tv Washington Journal CSPAN August 21, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT
call. the first thing i would do and the only thing that's truly necessary is to utilize the full potential of our children. and to do that i would invest very heavily in education. and secondly, i would tackle the war on drugs and stop this drug war that's locking up so many of our children so that they can then utilize their full potential and go on to contribute to our societies. the war on drugs and the lack of education funding is destroying our society from the level of the youth. and in ten years, 20 years, these are the same youth that we will need to help us. so end the war on drugs and invest more heavily in education and give it ten years and you will see what those policies can do to make this country greater. host: specifically how would you go about ending the war on drugs? caller: well, these are all statutes. so if we, for example, stop locking people up for misdemeanor drug crimes, that's
something that would have a big policy effect and that would have less and less people in jails. by ending the war on drugs. these low-level drugs are misdemeanor crimes that's small drug possession. host: audrey on our line. what would your top priority be? caller: to find out first and foremost what the republicans and the tea party mean by they want to take their country back. where are they taking it back from? i'm an american. nobody has stolen the country from me. what do they mean? and why can't they say president obama rather than barack obama? host: tuscon, arizona. go ahead. caller: thanks for taking my call. i think lobbyists are posing the biggest threat to the country at this point. we really need to have representation that focuses on
the people's opinions and not what special interests say. i would get rid of them. i would make it a crime to be a lobbyist. host: a lot of people say that being a lossist is just an extension of expressing your first amendment rights. you might have a problem with that. don't you think? caller: i disagree. i think that the problem is that the way in which a congressman has believes that they have accomplished something is how much money they've spent. and it has nothing to do with representation of people's needs. host: we're going to tony in indianapolis. you're on the "washington journal." go ahead. caller: the first thing i would do is get out of afghanistan and iraq. we can't afford it and it's not doing any good. and the second thing i would do is give national health care just reducing the age of
eligibility for social security. host: if i were president is the theme for this section of the "new york times" sunday edition. and danny meyers, c.e.o., president of the hospitality group says if he were president he would appoint a committee of accomplished citizens. he goes on to say that he would prioritize among the committees ideas that's danny myor, the
c.e.o. of union scare hospitality group and what he would do if he were president. monica in orange county on our line for democrats. what would you do if you were president? caller: thank you for taking my call. first, i would get rid of that congress, the republican congress, and then secondly i would get rid of the supreme courts that john robert supreme court. he has to go. thirdly, i guess i totally throw the coke brothers out of the country. host: constitutionally you can't get rid of congress and the supreme court. so how would you try to deal with those two entities? caller: well, and then i would charge them with treason. that's the way i would do it. host: why would you charge them with treason? caller: any time you undermine
the government in my book is total treason. host: and how are they undermining the government? caller: well, think that they've got their hands in that's totally disrupting the government . host: well now, they would say and others like minded that they are exercising their first amendment right to speak on issues that they feel strongly about. caller: that might be the way they see it but we have other ways of exercising our first amendment rights. host: chuck in columbia, south carolina, what would your top priority be? caller: i would really like to see us have a manhattan project style effort towards energy where we truly develop the next generation of energy and specifically nuclear power. because it's safe. it doesn't melt down.
there's lots of thorium. it can -- they can use it in liquid fluoride reactors to actually burn or stockpile of hazardous waste that we currently have. there's lots of information that energy from thorium.com and other places. but i would encourage people to look into that. but i would like to see lots of money invested in that. host: how does this process differ? caller: it's totally different. it does not use water. for instance. there's no large cooling towers. it can't melt down. it uses salt essentially. but the technical part isn't quite as important as the geopolitical part. because you cannot make weapons from it.
so countries abroad who want nuclear energy, they can have thorium-based reactors. and we would not need to worry about them proliferating nuclear weapons. host: rick on our line for republicans in miami, florida this morning. caller: my top priority would be to keep america combat-ready and to keep our military combat-ready and to make sure that what happened in vietnam doesn't happen again. host: what do you mean? caller: in vietnam we lost the war, there was lots of death there was a high amount of money spent, a lot more than what's spent on this war. and it was a failed war. host: next up is reed in laguna beach on our line for democrats.
go ahead. caller: it's rebus actually. host: ok. caller: definitely i would take some of the n.s.a. and c.i.a. money and put out a contract on rush limbaugh and rupert murdock. host: whether or not would you want to do that? cuveragetsdz because they're ruining this country. host: they're just expressing their first amendment rights. caller: they're trying to create hatred in the united states and class against class and it seems everything possible that they could possibly do to hurt this president. they said, mitch mcconnell said from day one that was their number one priority was to get barack obama into a one-term president. the guys watched farrari compared to george bush
compared to a vega. host: we're going to leave it there. james q. wilson is the pepper dine university professor and author of american politics then and now. he says with my staff i would decide what my administration was for. once i clarified that i would write several speeches on how to cope with a stagnant economy, how to deal with countries such as iran and syria that harass our own populations -- that harass their own populations and how the united states is committed to the survival of israel. these speeches would not attack the other party or previous presidents but would describe the views i support. back to the phones. greevel, south carolina on our line for independents. if you were president, what would your top priority be? caller: how you doing. hello to c-span. first thing would be a 1% tax on all derivative transactions
and if you want to know more about that look at topnet. second i would not have a pay roll tax holiday because when you do that you're taking money out of social security and we don't need to do because social security is already solvent for a long time but you're shortening the solvency of social security. and i would stop those wars for oil. and bring all the troops back and stop meddling in other people's affares in their country. i'll listen to the rest of it off line. thank you very much and love c-span. host: next up is joyce in washington, d.c. on our line for republicans. caller: good morning. host: if you were president what would your top priority be? caller: one would be to take better care of the veterans. i think he should set aside a number of federal government
jobs right now. host: go ahead. caller: i think he should set aside a number of the frags jobs for veterans and take better care of veterans and stop some of the war activities. some blaming the former president for the state of america. take full responsibility for america as it is right now. indicate to kids and -- that's my comment. host: well, stay tuned later in the program. at 9:15 we will have the executive director of the american legion on and he is going to be here to talk to us about unemployment and veterans. so stick with us and if you get a chance send us an e-mail. florida john on our line for independents. caller: good morning. i think that the best thing we could do for the country and the first thing i would do as president is get rid of the federal income tax.
i just believe that we could go to say a 3 pshts national sales tax and say apply 1% of that to paying off the deficit. and i think what it will do is it enhances the tax base and makes rich peach pay a higher share and poor people pay a lower share because they're buying less products. and i think that it would work out a lot better and it would inspire businesses and people to get out and work. host: seattle, washington is where our next call comes from on our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: am i on? host: go ahead. caller: i've wauched ron paul this evening just previous, on the previous program. and he makes more sense in five minutes than all of the rest of
those people that i've been watching over the last few years. host: all right. he's already running for president and we've heard what he has to say. you tell us what would your top priority be if you were the president? caller: ok. now, i voted for obama and supported him 100%. but my top priority would be to step down and turn the presidency over to ron paul. that would be my top priority right now. host: so you would run for president. and if you got into the white house you would step down and turn your -- constitutionally you can't really do that. caller: well, maybe then i would appoint him as the top advisor. host: all right. seattle washington. we're going to be taking a look at some other stories in the news this morning as we continue our conversation regarding what would your top priority be if you were president. we've got this from the
associated press out of triply libya a day after launching their first attack on the libyan capital. we hope to have more on the situation from libya later on in the program. next up is ohio. jim on our line for republicans. you're on the "washington journal." caller: good morning. good to be here. host: what's your top priority? caller: my top priority is some massive public works programs. i'm a republican in the sense of the democratic republican thomas jefferson and eisenhower who believed that there is purpose to the federal government beyond making war. eisenhower came back from world war ii and built the interstate
highway system. jefferson was against great public expenditures bought louisiana. wh we need to do, the biggest need is water. fresh water. i thought this year as trillions and trillions of gallons of water flooded out the whole upper midwest while texas dried out and roasted. if we had a massive public works programs that would employ those men and women that we have in the military overseas doing nothing but running down america's reputation, put them to work building a national water system. there's the electriccal power grid. our country is falling apart. you can drive outside the beltway and see it or inside the beltway more or less and we see it every day. things are crumbling. this nation needs to reinvent itself, needs to rebuild itself. but yet all we talk about is petty politics and making war against people who have done nothing to us. that's what i would do. host: we've got this tweet
host: florida on our line for democrats. you're on the "washington journal." caller: if i were president, i would host: go ahead. caller: i would stop the attitude of america and take care of our own country. host: when you say imperialistic attitude, what are you talking about? caller: i mean that we should stop policing the rest of the world and we have enough in our country to take care of. also. host: what would be your first priority to take care of? caller: our people.
our people. host: how do you take care of them? caller: first of all recognize that all people are people. and realize that around the world all people are people. and important people and they're not -- when we go to other countries and wreck their country, then we are wrecking the lives of real people. also, i would increase the tariffs on countries who ship jobs abroad for them to bring their goods back into our country. host: all right. we're going to leave it there. sister mary david walingen back of the holy wisdom monestary of wisconsin writes dothan,
they get, i would put it back into the medicaid especially for the children. i would stop taking cuts or making cuts on medicare on our social security system for people who put money into the funds for years and years, they're taking it from our elderly who have no defense for themselves. and -- and i would stop our militaries. our military is our strength and our nation. if we're going to protect ourselves, they're the people that are going to protect us. host: all right. we want to take a break from our discussion and talk with thomas with the washington post
in the tehran bureau here to update us on the situation this morning in libya. good morning and welcome to the program. guest: good morning. host: what's the latest especially with regards to the skirmish between the rebels and the forces supporting gaddafi in tripoly? guest: well, i'm here about 30 miles from the capital and the rebels have taken the city on friday. i visited the center of the city yesterday. there's still dead bodies lying left and right. buildings have been burnt out or bombed and the rebels have managed to push the forces out of town around up to like 20 miles outside of tripoly. so they are advancing but the advance is stalling. we are getting reports of lots of casualties. i just visited the hospital
here and a wounded soldier was brought in and also a dead soldier was brought in, and now it seems that the rebels are having trouble pushing beyond a city between the two. but reinforcements are also coming in so maybe later today they will be able to push forward towards the gates of tripoly. host: and as we're talking with thomas, we want to let our viewers know that we are showing videos that we've gotten from al-jazeera. in the "new york times" this morning their lead story says a third major official defects amid rumors of gaddafi fleeing or preparing to exit. how close is colonel gaddafi to actually leaving the country and where would he be going? guest: well, there have been several high-profile defections in the last month and week. what's clear is that colonel
gaddafi's grab on power is declining. there are several rumors that he is about to leave the country but i don't expect that to happen for now. his son has said in an interview that the family has three options. one, to live in libya, two, to die in libya, and three to die in libya. and that should give you an idea of their mindset. they are planning on staying here and possibly fighting to the bitter end. host: when was the last time that anybody saw colonel gaddafi? guest: he has not been seen in several weeks. he did put out a statement by phone yesterday in which he called the rebels red he accused nato of being the cause of all this trouble and he said that they will fight on and defeat the rebels. he has not been seen. it is unclear where he is.
