tv Mc Laughlin Group PBS May 6, 2011 8:30pm-9:00pm PDT
issue one, enemy killed in action! >> for over two decades, bin laden has been al-qaeda's leader and symbol and has continued to plot attacks against our country and friends and allies. the death of bin laden marks the mostsignificant achievement todate in ou nation effort to defeat al- qaeda. >> osama bin laden was the most wanted terrorist in human
history. for a decade he successfully alluded arrest despite a manhunt that expanded the planet. satellite technology interrogations and secret prisons and police forces from around the world. last sunday the manhunt ended. u.s. navy seals executed bin laden in his compound in kist, 35 miles north of islambad. >> he was in a firefight with knows who entered the area of the house and it was determined it was in the best interests of all involved that this burial take place, again, according to islamic requirements, at sea. >> the woman that was killed was bin laden's wife? >> that's again my understataing. >> white house press secretary jay carney revised the account one day later. >> in the room with bin laden, a woman, bin laden's -- a woman, rather, bin laden's wife, rushed the u.s. assater and was shot in e lebut not
killed. bin laden was then shot and killed. he was not armed. >> bin laden was shot, one in the chest and once above his left eye. his dna has been identified, but much of the muslim world still believers bin laden is alive. the white house says a record of the sunday assault on the compound, photographs of bin laden's corpse and a video of his burial at sea do exist. but president obamhas not authorized their release. >> it is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot this the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence, as a propaganda tool. that's not who we are. >> question, we are fighting against al-qaeda. what do we gain in that fight from the execution of osama bin
laden, and will president obama be forced to provth he is in fact dead? james? >> i just checked with the white house press office, they're still pretty serious he's dead. more than likely still dead. >> it's a joke. >> it is a joke. it is a joke. >> what you're saying -- >> what's not a joke is good riddance to him, he's gone this is a huge moment in the fight against terror. we've had a lot of good moments, we're had arab spring, the popularity of bin ladennism on the climb for the past few years. remember, what have all military and foreign policy pertbeen telling us for a decades? this is the long war. that al-qaeda is not a -- it's a horizontal organization. the key moment i think is really more the end of the beginning than the beginning of the ends. >> eleanor? >> al-jazeera, which is the premiere arab language network, is reporting the death of bin laden as fact, and apparently a
spokesperson for al-qaeda in cairo is saying, yes, he's dead, and vowing retaliation against the u.s. so i think at releasing the pictures a thispoint wod not convince anybody whis not already convinced, and with the middle east going through such stark transformation and the greatest since the fall of the empire, you don't want to produce what the president called a propaganda tool. it would be like pouring gasoline on the fire. and i think what is most interesting is that young people have taken to the streets in the middle east, are not looking to bin laden and al- qaeda. they want a more moods earn future. and bin laden is really been a sideshow. he's really an echo of a time that's past. >> let's do a little history la wrap sheet. the bin laden wrwr sheet. 2001, the 9/11 attacks, nearly 3,000 people were killed at the pentagon, shanksville, pennsylvania and the world
trade center. 2000, the bombing of the uss cole in yemen. 17 americans were killed. 1998, the bombings of the of of u.s. embassies in kenya and tanzania. 12 americans killed. 1996, the bombing of the u.s. military housing khobar towers. 19 americans killed. what do you think of this? >> well, look, osama bin laden was certainly the most prominent islamic jihadi leader with the most success in terms every killing americans and westerners. he was able to organize this group called al-qaeda, which means the base, in order to carry out in a systemic way these kinds of terrorists acts against the united states and the west. i think it's also important to note that -- i think the president is mistaken and short side fundamental he limits the enemy simply to al-qaeda. yes, of course al-qaeda is a
very violent threat, boeing to us and to our allies in europe and elsewhere. but we also need to keep in minds that this jihadee enemy is much bigger than al-qaeda in. comes in different forms, in the form of the violent jihad and the stealth jihad and muslim brotherhood, and other infiltrating kinds of groups some we need to understand that while we're fighting this war in afghanistan, iraq, yemen, pakistan and elsewhere, we also need to be fighting this war ideologically. >> what do you think of the view that al-qaeda extends beyond the al-qaeda we just indicated in that wrap sheet? >> al-qaeda is al-qaeda. and it's the group that he formed and it is the problem that we have had to deal with now as you note here for many years. the distance between us and the muslim world or in particular in some casesethe arab world continues to grow. it has not narrowed arab spring as not won us great friends anywhere. and it's somewhat seen in the way that this killing has been
