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tv   Washington Journal 08222021  CSPAN  August 22, 2021 7:00am-10:02am EDT

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medical center. be sure to join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages and tweets. "washin host: good morning. happening in washington on this sunday, president biden will address the nation at 4:00 p.m. eastern about the situation in afghanistan. he will talk about that hurricane heading toward new england. we will begin with the fall of afghanistan to get your thoughts on whether or not you think the war was worth fighting. if you say yes, (202) 748-8000. if you say no, (202) 748-8001. if you are a veteran or family
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member, (202) 748-8003 -- (202) 748-8002. you can text at (202) 748-8003. you can go to facebook or send a tweet. you can also follow us on instagram. we will get to your thoughts in just a minute. a recent poll found two thirds of americans say the war in afghanistan was not worth fighting. 62% of all the adults said it wasn't worth it. when you broke it down by party, 60 seven democrats said the same as well is 57 republicans. what do you say? was the afghanistan war worth fighting? let's go back to 2000 one, when george w. bush makes the case to americans about the mission in
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afghanistan. >> the united states military has begun strikes against al qaeda training camps and military installations of the taliban regime. these targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capabilities of the taliban regime. we are joined in this operation by our friend great britain. other close friends including canada, australia, germany, france of pledged forces as the operation unfolds. more than 40 countries in the middle east have granted air transit or landing rights. many have shared intelligence. we are supported by the collective will of the world. two weeks ago, i gave taliban leaders demands.
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close training camps, and over leaders of the al qaeda network, return all foreign nationals, including american citizens unjustly detained. none of these demands were met. now, the taliban will pay a price. george w. bush in 2001. congress authorized military action on september 18, 2001 after the 9/11 attacks. was it worth fighting? that is our question. take a look at business insider. a pole they did, americans rank george w. bush as the president most responsible for the outcome of the afghanistan war. this was from august 17. another piece in the guardian written by the former prime minister of england, you heard george w. bush reference england going to war with us in
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afghanistan. tony blair is condemning the dangerous u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan. in a lengthy essay published on his website, the former prime minister who ordered british troops to join the invasion said the withdrawal has been a tragic and unnecessary decision that undermines the west's aims. he accused biden of being -- as if our engagement was compared to our commitment 20 or 10 years ago. let's hear from you. you say yes, it has been worth fighting. i'll come to the conversation. caller: good morning. my comment is the war in the beginning stages for the purpose it was for to kill osama bin laden who was in afghanistan at
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the time was yes. it was worth it because he was the orchestrator of 9/11. once he was killed, we should have gotten out of there. what george bush said doesn't make any sense. this has been 20 years. there are a lot of lives lost. the job was to get osama bin laden. he was in afghanistan. he moved to pakistan. we don't have any rights there. that's why it took so long to capture him because we didn't have any jurisdiction in pakistan. you needed the pakistan army that was trained by us. that's why it took so long. it was tough for the military. we could not negotiate the things we needed to do. now after 20 years, after what happened the last two weeks, everybody has their selective
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memory on, saying this is what happened. host: you are saying president obama after he authorized the successful killing of osama bin laden, he should have gotten the country out of afghanistan? caller: at that point and time the mission was over. it wasn't about nationbuilding or trying to cut down the taliban. everything was done at that time. host: osama bin laden was killed in 2011. that would've been 10 years after the war started. kenny in north carolina, you say no. tell us why. caller: thank you for taking my call. they were all over obama at that time. at any rate, i look at the trillions of dollars we spent in
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afghanistan. we are arguing on infrastructure. if we were to spend that money that we spent over there investing in this country, where we would be at right now? another thing, the news media including c-span, for the last week you've talked about this. you started the show. when trump pulled out of syria, he didn't tell anyone. you know what happened to those people. trump is used immediate. he has used the media and played it like a yo-yo. another thing you need to do, you need to have the question of
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-- host: i'm listening to you. caller: we need to have the question on what happened before. we are jumping to conclusions and we don't know. we just learned the things that trump kid. he negotiable the taliban without the afghan government. host: kurt in pennsylvania, you say yes. caller: i don't really classify its beginning stages, it wasn't meant to be a war. it was meant to be a mission. our mission was to go in there and wipe out al qaeda and get bin laden. that was the mission. then there was mission creep later on, it was absently worth the original idea of going in there. host: let me bounce this number
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off you. the united states has spent an estimated $2.2 trillion on the war effort. your reaction to that number? caller: it wasn't necessarily -- i don't consider it a war effort. it was an effort to try to convert a culture to our way -- our culture. our culture is completely different. we were trying to proselytize those people. it was unsuccessful. it was never meant to be that. it wasn't meant for us to go in there and try to convert those people to being united states citizens are having a government like the united states. our purpose was to eliminate terrorists and eliminate osama bin laden so there were no longer a threat to our country. it wasn't to make them a country. it was to eliminate the threat.
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it wasn't meant to be a war. host: mission accomplished? caller: no. the mission was accomplished. we killed osama bin laden. what we allowed to happen, i can't say mission accomplished. the politics of it, the people who wanted to build nations made it into a failure. can you say mission accomplished? we did eliminate the threat of osama bin laden. mission accomplished that we allowed it to become what it is now? no. host: i want to share one of the headlines with you from the washington post this morning. according to the washington post, there are al qaeda members back in afghanistan.
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that is in the papers this morning as well. we will show you the headline of the washington post. the pentagon gave a rare briefing on a weekend. the pentagon spokesperson john kirby gave the latest on the ground with u.s. efforts to evacuate citizens. this is what he had to say. >> how many of those 17,000 are american citizens? have there been any further outside the wire operations by the military? >> i don't have a breakdown of how many 17,000 are americans. to my knowledge, since we talked yesterday, there haven't been any additional operations outside the wire, outside the security perimeter of the airport.
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without getting predictive, we have troops in a very dynamic environment. they understand that. they also understand why they are there, to help people. i'm not going to rule out the possibility that if they see an opportunity to do it, they won't do it. host: the latest on evacuation efforts, the president will speak to that again today at 4:00 eastern. brandon 10 florida, you say no. caller: yes and no. i will say no because $2.6 trillion, thousands of american soldiers died.
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we could've used that money for education, health care. water pipes, the list goes on and on and on. we are not the police of the world. we have a bad reputation. we killed osama bin laden. the countries need to get together, russia and china, to combat terrorist. i am not talking about domestic terrorists. we have to eliminate them as well. it is a threat. host: by the numbers, nearly 20 years of war, 10 days to fall. 800,000, the servicemen who have been in afghanistan since october 2001. 2352 is the number of members
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who have died in afghanistan as of this month. those two numbers, 20 years after the war started. mark stone says in a tweet, there has not been a terrorist attack in the country. sometime in the future, we will be attacked again. share your thoughts with us this morning. good morning. caller: we were attacked in 2000 when we needed to take bin laden and al qaeda out. it was a creep that tainted this operation. i would like everybody to reflect upon not necessarily what went wrong. that needs to be done. i want everybody to think about the desert shield -- desert storm operation under bush 41.
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what did his staff and what did his military do correctly? they had a mission. they had international support that bush 41 built. they went in with the right force. when the mission, which was to extract iraq out of kuwait, was over. the mission was over. we pulled out. the lesson learned going forward, there will be a need to use the luke perry, stay on mission. look at what george bush 41 did correctly. thank you for your time. host: derek in washington. caller: to a certain point, where we are at now is the trump
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surrender. what trump did was in 2020, he surrendered. the taliban started planning for this takeover. this was a trump regime page. you need to show the clips of mike pompeo negotiating, bowing down to the taliban leaders. the leaders, he let them out. bowing down to these terrorists like he did kim jong-un it, the democratic party needs to stop blaming biden. they went over there. in the last few days of their -- they refused to help with the transition. this is what they had planned. what did trump and kushner and mike pompeo, why did he take the
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last trip over there? this was a traitorous way to the taliban, no. it was we first start. show the clips of trump and mike pompeo, the taliban leaders, he was going to bring those people to camp david. they sabotaged it. host: heard your point. i do have president trump on the afghanistan withdrawal strategy. he was on fox news. this isn't the moment you are speaking to. listen to what the former president said on tuesday. >> what we were going to do, we were going to take the military out last. the people were coming up.
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they were going to,. the agreement was violated. i hope things back because we weren't going to do anything. just to finish, the people come out first. then i was going to take all the military equipment. we have billions of dollars worth of blackhawk helicopters that russia will be examining and so will china and so will everybody else. we have brand-new army tanks and all sorts of equipment. i was going to take it out. i knew they weren't going to fight. i have to say it, i said why are they fighting? why are these soldiers fighting against the taliban? i was told some bad information by a lot of different people. they are among the highest paid soldiers in the world.
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they were doing it for a paycheck because when we stopped , they stopped fighting. all the people that talk about bravery, i say everybody is brave. our country was paying the afghan soldiers of fortune. we were sort of bribing them to fight. it's a great thing we are getting out. nobody has ever handled a withdrawal worse than joe biden. this is the greatest embarrassment in the history of our country. host: listen to president biden on monday on the trump administrations deal with the taliban. >> when i came into office, i inherited a deal that president top negotiate with the taliban. u.s. forces would be out of afghanistan by may 1, 2021. a little over three months after
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i took office. u.s. forces had already drawn down during the trump administration from roughly 15,500 forces to 2500 troops in the country. the taliban was at its strongest militarily since 2001. the choice i had to make as your president was to follow through on that agreement or the prepared to go back to fighting the taliban in the middle of the spring fighting season. it would've been no cease-fire after may 1. there was no agreement protecting our forces after may 1. there was no status quo of stability without american casualties after may 1. there was only the cold reality that we are following through on the agreement to withdraw our forces or escalate the conflict and send thousands more american
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troops back into combat. host: president biden from last monday. was this afghanistan war worth fighting? 20 years later, the washington post notes 20,000 service members have been wounded in that war. 66,000 are the estimated number of afghan military killed in the conflict. 47,000 is the number of afghan civilians killed. zach in nebraska, he served in afghanistan. caller: i did not serve. it was my dad who served. he served at the air force base. he died year later.
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he drowned in puerto rico. i think the war was worth it. trump's playing monday quarterback. we didn't know the afghan military was just going to fall like that. are you going to leave them with nothing? no weapons? it's easy to say right now he would have -- there's no way to leave them with nothing. when we said we were going to leave, trump made the agreement with the taliban. that's whenever thing started to fall. it was either send more people where my dad was so we could keep supporting the airstrikes. the military was set up with relying on u.s. airstrikes. the whole plan was failed from the get go.
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after we killed osama bin laden, we didn't have anything worth being there anymore. it's been 20 years, we were fighting the soviets. we got them to collapse. host: this piece in the near times this morning, miss after miscue, the plan unravels. the pledge compounded by mr. signals and missed calculations prove impossible. in this reporting by a slew of reporters, they report that when the pentagon first told the president about withdrawing and meeting the deadline, they were told an assessment estimated afghan forces could hold off the taliban for two years.
