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tv   Washington Journal 08162021  CSPAN  August 16, 2021 6:59am-10:05am EDT

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and small. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications supports c-span as a public service, along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> today, the united nations security council will hold a meeting on the situation in afghanistan, as the taliban has taken over kabul, the country's capital. watch live coverage of the meeting beginning at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> coming up on washington journal, we get an update on the ongoing situation in afghanistan , as the taliban has taken over kabul, the country's capital. we hear from sarah mucha. she will talk about the latest white house response to the events in afghanistan. then, tara copp talks about the
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pentagon's response to the fall of kabul and the deteriorating security situation in afghanistan. join the situation with phone calls, facebook messages, text messages and tweets. washington journal is next. ♪ host: good morning. it is monday, august 16, 20 21. -- 2021. the u.s. military scrabbled to evacuate to poetic personnel and afghan allies. the x discontinues and the -- exodus continues and the flag has been lowered. we will spend all three hours of the program hearing from you about the two decade effort in afghanistan. what did the war in afghanistan mean? phone lines, republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000.
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independents, (202) 748-8002. a special line for veterans, (202) 748-8003 is the number that you can call in. that is also the number you can send us a text on if you send us a text. include your name and where you are from. you can catch up with us on social media as well on this monday morning. hearing from you, asking what did the war in afghanistan mean? banner headlines, from the new york times, the taliban captured kabul, stunting u.s. efforts. -- stunning u.s. efforts. the taliban seized power at u.s. retreats. one more from the front page of the washington post this morning. the headline, pentagon russia's
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additional troops to capital amid the chaotic effort to evacuate u.s. personnel and their allies. just some of the front-page headlines this morning as we ask you to call in. as you are calling in, here is one more lead, this is from punch bowl news this morning. this is how they lead their morning newspaper, with a picture at the top of -- one of the many pictures, this from the getty image of the helicopters over kabul. they write the united states lost more than 2400 troops in afghanistan with another 34 hundred plus contractors killed as well. more than 20,000 americans were injured. tens of thousands of afghans were killed and wounded. the u.s. government spent more than $1 trillion during nearly two decades of conflict and what do we have to show for it? a question for you, what did the war in afghanistan mean? republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000.
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independents, (202) 748-8002. the special line, we want to hear from veterans of the war in afghanistan. (202) 748-8003 is that number. daniel is up first in washington, d.c. an independent, daniel, good morning to you. caller: thank you for including the tens of thousands of afghani's who have been killed. millions of refugees, due to the failed war. the taliban was basically started when reagan was giving military assistance to move the soviet union's much more progressive government out of afghanistan. he was given military in angola and nicaragua. it is truly our interventionist policy that is coming home to roots.
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america is the merchants of deaths around the world. i am curious of where the taliban it's it's weaponry. -- gets it's weaponry. -- its weaponry. the united states needs to be stopped -- needs to stop its aggression and intervention. we have had our own election interference and we know what it is like. when we go to these countries, the candidates are killed. the media has taken over. sabotaging elections is as american as apple pie. look what it is doing to the afghani's. -- afghanis. let's not forget the collateral damage, the drones that have killed people at their weddings. the united states has got to stop being aggressive,
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militaristic force. the united states defense budget is the most obscene thing in the entire world. host: next is sai, in akron, ohio. caller: good morning. i want to say what the groups have in common in regard to afghanistan. the president of italy, a member of the cabinet, members of the french intelligence, and they all say that 9/11 was an inside job and that the circus was to give the u.s. an excuse to invade afghanistan. host: do you still believe it was an inside job? caller: do i? host: do you? caller: yes. there used to be thousands of websites at 911,
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engineers for 9/11 truth, etc. host: we will hold off on the 9/11 conspiracy theories this morning as we talk about the 20 year effort, military effort in afghanistan. yesterday, the flag came down on the usmc, kabul taken. arthur, watching it all. what are you seeing? caller: i don't think i am that surprised that the capital failed or that afghanistan soldiers will not defend their own country. we put 20 years of our blood, sweat and tears into defending the afghanis. you mean to tell me they can't do it for one month?
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they didn't do anything to defend their own country. i'm torn as to the move that biden made. i think the strategy and tactics of getting out -- where this is going is anybody's guess. host: kathleen in chicago, democrat, good morning. go ahead. caller: good morning, how are you doing? host: i'm doing well. caller: ok, i agree with president biden. it is time for our men and women to come home. they have been over there for 20 years. people are sitting up there, commenting about it is too soon to get out of afghanistan. you show up and go over there. some of these veterans have had five and six deployments over there. they need to come home and be
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with their families. before you hang up, the freedom they are fighting for in afghanistan, they need to be fighting for it over here. where the black and the brown can vote, overturning our votes. they don't want women to have a right to choose what they are doing with their bodies. i saw those jobs going into the palace. i thought about january the sixth. the same thing they did yesterday to that palace, donald trump had people doing in the united states on january 6. the united states needs to let these guys rest. the same soldiers that are fighting in other country, to help those people, when they come back, some of them will be able to vote. host: kathleen in chicago.
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in afghanistan, the images that biden wanted to avoid, the picture that the viewer was talking about, taliban fighters taking control of the afghan presidential palace in kabul, yesterday after the president of afghanistan fled the country. it was yesterday, as these events were going down in afghanistan, and as the situation continues to deteriorate, it was yesterday morning the antony blinken was on cnn state of the union and was asked about the efforts in afghanistan over the past 20 years and the decision to leave. here is what he said. >> we were in afghanistan for one overriding purpose, to deal with the folks who attacked us on 9/11. that is why we went there 20 years ago. over those 20 years, we brought bin laden to justice. we banished the threat of al
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qaeda, to the point where it is not capable of conducting such an attack again from afghanistan. on the terms that we went into afghanistan in the first place, we succeeded in of -- achieving our objectives. when the president came to office, he had a decision to make. the previous administration negotiate it an agreement with the taliban that said our remaining forces would be out of the country on may 1. the idea that the status quo could have been maintained by keeping our forces there is simply wrong. the fact of the matter is had the president decided to keep forces in afghanistan beyond may 1, attacks would have resumed on our forces. the taliban had not been attacking our forces or nato. the offensive you are seeing would have commenced. we would have been back at war with the taliban and i would be on this program today, explaining why we were sending
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tens of thousands of american forces back into afghanistan and back to war, something the american people don't support. that is the reality. that is the context that we are dealing with. host: we are expect more from the state department today. a state department briefing later this morning, we are expected to hear from the president at some point. there is not a specific timeframe set for when the president will address the country. this is a tweet from the white house concerning president biden. this tweet, showing him at the briefing rooms, set up in camp david. this morning, the president and vice president met with the national security team and senior officials to hear updates on the drawdown of our civilian personnel in afghanistan. evacuations of the special immigrant visa applications for afghan allies and the ongoing security situation. that picture from yesterday morning of the president speaking to his advisors.
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speaking to you this morning, asking you, what did the war in afghanistan mean? we have the special line for asking war veterans -- for afghan war veterans. (202) 748-8003. yusuf is next. caller: how are you doing? host: doing well. caller: i have several concerns. i don't know the intelligence of the u.s. government, how they did not know. it is odd to me and how they just did not know that the taliban could shoot down, expeditiously and very fast this active u.s. lead. the chinese came out two days ago, saying they will work with the taliban if they took over
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the government. so, the chinese now are in there, in a geopolitical way. now, they are going to work with the taliban. this is a scary scenario working out in that area. and i am very upset about that. also, i am also concerned about -- being an african-american muslim myself -- i am concerned about these immigrant muslims coming here and changing the whole landscape of the indigenous african-american muslims that are the majority of muslims in this country. i am concerned about that. i don't agree with bringing all these immigrant muslims over here. host: changing it how? what concerns you? caller: i am concerned of the inability to adapt and
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facilitate into the american culture system. i'm concerned about that, because the majority of muslims in this country are african-american muslims. half of which are in prison. we have been here since slavery and they are coming to the country, taking over the whole landscape and usurping the power from african-american muslims. i am very concerned about this. americans need to invest in us, african-american muslims, as they invest in afghanistan muslims. bring us on our way and hopefully we can work with foreign affairs. they need to invest in us like they did the afghanis. host: scott in baltimore city, maryland. you are next. caller: thank you for taking my call. i will keep it brief.
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when the afghanistan president initiated a coup in egypt, one of his justifications was that these men were perverting islam and islam needed a new narrative. where i think we failed in 20 years is to win their hearts and minds by presenting islam in such a light that they were able to see the taliban the way we americans see the clan -- klan or the neo-nazi party. we did everything else. i think that is where we failed. we had 20 years to do that and nobody was willing to do it. host: was it a failure of picking the right voices and people to work with in afghanistan do what you are saying? caller: i think it was, to a
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degree. i also think, that this key, if you will, was presented comprehensively in detail. it scared some people. the thought that we would try and do something like that and possibly actually win their hearts and minds, it scared people. knowing what was required, -- let's not do that. let's do these other things. host: that was scott out of multimers city, maryland, in terms of the main voice we were working with in afghanistan, who has fled the country. osher afghani. india reporting and a couple of
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other sites reporting that he is likely to be headed to the united states. devon is next out of philadelphia. independent, good morning. caller: good morning. i see the news article. this is about how how -- about how the president of afghanistan is fleeing. the wife fled here. my thing is these countries are independent countries. they have their own military and their own intelligence. we spent $715 billion of taxpayers money in military?
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and we have to rebuild everybody's nation? how about we rebuild our own? how about we give some of that money back to us? i'm not saying we don't help people, because we do and we should continue. at what point do we say $700 billion? the afghan forces, they fled. 30 days or so ago, everything was ok and everything was calm. overnight, they have taken over everything? something does not make sense. something is off. host: $1 trillion is the number that has been put out there for total u.s. spending in afghanistan, including $83 billion on training afghan forces.
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on that $1 trillion, what did it by us? caller: i think it failed. what would america look like if we had invested $1 trillion directly into the americans? we could have ended homelessness. we could have addressed food insecurity. host: the special line for veterans of the war in afghanistan, adam is on that line out of new york city. when were you in afghanistan? caller: from 2009 to 2011. i am outside of the 9/11 memorial right now, thinking about why we went in. we tried to illuminate al qaeda. -- eliminate al qaeda.
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that is all being taken away right now. i am struggling today. it is really tough. we can piss and moan. but everyone needs to contact ias and the human refugee society and get as many people out as we can. there are a lot of people being killed. host: adam, have you been in touch over the years since you left? caller: some of them are still facebook friends. if you are facebook friends with afghans, make sure it is secret. i have a friend who was up all night, trying to get people out.
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they had meetings yesterday morning. there is no time. we need to get them out now. you can see the airport, it was a mess. host: were you in kabul when you were there in 2009? caller: i was in kabul. i was across the street from blackwater. that's where i was. host: what did you think when you saw the pictures yesterday of taliban soldiers driving through town and the press briefing they held at the presidential palace? caller: i was gutted. i had to leave the house. i got blackout drunk. it is heartbreaking. i'm fine, we are all fine in america. we will be ok.
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the people there, it is going to be hell. there are so many women, so many girls. host: do you think you will ever get back to afghanistan some day? do you want to go back? caller: i'd love to go back. i said maybe in 20 years i will go back and it is kind of like the 1970's again, when we were hanging out in the mounds. i have no idea. you don't know what's going to happen. host: you are at the 9/11 memorial, were you in new york on 9/11? caller: i wasn't. i was in omaha, nebraska. i was in high school when it happened. host: is the memorial more crowded than usual? caller: no, it is really quiet. it is currently chained off. they don't open until 7:00 a.m.