reflected in arab thinking. you have many container activities to our narrative being developed. some say he wawa't killed, that's a minority view. many say he was assassinated, that he was executed, and it was ready to surrender. there are others who say that he was set up because zarqawi had a counter-approach to al- qaeda and wanted to assume leadership. all of it reflecting the fact that we are not trusted and we are not believed in the region we have a big problem in the region. it's not just al-qaeda, but it's also not the other muslim groups. it's our credibility and i think that to some degree the way this story has played out here, the multiple tellings of it haven't helped our credibility in this regard. >> what about the non- disclosure rule imposed by obama for the time being? >> at the point where he said it, it was absolutely necessary to shut it down, because they
were digging a hole deeper every damn day by telling stories that were being changed the daafter, and not showing the pictures. absolutely the right thing to do. a mutilated face of a guy that was hated, yes, but also was a lumme being would not have been taken well in the region and probably would not have been believed by those who weren't ready to believe it. >> what kind of encouragement does that want to give, the wannabe jihaddists? you follow me. >> look, because a guy goes postal in a post office and shoots up employees doesn't mean the guy walking up your front steps will be shooting at you. but the grievances remain and have to be dealt with. there are grievances throughout the region, we have to learn what they are and deal with them. we're not doing that. >> jim? >> listen, bernard lewis once said that -- >> israeli -- >> it is impossible for those who are powerful and successful to be loved by those who are
not. so i think not releasing the photos, worrying about our perception in the middle east, i'm sorry -- where is that getting us? what is going on with the arab spring is happening independent of us, reacting to broader trends. so whether release of photo -- >> we didn't play the bite, i don't think. i don't think it included the words national security. but the president appealed to national security in the 60 minutes interview that is coming up on sunday night. when the president of the united states, a commander in chief, uses the words national security, and ythe logic behind them, then we have to really -- without any further question, is that true. >> we always question in a democracy, but -- >> you mean the press does. >> this is a judgment call, and the president's judgment is this would create blowbacks and that it's not essential to release these pictures. what problem would it solve? no problem. i don't think it's a decision for all time.
i think in a poorer society these e ctures will in some point -- >> do amerisee the pictures? >> i would like to. >> i think -- [everyone talking at once] >> all right. >> to jim's point here, about the credibility of the united states and the middle east, the burden should not be on the united states. we were attacked on 9/11, bin laden declared war in the united states long before that. the burden should be on the muslim world to show that this is not a violent culture, this is not a violent religion. the burden should not be on us. because we were hit on 9/11, i understand the bin laden picture may not be pretty but you know what wasn't pretty? photographs of our fellow americans jumping from the hundredth floor! >> hold on! >> i said if you're going to fight the war, then fight the war. >> go ahead. >> listen, whether it's
cartoons, other media, they don't like -- >> who? >> why not? >> show the photos. >> who will pick it up and air it, al-jazeera? that will have an incitation and simulate -- >> absolutely. and there's no benefit served. ask yourself the question, if the president says national security, i think he's on the right track and the fact the way he went to ground zero was a model, a lesson r the rest of us. be dignified in the way we deal with with this and the families who have suffer the most, and do not operate like a drunken frat party. [everyone talking at once] >> holds on! >> turn it, bury it. >> hold on! >> excuse me! saudi arabia which was the country of his birth refused to take the body, and would you like a shrine to bin laden in this country? [everyone talking at once] burial at sea -- excuse me! i get to finish my sentence. burial at sea is an established
way of -- [everyone talking at once] excuse me! >> hold your fire! >> it's where life began and decomposing in the ocean is not a bad way to go, especially -- >> hold on, please! hold on! you've got to preserve the civility of pat buchanan, all right? >> one guy with the phd in islamic study and let's not use him as an expert in the muslim world at all. [everyone talking at once] got us into the iraq war, and used used the logic of shock and awe that provoked multiple acts of terrorism and the iraq war. >> the cs is about more than shouting on a talk show. >> exit question -- will radical islam as a movement die with bin laden? or will it have a second life under new leaders? >> this is a multi-generational