some of the rebels are saying that he is hiding in an underground bunker. others are saying that he has fled to tunisia or chad. his where abouts are completely unknown. but he must show himself somewhere in the coming days because we're getting reports of fights in the capital as well. and if he doesn't come out and show himself, there is yet another signal that he is losing grip on power. host: talking to us by phone this morning from libya. in the baltimore sun this morning, their headline is zero hour for gaddafi advancing rebels say tell us about this national transitional council. guest: the national transitional county is basically the rebel government
in waiting. currently they're in benghazi about a thousand miles to the east off the capital trip olive and their representatives of rebel forces, former dissidents and even some people who used to be active in the gaddafi regime. they have mapped out some kind of roadmap to peace which they say will bring the country democrat elections within the coming eight months once they take power. this is of course yet to be seen but the council has been acknowledged by several scombrags governments including the u.s. government. and so they are very well set up to be the new government of libya once gaddafi leaves the country, dies or is captured. host: how much activity normal activity is going on right now in trip oli? is it sort of a day to day kind of a thing or have the streets
been primarily cleared by the rebels and the government supporters? guest: well, there's currently no fighting in the city but it's definitely not a normal situation. i just briefly described the bodies still lying on the central square. but everywhere in town you can see rubble, collapsed buildings, burned-out cars. and we are getting reports that several neighborhoods have started an uprising, particularly one neighborhood has apparently -- this is all from refugees who are fleeing right now, has managed to raid a weapons depot and is now in charge of their neighborhood. the national transitional council that i just spoke about has also called for the uprising on yesterday to start and we just spoke with a refugee who said that after the fast breaking in which muslims don't eat during the day, the
people of trip oli went out on the streets shouting god is great and gaddafi must go. host: in this morning's "washington post" you write are flights still going in and out of this airport or is that pretty much been curtailed? guest: i don't know about this particular airport. trill pli seems to have two airports. the airport now is west of triply and rather close to rebel lines. it's nice to grab that airport and get it under control. they can bring in planes. the national transitional
council actually has a plane and they could use that plane to, for instance, transport fighters to the front lines which would be a big advantage for them. host: what do you expect to see happen in the next 24 hours? could triply come under total control of the rebel forces or 24 hours from now do you expect skirmishes back and forth? guest: the situation is highly volatile. i have no clear idea of how to -- it will develop today. it is still afternoon here and the rebels fight on for definitely for some more hours. at the same time we are hearing continuous nato bombing. they could also have an effect. i think 24 hours is very optimistic but definitely it seems that they're continuing
to push for trip oli. host: thomas, tehran bureau chief talking to us by phone this morning. thank you very much for being on the "washington journal" guest: thank you. host: back to the phones. we're going to be continuing our discussion from an item based on an item that we saw this morning in the "new york times." if i were president. and we've been talking with callers and viewers and listeners about what would be their top priority if they were president. jeffrey, the president of harlem's children zone says
pennsylvania, al on our line for republicans. if you were president what would be your top priority? caller: my first priority would be -- and this is to all my single issue american, fellow americans. i would get back to the basic tenets of what america stands for foundationly. people have to read the preamible to the constitution and understand that this is a great country. actually, this is the greatest country in the world. for the people in this country to criticize what america is, you don't see people fleeing this great country of ours. for the people who call us
imperialists we are not. we have a successful way of how we run things. we, the people, are the government of the united states. we have an administration in washington who is progressive and they are progressively ruining the united states. not only globally but also domes scli. this is a great country. and if i were president i would get back to the single issue of bringing us back to our foundation of what and who we really are in the world. those are my feelings. and i hope the rest of my americans feel that in 2012. host: in this morning's "washington post" sunday opinion section the real grand bargain coming undone. this is by alexander who is a professor at the kennedy school at harvard university.
jobs we can't help ourselves and we won't be able to help others if we can't help ourselves host: also in florida, nick on our line for independents. good morning. caller: thank you for c-span. host: what would be your top priority if you were president? caller: well, the crisis beneath the crises would be for me energy. i would declare a national emergency on energy security with the goal of getting us off imported energy by the end of this decade. and if we've got 100 years of natural gas in the ground we've got to find a safe way to get it out while we develop an actual renewable strategy for the united states. we import the reason why we're at war is because we need to be there to import oil. we don't have oil. our economy runs on oil. that's a bad thing because we don't have it. and that's the number one thing that needs to be addressed. i would solarize government.
i would retro fit every government building make it efficient and the grid in one third of our energy in heat. those would be the first things. and then another major problem for the country is the multinationals are fleecing the treasury and offshoring the money and that's why we have major economic problems in our country. thanks to you companies like beck tele, halliburton and variety of others that aren't based in the u.s. any more and are war profit years. host: nick on our line for independents. we have another tweet from free lancer in macon georgia. go ahead. caller: well, if i was
president, i was a social worker for the state of georgia for years. and one of the problems that i saw was the medicaid program. i know the children need it but we've got kids that are raised for generations in this program and we would listen to these parents and they would tell the kids ways to get over on the system. and when you hear a parent tell their 14-year-old daughter when the daughter is trying to decide what to do with her baby when she has it, oh we need to keep that child because that's a check for you for the rest of your life until that child is grown, there's something wrong with that. we ought to be allowed to, if they're going to be getting assistance, we ought to be allowed to have those children in some type counseling session within our agency so we can teach them different ways. rather than just send a check and receive it and the children continue to be raised on those values. another system are the pell grants. we would hear these comments as
well where ok well you can go register, stay in class until the withdrawal date because you'll already stev assistance money because they receive money for books and whatever they want to do. they would get their hair and nails done or whatever, spend their money elsewhere. they could withdraw by a certain date and it would not go against them and they've already spent that money. and they could do this so many times. i mean, i think they can only do it a couple of times before they're dropped and then they would have to petition. host: we're going to leave it there. another example put forth by the "new york times" this morning comes from patricia, author of improv wisdom.
dayton, ohio. you're on the "washington journal." caller: thank you. host: if you were president what would be your top priority? caller: first priority would be to bring the troops home. that war should have never been fought. and second, i would bring george bush up on what they call war crimes. because that nobody is saying nothing about how that man had
this man and his two sons killed. they're dead for no reason. and second off, i would send congress over to iraq before i end the war. and let them fight and see how fast they end the war and bring everybody home. host: we've got this e-mail jeff in fort lauderdale. caller: if i were president i would cut off the printing presses of the federal reserve and start our own like john f.
kennedy did back in the 1960s. host: how would that solve our economic problems? caller: well, they are our main problem, the federal reserve. it's a bank. it's not a reserve for the federal. how would that stop it? well, when we print our own money we don't make interest on our money. which the federal reserve does. and it -- why did they ever start it back after kennedy stopped them? host: this from the "washington post" op ed section this morning.
their fair share. and in changing thed to i would phase out the social security system because what it's doing is basically creating a slush fund that our congress can basically just dry it out to fund obama care. i would repeal obama care and do something to replace it. we do need some sort of health care reform. i would do more to encourage using american industry to help in the war effort the way that abraham lincoln did and the way that roosevelt did during world war ii. and i would also do more to encourage education to thrive in the united states because we're not going to get businesses into this country without doing that. that's why we have products that come from china or taiwan or foreign nations instead of doing more to build up our industry.
host: let's go to virginia beach, virginia, on our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. if i were president, i would address the greed of the corporate heads and starting with the banks. i would follow the pattern that mr. hershey would set that he thought the employees should have $2,000 houses and the executives $10,000 houses. which would make it five times as much as the employees. so i'm thinking we could start with the banks and save the executives could not earn more than five times as much as the lowest paid employee and that would put a lot more money in the economy for the workers to spend. it also might address the problem with unions. we wouldn't need them if people were getting paid properly in the first place. and they might be able to buy
their own health insurance. and i just think that would be a good thing to address at this point in our economy. i would also agree bringing people back from afghanistan and iraq. several other thing that is other people have mentioned. but i think the greed of corporate heads gouging companies and putting people out of work by sending things overseas and getting greedy about how they can put more in their pockets which they can only spend so much. they're not going to buy that many refrigerators and stoves and cars. we need to spread it out just a little more and then we wouldn't need to address the tax system if we address the pay system in the first place. host: we're going to move on to brian in baltimore on our line for independents. caller: my top priority would be to break up the banks, break
up the oil companies, break up the insurance companies. i would be like teddy roosevelt and just bring everything up into small little pieces. because the way it's looking now, they control too much of everything and it's not even. it's not a fair playing field. two, i would lobby really hard to overturn citizens united because you have to take the money out of politics. washington is bought. i don't care what anybody says. the average person can't represent average people any more. you have to have $1 million, $2 million to run for office. that makes no sense. it's not fair that you've got rich people representing poor people when they don't know what it's like to be poor. and it drives me crazy. i look at these super committees that they have now.
coming up on the "washington journal" in 45 minutes a discussion on the rise in violence in iraq but after this break we'll be talking about campaign 2012 with folks on both slile on the democratic and on the republican side. but first an update from c-span radio. >> sunday afternoon c-span radio reairs the five network
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our programs any time with c-span's video library and we're on the road with our c-span digital bus and local content vehicles bringing our resources to local communities and showing events from around the country it's washington your way. the c-span networks created by cable, provided as a public service. "washington journal" continues. host: we start our discussion of campaign 2012 this morning with karen finie, democratic strategist and former communications director for the dnc. the president's week, the gallup poll has him at a 26 approval on the economy, the stock market and european banks. how bad is this for the administration and what must the president do to recover? guest: i think it's bad all over and what we've seen in the polls and the market reactions has been it's not just about the president. i think there's accountability
all across this town and voters know that. their frustration and what the markets are telling us is people need to get something done. i think the president wisely this week has positioned himself as the guy who is trying to get something done. we've heard that he's going to try to put out a new proposal, although i imagine it will have a lot of old ideas we've already heard in september but also the theme that is we heard this week will continue to hear into the fall and that is the idea of a do nothing congress and the things that he is trying to do but the fact that it is a reality and he needs congress' help. host: tony, republican strategist and former deputy press secretary in the bush administration. for those that are criss-crossing between iowa, south carolina and new hampshire those who are running for the republican presidential nomination, how do they take advantage of these numbers from gallup? guest: well, i think the best thing for republican candidates to do is to focus on the economy and the policies that
the obama administration has put in place. the president has a record of implementing economic policies and we have results that come in weekly and monthly and quarterly in the form of economic data reports. and that's really where their focus ought to be. that won't be enough though for them because they need to articulate what their policies will be going forward for how they would change economic policy, and improve economic conditions for americans. host: another gallup poll also says that 11% of americans are satisfied with the way things are going in this country. for the republicans who are running for the presidency, what do they say to their constituents and to potential voters that get them to understand that they would be able to decrease that number or make that number better for the
republicans? guest: that's only going to come from articulating the new policies that they can convince americans will work. now, the problem for republican candidates, actually for all candidates right now, is that they've seen a stream of economic policies not just over the past 2-1/2 years but over the past four years or so to try to improve conditions in the economy and they're incredibly skeptical all across the ideological spectrum, republicans, democrats, independents, are all very skeptical of policies that they're hearing from washington that will have an impact for them. and, unfortunately for every -- certainly for the administration right now, is that the economy that we have today is very likely the economy that we're going to have over the next six to eight months at least, at least if you believe the private sector forecast that came out over the past week. host: and karen, for the 88% or 89%, according to the gallup poll who aren't satisfied with
the way things are going, what does the president have to say to them? >> i think the president needs to continue to articulate what it is he is trying to accomplish to create jobs and create the condition that is do create jobs. and going into the 2012 cycle, remember, to a -- saying the republicans, the leading republicans are trying to make their economic argument. so you have government perry talking about his record in texas. it will be interesting to see how much of that was in part related to federal dollars. not to mention that unemployment in texas now is lower than it's been since the 80's. then on the other hand mitt romney trying to make the argument as a business person. so his record. and also frankly his record as governor of massachusetts will be on the table for comparison. i think at the end of the day, look, this economy is going to be tough for quite a while and i think americans are finally realizing that. i think as long as they believe that the president is
legitimately trying to do thing that is they think could work, i think that's the best argument you can make because unfortunately to some degree some of this stuff is just going to take time. host: tony, in the "washington post" this morning, an article talking about governor rick perry and campaigning in south carolina and picking up an endorsement from former state house speaker david wilkins who served as president bush's ambassador to canada. how important is that endorsement in south carolina? . .
