THERE ANY CENTRAL COMMAND?
IS THERE COORDINATION
OF THEIR ACTIVITIES?
ARE THEIR FOREIGNERS?
WHAT ARE THEY?

Seymour says THE ANSWER IS WE
REALLY DON'T KNOW.
WE'VE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO
PENETRATE, IN TERMS OF
INTELLIGENCE, INTELLIGENCE
GATHERING THE INSURGENCY.
AND THE GUYS I TALK TO SAY,
WERE TELLING ME, A YEAR AND A
HALF AGO WHEN THIS BEGAN, IN
THE SUMMER OF 2003, WE KNEW
THEY WERE TWO- AND THREE-MAN
CELLS OPERATING SORT OF ALONE,
NOT NECESSARILY
TIGHTLY COORDINATED.
AND WE COULDN'T
PENETRATE THOSE.
NOW WE THINK, AS OF A FEW
MONTHS AGO, I DON'T KNOW
WHAT'S GOING ON THIS WEEK,
BUT AS OF A FEW MONTHS AGO,
10-TO-15 MAN CELLS WITH MUCH
MORE CENTRAL COORDINATION,
AND WE DON'T KNOW
ANYTHING EITHER.
IF THERE IS GOING TO BE A BOMB
TOMORROW THAT IS GOING TO
BLOW UP A SCHOOL, OR MORE
IRAQIS, WE'LL KNOW ABOUT IT
AFTER THE FACT.
WE HAVE NO INTELLIGENCE.
AND WHAT WE GET
IS GIVEN TO US.

Alan says YOU MADE BIG HEADLINES BY
BEING PART OF THE BREAKING
ABU GHRAIB STORY OF
PRISONER ABUSE.
BUT IN TERMS OF GATHERING
INTELLIGENCE, YOU MAKE THE
POINT THAT FORGET ABOUT THE
FACT THIS IS AN ABUSE OF HUMAN
RIGHTS, THIS IS A REALLY
CRUMMY WAY OF GETTING ANY KIND
OF INFORMATION FROM THE ENEMY.

Seymour asks YOU MEAN TORTURING PEOPLE?

Alan says YES.

Seymour says YEAH, SURE.
STICKING FEATHERS IN THEM
AND PHOTOGRAPHING IT.
YOU KNOW, THERE ARE
TWO BASIC ELEMENTS.
FIRST OF ALL, YOU NEVER
TREAT THEIR PRISONERS ANY
DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU WANT
YOUR PRISONERS TO BE TREATED.
AND SECONDLY, IN A WAR AGAINST
TERRORISM, THIS IS NOT
STATE-RUN TERRORISM, YOU CAN'T
WIN WITH BOMBS AND BULLETS.
YOU'VE GOT TO WIN
WITH INTELLIGENCE.
AND THAT MEANS YOU'RE TRYING
TO GET INTELLIGENCE AND
INFORMATION FROM PEOPLE THAT
ARE WILLING TO FLY AIRPLANES
INTO BUILDINGS TO
KILL THE INFIDELS.
THAT'S US.
AND THEY HAVE THEIR STORY
INGRAINED IN THEM IN CASE
THEY ARE CAPTURED.
THEY KNOW WHAT TO SAY.
BREAK THEIR FINGERS,
THEY ARE GOING TO SAY IT.
IT'S ALL A PRE-PLANNED STORY.
THE WAY TO GET REASONABLE
INTELLIGENCE IS
TO ESTABLISH RAPPORT.
AND MY GOVERNMENT, AND I DON'T
KNOW WHY, I THINK PROBABLY
BECAUSE IT WAS PRETTY STUPID,
AND THEY SEEM TO DO STUPID
THINGS, FROM THE VERY
BEGINNING, WE BEGAN
MISTREATING THE PRISONERS.
I CAN GIVE YOU
A BETTER REASON.
WE WERE FRIGHTENED BY 9/11.
WE WERE SCARED.
WE DIDN'T KNOW WHETHER THEY
WERE GOING TO HIT AGAIN.
WE WERE ALSO VERY ANGRY.
WE WANTED PAYBACK.
AND THE GUYS AT THE TOP -- BUSH,
CHENEY, RUMSFELD -- DID NOT
EXERCISE THE KIND OF CONTROL
THEY NEEDED TO TELL THE
TROOPS, THE SOLDIERS IN THE
FIELD, DO NOT MISTREAT PEOPLE.