conflict. >> there are various al-qaeda franchises and there's self- radicalizationeven among americans, so no, this does not die out. but i think al-qaeda was a sideshow in the middle east in recent years, and i think good riddance. >> jihadee ideology is bigger than machine one man, including osama bin laden. we have to understand this fight is nowhere near over, not even close. it will reconstitute itself, and also keep your eye on the middle east because what you're seeing is the muslim brotherhood under the radar, running most of these revolutions at that point. that's another significant jihadee threat in a different form. >>jim? >> wow. want to relate this to the -- what's happening in the arab spring? >> why don't you address the -- [everyone talking at once] >> it's pretty dangerous stuff because -- >> they're the same, tactics
are different. >> their ends are not the same. and i think it would be wrong to do so. i'm not a fan of the muslim brotherhood as a christian lebanese, i don't want them running my country. but they're not a movement like al-qaeda, a you think it's important to distinguish that. we're dealing with them as a matter of governance in several countries. it doesn't make me happy but the fact is that we don't deal with them the way we dealt with osama bin laden. if we start sending assassination squads to get elected -- but the point is if you -- >> i said promised comes in the lot of different forms. >> you're establishing a black and white scenario, no brain in the middle, and there's a lot of gray here and we need to understand it. >> it will die with the death of bin laden? >> it will not die because there's a lot of other groups who are in the image of bin laden, in yemen, north africa, iraq, and elsewhere, and in lebanon as well, who dealt a terrible blow to lebanon a few years ago. i
sounds distasteful. even unimaginable. and diplomacy would be a lot easier if we only had to talk to our friends. alongside al-qaeda in bombed movie out caves. some see osama bin laden's death as a turning point that the u.s. can seizto its advantage. one, accelerated afghanistan troop drawdown. u.s. diplomacy coupled with u.s. dollars and other inducements could tear and part the taliban from the more radical al-qaeda zealots. a deal with the karzai regime governing afghanistan would permit the u.s. to reduce its 100,000 troops earlier than the scheduled withdrawal date in 2014. three years from now, namely two-thirds less than 2011, all of 2012, all of 2013, and all of 2014. two, intensify the israeli- palestinian peace process. the good news from israel is
that the palestinians are recently unified. the hamas component and the fatta component have come together. that means president obama has an opening to push through two-state long sought middle east peace solution. three, trananose u.s. policy priorities. if the u.s. can trim the $100 billion per month spent on our world's military efforts, the u.s. could convert a portion of that huge disbursement into helping democratic restructuring now transforming tunisia, syria, egypt, libya, yemen, jordan, bahrain. money, yes. troops, no. question, has bin laden's death given the united states an opening to reassess our policies in the middle east? is this the time to have swords and proud shares? >> no. this war is nowhere near over, but again, the are different
gee graphical corners of the war. i think what bin laden's death will do it give president obama an opening to do what he's wanted to do, draw down our troop presence, lower our footprint in afghanistan, and perhaps fight that war in a more effective way with special operations units and that kinds of thing. the other is assessesment. >> good idea? >> yes, i'm going in that direction now, that we should be -- having a leaner more tighter force in afghanistan. the other thing is our relationship with pakistan. pakistan is a nuclear armed country and we know that that tensionshich were always running high even before last weekends in the takedown of bin laden, are now even more strange because pakistani government has to answer either they knew bin laden was there or they didn't, in which case after getting $3 billion a year to combat terrorism they'll have to answer for that as well. >> james? >> i think you laid out a wonderful agenda in the lead and it's not that now that we're gets to on bin laden, we -- we now can builds on it, but
it's that we got him, it's outs of way. we ought to recognize that and now deal with these other priorities that have been ignored too long, including at this point with the development of some emerging democracies in the middle east, the enormity of the aid requirements that are there on the grounds. we face the danger every egypt and tunisia going south, if in fact we don't help create jobs and don't help bring the benefits of revolution to these people who are going to say after a periods of time, i want the old stuff back, because i didn't get anything out of that. >> can we get out of afghanistan? >> i think of course we come and i think that the idea that secretary clinton proposed is not just one for afghanistan, but ought to be a model for our engagement throughout the middle east. >> you know how many times we lost in afghanistan? >> about 1500 american lives. >> you know how much money we've spent there? >> way more than -- >> about a trillion? about a trillion dollars. >> no, no that much. >> 800 million? >> it's too much. >> too much. we have to get out of it.
