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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  December 2, 2009 7:00am-10:00am EST

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host: the president lays out his plan for adding 30,000 troops in afghanistan last night at the
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military academy at west point. we will begin by taking your phone calls and getting your response to the president's speech last night on this edition of "washington journal ." we want to find out how you feel about what the president had to say. you can start calling us. the story is the lead story and covers the headlines in just about every paper across the country and around world. we start with a rundown of some of the headlines. "the boston globe" has "obama to add 30,000 troops." this morning's "chicago
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tribune"-- "our security is at stake"is the headline. across town, this headline in the "chicago sun-times." the president says the status quo is not sustainable. "los angeles times" -- " obama vows to break taliban >' ." this is the reaction from the top commander in afghanistan. he says he is absolutely supportive of president obama's decision. general mcchrystal told
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reporters that even if the taliban lay low, the 18-month period gives time to bolster the afghan capability. there are all sorts of opinions and thoughts in the newspapers this morning. we start with "the new york post." host: our first call comes from mark, who opposes the president. mark? all right.
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let's try chicago. caller: i support the president. he told us throughout the campaign that he wanted to bring people out of iraq and put the focus on afghanistan. he repeatedly defined to the fact that we had abandoned afghanistan for the last eight years. we do not like to have to go to war. i am not a person who is generally for war. he has literally stepped into a mess that was created by people who were not paid attention to this mess in afghanistan, which was started on september 11. the main issue for obama is that buafghanistan is an ax to
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pakistan. there are a nuclear state. i think we must have a presence there. anybody who thinks that this man enjoys doing this, he does not. he has to do this. he is the president. host: what did you think about the president leonel the time frame? caller: i am thrilled that he laid out a time frame. it has to be defined. people have got to have some hope. we do not intend to occupy their country. we simply want to provide some stability. afghanistan is an extremely difficult -- like they say, the graveyard of empires. when he said people were claiming this is like vietnam -- vietnam did istocks ofnotd not .
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we simply have to this. i am a hippie from the 1960's. we voted for obama. hillary made the comment about iran. did anybody believe hillary was going to do anything differently? host: stella, you oppose the president. caller: i absolutely do. lewis carroll ruled "alice and the looking glass." i feel like we're fighting them over there so they do not come here. they are here.
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every attack has started from here. there was allusion in the president's speech about yemen and somalia. i think al-qaeda is absolutely lathing analysts. we chased them around and around. -- i think al-qaeda is absolutely laughing at us. the reasoning is impossible. also, follow the money. if this is costing us $1 million a soldier -- the soldiers are not getting anywhere near the top $1 million. where is that $1 million galene? if there has to be a war tax, let the people who are profiting financially from this horrible war pay the tax. host: what did you think about the president delivering a speech at the military academy at west point?
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caller: i regret saying that any time i hear any politicians speak right now it just sounds like blah blah blah. we start with these false premises that are completely destructive. host: denise in cincinnati. she supports the president. caller: good morning. i totally support dumps president. -- i totally support the president. i do support the exit strategy. i think it is needed. i commend him for this. it takes a mind to think first and then react. with the powers that were in office before, we did not quite do that.
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we just acted. we went on a lot of speculation. armed police supportive of the president. thank you for having me on this morning. -- i am totally supporteive president. host: in "the philadelphia inquirer" -- host: that to the phones. hank in south carolina. caller: i suppose this war in afghanistan. the russians spent 10 years trying to do something to
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people. these people have been fighting each other for thousands of years. i am a vietnam vet. i spent 37 months over there. the country means nothing chorus, yet our president is spending billions of dollars supporting another country, giving them weapons, and giving them uniforms. all that money could be used here and in the united states to support the taxpayers. seems to me that is why he ran for president. host: hank the president says this will not be another vietnam. caller: that is what they said about vietnam in 1965 -- it is going to be a short war. 11 years later, we are still over there.
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host: you were over there during the war? caller: yes. host: how much to the troops follow what was going on in the state's? can you draw any hearinparallel? caller: everytime i see anybody supporting these troops in this type of war, it makes me cry. we were not supported. half the people coming back from vietnam changed into civilian clothes on the plane because the russian. we lost the war because the population of the united states did not support us. host: have more of the president's speech.
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>> we cannot afford to ignore the price of these wars. all told, up by the time i took office, the cost of the wars in iraq and afghanistan approached 1 millio$1 trillion. our new approach in afghanistan is likely to cost $30 billion for the military this year. i will work closely with congress to address these cost. host: in this morning's "daily news" --
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host: james in maryland, you support the president yes, . caller: yes, i do. finally we have a president and almost one decade who is taking his time. i'm so proud. finally. [inaudible] finally in ne know. host: donald in dallas opposes
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the president's proposal. why is that? caller: we should not be over there at all. the whole premise for everything that we have been talking about for the last however long was not done -- 9/11 was a giant conspiracy. we paid the taliban $40 million shortly before that because they were good at eradicating the poppy fields. the gentleman yesterday said they are taking their money to fund of the war from the poppy fields. how could that possibly be if we were paying the money before their friends attacked us? it is ridiculous. i would also like to say, the hemp plant also likes the
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conspiracy. host: this message from twitter. bush and obama are the same. this is the lead editorial in "the washington post." host: jeff in west virginia supports the president. go ahead. i am sorry.
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that is randy, who opposes it, in michigan. caller: good morning. i oppose this war based on no draft. i am 52. i grew up with the threat of being drafted. i think we need to read and stil-instill it. when you grow up knowing that you have no choice when you turn 18 -- it gives you a little bit better perspective. i would have never avoided the draft because i have family that were drafted. i was told by my uncle to never volunteer, but never run, because they will find you. when it is everybody's head who has a chance to go, people think differently about it. i thank you very much.
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host: jeff in west virginia. caller: thank you. i do not normally approve of what the president has been doing with the medical plan and stuff, but i listened to him very closely last night. i have high praise for the gentleman. he is doing something right. they came over year and attacked us. he does not want to take over afghanistan. he wants to attack them on their soil where they are hiding. it keeps the danger away from us. that is why this thing is over there. i do not understand the vietnam veteran earlier. when they flew the planes into tauber's and those people died in pennsylvania -- everybody
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wanted the war. now, since we all live in this bubble of feeling safe, everybody is opposing this. we cannot keep apposing attacking our enemies. the takeover and they do things and they brownback over therrun. the president is right. he listened to his advisers. he took his time, and now he is doing something. people over there blockbustwants there. when we leave, they come back and threatened to kill. the same thing happened in vietnam. the public was not behind the
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soldiers. obama is letting the soldiers do their job and he is listening to his visors. i appreciate you listening to me. thank you. host: table looked at another part of the -- take a look at another part of the speech. >> we will not always agree on every issue. i also know that we as a country cannot sustain our leadership, nor navigates the momentous challenges of our time if we allow ourselves to be split asunder by the same rank and cynicism and partisanship that has poisoned our national discourse at times. it's easy to forget that when this war began, we were united, down together by the fresh memory of a terrifhorrific atta.
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i refuse to accept the notion that we cannot have that unity again. host: some of the split the that the president was talking about is referred to in this morning's "the wall street journal." next, columbus, ga., james, who supports the president. caller: i am in the army right now. it bothers me that the american people are not following are president. we're trained to follow our leaders, right, wrong, or indifferent. host: there's an article in this morning's "the new york times" talking about the strain of military service meets the result to go on. they quote the commander of the
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third brigade, one of the army's most deployed the divisions. your thoughts? caller: i totally agree, yes. i am a leader myself through no matter what, i need to measure my troops are ready. -- need to make sure my troops are ready. it bothers me that the american people do not follow. host: have you been deployed to to iraq and afghanistan? caller: i have been there twice. host: to afghanistan? caller: to iraq. host: are there any plans for
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you to be part of that 30,000 troops? caller: i am not sure right now. host: thank you for your call. jeremy opposes. caller: i support and defend the constitution. i would remind the previous service member of the first duty is to support and defend the constitution of the united states, and then secondly to follow orders, if they are lawful. the reason i think to oppose the president is to defend the constitution is because i'm looking at historical facts very clearly about where terrorism comes from. it looks clear that obama is following his predecessor, george w. bush in committee what is defined as treason.
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i would point out a clear and convincing truth of multiple evidence strains of these buildings been brought down from the architects and engineers of 9/11. numerous civil and structural engineers. this paper discovered in the dust from the 9/11 world trade center. i personally have indicated its presence to the vice president and to my own congress people. none of them have disputed the signs. none of them will respond in a coherent manner. it's time for the american people to do their duty and speak the truth. host: we will check in with a
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kabul corresponded with the christian science monitor. he is speaking to us by phone from afghanistan. good morning. guest: good morning. host: i assume you're listening last night with some troops in afghanistan. guest: i was not with troops. i was in kabul. host: what has been the reaction so far since the president gave his speech from the people you have talked to? guest: it is a mixed reaction. perhaps the correct message has not gotten out here. [inaudible]
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it has not really reached the afghan people. host: in talking with the afghans on the street, how confident are they the the americans will be able to train the afghan security forces to take over in 18 months? guest: i do now and there's any doubt among many afghans that the american military is extremely competent and capable -- i do not think there's any doubt among the afghans that the american people are competent and capable.
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[inaudible] increasing power to the afghan national army. general mcchrystal said earlier that this will probably take about four years. no one is expecting it to happen overnight. host: julius cavendish of the christian science monitor, thank you. guest: thank you. host: this is the headline in "the guardian" allen of london this morning. back to the phones. idaho falls, judy, you are
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unsure. caller: i am very unsure. i have a son in this fight. he came home from afghanistan three months ago. if this goes as obama proposes, he will no doubt go back again. it seems to me that the proposal but obama is making is dependent on the afghans and then doing their share. i have very little faith that they can or will. yes, i see the importance of following through with at least a good, honest effort to give them a chance. i do not know what to say. i'm up in the air. host: what does your son do and how much contact does he have with afghan civilians? caller: his e is a medic.
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he meets a lot of afghan civilians, but he does not speak the language, so he does not know what they say. host: does he get the feeling that the afghans interpret what he is trying to do and what the u.s. military is trying to do? caller: what he says is some of them are very appreciative, and others are very passed oissed of because they gobbled it. host: in the foreign section of usa today this morning -- they're both with the brookings institution.