Alan says NOW, YOU SHOT TO FAME, WON A
PULITZER PRIZE, FOR BASICALLY
UNEARTHING THE
MASSACRE AT MY LAI.
I MEAN, ARE THERE ANY
PARALLELS HERE TO ABU GHRAIB,
DO YOU THINK?

Seymour says OF COURSE, IN MY LAI, YOU HAD
A BUNCH OF AMERICAN SOLDIERS
MURDERING PEOPLE FOR FOUR
OR FIVE HOURS, HAVING A
LUNCH BREAK IN BETWEEN,
500 PEOPLE OR SO.
HERE YOU DIDN'T HAVE MURDER.
BUT I'LL TELL YOU THE
CONSEQUENCE, WHERE EVEN
IN A FUNNY WAY,
IT'S MUCH WORSE.
BECAUSE VIETNAM ALWAYS
WAS A TACTICAL WAR.
BY THAT, I MEAN OUR NATIONAL
SECURITY WAS NEVER AT STAKE.
WE MADE A TERRIBLE
TABLE ERROR.
WE SCREWED UP BIG TIME.
58,000 AMERICANS KILLED.
2-3 MILLION VIETNAMESE, BUT
NOWHERE WAS WASHINGTON OR
CALIFORNIA EVER THREATENED.

Alan says NO.

Seymour continues AND FOUR OR FIVE YEARS LATER,
THE VIETNAMESE ARE COMING TO
US, AND WE'RE BUILDING HOTELS
TOGETHER, AND EVERYBODY IS
HOLDING HANDS AND
WE'RE MAKING MONEY.
WHICH IS WHAT THE
WORLD WANTS TO DO.
NOW, WE'RE IN A SITUATION
WHERE WE HAVE THROWN ACID
INTO THE FACE OF A CULTURE.
THIS IS A STRATEGIC ISSUE
WHERE, EVENTUALLY, OUR NATIONAL
SECURITY COULD BE AT PERIL
BECAUSE WE HAVE MADE ENEMIES,
THE IDEA IN THE ARAB WORLD
OF TAKING MEN, IN THE ARAB
CULTURE, AND IN THE QUR'AN, AN
ARAB MAN CANNOT BE SEEN NAKED
BY ANOTHER MAN, CERTAINLY FROM
THE FRONT, AND HAVING HIM
STAND AND PRETEND TO
MASTURBATE, DOING FAKE
HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVITY, HAVING
IT RECORDED, HAVING A WOMAN
GOING THUMBS UP AND THUMBS
DOWN IS, FOR AN ARAB,
BETTER OFF CUTTING
OFF THEIR HANDS.

Alan says TERRIBLE HUMILIATION.

Seymour continues IT'S ALSO TORTURE ON ANY
DEFINITION OF TORTURE.
I HAD AN ISRAELI SAY TO ME,
REALLY TOUGH ISRAELI BUDDY I
KNOW, HE SAID TO ME AFTER I
WROTE THIS STUFF, HE SAID
TO ME, YOU KNOW, HE
SAID, I HATE ARABS.
I'VE BEEN KILLING ARABS.
THIS IS A GUY THAT WAS IN
THE MOSSAD, IN CAMPS, KNOWS
ARABIC, KNOWS GERMAN, WAS
ON DAMASCUS ON HIS BELLY,
IN EVERY BACK ALLEY
THERE IS, TOUGH GUY.
I'VE BEEN KILLING AND HATING
ARABS FOR 40 TO 50 YEARS, AND
THEY'VE BEEN TRYING TO KILL
ME FOR 40 OR 50 YEARS, BUT I
KNOW THAT SOMETIME WE ARE
GOING TO HAVE TO SHARE
A BORDER WITH THOSE S.O.B.s,
WHETHER THERE IS A WALL THERE
OR NOT, AND LET ME TELL YOU
SOMETHING, HERSH, HE SAID,
IF WE HAD TREATED OUR
PRISONERS THE WAY YOU DID,
WE COULDN'T DO THAT.
YOU GUYS HAVE DUG A HOLE.
WHAT THE HELL ARE
YOU THINKING OF?

