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tv   FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace  FOX  October 4, 2009 9:00am-10:00am EDT

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sunday." captioning made possible by fox news >> two global hot spots test the obama administration. afghanistan, what's needed. more troops or a new strategy. and iran. it says yes toinspectors, but can it be trusted? we'll discuss these challenges and more with four iluential members of the senate, republican lindsey graham and saxby chambliss and democrats evan bayh and bob casey. also, the white house puts its prestige on the line for chicago's olympic bid but comes up empty. was this an international snub at the president? we'll ask our sunday regulars, brit, mara, bill and juan, all right now on "fox news sunday." hello again from fox news in washington. with afghanistan and iran dominating foreign policy concerns, we turn to four key senators for their insights on how best the u.s. should move forward. from south carolina, republican lindsey graham. from scranton, pennsylvania,
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democrat bob casey. and here in studio are evan bayh, a democrat from indiana, and saxby chambliss, a republican from georgia. senators, welcome to you all. let's get right to iran where we have seen some significant developments overnight. senators, the front page of the "new york times" this morning has this story. report says iran has data to make a nuclear bomb. it's about a confidential analysis by the international atomic energy agency. the iaea. the times writes, most dramatically the report says the agency assesses iran has sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable implosion nuclear device based on highly enriched uranium. it suggests iran has done much research and testing to perfect nuclear arms like making high voltage detonators, firing test explosives and designing warheads. we should point out the times is
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following up on other secret reports. how should it factor into the negotiations with iran? senator graham first. >> oh, absolutely. i think one of the things we want to do is challenge the iranians to give us some access to what's alleged in this report. clearly, they're not developing a nuclear program for peaceable purposes. this report is just yet more evidence in a long line of evidence that the iranians are trying to develop a nuclear weapon and half measures won't work. we need to get on with challenging the iranians with some deadlines and ultimatums, quite frankly. >> senator casey? senator casey? we'll turn to senator bayh first. your thought on this report and -- >> well, bret, it shows we need to bring a real sense of urgency to this issue. the iranians will have a nuclear weapon if something doesn't change their minds.
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we need tough sanctions. we need to do them now. have real deadlines and consequences if they don't live up to their word because they have lied repeatedly in the past. we are on a path toward a nuclear iran which is an unacceptable course if we're going to delay the dilemma of taking that or taking military action to prevent that which may ultimately be a decision we'll have to face. >> senator chambliss, has the administration taken the right point of view here? >> i think so. obviously, there have been some significant high-level discussions both with our allies as well as beginning talks with iran right now. so i think the administration realizes the seriousness of this. and when you combine, bret, the revelations relative to the knowledge that iran has concerning the manacture of a weapon with the fact that we now have publicly disclosed the other facility in iran at qom where for the last several months we've been monitoring
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their operations, and that is not a facility where the iranians are going to be manufacturing enriched uranium for nuclear power purposes. it's not big enough. they don't have enough centrifuges for that. it's clear iran is heading down the track to get a nuclear weapon. ey have a secret facility that's been disclosed. what else do they have? that's the question the administration needs to ask. >> senator casey, the head of the iaea, mohamed elbaradei, arrived in iran on saturday in arrange for this inspection at qom. he announced iran has agreed to allow inspectors in there on october 25th. he said that iran has agreed to allow some of its enriched uranium to be exported to russia or france.