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there was talk of an emergency evacuation plan. helicopters would carry civilians. no one imagined what the united states would do if the taliban gained control of access to that airport. the only safe way in and out of the country. the new york times, miscue after miscue. that is in this morning's paper. they talk about the meeting that president biden had with the afghan president before this announcement was made. that he would withdraw from afghanistan. he wanted three things from the president. he wanted to speed up security agreements to continue to conduct airstrikes and provide overwatch.
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not makeup public show of evacuations. another requirement, he had his own request. afghan forces were stretched too thin. they should try not to fight everywhere. he repeated american advice that he consolidate forces. he never took the advice. redwood city, california. you say no. caller: i don't believe the war was worth it from the very beginning. george w. bush ran over there. he said they are the reason why 9/11 happened. after some investigation, we found it was mostly saudi arabia that was responsible. osama bin laden was in pakistan. most of the al qaeda leaders were not in afghanistan at all. the fact of the matter is we went after the poor country that
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was involved in 9/11 because some of the terrorists were trained there. it was saudi arabia with the leadership in pakistan. i would like to understand why did those afghan troops, 300,000 troops at the u.s. trained for years and years and years, why did they all of a sudden just lay down their arms to the taliban? why didn't they fight? why did those troops lay down so quickly? what happened to the training they were given by the u.s.? what happened to all that training they received for the last 20 years? what happens to the trillions of dollars that was designated for training these troops? i saw pictures of those humvees. have any of them been driven? they looked brand-new. i don't understand where all of
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this money went and why they are telling joe biden the troops could last a couple of years against the taliban when they fell in less than two weeks? that is crazy. host: did you vote for president obama? answer that first. caller: i voted for president obama. host: was that based on him ending the war? caller: no. i always vote for the democrats. host: do you wish he had ended the war in afghanistan? caller: yes. i wish the war had been done -- i wish there had been a war. i don't understand why we went over there. it was saudi arabia, most of the terrorists that were 9/11 terrorists were from saudi arabia. i don't understand why we went
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over there in the first place. host: let's listen to president obama in 2009. he has not killed osama bin laden yet. he is announcing a surge of 30,000 troops to afghanistan. >> afghanistan is not lost. it has moved backwards. there is no imminent threat of the government being overthrown, but the taliban has gained momentum. al qaeda has not reemerged in the same numbers as before 9/11. they were paying their safe havens along the border. our forces lacked the full support they need to train and partner with afghan security forces and better secure the population. our new commander in afghanistan
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has reported the situation is more serious than he anticipated. the status quo is not the same. you volunteer for service during this time of danger. some of you fought in afghanistan. some of you deploy there. as your commander-in-chief, iou a mission that is clearly defined and worthy of your service. that's why after the afghan voting was completed, i insisted on a review of our strategy. let me be clear. there has never been an option before me the calls for troop deployments before 2010. there has been no delay or denial of resources necessary for the conduct of the war. the review has allowed me to ask hard questions.
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and to explore all the different options along with my national security team, our military and civilian leadership, our key partners. given the stakes involved, i/o it to the american people. this review is complete. as commander-in-chief, i have determined that is in our national interest to send an additional 30,000 troops to afghanistan. after 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. these are the resources we need while building the capacity to allow for a responsible transition of our forces. host: president obama back in 2009. listen to what he had to say in august 2017.
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this is president trump and 2017 , speaking in arlington. he said there wouldn't be a blank check for the engagement in afghanistan. this is after he takes over. this is president trump after he took office in 2017. >> military power alone will not bring peace to afghanistan or stop the terrorist threat. strategically applied force aims to create the conditions for a political process to achieve a lasting peace. america will work with the afghan government as long as we see determination and progress. our commitment is not unlimited. our support is not a blank check. the government of afghanistan must carry their share of the
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military and economic burden. the american people expect to see real reforms, real progress, real results. our patients is not unlimited. we will keep our eyes wide open in abiding by the oath i took. i will remain steadfast and protect american lives and american interests. we will make common cause with any nation that chooses to stand and fight alongside us against this global threat. america will never let up until you are dealt a lasting defeat. many billions of dollars is being spent on the military. this includes amounts being spent on our nuclear arsenal and missile defense.
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in every generation, we have faced down people. we have always prevailed. host: president trump in 2017. was this war worth fighting? that is our question for you. this is a tweet from texas. you say it was worth fighting in pennsylvania. thank for hanging on the line. caller: i know a lot of young veterans out there that came back. the history of afghanistan is one that should be considered. our educational system, namely our colleges right now, they have this mood of defeat.
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i am seeing it with my grandchildren. they asked me questions of why certain presidents don't do what they are supposed to do. for the past eight months, there has been the nothing done critically. that started when they cut the pipeline. 4 let's stick to afghanistan. host: should we have not redrawn? caller: we should be there to take care of the promises we made to the afghan people who help this. if they had their transition go over lightly instead of ignored. they really did a disservice to our veterans, and our armed forces. the young guys that come back remind me of the older guys that
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came back from vietnam. these people in our government right now have been trying to tell us it's climate change, it's about the pandemic and all of these other excuses. they don't lead. they have not led from day one. host: al in massachusetts. you are a no. caller: i think it was worth fighting. i believe we should still be there. host: why? caller: democracy only works. you can't just spend a few years then hope to have a democracy. look at the democracies around the world. japan, germany. we are there for the long haul. when you make promises to make them a democracy, you have to
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stand i that commitment. i feel it was worth fighting there. we are going to go back there again. to that woman in california who asked why did we go there? bill clinton had a chance to take osama bin laden out and he was there in afghanistan. that's where 9/11 stemmed from. i know the terrorists were mostly saudi. the raid started there. that's why we went there. host: bob in virginia. what do you say? caller: president obama's speech that he just gave sounded to me like he was escalating the war instead of trying to tone it
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down. he sounded just like lyndon johnson in the 1970's. host: your point? caller: my point is when trump came in, he wanted to bring the war down. what he said recently sounds similar to what he said back then. it was up to the afghans to do their part. if they didn't show the willingness andresolve to do it , why should america keep spending lives and money to protect them? host: ok. you may be interested in the opinion section of the wall street journal. david petraeus who oversaw the efforts in afghanistan reflects on the debacle. he suggests the taliban are so constrained right now that they
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may end up being better to deal with. he said he told tony blair the taliban may discover that just like a political party, sometimes it's easier to be in opposition that is to govern. the prime minister chuckled. this is an interview they did in the wall street journal. gabrielle in north carolina. welcome to the conversation. your thoughts this morning? caller: thanks for having me. i served in the north. it was central to the country. i had an exposure to the traditionally marginalized
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community by the government. i was up close with the commando and the ana. i can tell you right now, my mission was i was a medic. my mission was to be right there with them and to help them. i saw a lot of effort they were putting into the country to turn things around. at the end of the day, they always saw us as intruders. that ongoing sentiment laid the groundwork for the fact that we were never going to be able to push them in a direction of democracy that they didn't want to gravitate toward on their own. host: when you were there, you told that was the mission? to make it a democracy?
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president biden said last week that was never the mission. caller: i think over the years it changed from right when this first happened. i was in high school. right when it happened, the mission was to go in there and take care of al qaeda and remove the taliban. most of the mission was complete. what ended up happening was i think many of the major defense companies that understood it was a major war chest for them to receive, they can perpetuate this. they started changing the tenor of a lot of the generals that were in charge. they said this needs to continue. it became hearts and minds. everybody mentioned general petraeus. his main thing was hearts and minds. h.r. mcmaster, the same thing.
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that was a culture we were trying to inflict upon them. it was never going to work. i want to agree with many of the comments. we left them with all the munitions, all the capacity, all that were dedicated to their mission. they abdicated their role to fight for their country. if they aren't going to do that? why in the hell are we? one general that was from the british army said the less they see of us, the less they hate us. that is really the truth. host: you may be interested in this part of the interview. he rejects the view that all went wrong when we started to nation build. he said the u.s. and allies had one hunter 50,000 troops. the figure had dwindled to a few thousand until about four months
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ago. that was traditionally security to the afghans. it required efforts that critics derived as nationbuilding. the coalition afghanistan had to teach remedial skills before we could do basic training. if you can't read numbers, how do you get somebody to look on the lookout for license plates? if you can't add or subtract, you've got serious problems. when you topple a government and are in charge of the country. a defensive nationbuilding this morning. roger is in kansas. you say yes. good morning to you. caller: when we went in there, we had just been struck. i believe we had the people of
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the united states had to see something happen. that was probably the main reason we went in there. later, i decided we should have done our task and move out. that did not happen. we let our military leaders take control. all they like to do is fight. they stayed there because it was a good fight. they don't lose a lot of people. they can still continue fighting. that's what they like to do. host: which president should've left afghanistan? caller: i believe bush should've tried to do something. obama, he makes a elegant speeches. he doesn't do nothing. if you listened to trump, he was the only president who
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recognized it was a money pit. it was a money pit from obama on. he recognized we needed to get out. i'm not totally sure we should get out. we already have an established footprint in that area to help us maintain things. trump made an agreement. then they broke the agreement and he put it on pause to let him know it was worth something. he put it on pause. i believe that got their attention. he couldn't continue. when biden took over, he handled it as well his example our borders, everything. he messes everything up. host: go ahead and finish your
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thought. caller: i was just going to say he's done more damage to this country than any of the last five presidents. host: all right. this is vincent in maryland. john in virginia, you say no as well. go ahead. caller: in the end, no. let me go over where the problems were. the guys that attacked us were 19 sallies, five egyptians, and a capital of a radiance. bin laden was a saudi. we couldn't go into afghanistan on the 12th of september.
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he told them to give us bin laden. i'm sure if they would have given bin laden to the united states and some of his buddies, they probably wouldn't have gone there. when they went in, instead of sticking to bin laden, they didn't surround the place were those guys were trapped. bin laden got away. it took 10 years for us to get in. the next january, the real enemy is the axis of evil. none of them had anything to do with 9/11. we got distracted. that's why things got drawn out in afghanistan. we didn't pay attention to what we would and therefore. as far as the current situation goes, i'm sorry the guys that say trump is responsible. not really.
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when he didn't like the irani and deal, i disagree with that. if biden thought things were as messy as he claims they were, he's the president. i don't know why they give him as soon as they did. there should be a serious discussion. we could've stabilized things as we withdrew if that's what we were going to do. host: there are going to be hearings in congress. do you want that question asked? caller: they have to. that's where the strength lies. we weren't going to win the war with 2500 people. we couldn't do it with 130,000. i don't know where they get the idea we could have 2500 people there. the idea that the taliban guys, they wouldn't attack americans as long as we were pledging to get out.
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if things had gone back to a full-scale war again, i don't understand how 2500 people would be effective. host: bob in utah. you say yes. caller: the man right before me has the same feelings i have. when you name off the countries you are going after, before you even get started, that was insanity to me. we should have just hit one country we are leaving one country and everybody knows which one that is. he took my thunder. host: don in washington state. you have a family member that served? caller: yes. good morning.
