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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  December 25, 2009 7:00am-10:00am EST

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afghanistan's military police. later, we will discuss the deployment of u.s. troops a round the world and we will take your phone calls on your favorite non-books and books of 2009. -- non-pitching books of 2009. . -- nonfiction books of 2009. .
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>> make sure you turn down your television or radio when you call in this morning, and if you would like to reach us on twitter or e-mail, those are on the screen. favorite political story of the year. we will get to your calls momentarily. the major story for any folks -- for many folks as the health care debate about 24 hours ago. newspapers across the country "telco kristansen @" is the headline in the denver post. also the headlines in the a "los angeles *" they tried that with passage, the two houses will now negotiate a compromise legislation. and the local tallahassee
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newspaper, "a health-care bill passes in the senate." this is a story of how the senators voted there in florida. here is the front page this morning in the washington -- "washington post." they also have the health care story, but they also have a story about the imminent strike yesterday.
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and they also of a map on the front page of the "washington post" next to the story about the location of yemen and wear those air strikes to place. this morning in the "baltimore sun" they also look at the story from a distance -- different aspect. our question for you, though, this half hour is your favorite political story of the year. we will go to our first call from manhattan, and as we do, the year in cartoons. instead, democrats line, go ahead, you are first. caller: their christmas.
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host: thank you. caller: this health care story, we got no moderate votes. i think the republicans are to have their heads handed to them politically when all was said and done. there was no public option. if we would've had more bipartisan support -- this bill nelson from nebraska cost a fortune, his negotiation for this date -- for his stake, the medicare expenses being picked up by the government. i blame republicans for not being more bipartisan. i do not understand the idea of lowering the age of medicare would have been made by in program. -- would have been a body in program.
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host: do you think the idea will come back when they go to conference? caller: i do not think it will. my final point is that is a buy in program. it was not going to cost the taxpayer. i would love the opportunity when i reach the age of 55 in a few years to buy in. it was not going to cost. why was that opportunity removed from the table? republicans ought to have their heads handed to them. host: ted, we are going to get -- let you go and get some other opinions. jamie, good morning, on the independent line. caller: the whole year was a a a thing of political folly ship on the behalf of the gop. the one thing that amazed me was far as news coverage of one of their tibet parties where they were using footage of the
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attendance of the 9-12 rally. that was pointed out that sean hannity was not using the arch will footage. -- the actual footage. but i will say that with his health care, even though it was somewhat watered-down, the train has left the station. you could not deal with this man in one year. he still kept us from going into a depression. he got us health care. he got a peace prize. if his opposition is just simply going to do all these silly things that they do to him, it's going to cost the republican party. host: a couple of stories on soldiers. we will be speaking with military service members from afghanistan this morning.
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that is from the times of london on line this morning. and here is a look at the open court orange county register" this morning.
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that is from this morning's "orange county register." go ahead, butch, good morning. host: happy holidays. the most important to me was the situation with a and bin laden when we have the mentor bora -- when we had him in the torah borah, we pulled our special forces out. this was under bush. if you go back a little ways and realize that after 9/11, the only plane that was allowed to leave the states was to let the
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bin laden family leave the country. any investigation would have held them for more information. but the bushes were in business with the bin laden family. and then about the segment of the police in afghanistan. host: the training of the police in afghanistan? go ahead. caller: they are all heroin addicted. i mean, we trained the etoile event in the first place. favre host: political stories of the year -- host: favorite political stories of the year, here is mike, go ahead. caller: yes, on the health care
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deal, i guess i have a hard time understanding why the democrats feel that -- or anyone can feel that this health care beabill, increasing it by trillions of dollars is going to decrease the deficit. host: your favorite political story of the year until 7:30 a.m. eastern. arianna huffington writes in her column at the huffington --
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and she writes that for many congressman, mitch mcconnell and others she is going to give them a dvd of "mr. smith goes to washington" so they can see the proper use of a filibuster. next caller from alabama, go ahead. caller: the overall, 60% unfavorable opinion of the health care bill, and the democrats have still forced it through. the democratic leadership, harry reid and what not. i'm sorry, i'm a little bit nervous. but how ben nelson and others had to get the big basically, "give me" gives in order to push
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it through. i think it will be a big defeat in the 2010 elections. >> the following -- host: a follow-up to the health care story. he also writes in this piece, a little background on the longest session.
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here is jacksonville, fla., bruce, your foot -- favored political story of the year. caller: i would have to go along with the debacle of the health care bill. the jump in net was on earlier that was speaking about, you know, the republicans not contributing anything. well, i guess he did not watch television because they had the closed-door secret sessions and no republicans were allowed in. the gentleman that talked about medicare, on medicare and in case he does not watch the news, it is going broke. they're going to cut $400 billion out of it. the health care bill along with other things that have been with
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senator nelson of florida and mary landrieu, they're going to exempt 17 states on the cadillac program and one of them happens to be michigan. the winner the american people going to wake up -- when are the american people going to wake up? they do not seem to comprehend the government spending your money. somebody has got to pay for it. there has got to be taxes and fees and that we pass along to the medical -- to the regular consumer. and the gentleman you -- he needs to tell these to 70 million people but we are not in a recession. and the tort bill, i believe that was passed under george of the bush. -- the torque bill, i believe that was passed under george w.
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bush. the deficit, it is like $148,000 per person now. host: thanks for the input this morning. it is christmas morning. here are some photos of the gathering at the church of the nativity in bethlehem. also, soldiers in afghanistan. the pope benedict yesterday's celebrating christmas eve services at the vatican. he was knocked down by a woman in the crowd. you have probably seen some video of this by news programs. he was ok and help back to his feet. that woman is the same woman who tried to reach him at midnight mass last year. favored political story of the year, omaha, neb., here is julie. caller: it is it snowing blizzard in ahman. host: how much snow you have this morning? caller: i think about 11 or 12
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inches on my driveway. host: still snowing? caller: oh, yes. i am a true democrat but i am very disappointed -- i know kay bailey hutcheson and the other gop have challenged the constitutional right of this health along -- of this health bill. the what i'm ashamed of with my party is that they have discriminated against other groups. discrimination in its definition as favoring one group over another. senator nelson and the center of floor have -- and on and on have taken things for their own people and left others. that is just discrimination. host: thanks for calling in, julie. about 15 minutes left, your
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favorite political health -- political story. it does not have to be health care. later this morning, we want to give you a heads up about a special hour about what you read in 2009, in particular, your top non-fiction book of 2009. that will be at 9:00 a.m. eastern this morning. we will spend an hour talking about your favorite nonfiction books of 2009. michigan, next, look is a republican caller, good morning and welcome. caller: good morning america is mr. year. basically, i'm just calling about the american economy. in michigan, we are facing a 25% unemployment rate. obviously, the title to actions are going up. peacoat sure is going to run for governor and i think he will win
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in a landslide -- pete hope shirt is going to run for governor and i think he will win in a landslide. we need to stop printing money, borrowing money from china. michigan will never have -- are talking about my state. in general, i know the american economy is starting to come back a little bit, but i'm 30 years old, self employed. under the bush years i made six figures. under the democratic years are making half of that. host: what is your line of work? caller: it is a family owned seamless coverage of business. -- seamless coverage of business. -- seamless cutter business. our tourism industry has suffered because of the michigan economy. we get illinois, we get chicago
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money up here. we get indiana, ohio, but everything around our state, we are literally looking at a 25% unemployment. the numbers game and just last week. can you imagine that around -- the numbers came out just what we. can you imagine that run the country? detroit and other places are almost at 50% unemployment. the west side of the state, we do not see a lot of the auto industry is suffering. host: from the business section of the "new york times" is a story of fannie and freddie.
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10 more minutes on your favorite political stories of the year. and the heat from los angeles, good morning on the independent
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line. -- betty from los angeles. caller: the health care situation is ridiculous. in 1940, there was a hill -- a bill called the hill burton bill. it was a single payer bill and it went into effect immediately. you might be a little young, but we had community hospitals, clinics everywhere. it was single payer. and for those who do not want abortion, look at planned parenthood. planned parenthood has finan -- has been federalized of 25 $400,000 to kill black babies. this is ridiculous. americans need to learn their policies. people, wake up. host: lots of calls this morning about health care, the health care debate being the political story of the year. inside the "new york post --
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correct the, "new york daily news." there is a photo of the kennedy, senator kennedy's widow. -- a photo of a vicki kennedy, senator kennedy's widow. springfield, va., joseph r. republican line, your favorite political story of the year? caller: thank you for taking my call. the biggest story of the year being the senate leadership bribing senator nelson of alaska to secure a 60-vote on the health care bill. everyone except for nebraska is forced to pay for their services while nebraska's are not. article 2 states attacked the vice president and also will office of the u.s. will be
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removed from office on impeachment or conviction of bribery. therefore, centers read, nelson, and possibly other senate leaders to include the president and vice president should be charged at once with articles -- with bribery. host: dallas, tx, your favorite political story of the year? caller: for the gentleman that called in from michigan, this economy was bad when george bush was in there, but when robins was in there, everybody tried to keep everything -- when republicans was in there, everybody tried to keep everything hush,. the other thing that i did not like was when they were calling him hibbert -- hibbert and signs
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and guns and everything. i think it was distasteful and disrespectful. thank you very much. you have a blessed day and a merry christmas. host: thank you, a couple of opinion pieces from some washington newspapers. this is inside the "washington post" for michael kirsten." -- from michael gerson. another opinion piece this
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morning in the "washington *" they have a piece on the war. opinion this morning in the "washington times." what is your favorite political story of the year? caller: i do not know if it is my favorite, but it is funny.
