Skip to main content

tv   Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield  CNN  September 24, 2014 9:00am-10:01am PDT

9:00 am
hello, everyone. i'm ashleigh banfield. welcome to "legal view." i want to start this busy hour with some breaking news. it is a video that has surfaced that appears to show yet another hostage. this time, a french hostage being killed, being beheaded by isis allies now in algeria. his name, herbie gordell, kidnapped on sunday. not held very long. the video is titled, a message of blood for the french government. officials in paris at this point have not confirmed these claims nor have they commented in much more of an intent than just this acknowledgment of this news.
9:01 am
all of this happening on a very big international day. the united states presidents have a platform whenever they want. but only one takes on the world stage. president obama spoke before dozens of his fellow world leaders at the united nations general assembly about isis, about ebola, about iran, about ukraine, climate change and what america can do that other nations can't or simply won't. the war against isis which calls itself the islamic state and which the white house calls isil continued overnight with coalition air strikes in eastern syria, just across the iraqi border. and also four more of these strikes inside iraq itself. u.s. central command says vehicles, weapons, and jihadi fighting positions were all part of the targets and were all hit. the u.n. never authorized those attacks, nor in the case of syria did the government invite
9:02 am
them. i know that sounds strange but it's important. in his speech today, mr. obama could say and did say the united states isn't taking any international law into its own hands, but instead it has partners, it has a plan. and more than that, it has a vision. >> for america, the choice is clear. we choose hope over fear. we see the future not as something out of our control but as something we can shape for the better through concerted and collective effort. we reject fatalism or cynicism when it comes to human affairs. we choose to work for the world as it should be as our children deserve it to be. i have made it clear that america will not base our entire foreign policy on reacting to terrorism. instead we've waged a focused campaign against al qaeda and its associated forces, taking out their leaders, denying them the safe havens they rely on.
9:03 am
at the same time, we have reaffirmed again and again that the united states is not and never will be at war with islam. first the terrorist group known as isil must be degraded and ultimately destroyed. in this effort, we do not act alone. nor do we intend to send u.s. troops to occupy foreign lands. instead we will support iraqis and syrians fighting to reclaim their communities. we will use our military might in a campaign of air strikes to roll back isil. we will train and equip forces fighting against these terrorists on the ground. we will work to cut off their financing and to stop the flow of fighters into and out of the region. and already over 40 nations have offered to join this coalition. today i ask the world to join in this effort.
9:04 am
second, it is time for the world, especially in muslim communities, to explicitly, forcefully and consistently reject the ideology of organizations like al qaeda and isil. third, we must address the cycle of conflict, especially sectarian conflict that creates the conditions that terrorists prey upon. my fourth and final point is a simple one -- the countries of the arab and muslim world must focus on the extraordinary potential of their people, especially the youth. and at this crossroads i can promise you that the united states of america will not be distracted or deterred from what must be done. we are heirs to a proud legacy of freedom and we're prepared to do what is necessary to secure that legacy for generations to come. i ask that you join us in this
9:05 am
common mission. for today's children and tomorrow's. >> want to dig into those remarks deeper with former u.s. army delta commander james reese and joining us from london, former assistant secretary of state jamie reuben. jamie, if i can begin with you, quite a diplomatic speech although the intended target, you could certainly argue, those words, as profound as they may sound to some, fall on deaf ears. >> well, it's never going to be a cheer in the united nations, especially when the president of the united states is talking about the use of american airpower. i think it's fair to say that the administration has managed to put together a fair number of arab countries, european countries to work with it in this important mission against the islamic state. but what's underlying that and what was missing, really, is the larger question of syria. syria has been before the united
9:06 am
nations for 2 1/2 years and it's the chaos there, the vacuum there, the millions of people that have fled the country and the hundreds of thousands that have been murdered that have led to this situation that no country including the united states has been prepared to respond to. >> i want to ask you, colonel, about the notion that -- the president used the language himself about some of these people just respond to the language of force. it can also be argued that the people who ran those countries before, the person running syria right now, the people who ran the taliban, afghanistan, saddam hussein, they used the language of force and things were for the most part contained. does democracy work? >> democracy depends on what's your definition of democracy. some people think if they have a job and they can send their kids to school and they have a roof
9:07 am
over their head, it's democracy. there have been tough leaders in th this part of the world for thousands of years. the people there are like us. they want to be safe. who's doing it for them? up in the air sometimes. >> ultimately the president was really clear that this is not an american effort alone. more than half of this speech was dedicated to the fight against extremism. and yet at the same time you can talk about america's leadership in the issue with ukraine. fighting climate change, fighting ebola, which the president did. but ultimately there is such a loud and resounding message elsewhere in the street that it's a holy war. that it's us against them. that it's the crusade, even with these arab partners, this was still called a crusader set of air strikes. >> well, the arab world has gotten more complicated. there are arab countries.