question for ms. finney. it seems to me that president obama has been on the defensive for a long time and that we need to get on the offensive. what i mean by that is karl rove -- they have pac's been attacking policy and message trying to define it. all we do is defend that position. what i mean by offensive -- why does he not talk to dennis kucinich, appoint him as being the new consumer advocate for financial situations? let him get tough out there? even though the republicans will prevent that from happening or at least try, every day, he would be out there pounding it about how we need to enforce the new roles for the banks. that is the kind of stuff we need. we need maybe congressman fahad.
let him take over secretary of the treasury. f you get these super pac's having to defend other positions, the strict obama policy -- and i know you hate to hear this, but it is kind of like football. you have the linebackers blitzing the president every play. host: this is turning into a different kind of a program. caller: personal like -- guest: personally, agreed to a large extent in terms of the need to be on offense. many democrats have been frustrated that so much of the economic conversation has been on defense, and we have been fighting it essentially on the gop turf. we are trying to defend our ideas rather than being on offense and challenging their ideas a little bit more
headlong. one of the things you will see this fall -- we will go into the supercommittee process -- remains to be seen whether or not they get something done. political pressure from outside washington is increasing, which is a good thing in terms of getting something done at the same time, it kind of freeze up the president to some degree to push his ideas and be on offense, and i hope he takes the opportunity to really push people to say that if we are talking about a payroll tax cut and we think that is a good idea, he needs to be aggressive and go on offense and dare congress not to do it. hopefully, we will see some version of that year and >>efully fewer blitzes' let's move on to sarasota, florida. ted on our line for republicans. caller: good morning here i feel that president obama, from the line he has taken office, he has basically had to play along with
the existing game that is going on with the special interests -- from the time he has taken office. i think the only one who has been sincere is ron paul. he is the only one really promoting change. host: would you go along with that? guest: a lot of buildings in washington are filled with groups -- that represent special interests. every person in america is a member of the least it will notify us -- two to five so- called special interests, and it is a theme that occurs every election. i think the election will be fought on relatively vague ideas, and maybe some big ideas that we have not had an opportunity to debate in very serious ways in the past. at least that is what i hope the election will be about. the big issue is, like, the role of government. how we deal with revenue. how we deal with entitlements. if that is what this election
will be about, it will be a very good election for the country and for the american people and for the direction of the country going forward. host: joe on our line for independence in new york, you are on "washington journal." caller: thank you. i like to know what your guests think is obama's greatest accomplishment -- increasing the national debt, having more americans unemployed, doubling the cost of health care, or gays in the military. host: thanks for your call. and your sarcasm. guest: the president's job is -- any president's job is a tough one. he has had to deal, obviously, with difficult circumstances. i think their belief is that the health care bill they signed it is the greatest
accomplishment of his presidency. we will have some time over the next couple of years to see whether it bears fruit as a great accomplishment or not, but the white house right now is campaigning on a message of having tried very hard to do certain things, and, you know, the problem with that is the americans are tired of hearing about trying. they want to hear about doing. host: we have a tweet. "are there any positive aspects of liberal policy that for this results the democrats can run on?" guest: of course there are. the health-care debate got so out of control but a lot of people do not realize how many good things there are, and as those things come online, people are realizing -- personally, i suffer from migraines.
that is considered a pre- existing condition. the medications are very expensive. luckily, thanks to the health care legislation, i cannot be denied coverage. i can get those medications at a more reasonable cost. i can list a number of things. i would also like to go back to the caller pose a question. yes, i think gays in the military is a great thing. i think it is good to have a president who is standing up for equal rights and human rights for everyone in this country. i also believe that this president -- while i have not always agree tactically with the way he has done things, and i am personally more of a fighter -- maybe that is more the clinton staffer in me -- i think he has really tried stylistically to approach the problems that we face in a different way. it was what we said we wanted in 2008. we said we did not want any more of the tabloid diplomacy. that we wanted a guy who would not engage in the traditional
bottles of left and right. i think he has tried to do that. i also think he has done a fairly good job navigating what i think anyone would say, for our pretty unprecedented circumstances both in terms of the economy and what we have seen on the world stage and global markets in the two-plus years he has been president. >> there wasn't -- host: there was an article in this morning's "new york times." democratic strategist and onetime clinton adviser, your thoughts on that title of that article. guest: it is very true. john mccain were president, we would still be in this mess. there's a degree of reality that this mess -- again, it is unprecedented, and we have been impacted by a number of different forces. hillary were president, there might be some different things
we would have handled a little bit differently, but, you know, she is not president. barack obama is president. the important thing for him to do right now is to lay out the choice that will be there for people in november 2012 and not try to focus on what it's -- what-if's. host: if john mccann were president, would we still be in this mess? who of the top tier republican candidates so far do you think would be best at getting us out of the mess we are in? >> i am not going to -- guest: i am not going to bed from the current candidates -- not going to bet from the current candidates. but, look, i go back to hillary clinton. if we make an assumption that the policies of the clinton administration -- of the bill clinton administration would reflect the likely policies of a hillary clinton administration,
i think a lot of americans would welcome a lot of those policies compared to what they have seen over the past two and a half years, and that was largely a notion of putting in place long term policies would be more for prefer changing incentives from the economy and changing growth and also a strong commitment to free trade, which we have not seen yet from this administration. >> back to the phones on our line for democrats. caller: yes, i was just wondering -- are kenneth it's going to be honest with american people about the economic trouble we are in -- are candidates going to be honest? it looks like economists are predicting unemployment will be long-term it is going to be 9%. we have a huge national debt, which has been accumulating over to the we will or three decades.
the manufacturing sector of our economy has been declining for the last two decades. the middle class has been shrinking. the rich have been doing very well, but the rest of the population has been stagnating. is someone going to talk real about the economy and say we are in for rough times ahead? we have had trouble for the last couple of years, and we are now up against the wall. >> talk to us about some of the real talk coming from the republican side. guest: he notes something that i think a lot of americans say. i hear it all the time. people ask why they can in washington just do the right thing. the problem is you talk to
americans and ask what the right thing is, and the views are really diverse. i'm sure you see it on this show every day. the diversity and views as to what the right thing is. if you take spending and the debt, everybody wants to cut spending. no one wants to cut any of ridiculous program. it's a question is how honest will -- no one wants to cut any particular program. if the question is how honest it will be, they will be as honest as the american people let them be. a lot of american people typically do not want to hear the real truth about what cutting means, what reducing deficits means for a lot of federal programs, but that is the debate we have to have, and i think we need to go through this time really helping to educate american people about what the payrolls are about
long-term growth in spending and what changing those programs will mean for americans. host: our next call comes from paul on our line for republicans in saratoga, new york. caller: yes, good morning, everyone. my question is if president obama is still -- so concerned about creating jobs in america, why were his two new buses built in tibet, canada? guest: it is my understanding that those losses are part of a fleet of a number of buses that the secret service commission some time ago, and their intention is that obviously, these buses were used by the president and the republican nominee ultimately will use buses during the general election. obviously, they clearly made the decision when they decided what their security needs were, where
the best place to have those made were appear perhaps the company was best positioned to do that. there are a lot of parts of the presidency -- and it is an easy target for democratic and republican presidents, in terms of security concerns, logistical issues. i can say particularly, that was part of my job working for president clinton, and it is pretty substantial. when the secret service tells you what you need to do not just to keep the president's safe but also the people who travel with him, it is a hard thing for a president to say no. the other thing i will remind you is that those will be in use for a pretty long time to come. host: all right. rather talk about the economy. we're going to take a listen to what the president had is a first and get a response, and then we will listen to what
governor had to say and get a response to your first, the president. >> we can cut payroll taxes again so families have an extra $1,000 to spend your we can pass a road construction bill so construction crews who are now sitting idle can head back to the work site. we're building roads and bridges and airports. we have brave, skilled americans returning from iraq and afghanistan. let's connect them with businesses that can use their skills and past trade bills to level the playing field for our businesses. host: your response. guest: these are the same messages we have heard from the present at for quite a while now, certainly going back even to the very first stimulus about infrastructure, some marginal payroll tax breaks either for workers or employers. problem is these are all, again, very short-term one-off kinds of
economic policies. i think, as i said earlier, the american people have heard a lot of this, and i do not think it is something that will be persuasive to them right now. host: the republican response came from governor case in ohio. >> it is my hope president obama will listen to the people and partner with republicans to get our economy back to creating jobs and producing growth. it is just as important that republicans not be stiff necked about working across the aisle when important work must be done. it is ok to compromise on policy as long as you do not compromise on your principles. guest: it is interesting. a lot of this goes back to what we have been talking about. it is good to hear him talk about reaching across the aisle and getting work done because, obviously, that is not what we were hearing back when congress was in session, and i think it is the only way we will get something done. part of the problem in the economic conversations we have is it gets so quickly boil down to the sound bite and the
rhetoric. we did not give people the whole picture, so it is important that when we talk about these kinds of cuts we're talking about, what is the impact on main street and communities? it sounds good in washington when big numbers are thrown around, but we never get to the level of conversation of saying how it will affect you. that is why people were so afraid when they heard about the ryan plan appeared when they looked at the numbers and saw the kind of impact it would have, they said it was not quite what they meant. so if we're going have the conversation, it needs to be a full of conversation. i also think we have consistently found a way to do what we needed to do in terms of spending and revenues consistent with our values. we are a country that believes in public education. a country that believes afterlife of work paid into the social security system, you get something back. when you talk about staying true values, i would remind republicans that those are part
of our values and rather than throwing big numbers out, let's make sure we think about how those numbers impact people. host: we continue our conversation. sheila from connecticut on our line for independencts. caller: this question is especially for carry. i would like you to give me a good reason why we cannot have ron reagan, jr. i always watch him on chris matthews and get so excited when he appears because he is very liberal, but so what? kind of the liberals stand up for their release as ron reagan does and never back down. ok? it is time to get him as a straight shooter in the white house and does not talk out of both sides of his mouth. i think if he runs for president, he will sway a lot of the republicans because he is so levelheaded.
