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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  August 30, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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all right that is going to do it for us tonight. thanks for being here on the big news night. i'm particle grateful when you try to spend some of that night with us. we'll be back again tomorrow night. now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> good evening rachel. president biden's going to address the nation tomorrow about the warren afghanistan. which is something we've actually never seen before. i've been looking back a lot with my partial memory of events, researching april, may 1975, the end of the vietnam war. presidential route for never said a word. there was no press conference,
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there was no statement from the country. he issued a written statement out to the final harry cocktail came out. there was not of what we're seeing in these last two weeks, and so, we've seen two of these, we've seen two big losses after a multi decade war. this exit is very different from the vietnam exit. >> and it's actually a good point. we saw the sitcom commander formally announce that the last aircraft was carrying afghan airspace. we then saw blinking give essentially a formal address to the country, explaining things in terms of the diplomatic mission and doing those things. we just seeing tonight statement from secretary of defense lloyd austin that we're going to get another speech. we've seen several already from president biden. he says he's gonna talk about his decision to not extend past august 31st. and the military obviously -- it is a lot, sort of a lot of
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accountability, in terms of people saying yeah, this is me, and this is happening on my watch, and this is why i'm doing it. this is not what we're used. >> to last, time what we got was a written statement read by the press secretary. and henry kissinger, secretary of state, also attending the press briefing at the white house. it was astonishing routine. it was not that big a day and the white house press briefing room. people saw it coming for quite awhile, and there was a tremendous amount of relief, really. there were questions that resemble somewhat you're hearing now, but nothing like this ongoing analysis of every little bit of the exit. and that time, they were only aware of two helicopter pilots have been killed in the evacuation. it turns out there were two marines who were shot and killed, and no one knew about that time. it's a very different thing.
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but the echoes very strong between the two. >> yes, and with all of these, things nowhere is like any other war. no exit is like any exit from this war. from our experience in vietnam, from the soviets experience in afghanistan, even the british experience before that, i mean, you hope that you learn but basically you iterate, and it doesn't always necessarily mean that you get it right next time. >> we'll see with the president says. >> tomorrow yeah thanks lawrence. >> thank you rachel. >> at 3:29 pm today, east coast time, america's war and afghanistan came to an end. here is how it began. 26 days after 9/11. >> good afternoon, on my orders, the united states military has begun strikes against al-qaeda terrorists and military installations of the taliban regime in afghanistan.
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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. i gave taliban leaders a series of clear and specific demands. close terrorist training camps. hand over leaders of the al-qaeda network, and return our foreign nationals, including american citizens, unjustly detained in your country. none of these demands were met. and now, the taliban will pay a price. we will win this conflict by the patient accumulation of successes. by meaning a serious of challenges with determination, and will. we did not ask for this mission, but we will fulfill it. the name of today's military operation is enduring freedom. we will not waver. we will not tire. we will not falter. we will not fail.
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bc and freedom will prevail. thank you. may god continue to bless america. >> the american news media and the political class found nothing to criticize in that speech, not one word. but we did waiver, we did tire, and freedom did not endure in afghanistan. here is how it ended. >> i'm here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from afghanistan, and the end of the military mission to evacuate american citizens, afghan nationals. the last c-17 lifted off from hamid karzai international airport, on august 30th this afternoon, at 3:29 pm east coast time. tonight's withdrawal signifies both the end of the military component of the evacuation, but also, the end of the nearly 20 year mission that began in
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afghanistan shortly after september 11th 2001. it's a mission that brought osama bin laden to adjust and, along with many of his al-qaeda coconspirators. and it was not a cheap mission. the cost was 2461 u.s. service members, and civilians killed. and more than 20,000 were injured. sadly, that includes 13 u.s. service members who were killed last week by an isis k suicide bomber. we honor their sacrifice today, as we remember their heroic accomplishments. no words for me could possibly capture a full measure of sacrifices and accomplishments of those who served. nor the emotions they're feeling at this moment. >> also killed in the 20-year war, where at least 66,000 members of afghanistan's military and police, 51,191 members of the taliban and other opposition fighters. 47,245 afghan civilians,
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including children and babies. 1144 allied service members, including from nato member states. 444 eight workers, and 72 journalists. the number of civilian deaths could be much larger, but that is the official number. 47,245. you can call the 20-year war america's longest war, only if you're willing to overlook the nearly 300 years of war waged against the people who were found on this continent, when the europeans arrived. americas genocidal war against native tribes it not officially end until the beginning of the 20th century. today, president biden issued a written statement saying, i want to thank our commanders at and men and women serving, further execution of the dangerous retrograde from afghanistan as scheduled in the early morning of august 30
