tv Washington Journal CSPAN November 23, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EST
of the desmans registered from over the weekend. you can see road to the white house tonight on c-span. coming up this hour, a discussion on last night's gop presidential debate on national security. wesley clark joins us. then we talk about the failure of the super committee to reachr on his recent trip to afghanistan. ♪ host: good morning. it is wednesday, november 23, 2011. thank you for being with us on the "washington journal." later on, we will be debriefed on the national security debate. our guest will be wesley clark. following that, phil kerpen
from americans of prosperity. he will talk about who wins from the failure of the super committee. and then jake tapper has just come back from being with the troops in afghanistan. we will talk about what he has learned on the ground there. we will begin our conversation in a different direction. the video of the use of pepper spray on protesters at uc-davis has gone viral. the chancellor has apologized, offering to pay medical expenses. and there are a number of stories as the debate rages on the internet about the intersection between the right to protest and crowd control techniques. we want to open up our phone lines and talk about that. here are our numbers.
a good wednesday morning to you. as you and your families prepare for this thanksgiving holiday. let me put a few things before you. here is a story of the chancellor of uc-davis apologizing to protesters for the use of pepper spray. the description is that she works her way into a crowd apologizing, feeling horrible about what happened on friday. some students said that they were pleased to hear from her. others remained adamant that she should resign immediately. one student was arrested said that he would not have let her speak. i do not think that we should let people who beat us speak. she obviously did not win hearts and minds. what interests us in having the debate is from the "new york times."
sparing and national debate. this is a national writer for they "new york times." pepper spray has become ubiquitous but has not raised many eyebrows. now after images of the campus police -- its use has been justified as cities and universities try retrained control of their streets, parks, and campuses. this video went viral, with fox news dismissing it as a "food product, essentially." it is a crowd control device, when those crowds are nonviolent and nonthreatening.
some so that it is violating their right to peacefully assemble. more on this with a reaction from the anonymous hacker group. we want to show you that in the "washington times begin posting personal data of cops. john watermen tells us that the shadowy group has posted online the home address and phone number of one of the police officers suspended f yepper spray on occup protesters. our discussion with you, and we will show you more from the news today, is the intersection between our right to protest as
citizens and the use of pepper spray as a crowd control measure. let's begin with a call from fort lauderdale this morning. this is mark, a democrat. you are on the air. you are on the air. all right. oh, go ahead. caller: i called a month ago about the police in egypt torturing their own people, and joining their people in the protests because they were part of the situation where they were not treated fairly and i finally woke up to that. i have a concern about -- and they finally woke up to that. i have a concern about any agency that is supposed to protect the people, they need to be encouraged by someone to
protect the people. the next that will be -- the next debt would be agencies from other countries coming into the night is -- the next step would be agencies from other countries coming into the united states. they will not attack us without any reservation because we are not them. someone needs to make sure, especially the president, that this pepper spray and chemicals in general should not be used on the citizens when there is citizen unrest or protest against the situation. someone needs to make sure that that does not happen. those are our children. those are our grandparents. those are our nieces and
nephews, on goals, neighbors, and police have the same family members and neck, i that was praying those children, they are our children. he looked like he enjoyed it. there is something wrong with his mentality that he would do that. in your case host: this is a particular incident. is sometimes justified? cholera and i do not know if spraying chemicals that are not natural to our bodies into our bodies, onto our bodies, i do not think that. i think that as chemical warfare. i am in the medical field and i do not believe that pouring chemicals on anybody is justifiable. i mean, you can restrain them in a physical way without hurting them. you can talk to them, you can do lots of things, but to put
chemicals -- we do not even know what those chemicals are going to be. host: thank you so much. this kid you new york times" article talks about the person who created pepper spray. let me read what they are reporting this morning. cameron rosslyn, the incident at uc-davis violated his original intent. i have never seen such a inappropriate use. he had developed guidelines and said that the use of force manual says that it is appropriate only of a person is physically threatening a police officer or another person. in new york, for example --
that was arlene calling us from florida. let's take our next phone call from atlanta, georgia, fred, a republican. good morning. caller: i would like every bleeding heart liberal calling against pepper spray be forced to be a cop for one day and see what they have to it -- when they have defaced violent people and they are simply following the law. we have something here that was called the law and those people were breaking in. they were violating it. they did not have proper permits and they were asked to leave. they're becoming rude and insolent and not just. i would love to see the little winey liberals have to do it that tough cop job for one day and see who they come barking to after they realize that -- what they are up against. why should police risk their
safety? they were told to do a job and clear the people away. why should they be forced to do so and and dangerous manner to themselves when they are not the one behaving like 5-year-old who are trying to's fugate the democratically -- the policies and procedures in this country? host: where is the line draw? if they are peacefully breaking the law, is ok? caller: is there anything like peacefully breaking the law? can i peacefully rob a bank? we have to allow them to be able to do their jobs. i tell you, when you deal with that chemical spray, sure, it makes you nauseous. i have been in the army. i have had to go through that training. but it is nothing quite permanent injury.