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like the one where there were to try to make me buy something, that ain't gonna happen. the lady that just called a minute ago, met at lieberman and stuff like that. you have got to understand that your reed said he was smart for doing that and the centers that were not doing briers and of that or not doing their jobs that good. george bush started a fire broke -- started a fire and the people in there now are just throwing gasoline on it. in a few years, if it keeps going like this, not only will we have a health care even if it is passed, disabled people will not be getting food stamps, nothing like that will happen. they will just not be able to do it.
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host: thank you, john from ohio. the senate also had one more vote yesterday. here is the headline on the politics page of the "washington times." pinki urine in a mississippi, on the independent line, genet. your favorite political story of the year? caller: it is hard to say, but i guess i would say health care. i cannot understand how they're saying we will not be paying for it. someone is going to be there to say, yes, you can get this approved, no, you cannot get this approved. they're going to have to hire a lot of people to do that. that is going to be money that someone will have to pay. my other thing is, christianity. 80% of the american people claim to be christians. a wire we letting the other 20%
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-- why are we letting the other 20% tell us if we can have a stable in public places? veterans me crazy. the other thing is, who is paying their taxes -- that drives me crazy. the other thing is, was paying their taxes? host: janet, thanks, we are going to get one more call your. and here is an opinion piece from "ville." -- "the hill." last caller, david, on the democrats line. caller: my favorite story is that we got health care for 31 million people that did not have it. i am so heavy the people of canada before it -- are always worked two jobs. i have been ablest person. i have health care. i am happy for people that do not have it.
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-- i have been a blessed person. i have health care. i am happy for people that do not have it. if it cost me a little bit more, i do not care. i want to see people live their life out as long as i can live mine out, with good health care. also, in flint, mich., we do have high unemployment because we are regional -- general motors down. unemployment in michigan is about 16% as a whole. the gaudette called in from michigan was not telling the truth. -- the guy that called in from michigan was not telling the truth. our unemployment is not 50%. it is 80% or 17% for the state of michigan. host: thanks for your phone calls. coming up in the next half hour we'll be talking to soldiers in
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afghanistan, starting with the brigadier-general gary patton. we will speak with general patton in just a moment, and other service members as well. we will take your calls, coming up. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> c-span, christmas day, a look ahead to 2010 politics, buzz aldrin and fellow astronauts on the legacy of apollo 11. the discussion on the role of muslims of america and the world. later, a formal cia intelligence officer on u.s. strategy against al qaeda in afghanistan. and remembering the lives of william f. buckley jr. and senator ted kennedy.
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>> in the mid-1990s, newsweek named omar wasow one of the most interesting people to watch in cyberspace. and since then, he has helped found a charter school in brooklyn and explain the new technologies on oprah. sunday night he talks about his current cities and what is ahead on c-span's q&a. >> "washington journal" continues. host: brigadier-general gary patton is the deputy for the combined security transition command in afghanistan. we do want to let folks know we are going along distance to get this signal from afghanistan, so there may be a bit of delay both in the general's response and your phone calls. general gary patton, thank you for joining us this morning. guest: bill, thank you for having me. and from everyone on our end,
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all our service members, and merry christmas to everyone back there in the united states. thank you for having me on your show today. host: why don't we start with some essentials and what do you tell us where you are and the primary michigan -- the primary mission of your group in afghanistan? guest: sure thing, it is 5:00 p.m. christmas day. we aren't in kabul, the capital of the country -- we are in cowankabul, the capital here in afghanistan. our mission is to train and go the afghan national army and the national police force. we do that with about 1500 service members, army, navy, air force, marines and military professionals. also, number of police professionals, both from the
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united states and other contributing nations. we are a component of the international security force here that is the four star general headquartered also appear in kabul. -- up here in kabul. host: general, we're going to let our viewers call in with their thoughts and ask questions of you. we will get to that in just a moment. let me ask you, general, about the different roles that the afghan national security force and the afghan police take under. can you define that more clearly for us? guest: we call it the afghan national security forces, but the two main components are the afghan national army and the afghan national police. i will just start with the army. the army is about 100,000
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soldiers strong right now and our goal is to grow them here in this year until october 2010 to grow them from 100,000 to about 134,000. that will improve both the quality and quantity of the security force. moving over to the police, the police currently are about 95,000 across the country. we are shooting toward a goal of about 109,000, again, by october 2010. there are several the different components in the police. you have your unit police, which are essentially your cops on the beat at the district and precinct level. and you also have your national police. this is a force quite similar to our your -- european partners called the gendarmerie or the coronary -- coronary.
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in the year 2011, as president obama has told us, we want to be able to have the conditions to be able to start transferring security responsibilities from the coalition elements over to our afghan partners in both the army and police. host: general, how will that increase interest the president obama has announced, how will that specifically affect your mission there? what will it do for you? guest: the troops surge is really important, bill. i was part of the surge in iraq several years ago and the most important part of the troops surge is that it creates the security conditions on the ground -- i will call attraction it gives you on the ground -- that allows you to bring these -- i will call it the attraction that give -- ther tr5action
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we will do with the u.s. infantry battalion in the army is take the soldiers and leaders and place them across some of the different training centers that we operate here, so that we can improve the ratio of traitor to trainee. one of the elements, a key component of trying to improve the quality of training that we are able to provide a the afghan soldiers. host: a reminder to our callers it will be a bit of a satellite delay, so do not expect an immediate response. go ahead, darlene, in michigan. caller: thank you so much for
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what you do and i would like to say god bless you all of our troops over there and i wish them a speedy return and a very merry christmas to them and their families. i would like to ask you, do you feel that we are accomplishing something over there? i just cannot wait for all of our men and women to come home and to know that they are safe with their families. without you over there, i could not be doing what i'm doing over here, so thank you, bless you. i cannot say enough to you and i wish you a speedy return. and guard bless america and their christmas to all americans. and -- god bless america and merry christmas to all americans. guest: thank you for your best wishes. you make us proud, you and all the americans who support us every day. we are doing it for you, for our country. we have got a complex mission over here. i have been here about a month.
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i served 27 months in iraq and i'm on my first month here in afghanistan. my first impression is that it is a complex mission. we are trying to build an army and a police force in a nation that is at war. we're trying to reverse an insurgency and help this nation get on its feet. but i am impressed by what i've seen, the teamwork and partnership with the international effort. the generosity, the commitment of the afghan partners. i'm impressed with that and i feel good about what we are doing. it is a hard job, but we are here to do our very best and i believe our tough mission is very doable, given the resources we have here, the chairman and marines we have here, along with the 30,000 more we will see in the next several months. and also along with our international partners. it is a great team and i'm proud to be part of it and i'm proud to be representing you, doreen,
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out there in michigan. host: here is our next call, detroit, dara and for the general. caller: i would like to give my support to the soldiers out there and afghanistan. guest: i have no audio, no sound. host: go ahead, darrell, restate your question. guest: i have no audio with "washington journal." host: darrell, i'm going to hang you up there and just see it's a general can hear me. we may have lost our audio signal to kabul and to general patton. we will wait until we get it back and go next to dennis in las vegas. dennis, the general may not be able to hear you, but if you want to weigh in with your thoughts, go ahead.
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caller: i completely respect of our military and i think our leadership in our country should be based off that and i would like to as the general what he thinks about someone like general patraeus running for our next president. i would like to get his thoughts on that because that has been thrown out there. and go back to the days when we had eisenhower and stuff like that as president. host: general patton, it appears we have you back. did you hear that call? guest: i heard part of the call. it sounded like he wanted my opinion on general patraeus running for president. that may answer it this way, i was sitting with general patraeus just a few days ago. i was serving with him over in iraq and now we are together again in our chain of command here in afghanistan. i will just say this, the leadership in the military, we have to stay apolitical. we have got to focus on the
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machine -- on the mission. we are here representing the values of a great democracy. and i really think we need to stay out of the political fray at this point and stay focused on our military mission. i'm sure general patraeus agrees with me on that point. host: you have been in afghanistan for one month. you spent 27 months in iraq. number one, your impression so far, and how long you think you will be in afghanistan? guest: let me take the last part of the question first. bill, i do not really know how long i will be your. i'm starting with 12 months and i will work my way beyond that. i really want to be here to make a difference, and however long it takes me to do that. if i did not think this mission was doable, i would not be here. and i know our leadership and our soldiers feel the same way.