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forced, double time. with no further loss of american lives. the past 17 days have seen our troops execute the largest airlift in u.s. history, evacuating over 120,000 u.s. citizens, citizens of our allies, and afghan allies of the united states. they have done it with unmatched courage, professionalism, and resolve. now, our 20 year military presence has ended. i have asked the secretary of state to lead the continued coordination with our international partners, to ensure safe passage for any americans, afghan partners, and foreign nationals who want to leave afghanistan. and joining us now, one of the 800,000 people who served in the military in afghanistan lucas, a former u.s. marine captain who served in afghanistan. he's now with democratic candidate for the senate in missouri. also a foreign state analyst and columnist for the daily beast. he is the host of deep state
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radio podcast. lewis, let me begin with you. someone who served there, you are thanked today by thank general mackenzie, by president biden, what are your feelings as this 20-year war has finally come to an end? >> thanks lawrence. for me, it's just this feeling of grim relieve that it's finally over and that it should have happened a long long time ago. america kind of forgot what was going on over there for a long time. and last week, when we lost 13 service members. that was a reminder to them what many of us experience while we were overseas. and so for me, this week what i'm seeing right now is a really reminder of probably the saddest, most somber moment of my life. and that was standing on a flight line in afghanistan, in the middle of the night. there was about 100 other marines saluting the dead body
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of a former member because he was but out into the airplane for his final flight home that is what the cost of war is. we've been reminded of it and i'm just grim lee relieved that there's not gonna be another u.s. service member experiencing that david, i found it streaking in review of president bush's announcement of this war. what he said, in that speech, about the objectives. and for everyone in the last two weeks, who's been saying that we should stay there longer, we should not be exiting the way we're exiting. we should be exiting quickly. and the biden schedule, if you can call that quickly after 20 years. not one of them, not one of the justification's for staying in afghanistan, was included in anything, george w. bush said, in the announcement speech for this war. it was always, to preserve something or some kind of condition, that existed, after
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the worst started. arguments about what's going to happen to education in afghanistan, issues that had absolutely nothing to do with the start of the war. >> i think there is a brief period of grace there for george bush, where he got it right. he got the response to 9/11 right. and i think he got launching this mission right. if we had done what he said, in that speech, in that segment that you showed, we probably would've been okay. in fact, i think almost any u.s. president would have done precisely what he said. send in u.s. troops, for a mission that was counter-terrorism, targeting al-qaeda, targeting the taliban that was helping al-qaeda. but he did not speak of an exit. he did not speak of the broader mission, that we drifted into. and what happened was, as you have pointed out several times over the past couple of weeks learns, we drifted back, into
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the same sorts of mistakes, that led to the vietnam debacle. we did not have a clear exit, we did not have sufficient force. we did not have a clearly defined mission. that was the lesson that general colin powell had drawn from vietnam. and we forgot about it. and the consequence was, the casualties you listed, and the lives of 800,000 americans who served alongside, being changed forever. some in the worst way possible. but all of them as lucas indicated, haunted by the experience. >> let's listen in more of what president bush said on october 7th 2001, about what the mission was. and it certainly does not sound like a 20-year mission. >> by destroying camps and disrupting communications, we will make it more difficult for
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the terror network to train new recruits. and coordinate their evil plans. initially, the terrorist may burrow deeper into caves. and other entrenched canyon places. our military action is also designed to clear the way for sustained, comprehensive, and relentless operations to drive them out. and bring them to justice. >> i think when we were listening to that, whether people were in favor of it or not, it did not sound like this is going to be ten years, this is going to be even five years. it sounded like not exactly a surgical strike, but it was going in their, not trying to build a nation certainly, there wasn't one word about building a new government, or a new military in afghanistan. >> yes lawrence, and here's the thing, that mission that he just described, was accomplished very quickly. the taliban was scattered. al-qaeda was bumped out of afghanistan, and we accomplish
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that military mission. back then the taliban was extremely weak. and maybe the government would have had a chance to recover and build in afghanistan it looks a little different. but the real irony about the 20 years that we spend their, is the fact that the taliban got to use those 20 years, practicing against the greatest fighting force in the world. and if you want to get good at something, you should practice against the person who's the best. in they learn to fight they learn to organize, they learned the league, they learn to do pr, they learn to do all of these things, and that is why, they were able to take over, in just two weeks. because they learn how to do all of that. and so the real tragedy for me here, a huge tragedy, is that i still see on tv, people talking about how we need to stay just one more day. just one more month. just one more dollar. as if, as if the 20 years, the 2500, lives in the 2.3 trillion dollars that then collapsed in two weeks, were not enough.
