tv Countdown With Keith Olbermann MSNBC December 2, 2009 1:00am-2:00am EST
which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? >> as commander in chief, i have dempl determined it's in our vital national interest to send additional 30,000 troops to afghanistan. >> all to start coming home as early as july 2011. the president's speech on the troop escalation in afghanistan. >> our friends have fought and bled and died with us in afghanistan. now we must come together. >> the troop escalation and the caveat of a time line and congressional oversights. is all of this, is it still the wrong course? with howard fineman on how the speech will resonate
politically, max seen waters on whether the president moved her and other critics. sclooef clemons on why afghanistan if bin laden is in pakistan. karen finney in a minny debate symbolizing the doubts simply among progressives. and lawrence will kerrson on the arrogance of the former vice president who has spoken out, even though it was his insistence on iraq in 2002 that made afghanistan what it is today. whose cutting and running as secretary of defense in 1991 made the taliban what it is today. >> this continual sort of agonizi agonizing over what the policy ought to be has consequences. >> and the comic relief. the politician who wanted to deny the world this newspaper's recreation of tiger woods' bad night driving.
>> lock out, there's a computer generated fire hydrant there. all the news and commentary now in the special post spooep spee speech edition of "countdown." good evening from new york. if in a speech at west point in june 2002, president bush declared our war on terror is only begun, but in afghanistan, it was begun well, earlier tonight, president obama also speaking at west point declared that the conflict in afghanistan, already in its ninth year, far from having gone well is in the need of a new beginning. as well as a start date for bringing all u.s. forces home. tonight in a special post speech edition of "countdown," reaction to the president's address. but first details. the president announcing he will send roughly 30,000 more troops. the first to arrive around
christmas, even as he tried to reassure americans that they will start to come home july 20 20 11, roughly 19 months from now. he explained t eed the challeng the conflict eight years after it had begun. >> >> afghanistan is not lost. but, for several years, it's moved backwards. there's 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, but maintain the safe havn along the border. they can train and partner with afghan security forces and better see cure the population. our new chander in afghanistan, general mcchrystal has reported that the security situation is more serious than he anticipated. in short, the status quo is not sustainable. >> the president's announcement
ending months of deliberations with a decision he did not make lightly, he said, and a burden he says he does not want to bear alone. >> this is not just america's war. al qaeda's safe havens have been the source of attacks in london and bali. the poem and governments of both afghanistan and pakistan are in danger. and the stakes are even higher with a nuclear armed pakistan. we know al qaeda and other extremists seek nuclear weapons and we have every reason to believe they would use them. these facts compel us to act along with our friends and allies. >> before an audience of cadets and officers, as well as the nation by television, internet, radio, the president seeming also to address his political critics, specifically on the question of what the escalation will cost. >> all told by the time i took office, the cost of the wars in iraq and afghanistan approached $1 trillion.
in going forward, i am committed to addressing these costs openly and honestly. our new approach is likely to cost us roughly $30 billion for the military this year. and i'll work closely with congress to address these costs as we bring down the deficit. >> that included budget through ordinary congressional transparent mean, no special budget requests as the iraq war was handled largely by president bush. mean tile, the man who lost to obama in the 2008 republican election, among the first to speak out in the sfeech's immediate aftermath, liking all but one part of the president's new plan for afghanistan. >> the president made a right decision to embrace a counterinsurgency strategy that's properly resourced. i believe that 30,000 troop, plus additional troops from our nato allies will be really
sufficient to get the job done. and i believe that republicans and democrats should support this strategy. what i don't support and do not agree with is an arbitrary date for withdraw. it emboldens our enemies and dispirts our allies. and so i believe that we need to clear that up, because you're either going to set an arbitrary date or it's going to be based on conditions on the ground. time now to call on our own howard fineman from "newsweek" magazine. hi, howard. >> hi, keith. >> how did the speech go? could it have changed minds in any direction? >> not from the sounding i have taken. e-mailing, talking on the phone, the blogs, i don't know he changed minds one way or the other. there's a grim realism to this speech and it will be viewed realistically by everybody across the spectrum.