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my brother was sent to fallujah in the beginning. i just want to thank c-span and give a couple of things i've noticed. i've noticed president trump, a lot of things he ran on, he ran an getting out of this war. that is it mentioned a lot, except for the fact that people forget biden had five months once this was a deal by the trust administration. we can't change the afghan people. we should've been out after 10 years when we found osama. biden and obama were at in there at that point. getting out wasn't a topic until trump ran on it.
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it took a long time to scale down. i do believe it was successful. there should have been a better -- i think the democrats and biden spent too much time with impeachments and different things. they knew this was drawing down. they wanted to play other things. they didn't want to focus on the taliban and those agreements. i think it was a choice. thank you for your time. host: elizabeth in san diego. you say no. caller: good morning. right off the top, i want to make the point that trump handed biden only 2500 troops. trump had let out 5000 taliban fighters.
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you had 5000 recently released taliban fighters. against 2500 american troops. biden's choice was really essentially the choice you see there. would been worth it to ramp up things again? trump's agreement has not included the afghans. trump handed biden a horrible situation. he did not provide the biden administration security updates on the situation until inauguration day. that is the background. people forget that osama bin laden's reason for attacking the united states stemmed from the original encounter with iraq in
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kuwait when we set up a military base in saudi arabia. what i recall was osama bin laden, that's why he attacked. we had a base in saudi arabia. that is something important that needs to be -- people need to know why we really went in there. host: another tweet from a viewer. he notes this. congress never declared war.
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eric in new hampshire, you say yes. caller: a couple of things i noticed is we are talking about this agreement. joe biden who's been lying since this happened, he is saying i had to go along with trump. trump's agreement -- if trump was there, he wouldn't let every provincial capital get taken. you're dealing with a different taliban. no one likes the taliban. i heard the current taliban leader was released from guantanamo by obama. if we are going to send people to war, we are going to fight. this diplomacy needs to be backed up by force.
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joe biden says we couldn't have anticipated that. the allies don't object. he's just lying. these lies are not like trump wise. these are fundamental public policy lies. that's all i have to say. host: you can look at what previous presidents have said and the debates on capitol hill over afghanistan for the last 20 years. go to our website c-span.org and dig into our video library. was it worth fighting? eric in california, you say no. caller: i would like to speak to my christian brothers and sisters. the taliban is radical islam.
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trump negotiated with radical islam. this is what started 9/11. we had troops in saudi arabia. they attacked america. we are christians. christians do not pass down wars to their children. we don't pass down wars like muslims and jews do. please, let's get this correct. jesus is the only way. you cannot change the world with guns. jesus is the only way to change hearts of men and women. islam and judaism will kill you. host: let's move on to north
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carolina. your turn. caller: good morning. i have to say no, it was absolutely not worth it. in fact, for the last several years, ever since they've been showing these wounded warrior commercials on tv, i have said to myself, was it worth it? it was not. the greed of powerful rich men, that's what this war was about. am i missing something? the towers were bombed in 2001. now, bush went to iran before he went to afghanistan.
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if i recall correctly, we went to iran toward the end of 2002. it was at least a year or more, possibly a couple of years before we went to afghanistan. bush went to iran. host: i don't think you have it right. october 2001, president bush talked about the military mission in afghanistan. host: the purpose was to -- our presence took on a colonial power. jerry in virginia, who served from your family? caller: i had an uncle. host: where did he serve?
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caller: i'm not exactly sure. host: what are your thoughts on afghanistan? caller: it was worth fighting. the comment i would like to make, everyone thinks biden made a mistake over there. i don't think it was a mistake. it was all planned. go back to what truman said in january. he said we are going to change the world. everything they've done since then has been toward that goal. and not for the better. host: larry in alabama. you say no. caller: how are you doing this morning? host: why do you say no? caller: when you've got to spend $83 billion to train the soldiers and they turn their
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backs on you. it isn't worth fighting for when you lose over 2000 or more soldiers. it's not worth fighting for when you have china, turkey, russia, all of them getting a hold of this land. why? if the people are poor, why would you want to gain assets to their land? they have mineral rights. in most cases you have oil, copper, of those mineral rights. that's money. that's why china, turkey, russia , even iran. the lady who just spoke from north carolina, it wasn't bush who went to iran. he went to iraq.
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host: henry, from jupiter, florida, you served in afghanistan. where? caller: i served in a combat support hospital. host: what was your experience? caller: we were treating everybody, afghan nationals, u.s. army, everybody, some of the locals. i believe it was worth fighting. i think we were giving hope to the afghans, the united states is a light in the world, and i am glad we carried that on. host: did you hear that from the
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afghans you were in contact with? caller: yes, we worked closely with interpreters every day in the hospital. it was always very positive, they were always trained to get health care. we were doing missions outside the hospitals to local areas and supporting the local coast, and everybody was -- the locals seemed very appreciative. i am glad i was able to help. general mcmaster said you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you, so the united states has to be careful. i am worried about we did prevent al qaeda from reforming, and it was a good security asset , but i am worried about going forward. host: thank you for your
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service. we will keep this conversation rolling after a short break. we will be joined by john mclaughlin, the former acting cia director to former president bush. nader we will be joined by former fda chief scientist dr. jesse goodman to talk about the pandemic and recommendations this week for booster shots. we will be right back. >> walking from washington, d.c. to new york city, this reporter reflects on his nearly 300 mile journey. >> doing it a year later with all of this happening, all of us being shut in and walking around behind masks, the long covid winter, as we call it, the events we saw play out on january 6 at the capitol, which
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i was right nearby, there is a lot of bad vibrations in the air. so i decided to go out and just walk through the spring, and look up close and slowly at the country and meeting people along the way and trying to understand where were we as a country. >> on his nearly 300 mile journey, walking from washington, d.c., to new york tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on q&a. you can also find interviews where ever you get your podcasts. >> the best in american history and nonfiction books, on american history tv, on the presidency, a conversation between president ronald reagan and godfrey hodgson on restoring
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the economy, arms control and iran contra. and as the u.s. continues to withdraw from afghanistan, we look back at the history with two information films, chronicling the aftermath of the soviet invasion of afghanistan and the challenges of the challenges -- and the challenges facing children who grew up in pakistan. and then duane evans talks about his book about his tour of duty in southern afghanistan shortly after the 9/11 attacks. watch american history tv every weekend and find the full schedule on your program guide or watch online anytime at c-span.org/history. host: joining us this morning is john mclaughlin, the former
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acting director of the cia during the george w. bush administration. we are learning from reporting from the new york times that the administration was told by the intelligence community that it would take a year or two years for the taliban to gain control, that there was time. what do you make of that assessment? guest: first, thank you for having me this morning. i don't quite take literally what the media will say about intelligence because i know they have not read it. i have not read it either. i would be surprised if that was the only thing that intelligence said to the u.s. government because i sense is, without having been in the government myself recently that intelligence for years has been saying that this is a precarious situation, that them afghan
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military is not as strong as it is said and that the taliban has been draining strength. i suspect there was -- gaining strength. i was suspect -- i would suspect there was more to intelligence than indicated in that report. host: as you look back at the last 20 years, the lead up to the afghanistan invasion, was it worth it? guest: it was worth it i think in some respects. we won't know, as in many situations like this, for some years whether it was worth it or the degree to which it was worth it. certainly i think we had little choice at the beginning to do anything other than what we did, which was to go to the place where al qaeda was resident and also to the taliban, which had
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harbored al qaeda. that was our approach. we had to do that and our teams from cia were on the ground within 15 days after 9/11. we had two teams on the ground because we had maintained contact over the previous two or three years and at least five visits with members of what was then called the northern alliance, the group that was fighting the taliban. we had friends on the ground that could receive the teams, and we went in in september and by november couple had fallen. i would say those early years were basically good years in terms of eroding al qaeda and defeating taliban and installing a government that was at least at the outset seemed worthy of the people and consistent with
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what we we wanted, what we thought afghanistan ought to be in terms of human rights and so forth. it got more complicated the longer we were there, so i think the judgment about whether it was worth it is yet to be made. i would add one other thing, as result of american involvement, no matter what the ultimate judgment is, america did a lot of good in afghanistan along with whatever it might ultimately be seen to have done that was not so good. certainly the education of people in afghanistan, particularly women, the free media that is flourishing until recently, the believe -- belief that there was a beyond, all of
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that is to the good, so as we leave, one important thing is that afghanistan is a different country than when we arrived. it is the same in many aspects, culturally it has not dramatically changed in many ways, but in terms of society and human rights and education in the general welfare of the populace, we made a lot of progress. the question is can any of that be maintained? one cannot be optimistic knowing what we know about the taliban but it is yet to be determined. host: you said there was little choice but to go into afghanistan after 9/11. can you tell us more about the intelligence that led to that decision? guest: at that point of course
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within hours of 9/11 happening, we knew this was an al qaeda operation. it is important for viewers to know that throughout the summer, the cia was morning repeatedly -- warning repeatedly about the potential for huge attack come and to be fair we did not know time, target or method. we were at the white house on emergency terms at least twice, that is calling the white house and saying we have something to tell you, and the message was reporting of danger and threat has spiked dramatically this summer, the summer before 9/11 and we are convinced there's going to be a major operation against the united states. we expected it, and when it happened, that morning i was on the seventh floor of the cia, i was deputy director and when the
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first plane hit my like everyone, i wondered is this terrorism, what is it? in the second plane hit there was no doubt what it was. within about two hours, one of our analysts should up with a manifest from the plane that had gone into the pentagon, and we recognized the names of two's -- hope -- two members and that was the first thing they gave us certainty that it was al qaeda and we knew they had planned this because at that point we had done a lot of research on the camps and we knew that the 1998 embassy bombings had been planned and we knew the u.s. bombing of that worship had in all likelihood been inspired there as well, and bin laden had gone there in 1996. we had been following him
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carefully since then come and we formed a unit in 1996 to do nothing but follow bin laden and al qaeda long before this was in the american consciousness generally. that is the reason, i mean the intelligence was compelling that this had originated in afghanistan. the final point is we had compelling intelligence that al qaeda was planning a second wave attack on the united states, and we realized at the cia that we were the only ones in the u.s. government who were equipped with the intelligence and the personnel trained in counterterrorism to combat this. so again we had to go in there in order to make sure it was not a second wave attack on the united states. host: tell us more about your day on 911 after you recognize
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those two names. walk us through the rest of the day. guest: immediately move the leadership team to an adjacent building and we sent the majority of the employees home except for our counterterrorism people who stayed in the building. the reason we did that is we were confident that our building would be a target in any major al qaeda operation, and then we began gathering information and set up in this adjacent building a phone network with the white house and the defense department comparing notes on what had happened. later in the day, around 2:00 in the afternoon, the president was out of town, there was a video conference set up on secure video, that looked just like this except it was an encrypted connection, and we had a
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discussion with the president about what had happened. he wanted to know where we convinced this was al qaeda and so forth. gave him an update, and he really gave us about as clear a mission statement as you can imagine on that day. i wrote down his words, it was to the effect of form a worldwide coalition and we will find him and destroy them. we took that as our mission statement, and went from there to the rest of the day, spent in planning for what we would do. that stretched over the remainder of the week, the following day i had to brief the congress, and any congress member was invited to come. i did that the day after that, and i remember roughly what i said. by the weekend, the president gathered us at camp david, as
