tv Special Report With Bret Baier FOX News September 24, 2009 4:00am-5:00am EDT
they would stand together and join in crowds? tonight, good night, from new york. [captioning made possible by fox news channel] captioned by the national captioning institute ---www.ncicap.org--- bret: next on "special report" president obama says it's time to the world to come together and stop pointing fingers at the u.s. iranian president ahmadinejad is expected to speak shortly. is president obama preparing a new strategy for afghanistan? and fireworks in the senate over the latest healthcare reform bill. all that plus the fox all-stars, special report from the united nations starts right now.
welcome to the united nations headquarters in new york. i'm bret baier. president obama today told the u.n. general assembly here that america is seeking new engamement with the world, to find a global response to global challenges. senior white house correspondent major garrett reports on a speech that was heavy on criticism, including some of the united states. >> president obama's first speech to the united nations general assembly openly acknowledged past grievances against the bush white house >> but added the days of reflective anti-americannism in the world body must end. >> after all, it is easy to walk up to this podium and point fingers and stoke divisions. anybody can do that. responsibility and leadership in the 21st century demand more. >> to a degree, mr. obama legitimized anti-bush sentiments. >> part of this was due to opposition to specific policies, and a belief that on certain critical issues america had acted unilaterally
without regard for the interests are of others. >> then mr. obama appealed for new diplomatic cooperation based on his moves to ban torture, reduce greenhouse gases, p pursue middle east peace and address world hunger. >> those who used to chastise america now stand by and wait for america to solve the world's problems. >> >> the world must stand together 0 to demonstrate international law is not an empty promise and the treaties will be enforced. we must insist that the future does not belong to fear. >> mr. obama met with russian president dimitry medvedev who opened the door to what the u.s. has long sought, a new layer of sanctions against iran. >> sanctions rarely lead to productive results, but in some cases, sanctions are rinnestible.
>> the president said talks will continue, but if iran does not change course, a confrontation looms. >> we will have to take additional actions and that colingsz r sanctions remain a pos possibility. >> the white house did not talk about the deadline of october 1, but it came close. >> october 1 is the day that some will make decisions on the path forward with iran. >> president obama took a duffer line in both directions. >> we cons to call on palestinians to end their fight against israel, and we continue to emphasize that america does not accept the legitimacy of continued israeli settlements. bret: joining me now, senior white house correspondent major garrett. major, it sounded with russia there was headway there.
>> that's right. the are russian president has said inevitable about the idea of fresh new sanctions against iran. but we haven't seen the sanctions and don't know where china is. russia will defer to the head of the international atomic energy agency, the watchdog of what iran is doing in pursuit of nuclear weapons. what it says will affect russian behavior. it appears there is movement and iran may not be as in as strong of a position as it was three or four months. bret: i asked the israeli prime minister about the iaea's ability to patrol and assess iran's nuclear program yesterday. >> there are findings that the iaea has about the nature of the iranian nuclear program that should be made fully public, and they would reveal clearly that iran is out to develop a nuclear weapon.
>> so do you have confidence in hoe mamed al barda? >> i have confidence in what i just said. >> hundreds of pro democracy demonstrators rallied against mahmoud ahmadinejad outside the u.n. and most of the protestors wore green, the color of iran's opposition movement. the dem staters say ahmadinejad stole his re-election victory in june. we will listen in to some of the iranian leader's speech to the general assembly as soon as if begins. before ahmadinejad became the top anti-american voice in the middle east, that title was held for years by libya's muammar qaddafi and today he made his first speech at united nations. senior correspondent eric shawn reports on a very unusual appearance. >> he arrived with a smile and flash add victory sign. in the assembly chamber, muammar qaddafi was greeted by dozens of diplomats and then opened his mouth, endorsing barack obama as president.
>> we are happy, proud that barack obama governs america. no one can guarantee anything. we are happy and content if obama can stay forever as the president of the americans. >> he had 15 minutes to speak and went on for more than an hour and a half, referring to torn dissheveled notes as he branded the world's superpowers as terrorists are. >> this should be called the terror council. >> he condemned the wars in iraq and afghanistan. >> those who fight in iraq should not be there. >> he questioned the origin of the swine flu. >> perhaps we should have a fish flu. >> he questioned the official account of john f. kennedy's assassination.