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the president has called these talks a constructive beginning. how do you see these talks? >> well, what we heard this week was certainly encouraging, but i think we have to be very focused on giving the president and giving other parts of our government, including pension funds, the ability to impose sanctions. we should not have to allow the talks to be an end in themselves. that's why i and others have supported legislation that i know my colleagues support to provide a broad range of sanctions and in particular senator brownback and i have legislation to allow pension funds to divest -- i should say to allow pension funds around the country to divest assets out of companies that are doing business with iran's energy sector up to $20 million level. i think it's critically important that we have all of the tools on the table to impose sanctions even unilaterally if necessary. >> should the senate move
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forward now? >> i think we should. we should at least give the president all of the -- all of the tools he needs to impose sanctions if he needs to act. and certainly pension funds and any other entity that wants to help us on this should be given that authority which they don't have now under federal law. i'm glad we're talking, but we cannot allow talking and negotiation to replace strong action if we feel we have to take that step in addition to the international efforts that we've undertaken within the security council or other ways. we should have as many options on the table as possible. >> the president specifically touted this move to move low enriched uranium out of iran when he talked about these talks in his comments. here's what the associated press wrote about this on friday. president barack obama noted the deal on the comments in the meeting, but iran's ambassador to britain, told the associated
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press the issue had not been discussed yet. asked if iran accepted, he replied no, no. senator bayh, do you believe the iranians are negotiating in good faith? >> absolutely not, bret. they have a pattern of deception, a pattern of breaking agreements they agree to. this may be a further example of that. they respect strength and strength alone. having this dialogue is good, but you've got to hold them to their word. what matters ultimately is not what they say, but what they do. so will they allow inspections to go forward, will they send the uranium out of the country, what about other hidden facilities? that's why we have to key up all of these sanctions to raise the cost of misbehavior so hopefully they'll change their mind. taken at their word, absoluty not. i'm afraid they're running the clock on us. >> how long does the administration have? >> well, i think we need to give them a matter of weeks to come clean on the inspections, to actually send the uranium out of the country. i think we've got to have firm deadlines, the sooner the
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better, and real consequences if those deadlines aren't met. >> senator graham? >> well, i couldn't agree more with my democratic colleagues. i think they've got it exactly right. what i would like to have is a session in the senate, maybe a couple, three days, iran week, wher we pass evan bayh's sanction proposal regarding refined petroleum where the president would -- i've got a bill with senator schumer restricting sanctioning companies who provide cyber assistance to the iranian government. the voice of america needs to be enhanced. i would like to see the congress in a defined period of time the next couple of weeks pass a series of measures that would empower the president and our country to be tough and to put actions behind words. so let's have iran week in the senate and get something done. i totally agree with him. >> in the latest fox news/opinion dynamics poll, 77% of those surveyed are worried
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about iran developing nuclear weapons and almost 70% in that poll said president obama is not tough enough on iran. senator chambliss, do you think he's being tough enough? >> what i was hoping that president oba would do here in these recent talks with our allies was to go ahead and promote the -- putting in sanctions now against iran. evan's bill is a great bill. it's the right direction which we need to go, and rather than saying if you don't stop what you're doing, we're going to impose sanctions, we've been lied to enough by iran. i hope what the president would do is take a bolder step, let's impose sanctions, let's get our allies together and say this is what we're going to do. now, if you want us to ease those sanctions off, then you need to come clean on your weapons program and tell us what's going on. i think just continuing the dialogue with them and threaten them with sanctions, the president's going to take that attitude, i don't think we're going to get anywhere with that. >> senator casey, you agree with
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your colleagues that the senate should move forward, congress should move forward ahead of the administration's ability to impose sanctions on a world stage? >> oh, absolutely. i believe that when we have these measures in front of the senate, senator bayh's bill, the bill that senator brownback and i have on pension funds, every possible option should be on the table here. i think that gives the administration the ability to have a broad range of choices here, and that's what we want to make sure. we want to make sure that at the appropriate time, if sanctions have to be imposed, thatthey can be imposed swiftly with consequences and not have some indefinite time line here that will allow them to continue to lie to the international community as they've done time and again. >> senator graham, last thing on iran. what is your thought about the israelis and their possible timetable of acting unilaterally, possibly before even the end of the year, if it continues this way with iran?
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>> i think an israeli attack on iran is a nightmare for the world, because it will rally the arab world around iran and they're not aligned now. it's too much pressure to put on israel. let's go down the sanction road as my colleagues have indicated. military action should be the last resort anyone looks at, and i would rather our allies and us take military action if it's necessary, and let me say this. only if it's necessary, but if sanctions fail and iran's going down the road to get a nuclear weapon, every sunni arab state would want a weapon, israel would be imperilled. if we use military action against iran, we should not only go after their nuclear facilities. we should destroy their ability to make conventional war. they should have no planes that can fly and no ships that can float. if you go down that road, knock them out conventionally as well as their nuclear programs, but that would be a last resort, and
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i don't want israel to have to have that burden. that's not the best way to do it. >> the israelis say what's the timetable? what's the timeline? how long should we wait? >> here's what i -- act first. see what actions have -- what effect they'll have on iran. the iranian people very much are against this regime. let's empower the iranian people and isolate the regime. let's do what my colleagues have said on this show, have a series of votes in the united states senate and the house in the next two weeks to give our president tools to impose meaniful sanctions on iran. if they change their behavior, we can back off. but do all of this in the next few weeks. do that before you even consider military action. but take military action before they get a weapon. so i don't know how much time we have left. but i know all this talking's not working. they did the same deal with europeans in 2007. they said you can have our low enriched uranium, the russians can have it.