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they are the same people, the reputations are aligned on this. they're making money on it, and they're deciding that they want to keep us there, because they feel like it's the right thing to do. for them. it's a huge systematic institutional set of dissed honesty, that is really just torn the american peoples psyche, as they saw what happened in the two weeks. and that's really something we need to not lose sight. of and make sure that we fight that narrative. >> lucas, let me fall on that. president bush also said in an announcement speech for this war, speaking directly to military personnel. he said. your mission is defined. your objectives are clear. your goal is just. when you are in afghanistan, did you feel that your mission was defined? and here objectives were clear? >> when i was in afghanistan, so i learned the land language of southern afghanistan, and i had to play their toys. winter of 20, 12 and 13, it
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again in 2014 for most of the year. my job was to work with the afghan forces, to try to make sure that they were ready for the mission. mind you, this is after we'd been there for 13 years. on the second deployment. in my job was still to make sure that they got all of the, equipment all of the ammunition, all of the food and everything else that they needed to get through the fighting season. after 13 years. and so at that point, how can my mission be to solve this in six months? if it hasn't been solved in 13 years. in the answer is, that it was never going to happen. the only reason we were, there is because people, on both sides of the atlantic, you have afghans at the very top of their stratosphere, in the people here in america, who are making money off of that war. a grab and go operation. and leaving the rest of us to try to solve out the problems, well afghans are not getting any food or equipment, because it's all getting skive off the top. i had a mission, but it was not anything that was ever going to be successfully concluded. the taliban takeover in 2014,
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was inevitable. and we saw that inevitability play out over the last month. >> thank you very much for starting off our discussion tonight. please stick around for more later in the hour. thank you both very much. coming up we have breaking news, on the aftermath of hurricane ida. in an intensive search and rescue operation is underway in louisiana, where more than 1 million people are currently without power, we will have the latest next. >>test next. >>test next. >> knows everyone's unique. that's why they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. [ nautical horn blows ] i mean just because you look like someone else doesn't mean you eat off the floor, or yell at the vacuum, or need flea medication. oh, yeah. that's the spot. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ ray loves vacations.
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second person has confirmed dead been confirmed dead in after hurricane ida louisiana after hurricane made landfall ida made south of landfall. new orleans as as a category a category four storm four storm yesterday yesterday. 16 years to the 16 years to the day day after after hurricane hurricane country to katrina. hit louisiana. today, louisiana governor john bel edwards said today the governor said this. >> this. >> i will just tell i will just you that i had tell you that i had a number a number of of conversations conversations overnight and today overnight and today with, parish
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presidents and other officials. with parish presidents and other officials who believed that the who believe death count that that have attributable to the hurricane contributed to will go up. the hurricane a lot. because they because they see see catastrophic damages in catastrophic damage in certain places certain places. and they have every that they have every reason reason to believe were inhabited at the time the at the time the damage occurred. >> damage occurred there. >> there are are more than more than 2000 people in 2000 people in shelters and louisiana shelters and louisiana tonight. the tonight. the levies around levies around new orleans new orleans, did not, did not fail, as they didn't fail as they did in katrina katrina. , more than more than 1 million people do not 1 million people do not have power have power in in louisiana. louisiana, there is no there is no power power in the city of in the city of new orleans, new orleans. crews are working crews are working to to restore restore power, power beginning with. hospitals they are that are now now relying on relying on generators. louisiana generators. louisiana power company power company says says it may take it may take up to up three weeks for some people to in the three weeks for some areas people to have their to have their power power restored restored. ida is now a tropical. ida storm is now moving north through north of mississippi. today president biden told the mississippi. president of mississippi and mayors and mayors and both and both of those states, of those states how to get more help from the i would get white house. >> both help from the white