dick cheney sounded his notes. mccain sounded his. dick durbin, one of barack obama's earliest supporters, issuing a very terse statement tonight, which i just got on my blackberry saying, you know, it took the president a long time to decide this strategy, it's going to take me a while to decide what i want to say. yet on the blogs, at least the one i looked at right away, kind of a glujing understanding that he was making a grim, calculated minimalist defense of the existing strategy. >> extrapolating from your point and from a point that rachel maddow made before the top of the hour here, was he trying merely to do that? was he trying merely to tap down loud criticism from either side rather than to get anybody running behind him while he waved a big flag like other presidents have? >> yeah, i think so. he's focused on the reality on the ground, keith. i think he understands that his
decision is going to be judged politically. not now, people have taken their positions now as we were just saying. wh's going to matter is what happens in afghanistan over the next year, year and a half or two years. he's making the bet, and believing in general mcchris call, essentially, that the -- that an infusion of troops here, and the president is really doubling down on mcchrystal's strategy by trying to get them all in there quickly is going to have an demonstrable effect in afghanistan and next door in pakistan that will yield real results that president obama can come back a year from now and say we spent $30 billion. it was worth it, we're safer, let's begin to pull out. >> two points here about counterintuitiveness. more troops now and quickly in order to get all the troops home so sooner. >> in other words, pull out, but only after you've gone in further.
part of the problem is pakistan. we can't go into pakistan so we have to send everybody into pakistan. did he get his point across. >> i don't think he really did. first of all, i know people in the white house have a very -- i used the word grim already. i'll use it again, view of pakistan. one person telling me, that's really a dysfunctional country. and the people of the white house know that, but of course, we can't put troops directly in there. that's just verboten. we don't have the rationale, we don't have the freedom. the pakistanis would never allow it. the president is saying all right, if we're going to do it, we're going to do it quickly. the president also believes, i think, in talking to people over there, i'm pretty sure this is correct. he can't give the military an open ending kbhimt, the american military. they'll just keep coming back
asking for more troops and more troops and more troops. so his strategy with the military is to say fine, i'm going to give you what you want in spades. right now, you better show me, and show me quickly that it's going to work. >> the july 14, 2008 edition of the new york times seemed to promise to do exactly what he announced earlier tonight, to pursue a new strategy in afghanistan in order to accomplish the u.s. mission there, including more troops in the region, in order to get the job done. why then was tonight's speech framed? how did it wind up being framed as a surprise? is it still being held in that frame even after it's been completed. >> the president and his adviser set it up this way, keith. they said they wanted to reconsider everything. it didn't make a whole lot of sense in a wow. because back in march, he said afghanistan was the necessary war. iraq was not the necessary war. and he added troops then. but then he said wait, i better
reconsider here. and i think the reason is because he understood, or at least he believes that the military, the american military will keep asking for more and more and more troops. . and he said to himself look, economic power is ultimately the key to military power. we can't keep spending the money there. it's pretty much that simple. that's the reason for the drama. he made it himself. >> howard fineman, msnbc and "newsweek." many thanks, howard. for more reaction let's turn to max seen waters, the democrat from california. as ever, dockwoman, thanks for your time tonight. >> you're so welcome. delighted to be with you again. >> the strategy in afghanistan, are you for it or against it? >> i'm terribly saddened. after having listened to the speech, i felt bad for this young, bright articulate president who wants to do the right thing but made commitments during his campaign that he was going into afghanistan.
he was going to get osama bin laden. and now he's back against the wall with a strategy that i think has no end. it doesn't really resonate with me. i'm saddened because 0,000 mu troops are going to go into afghanistan. i guess they're going to be fighting in pakistan and afghanistan. al qaeda and taliban, and where does it end. and what do we do? we have to kill all of the taliban. we're going to try to transition that government into a democracy? i don't get it. it doesn't work for me. >> was the setting of a beginning of the end essentially in saying that the troop drawdown would begin by july 2011 and will be fully under way no later than january 2012, was that the no sufficient in terms of an end date, or are you suspicious the military will have to try to talk him out of that end date? >> well, for me, it sounded like
we were going to begin training the afghani troops in 2011. i think he meant that to be the begin of a waite drawl. >> if he had said or someone from the administration says in the next few days, look, this is the time frame. the withdrawal begins ready or not for want of a better phrase, august 2011, somewhere in there, will some of your concerns be mollified at that point? >> some, some. i like the idea that we would get involved in a real withdrawal and we would deploy diplomacy and even gauge the 43 other nations to help us do all of this, but i'm not convinced. >> have you ever been able to speak so any of your colleagues about this either before your speech or after it?