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being the national security team, cia, the defense department, national security advisor, and so forth, the chairman of the joint chiefs and others, and the fbi, and basically spent the day talking about what we thought we ought to do. the cia there with about a 90 page plan that we had formulated the year before at the end of the clinton administration on what to do to attack al qaeda and we put that on the table. monday, the week after that weekend, the president gave about 12 orders, and for the cia it was basically carry out your plan. that is when we initiated the formation and movement of our teams into afghanistan. that was the beginning of all of
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this. host: john mclaughlin, the former acting director of the cia. he was deputy on 9/11. we want your calls and thoughts this morning. this is don, republican, from florida. caller: the question of whether he spent 20 years in afghanistan and whether it was worth it was rendered moot by president biden with the incompetent way in which they fled the country. we did not withdraw. we fled. we have an american version of dunkirk going on right now at the airport. this is the most ridiculous thing i have ever seen in my life, he did it in such a manner that whatever morale there was in the afghan government and the forces, completely materialized. they collapsed because of
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president joe biden. host: john mclaughlin, do you agree? guest: i might not put it exactly in those words, but i would agree with the sentiment that the afghan government probably lost it spine, recalling the president left the country very quickly. once it was apparent to the government that the united states was not going to be there, so in that sense, i think the collapse was in part a result of the u.s. decision to withdraw. host: so this part of that blame lie with former president trump because he struck the deal with the taliban? guest: the blame game is going to go on for long time, and i
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think every administration, going back to the one i was in, made mistakes that contributed to where we are now. it certainly president trump, by virtue of having made clear, before joe biden was elected, that we were going to withdraw and then handing president biden the agreement that mandated withdrawal, president biden, to his credit, said we are not going to withdraw by that date for sure that i think the day was set for may instead of where we are now. but the predicate for what president biden decided was really set by trump, and then if you went back before that, president obama's surge probably raised hopes in afghanistan that
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subsequently were not sustained because we announced not long after that we would not stay beyond a certain year, i believe 2014. our pattern has been one of raising hopes, but repeatedly saying we are not going to stay. that i think is what has been met with the taliban famous remark, a cliche almost, but the taliban always saying you have the watches and we have the time. in dealing with an adversary like the taliban it is always a mistake to tip your hand s2 intentions and we have done that more or less repeatedly. i think president biden inherited a difficult situation, and we will wait for years whether he did the right thing, but i would just add to the comment that it is it just president biden who got us to this point. host: barbara, in oklahoma,
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independent. caller: i did not live in oklahoma at the time, but i understand there is a little airport here that the saudi's came into and wanted to learn how to fly. they did not want to know how to land, they just wanted to know how to fly, and i understand -- i don't know if it was the fbi or who, but they informed, and they ignored him. i want to know if that is true or not. guest: i do not know about an airport in oklahoma but i do know prior to 9/11 we had at least two cases of people from the middle east wanting to learn to fly. in some cases not showing much interest in learning how to land. they were in minneapolis and
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phoenix, i believe, so the problem with that is that the fbi at that time was not really structured the way it is today. the leader of the fbi who came in a week before 9/11, bob mueller, or let's change the structure of the fbi to what it is today. for that, there was not -- before that, there was not a practice of the field station and that is how the fbi is organized with a major agent in these cities. the field stations did not have the automatic practice of sending reports like that into washington. so that many people in washington were unaware at the time of 9/11 that this was happening. there was on the one case i can remember where it was generally made aware and it was very late in the process, but that is one of the things that the
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government as a whole worked to correct after 9/11, was the free movement of information in the intelligence channels so that everyone is able to see everything real-time and judge significance and that is vastly -- has improved today. host: lynn from missouri. caller: thank you for your service. your question or comment? we need to get those guys out of there. this is an afghan that and this is a shame what is going on. we need to worry about working out all of the details later and just get those guys out of there. host: what are you referencing? caller: our friends, our family, our americans, everybody who needs refuge. host: john mclaughlin.
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guest: thank you for your service, and i am a veteran of the vietnam war, so i understand the feelings that people have about afghanistan. i did not serve on the ground in afghanistan and i think people like you are the ones that have the most credible testimony about what is happening there and what the future is. of course everyone has to agree, i am getting messages from various people who have either relatives or friends or acquaintances who need to get out, and i'm doing the little i can in terms of trying to activate context to help with that. yes, i have no comment other than i think that we have to get them out. obviously this is in some ways
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the most difficult military operation i can imagine because our military is not trained and prepared and geared to do this. thankfully they are capable and disciplined and can do what they are doing now, but to actually have to get people out in those circumstances. you have all seen the tv coverage of the press at the gates, the press of people at the gates, to get them out in those circumstances, having to do so with the essential agreement of the taliban, and to do so where in the latest instances of reporting we have the potential for a terrace threat aimed at some of these crowds. it is hard for me to imagine a more difficult circumstance other than vicious combat
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against a determined enemy. i think we just have to admire the discipline that our military is showing as it tries to accomplish this operation. i can't do anything other than agree with you and hope that we succeed in what we are trained to do. host: an update on the evacuation efforts, the pentagon is asking commercial airlines to fly afghan evacuees from foreign bases. john mclaughlin, if you are hiding at a house in kabul, waiting for some help to get to the airport and you have been promised that you would be effectuated, he talked about having contacts, but is that mission like to get those people out of their homes and to the airport? guest: it has been reported a
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lot now how difficult it is to get to the airport on your own, having to go through taliban checkpoints, put up with taliban harassment. worry about the street generally that might include al qaeda or isis terrorists, so making your way there on your own is a perilous journey, and there will be many stories told about how difficult it was. i think almost inevitably, just my personal opinion, there is no inside information, but we are going to need to bury the way in which we are getting those people out and there is one or two reports of the military going into afghanistan for helicopter lifts off hotels and so forth. i would be surprised if we are
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not talking to the taliban about our need to do that and seeking grants us -- acquiesces in that. that is a whole other chapter of this story. one has to wonder when it is all over, where will this leave the relationship between the u.s. government and the taliban, if they are cooperative in that effort. i would say i don't think we know yet who this latest version of the taliban really is. we know the people on the street are basically street fighters from the rural provinces and not under any particular discipline or control. the nominal leader of the taliban unlikely to be the leader under whatever government they form just arrived in
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afghanistan and he is someone who has been involved in this because since the days when the afghans were fighting the soviets. he also headed the negotiations that were without great result underway at least with the united states and briefly with the afghan government. he is an individual with a broader view of the world and the average taliban member and we will have to see where he wants to take whatever government he forms, how he wants it to pace the world and what kind of relationship he wants with people. but that is going on your question. i think the united states will have to figure out some way to leapfrog over the crowds pressing against these gates and get people at collection points
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or some other method. host: we will help more about the evacuation efforts from president biden when he addresses the nation today at 4:00 p.m. eastern time. this is deborah from westchester , ohio, republican. caller: thank you for taking my call. thank you to the listeners for being open mining. my concern is where we will be in about 10 years. afghanistan is one of the richest nations in the world and rare earth minerals. most people do not realize there are several critical elements in their cell phone, and what i don't really understand is after 20 years why we haven't been involved in that. china bought 1.5 -- $1.5 billion worth of mineral rights, and
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they just negotiated a deal in oil. although i think nation building has a connotation for people really don't understand it like they should for the long-term future, had it been civilized, to help afghanistan develop the minerals, they are going to be the future of energy and in the world, just like saudi arabia was for oil. my concern is china and russia will control the minerals coming out of this area, and the taliban will do the dirty work out of afghanistan. now to try to do something in afghanistan, we may have to go up against russia and china. they don't care how the taliban governors. host: i want to jump in and have
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john mclaughlin respond. guest: i think deborah makes a good point, there are minerals there that are critical to much technology. i have to say i don't know, and i don't want to give your listeners the sense that i know something intimately but i don't know. i don't know precisely where the united states stands in terms of engagement with that sector of afghanistan. i do know that the chinese are extremely interested in acquisition to those minerals, and they will come along with the russians, strive our relationship the taliban that will facilitate that kind of access. i think deborah just sketches out for the united states a serious foreign policy and economic problem that we need to keep in mind as we construct a
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future relationship with whatever afghanistan turns out to be. i would just add that i think chinese, the chinese attitude towards this is probably mixed toward what is happening in abba skin -- afghanistan, probably some tension internally, and when we were rounding up extremists in the initial days who had been involved with al qaeda, a small number were leaders from the singe on province, in china, the province that is seeking greater autonomy from beijing and that beijing has been pretty brutal with. the chinese have to worry about the television having a very -- the taliban having an extreme
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government on their border. they have a small portable afghanistan, and being a magnet for extremists from what the chinese regard as extremists from that province. they have a fine line to walk here. deborah makes a good point. i would just leave it at that, that we need to keep that forefront, in the front front as we think -- forefront as we figure out where to go from now. host: j.d., democratic color. caller: why did the bush administration reject negations the taliban in october of 2001 when they offered up bin laden, that was rejected and then a second offer was made in december of 2001 to give up bin
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laden. the bush administration rejected that second offer. guest: i think those reports with respect to your caller, i think those are not accurate or credible or true. i know we sought before 9/11 to achieve exactly that, and one of my most experienced officers met with the deputy of the taliban secretly in the borderland with pakistan and afghanistan and asked exactly that, basically the deputy leader to surrender bin laden or to form within the taliban a unit that would be independent of the taliban leadership and to work with us.
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and he refused. so i civilly am not aware of that, and i don't take those reports as credible. host: lee sends a tweet this morning, why did we have to use ground trade and why did we continue with the cia operation to track down al qaeda and bin laden at the beginning -- in 2001 and why did we invade iraq, that was not an imminent threat to the united states? guest: if i understand the question, the comment, i have maybe two comments, and one is that we stayed on the search for bin laden and for al qaeda after 9/11, and to the point where i think we managed in the course of the next two or three years
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to capture or kill the 9/11 arab leadership of al qaeda. for some time i would say that al qaeda was basically shut down . the affiliates continue to act, in places like yemen and so forth, continue to act and they were attacks in places like madrid in 2005, but the core leadership of al qaeda was destroyed in that time. it has regrown to some degree since then and that is another subject. on the issue of iraq, i cannot disagree that iraq proved to be a distraction. when the bush administration decided to invade iraq, we could and i think succeeded to not reduce our physical attention,
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officers devoted to counterterrorism, but i don't think there's any question that the need to deal with iraq proved to be something that took energy and attention and probably made it more difficult to maintain focus and progress on afghanistan. host: why did osama bin laden evade u.s. intelligence for 10 years? guest: the hardest thing in the world is to find one person, particularly in a part of the world like that. we managed to find the architect of 9/11 and basically all of his major associates. bin laden took longer because he had extraordinary security.
