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tv   Wolf  CNN  August 13, 2014 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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right now, the united states is looking at options for rescuing the thousands of yazidi refugees gathered on an iraqi mountain. the question now, could they be rescued without putting american boots on the ground? also right now, the iraqi prime minister, the outgoing one, nuri al maliki, he is digging in. he says efforts to replace him are part of a conspiracy and he won't leave office until a court tells him to leave. right now, just four hours left in the cease-fire between israel and hamas. still no sign of progress in talks between the two sides in cairo. is there still hope they can reach a lasting truce? hello, i'm wolf blitzer reporting from washington it i'd like to welcome our viewers from the united states and around the world. the u.s. is now considering possible rescue missions in iraq as more u.s. military advisers arrive in the country. it's part of the effort to help save thousands of iraqi
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civilians trapped by terrorist fighters. some members of iraqi's yazidi religious minority have made it out of the mt. sinjar area to a refugee camp near the border with syria. but according to latest estimates, 10,000 to 20,000, maybe even more, may still be stranded. just a little while ago, the deputy national security adviser to president obama, ben rhodes, said president obama should get options in the next few days on how best to help them. >> we don't believe it's sustainable to just have permanent air drops to this population on the mountain. some of them have been able to escape. again, we want to get options in place to move them to a safer place. there are a range of ways for doing that. again, we're going to be cooperating with kurdish forces who are also operating in the region, other international partners and, again, our goal here is to work with the iraqis and international partners so these people can get off the mountain to a safer place.
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again, we don't believe that involves u.s. troops re-entering a combat role in iraq. >> our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. what kind of rescue operation are they considering? >> wolf, basically two pgsoptio on the table at the moment. one is by ground. transport by some sort of vehicle convey to a safer location. this may be problematic. a lot of territory that would have to be secured. many of these people are simply not in the physical state to make that journey. the next option of course is get them out by air. the u.s. would work with international partners, but it's clearly the u.s. military that would have the airlift capability to generate such a large significant operation around the clock. it could still -- all of it could take weeks. so the bottom line question, you know, right now there's an indication they're leaning towards air because they think they can get that done more quickly. they think they can hold isis at bay with air strikes, push them
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back from the mountain, get those aircraft in. but the bottom line question is does it mean u.s. boots on the ground. the answer to that most certainly is yes. there are already some 800, 900 u.s. military personnel in iraq. they would have to go on to the mountain. they would have to secure landing zones. they would have to provide security along the way. but the white house, the pentagon, is making a very strong point, this is not the -- according to them, the reintroduction of u.s. forces into a combat role in iraq. that has been ruled out. the u.s. is not going into combat in iraq. they're going to do a humanitarian mission, if approved by the president. if they came under attack, as all u.s. forces do around the world, they would have the right to defend themselves. but the white house, the pentagon knows full well, they are walking into a political minefield on all of this. however, they really are moving ahead and you saw ben roohodes
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say, they expect options from the u.s. military in the next several days. it will be up to the president to decide. wolf, i can tell you, there are planning to send a small number of u.s. military personnel to that mountain in the coming days to have a look firsthand. it may not be publicly acknowledged but they're going to have a firsthand look at some point at what exactly is going on there, wolf. >> that's why they sent those 130 military advisers in. they're now on the ground in northern iraq. some of them presumably will go to that mown ta, get a firsthand assessment, report back ton the top brass and the president. >> that is correct. it is ultimately, by all measure, certainly be president obama's decision and the pentagon also and the white house making clear they want international partners in this. you know, once again, they are looking for people to join a coalition here. the british, the french, already joining in with some support. weapons shipments to the kurds
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potentially by the french, the british air dropping supplies. what they do know is they just can't keep up with days and weeks on end of air dropping supplies to these people. it is over 100 degrees on that mountain right now. isis is being held in place. these people are desperate. they need to get off the mountain. one of the big issues is what can the united nations do to provide safe camps, safe areas. once they get them off the mountain, where do they take them? this is the kind of detailed logistical analysis the u.s. military is doing right now, step by step. how would you make it work? what would you do? >> a total failure is the fact that the iraqi military of about 200 or 300,000 active duty personnel, the iraqi military trained, financed, by the u.s., they are staying out of it, barely involved at all. they should be the ones going in there and rescuing their fellow iraqi citizens, not necessarily the united states. this represents a huge, huge