and do you get a sense whether you or those who think like you are going to be grudgingly supportive or attempt to stop what he wants to do? >> yes, i did have an opportunity to speak to my colleague, barbara lee, who is the head of the black caucus and who's very prominent in the progressive caucus. we both agree that we cannot support the president, this continuing effort. >> what happens, we heard from several sources that this will be budgeted through ordinary means. there will be no bits of legislation the way president bush handled iraq. if these regular requests for funding come through you, you will have to vote against them? >> yes, i would have to vote against it. as a matter of fact, the president did say his request would be transparent. people are talking about a war tax. they're talking about all kinds of things. but for me, i cannot support this expansion, i cannot support
a budget that will cost us $1 million per year for every shoulder that we send there. it's too much. and we're losing a lot of young lives. we have a domestic agenda. i want to focus more on the domestic agenda. i want to wind out of afghanistan with help of rebuilding that infrastructure and being of assistance to the people but i did not hear it articulated that way. thank you for your frankness and your time tonight. >> you're certainly welcome. >> this issue has brought the progressives and the democratics and the nation is an understatement. what is the picture now more generally after the speech. a minidebate among democrats over democrat president policy next. and a manufacturer in germany to reach new customers in the u.s.
well, ups can help bring it all together with efficient solutions like paperless invoice that can help make customs a breeze. hey, the opportunities are out there. seize them with ups. you know, it's hard drawing those perfect circles. because we believe in the strength of american businesses. ge capital understands what small businesses need to grow and create jobs. today, over 300,000 businesses rely on ge capital for the critical financing they need to help get our economy back on track. the american renewal is happening. right now.
well-informed people are considering chevy malibu. you a cop? no. you didn't hear from me, but this malibu is a best buy. i heard that from consumers digest. it offers better highway mileage than a comparable camry or accord. estimated 33 highway. i saw that on the epa site. so how come the malibu costs so little. it's a chevy. you have cop hair. the award-winning chevy malibu. compare it to anyone and may the best car win.
divided the nation is to jor simplify the case. there are those on both sides who otherwise are near perfect political matches. the rift is perhaps so profound that it merits here, a debate of sort the among two people who would otherwise not have much to debate about. mr. juger does not support the president's plan in afghanistan. and karen finney. she supports the plan. thank you for trying it. it's cable, there's two guests, i would discourage you from yelling at each other. i will ask one of your a question then ask the other a chance to rebut or reply and then reverse the procedure. what did the president say tonight that did not change your mind? >> he laid out three prongs, military strategy, civilian strategy and of course our approach to pakistan.
on the first two, i was completely unconvinced. what are we going to do militarily with 30,000 troops? that we couldn't already do? in fact, we would probably need about 300,000 troops or maybe even more if we really needed to tamp down popular insurgency. he says on melgs ever prong number two we're going to go after those who were corrupt. the guy who's most corrupt is the president of afghanistan when we just let him become president again, knowing his brother is one of the biggest drug lords in the world at this point. so i'm not convinced on the first two prongs. the third is really interesting, pakistan. but he didn't really lay out a case of what to do about pakistan. and what our troops in afghanistan would be doing about the fight against al qaeda in pakistan. >> karen finney, the points about military strategy,
civilian corruption, your replies? >> obviously i disagree and the president made a pretty strong case why these are the pillars of the strategy and what we hope to accomplish. one of the things i was most encouraged by was i thought he gave an open, honest assessment on each of the three pillars, chicago we have not had in afghanistan. i think that's very important going forward. obviously i support the president. i would like to hear more details, doi think we have to go in with the believe the generals have told us, they need more troops. we have to give them the resources they asked for. i like the idea that it's coupled with the need for a civilian surge. too often we only heard about the military side of things. i think is that's important. we have to remember, we're not at war with afghanistan. we're at war with al qaeda and the taliban. we know they're not just in afghanist
afghanistan. they're in pakistan and other parts of the world. >> my second question is, starting with you, karen, do you believe the president tonight approached this speech in an attitude different from previous president speeches on the subject of war, that this was less a rallying cry than a sober comments made to adults for want of a better term? >> i really did. i was very please pleasd to hea. i thought it was very positive that, you know, on the one hand, he said to the troops, you deserve to hear directly from me, the mission. but also reminded us there there's a real coupling of our military needs as well as our domestic ageneral that. i thought it was great. no snow gan earring, any of that usual bs, if you will. i think it was a very straightforward speech. >> did we benefit from the fact
that there was no b.s.ing in this one? >> well, yes and no. i was a little concerned when he said the homeland security is at stake here. i'm not sure what few al qaeda fighters there are in afghanistan. he seemed very concerned about partisanship. i have not seen him this aggressive fighting back against partisanship. i viewed that to be positive. he was straight in some ways and in other ways i thought, are you really letting us know how you're going to fight al qaeda in pakistan. i wish he had done a little bit more addressing that. >> that's my third question. the president clearly did not convince you that more troops in afghanistan will address the al qaeda presence on the pakistan border even though he used that terminology that the cancer has also taken root in the border region of pakistan. what is missing? what is the strat sgli how are these two countries connected in our role in both of them?