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or something. it is quiet, you can hear the water flowing. it was a tragedy in 9/11 and it is a tragedy in kabul today. host: thanks for the call. talking to viewers around the country this morning, we will spend all three hours doing it, asking you what does the war in afghanistan mean? having this conversation after kabul falls, the u.s. flag pulled down from the u.s. embassy and the scrabble to evacuate u.s. personnel. here is our phone lines to talk about it. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. the special line for veterans of the war of afghanistan and family members or, as our last collar, if you have served in afghanistan -- caller, if you
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have served in afghanistan, (202) 748-8003. we will update you with news as it happens and the reaction to the collapse of the security system in kabul. this from mitch mcconnell, yesterday. the republican of kentucky, saying everyone saw this coming except the president, who publicly and confidently dismissed these threats a few weeks ago. the strategic, humanitarian and moral consequences of this self-inflicted wound will hurt our country and distract from other challenges for years to come. a proud superpower has been reduced to hoping the taliban will not interfere with their efforts to flee afghanistan. god knows what awaits vulnerable afghans who cannot make it to kabul aboard one of the final flights out. major competitors like china are watching the embarrassment of a superpower laying low -- laid
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low. speaker pelosi saying the president is to be commended for the clarity of purpose of his statement on afghanistan over the weekend. the taliban must know the world is watching its actions. we are concerned about reports regarding the taliban's brutal treatment of all afghans, especially women and girls. this from congresswoman monica escobar, saying the situation in afghanistan is tragic for everyone who has worked tirelessly over 20 years to root out terrorism and crate stability in the country. there is blame all the way around but our focus must be doing everything possible to save lives. this from the congressman, saying it is sad. the american public stopped caring about afghanistan years ago. national security, veterans and media were talking to each other for years while i slitting the
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general public. this from senator jen emhoff -- jim inhofe. the president needs to admit he made a strategic mistake, leading to a consequence -- tragic consequences for u.s. national security and the afghan people. a republican from south carolina saying the takeover of afghanistan by the taliban is a sad and dangerous event for u.s. national security interests and the world at large. jihadists all over the world are celebrating. we will have plenty of reaction. for now, it is your comments. for all three hours of the washington journal, to get your thoughts on the war in afghanistan. in irving, texas, a democrat, go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. my heart was out to adam and to
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all of the others who served over there, the ones who made it home and the ones who did not. the caller a few callers back raised one of my concerns. how could our intelligence not have foreseen this coming, number one? number two, as far as mitch mcconnell's statement, he is an embarrassment to america and to himself. he needs to keep his mouth shut. i could blame trump biden both. trump was hell-bent and determined to pull most of our soldiers out of there, which he did. i blame bynum -- biden because biden should have known better than -- he should have left some over there until things were stabilized a little bit better. i feel like nothing was accomplished. we went over there to get rid of the taliban and al qaeda.
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we left and now they have a stronghold. i feel like nothing was accomplished. just a bunch of u.s. lives lost and a bunch of money spent. anyway, that is my comment. thank you. have a good day. host: david in new york, republican. go ahead. caller: i have a little bit of a history of what is going on in the middle east as well. i don't believe that we should have pulled out. i don't think that a lot of people in this country understand what sharia law is. i think the people in afghanistan are going to be in for a rude awakening. the taliban, if there was nothing in afghanistan to take over, like poppy plants, they would not be there. it is control. they have control of a lot of
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the country. biden never should have pulled out and we should not be pulling our troops out. we are there for a big reason. now we see what happens. the same thing happened in vietnam. host: this was president biden from last month, about a month ago, defending his decision to pull u.s. troops out of afghanistan. pres. biden: let me ask those who want us to stay, how many more? how many thousands more americans, daughters and sons, are you willing to risk? how long would you have them stay? already, we have members of our military whose parents fought in afghanistan 20 years ago. would you send their children and their grandchildren as well? would you send your own son or daughter?
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after 20 years, $1 trillion spent, training and equipping hundreds of afghan security and defense forces. before 48 americans -- 2448 americans killed. 20,722 more wounded. an unseen thousands coming home with harm to their mental health. i will not send another american to afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome. the united states cannot a main to -- afford to remain tethered to policies from two years ago. we need to meet the threats where they are today. so, we are repositioning our resources and adapting our counterterrorism posture to meet the threats where they are, now. civic and fatally --
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significantly higher in south asia. make no mistake, our military is competent and -- they have the capabilities to protect our homeland and our interests from any resurgent terrorist challenge emerging from afghanistan. host: president biden last month, defending his decision to withdraw u.s. troops from afghanistan. this is the lead editorial in today's wall street journal. by the -- biden -- mr. biden could have maneuvered around the mistake. he was provided with options. the taliban had violated its pledges under the trump deal. stir biden could have maintain -- mr. biden could have maintained a modest presence but
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withdrew. instead, he ordered a rapid and total withdraw, in time for the symbolic date of 9/11. most of the american press hailed the decision courageous. the result for months later is the worst humanitarian humiliation since the fall of saigon in 1975. dave in harrisburg, pennsylvania, democrats line, good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. a couple of comments. i am an 11 year air force veteran. my heart goes out to the guy who who couldn't make it back and my heart goes out to the guys we lose to suicide every month. can you hear me? host: yes, sir. caller: ok. i think it was a box operation. we didn't learn anything from
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iraq, when it comes to telegraphing our moves. like announcing these dates. as a military person and as someone who strategically thinks, we could have quietly gotten our people and our friends out. that is the part that disturbs me the most. what he was trying to avoid, the optic of saigon, is exactly what happened. you know? but, you mentioned a lot of people keeping afghanistan out of the minds of the public. that is the problem. we forgot what war looked like. this is what iraq looked like when we toppled saddam.
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the statue coming down. the media does not allow us to see that on a daily basis. we forgot what the reality is. we are going to lose a lot of friends who helped us navigate our lives in the environment. and that is sad. we should be doing everything we can to get those people out. host: you mentioned optics and saigon as well. this picture printed in the washington post today, that famous picture of cia employees helping vietnamese people evacuate onto a american -- an american helicopter in 1975. that very famous picture. talk about that optic and what you think will be the optic from yesterday. caller: unfortunately, for the next 20 years, that will be the
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optic that is burned into our minds. that is going to be the depiction of our 20 years there. when you are getting out in the midst of total chaos, you fail. i would think eight -- a win is when you see an orderly exit from the situation. a win is when you have a resettlement. a successful resettlement into neighboring ally countries. that is what a success looks and feels like. right now, unfortunately for years to come, there are going to be stories of turmoil and women being treated atrociously. another part that gets me is how quickly they pulled this off.
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we went into iraq, a lot of iraqis dropped their guns in front of us. how many of those guys have we trained in 20 years simply gave up? host: a getty image, one that is quite prevalent in news coverage yesterday of the u.s. helicopter over kabul, helping to evacuate u.s. personnel from the u.s. embassy there. the headline that goes along with the double truck picture in the new york times today, the u.s. is stunned as the taliban overtakes kabul. james in maryland, independent line, you are next. caller: good morning. how are you? host: i'm doing well. caller: great. the thing is that it is good we got out of there. we have been there for a while. we forgot the objective.
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we ended up staying in there. we did not learn from the russians. we boycotted the olympics during the jimmy carter era. our issue was because they supported bin laden. before 9/11, there was an article in the paper that said -- the taliban had been forbidden for selling drugs and alcohol. then, after we went in, about nine months later, you see an article and they are doing more production of this heroin and
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drugs going all over the world. we have a war on drugs and no-fly zones but they are not taking all of those drugs out on camels to other countries. they are taking them and sending them all over the world we have a war on drugs. this is a thing you never see. let's see the optics of all of these places where we let that go on. i'm glad that that is over. another thing is this. that is the people's religion. you have to respect the choice of your religion, this is how it is. if somebody comes and tries to change our religion, we would all have a problem. host: james in maryland, you began by speaking about the original purpose to go in and find, capture and kill osama bin laden. this is from may the first of
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2011, then president obama announcing at the time the killing of osama bin laden in a u.s. military strike. perez obama & co. -- president obama: thanks to counterterrorism professional list, we have made great strides in the effort. we have disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. in afghanistan, we removed the taliban government which had given bin laden and al qaeda safe haven and support. we work with our friends to capture and kill scores of al qaeda terrorists, including several who were part of the 9/11 plot. osama bin laden avoided capturing and escape across the afghan border into pakistan. al qaeda continued to operate from along that border. and operate to its affiliates. shortly after taking office, i
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directed the director of the cia to make the killing or capture of bin laden top priority of our war against al qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat his network. then, last august, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, i was briefed on a possible lead to bin laden. it was far from certain trade it took many months to run this threat to ground. i met with my security team as we develop more information that we located bin laden, hiding within a compound, deep inside pakistan. last week, i determined we had enough intelligence to take action and authorized an operation to get osama bin laden and bring him to justice. today, at my direction, the united states launched a targeted operation against that compound in pakistan.
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a small team of americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. no americans were harmed. they took care to avoid civilian casualties. after a firefight, they killed osama bin laden and took custody of his body. host: then president obama back in may of 2011. we are asking you about the two decades war in afghanistan. what did it mean? sandy and columbus, ohio, democrat, good morning. caller: good morning. i am calling to say i have listened to a couple of other callers. what i don't understand is how the president, they fled so fast and did not try, to me, to get there people -- their people in some kind of safety.
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they could have done that. they have more troops and more ammunition. we have been there, several years, training. every time we pull out, they let the taliban take over. i don't know what -- whether the planning for us coming out should be on the united states. i feel for the girls and the people there. but, it seems like to me, but -- that they did not try to get them out of harm's way. it looks like they just ran. they have been equipped, again. that's what i don't understand. thank you for listening to me. host: this is john in clifton park, new york. good morning. caller: thank you for what you are doing. it is an important topic. everybody is talking about 9/11, the intelligence community, so on and so forth. they are forgetting why we
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initially went in. in my opinion, we were not -- if we were not attacked on 9/11, we would not have been in afghanistan. our intelligence community at the time, according to what the 9/11 commission reported, they were aware of heightened activity wired to the 9/11 attacks. that is neither here nor there. second, everybody is talking about al qaeda. they talked about how obama made reference to osama bin laden. who are these people in al qaeda? most of the terrorists at 9/11 were saudi's -- saudis. why were we attacking the people harboring the terrorists instead of the terrorists themselves? to me, that is not understandable.