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house? >> the main thing you want to make clear to all the of you is we're providing main thing i want to make any help that you're clear to all the usual parting all the help that you gonna need. can need. i've got and so i've my senior got my adviser senior here with adviser me, senator here you all know him, with me. he's a new orleans native. he's in you orleans native. he was a congressman he's a congressman of of louisiana's louisiana's second district for second district for ten years. ten years. he knows the he knows area, he knows the the area. he knows the people, people, in he and he have been who have been affected affected by ida by ida. and he knows how to get things knows how to get things done in government. done in the while fema is our lead for government on the ground. response, if there is something if there's something you need, that needs my that needs my attention, he is your direct line. tension, direct line to the a direct line white house, throughout this to the white house has been recovery. and i mean. set. that whatever you whatever you need, go to cedric, he need, go will get it to, me will to cedric will get you what you need get to which you need. >>. joining us now, joining us msnbc now, anchor, msnbc ali who is in velshi new orleans. what is the latest. ali, what is the latest tonight? >> tonight? the latest >> the is that this is a dark dark city. latest is that this is a dark
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city. it's a roofing this is from a nearby building, a roof from a nearby that has collapsed. i'm building. here in the french quarter, this is which you know, would look from french quarter like this if you had which you know it would lights. but there look like this if you are no lights. nowhere had lights. but there in new orleans. are no lights anywhere new or that's new orleans, and because well the city's that's because while the levies and pumps city's levies and and all of, that which pumps, which they spent about they spent about 16 billion dollars 16 billion dollars on, since on since katrina, katrina worked works to keep the city to keep the city dry during the dry during the storm. take a look at storm. take this, this is decayed or a look at this this is street. there's no lights the cater anywhere. there is no street. there are no lights power. going anywhere. there is no power to anywhere in this city. whatsoever. the company that produces the energy, the company that power here says produces the power that all eight transmission here says that all lines, are down transmission, lines are dead. so there are bucket so there are bucket trucks and people going trucks and people going around around fixing trees that fixing trees have fallen on that have power lines. been fall and repairing on power all of that, but it lines, doesn't matter, because there's no they've been repairing all power coming from the of that. source. they they say they will try say that they will to get power to try and get most people, within power to most people, 7 to 10 days. some people will get power before that. within seven today in days. the sewage and the sewage draining company, authority here, and draining company authority here, they they obviously need obviously need to be able to be able to to sanitize water sanitize water, so they're getting help so they're getting some help from the electric from the electric utility. utility.
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police, infrastructure, police, like street lights, they're infrastructure, trying to try to get there sweet likes, first. hospitals, hospitals. but if you but if you are are a commercial or a commercial or a residential customer you are not getting residential customer, you're not getting power. power, if you don't have if you do not have a generator in a generator in new orleans, and it said new orleans, it's a densely densely packed city as you packed city so a lot of know, a lot of people don't have people don't have generators here. you're not getting generators here, you're not power for getting power for seven, to ten days. 7 to 10 days. it's hard-hit areas they're saying it's in the hard-hit going to be three weeks or areas, longer. some they say it's gonna be of the parishes three weeks or longer. some outside of of the parishes new orleans which outside of new orleans, did flood by the, way which did flood by the way, where labs we're levies did over did overtop, they top. they are not are not getting power for getting power for a while. a while. even though tonight, even though there there's very little loss was very little of life in new orleans, loss of life in i believe we only have new orleans. i one confirmed believe we've only got one confirmed death in the death, in the city. city. there is there is a lot of threat a lot of threat in in outlying the outlying parts parts of louisiana. of louisiana in those and those parishes that parishes that border border new orleans parish orleans parish to the to the west. there's still west. there are still rescues underway in rescues underway in some some of those places. of those places due south of us in south of lafitte, us grand isle, grand apparently up 40 people, aisle, apparently there are though they chose about 40 people to stay, there so chose to stay there. they are somewhat they are prepared to write it out somewhat prepared to ride it. this is not out. so this is the catastrophe that not the catastrophe that all a lot of people were of people were worried worried about. it's an about. it's an entirely different entirely catastrophe.