>> you know, keith, you know that i was in favor of obama's strategy on this until about a month or so ago. so i'm predisposed to believing that we are doing a decent job of squeezing al qaeda before afghanistan where we are and where the pakistani army moving up north as they are. so i want to be convinced of that. i just -- i don't believe he's got the afghanistan side figured out because i don't think karzai is a credible leader there. and i don't think that we're going to turn around afghanistan in 18 months and all of a sudden they're going to be a flourishing democracy. is it possible that we do succeed in pakistan in killing the al qaeda leadership? yes, but when do we call it a victory? just if we get bin laden? or how many al qaeda guys in pakistan do we have to kill before we say mission accomplished? >> without perhaps embracing that controversial phrase too closely, when do we say the job has been done in pakistan.
>> i think what the if the is trying to lay out, here's an 18-month plan of what we're going to do. stripping away some of the rhetoric we've heard over the last eight years about mission accomplished and when we're going to win. we've got a strategy, we know we've got tot go after the taliban. again, i don't think it's about sort of setting these arbitrary deadlines that say okay, this is when we know we've won. there's one other point we need to make sheer, i was the dnc director when we took back the house and senate. democrats largely campaigned on a critique the way bush was going against iraq. president obama himself has been very clear all along throughout the campaign that this was his strategy. so again, this should not come as a surprise that he's now keeping his word. >> i know you're chomping on at the bit to answer that, but time has escaped us. great thanks for participating
in our experiment tonight. i think it went pretty well and thank you for making that happen. >> thanks. 24 hours before the commander-in-chief addressed the nation, the troops, the allies, the enemies abroad, the previous vice president accused him of giving aid and comfort to enemy, in legal terms giving comfort to the enemy. what indeed about the country where bin laden reportedly is. pakistan and the path forward ahead on "countdown." using it ? you don't need a rematch-- but a re-think-- with lunesta. lunesta is different. it keys into receptors that support sleep, setting your sleep process in motion. lunesta helps you get the restful sleep you need. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving or engaging in other activities while asleep without remembering it the next day have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion.
in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. alcohol may increase these risks. allergic reactions such as tongue or throat swelling occur rarely and may be fatal. side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, dizziness and morning drowsiness. stop fighting with your sleep. get a free 7-night trial on-line and ask your doctor about switching to lunesta. discover a restful lunesta night. but we're also in the showing-kids- new-worlds business. and the startup-capital- for-barbers business. and the this-won't- hurt-a-bit business. because we don't just work here. we live here. these are our families. and our neighbors. and by changing lives we're in more than the energy business we're in the human energy business. chevron. somewhere in america, there's a home by the sea powered by the wind on the plains.
there's a hospital where technology has a healing touch. there's a factory giving old industries new life. and there's a train that got a whole city moving again. somewhere in america, the toughest questions are answered every day. because somewhere in america, 69,000 people spend every day answering them. siemens. answers.
on the eve of the president's speech tonight, the former vice president may have eclipsed spiro agnew and aaron burr on infamy in that office, essentially accusing the president of treason and accepting no responsibility at all for the state in which he and his president left afghanistan. if this administration suggested it's really about pakistan, why aren't the resources focused on pakistan instead of afghanistan and what did the president mean in that speech? and the dammest piece of television, quote, journalism, you have ever seen. the tiger woods incident recreated with computer-generated graphics. [ female announcer ] get the taste of a home-cooked meal at work with new marie callender's homestyle creations. marie callender's homestyle creations -- a little touch of home for lunch. and i was surprised to learn that it may have led to my erectile dysfunction. that's when my doctor told me about levitra.
