Text: 'Fox News Sunday' With Tony Snow
Sunday, Sept. 23, 2001
Following is the transcript of "Fox News Sunday," hosted by Tony Snow with Fox News's Brit Hume, Mara Liasson and Juan Williams, with guests: National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice; New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani; former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BUSH: The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNOW: A president comes of age, and now he has to make good on some ambitious threats. How will he do it? We'll ask his national security advisor, Condoleezza Rice.
How do we defeat terrorism without creating new enemies in the Middle East? We'll find out from former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Wall Street continues to stumble and reel. Americans confess to feeling the jitters. How do we get the economy up and running? We'll discuss the ABCs of economic growth with former GE chief Jack Welch.
A New York City update from Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
And Brit Hume, Mara Liasson and Juan Williams wrap up the week that was on the September 23 edition of Fox News Sunday.
Good morning. We begin with the latest on America's new war on terrorism. We're joined by Amy Kellogg in Pakistan and senior White House correspondent Jim Angle at the White House.
JIM ANGLE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Tony, President Bush is lifting economic sanctions on Pakistan, imposed after tests of nuclear weapons, to ease the way for a U.S. military delegation headed there to gear up for a military strike.
President Bush, spending the weekend at Camp David, held a secure videoconference with his national security team as U.S. military forces take up position overseas and prepare for action.
And any doubts abroad about U.S. determination seemed to dissolve with the president's speech to the nation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANGLE: The military and diplomatic news has steadily tightened around Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden.
Turkey gave permission for the U.S. to use its airspace. The United Arab Emirates, one of only three nations to recognize the Afghan government, severed relations with the Taliban over its refusal to turn over bin Laden.
And President Bush spent more than 45 minutes on the phone with Russian President Putin. The Russians said later they would provide all possible support.
And India offers unconditional support.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LALIT MANSINGH, INDIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: He has declared a long-term war against international terrorism. He intends to take it out root and branch. We are fully behind this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANGLE: The president seems to have plenty of support at home, too. A Fox News opinion dynamics poll shows 75 percent favor military action even if U.S. soldiers are killed; 63 percent even if innocent civilians die; and 72 percent would stick with it even if it lasts up to five years.
Mr. Bush also signed a $15 billion bill to assist the airlines in hopes of stopping any further layoffs or damage to the economy. And he hinted at further economic stimulus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: I'm also working with Congress to strengthen our broader economy and to get Americans back to work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANGLE: Meanwhile, a handful of suspects are under arrest here in the U.S., several more in Europe and the Middle East. And some 80 people have been detained here by immigration authorities.
As far as finding bin Laden, though, former President Clinton offered a cautionary tale, saying he ordered the CIA in 1998 to arrest and, if necessary, kill bin Laden. A source tells Fox a lot of people have been working on that for a long time.
Now to my colleague Amy Kellogg in Pakistan.
AMY KELLOGG, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, a team of U.S. military intelligence and diplomatic officials will be arriving in Islamabad shortly to take a look at the facilities it might be using in the event of an attack on Afghanistan.
In spite of ongoing diplomatic efforts, the Taliban continued to rebuff attempts to convince them to give up Osama bin Laden. As rhetoric toughened, intentions grew, the Afghani Council of Clerics recommended the Saudi exile be asked to leave voluntarily.
Whether that was the work of moderates hoping to avoid attack or a stalling tactic, the Afghan government refuses to hand him over.
Neighboring Pakistan's support of the war on terror roused strong anti-American sentiment. But protests and a general strike called for Friday were not as successful as organizers expected, raising hopes that President Pervez Musharraf's policy may not be as unpopular as extremists claimed.
The Pakistani commitment has been echoed by Turkey and Tajikistan, while the United Arab Emirates has severed diplomatic ties with Kabul, and Saudi Arabia is considering doing the same.
Still, the Taliban remains defiant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(UNKNOWN): A showdown of might, it should be well-known that we will never surrender might.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLOGG: Now, Pakistan is asking today that the U.S. make public its evidence against Osama bin Laden and also that any action taken be within the legal framework of the United Nations.
A senior Washington official on the ground here in Islamabad says that the U.S. is planning on keeping Pakistan abreast of the developments in the investigation, but hasn't said anything about making any information public.
SNOW: Thank you, Amy.
Joining us now from New York City, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Mr. Mayor, as we introduce you, we are going to show viewers a shot of an extraordinary ad in today's New York Times. It's a photo of all the policemen and firefighters who lost their lives on September 11 racing into the World Trade Center and its environs trying to save other folks. And it's just another very human reminder of the kind of toll those attacks took.
You've seen this up close, and, Mr. Mayor, one of the things that's interesting, one of the sidelights, is that this is still classified as a rescue effort as opposed to a recovery effort, meaning that there's some presumption that maybe some folks are alive.
We've heard unconfirmed reports that as many as 20 people have been tracked in terms of having cell phones or beepers, that FEMA and the New York City police have been trying to keep track of those.