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they backed out then. i don't believe a thing iran says. the problem with military action also is that you're probably not going to be able to stop the production of uranium by just a simple airstrike. lindsey's right. it's an all or nothing deal. and is it worth that at this point in time when we know they have the capability. we can slow them down, but a full-out military strike is what it would take. >> senator casey, your thoughts on a timetable. how long does iran have? >> well, it has to be a reasonable length of time to allow some of these discussions that have already taken place to develop. but there's no reason why you can't have on one track, a parallel track of talks, but also a parallel track for sanctions and moving forward. i think senator graham made an important point that i should have made earlier, and that's that there is a huge difference here between the regime and the people. we saw a stirring in the hearts of the iranian people this summer. that country has changed
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forever. now, we may not see people on the streets demonstrating, and i know that television cameras aren't documenng that necessarily. but behind closed doors, on the ground, in their homes, in their communities, there are a lot of iranians who want change. a lot of iranians who frankly identify with the united states. and we have to continually be aware of not just how we talk about the regime being different from the people, but also making sure that sanctions that we impose don't hit the people who are trying to free themselves from a regime or at least have some degree of a change in policy in that country. so it's an important point to keep the two separate. >> senators, let's turn to afghanistan. this morning we have sad news that eight american soldiers were killed in eastern afghanistan after what is being described as a complex taliban attack on two american outposts. general stanley mcchrystal calls the situation in that country serious. he says in his military judgment, its deteriorating.
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privately, senior civilian and military officials say that mcchrystal wants up to 40,000 more u.s. troops in the country. senators, should the president fulfill that request? senator bayh. >> unfortunately, there are no easy answers in afghanistan. the ideal situation would be a stronger central government with more troops and police capable of controlling its own territory. if we have a realistic chance of achieving that and more troops are necessary to achieving that i would support that decision. but there's a real question given the lack of history in that country of a strong central government. it's riddled by corruption and incompetence today. that's what we have to answer, not whether we're devoted to solving this problem. whether the afghans can do their part. i would support the request if that's what the president decides. i think there's a decent case to be made that perhaps the afghans just can't do their part in which case a different strategy would be in order. >> senator graham. >> well, the one thing i can
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tell you for sure, without reinforcing our troops, you're going to hear more of what happened today. general mcchrystal said without reinforcements, we cannot change the momentum that the taliban has achieved and the insurgency cannot be defeated in a year if something doesn't change. we had this very dilemma in iraq. we didn't have enough troops. everybody thought malachi was a sectarian prime minister. the country wasn't governing itself. the security environment became terrible. the one thing i can tell you, if we don't add more troops, you're going to see more of what happened yesterday. the security situation's going to get worse. and any hope of better governance is lost and the taliban will re-emerge. if you send troops in, we'll have a second chance at governance. you need to put karzai's feet to the fire or the next government's feet to the fire to do a better job. but it's impossible to bring about better than governance without security. what we have in place now is not going to work. general mcchrystal tells us
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that. he needs reinforcements. i hope t president will send them and let us all work together for better governance, because the taliban are going to win if we don't change course soon. >> senator casey, wednesday the president met in the -- with his national security team in the situation room with all the major players about this decision. here's what the "washington post" wrote about that meeting. vice president biden offered some of the more pointed challenges to mcchrystal who attendedhe session by video link from kabul. biden has argued against increasing troops in afghanistan. he favors stepping up predator drone strikes on al qaeda leaders and increasing training for afghan forces. now, thursday at london's institute for strategic studies, general mcchrystal was asked directly whether he thought limiting, a limited countertrorism effort in afghanistan would work. here's what he said. >> the short answer is no. you have to navigate from where you are, not from where you wish you were. a strategy that does not leave afghanistan in a stable position
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is probably a short-sighted strategy. >> senator casey, what do you make of this very public rift between vice president biden and general mcchrystal? >> well, first of all, i think it's vastly overdramatized. if you read the stories about general mcchrystal's presentation, he talked about debate and deliberation. and despite what we're hearing in washington, to move in the next couple of days or the next two weeks, i think the president's doing the right thing. he's doing what general mcchrystal recommended in terms of taking time to review this and he's doing what the american people would expect him to do as president. that will be debates withinhe administration, debates in congress. that's a good thing. it shouldn't be indefinite in terms of a time frame, but the best thing we should do, we cannot make the same mistakes that our government made in iraq and one of the mistakes we can't make is putting the resource and troop question before the strategy question. we have to continue to debate. not just pointing a finger at the administration, the congress