(announcer) certain medical conditions, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol, can decrease blood flow, which may lead to ed. that was news to me and my doctor told me levitra could help. (announcer) levitra works by increasing blood flow to help treat ed. ask your doctor if you're healthy enough for sexual activity. if you have heart problems, are on alpha-blocker therapy, or have uncontrolled high blood pressure, talk to your doctor before taking levitra. do not take levitra if you take nitrates for chest pains as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects may include headache, flushing and stuffy or runny nose. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help if you experience an erection lasting longer than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss of vision or hearing, stop taking levitra, and call your doctor right away. ask your doctor if levitra is right for you. for a free trial offer and more information, go to levitra.com
insidious's pekt -- panicked. he said he's still so panicked he mistakes acting tough for being tough and says failing to act tough implies you are weak. apparently trashing america's president, mr. cheney cannot conceive that grace and humility might arise from actual grace and humility. >> what did you think when nixon bow to hiro hito. he's the president of the united states. if you can't sup mon up the boiler grim respect your
responsibilities demand, maybe you should shut up, dick. mr. cheney described himself as both worried and beginning to get nervous, blaming mr. obama's poll sfirs his lack of nerve, his deficit of courage. despite the fact that his own doctor has said there was real fear throughout mr. cheney's office after 9/11. the former vice president even imagines others feeling his fear, claiming afghan citizens after eight years of bush-cheney dithering will suddenly switch sides out of fear if america says, as the president did tonight, it may one day leave. so cowardly is mr. cheney, in fact, he trembles at the thought of an accused terrorist coming to new york city in chains. he revealed he's afraid of not what a free terrorist might do but what a captured terrorist might say.
>> which administration distributed and verified all those osama bin laden tapes? mr. cheney went further in his critique of the decision to put muhammed on trial saying i think it's likely to give encouragement, aid and comfort to believe enemy. the u.s. constitution defines giving aid and comfort to enemies as treason. the former vice president of the united states saying about the president of the united states on the day before a speech as commander-in-chief of treason.
thank you for your time tonight, colonel. >> thanks for having me, keith. >> can you think of anyone in our history who served as high in the administration as cheney did, accusing the sitlinging president the legal definition of treason on the eve of a wartime speech? >> i think it would be difficult to find such an example in our history. i don't -- keith, i don't recognize this man anymore. he's not the man that i knew who was colin powell's boss when he was secretary of defense. he's a mystery to me. >> mr. cheney was also asked whether his administration bears any responsibility for the current status of afghanistan as a nation or a problem today, he repied, i basically don't. you were part of that administration, do you basically don't as well? >> not at all. i saw vice president cheney, former vice president cheney's remarks as sort of being like
macbeth accusing the king of getting in the way of his lady's dagger. this is incredible that an administration that took its eye off as early as november 2001, afghanistan, turned it into an economy of forced theatre, told general franks to concentrate on planning for iraq, and then began shifting troops and other assets that were husbanded at best already towards iraq, it would now be accusing a president who inherited the mess they created of malfeasance in office. this is laughable, keith. >> you say you don't recognize him anymore. there was another thing in the interview that's a little bit off the main beaten path of the topic here. but he said that he believes mr. obama does not believe that the united states is special, quote, the greatest, freest nation mankind has ever known. and yet, at the same time, he's arguing, mr. cheney is, for secret prisons and for torture.
do you have a sense of what mr. cheney thinks makes america great and particularly free? is this just knee-jerk nationalism? or does he even still get what america means and that the ideas of torture and freedom are pretty much mutually exclusive? ''well, you hit the heart of the matter here. the power we yielded is the power of or our ideas and our ideals lived up to, on a day to day basis. no one in a long time has done a better job of restoring those ideals and restoring what they mean, rhetorically, at least, then a president obama. i'm waiting for him, i'm waiting on tender hooks for him to put action behind those words and i'm giving him every benefit of the down that he will eventually do that. but i will not brook any opposition from the man who did more to damage those ideals and those ideas than anyone in our history. dick cheney. >> then contextualize your reaction to tonight's speech in that context.