Is that the reason why this is still classified as a rescue effort?
GIULIANI: It's a rescue effort because it really doesn't matter if you describe it as a rescue effort or how you describe it, it's going to take place in the same way. The same things that now have to be done to take advantage of the slim hope that there might be someone alive, and it is a very slim hope, those are the same things you have to do in order to recover human remains, in order to recover human bodies and human remains.
SNOW: But there is some slim hope?
GIULIANI: There's a difference in semantics here, but not in the way the operation is conducted. And the experts--I'm guided by the experts who tell me, well, they're going to conduct the operation in the same way whether you call it a rescue operation or a relief operation.
Yesterday, I was there for a long time with the men who were doing it, and I watched them extract and take out the body of a fallen firefighter, and it's done with care. It's done with dignity. His brothers carried him out. And if they should find signs of life, that's exactly the same thing that they would do.
SNOW: Have there been any indications there may have been signs of life after the tragedy--I'm not going to call it a tragedy. After the attack?
GIULIANI: Yes, not in a long time, I mean, in many, many days. So the hope, if there is hope left, it is very, very slim.
But again, the families should understand that the operation is being conducted the same way, and it probably is going to be conducted this way for weeks and weeks because we have another issue that we're dealing with, problem that we're dealing with, and that is to try to recover as many human remains as possible, knowing that we're never going to be able to recover all or anywhere near all.
SNOW: Mr. Mayor, there's a lot of speculation about your future. I want to ask you a couple of quick questions.
First, has President Bush approached you about assuming any role in this administration once you leave the mayor's office?
GIULIANI: No, I haven't discussed any--I haven't discussed any role with anyone about what I would do after I leave the mayor's office since the morning of September 11.
SNOW: A lot of people...
GIULIANI: I was talking a lot about that before September 11, but I haven't talked about it since then. Haven't had time.
SNOW: A lot of people want a reconstruction czar in New York to help rebuild the Trade Center area. Would that be of interest to you?
GIULIANI: I really don't know. I really have not allowed myself to think about those things.
I think we're at the point, maybe, you know, right after the prayer service, when I will start focusing my attention on those things and do it in a concentrated way.
But up until now, my full and complete attention has been taken up by all the things that had to be done from the first moment that it happened until right now, in which we're trying to recover human beings and human remains.
SNOW: So you wouldn't be interested, for instance, in being a prosecutor if people were brought to justice in this case?
GIULIANI: I told the president right after the speech, maybe out of emotion, but I--you know, I'll enlist, whatever you need me for.
SNOW: And a final...
GIULIANI: There's a level here of anger that only gets worse every time I fly over that site. And you have to just acknowledge it if you're a human being. I mean, what they did makes, I think, any decent human being angry, and I'm willing to do anything that is necessary, you know, to defend us.
SNOW: All right. New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, thanks for joining us this morning.
GIULIANI: Thank you.
SNOW: Now we welcome Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's national security advisor. This is her first interview since last week's attacks.
RICE: Good morning.
SNOW: Got a little breaking news. Number one, the Iranian foreign minister says, and I'll quote: "Iran will cooperate in the fight against terrorism as part of an international effort and under the auspices of the United Nations."
Are we willing to hand over control of this operation to the United Nations?
RICE: Well, first of all, the United Nations has already spoken to the broad goals of this campaign. They've talked about the importance of taking on international terrorism.
But let's be very clear about what happened here. There was an attack on the United States, an act of war against the United States. The United States has the right to self-defense. That is fully recognized in international law. The right to self-defense is recognized by the United Nations itself.
We will see what further we need to do with the United Nations, but I do not believe that the president believes that he needs further authority to act in self-defense. And if you don't believe this is a matter of self-defense, just look at what happened on September 11, just listen to what Mayor Giuliani has just said.
SNOW: We've had a number of Middle Eastern states now, Iran, Egypt, and others, say, we'll be happy but only if this is conducted by the United Nations. Are we willing to say to them, well, then we're not going to need your help?
RICE: Well, we're getting very good support from countries around the world. Everything from the first day when the Canadians were sending rescue squads.
SNOW: We know about our friends.
RICE: But we're getting very good support from around the world, and I want to make the point that not only from countries like Canada and Britain and France but also from the Muslim world. Because, after all, people like Osama bin Laden and his network have, in many ways, first on their list moderate Arab states that they consider not hard-line enough. So we're getting very good support.
And, again, the president is very clear about what happened here. We're very clear that we have the authority that we need to act.
SNOW: That being the case, Egypt says it's not going to join up unless it's a U.N. effort. Egypt, I think, you would classify as a moderate Arab state. Therefore, the president said people are either with us or they're with the terrorists.
RICE: Tony, this is not what we're getting from our conversations with Muslim states around the world. They are signing up to this effort. We have been in constant contact with the moderate Arab states. They understand the threat here. And when we go forward, you are going to see that this is going to be a broad coalition that includes a number of moderate Arab states.