Alan says MOVING ALONG FOR
A SECOND HERE NOW.
UNLIKE OTHER CRITICS WHO
BELIEVE GEORGE BUSH LIED ABOUT
THE WEAPONS OF MASS
DESTRUCTION, I MEAN, YOU ARE
ON RECORD AS SAYING YOU THINK
HE TRULY BELIEVED THERE WAS
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.
HOW COULD HE HAVE
GOT IT SO WRONG?

Seymour says THIS IS A WHITE HOUSE IN
WHICH PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO SAY
SOMETHING THEY DID NOT WANT TO
HEAR, DID NOT GET AN AUDIENCE.
IF YOU DIDN'T HAVE THE STORY
THEY WANTED YOU TO HAVE,
YOU COULDN'T SEE
THE PRESIDENT.
LET ME TELL YOU, THIS
PRESIDENT, HERE'S WHY HE
TERRIFIES ME, IF YOU WANT TO
KNOW THE TRUTH, BECAUSE HE DID
NOT GO TO WAR IN MY VIEW --
AND I'VE WATCHED THIS
GUY FOR A LONG TIME,
CERTAINLY FROM INSIDE.
HE DID NOT GO TO WAR FOR OIL
OR FOR ISRAEL, HE WENT TO WAR
BECAUSE HE ABSOLUTELY
BELIEVES IN THIS NOTION THAT
HIS MISSION IS, AS I SAY,
TO SPREAD DEMOCRACY.
THE FIGHT IN ALL DURING
2002, THE INTERIOR FIGHT WAS
WHETHER WE COULD DO IT
WITH 10,000 OR 200,000.
BUSH AND HIS PEOPLE RUMSFELD,
WANTED TO GO IN WITH 10,000
PEOPLE, SOME SPECIAL FORCES,
A LITTLE BOMBING, A LOT OF
AMERICAN FLAGS, LAY IT
DOWN, SADDAM WOULD QUIT,
A NEW GOVERNMENT
WOULD APPEAR.
ALTHOUGH NOBODY QUITE FIGURED
OUT WHO, WHAT, WHERE.
I THINK THE MODEL
WAS MILOSEVIC.
REMEMBER, HE LEFT, AND
THEY STAYED INTACT?
I DON'T KNOW WHAT
THE THINKING WAS.
AND DEMOCRACY WOULD SPREAD
LIKE WATER FROM A FOUNTAIN,
RIGHT.
ABSOLUTELY.
NOT ONLY THROUGHOUT IRAQ,
BUT INTO SYRIA, LEBANON,
SAUDI ARABIA, IRAN.
AND THE WORLD WOULD CHANGE.
HE BELIEVES IT.
HE IS A UTOPIAN.
HE'S AN IDEALIST,
YOU COULD SAY.
TO USE AN INTELLECTUAL WORLD
HE WOULD NEVER UNDERSTAND,
HE WAS A TROTSKYITE.
HE BELIEVED IN THE
PERMANENT REVOLUTION.
AND THERE IS NOTHING MORE
DANGEROUS IN MY BOOK,
THAN SOMEBODY WHO IS
IDEALISTIC AND DEAD WRONG
AND DOESN'T KNOW IT.

Alan says NOW, ANOTHER CONTROVERSY THAT
WE'RE HEARING ABOUT NOW,
380 TONS OF EXPLOSIVES HAVE
BEEN LOOTED, GONE MISSING.
AND KERRY IS USING
THIS TO HIS ADVANTAGE.
SAYING THIS IS JUST A CLASSIC
EXAMPLE OF THE SUPREME
INCOMPETENCE OF THIS
ADMINISTRATION.
WHY WEREN'T THOSE
WEAPONS SECURED?

