Appearing on MSNBC, conservative pundit Pat Buchanan -- along with MSNBC host Chris Matthews -- slammed neoconservatives for what Buchanan described as Mideast 'warmongering' surrounding the crisis in Lebanon.
In his latest column, Buchanan also said that the Bush administration's unwavering support for Israel, as it imposes "deliberate suffering on civilians" and "collective punishment on innocent people" through its attacks on Lebanon, is "un-American and un-Christian."
RUSH transcript follows video.
MATTHEWS: Let's go through the politics of this situation. The neocons are out there complaining that this president isn't tough enough. I have no idea what they mean. Fifty-thousand dead in Iraq. It was supposed to be a cakewalk. Ken Adleman is out there today saying we should go other places. You got guys like Ledeen who want to blow up every Arab country on the list. What is going on in their complaint and why is the president paying 5 seconds of attention to them?
BUCHANAN: I don't know why he pays attention to them, Chris. What they want, Chris, is a wider war. Especially in the Middle East. They want The United State to fight Israel's war against Hezbollah, Syria and especially Iran. And the Israelis want us to fight Iran as well. But it's not in the interest of The United States. None of those countries, even Hezbollah and Hamas, have no attacked The United States of America. I don't think the country is listening to the neocons anymore. I think their discredited. The question is, "Is Bush listening to them." Because he was going for a while, up to his second Inaugural, very much according to a script they wrote.
MATTHEWS: ...[Bob Shrum], are you willing to agree with Pat that there is a subculture now of the conservative movement that is extremely hawkish. They are, of course, pro-Israeli. Many Americans are pro-Israeli. But [the neocons] are very hawkish on every front. Not just the Middle East but China, they want to take on North Korea. When we had that EP3 incident early in the administration, they wanted to go to war with China. Do they have the ear of the president?
SHRUM: The root of the problem here is that The United States is tied down in Iraq. 130,000 troops there. I don't know whether Bill Krystal and the neocons have thought of it but if we were to bomb Iran, we essentially have, right now, 130,000 hostages in the middle of Iraq who could be surrounded by hostile Shi'ites. It's a very very difficult situation.
MATTHEWS: I just wonder, Pat, about just the simple history. We know from looking at the Arab world as we've come to understand it, that there is this division there among the Shia who are on the outs and are becoming to be the ins, of course, in Iraq and certainly already control Iran. Taking on the Sunnis that's a world we are only vaguely understanding. That's a thousand year old war. Do you think we are creating another thousand year war by killing so many Arabs? I've been afraid of this war from day one because I've always felt, based on history, every time you kill somebody, you've got his brother, his mother, his family coming back to get you. We've killed 50,000 Iraqi's in a war that was supposed to be a two-day wonder. When are we going to notice that the neocons don't know what they're talking about. They're not looking at this country's long term interest. They're bound up in regional and global ideology and they have had no experience, I'll say it again, in even a school yard fight. They don't know what physical fighting is all about. They went to school and were intellectuals but they want our government to be their big brother. I don't get it. I don't know why we keep falling for it. And the president, you say, is he free of these guys or not?
BUCHANAN: Well, the president, he fell for it after 9/11 when they put that little pre-cooked meal in front of him, after they knocked down Afghanistan. And so they said, "Let's do Iraq now." And Wolfowitz and all the rest of them. But let me say this, Chris. I think the president realizes now, that we went into Iraq to pursue weapons that did not exist, a country that did not attack us, did not threaten us, and now we have created a great base camp for terrorism in the Anbar providence that did not exist. In response to Mr Shrum, you attack Iran, Hezbollah will retaliate against the 25,000 Americans in Lebanon. You will have massive hostage taking and killings. Are these people nuts? You've got to ask yourself. I certainly hope the president is not listening to them because I really question whether they've got America's national interest at heart. They're calling for wars against people that never attacked us. I don't care how bad they are. There are wicked people all over this world but you don't go after people unless they come after you.