SNOW: So can we conclude that moderate Arab states are saying one thing for the care and feeding of the press and another thing to you?
RICE: No, I don't think that's the case. I think that you're hearing, at this point, a lot of discussion about how we move forward.
We may indeed go to the U.N. for support on the financial side, for instance.
Let me just remind people that the military action that is to be taken here is extremely important, but it is only one part of the story, and it may ultimately not be by itself decisive.
We have important financial aspects to this too, and have tightened off the milk, the mother's milk of terrorism. The U.N. can be very helpful in that.
But the president understands that the right to self-defense is recognized in the U.N. charter, it's recognized in international law, and the president believes that we have the necessary authority to act.
SNOW: The assistant to the Pakistani president said this today. He said, "The U.S. must come up with some evidence to prove that Osama bin Laden was involved or was behind the terrorist attacks. The public in Pakistan and the world at large will only be satisfied if evidence is produced before the public."
Are we going to do that?
RICE: Well, the United States is going to do nothing that jeopardizes the investigation that is ongoing here. And we are drawing in investigative services, law enforcement, intelligence from a lot of countries, and so we need to be careful with how we use this information.
But it is quite clear that this is a group--this terrorist network has a history. After all, Osama bin Laden was indicted for the bombings of American embassies abroad. We know that they were connected to the Cole.
This is not a new issue, and we have very good evidence of links between known Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda operatives and what happened on September 11.
SNOW: All right, we know about this.
Is the administration at any point going to produce public evidence, or is this something that you're going to say, well, we're going to protect sources and methods and we'll just do what we need to do?
RICE: Of course we're going to be laying out a case and making a case. We're going to be making a case to allies and friends, many of whom, by the way, are already involved in developing that case. We will be making a case to the American people.
But it is very clear that the organization, the terrorist network al Qaeda, is at the center of this, and we've very good evidence of that.
SNOW: Is getting Osama bin Laden job one?
RICE: No. Job one is choking off this terrorist network from what it likes to do--hiding in the shadows, using the financial system that we think of as so open for banking. That's job number one.
SNOW: In the Gulf War, then General Powell said, look, you kill the snake, you cut its head off. Is not Osama bin Laden not only the titular head but the inspirational head for many of the people who are opposing us?
RICE: Osama bin Laden is clearly part of the story, but the president said the other night this is a different kind of war. And we're all going to have to get accustomed to thinking about a different kind of victory. We're going to have to start thinking about the need to really cut off what makes these terrorist networks work.
What makes them work is not one man. What makes them work is that they do have access to financial flows that allow them to buy training, to buy access. What keeps them running is that they have safe harbor in countries like Afghanistan.
We've got to go after the guts of this. This could be like a planaria. If you just cut off it's head and it regenerates another head, that's not going to be very helpful. So, while, of course, Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants are part of the story, the real part of the story is to choke off the bloodline of this network.
SNOW: OK. But the bloodline may include--you stay they're state sponsors. Let me read you a list of countries and you tell me whether they're with us or against us.
RICE: I'm not going to go through a list here, Brit, because the president made a very...
SNOW: That's OK. You can call me Tony.
RICE: I'm sorry, Tony.
The president made a very clear point the other day. He said, this is a new day. He said, we have a chance for countries--he used a very clear phrase. He said "those who continue to harbor terrorism." So, we're looking for opportunities. We're looking for exploring those opportunities.
SNOW: Fair enough. Do you see any evidence right now that any state sponsors are ceasing to be state sponsors of terrorism?
RICE: Well, Tony, we are looking at the possibilities here. We're exploring with countries. It's very clear that we are going to get cooperation from quarters that we would not have expected it.
RICE: We're leaving open the possibilities and we're exploring.
But let me be very clear. We are not going to declare that there are good terrorists and bad terrorists. There's terrorism. And if you sponsor terrorism, you are hostile to the United States.
SNOW: The Arab League has said it's not going to join a coalition that includes Israel. Is Israel essential to this coalition, and will it be part of it?
RICE: There are several coalitions here, and we're going to ask different states to do different things. It's a broad coalition because any number of countries understand that terrorism is a threat to them. The Israelis do know that terrorism is a threat in the Middle East and to them.
But I think that it's best to think of this not like the Gulf coalition, where we have one large coalition that's supporting a big military effort, but rather where we're going to be asking different countries to do different things. And it may be as important to get a key piece of information from one country as the kind of support that we may need on the military fields.
SNOW: Saudi Arabia, speaking of military, has said that it is not going to allow us to take flights out of Prince Sultan Air Field that involve strikes on other Arab countries. Do you count that as cooperation?
And the other addition to that is the notion that it wants some sort of say over where jets that originate, that fly out of there, do their military missions.