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has a role to play here and the senate. we have to debate what the strategy should be and get that right before we talk about what the resources should be. and if it's as simple as saying whatever general mcchrystal wants in any format, i think we're going miss the boat. this is much more complicated than just reacting to a part of his recommendation. a lot of what general mcchrystal has recommended involves the non-military aspects of this. and he understands how difficult it is to get a counterinsurgency strategy right and a lot of that is non-military. i think we should thoroughly review his report and question him, but also we need to question the strategy overall and make sure we get it right. it might be -- >> senator casey, let me ask you -- >> -- the congress reaches a point that we recommend a more focused counterinsurgency strategy or some will say just counterterrorism. but i think we need a full debate, not just a political debate as we oft have with regard to the war in iraq. >> senator casey, so you think
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it's possible after the description of that meeting and this rift, if you will, that president obama could possibly disregard the advice, the request of the general that he installed in afghanistan, general mcchrystal. >> no, i don't think he's going to disregard any part of that report. i think he's using that report as the foundation of a discussion about strategy. but that doesn't mean there's not going to be debate within the administration. debate is good. but i don't buy the idea that there's some kind of rift between general mcchrystal and parts of the administration. there will be debates, but it's important that the congress is as focused on strategy before resources as the administration is. >> just two quick things, bret. it's not uncommon there's diversity of opinion on issues as complex as what to do about afghanistan and there may be no good answer there unfortunately. that may be the truth at this point. but it's also not uncommon for a commander in chief will have differences of opinion with some of his generals. abraham lincoln did during the
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civil war. harry truman had a big difference of opinion with mcarthur. president bush had a difference of opinion. do we need more troops or a different strategy? it's possible the answer may be yes and yes. more troops to try and build up capacity, stabilize the country as best we can although there will always be an imperfect place and then pivot to a counterterrorism strategy once we've accomplished that. >> when you have a military commander on the ground, a guy who is not only anxpert in the situation relative to afghanistan, but is a strong military leader hand picked by the president to lead the effort in afghanistan, i think you've got to go with him. you've got to go with the detailed study that he has made and you have to remember that what general mcchrystal is recommending is really twofold.
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certainly more troops are going to be necessary to secure the peace in afghanistan and stop the violence. but as bob casey just said, we've also got to have a civilian component to this issue. if we're going to resolve this complex situation that evan noted earlier that exists in afghanistan. but if we're going to have those civilians to be able to come in and try and educate and train the afghanis, we've got to have the security necessary to allow him to do that. so i think it's -- it's imperative that we listen to the commander on the ground. >> senator graham, the administration continues to say that they have time, that we shouldn't rush this decision how much time do they have and how do you think it will come out? >> well, i don't know how it's going to come out, but i can say this without any equivocation. a counterterrorism strategy if adapted would be the biggest strategic blunder post-9/11. it would result in the taliban taking over all or part of afghanistan. it would result in the whole
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region wondering who america is. pakistan, which is doing a good job against their insurgency, would be undercut. you cannot fight these people from a distance. in march the president said we have to defeat the taliban and we have to make sure al qaeda has no safe haven. so i hope that this deliberation, which i understand this is a tough decision, doesn't go on so long that it becomes indecision. general mcchrystal said within a year, if we don't change the momentum on the ground, we could lose our ability to defeat the insurgency. a counterinsurgency strategy properly resourced is our best way to go forward. half measures will not only lead to a defeat in afghanistan. it will affect our ability to change iran. iran is watching us. if we're indecisive about what to do in afghanistan as an american or a coalition group, then they're going to take what we do in iran less seriously. so the president has a window of time here to seriously
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deliberate, but it's running out, and what you saw yesterday is exactly what awaits this country. our troops cannot change momentum. they're sitting ducks. they need to be reinforced. and i can't guarantee what will happen with more troops, but if we don't reinforce them, i can guarantee you what will happen. we will lose in afghanistan. that's what's at stake. >> this is what your colleague senator john mccain said about how the administration is handling general mcchrystal. take a listen. >> so it's okay with the administration for general mcchrystal to go on "60 minutes." it's okay for him to give a speech at the institute for strategic studies in london. but the administration does not want general mcchrystal and general petraeus before the senate armed services committee. how does that work? >> senator casey, how does that work? do you share senator mccain's concerns, if not his passion, about general mcchrystal briefing congress? >> well, when i mentioned before