i am hoping that if he decides to run, he will seriously consider china push governor schweitzer as his running mate. he has such a resume, and i wish you would look into them. even though he is a sitting governor, i hope the people would let him go. also, i am and independent. do you think there is a possibility for 2012 to let us in the primaries? give me a good reason for that. they have never answered that for me. guest: personally, i think all primaries should be open. i think it would change the dynamics. i do not know why we do not do it that way. i think it would be a great thing to do. with regard to ron reagan, i love a good, strong liberal, let me tell you. i do not think he wants to run for president, is the answer to your question. i also think that unfortunately, the reality is people come to
washington with ideally the best of intentions, and unfortunately, compromise means you do not get everything that you want. even if ron reagan was president, i think you would still see more compromise then you would probably want to see ultimately. >> this time last week, we were talking about the results of the iowa straw poll. michele bachmann won with 28.5% of the vote. ron paul very close behind. then, tim pawlenty, who is no longer in the running, followed by rick santorum, herman cain, rick perry, and so forth. what has been the major significant change in the run for the white house from the republican side between last sunday and today? them to give you a big differences -- one was governor pawlenty dropping out of the race because of his
disappointing showing in the iowa straw poll, and texas governor repairing getting into the race that day and roaring into south carolina and iowa and starting his race and really define it as, you know, eight two or three-person race at this time. most people consider the top tier candidates rick perry, governor romney, and michele bachmann coming off her win in iowa. that is largely with the race is right now with some of the other candidates confined 08, or maybe if we see an entry from someone else not in the race come in. host: ron reagan. [laughter] if you are not in the top tier, what do you have to do to get in the top tier? how do you attract the support and that money? guest: it is tough for these candidates right now. the candidates we are talking
about are ron paul, rick santorum, herman cain, jon huntsman. all have various attributes that should appeal to some segment of the republican party. all have some experience that they can draw on. money-raising is going to be very difficult for them. unlike michele bachmann, who should do fairly well coming off her win. governor romney has always been a strong fund raiser. governor perry will raise a lot of money, especially out of texas, to get his campaign started. those candidates had a chance to expand their voice in iowa with a very small subset of republican voters, and the fact that they failed to really take advantage of that opportunity probably will leave them in that second year. >> this headline from kabc in los angeles.
maxine waters says barack obama is neglecting black communities. is this the kind of thing that the president needs to be dealing with right now? as he moves into -- moves past labor day and gets a kick -- his campaign up and running? >> on the political side, the african-american vote was -- played a critical role in the president's election in 2008 and will again in 2012, no question. but i think what you're hearing from black voters is a frustration of being taken for granted. unfortunately, that is historically a problem in my party that somewhere in a strategy session, people say just like they say with the far left or sometimes in the republican section -- session in
the far right, who else are they going to vote for? that is not appropriate. i would like to see us change the dialogue because i agree that when you look at black -- african-american unemployment looking at 16%, the president should be focusing specifically on those communities, but every president should be focusing on those communities. certainly because he is a black president, we are talking about this in a we have not before. we did not talk about whether or not president bush had a black agenda. we talked about it with president clinton because people joked that he was the first black president. my personal opinion is every single president, if you are president of the country, should be concerned with each of these subgroups, and each should be part of the conversation every time we talk about what is happening in the economy because that is really the complete picture. host: before we get back to the fauves, is there one particular or two or three particular candidates on the republican
side who are poised to take advantage of what seems to be a little bit of disgruntlement, either in the african-american or hispanic communities on the democratic side? >> i would really love to see that. some of the data that the -- that the cbc are urgent for a lot of citizens in the country, and some of the candidates who are running have experience with some of those communities. you go to some of the school districts in dallas that are graduating less than 30% of their students -- that is a permanent damage to our future productivity, to the lives of those individuals, and to the communities in which they live, so i would love to see all the candidates talking about ways to
deal with these very urgent issues. to me, it is not a race issue. it is a national prosperity issue. we need to have these communities thriving. unfortunately, we see these kinds of difficult economic and education and opportunity situations all across the country, still largely near our urban centers, but also in rural centers right now, and it does need to be a priority. the politics of it i think do occasionally make it difficult. we do tend to see democratic candidates take advantage of the harsh terms. they can overlook the political support they will get from those communities, and republicans can assume they are not going to get political support from those communities. we need to find a way to generate attention from both
political parties to what is happening in these communities. >> let's get back to the phones. caller: i have been listening on the phone for a bit now. tony, i have not seen you in awhile. karen, i have not seen you in awhile. i really do not know what to say after listening so far. the congressional black caucus is criticizing president obama? host: yes, that was the story. caller: it shows how in some ways of certification it is to try to make politics of 2012 when we are not even near november of 2011 yet. that said, i feel bad for the gop in a lot of ways. i think barack obama is going to win pretty easily, and the reason why it is simply this -- a man like tim pawlenty who is a
serious politician, governor of the state of minnesota, was somehow told to have to drop out of the presidential race simply because he lost some 8000 votes at a county fair. it is silly. the entire politics is silly. host: we are going to leave it there. guest: the system really is a little bit -- i was at the iowa straw poll as an observer, and it was the first time i had been to a straw poll, and i did find it a little bit odd that this very small group of voters from i/o can affect the -- from iowa can affect the election or aspirations of a serious candidate like tim pawlenty. guest: i guess each cycle seized different events take on a different level of significance. when you have such a big field,
you have got to use something to try to stop waddling down the field. i think pawlenty did put a lot of energy into trying to say they wanted to show progress. i think they did not show the progress that they thought they needed to, and there are some heavy hitters on the top now who are raising a lot of the cash, and that becomes kind of a practical reality because campaigning is increasingly so expensive. >> among the heavy hitters karen referred to, tony, is not former speaker newt gingrich. what does he have to do in order to jump over three or four other people to get into the top tier? guest: i think is campaigns have largely been about him and his ideas. he's good at talking about his ideas and articulating them in interesting ways that grab attention, but he has never been good from a cabinet instead what at organizing, and we are seeing
that now with a very small and broken campaign structure. you cannot run a modern presidential campaign without fund raising, without organization. this may be even goes back to tim pawlenty. on the one side, you can say the a small group of voters, for a couple of thousand votes, he could have done very well, but if you cannot organize at the straw poll and get this couple of extra votes, you probably cannot win in new hampshire and south carolina and florida. host: another thing that has been getting a lot of press is, it's that governor harry made regarding the fed chairman. you had a tweak -- tweet about that. >> i am -- guest: i am critical about governor perry's, is. his comments were that the policy that the fed chairman was
executing was -- i think he said was almost treasonous and politically motivated. i took issue with those comments. i know bernanke a little bit. i know his policies and what the fed's thinking is quite a lot, and one thing you can say about bernanke -- anything you would say about him, about his choices on monetary policy, which i tend to support, he is not an unpatriotic american. he is doing his best for the country. i think that comment crossed the line, and you will see that in the heat of a presidential campaign, but i think it is important work, as do cross a line that you note i did. >> ironically -- guest: ironically, i think that may have helped governor harry. he and michele bachmann are competing for a sum of the same voters. a lot of her comments have been
that she is not the establishment candidate. when you have people criticizing the republican -- the republican establishment criticizing perry, i think in some ways, that ends up helping him. host: our last call comes from taxes on our line from republicans. caller: good morning. i think everyone is ignoring the 10,000-pound gorilla in the room, and that is the national debt. that is what the debate should be about. the country is not a company, but it has to be run like a company, and if it is that in debt, business is not going to be created. jobs are not going to be created as long as the country company is so deeply in debt. we know not which way we are going. mr. bernanke asked -- comes --
posed the question a few weeks ago, saying gold is not money. the reason people are turning to gold -- our money is turning into nothing. as an hourly wage earner, i asked both this lady and gentleman, why can there not be a cash break for the hourly worker? talking about the man that works 40 hours a week and then another 20. why do i have to pay taxes -- you cannot get enough out of my 40 hours a week to pay the bill that this country company has to pay, why should you tax me a higher rate after i am their 40 hours a week, away from my family, away from my dog, away from my house. i put in 20 more hours for this company country and my family. host: we are going to leave it there. guest: people are angry about
taxes and spending. we have a lot of people angry about the amount of spending. we have a lot of people angry about the amount of taxes, even though we have a large proportion of our workers in the country who pay very little or no net federal income tax. educating americans on all of these numbers i think would be very important. i disagree on one thing -- i think finally, the national debt and deficit and spending actually is becoming the issue or one of the top two issues for the current political environment and may be the presidential campaign. we are talking about it a lot, and the s&p downgrade certainly had something to do with that also. guest: i agree that federal taxes are fairly low at this point, but the part -- part of the problems that the money you do make does not go as far as it used to, it does not feel like
you have much money in your pocket these days. i agree that the debt has become part of the conversation. when we have the conversation with americans, we cannot separate out the pieces. that is part of if i look at what democrats did wrong in this debate and where i would like to see more offense, the republicans wanted to split this conversation between the budget and the deficit in two different pieces. it all needs to be part of one comprehensive whole. it is fine to talk about the debt and deficit and the things we want to do to deal with that, but when you cut spending, there is an application somewhere else. when you increase spending somewhere, there is an application somewhere else. i think we have to have a holistic complicate -- conversation about what the impacts are. i doubt we will get to have that conversation in the context of a presidential campaign because that is not the way it goes, but tony is right -- it would be a good conversation to have. host: thank you very much for
being on the "washington journal." coming up in 45 minutes, a discussion regarding unemployment and veterans, but after this break, we will be talking about rising violence in iraq. we will be right back. you are watching me "washington journal." today is sunday, august 21. ho[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> the country fraught with corruption, natural disasters, and islamic extremists. >> what was really shocking to me and many people in pakistan was that these assassinations were welcomed, congratulated by
many pakistanis. these are not terrorists, not al qaeda, the taliban, but ordinary pakistanis who feel that their religion is threatened, the the country is becoming too secular, that the islamic values are under attack, and that blasphemy, which is anything that insults the profit or islam, is something to be defended with your life. >> "washington post" correspondent pamela constable tonight on c-span's "q&a." watch more video of the candidates. see what political reporters are saying, and track the latest campaign contributions with c- span's web site for campaign 2012. easy to use, it helps you navigate the political landscape with twitter feet and facebook updates, as well as links to c-
span media partners in the early primary and caucus states, all ad c-span.org/campaign2012. august 16 marked the 34th anniversary of elvis presley's death, and this week and on c- span3, jerry schilling talks about the king and events that led to his 1970 visit to the white house and his meeting with president nixon. we will also visit mount vernon where recent archaeological discoveries have shed new light on george washington -- the gardener, warrior, statement, president, painter. the talk about dwight eisenhower, has acquired look for painting, and his 1952 portrait of his wife. get the complete we can schedule at c-span.org/history -- the complete weekend schedule. >> "washington journal" continues.
host: the lives and the colonel is an army retiree and is here to talk to us about fresh violence erupting in iraq -- lieutenant colonel. before we get to that, we want to get your thoughts on the latest news coming out of libya where the rebels have seized the village and look to be circling tripoli and making serious advances there. guest: it is an exciting day in tripoli. it appears that the rebels have with the assistance of nato finally broken through, started to crack the final green. colonel gaddafi made a statement recently, it is not clear where from. he has had a lot of senior level defections just in the last week, and it looks like we are nearing the end of that fight. host: the article in the devil -- the "washington post" has this headline.
