started to claim as its own, in other words, potential conflict between the u.s. and china at a military level. this news comes just days after president obama got the iranians to the negotiating table over their nuclear program. it is a dangerous world out there. and i am glad tonight we have a president who knows how to use defense and diplomacy. in times like this we need a leader who can be tough without being a cowboy. >> he certainly has a chance to prove that. he has karzai and he have things developing with the iranians and the new challenge with the chinese which may be in fact the most dangerous of the three current activities of the and that doesn't count iraq, syria, libya, you name it. >> i'm glad we've got a cool hand, no reckless cowboys. >> we're going to discuss how cool that hand is in a minute. in the crossfire tonight, peter
bienert and bill crystal. this was a very significant development. and frankly raises some serious questions. the chinese, as you know, have been claiming more and more and more expansive position. we have a map that shows our viewers, the chinese are currently claiming all the way out into the east china sea and into the south china sea. they claim islands that the japanese claim. they claim, i think, within 100 or 150 miles of manila. it is an enormous area. they now have announced that they're asserting that this is an air defense zone. the president has responded to that by sending b-52s through that area. the japanese have announced, they've told their airlines to not tell the chinese they're coming and to keep using the area. late today as van just reported,
we've seen the chinese send in aircraft carrier, i think with two guided missile frigates into the south china sea where they are bullying indonesia, vietnam. how far should the u.s. go in pushing back? and to what extent is this at least as dangerous if not more dangerous than anything we're seeing in iran? >> i think over the long term, the u.s. confrontation with china will dwarp our confrontation with iran. it is in a much stronger position than it was when president obama became president. we just sign add new defense agreement with japan. we signed an agreement with india. two years ago we sent for the first time, u.s. marines to australia, our relations with south korea are better than they
have ever been. the obama administration has done a good job of fortifying our relations with asia, china is the area isolated, not us. >> so if the chinese don't back down, to what extent would you be prepared to use military assets or to force our access to the areas the chinese claim are now their own. >> we should be talking to the chinese quietly and privately, but we should also be showing strength at the same time so we're negotiating from a position of strength. seems to me likely that's exactly what the obama administration is doing. >> so i imagine that you would be very proud of the obama administration. they are standing up. we are sticking with our friends in japan. we flew our military jets. are you going to give president obama his first atta boy? >> that's right except, they pretty much continued the bush
administration policies. it's tough-minded, old-fashioned. hillary clinton was pretty tough. they're gone now. and i was in japan last week by pure chance. and they were worried, actually about something like this happening. and they would say privately in the meetings, that the policy was pretty good. you don't have much defense forces over here. but the signal from elsewhere in the world is weakness. and the chinese go on the internet, and they read what's happened. they read the president says red line in syria. and we don't use force. the japanese we talked to, said they were worried about the chinese feeling increasingly emboldened. and they did something very dangerous and provocative here. >> first of all, the fact that president obama had to cancel his trip to asia in october because the republicans decided
they were going to shut down the government, the second thing is we have military cuts from the sequester coming in january, and you know who's behind those cuts? it's the republicans. it's the republicans who will not accept any tax revenue as a way of getting off the sequester, even though the sequester is scheduled to hit defense in january. >> you seem to have this routine model. if the website doesn't work the republicans did it. if the chinese are emboldened, the republicans did it. i suspect if the iranians break their word, the republicans will be -- but the question is the chinese have been expanding their zone for the past three or four years. they've been push, the indonesians, pushing japan. >> it's harder for the obama administration to show strength when you have a republican congress that is so dysfunctional that they cannot allow a president to take a foreign trip to asia and when
they've set up a sequester. >> i totally agree on defense. the republican budget on defense has consistently been higher than president obama's budget. president obama's proud of his defense cuts. he's now imposing further cuts. >> i'm for -- >> let's -- i'm sorry. the sequester was originally the bawl white house. >> why don't we talk about iran. let's move on. you talk about weakness and sending the wrong signals. let's look at what this president has done with regard to iran. you have unprecedented cyberattacks on iran. you have joint military activity off of the shore of iran. you have this incredible set of sanctions that is the most brutal and severe set of sanctions anywhere on planet earth except for maybe cuba. you have an incredible set of moves that were made by their
president. the republicans were never cheerleading for it. they never gave him credit until now. now suddenly they say what were you doing before was great. we're mad at you from moving away from it. when the president got everything in place, you guys say nothing. then when he moves the next step from the sanctions to negotiations you start undermining him. how is undermining the prid every time he does anything a smart thing for the united states. >> this president tried to water them down and -- >> you're not -- >> honestly, you're looking at an alter natd universe if you think that the obama administration is tough on iran. the obama administration is proud of its outreach to iran. maybe you didn't notice there was a little bit of an insur exin iran? >> and you want what? go talk to any middle east
country. >> let's talk to people who led the green revolution, who overwhelmingly opposed it. that is the overwhelming view of the people who put their lives on the line in 2009. >> the best way to end cold war is use ronald reagan's policies. reagan had the guts to walk away and to say that we need to actually dismantle either the regime or actually, seriously, roll back, roll back their nuclear program, not give it a slight pause. >> it's interesting that you mention that. as you know, ronald reagan was attacked viciously in the late 1980s for being soft on gorbachev. and our friend newt gingrich
called him -- >> i said it was the most dangerous meeting since munich. >> you still believe that? >> it was a dangerous meeting, and reagan handled it. >> i've -- >> no. a bunch of the -- you were ten years old at the time. >> i've written -- >> a bunch of people who hated reagan and people like president obama who spent the entire '80s criticizing reagan, now they're saying hey, we're just like reagan and thatcher. next i will tell you about a secret meeting that will make you understand how phony the negotiations in geneva were. let me give you a hint. the north koreans are involved. just by talking to a helmet.