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different catastrophe, and we can only and we could only hope in hope, in these hot these hot, muggy nights, that muddy nights that people in the city get people in the city get their their power back very power back fairly soon, soon. >> lawrence. >> ali,, is there any is there any temporally plan temporary plan on power on power. or is? it just sit and or is it just sit wait until the and wait until the system begins to work system begins to work again? >> again? >> yeah the mayor is actually said, if you the mayor is actually, left the city don't come if you love the back, do not come city, don't come back. you are just back. do not going to be in a hot come back. you're gonna be place. people in a hot place. are actually walking people actually walking around. you don't see too around. you don't see too many of, them but people are many of them, but walking around because their people are walking on because houses have become very high. gets up to their houses are became very about 90 in the day hot. right. now it feels like right now which feels like 100 because as you 100, know this is a humid because as you know this is city. there a humid city. there are shelters and are shelters and cooling cooling centers that are centers that are being being opened. open. not everybody is not everybody has figured out how to use figured out how to them just yet. because i use them just yet, think they're hoping this because i think they're hoping changes soon. but this changes soon, as they realize on but as the day two and day three and day four, that it's realize on day two, and a three, and going to be this hot, day for that is going to be they may start to this hot, they may see some of those start to see some of places being used. >> these places being used. >> illegal thank you, we really she, appreciate. it thank you really >> appreciated it's my pleasure. >>. >> joining us now joining us now lieutenant lieutenant general general former commander of the joint task force for russell hurricane
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katrina, honoré general, what is your. assessment of the general, what is your situation, and what needs to assessment of the situation and what needs to happen? >> happen next? >> next we've got good we've got good coordination between the coordination between the state in state and federal government the federal government and the and the parishes. good parishes. communications at all those points. so all we've got communications that all those that is a result of points. lessons learned from the lessons have been katrina, and the learn from katrina levees held,. the the issue now issue now is the is the grit is broke. grid is broke. the grit the is broke. great is broke. water and electricity water, is broke and electricity. is broke. and i and i don't see how don't see how we we will are going to sustain, half sustain half 1 million to 1 million people, 1 million 2 million people, without clean water without clean water,, and without and without sewage. sewage. in a metropolitan area. in a metropolitan or in the area, or in the countryside. i think the countryside, conversation now i think the must turn conversation now almost turn to two, finish the search and minus the search rescue, get the people rescue, get people out that out that are stuck in the are stuck in the attics addicts, it or get them and get them out out, immediately. and then start and then focusing on the start focus on the evacuation evacuation plan. plan that word. that evacuation come up again,
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twice evacuation may come up again, as, to when we completed as when we one and now we have to start complete one we need to start another. another one. people cannot people cannot live in that live in that metropolitan area, metropolitan area, without water and without without water and without sewer. sewer. which leads to which leads to the other, thing other things in a lot of, and a lot of the the infrastructures broke. stores are closed. there's infrastructure a few around. there is a few they have some around that have some food, but the food, but the infrastructure is broke. infrastructures we need to broke. we need to encourage people encourage people, and i think and i think fema fema has the has the capacity and capacity and the will. they will to provide hotel vouchers. to provide that means hotel vouchers. program needs to that program start immediately needs to start because the leadership immediately because the today. with all due leadership today, with respect. they are all due respect, outdoing assessments they were outdoing and search and rescue. assessment and doing but the next search and rescue. but the phase of, this once next phase of this the roads are open. one the roads open, we need to start we need to start encouraging people encouraging by putting gasoline people by in the gas stations, putting gasoline the gas people going to stations. get gas. people are going to get they can go gas couch sir federative someplace. or they get, a hotel voucher, or they get a hotel and they need to voucher, go to a hotel, and they need to go to we cannot keep a hotel. we cannot that many people in keep that many people in that, city with the that city where the grid as broke as it greatest broke as it is is right now. right now. on and on top of top of, that the that, the electrical electrical gas grid, grid, the
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water grid, the telecommunication telecommunication grid is broke. great's in so many broke. and so people, we many people operate now with the operate now ability to be able to with the ability to be talk and get able to talk and get information. a lot of information. a lot of people need to hear what is people need to hear what's being being said on said on television television, and they don't have the ability don't have the to see or hear ability to see or it. hear it because the greatest broke. because the greatest broke. i think the i think language in the focus language has to be now, and encouraging are encouraging people to people to evacuate, by evacuate, providing them hotel providing the vouchers. fema those hotel has the capacity to vouchers, and fema do that. but that needs has the capacity to do to be in charge that. , once the search but that could be in and rescue is charge -- completed. >> once the search and rescue so are completed. >> so general, general, there is no there's no point in point in trying trying to truck to truck in in massive amounts massive amounts of of drinking drinking water water. is it your view that. is it your view you really have to get that you really have to the people out? get the people out? that's the mission? that's the mission? >> >> i think that's the i think that's the mission. if you mission. if you brought bottled water boil the heart of -- in, you're talking a couple gallons of water your talking for everybody to a couple of drink. gallons of water for everybody to drink, and and then there's no place then there's no way you can sustain or sustainable way that. to try to put you can try to put generators on them.