RICE: Well, the Saudis have been very cooperative. The Saudi foreign minister was here just a couple days ago. The Saudis understand that this is a threat to them and to regime stability in Saudi Arabia, too.
SNOW: So, do we still characterize them as being helpful?
RICE: I believe the Saudis have been very helpful. And there are a lot of details to be worked out here. I would not jump to every headline that one sees in this regard. We're having very good cooperation with the Saudis.
SNOW: But it could be better.
RICE: We're having very good cooperation with the Saudis, Tony, and we're going to continue to work it.
SNOW: On September 11, there's a report that there was a coded message that said we're going to strike Air Force One. It was using specific coded language and it made an credible threat. Is that true?
RICE: That is true.
SNOW: So we have a mole somewhere?
RICE: It's not clear how this coded name was gotten. Now, we're a very open society. And I don't think it's any surprise to anyone that leaks happen. So I don't know. It's possible the code name leaked a long time ago and was just used.
SNOW: How on earth would that happen?
RICE: I don't know. I don't know. We're obviously looking very hard at the situation. But I will tell you that it was plenty of evidence from our point of view to have special measures taken at that moment to make certain the president was safe.
SNOW: The Taliban says that it can't find Osama bin Laden, that he's missing. Do you think that they're telling the truth?
RICE: Well, we're going to find out.
I believe that the Taliban is going to have to begin to understand it's got a very tough choice to make. It can hand over Osama bin Laden, his lieutenants, allow access to those camps, deal with the captured NGO workers who are there; or it can face the wrath of an international coalition that understands that the Taliban has been harboring terrorists for quite a long time. And that's a choice that they're going to have to make.
And we're not going to be deterred by comments that he may be missing. We don't simply believe it.
SNOW: Final question, the Northern Alliance, is that a credible ally for us?
RICE: Well, the Northern Alliance, which has been fighting the Taliban for some time, obviously is playing something of a role in dealing with the Taliban. But we'll see what this coalition looks like. We'll see what elements we have.
Clearly, we are going to have to get the Taliban to understand that its ability to continue to hold on in Afghanistan--and by the way, it's a very repressive and terrible regime. The Afghan people would be better off without it. We will see what means are at our disposal to do that.
SNOW: Dr. Rice, thanks for joining us.
RICE: Thank you, Tony.
SNOW: We're going to take a break. Next up, the global war on terrorism. It's time for the world to choose up sides.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BUSH: Either you're with us or you are with the terrorists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNOW: President Bush has vowed not only to find and punish terrorists but to treat nations that harbor them as our enemies as well. For more on that fight, we're joined by former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Also here with questions, Brit Hume, Washington managing editor of Fox News. And Brit has the first question.
HUME: Mr. Netanyahu, you have been quite strong in recent statements, including the one made here in Washington before a congressional committee this week, about the need for what you called "moral clarity," and also about your worry that a coalitioned pulled together to combat terrorism that might include some terrorist states was self-defeating.
You've just heard Dr. Condoleezza Rice talk about who might be in this coalition. She didn't rule anybody out, it seemed, except the Taliban. What is your reaction to that?
NETANYAHU: Well, I think Condoleezza Rice was exceptionally clear. She reiterated the two things I thought that were important.
One was, she restated the principle that anyone who's dealing with terrorism is an enemy of the United States, and that sets, I think, the lines fairly clear. And I think it precludes the inclusion in the terror network--or rather in the anti-terror network those who belong to the terror network, like Syria or the Palestinian dictatorship of Arafat, who are directly practicing terrorism today.
If they want to try to clean themselves, they can offer information here and there, of course. But what they really should be asked to do is to dismantle, to crush the terrorist regimes, the terrorist organizations inside Damascus, inside the Palestinian areas, crush them, dismantle them. And then you can consider them over time, see how their behavior changes.
But right now, if they want to scramble to your side and offer this or that help, fine, take what you can get. But don't be fooled, and certainly don't cleanse them and legitimize them.
HUME: Well, is it your sense, sir, then, that the U.S. approach, which is to take what you can get from nations like Iran and countries like Syria, is appropriate but that they must be given some sort of provisional membership in any coalition? Would that be what you're talking about?
NETANYAHU: Well, I don't think they can be honestly put into a coalition of fighting terrorism, because otherwise you're diluting the whole thing. I mean, as we speak, Yasser Arafat is launching terrorist attacks against Israel, as we speak. I mean, all the time. And dozens of them a day. And as we speak, in Teheran, there's a center for worldwide incitement and terror operations literally worldwide.
And, as we speak, there are a dozen terrorist organizations with offices open in Damascus and operating along with Hezbollah, which is bin Laden's chief link and one of his chief training grounds in Syrian-backed Lebanon.
So you cannot be against terror and for terror. And I thought the president said that very, very clearly and very, very well. And I think I heard that from Ms. Rice as well.
So I think what is required is to say you cannot cross the line from one side to the other just by a declaration. You can cross the line only by determined and purposeful action.