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host: back to the phones. the next call comes from greensboro, n.c.. john, your daughter is about to deploy to afghanistan and to support the president's proposal. caller: yes, i definitely support the president. host: long until your daughter goes over and what does she do? caller: she does computer work. she will deployed sometime in january. she is out of all home city. -- is out of oklahoma city. host: your thoughts on the timeline? caller: i think he should put a timeline on and because our troops need to stay over there. if we do not have them to do what they need to do over there, they will pretty much bring the fight over year and do it again
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like they did on 9/11. we do not want that. we need to make sure we need to take care of what has already been going on. we do not want that to come back to united states soil. we did not start this, but we want to make sure -- just like president obama said -- we want to make sure this does not hit home. we want to protect what is here in the united states. we have already gotten hits wants. we do not want to get hit again. host: thank you for your call. we will listen to what the president had to say last night at west point, talking about the deployment of 30,000 troops to afghanistan. after we hear from the president, we will be talking to rep joe sestak of pennsylvania.
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>> moving forward, we are committed to a partnership with pakistan that's built on a foundation of mutual interest, mutual respect, and mutual trust. we will strengthen pakistan's capacity to target those people who threaten our country, and make it clear that we cannot tolerate a safe haven for terrorists. america has also provided substantial resources to support pakistan's democracy. we are the largest international supporter for those pakistanis displaced by the fighting. the pakistan people must know america will remain a strong supporter of pakistan's security and prosperity long after the guns have fallen silent, so the great potential of its people can be unleashed. these are the three core elements of our strategy. a military effort to create the
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conditions for a transition, a civilian surge that reinforces positive action, and an effective partnership with pakistan. i recognize there are a range of concerns about our approach. host: rep joe sestak, democrat of pennsylvania and a member of the armed services committee, your thoughts on the president's speech? >> it was a courageous speech. it was the right speech. we took the effort to make sure the the liberal approach -- we would have been an increase in our troops, but one that is focused on a relationship with pakistan. it is no longer about afghanistan. it is about a safe haven of al- qaeda that sits in pakistan. this partnership with pakistan, where on one side of the border we can close off the taliban from crossing into afghanistan, as pakistan does its job on the
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other side of the border. it is so instrumental, indispensable to our security, because pakistan is close to a failed state. a failed state that has nuclear weapons. if those terrorists gain access to that into the scientists that have knowledge, the cost nine years to come will be much greater is in the cost of winning this effort today. host: how would you measure success of the u.s. military in afghanistan? guest: the one issue the i wish the president would have addressed is the benchmarks to measure success and failure. we know that al-qaeda is a few hundred terrorists on the other side of the border. there are not in afghanistan. we know who their leaders are. how well are we doing that decimated in the number? how well is pakistan to rein in
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turning into a counterinsurgency forces, and moving from south waziristan into north waziristan? how well are we doing in afghanistan in leaving conditions behind the batter in hospitable to al-qaeda when we redeployed? we're placing our security in the hands of the -- as the president had in his speech, and by which this would have been brought out more, reliance upon local, provincial governors, tribal chiefs. with only 20,000 taliban in afghanistan, and 70% of them there for a wage, how do you get them out? those are the type of benchmarks such give the public an understanding if the strategy is a work is not working. host: former president
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musharraf had this op-ed in "the wall street journal." but whatguest: his absolutely right. i have met with him twice to listen to his viewpoints. he is a military man, as i was 41 years. i was on the ground and have a stand and afghanistan early in this conflict. -- in pakistan and afghanistan. i believe liu says. militaries' stop the problems. they do not fix problems. -- i believe what he says. at the beginning of afghanistan, it was working well. we brought in the forces that put al-qaeda on the run.
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the power of economic assistance and educational assistance. i in the long term, to fix the literacy rate of women in afghanistan -- 98% of them are illiterate. it would have been one of the best things we could have done at that time. but we did it on the cheap after the tragic misadventure of iraq. host: we go to the phones and take questions for rep joe sestak, democrat of pennsylvania. first call comes from pennsylvania. david, you oppose the president's proposal. caller: i would like to ask him if he is in favor of the draft. and the question i have for c- span, if they would ask people when they call in if they are in favor of the draft to see if they would really supports this
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war if the draft was initiated. host: why is the draft such an important issue to you? caller: most people in the country are not even talking about this war. only the military families are the ones who talk about it because they have something at stake. the rest of the country has nothing at stake. guest: 1/3 of 1% of all families in america are directly involved in this war. it is a tragedy that it took a tragedy at fort hood to highlight those military families. thank you for what you said. i'm supportive of national service. when i joined up, there was a draft in 1970 as i went into the military during the vietnam war. i believe the draft would not work today for the military because the soldiers today often have to have one year of training.
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they run nuclear aircraft carriers. they do sophisticated work. by this time you train them, you need several years to reach back the investment. yes, there should be this obligation to public service, but let somebody go to the america corp. let somebody in the military do four or five years, if that is what they opt to do. it is a much more sophisticated military than what i went in 35 years ago. host: the next call comes from queens, new york. anthony supports the president's proposal. caller: good morning, sir. i would like to thank c-span for their coverage of this agenda. also, i am in support of the president.
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i am supportive of military service, not the draft at this time. as your guest has mentioned, because of the many sophisticated features that we have in our military, i think this is a drop-in. our military -- i think this is a job. i commend the the president. i would also like to see c-span having may be on both sides. i do understand the supporters against thougwar. i am against war, but this time, i believe we were attacked. we must finish the job that president bush left undone. guest: thank you, anthony. i respect those who differ from the president waor me.
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i've got to work in the white house. i saw all the enormity and the approach that commanders in chief should take to woar. if they're doing it because they believe it's the in the best interest of our nation -- i wish we had these discussions in my caucus and with the other side of the party and throughout america. host: you mentioned to the caucus. in "the wall street journal" this morning, this headline -- how will you press forward the president's proposal in the house so that eventually the funds, which will have to come from the appropriations committee, get approved?
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guest: today is a start. i have great respect for our caucus. in the past month, the should have been a topic. unfortunately, it has not spent. afghanistan and pakistan somehow got put on the back burner. it was very obvious months ago that things were still at spiraling downward. i will continue to do -- i had two interviews before this and i finished my last interview at midnight last night. i continue to speak. i respect those who differ. when you weigh the cost and benefits, and trying to withdraw and deal with this at a far away distance -- when i went into afghanistan the first time, i met with general ha andyden.
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i never forgot what he told me purity said joe, and general franks keeps telling me give me some actual intelligence. i keep telling him, give me some action and i will give you some intelligence. in short, you need boots on the ground to move the terrorists and make them make a mistake so we can pick up and get them. you cannot do that from a distance. host: the appropriations chairman has suggested that maybe some sort of a war tax could be imposed. will you be able to sell this to fellow members of congress and the people in your seventh district of pennsylvania? guest: i will try. i agree with the thought process. overall, the issue is how to do this. one, bring it into the budget. we either find programs that should be cut, or have the courage to raise the revenues. i am not sure you just tax the more wealthy. what about the $79 billion the
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special interest, oil companies have? we should not add to the debt. it helps in the prioritization, which congress is supposed to do. host: next call comes from north carolina. barry opposes the president's supporproposal. caller: if you are going to get voted in by one people, go with them. you are supposed to leave with the person you came with. i do not think we should be in the war in afghanistan. back in 2001, there was this big media frenzy of where the right wingers -- all these people -- the day before 9/11, looked in the files.
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they were syndicated by the media the day before 9/11 happened. the point is that they knew something was going to happen. they were pushing their right- wing agenda. this president is carrying on everything that the first president did. guest: i was stationed at the pentagon went 9/11 happened. i took over the anti-terrorism unit for the navy. i have access to much material. while the interagency did not coordinate information -- i believe what occurred was not orchestrated at 9/11. i strongly believe that. the change that 9/11 brought about -- before 9/11 we like our wars over there. with 9/11, we could be damaged
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at home. i think the president has taken that into account. it is not about right or left. he's making this decision here regardless of political consequences, but is right for this nation. i did not agree with that in iraq because we brought al-qaeda from iraq. i believe that the leaders of the damage us is there and we must eradicate the threat. host: our next call for rep joe sestak. mark supports the president. caller: good morning. let me commend c-span for not putting party lines. on the president's decision, i'm
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sure he got a real long and hard. his party is questioning him now, but i do think he made the right decision. i know he opposed the war in iraq, but we are still in iraq. we are still maintaining stability. the only thing that bothers me is that he does not command of the surge in iraq because of afghanistan. how can you mention the pullout on war when nobody knows how long it will take? nobody knows how the commanders on the ground will stipulate how the troops should move. when i look at the time date, one year is in there now. it is perfect timing for his reelection, and then some of the
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troops coming home, and then he claims victory. that is the only reason he would do that. i commend the man for making a very tough decision. guest: thank you. it really is about al-qaeda in pakistan. that is where they are to that is what threatens america. he said that, but i would have liked more emphasis upon that. i wish that a definitive timetable to withdraw have not been placed. i do not believe it is as much to do with the central government of afghanistan and having them stepped to the plate. we cannot put our security in their hands it is al-qaeda in pakistan. what i wish he would have done, to let everyone know this is not an open-ended commitment, was emphasized the part of the speech where he says conditions on the ground will be taken into account.
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what we had heard he had promised. the administration promised us in march to provide an exit strategy by which we would have benchmarks that measure success and failure. then the public can know if the strategy is working treated if they cannot provide that, how do they know this is the right course? if they give us that, they would be able to say it is successful and we are exit been on this timeline. if it is not working, it triggers what some call a containment strategy, and then the public can see the cost and benefits. i would prefer that. the talking points from the white house does say there will be measurements of progress. that is essential after eight years, rather than a definitive timetable. i think that will serve the public better. host: lee opposes the
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president's proposal and calls us from burlington, n.c. caller: is this war is about national security, then why are we sending only 30,000 troops? the answer for that is because the president's heart is not in this war. he does not want to send those 30,000 troops. if he did, he would have sent them three or four weeks ago when the general requested them. the plan is guaranteed to fail. guest: the rinine reason i felt
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iraq was such a tragic misadventure is because not only was it not a clear danger, but it was not a present danger. general mcchrystal is responsible for afghanistan. he is not even responsible for pakistan. what about the general in south korea today? the reason i respect his deliberate approach has to take in the whole cloth of our national security by putting more troops in afghanistan because of the following trade for the last four and a half years, there's not been one army unit here at home that could respond to any of the war plans, the annex of war plans we have in the pentagon. for example, several divisions to south korea to help defend the country if north korea were to do what they did in 1950 and attack. this president had to assess what is the impact upon the rest of our security of putting x amount of troops in afghanistan.