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in terms of first impressions, and in comparison to my days in iraq, of course, is a bit colder over here. we are at a higher altitude. kabul is at 6,000 feet. it is very rugged land, much more rugged than anything i saw in central and northern iraq. of course, there are similarities. the people of iraq and the people of afghanistan are very religious. predominantly a moslem country -- muslim country and very strong travel connections, family connections and values and that sort of thing. in terms of conditions i would say that the afghan country is a fairly poor country. where do not have the resources that we saw in iraq in terms of natural gas and oil reserves and that sort of thing. and i guess i have been impressed with two things, one,
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the depth and breadth of the international effort to hear in afghanistan. and we have 46 countries with representatives in our team. just yesterday, we brought in a european gendarmerie force and integrated that into our force. a policeman, 300 of them from france, italy, portugal, spain, netherlands and several other countries. what those policemen will do is go out to the afghan precincts and try to help make them better. i have been impressed with that and i've also been impressed with the afghans. the senior military leaders that i need with, for example, the minister of defense that i have met with this week, and one of the several -- one of the generals of the army, they are committed individuals. they want to make this country better and are very thankful to the degree to which we are contributing to make improvements in their nation.
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i have been improved -- impressed with the general warrior spirit as well. host: back to your calls, thomas honor republican line. are you there? this is palm springs, i'm sorry. is this the archbishop? caller: yes, host: it. go ahead. -- caller: yes, it is. host: go ahead. caller: i would like to send my blessings to you and your troops and remind people, baghdad has a cushion -- a big christian community. i'm sure you have a lot of troops that celebrate kwanzaa day coming up.
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and let's not forget boxers day. and well, ramadan and how a car over, but let's just remember that -- and hanukkah are over, but this is trevor that we're all in this together. host: thank you for that call. i will ask the general, on this particular date, how are the service members? guest: that question was extremely distorted and i could only make it a few words on this end. i did pick up the collar was from las vegas. i heard him mention the word ramadan. i would just say this, as i mentioned, the people of afghanistan are deeply religious. of course, is predominantly a country of muslims practicing the islamic faith.
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ramadan is one of the most prominent ones this time of year. we have a common bond with the afghan people in trying to improve security. the common afghan once a secure home and education. it is a fairly literate society, but they want to improve themselves. they want to read a livelihood, it means to produce for their family. safe streets to walk to and a grocery store to go to end of the ability to care and feed for their family and that sort of thing. we are partnering with them to do some things across the board that will not only improve their security, but their living conditions. and that is based on some initial impressions here for my first four weeks over here. >> there's -- host: there is a
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near story announcing the pay increases for the security forces there. what is that going to mean for those forces? guest: it is a tremendous incentive in terms of improving the number of recruits. before this month, the greatest number of records that we have seen in to the afghan national army has been around 4000, but it averages around 2003 thousand. -- if but averages around 2000 or 3000. we implemented a pay raise and we have seen this month a record high recruiting numbers. part of that can be attributed to the pay raise. part of it is also the degree to which the leadership of the afghan national army and police have put into improving and
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increasing the number of mdot -- the number of recruits coming into service. let me give you an example about the pay raise. an afghan army sergeant previously would have earned about $140 per month. but with the pay raise, the pay raise is a $45 increase. now he is getting a a -- $185 per month, which is a significant pay raise in this economy. we also relented what we call a hazardous duty pay. if your service -- we also implemented will recall hazardous duty pay. if you're serving in a high-risk part of the country, you get more on top of your pay. $75 on top for hazardous duty pay. that brings them have to repay about that is almost double what he had before. we use that as an incentive. again, impressed with the record number of recruits we have seen this month. we have got to see that as a
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pattern and a trend in the months ahead. one month is not going to be good enough. we will have to see consistent, high level of recruits in the months ahead to build to the 134,000 man army by october 2010. we will be looking at that very carefully in the coming months, to sustain that. host: brigadier-general. patton is joining us from kabul, afghanistan. -- brigadier-general gary patton is joining us from kabul, afghanistan. next call is from california. caller: i was pleased to hear you mention education and the infrastructure around people who live there. i think by reaching out to them more in a humanitarian effort and acting like a police force to try to protect them to allow
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them to try to grow their culture [unintelligible] host: michael, thank you for the call. general patton, your thoughts on his comments? guest: i'm sorry i did not pick up his name, but i did hear that he was from oakland, california. their christmas to you, sir. he was talking about dallas -- merry christmas to you, sir. he was talking about elements of their society. we realize there are parts of society over here that we have to work on, especially one area is corruption. that is just part of doing business over here. the military and the police force are not exempt from elements of corruption.
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another thing we're looking at doing is in the electronic fund transfer program. in the past, a soldier got paid in cash and with that pocketful of cash he had to make his way back to his down through territory lenders and other -- predatory lenders and other forms of corruption you can imagine. now with electronic funds transfer, that pay goes straight to his bank and believe that is having a positive impact and will help to eliminate some of the temptations how of corruption out there. that is just one gore -- component of the overall program. i think the caller also mention education. we're involved in a literacy program for the police and army. it is important for us to teach the afghans have to read and write. it is hard to fly a helicopter, drive and artillery piece, or fly a hummer if you cannot read.
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that is a very key component to the overall training program here vote on the police and army side. host: we your next from tampa florida, mike, go ahead. hot caller: mayor christmas to you, general. and i'm wondering if we can get these people moved over to a better crop, may be weak or sorry or something? guest: i got that call, asking and what we can do to help with the agricultural side and maybe eradicating not the use of drugs. we know there are drugs and drug
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use and cultivation in this society year. it is a form of agriculture. we know that the taliban exploits that and tries to help fund elements of the insurgency with drug money. we're trying to do some things to eliminate drugs from the military and police. you cannot be an effective police been on the beat or an effective soldier in the ranks if you are using drugs. we have eliminated drug use almost entirely from the united states military, to a great extent, and we hope -- we hope to aim to help the minister -- the minister of the interior and ministry of defense with that as well. this is a 100% accountability of every policemean and making sure
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that we are paying the cops are serving the public. as part of that, we are conducting a 100% drug test of every police man in the force. those that are found to be drug users are being dealt with. again, we realize this is part of society that we need to eliminate from the military and police in order to make that a more effective security force for their people and protect the population. host: here is a call from rhode island, thomas, you're on the line. caller: we just want to know here how the morale is over there and what more we can do to pick up the morale. we sent some packages over there from the korean war veterans. we want to know what more we can do to help keep the morale up. host: a question about morale
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and what folks can do. guest: and that is a great question. i appreciate the support of the caller in trying to improve our morale. their morale is what keeps you cohesive and motivated and so forth. i was a couple of things about that. just like the caller, we are getting a flood of christmas cards and packages and so forth over year. literally, my office is wallpapered with cards and letters from the great american public. many of them are anonymous and just random "der souljah" cards. it does a german -- "dear soldier" cards. it does a tremendous job in motivating me and my soldiers here.
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it is a tough time to be over your during the holidays. we would rather be under the christmas tree and wrapping presents right now with our family members. i have cut two daughters and a son and my wife beckham in northern virginia. but what motivates me -- i have got two daughters and a son and my wife back home in virginia. but what motivates me is the mission and i have seen the same level of determination in the eyes of the soldiers and service members when i went to talk to them yesterday on christmas eve. it is a large ship, but we are prepared to face that a hardship because it is an important mission. i would like to thank the caller for his support. i brought in a couple of the cards around my front door in my office. i want to thank the first presbyterian church of clarksville, georgia, for their well wishes. i would like to thank mr.
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william sayers, who sent me this can of christmas cookies. i have no idea where he lives or what organization he belongs to, but it was "dear soldier" and i hope he is listening here today. lastly, i would like to thank the kindergarten class in hazleton, pa.. those kids, probably with the help of their teacher, 10 kids in the class said mary christmas to the american soldiers. thank you for keeping us safe. love and blessings at christmas time. that goes a long way toward keeping me motivated and in rollup our service members very high. host: seems like an appropriate way to wrap up our conversation. except that we have one more gift for you, your family is on the line with us.
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mrs. patten, are you on the line? caller:hi. host: go ahead. you're on the "washington journal" and doretta and talk to your husband and dad. caller: mary christmas. guest: mary christmas, i know you are currently unwrapping presents right now. i love you all and thanks for your support. i will be calling you later on today and seeing what you got from santa claus. caller: mayor a christmas dad. caller: -- merry christmas dad. caller: hi, dad. guest: i cannot see you from this end, but i can hear you and i just want to thank you for
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being there for me. i am thinking about you. merry christmas from all the soldiers and service members over here. we are all missing our families. host: we want to thank your wife and children as well for calling in this morning. general gary patton joining us from kabul this morning. we appreciate your time this morning, general. guest: thank you for having me on the show. thanks for bringing my family into the show. it was great to talk to the american public out there. again, mary christmas, happy new year to you all. we're going to get back to our information, but thank you for talking me -- talking to me this morning. happy holidays. host: we will continue our conversations with u.s. service members from afghanistan a half- hour with a number of different u.s. service members here this
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christmas morning. we will be right back. >> c-span, christmas day, a look ahead to 2010 politics, including republican congressman eric cantor, an nbc's david gregory. buzz aldrin and fellow astronauts on the legacy of apollo 11. a discussion on the role of muslim americans in the world. later, a discussion on u.s. strategy against al qaeda in afghanistan. and starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern, remembering the lives of william f. buckley jr. and senator ted kennedy. >> in the mid-1990s, newsweek -- "newsweek" named omar not wasow one of the most interesting
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people to watch in what -- in cyberspace. sunday night, he talks about his current studies at harvard and what is ahead. that is on c-span's q&a. host: in just a moment we will return to afghanistan tuesday to a number of u.s. service members who are spending this christmas day in afghanistan. as you heard from general gary patton, it is about 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. there in afghanistan. we will get to our service members, marines, soldiers and sailors in just a bit. here is a commentary in the philadelphia inquirer. we're joined by a marine joined bylyle stiffarm.