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failure over the past decade that the iraqi military, for all practical purposes, is m.i.a., missing in action, when it comes to rescuing fellow iraqis. barbara starr at the pentagon, thanks very much. the iraqi defense force has just released some gripping image, along iraqi border with syria. it looks like over mt. sinjar where thousands of women, children, men are trapped, after fleeing isis fighters. the iraqi military has been trying to drop some aid. but it is so limited, it barely exists, what the iraqi military doing, given the huge numbers of refugees involved. you can see a lot of people just running around toward an iraqi military helicopter as it touches down. some refugees are put on board. maybe a dozen. maybe 20. they're taken back to kurdistan. a kurdistan official estimates there are between 10,000 to 20,000 refugees on mt. sinjar. maybe they can squeeze 20 refugees on these helicopter
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missions that go in. only a few wind up going in. the yazidis who have managed to escape face still more challenges. struggling to deal with the refugee exodus. our correspondent anna coran is joining us from a refugee camp set up near the iraqi/syrian border. give us a little sense of what the conditions are like there. >> well, wolf, the people are desperate. there's no other way to put it. they have been to hell and back. and what they have endured and what they have witnessed. these families have been coming up to us today, this unhcr refugee camp, sharing their stories, witnessing family members massacred, beheaded. watchi ining the young, the eld,
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perish. it was only thanks to the peshmerga they were able to walk down, and then the arduous journey, to syria, back into kurdistan, to arrive here at this camp. now, officials here weren't prepared, you know, we've been watching the erection of these camps, these tents, i should say, over the last several hours. there's probably now about 100 tents set up. bulldozers and graders have been working the area to set up more camps, to allow more camps to form. because they are expecting more people. wolf, 70,000 people have arrived here in the last few days. and officials believe that there will be more to come as they -- they make their way from mt. sinjar. definitely, it's a desperate situation, wolf. these people are pleading with the international community to give them asylum. they don't feel safe in iraq
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anymore. >> yes, it says a lot that some of these people are actually trying to flee to syria for so safety. it underscores how enormously painful and difficult the process is, anna, where you are. we're going to get back to anna coran, a dangerous location in northern iraq. as the u.s. sends more military personnel to iraq, the outgoing iraqi prime minister is ignoring the calls for him to leave office. >> translator: we're holding on to our stance because this is a conspiracy being weaved from the inside and from the outside, and it is very dangerous. >> on monday, the iraqi president nominated haider al abadi, the deputy speaker of the parliament, to replace al mali i
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maliki. nuri al maliki seems to be digging in further. so what happens next? >> well, it was an interesting speech, you can imagine, he could have been slightly more defiant. he didn't say the magic words everyone seems to expect him to say, which is "i'm stepping down from power." he didn't also say he would not leave under any condition. he said he was waiting for the decision of the federal court. they're the ones who may eventually rule on the constitutionality of what's been happening with his successor, haider al abadi, named prime minister-des ignate by the new president, embraced by washington, iran, saudi arabia and much of the politicals here in baghdad. that is potentially giving him a way out. it may be he's holding out for some guarantee for his future safety or immunity from prosecution or pleasant lifestyle. we don't quite know. it was an interesting lengthy speech. he talked about the sacrifices, again of those soldiers fighting isis on the front lines. but didn't contain the words everyone is expecting to hear,
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it came also to a capital extraordinarily tense now. we've been seeing a lot of closed shops, lots of empty streets where there should be rush hour traffic jams. a real sense i think this deadlock has to pass very quickly in order for them to be able to simply hold back any potentialized at vance on the capital. >> more car bombings, other bombings in the iraqi capital where you are, baghdad, is that right? >> i'm sorry, i didn't hear you there, wolf. >> i said, there are more car bombings, car bombings, in baghdad today? >> forgive me, terrible connection. yes, we've had, today, two more blasts. one at a market which seemed to kill two people. although locals there seemed to think it was using a grenade. but more connected to any surgeoncy, a car bomb hitting a
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police station as well. two bombs we saw yesterday, one close to our building here. site of which we went to today. that proved a bad toll for the past 48 hours. not uncommon, i have to say, for baghdad. the blasts yesterday, it did designate close to the family home of haider al abadi, the prime minister-designate. caused a very angry reaction from the neighborhood, people ran down the streets and destroyed the police checkpoint shortly after the blast, just furious, frankly, that they weren't being protected from this constant stream at the capital, wolf. >> our reporters in harm's way, please be careful as well. up next, we're going to talk to a major critic of iraq's outgoing prime minister who says this crisis was totally predictable and the u.s. could wind up being one of the biggest losers. and the cease-fire between hamas and israel. we're going live to cairo to find out what's going on.