But if they do certain things that suit your tactical purposes now, fine. But don't include them in the coalition, because that will dilute the coalition, and you will have eventually a meltdown from within.
And I was struck by another word that Ms. Rice used. She used the word ``coalitions''--did you notice that?--which means that it's not one grand coalition, which really takes away the veto power of some of those fence-sitters who say, well, we're not going to join your coalition if you don't do this, that, or other thing that dilutes your principle. I think the U.S. has got it pretty right.
SNOW: Mr. Netanyahu, would it be appropriate for the United States to strike at Hezbollah encampments in Lebanon and elsewhere?
NETANYAHU: I think it would be appropriate for the U.S. to do whatever it has to do to fight terrorism and those who practice it.
I think the one caveat that I saw in the president's speech was he said, "terrorism with a global reach." In that, he distanced himself from local conflicts, I suppose, like as in Spain or in Northern Ireland.
What you're dealing with here today is a terror network that is based on regimes, certain Middle Eastern regimes. We mentioned some of them. There are a few others, of course, the Taliban, Afghanistan being a very important one, the Sudan, and others. And the organizations, about two dozen organizations that live with them.
Ms. Rice mentioned money, and that's very important. And the money tracks back to eventually to these regimes as well.
But the most important thing that these regimes give is territory. If you take away the territory, the home base, so to speak, it's very difficult for the bin Ladens of the world to just work in cells in Milan and in Brooklyn. It just doesn't work, because you need that home base.
So I think putting the pressure on the states, massive pressure on the states--you're either with us or against us and you choose, and if you are against us, you're going to have to shut down these bases--that begins to collapse the network.
NETANYAHU: If the United States were to strike some of those bases on Arab soil, do you believe Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other so-called moderate Arab states would abandon the fight, or simply complain and stay with the United States?
NETANYAHU: I think--let me refer you to something that, I was asked this exact question in the 1980s. I was serving here as Israel's ambassador to the U.N., and I was speaking a lot about the need to fight terrorism and actually physically fight it.
One day the U.S. bombed Libya along with Britain, and I was interviewed alongside a terror expert who gave an opposite view. When asked, I think by Dan Rather, what would happen, this very well-known, quote, "terror expert" said, oh, the Arab world will be aflame, and the U.S. embassies would be stormed, and millions would be on the march.
Then he asked me what would happen, and I said nothing would happen. Nothing. Qaddafi would stop terrorism. And he would just be very, very careful not to restart it. I think he resumed it once, actively pushing his own operation in those 15 years that have passed.
So I think what happens in the end is, are you determined enough, are you forceful enough, and everybody else will follow through. Everybody, I think, in the Arab world and in the world is watching right now to see, does the U.S. have the follow-through. If you follow through, if you show strength, then terrorism will compress. The militancy will see it and compress. It might strike a few blows back and forth, but eventually the only way to fight terrorism and make it go away is to fight it.
HUME: One last quick question. You said, in answer to a question from a rather nonplused anchorman who shall remain nameless here, about whether the United States would ever need to strike the PLO, the PLA, and you said, Israel--"We," meaning Israel, "could take care of that." What exactly did you mean by that?
NETANYAHU: Look, we obviously have an offshoot of the terror network in the form of Yasser Arafat's dictatorship.
I want to give you an idea of what that means, Brit. You have lost your 7,000 people, probably the number will reach that; and the horror, you know: families torn apart, orphans created, widows, just lives shredded.
We have lost the equivalent of 21,000 people since the Oslo process began with Arafat, since we installed Arafat right next to us. He, instead of going for peace, he created a terror regime that has killed the equivalent of three twin towers disasters in Israel. So, we have received a wake-up call, too.
And I guess what the principle that the president enunciated, what it does for us is to say, you're absolutely right. We cannot tolerate terrorism from the terrorists and those who give them safe haven. And Yasser Arafat does both every day, every hour.
So we have to take the kind of self-defense action. We certainly are capable of defending ourselves against this, but we seek, and I think we'll get now, the support and understanding of the American people.
We're also sensitive to Americans' concerns right now, the sequence of timings of events and actions is important. We're not unaware of it.
But the last thing we should do, and I don't think anyone is really seriously proposing that among the real serious circles in Washington, that we should give Arafat a prize for this terrorism, because it won't only endanger us, it will dilute the entire principle that the president of the United States put forward from now on as a world policy: Terrorism is evil. We don't justify it. We don't give it any prize. We punish it.
SNOW: All right. Benjamin Netanyahu, former prime minister of Israel. Thank you for joining us.
NETANYAHU: Thank you.
SNOW: Coming up next, what's next on Wall Street?
SNOW: Wall Street just suffered through its worst week in 70 years. Is the slide over?
Here to talk about how to get the economy moving again is one of America's most celebrated managers. Joining us from General Electric headquarters in Fairfield, Connecticut, Jack Welch, the company's recently retired chairman.