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we appreciate you joining us this morning. tell us a bit about yourself, your machine, and how long you have been in afghanistan. guest: good morning to you, mary christmas. i am from foreground, montana. i am a native american. i have been in afghanistan for four and a half months. i have 45 days and counting. host: there'll be a little bit of satellite delay, as we had with general patton this morning. our first guest this morning is sergeant lyle stiffarm. you have been in the marine corps for a number of years. and you have experience as well in iraq? guest: yes, i was in iraq for two years. this is my first time in afghanistan. i have been in the marine corps
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about 10 years now. host: tell us about what a typical day is like for you in your duties there and afghanistan and what did -- to this day is like in afghanistan, this holiday, this christmas day. guest: my duties are basically, i am a commander. i basically take packs and equipment to different basis in the alr of kabul. host: we are going to take some calls from viewers as we will be talking to a number of service members. the numbers to call are on your screen. sergeantsstiffarm is the first -- sgt stiffarm is the first of
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this morning. what will the troop increase mean to you in afghanistan? guest: that would mean to me that i get another chance to come over here and make a difference. that is what is important to me. host: sargent, tell us about what motivated you in the first place to join the marine corps. guest: what motivated me was when i was in third grade, had a sponsor. these send me some gifts from korea. he was a marine. since the third grade, that is when i made my decision i wanted to be a marine. i was a sophomore in high school again when i decided that was the route i was going to take with my life. host: in doing your duties as leading convoys in afghanistan, there as been a lot written here
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in the states about the difficulty of getting supplies through into afghanistan. what can you tell us about that? guest: with that, the traffic is very tough. in kabul. the streets are packed. i do not know how they get all there's vehicles on the streets. there are no traffic lights and there is some tough traffic. i thought why he was bad. host: a couple more minutes with the sergeant. we will take your calls. i want to remind the callers that there is a delay of a couple of seconds. chris, in maryland, go ahead. caller: good morning and thank you so much for your service to the country. i am a vietnam veteran. i just wonder if uc continued support for all of the military other than just today.
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what do you think the american people are saying? . .
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host: i am going to let our producer have them know to turn down their television. we will come back to your mother, but i have your wife on the line. go ahead. your on with your husband. caller: merry christmas. guest: merry christmas. i love you. it is 6:00, i cannot get the boys up, but we wanted to tell you we are proud of you, we love you, mary christmas. i'm calling from montana. host: thank you for joining us this morning. we will try to get your mother back on line. frankie, go-ahead. you are on the air.
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guest: good morning. i love you. i am proud of you. i am so thankful you boys are over there to protect us and keep us safe. i will never forget that. you know how proud i am of you. guest: thank you. merry christmas to you. host: sergeant stiffarm, we want to thank you for joining us this morning. for the next 20 minutes, we will members and afghanistan, coming up in just a bit. inquirer about a christmas truce in world war one, christmas date in world war one. the author of the peace talk
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the author of the peace talk about the?stukno carrierringcon0 we accept that somewhat in afghanistan, there christmas carols on a battlefield as the world war continues. it is veterans who continue.
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it is the greatest challenges able to make the greatest effect on those that they touch, and the people in combat, in support, in whatever related to this, whatever your harshest events you face are -- host: thank you for your input. we are joined by a petty officer in afghanistan, but russell foreign -- russell sore neck. russell thorne.
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we want you to tell us a little bit about yourself, why you are in afghanistan, what your mission is. >> i have been and afghanistan about five months. my mission is to drive around distinguished visitors, escort them from place to place, any kind of space they need to go to. >> so you drive around distinguished visitors. does that include distinguished visitors from the united states? who would they be? guest: it includes a bunch of senators and stuff like that. we have had the secretary of defense, secretary of the navy, the joint chiefs of staff, people like that over here. host: as troops increase, are you concerned for your safety?
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guest: i feel safe here. people are friendly. even though we have some attacks, i have faith in my troops and airmen and marines, and we're trained to do the job we do. i have a lot of faith in these men and women. host: what is your home base in the states? guest: fort worth, texas. whost: we have calls waiting for you. in minnesota, this is andrea. caller: first, i would like to ask him his job again, because i missed that.
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host: we lost to there. i think he had talked about his duty there. we will hear now from new york city. ralph is on the line. go ahead. caller: yes, i just wanted to thank you very much for what you're giving to our country, for your service. i was also curious, is there still a sense in afghanistan -- do you get 8 cents for the list of the for the help that we brought them the time? guest: yes. we have cleaned a lot of things up around callable from out when they came. we are helping a lot, and
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afghans appreciate it so much. host: we are joined by your father. go ahead and talk to your son. caller: good morning. merry christmas. host: what is it like to have your son away? tell us about your feelings this christmas morning. caller: sad about him not being here, but we are all proud of what he is doing. host: petty officer thorn, guest: the guest:-- go ahead. guest: i wish i was home to be
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there with you all to eat some home cooking down south. caller: we wish you were here, also. we will be thinking about you. host: thank you. thank you for joining us this morning, and mary christmas to you, and good luck as well. we are spending this half hour talking to service members in afghanistan. here's a story at u.s. and taliban compete for afghan towns, but retaining talent is hard.
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greenville, michigan. go ahead. >> i wanted to tell a story, because you had the article on world war one. my grandfather -- the only thing i know about the war, because he would not talk about it, was that that was the war where they had those long holes they had dug, the trenches, and all day long they would fight, and when the sun went down, there would fix something to be -- eat. and before they went to bed, both sides, the germans and the americans would sing together.
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and that was the only thing he told us, because he thought war was so stupid. but i am so proud of the guys and girls that go. i did not know how they go. i am 60. high it would never think of doing that. but merry christmas to all of you, and i hope you like the story. host: according to senior military leaders, most units are in the midst of finishing up their fourth combat tour since 2001. trips include two each from the airborne and bound divisions.
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it is well below the standard target of 22 months of the well time between departures. steve, go ahead. caller: i applaud their efforts, and our thoughts may be with them. i have never been in service. i was going in the 1930's, but i missed world war two. i have a lot of relatives that were in the war. we applaud you and bless you for the work you are doing their.
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host: we are joined now by the air force. zechariah matthews is joining us from afghanistan this christmas morning. tell us about your rank, your duties, and how things are going on this christmas dept. -- day. caller: i were doing -- i work during ptsd therapy. for people who are already here, want to extend, etc. host: you are working with -- i did not hear that quite clearly.
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guest: psd. personal service development. yes. host: tell us about the contingent there. how big is the unit you work with? guest: with the air force, we come over as individual members. but there are about five and heard members attached or working this year. host: what prompted you to join, and how long have you been in? lastly, what is your home base in the united states?
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guest: i have always wanted to join some type of military since being young. my mother talked a lot about her father, the passed away. he had been in the air force, and it seemed like a good thing to do. and i have other family members and other services. the way of life is better. i am stationed out of abilene, texas. host: go-ahead. caller: i am so proud of you and all of our servicemen. i have had tears in my eyes all morning.
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he is a happy young men, and he has gone through all the preparation and stuff. a first was scared and did not have confidence, and now he is at fort campbell, on his way, and i want to tell you that i know, as an ex-army person, i wish i could help you. you give me a perspective on life, and i know exactly what to tell my nephew. guest: thank you for saying that. it means a lot. there's nothing to worry about this. it is a great place.
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host: your sense of safety. how do you feel about that? guest: very safe. this camp is probably one of the safest i have seen so far. there is a lot of security checking, and i feel very secure being here. host: your father is your priscilla to your son, and understand that there is a bit of a delay. timcaller: time is short, but we want to say hello and that
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you look great. we just love you. host: 90 to the matthews family. you can talk back. we will let him listen on the air -- thank you to the matthews family. caller: thank you. thank you for the support. everytime i get to talk to you means a lot. host: we have a couple of more minutes, and we will be speaking to one more service worker. make sure you turn down your television.
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caller: i just wanted to say how hello. i was stationed in kabul, camp phoenix. that really is a safe area. i've been home for a week. host: enjoy your time home. here is the hill, talking about obama's sending christmas greetings, using the white house address to send holiday greetings. president barack obama joined by michelle obama at his side also touched on the tough economic year, as we recover from an
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extraordinary session. looking here at the president and first families looking head their christmas break. from georgia, go ahead. caller: i just wanted to say that i am praying for the troops. i will be grateful when the war is over and they could come home. i do not know anybody. i do not have many people over there. host: we are joined by a navy lieutenant from afghanistan. good to have you here. guest: thank you. merry christmas. host: tell us about your role in
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afghanistan, how long have been there, and your impressions so far. caller: my role is for an adviser to the medical group, working with statistics. general impressions is that they are very hard workers. a long way to go, but we're getting there. host: is that working with wounded soldiers and service members? guest: i work with the afghan national army, with civilian providers and logistics'. host: how long have you been in the navy, and what motivated you to join them or did you go to the academy?