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that's a fail. the generators on, you've got to focus so you've got to focus your infrastructure on the here critical things like the hospitals because the hospitals are full because we've got a lot of people in louisiana refused to take the shot so those hospitals are fix, they have to stay where they are to take care of people. and on top of, that we've been in a covid environment. we used to have places where we put 500 people in auditoriums and gyms. a 500% shelter now might hold 100 50 to 200 people because you got a lot of covid. and wherever we send the people, to they've got to be able to follow covid protocols -- but we've got parishes a lot lower level of vaccination until we can get the great backup, and keep the city and the metropolitan as well as the countryside safe. the industrial took took a big
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hit. there will be no -- the federal government is gonna have to figure out how they're gonna subsidize those governments immediately so they can continue to pay after katrina. most of these parishes don't have a lot -- they depend on sales tax to come. in all these issues gotta be dealt with. search and rescue and let's get on with a viable evacuation plan, providing gas to people so they can drive. and flying them out. >> general russell, thank you very much for joining us. really appreciate your extra your expertise tonight. >> help is on the way. >> that's the message they have to hear. thank you general, really appreciate it. coming up, we'll be joined by doctor at children's hospital new orleans, which is dealing
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hurricane ida push this weekend, this video shows part of a roof of one of the evacuate or hospitals being blown off, yesterday. hospital louisiana are overwhelmed with covid patients. more than 2400 people are hospitalized in louisiana tonight for covid-19. joining us now is doctor mark lawn, physician and chief of children's hospital in you orleans. he's a pediatrician of infectious disease specialist. doctor, thank you very much for joining us tonight. this is a much more difficult night than when you've been with us before. what is the situation tonight and your hospital? >> lawrence, we've taken a couple of punches to the gut. we were dealing with covid for
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the past couple of months and that has been exhausting for our personnel and our doctors. the hospitals have been very full, almost every hospital louisiana. and about the lasting in the world that we needed was a category four hurricane, that you know, here it is. we've been locked down since early yesterday morning about 6 am. we brought in a group of doctors and nurses and other health care professionals, and we locked the doors, and we literally wrote this thing out. we had substantial, but not structural damage to our hospital. we were more fortunate than others. we have some water on the ground floors, some water coming through the roof on upper floors, but overall, we did reasonably well. we lost power like everyone else in the city of new orleans, and went on to backup generators, and we're still on those today.