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i would remind viewers that in our own country it has to take in -- it has taken through her for five years to locate people responsible for terrorists operations here, so even in a country where we have complete transparency and freedom of movement. i would just say it is hard. it is very hard and ultimately we did find him and ultimately intelligence played the key role in putting all of the information together to locate him. that was a remarkable operation, but it took longer than anyone wanted it to take, but it is very hard to find one person. host: do you remember your reaction when you hurt he had been killed? guest: yes, it was about 1:00 in the morning, and i was sitting at a gas station and a day --
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and i got a call. i managed to catch a quick replay of what the president said, and my reaction to it was not that this is the end of the story, but the end of a chapter, because often a movement is not so totally dependent on one individual, that removing that individual stops the movement. but certainly in lawton -- bin laden was the most inspirational leader in that movement. it has not been quite the same since then. yes, it was a feeling of satisfaction that we had finally brought justice to the person behind the deaths of 3000 people in the united states. host: this is carol, from virginia, independent. caller: my nephew was telling me
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he had been in the pentagon for 40 some years, and he retired in 2011 or 2012, but he was telling me in the situation like that, it is always going to be people left behind because it is difficult, and it will never be the same way. he said the united states, you got to watch what you see on tv from the terrace -- terrorists, because they deceive and they are good at what they do. he said they cut them all by surprise because as soon as they heard the public had left, everybody got to running and mixed up and they had people in high places --
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host: who are you talking about? caller: our troops. host: in afghanistan? caller: the people they was training. host: i think she is talking about the military afghans. you talked about serving in vietnam a -- vietnam and the lessons you learned when you served. walk us through what it takes to fight as you laid out any recent piece. guest: i understood carol's question and it is a good one. her question i think is why did the afghan troops collapsed so quickly, and the point i was try to make in the piece i wrote is that even though we gave them i'm sure wonderful training and equipment, what i took away from
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my own involvement in vietnam is that equipment and training is almost incidental when it comes to the dynamics of war, which is a very personal thing about whether you are willing and ready to fight and die for something, to lose your life. that only comes about as a result of a number of things. you have to have, i think i listed for five things, some faith in the government that you are supporting. it has to have your respect. you have to believe that your membership in this military is essential and that you can't simply walk away from it. in the afghan case, it is not like the american army, where you can't walk away from the army. if you go awol, you are subject to military justice and there is a certain discipline rigor that does not exist in an army like
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the afghan army, where you literally can take off your uniform and blend into society instantly walk away. also, when you know there is corruption in the system, in the military itself, in your national leadership, that takes away your will to fight. also, sometimes people fight because the government compels them to fight. for those viewers who might remember the draft that is essentially what happens in a draft. people are compared to go and participate in war. -- compelled to go and participate in war. none of that really existed in afghanistan. you did not have the commitment emotionally to a government that you respected. you probably were cynical about
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the corruption that you saw everywhere in society, and that is the kind of thing that i think -- i use the vietnam example, not applying to american troops, but applying to very brave -- by the way, bravery often has little to do with this, very brave south vietnamese troops who had the same sense of alienation or disrespect for the government they were fighting for. that is what will undermine an army more than anything else in the end, so when people express surprise that we gave them all of this training and equipment, i think it fails to understand how war really works. host: this is ben from new jersey. you served in afghanistan. what were you doing? caller: i was in kandahar and up
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all over the place, but 2012 three 2013, but my question is, i don't understand is this is no secret. how did we get this -- how did that leadership get this so wrong? i mean a year, two years, three years ago, we all talked about this. it was commonplace knowledge that this is what would happen when we left. with the amount of intel that even i was not privy to or even my friends who were serving were not privy to, our government, how did we get this so wrong? we don't understand this. we knew we were leaving. why did not secure couple -- kabul, make those points of debarkation, get our people out of there and then leave,
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regardless of whatever agreement have been going along with the taliban. they are known to break agreements all the time. this was so much what we feel is hubris amongst officials to not listen to what we felt was common knowledge. this is really a travesty. host: your reaction? guest: the caller has a lot of credibility because he served there, and i cannot challenge anything he said in terms of what was going on and what the future would be. this echoes to some degree the kind of information that emerged in the afghanistan papers, a series of papers that the washington post obtained through
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a freedom of information request from the special inspector general for afghan reconstruction, with a number of interviews with people like the caller and other people in the government which revealed that when speaking privately, they were discouraged about the outlook for afghanistan. as to why this did not affect policy, i cannot tell you other than having been any government, people keep trying, even in the face of difficulty and pessimistic or difficult outlook, they keep trying to make it better. if i were to put the best construction on it, i would say that people making decisions on afghanistan, which were hard, kept trying to overcome the problems they saw.
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but clearly they were unable to do so based on what we see now. i have to agree with the caller that it surprises me, particularly we abandoned the air force bases rapidly as we did. the pen again -- the pentagon gave an exclamation, explanation, which is that they could not keep airfields open and that it would've been difficult to keep them both open so they chose to keep open the commercial airfield. that appears to have been a major miscalculation in terms of carrying out the current alfieri should -- operation which is more difficult without the kind of fullscope access to the airfield and the equipment and capability we had there. i cannot disagree with the caller on that point. host: we will just end by asking
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you, what will you be listening for when the president speaks today? guest: i think i will be listening for first what are the next steps, how do we -- i think we are at the point now where i am not listening for anyone to tell me the answer to the last question, how did we get to this point? it is too soon to be expecting people to focus their attention on that. this is an emergency situation and the main thing i will be listening for is what are we going to do to facilitate the extraction of people that we have committed ourselves to extract, and how do we improve the methods we have been using so far, how do we overcome the problem standing in the way such as the crush of people at these gates? one of the problems at the gates as i understand it from the reporting is that someone will
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show up at the gates with authorization to leave, but they are so far back in the crowd that you cannot get to them because if you open the gates to try to get to them, you'll have a rush of people into the compound, which is just a generally horrible situation. i will be listening for how are we going to do with that. i am not listening for rings like what next with afghanistan, what is our relationship going to be with the taliban, and many of the other larger issues. right now it is a matter of how do we get to this emergency and come out on the other with some success and then take stock of how we got here and how -- what we can learn from it. host: john mclaughlin, former acting director of the cia. we appreciate the conversation this morning. thank you for joining us. guest: thank you, greta.
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host: when we come back we turn our attention to the covid-19 pandemic and we talk with former fda chief scientist dr. jesse goodman, talking about the latest recommendation for the booster shots and more. we will be right back. >> we bring you the best in american history and nonfiction books. on book tv, mitch mcconnell shares what is on his reading list and also discussion on afghanistan. national security analysts talks about his book, and from freedom best, scott horton argues that the war on terror has been counterproductive and too costly to continue in his book.
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watch book tv every weekend and find a full schedule on your program guide or watch online anytime. ♪ >> if you choose to research the origins of a topic being discussed free only in the united states recently called critical race theory, you will find the name derek bell, a law professor who died in 2011 and was one of the principal originators of this much discussed subject. in november of 1992, bell appeared on book notes to discuss his book. >> the late harvard law school professor on this episode. listen at c-span.org/podcast or
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wherever you get your podcasts. ♪ >> "washington journal" continues. host: on your screen is dr. jesse goodman, former chief scientist for the fda. i want to begin with why we are in a situation with the
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government recommends booster shots for covid-19. guest: what they are saying now is that we need to be prepared and they are planning starting in late september, provided fda supports this and approves it, to give a third shot of the mrna vaccine to people who have previously gotten the two. why is that being made? when you look at information from israel and also from the united kingdom, what we are seeing is that as time passes, and we are talking about eight months, and also as the delta variant, which is somewhat more resistant to vaccine, has become a major variant in the u.s., that the vaccine is not quite as effective in preventing against
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infection. it is important for people to realize it is still in this country highly effective against preventing hospitalization and death, so your risk right now of hospitalization or death if you have been vaccinated is basically about 1/10 if you have not been acceded. it is complicated, but people need to understand that the vaccine is highly protective, and the most important thing we can do is get everybody that is unvaccinated to get vaccinated. what the federal parties are worrying about seeing a slow decline in protection against infection that could later translate into a slippage of protection against this disease. they have come to this decision in late september, all things permitting, that they would start to offer first -- third
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doses to people who are initially dosed way back in january. i will say that there is a fair amount of discussion about this in the scientific community because in this country the evidence is still that it is highly protective against hospitalization and death, so some people feel we are good the way we are, and it may not be needed. i think the good news is we will learn more in the next months from israel and from data in the u.s. and then that will hopefully inform the decision. host: i want to have our viewers listen to the president make the case for the booster shots and get your reaction. here he is. pres. biden: this will boost your immune response and increase your protection from covid-19, and that is the best way to protect ourselves on the new variant. the plan is for every adult to
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get a booster shot eight months after you got your second shot. this is pending approval from the fda, and outside experts will be ready to start this program during the week of september 20. anyone vaccinated on or before january 20 will be eligible to get a booster shot at that time so that means if you got your second shot on favorite 15, you are eligible to get your booster shot on october 15. if you got your second shot on march 15, go for your booster starting november 15. remember, eight months after your second shot, it your booster shot. host: when he says this is the best way to protect you against any new variant, explained scientifically what is happening
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with this virus and how does it change that a booster shot with protect you. guest: what happens is that some of these variants, and i must say this is true when large amounts of viruses circulate, but the virus changes all the time. some of those changes may be beneficial to the virus, so for example the delta variant is highly infectious and that means it spreads more quickly. unfortunately, that tells the variant -- tells us the area it is somewhat more resistant to the current vaccine. the booster will do is raise your levels of antibody, and by raising those, it will likely increase your protection against
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variants. i think this is likely is the right decision, but i think that in the u.s. the jury is out with the protection can be maintain at least for some while longer against hospitalization and death. you would much rather be ready and be ahead of the curve as playing catch and having a situation where protection against serious outcomes like hospitalization and death is slipping. i think they're trying to look forward. it is reasonable to be prepared. there are trade-offs as people know, much of the world is still unvaccinated, that provides, not
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only for a humanitarian disaster, but that provides grant for some have argued we should focus on vaccinating those around the world. in this country we have a humanitarian disaster going on in many states where sometimes 1 in 100 people are getting infected during the course of a week right now and our hospitals are overwhelmed. the good news is more people are getting vaccinated, but the great news would be if people would just look at this, think about protecting themselves and their family and their community. the f.d.a. has been -- it sounds like they may fully approve the pfizer vaccine in the coming week. that should increase people's confidence that no longer is this a vaccine that was provided
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just in the context of an emergency but it's one that meets the full criteria for safety and effectiveness. host: dr. goodman, we are dividing the lines this morning to hear from those who have decided to get vaccinated, who are seeking vaccination, and a third line for those that won't get vaccinated. dr. goodman, why do you think children now are getting the delta variant, showing more of a reaction to this delta variant than before? guest: well, one thing is that more adults have either been protected by vaccine or, you know, for people who weren't vaccinated, got infected and have some immunity. so the virus is moving on to other populations, young adults and children. it may also reflect something about the delta variant.