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he needs to listen to the general, but he also needs to listen to his collective national security input from around the world. that is what he did. 30,000 troops -- i believe -- he said this is what i believe needs to be done, and i'm glad he did that. host: how will this play on the campaign trail? caller: it does not matter. this is the right decision. i understand i'm in a democratic primary. there's one thing that i find that is lacking in washington, d.c. it is accountable leadership. so many people want to be responsible. two weeks ago, i'd pu put out a- ed. i said 30,000 troops, three to
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five years. i know my opponent says we should not do this through this is a gentleman i respect, but he voted for the misadventure douglas tragedy in iraq. i am only siworried about the security of this nation. the people of pennsylvania are independent-minded. this is what is needed for the station. my job does not matter. host: thank you for being on the program. we will continue our conversation with a representative raul grijalva, democrat from arizona prefers, this update from c-span radio. >> president obama returned to
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the white house after delivering his speech at military academy at west point. today he meets with advisers in the oval office. he says he expects the allies to boost to the nato led force by more than 5000 soldiers. the white house focuses on afghanistan. congress is working on a number of issues. the senate continues debate on health care reform. the house against a bill that would put restraints on big wall street institutions and calls for openness from the federal reserve pretty house boats on a bill that would give the government -- calls for openness from the federal reserve. an update on the five british sailors detained by iran last week. they have been freed.
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britain says it was delighted with today's release. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> "washington journal" continues. host: joining us now to to t continue our conversation is representative raul grijalva, democrat of arizona. your thoughts on the president's speech? guest: have been seeing the president give so many memorable speeches, this was a memorable speech, a difficult speech, and when all was said and done, i felt a sense that a lot of the speech was about wishful thinking, that a recommitment, an escalation of 34,000 troops is constantly going to make this a tuition in afghanistan and
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pakistan better -- makes the situation in afghanistan and pakistan better. i do not think that as possible. the tremendous pressure we are putting on our military and our military families -- i think the more we states, the more we do not develop a real exit strategy, the longer we are going to stay there. the quagmire we talk about in reference to iraq will repeat itself in afghanistan. host: as the proposal makes its way up to capitol hill, what will you be doing to either stop it or alter it in some way? guest: the alteration will be difficult, but i think -- and stopping it will be difficult. the only opportunity the house will have is when we vote on the
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supplemental and when we vote on the funding. the idea of transparency and this would be part of the entire budget. we will get another supplemental request of $30 billion and there's no way to pay for it. that would be an opportunity for the house and the members to state their opinions, and try to limit the funding, and tried to insist on a rapid exit strategy. host: the numbers are on the screen if you want to get in on a conversation with a representative raul grijalva, democrat from arizona. our first call comes from athens, ohio, kathleen who is on surunsure. caller: i read a lot about the situation. i met a wonderful young man who
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is from afghanistan. he is studying on a fulbright. and another ph.d. candidate here at ohio university. they both say, as well as my friend who is back in afghanistan -- they all say do not send in more troops, sent in more humanitarian aid because the afghan people do look at us as an occupying force. my friend who is back in afghanistan is in the ministry of counter narcotics. he is right in the thick of things. in the 1970's, we abandoned the afghan people. the bush administration abandoned to the country again when they illegally it invaded iraq. when president obama turned to
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the camera and talked to the people of afghanistan and said we do not want to occupy, we do not want to be there forever, why should they believe us? he asked the taliban to surrender. very few americans know about it. they can go online and watch this documentary. why should the taliban surrender when we allowed two thousand of them to suffocate in convoys in may 2001? guest: when 90% of our resources are military in afghanistan, there's no balance to that. part of what needs to be done when you have a country where there's a 10% literacy rate, and even worse among women, in a country where the essential institutions are not built up, where you have a tribal
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governments in many regions of afghanistan -- our work is not military. the military objective is skewed because the afghanistan people the are going to resist our presence through there's great concern but all we're going to do is intensifying the opposition to our presence there. we should be in the business of not only diplomacy, but using the region. saudi arabia and turkey need to be part of this. pakistanis to be part of this. -- pakistan needs to be part of this. this cannot be resolved by a significant military presence in afghanistan. we needed to balance that out. we need to provide humanitarian assistance, health care, and education. those are the institution building items that we are not doing right now, and the projected plan does not include that. host: in the associated press
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this morning out of warsaw -- how do you feel about the involvement of other countries in this nato led force? . guest: this is an american war and now unfortunately is the american president's war. caller: good morning. i do support the philosophy, but i think that the president has
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revealed too much of his strategy and his advisors and he have made a great error. if i were al qaeda, what i would do is tweak president obama's strategy by causing him to send more troops. there will be a surge of al qaeda incidents. then the president will be confronted with what to do now. on the other hand, if he backs out, his political fortunes will really be diminished. there is a high possibility that this will be his vietnam. i was a vietnam veteran and saw combat. we did not reveal to the enemy over there what we were doing
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like they are now. and also, about the war tax, if this is proposed and initiated, is everyone going to have to pay for it? are the illegal aliens here going to have to pay for that? or just the rich? guest: it is a 1% tax across the board on income. i support the initiative if only for the fact that it points out the hypocrisy of what is going on right now. this war in iraq, afghanistan continues deficit spending yet we're still debating how to pay for health-care, how to reform education. we're still debating how to put people to work. if anything else could be accomplished by the war tax debate, the discourse we need to
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have in congress is out to pay for war, how to be responsible for it to the american people. as my colleague previously said, hell you be accountable? -- how we be accountable? we need to pay for this if it will cost money. everyone demands that we pay as we go and i think that my colleagues are echoing the same message. host: the next comes from a caller who opposes the president's proposal. caller: good mind. i'm happy to be on because i have tried many times. my first objection is that america has become all warring nation. we go to war for so many reasons. we need to be more peaceful in our dealings with other countries. one example, why is it that it
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takes so long to train soldiers in other countries? we can trade one in six or 12 weeks. if we could train them then we would be ready to pull out at this time. i would like for our representatives in the future to consider all the avenues before going into war against any nation. guest: their real comment other than that that is the gravest responsibility any of us in elected office have. to make a decision to send him in capital, young men and women into youinto a war. congress has not participated in this decision at this point.
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it is no more -- there is no more troubling decision then to decide whether to go to war. >> there those who suggest that afghanistan is another vietnam. they argue it cannot be stabilized and we're better off cutting losses and rapidly withdrawing. i believe this argument depends on a false reading of history. unlike vietnam we're joined by a broad coalition of 43 nations that recognizes the legitimacy of our action. unlike vietnam we're not facing a broad-based popular insurgency. most importantly, unlike vietnam the american people were viciously attacked from afghanistan and remain a target for those same extremists who are plodding along its border.
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to abandon this area now and to rely only on efforts against al qaeda from a distance with significantly hamper the ability to keep pressure on them and create an unacceptable risk of attacks on our homeland and allies. guest: i do not think -- i agree with the president that economic the same historical analogy between afghanistan and vietnam. it is essentially an american conflict. whether we have 43 other sparsely-represented nations as part of this coalition, the same thing george bush talked about with his efforts in iraq when he began the war there, it does not matter. it is an american war paid for with american lives in capital. we can protect this nation without having a permanent
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presence in afghanistan with the military. we can deal with al qaeda. the whole issue during this last year is out to be smarter, more effective, and to protect the american people. a false reading of history is that we can continue to do what we did in iraq and give ourselves deeper into the quagmire and at the same time not provide the security for the american people. that is the historical analogy that we need to be careful not to repeat. host: do you feel that by taking this proposal that he is taking a progressives support for granted? guest: no, during the whole debate on health care the progressive fault in congress --
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folk were very good and strong on the public option. this is a fundamental policy and philosophical difference. our progress is being taken for granted? if there were, no longer are they. we represent a point of view that needs to get the table, not after the fact. our opposition to this permanency in afghanistan is not just based on politics, but historical reference and the major differences with the administration. no one else, the progressives want barack obama to be successful and to be the great president we expect, the fact that we differ is just a necessary part of being a democracy.
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host: he represents the seventh district in arizona and sits on the education and work force committee as well as the resources and small business committees. the next call comes from san diego, california caller: good morning. i am glad that you play the excerpts from president obama's speech last night. it is the first time i have heard of, make the connection with the events of 9/11. as forceful as obama has made it, bush played a terrorist card to the hilt. obama to his credit has not tried to stress up into a nation of fear. however, he did make a connection with al qaeda that
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does exist that the threat to this nation, to the american continent, that threats were foiled -- actors and the same exarch to win on to mention that there were several threats that the government was able to foil. and i think that he cannot, after the,-- he cannot be accused of being soft on terrorism, that he did not do everything possible to avoid god-forbid any other attack. he at least can say that he did what he felt in good conscience was necessary to protect the homeland against a nuclear pakistan.
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the people in congress who in 2003 genuflected before bush when he said weapons of mass destruction, if we don't go after saddam hussein we will see mushroom clouds over chicago. well, where are they now? they are attacking obama with everything possible. host: we will leave it there. guest: nobody minimizes the real threat of al qaeda and the threat to this nation by extremists who for theological issues more than anything else threaten this country. the differences we think dealing with that threat and the security of this country, we feel there are other ways, different methods, and more
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global way to deal with it. we disagree with a strategy that this issue of the threat of al qaeda to this nation can be dealt with solely on military terms. that is the difference. host: this morning in the star- ledger of on the says the surge is vital to national interest. if not, it is this surge vital to any u.s. interest? guest: at this point if the surge were, of the outcome was to stabilise the region, then you could justify the surge. but the fact of the matter is going to be, and has been proven already, it will not stabilize the region. we will find ourselves spinning deeper and deeper into a war. the consequences financially and the human toll will be devastating for this nation and for the overall interests of
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this nation. it is shortsighted to say this is the solution. the solution is much more complex. i do not understand the national interest at stake. we need to pursue a broader, more comprehensive strategy. host: next up is jamie from loss angeles, california caller: what we admit it is support for israel? if you get to a website you can see a piece where the reporter talks about the afghan quagmire. if we do not address the support for israel persia getting the palestinian people we will not
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come down to why we were attacked on 9/11. guest: i believe that israel's right to exist anothe70 and sovereignty is vital. and we support that. but the middle east process is part of stabilizing the region. this peace process is something that this administration and congress need to invest in, bring moral weight. i agree the long term solution to much of what we see, not all of it, is a settlement. host: louisiana, brian, who supports the president's proposal. caller: i believe most people who are calling in are feeling
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guilty because they allow president bush to start the war in iraq that took the focus off afghanistan. we pushed out al qaeda and the taliban in eight weeks, but because it focused on iraq will allow them to come back and surge against us. my question to the representative, do you think the real strategy is to put 30,000 more troops into afghanistan, for us to re-surge, pushed the taliban and out of afghanistan and allow the special forces fighting in pakistan to get more intelligence on al qaeda? if we can put these trips and the border of pakistan and a surge against the taliban, to me, the special forces doing the hard work on the other side are making progress in finding al qaeda.