>> and who killed kennedy? >> and the raising of a bedouin tent was stopped in westchester county north of new york city. the estate is owned by donald trump who said he leased the growns to his middle east business partners and didn't know anything about muammar qaddafi. muammar qaddafi's speech wasn't the longest of. in 1960, fidel castro spoke for four and a half hours but many agree that today's unwinder was one of the strangest. i'm eric shawn, fox news. bret: as muammar qaddafi was addressing the u.n., the u.s. senate condemned the release of the libyan terrorist convicted in the pan am 103 bombing. megrahi was freed last month because he is said to be dying from pancreatic cancer but thousands of people were were infuriate here in the u.s. and want to know is president
obama considering sending more troops to the u.s.? this is not surprisingly call ed the flag area where there is one flag for each of the 192 34e78 bers of the united states. the u.n. was founded in 1945 just after world war ii to replace the league of nations, an organization that the u.s. never joined. pez roosevelt coined the term the united nations and beyond here is the assembly hall. it opened in the 1950's and president obama will be the 11th u.s. president toope
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>> with the last of the 21,000 new troops president obama sent to afghanistan just now being deployed, aides say defense secretary gates won't send the president what is widely believed to be a request for more forces until mr. obama decides whether to strick with the strategy he ordered just six months ago. >> we will not put the cart before the horse. we will discuss the strategy, and then we'll discuss the resources necessary to successfully achieve the mission via that strategy. >> general stanley mcchrystal, commander of u.s. forces in afghanistan, believes without more troops his mission will fail. the number is largely known and republicans accuse the white house of slow walking the decision, likely to be unpopular with liberals. >> we all know that's around 30,000 or 40,000. not to send a 'em dation as to what is needed to make up the resources as to what is needed is not acceptable. >> mccain says the president promised in march to do
whatever was necessary -- >> to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al qaeda in afghanistan and prevent their return to either country in the future. >> the pentagon says mr. obama also promised to regularly as assess the strategy in afghanistan. >> this is a natural reassessment point. this is a natural time to review how far we have come, what still needs to be done and what the best way of achieving our ultimate goals is. >> republicans believe mcchrystal's assessment suggests time is not on our side. >> what will happen is we will miss the window of getting more troops into the theater as the spring thaw occurs when additional troops are going to be necessary. >> and senior military officials are backing mcchrystal. >> obviously i endorsed him and the chairman has endorsed general mcchrystal's assessment. >> one option being considered is a smaller military footprint, reportedly being pushed by vice president biden. officials know increased security for the august
election was the primary reason for additional troops and allegations of fraud against president karzai have weakened a part of president obama's strategy, which is providing afghans with good governance. >> you cannot look at this situation without looking at the elections and obviously the outcome right now is still one that is being evaluated. >> u.s. officials don't believe they are backing a leader that the afghan people hate, but don't believe that karzai is reducing the appeal to the taliban as much as they would like and that may make it more difficult for president obama to reduce the military footprint and turn down general mcchrystal's request. bret: wendell, thank you. the justice department says it will try to curb the use of state security as a way to block the release of information about counter terrorist strategies. an agency trying to hide such information must now convince the attorney general and a panel of justice department lawyers that the release would compromise
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for election next year. the governor said "they haven't exactly been able to govern in the first year of their administration the way the other administrations have." the governor said he was not demeaning president obama's record. another one of the president's czars is in hot water for past comments. federal communication commission czar mark lloyd said hugo chavez led an incredible revolution and lloyd tells "the washington times" his comment was misinterpreted. another comment raising eyebrows was lloyd speaking about the need to remove white people from the media to give minorities a chance "unless we are conscious to have more people of color and gays and other people in those positions, we won't change the problem, but we're in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power." and activities here at the u.n. this week including tuesday's climate change conference are generating a large carbon footprint, from