Seymour says ACROSS THE COUNTRY, THERE WAS
A PATTERN OF ALL OF THE AREAS
CONTROLLED AND MONITORED BY
THE INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR
INSPECTORS WERE LEFT
OPEN AND RANSACKED.
SO THIS SEEMS TO BE JUST
PART OF THE SAME SYSTEM.
I THINK THE EVIDENCE WILL COME
OUT THAT THIS WAS ANOTHER ONE
OF THE SORT OF CLASSIC DUMB
AND DUMBER THINGS WE DID.

Alan says ABOVE AND BEYOND DUMB AND
DUMBER, I MEAN, HOW SERIOUS IS
THIS IF YOU'VE GOT 380 TONS OF
EXPLOSIVES IN SOMEONE'S HANDS
IN A COUNTRY THAT IS, YOU
KNOW, RAMPANT WITH INSURGENCE
AS IT IS?

Seymour says WELL, YOU KNOW, AS BAD AS
IT IS, I HATE TO TELL YOU
THERE'S A HUGE BLACK MARKET IN
EXPLOSIVES, C-4, THE PLASTICS,
THE INSURGENCY CAN GET
WHAT THEY WANT ANYWAY
THROUGH OPEN BORDERS.
THE BORDER WITH SYRIA IS
OPEN, THE BORDER WITH IRAN IS
BASICALLY OPEN.
SO IF THEY WANTED TO GET IT,
THEY COULD BUY IT ON THE MARKET.
IT SURE MAKES IT EASIER IF
YOU HAVE IT RIGHT IN HAND.

Alan says NOW, IT BEGS AN
OBVIOUS QUESTION.
WITH IRAQ THE MESS THAT IT
IS, NO WEAPONS OF MASS
DESTRUCTION, NO LINKAGE OF
SADDAM HUSSEIN TO AL-QAEDA,
WELL KNOWN, ACKNOWLEDGED NOW.
WHY DO SO MANY AMERICANS
CONTINUE TO HAVE SOME MUCH
FAITH IN GEORGE BUSH
AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF?

Seymour says 70 MILLION AMERICANS DON'T
BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION.
THEY THINK THE
WORLD WAS CREATED.
THEY BELIEVE IT.
THAT'S HIS CROWD.
AND ONE OF THE THINGS I
NOTICED BUSH DID IN THE THIRD
DEBATE, THE FINAL DEBATE WITH
KERRY, I WAS FASCINATED.
HE WENT BACK TO HIS BASE.
HE TALKED ABOUT ABORTION, HE
TALKED ABOUT STEM CELL RESEARCH.
HE WENT BACK TO HIS BASE.
I DON'T KNOW WHY, I DON'T
KNOW WHAT HE IS SEEING IN THE
POLLING, BUT HE CLEARLY
WENT BACK TO THAT CORE.
AND THAT'S HIS CORE.
HE'S GOT A CORE GROUP OF
FUNDAMENTALISTS WHO SUPPORT
HIM AND, OF COURSE, ONE OF THE
OTHER THINGS ABOUT AMERICANS IS,
YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT AS IF
WE'RE VERY GOOD AT LEARNING
FROM THE PAST.
WE DON'T LEARN
FROM PAST MISTAKES.

Alan says REGARDLESS OF WHO WINS THE
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, EVEN IF
JOHN KERRY BECOMES THE NEXT
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES, I MEAN, WHAT ARE THE
CHANCES, SHORT TO MIDTERM, OF
ANY KIND OF REMOVAL OF TROOPS
AND PRESENCE OF AMERICA IN IRAQ?