are making. guest: the dissidents, the insurgents inside libya have really improved their performance over time. it started off as a popular movement without much military experience, really needed the support of nato at the start to diminish the military capabilities of the regime. over time, those forces have improved. they have had assistance. we strongly suspect, from a number of nato countries, operating as trainers and advisers on the ground, and i think we are seeing the effects of some of that training as they become better able to coordinate air strikes as well as their ground activity, and they do gain strength over time even as gaddafi has lost strength as many of his fighters began to stream away from the battlefield, and i think we have probably hit the tipping point now, and the momentum has
clearly swung behind this side of the rebels in this fight. >> on to the topic for which we brought you on to the "washington journal" this morning, the fresh violence erupted in iraq. in the "new york times" this morning, we had the headline -- "militants say violence is to avenge bin laden." tell us about the resurgence of violence in iraq. this seems to be at the heart of this? what has been causing it? guest: the attacks we have seen recently -- they have all the hallmarks of attacks conducted by al qaeda in mesopotamia. the iraqi version of al qaeda. this is an attack during the holy month of ramadan, which is particularly jarring to muslims. there's a similar attack at about the same time last year. what we are seeing is al qaeda
in iraq continuing to try to assert its relevance. it has continued to try it capitalize on the killing of osama bin laden and use that as a lever to try to, frankly, regain attention in the news and reassert its relevance. it has managed to kill an awful lot of iraqi civilians, muslims, and almost all of it has not managed to do anything strategically to accomplishing any of its strategic objectives of pushing the united states away from iraq. if anything, it has pushed the iraqi government and american government close it together. caller: host: -- host: you say it pushes the government's close it together, but united states is still on schedule of withdrawing troops. the heightened tension, the heightened violence -- is that a result of groups saying to themselves the u.s. is starting
to get out, and now is a chance to exert their strength and position? guest: i think that is what they are trying to do. al qaeda in iraq, probably the most dangerous of the insurgent groups remaining in the country, is reasserting its ability to conduct simultaneous attacks across a large portion of the country, and it is trying to demonstrate that it will be more important in iraq as the american withdrawal continues. we currently have about 44,000 troops in iraq. we're scheduled to drop down to 0 by the end of the year, but there are increasing indications that the iraqi government will ask for a small number of american specialists to stay and advise and assist and help the iraqi government confront not just the internal threats against al qaeda and mesopotamia, but also to increase deterrence against conventional threats in the region. host: we will continue our discussion regarding fresh violence erupting in iraq, but
first, we want to check in with michael schmidt, a reporter with the "new york times who has been covering this violence out of baghdad. good morning. what has been the latest regarding fighting and incidences of violence in baghdad and iraq? >> since the large slew of attacks on monday, we have seen basically a return to where violence was before that, which is scattered attacks, an improvised explosive devices, sniper attacks, but nothing as widespread as monday when we saw over 40 attacks in one day. >> will has been responding to these attacks? u.s. forces, iraqi forces, a combination of the two?
>> one of the things many americans do not understand is the u.s. is out of the streets. you are on the basis, and they do some of rising and training of iraqi forces, but they are not part of securing the country and have not been for a long time. some u.s. forces were called in on monday to back up some iraqi forces, but i do not think that was anything more than the u.s. just standing by on a bad day. host: are they doing advising in a general sense or specifically on a location by location incursion by incursion basis? >> the answer is both. in one instance of advising, they are going out with iraqi special forces at night and
taking down terrorist targets, so they are working directly with the iraqis. in other instances, they are providing training and mentoring and other forms of help in the sense of trying to get the iraqi army up to speed. host: has there been any discussion either among u.s. hierarchy there or on monday -- or, in that iraqi counterparts as to may be prolonging the u.s. stay in iraq based on these attacks or trying to get some u.s. troops back into iraq to help fortify the iraqi security effort? >> i did not think in the big scheme of things monday changes a lot in terms of u.s. forces staying here after the end of the year. iraq feels that their forces can
protect the country, and they feel that it is time for the united states to leave. with that said, they need for some u.s. traders, they believe, to remain to help keep the army -- to actually teach the army about conventional warfare, not about counterinsurgency things we are seeing now. the army's focus so much on the uncertainty they have seen over the past few years that they do not have the traditional capability of taking on another nation in the battle. unfortunately, an attack of that scale i do not think is going to tip the scales here. i say unfortunately because it is so commonplace. not that there is an attack that large every day, but i just do not think it will force the iraqis to demand more of a united states presence. host: thank you very much for the update from baghdad.
>> thanks for having me. host: we continue our conversation. you talked about the counterinsurgency, the training for conventional warfare compared to counterinsurgency. the series of attacks we have been talking about so far are more of a counterinsurgency kind of tactic, correct? >> that is correct. al qaeda in iraq continues an insurgency against the iraqi government and the american supporters, but the vast majority of the attacks are striking iraqi soldiers and civilians, and the iraqi military has actually gotten pretty good at fighting a counterinsurgency campaign. with the iraqi military is not able to do at this point is fly a jet fighter aircraft. it currently has none.
it has bought a number of abrams tanks, the best tank in the world, but they do not know yet how to use them, maintain them, employ them, so it is in iraq close the interests -- iraq's interests to continue to have a small number on the ground to provide that intelligence for the campaign and training for conventional war. >> we are talking with a retired army lieutenant colonel and now president for the center for new american security about the fresh violence erupted in iraq. if you want to get involved in the conversation, numbers are on the screen. we have a special line for iraq veterans. 202-737-2579. that is the special line we have provided for iraq veterans or folks who are active duty and have had experience in iraq if
you want to give us a call and share some of your experiences and let us know what you think about what is happening now. our first call comes from raleigh, north carolina, on our line for democrats. caller: i was wondering how many troops would be left if they decide to stay after the original the part -- departure time. the second, i wanted to make regarding the first guess you had -- blacks do still very much support the president. they recognize that republicans have obstructed everything he has tried to do even in terms of jobs. i think that is something that the news media is trying to put out there, but most blacks do support the president because of what he is doing. host: we will leave it there. guest: the question i asked, how many americans -- how many
american troops would remain after the year, the answer is zero. the iraqi government has indicated it would like to have some remain. i think the orders of the long 10,000 american troops to provide the support for the counterinsurgency campaign and training for conventional side. it will depend really on what the iraqi government wants help for, and those negotiations, i understand, are happening sort of at a very quiet, non-public level. next up is randall on our line for independents. caller: i wonder what part the iranian conflict is like a testing war ground conflict in this area? and as part of the wider picture in the middle east now that they have discovered so much natural gas in the mediterranean -- is
this a part of the larger european/nato/shia/sunni attend to tap this gas? adding that as part of the situation, the gas discovered off the coast of israel. guest: the dynamics at play are very complicated, as the caller suggests. the big conventional threat is iran, which has expressed hostility toward israel, has a very difficult history with iraq. nearly 10-year war during the 1980's there that killed far more people in both countries that have fallen in the current conflict in iraq. iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, pretty substantial nuclear capabilities. iraq is very concerned about the
iranian threat, as, in fact, our most countries in the region. we have seen a classic balance of power activity as iran grows more threatening, continues to pursue, and is seeing more countries on its borders in this region becoming more concerned about its power and increasing their own capabilities, in particular, their defense capabilities to defend against the iranians strike. the oil and gas markets in the world today is in some turmoil. is seen recent as in natural gas and oil because of demand increases because of what looks like a pretty strong economic slowdown in europe, but over the long term, iraqi oil, natural gas, will be very important in the world economy. big building boom and construction boom, particularly in the south, as we begin to
exploit those oilfields as a world population. it is largely not american companies doing that, but an awful lot of work to be done an awful lot of potential assistance to the world economy from those natural resources. host: our next call comes from an iraq war veteran. eric from texas, go ahead. caller: yes, i think the issue is a little more complex than you are discussing. they have factions with the democracy. i think they are having real issues with actually getting the democracy to actually work over there, and that has led to the instability and the increase in violence over there. guest: thanks for your service
over there. i would be interested to know when you were there and what you did. of course, the big struggle in iraq after the initial invasion was between the sunnis, who had previously ruled the country, and the shia, who were a majority of the population. as democracy took hold, the shia became the dominant political powers, and we saw what i would describe as a civil war that reached its height in late 2006 or early 2007. that has largely been decided. the big tension lines -- it is actually another reason many iraqis would like to have some american troops remain, to try to help police the fault line. the democracy there is trouble, flawed, but the prime minister has done certainly far better than we could have expected some
years ago, and iraq is showing some progress, in particular economically, and al qaeda in iraq is attempting to hold back progress back. the battle is not over by a longshot, but we have, very long way from where we were. host: for those on twitter and want to send us a tweet, the address is cspanwj. we have this from grace. guest: unfortunately, i am afraid the answer is no. we have michael schmidt from the "new york times" point out that there are very few american troops physically showing themselves inside iraq. the insurgency has moved to one that confronts the iraqi government, that tax -- that a
tax soldiers and police and civilians, most deadly of all. -- a tax -- attacks soldiers and police and civilians, most sadly of all. they want to return to islamic law, which is not what the prime minister is promising or providing to them. the insurgency will continue with or without us. the question is whether we can help provide the intelligence to do very targeted attacks that minimize its presence over time. host: minneapolis, minnesota, is where our next call comes from on our line from republicans. caller: it would be helpful to know if the colonel supported going into iraq and was he an
outspoken supporter of that? he went out and had speaking engagements saying iraq had weapons of mass destruction and all of that. that is important because it goes to his credibility now. i think saudi arabia is probably more of a threat about attacking u.s. soldiers in iraq. thanks. guest: sure. i did not support the initial base and in -- the initial invasion in 2003, although i did believe saddam hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was working to develop more. .
caller: good morning, guys. here's the one thing that keeps bothering me and i see it every time and every time i hear islam is peace and all this but muslims are killing more muslims than americans have probably killed in the last two years and no moderate islam muslim has said or even told anyone or even got out on the streets and protested the killing of muslims. god forbid if an american bullet killed someone there and the first thing they do is the whole middle east blows up in protest against the u.s. and then we have sadr said if we don't leave iraq we're going to start a war. how could hong kong they not arrest the man? i'll take my answer off the air.