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that we need to have a debate in congress, john's one of the voices we should listen to and take a measure of what lindsey graham and john mccain and lieberman wrote a piece. what was the focus of their column in the "wall street journal" as well as other points of view. on the question of who should appear before the armed services committee, i'm on the foreign relations committee, or any committee, i think we're going to have lots of opportunities to question general mcchrystal, to question maybe other administration officials as well. there's a whole long list. >> but the senator is saying he's out on "60 minutes" and he's out at this london foreign policy group and he hasn't briefed behind closed doors the senators and house members. >> let's be fair. when president bush made a determination about a surge in iraq, he made a decision, then we got to see general mcchrystal months later. i think the same should happen
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here. we should -- the president should have access to all the information he needs as well a have the congress have a debate. but this debate is not going to end the minute that -- the minute that the president allows people within the administration to come to capitol hill. we've already had months and months of hearings. we've got to continue that. one thing we should do, though, let me add this quickly, we should have a debate in congress about what is the fastest and most effective way to get the afghan army and the afghan national police up to a level where they can provide security and take on the enemy. i think that debate alone is critical to getting this right. we can have long debates about how many troops should be there, but a lot of the parts of this debate haven't taken place yet in the congress. >> a couple of quick topics before we wrap up here. on the economy, the unemployment rate stands at 9.8%. the highest in 26 years. more than 15 million americans are out of work. former fed chair alan greenspan
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is saying he believes it will push past 10% and stay there for a while. obama administration officials said when they were pitching the stimulus package they didn't think it was going to get past 8%. senator bayh, at the time of the stimulus package passage, you said of the $787 billion price tag, quote, we all respect the president's number. it has to be big enough to really provide a jolt to the economy and create jobs. do you think the stimulus has provided a jolt to the economy and created jobs? >> i think things would have been worse without the stimulus bill, bret, that's true. having said that, it's not satisfying to see that things continue to be a lot worse than any of us would like. you have to remember that i think a good percentage of the jobs bill hasn't gone into effect yet. if i'd been drafting the package, i would have tried to have it go into effect sooner and more related to jobs. it is what it is at this point. it continues to go into the economic bloodstream and to keep things which as unsatisfying as
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they are from being a lot worse. that's a long answer saying yes, but i wish it could have done more. >> senator graham, you talked about base politics. you mentioned glen beck on fox news channel and you said he does not appear to be aligned with any party but aligned with cynicism. there's always a market for cynicism. are you saying glenn beck is bad for america? >> no, i'm not saying he's bad for america. you have the freedom to watch him if you choose. he did a pretty good job on acorn. what i am saying, he doesn't represent the republican party. you can listen to him if you like. i choose not to because, quite frankly, i don't -- i don't want to go down the road of thinking our best days are behind us, we need to act decisively. people are genuinely upset with how much money we're spending up here. but at the end of the day when a person says he represents conservatism and that the country's better off with barack obama than john mccain, at sort of ends the debate for me as to how much more i'm going to listen. so he has a right to say what he
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wants to say. in my view, it's not the kind of political analysis that i buy into. >> senators, thank you all for being with us this mornin sharing your views on obviously a wide range of topics. >> thank you. >> up next, more on the president's afghanistan review and a little later on, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. our sunday regulars on president obama's go for the gold olympics effort that came up short. we will tackle it all after the break.
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arggh! 1, 2, 3. child: my dad smiles a lot. [ chuckling ] we think alike. even when he thought he might lose his job. now let me get back to work. all right, i'll catch you later. he says he doesn't think about it much... but i don't believe him. i think he does it for us. sometimes doing the right thing is just making people happy.
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>> my assessment, my best military judgment as i term it, is that the situation is in some ways deteriorating. >> general stanley mcchrystal laying out in blunt language his view of the current condition in afghanistan. it's now time for our sunday regulars, brit hume, fox news senior political analyst and contributors mara liasson of national public radio, bill kristol of "the weekly standard," and juan williams, also of national public radio. brit, your thoughts on the back and forth publicly about whether more troops should head into afghanistan. >> it's a little worrisome to think that the key policy voice opposite general mcchrystal in
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all of this is joe biden, who was in a position to do no real harm, but if he's now the lead negotiator or lead policymaker or one of them in the white house versus general mcchrystal, one hopes general mcchrystal will win the day. i think basically that it comes down to this. president said he had a new strategy. it was a little general when he laid it out back in march. and then he sent a new general over there to execute it who's now come back and said, well, we need more troops if we're going to do this. and the question is did he change the strategy or is he simply doing what was necessary militarily to carry it out. if it's the later, what's necessary to carry it out, it seems to me the president is in an awkward position to rebuff him. >> yeah, i think it's a little bit more complicated than that.