9:08 am
that are helping us in syria and iraq, saudi arabia, the gulf states, jordan. and there's the people in egypt who uprose against mubarak. and tlen therehen there's this y small group of extremists. unfortunately they have a louder voice and more extreme voice and they get the coverage. and when they put out a video, it's breaking news on cnn. so they have a loud voice but they don't represent a significant portion of the arab world. they don't represent the larger portion of that part of the world. but when it comes to the big question you asked earlier about democracy, i think people need to remember that it's not the united states that started the arab spring. the arab spring happened within arab countries, first tunisia, then egypt, then syria and then bahrain. we needed to decide how to react
9:09 am
to that and it is certainly true that some dictators create stability compared to the messiness of democracy. but that wasn't our choice in syria, in egypt and in these other countries. the people there made decisions and some of them are suffering for those decisions. we need to decide whose side we're on, not whether there's going to be democracy or stability in that part of the world. there's going to be both. >> let me ask you this, colonel reese, regarding whose side we're on, the alliances being made, a lot of people were very surprised at those five arab nations that signed on to be supportive of the air strikes. but just how trustworthy are those nations? i've seen nations say one thing and do another in terms of their alliances with the united states and how should these be any different? >> we've done the same thing. we have said one thing and done other things also. i think what you have, though, right now, the five countries we
9:10 am
have are pretty trustworthy. i think the saudis are a great partner with us. >> up until now, some of the funding for isis, most of it has come from some of these countries. how could you say that? >> you have to look at several different sides. the saudis, the jordanians, great militaries. i've trained and work with several of their leaders. they love doing this. they're very excited to be involved. but are we any different? >> and some of the billionaire sheikhs who don't agree -- >> absolutely. >> i have to leave it there. thank you both. i appreciate the insight especially on this pretty profound day. another round of air strikes against isis targets in syria. but how effective are they and are there as many as there were the first time around? what's being targeted, what's being hit, what's the gear being used? you may be surprised to find out the millions and millions of dollars that went up in smoke.
9:11 am
9:12 am
if you don't think beat con mewhen you think aarp, you don't know "aarp." the aarp fraud watch network helps everyone protect themselves and their families against scams and identity theft. find more real possibilities at
9:13 am
big day? ah, the usual. moved some new cars. hauled a bunch of steel. kept the supermarket shelves stocked. made sure everyone got their latest gadgets. what's up for the next shift? ah, nothing much. just keeping the lights on. (laugh) nice. doing the big things that move an economy. see you tomorrow, mac. see you tomorrow, sam. just another day at norfolk southern.