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guest: i have been in the navy a little over a year. the national -- natural progression was to try at the navy out. no regrets. deftly a unique experience. caller: i am a former marine. i have spent time in desert storm, and i know how it is. keep your heads up, keep god, your family, and your country. keep doing your job. we all love you and appreciate what you're doing, and thank you. guest: thank you.
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thank blake for his service, as well. merry christmas to him and his family. i have your mother on the line. cindy lee potter. mrs. potter, are you on the line? go ahead. caller: hello. we miss you, we love you. guest: i miss you guys, too. i am jealous of my friends back in hawaii right now. caller: hello. this is her father. her brother is with other family members in puget sound.
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we're wishing her the best of luck and to say safe. just be safe. we leviable -- we love you. host: thank you for that. meghan, go ahead with your final thoughts. guest: thank you. i want to thank everybody for your service. i hope to have a great christmas and new year's. host: lieutenant potter, we thank you and all of the service members who joined us this morning. next guest is with the institute
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for policy studies, looking at american armed forces' presence across the world. that is coming up on "washington journal." >> in the mid-90's, newsweek named him one of the people to watch on the internet. since then, he has founded a social networking site, helped start a charter school in brooklyn, and been on oprah.
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he talks about what is ahead. >> beginning monday, are rare glimpse into america's highest court threw unprecedented conversations with 10 supreme court justices about their work and the history of the iconic building. five days of interviews with justices, starting monday at 8:00 p.m. eastern. and get your copy of the documentary on dvd as part of the american icon collection. host: our guest is the internationalism director with the institute for policy studies. just broglie, how many troops as the u.s. have stationed overseas?
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guest: a lot. about 1,000,000.1, something like that. and there are more than 1000 bases around the world in every continent. a base may not be a huge military base. some of them are huge. they are -- there are hundreds of golf courses, but they are run by the u.s., owned by the u.s., controlled by the u.s. military. they are considered part of the u.s. military presence around the world. contractors raise an important point. right now, everywhere the u.s. has troops fighting, there are
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more private military contractors than there are troops. in afghanistan, there are about 68,000 u.s. troops, and 110,000 military contractors. the expectation is it will match the escalation. we're going to send at least 30,000 new mercenaries, and the cost of that is about $1 million per soldier. for that escalation alone, we will be spending 30,000 troops. it will be $3 billion -- i am sorry, $30 billion. imagine what that money could do at home. he$30 billion -- that is about 3 million jobs.
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that is you'd. -- that is a huge. this is a very different era in terms of the world of contractors. in the past, in vietnam, world war two, in every normal war, in every normal army, things like kepi duty, truck driving, those are done by a low ranking soldiers. the privates or corporals do that. not and this army. we hired people from all over the world to do this work. in afghanistan, lot of the mercenaries are afghans. they're not all foreigners. about three-quarters are afghans. and they're hired to do that work on the basis. they do the cleaning, the
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feeling of trucks, the cooking. and you have a gang of people broaden from low-wage countries like the philippines, ethiopia, bangladesh, even pakistan. they are hired by contractors, and they do a bunch of that work. and at the top of the pyramid are the military guys. that is blackwater, the guys with guns who do the work military people always did that military people who would be accountable to the chain of command, instead to have these contractors. that is where you have most of the americans being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, tens of times more than the equivalent in the military expects, and they are not a credible at all to the military high command of. they are under a separate set of laws. host: we will talk probably about the size of the presence
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overseas. before we get to calls, you talked to iraq and afghanistan occurred outside of those, what is the largest presence in the world? >> japan, south korea, and germany. in germany alone, there are over 57,000 troops. there -- actually, almost 200 bases and installations in germany. some are huge, like the giants' medical center. some are tiny, and there are housing concentrations and small basis across the country. the same in japan and south korea. huge numbers, thousands of troops. it has been there since world war two, in the case of japan. the cost of this is way beyond
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but we sometimes think about. host: has any other administration taken a serious effort at downsizing the presence? guest: there was downsizing in the 1990 pus. there were no major wars being fought. but not in the key countries. not in germany, japan, or south korea. smaller bases were downsized, but in the last 10 years or more, all of the bases have been going up. host: to be clear, the organization for policy studies, your organization, has an opinion on this. guest: we do. we think this is a bad use of
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people power, and it does not make us safer. many are angry about what these bases are doing to the environment and social conditions regarding women. so you see fights know and okinawa, in a beautiful place in italy outside an area designated an historical artistic center by unesco, a site -- i'm forgetting the name, of the renaissance artist and architect known for mansions -- palladio. the palladio mound-- mentions outside the city. and the u.s. has now negotiated against the wishes of all local population to build a second air base within 100 yards. they want a better air strip. why it has to be there, nobody
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can answer. but the italian government agreed under a right wing government that was allied with bush originally, and the obama has done nothing to change it, and they say that in the opinions of unesco and historians around the world, they do not matter. host: let's go to a caller. joe, go ahead. good morning. caller: merry christmas to all, and to all a happy new year to all the troops around the world. i am retired army. i spent my career in communications electronics. if anyone has ever pondered why the ratio of contractors keeps increasing, well, you know, when the military is downsized get every conflict, the mission is
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still there. in my career fields, maintenance was done away with. so what was the military to do? the mission is still there. guest: i think joe raises an important point, which is what is the mission of these facilities around the world? i do not believe that they make us safer. if you look at africa, right now there are not a lot of troops. there are about 2500 u.s. troops from africa. 2100 of them are in just one country, in djibouti, where there is a huge set of military bases.
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these troops are invited in some of the fighting in somalia, currently in yemen, as well as the broader south asia region. but last year, instead of saying that africa is not a war area where we do not need a lot of troops and bases, instead of that, they say, well, we are going to set up an african command. they never had a separate command for africa. and they said to we're going to do is we will have the pentagon to take over everything the u.s. does in africa. so the pentagon is taking over aids and hiv care, health care development, overall development assistance. all this is now run by the pentagon. it would normally be run by the state department or usaid. this is dangerous, and we see it
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taking place in the creation of a new command in africa. the goal is to establish bases all over africa to do this. so far, the african government has said, we do not what your bases here. the headquarters is in germany now. the headquarters for africom is in germany, and there is no sign that that will change anytime soon. but the policy of militarizing the u.s. relationship with africa through our efforts with africom is still going forward, and i think that is dangerous. host: as we start looking at facts and figures of how many barrels a day are coming from africa and, it is not deniable that this has become a strategic interest for us. but china has a big military presence there, as well.