did the president take the best option of a bumpl of bad ones that were available to him? cowl he have chosen a different path? >> i have to say what he did was in my mind was deliberate at some length, listening to all manner of advice from all manner of people, that's good. he didn't pull a 45 from his holster and shoot like the loost administration did. i know, i was a member of it. he deliberated it and what he came up with is the least worst of a whole range of very bad possibles. and that was reflected in the speech. it was very realistic, it was very sober and somber and i think that was justified, given the audience and also given the degree of the challenge that this president and that audience confronts. >> and do you think that this tone will be recognized by this country that has been use toed to, when the subject of war has been brought up in the last two presidential administrations has really had the flag kind of
thrust foremost into their face before any rational, calm, good points, bad points analysis of the situation has been offered to it? >> keith, i continue to believe, as i think the president does, he probably wouldn't put it this low, that at least 75%, maybe 80% of the american people are scene, sober, pragmatic and realistic. they seek the center. the radical center, if you will. and those people will understand the challenge the president faced and understand the speech he gave and the decision he's made. thepudding, of course, will be in the next 18 to 24 months. i'm really worried in that regard about the economic situation. the president has a real challenge there, that in many ways is a bigger threat than al qaeda or afghanistan or iraq or any other potential foreign threat. >> colonel lawrence will kerrson, former chief of staff for secretary of state powell. now college of william and mary.
if bin laden himself is really in pakistan, why is the president sending 30,000 of our neighbors into afghanistan? he brought the problem up. we'll address it at length. when rachel joins you, stopping the taliban in afghanistan. she will talk to a retired lieutenant colonel who helped author the counterinsurgency manual. and just before that, a moment of humorous relief, unless you're tiger woods or elin woods or even a young harry belafonte. somewhere in america, there's a home by the sea powered by the wind on the plains.
there's a hospital where technology has a healing touch. there's a factory giving old industries new life. and there's a train that got a whole city moving again. somewhere in america, the toughest questions are answered every day. because somewhere in america, 69,000 people spend every day answering them. siemens. answers. the chevy malibu and toyota camry received 5 star crash safety ratings. but only malibu has onstar. big deal. i'll just use my phone. let's say we crashed. whoops, you lost your phone and you're disoriented. i'm not disoriented. now you are. onstar automatic crash response can call to see if you're ok. onstar emergency. is everything ok howie? you don't answer, they can automatically send help to your exact location. i think i'll ride with you. the award-winning malibu. from chevy.
0,000 troops to afghanistan. the president left the question hanging. how will that stop al qaeda in the lawless regions of pakistan? and later, some much-needed comic relief. the tiger and elin woods car crash drama as seen through the eyes of a graphic artist in china. their version of puppet theatre. (music volume decreases) well, ups can help lower warehouse costs, (music volume increases) while increasing your global reach. (volume increases, decreases) more ups technology can help bring down paperwk.
(music volume increases) and ups has more shipping options than anyone. hey, it's time to seize the opportunities with ups. (backbeat swells) there, now that sounds perfect. let the all-new campbellskitchen.com help bring your family to the table this holiday. from timeless favorites like campbell's green bean casserole to new classics like swanson herb roasted turkey with pan gravy and pepperidge farm holiday brie en croute even clever ideas that give leftovers a full makeover. for inspiration, family pleasing recipes and 15 dollars in valuable coupons, explore the all-new campbellskitchen.com for a very happy holiday.
is. >> another long-term consequences of failure there far outweigh those in afghan tan. there, according to the their own strategy review is pakistan. so if pakistan is the real risk and the president even suggested something like that tonight what is being gained by directing so much in u.s. resources to afghanistan? one senior official tonight told "the washington post," we can't succeed without pakistan. with the same unnamed official said, our leverage over pakistan is very limited. of course, the president did in his speech tonight address pakistan's role in the complicated fragile regional equation that includes
afghanistan and pakistan and india, as well as al qaeda and taliban elements in both afghanistan and pakistan. but al qaeda has a more serious presence in pakistan and it has osama bin laden presumably there. and pakistani military officers and insurgent groups is more complex, even than the relationship between the afghan president hamid karzai and what might loosely be called his people. has president obama put more resources into afghanistan baz he can and while giving more to pakistan than past strategies still made pakistan the focus, because our lack of leverage makes a seclusion harder to delineate and excuse? we're joined now by the thoer of "the washington note" steve clemens from berlin. the president said about pakistan, this same cancer has also taken root in the border