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welcome back. in the crossfire tonight, peter bienart and bill kristol. iraq is sliding back into chaos. the other two axis members are still hanging out. as recently as october while the iranian diplomats were making nice, technicians were working on a joint venture to build an intercontinental ballistic weapons. the iranians have been in north korea for at least a decade. i remember seeing photographs,
literally over a decade ago. isn't it a fact that what you had was the deception wing was sitting in geneva while the destruction wing was sitting in north korea. and doesn't that bother you a little bit about their intentions? >> i would like to see the guys go before the hague. they're less likely to have nuclear grade uranium because this deal diminishes it. and it allows us to have inspections at the most dangerous sites and halt their plutonium program. it makes iran less dangerous. >> what you said makes perfect sense as a way of thinking. shouldn't the congress in fact pass very, very tough sanction, conditioned on the iranians breaking their word? that is as long as they do what you just said, as long as we
have access on demand, which is not, by the way, included in the agreement, as long as we're able to actually inspect, no new sanctions. but the minute they break their word, the president has a tool, already pre-passed sanctions, it would be a pretty powerful message to the iranians we're not playing games. >> no, if the deal were to collapse at that point, perhaps. but to pass sanctions now would drastically undermine rouhani and push them away from the compromises we need them to make to get a final deal. >> let me ask you about this deal. obviously, he likes the deal, i like the deal. you don't like the deal. i want to really talk to you about this. first of all, because you can't. >> that's why i'm here, man. >> you can't hate all of it. here's one good thing. we're going to have inspectors on the ground. we keep $100 billion of their money under lock and key.
in return we get inspectors on the ground. there could be a situation where there's nothing left to do but a military strike of the wouldn't you like us to have good intelligence? isn't it good to have inspectors on the ground in case there's a worse case inspectors? >> they're not our inspectors. >> by the way -- >> military strike? i don't think so, man. >> the last time -- >> in iraq, in iraq. hold on a second. in iraq, the international inspectors actually had more information and better than your friends who thought we had weapons of mass destruction there. >> if there were real on demand inspections at ditch sifferent of course i'd be for that. but there's nothing about the weaponization program which is quite important, actually. they stop sol construction on iraq but not all construction
had to do with that. the details of the deal are to be respected. >> it's not true that they don't dismantle anything. they take 20% enriched uranium. >> what do they do to it? >> they turn it into a form that they cannot use it for nuclear weapons. >> how quickly can they turn it back. >> it would be very, very difficult. >> i'm sorry. the demand of the international community has been for ten year, shifted 20% uranium out of iran so they can't turn it back and stop enrichment. >> how effective was the bush administration's policy -- >> it was not effective. >> it was disastrous. and got us 19,000 centrifuges. >> most of the centrifuges were built under obama. >> there's not any alternative. >> what does obama now? when they accept an interim accord, this is an interim deal.