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guest: i do not question it. i think you are correct, sir, that we got diverted from the mission with iraq. having said that, since that time our presence in troops has increased in afghanistan. we will increase it again. the stability everyone has sought, the routine out of al qaeda that everyone wants has not occurred. i do not see additional troops in the region bring that to an end. i really hope this does not add to the insurgency in afghanistan with their presence there. pakistan is critical. their role in the areas around the border, the stability their of their government, and the stability of their military is vital. that is a whole other question
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that our troops in afghanistan will not resolve. pakistan continues to be a key player. i do not want to use the word ally -- but a key player mingo wish to concentrate efforts and resources to stabilize the pakistani government and let them be part of the fight. at this point i really think our presence there will raise the insurgency as opposing to quell and rudolf al qaeda. host: thank you, representative. we will hear from the president regarding the difficulties in this mission. after that we will talk with representative mike, republican from colorado, and a member of the house armed services committee. >> none of this will be easy.
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the struggle against a violent extremism will not be finished quickly and it extends well beyond afghanistan and pakistan. it will be an enduring test of our free society and our leadership in the world. unlike the great power complex and clear lines and a vision that define the 20th-century, our effort will involve disorderly regions, failed states. as a result, america will have to show strength in the way weak and worse and prevent conflict, not just how we wage wars. we will have to be nimble and precise in our use of military power. where al qaeda and its allies attempt to establish a foothold, whether in somalia, yemen or elsewhere, they must be confronted by pressure and strong partnerships. we cannot count only on military
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might. we have to invest in home and security. we have to improve and better coordinate intelligence so that we stay one step ahead of the shuttle now works. we'll have to take away the tools of mass destruction. stay one step ahead to the shadowy networks. we will pursue the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. host: mike hoffman represents the sixth district in colorado. welcome. your thoughts? guest: it is disturbing to me as i worry that having a fixed time schedule but is now flexible to conditions on the ground is a dangerous signal a. i'm concerned it was more of an as a strategy than a
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winning strategy. host: you just got back from afghanistan. guest: i did get to talk to general stanley mcchrystal as well as some folks working on the ground. host: did you get the feeling from the president's speech last night that what the general was asking for, he he got a little, most, that he can use this? guest: probably less than half. i asked general stanley mcchrystal, i understand there were three options to give the administration. but you also gave a higher range number as a city with a higher probability of success -- can you tell me? he said it is classified. what is the higher number?
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i have a concern overall that we're not really utilizing the afghan people in how they know how to fight by tribal militias. they defeated the taliban before in 2001 without boots on the ground. i think there are other things we can get to exploit. the strategy going forward, i more about the fixed timetable. host: this headline says with extra troops obama is sending demands for afghans to step up the five. based on what you saw are the afghans getting that message that they have to step up? guest: militarily they have stepped up. militarily having served with the u.s. marine corps in iraq, and i talk to individuals there who served in both theaters and
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for me that these people, they are pretty aggressive on the battlefield and like the iraqi army. we are observing them into the military as fast as we can to train them. it is not the problem. the problem is afghan governments, civil administration making a meaningful difference to the population. host: the first call comes from chuck in holy lake ranch, texas. caller: good morning. i lost my nephew on 21 august 2005 in afghanistan. you know what? the political correctness must cease. we have three navy seals that are being court-martialed because a terrorist in iraq was
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captured and got a bloody lip. these rules of engagement have got to see some. we are in all were of survival of our way of life. this is going to be ongoing. i am tired of seeing our troops being maligned with all these rules of engagement when they should go in there to kick some butt. guest: thank you, i am certainly sympathetic. first of all, thank you for your family's service and i am sorry for your loss. the president has identified afghanistan as a central front of the war and a necessity to prosecute -- general stanley mcchrystal has adjusted the rules of engagement which will be tougher on our troops.
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his concern is the number of afghan civilian casualties is alienating the population and he has to balance those two. host: the next call comes from indiana, billy, who opposes the president. caller: hello. yes, i am a vietnam veteran back from 1969. it seems like after the vietnam war they forgot about all the veterans who came back with mental and physical conditions. i am wondering what will keep them from doing the same thing after afghanistan? when they get the war over with their will forget about the veteran. guest: thank you for your service and particularly for the war in vietnam. it is easy for americans to remember folks when they are going to war, and they tend to be forgotten when combat. it is a challenge.
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as a member of congress i will take that challenge up and make sure that we adequately care for those who served our country. host: next up is a doctor from miami. go ahead. caller: what i like a congressman to amend, the fact that he has the facts, and why the insensitive support of the president knowing the facts, and they have been known since the bush administration, and the plan that this president has, the timeframe, you would think that if you are a fiscally conservative republican, considered moderate, then you more so give is president the benefit of the doubt because of the time frame.
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and encourage those who are fiscal conservatives compared to the social conservatives who seem to have the problem. i think in the long run the president is going to win out because he has taken a lot of adverse abuse which was not necessary because 43 countries along with knowing the problems in afghanistan, they have several me -- and we in our right mind as strong as we are cannot accommodate the needs or the hypocrisy, knowing that you will be shamed and then to come back to your people because there's a 2010 election and have to say to your people, the president was right. are not support him now? guest: i hope that the president is right on that. the problem is this. it is not having a time
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schedule. i think we should always have goals and a time schedule. it is having a fixed time schedule in respect of the conditions on the ground. i think it tells the taliban that they can wait out the situation. from a tactical military standpoint it is wrong for the commander-in-chief to do that in any circumstances. host: here is this of line. -- this headline. those that send a signal based on your experience to the troops in afghanistan that this president has taken ownership of this war and that he is in charge in making decisions? and this is how he wants to proceed? guest: not only a message to the
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troops in the field, but also a message to the american people that in fact this is the way the president wants to go ford. it is certainly his war. he has inherited a pretty bad situation from the prior administration. the energy was diverted to iraq in every way. the president was correct on all his comments about what he inherited.. he is in a tough situation. yes, we have been there for eight years, but it has only been holding action. host: next up, reno, nevada, from jeryl opposes the president's action. caller: we need to get out of there. i'm glad that the president has
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a ton on. as long as we are occupiers, will be seen as such, will have to kill every afghan person before we win. no one likes occupiers. as for a centralized government, i'm surprised to see the conservative try to create a centralized government and of guinness and when all they do is complain about ours. guest: two things. general stanley mcchrystal has said we cannot kill ourselves out of this. at the end of the data has to be governance, capability on behalf of the afghans to deliver things like the rule of law to the people. then, secondly, i do think we took a wrong turn in superimposing a political process. giving them a form of government they're not familiar with.
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anything we can do to have a more decentralized structure that fits the afghan people i think would be a step forward. host: what kind of steps is the u.s. taking to work our system of permanent and to there's, into a tribal government? guest: i am not familiar with all the steps we are now taking. it was a terrible turned this country tick. initially what i think that president bush did was absolutely billion. he gave air and logistical support without putting food on the ground and support of the northern alliance who defeated the taliban on the ground. once they did that, we pushed them aside, superimposed a political process that does not have roots in their culture. what we should have done in hindsight is to say to those of the northern alliance your now
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in charge, please return to the other ethnic groups. and by the way, you ought to move in the direction of human rights and elections. but we will support you as long as you share our strategic interest in the region. we have to make the best with what we have now, host: though based on the situation there now and what the president said last night, how would you define u.s. success there? guest: certainly as giving this particular mission, giving the afghan government the time and space necessary to develop their capacity. at the end of the day we will not win it. they have to win this war. it is the ability to train their army and assume the battle space from us. host: the next call comes from virginia from stephen who supports the president's proposal. caller: yes, i want to make one
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comment and question. i'm 32 years old and about to enlist. i am in the process. despite being a father of five- year-old child. there was a gentleman earlier who said we have nothing at stake in the afghan war. i want to remind him of 9/11 once again that our homeland security is the most important thing at stake. my question, how for the as the representative see this time back towards george bush, a senior and our involvement there for so long? host: before you go, why did it take you so long to make the decision to enlist? caller: growing up i was a person very against war. as a matter of fact i do have my own doubts and insecurities about the process.
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i have picked up learning arabic and in trying to win. i believe that i will take peace to every one. i have a pair of flags here that overlook the rotc here. it has taken me awhile, but think this was more of an important issue. my heart dropped when i saw the second tower go through. guest: thank you so much for your service. for your willingness to serve our country. there is no question we got attacked from al qaeda and the taliban give them safe harbor. i certainly agree with the president in attaching national security concerns with afghanistan. it was too bad we diverted so much energy to iraq which in my view was not a war of necessity.