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certainly the delta variant, very high amounts of virus in your nose, so if you think about it, that's a real setup for children transmitting the virus among each other like we frequently see infectious diseases transmitted. then we don't know whether there is something different about this variant that just is beyond being more infectious makes it worse for kids, but there is no doubt we are seeing lots of kids infected. my colleagues at children's hospital are -- children's hospitals are seeing many infected children, even some who were previously healthy and have no underlying diseases. you know, some unfortunately have died, and i think people need to pay attention to these stories and realize that right now we have about 1,000 people a day dying in the united states
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due to covid. we don't have people dying from the vaccine. when you consider your risk and your risk of your family, please think about it. now unfortunately we don't yet have the information we need to extend use of the vaccine to children less than 12. again, manufacturers are doing studies. f.d.a. will have to review them. it's very important, children are not just little adults, so it's very important that we have information on children before considering immunization in those younger age groups. host: karen is seeking a vaccination in alabama. karen, why are you seeking a vaccination now? did you just decide to get one? caller: here is my question for the doctor. there is a couple of things that have been brought up lately about the vaccine. one is the protein in the vaccine, they're finding out may be toxic to humans, number one.
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number two, there have been deaths from the vaccination, 3,544 reported deaths. this is a virus. the vaccine is never going to eradicate this virus. we have never had a vaccine that does that, and instead of waiting for people to get into a hospital we need to start pretreating them. there are lots of doctors out there who have pretreated people with vitamin d, and i don't know why you are not emphasizing more of a pretreatment than everybody needs to get this vaccine. i personally am not getting the booster. host: ok, dr. goodman, how do you respond? guest: a couple of points there that i agree on and a couple i might differ with. one is that it would be great if we had a medicine that could just prevent infection or treat early infection. but we just don't. the ones you have mentioned have not been shown to work.
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we are now seeing poisoning fron twitter people don't take this drug. you are not a horse, you are not a cow. there are studies going on, but so far they haven't shown that something is preventive. that would be great. we do have something that is preventive which is the vaccine. i do agree with you that we are unlikely to eradicate covid, but you know, because it's spreading in the respiratory tract, but i would love to eradicate deaths from covid. that's 1,000 deaths a day. we know we can reduce that by 90% if people are vaccinated. in terms of side effects of the vaccine, those figures -- don't believe everything you read on the internet. 3,500 people have not died from receiving the vaccine. they may have died after getting
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it. there may have been reports filed to the f.d.a., but lots of people pass away unfortunately for lots of reasons. so, for example, in nursing homes where you might expect several people a week to pass away in a large nursing home, if those occurred after getting covid vaccine they get reported. unfortunately, there's a lot of misinformation out there. some of it is spread by frankly adversaries of the united states. so think hard. the overwhelming amount of physicians and nurses do recommend people receive vaccine. i have recommended it. i've gotten it. i recommend it to family and patients. i have seen too many people die of covid. the vaccine is not going to prevent that 100%, but right now it can really help prevebt that -- prevent that and we have seen people just in the last week, a young couple, both parents died leaving their
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children. their dying pleas, get my children vaccinated. conservative talk show radio host just reported yesterday who was, like you, very against vaccine, advocating alternative treatments, and basically said i was wrong, people please get vaccinated. it's not 100%. nobody said that. but the benefits outweigh the risk at least per all, you know, experts that have looked at this carefully. host: i will just add to what the doctor was saying that reverend jesse jackson sr. and his wife have tested positive for covid-19. gary from maryland, you won't get vaccinated. gary, welcome to the conversation. tell us why. caller: first off, jesse jackson got the shot and then he got covid. in europe there's 27 nations that have reported 26,527 deaths
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after the covid shot. a couple million people are in the hospital. 50% of them are in serious condition. there is a website that reports that 62% of the vaccinated get blood clots from the spike protein. what type of -- what is going on with this push to get us all vaccinated? isn't this rather suspicious that this push with these many deaths, they stopped reporting the number of deaths, it got up to 11,000. what the heck is with that? guest: well, you know, i think yes, good questions. you have seen information that's raised concerns. what i would say is we have
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looked at the deaths carefully in the united states. the majority of those reports, as i said, are deaths that have occurred at some point after vaccination, but are not related to vaccination. blood clots -- that's primarily seen with the jackson and astrazeneca in the united states and it's extremely low even in the most at-risk population, something like one in 10,000 of those blood clots. i take care of patients with covid all the time. they're in the hospital getting blood clots from covid. they're in the hospital dying from covid. host: jerry in new jersey, you are vaccinated. your question or comment for the doctor? caller: i have two questions for you. one, i will be due for the
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booster -- i had two pfizer vaccines and i will be due in october. i also go for a flu shot. do i get these two shots or will the covid vaccine help me? the second question i have and this is extremely important and i do like the last caller's call because in a way what you are saying is that the covid vaccine deaths are due to other things and it might be reported as covid, but i believe that's the case with people that are dying of natural causes and they're saying it's covid. so kind of works both ways, and i agree with the other caller that the push to vaccinate is scaring the crap out of me because i took the vaccines and i really am afraid of what i might have done, but the second question i have for you and this is important -- president biden looks like he has some cognitive issues and every year they go for physicals. why has he not gone for his
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physical yet and why do we not know the shape our chief leader because there is all kind of stuff going on. we are relying on him even for covid and i don't believe he is in charge or he should be in charge. host: all right, jerry. dr. goodman, go ahead with the first part. she's wondering about getting the booster and flu shot. guest: well, the covid shot won't protect you against flu, so i would talk with your doctor, but typically if you do end up getting a booster for covid you would also want to get a flu shot. host: john, florence, massachusetts, will not get vaccinated. good morning. caller: i will never, ever get vaccinated. i got the expermal -- experimental anthrax vaccine in the navy and had adverse reactions. i want to know about natural immunity from when you catch covid, you have seven times the
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immunity of people who get the shot so what do you need the shot for? plus it's said that you get more of an adverse reaction, a higher percentage if you've already had covid-19, so i am curious how -- host: dr. goodman, ha about seven times? guest: you are right being infebted provides protection. it's not seven times. you are afforded protection. there have been studies looking at people who have had infection with covid and that have shown that if you receive covid vaccine afterwards, it does raise your immunity and you do have a reduced incidence of infection if you receive immunization after having had covid. so that's recommended. i am sorry to hear about your experience with other vaccines.
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one thing i would say is when i was growing up, we had polio. i was part of the first people who received the polio vaccine. we don't have polio in the united states anymore, so i would be very careful about generalizing experience or things on social media to all vaccines. we are also seeing a tremendous reduction in serve cal cancer because vaccine against the virus that causes it. host: dr. jesse goodman, why do some people when they've had the vaccine have a reaction and others don't? guest: well, actually, most people have a common reaction, which are pain at the injection site, often muscle aches and fatigue, sometimes fevers. typically these last two to three days. so many of my colleagues had that. i was fortunate enough to have a
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really sore arm. so the majority of people will have some reaction and that's your immune system responding. what's much rarer but does occur are more serious reactions, some with the pfizer and moderna. we have seen inflammation of the heart and maybe one in 100,000 people. that's quite rare. the overwhelming majority of those have been -- have improved quickly. the more serious events are quite rare with these vaccines, but they must be tracked. there are systems that continue to track them, and a public advisory committee is reporting on those adverse events publicly every few weeks. host: dr. goodman, my question was more about the normal reactions and some people get the severity to those normal
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reactions. i am wondering what that says about your immune system if anything. guest: in other words why did i not get much and somebody else was out of work for three days? we don't really know. some of us may be genetics, some people just respond in different ways. some it could be age. older individuals tend to have less of these reactions and tend to be less severe. i think some of this is how primed and strong is your immune system at that time, normal reactions. host: jane in new york, you are vaccinated. what is your question for the doctor this morning? jane, good morning in new york. caller: yes, i would like to know with the third booster shot, is that the same as the first two or are there going to be other things added or is the
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dose less, like a half a dose, or is it the exact same that you received initially? guest: that's a great question and some of that is being studied. one of the companies is looking at whether a half dose might do the trick and might actually have less of those kind of muscle aches, reactions, things like that. so that's being studied. right now the likelihood is it will be the same dose, but if studies like that support the different dose, that could be done. the other thing that your question stimulates that's really interesting is, for example, should we change the vaccine to reflect the delta variant which is the main problem now? again, right now the booster studies because they were started sometime ago are being done with the same original virus.
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that does raise levels against the delta variant but not as much probably as a delta variant vaccine. so that's another thing that's going to be looked at. that information will probably not be ready this fall, but we can envision a situation where let's hope that delta, we get through it. unfortunately one of the ways we are getting through it is a lot of people are getting infected and hospitalized and dying. we get through that. let's hope there aren't other variants that come along, but if there are the vaccine could periodically be adjusted if needed. i don't think we know yet, are we going to need boosters going forward other years? as i said, it's still a little on the fence, but still the current vaccine is protecting against hospitalizations but we
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don't want that to slip away. host: david in georgia, good morning to you. caller: dr. goodman, greta, let me say some things -- going to be three quick ones because you are cutting off people who are putting out valuable information. ok, to the lady that called in, they are putting down the johnson and johnson one, but i talked to a doctor friend of mine and they're saying that well, that's the only one that doesn't have this d.n.a. altering component to it so they want you to take the other two. another point is that it's funny that this strain came out that's attacking the kids right at the same time the census came out saying that europeans are on the decline. and last, i -- there was a guy
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who said i had the covid three times. i am like, well, why isn't he dead? so is there a value system who dies and who doesn't because most sports people get it over and over but why aren't they dead yet? if you have no value to the system, you are the ones that will die from covid. so that means they're killing them at the hospitals. thank you, greta. guest: thanks for your question. i would say that for almost all diseases, if you are older or your immune system is weak or if you have other diseases, if you have heart disease, you are at higher risk of bad outcomes. healthy young people and children have had very low rates of death from covid. they can be quite sick and as i
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said our children's hospitals are filled now, so we shouldn't write that off. but in fact, it's older people who have trouble dealing with it. the first part of this outbreak, last year winter decimated the erldly, including people in nursing homes, so a lot of this is just like other diseases of humans. if you are a weakened state you are much more likely to have a bad outcome. but don't forget as i said, there are healthy young people, including parents of children, including children, that even though most do well, there have been many tragic stories and those are increasing right now with the delta variant. host: sue in new jersey, texted us with this question. does the covid-19 vaccine compromise our natural immune system? do we rely on vaccines too much?