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>> they have contractors. they have a huge economic presence. the question becomes, as it does in so many parts of a world, does having our soldiers present at bases that are often hated by local people, does that make us safer? i do not think so. host: him on the democrats line. go ahead. caller: paying afghan people $270 a month, and our guys over there, killing them, makes no sense to me, why we're over there doing that guest:. you raise an important question, which is the issue of the continents of how the u.s. pays afghans in the war. the two and $7 a month you refer to, that is after a decision by the military, our military, to
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raise the pay of afghans that are being hired in the afghan army pictur. they did it not because they thought it was a legitimate amount, but because the taliban was offering $300 a day to recruit. so it went to the highest bidder. these are not ideologues' to agree with the taliban or the u.s. military on anything. they are desperate. they're desperate to figure out a way to support their families, and they will go with the highest bidder. so the u.s. is trying to outbid the taliban. host: here is larry in petersburg, illinois. caller: i would like to say god bless our troops, and i would like to ask your guest if there
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are institutes to support certain candidates. in the last primary, there was one individual trying to emphasize the fact that our economy was in bad shape and we are trying to build an empire. we need to draw back and start following the constitution and get troops back home. also, that talk about this being a war? is this a constitutionally declared war? guest: great questions. we are a nonprofit organization. we do not take government money or corporate money, and we are completely independent. we have our own views about u.s. foreign policy. i read a book few years ago called "challenging a"empire about the war in iraq. but as an institution, we did
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not take any political positions. the issue of constitutionality is an important one. in my view, the war in afghanistan is not a legal war and never was, despite the fact of the congressional authorization. a congressional authorization in violation of international law is not a valid use of congressional power. the united nations did not endorse the afghanistan war at the time it was initiative. and the u.s. had decided not to request un authority because the bush a administration had made a decision that they did not want to a knowledge the right of the united nations to make decisions, and as a result, the resolution was passed with great fervor and unanimously. every member of the security council stood and cast votes,
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they did not just raise their hands. what they asked for was a level of international corp. going after the money, police cooperation, but it did not authorize the use of force and was not taken under the terms of a chapter 7 of the charter, if required if you are going to have a war. host: seek moving forward to present day, the british are currently conducting an iraq war in korea, and are expecting to hear from tony blair and others. what do you hope to learn from that? >> i think the british decision is very important, to go forward. it is something we need to do in this country, and the efforts of president obama describing it to look forward has been
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translated into not taking seriously the accountability of the violations of u.s., domestic, and international law that may have occurred. the coalition's in afghanistan, there are uncanny and unfortunate soleri's to the coalition around iraq where we documented -- similarities to the coalition around the iraq war. this time around, we heard president obama's say in his west point speech, when he spoke about the escalation, he talked about a coalition of 43 nations participating with us. he did not identify them. the nation of georgia has one soldier in afghanistan. iceland has two. ireland has four. jordan has seven. bosnia, 10. there are three or four
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countries, the u.k., australia, can live up -- canada, and italy, with syria's troops. the rest of there for political, not military support. it is embarrassing to call it an international coalition when it is nothing of the sort -- there rest of them there are political, not military. caller: thank you very much for your astute research. i want to ask you, do you see any correlation with this military expansion, the movement from a draft service to an all- volunteer service in the sense that americans do not have any skin in the game anymore? people volunteer for military services for their own agendas and motives. guest: i think there's a big
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correlation. i do not agree with robert about the motives for entering the military. i work with a lot of veterans, and they joined because they need a job. that is more prevalent than ever. 2008 was the first year since 9/11 and that the military has been able to make their quotas without reducing standards, and it is because people cannot find a job. i was on tour in the midwest, in milwaukee, and i spoke at technical college, and overwhelmingly working-class center, people hoping for a job in a devastated part of our country. i asked, how many of you have a family member or someone you love in afghanistan or iraq, and every hand went up. everyone. it is those people from smaller towns, people without other
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options who cannot get college scholarships, they can i get a job, there are going -- they cannot get a job, they're going into the military because that is the job they can get. they're not going to kill or be killed. they are going because there are no other options. if there were legal draft, instead of a poverty draft, i think decision making would be very, very different. caller: good morning. you say the $30 billion cost of the troop surge would be worth 3 million jobs in america by yorktown. by my math, 30 billion jobs would translate to $10,000 a job or less than $5 an hour. does the institute for policy studies recommend creating jobs for less than $5 an hour, and do
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you think the money spent on the surge was beneficial? thank you. guest: thank you. you caught me on the mast. we figured jobs based on $50,000 a job, a $40,000 job and $10,000 of benefits. it is 1.5 million. it is early. it is not 3 million jobs. maybe 1.5 million. but it is a lot of jobs that would be much better than the use of that money here at home. thank you for catching debt. -- thank you for catching vat. -- thank you for catching that. host: the gradual climb up to where we are in 2009, i will ask
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you, where is that going? to also referred to a term of postwar pax americana, what does that mean? >> the? guest: because it is the most powerful country in the world and the wealthiest, there is a notion that we have a right to have a military presence around the world the way there was once the tax ramada -- pax romana, the roman military presence in the part of the world they control. the idea was where they were in control, where the roman empire was in control, there would be peace internally. the u.s. often takes that same argument, that our presence somehow brings peace to these troubled areas. the reality is, it does not
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work. other people did not want us there any more than they wanted the roman empire. we're not sending colonial populations to settle in countries all run the world. it is not that kind of colonialism. it is not settlor colonialism. but it is a kind of empire through these military bases, through the presence of bases across the world, as well as through the force of our economy and economic control in so many places around awhirl. -- are around the world. 2009 has a high budget, not counting the cost of the wars that are being fought in iraq and afghanistan, and that is the highest it has ever been. host: our next guest is leonard from kentucky. go ahead.
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caller: merry christmas. when you are the parents of a soldier stationed in bahrain and are not able to contact them do to unusual circumstances, what can a veteran of vietnam do to contact his son? guest: this is a horrifying reality for parents and families of loved ones. we spoke earlier of the list of u.s. bases around the world. some bases are not even included in the list. cochrane, for instance. only one in bahrain, and none in saudi arabia are listed because of political considerations of the government of the countries who do not want to acknowledge u.s. bases there. it may be that organizations like military families speak out, an important organization of families and friends of
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active duty soldiers that are trying to end the war, to stop the soldiers from being at risk and to take care of them when they come home. they may have some ideas. you can reach them on their website. i wish i had a better recommendation for you. perhaps your member of congress would be willing to try. sometimes it is special forces troops, but sometimes it is ordinary troops on bases the u.s. does not want to a knowledge are there. host: palm springs, california. go ahead. caller: i am zacarias matthews' son. i wanted to make a comment. neither reason for him going into the air force is because he was -- the reason for him going
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to the air force was because he was offered a partial scholarship. can you really afford to pay for an education? do you want to be stuck with the student loans? the military offers these grade education programs. my father was in the air force. why don't you look into going into the air force? that was his choice, going into the air force. host: thank you. guest: she raises an important point. not every member of the military has been forced and by economic matters. but the air force is one of the few parts of the military that provides some members with a job that they can carry on in civilian life. too many jobs that are the basis of job training in the army and other parts of the military do not have a civilian counterpart.
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there is little civilian use for infantry or armored divisions, and that is the vast majority of people in the military who do not come out with a viable skill to use. it is that reason that we see the tragedy of so many homeless veterans on the streets of this holiday season. host: you can i -- you can read more at what did you read in this past year, and what do you like? we will spend an hour talking about that coming up right after this.
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>> christmas day. a look ahead to 2010 politics, including republican congressman eric cantor and david gregory, buzz aldrin and other astronauts on a legacy of apollo 11, a discussion of muslims in america and the world. .
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>> there is less spent a month left to enter the contest. create a video on one of our country's greatest strength. it must incorporate c-span programming and show various points of view. winning entries will be shown, on c-span. do not wait another minute. go online for rules and info. host: we will spend the next hour asking you about your favorite books of 2009. the phone lines are open. we hope to get a lot of your comments and your calls. for republicans, 202 737-0002.
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for democrats, 202 737 0001. independence and others, 202 628-0205. we do this in conjunction with "book tv." september of 1998, 11 years of "book t v." we have a program in every weekend on c-span-2 and this weekend as well. we will bring you some of the events which have covered in the past. the author of "the could soldiers. " we will give back to your calls. -- "the good soldiers." >> "another had not got angry enough to shoot a dog. another would become the most
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decorated soldier had not yet dreamed about the people he can get killed and wonder if god would be asking about those who would be coming up the ladder. he shut his eyes. his own dreams had not started yet, at least the ones he would remember, the ones in which his wife and friends were in a cemetery. he was trying to fight back with no ammunition. those dreams would be along soon enough. a u.s. army lieutenant colonel who led a that was finding a reason to say it is all good." host: our topic, the best nonfiction book of 2009.
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there is this book by jennifer burns. "goddess of the market." "book tv" is coming up on sunday, january 3, "the culture of corruption." this has been looks at the book here. caller: it is hard to pick just one. it would have to be "hope." the book is taking on the system is good. my favorite would have to be "blackwater." just on the topic of mercenaries. host: what did you learn from that book? caller: the in-depth that the
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author goes into, investigative journalism is amazing. his family history and basically how he was born and bred into this person, who created this blackwater, a mercenary army who feels it is their obligation to create and destroy or to destroy the muslim faith. it is basically christian crusaders. host: thank you for your comments. we have martha on the independent line. caller: my favorite book is by chris hedges. he is a senior fellow. he spent two decades of foreign correspondents. a culture that cannot
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distinguish between reality and illusion. are we die now? he is talking about the. in gossip has it for news and information. an example of that is sarah palin. become much publicity she has gone from the book has nothing in it. i do not think much of her. he talks about the culture to embrace of pollution. he talks about capitalism which is complicated and unregulated. turning debt into magical assets. corpse -- corpporations have been destroyed. host: thank you for your repaying uncommon opinions. seattle, go ahead.
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is this seattle tax i'm going to put you on hold. los angeles, joel. caller: think you for taking my call. harford report was one that was released. it was called "playing the enemy" but it was renamed "invictus." it is an incredible book in that such a short space, plus spent 300 pages, he takes us from nelson mandela all the way to the rugby world cup. incredible book. incredible lessons for our country prepare host: soaker --. host: so they are read releasing that. thank you.
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for his a story about the future of reading. next chapter is digital. the story does not end there. that is the headline. they are talking about the- booe-books. they're right about e-book sales. there represent 1.4% of the total $10.9 billion in sales. this is 2009. not unlike the way to digital music over to a traditional cd's overnight. the booe-books will probably doe publishing sales. the kendall is of the top of this article and the future -- the kenindel is set to top of
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this article and the future of reading. caller: "liberty and tierney." a want to, about conspiracy theories. there have been mercenaries since the start of time. i guess it is a question, of are the deviance? are they, serving because justly? the contractors are under -- they're doing the right thing. rabin some instances of people getting prosecutor and they are doing the right thing. i look upon rahm emanuel's wealth. he had $1 million before he took power there. he made $40 million in one transaction. host: thank you. you mentioned "liberty and attornetierney," one of the best
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sellers of 2009. caller: "it takes a village. " i saw it on c-span. it is a wonderful book. i wish everyone in washington d.c. would read it. host: here is a look at one of the authors. >> we make progress as a society where everybody pursuing their own interests as soon as possible. he believed that is almost my duty as a citizen to pursue interests and fight for them. he thought that is what everyone should do. one of the exceptions is, he was deeply patriotic. he had three sons. he named them after his heroes -- george washington was one.