international travel, lengthy motorcades and clogged streets. well, "the new york times" reports u.n. administrators are of attempting to calculate the carbon dioxide produced by the delegates in order to buy carbon offsets. they estimate 461 tons of carbon dioxide with air travel being the single largest component. however, that tally only includes emissions from one aide traveling with each world leader and not the dozens of staff who frequently make each delegation in the trip to the u.s. so one climate scientist is saying that the value of carbon offsets of a public traded commodity fell to 20 cents a metric ton last week, meaning 20 cents time 461 metric tons would mean spending $92 to offset their emissions. on the same day, president obama lauded his efforts to close the guantanomo detainee camp, a military judge at the site scolded the administration for not moving fast enough with the
prosecution's list of suspects. catherine herridge is live at the base. good evening, katherine. >> thank you, bret. the military judge says these delays are not consistent with the president's own executive order that states they must be dealt with promptly. right now, the administration has received a third delay in the military commission cases, a total delay of ten months. this unfolded in the case of mow mohammed al darvi and the judge suggested that the continued delays in his case were a violation of the president's own executive order signed in january, which was a military case that will unfold pending a review. the executive order says it will be done on a rolling basis, and the judge said "i assumed the oldest case would be done first but the government does whatever it does." the executive order is clear saying "the detainee review shall be on a rolling basis and as promptly as problem, whether it is possible to
transfer or release the individual." a justice department lawyer offered this defense. >> i don't think the judge went as far as to say that the government violated the executive order. in this case, the darvi case, it is still being considered, and as i represented in court, in the next 60 days, there will be a decision concerning this particular case and its disposition, so it is in the eye of the beholder, i suppose. >> now, the pressure is on the congress to rename the congress in mid november when the administration has promised a final decision on where these cases will ultimately be tried, bret. bret: cath inherridge live at gitmo. thank you. in world headlines, former alaska governor sarah palin spoke to global investors in hong kong. it is the first trip to the region by last year's vice president presidential candidate and she was critical
of the u.s. intervention into the economy and said many americans are uncomfortable with government intrusion into healthcare. honduras remains under an extended curfew imposed following the return of owftded president manuel zelaya monday. police clashed periodically with zelaya supporters. there is a report of one fatality. zelaya is currently holed up at the brazilian embassy and they have asked the security council to guarantee zelaya's safety. coming, special report will look at the general assembly at united nations. the u.s. is assessing each country amounts that are paid to and their ability to make the payment. the united states pays the most, by far, at 22%. japan is next at 16%. germany, the u.k. and france round out the top five, and
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>> we know the future will be forged by these and not simply words. speeches alone will not solve our problems. it will take persistent action. for those who question the character and cause of my nation, i ask you to look at the concrete actions we have taken in just nine months. bret: president obama speaking here at the general assembly at the united nations today interrupted several times for applause, but what about the speech overall and the message it sent to the world? let's bring in our panel tonight from washington. steve hayes, senior writer for "the weekly standard", juan williams, news analyst for
national public radio and syndicated columnist, charles krauthammer. steve, let's start with you. an overview of your thoughts of the speech. >> i thought it was a terribly embarrassing speech. just think about the last sentence that we heard in the introduction there. when you question the cause or character of my country, think about the concrete actions of the last nine months. basically what president obama is saying there, think about me when you think about the goodness or greatness of the united states. i think that is an unbelievably arrogant thing to say, and sadly, it wasn't the only thing that he said in the speech that was like that. i think the whole speech was filled with that. i think what we saw today in so many ways is representative of the way that the obama administration wants to elevate the united nations and make it a serious global policy-making body and also emblematic of the way that the united nations is a broken institution. you have muammar qaddafi, a rogue dictator, a crazy man, speaking -- supposed to speak for 15 minutes, ends up speaking for some 90 minutes,