9:14 am
so john kerry says, yes, this is the second day of air strikes against isis and there's going to be a third day and a fourth day and so on. and so on. in several places in iraq and in syria overnight, the secretary of state says the terror group has not been flushed out but anywhere isis was moving in iraq he says they've been stopped. and again, this isn't the united states military acting alone. he says bombing these isis targets, five arab nations are on board, too, with these air strikes in one way or another. and today the president promised to train and equip forces to fight isis on the ground as
9:15 am
well. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr is with me now. on day one, it felt like shock and awe. the statistics are remarkable. 47 tomahawks, two dozen ordinance. is there something we don't know about why day one and day two were so incredibly different? >> reporter: well, i think that this was never really going to be shock and awe. that was a massive campaign across iraq more than a decade ago. this is different. this is going after terrorist targets, not regime targets. so they started with going after about 14 or so isis targets. let's leave khorasan aside for the moment. that was the tomahawks that went after them in western syria. focusing on isis, they went after a number of targets. they're doing the battle damage assessment. and they're now looking at some
9:16 am
of the pop-up targets, if you will. some trucks, some vehicles, it doesn't seem very exciting, but it's part of the effort, the continuing effort to stop isis when and where it is on the move. certainly as they continue to collect intelligence, we're told, they'll continue to hit more targets, some will betat n stationary -- >> you hit it. >> reporter: some will be the pop-up targets. but isis is not the iraqi regime republican guard of ten years ago. these guys are like shadows. they flit around. they move in and out of towns and cities. so it is going to take some doing to dig them out and stop them where they are. >> that's exactly what i wanted to ask you about, barbara. i was fortunate to be riding in an elevator with general wesley clark. and his assessment of this is that day one's big because you got the targets. day two, maybe not so much because don't have the intel on the ground, we don't have the targets.
9:17 am
and that's troublesome. >> reporter: well, the u.s. is collecting intelligence from a variety of means, but namely overhead. isis is staying off its cell phones, they're staying off communications. it's going to be very tough. impossible, officials say no. but this is one of the reasons u.s. officials are also very openly saying -- and even the president. this is going to be a very long-term effort. you're not going to wipe these guys out in a week. how long have we been at it against al qaeda in this country from the u.s. government trying to hit al qaeda? these terrorist groups are very tough. they are not traditional targets. and they regenerate themselves. so if you hit five isis guys or five cells of isis fighters, they keep recruiting, financing, getting more weapons. this is why you see the administration talk about -- part of it is military. part of it, they say, is the
9:18 am
other aspects of trying to fight the ideology and what they are up to. but every single source i have spoken to says this will be a very long-term effort because of all these problems. >> those same sources and maybe others as well. the whispers through the new corridors of the pentagon, are there people who are upset with the notion that so much of this plan to do air strikes in syria was telegraphed well in advance, even though it wasn't a case of needing to get the permission from congress, it wasn't like it had to be telegraphed. are people in the pentagon mad that the enemy had the heads-up? >> reporter: good question. i'm not really sure i know how to answer that. probably some military personnel absolutely would be looking askance at that. but there's another sort of intelligence side to this question. you telegraph a few moves, isis gets nervous, they move around, that's when you can spot them, perhaps. sometimes they like to -- the u.s. military likes to, as they
9:19 am
call it, rustle the bushes and see what pops out from underneath. so i think it's kind of a mixed picture. >> that's interesting. i haven't thought of that. barbara starr live at the pentagon, thank you. while bombs target the terrorists in syria and in iraq, there is certainly a growing concern that those attacks may inspire violent attacks in the united states by those so-called lone wolves. swat the bee, make him mad. the details on what law enforcement agencies are being told to look for, coming right at you next.
9:20 am
9:21 am
9:22 am
9:23 am
so we've got this just in to our offices from the department of homeland security. and this is a memo that was sent out to law enforcement agencies right across the united states. the message is be on heightened alert for lone wolf attacks especially after the air strikes in syria and in iraq. and it's a concern that we all can't help but have to be somewhat worried about, certainly what everybody across the country in a law enforcement capacity is being told, watch out. is a terrorist here in the united states already trying to retaliate for what's going on overseas? pamela brown is helping to break that news. could you clear this up specifically? there was some language that made me nervous. i'm just paraphrasing it. but be on the lookout for changes and appearances or behavior in people you're already tracking. that suggests to me, there's isis here. you have a handle on them. watch them even closer. >> it's been out there, u.s. officials have announced that therhave been americans who have gone over to fight in syria and who have returned to the
9:24 am
u.s. officials are keeping a close eye on them there's a group of those people. and also there are hundreds of individuals that law enforcement is aware of that could potentially cross a line and become a home-grown violent extremist. and also people not on law enforcement's radar, that may not have those sort of preoperational indicators that would flag them to law enforcement. so this has been an ongoing concern by law enforcement. these home-grown violent extremists and in the wake of the strikes in syria, the concern is they will be emboldened to launch here in the homeland as a way to retaliate. >> and these crazy messages from leadership in isis to ferret people out of their homes. and you don't know how many
9:25 am
lunatics will take this to heart and act on it. but one thing that was fascinating, the law enforcement agencies across the country are being asked to watch for people who have been extremists online and in social media and then suddenly fall mute. how do you continue to watch them if they're all of a sudden gone? >> the hope for law enforcement is they have someone on their radar like that, they're not just tracking their social media. they're going to know whether they're communicating with terrorist organizations, their travel plans, whether they're planning to travel to turkey, the gateway into syria. that's one of the main things. also, they're looking for changes in appearance, changes in behavior, whether they participate in weapons training. all types of indicators. but the bottom line is that there have been lone wolf attacks, home-grown violent extremist attacks in the united states where they weren't on law enforcement radar. >> keep us updated if anything changes, if they update this warning to police agencies all over the country. >> absolutely. >> pamela brown, thank you.