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i think our message to prime minister maliki and all iraqi leaders is this is the one process consistent with the iraqi constitution that is going to lead to a new government and he needs to respect that process, let it go forward. >> that was the deputy national security adviser to the president, ben rhodes, trying to send a clear signal that the u.s. is ready for a new government in baghdad. what kind of role will america play going forward? here to help us answer that question is the former senior adviser to several u.s. generals and ambassadors to iraq. he's joining us from dubai. thanks very much for joining us. i know you served under
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presidents bush and obama. in a recent op-ed in "the washington post," you wrote this, let me read a line or two for our viewers. the crisis now gripping iraq and the middle east was not only predictable but predicted and preventable. by looking the other way and unconditionally supporting and arming maliki, president obama has only lengthened and expanded the conflict that president bush unwisely initiated. america is likely to emerge as one of the biggest losers of the now sunni/shiite holy war. that's a pretty grim assessment. you go on to explain some thoughts about what the u.s. can do to try to make things better. in a nutshell, what can the united states do right now, given that the fact that the iraqi government seems hopeless and the iraqi military just ran away in the face of a few thousand isis terrorists who came in, they threw down their weapons, they abandoned their posts, they left all that
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sophisticated u.s. military hardware available for isis and simply disappeared. what happeneded there? >> right, wolf. so as i wrote today in a piece on, really, the key to our iraq strategy needs to be grounded in a regional strategy. the first thing we need to do is admit we have a problem and the president needs to admit his strategy of sort of withdrawing from the region hasn't worked. second thing he needs to do is he needs to hire new staff who are real experts in the region. the third thing he needs is a middle east czar . the fourth thing he needs to do is reaffirm our relations with region allies. and the fifth thing is to be clear we have real enemies in the region, including iran, a real force in destabilizing iraq. with regard to iraq, specifically, again, this entire problem was preventable in 2010 because prime minister maliki lost those elections and yet we along with the iranians backed
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him for a second term despite the objections of myself and some other senior officials. right now, i think the president's strategy finally after 5 1/2 years is exactly right. he has explicitly and very clearly conditioned future assistance to iraq based on the formation of a national unity government not only with new faces like prime minister designate abadi. the question for abadi is he going to, after four years of dawa party rule, with maliki, is he going to lead iraq for the first time, unite all the iraqis? or is he going to continue with maliki's divisive policies and thus drive iraq toward fragmentation and a civil war and really toward a broader regional holy war between sunnis and shia. >> sounds like a major indictment you're issuing not only against the president for the failed policies but for the vice president, who as you know joe biden spent a lot of time dealing with iraqi politicians, going back to when he was a
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senator. also the secretary of state john kerry, you say they need a middle east czar. what about john kerry? isn't he the guy who is supposed to be in charge? >> right, again, as somebody who proudly served both presidents, i think it's really important to emphasize that for our friends in washington, that really iraq and the problems plaguing the middle east right now are not issues of -- that should become partisan. we are facing an ex-continue chul threat with the crisis around the middle east. we know jihadis and al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, al qaeda in the maghreb and now isis, they are specifically vowing to plot another 9/11. the crisis in iraq and in syria, for example, they transcend president obama and bush and their national security teams. with regard to the individuals