filled with untruths, half truths, complete nonsense. the united nations was never able to enforce its resolutions on iraq. it was not able to enforce its resolutions on iran. it is not even able to keep muammar qaddafi from talking for more than 15 minutes. i think it was a dangerous speech in many ways. >> well, i couldn't disagree with steve more. i thought it was a terrific speech, and the reason i thought it was a terrific speech was president obama laid out concrete steps that his administration has taken since coming into office to prove that they, in fact, want to work with the rest of the world. when he talked about prohibitions on torture, and when he talked about working on global warming, and when he talked about working on the middle east, even his meeting yesterday with the leaders from palestine and israel, so what we see here is president obama saying, i understand, and i think this speech is something steve was talking about. he says he understands that he is a symbol to much of the world, and it's not about him
personally, he said. he didn't say it in an arrogant tone. he said it was about the symbolism, the hope that the u.s. would begin to work, be less militaristic in its attitude and so here is president obama saying here are steps we have taken and now you guys have to step up, too, and work with us in terms of this difficult job of achieving world piece, and he mentioned that the u.n., of course, was founded by an american president, franklin roosevelt, and he spoke about the need to really make the institution work, and i don't think there is anything won with saying that the international community has to work in terms of putting sanctions on iran, and i think that's what it led up to. i think that would be the news that came out of the speech today. >> i could see all the nations racing to step up and do what the united states wants. this speech hovered somewhere between embarrassing and dangerous. the president of the united states actually saying no nation can or should try to
dominate another, i will buy the "should try to" as kind of adolescent wishful thinking, but no nation can dominate another. what planet is he living on? it is the story of man. what does he think russia is doing to georgia? the alarming part is what he said in the same paragraph, where he said that it is making no sense anymore, quote, the alignment of nations that are rooted in the cleavages of the cold war." well, nato is rooted in the cleavage of the cold war. the european union is rooted in the cleavage of the cold war. our alliances with japan and korea and the philippines are guarantees to taiwan and eastern europe are all rooted in the cleavage of the cold war. interesting noun, incidentally, and he is now saying that is irrelevant. what does he think our allies are thinking who hear this? obama's speech is alarming
because it says that the united states has no more moral right to actor to influence world history than bangledesh or sierra leone. it diminishes the united states deliberately, and wants to say that we should be one nation among others, and not defend the alliance of democracies that we have in nato, for example, or to say as every president who goes before obama that we stand for something good and unique in the world, and it is not the equivalent, for example, of the alignment of chavez with ecuador and bolivia and nicaragua and russia and cuba and iran. that's what i think is alarming about obama's speech. bret: steve, one of the things here at the united nations, obviously, every year are the bilateral meetings that happen outside this building behind me. yesterday we >> saw the israeli
and palestinian meeting with president obama. today president obama met with the russian president, dimitry medvedev, and he said this about possible sanctions on iran. he said "russia's position is cheer. sanctions rarely lead to productive results are, but in some cases sanctions are inevitable." is that seen as some kind of a bake threw with russia at least today? >> well, i will believe it when i see t the russians have made clear in the past several weeks that they have very little intention of imposing new sanctions on iran and have spoken out forcefully, i think, against such sanctions. so has china. if the president gets this as a breakthrough, i think it will be great. i think it's probably too little too late, but if he leaves the united nations with that in his pocket and it is something that we actually see after the g20 and after the october 1st meeting, good. i would be all for it. bret: juan, after that speech, the p president's speech, can he twist arms with these countries to really step up in
the iran equation? >> i don't think there's any question about it. i think that is the headline is out of the speech. i think he is leading the world community to the point of saying, listen, i have changed policy. i have taken concrete steps to open a more diplomatic approach to resolving problems, and now i need your help. it's not in any way diminishing the united states. there is sno need for chest pounding by the united states. we are the big boys. we are the world's only superpower. you think it is to our advantage to have our president bellow we're powerful? it's not necessary. what is necessary to say i need your help in this international community in terms of sending people to war when it's necessary and in terms of enforcing international law when a country like iran becomes an outlaw. that's what he did. >> bret: charles, last word quickly. you have said of other speeches by president obama around the world that they are very apologetic in nature. is that your sense in this one as well? >> this one was worse.