9:26 am
we told you at the top of the program a very distressing piece of breaking news. a french hostage who's been held since sunday has been beheaded. the sad part of this is that this happened in algeria. the man was apparently kidnapped. this is a picture of him here. only a couple of days he was held. but yet again, another western hostage beheaded at this point. and of course all of this just within days of air strikes against isis. more on that in just a moment. ♪ who's going to do it? who's going to make it happen? discover a new energy source. turn ocean waves into power. design cars that capture their emissions. build bridges that fix themselves. get more clean water to everyone. who's going to take the leap? who's going to write the code? who's going to do it? engineers. that's who. that's what i want to do. be an engineer. ♪ [ male announcer ] join the scientists and engineers of exxonmobil
9:27 am
in inspiring america's future engineers. energy lives here. this is charlie. his long day of doing it himself starts with back pain... and a choice. take 4 advil in a day or just 2 aleve for all day relief. honey, you did it! baby laughs! to build something smarter. ♪ some come here to build something stronger. others come to build something faster... something safer... something greener. something the whole world can share. people come to boeing to do many different things. but it's always about the very thing we do best.
9:28 am
♪ right here. with a control pad that can read your handwriting, a wide-screen multimedia center, and a head-up display for enhanced driver focus. all inside a newly redesigned cabin of unrivaled style and comfort. ♪ the all-new c-class. at the very touch point of performance and innovation. ♪
9:29 am
9:30 am
want to get back to our breaking news. still no ward from paris on a web video that appears to show the beheading of yet another hostage. this one, a french hostage. and this time, the beheading taking place in another country, in algeria. this is a picture of herve gourdel, he was kidnapped in algeria on sunday, just on sunday. in a posting that was titled "a members of the jury of blood for the french government," mr. gourdel is apparently put to death by armed men who swear allegiance to isis and their leader. we'll bring you more dales of what's happened in this particular story just as soon as we get more details. we're hearing from the people of syria as well. those who witnessed the air strikes in raqqa and the
9:31 am
aftermath as well, the noticeable difference, not just the damage but the emptiness. for the first time, apparently the streets were clear of this foreboding black clad isis members with their loudspeakers demanding people behave and go to prayer, no longer roaming the streets in their trucks. cnn's international correspondent arwa damon is live at the syria/turkey border. this is just incredible information that you've been able to get from an activist who is on the ground. can you just fill in the blapgs on exactly what that person told you about where these isis people have gone, their leadership, have they fled, are they coming back now that things are abating somewhat? fill in the pictures if you could, arwa. >> reporter: here's what he told us. he said that around 8:00 a.m. local -- bearing in mind these strikes happened around 4:00, 5:00 a.m. local. there was a large convoy of 20 to 25 vehicles packed with isis
9:32 am
fighters, he believe it may have held some of their senior leaders because of the heavy security. he said that it was the first time people felt like they could go out into the streets and at least breathe a little bit freely. but he said that really did not last for long because by 8:00 p.m., isis was back. not necessarily in the same numbers that they used to roam the streets in before but they were back. they were setting up checkpoints and they were detaining people at random. he said anyone who they suspected may have been an informant or filmed anything on their cell phone. in terms of the targets in raqqa itself specifically, the buildings that these air strikes hit, he said they were mostly empty or had been emptied ahead of these air strikes. isis has been anticipating this, he said. about 20 days ago, two weeks ago, they began moving into civilian homes. while there were some casualties among the isis fighters, he said the buildings were mostly empty. the great concern right now -- and this is why it's such an