organization ended up in afghanistan, sheltered there by the taliban, and it was from afghanistan that al qaeda plotted and executed the attacks of september~11th. it has since been pushed across the border into pakistan, it lives just to the other side of the afghan border inside pakistan and has been greatly diminished by a number of attacks both from pakistan and from the united states but it has caused a splintering of other groups that also follow its principles. there's al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and yemen which is perhaps the most dangerous element of al qaeda to the united states right now, it's where the most recent al qaeda plots against the united states were initiated. and there is also al qaeda in
mesopotamia or al qaeda in iraq which is the organization that conducted these attacks of last week. it remains a dangerous although diminished threat to the united states of america. it's an organization that we continue to put pressure on around the globe. but its ideology remains both abhorrent to civilized people and still unfortunately attractive to largely dispossessed, disenchanted people in a number of largely islamic countries around the globe. host: south carolina, richard on our line from democrats you're on the line with richard nagl. caller: good morning. i have a comment for the colonel and this is based on what happens to the troops once they will come back from iraq and they're going to be released from service. we're finding out that the real
meat of the matter is employment. how do they find employment? how do they get back in tune with the civilian world? and to address this i'm, i'm an commander of american legion post 161 in mishawaka, indiana. and what we are doing is we are interfacing the american legion with veterans as they come out of the service and trying to reacclimate them to the proper application for employment with various job locations. what is your comment in regards to this action and our activity in doing so? guest: god bless you, richard, for your service in previous wars. i'm not sure which one. and for your leadership in the american legion, i've a life member, i'm a life member of the american wars as well. organizations like the vfw can
do a great service to our nation and veterans who have given so much. retractive war has been fought with all-volunteer force, the first time since the american revolution. fought a protracted war with an all-volunteer force and these folks coming back transitioning out of the service deserve better than they've gotten from america to date. american veterans of iraq and afghanistan are unemployed at a higher rate than the general population despite the leadership training they've received, despite their demonstrated ability to work under pressure, and this is, i think, a national problem that deserves national level attention. i'm pleased that the white house in its joining forces effort has decided to ask america to get behind our veterans and our military families. a number of companies have put real muscle against the problem, have guaranteed that they're going to hire a certain percentage of veterans, a certain number of veterans but there's more we can do. you've identified a key part of
the problem which is that military skills may not be immediately apparently transferable to civilian life. and so organizations like yours that can help veterans translate their military résumes into civilian résumes, that can teach them how to wear a suit and a tie rather than combat fatigues can do a real service to those veterans and to the whole nation as we gather ahold of the talents of this generation. i'm going to close by saying that "time" magazine has a cover story this week on a number of veterans of iraq and afghanistan and the good work they're doing now back here around the globe. i think that should be an inspiration to all the vets who served in all the wars and i think we can link arms as vets of previous wars, i fought in desert storm as well as this one and help meese then and women out who have given so much to the nation. host: as we're showing the cover of the "time" magazine that the cover store "the new greatest
generation how young war veterans are redefining leadership at home," we want to remind our listeners and viewers that in our next segment we will be addressing directly the unemployment issue among veterans, especially those coming back from iraq and afghanistan, with peter gayton, the executive director of the american legion. that will be coming up in another five to 10 minutes. we're going to continue our discussion regarding the violence in iraq with current nagl and wayne in hyattsville, maryland, in our line for independents. go ahead, wayne. caller: i'm a vietnam veteran, i'll be 60 in a few days. in my 60 years what i'm still finding out is that there's no one that this country has been able to call a friend unless it was a regime set up. we talk about being civilized. i'm just -- i just reached the conclusion that it doesn't seem
as though this country can get along with anybody and the gentleman mentioned what's going on in iraq. first and foremost i don't think we should have been over there in the first place but our veterans are dying for no reason and we talk about how civilized we are in this country. how civilized can you be when the whole world knows that this country always has a bogeyman, always has someone to go after, at what point does this stop? guest: well, i disagree with you but respect your service. certainly i do think that we went to war in iraq for the wrong reasons. we were incorrect, we were wrong about the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction, i've already stated that i did think that was an unnecessary war. but you can't argue that. and once we're there i think we have a duty to fight the war in
order to win a better peace, st. augustine said the only reason for a war is for a better peace, that's what the jesuits taught me in omaha. we're largely leading that responsibility in iraq. i hope we're going to meet that responsibility in afghanistan as well which i thought was an absolutely necessary war. after the attacks of september~11th, we went to the taliban, went to the government of afghanistan and told them to turn al qaeda over to us or face -- for justice or to face the consequences. they refused. and we toppled their government and are still working today to set up a better one. but the fact is that america and but the fact is that america and troops i think have been a force for good around the globe. after world war ii we helped create democracy and productivity in germany and europe a europe that was on its knees and japan. and american troops continue, i think, to be a force for good
and for peace whenever they can around the globe. and i'm certainly very proud of my service in those efforts and hope that you can see your service in fighting against what we thought was a communist menace in vietnam in that same light. host: we've got this story from the associated press with the headline "al qaeda in iraq, 100 attacks to avenge bin laden." given that this is taking place in the holy month of ramadan, they said they were going -- al qaeda said they were going to do 100 attacks to avenge bin laden. and as you mentioned earlier there were similar attacks last year during ramadan. was there other evidence that would have led us to know that these kind of attacks were coming and that we could have been better prepared for this? guest: that's a good question.
we have some insight into al qaeda and iraq. we continue to disrupt their operations in conjunction with the iraqi government. we gather intelligence on them and we attempt to target them and minimize their effectiveness but the fact is that iraq is a very large country. there are still some areas of iraq that are ungoverned that the government is not able to exert influence over and we're unable to reach in as -- as precisely as we would like to in order to further diminish the capabilities of al qaeda in iraq and i'm afraid that's going to continue and i'm afraid the problem gets worse if the iraqi government does not make the decision to ask for a continued american advisory presence in 2012 and beyond. host: we want to let our viewers and listeners know that on september 5th major general jeffrey buchanan with the u.s. forces in iraq will be on the "washington journal" for a discussion on iraq. the continued violence there and
u.s. troop withdrawal. our last call for colonel nagl here in the studios in washington, d.c. is from grand rapids, michigan, juan on our line for democrats. you're on the "washington journal." caller: hi, thanks for taking my call. i think the veterans should be honored and al qaeda is still our enemy, but i go back to why were we there in the first place? there was violence before we got there. there's going to be violence when we leave. and we have no business being there and we need to get out of there as fast as we can. guest: ron, i -- as i said earlier, i actually agree that the invasion of iraq in 2003 was a mistake. however, once we toppled the government of saddam hussein and ridding the world of saddam hussein is unalteredly a good thing, the world is better without him in power, the iraqi
people have the prospect of a better life now that he's gone. we mishandled the iraq that followed, we were not able to stabilize the country and suffered horribly as an army, as a military, as a nation, as did the iraqi people because of mistakes we made and opportunities we provided to insurgents including to al qaeda in that country. that said, what happens in iraq in the future matters for the security of the united states. so that iraq remains a country that fights against, that stands against an iran which is undeniably as mal lined influence in the region. iraq continues and, in fact, improves its oil and natural gas production, which the world economy desperately needs in order to recover from the situation it's in. these are strongly actions in america's interests. and violence on american troops performing largely in advise and assist and intelligence mission
there, i think can continue to keep pressure on al qaeda in that region of the world, can continue to help iraq build its own strength against a dangerous iran next door and can continue to allow iraq to develop economically and provide the oil on which the world's economy runs. so i think those actions are all strongly in america's interest and they're going to demand, i think, that we keep a couple thousand american volunteers on the ground there doing those important missions for some years, still, to come. host: colonel john nagl, u.s. army retired and now president of the center for new american security. thank you for being on the program. guest: thank you, rob. host: coming up next, a discussion on unemployment among veterans, particularly veterans coming back from iraq and afghanistan. that's coming up next on the "washington journal." but first another news update from c-span radio. >> beginning at noon on c-span radio you can hear the news.
topics today include the economy, the 2012 elections, and the president's new jobs plan. beginning at noon with nbc's "meet the press," host david gregory welcomes former white house secretary and presidential campaign advisor robert gibbs and indiana republican governor mitch daniels. at 1:00 a replay of abc's this week. jay tapper in for cristian apple and pour talks with john huntsman. david axelrod, campaign advisor for the obama campaign. host chris wallace welcomes senior advisor to the george bush administration karl rove and bill burton and rick santorum. then at 3:00 p.m. it's cnn's state of the union, candy crowley and another appearance by david axelrod. senior strategist for the
president's reelection campaign. the chairman of the republican governors association bob mcdonnell and democratic governor's association chairman martin o'malley. 4:00 p.m. nation face the nation from cbs. host bob schieffer talks with john mccain, former democratic national committee chairman terry mcauliffe and ed gillespie, mark sandy, moody's. the five network tv talk shows are all brought to you as a public service by the networks and c-span. those airs begin at noon "meet the press." 1:00 abc's this week, 2:00 p.m. "fox news sunday," at 3:00 cnn's state of the union, and finally face the nation at 4:00 from cbs. listen to them all on c-span radio on 90.1 fm in the washington, d.c. area. on xm satellite radio nationwide, that's channel 119, download the station as an iphone app., listen on your blackberry or go online to
c-spanradio.org. >> here's the key and erskine and i were stunned the law of social security is so clear that if the schedule benefits cannot be paid, and that's a clear word, they will give only the payable benefit. now, that may sound like garbage, but that's a real gut-wrencher because that's the one that's going to hit in 2037. last may there was less coming in than going out. this may, last may. you get to this point and you're going to get payable benefits and not scheduled benefits and you can sue and you can moan and you can sleek and it won't do you a lick of good. now, that's absolutely goofy to me. we went to the aarp and we said, look, we think you ought to help. 38 million people bound together by a love of airline discounts --
[laughter] >> and insurance discounts and rv discounts, and their magazine has really picked up. it's a thriller. now that sex -- sex over 50 is the cover, now it's sex over 60, 70 and they're into really load country, 80. and the ads are about how to get something and not have to pay for it. medicare will pay for it. ads on sexual dysfunction. i mean, read -- read the aarp magazine. it's a marketing instrument. these people are not -- i said to the top guy, are there any patriots in here or just marketers? now, that's a harsh statement and i intended it to be just exactly that. and they haven't helped one bit. they say, we have two things we can suggest, just modest changes will take care of social security through the years. we say what are they? and we're still waiting. >> watch more from this event online at the c-span video
library. host: peter gaytan is the executive director of the american legion and here to talk to us about unemployment issues particularly among veterans and specifically veterans coming back from iraq and afghanistan. welcome to the program. guest: thank you, thank you for focusing on this issue, too. host: you met with president obama and you were also at an even event earlier this month where you and he talked about employment issues for veterans. what did he say specifically to you and what did you say to him about the current situation among unemployment issues for veterans, particularly those coming back from iraq and afghanistan? guest: let me explain the american legion's concern over the unemployment issue for america's veterans is something we've been trying to focus on for years and trying to get the attention of the administration and congress. so in meetings at our leadership the national commander of the american legion mr. jimmy foster