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the good news is that all of the patients came through safely. our team to good care of them, and they have weathered this storm and now on the other side, just dealing with the aftermath. >> how long can you run on the backup generators, and has patient care been affected? >> patient care has not been affected, lawrence, fortunately, the generators give us lights and power for all of the medical equipment and all of the patient care areas. it's really only the non essential areas, like my office for example, that don't have air conditioning or lights. so we're in the dark in those sorts of areas. we have about a six-day supply diesel right now for the generators. there are six generators there's some redundancy there. but i am assured that more diesel is on the way, and that there's no issue with trucks getting in, and supplying on a
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continuous basis. so although we've done some contingency planning around what might happen if we needed to evacuate, to keep the generators running. >> doctor cline, what about your own life and the lives of other medical personnel there. can you go home? has peoples home in affected? >> it's an excellent question i haven't seen my house, so i can tell you what it looks like. it's been damage at this point. and that's true for all of the health professionals who have been locked down here in the hospital. these are mostly young doctors and nurses, and it's really a fantastic story. these are people that have small children in many cases, and we even have examples of
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doctors who took their spouses and kids to safety. evacuated them to places like atlanta and birmingham. and then came back to serve the hospital, and take care of other people's kids. it is a remarkable story of selflessness and commitment. anyone who thinks that the younger generation that's coming up is not committed to the work they do is dead wrong. they should see these health professionals and a fantastic job they're doing. many of them don't know whether they're houses are still standing, or inundated with water. they're waiting until they have an opportunity to leave the hospital in a couple of days. >> what's your guess about when you will see your house for the first time? >> maybe saturday, maybe at the end of the week. i'm hoping, but you know that's ok. i am happy and privileged to be working alongside some
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fantastic people here. i don't think i've ever been proud to be a pediatrician, lawrence. i have to be honest with you. to see the work that these young doctors and nurses and pharmacists, to see the work that they're doing, has been really inspiring for me, even for someone like me who's been as long as i have. i just find myself incredibly impressed. >> doctor mark kline, thank you very much for the heroic work that you are doing. we really appreciate joining us tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. >> thank you. >> coming up, anthony blinken is the eighth secretary of state to serve during the war and afghanistan. and today, he began the first secretary of state to describe americas objective in postwar afghanistan. that is next. that is next energy is everywhere... even in a little seedling.
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ask your doctor about botox® today. we discussed how we will work together to facilitate the safe
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travel out of afghanistan, including my reopening cavill civilian airport as soon as possible. and we very much appreciate the efforts of qatar in turkey in particular to make this happen. this would enable the small number of daily charter flights, which is key for anyone who wants to depart from afghanistan moving forward. we're also working to identify ways to support americans, legal permanent residents in afghanistan who work with us, and who may choose to depart. we have no illusion that any of this will be easier rapid. this will be an entirely different face from the evacuation the just concluded. we will take time to work to new set of challenges, but we will stay. >> joining us now, and national security expert at the quincy institute was. and back with, us is david roth cough. i was thinking back about what
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senator kissinger had to say when we left vietnam, and we just had these two multi decade wars that we were driven out of in defeat to compare to each other. and henry cousin are, and the american government, had absolutely no plan about how to do with yet now in any way, and have any communication with them about anything after we fled that country. so it we're seeing today is an approach that was not even dreamed possible, leaving vietnam. and as the future turned out, vietnam became such a peaceable friend of the united states of america. that's where the united -- was being welcomed as a distinguished visitor just last week, while evacuation from of ghana stand was going on. all of which is to say from, my
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perspective, we have no idea what's gonna be happening in afghanistan in the next ten years or 20 years. >> i was really struck by secretary of state blinken today because you've seen him start to pivot would joe biden has said he wanted to do in the beginning of hit and menstruation when he introduced his national security team nine months, ago they talked about reimagining national security, about shifting away from more as the primary instrument -- and the diplomacy first approach that would address the real security threats we face after this failed 20-year global war on terrorism. climate, change pandemics, racial injustice, income inequality and etc. and you see secretary of state blinken, start to take this burden on, and that includes trying to find a way to relate to the taliban. the red tag grew, armed with