Also here with questions, our panel: Brit Hume and Mara Liasson and Juan Williams of National Public Radio.
Mr. Welch, I want to show you a couple of questions that have appeared on the most recent Fox News opinion dynamics poll and get your reaction. It shows some of the ambivalence Americans may have about the economy.
First we asked them how the economy's doing today. Twenty-nine percent said excellent or good. The rest said fair or poor. But when we asked them how the economy would look in a year, 65 percent said it would be better and only 20 percent said it would be worse.
Are better times ahead? What should Americans think about what's just happened?
WELCH: No, I think that poll, Tony, is pretty reflective of how we all feel. I think we are going to have some trouble, but we were having trouble before September 11, and I think it's going to be exacerbated. And I think we'll have a tough third and fourth quarter, maybe a tough first quarter next year. But I think the strength of the American economy and its fundamentals remain intact.
LIASSON: Mr. Welch, there are a lot of industries that have been asking the government for help. It's not just the airlines. What kind of a stimulus package or assistance would you like to see from the government?
WELCH: Well, I think you've got to give the bipartisan support that the president got on the airline industry, first of all, great credit. That was a unique situation.
In my old job, we actually had two businesses--one was the airline business--that were impacted. We had three businesses impacted: the airline business, where we owned planes and developed engines. We have the reinsurance business that insured all the buildings that were hit. And we have a television network that went dark on ads covering the incident.
My view is that the airline industry was unique. In the reinsurance business, for example, we measure risk. That's what we do for a living. This time the risk was far more than we anticipated, but we pay our dues and take our chances and we take it.
The airline industry was hit in a unique way, and I am so glad the country reacted to bail that out. I think a lot of these bail-out discussions beyond that get a little off the wall.
LIASSON: What about for the economy in general, though? There's a lot of talk on Capitol Hill that we need more tax cuts or maybe we need less tax cuts. What do you think the Congress and the White House should do?
WELCH: Well, I think the most important thing that we do in all the actions that we take is to keep this bipartisan support and the president's leadership intact.
And I think in every stimulus package, we've got to be careful about constituencies. Myself--and I'm not an economic expert so take this with a grain of salt--I would accelerate the tax cut for the middle-and lower-income folks, $100,000 and below. It's not that expensive. I'd move the 2006 plan forward to now.
I wouldn't do it overnight. I think Alan Greenspan made a point the other day that was very, very smart. Let's wait a couple weeks. But I wouldn't wait a long time. This economy and our surplus is strong enough that we can handle this.
And I think Alan Greenspan has got more room. I mean, we've got inflation running at 1 percent or so at most. And we have a 3 percent Fed funds rate, so there's more room before the October 2 meeting, or at the October 2 meeting, to take another cut at the Fed funds rate.
WILLIAMS: Jack Welch, what about the small investor today? If you were advising someone who has a little bit of money in the market and has seen it disappear in the last week, would you tell them it's patriotic to stay in there or would you advise them, look, the smart thing to do right now is to get out?
WELCH: Look, I'm not an expert, Juan, on this, but from a personal standpoint, I have stayed the course, not out of patriotism, but just out of a belief in the American economy. And we've been up and down before. We had the '87 crash. We've had other dislocations. But fundamentally this economy is sound.
And we've got a technology advantage. You know, the Japanese bubble in the '80's left them with bridges and roads and steel mills. Our bubble left us--it was a devastating collapse--but it left us with technology that touches every piece of our economy and has made us so much more productive.
WILLIAMS: Well, I think the president actually yesterday, in Saturday's radio address, really inspired the country by saying, we can do it, we have so much talent and education and willpower in this country.
But at the same time you see people on unemployment lines, especially people who are hit as a result of working in either the airline industry, the hotel industry, the hospitality industry, conventions, meetings being canceled. How do you deal with that?
WELCH: Well, it's going to get worse. I mean, you're going to see unemployment numbers, if I had to guess, that will hit 6 percent fairly soon. And we are going to go through a dislocation, not unlike in the marketplace, not unlike we did after Kuwait when we had a GDP that was down 3 percent or 4 percent, or when Ronald Reagan took over in 1981, we had a negative 5 percent. So, we're going to have a short-term shock.
But we are so much stronger. We've got a surplus. We've got the tools. We have both the fiscal and monetary tools to deal with this--low inflation, a surplus. We can deal with this stuff.
And if we do have government programs to stimulate the economy, I hope they go into technology. I hope they go to make the government more efficient. I hope they go to make education more technologically sound. And I hope they don't get wasted on silly projects.
HUME: Mr. Welch, I'm sorry, I can't help but ask you this. GE's stock has been one of the great stocks to own for decades. And it's selling at about a 40 percent discount to its highs. Is it time to buy that company? There's one you can tell us about.
WELCH: Well, I don't think I ought to be commenting on that. I'll tell you one thing, Brit. I got everything I got in there, and I believe in it.