9:33 am
emotionally conflicting time for the residents of raqqa -- is that on the one hand, they're so happy that finally after all they've endured, someone, something is coming to help them. but at the same time, they're very afraid of what he was describing as being the afghanistan effect, where a target takes out civilians. >> if you would take me to those who decided not to stay and fled, many of them fleeing for turkey. it's just remarkable the sheer number that is we're hearing. i think in the span of about four days, about 200,000 people have left the syrian/kurdish city of kobani. this is unbelievable. can anybody handle that onslaught of desperate refugees? . >> reporter: it's been incredibly difficult for the turkish government to get a grasp on these. they opened up eight or nine border crossings then as the flow slowed down over the
9:34 am
following days, since friday, they have two border crossings open in this one area that is in northern syria. it's predominantly kurdish and isis forces moving straight into there, taking over dozens of villages and sending people fleeing for their lives. these individuals also are saying they want to see more action against isis in that area, in particular many of them walked for days to try to get to safety, carrying their small children, carrying whatever belongings they could on their heads. and the conditions are miserable. you have a combination of sandstorm and very torrential downpours. >> just awful the picture that is we're seeing to the right of you, arwa, with these little kids living in the dirt at this point. arwa damon doing the reporting for us, thank you. stay safe, you and your crew. christiane amanpour this morning speaking exclusively to the secretary of state john kerry to talk about the al qaeda splinter group khorasan and the alleged
9:35 am
plot against u.s. and european targets. >> can you confirm precisely what it was and the imminence of it? >> these are remnants of al qaeda, core al qaeda as we called it. these are people who were definitively plotting against the united states and the west. we have been tracking them for some period of time now. and it is true that we didn't put a lot of public focus on it because we really didn't want people -- we didn't want them to know that we were in fact tracking them as effectively as we were. so this would have happened with or without isil. we were focused on them. and the moment actually was ripe. there were active plots against our country. we knew where they were and we did what we needed to do. >> can you tell us what the plots were precisely? >> no, i can't. i'm not going to go into that. but suffice it to say, we knew there were active plots against the country. >> and while the obama
9:36 am
administration says it will take time to degrade isis with air strikes, some members of congress say we shouldn't be doing that. other members of congress say, what we're doing isn't even close to being enough. ahead, i'm going to speak with congresswoman marsha blackburn, the republican from tennessee. the question to the congresswoman, if the air strikes aren't enough but boots on the ground are too much, what lies in the middle? that's next.
9:37 am
9:38 am
9:39 am
when you compare the top speed of dsl from the phone company with the top speed of comcast business internet... well, there's really no comparison. why pay more for less? call today for a low price on speeds up to 150mbps. and find out more about our two-year price guarantee. comcast business. built for business.
9:40 am
one of the biggest concerns with any conflict, of course, is escalation. and with that comes the possibility that america could ultimately be forced to send in combat troops against isis, even though the president has said it's not an option right now. here's a little bit more of what the president said this morning to the u.n. general assembly. >> as an international community, we must meet this challenge with a focus on four are areas. first, the terrorist group known as isil must be degraded and ultimately destroyed. this group has terrorized all who they come across in iraq and syria. mothers, sisters, daughters have been subjected to rape as a weapon of war.