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but i felt that once and we had to reasonably finish the job. the same way in afghanistan. now that we are in we have to finish. it is too bad that having disbursed the taliban in 2001, defeated them on the battlefield, that we did not exploit the window of opportunity. we allowed the taliban by diverting energies to iraq to regroup and take initiative. although we have been there eight years, we have not been fighting for eight years. my difference with the president is merely on having a fixed time schedule. host: doug calls for oregon and opposes the president's proposal. caller: good morning. i did vote for, and i supported his view as far as getting us out of the war, but my main
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concern with what is going on is republicans just seem to have it both ways. they marched us into this thing, could not wait for us to have this done. got the country all behind them, and now that obama is trying to fix the mess that has been created, he just seems to get opposed from all directions. it seems to me that the republicans love to have it both ways. i just do not understand why they even have a say in the matter here? hostguest: i think there is a diversity of opinion in republic. and some in congress think we ought to pull out right away. there will be a tendency for most to support the president. as opposed to probably the
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democrats. there will be a tendency for most of them to oppose him on this issue. my observation is merely that if you are going to go in -- we have been going down the middle for eight years now -- having reverses on the battlefield if anything, but i do believe that a fixed time schedule it in perspective of conditions on the ground is irresponsible. i differ on that and also, even with general stanley mcchrystal, i think he ought to take a look more at utilizing the afghans in a manner that they know how to fight in. they have been fighting for 2500 years by tribal militia. we're trying to organize them into the conventional military. we need to rethink that. host: there is an article this
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morning which says that many republicans will support and a trip increased water quick to charge that the timetable for withdrawal would an emboldened adversaries. does the timetable we can support among republicans for the president's proposal that he otherwise might get? guest: i think so. senator john mccain is exactly right. the taliban will look at this and say, they usually have seasonal offensive operations they long, and it will save this season we need all that. we need to wait this out. it does it send the wrong signal and embolden our enemies. host: the next call comes from new york. caller: i support the president's proposal to add more
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troops. one thing missing from the strategy is the proliferation of these fundamentalist who put out these ideologues who are good for nothing but recruitment into the taliban and terrorist organizations. in pakistan aid has come from saudi arabia in oil loans. the graduates have no job skills and are easy recruits for the taliban. what done to stop the proliferation of these small terrorist factories? guest: that is a good question. i know that there's a real concern that stems from the conservative view a ofsunni islam out of saudi arabia and establishing a madras' as part of the foreign aid package that has increased hatred.
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that some terrorism stems from the schools that are prevalent in pakistan. there is a real concern about. from a diplomatic perspective i know that the state department is looking at that issue. i do not know that it is connected with a particular policy today. host: here is an analysis from "the washington post" -- do you think the president's speech yesterday betrayed troops already out in the field? guest: at the end of the data general who is good and a loyal soldier works for the president as he should. it is hard to get answers from general stanley mcchrystal. what does this mean? i believe it is less than half the number he requested that was
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associated with a high probability of success. when i asked general stanley mcchrystal about the draw dadow inform me some time before 2014. does they give him the time and space requested in terms of being able to develop the afghan military and? and host: the last call comes from marietta, ga. caller: yes, how are you, mr. coffman? how many actual terrorists are from the taliban and al qaeda, who we are partially dealing with? i hear it might be somewhere might100-500.
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we have already been defeated because if we have to take 100,000 soldiers to fight 100? then we need not be afraid because we're being told that the economy is outside of the country, but really we need to check inside the country because a lot of the things that have happened are within. host: we will leave it there. guest: good point. al qaeda is thought to no longer be in afghanistan, but in the remote trouble areas of pakistan. the taliban is thought to number somewhere between 20,040 thousand, many not full-time, but simply doing it because of the lack of other opportunities for income. the leadership are dedicated ideologues. -- the taliban is thought to be somewhere between 20,000 and
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40,000. the fear is that if the taliban take control of pakistan then the al qaeda will move back down into afghanistan and the institutions of that nation- state will once again be used to allow terrorism to be exported in the country. host: the representative is a member of the house armed services committee. thank you. the program will continue in a few minutes. first this update. >> congress begins hearings on the president's plan for afghanistan in 20 minutes. senate armed services committee members plan to ask robert gates, like mowing, and hillary clinton about the plan's specifics. hear the live coverage on c-span radio at 9:00 a.m. eastern. more violence in pakistan where
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a suicide bomber set off explosives hidden under his jacket and outside the entrance of the navy headquarters killing one security guard and wounding another and others. meanwhile, i iran president ahmadinejad says the country will enrich its uranium to a higher level cannot rebuking the united nations demand for a halt. he said iran will produce 20% enriched uranium and anything else that needs for its nuclear program. the west is concerned that the program will produce the material for nuclear bomb. back in the states the word yesterday on the mail or election in atlanta where a former state senator is claiming victory although the contest is to close to call it could be headed for a recount. "washington journal" continues.
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host: 4 about the next 15 or 20 minutes we will open phones to take your calls regarding items in the news, the president's speech or some other things you may have read or heard this morning. if you want to get involved, here are the numbers. in "the new york times quoted this morning, senators pitch to women and two elderly on health care bill. it says the first commitment offered by the senator from maryland would require insurers to carry more screens in preventative care for women with no co-payments. "we often forgo those preventative screens because they simply cannot afford it or
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the insurance companies will not pay for unless it is mandated by state law." the first republican proposal offered by senator john mccain would strip the bill of more than $450 billion of proposed savings in medicare. the savings would curb the growth of medicare payments to hospitals, nursing homes, and other providers of care. you can tune into more of the debate regarding the health care bill on c-span2. caller: are you talking about ennis? no, i'm not an. gross i have a comment about the 9/11 and war policy. jesse ventura, a navy seal, came
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on the air on larry king and says our government lied to us. he has a goodpiont and i have read three books. on the it the best to read is "the new pro harbor," which you can get a barnes and noble. host: let me ask you, what would be the government benefit about lying to us about 9/11? caller: number one, you cannot bring the building down in 10 seconds, other than blowed up with demolition and side of the building -- you would not have just dust at the bottom of the heap, but chunks of concrete about the size of the building. was it 6000 people who are dying now from the dust around the building who worked as zero site? host: why with the government do
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this? would be their benefit? caller: if you will read their books and look at911 in plain sight, it will show you what happened in. why host: tom. caller: there was a big policy speech last night. there were four democratic guest and only one republican. what is up with that? i disagree with barack obama because if you want to make a commitment to the troops make the commitment, don't shut it down in 18 months. afghanistan helped to launch this attack against the u.s. ventura is a confirm nut.
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i have only four democratic guests and only one republican? host: we had two democratic guess and only one republican. caller: no. host: you mean overall? i thought you meant just talking about the war in the president's speech? caller: no, wondering why there's such a big disparity in guess on your show anymore? it seems like it is odd numbered guests democrats to republicans every. some days there is no republican on, only democrats. host: things for your call, our producers to the best they can to balance the show. ii'm sure that someday we will have a balanced act of
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karma and we'll have just as many republicans as the. mcgraw . line of maryland at soldier laid to. rest the family mourns the death and takes comfort in the ritual at arlington. his family took comfort in the time-honored ritual surrounding his burial at arlington national. the next call comes from taxes on the line for independents. caller: good morning. i want to make a comment about afghanistan. when mr. obama was a senator he was in charge of the subcommittee that have the responsibility for nato in
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afghanistan. he did not hold one single hearing. he took no action. he did not visit afghanistan. within 60 days of his election he arbitrarily sent another 22,000 troops without any deliberation whatsoever thinking that he will correct the problem. the fact is the bush administration left him only 100 al qaeda operatives in the country. the rest of this war against the taliban is smoke and mirrors. we do not need to worry about the taliban being in control of afghanistan. if the afghan people want to have the taliban rule them, they can. when he gave his speech last night he said this the liberation of four months to make the decision to send 30,000
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was the right thing to do because people's lives are involved. why didn't he take the same time to deliberate before he spent the 22,000 in march? host: the president was criticized for taking this long to make this particular decision. you think that he should have waited longer? caller: i don't think he should of sent anymore. it is not a winnable situation. there are only 100 al qaeda operatives there. i don't care how many troops to send, you will not find only 100 who are being hidden by the population. host: the next call comes from washington, d.c. caller: i oppose the president's strategy. when you look at things for the past 30 years afghanistan and iraq, they have been in this sorry condition. the people there are evil.
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five years from now afghanistan and iraq will still be in the same state. we need to pull out of there. we just need to take care of business at home. host: thanks. in this morning's "the washington post quoted the house panel is likely to pass the rest of the overhaul. caucus members who blocked the legislation are now likely to back it. they are expected to win approval on wednesday with the support of black caucus members who previously blocked it. valley stream, n.y., out on long
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island, good morning. caller: an earlier caller made a comment about an excellent film. i have not had the chance to watch all of it, but it seems like it shows something we have not seen in the media here. i feel like people should check that out. host: what is it? caller: from a few minutes i had time to watch, the movie -- i do not know the numbers, but while we were transporting troops in afghanistan that we left over to the local afghanis, these people just died in containers. people whom i assume have not been tried because there were no trials at that time. host: in "usa today" west point
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offers gravitas and a rapt audience. the next call comes fromsan jose on the line for independentss. caller: good morning. first off i just want to say that you are my favorite on "washington journal" -- host: oh, stop it. caller: i'm listening to everybody. i didn't see this be. i was very fond of how he presented himself. it kind of scared me at once p itoint.
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i'm hoping he has another strategy he did not tell us because he might be giving us too much information. the look on the troops faces had me thinking that a good leader -- republicans and democrats are so separated. they won the war. the radical people there, the terrorists, people against us have one because our country is divided. people cannot seem to get past the fact that whenever liberal -- i don't know what it means. a good leader is a good leader and mankind cannot govern themselves as a species. the only thing we really can do is to understand, communicate the hard stuff. war is a terrible thing.
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the troops, our veterans ,ww ii survivors, and i read a book and no people who also wrote about the war, it seems to be a lack of the women and children first the. ray violence does not solve anything. it will spread. -- it seems to be a lack of the women entered the first theory. now obama is stuck in the situation. host: sorry to cut you off. we will move on to john for the on the line for democrats. caller: i want to make a correction. the last caller mentioned that obama was on some committee and he could not call for any hearings. my understanding is that he was not in a legislative position to
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call any hearings. he was strictly on the committee that did not have any oversight. so i don't think that gentleman has his facts right. i don't think obama evaded the issue while he was on the committee. my comment, your last guest had it on the head for me. the idea that we will develop a central government in afghanistan i think is ludicrous. i think we have to go more towards the provincial level and go for the war lords and people and get their confidence and trust in our america. and way it will go longer than putting a puppet government in kabul as we did in vietnam. that lesson was learned. to put in a puppet administration and pop them up by military troops. host: how would you measure success in afghanistan?