HUME: Have you been buying? You haven't sold any?
WELCH: Haven't sold one share.
HUME: Well, it was worth a try. Thank you.
SNOW: Jack Welch, thank you for joining us.
We're going to take a break. Our panel's up next.
SNOW: Now let's check out some "America united" stories that haven't made the front pages.
In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, several members of city council forced a restaurateur to remove a banner proclaiming, "God bless America, woe to our enemies." Exactly one day later, swamped by angry calls and mail, the council reversed itself.
Also in Chapel Hill, the Progressive Faculty Network at the University of North Carolina held a teach-in titled, "Understanding the Attack on America, an Alternative View." Professors blamed the September 11 massacre on sexism, chauvinism and imperialism. Professor William Blum suggested the president apologize to millions of, quote, "victims of American imperialism" and cut the military budget by at least 90 percent.
Bus driver Paul Healy (ph) of Gresham, Oregon, was suspended for taping a cloth flag to the side window of his bus.
And firemen in Berkeley, California, have been instructed not to wave flags. City fathers fear the trucks could come under attack from peace activists.
And now it's panel time for Brit Hume, Mara Liasson and Juan Williams. And we are going to begin by taking a look at just a couple of the quotes from President Bush's Thursday night speech to a joint session of Congress. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
BUSH: They follow in the path of fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism, and they will follow that path all the way to where it ends, in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies.
BUSH: Any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
SNOW: Juan, I don't think I've ever seen public opinion pivot on both sides of the divide as quickly as it did after this speech.
WILLIAMS: No, I thought he really did a stellar job, and it answered all the questions that had been sort of circulating, percolating, if you will, after the attack on September 11 with regard to Mr. Bush.
As you recall, he was being moved at the time. And I know Brit and I have had discussions about this, you know, was it fair, unfair in terms of how he was portrayed as being moved. And then I don't think Vice President Cheney's comments helped much, when he said he had told the president to stay away and portrayed the president as not the leader, but someone who was being told what to do. And subsequent statements from the president weren't inspiring.
But, man, I tell you, on Thursday night, I just thought he was spectacular. I thought he was reassuring and inspiring to the American people. In terms of his political fortunes and his ability to conduct this war, I think he has set himself in a supreme place.
SNOW: Brit, one of the interesting things is that people who in the past have sort of enjoyed a lot of intellectual cachet suddenly find themselves on the outs. You've been tracking this on Fox News Channel.
HUME: Well, there is an interesting development happening, I think, in the nation's politics. And that is that there are intellectuals on the left, reflected by a couple of the items you just cited, whose views are deeply anti-American.
Now, you don't notice that about them. It isn't as clear when they're arguing in peacetime about the Social Security surplus or the size of the Pentagon budget or anything like that. Suddenly things change, and some of these views that you're hearing now that blame America, that say that this country was responsible for what happened in one way or another, that all of this grows out of American support of the terrorist state of Israel, this sort of thing, it is not widespread in the body politic at large, but it is very widespread in academic circles and on what we might call the American intellectual left. And it is out there now in ways not seen before for all to see.
LIASSON: But it's not being seen in Washington, as Brit said. And I think what's interesting, and I think this will become clear more in the weeks and months ahead, is how this is going to affect domestic politics.
Right now, there are not even two parties right now. There's one party. People are united behind the president. Democrats say they are all desperate for him to succeed, because, if he fails, we all fail.
But it has rescrambled the political debate. The lockbox is gone. The surplus will be spent unhappily on things that are very important. Somebody who came into office wanting to shrink government is going to be spending a lot of money, and government is now taking on some pretty fundamental roles, in terms of security. Democrats' issues like Medicare, prescription drugs, minimum wage, all those things are pretty much off the table.
Al Gore, by the way, is still planning to give a speech next weekend in Iowa. I think that his speech is being rewritten right now.
WILLIAMS: You know, I was thinking, Brit, as I was listening to you, that I don't see this representation. I think that the support for the president and for the country is amazing at this point. In fact, I'd say it's unprecedented, given that we haven't done anything yet, to see this level of support.
I mean, when I see questions being raised by Barbara Lee, the Congresswoman from Berkeley and Oakland--she was the single person who did not vote to authorize the president to take action against the terrorists--I almost think it's a matter of conscience. And I think there should be a conscientious look at what we do, so that you don't get into reflexive or reactionary politics on the part of the American people and the American military establishment.
SNOW: There is an interesting contrast, though, I want to draw between Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan and how they respond to this.
Jesse Jackson was in at an event the other day in Chicago. Just a couple of quotes. He said, "Hitler stereotyped the Jewish people. Hitler did racial profiling of the Jewish people and it was wrong. In Oklahoma City they thought it must be Arabs. They thought it was the Middle East, but it was the Middle West." Later on he warned that "now a police state is closing in with the suspension of civil liberties."