9:41 am
innocent children have been gunned down, bodies have been dumped in mass graves. religious minorities have been starved to death. the most horrific crimes imagine, innocent human beings have been beheaded with videos of the atrocities distributed to shock the conscience of the world. no god condones this terror, no grievance justifies these actions. there can be no reasoning, no negotiation with this brand of evil. the only language understood by killers like this is the language of force. so the united states of america will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death. in this effort, we do not act alone, nor do we intend to send
9:42 am
u.s. troops to occupy foreign lands. instead we will support iraqis and syrians fighting to reclaim their communities. we will use our military might in a campaign of air strikes to roll back isil. we will train and equip forces fighting against these terrorists on the ground. we will work to cut off their financing and to stop the flow of fighters into and out of the region. >> joining me now to talk about the politics behind america's war against isis is house republican congresswoman marsha blackburn who voted in favor of the president's plan to arm and train those so-called moderate syrian rebels. congresswoman, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. i just want to read back something that -- i want to quote from yous, an interview that you gave to nashville public radio in which you said, what we would rather see him do is be more aggressive and more forthright and go after this more full force and not go at it
9:43 am
halfway. but you stopped short in that same interview of suggesting that there should be u.s. ground troops. so i don't know that i understand what exactly is more forceful than the position the president's taking and what the president and the coalition is doing. can you explain? >> absolutely. and one of the things that we do know from listening to command teams, listening to some of the current generals is i think they're leading the president to take a more aggressive position in fighting, defeating, destroying and, in my words, annihilating isis and isil in any -- and any of these terrorist groups that have sprung up out of al qaeda. now, it would be inappropriate for us to predetermine or to say to the generals and the command team on the field, this is exactly how you're going to do it. what we need to be doing is hearing from them as they begin
9:44 am
to make their plans, as they begin to say, this is how we're best going to do this in the most efficient, effective way -- >> i hear you. but i'm not sure -- i just don't understand what you're saying. what's more aggressive than 47 tomahawk cruise missiles, four dozen aircraft, 200 pieces of ordinates -- all of that just in two days. what's your opinion -- you're saying the president needs to use more force and be more forceful and more aggressive. >> that's right. >> using what? >> well, let's start with defining the coalition. we're yet to know who is a part of this coalition. we are yet to know what is going to transpire over this period of time. how long does he expect the air strikes to continue? what is the expectation there of our military? is he willing to back off of the sequester that has been on the military and is he willing to stop this drawdown of the end
9:45 am
strength? how are our military men and women going to be sent forth? i have a major military post in my district. whether it's the 101st airborne at ft. campbell or the fifth division or the 160th special forces. what they don't know yet is what would be the mission that they're expected to accomplish and what would be the rules of engagement. is there going to be a status of forces agreement with iraq? the president is the leader of the free world and we need him to speak in that manner and to be able to articulate what is going to a pathway. the details and specs of that are going to be laid out by the generals -- >> when you say you don't know who this coalition is, i'm not sure i understand. >> we don't. >> we've had five arab nations all going on the record saying they flew alongside american missions whether they dropped or supported -- they're on the record. this isn't guesswork, this isn't sources say. this is, we did this. what do you mean we don't know who the coalition is?
9:46 am
>> we do not know else is -- >> it's on the map in front of us right now. >> yes, as those came in and flew those missions, yes, we know that they were participating there. we don't know who this broad coalition that is being billed out, who is a part of that. and that has not been defined for us at this point in time. that is something i think that many of our allies are waiting to hear. >> do you want to see boots on the ground? i want you on the record -- i know that unfortunately congress can't go on the record in washington right now. you are all off in preparation for the upcoming midterms. but go on the record here, if you would, please. if the air strikes, the campaign that you're seeing right now isn't aggressive enough in your words, do you want to see american boots on the ground? is that the aggression you're looking for? >> i want us to annihilate all of these terrorist organizations. >> we all want that.
9:47 am
but how do you want that to happen? >> we're going to follow what our command team -- the ones that are in the field that are -- >> and the question is, do you want american boots on the ground in syria? >> we are going to see what they tell us. >> no, no. i'm asking you. you've asked for more aggression than the current air strikes. i'm asking you, do you want to -- it's a very simple question for a congresswoman to answer. american forces with boots on the ground in iraq and syria -- >> listen to yourself, ashleigh. you do not need 435 people playing commander in chief. what you need is members of congress supporting the command team and the president making the decisions that are going to annihilate -- >> so i can't get you to agree one way or the other, whether that's a good idea? >> because i'm going to support my commanders that are in the field. >> all right.
9:48 am
congresswoman, thanks so much for your time. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> what a lot of people are weighing in on is what the united states needs to do to defeat isis. as you can see, a lot of people have differing opinions. my next guest says america will live to regret this latest bombing campaign. forget boots on the ground. he says there's a whole lot of better ways to win this war.