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guest: there is no evidence that any vaccines compromise our natural immune system. in fact, they utilize our natural immune system and basically teach it to be able to recognize and kill an invader, so really they are working with our immune system and they're one of the few things in medicine that really just totally utilize natural processes in our body. so i am always shocked when people feel they're unnatural when actually they are like a tiny exposure to something that they'll see when they get an infection and that exposure teaches your immune system to be ready and fight effectively. so this is about as natural as it gets. host: rick, who is vaccinated in florida, good morning.
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caller: good morning. i have a question for the doctor. i was estimated about a month ago, i got covid. thank god for the vaccination, it was maybe five, six days, like a flu or a cold. my question is, is the next progression in this fight an antiviral like for years we get the flu shot, we go to the doctor and he gives us tamiflu. is the next step an antiviral where if we catch a variant, we can go and pop a pill and that's my question for the doctor. guest: yeah, great question. it's something we really need. i think of some of the other callers who were wondering about some of these possible treatments, that aren't working, like hydroxy clor quinn, they're
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right. we need something like that. we just don't have it yet. both investigators at universities and n.i.h., industry, are all looking if they can find an antiviral medicine that could act early and potentially at the first sign of disease or even after exposure prevent you from getting sick. we really need those. they have been very hard to find. even tamiflu like you mentioned, once you are sick, it moderately reduces the severity and length of your illness, but it's a very good thing. we definitely need that. one advantage of something like that would be as long as the virus doesn't become resistant to it, but as long as that doesn't happen, these different variants could potentially be
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susceptible to a good antiviral. so there were a couple promising ones under study that looked good in test tubes, but you know, it's a long way from the test tube to being sure something works in humans. most things that work in the test tube don't work in humans, but i am optimistic there are two or three things in human testing and let's hope that one of them can have an impact. host: we will go to rebecca next in burlington, vermont. hi, rebecca. caller: hello. host: you won't get vaccinated, is that right? caller: yes. i would like to make a comment. i am wondering why is it that nobody wants to hear from a scientist that worked for pfizer for 17 years. he speaks out against the vaccine.
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also dr. richard -- a nuclear physicist/cardiologist who speaks out against the vaccine. he is a scientist, nuclear physicist. dr. mcauliffe, dr. cory, dr. gold, dr. chinciny. they have been canceled from being able to speak out on facebook. they put their own careers on the line, medical careers are on the line. one doctor had a lawsuit against him because he tried to speak out and they're suing him for $8 million. what is going on with this? why won't you other doctors speak with the colleagues out there? these are doctors that are scientists. some of them are board certified specialists and they're being canceled. all they wanted was to get their point out about the vaccine, the mrna, the spike protein and allow people to make a decision
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by hearing the full circle of doctors speaking out, and then if they choose to get the vaccine that's up to them. that's all they wanted was a chance to speak out. you can look up dr. richard fleming. host: let's have dr. goodman respond. guest: thanks, rebecca. i do think it is important to hear all voices. i talk to doctors and health professionals all the time. i think where the line gets fuzzy is when people spread -- i don't know any of the people you mentioned so i am not making this comment about them. but there is actual misinformation and erroneous information put out all the time. some of it has been retreated by people like the russians, who seek to disrupt and sew conflict in our society and people make their decisions based on information they believe is correct, but it isn't correct. then it can hurt them.
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if one of these families who have lost both parents made their decisions based on misinformation, you know, we have freedom of speech. people can say these things. i am happy to talk with them, as i said. pu it does have consequences. so we just need to get -- hear everybody, but somehow make sure that people can evaluate the information that they get. i wouldn't want an infectious disease doctor to just -- i don't know the person you mentioned but running a nuclear power plant. i think we have to be careful that we look at the expertise and the facts. host: rachel in palm beach, florida, hi, rachel. go ahead. caller: yes, hi. good morning, doctor. i am a corneal transplant recipient. i had transplants five years
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ago. i have been on a steroid for five years to prevent rejection. i am going to get an antibody test tomorrow to see if i have been exposed to covid first and then second, i am considering getting the pfizer or moderna vaccine. i would like your recommendation on that one. and also i am going to have to increase that -- the steroids significantly for six to eight weeks, which may increase my chances of glaucoma. so i would like to ask you what are the chances of me developing antibodies because i am going to be immunosuppressed and i would like your views on remdesvir. i am a 60 years old female, by the way. thank you. guest: i wouldn't want to give you medical advice because there
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could be a lot of nuances and i think talking to your physicians if they want with an appropriate specialist makes sense, but more generally you raised a really important question which is if you are going to take substantial doses of a drug, in this case steroids, that could blunt your response to a vaccine. that's what throwed a different -- led to a different recommendation to organ transplants and people receiving high doses of therapy who have been vaccinated because of substantial number of them don't respond well to the vaccine, recently it was recommended that they get a third dose, not so much a booster but to try to increase their chances of responding. so i think one thing we try to
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do is if you need steroids for your disease as treatment, you need them and that takes precedence over everything. but for people where the timing of that could be altered so you are not on high lels when you get vaccinated that can help increase the chance that you have a good immune response. so i would just say i wish you the best with this. i do think your decision to be vaccinated makes sense, but work with your doctors to try to maximize how likely that is to be prctive and -- protective and to monitor that. host: mark in michigan, you are vaccinated, mark. good morning. caller: good morning. thanks. yes, i am. i have three or four points i want to make. i would not get the booster. i was hesitant already to get the vaccine knowing it's e
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experimental. i have physician friends that feel the same way. i do have a cousin that's in medical school, he ended up having that heart infection. so there are issues with this. there are supplements and there are medications out there that do work. dr. cory, a pulmonologist, numerous stdies -- studies and how protective it is and we are not looking into that. that leads me to the next question which i think is very posht -- important for this type of presenter. he needs to -- full di disclosure so any conflicts of interest i would like for him to explain. dr. goodman, any conflicts with drug companies because i feel the f.d.a.'s reputation has been tarnished especially with the biogen and what happened with that and three f.d.a. specialists or people on the
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committee resigning. so i feel that the pharma lobby has some strength there. so i would like for him to speak to also to his conflicts of interest, thank you. guest: so, you know, a couple of things. i think it's great to look at drugs and of course one is made by a drug company, but unfortunately despite those analysis, the scientific community is not yet convinced it's helpful. i hope it is. but the studies so far haven't been documented. in terms of potentially relevant conflicts, the one that i do serve as chair of a science committee for blackso smith kline's board. they're not marketing a current
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covid vaccine. but i've tried to impact health in numerous ways, care for patients and enhancing theory search agenda both in academia and in industry. thank you and that's a very reasonable question. host: he did mention the experimental phase of vaccines, however "new york times" reporting that the f.d.a. is aiming to give full approval to the pfizer covid vaccine on monday. so what is the difference between the phase that it was in and now after many people have been vaccinated getting full approval? guest: thanks for that question. that is a very important thing to also blunt the callers' concerns. what full approval means is that f.d.a. has gone over with a fine-toothed comb the data from every single patient in clinical studies, so that's 30,000
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patients and also has looked at the monitoring of safety effectiveness that has gone on since that emergency use authorization. so that's hundreds of millions of patients. and also has dpon over -- gone over with a fine-toothed comb everything in a manufacturing facility that is involved in making the vaccine, all the systems and quality controls and ways of measuring and assessing quality. so all of that has met the same high standard that let's say tetanus vaccine that our children get every year when appropriate. so i think people can really be assured that f.d.a. has made a judgment based on very extensive
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data that it has very carefully looked at. i do threak the decision -- recognize that the decision on the drug mentioned was a controversial one. it's a very different thing. it's a drug to treat a fatal disease, alzheimer's. one can agree or disagree with that decision, but f.d.a. applies extremely high standards to vaccines, and i think if they do approve these vaccines, it should further reassure people. it doesn't say there are zero side effects. it doesn't say it's 100% effective, but it says the benefits clearly outweigh the risks. host: all right, dr. goodman, one more caller for you from austin, texas. how do i pronounce your name? caller: detlef. i have heard there's been an increase in gonorrhea starting late spring, early summer, and i am assuming that had nothing to
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do with the vaccine. guest: we are seeing an increase in sexually transmitted diseases in the united states generally, and it's not -- it doesn't have something to do with the vaccine, certainly not associated with vaccination. this is, you know, part of it is believed to be about how people have had much less access to care, have not wanted to go to clinics or clinics have been closed except for telemedicine. the public health system which helps support the care of sexually transmitted diseases particularly for people in need who don't have access to care has been very strained. so that system and the contact tracing of sexually transmitted diseases has suffered. so it's believed to be factors like that. it also may be that some aspects
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of behavior, that even though people aren't going out to clubs, you know, other things they're doing are contributing to transmission. but it's an observation that's concerning but there is no one that believes it's related to vaccines. host: dr. jesse goodman, thank you very much for the conversation this morning. guest: my pleasure. thanks to your audience and thank you for the questions. i think it's very important to challenge and listen. so that's appreciated. host: absolutely. it's important for people like you to take those questions on. so we appreciate the conversation. guest: ok, and i wish everybody to stay healthy. host: we will take a short break. when we come back, we will return to our conversation earlier. was the war worth fighting in afghanistan? the lines divided by yes, no and of a iman war -- afghan war vet rabs and family members.
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we want to hear from you. we will be right back. >> tonight c-span series january 6, views from the house continues. two more members of congress share stories of what they saw, heard and experienced that day, including pennsylvania democrat susan wild, who recounts what happened during those early moments on the house floor. >> i honestly don't remember how long we were in that situation between the time they barricaded the door and the time we finally got out. i was told it was somewhere like 20 minutes. it could have been two hours. it could have been five minutes that i had no sense of time whatsoever. but i remember when i got off the phone with my kids that i felt as though my heart was pounding out of my chest and i felt -- i actually was very worried that i was having a
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heart attack. i have never had a heart attack but my father has. we have a family history. i was worried approximate -- very worried about that. and i must have put my hand up to my chest because that photograph of me that was taken shows me lying on my back with my hand up to my chest. i don't remember lying on my back. but i do remember jason taking my hand and just stroking it and kind of comforting me and telling me i was going to be ok and being a little bit perplexed that he was reassuring me because i didn't realize that i was showing how upset i was. >> tonight you'll also hear from massachusetts democrat jim mcgovern. january 6, views from the house, tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span.org, or listen on the c-span radio app. >> "washington journal" continues.
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host: we are back for the remainder of today's program. was the war in afghanistan worth it? we will continue with our conversation on that question until the top of the hour. later today, the president will be addressing the nation at 4:00 p.m. eastern time to talk about the fall of afghanistan as well as the tropical storm heading toward new england. we want to get your thoughts on whether it was worth it. if you say it was, dial in this morning. if you do not think the war was worth it, 8001 and afghan war veterans and family members of vets dial in 8002. you can also text us. first name, city and state at 202-748-8003 or go to facebook.com/c-span and you can also send a tweet. we will read some of those comments. before we get to your thoughts let's go back to october, 2001, when then president george w.