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and the leaders you mentioned, this is not meant to be an indictment, again, of any one or any party or any administration. this is meant to be a cold look at what's happened, what has worked and what has not worked. clearly after $1 trillion spent in iraq, 4500 lost american lives, 33,000 wounded, hundreds of thousands of iraqis killed, millions displaced, our strategy has not worked. with isis, now, we are facing a super charged element of al qaeda that bin laden only could dream of. it's got hundreds of millions of dollars worth of u.s. military equipment in its hands. and so really what you need is a new approach. you need to break down the silos within the u.s. government and the reason why i advocate for our middle east czar is because this is a full-time job. just like general eisenhower had a full-time job in freeing the european continent from hitler, we need a five-star general now to unite all elments of the united states government, diplomatic, military and intelligence, to work with our regional allies, to work with
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our nato partners and even china and russia potentially, to get a grip on this global threat of transnational jihad and isis. >> you know, ali, there's no stomach, there's no popular will in the united states right now, after all these years in iraq, in afghanistan, for the u.s. to deploy what clearly would be needed several hundred thousand ground forces to go in there and wipe out isis. there's no desire on the part of the american public to do that. >> right. so as an american who spent over 2,000 days serving in iraq, over six years, believe me, i don't want to see a single american killed in iraq or the middle east and i don't want to spend one more dollar of american taxpayer funds in the region. and i think it's important to clarify. what i mean by appointing a five-star general along with some civilian deputies to help us manage the situation in the middle eat, i don't mean sending
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hundreds of thousands of troop, to the middle east. i think in fact that would be the absolute worst thing we can do. it's exactly what isis dreams we would do so they can bog us down in the region like the wake of 9/11 and afghanistan in iraq. what i'm advocating for instead is a -- right now, across the middle east, our allies are divided. there's no force unifying their efforts, military, diplomatic and intelligence. and the only way we can defeat al qaeda is not with american boots on the ground, is not with f-18 strikes, not with drones. it is rather by resolving the underlying tensions and misrule that created isis. ie, assad's genocide, abetted by the iranians and hezbollah and also the misrule of the government in baghdad that reconstituted the sunni insurgency and drove them to invite in isis. the only way you can resolve
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iraq's underlying problems and syria's underlying problems is taking an international approach, a regional approach that's primarily diplomatic, along with some covert assistance through military assets, intelligence assets, along with some surgical air strikes that knowledge the united states has the capability to do, but this cannot be a unilateral american approach. that will fail 100% and actually help isis in its recruitment and financing and plotting a second or third 9/11. >> ali cadari, thank you for your insight, powerful and very important. we're going to continue our conversations down the road. thanks also for your service to our country. appreciate it very much. ali joining us from dubai in the united arab emirates. time is now running out on the latest cease-fire between israel and hamas. talks are continuing in egypt as we speak. we'll have an update. we're going to cairo when we come back.
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about 3 1/2 hours from now before the temporary cease-fire between israel and hamas is set to expire but there's no long-term truce in sight. this as egypt keeps on pushing to keep that cease-fire alive. let's go to cairo. cnn's reza sayess joining us live. what is the latest on the cease-fire that's supposed to wrap up about 3 1/2 hours or so from now? >> wolf, it is still possible that the cease-fire will be extended. we know that's what the egyptians are pushing for.