Seymour says WELL, IF BUSH WINS, HE'S
GOING TO CONTINUE THE BOMBING,
WHICH HAS GONE UP
EXPONENTIALLY IN THE LAST
THREE, FOUR MONTHS WITHOUT
ANY PUBLIC AWARENESS,
OR ANY PUBLIC REPORTING.
WE'RE BOMBING NOW.
IT SEEMS TO ME, I'M NOT
TOLD THE FACTS, I'M TOLD
ANECDOTALLY, BY MY FRIENDS IN
THE MILITARY, ALMOST AROUND
THE CLOCK, HEAVY BOMBING.
A LOT OF BOMBING GOING ON
THAT ISN'T BEING REPORTED.
NO STATISTICS.
NO PRESS ACCOUNTING OF HOW
MANY FLIGHTS ARE GOING.
SO BUSH IS GOING TO CONTINUE
THE WAR AND CONTINUE TO BOMB,
WHICH IS WHAT SEEMS TO BE THE
ONLY GAME WE HAVE TO TRY
AND KEEP THIS ALLAWI
REGIME IN OFFICE.
THE ISSUE IS THIS, REALLY,
SIMPLY, THE 200 OCTANE FUEL,
THE JET FUEL THAT DRIVES
THE INSURGENCY IS US, THE
AMERICANS, OUR SOLDIERS.
SO THERE HAS TO BE SOME THINKING
ABOUT HOW TO GET US OUT.
AND THE PROBLEM, LET'S
ASSUME KERRY WINS.
HE'S GOING TO HAVE THE
MOST DIFFICULT PRESIDENCY
I COULD IMAGINE.
FIRST OF ALL, HE'S GOING TO
HAVE THOSE REPUBLICAN NEO
CONSERVATIVES BITING AT HIS
ANKLES AND KNEES AND NECKS
AND FOREHEAD FOR THE
NEXT FOUR YEARS.
HE'S GOING TO BE SECOND
GUESSED TO DEATH.
AND SECONDLY, HE'S TALKING IN
THE CAMPAIGN ABOUT, IT'S SORT
OF AMAZING, I CAN WIN
THE WAR BETTER THAN BUSH.
I'M GOING TO SEND
MORE FORCES THERE.
I'M GOING TO GET THE FRENCH
AND THE GERMANS TO COME AND
CHANGE THE NATIONALITY
OF THE CORPSES.
YEAH?
AND, YOU KNOW, I'M GOING TO
PROVE THE IRAQI ARMY AND POLICE.
AND Mr. PRESIDENT, I'M GOING
TO DO MORE ABOUT IRAN,
HE SAYS, THAN YOU CAN DO.
I'M GOING TO SHOW THE IRANIANS
THEY CAN'T GO NUCLEAR.
AND THEN, OF COURSE, THE
PRESIDENT SAYS, YOU SEE, HE'S
A LIBERAL, WHICH IS LIKE
IT'S A NIGHTMARE, BASICALLY,
HERE HE'S ESPOUSING THIS
CONSERVATIVE PROGRAM.
BUT ASSUMING THAT ONCE HE GETS
IN AND ONCE HE'S INAUGURATED
HE REALIZES HE'S
GOT TO GET US OUT.
IT'S SO DIFFICULT.
FIRST OF ALL, IF YOU BRING
IN, YOU HAVE INTERNATIONAL
CONFERENCE, LET'S SAY.
AND YOU BRING IN TROOPS FROM
MOROCCO, MUSLIM TROOPS
FROM MOROCCO.
THEY'LL BE HIT BY
THE INSURGENCY.
THE ANSWER THAT NOBODY IS
GOING TO WANT TO HEAR FOR A
LITTLE WHILE IS WE HAVE TO
TALK TO THE INSURGENCY.
WE'VE GOT TO TALK TO THOSE
PEOPLE, THE FORMER BA'ATHISTS
AND THE SHIITE.
AND I DON'T THINK,
THEY'RE NOT TOGETHER.
THE SHIITE AND THE SUNNIS
ARE UNITED IN OPPOSITION.

Alan asks IN THIS PARTICULAR ISSUE?

Seymour says ABSOLUTELY.
THEY'RE ABSOLUTELY AGAINST.
ONE THING THEY ARE UNITED
IN IS OUR OCCUPATION.
THE ONE THING YOU HAVE, THE
SELLING POINT YOU HAVE IS THE
FASTER THEY CAN GET THIS THING
COOLED DOWN, THE QUICKER THE
OIL CAN RUN, AND
EVERYBODY GETS RICH.