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we could have avoided this if we have thought about that, instead of having a knee-jerk reaction to what occurred. host: we played the clip of then president obama announcing the killing of osama bin laden. let me take you back 10 years before that, to october of 2001, then president george w. bush announcing the military action in afghanistan. this is what he had to say from the white house. >> on my orders, the united states military has begun strike against al qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the taliban regime in afghanistan. these carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of afghanistan, as a terrorist base of operations. and to attack the military capability of the taliban regime. we are joined in this operation by our friend, great britain. other close friends, including
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canada, australia, germany, and france, have pledged forces as the operation unfolds. more than 40 countries in the middle east, africa, europe, and across asia have granted air transit or landing rights. many more have shared intelligence. we are supported by the collective will of the world. more than two weeks ago, i gave taliban leaders a series of clearance -- of clear and specific demand. close terrorist training camps, hand over leaders of the al qaeda network and return all foreign nationals, including american citizens, unjustly detained in your country. none of these demands were met. and now, the taliban will pay a price. host: then president george w. bush from october of 2001. to hear -- we hear phone calls from you, asking what to be war in afghanistan mean? michael in cleveland, ohio,
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republican, go ahead. caller: i agree with the last gentlemen, wholeheartedly. there is one thing i have a suspicion of. when we talk about the guys laying down their guns, they did that in iraq. i think it was all about money. you can pay people off over there. they are so poor that they don't have a dollar. i believe that money was exchanged with a lot of these guys that took off and ran and left it whitman. -- equipment. host: what about the past $1 trillion and that money going into afghanistan? caller: that started after the 9/11. i don't know how any billions or
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chileans of dollars we have lost since the 9/11 attacks -- trillions of dollars we have lost since the 9/11 attacks. the trillions of dollars we spent there is for not. i think eight or 10 years ago, they announced gold, uranium, platinum and all sorts of things. i haven't heard a word in years about that. i'd like to know, if it was true, what happened to all the money from that? host: we will stay in cleveland. bill, democrat, go ahead. caller: how are you doing? host: doing alright. go ahead. caller: that $1 trillion, throw it out in smoke and all those people are dying in afghanistan. it just shows you what the world is coming to. as far as our government, we try
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to babysit every country around the planet. those people's religion, they have fought over that for 2000 years. we are not going to change that. it doesn't matter what we do over there, that is never going to happen. you are not going to change that. those people have a totally different belief in religion than what the united states was built on. if our government thinks they will go over and change things, they are fooling their own selves. host: did president biden make the right decision? caller: i think -- well, actually, i don't blame biden as much as i blame trump before him. what choice does he have now? i think they both have to take
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responsibility for it. the other thing, having that go on for 20 years, it's ridiculous read just like the guy before said. it's ridiculous. come on. we are not fighting wars that last 20 years. that's just ridiculous. there has to be so much inside doings going on with the drugs that are involved and the exchange of weapons, the exchange of money and the precious metals. all of it has got to be -- it's
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got to be total chaos. host: bill in cleveland, ohio. you mentioned president trump and you blame him as well. this was the tate -- statement from president trump coming out on saturday, before the situation fully unraveled yesterday. armor president trump saying joe biden gets it -- former president trump saying joe biden gets it wrong every time. everyone knew he could not handle the pressure. even robert gates said as much. he ran out of afghanistan instead of following the plan how administration left for him. the withdrawal would be guided by facts on the ground. after i took out isis, president trump said he established a deterrent. the taliban no longer has fear or respect for american power. this is a complete fowler --
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failure. former president trump. the line for afghan veterans and family members, this is dean waiting on that line. caller: good morning. host: when were you in afghanistan? caller: i was in afghanistan in 2010. the only thing i wanted to bring out is that i think the problem is the american people in general have a hard time understanding that afghanistan is -- afghanistanis don't believe the country unites them. they are so tribal based. for us to change that, we need to touch their future generations. we have had 20 years of trying to accomplish that.
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in 20 years, if you had a child, the best case scenario is they are 30 years old. what kind of leadership would you have? in the military, you might be a company commander. in a political system, it is all elders. we need more generations to ultimately change that belief. to me, what does this mean? it means political failure. the military went in there and we followed their policies. with no political plan for success. while i was there, there was a presence of terrorists. troops on the ground, we are gone. this is a new place where terrorists are free to do what they want.
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you can guarantee -- or trying to obtain intelligence out there. host: when you are in helmand, did you feel like you were making a difference or making the change you were talking about? caller: were we making a difference to the people around us? i think so. the young generations and kids, yes. were we making a difference to the leadership? no. the people in those positions were the same ones there when the russians were there and when the taliban took over. we have to wait until the next generation takes it over. of course, the problem is that the children are all being --
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tribal based education is what they are receiving. i don't think we will ever change the current mentality because they are so tribal based. but we do have a generation coming up that has future visions of afghanistan. by us leaving early, we have abandoned them. i'm not sure how this is going to affect the future generations and the afghanistan relationship. host: were you in the army or the marines? caller: i was in the marine corps. i built some runways out in virginia. a lot of interaction with the people. host: on that note, even mentioned the kids, is there a
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kid you remember? caller: specifically, no. you did a lot of interaction with the children. of course, children are easy to talk to. they provide us a lot of intelligence. they know certain things and can read it. the children were very easily bought into we are here to help them. with us being out of there, it will make it a much more difficult job if we decide to do relations with afghanistan. host: thanks for the call from south carolina this morning. we are coming up on 8:00 a.m. eastern on this monday morning. we set aside our entire program
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to ask you this question. what does the war in afghanistan mean? a look back at the past 20 years with us. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. if you have served in afghanistan, call us on this line. (202) 748-8003. we want to hear from you this morning. keep calling in and as you do, we want to bring in tara copp. thank you for joining us. can you give us the latest on the situation on the ground as you understand it. how many u.s. personnel do we know remain on the ground? how much longer did the u.s. military need to evacuate the u.s. personnel and as many afghan allies as are being
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allowed to join them and get out? guest: thank you for having me. the latest information i received from the pentagon last night, several hundred have been evacuated. however, we have seen and heard there is more than that. there was one that had 800 on board. we are checking to make sure that number is correct. this is a fluid situation. it is something i have never seen before. usually, when you see military aircraft on a ramp, it is a very pristine and secure area. people are not approaching the plane and they are not running as it is trying to take off and grabbing onto it as we have seen on twitter. it is heartbreaking. hundreds of young men, chasing after u.s. military airplanes that are trying to take off. i will be back at the pentagon after we talk and we will be asking about that airlift and
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the u.s. playing -- deploying 6000 troops as normal afghans flee toward the airport, seeing that as the last hope to get out of the country. host: one flight had 800 people on it? what is the usual number that can fit on one of those planes that had 800 people? guest: we are waiting to verify that number but multiple sources have told me it is somewhere close to -- it is a huge cargo airplane and it can be configured in many different ways. it can be configured for cargo. it was lines after lines after lines of people, holding onto some sort of rope or chain and the airplane taking off that way. there was a hurricane evacuation
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with less people but not that many less. the herculean efforts by the military going on right now to get people out. host: when are we expected to hear from secretary austin or the joint chiefs chairman? do you know when you will be able to ask them questions? guest: when will we hear from the president? they don't go in front of the microphone until the president does, typically. i think the question is when will biden speak? host: when you get the chance to talk to -- whether it is president what are you going tok them? guest: i'm going to ask what happened. we've been reporting the story about the military training and what led to the collapse of the afghan army. in these last couple of weeks, what advice were they giving the white house behind the scenes?
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did they think couple would fall this fast? that the u.s. flag would have to be taken down from the embassy just yesterday? it is a matter of time to get aircraft and personnel in, and we were caught flat-footed at the kabul airport. host: the u.s. spent $83 billion training afghan forces. why did they collapse so quickly? from that story, can you speak about the amount of equipment that is being left behind or may have fallen into taliban hands in just the past week or so? guest: at this point, it is taliban-controlled afghanistan so you can say all of it has fallen under taliban control. your previous caller raised a good point. an army veteran i talked to
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emphasize the point that we never really dropped the tribal system. they tried to build a centralized army with national control and leadership, where paychex would flow. and never really took into account all the various steps and the powers that these tribes have. he was speculating because he is no longer there, but when the weapons were turned over, some of the forces that didn't step down just kind of blended into their regions and turned the weapons over. that is showing that we are going to go back. it seems like action needs to be done on understanding where this failed. host: and finally, how are you doing your job today amid the chaos that we are seeing in videos coming out from the airport?
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you mentioned those afghans chasing american military planes. who are you in touch with on the ground to try and get a sense of the situation? guest: i have been talking -- i've been covering veterans for a very long time and i have been talking to a lot of them over the last few hours. some served in the air force, some in the army, some in special forces. just taking their thoughts and seeing where i should go next to look. all of us are going to be watching over the next few days, how many people are able to get out of couple successfully -- kabul successfully. keeping the airport open for allies, how long will there be u.s. personnel on the ground at the kabul airport. at what point will the taliban lose patience and attacked the airport? -- and attack the airport?
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-- to ensure that u.s. civilians -- u.s. personnel and civilians in the afghans we promised to take care of will be able to get out securely. this is changing so quickly that you don't know what is going to happen next. host: we will let you get to the pentagon and continue with your reporting. you can see her work at back to your phone calls this morning, talking to you about this question. what does the war in afghanistan mean, after 20 years and the city of kabul falling to the taliban. this is abdullah in virginia, on our line for a finished in war veterans. good morning -- for afghanistan war veterans. good morning. you are up. caller: good morning. host: when were you in afghanistan? caller: i just went to
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afghanistan in 2001, 2002, the beginning of 2002. i had been there until 2013. host: what was your role when you were there? caller: first i went to afghanistan, because i am an engineer by profession and i thought it was time to go to afghanistan, to do some land development and wound up building a city. that is a successful project. i was partnered with --
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host: forgive me, i am just trying to understand your role. were you working with the u.s. military? were you a contractor brought in on these engineering projects? caller: no. i designed from managing the project and i came back home. taxpayer money being wasted in afghanistan. a conference, i stood up and talked about -- the head of logistics asked me to come to the headquarters. i did a presentation about projects, how the projects are being selected and all of that. they sent me here and i went to afghanistan and pakistan.
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i made a presentation at the pentagon about contracting systems and they hired me as a business advisor. in that capacity, i spent about three years with the major generals, and tried to do the right thing. i think if you have any specific questions, i would like to answer. but other than that, why we are there and why we went there and what has been done, i can talk about that issue. host: how are you feeling today, looking back on 20 years of u.s. efforts there? caller: it is a mixed feeling. i am disappointed about the way things folded out. a rapid withdrawal, i think it
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shouldn't have been that way but it is what it is in there is nothing you can do. right now, i am focusing on want to do next and what is the solution. that is what i am focusing on and trying to organize the people here. host: what is the solution? what do you think needs to happen? caller: i think this moment, this critical moment, what needs to happen is to make sure our policy is such that they can force pakistan to influence the taliban, to make sure that the genocide and killing and all of that stops, and think about the 350,000 people out of their houses. no food. they are the priority now. the future, how things fold, i
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can say one thing and that is, -- is going to take over and become the leader. i hope that will be the case. i think if the taliban except his leadership, that is one of the solutions -- accept his leadership, that is one of the solutions. if we could influence pakistan to make sure that -- the situation and they stop the killing of innocent people. that is the priority right now. how things fold, nobody expected this. host: you sounded proud earlier of that project, you designed in
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afghanistan. do you know if it is still there? caller: that is the most successful project in that region. you can check the new york times or the washington post. a book was written about the project. it's about 10,000 acres designed with consultants and because i worked 11 years for -- on that, i knew that the zoning and all the standards, to create a modern city that is unique in the region. i think it is there and people are really appreciating they infrastructure -- the
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infrastructure. another project in kabul, an apartment complex. after i criticized, they offered me a job to be a senior advisor. i did eight projects for the armed forces, including stadiums, schools, clinics and even dormitories for women. that was done under my watch. the only projects afghanistan has done without corruption and good quality. host: i was just going to say, thank you for telling us about it, calling in from virginia. caller: no problem, my pleasure. host: up next out of indiana, independent, go ahead. caller: hello?