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however, there's absolutely no indication that's going to happen. absolutely no sign at this point these two sides are making progress. of course, time is running out. we do want to pass along some new information. a short time ago, the palestinian designation here in cairo telling cnn the head of the delegation is going to make a statement to reporters. we're not clear if it's going to be a progress report on these talks. but we're going to have someone there. as soon as we get it, we'll pass it along. also a short time ago in gaza on palestinian television, senior hamas leader ismail al hamiya made a statement saying he's confident in the decisions of the palestinian delegation here in cairo. he also said he's confident the delegation is not going to be blackmailed by the zionists. these talks have been difficult to monitor. they've been held in secret. we did speak to a senior egyptian government official and he confirmed that egypt wants to
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extend the cease-fire beyond midnight tonight. seemingly that's what israel wants. but of course hamas and the palestinians, they've never said they wanted that. they basically believe that the israelis are using this as a delay tactic to return to the status quo. again, the palestinians have, so far, said they don't want that, wolf. bottom line, it's about 8:30 p.m. local time. about 3 1/2 hours ago. and a lot of people watching to see if these two sides come to any kind of agreement. >> the israelis what they say is they're ready to see the cease-fire continue. the egyptians want it to continue. i think the palestinian authority of mahmoud abbas, they want it to continue. but hamas is holding out for at least some gesture from the israelis that they will ease, let's say, the blockade of gaza, something along those lines. do they want something tangible from israel to key the cease-fire going? is that what you're hearing? >> absolutely. i mean, hamas and the palestinian delegation, their
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position is this has gone on for too long. that they've lost too many people. that they've given up too much. for them not to get some kind of concession. again, their demands, the lifting of the blockade, the opening of the border crossings. they say they want an airport, a seaport. they say that's the only way they can live a dignified life with some sort of access to the outside world, wolf. it's important to point out during these talks, even though these are hap mass' demands, hamas' demands, the palestinian delegation has remain unified, and that's a big factor in these talks. >> the next 3 1/2 hours will be critical. reza, thanks very much, you'll keep us informed. we're also learning the u.s. is now considering a rescue mission in iraq to save thousands, maybe tens of thousands of refugees trapped on a mountain by isis fighters. our next guest has been there. he's going to tell us what the u.s. is up against. [ man ] look how beautiful it is.
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welcome back to our viewers in the united states and around the world. the u.s. is now considering a possible air evacuation to save thousands of iraqi civilians stranded on a desolate mountain. another 129 military advisers arrived in iraq today. they'll come up with some options for president obama to consider. the u.s. marines, the special operations force, they were erb.
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our guest is the former world editor of "time" magazine, a good friendp cnn. he's joining us now. the defense secretary chuck hagel says this is not a boots on the ground operation. but let's be blunt, if the u.s. does get involved in a rescue operation to save thousands of yazidis, christians, others in northern iraq, that does mean not only boots on the ground but potentially combat operations. >> well, they're already -- for one thing, you're absolutely right. for one thing, they already are combat operations. u.s. air force pilots count as combat troops. we know they're in the air above iraq. if we're sending marines and special forces people into iraq, even if they are classified as advisers, they'll be armed and prepared, i assume, prepared to use those arms in situations where -- that are called for. so i think we can part the
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terminology here for domestic politic, but the facts on the ground, there are american soldiers there, they are boots on the ground. >> they all have boots, they're owl on the ground. potentially, they could be involved in serious combat, given the nature of the threat, the isis troops surrounding that mountain, to go in there and rescue thousands of yazidis and others, that could require some major combat on the ground, not just air strikes, right? >> absolutely. here's one other thing to consider. isis will welcome the news that there are 150 american soldiers arriving close to their patch. because they want a confrontation with the american military. they want this very badly. it is good for their propaganda. it sort of raises them in their own esteem. so if those troops are anywhere near where isis can make and attack towards them, you can bet that they will. >> with those 130 additional -- u.s. military advisers, we did the math. there are now about 1,000 -- 1,000 active duty u.s. military
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personnel in iraq. this after the president said all u.s. troops were out of iraq. now active duty personnel, rather in baghdad, erbil or elsewhere in iraq. you've been to that sinjar mountain where these thousands of refugees are stranded right now. tell us a little bit about the terrain there and what it's like. >> well, it's been about ten years since i was there, wolf. i'll tell you this, i don't think that place has changed in 1,000 years, perhaps 2,000 years. there's something powerfully biblical about that place. it's like a scene from "the ten commandments." this enormous bare, mostly reddish rock. there's very little vegetation there. it is large and forbidding. it is also, despite the fact that it is elevated, is also very, very hot in the summer. there's very little cover. there are no caves that i remember seeing.
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so all those thousands of people, the yazidis, whether there are tens of thousands, they're exposed to the elements. there's no water. there's no -- as i said, nothing really grows there except for some brush. and it's very, very hot. it's hot from above and because it is rock, it feels hot even at night when you touch the ground. it's a really -- it's not a place that anybody would go to for fun. >> how fierce are these isis fighters who have now surrounded that mountain and have taken charge of, what, a big chunk of iraq right now, in the face of a complete abdication, withdrawal, by the regular iraqi military? >> i tell you, years and years of covering conflict and terrorism, i have never encountered people this savage. this is a group that has descended into levels of depravity and atrocity we've never seen before.