Alan says THE OTHER SIDE OF WHAT WE ARE
SEEING NOW, WITH THE MASSACRE
OF IRAQI MILITARY RECRUITS,
THE OTHER DAY, REALLY, THE
SCALE OF THAT OPERATION
REALLY DOES SUGGEST THAT
THE INSURGENTS HAVE NOW
INFILTRATED THE MILITARY
APPARATUS IN IRAQ.
I MEAN, HOW DIFFICULT IS THAT
GOING TO PRESENT IN TERMS OF
DEVELOPING, OR
REBUILDING AN IRAQI ARMY?

Seymour says YOU'VE ANSWERED YOUR
OWN QUESTION, REALLY.
THEY'VE INFILTRATED
A LONG TIME AGO.
THE GUYS I TALKED
TO KNEW THIS.
THERE WAS NO WAY THE IRAQI
POLICE OR ARMY WAS GOING
TO WORK.
DO YOU KNOW WHY PEOPLE SIGN
UP FOR THE ARMY IN IRAQ?
THERE'S NO WORK.
ONE OF THE THINGS BREMER DID,
WHEN PAUL BREMER BECAME THE
LEADER OF THE CPA, THE
COALITION GOVERNMENT THAT WE
SET UP, HE WAS THERE TO DO
SHOCK THERAPY TO THE ECONOMY.
IRAQ WAS A SOCIALIZED
ECONOMY, STATE-OWNED.
HE WAS THERE TO BREAK IT
DOWN, PRIVATIZE EVERYTHING.
AND IN THE BEGINNING, NO
IRAQI WAS HIRED FOR ANYTHING.
NOT ONLY DID THEY DISBAND THE
ARMY, FREEING 400,000 PEOPLE,
LEAVING THEM JOBLESS, THE JOBS
WERE GOING TO BANGLADESHIS
AND INDIANS WHO WERE
REPORTED, AND EVEN IN 2003,
THEY WERE KILLING DRIVERS
BECAUSE THEY WERE SO ANGRY.
NOT NECESSARILY ORGANIZED
INSURGENCY, JUST CITIZENS.
THERE IS NO WORK.
SO FOR 228 BUCKS A MONTH,
WHICH IS A HUGE AMOUNT OF
MONEY IN IRAQ TODAY, YOU
COULD GO WORK FOR THE POLICE
AND THE ARMY.
SO YOU GO, YOU STAND IN LINE
TO SIGN UP, KNOWING THAT YOU
COULD BE BOMBED ANY MINUTE.
I MEAN, THAT'S THE ONLY REASON
HE GETS PEOPLE TO COME OUT.
THERE IS NO LOYALTY TO
THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT.
I MEAN, IT'S COMICAL.
THERE'S NO POSSIBILITY
OF MAKING THE ARMY
OR THE POLICE WORK.
LOOK, IT'S A NON-STARTER.
IT'S LOST, IT'S GONE.
AND THE FASTER WE DEAL WITH
IT, AND DEAL IN A WAY,
MEANWHILE WE ARE HAVING
BODY BAGS COME BACK.
AND IF BUSH IS ELECTED,
RE-ELECTED, IN HIS VIEW, SINCE
HE BELIEVES WHAT HE IS DOING
IS VIRTUOUS, AND IDEALISTIC,
AND UTOPIAN, AND HE BELIEVES
HE IS RIGHT, AND WHETHER IT
TAKES ONE YEAR OR FIVE YEARS
OR TEN YEAR OR A LIFETIME TO
BRING DEMOCRACY THERE, NO
MATTER HOW MANY MORE AMERICAN
BODY BAGS COME BACK, AND WE'RE
NOT EVEN TALKING ABOUT IRAQI
DEAD, 40,000-50,000 IS ONE
GUESS, NO MATTER HOW MANY
AMERICAN BODIES COME BACK, HE'S
GOING TO THINK IT'S WORTH IT.