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host: go ahead paul. caller: this is a sad day for america. it is like vietnam all over again. we could have won that war. this war -- the russians couldn't even beat the afghanistans in this war. it is so sad, all these young men and ladies who gave their lives, for freedom for this country, and now -- i listen to cnn and fox. i stayed up all night listening to this. it touched my heart. i am a military man. my heart goes out to all the mothers and fathers, and all those young men and ladies who
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lost their lives, for people to be free. why do these presidents tell people we will be out of there in five weeks, instead of saying nothing and keeping their mouth shut? the $1 trillion that you said, that is over 20 years. is that what you are telling me? host: that is one of the numbers, one of the estimates on u.s. spending in that country. caller: is that just for the army troops or is that training? host: i think that is total u.s. expenditure, for training. the number i had seen on that was in the $80 billion range. $83 billion on training of afghan forces. caller: do you know what that could have done in the united states, for the homeless? schools?
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i think we ought to pull out of all the countries, bring our troops home, let the countries take care of themselves. host: paul in indiana. the human cost of the war in afghanistan. the number of u.s. service members killed through april of this year, 2448. another 3000 contractors. allied forces including those from nato member states, and additional 1144. afghan national military and police personnel killed, 66,000. tens of thousands of afghan citizens. those numbers from the associated press. earl is next, in indiana, republican. what did the war in afghanistan mean? caller: i believe this is the start of armageddon. the last days. people rioting in the streets. the young people rise up against their parents.
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we will have destruction everywhere. we will have all kinds of destruction. we are getting ready for the one world government, the one world church. that is what the bible says it is coming to. we are heading for the battle of armageddon. israel was -- host: we got your point. our next caller is out of louisiana, democrat. caller: good morning, how are you doing? it has always been about the money from the beginning. the minute you leave, that is their culture, they will not fight against their people. russia tried like the gentleman said earlier and they left. we should have went in with the purpose and then got out. in truth, there is no great way to get out of a war. you say don't say anything but
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you think those people waited 20 years? there is no way they could have moved that fast. they were watching everything we were doing. if they saw people leaving. it was going to be a mess trying to get out any kind of way. host: 20 years, over four administration's. does one u.s. president bear more responsibly than others? caller: all of them bear the response ability. all a general wants is war. they never want to get out of a war. i say follow the money. you have general contractors, defense contractors making all kinds of money. it is not only corruption in afghanistan, it is corruption here. you have people in the government making all kinds of money. host: this is marked on that line for afghanistan service
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members and family members. when were you in afghanistan? caller: this debacle we are watching unfold as a slap in the face for our goldstar families. i've lost brothers in combat in both iraq and afghanistan. i did three tours in afghanistan. their sacrifices are being trampled on right w. this is an insult to all of us who served in our families who sacrificed. i've been deployed five times myself and i was retired this year. joe biden and the democrats are cowards, and the generals and the pentagon that followed them. everybody knew this was going to happen. i called this in april. i have a friend in kabul. this debacle, everybody who has been on the ground knew this was going to happen. you have the generals and pentagon who are not on the ground and do not listen to their officers and senior enlisted on the ground. that is why this happened. this is on joe biden, aspen and
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millie. those cowards knew this was going to happen. you can't just walk out of afghanistan. the airport will be attacked, mark my words. host: you say you called this in april. are you talking about the announcement that president biden made in april, about the september 11 withdrawal date? caller: absolutely. i was talking to my brothers then. i said there is going to be a saigon moment. all of us know the culture, there. we know the enemy. host: was yesterday the saigon moment? caller: absolutely. the taliban will have a ceremony at our embassy. this isn't over yet. they know biden is a coward. they're going to start attacking western europe, and then the united states again because he is not going to do anything. millie and those generals are not going to do anything either because they are nothing but politicians. host: what years were you there, and what capacity did you serve
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in? caller: i was in afghanistan in 2009, 2010 and 2013. i flew tactical air vac. i was in the infantry before that in iraq. i spent a lot of time working with afghans and nato forces. everybody knew, this commitment was not for 10 years, not for 20. it was for 100 years. after world war ii, we are still in germany and japan. western type countries. 70 years after world war ii. how long did you think we were going to have to be in a middle eastern or south central asian country? that is a century long commitment. the american people have to start thinking long term. the afghans had a saying. you have all the watches, but we have all the time. because we are a week people now, not like the world war ii
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generation. we are selfish and weak. our enemies have found that out, and we are going to suffer greatly, our children and grandchildren. host: mark in indiana, pennsylvania, talking about how he knew this day was coming back in april, at the announcement that joe biden, president biden made about the september 11 withdrawal date. this is president biden's statements from april the first of this year. [video clip] >> i'm speaking to you today from the roosevelt treaty room in the white house, the same spot where on october of 2001, president george w. bush informed our nation the united states military had begun strikes on terrorist training camps in afghanistan. it was just weeks after the terrorist attack on our nation that killed 2977 innocent souls, that turned lower manhattan into a disaster area, destroyed parts
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of the pentagon and made hallowed ground of a field in shanksville, pennsylvania. it sparked an american promise that we would never forget. we went to afghanistan in 2001 to root out al qaeda, to prevent future terrorist attacks against the united states, planned from afghanistan. our objective was clear. our cause was just. our nato allies and partners rallied beside us. i supported that military action along with overwhelming majority of the members of congress. more than seven years later, 2008, weeks before we swore the oath of office, president obama and i were about to swear, president obama asked me to travel to afghanistan and report back on the state of the war. i flew to afghanistan, to the kuhn our valley. a rugged mountainous region on the border with pakistan. what i saw on that trip
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reinforced my conviction, that only the afghans have the right and responsibility to lead the country, and that more an endless military force from america could not create a sustained in durable afghan government. i believed that our presence in up stand should be focused on the reason we went in the first place, to ensure afghanistan would not be used as a base from which to attack our homeland again. we did that. we accomplish that objective -- accomplished that objective. host: that is president biden from april of this year. asking you this morning, what did the war in afghanistan mean? we are taking your phone calls as well as listening -- reading your tweets and text messages. one writing in, i don't know what this means because a generation of afghans who've experienced a different life, we don't know. alan saying it means we should have left a long time ago.
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how many days are going to talk about this? this from janet in florida. unless the u.s. learns a lesson that starting misguided unwinnable wars causes more harm than good, it will mean nothing. donna westbrook saying the failure of the afghanistan coup -- is what this means. just a few of your comments from social media this morning. also want to show you some newspapers from around the world. this from the guardian. the fall of kabul is the headline. a few other newspapers from around the world just to show you some pictures on the front pages of belgium and turkey. saudi arabia as well, with the graveyard of empires as the headline from arab news this morning. from the united arab emirates, chaos in kabul. from israel, this morning, the
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headline there with a picture of the taliban fighters driving through the streets of kabul. from brazil, the headline as well about the taliban in afghanistan. also one from germany this morning. just some of the front pages. darrell is next out of idaho, independent. thank you for waiting. what does this all mean? caller: good morning. i was in the marine corps. i was supposed to get out september 29 in 1965. everybody got extended september 15. i was only a corporal. i had to stand for an additional four months and i got out in january, and then i go over to men's warehouse the other day and i am buying a brand-new shirt that is made in vietnam. everybody was saying when the north vietnamese get in, they will do this and that.
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turns out they united their country. now we are in afghanistan and for some reason, nobody understands descriptors. it says one of the verses, i will break the pride of your power. women shall rule over you. slowly but surely -- host: you don't trust female elected officials? caller: i'm thinking about that lady in chicago, lightfoot. she has not only married to another woman but we have this kind of a world going on, and the creator of the universe controls the stuff. host: all right, that is darrell in idaho. this is matthew in new jersey, independent. caller: good morning, and thank you. here is the problem with mr. biden's unnecessary and precipitous disastrous
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withdrawal. as both veterans and president trump's statement mentioned, we have now lost our eyes and ears, our intelligence ability to prevent taliban and isis from committing another god for bid 9/11 terrorist attack, and also the taliban have now implemented sharia law, which not only prevents girls and women from going to school, but it allows women to be stoned to death if they do not cover themselves from head to to. may god help the afghan men and women who helped us, our forces, trying to keep us safe over there. they will now be subject to torture and killing, along with their families because the ungodly taliban and isis are merciless. host: that is matthew in new
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jersey. this is kathy in new york, republican. you are next. caller: thank you for having me. we are focusing on kabul today and we failed. meanwhile, we are being invaded on our own borders, taking our eye off the ball while biden tries to figure out what is happening. we could have taliban coming in here with the droves of immigrants. we don't understand other cultures. we go into countries with nothing but ignorance, like we can save them from themselves with money. let the arabs with all their opulence handle their own country. thank you. host: kathy in new york. a bit of discussion this morning, among viewers and on the sunday shows yesterday about whose fault this is. where the blame lies for what happened in kabul yesterday and what has been happening in afghanistan for the past several weeks. another voice on that from
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congresswoman liz cheney, on abc news this week, and was asked that question about who is to blame. this is what the republican congresswoman said. [video clip] >> who bears response ability? >> i think absolutely president biden bears response ability for making this decision but there is no question that president trump's administration with secretary pompeo also bear a significant possibility for this. they walked down this path of legitimizing the taliban, perpetuating this fantasy, telling the american people that the taliban were a partner for peace. president trump told us the taliban was going to fight terror. secretary pompeo told us the taliban was going to renounce al qaeda. none of that has happened. today as we watch the taliban release prisoners across afghanistan, there is very real concern that they are not just fighters in those prisons who will join the battle and afghanistan, but the terrorist
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groups globally will be fed new soldiers from those prisons. this is a devastating set of circumstances, but the delegitimization of the afghan government, the notion in the trump administration, the suggestion that they were going to invite the taliban to camp david. this disaster certainly began -- the notion of we are going to end endless wars, that campaign slogan. but we are watching right now in afghanistan is what happens when america withdraws from the world. everybody who has been saying america needs to withdraw, we are getting a devastating catastrophic real-time lesson and what that means. host: congresswoman liz cheney on abc, talking a bit about the trump administration and specifically former secretary of state mike pompeo. pompeo was on fox news sunday and was asked about his efforts
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to negotiate with the taliban. here is a bit of that back and forth yesterday. [video clip] >> you were the first american secretary of state to ever meet with the taliban, and you talked about how they had agreed to join us in the fight against terrorism. here you are, sir. >> the gentleman i met with agreed they would break that relationship and that they would work alongside of us, to destroy, deny resources to and have al qaeda depart from that place. >> do you regret giving the taliban that legitimacy? do you regret pressing the afghan government to release 5000 prisoners, which they did, some of whom are now back on the battlefield fighting with the taliban? >> the statement i made that day was absolutely true. you can ask the military leaders on the ground. we did good work to crush al qaeda. when we left office, they were fewer than 200 al qaeda left in
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afghanistan ash there were fewer than 200 al qaeda left in afghanistan. we did not trust the taliban. you can ask them yourselves. we made abundantly clear that if they did not have up to that piece of paper, we would not allow them to walk away from any deal, that we would go crush them and impose real cost on them. we were going to let them take these provincial capital states. they understood that american power was going to come to their village, to their community, to their friends and family around them and we were going to make sure that they understood america wasn't going to allow americans to be killed. we didn't take the word of the taliban. we watched their actions on the ground. when they did the right thing and helped us against terror, that was all good. when they didn't, we crush them. host: just a bit of the discussion from yesterday. this morning, asking our viewers what did the war in afghanistan mean. that special line for afghanistan war veterans and their founding members. evan is on that line of hudson,
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-- and their family members. evan is on that line out of houston -- out of hudson. in what capacity were you there? caller: i was an infantryman in the u.s. army. host: how do you feel today? caller: i saw this coming years ago. it was the only way. those people there, the taliban and afghans, they have a way of living that they have been living for centuries. they don't see any reason to change. those that went along with us went along with us because it benefited them personally in the moment. now that we are gone, they will go back to living the way they've lived for centuries. the only way to change that would be through decades or centuries of oppression and reeducation, basically genocide.