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caller: success in afghanistan is the sooner we get out and and our commitment, the better off we are. that is success for me. host: point pleasant and a west virginia, john, on the line for republicans. caller: yes, sir, the ones i have heard, the other guests -- and they have kind of opposed sending more troops, i don't think they really understand that what we have now, any time these guys are engaging the and, the main they are engaging outdone, out-manned. that is why general stanley mcchrystal said he needed between 30 and 60,000 extra troops. we are doing the work of20-25
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man teams with only a fraction of the. as numbers -- that is why general stanley mcchrystal said he needed between 30,000 and 60,000 extra troops. we need to shore this up with the troops that general stanley mcchrystal asked for. president of, annahobama put gel mcchrystal into this situation. host: how concerned are you that ultimately we have to send more troops into afghanistan above the number the president talked about last night? caller: i agree 100% that there will definitely have to send more. our soldiers are pulling out of
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iraq. the ones who have only been on short tours can shore up the men in afghanistan. host: we will leave it there. the blue dog off the mail will retire from the house, a tennessee democrat and co- founder of the conservative blue dog coalition said on tuesday he will retire next year after 11 terms in congress. his 65 and said he and his wife had considered retirement in 2007. also in the news this morning is from "the washington post" -- aig to complete a deal to reduce debt to the fed by $25 million. . .
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caller: what was the motive? what was the cause? when you look at a crime, you look for a motive. i have been on this since day one -- truthers people looking for the truth of 9/11 -- almost all of them, including myself, did not start out believing that 9/11 was an inside job, but certain inconsistencies were coming along, and when you look into it, you discover more and more questions and answers.
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you get into the original pact that the basic premise of the crime is a lot. who benefited? you ask why? indeed, who did it benefit? it certainly was not the afghans, it certainly was not the iraqis -- host: i am running out of time to tell me, who benefits? caller: politicians who can promote war cou. when you have for, people get behind you. host: those guys get together and created this conspiracy to murder more than 2000 people? caller: it goes deeper than that. when you look at the premise of what happened that day, what the government told us turned out to be a lie. host: i am going to leave it there could running out of time. a last call is from jim for the
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republicans out of washington state. caller: good morning. just one little statement -- i think we need to send over 100,000 troops could get it over with. don't be goofing around. just take care of it. host: you think 100,000 troops would take care of it? caller: well, that is way better than 30,000. host: how long would you leave those 100,000 over there? do you have the time frame? caller: well, at no time frame, just get them over there and take care of it. if they go to pakistan, follow them to pakistan. host: but stay over there for as long as it takes? caller: as long as it takes. host: all right, thanks very much for your call. when we come back, we will talk to gov. brian schweitzer, a democrat from montana, in town for a committee of the democratic governors association.
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he will talk about democratic priorities for 2010. >> the senate has started a debate on the health care bill. majority leader harry reid has warned senators to expect weekend and evening sessions. you can get live on our companion network, c-span2, the only network with the full debate on edited and commercial free. to get the senate and house version and the video on demand, good to c-span's healthcare hub . >> this weekend, we will tour arlington national cemetery and get the history of the cemetery. we will get comparisons and
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similarities between seemingly unrelated situations, with the authors of "superfreakonomics." joy hakim, with multi-volume works on history of science. >> "washington journal" continues. host: the democratic governors association is meeting in washington today, and their chair, government -- gov. brian schweitzer, is sitting on the table. what is on the agenda? guest: we will talk about the elections, lessons learned in the last few cycles. governors are responsible for something. in washington, d.c., there is a lot of talk but very little action. but in state houses, we educate, medicate, incarcerate -- that is 87% of our budgets. we have to balance budgets every single year. we keep that people in prison, could teachers in front of
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students, -- bad people in prison, good teachers-of students, and it sure that the last and least half health care. host: with two defeats for democrats running for governor in virginia and new jersey, what lessons have you learned from those defeats that you will carry forward into to as a tad? -- in 2010? guest: you don't win them all. just because you have sex does that mean you will not have a good year next year. -- just because you have setbacks does not mean you will not have a good year next year. host: but the democrat in new jersey was favored their purred what went wrong? -- the democratic incumbent in new jersey was favored there. what went wrong? guest: he had a 12- 415-point deficit at the close to about even and it was the question of getting turnout. it is tough to get committed
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voters to get to the polls. host: how many elections are coming up in 2010? guest: many will choose the governor next year. governors in state houses, we keep the trains on time we have got to do, we balance the budget. -- we have jobs to do, we balance the budget. host: how many governors' races do you have to win in 2010 to consider the cycle of success? guest: we have big states and little states. take my little state of montana. even though new york and ohio and pennsylvania and two or three more of those little states, there are 940,000 people. compare that to california, or minnesota, we are taking back vermont, a very good chance we will win in florida.
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we have a competitive candidate in texas. big states have a disproportionate effect on who wins these governors races. host: in your discussions with democratic donors, how much is the war on afghanistan and the president's speech last night going to play? guest: once again, governors, and our national guard -- they are praying -- playing a disproportionate role in iraq and afghanistan. governors of responsibility -- have responsibility of balancing the domestic security situation with the national guard with the international security situation. we are responsible for all of the families who send their war is into war. before we send them into conflict, they will be the best trained, best armed warriors in the world. host: our guest is governor
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schweitzer from montana. if you want to get involved in the conversation, the numbers are on the screen. our first call is from atlanta, georgia, david on-line for independencts. caller: my question for the governor is -- i am concerned or interested in how the democrats are feeling upcoming elections -- viewing upcoming elections, and the priorities for the following years. it seems that president obama has been such a change as far as democrats coca. -- democrats go. and giving a new face to it. host: there is a gubernatorial election next year in georgia. where are you leaning right now? guest: i recently moved -- caller: i recently moved to the state so i have not had time to catch up on what is going on but i really cannot answer that at the moment. guest: i will help you out
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there. there is a former governor of georgia, an extraordinary governor last time, and we think he has a good chance to win this time. we also have an attorney general that is looking at the race. we have other candidates. georgia is in play. thanks for calling in. when we talk about governors, we are talking about chief executives. people are looking for somebody who they trust with the ball come some day they trust with the bank accounts -- trust with the ball, somebody to trust with bank accounts. sometimes they choose republicans, sometimes they choose democrats. but it is not about partisanship when you are in the governor's seat. it is the responsibility for the budget. 87% of the budget is to educate, medicate, incarcerate, and that is not partisanship. host: randy on the plan from republicans from citrus
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heights, california. tell us about the governor's race there. caller: it is not keeping up yet. i'm leaning towards met with them -- meg whitman, the former ebay ceo. curley feria is also an interesting candidate. -- carly fiorina is also a niche as the candidate. it was a article recently -- listen to this -- over 10,000 former government employees drawing pensions at $100,000 or more. that is just absurd. at this time, when we had this huge unfunded mandates, our budget is not balanced by any measure of the imagination. they want to constantly raise our taxes because they have to pay off the union members.
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the people in washington are not any better. we have all this debt occurred and they are talking about extending benefits more with this new health care thing. it is just a disconnect, you know good people at this time are cutting back on their expenses, cutting back on spending, and the people in government are just insane. host: we will leave it there. guest: let me just say this -- california is an ungovernable place. in d.c. they are talking about a surge, and in california they are always talking about a splurge. the way we have money in the bank is that we did not have a recession -- during the good years, we had a governor who said it now. there is an infinite amount of
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good ideas at all cost money. there is a finite amount of money. i found ways of saying no nicely. you do not have that in california. whether it is a republican governor now or democrats in the past, you have a ballot system where people go and vote themselves money and a referendum and they raise taxes to pay for it but that does not work. don't walk, run. the california and come on up to montana. you will be welcome. -- leave california and come on up to montana. he will be welcome. every single day i wake up in the morning, i think, where can i find more savings? what else can i cut it? what programs can i deliver for less money? every single week, i have more announcements.
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remember, there are only two states in the black and we are one of them. i am still saving money. the reason we have the money in the bank is that we know that when the hard times came, it would be reduced revenues. we wanted to make sure there is enough money in the bank to carry through without raising taxes or cutting programs. host: mississippi, betty on our line for democrats. hey, betty, turn down your radio. caller: okay, i cut it off. why are we at getting a raise in the next two years? i am on a low income and i have to get help of a month. guest: the compensation that governments make it to individuals for the pension or retirement or if you are on medicaid or whatever it happens
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to be is based on inflation. we have not an inflationary economy right now. i will not say deflation, because that is dangerous word. but the price of electricity does that seem to be going up, even the price of cars -- does not seem to be going up, even the price of cars is not. we don't believe we ought to be increasing. oftentimes it is targeted and based on the overall inflation rate. host: our next call is from joe on long island, new york, on the line from independents. you have a governor's race in 2010. caller: thank you for c-span. yes, we do have a governor's race. gov. paterson is having a real problem. my question to the governor is -- i am independent, and when the first comments you made -- one of the first comments you
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made this how many democrats they were and how many republicans their workers when are you going to get politicians who just care about the people to stop going into the democratic caucus or the republican governors association? why can you guys sit down at -- what can you guys not sit down and get something done for the american people? that is a big disappointment from president obama. he promised that things would be different, and the partisanship has just increased. i would be interested in hearing your comment on that. guest: i had never been in politics before. this is the first office i have been elected to print in montana, -- elected to. in montana, at the governor and lieutenant governor run as a team, like the president and vice-president. the day i announced i was choosing a republican state
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senator to be my lieutenant governor for me, a democrat, we broke the first ticket in america to do that, the only ticket in america that did it, and we have done successfully in montana, and maybe it is a template for what they ought to be using in washington, d.c. host: you mentioned having a bipartisan ticket. you are the first democratic governor to serve in montana for 20 years. you think having a republican on your ticket as lieutenant governor help you out? guest: voters probably recognize that this is going to be a different kind of governor, this is going to be pragmatic governor. we have increased energy production at the fastest rate in the history of montana critical, oil, wind, natural-gas -- coal, oil, wind, natural gas. we have cut energy consumption. we have decreased energy consumption. we have invested in education. we have decrease the number of people we have in our correction system cou.
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according to a recent report, because of changes we are making in treating these offenders, montana is decreasing the prison population at the fastest rate in the country. instead of just locking people up, we are treating mental illnesses. instead of just incarcerating people, we are treating drug and alcohol addiction. it costs us less money, and they are more likely to be reformed living close to their own home. host: kansas, a bill on the line for republicans. caller: good morning, governor schweitzer, how are you? guest: i'm doing fine. caller: i heard one of the things you said a little while ago about what the roles of the government is to keep the legislature and a check. -- one of the roles of government is to keep the legislature in check. to me, it begs the question of who keeps the governor in check?