and i met with the president in the oval office and one of our main topics was the need to focus on sky rocketing unemployment rate of america's veterans. in our discussion with the white house and specifically with the president we explained that we need to start to focus on employment problems for veterans the day they raise their hand and swear the oath and put on the uniform. we as taxpayers invest millions of dollars in every single recruit, every military american we spend millions of dollars for their training and getting them through training and during their service. when they get out, we need to ensure that we get a return on our investment. when they get out they shouldn't be struggling for employment, when they get out that education, training and experience that they gain in the military should easily transfer into the civilian workforce. and that's not happening now. so if there's better preparation, we told the president, we needed to focus on that. we need to be prepared day one when they start to serve for when they exit that gate and take that uniform off, enjoying the civilian workforce, to allow them to take their experience,
education and knowledge to the civilian workforce. so commander foster relayed that information specifically to the president. and we're very appreciative to see what the white house is focusing on. the four major employment initiatives, now we wants to make sure that we work together to make that a reality. that these policy statements do become a reality and affect positive changes in the lives of america's veterans who are struggling to gain employment. host: we're going to show our audience and let our listeners listen in on what the president had to say about what his administration's plan is for helping veterans including tax cuts, trainings and a couple of other ideas. >> that's why i'm directing the departments of defense and veterans affairs to design what we're calling a reverse boot camp. the problem is that right now we spend months preparing our men and women for life in the military, but we spend much less time preparing them for life after they get out. so we'll devote more time on the
back end to help our veterans learn about everything from benefits to how they can translate their military training into an industry-accepted credential. in addition, we'll make it easier for veterans to go to their local one-stop career center and get help pursuing a career that fits them best. these steps will help bridge part of the gap between veterans looking for work and companies looking to hire. but that's only part of the equation. the other half is about encouraging companies to do their part. that's why i'm proposing a new returning heroes tax credit for companies that hire unemployed veterans. and i'm proposing an increase in the existing tax credit for companies who hire unemployed veterans with a disability who still have so much to offer our country. and finally, we're challenging the private sector to hire or train 100,000 unemployed
post-9/11 veterans or their spouses by the end of 2013. host: peter gaytan, one of the things that the president talked about was a returning veterans and wounded warrior tax credit. explain how that would work. guest: the tax credit that the president's proposing will allow those companies, employers, to benefit not only by hiring a veteran but to see a tax credit and that is an incentive for that company to hire and it could go from $2,400 tax credit all the way up to, i believe, $9,600 for that employer. now, that is a great incentive for an employer but i think we also need to explain the benefits of hiring a veteran without having to urge them through monetary issues -- proposals like this tax credit. what we need to do is educate our employers on how valuable a veteran can be in their workforce. they already understand the importance of being on time. they understand the importance of chain of command, of listening of what needs to be done and actually acting on it and getting it done and veterans
have developed through their military service an ability to identify a problem and take care of it themselves or find out -- if the door's closed they find out how to climb through the window. if something's in their way they find out to get around it. that's a value to any employer regardless of a federal tax credit incentive. we welcome that tax credit incentive especially in our economic times today but we and the american legion can do this and we are doing this, we're explaining to employers through our career fairs that one of the best possible employees you can hire is somebody who's served in the military, somebody who understands that commitment to mission and commitment to service. and through the american legion's career fairs, which we host hundreds of them every year and we're going to have one in minneapolis during our national convention next week. we're expecting thousands of veterans. we have hundreds of employers who have already, going to participate. and bringing those two groups together, the employer and the veteran population who are underemployed or unemployed, we
need some help make that match and that's what the american legion's doing. we know who our stakeholders are, we know that veterans turn to the american legion because we know we exist to help to continue to serve and we share that thread with our membership. when they come to the american legion, they understand they're around that commitment to service. the american legion is taking that commitment to service and we're matching our resources with the resources of the employer and bringing our members and veterans together with the employers so they can reach gainful employment after they come home. host: we're talking with peter gayton about unemployment and veterans' issues particularly veterans coming back from iraq and afghanistan. if you want to get involved in the conversation the numbers are on the screen. we have a special number for iraq and afghan vets. that number, (202)737-2579. again, (202)737-2579. for iraq and afghanistan vets. our first call for peter gaytan
comes from north charleston, south carolina, on our line for independents. you're on the "washington journal." caller: good morning, sir. just a quick observation. why not do the entire infrastructure? i mean, like solar fields, high-speed data lines from california clear across to new york city? that would employ hundreds of thousands of people and give them continuous work/maintenance because someone has to upkeep these systems. why not just do that and say, ok, good job done? host: mr. gaytan? guest: if i'm following your statement correctly, you're suggesting that focusing on what you explained would create jobs for veterans? i think we need to look at every opportunity that any career field, any -- any i.t. world, any career field that we focus on ensuring veterans match the conversations for that possible employment. so that's definitely an opportunity. host: our next call comes from
alexandria, virginia, on our line for democrats. you're on the "washington journal." madeleine? caller: hi, yes, good morning. i was just calling, i had two questions. one, if there's any notice in terms of disparity with the unemployment rates of african-american veterans versus veterans of other races. and also are there any trainings given to desensitize the violence, you know, that's trained and ingrained in terms of some of their training at war? because when they come home with nothing to do and the pressures of not having a job, i'm concerned about, you know, the impact on their emotional stability at that point. thank you. guest: thank you for the call and thank you for your concern over our veteran communities, especially those who are in combat and come back home. and i think you hit a key point there. a decompression time needs to
exist for men and women serving in combat, especially our guard and reserve. we're never relied this much in our guard and reserve to be in combat situations in fighting these wars as today. the unique situation from a guard and reserve member who comes in from combat is they're often back in rural areas. there might not be a treatment facility in their local community, there might not be a va hospital in their local community so their transition needs to be a little smoother and d.o.d. and v.a. should work together to make sure there's a period of time where they can transition easier to address any emotional issues that may have arisen from life in combat and life in the military so i appreciate that concern. and, yes, d.o.d. and v.a. are working together to do that, to ensure that their needs are taken care of, that their mental healthcare needs are taken care of and the american legion works closely with the department of veterans affairs to make sure that the v.a. understands what this population of veterans, this new generation of veterans needs coming back from war and your first question about the
disparity of the unemployment rates for african-american veterans as opposed to the entire veteran population, i don't have that figure right offhand. i'm sure the department of labor may have that. but we see it as an overall issue. we need to focus on all veterans who are unemployed and make sure, like i said, that the employment -- the employers understand the value of hiring a veteran and we can help that veteran identify that employer and bring them together. host: we do have some numbers from the bureau of labor statistics for the july unemployment rate. by now everyone knows it was 9.1%. the july veterans unemployment rate, however, was 8.6%, but still, that was up from 8.4% in july of 2010. also, for veterans -- veteran women and unemployment, the women's veterans unemployment rate in july of 2011 was 10.3%. that's almost double from what
it was in july of 2010. guest: and that -- those numbers are the reason why this is such an important issue. especially in the economy that we're dealing with today. and you mentioned female veterans specifically. the american legion has identified that we need to improve our support for women veterans because, again, we're having women veterans, female veterans returning from overseas who are dealing with combat situations, or support of combat situations. so the american legion actually, we had a study a few months ago to focus on women veterans and female veterans and ask them what are your needs? how is the va meeting your needs? what problems do you have? we're taking that information and we're changing how we operate. we're changing how we communicate the needs of america's veterans to the va so we ensure the va is indeed meeting their obligation to provide specific specialized services for female veterans so that is a concern. host: we're going to take another call, this one from
gammon, louisiana on our line for veterans, go ahead, please. caller: good morning. my name's ash. and i'm a desert storm veteran and my wife's also a desert storm veteran. host: ash, what's your current employment situation? caller: well, i'm employed right now but my employment is about to be up. and my -- i guess this is a question and comment. was that government can only do so much to train and also employ veterans. because, you know, the government has limited resources, tax base and such. i was wondering why the rich and the industry in the country can't be cajoled more to assist in training and employing veterans. it's kind of like they're sitting back treating everything as a spectator sport. but veterans, war service benefits all americans, including, you know, people that don't serve. and we actually make it possible, the environment around
the world, for american companies to thrive. so that's what my comment was. why can't -- not this government, why can't other profitable companies and rich americans be encouraged to train or retrain a employ veterans? host: ash, before i let you go, when you got back from desert storm what was it like for you trying to find a job? caller: i can't say it was extremely difficult. the desert storm i'm speaking of, make sure i note it, is the first desert storm in '91. it was moderate. but as with all veterans, every veteran has their level of capabilities as far as the training in the military that can possibly translate or not translate into a civilian job. and also every veteran has certain, you know, navy psychological readjustment issues i'll say. every veteran is not typecast. you work with what you can work with. it wasn't terribly bad, it's just gotten worse over the
years. guest: first, let me thank you for your service. i, too, am a gulf war veteran, i served in that era at dover air force base. what you're saying is correct in many ways. what you're saying is that why doesn't the nation recognize and honor those who have served. and i think we as a nation need to bring back that sense of honor that comes with serving in the military. we need to remind the country that, like you said, we are the greatest country in this world because of the sacrifices of the men and women who have worn the uniform. our military keeps us safe. it allows us to enjoy the freedoms and liberties that each of us enjoys every day and we as a nation cannot turn our backs on that, and that's a great statement that you made. and now we need to transform that respect that's given to those who have served in the military by acting. and you're right, why aren't the larger companies identifying this? why aren't they doing something more to assist the government and ensuring that our veterans are trained and employed?
but i will say that recently and through the white house's initiative of joining forces, some of the larger companies are creating entire divisions that focus on veterans' employment. you've got jp morgan, you've got wal-mart, there are a lot of larger companies that are doing that. but it's going to take efforts on our part, like the american legion, partnering with these larger companies and explaining to them exactly what this veteran workforce population can bring to them. and we're doing that. the american legion's partnering with different large companies. and when we host our career fairs we're letting them know that this population exists and they would benefit from their employment. i hear what you're saying and the american legion is taking a lead on ensuring that these larger companies focus on the veterans employment problem that we have today. host: the president, in the speech that we referred to earlier, also talked about companies that have hired veterans. let's see what he had to say.