don't you think? >> i think so. >> can't we establish a government that would be workable under karzai? >> i don't think we can do that ourselves. but what we can can do -- >> why can't we do it? >> we should credit a regional contact group -- the fact that from the very first day we said under holbrooke we would take the india-pakistan thing off the table and not talk about it, it was a huge mistake. they have to have a cooperative relationship in order for afghanistan -- >> we're talking about the taliban that are out in al- qaeda. what percentage of the taliban is not al-qaeda? like 90%? >> that's something we don't know. all of them aren't, but the question is which parts of them would support al-qaeda or the relationship? it's omar with a personal tie with al-qaeda >> she thinks they are a discussible win. >> to does karzai. >> it's getting bin laden gives the president more credibility and therefore more running room on foreign policy.
there's very lil little rational and the war is about pakistan. and now we have some leverage with pakistan. if they want to keep the aid flowing, which they do, ththe's a little more incentive to cooperate. >> exit question -- you can work in youpoint here, what point are we at in our relations with the muslim world? is it a pivot point, yes or no? james. >> i think more important is whether it's a pinpoint all these countries, whether the fledgling democratic movements will loss some. i think what will happen in genuine is the chinese will come in, and that money -- that hundreds -- tens and hundreds of billions of dollars going to their mineral wells will smooth over these differences. >> the administration ought to push the oil-rich states to set up a funding bank to help countries like egypt, because tourism is dead and they're going to have trouble paying their bills. and if egypt doesn't succeed
from the western point of view and from their point of view, that sets a very negative tone. >> two points in the middle east we're at a critical turning point moment. it could fall to the islamists. we have to be very careful about how we manage this. and the second thing is iran. >> james? >> i think the president has said it correctly, if we don't washinoner-- 're t pivoted point. >> i any we are at a philadelphia pot point. issue three, perfectly executed! >> let me as a republican give president obama tremendous credit for what was done. he's the commander in chief. this was an amazingly successful military operation. >> the republican chairman of the homeland security committee, pete'ser king, tipped his hat this week to president obama. this accolade has special im, in particular because of his
congressional hearing in march oniss lamb ic radicals living within the united states. the president drew praise from all sectors of the political spectrum, eg, houses speaker republican john boehner and former new york city mayor rudy giuliani, another republican. the successful navy seals mission eraseeds the criticism that shadowed mr. obama, since his candidacy for president, namely that he was not up to the job of commander in chief as some have said. the decision to raid the bin laden compound made the president look exactly what he , namely, the commander in chief. the decision also led to a major jump in his approval rating. air cbs new york times poll has his approval rating at 57%, mp two weeks ago. but not all the numbers for president obama are good. on the economy, his numbers are not good. 55% of americans disapprove of how he is handling the economy. 34% of americans approve.
question, will the boost had his approval rating it may not through next week, john. we'll have to see. look, in 1992, a little known southern governor named bill clinton was able to defeat george walker bush at 92% job approval following the first persian gulf war, because he honed in on one simple slogan -- it's the economy, stupid. and this week we got some mixed economic numbers, unemployment rate back up to 9%, gas prices still high, inflation on food and energy continue to climb. americans vote with their wallets, kitchen table issues. and so while this is a huge victory for the united states and for his presidency, the economic issues will trump everything else. >> i think it's probably fleeting, because these are the times that we live in. but we got a very good jobs report, 264 or 67,000 jobs created in the month of april
and they revised upwards previous months as well. so it looks like the economic picture is beginning to gel. and that's primarily what the president will be judged on. but what this puts to rest is the republican narrative that this is the president who is not decisive, who leads from behind, and i don't think they can say that anymore. it really gives him foreign policy not only with the republican party as it should, but with the american people. so i think this is -- this is a decisive. >> your read on this? >> well, he got to bounce in particular from independence, who are taking a seconds look and that was an important constituency he needed. >> controlling constituency? >> he is not going to get republicans at all. the numbers there will stay bad because there's not a generous soul on that side of the aisle, unfortunately. bush failing at 9/11, right democrats came after his appearance in -- at ground zero, and overwhelmingly gave