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basic weaponry, just to feed -- and we now have the task, unlike henry kissinger, blinken now has the task of how do you develop relations with this. can there be flights? can you get the rest of americans out of afghanistan? can there be regular flights to afghanistan? the taliban set people today people could leave afghanistan. are their incentives that we have to reduce the taliban to do this? so you're right lawrence, we have no idea how this relationship could develop. we could be looking at a very different story than the one that's been painted in washington circles, over the last two weeks. >> and take a look at this image released by the department of defense of apparently the last american soldier to leave afghanistan. this is major general chris donny, who is commander general of the 82nd airborne division, and he was the last person to
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board the c-17, the final c-17 leaving kabul. david, that seems to me the final, that image of the american presence in afghanistan. that will be juxtaposed with the final image of the american presence in vietnam, which of course was a helicopter taking off. and so, with that, on this final day, what can be said about 1 am erica accomplished, or whatever color and? >> i hope we learned a lot. clearly, there were some benefits that were brought to the afghan people in terms of increased lay chrissy access to the internet exposure to ideas like democracy and so forth. when you went to afghanistan with the objective of eliminating terrorists, there were perhaps several scores of
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terrorists there. when estimate was 170 al-qaeda members in 2002. by the time we, left there were terrace throughout the word. the number of tourists had grown 100 fold. it is much greater. the war on terror was the wrong idea, executed in the wrong way. and it failed. while we remain safe here, threats exist throughout the world. but i think we have to ask ourselves how did we get into a situation where once again we entered into a war, drifted with that mission that lasted 20 years, it cost 120 -- it cost two trillion dollars. and to distract us from all the things that joe just enumerated. on the one, hand we need to learn those lessons. and on the other hand, we need
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to make that pivot. the real lesson of afghanistan is to put it behind us, to manage it in a way that secretary blinken described, and then, to move forward, building back better, investing in ourselves, and finding a new wage engage with the world, as blinken described several months ago, not from perspective of american exceptionalism, but from the perspective of engagement with peoples and real partnerships. >> let's listen more to what's blinken said today about what's our lessons should be. >> the one afghanistan was a 20-year endeavor. we must learn its lessons, and allow those lessons to shape how we think about fundamental questions, of national security and foreign policy. >> joe, that was the lesson were supposed to learn from vietnam. the fundamental questions of national security and foreign
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policy, and the listen island from vietnam, as a teenager, was don't do that again. don't do any kind of war like that again. and that seems to me, was one sentence away from what's secretary blinken was saying that passage. >> that's exactly right. and for 20 years, we did not. what is now refer to as vietnam syndrome was when we listen to those lessons. when we understand that this was a loss tour we never should have started, it was profoundly mistaken, but with that happened in washington, was a determined effort to determine that around. and then other proponents in washington foreign policy establishment are step in the back narrative. we didn't lose the vietnam war. politicians in congress gotta funding for, it that's why we. lost and you saw that justified, that you brought up in the early days of the iraqi invasion, to say no we could have no more --
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which is to have to say it. and you see now in washington with this insidious met that's being developed, that this withdrawal as one person called, it was a withdrawal of choice. that we could have stayed in afghanistan, that we could have perhaps one in afghanistan. politician the far left have not declare the war lost. this in's and extra meade important debate to happen, to shape the future of american foreign policy. joe cirincione, david rothkopf thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back with tonight's last word, which includes the poem quoted by general mackenzie today. mackenzie today. ♪ music playing. ♪ there's an america we build ♪ ♪ and one we explore
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switch to xfinity mobile and save hundreds on your wireless bill. plus, save up to $400 when you purchase a new samsung phone or upgrade your existing phone. today, general mackenzie thank learn more at your local xfinity store today. every american who went to afghanistan in the 20-year war. >> i would like to offer my personal appreciation to more than 800,000 service members,
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and 25,000 civilians, with certain afghanistan, and particularly, to the families of those whose loved ones have been lost. your service as well as that of your comrades and family members will never be forgotten. my heart is broken for the losses we sustain three days ago. as this goes, we will remember them. the last 18 days has been challenging. americans can be trout that these challenges and on. >> the poem general mackenzie quoted by lawrence pinion was published in the london times in 1914. the poem is entitled for the fallen. this is the passage general mackenzie quoted. they shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. at the going down of the sun
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and in the morning, we will remember them. that is tonight's last word. the 11th hour with brian williams starts now. williams starts now. good evening i'm chris jansing in for brian williams. 223 day of the biden administration and as we come on the air, tonight we're following two major stories. the u.s. has officially ended its 20-year war in afghanistan. it is now tuesday august 31st there. the deadline president biden set for all u.s. troops to be out of the country. afghanistan is now run by the taliban. we'll have much more on that in just a moment. also tonight, millions of people across louisiana are coming to grips with the scale of damage from hurricane ida. the storm made landfall in the port for sean sunday as a category four, slamming into the coast with devastating wind and rain. it's one of the most powerful