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i assume it is people i don't know. i sort of a light-hearted way, and kansas, we have a significant budget deficit in the order of hundreds of millions now. we also have a government in conservative kansas that is probably the top two or three in the number of state employees per capita. in other words, we have this huge government structure that is, of course, custom lots of money. -- costing lots of money. we need school funding to the governor says that we need to cut school funding and you imagine what happens next and you get this huge cry and we need money for this and that. what advice for the governor and legislature of kansas as somebody who is outside the situation? guest: you have a republican legislature in kansas for a
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generation. they are responsible for the budget. the governor does not pass the budget the legislature does. the governor can veto the budget, but that is all they've got. i believe you have numbers that the legislature could override almost any veto the governor could make. you have a republican legislature for a generation, and the budget deficit, a disproportionately large number of state employees -- i guess that is what your concern was. it tells everybody in america that the parties reach a particular word, what is this time for delivering, that is what the delicate -- but when it is time for delivering, that is what they deliver. we have republicans who are big spenders, democrats who are big spenders. we have republicans who was not been accountable, democrats who have not been accountable. people who elect their leaders simply because of what party they are making a big mistake. you ought to take a look at votes and sometimes the democrats have got it right,
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sometimes republicans have got it right. we need to find a way of working together when we have good ideas. host: will the democratic governors association meet with the president? how many of them are looking for support from the white house to get elected or reelected? guest: for the most part, gov. services are not like congressional races. they run other -- governor's races are not like congressional races. they run on their own dynamic. for the most part, bringing some from the outside it does not work. i do not think it works in kansas or california or minnesota. it might help you with some local fundraising, but for the most part, i am of the opinion that bringing people in from the outside does not help you win elections. >> even where the president won in the last election? it does not sway people at all to see their candidate with the president on air force one? guest: i believe it was joe earlier on the independent line
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who had absolutely right. the numbers of republicans in america have collapsed at a historic numbers. it may be the lowest registration or self-identified in at least 50 years. and democrats are down. the surge, if you want it, is an independents, and they will decide elections and they are not looking for partisan people. they are looking for solutions. host: gov. brian schweitzer, democrat of montana, rocking the surge. next caller. caller: how you doing, governor? i really like what i'm hearing from you. my question to you is what, as a governor, with your platform that i hear, can you do to keep the surge coming back to the democratic party? i myself have been a democrat all my life, but the bipartisan shipping -- bipartisanship thing
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has turned my stomach. i am thinking of being an independent, because i think the vast majority of people outside of the democratic party help to get barack obama to the president's -- to be president. what can you and what will you all do to keep the surge coming and overcome what has been the last eight years of the record of the previous administration and bring forth positive things that can happen under our administration now? guest: let me jump in there. there is kind of a splurge of the search this morning -- of the surge this morning. don't give up on the democrats. there appear to be big fights in washington, d.c., but you elected barack obama to deliver on key issues.
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when you collected barack obama, he said to you that we are going to reform health care in this country. you don't want him to roll over. you want him to stand and fight and be counted, and that is what he is doing right now. when you elect barack obama, you chose somebody would take america in any direction and increase the rest of the world and find friends -- in a new direction and increase relations with the rest of the world and find friends were recanted -- where we can. i think republicans want the president to be successful, because he is successful, that all america is. host: next up, david on the line for independence. caller: this is a fairly new city. we have almost a quarter million people here. to your thing on inflation, i feel like inflation is alive and well, even though the government does not count some of the costs.
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pierre prices were raised last summer because of the expenses with transportation and transportation companies have not the word the prices, so few prices of gunned down. -- have not lowered the prices, if you prices going down -- fuel prices going down. we are paying more for smaller food packages. host: before you go, tell us a little bit about the governor's race in florida. caller: i have not been paying that much attention right now. guest: dave, i got a little suggestion -- there is a gal who is your state treasurer right now and she will be very good governor and i am supporting her. i'm a rancher, a farmer, and the
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beach prices are down last year -- beet prices are down from last year. the stuff that makes your beer -- it has dropped from $20 to about $8. core inflation in food is gone. farmers are not getting any more money. if some of the marketers and processors are buying their raw product for less money and charging more money toward the end product, -- for the city to product, we need to get after them. that seems to be on -- for the end product. we need to get after them. that seems to be unfair. host: is it part of the plan for democratic governors of the democratic candidate to talk about reaching beyond u.s. borders to try to establish relationships with other countries that can help boost the economies of the various states they are running? guest: we need to build
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relationships right out of graduate school, i went to saudi arabia, involved in building the world's largest dairy farm. i stayed there and develop projects, irrigation projects, from the iraqi border to the yemen border and i learned to speak a little arabic along the way. but you don't make friends by blowing them up. i think we need a strong military. i think america should never be in a position where we don't have the strongest military in the world. we should be the super power. when politicians said that military to war, they need to first define what it is that we hope to accomplish. we tell the generals, "this but we want you to do, and we want you to design the war to win." if we sent people to military places and we don't know what a win looks like -- eight years
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ago we went to get osama bin laden. now, god knows if osama bin laden is even a life. talking about putting more people in separate there is n -- talking about putting people in afghanistan. we ought to have hillary clinton go to the capital of india and say to them, "look, you have been at war with pakistan for decades, you have nukes point at each other, you have over 100 dozen trips to the kashmir border -- 100,000 troops at the cashmore border could you pull your troops back, pakistan can move their troops over there and fight the taliban." host: tucson, arizona, dick on the line for republicans. caller: i admire you immensely because you are the first politician i've heard in a long time that made any sense. guest: that is because i broke a
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few coldspring when you are pricking a colt -- i broke a few colts. when you cannot get that call to pay attention, you tie its legs up and now it is standing on three legs and a little button push him around. -- a little guy can push him around. caller: before you had elected office, i do -- before you became governor, had you ever held elected office before? guest: no. caller: you talk about your work on a dairy farms. there is currently any product -- a new product -- not new -- called bovine colostrum. i came back from a 23rd trip to
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africa, and it fixes a. it restores the immune system. -- fixes aids, it restores the immune system. it will help people get well and it will reduce the medicinal cost. host: who are you supporting in the arizona gubernatorial race? caller: we have not got it put together yet. i am returning from republicanism to independent. whether we have an independent candidate, i don't know. guest: 1 at cal first calves, the first milk -- when a cow first task, the first milk that comes out of -- if it does not occur immediately, the will die of deficiency. you have to milk the colostrum
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out, and pour the colostrum in. if you do not come out that half will die three or four days later -- if you do not, that calf will buy three or four days later of deficiency. if we have a week have, all we have to do is -- weak calf, all we have to do is get the colostrum out. it is a powerful immune deficiency combater so it is not surprising that works on aids. host: politics and an animal husbandry, only on washington journal. hogwish. guest: come on, there is no place called hogwish. caller: i am from illinois to i want you to give suggestions to the incoming governor of
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illinois to it and i belong to regional post, schweitzer post, will the war hero. i want to know if you are any relations. i will get off the line. god bless c-span and all the workers at c-span and everybody in america have a happy holiday season. guest: my grandparents actually came from ukraine in 19009 -- 1909. i am actually a german russian, living in ukraine for years, and around 1900 to 1915, they moved in large numbers to kansas, nebraska, montana. when you go to a phone book in north dakota, you see a german name, they are probably not determine at all, they're probably ukrainian. -- they are probably not german
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at all, they are probably ukrainian. everywhere you go around the world, there is schweitzer bank, each with your hotel. i see it and i think maybe i am somebody. host: gov. brian schweitzer, thank you for being on the program. we will talk to kevin stirling, director and producer of "mooned beach," a documentary that looks at the apollo 11 -- "moon beat," a documentary that looks at the apollo 11 landing. >> when i heard the alarms, when they were descending, i felt
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sure that the mission was going wrong. i could not believe that they would be able to make the landing on the first landing mission. the lunar module, this weird spider thing, was such an unpromising a vehicle. i was sure it would tip over when they landed. i was expecting that mission to be aborted, and if it was not aborted, i felt the odds are that it would not get back. >> we are now in the approach phase. everything looking good. all two, 4200. you are a go for landing. -- all to 2, 4200. you are a go for landing. all two, 1600. 1400 feet, still looking good.
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1201 alarm. >> the touch and go of that, when you think of it, as they were coming down and there were ready to abort, to get a wonderful guy in the control center who kept on coming back to jean and saying, "is ok." alarms were coming on and everything else but he kept on coming back and saying, but " we are ok, we are ok." host: joining us is kevin stirling, the director and producer of "moon beat," the documentary about the history of the space program. where did you come up with the title? guest: it is a documentary, about the flight of apollo xi.
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there are scenes with news reporters who covered the space program. the name of the film, "moon beat," came from some of the interviews i conducted with news reporters. it is obvious that many of them did not just cover that one mission of apollo 11, but they had covered nasa for many years and they were essentially covering the space beach, or the moon beat, as i began calling it it was obvious that was a good employer a documentary about the subject. host: when president kennedy first made a speech in 1961 calling for a space program to make its way to the moon by the end of the decade, among the people at nasa at the time, did they think that was realistic? guest: it became painfully obvious to me in my discussions with several nasa engineers and
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individuals, no. the short answer is no. they felt it was an ambitious goal, a challenging role, and certainly not something that they felt would be an easy task to achieve quickly. but they were committed to it. they were determined to achieve it and they felt they were capable of it. but it was at the same time quite a reach. host: was the covering by the press, the media, of the space program -- how did it change from mercury into apollo? guest: some other things i discovered in into giving the reporters -- they had a very meager working conditions going to the apollo program. as you might expect, being a news reporter. they did not have we have today, blackberrys and laptops and so one. the work as hard as they could. nasa provided simple working platforms for them.
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you see that in the film. there is footage of some of the early press sites. but it is not, by today's standards, anything you would consider to be glamorous. far from it. host: we want to get viewers and listeners in a vault and the composition of the -- involved in the conversation about the space program with kevin stirling, director of "moon beat." most journalists in this generation and the one that is in front of us have grown up with the space program being an integral part of our lives. but the guys and women covering the space program in the early 1960's had never seen anything like this. how did they adjust to that? guest: it was very interesting, as i learned -- many individuals seem to always focus on the astronauts.