region of pakistan. was that and the rest of what he said about pakistan sufficient? did he adequately frame the pakistan role in this situation in his speech tonight? >> well, in part he did. he wedged pakistan as a national security priority deeply in this speech. this speech was titled, both the way forward in afghanistan and pakistan. the problem is he left a lot of unanswered questions. i think jane harmon in congress said tonight it's not clear that deploying 40,000 more troops and increasing the size of the military footprint really solves our problem with pakistan or afghanistan. while he put it on the table, i don't think he's necessarily adequately fixed the issues for americans. >> he said that mr. karzai's re-election, that election in afghanistan was rief with fraud. he used the word fraud. but isn't pakistan, in fact, doubly difficult because it
harbors harbors a demonstrably bigger threat than afghanistan and its government is far less legitimate. >> the textbook issue is that b pakistan s a nuclear nation with a fragile government. we've seen recently that the president of pakistan has had to cede authority over nuclear control to his prime minister. it's a fragile system, but the real complexity sunt addressed and that's a significant part of the pakistan government actually prefers an afghan stall been a leadership in afghanistan. but afghanistan is a place in which india and pakistan have had a proxy trouble. so our enemies are sometimes pakistan's friend. and while in pakistan, the taliban, the pakistani taliban are an enemy of the pakistani state. so you're talking about a
triple-level chessboard here. and the real issue, again, i think, and what could get complicated is what's happening to the pashtun. let's drop the word taliban and al qaeda and even afghanistan. do we have a pashtun strategy that will effectively work to stabilize that area or not. >> so in context of your last answer, would that have been a better thing for the president to be dealing with? or is the only thing he can do right now, the afghanistan situation and hope that somehow that reverberates beneficially to the actual pakistan problem? >> well, keith, i think so. i think ultimately what we've begun to do, we saw the president set as his primary goal tonight, al qaeda. we know al qaeda has been largely squeezed out of afghanistan and is in the process of getting squeezed out of pakistan. so that's not -- while they say it's the big issue, the subordinate issue is the
political economic and securitay of pakistan and trying to set the taliban off-balance there. the question is, it doesn't give you the parameters with which to deal with. the pashtun, which are increasingly morphing as a whole needs to be more of the president's target so you can explain to the american public how we can develop a strategy that doesn't make these ferociously independent people feel that we're there to be in there for the long haul and antagonizing them. and i think the other part of the speech that isn't getting a lot of attention tonight is on one level we're trying to communicate to the afghanis and pakistanis that we will be there that we're going to pump up over the next 18 months a lot of new forces to train people, but on the other side, you've got them saying well, we do have an exit strategy, sort of broadly on the game. so we're saying we're going to be there, but we're also saying we're leaving. in that sense, real confusing messages to the players in the af-pak region.
>> thank you, steve. rachel picks up our post speech coverage at the top of the hour. first, "the worst persons" and tiger woods and the fire hydrant recreated by a chinese newspaper. i am begging you, watch this. national car rental knows i'm picky. so, at national, i go right past the counter... and you get to choose any car in the aisle.
choose any car? you cannot be serious! okay. seriously, you choose. go national. go like a pro. because we believe in the strength of american businesses. ge capital understands what small businesses need to grow and create jobs. today, over 300,000 businesses rely on ge capital for the critical financing they need to help get our economy back on track. the american renewal is happening. right now.
rachel will pick up our coverage of the president's speech at the top of the hour. but first, the most unbelievable thing you've ever seen done by a television network, possibly by mankind. as we give you the number one story, worst person's in the world. bronze to rupert murdoch. owner of the "new york post" another fired "post" employee sued alleging much more than he was just a victim of race imwhile in murdoch's employ and fired for being black. mr. fenner says after the "post" printed its dead chimp cartoon, new york governor david paterson
made it known he wanted to be interviewed by the paper about the cartoon and would answer any other questions the paper had on any other topic. the white editors at the "post" the suit claims summarily refused to interview him. the runner-up is bill o. mike huckabee said as governor of arkansas he looked at every file for every request of clemency. clemens allegedly ambushed and killed four police officers in washington state sunday morning and was himself killed in a shootout there today. after initially folding on responsibility, huckabee stepped up and said, it's not your fault, governor. you've got 1,200 of these cases a year. you got to look at them. i'm not saying it's your fault. i don't think anyone watching thinks it's your fault. so bill, if you don't like a judge's ruling in a case you'll send your stalker producer out to harass the man, but if the official responsible for
excessive leniency now works for fox, you're happy to be soft on crime? but our winner, the mayor of taipei city in taiwan. he banned students under 18 to look at apple daily while at school. mayor, i'm flabbergasted. apple daily is the news korgs that created not just the computer-generated recreation of a crime in this case careless driving, charged today by the florida highway patrol, but possibly it has created the greatest thing in human history. apple daily brings you both theories of the crime, the title card translates as follows. woods broken windows at night to save his wife crash, shady husband. [ speaking chinese ]