9:49 am
(birds chirping softly in background.) (loud engine sounds!) what! how's it going? heard you need a ride to school. i know just the thing to help you get going. power up with new cheerios protein. would let me take you home. the power of allegra relieves your toughest indoor and outdoor symptoms fast and stays strong for 24 hours. stop suffering. start living.
9:50 am
that corporate trial by fire when every slacker gets his due. and yet, there's someone around the office who hasn't had a performance review in a while. someone whose poor performance is slowing down the entire organization. i'm looking at you phone company dsl. go to checkyourspeed. if we can't offer faster speeds or save you money we'll give you $150. comcast business built for business.
9:51 am
9:52 am
at over 400 pounds, sia was revered in her samoan culture. >> i would considered a woman of strength. but there is no strength in pain, in hurt, in living with uncontrolled diabetes. >> reporter: complications from her diabetes even forced her to have all of her teeth removed. >> it was on that same day that i decided to be an activist against obesity and diabetes. >> reporter: already an acclaimed author, she used her platform to become a crusader, speaking to children and parents about the dangers of obesity. to jump-start her own weight loss, she joined the 2014 cnn fit nation team and began training for the nautical malibu triathlon. in eight months, she lost weight
9:53 am
and gained a lot of confidence. on september 14th, she became a triathlete. >> i feel like a new person. >> reporter: not even a nasty bike crash could reach her from finishing the finish line. >> they wanted to take me in the emergency vehicle but i said, i can't do that, my family's out there, my team's out there. i cannot ride in a car. i came to do a race. >> reporter: she finished the race with her team by her side. >> my team was there. they brought me in. >> reporter: more than 100 pounds lighter now, she's not ready to stop. >> i'll do it again. >> reporter: dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, malibu. back at the news, if you look at america's long track record in the middle east, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence that these latest air strikes in syria are going to
9:54 am
end up fixing much of anything, in fact, some say the united states is going to regret this latest action in syria. joining me now is one of those sayers, brian cooper, national correspondent for i've just basically run the spectrum as i land on you from congresswoman blackburn who says we're not doing enough with these air strikes, although she wouldn't answer my question as to whether boots on the ground is what's enough. she wouldn't say what is more aggressive than that. to you who calls this another boneheaded open-ended conflict in the middle east. it feels to the guy sitting in the middle, and that's me, it's easy to criticize when things are so complex, none of this is easy except the criticism, why is your stance any different? >> i'm just going with the record of what we've done over there for the last decade and a half. and the record is unmitigated
9:55 am
failure. we just don't have any good evidence that we're able to do this things that the president and the congresswoman thinks that we are able to do. we can't micromanage the politics of a chaotic civil war -- >> but can you stand on the sidelines and watch people being slaughtered wholesale and watching women being raped -- you mentioned it in your piece. keep watch from the sidelines, is that really the role for a world leader, as obama said america is? >> if we want to help people who are suffering, what we should do first of all is take actions that will guarantee that effect. right now, the u.n.'s world food program is running short of money. and they're going to cut back pretty much all of their syrian operations over the next year while 130,000 refugees poured into turkey over the last two days. so we could spend $500 million
9:56 am
on this plan that i think probably won't do anything good. meanwhile, for much less than that, we're allowing refugees to go without food, water, shelter. there are lots of things we can do all across the world. it could help alleviate human suffering. bombings, track record is terrible in this respect. and we have good reason to think the opposite will happen, it will make things worse. >> none of this is easy, even the refugee question just became a whole lot tougher with roughly 200,000 refugees on the move in four days. thanks so much. appreciate your time. thank you for watching. stay tuned. my colleague wolf blitzer takes over the helm live from the united nations where the president has just wrapped up and where it is a very, very busy week. he's coming up next.
9:57 am
9:58 am
9:59 am
10:00 am
hello. i'm wolf blitzer reporting from the united nations here in new york city. i'd like to welcome our viewers in the united states and indeed around the world. we begin with president obama's message to the world. he's urging more countries to join the fight against terrorist groups and once again he called this the cancer of violent extremism. his speech this morning here before the united nations general assembly follows another wave of


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on