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any notion to the contrary is a fantasy. when i was there in 2008, 2009, i realized that this was the way we work -- this was the way it was going to be. we would spend a lot of time, resources and contractors, war materials, suppliers would make a lot of money. this is the way it ended up. host: ed is in jacksonville, florida, also for that -- also on that line for afghanistan war veterans and their families. caller: i served in vietnam in 19 623-1971. i also served in afghanistan, 2004 through 2005. i was an apache first sergeant.
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afghanistan is not vietnam, that is for sure. it is a sorry day for our country, the way we exited that country as opposed to the way we exited vietnam as well. most of your veterans from afghanistan that i hear speaking this morning our spot on about the culture, and the way that people are -- morning are spot on about the culture in the way the people are over there. i don't think america has a grip on the way culture is in that part of the world. host: why do you disagree with that comparison of the fall of saigon to what happened yesterday in kabul? caller: what i'm getting at, there is it is a different type of people, in the sense that the people there, in my opinion, the taliban are really bad people. the people that we served with in vietnam had a destiny or goal
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to take over the country. these are tribal people in afghanistan. you can get one part of the country to agree on something, and then you can't get the other part of the country to agree on it. there will be genocide in that country. host: what responsibility does the u.s. have, if and when that happens? caller: this is strictly -- i am sitting here in my living room watching it on tv. i don't want to be a monday night quarterback but i think the responsibility has been passed. we should have gotten some kind of control before we closed down -- i don't believe we should have closed it down. we should have put a station in like korea and germany, so that we can somewhat control the country still. host: rosetta is in new york, democrat. good morning. caller: good morning.
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i have a question as to why do we advertise, or let the enemy know what most of the plans are? why let them know how many troops are withdrawing, how may trips we are adding. not just in this instance but i've noticed that these people have tv's. they have smartphones, whatever the case. why do they let them know what the plans are? is it necessary to tell the enemy? host: i guess the question in return is, do you think it is necessary that the >> president communicates with the american people about where we are and what we are doing in afghanistan? do you think you can do that without citing trip numbers or specific days? caller: i'm not sure about how
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he is going to let the american people know, but something has to be done where you can't let the enemy know what you are planning. they watch tv too, or whatever. there has to be something that could be done that you don't have to let them know, all of your secrets or things they shouldn't know. they are the enemy. you have to protect yourself, protect the country, the united states, and the people that go there to help these people. obviously they are not dumb. host: do we have a responsibility to protect the people in that country anymore? caller: i don't think so. i think get out.
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obviously they don't want you there, they don't appreciate the fact that you've been there for 20 years. host: that is rosetta in new york. larry is in texas, independent. caller: good morning. it is amazing hearing all the comments, especially from the vets. i want to say thank you for your service. thank you, families for your sacrifice. your child, to go and fight for america, for the freedoms that we basically have built this country upon, through numerous wars, through numerous sacrifices. it is a shame to hear the grief in the voices of vets. there are numerous emotions, specific language being said, that they are insulted. it is an insult.
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to spend 20 years in a country. the purpose back in the day was to take care of terrorism, and infrastructure that was there, that we needed to get rid of so that we could be a safer country, but not just for america, a safer world, period. to allow the commander-in-chief -- i don't even know why they give him the title of commander-in-chief. to make a decision to pull out of a country where we have a strategic military dominance, to a country that borders iran? do you know what the future holds for iran? nuclear capability. the first nuclear bomb is not going to go towards america, it is going to go towards israel.
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we have supported israel for years, because they are a democracy. that is our whole intention, to have democracy as a religion if you want to call it, to spread throughout the world, because we know that democracy maintains civility and freedoms that other countries like afghanistan and iraq and libya -- can we not learn from our history? we go into iraq, to take care of saddam. we took out the government. we left a void. what happened there? we tried to support the new iraq government. they have shiites, sunnis. we take their tribes, we try to get a government that will base
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its new government on democracy. we don't care about that, it is still working up there. host: that is larry in texas. back to that line for afghanistan war veterans and family members. robert in iowa. when were you in afghanistan? caller: i was last there in 2013-2014. host: in what capacity? caller: i served all over the country. it was pretty interesting. we learned a lot. we learned in the transition from the iraq war going to afghanistan. i believe if more parents had more kids and they were going over there, they would understand the situation going on, not just listen to somebody who goes on the news to get a quick sound bite and then can go home to a lovely house. it is a different world. host: what do we need to
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understand today, in light of what we saw yesterday? caller: you are going to see that. you will see a fluctuation. service members did it for the country, they did it to their -- did it for their brothers and sisters to the left and right. we can't fix everything. if we would spend another 20 years there, what do you think would happen after that? they teach their kids like we teach our kids. you can't fight this war with just military only. host: when you joined up, did you want to go to afghanistan? was that something you saw yourself doing when you joined the military? caller: i joined the military in
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1995. i didn't retire until 2019. i did want to go over there because i wanted to actually fight. my dad was a vietnam veteran and i thought it was so great to see all of those metals and everything -- those medals and everything on his uniform. he never talked about it, but i wanted to see what it was like for myself. some things are real, people die. host: do you think you will talk about afghanistan when you get older? caller: not afghanistan, no. afghanistan is a nasty country. host: do you think you would ever want to go back? caller: no, no. i would do iraq again, but afghanistan has mountains and it is cold and snowy. the fighting season is a real fighting season.
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host: do you have children? caller: i have a son, who i missed multiple years of being with him because of going back and forth to fight wars that we knew we couldn't win. host: how would you feel about him joining the military? caller: i sent him to college. host: that is robert in iowa. bob in jacksonville, democrat. caller: good morning. it is good to hear your voice. i hadn't talked to you since december 7 last year. a caller, several callers ago still part of my thunder -- stole part of my thunder. i think this trillion dollars price tag is propaganda. first of all, people have forgotten that we went into --
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we went over there on a lie about weapons of mass destruction. i suggest that there have been a lot more than a trillion dollars spent. a trillion dollars, you have to tie iraq to afghanistan. if you figure a trillion dollars over 20 years, unless my math is wrong, that is $50 billion a year. i doubt if that would buy the bullets. host: you said you have to tie iraq to afghanistan, talking about weapons of mass destruction when it comes to iraq. why do you have to tie them together? caller: because i don't think we would have been there if it -- if we hadn't gone to iraq first. host: you said we talked on december 7, talked a lot about 9/11. do you think the date of august
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15, 2021 will be remembered much in u.s. history? caller: i doubt it. the event might be remembered, but i doubt very seriously if people will or member the date like they have, december 7 1941 -- remember the date like they have, december 7, 1941. host: do you think people will or -- do you think people remember the fall of saigon? caller: i don't think they remember the date. they don't even remember 20 years ago that we went over there on a lie. that was a lie, that there were weapons of mass destruction. that was a reason to go over there and spend money. i imagine that there has probably been at least $10 trillion spent since 9/11, in
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the name of freedom for our country. we just spend money. we went over there and, just think of what that kind of money could have done for this country. if we hadn't have been spending it on war machinery. host: our next caller from north carolina, republican line. caller: the guy you had on yesterday or the day before explained it pretty good. there was a plan, but our warmongers at the top didn't listen to the intelligence that was given. you've got millie and blinken. they should have to answer to the american -- anti-american strategy and philosophy they hold. for our servicemen, we thank them.
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they fulfilled their missions and they are not responsible for the lack of leadership. we keep hearing the words defeat and all the negative statements. that has to make them feel -- i don't know how that would make me feel, because we can't forget that our soldiers followed their orders and accomplish their missions, and they have not gotten anything to be ashamed of. they should stand proud, and america loves their soldiers. the failure is at the top. the ones that are in the positions not because they are intelligent but because they are tokens and quotas. host: here is some of the headlines from today's major u.s. papers. the wall street journal, the taliban seizes power as the u.s. retreats. the u.s. surrenders kabul, scrambles to evacuate. the near times this morning, the
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taliban capture kabul, stunning the u.s. asking you in this three hour program on the "washington journal" to answer this question. what did the war in up in a stand mean?margie in philly, on the democrats line. caller: we have to look back at the trump administration. when he made deals not with the president of kabul, but with the taliban of kabul. that is what he did. he went over the president. the president of kabul had to get out of town in the darkness and let the taliban that trump made deals with take power. as far as the army is concerned, the afghan and the taliban. they are two of the same. the afghan army and the taliban. they are two of the same. i don't know why people can't
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see that when it goes down, they all blend together. host: margie in philadelphia, talking about president trump. we have been showing clips of u.s. presidents over the past four administration's talking about u.s. involvement in up in a stand. this is president trump from august of 2017, speaking at fort meyer in arlington, virginia about u.s. engagement in afghanistan. [video clip] >> military power alone will not bring peace to afghanistan or stop the terrorist threat arising in that country, but strategically applied force aims to create the conditions for a political process to achieve a lasting peace. america will work with the afghan government, as long as we see determination and progress. however, our commitment is not unlimited and our support is not a blank check.
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the government of afghanistan must carry their share of the military, political and economic burden. the american people expect to see real reforms, real progress and real results. our patience is not unlimited. we will keep our eyes wide open, and abiding by the oath i took on january 20, i will remain steadfast in protecting american lives and american interests. in this effort, we will make common cause with any nation that chooses to stand and fight alongside us against this global threat. terrorists take heed. america will never let up, until you are dealt a lasting defeat. under my ad administration, many billions of dollars more is being spent on our military. this includes vests amount being
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spent -- vast amounts being spent on our nuclear arsenal and missile-defense. in every generation, we have faced down people and we have always prevailed. host: former president trump from four years ago in 2017. this morning, taking your calls, asking you what did the war in afghanistan mean? this is laura in new york, republican. how would you answer that question? caller: hello? host: go ahead, lawrence. caller: what happens, number one, i agree with what the woman said earlier, in terms of our own borders, we have so many situations going on in our own country that we really need to address. trump, when he was running for president, stressed that one of his goals would be to get us out of these endless wars, to bring our children home.
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god made the world and people have different cultures and different things, and i think us infringing upon other cultures in the world is just not working. we need to let people have true freedom and true determination. we wasted a lot of money over there, a lot of lives. when will it end? on top of it all, who are the real rightful owners of who should be running or governing afghanistan? like the woman said earlier, are they both one and the same people? that's about it for me. host: this is tina in pennsylvania, independent. caller: hello? host: go ahead. caller: i just want to say it is a sad day for america. i sat here yesterday and cried for all the bloodshed of the americans who went over there to
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fight. let me just bring america into where i'm looking. i turned on al jazeera and saw them take the provincial palace. the one fighter that -- the presidential palace. the one fighter that was there who did eight years in gitmo. do you think they will forget what we did a guantanamo bay question mark our borders are wide open. we need to get out and secure our nation, our children, because this is going to get bad. this is going to top saigon. stop with the blame game. let's come together. now we are in trouble. we are really in trouble. god bless every service member is going over there. we need to protect our country. get them out, bring them over, close our borders. we've got trouble coming, like it or not. it is not a failure for our soldiers. it is a failure for biden.