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they were fairly young, in the 30's at the top of their careers. ironically, so were the journalists. they have been covering nasa from the early days, and to the apollo 11 flight, and later apollos as well could the apollo 11 story was the biggest story of their careers. the in the 30's, considered the prime of -- they were in the 30's, considered the prime of their careers, and where would they go after that? where do you go after covering that landing on the moon? host: our first call for kevin stirling it comes from anchorage, alaska, linda on the line for independents. caller: good morning. thank you for coming on this program. what do you see as the next 10 to 20 years, our future in outer space? guest: thank you for your call. that is the question that everyone seems to be asking.
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where do we go from here? i sort of want to address that. there is one of the reasons i put together the film. i had always thought that the flight of apollo 11 in particular -- this is the 40 anniversary, 2009. i thought, who better to reflect on that that the news journalists in particular who covered everything, everything, and defer remember when it was all over -- saw everything, and at the very moment when it was all over, and they have a perspective that is very valuable and important. i thought with 40 years of hindsight, what an important resource we should be listening to and factor into our views of answering that question. my view, having listened to their perspectives, is that they, i believe, as you hear in the film, were very proud of the achievements of the program.
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they felt that there were certainly missed opportunities in the years since. they thought we would be much further along, but bases in the moon, having been to mars and back at least once. they were sort of proud at the same time disappointed. to answer the viewer's question about going forward the next 10 to 20 years, it would seem more interesting to the public if we may be did more exploring, men exploring -- manned exploring. at the same time, that is a considerable expense of task. we can hope. host: albany, oregon, line for democrats. caller: i have followed the space from the very beginning with the mercury 7. i have been very involved with space program. at this point in time, i want to know why we are shooting at the
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mood when we could be working a lot on the economy in this country -- shooting at the moon when we could be working on on the economy in this country think the money we're spending on outer space right now is pathetic. guest: again, thank you for your call. i will be honest, my perspective is that this year to the oppression -- my perspective is that i certainly appreciate that sentiment. i was always struck by one of the later apollo flights -- maybe 14 or 15 -- one of the astronauts was speaking about maybe the 20th anniversary of their lending -- landing. it is relevant to the caller's question. he said that when he got up to the moon and walked around, and he looked everywhere but did not find any bags of money on the moon.
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all the investments made in the space program were made ultimately here in this country, providing high-paying jobs and new advancements and things that would help prepare our economy -- help directly our economy. but for some reason, that was not directly communicate, or not committed as well as it might have been. i am not sure i would agree with the caller on that particular perspective of money and it being not beneficial to our economy. host: one of the journalists you spoke to the film was with "time magazine but this will look at what he had to set -- was with "time" magazine. we will look at what he had to say. >> it has come back a little bit because the idea of going to the moon. now we are in competition with
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the indians, the chinese. they are just achieving the status that we would have years ago, and we are in the trenches with them doing the same thing. i guess i envision colonies on mars and may be on the moon and bigger discoveries from all of it. host: sounds like he was looking for more scientific research and projects and more commercial projects in now. -- more commercial projects in space by now. guest: at the very pinnacle of success, having achieved great success, overcoming many obstacles, i such a short time, less than nine years, being on the moon, we were cutting back, winding down the program.
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the three additional apollo flights had been scheduled, were canceled, subsequently canceled. funding that was slated was again canceled. who knows? again, some of the other journalists and nasa officials make a point of who knows where we could have been today? perhaps a much different nation, much different world, perhaps. host: do you know what his experience was before coming to cover the space program for " time" medicine? -- magazine? guest: i do not know. i could certainly find hundred he was the senior editor for coverage during those years. caller: i'm curious, what part in the timeline do you think we might have had colonies on demint -- on of the moon?
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guest: that goes way above my pay grade. i would not even be able to answer that. i think it is a worthy goal. the president has appointed a task force to study where we go from here. but who knows whether moon based colonies are even our next step? it may be, or it may not be. it may be that mars is the next step or something else. i have no way of knowing. host: kevin stirling attended the wharton school of business at the university of pennsylvania has an m.b.a. from the st. joseph's school of business. how does a guy with the business background put together a documentary about this? guest: wharton is an interesting school and teach a lot of things.
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one of them is how to adapt to a certain circumstances coul. businesses, and go. -- businesses, and go. you have to take your skill set and find new opportunities to succeed advance. wharton was the incubator where you could go and find out how to do these things, where the opportunities are that you would not have thought of. host: you are also a business reporter for "the philadelphia inquirer." guest: not on staff. i have done some pieces from them since the 1980's. host: where did this come come from? -- this film come from? guest: i believe that the reporters at a particular, their perspective on where this
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program was and where it was going, it was an important voice to be heard. i thought that viewers would be interested to hear, particularly in this environment, where the space program is going. who better to reflect on that that the newspaper reporters, the journalists were paid to be precise reporters, were careful in their thinking, a political by nature, and had seen it all? -- and political by nature, and had seen it all -- c-span.oranal by nature, and had seen it all? host: do you think the conveniences of modern journalism makes the reporting that much different from the 1960's? guest: i am not sure it is that much different, but i think it
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opens up avenues for reporters to communicate better with their audiences. it may not be different, but it is certainly another tool for them. host: kentucky, brenda on the line for republic in spiri -- republicans. caller: since you are involved in pictures, i would like to know why that real moonshot was not there. not the dimon was that small. -- i do not think the real moon was that small. guest: that is a good point. i do not know the answer, but i thank you for your call. the moon has not changed. an optical illusion, perhaps, lighting. host: does the moon looked
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different to the journalists once the up up close and personal -- does the moon looked different to them once they got up close and personal with it? guest: in the 60's -- in the 1960's, to have actually achieve that goal -- some of the reporters were called the screaming, that people were so excited and it was almost an emotional high. it was so ecstatic. at the same time, it was a joy, a culmination of years of challenge and effort, and a martyr to president -- martyred president said this in motion. the society that produced this great achievement -- nasa was in those years -- people may not recall, but nasa was the gold
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standard. they had a brand that was unchallenged. they were the brand for problem solving, can-do. those were amazing days for the space program, as reporters have shared. host: if you want to find out more about him and sterling and the film itself, go to the web site, back to the phones. myersville -- maryland. michael, go ahead. caller: i want to add about the new finding of water on the moon and the implications of that. it is like a gold rush.
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it is a brand new thing for the states. the first time we have a real reason to go back to the moon. guest: that is breaking news, in effect. that was just out in the last couple of weeks. that is a very important find and discovery. how it will play out into the decision making about where the space program goes -- it will be interesting to see. it was a sort of big discovery, and nasa was very happy with the news. host: next up is hamilton, new jersey, line for independen ts. caller: like the gentleman just said about funding water on the moon and the opportunities -- it seems like a lot of the things we're finding out in the last for five years, the opportunities lasted well beyond what the plant expeditions were -- planned expeditions' war.
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if you had a questionnaire asked how many people would be interested in going back to the moon, he would probably have people lined up around the corner. thank you. guest: thank you for your call. again, water, the discovery, like many they made on the moon -- how it will play out, it is hard to say. water is an important finding, but one the things i learned in the film -- one of the things i learned in the film is throughout the space race of the 1960's, the public was so enthralled with it. the support of the program, they believed in it, they were energized by it, they were believers and were proud of it. we know the water is there, but i think to capitalize on it, to find someone to say, "ok, how do we now use that," it will have
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to energize the american public to agree to make space exploration of higher priority. host: "moon beat" but a special jury award at the houston international film festival. houston -- that makes you guys like the home team. guest: they run one of the oldest vessels in the nation. i was honored -- oldest festivals in the nation. i was honored to have won that award. host: is it out in general this tradition yet? -- general distribution yet? guest: not yet, but i hope people see this today -- there is another festival and there will be a program in berkeley. even today, i am optimistic that opportunities will come. i am looking for the right
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distributor to take "moon beat" to audiences around this country and around the world. host: new mexico, on the line for democrats. caller: good morning. cannot wait to see your movie. guest: thank you. caller: i really appreciate what you're doing, but because the space program has always got a bad rap of wasting money, gitmo said the technology we have today has come from that. -- yet most of the technology we have today has come from that. but nasa has tested successfully as the personnel carrier -- within the next couple of months or year we will see that aries 5, which will be able to carry a little bit more on the space shuttle. the cargo bay.
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r&d in designing buildings, estimators, there is nitrates and water and you can get oxygen and hydrogen and everything you need. i saw a special on the tenacity and they are not joking around, and -- on nasa tv and they are not joking about. i appreciate your support of it. i'm a baby. -- a space baby. i watched the landing of challenger. and both disasters -- challenger, and columbia's last ascent. i'm a big space may be here. -- space baby here. guest: the caller is absolutely right. he is a space baby, as you describe himself.
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the space program inspired many individuals. i was inspired growing up, and many filmmakers, from ron howard, tom hanks -- they made the famous movie "apollo 13" and talked about how the space program was a big inspiration for them growing up, and it was for me as well. host: you mentioned ron howard and "apollo 13," big budget movie, a huge screen. what is the difference between what a viewer sees in your movie and other movies? guest: it is a labor of love. it is a film i put together. i did not have a lot of resources. in fact, i did virtually all the production components of the film i was the editor, the filmmaker, the interviewer, did the ordeal and the lighting. -- the audio and the lighting.
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host: how much did the cost for you to put it together? guest: the tab is still running, but not large in hollywood dollars. i'm hoping that a distributor will help me -- host: defray the cost. how much have you put into it so far? guest: over the last year and a half, -- without, -- host: under a million? guest: well under a million. the other point i wanted to make is that even though i did most of the production along the way, i certainly had a lot of help. when you look at this particular film, one of the things you see in the "apollo 13" felt as a lot of computer graphics and special effects. this film has a lot of
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interviews and footage. the reporters were magnificent. they were not only available for stories and sharing their thoughts, but they open up and let me this some other photographs -- and photographs -- let me use a lot of their photographs and documents. nasa was fabulous. the gaps i had -- i have an archivist in washington, d.c., anomalous -- enormously helpful. and a person -- you see a lot of photographs and the film, photographs of reporters not so much in the actual reporting, but private lives, downtime. a person in florida has an amazing treasure chest of photographs of all of these reporters in that time period, and he was enormously helpful as well. host: last call from tennessee, host: last call from tennessee, line for republica


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