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this is an excruciating decision. either choice the president has, a counterterrorism stripped down choice or what general mcchrystal suggests, one could lead to a quagmire. the other could lead to the taliban taking over and al qaeda regaining a foothold in afghanistan which the president said we're in there to prevent. the middle ground looks worse, a little more troops to muddle along. this is a very tough choice, a defining moment for the president, because there's no way as in domestic politics when you can find some kind of middle ground or balance one side off the other. and i think this is going to be very, very tough. i don't see how the counterterrism strategy sounds almost too good to be true. very few troops and just with predator drones we can take the fight to al qaeda. i think probably a counterterrorism strategy would include more troops than the people who think it would be easy would expect. >> bill. >> i think mara correctly
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reflects what the white house thinks in the sense that they think it's an excruciating decision, it's very tough. that's pathetic. this president said it's a war of necessity, a war we have to win. we have to think about it regionally and think of afghanistan together with pakistan and we can't have a stable pakistan unless we hold the line in afghanistan and an unstable pakistan is unbelievably dangerous because they have nuclear weapons. why is this a tough call? we have to win the war. he would love to do it with only special forces. he saw it wasn't enough with iraq. he did the surge. he did general petraeus. general mcchrystal killed zarqawi. our best field commanders think this is necessary. this should not be a difficult call. >> do you think it's possible he could side with vice president biden and decide against general
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mcchrystal's advice, the general he put on the ground? >> yes, i think he could and it would come, though, at some tremendous political cost. but let me just say that the other political side of the equation that has been ignored in this conversation so far is that most americans, while we want to win the war in afghanistan, do not want to send more troops to afghanistan. this is true even among republicans. the left in this country is very war-weary, but the right is also war-weary. some think it's just republicans. that's not the case. this country after eight years in afghanistan without seeing any substantial progress, without seeing a stable government come to the forefront instead of this question of fraud and sort of the narco-terrorist connection to the karzai government, people are dubious what exactly we're trying to accomplish and that's where i think the problem lies. if you say very clearly we are out to defeat the taliban and
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out to defeat al qaeda, i think then you can generate more american political support. but how can you send joe mcchrystal out to do a job when the american people here at home do not have confidence that we, in fact, are sacrificing our children for a real concrete purpose that is something that can be done in a matter of a short period, not, you know, an unending commitment. >> then senator obama spoke out very loudly about the iraq surge, against it. how tough will it be if he sides with general mcchrystal, to sell the american public and the left of his own party for a surge based on what his previous stance on iraq was? >> what sells in a situation like this is success on the ground. the public is always skeptical and resistant to troop commitments in difficult places. afghanistan is palpably a difficult place. now, let's remember now the president and his party, including some who are now
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wavering, have been climbing out on this limb now for four or five years. go back to john kerry and the campaign in 2004, five years ago, george w. bush, he said, took his eye off the ball in afghanistan, which is the real place, the real war against the terrorists, to go chasing saddam hussein in iraq. this has been a consistent theme. it was president obama's theme when he was senator running for president. now he comes down to it. what does it really take? the idea is unpopular. the polls have turned on this. bill may be right that this shouldn't be hard, but it certainly is proving hard for barack obama so far, and i don't know that either way he goes he gets any political relief. if he says no now after getting -- after all that he said before and goes through some half measure, which is likely to fail, it seems to me the political consequences of that will be very severe indeed. >> let's turn now to the olympics and this decision out of copenhagen that it was not
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going to the 2016 games to chicago, even though the president made the pitch. take a listen. >> i urge you to choose chicago. i urge you to choose america. and if you do, if we walk this path together, then i promise you this: the city of chicago and the united states of america wi make the world proud. >> the city of chicago having obtained the least number of votes will not participate in the next round. >> one of the things that i think is most valuable about sports is that you can play a great game and still not win. >> mara, it's painful to watch. is it painful for this presidency? >> of course it's painful. whenever a president reallyuts himself on the line and doesn't succeed, it's not good. that being said, i don't think this was the olympics, after all. it wasn't like a war or a major piece of domestic legislation. and i think that he'll recover from this. it does raise questionsbout what they thought before they