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he needs to get our boys and girls out. thank you. host: eric, long island, independent. caller: good morning and thank you for c-span. there was a few callers earlier that referenced -- talking about -- i can't stand any of these colors to keep defending our presidents over in afghanistan. we weren't supposed to be over there in 20 -- 20 years ago. host: go ahead. did we lose you? i apologize for that. tom in new jersey, republican. caller: how is it going? first of all, as far as it goes with liz cheney. her dad was part of the war machine, with the whole halliburton thing. the first george bush went into
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iraq, spank them and got out. they probably should have done that in afghanistan. we probably should not have spent 20 years there, trying to weasel out every person that hated america, because you could go all over the world and find people that hate america. i feel bad for the people that relied on the u.s., just like i felt bad about -- because i knew people that were older than me that went to vietnam. i was a little young to go there. they came back with some stories, saying how they were wondering why they were there. i can feel for the soldiers that were over in afghanistan, and iraq on the second tour. that's about it.
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have a good day. host: tom in new jersey. under scholar on that line for afghanistan war veterans and their family members, out of kansas city, missouri. are you with us? caller: yes. host: go ahead. when were you in afghanistan? we lost him. our next caller is from texas, democrat. caller: good morning. in 19 627, when i graduated from high school, -- in 19 627, when i graduated from high school, i was so proud of my right to vote i volunteered for the army and for vietnam. something that really bothers me . every war since vietnam that we go to, we go without the full
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complete support of our people. we cannot change countries that have been at war for centuries. we cannot make them do what we want them to do. a person forced against his will has the same opinion still. it is time for us to spend money, instead of going and trying to run everybody else's country, on us, the americans. host: take yourself back to october 20 -- october 2001. do you think we went into afghanistan with the full and complete support of the american public at that time, a little more than a month after 9/11? caller: after 9/11, everybody supported going because it was horrendous, what bin laden and
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his group were able to do. we got bin laden. the rest is trying to make people change or make people be somebody else. that's not going to happen. host: should we have left after we got bin laden? caller: we should have left after bin laden, because not only did we get the taliban mad, but we got other people that didn't really support bin laden but hated the way we snuck over there and got him. just like we hated the way they snuck over here and got us. host: this is michael in north carolina, democrat. caller: yes. i agree with every single thing, just about everybody said on c-span. thank god for c-span.
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we should have guarded our own borders. we should have made sure that we spent the money on the people that are here, struggling with the coronavirus. we should have been focused on us. i'm to the point where donald trump, i did not agree with a lot of things he said but i do agree with one thing he said. he said that we should protect ourselves. host: that is michael in north carolina. a reminder as you are waiting on hold, please put your tv on mute. it makes the conversations a little bit easier. it is coming up on not :00 on the east coast -- on 9:00 on the east coast and we are spending the full three hours of our program talking about what happened yesterday in afghanistan. the united states flag coming down at the u.s. embassy. ,, the rush to evacuate u.s. troops continuing -- personnel,
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afghan allies out from the airport and the situation continues to be chaotic on the ground. as we see a day in which kabul fell, what did the war there, what did the u.s. effort they're mean? -- there mean? democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. and that special line for afghan war veterans and their family members, (202) 748-8003. throughout this three hour program, showing you moments in which the presidents from the past four and ministrations of talked about u.s. efforts in afghanistan, key moments of u.s. policy decisions over the years when it comes to that country. this from december of two thousand nine, then president barack obama speaking to me
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cadets at west point, announcing 30,000 additional troops into afghanistan at that time. this is what the president had to say. [video clip] >> afghanistan is not lost. for several years, it has moved backwards. there is no imminent threat of the government being overthrown but the taliban have gained momentum. al qaeda has not reemerged in afghanistan in the same numbers as before 9/11 but retain their safe havens along the border. our forces lack the support they need to effectively train and partner with afghan security forces and better secure the population. our new commander in afghanistan has reported the security situation is more serious than he anticipated. the status quo is not sustainable. as cadets, you volunteered for service during this time of danger.
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some of you fought in afghanistan. some of you will deploy their -- there. as your commander in chief, iou a mission that is clearly defined and worthy of your service. that is why after the afghan voting was completed i insisted on a thorough review of our strategy. let me be clear. there has never been an option before me that called for troop deployments before 2010. there has been no delay or denial of resources necessary for the conduct of the war during this review period. the review has allowed me to ask the hard questions and to explore the different options along with my national security team, our military, and civilian leadership in afghanistan and are key partners. -- our key partners. i owed the american people and
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our troops no less. this review is complete. as commander-in-chief, i have determined it is in our national interest to send an additional 30,000 u.s. troops to afghanistan. after 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. these are the resources we need to seize the initiative while building the afghan capacity to allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of afghanistan. host: former president barack obama from december 1 of 2009. now we want to fast-forward ahead to may 22, 2010. president obama back at west point, that commitment ceremony, speaking about the situation in afghanistan six months later. [video clip] >> six months ago i came to west point to announce a new strategy for afghanistan and pakistan. i stand here humbled by the
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knowledge that many of you will soon be serving in harm's way. i assure you you will go with the support of a proud and grateful nation. we face a tough fight in afghanistan. insurgency confronted with a direct challenge will turn to new tactics. that is what the taliban has done through assassination and indiscriminate killing and intimidation. any country that has known decades of war will be tested in finding political solutions to his problems and providing governance that can sustain progress and serve the needs of its people. this war has changed over the last nine years. it is no less important than it was after 9/11. we toppled the taliban regime. now we must break the momentum of a taliban insurgency and
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train afghan security forces. we have supported the election of a sovereign government. now we must strengthen its capacity. we brought hope to the afghan people. we must see that their country does not fall prey to our common enemies. there will be difficult days ahead. we will adapt. we will persist. i have no doubt that with our partners we will succeed in afghanistan. host: then president of barack obama from may of 2010. 11 years later, this headline. taliban capture kabul. what to the war in afghanistan mean? jimmy, georgia, independent. caller: good morning. this has been a great show this morning. to answer the main question, it
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means we did not learn lessons from vietnam because we went into a war not doing everything -- not willing to do everything it took or would take to win it. by that, i mean using nuclear weapons. we could have won the afghanistan war if we had been willing to use all our weapons that we have in our arsenal. that is just not politically correct, so we decided not to do it and lost another war like we did in vietnam. host: would you have wanted us to use nuclear weapons in afghanistan? caller: no, i think we should never have entered that were to begin with and i do not think we should ever enter a war unless we are willing to use nuclear weapons to win it. that is my opinion. host: this is burlington, north carolina, democrat. caller: the thing i have to say
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is i would like to thank our military serving now and retired. i also am tired of hearing the blame being put here and there. it is really sad to see what is happening, and so much of it was unforeseen. i just think if the blame would stop -- the blame being put on biden and if you go to the rnc website you will notice they took down the agreement that trump had with the taliban. if you remember, he wanted to
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invite them here on september 11 of last year to camp david. i do not know where everybody is getting that it is all biden's fault. he extended the leaving time from may 1 to a few days ago. what would have happened then as compared to now, no one knows. i think he was able to give us a little more time. anyway, it is sad. i am sorry and i hope we can get the afghans who were -- who gave so much aid to us over the 20 years out safely. host: this is a statement yesterday from the leader of the house republicans, kevin mccarthy.
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the california commerce been saying, joe biden has been commander-in-chief for seven months. the current failure in afghanistan falls squarely on his shoulders. i asked president biden to stop finding excuses for his mistakes and address the country with how he plans to secure u.s. national interests, protect personal on the ground, and assist afghan allies and prevented the resurgence of al qaeda. his lack of leadership during this pivotal moment has been shameful. kevin mccarthy put in his state me yesterday he let our allies down. waiting to hear from the president. we do not know when the president will be speaking. we do not know if it will be today or in the coming days. in less than an hour, at 10:00 a.m. eastern, we are going to take c-span viewers to a u.n. security council meeting on the issue of afghanistan, holding that meeting in the wake of yesterday's events.
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you can watch that on c-span and also later today at 2:00 p.m. we expect a briefing from the state department and questions from journalists taken by the state department spokesman. that is what we will be watching for today. check with c-span throughout the day for our coverage of other events as they come up. in the meantime, your phone calls this morning. we have been asking what to the war in afghanistan mean? joe out of hawaii, a republican. how would you answer that question? caller: i feel any type of death and destruction from war is useless. we should try to build other countries but first build our country, the united states of america. we should aid people in life, liberty, and the pursuit of
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happiness in their own countries but not tell them how to achieve that. we should avoid putting our best minds and money into these foreign interventions. stop the endless wars and build up united states of america so it is truly the great country. also, understand why people do not like us. we are poor in human relations. why did al qaeda attack the united states why did osama bin laden hate us? we need to understand why people do not like us. we cannot be bullies that goal -- go all over the world as imperialists trying to tell people how to run their governments. do not fight china. do not fight russia. just live in harmony but be strong. they know we canoe them any time we want to.
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host: in texas, and independent. caller: i called and is a veteran and not an independent. i had vietnam in 1968. i know exactly what went on in vietnam. it was nothing compared to what is going on now. i was on the top of the building when we lifted out in helicopters and i was helping people get on, soldiers, politicians, citizens. but to be a minis -- the vietnamese did not stop fighting. they were not a bunch of fiends. they were fighting up to the steps as they were getting help to get away from it. over in afghanistan, they are
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the crookedest people in the world and always have been. when we went over there, even in iraq, we went over there because of the whole business -- oil business. i know that. i worked in the oil fields fields for quite a few years. but we do not need to be over there in the middle east and we do not need to be supporting israel over there. host: you mentioned you were there for the fall of saigon. how close were you to this famous picture when it comes to the fall of saigon of the rooftop of the embassy? caller: 50, 60 foot at one time.
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i was sergeant major in the marine corps. i know the trustees and stuff that took place over there. the stuff that is going on in afghanistan is a takeover and abusive, but it was nothing as bad as some of the things we saw in vietnam when we got there. host: how did you eventually get out? did you get out on one of those helicopters? caller: i got out thanks to some boys that my -- the boys that saved us out of saigon took us out in a little boat and got is out. host: was that the 30th?
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caller: it was the day before they -- the day before most of us got out. it was -- i am not a very scary type person, but i was scared to death and everybody around me was, whether they claimed to be or not. it was vital to get out. it was vital to save as many people as you could. vietnam gets a wrap it deserves and it is not a good one. it is a bad one. none of the soldiers in vietnam, none of the marines, none of the boys that got us in the helicopters, the person that
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save more lives was the ones that dropped the agent orange on us. they save more lives on both sides than any of the rest of us did. vietnam was a rough place, but the people in south vietnam were not traders and they were fighters. i was up in the hills with them and i was a prisoner of war for a while, until we got out. and managed to get free. i was liaison with colonel haywood and went back when they bombed the pentagon. i do not believe we should ever have been in afghanistan. i believe the special forces should have went in on -- and
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got him, got the main leaders, and got out and came home. host: thanks for sharing some of your memories this morning. about 45 minutes left in the washington journal today. in virginia beach, virginia, republican. caller: just have an input as a republican. we had a mission after 9/11, find the person responsible, hold him accountable. it was osama bin laden. he was found. his command was terminated. that was it. the military does what it does and it is successful at it. along the way, politicians get involved. business get involved. money to be made. so you end up with mission creep. let's keep people there. we should have been out 10 years ago when mission was realized. everyone knew it. we stayed.