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and so when the civil war came around, he tried to? a large steamship's and given to the union navy. they said no. he was prickly. they never thought the war would last that long. the ship was expensive. so he ended up being forced against his will to lease it for large sums to the war department. host: t.j. stiles. you confine all kinds of video on our website. your favor nonfiction book of 2009. here is dennis in michigan. caller: merry christmas. there are a lot of nonfiction
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books the came out. i think the very best this year was "end the debt." or heard discussion about the different parties but i think he melted. this caused so many problems. -- i think heat nailed it. it is a wonderful book. i would highly recommended. and mary christmas to you and all the publicity. host: recovered wrong cawe covel talking about his book. " there were discussions with alan greenspan. i tell the story about the time and most of you would know the story. alan greenspan was get a
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supporter of a little group of people in the 1960's. he wrote a fantastic article about how bad the debt was and how bad the central bank was and we confiscate wealth by printing money. it is a wonderful article. we had one session and one morning before orlin to the banking committee and it was to go in and say -- before we go into the banking committee. he was getting ready to testify. i dug up an old copy of the objective newsletter with the original article appeared on the gold standard. a doug that out and took it with a. when i was meeting him, i said, and d recognize suspects i had it and flipped it open to that
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particular article. he said, yes, i remember that article. i said, would you, autograph this article? he took his pen out and signed it. i said, do you want to add a disclaimer? he said that he read it recently. host: ron paul in september this year. the best nonfiction book 2009 is the topic. nancy, good morning. caller: good morning. merry christmas. thank you for c-span. i will put "the soldiers education" as my book. it is experiences of people on the ground. host: do you want to tells more about it? caller: he is a remarkable young man.
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it is the account account a life. he is a graduate of west point. he was a leader of men. he's still serving his country in a civilian capacity. it is part of a series i have been committed to reading over the last number of years of people who are serving over there. you hear about analysis, c-span where people's experiences and their thoughts are incurred. host: thank you for your call, nancy, as we ask people about the affair nonfiction book of 2009. often we will bring you in a list of best sellers from "the new york times."
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a look here at the top box on list this year. these are the top five. host: here is philadelphia. caller: mary christmas. my favorite of the year appears "a god who hates." host: here is virginia. your favorite book of 2009. caller: polite to say merry christmas. -- i would like to say merry christmas. everytime a recall, to read something new.
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it is new to me. pettitte every time i read, i read something new. jesus was born in december. i was a former for many years. in wintertime, we did not put our sheep on the side of the hills to graze. it might be something you might be interested in studying. host: over the last 11 years, c- span has covered some 9000 book events. one is the "ph of reagathe age a gan." . portsmouth, virginia. caller: good morning. this is one of my books.
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it is "how to prosecute george w. bush for murder." you can see extend the policies in this book and the prosecution to obama out because he is complicitous in continuing this illegal war in the host: i think that might have come out in 2008 or 2007. what are your reading? caller: hello. merry christmas. my favorite nonfiction book has been and always will be the bible. host: thank you. jim on our independent line. caller: good morning. is "american bloomsbury" based on the literary community they gathered in concord, massachusetts. hawthorne, you know, and amazoe
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merson. it was just a delight. i don't read much nonfiction. host: sandra, your favorite nonfiction book of the year. caller: the book of a late senator ted kennedy. host: harold evans and his book, here is some of his comments. >> this should be a celebration of reporting. that is what my book is about. it is about what newspapers can achieve. not what an editor can achieve. but what reporters on the ground cannot achieve patrick's host.
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host: that was harold evans. caller: it is an amazing book. it gives great insight into what happens in washington. it is interesting because this talks about all the corruption and has existed before with obama and all of the people he has brought with him. somebody remarked earlier about rahm emanuel. that is detailed in this book. but when you read this book, it makes you wonder how we can ever straighten and out the mess in washington. host: best book of 2009. paul on the independent line. caller: it is called "tree spiker." also a reason book of palmtop
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removal and west virginia. host: one way to find out is to go to our website and you can take look at that and searched by name. this is texas on the democratic line. your favor nonfiction book of the year. caller: it is a book that i wrote. is called "to find 9/11 intervention crocus is about 9/11. it is a true story. -- it is about 9/11. it all happens. it is a true story. is there is a god. god has gone involved income 9/11. host: 2009 marks the end of sarah palin's governorship.
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here is a looko of some of what she had to say in a bookstore in cincinnati. >> thank you so much for being here. we're going to have a blast. thank you for your courage to be here. you're going wrorogue with me. it's good to be here on this book tour. you can read my words on filtereunfiltered. i speak the truth. i note that is how you guys or wire. -- nine note that is how you guys are wired. thank you so much. [cheers]
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>> sarah! sarah! sarah! sarah! sarah! host: sarah palin last month in cincinnati. "botok tv" is under way this weekend. we're asking you hear your favorite nonfiction book of 2009. we will you weigh in on this. caller: "the search for life in the cosmos." host: wjho wrote that?
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caller: i do not remember pre- war middle interesting to me is that it made it appear to me how inconsequential we are in the time of the universe. who knows if 10,000 years from now we will even be here. it gives the whole difference perspective of what is going on in congress. who knows what exists. host: what major pickup the book in the first place? caller: i have always been interested in the universe or the history of the universe, where it is going or is the only universe, things white patrick's host: thank you for sharing your reading with us. best nonfiction reading this year. "the l.a. times," a commentary
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with best-of lists. "when i go into year end list making mode, what makes a spiritual in venture for me, the splash of new facts, the beautifully controlled meredith gore right spell out the window. i turned into a showoff and want to make sure you know how smart i am based on the books i pick. i grow overly cautious. i find myself more worried about balanced and diversity and bookstacks surprised report infuriated me." brooklyn, good morning.
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caller: an insightful look into society and politics. the netbook, -- the next book, the author profiles political activist from oppressive countries in the middle east. the best book of 2009 would have to because "feed the teller" by gretchen peters. it deals with troubled regions in afghanistan and pakistan and distribution networks the back rows al qaeda scott operation. host: we go next to kansas. what is your favorite books or books? caller: good morning.
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merry christmas. i enjoyed "the worst part times." it was the story about people that stayed during the great dust bowl and a drought of the 1930's. it was incredible about the banking institutions and how the government and different policies came into play to make things better for a lot of people. i just found it, some of the personal stories of the people that survived that time was just amazing. host: and we did cover the book, as well. we also covered the book on columbine. here is >> journalists filled with hate, hate, hate, all the way through. the opening line is, "i hate the f-ing world."
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with dylan, it was completely different. he spent years writing his journal. the most common word in his journal is "love. he was a loving, sensitive boy with a whole lot of anger. it was directed inward. he was angry at himself for being such illusory, such an outcast. he was not. that is how he saw it. host: to atlanta but we go. your favor nonfiction book of 2009 triple caller: ♪ . caller: good morning and merry christmas. i learned agreed deal from this book. host: tell us a piece you learn
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from a. caller: i learned how the prisoners back in those times could be arrested simply for just walking down the street and not having a job. the work we enslavey wreere re-. i am surprised african-americans survived in this country. i went to " tv and a welfare -- a win to booked tv and heard someone died there. do you have any information or can you show some video highlights? host: i will ask our producers to get information for you. there is a piece yesterday in the book section of "usa today"
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looking and authors who passed away in the last year, including bob mcdonnedominick dunne and j. bill, good morning. caller: i am reading "the forgotten," a book about the korean war. it includes stories in veteran'' own words. host: who is the author? caller: it is me. the book is not about me. i put the stories of the korean war together around these stories about the war. the subtitle is called "the forgotten flaccg." "the forgotten war" and "the
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forgotten her pro it has been out since june. i gave the first boat to the president of korea. i had three brothers in the war. one newspaper called it "for domino more -- forgotten no more," which was a tremendous lift for me. on the date the war started 59 years later. it has done a great reviews. host: thank you for calling. we can tell you about january and february. january 3, from noon until 3:00 p.m., three hours with michelle malkin.
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our february guest is paul johnson and his caucus on churchill. the will be on sunday, february 7. this is carol on our independence linemen. caller: my favorite book, i read the paper back, "the hemmings of monticello." host: she won a prize. caller: national book award. it is so well-written and so well documented. it brings a whole new point of view to the complexity of race relations in our country. i'm devouring it. it is wonderful. host: thank you for the call. carl is up next in dallas.
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caller: one of your callers mentioned "it takes a village." it is wonderful. insider's account of wall street. one i enjoyed that featured in april is called "recarburize the russian war." an objective, an evaluation of all of our american presidents based on principles of peace, prosperity, and liberty. it is a different perspective on our presidents. we tended to rancor president's highest who have been involved in war or a great conflicts or imposed interventionist economic policies. this looks enroll the president
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through the lens and it is a unique look. john tyler is number one. wilson at the tail and. host: thank you for that to a. viewers will find those authors have been on exports. if you go to the website, you confront a section for all those programs. jeff boehner republican line. caller: "the meltdown this one is by dr. thomas woods jr. he is a senior fellow, austrian economics. for those who do not know, he follows the same line of thought as a doctor thank you for taking my call. -- as dr. paul.
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they saw the great depression before it hit. dr. thomas lays out a good case, farewell how government created this. he eviscerates the government that allowed this to a corporate host: thank you for the import. your favorite book of 2009 precurso. caller: "the greatest show on earth." i am amazed that people are citing the bible as a nonfiction book. host: thank you for your call. this is the cover of richard dawkins' book. we covered "the invention of tair."