In contrast, Louis Farrakhan gave a very long speech at a mosque, and I'll just give you a couple of the quotes from that. He said, "I, on behalf of all members of the Nation of Islam and on behalf of many millions of Muslims here in America and throughout the world, lift our voices to condemn this vicious and atrocious attack on the United States."
And then speaking of firefighters and policemen in New York, he first cites a verse from the Koran and then says, "These fire men and women and these police men and women were running toward the fierceness of the flaming fire of the World Trade Center as many were running from it. Their courage, their valor, their sense of duty caused them to run into that building, not caring for their lives but for the lives for whom they were intent on saving."
HUME: Stark and striking contrast between those two sets of remarks. They were given in different places.
But, one, I think those remarks by Jesse Jackson reflect the kind of reflex critique of America that is felt and is shared by him and a number of those, as I say, on the academic left and in the old left of the 1960s, remnants of which are still around and still hold forth in influential positions and on college campuses and elsewhere.
And what I say is striking about this development is that we can now see these views for what ultimately they are. They are a critique of our country, and they mirror really the things you see, the anti-Americanism in Europe, in British newspapers of the left, The Guardian being the signal example--very clever newspaper, but its editorial columns are filled with the views of people to whom anti-Americanism is a political philosophy in itself.
WILLIAMS: Let me provoke you. Let me use this opportunity to provoke you.
Would you say that Patrick Leahy, the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is part of that kabbalah, if you will, when he says that Attorney General Ashcroft may be going too far in allowing for detaining legal immigrants without reason? Or is he going too far in saying you can't spread stuff that comes from wiretaps to people who don't need it when it's not a matter of national security?
HUME: Juan, those are very reasonable statements, but the statement that a police state is closing in on us because the United States is trying to tighten...
HUME: Well, I'm glad you're not because it's indefensible. And what it reflects is is an astounding view of this country, its purposes and intentions and what kind of country it is.
SNOW: Mara, go ahead.
LIASSON: I was just going to say the interesting thing is, this whole notion of what we really should call ethnic profiling--it's not racial profiling--it's about what you do about balancing the security needs of this country and not harassing Arab-Americans, of which there are millions of law-abiding and upstanding ones. And I think that's a debate that started, I would say, within minutes of the attacks.
I mean, usually, that's the kind of thing, and I'm assuming in World War II, people didn't really wake up to the civil liberties problems with Japanese-Americans until long after they were interned. But this time the debate started right away. I think people are very sensitive about this.
And it's a tough problem. I mean, we have heard about Arab-Americans who've been removed from airplanes. But on the other hand, you want to give these pilots every possible discretion to make a decision about safety.
HUME: That is precisely the point. And profiling as an instrument of police work can be effective.
Now, if I were an Arab-American and I had to spend a little extra time explaining myself to security guards getting on an airplane, I wouldn't necessarily like it, but I think it might be time for people to be understanding of that. That this is not an effort to try to crack down on some group in some brutal way as was done with the Japanese. These efforts, done properly, are reasonable. And the fact is, had they been done in the case of some of these flights that we now know so much about, the terror acts might not have happened.
LIASSON: Well, although, I think that the earlier hurdle for that would have been, first, intelligence had to be so much better to connect the dots to even know you should have done that. I mean, I think the problem was not that we didn't question enough Arab-Americans, but that we didn't understand what was going on right under our own noses even though there were a lot of bits and pieces of information that weren't put together.
WILLIAMS: My hat's off to the president and to secretary of state and others who have, in fact, made a clear statement that this should not be a matter of bigotry towards Muslims or Arab-Americans.
But I would say, look, when Timothy McVeigh was involved with Oklahoma City, a rank act of terrorism, we didn't then say, oh, we're going to look at every white person that's getting near a federal building. So we have to be very careful with that racial profiling.
And I say this as someone, I'll tell you from the heart, when I got on a plane the other day, I found in myself paranoia with regard to Arab people on that flight.
SNOW: All right. Brit, Mara, Juan, thanks.
When we return, we're going to have my parting thoughts on winning.
SNOW: Earlier this week, the pilot of a Denver-Washington flight thanked passengers for flying and then offered some advice for dealing with hijackers. "Throw things," he said, "anything that will throw him off balance and distract his attention. Get a blanket over him then wrestle him to the floor. Remember, there will be one of him and maybe a few confederates, but there are 200 of you.
"Now, since we're a family for the next few hours, I'll ask you to turn to the person next to you, introduce yourself, tell them a little about yourself and ask them to do the same." Passengers applauded and complied.
Here's the moral of the story. The fight against terrorism begins with little things that we've neglected in recent years: things like living free and being good neighbors instead of close strangers. You can't splinter a country united by liberty and kinship. And if our enemies don't understand that now, they will.
That's it for today. Be sure to stay tuned to this Fox station and Fox News Channel for the latest on "America united," and remember to start your Sundays right here on Fox News Sunday.