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went. you know, what we understand is they thought they had a very good chance and that his trip over there and, of course, all the other heads of government were going, too, could have just put this over the finish line. but that being said, you know, it does make you wince a little and it was disappointing, but in the end, i think this is kind of low on the list of, you know, crucial defeats for the president. >> bill? >> there are so many ironies in this. by barack obama's view of the world, he should have been rooting for brazil to get the olympics. south america's never gotten them. it's a rising power. it would help brazil. we don't need the olympics. we've had them a million times. our economy doesn't need the boost of the olympics. an american president in a george w. bush like way tries to bully the international committee. >> he didn't bully them. >> come walk with us. i'm here for america. can you imagine with bush had done this and we hadn't gotten
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it? cowboy unilateralist. obama falls into that trap and they weren't for us. >> juan, does the staff of the white house -- should they receive some blame for sending the president over there in this environment when south america now looking back, it looks like they kind of had it in the bag? >> i don't know if they had it in the bag. what's clear is that the united states did not have the votes lined up. i think that valerie jarrett, david axelrod, rahm emanuel, deciding this is going to happen. we can get the african nations. they didn't have anything lined up and it is a temporary embarrassment. i agree with mara. it's not going to have any long-term effect. the way it looks internationally, with the president saying, you know what, this is -- we need to confirm this is america working with the world and it's different than the bush administration, he just
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got himself in a quagmire. and he got stuck. >> it occurs to me that when you look at -- now that we know what everybody was thinking more publicly tn we did before the vote was taken, that it was a longshot, maybe it was poor intelligence on the part of the u.s. olympic committee people, but i wonder if there wasn't this view in the white house which seems to undergird so much of what happens. if we can just deploy barack obama that his wonderfulness will turn the tide. will change the atmosphere. will win over people. that seems to be a fundamental tenet ofhe foreign policy of this administration, and the second point that seems to me worth making about that is there was a sense with chicago knocked out in the first round, but this was really the thumbing of the world's nose in a way at this country and it suggests that not only did the wonderfulness not work, but all of this engagement and charming that he's been doing of foreign leaders hasn't
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worked very well either. >> 18 of 94 votes. one of the most interesting reactions, immediate reactions came from illinois senator roland burris who blamed the chicago loss on george w. bush and his foreign policy for eight years. take a listen to this. >> chicago now is a victim of all of that negativism that came out of that bad image created. >> ouch. >> any comment on that? >> no comment actually when you think about how roland burris came to the united states senate in the first place. i do think to say what you're arguing is he shouldn't have gone and he should have ceded this to brazil. it was worth a try. to s he should have given up when all the other heads of government were going over there and say i don't want it i think also was not a possible choice. he did what he had to do and he lost. >> panel, we have to take a break here. when we come back, some key unemployment numbers come in worse than expected. evyone thought the worst was
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behind us. so what's going on with the recovery? our panel's thoughts. back in a moment. the quality of our lives
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>> i'm working closely with my economic team to explore additional options to create job creation. i will not give up until businesses that seek credit and capital can thrive and until all responsible homeowners can stay in their homes. >> that was president obama on saturday. so was he hinting there that there could be a second economic stimulus package down the road? we're back with our panel, brit, mara, bill and juan. juan, unemployment at 9.8%. do you think that one of the options that he's talking about is a second stimulus package? >> not in the short term, bret. i think what he wants to do now is to try to make sure that just as you heard him say the credit markets, the banks in specific, are more open to doing work with small business and small business being the engine for employment in the country.
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if you lookt wall street right now, wall street is doing pretty good. they didn't have a great week this week, but they're doing pretty much for the course of the year, they're on an upward trajectory. you look at housing starts, it's looking better. you look at corporate mergers, the kind of confidence that would suggest that people are now willing to get back in and take some risks by merging, that's another positive sign. the big question has to do with the holidays coming and consumer confidence and the idea that consumers are not going to spend if they don't spend, then small business doesn'thire. the retail outfits, the malls. what the white house people are thinking at the moment, let's get the banks to be more aggressive about reaching out to small business. >> liberals like juan don't mention unbut -- >> it's stunning when you think about it. what has this president proposed that had anything to do that provided incentives?