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here's a look at his comments. " i stumbled across this story. i heard of him as the guy who discovered oxygen for the first time. that is his reputation. it is strange. he did not do it first and the kind of got it wrong in some fundamental ways. but that line has a kind of stuck with him. his wikipedia entry is that he's the guy who discovered oxygen. i found out another interesting thing about him. i think it deserves more credit. the book evangelizes that discovery. he was the first person to realize that plants were creating oxygen. host: marquette, michigan.
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caller: good morning. my favorite book is by thomas friedman. it is a marvelous series about globalization. he deals with green ecology and power creates wealth and how we can save a our planet. he focuses on what countries are doing to promote green technology and increased energy and it is a marvelous read. it focuses attention on what we should be doing a lot more of. host: 8 caller mentioned, ron paul earlier. this is "in fed we trust." we're talking to you about your favor nonfiction books of 2009. this is chris from washington,
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d.c. caller: my forever book is called "foreign islam." it is by mr. rahman, i think. it was a good book. i read it because it talked about the forces of islam in america. these accounts would have liked muhammed ali and career and a bill to bkareem abdul jabaar ant influenced and shaped islam in america. all muslims put out of the debate over get the global aspects of islam in the world in dealing with fox islam and global terrorism. he was saying that comprise
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about half of the muslim population of america. but the forces of african- americans are left out of the media. he said one scholar was sherman jackson, the african-american scholar at the university of michigan. he was very objective and sink in this description of islam. but he is left out of the dialogue in the global war of terror and the forces are basically left out. so it gives a different perspective hmongs. host: thank you for that to a. this is greg more in somtenson'w book. he was a guest for "3 cups of tea." he was on
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"book tv" a few weeks ago. you can search that online. this is henry. caller: i hope it was published in 2009. host: it is fine. do not worry about it. caller: it was written by sorto. i do not remember his first name. it is a book about settle in the dutch off the island of manhattan years ago. is celebrated this year, the crown prince and his wife came to new york. it's a fabulous book. a warm. , one of the people predict at one point thank you for taking my call. -- he was the lawyer ok'd of
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alask-- whatever you call it. he was at one time in conflict with the dutch government. they banned him to a small island where they get together about a few commuters come from my hometown. he continued to study. at one point, he also received big trunks of books from the library. that would probably be by sailboat or rowboat. >> libraries in holland? caller: yes. he would study. when he finished with the books, he would go back to the mainland, accompanied by a
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servant girl. one evening, the trump is going back with no books to her. -- the trumnk is going back and he escapes in the trunk, off the island to the mainland. i do not know what happens after that. my home town is a cemetery that has a very old corner where a famous person was buried there. host: thank you. this is a book tells on president obama's rhee was before he made his decision on troop levels. it was famously pastorale boat white house for reading among his top aides. "lessons in disaster.
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" here is columbus, ohio. was your favorite book of the year? caller: my favorite book was a book i heard about on "book tv." "50 miles from tomorrow," like an eskimo. it is an insider's view it of alaska. it is a great book. he talks about growing up in alaska and being sent to kentucky for high school. host: what does the title mean? caller: he dropped 50 miles from the international dateline the separates alaska and russia. by any readers of sarah palin "going rogue," i invite him to read this book.
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host: thank you. 2009 was the 20th anniversary of the fall of the berlin wall. here is a book that is called " tear down this wall." clorox. was a report of the year? -- little rock. caller: the book was reissued in paperback. host: that is ok. caller: "professor and the madman" by simon winchester. the thing i got from it was a tremendous amount of work and time, people who put together all these words and a half to keep doing it all the time. host: and we did cover that.
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you could go to our web site and take a search for that. good morning to david in tulsa, oklahoma. caller: "a fiery pieeace i an a cold war." i found it in lightning. it brought many things about the cold war that i was not aware of. it updated the cold war. i just learned a great deal from the book. neil sheehan brought us book notes. the program has affected us in terms of my reading. anything he puts out i'm going to reprieve host:ad. caller: "a black physicians
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struggle for civil rights." he was a prominent physician in washington d.c. this tells the story of how we went from poverty and discrimination from mississippi to a status in washington " i counseled with presidents like john f. kennedy and lyndon johnson and just the struggle of getting to the point. they were a family of slaves in mississippi and became one of the largest landowners in mississippi. host: thank you. a book you may be interested is "and mighty long way."
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before it is by bill clinton. florida, joseph, nextel. -- next up. caller: it is a book i saw on c- span not too long ago. it was "operation solo." it is the story of a jewish immigrant who became our spike in the kremlin for about 27, 28 years. -- who became our spy in the kremlin. the offer was the number two man and he interviewed morris sober who came to america in the 1900's. there was a second one that has not been critiqued yeah. assault on another show called "witness to nurembough."
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he was small in stature but served oscar very well. he became our number one intercurrent from the north berguremburg trials. host: the risk can find that online as well. caller: wonderful, a factual books. host: thank you for sharing. here is norcal, delawaewark, de. caller: my favorite book happened to come out this year. it is called "longer, cops and, and bloody."
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i love to see this on "book tv." this book is about one of the critical battles of the american revolution. it is a wonderful read. host: what was a critical bottle? caller: the war for independence -- host: what was a critical battle? caller: nathaniel greene went south and developed a strategy that awarded the british away from charleston and their suppliers. when the former customs far enough away, he turns on them to deliver a winning battle. the end result was the british well up at yorktown. the americans where free. host: thank you for the call. this is james on the independent
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line. caller: i am reading "the invention of the jewish people." it kind of goes out to the myth that the monolithic group of people removed from their homeland and are just now returning. most jews are actually converts to judaism. the book was 19 weeks on the best-selling west in israel. it was on "the jerusalem post." it did not come out in print until october of this year. i am still reading it. it says how we allow one group of non christians to treat another group of non-christians. host:
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startup nation. " became a cult this year. your favorite book of 2009. caller: what a want to talk about, the most informative book or read was "the corruption of the muslim mind. " i cannot tell you who actually wrote it because i cannot pronounced his name. but even for a devout muslim man that explains the koran, he interprets the chronkoran, we all need to read that to see how they came to the mindset, muslims have to control the world. i want to apologize. may i? back to you. i think peter was the host. i called him -- i am 80 years
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old. for last year, i have developed a problem. i am going blind. i started reading one the bairaq war broke out. since i was retired, i could read all day. but now in the last year, i have not been able to read. my memory is going bad. host: can you do books on tape? caller: they do not comment on tape until a year after the book is published. host: some are coming out sooner. you control the podcast versions. podcasts online. caller: ok. i made a terrible mistake when i called in. i turned on the tv.
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the man, the iraq secretary of defense was on. they were talking about his book, "the corruption of iraq." and i confused it with one of the other books i have read. i had not gone over my notes in a long time. i remember his book now. it was spellbinding. you could not put it down. it was a thick book kirk i had to read it three times just to understand it. host: for more background, this is called "growing up bin laden." another 2009 publication. illinois. this is john. is it john? caller: gomerry christmas.
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i would like to plug your broker's view. i went to the public library to order the book for myself. there were 12 people waiting for the book. there two groups i would suggest three. any group. a medal of honor recipient. 37 books have been written but vietnam veterans, p.o.w.'s, and i think i have read the mall. i have been out of work since december. in particular, won by bill jacobs one by bill jacobs. host: have you read this book? "part of a patriot." caller: i probably read 60
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books about vietnam veterans this year. it is an incredible time. one fact i learned is that such a few people made the decision for us to go to war. three people sat around a desk and decided for us to go to war in 1962 pre that book is an incredible lesson for all americans to repair it is "lessons in disaster." host: ky. caller: i liked "arguing with expectidiots." it made sense. i enjoy reading it. another book, "last free man in
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america. wrote that is a local politician who wrote to them. host: here is a look at peter degallows talking about the book. >> people started looking at him with slightly different bias after the cancer diagnosis the may have been a reassessment developing. i think people who have been exposed, we talk about his friendship with many republicans. people saw him as an ideological figure came to admire him as somebody who was a very hard worker and a crusader for what he believed in. he earned new respect in the last couple of decades. host: one more call. a fan of the "of liberty in tyranny" book.
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caller: you stole my thunder. it really outlined the constitution and the tyranny that is going on right now in america. the liberal of salt on the constitution. it outlined it page by page. the liberal assault on the constitution. it was on the best-seller list for 12 weeks. host: not one interview in "the new york times"? caller: not one. host: what made you pick up the book? caller: i saw it on the "the new york times" list. host: thank you for all of your
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calls. there is more online. we have a great lineup this weekend. every weekend from 8:00 a.m. saturday until 8:00 a.m., on monday morning. 48 hours of "book tv." double about doing for us. we fullbacks tomorrow morning. -- that will about do it for us. have a wonderful day and emory christmas. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009]
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" coming up today, michelle obama presents the white house's christmas decorations. there is a forum on the political landscape. later, our look inside blair house. in the mid 1990's, "newsweek" named omar wasow one of the people to watch in cyberspace. he helped found a charter school in brooklyn. sunday, he talks about his career studies at harvard and what is ahead. and now, first lady michelle obama and the ceo of toys for tots. the first lady thanked his staff who decorated the white


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