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they are not simply pursuing some kind of political or religious agenda. this is a death cult. they enjoy the act of killing. when you line up 400, 500 people and kill them in cold blood. just slaughter them nazi-style. in some cases, bury them alive. that speaks to a level of savagery that i don't think we've seen since the medieval ages. >> who's going to take these isis terrorists on? the u.s., pointed out repeatedly, american public opinion doesn't want to get back involved in iraq with tens of thousands. you probably need hundreds of thousands of u.s. ground forces to do the job. the iraqi military, i don't know what they're doing. the kurdish peshmerga, they're great fighters, but they don't have the weapons to deal with these guys either. >> they're begin to get some weapons, as we learned, from washington. the other thing to consider about the peshmerga is their reputation for ferocity and bravery is about 20 years old.
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they haven't challenged -- they haven't been challenged this way in a long time. a lot of those great peshmerga commanders that i remember from 10, 15 years ago, have since gone into business, gone into politics. you know, they've moved on from the peshmerga live. so a lot of the fighters and chae commanders now are not battle trained. they don't actually have the experience. which gives you a sense of the sail of the problem here. those are the only boots realistically that are on the ground, the peshmerga, to some degree, the iraqi army, but they're not a very potent force right now. they will depend on american air cover but that might not be enough by itself. >> i'm sure it won't be. they need a lot of sophisticated weaponry to deal with the armor, the sophisticated weapons that the isis troops stole from the iraqi military, almost all of it u.s. manufactured and left behind by the departing u.s. troops. and we'll see what the u.s. is willing to provide these
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peshmerga/kurdish fighters. it's a pretty depressing situation as you and i agree. thanks very much for joining us. bobby ghosh, the managing editor of "quartz," we'll continue to have him here on cnn. up next, the man who lived in the shadows has now shown his face. we have the inside story. the leader of these isis fighters. he the world's new bin laden? [ male announcer ] ours was the first modern airliner, revolutionary by every standard. and that became our passion. to always build something better, airplanes that fly cleaner and farther on less fuel. that redefine comfort and connect the world like never before. after all, you can't turn dreams into airplanes unless your passion for innovation is nonstop. ♪ your studied day and night for innovation is nonstop. for her driver's test. secretly inside, you hoped she wouldn't pass.
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the man leading the terror takeover in iraq now says he's the leader and he's been called the next osama bin laden. brian todd reports the isis leader is coming out of the showers to strengthen his power in the region and possibly beyond. >> reporter: clad in a black turbin with the humble bearing the most respected eed emany ma appeared in an ornate mosque.
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but this was no man of peace. you should take up jihad to please god and fight in his name. this video from early july purportedly shows al baghdadi, the mysterious leader of isis, declaring a new caliphate, an islamic state in iraq. his grandiosity was striking. >> everything about the caliph's outfit is meant to evoke the earliest islamic empire. he didn't just come out to say hello to his followers. he came out to say, i am the new leader of the entire muslim world. >> reporter: this from a man who kept such a low pril he was known as the invasionable sheikh. >> there are rumors this is a guy who used to cover his face even when meeting with some of his own people, someone who took extraordinary precautions when it came to his own security. >> reporter: al baghdadi was thought of as little more than a local thug when he was captured by u.s. forces in fallujah about
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a decade ago. when the americans released him from camp bucca in iraq, he turned to the camp commander with a chilling message. >> as he left, he said, see you guys in new york. >> reporter: now, analysts say, al baghdadi leads a group run almost like a corporation with spreadsheets on assassinations and operative's missions. u.s. officials tell us it's unlikely al baghdadi has hands-on command of units on the batt battlefield. he leads with inspiration and strategy, they say. what about the paradox between a figure who presents himself as holy and gentle but leads a group behind these image, of executions and crucifixions? is that his signature what he wants? >> every indication we have is this campaign of terror by isis has signed off from the very top of the organization, from al gag d baghdadi. this is a if i ffigure even mor extreme than people like bin
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laden. >> reporter: the u.s. air strikes against isis have likely elevated al baghdadi's stature among jihadists around the world it the fact the so-called crusaders are attacking them, they believe, will only get other terrorists to rally around him. brian todd, cnn. president obama comes face-to-face tonight with his former secretary of state and current critic, hillary clinton, now that potentially awkward meeting, how will it play out? that's coming up next. can this decadent, fruit topped pastry... ...with indulgent streusel crumble, be from... fiber one. new fiber one streusel. what does it mean to have an unlimited mileage warranty on a certified pre-owned mercedes-benz? what does it mean to drive as far as you want... for up to three years... and be covered? it means your odometer... is there to record... the memories.