>> it's a freeze. >> it's not a freeze. it's a pause. >> it's a lot more of a freeze than we would get if we had no deal at all, in which casey ran would be moving rapidly toward 20% enriched uranium. >> let me go back to this 19,000 centrifuges. here's my question. you have rouhani saying literally the same weekend, this validates our right to enrich uranium. now every security council rule had said you cannot do this. and the weekend they cut the deal, both the foreign minister and the so-called moderate president both explained that they are now being, that they have now broken through. they will now be allowed to enrich. >> newt, enriched uranium is not what threatens israel or anybody else. it's a nuclear weapon which threatens israel and saudi arabia and potentially the united states. iran having some low level of enriched uranium is not the
threat. the threat is a nuclear weapon and your strategy of no serious negotiations and continued sanctions is the most likely to get us to that nuclear weapon or to military action which bill has already announced he supports, which most security experts have called, robert gates called that catastrophic. >> iran having not if they're very tough. >> they're giving up none of the capacity. >> the u.n. security council wasn't dreaming when they said you have to give up the capacity on enrich. they'll never get the inspectors out. they'll have all the centrifuges. >> let me ask you a question. do you see any way out of this that doesn't involve a military strike? >> i think sanctions work but this regime wants nuclear women's. the only way out is regime change or a military strike to set back the nuclear program. yes, i think it is the most
likely thing it would work. no matter what this president does that is not a military strike, you are going to be a go critic of it. >> if he had been much more aggressive in 2009, if he were willing to push sanctions now, if the regime were to topple, i would be okay with that. but my honest answer is yes. military force will probably be needed to set back the program. >> given your track record, why should we get behind knew supporting -- >> you shnl get behind me. >> you've called for military action. >> were you against -- what is the first and second? were you against u.s. force in gans? there was 9/11 and irresponsible people said maybe we should -- >> some of us have tried to learn from these disastrous experiences of the last decade rather than suggesting the answer to an iran which is willing to make a deal short of nuclear women's capacity is a third war. >> so let me assume for the moment, we have six months.
this is an interesting experiment. if the experiment starts to not work and you are the israelis, and you had seen this weekend the real dictator say, the israelis are like rabid dogs. to what extent would you be tempted to look back to 1981 and think, you know, taking out the iraqi nuclear reactor was the right thing to have done historically and maybe if this doesn't work, maybe israel in self-defense will decide that it will cripple the program. >> in 2007 they took out the syrian reactor. that didn't lead to a war there. >> luckily we don't have to guess about this. we know what israel's national professionals agree. we know that the mayor who had the moosad, israel's agent for 12 years has called the idea of military action against iran stoop and i had said would it increase the chances of an
iranian nuclear weapon will. >> we'll come back for the final question. i have one for bill. we don't want to you miss. we want to you at home to weigh in. how would you grade president obama's foreign policy? tweet pass or fail using #crossfire. ♪ ♪ nothing says, "you're my #1 copilot," like a milk-bone biscuit. ♪ say it with milk-bone.
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and i get to go first with you. so actually, to peter's point, we did a little research. in 2003, you said we should take military action with north korea, 2006, take military action with iran, for action in syria. if you go through the whole list of stuff you've been for in terms of military action, we would be in numerous land wars right now. let me ask you a question. do you think that we would be safer and stronger and tougher as the america we are right now or in america taking your advice and be in six or seven land wars? >> it wouldn't be six or seven land wars. we would have been taken action. the disastrous war in afghanistan and iraq. i want to reject that. we made mistakes during the course of the war but we also did the right thing and we should stick it out. we've made the world safer and there hasn't been another attack. and in iraq, after terrible mistakes in the execution of
that war, we had the surge, we had that secured. if we had managed to leave troops there, the middle east would be much safer. we pulled out. the president didn't leave any troops there. >> more wars. >> being serious about the world we live in. >> even you said iraq is sliding back into chaos. >> because we left no troops there. this president was so concerned to say i got us out of all these terrible wars. >> to have learned nothing from the last ten years of history is truly astonishing. >> i'm quoting hillary clinton who said that. two weeks ago -- >> and she's right. two weeks ago georgetown. i want to thank peter and bill. i want to urge you to go to facebook or twitter to weigh in on our fireback question. how would you grade president obama's foreign policy? right now, 29% of you say pass. i have to say as a form he teacher, i didn't do many pass/fail things. 71% say fail including former
florida congressman allen west. i want to thank you all of you. >> that was brutal. so the debate will have to continue online at cnn.com/crossfire as well as on facebook ask twitter. from the left i'm van jones. >> from the right, i'm newt gingrich. join us next time for another edition of "crossfire." erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. >> outfront. a travel nightmare. a killer storm sweeping across the east coast. potentially ruining the hospital for millions and millions of americans. plus, prosecutors want amanda knox to spend 30 years in prison for murdering her roommate liflt happen? and the affordable care act headed back to the supreme court. will the contraception debate be what actually derails obama care? let's go "outfront."