when he talked about how he had reversed the course of america and those who doubt our character and look at our actions, among the actions he cited was our joining the u.n. human rights council, which is led by the worst human rights violators on the planet. it is an orwellian farce of an organization, and the idea that we should be honest is regrettable, but the idea that we should be boasting about it as an american achievement is a scandal. bret: all right, panel, stand by. the pez is said to be considering another strategy shift in afghanistan. what dddddddddddddd
>> today i'm announcing a comprehensive new strategy for afghanistan and pakistan, and this marks the conclusion of a careful policy review led by bruce that i ordered as soon as i took office. what i'm also not going to do, though, is put the resource question before the strategy question until i'm satisfied that we've got the right strategy, i'm not going to be sending some young man or woman over there beyond what we already have. >> let me tell you what is the worst part of this, is that the administration has told general mcchrystal not to send his recommendation for the additional troops. bret: well, the first clip was president obama back in march with a big rollout of what was said to be the new strategy in afghanistan. the other one was last weekend, where he said we couldn't move forward without putting -- with troops before a new strategy is in place. we're back with our panel. juan, is this beginning to be a major problem for the administration that this sense that the request from general
stanley mcchrystal has been held back by politics with this administration? >> i think it would be a problem in the sense of whether he was being censored and a lot of people who are proponents of immediately sending more troops to afghanistan feel, but from the white house sper speck tiff, their perspective is as you just heard from president obama, let's settle the strategy issue first. let's not just have the defense leadership, the military leadership, be the only voice in this scawtion discussion, because they're immediately going to ask for more troops because their attitude is going to be a surge. bret: what was march 27? >> i think that was an effort to say look, we have since then had an opportunity to take a look again. er, we're here at the end of september. vice president biden has been a very loud and insistent voice inside the white house counsel about the fraudulent election that has taken place since then, about corruption
that persists and especially among drug dealers, some of them tied to the government. these larger problems -- and of course the history of eight years of military struggles that have not resolved the issue there, so what you see now is the thought that, wait a second, if we put more money into afghanistan as opposed to more boots on the ground, if we put more money in in terms of economic development, education development and then target specifically the taliban and al qaeda, that's the war that the united states cannot lose. that's the war on terrorism, and this is going to be president obama's war very shortly, so he wants to get it right. >> look, bret, what the president is trying to do is come up with an explanation as to why he announced the strategy on march 27, and now says that he doesn't have a strategy and he's having a difficult time doing it, so what the white house has done in the past day or so has put out a new explanation and the one that you are hearing is one that you heard juan say. he said the fraudulent
elections or the troubles with the elections in afghanistan has caused them to revisit their policy, which i think is extraordinnaire position. karzai is not meeting with the u.s. right now and there are serious issues with the election in afghanistan this time around, but they're using that for take a look at their bowed afghanistan policy and then you have an election in irand that was openly stolen. no one thinks that was a serious election and they won't alter their policy in iran based on what everyone agrees was a fraudulent election. i think this smells increasingly political and they're having a more and more difficult time explaining why they're announcing a new strategy or trying to come up with a new strategy when they announced one back in march. >> i think the obama administration is trying to change its strategy because they just discovered corruption in afghanistan is almost comical.
everyone has known it was around. it is not a a new fact. what is happening here we have advice from our commander on the ground who, wants more troops and who sees a strat jy which is the only strategy that he thinks will work, and other on the other hand, on the advice of the vice president, the stage of wilmington, the man who proposed splitting iraq into three, who wants a minimum strategy of attacks by drones and kind of hands-off warfare. it's exactly the minute minimalist strategy that got us into the dire circumstance we now have in afghanistan. it's the minimalist strategy that the democrats attacked and demagogueed for year after year and said it was inadequate and it is a minimalist strategy that mccaskill, who is the world's expert on the kinds of hands-on drone attack, which he did in iraq, has said has zero chance of succeeding in afghanistan. who are you going to believe? a commander on the ground or biden? bret: all right.
juan, very quickly, we're being told that this request is going to come before week's end much we're almost there. will president obama accept the request from list general on the ground? >> if you mean accept the request, i don't think there's any question. there is no disrespect for general mccrystal or the military advisors an bob gates, the defense secretary rooch is right in the midst of these counsels at the white house. that's not the issue. the question is does he come up with a new strategy? if they don't, then he has got to accede to that request. bret: that's it for the panel. stay tuned for a healthcare message from president obama that you might have missed. .
on capitol hill over recent weeks, health care reform can get complicated. that is, unless, you listen very closely to the president. >> now, obama's plan in four seconds. >> jackass. >> that was obama's plan in four seconds. bret: you have to listen very closely. right now, stay with fox and news. we're waiting for mahmoud ahmadinejad at the un, -- at the u.n., set to address the general assembly in a moment. you can see it right here. also, we will be back in washington tomorrow, and i will have a