Alan says IF GEORGE BUSH GETS
RE-ELECTED, GIVEN WHAT YOU
BELIEVE IS HIS COMMITMENT TO
STAYING THE COURSE IN IRAQ, IS
THERE ANY CHANCE WE ARE GOING
TO SEE A CHANGE IN FOREIGN
POLICY OVER THE NEXT FOUR
YEARS, OR IS IT JUST GOING TO
BE MORE OF THE SAME IN
TERMS OF IRAQI OCCUPATION?

Seymour says TWO BIG THINGS WILL HAPPEN.
LOOK, I DON'T WANT TO DEPRESS
EVERYBODY WATCHING THIS FOREVER.
ONE, I THINK EUROPE IS
GOING TO GANG UP ON US.
I THINK THE GERMANS AND THE
FRENCH, AND CERTAINLY, THEY
ARE 3,00-3,500 MILES CLOSER
TO THIS MESS IN IRAQ THAN
WE ARE, AND THEY HAVE
HUGE MUSLIM MINORITIES
THAT ARE GETTING
INCREASINGLY ITCHY.
THEY DO NOT WANT THIS
TO GET OUT OF CONTROL.
THEY KNOW IF BUSH CONTINUES
HIS POLICY, IT COULD.
IT COULD SPREAD,
THIS KIND OF CHAOS.
THERE COULD BE INSURRECTION
ACROSS EVEN IN THE MAJOR
EUROPEAN CAPITALS, TROUBLE.
AND THEY WILL GANG UP ON US.
THEY WILL NOT LET THE UNITED
STATES HAVE THE AGENDA AS IT IS.
THEY WILL SIMPLY GO AND
WORK AGAINST US IN A LOT OF
PROFOUND WAYS.
MOST SIGNIFICANTLY, THE BIG
FAILING OF BUSH, I THINK,
IN TERMS OF DOING SOMETHING
CONSTRUCTIVE, BESIDES THE WAR,
IS DOING NOTHING ABOUT THE
ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN SITUATION,
LETTING IT FESTER.
I THINK EUROPE MAY DECIDE
AMERICA CAN NO LONGER BE THE
INTERLOCUTOR FOR THAT DEBATE.
IN OTHER WORDS, THEY ARE GOING
TO PUBLICLY CLAIM WE ARE NO
LONGER NEUTRAL AND HONEST
BROKERS IN THIS ISSUE,
WE'RE SO PRO-ISRAEL.
AND YOU COULD SEE SOME
AMAZING SEA CHANGE.
THE OTHER THING THAT I
THINK IS VERY FRIGHTENING --
I GO TO EUROPE A LOT, AND I
GO TO THE MIDDLE EAST A LOT.
THE OTHER THING IS THE
POSITION MOST PEOPLE STILL
SAY, OKAY, THE AMERICAN
LEADERSHIP SUCKS,
IT'S A DISASTER
AROUND THE WORLD.
I KNOW THIS IS THE ATTITUDE
HERE IN CANADA, VERY NEGATIVE
BUSH, JUST AS IT IS IN
EUROPE AND THE MIDDLE EAST.
BUT THE PEOPLE, THEY DIDN'T
ELECT THIS GUY TO DO IT.
9/11 HAPPENED.
BUT IF WE RE-ELECT BUSH,
PEOPLE, THE WORLD IS GOING TO
SAY, OKAY, THE AMERICANS
ARE IN ON THIS.
THEY'VE HAD A CHANCE.

Alan says THAT THEY ENDORSE THE
VERY THING I'M AGAINST.

Seymour says EXACTLY.
AND THEY ARE NOW
PART OF THE PROBLEM.
AND YOU MAY SEE ACTIVITY
AGAINST US AS TOURISM,
BUSINESSES, YOU MAY
SEE IT INCREASE.

Alan says WITH THAT, SEYMOUR HERSH, I
WANT TO THANK YOU VERY MUCH
FOR JOINING ME.
IT'S BEEN A REAL PLEASURE.

Seymour says THANK YOU.

Watch: Seymour Hersh On America's Attack On Iraq