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ok. the longer it takes, the longer it takes. we are paying for their policeman come up for their soldiers come up for their civil infrastructure. how long do we continue this? we are sitting here with a couple trillion dollars of an infrastructure bill. how do we get republicans and democrats on the same page? let's pay for it. how? we have to make a cut. we were already told we are leaving afghanistan. that is a big cut. there are a lot of finances and politics in this. that is how we function. the people left behind, what are we doing? gnashing of teeth. we built a generation where women could read in a country where it was for bid and. -- forbidden. we did some good work, but we cannot stay there.
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there are nations we can help nation build, but right now there is no end to this. we have to get out. host: this is sherry in georgia, a democrat. caller: yes. i am calling because i am looking at the bigger picture. i think afghanistan is going to be -- genocide may occur, but it will not be within its own people initially maybe, but i see where china and russia are already making plans to work with their government. china is aggressively building islands into the water to acquire more territory. russia also has a lot to gain. eventually, when all this dies
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down, they are going to take over afghanistan. those people will not have their country anymore. world war iii has been on the verge for a long time. dealing with that in afghanistan put it off for a little bit, but i believe world war iii is on its way because there is a limited number of resources in the world and we are overpopulated. host: on the issue of china and afghanistan, this from nbc news, reporting this morning that china is saying it is willing to forge friendly relations with the taliban and afghanistan. she says she asked if it meant recognition of the taliban as legitimate government they are but got no clear answer. china was given security assurances by the taliban prior to its takeover of the country. again, that reporting from nbc news.
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ian republican, good morning. caller: the gentleman before said a lot. he who can hold the land -- we are a generation away from us being lost. people think the indians had the land. the land belongs to people who can hold it. we got osama bin laden. that was our goal, the mission. to sit there and have frank biden or whoever start building stuff as a contractor -- this is where it gets messy. our troops if they are there for 100 years, the taliban will hide. they will cross borders. they will come out and take it again. unless we are going to sit there forever and today, like the british who colonized places -- whether we were trading or moving goods, we would have problems, whether it is the same places we are having problems.
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we sat there and we have to sit there forever. who wants to live there? do you want to protect that region that has nothing to protect? i feel horrible that the good people that are there, like the ones that protected the lone survivor -- everybody should watch the movie. there are good, but it seems they are outnumbered so great that we would have to sit there forever and lose our blood and our most precious of what we have to give to help the world. they are still shooting us. we are training them to be cops and they turn on us. we cannot have that no more. that trainer -- taliban to me are fundamentalists. china and russia can go there and exhaust all their money and their soldiers because there is nothing for us there. we won.
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and god bless the vietnam veteran before. my uncles were in vietnam. god bless all our shoulders -- soldiers. we are not nation builders. we did what we had to do. we were successful. host: we have lines we have been holding open for afghanistan war veterans and family members. (202) 748-8003 is that number, ricardo calling in from florida. when were you in afghanistan? caller: 2012, 20 13. i was an iraq in 2016. i was in kabul. host:? what was your job -- what was your job? caller: i was part of the staff. host: the embassy staff? caller: the eye staff staff -- the three-star command.
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host: how are you feeling after watching what happened yesterday? caller: i feel sad, troubled. what is going on? we fought so hard for so long to move forward and to see this happening is just mind-boggling, what is going on. what is happening is happening. there is no turning back. the thought of was supposed to happen and how things were going to go was completely misunderstood, but the question is what do we do now? do we uphold the values as
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americans that we say we are and defend our honor? and defend the afghan people? or do we just stand by and let this unfold and move out? host: what is the right answer? caller: my position is -- my opinion is these people fought for us. they fought with us. they helped us. i do not think we should just leave them to their luck and go away. i think we should uphold our honor and values and wherever that takes us is the right way to go. host: did you get to know any
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afghan nationals while you were there? do you know what their status is today? caller: i met some and i do not. host: thanks for the call. john and virginia, democrat, you are next. caller: as long as a nation elected leaders based on how nice their hair looks worth they can play saxophone or banjo work and tell funny jokes, then they appoint lobbyists and people who do the bidding for the war machine venue factors. at the same time, we have not got the courage to look back on our history and see what techniques we used to take over the entire sheet -- sea to shining sea.
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we do not want to confront our past, and as long as we do not do that we are going to see the same old, same old. religion, what a trip. thank you. host: denver hills, florida. caller: to me, there is no hope for stupid. if these people want to be free, they need to take off their skirts, put on their big boy pants, and fight to protect themselves. whatever it takes. we have proven that over and over again in this country. we are willing to protect ourselves, whatever it takes. we do not mind helping other people, but to help and then see them stand beside and watch, i have had enough of it. i feel sorry for the ones that
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want better, but they had 20 years to do this. thank you. host: and in florida this morning. just pointing out one of the op-ed's, and there are plenty today. expect throughout the week even more on the situation in afghanistan here the author of this often, one of the authors, h.r. mcmaster, former white house national security adviser, a little of what he wrote this morning. pundits in washington repeat the mantra that there was no military solution in afghanistan. the taliban seem to have come up with one on their own. some strategists still rationalize the u.s. withdrawal as necessary to focus on china as the great power competition but refusal to provide the afghan people with support necessary to stem a humanitarian quebec -- catastrophe emboldens china and others.
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he says calls from washington urged afghans to fight harder, insulting the memory of tens of thousands of afghans who made the ultimate sacrifice in a fight against our common enemies and underestimate the psychological blow from our sun and abandonment. about 30 minutes left in the washington journal. in about 30 minutes, we will take you to a u.s. security council meeting on development in afghanistan live here on c-span and we want you to keep calling into answer this question. what did the war in afghanistan mean? for republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. and that special line for afghanistan veterans, (202) 748-8003. as you continue to call in, we talked earlier in our program
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with a senior pentagon correspondent about the situation this morning in afghanistan. it is still changing, but this is what she had to say in our interview. we want to bring in tariq cop, a senior pentagon correspondent. thanks for joining us on a busy morning at the pentagon. can you give us the latest on the situation on the ground as you understand it? how many u.s. personnel remain on the ground? how much longer does the u.s. military need to evacuate not just u.s. personnel but as many afghan allies as are allowed to join and get out? ? caller: thank you for having me. several hundred have been evacuated. we hand -- we have seen and heard of -- we are all checking
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on that to ensure the number is correct. this is some thing i have never seen before. usually when you see villa terry aircraft on ramps it is a pristine, secure area -- military aircraft on ramps, it is a pristine, secure area. hundreds of young men chasing after u.s. military airplanes and trying to take off. today, i will be back at the pentagon. we will ask about that airlift, flying 6000 troops to secure the evacuation as more and more afghans flee toward the airport, seeing that as their last hope to get out of the country. host: one flight had 800 people on it. what is the usual number that can fit on one of those planes
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you're talking about that had 800 people on it? guest: we have to verify the 800-number, but multiple sources told me it is close to that. it is not the first time. it is a huge cargo airplane. it can be configured as many fact for cargo. in this situation, it was lines of people lying on the floor, holding on and taking off that way. they also did hurricane evacuation a couple years ago with less people but not many less. the story that is unfolding here, the heartbreak of the afghans trying to leave and the efforts by the military going on to secure and get people out. host: when are we expected to hear from secretary austin or
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the joint chiefs chairman? guest: when are we going to hear from the president? they do not go out until the president does because those messages are coordinated. host: when you get a chance to talk to president biden or the defense secretary, what are you going to ask? guest: what happened? we have been reporting on stories about military training, what led to the collapse of the afghan army. in the last couple weeks, what happened in the white house behind the scenes? did they think it would unfold this quickly, that kabul would unfold this fast? it is always a matter of time to get aircraft and come in to get personnel in. clearly we were caught flat-footed at kabul airport.
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host: you have spent 83 billion dollars training afghan forces. why did they collapse so quickly? can you speak about the amount of equipment being left behind or that may have fallen into taliban hands in the past week or so? guest: at this point, we can say all of it has fallen under taliban control. a caller raised a good point. a veteran i was talking to yesterday had been there five years, an army veteran. they emphasized that we never really got the tribal system. we did try to build an army in our own image, a centralized army with national control and leadership structure where paychex would flow and it never took into account all the various steps and the power tribes have. he was speculating because he is
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no longer there that a lot of this probably happened intertribal. people probably blended back in with their tribes and regions. sadly, he is sure we are going to go back. if we are going to ever repeat this kind of large-scale training again, it seems like a deep after action needs to be done on understanding where this failed. host: how are you doing your job amid the chaos we are seeing and videos coming up from the airport? you mentioned to the scene of afghans chasing american military planes. who are you in touch with on the ground? guest: i have been covering veterans for a long time and talking to a lot of them over
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the last few hours. some served in the air force, some served with the army. just getting their thoughts and seeing where i should go next to look. all of us are going to be watching how many people are able to get out of kabul successfully. at that point, will the u.s. military stay at the airport to keep it open for allies? how long will there be u.s. personnel on the ground? at what point will the taliban lose patience and attacked the airport? to ensure u.s. personnel and civilians that we have pledged to take care of will be able to get out securely. this is changing so quickly. you just do not know what is going to happen next. host: we will let you get to the pentagon and continue with your reporting today.
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you can see her work online. back to your phone calls, about 25 minutes left in the washington journal this morning asking you what to the war in afghanistan mean? and holding a special line open for veterans of the war in afghanistan. roberto calling in on that line from fairfax county, virginia. where and when did you serve in afghanistan? caller: thank you for having me on. this is a disappointment but not a shock or surprise to anyone that served their or was part of the staff at the central command, which i was part of for six years. and help develop or plans for central command, which includes iraq and syria. host: what was the war plan endgame? caller: as he recalled in some
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of your -- and some of your callers have talked about, we were looking to withdraw back in the obama administration. that was turned off at the last minute when a deal was struck between the administration and the afghan government because they knew then as soon as we withdrew their would likely be a collapse of the government, much to the dismay of all the money and blood and sweat that was lost their over the previous 10 years. this is not a surprise. we have known the afghan government was not capable of securing itself. it has been known throughout leadership, but they denied the obvious and we take an unrealistic approach.
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we think of other countries as monolithic and similar to our own and our leadership at the highest levels makes these assumptions on plans that the country we will be supporting will act the same way we would act if the tables were turned, that they will accept the same concepts and structure that we have accepted in this country without regards to their history. we assume all those things away while we do our planning, so what is a shame is the speed of -- the lack of speed when it came to this withdrawal. we should have planned as we planned to invade, which was with the shock and all --a awe.