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it was on this day in history in 1961 that east german soldiers began building the infamous berlin wall. it will be continue interesting evening later tonight as president obama and hillary clinton expect to attend a birthday party for a mutual friend, ann jordan, the wife of vernon jordan, democratic adviser. this comes after the former secretary of state criticized the president's foreign policy, saying great nations need organizing principles and "don't do stupid stuff" is not an organizing principle. it may be a necessary break in the actions you might take in order to promote a vision. let's bring in chief political analyst, gloria borger. i'll play a clip. listen to what he said. >> president appreciated her
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call yesterday. as he does every opportunity to chat with secretary clinton. i know the secretary clinton's folks put out a short readout of that call. but we are looking onwards and upwards. of. >> the readout was she wants to hug it out with the president. a little awkward, though, isn't it? >> look, i think she's well aware she stepped in it. she had in her book said there were differences with the president on syria. but what she did was she took a policy difference and she made it personal. calling syria a policy of failure. and then, of course, david axelrod, former aide, tweeted something people in the white house were saying privately, which is don't do stupid stuff means stuff like occupying iraq in the first place. >> and you have this up on the screen which was a tragically bad didn't, hint-hint, reminding hillary clinton voted for the war in iraq. don't forget, this is a president who when she was retiring went on "60 minutes"
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with her -- some of his staff has gone to work for her super pac, et cetera, et cetera. so i think lots of hurt feelings here she's got to try and fix. >> the criticism is she is trying to distance herself from a president whose job approval number on foreign policy is in the 30s. >> well, and she might be doing that. but in doing that, she also creates another problem for herself. because what people forget is that while the president's approval rating with the general public may be low, the base of the democratic party still likes him very much. still agrees with him on foreign policy. as opposed to hillary clinton, who is a little bit more hawkish than he is, a lot more hawkish than he is. and in reminding the base of the democratic party that she is that different from president obama, may not serve her well. of course, we have no idea who would run against her. >> the kind of criticism that i -- the last few days we have heard in that "atlantic" interview with jeffrey goldberg took me back to the days of 2008
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when we were both running for the democratic presidential nomination. i nominated presidential debates and you heard that africa friction and frengs. >> and you're likeable enough, hillary, which back fired on then candidate obama. you know, this is the kind of thing, when you take a policy dispute and you disparage the president and you kind of of make it personal, which i would argue she did, it can backfire on you. and i do believe that people in the white house are very upset about this. you know, they have been given a heads up on the book. when she came out and distanced herself from him on spear i can't. but this kind of an interview is something i don't think they expected, particularly the wording she used. the don't do stupid stuff is not an organizing principle. it's a little demeaning to the president of the united states. >> that was what the president had supposedly said his policy is, don't do stupid stuff, like
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getting involved in a war in iraq. >> that's been cleaned up for us. >> are this is a family-oriented program. gloria, see you later. >> let's hug it out in the sit room. >> gloria borger, joining us right now. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. once again, i'll be back, 5:00 p.m. eastern, another special two-hour edition of "the situation room." for our international viewers, "amanpour" is next. for our viewers in north america, "newsroom" with brooke baldwin will start after a quick break.
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you are watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for joining me. we have to begin this hour just outside of st. louis, missouri, where community policing has gone to a whole new and some critics are saying disturbing level, as these images right here show you. these pictures come after three straight nights of violence, after police shot and killed an unarmed student. it was supposed to be his first day of college monday. last night, another officer shot someone else, not in ferguson, but just outside this town of 21,000 people. still, it's to the point, the city of ferguson, missouri, has called for demonstrations only during daylight hours. according to a press release from the city, they're