>> siemens, for example, recently met their goal of hiring 300 veterans so they're aiming to hire 150 more by december. microsoft is helping is helping more than 10,000 veterans to get i.t.-certified over the next two years. and today groups from the u.s. charge to accenture to lockheed martin are doing their part to help veterans get back in the workforce. host: tell us more about what the president was talking about and your thoughts about that, peter gayton. >> what the president is talking about, he mentioned microsoft training veterans so they are qualified to be hired. it's one thing for us to say hire a veteran, hire a veteran, because it's the right thing to do. we owe that veteran much more than the slogan "hire a veteran," we owe them training like the president mentioned, the training they need to become employed. it's one thing to hire a veteran but we need to make sure the
veterans are qualified to meet the needs of the employer. and i mentioned earlier that starts with their military service. if more veterans could take their education, experience and training and transfer that into the civilian workforce the numbers of veteran unemployment would decrease considerably. i know several members of the military who are getting out, who have worked on jet engines for six years. they have the education. they're training people in the military to do their job. and yet when they get out and take the uniform off the civilian licensing agencies are not recognizing their training. and this is in a large number of different career fields in the military. my 19-year-old nephew just joined the army a year ago this month. he'll be deploying to iraq in december. he's trained as a vehicle driver, a large vehicle driver. there's no guarantee when he decides to leave the military that he'll be able to get a c.d.o., a commercial driver's license, and benefit from his time in the military when he gets out. we are doing an injustice to an entire generation of americans and veterans by not ensuring
that they have the experience, training and knowledge to be employed, for an employer to say this person will be of value in my company. i want to find them and hire them. host: our next call comes from elizabethtown, kentucky on our line for independents. you're on the "washington journal." caller: yeah, good morning, how are you guys today? host: just fine, kevin, go ahead. caller: i just had a couple quick points i wanted to address, if possible. the first one, and most importantly, is i just recently retired from the united states military, from the u.s. army. first of all, it was really good to hear the president talk about the increase of the reintegration of our military service members back into civilian life and actually i personally benefited from acap really well, the military program. one thing i'd really want to see, i want to ask the gentleman if this is actually occurring is, first of all, is the veterans administration process going to start beginning earlier in the approach of the loss of
employment of military service? and second of all, is it possible that someone could look into the ability of creating a program that would help to teach service members such as myself when we retire about the civilian effort of -- of working on individualism and individual goals as opposed to the learned effort in the military of the common goal of the overall mission? i hope i got that point across correctly. and second of all, the more shorter point, is there any kind of study that has shown where the higher suicide rates coming out of the military service member is part of a larger issue in regards to unemployability or unemployment when they finish their military service? host: kevin, we'll leave it there. guest: first, let me kind of address your larger first question there about -- i think i heard you correctly that there should be more effective
transition process when they leave the military when veterans -- military, veterans, for them to understand how to make that transition, specifically with employment. one of the issues that the department of labor is going to develop a new transition program and the president mentioned that and the american legion supports it. you're right, we need to ensure that before the veteran becomes a veteran, is still wearing the uniform, that's when we begin to teach them how to be employable. that's how we can teach them to effectively transfer everything that they do in the military and be able to relay that effectively to the civilian employer. we need to do this and this initiative that the president has mentioned through the department of labor is something that the american legion's going to stay on top of. in the beginning of the segment i mentioned all of these great policy announcements need to become a reality for them to be effective. and the american legion's going to make sure that we follow the administration va that we show them how to do that, we work
with them to make sure the proposals become a reality. your question about suicide and -- as a result of unemployment, there are many issues that american veterans deal with that could lead them to do something like that. and unemployment is just another issue that weighs on the shoulders of america's veterans who are coming back to an economy that's not very good, to a community that maybe doesn't welcome them back. but this employment issue is only one part of what we need to address in the bigger issue of suicide. the american legion has started an internal task force of religion airs to focus on dbi and pts, post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, the two signature wounds of this war. this task force has been very effective in understanding the seriousness of these two injuries. and what we're doing is trying to understand if va and d.o.d. are being effective in identifying those issues with pts, dbi and making sure we act
on their needs, to include employment, and mental healthcare needs before it reaches suicide. host: our next call comes from ned in washington, d.c. on our line for democrats. go ahead, ned. caller: good morning, i'm a vietnam era navy, also a member of the american legion. i'm working with seven vsos in different unions to put together a program working with the properties available at the closed walter reed facility and we put the national capital veterans coalition together and we're going to be under one roof having the types of things you're just talking about with pti, group therapy, there's a gym in the facility, we're trying to get that, but working together with vsos and unions and also helping the veterans administration's process a lot of the claims and work with the families, we think we have something that we can then take to congress, and with this pattern of cooperation, they can take it to their districts and
apply these same multifaceted elements which is what we need to do. it's really all cooperate together. i'm also a member of the veterans families for progress. and it goes on. but it's an excellent idea and we're trying to get that through to the mayor here in washington. host: ned, thanks for your call. guest: also, ned, thank you for your proactive approach to the issues that america's veterans are dealing with. we're seeing this all across the country, local communities and people who care are coming together and saying how can we help assist, how can we provide an environment specifically like you mentioned where we can show these veterans that somebody understands and somebody's here to help you and i applaud applaud you for your efforts and the american legion is doing the same thing nationwide. one thing you also mentioned, ned, was families. you said we need to help the families as well. families are a key part of helping a veteran understand their situation and transition. so we need to make sure that the military families are being
supported as well. and the american legion started a new program to improve our outreach to military families. military families have needs as well. and what the american legion is doing is working with d.o.d. to tell them that the american legion's here to help these military families, we're being very effective. for those families whose spouse is deployed overseas, maybe the wife is home with two children. she has needs around the house to cut the grass or pay some bills and the american legion's doing that. we've paid mortgages for families who were suffering and had missed their payment dates, so we need to focus on the families is my point here and i'm glad that you mentioned that and the american legion's trying to work with d.o.d. to be more effective in understanding the needs of military families and addressing those. host: let's go to danny in fort hood, texas also a vet, go ahead. caller: yes. i have one -- well, two points, really. the first point is that a lot of
veterans need to understand that my -- my experience, when i retired, was that you get out, you have the experience, but without an education, a lot of these corporations just aren't going to hire you because you aren't really qualified. the second point is with the disability claims. it's going to take up to two or more than a year to actually get your answer back from the va. and that's been a problem for a long time, i know. but those are the two points i wanted to bring up. is, one, education, and, two, the va is -- it's -- it takes a long time. and i would like to ask if there's anything your organization's doing to maybe try to help speed that up a little bit, to get a quicker answer instead of waiting for a year or more to get your answer back. guest: first let me address and emphasize your point about education. extremely important for veterans to get their education. the american legion was part of the improved g.i. bill that was passed recently. and what we're seeing now is more veterans need to take
advantage of that g.i. bill and they can start that while they're on active duty. many military members benefit from educational opportunities while they're still in the military. but you're exactly right. we need to emphasize the importance of education. the v.a. secretary is making an effort to stay on top of the g.i. bill outreach and make sure the veterans understand what their benefits are and the v.a. stays with them through their education process to ensure that they actually reach education. it's one thing to start your education but we need to make sure that they actually graduate, get that diploma so they can add it to their résume, so they can gain employment and i thank you for mentioning how important that is. the disability claims issue, you mentioned that's been going on for a long time, it has. the american legion has a network of service officers worldwide to help veterans develop their claims and submit them to the department of veterans affairs. so first step for any veteran who is developing their claim,
submitting a disability claim to the va is to get an american legion service officer to assist you with that claim. the process will be smoother, our service officers are well educated, well-trained and very experienced and very dedicated. they're there to help you. and there's no cost. the american legion helps all veterans filing their disability claims. and here in washington we're urging the secretary to focus on the claims process and to reach a real solution that will eliminate the red tape, that will add -- speed up the process, to look at opportunities like electronic claims. and the va is listening but the american legion, they're providing a strong voice. we understand the problems with disability claims and we're addressing it. host: the next call on our line for independents. you're on the "washington journal," go ahead. leo? caller: yes. host: go ahead, leo. caller: yes, my question is this -- i'm a korean veteran.
and i was in obligated service for eight years. and my question is this -- i am still able to do a little work, but my problem is that if i earn too much money, then i have to pay copay if i go into the hospital or i go into the doctor, i have to pay copay on the -- on my benefits. where there's people that are drawing unemployment and not working and they're not veterans, and it just seems like that, well, first of all, i got -- i was married to another woman, and then when i got remarried, i make too much income now, but yet i'm being chastised because of the income being greater than it used to be and now i have to pay copay to a doctor when i go to the va. host: leo in texas, go ahead. guest: that is an issue for a
lot of veterans is that accessibility to their -- to the va healthcare system is limited or you pay a copay or it's even denied and that goes back to 1996, when the va created priority groups. the veterans fall under different priority groups will have to incur a copay cost, like you mentioned, and the american legion doesn't feel that that's right. we've fought and won against increases to those copays for years. we're going to continue to fight and win for those copays not to increase at the va. so i understand what you're saying and we're working hard to ensure that veterans are not denied access to the va healthcare system. host: next call comes from edmond in orange county, california on our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: that's marin county. host: marin county, sorry about that. caller: i've been employed for the last 50 years and worked my way up to the rank and file to become one of the top
executives. and i realize that a lot of these young veterans that are coming back are poorly educated. they need to be educated. we need to invest in the education of the people of the united states to compete with the corporations' needs, because this is all we've got going for us at this time. we don't run this country, the corporations run this country. until we get to the point where we are running this country and create the demand for good, then we will put all these people to work. host: sorry about that, edmond, sorry to cut you off, edmond in marin county, go ahead. guest: thank you for your service. again, you're emphasizing what a caller emphasized earlier this morning the importance of education and the american legion understands that and like i mentioned, the new g.i. bill that was passed and a lot of veterans are taking advantage of that benefit that they've
earned. but we need to ensure, like i said earlier, that america's veterans reach not only that they carry their military experience and education of military training with them but when you couple that with a college education, that makes a veteran even more attractive to any employer and we agree with you and we need to make sure that america's veterans understand that they have the g.i. bill and they need to use it. host: phoenix, arizona, jim on our line for independents. you're on the "washington journal." caller: good morning, thank you very much, and thank you, peter. my question is -- why can't like six months before we get out of the service, can't the military place us in a guaranteed job? just like you fill out a green sheet and you go to another assignment. if we decide we're going to get out? how about that? thank you very much and god bless you. guest: thank you, that sounds like a great idea. i do know that d.o.d. is focusing on improving the
transition training for the military before they become veterans but that's a great suggestion. d.o.d. could at least identify opportunities so a veteran could explore those. i think that would come with corporate leaders working with d.o.d. leadership to say -- to help fun these veterans as soon as they take the uniform off to understand what employment opportunities exist for them. host: manhattan, kansas, rob on our line for democrats, you're on the "washington journal." caller: hi, thank you for taking my call. good morning, peter. peter, i need your help. i'm a veteran and a small business owner. for two and a half years i have been submitting a proposal to the white house and to congress on where we could provide at least 3,000 jobs mainly to disabled -- i mean, disabled and veterans. and i can't get the white house or congress to answer any -- any
of my letters. the money's already there. there's very little training that would need to be done to retrain these people that are unemployed. but i can't get any response. can you show me, is there a way that i can maybe send this to you and you can help me to get this looked at? because this is something that is needed and they would -- i guarantee you, i truly believe that every member of congress would agree to do this. host: peter gayton. guest: first of all, thank you for focusing so intently on helping to create jobs for veterans. and small business is also something the american legion is focusing on. just last week the va hosted a veterans small business conference in louisiana and the american legion was present. events like that give people like you an opportunity to offer these suggestions directly to the department of veterans affairs but if you want to submit it to the american legion suggest you visit our website at
www..legion.org. you can send e-mails there and i can get it directly to our division that handles small business opportunities for our veterans. you can go to the va and go on the american legion website. host: our next call for peter gaytan executive director of the american legion, sneedville, texas, john, on the line for independents. go ahead. caller: i'm wondering what you think of the idea of a term of service for all-american citizens. teach them discipline, responsibility, and confidence. it seems to be something that's lacking in the workforce today, the responsibility of doing their job and showing up on time. host: we'll leave it there. guest: well, i agree with you that the military offers wonderful opportunities for americans who are dedicated and -- and understand, again, the commitment to service. the american legion does not have a position on mandated term of service but we do understand
the value of wearing the uniform in this country, how it can transform the lives of any young american who decides to join the military. what we do is explain, and we show the american legion has programs that payback to the veteran. and that educates our younger generation. they see the respect and honor that's given by this country to the men and women who have worn the uniform, they'll be more ready to understand the military life and more ready to enlist. i mentioned my nephew, 19 years old, he's on his way to a great military career and he understood the opportunities that were available to him when he raised his hand and joined the army. host: our last call for this segment comes from fayetteville, north carolina, anthony on our line for republicans. go ahead -- depends, go ahead. caller: good morning, good morning. host: good morning, go ahead. caller: i'm currently a student at unc and in a voc rehab program. what i have to say is this -- 10,000 -- microsoft training 10,000 people and seeing this
training 300 is great. however there are thousands of people leaving the service every day. and it's great that the white house recognizes veterans, but to be serious about this and to meet these levels of people leaving, don't you think it's going to be more significant than just, you know, 10,000 people? guest: i agree with you entirely. this needs to be a community-based effort and what we can do with what microsoft has done with just 10,000 or siemens has done with only 300 is use this opportunity to raise the visibility of this important issue of unemployment for america's veterans. and we do that by teaming these efforts at the national level and the comments of the president with our efforts at the local community. going to our local employers and showing them how important it is for them to hire a veteran, how beneficial it is for them. and the american legion's doing that nationwide. we're not saying that this is the solution to veterans' unemployment but this is a first step in raising the visibility of this important issue of how many veterans in this country are unemployed who don't deserve th