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bush address $the country and laid out the mission in afghanistan. president bush: on my orders the united states military has begun strikes against the al qaeda terrorist strange camps and military installations of the taliban regime in afghanistan. these carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the taliban regime. we are joined in this operation by our staunching friend, great britain. other close friends, including canada, australia, germany and france have pledged forces as the operation unfolds. more than 40 countries in the middle east, africa, europe and across asia have granted air transit or landing rights. many more have shared intelligence. we supported by the collective will of the world. more than two weeks ago, i gave taliban leaders a series of
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clear demands. close terrorist training camps, hand over leaders of the al qaeda network, and return all foreign nationals, including american citizens unjustly detained in your country. none of these demands were met. and now the taliban will pay a price. host: president george w. bush in 2001. there have been four presidents who have been the commander in chief during the war in afghanistan. let's hear from former president obama. this is the president talking to army cadets at west point in december of 2009 announcing a surge of 30,000 additional troops to afghanistan in the coming months. president obama: afghanistan is not lost but for several years it has moved backwards. there is no imminent threat of a government being overthrown, but the taliban have gained momentum. al qaeda has not re-emerged from afghanistan in the same numbers
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as before 9/11 but they retain their safe havens along the border. our forces lack the full support they need to effectively train and partner with afghan security forces and better secure the population. our new commander in afghanistan has reported that the security situation is more serious than he anticipated. in short, the status quo is not sustainable. as cadets, you volunteer for service during this time of danger. some of you fought in afghanistan. some of you will deploy there. as your commander in chief, i owe you a mission that is clearly defined and worthy of your service. that's why after the afghan voting was completed, i insisted on a thorough review of our strategy. let me be clear.
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there has never been an option before me that called for troop deployments before 2010, so there have been no delay or denial of resources necessary for the conduct of the war during this review period. instead, the review has allowed me to ask the hard questions and to explore all the different options along with my national security team, our military and civilian leadership in afghanistan, and our key partners. given the stakes involved, i owed the american people and our troops no less. this review is now complete. as commander in chief, i have determined that it is in our vital national interests to send an additional 30,000 u.s. troops to afghanistan. after 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. these are the resources that we need to seize the initiative while building the afghan
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capacity that can allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of afghanistan. host: president obama in 2009. as you know, the war continued into the trurp -- trump administration. while we wait for more of your calls, president trump in 2017 saying there wouldn't be a blank check for the american engagement in afghanistan. president trump: military power alone will not bring peace to afghanistan or stop the terrorist threat arising in that country. but strategically applied force aims to create the conditions for a political process to achieve a lasting peace. america will work with the afghan government as long as we see determination and progress. however, our commitment is not unlimited and our support is not a blank check. the government of afghanistan
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must carry their share of the military, political and economic burden. the american people expect to see real reforms, real progress, and real results. our patience is not unlimited. we will keep our eyes wide open in abiding by the both i took on january 20, i will remain steadfast in protecting american lives and american interests. in this effort, we will make common cause with any nation that chooses to stand and fight alongside us, against this global threat. terrorists, take heed. america will never let up until you are dealt a lasting defeat. under my administration, many billions of dollars more is being spent on our military, and this includes vast amounts being spent on our nuclear arsenal and
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missile defense. in every generation, we have faced down evil and we have always prevailed. host: president trump in 2017. the war in afghanistan continued through his four years in office until a deal was made with the taliban to withdraw. president biden said that he carried forth on that withdrawal. here is president biden at his recent news conference when he was asked about u.s. credibility on the world stage after the way we withdrew from afghanistan. >> what is your message to america's partners around the world who criticized the conduct of the withdrawal? pres. biden: i have seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world. i have spoken with our nato allies. we have spoken with nato allies, the secretary of state, our national security advisor has
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been in contact with our allies as has -- i keep calling him the general but my secretary of defense. the fact of the matter is i have not seen that. as a matter of fact, the exact opposite i've got, exact opposite. we are acting with dispatch, committing to what we said we would do. let's put this thing in perspective here. what interest do we have in afghanistan at this point, with al qaeda gone? we went to afghanistan for the express purpose of getting rid of al qaeda in afghanistan, as well as getting osama bin laden. and we did. imagine, just imagine, if that attack -- if bin laden had decided with al qaeda to launch an attack from yemen. would we have ever gone to afghanistan? would there ever be any reason we would be in afghanistan? controlled by the taliban.
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what is the national interest of the united states in that circumstance? we went and did the mission. you've known my position for a long, long time. it's time to end this war. the estimates of the cost of this war over the last 20 years ranged from a minimum of $1 trillion to a think tank at one of the universities saying $2 trillion. that's somewhere between $150 million a day and $300 million a day. the threat from terrorism has metastasized. there is a greater danger from aye sis and -- isis and al qaeda in other countries by far than there is in afghanistan. we will retain a capability that if they were to come back to take them out. so this is where we should be. this is about america leading the world. and all our allies have agreed with that.
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by the way, before i made this decision, i was at the g-7 as well as met with our nato partners, and i told them all, every one of them knew and agreed with the decision i made to end -- jointly end our involvement in afghanistan. host: president biden on friday. you've heard from the past four presidents who have served as america's commander in chief in the war in afghanistan. was it worth it? tina in illinois, you say yes. caller: good morning. you say yes, the war was worth it. all right. let me move on to c.j. in falls church, virginia. c.j., you had a family member that served? caller: yeah. my opinion on this is that we have all served in afghanistan for the last 20 years. i don't make a distinction
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between people in the uniform or people who have paid taxes for the people in the uniform or people who do our bloody business. i lived -- whatever, 60 something years, and i have seen this country go this way, that way, this way, that way, and i love my country. that's why i actually called in on this specific line. host: ok. understood. tom in lawrence, kansas city, you say no, not worth it. caller: that's right. i believe that that should be left to the people who have been fighting the war and the higher-ups. but i wanted to make a comment about covid, just a short comment. host: tom, we will stick to the topic here. gary in -- excuse me, james in
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washington state. you say no. caller: no, greta. very nice to see you again. it always seems to come down that when the republicans voted in, we happened to go to war and it's profiteering. every time, all the way back to it started around reagan and i did have three nephews that did serve in iraq and afghanistan and luckily they all came back with all their body parts but a lot of ptsd. i just wanted to express myself and for you republicans that don't want to realize this, just look back and watch c-span history. thank you. host: you can do so by going to our website, c-span.org. you can find all of the -- what the presidents have said on the war in afghanistan on our website at the top of our website is a search engine into
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our video library and you will find all of the relevant events there. this is a text from a viewer, what a mess, not only did we destroy the enemy but left millions of weapons behind. we have no chance but to ask them to hand over or send in drones. this is a no-win situation. gary in indiana, you say yes, it was worth it. caller: good morning, greta. yes, i do say yes because any effort to try to promote, maintain world peace in the long run is worth it. i do know it was unfortunate things like wasted money and as unfortunate as it is when war is necessary, you got to do it. host: do you think we should still be there? caller: it looks more and more like it, i would say.
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i mean, just by pure observation, you can see what's going on. we pull them out, next thing you know they're being converged on. it's absolutely essential that we should still be there, i believe. host: irving, laurel, maryland, you say no. good morning, irving? go ahead. your turn. caller: yeah, i definitely say a resounding no, that this war has led to nothing but hardship for the american people and the government, the leaders, they tried to portray it as something that is in the benefit of the american people. yawb, re-- yeah, resounding no. host: clarence, washington state, you are a yes. caller: yes. i believe we had no choice. we were attacked. we had to respond.
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host: should we have left after we killed osama bin laden? caller: no -- well, yes, but i think along with osama bin laden we should have made sure that the nation was brought to its knees to a place where they wouldn't -- no people there would ever try it again. host: ok. caller: we should adapt dopt the policy towards those who attack us that is their policy. we should respond to them in like kind. host: all right, clarence. jerry sends a tweet. fighting but not staying, so he agreed with fighting but not staying. we believed they were holding bin laden. nation building was just dumb. lynn in st. petersburg, florida, you are a no, lynn? caller: thank you. yes, i have a couple of questions actually. one has to do with opium. my understanding is that
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economically that they produce opium. that happens to be literally what they produce. all right, that is their major economic value coming out of there is opium. host: and the point you are making, lynn? caller: the point i am making is that maybe these taliban, they're all on opium and they don't mind dying for their country. this is another question because this is important. what about their theology? all you have to do is read the first part of genesis, what is islam based on? it's based on the fact that all you have to do is get genesis out is that abraham, considered the father of christianity and also of islam, and so what happened is he was procreating with his wife, handmaiden. he couldn't have any children.
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finally she had a child, so she was supposed to be kicked out then, hag dprks ar was her name, she was going to be kicked out with her baby, all right, but god came along and sent an angel and said no, look, you go back and look, you -- your son will be the leader of a great nation. and there will be too many to count. i believe -- host: chris in hawaii, you say no, not worth it. caller: i am sorry? host: you say the war was not worth it, is that right? caller: not worth it? host: harvey in new york, good morning to you, harvey. thanks for calling in. why do you think the war in afghanistan was worth it? caller: well, i think it was necessary after what happened in 9/11. also in 1993, we had to show our
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resilience to stop attacks on our homeland. i do think that it was a good decision to stay on. in het -- retrospect, we educated a country to a different way of life regardless of what happens now, these people are still in their minds fighting for freedom. host: harvey, do you think president biden made the right decision to withdraw? caller: he made the right decision, but he did it the wrong way. he should have never closed the embassy without getting the people out first. so i think it was made in haste and i think his decision will wind up to be a disgrace to our country. host: dave in las vegas, you say no, it wasn't worth it. go ahead. caller: ok. the war -- no, it wasn't worth it. we should have never went in there. it wasn't the afghans that attacked us.
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it was the saudis. we should have never went into that country. that was a big mistake. host: ok. all right. dave, thank you all for calling in this morning. and joining in on the conversation. we will be back tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. enjoy the rest of your sunday. ♪ >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more including comcast. >> is way more than that. comcast is partnering with
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community centers to create wi-fi enabled -- so students can get the tools they need to be ready for anything. >> comcast>> supports c-span as a public service as well as other television providers giving you a feed of democracy. ♪ >> middle and high school students, your opinion matters. and c-span studentcam video competition, be part of the national conversation by crating a documentary that answers the question how does the federal government impact your life. the video will explore federal policy that affects you or your community. our studentcam competition has $100,000 in cash prizes and a shot at a grand prize of $5,000. entries will be received wednesday, september 8. for more information on how to
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get started, visit our website at studentcam.org. host: good morning. happening in washington on this sunday, president biden will address the nation at 4:00 p.m. eastern about the situation in afghanistan. he will talk about that hurricane heading toward new england. we will begin with the fall of afghanistan to get your thoughts on whether or not you think the war was worth fighting. if you say yes, (202) 748-8000. if you say no, (202) 748-8001. if you are a veteran or family member, (202) 748-8003 -- (202) 748-8002. you can text

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