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there's been no pro-growth agenda in a steep recession. many of these have been anti-growth. they increase the minimum wage. teenage jobs have been lost since that increase in the minimum wage. they've got a huge health care plan out there which is a burden on siness. they've got aapnd trade proposal which is a burden on business. they did cash for clunkers which was reported friday moved auto sales from september to august and september sales were back as low as they have been all year. it is not a pro growth administration and guess what? they're not creating any economic growth. >> mara, at 9.8 unemployment, grnspan says he expects it to go above 10 and stay there for a while. that's a tough environment for vice president biden to continue to tout the stimulus package as working. >> i think what the white house argument is that it would have been worse and i think that you can say they might be right, but that's a very politically unsatisfying argument to make,
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it would have been worse without this. i do think the president has said he also expects unemployment to go up, possibly above 10%. it is a very bad environment going into the 2010 elections. i think when they talk about another stimus package, they're not talking about one that looks like the first one with massive spending. i think they're talking about extending unemployment insurance. they're talking about extending the safety net, maybe more tax credits. i cannot imagine that a second round of stimulus is going to be spending. it's going to be tax credits in a variety of forms, including for first-time home buyers, maybe even for hiring. >> i certainly hope mara is right. in addition to n being much of a job creator, the very nature of it was such that it was not going to take effect if it ever took any for a long time. and the normal course that's running here, i think the recession will be seen as having ended by now when economists finally look back on this with
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full 20/20 hindsight, but it is very common in recessions for unemployment to continue to rise even after recovery has begun. that seems to be what's happening here. the stimulus s done so far very little to stem that, if anything. and the nature of it is and the size of it is such and the amount of debt incurred is so great that the stimulus now acts as a drag on the economy going forward. so in addition to all the other problems with it, this thing, the stimulus is a burden on the economy instead of being a help to it. and my sense about it is that what we're seeing here is chickens are coming home to roost on one of the worst things congress has ever done. >> no political appetite for a second bite at that apple. >> i hope not. >> on health care, on that speech on saturday, the president linked creating jobs to his health care overhaul. mara, do you think that this bill that's coming out of the senate finance committee that does not have a government-run opg, a public option, will be what drives the day or will it
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somehow get added behind closed doors in -- as the senate and house work on this? >> do i think a public option will get back in the bill? no, i do not. i won't be surprised if a trigger gets in there. i think the health care bill is moving forward step by difficult step. it's going to get out of the committee onto the senate floor probably this week. and there are so many, many, many hurdles ahead. i think one of the big questions now is will the senate democrats act like a parliamentary party on procedural matters. in other words, will those moderates who don't want to vote for the final bill, will they agree to vote against a republican filibuster, you know, for cloture to get the bill to the floor and act like a parliamentary party. i think there's a lot of talk about that now. moderates -- some moderates are recognizing they have to get the bill for an up or down vote even if it passes in the end with just a bare majority. >> i think they'll get the bill to the floor and the bill will fail on the floor partly because the bill has tax increases in
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it. it reduces medicare payments. the house bill is paid for by a big income tax increase. the senate bill is paid for by various corporate tax increases passed oto many middle class citizens. they defeated barely in committee, an attempt by republicans to say no tax increases for the middle class. that's going to be reintroduced on the floor. they're not going to pass a massive burden, tax increase and burden on the economy when we have 10% unemployment. >> this is the thing for the status quo. most americans want something done to get health insurance at a reasonable rate and the same is true in terms othe unemployment issue. it's not about standing up for corporate america. it's standing up for ordinary people who think something needs to be done and the stimulus was an effort to help the american people. >> thank you, panel. check out the latest edition of panel plus where our group continues the discussion on our
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website,, shortly after the show ends. next, president obama takes stock of his accomplishments so far in office in a surprise address to the nation. we will explain after the break.
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>> on this day in 1965, pope paul vi arrived in new york for the first-ever visit by a reigning pope to the united states. he held mass at yankee stadium and addressed the general assembly of the united nations.
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>> last night president obama decided to address the nation a-apparently only on "saturday night live." he went into great detail about why the political left should be less than thrilled with his presidency. >> now, i just don't see why the right is so riled up. how do you think the left feels? they're the ones that should be mad. now, i'm sure they thought i would have addressed at least one of the following things by now. global warming. no. immigration reform. no. gays in the military. huh-uh. limits on executive wers. nope. social prosecutions, no. so looking at this list, i'm seeing two big accomplishments. jack and squat. >> ouch. a program note, we will have live coverage of the supreme court session tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. eastern. that's it for today. chris wallace is back next week. we will see you next "fox news sunday."
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