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we can plan and invade a country within 24 hours. what we cannot seem to do is the reverse. that is because of our nature for a variety of reasons. host: you said you had a sense of inevitability about this, that you knew this was coming. was it just you who felt that way? what about the higher ups at central command? caller: they do but they are part of the leadership. a four-star is a political position, appointed. you answer to the president of the united states, who has an agenda and you do not tell the boss you are wrong. especially in the military, where it is a can-do attitude. they say, we have to do this, and the answer by even most
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senior four-star's is we will get it done. and they passed that order through the ranks. people who do the planning like myself, we worked tirelessly to come up with a strategy that will work with the things we are given. when we recognize issues, we pass those of the chain but a lot of times those get watered down. they go through joint staff review, office of the secretary of defense. before that gets to the white house, it has taken on a different tone. words get changed. intent gets changed. the message gets watered down. that is how you get from a coolie -- complete collapse within weeks. the intelligence agencies will say maybe we have a higher confidence it will last a few more weeks or more months and the brief the guest to the
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president will be you have months before collapse. host: in the time that you were there -- you said it was six years at central command. the time you were there, what was the closest you were to winning? caller: that is a loaded question. winning what? we defeated the taliban within a few months of invading with special forces. it took us a while to find bin laden because he was not in afghanistan. he was hiding in pakistan. we won the war, if you want to call it a war, against al qaeda. probably within the first two or three years of being in afghanistan. what happened is we developed mission creep and started to rebuild, to look at redeveloping afghanistan, moving it away from creating opioids to doing
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agriculture. we tried to create a centralized government after our own with all power at the capital. we realized the tribal elements were never going to be on board with that. we won a long time ago. this is just a closing of a sad chapter over a decade-long attempt to do things in afghanistan that were never truly possible. host: thanks for the call from fairfax, virginia. a few callers sending us text messages as well. bonnie san, explain how this is possible. you're telling me a gang of people called the taliban are able to take over a country we have been protecting for 20 years within a matter of weeks? this is jody saying trying to
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find peace through war is getting old with americans, from vietnam to afghanistan. we go to war so easily -- will be go to war so easily in the future? bobby saying, we did not invade afghanistan to give western culture rights to women. the ways of the taliban did not matter to the u.s. when they were fighting against russians with u.s. support. comments including the news about the flight of the president of afghanistan from the country yesterday, reporting now he is likely to end up in the united states, though it is not clear when that might happen. sharon is next in kansas, democrat. caller: thank you. we stayed there too long. we stayed long enough for the world to see how america treats women and minorities. we stay long enough for our future president to brag about how he grabs them in their private parts against their will
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and then we elected him. we stayed long enough to see how they treated george floyd and tamia rice and all the others, government representatives doing that to people of color. they recognize they are people of color. at least the taliban is honest about their beliefs. it is a sad state come up with the world sees our hypocrisy -- sad state, but the world sees our hypocrisy. the afghan soldiers chose to return to what they know. we need to spend our money and time cleaning up our own act for equality for all people here in america so the world can see that. we are still allowing the waiving of nazi flags and confederate flags and glorifying people who tried to overthrow our government in favor of
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enslavement. it is no wonder the afghan people picked the devil they know. host: this is robert in michigan, independent. good morning. caller: thank you for having us on. i have one question. this is my main question. why did our previous president -- i cannot even say his name. communicated with the taliban instead of the president himself of afghanistan. why was he in communication with the taliban saying we are going to pull out on may 1 and stuff like that? i am old enough to know what happened in vietnam at the fall of saigon and everything. i am a four-year veteran, air
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force. it is as gutwrenching as january 6. i cannot get over what i saw in january 6. i feel bad for biden. he has a lot on his shoulders. what is going to happen now is china's going to go into afghanistan and take over the whole region as far as the precious metals and stuff so they can carry on with whatever they are doing. do not forget when has returned china, russia, and iran are in south america as we speak. they are setting up things in south america which is forcing people to come through our land, through the southern border. host: this is deborah in
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pennsylvania, republican. are you with us? to mike on that line for republicans. caller: good morning. i am sitting here listening to this. i had to drop my breakfast. i cannot believe the things i am hearing. i appreciate people coming to say this is unnecessary. it has been a waste of time. i do not know if you are familiar with the book the israel lobby. between 2002 and 2006, we canceled 42 your -- u.n. security resolutions that were critical of israel. you have tweets talking but how this is a shame, the other half blaming it on the tribes. the only tribes we need to worry about are the 12 tribes. host: this is irving in winter haven, florida.
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caller: first i would like to praise the lady that spoke regarding let's spend the money taking care of things that need to be done here in our country. second, the other gentlemen that was in afghanistan, i believe in the planning department who had a lot to say, he was on point on many issues and probably should be hired as an advisor or analyst because he was quite knowledgeable about what you said and truthful. when i wanted to say was observing what happened this week in afghanistan brought back memories of when i served during vietnam. i was in germany and the european theater. but the similarities, the fact we spent all this money training a military and creating a
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centralized government and then at the end, when we left front to their own devices, as soon as the north vietnamese decided, it started a domino effect. next thing you know, we were shocked to see how quickly they took over all of south vietnam. and then the struggle and rush to have people evacuated brought memories about the helicopter on top of the embassy building evacuating people. i look at this and it brings back all those memories. as soon as we left, the taliban came in and took over the country again. it goes to the point that we spent all this money training and army, but the armies themselves were not really motivated to defend the country
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they were trained for. when we left, the morel dropped and they were like, i am not going to get my head chopped off. they just gave in. he goes to the point that we should have gotten in there to get osama bin laden. we did. then we needed to get out. host: just a few minutes left in our program, a lot of calls waiting to get in. we will go to henry in new york city. independent. caller: you are doing good work this morning. i wanted to talk about accountability. i have been listening to this program and i do not recall anyone talking about accountability. i called c-span on may 13 and 2018. what prompted me to call that morning was president bush had given a speech to the atlantic
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council in which he quoted winston churchill. the quote is america's indispensable for the world. the price of greatness is responsibility. president bush agreed with winston churchill. i would like to put before the audience and you, where is the accountability here for this 20 year long debacle? kabul has fallen, like saigon. does anyone think there will be a congressional or senate commission to look into the origins of this? we know some of the origins. a gentleman in texas called earlier. it was based on the lie of weapons of mass destruction. if we had not gone into iraq, we probably would not have gone into afghanistan and here we are 20 years later with this debacle on our hands.
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i am wondering if there is going to be accountability for these folks. they make these decisions, spend lots of money, blood, and treasure, and there is never accountability. there is a book published in the early to thousands by an author that gives a good insight into the mentality of islam extremists -- extremists. if anyone is interested, they should read it, the swallows of kabul. i would like to see accountability start with former president bush. host: that is henry out of new york city. about five minutes left this morning. i want to update viewers on where we are going on the c-span at work today. after this program, over to the un security council meeting on developments in afghanistan, that meeting called yesterday in
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light of the events of the fall of kabul. that will begin on c-span. we are expecting a briefing from the state department. plenty of questions will be asked there when it comes to afghanistan. also, the defense department briefing scheduled today at 2:30 p.m., available at stay with c-span networks through the day as we update you on the unfolding situation. we have spent three hours this morning taking your phone calls, asking what the war in afghanistan means. we will take the calls through the end of this program. janet in louisiana, democrat. go ahead. caller: hello? ok. to begin with, afghanistan did not bomb new york city. saudi arabia did. osama bin laden was a saudi
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arabian and so were the pilots who flew those airplanes in new york city and bombed the buildings. bin laden was killed in pakistan by us and that should be enough. the taliban is composed mainly of young males who are religiously motivated, trying to keep the peace in their country, rightly or wrongly. it is their problem, not ours. host: would you describe it as trying to keep the peace, what they are doing their? -- there? caller: the taliban is trying to keep the peace in their country, rightly or wrongly. host: why do you use that term, trying to keep the peace?
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do you think that is what they have been doing the past 20 years? caller: yes. they were mostly young men. they were educated young men who were regularly motivated trying to keep religiously the peace in their country. host: in louisiana, ginger, republican. caller: there have been a lot of good points made today. i do not know what that was. the retreats were hasty. i do not understand why all that equipment was left behind for the taliban because they have it , drones, helicopters, airplanes, tanks, more guns then you could shake a stick at. why that was all just left
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behind, why american reporters and their families were left behind, it seems weird. we all know that obama was shipping them pallets of money, the taliban. we all know that obama was negotiating with terrorists. he was letting these guys go. these guys have made videos bragging about it. host: you think would happen in afghanistan yesterday was the fault of barack obama -- what happened in afghanistan yesterday was the fault of barack obama? caller: i do not. during his reign, joe biden was involved. it is the same thing over and over with him. host: you talk about negotiating with the taliban. the trump administration -- caller: he said things he tells every country.
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you get what you get. that is what trump does. do you think trump would have released terrorists out of gitmo? absolutely not. i would never think that. trump does not do things like that. he just tells people like it is. you get what you get. there is no proof, no video, no anything that he has ever negotiated with terrorists, let alone send pallets of money. host: we will go to alicia. good morning. caller: hello, america. i would like to say that joe biden has been in their -- there in congress so long. how could he have botched this so badly?
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instead, he is pointing at the former president. i know a lot of people -- the fact that we are leaving afghans behind. however, what did we do with the kurds? they were our friends too. they helped us. we left them. also, i would like to say that i hope you people do not blame the military. i am talking about the foot soldiers. i think they did a good job. they were told what to do and did a good job. however, the top people, i do
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not think they directed them in the correct way. when it first started with bush, my friend who went over there to iraq, it was impossible to furnish anything for any of the troops. not only for her brand, but they all kept coming to her tent to get things. host: time for maybe just one or two more calls. the u.n. security council meeting is about to get underway. individual member delegations having the security council meeting. we will hear from someone in south carolina, an independent. go ahead. caller: thanks, john. thanks for taking my call. i just want to say first in
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terms of our troops who served, under command, all my thoughts go out to them. it should fall back on the politicians and the presidents on the failures. i remember the night they aired something on hbo. neither one of these wars, iraq or afghanistan, should have ever taken place. and all of the americans and civilians of those two countries who lost their lives, i just feel so for them. but america has got to do better. i mean, we cannot go in wars under false pretense and kill people and our own and think we have done something glorified. this has not been a glorified 20 years in afghanistan or iraq.
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it has been a sad 20 years altogether. what makes it so sad is it was all unnecessary. thank you, john, for taking my call. host: jean in detroit, michigan, democrat, good morning. caller: hi. i just wanted to quickly say i did some research and found out the war was unnecessary in that the united states was bombing afghanistan, trying to get the taliban to turn over osama bin laden. the taliban offered to turn over osama bin laden if we would stop the bombing. bush and rumsfeld both said no, and then we went to war. just like we did, made up the excuse for going into iraq. there is a price to pay. war should be a last resort. host: you recently did some research. where did you do some research? caller: online.
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i vaguely remember because i was following all of this after 9/11, but i looked online and saw it in a newspaper article also. don't ask me what newspaper it was. host: maybe time for one more call as we wait for this morning's security council meeting to get underway. u.n. ambassador linda thomas-greenfield is in the room as well as the secretary-general. but have not started yet. we will hear from sandra in new orleans, republican. go ahead. caller: ok. i would like to say to everyone who has called in about war, that america started wars, america, the united states did with the revolutionary war. we took over the native americans's lands. we have done a lot of sins, but it is stupid to think this world or the united states of
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america will have peace. there is always going to be wars. the other thing in afghanistan, they gave us intelligence about iran, china, russia, and so many of our other enemies. third point, how long have we been in germany? we rebuilt germany. they were our enemies. how long have we been in japan? and still forking money over there. you know why? because in south korea, we need a presence over there so we can gather intelligence. host: sandra, we will have to end it there. the sukhumi council meeting getting underway and we will of course be back here tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern, 4:00 a.m. pacific on "washington journal." [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> the 8,834th meeting of the security council is called to order.


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