neither will it taser. if i was an officer, i would be like, you people do this job and see how easy it is. host: we appreciate your call. next is a comment from randy, louisiana. caller: you get a full and little debt of authority, it will go to his head. it looks like that's what happened there. it looks like they were pretty peaceful. it is just like the. tsa. pretty senate will be on the streets and the american people are letting it happen. -- give a fool a little bit of authority and it goes to his head. people should get used to it or stand up to it.
i could understand using the pepper spraying if life was being threatened. tasters, too, but that was totally out of hand right there. those kids were not doing anything to hurt anybody, i do not believe. of course i was not there. i do not know the whole story. host: thank you, randy. in the new york times article, a professor who is of popular culture at syracuse university, draws a contrast for the time of force used in 1968 when there were protest all across america, and that is teston tonight in our contenders series. we use some of the video outside chicago convention center where that there was use of batons by police. you can see set -- you can see what some of the scenes look like. those of you around for the civil-rights protests and demonstrations about the vietnam
war might contrast those tactics with what we're talking about today, the use of pepper spray and this conversation. here is what mr. thompson says. this is what makes it so oddly interesting. those police officers do not look like the chicago police in 1968. they are so casual. it looks like they were called because someone is naked on the quad. it has fuelled online reaction to the video in which thousands of internet users recast the image into digital paintings. next is fort lauderdale, mark, a democrat. caller: thank you for c-span. i think our fred from georgia is
a closet liberal. i have worked with many police departments. the majority of police employees are terrific, hard- working people who do not abuse their situation. the power that they have. i did think that there was something nonchalant about the way this one fellow did use the pepper spray. sort of cavalier-like. but i think it is an attempt here to being almost a national attempt to derail the occupy movement who are walking the walk for a lot of us, including republicans and conservatives who will secretly agreed with our fellow americans are standing up or sitting down, in the case of the on unarmed people who were pepper-sprayed,
non violently protesting what many of us feel in our guts that a system that is not serving us well, it is going in the wrong direction, and i think conservatives and liberals alike really feel for these protesters and we want to see meaningful change take place in the government. host: thank you for your comments. next up is a call from iowa springs. this is tom, you are on the air. go ahead, please. tom, you are on the air. caller: --host: a i will show you another article. how to deal with the occupy movement. this is from the kit you l.a.
washington, d.c., john, a democrat. go ahead. caller: a retired police officer, 22 years on the street. i was on the street when they had the demonstrations here. everything flows from the top down, ma'am. from the mayor to the chief to the divisions to the captains to the lieutenant's to the sergeants and then to the privates. when i was on the street, every order we got came down. i mean, a lot of times i have seen guys up against them for no other reason, that they could do it. and because of a whole lot of other psychological problems that police officers have, when the opportunities arise, to vent their frustrations, they do in the citizens pay for. and then the citizens have to pay for the lawsuits that come from the local municipalities when the police department gets sued.
host: then how would we move beyond this? caller: there has to be a lot of training. a lot of officers are not really trained. when i came on, we had extensive training. in some demonstrations, there was not a lot of brutality. but a lot of us had come on out of the army so we were trained have to deal with situation. most of these young guys on the street, most of them are scared, have to not know what to do, they are trying to get their retirement, whatever comes down, that it is it. but it comes from the top down. it has to come from the mayor saying to that achieved to not brutalized these people because they are exercising their god- given right in the constitution to protest. very few dedicated policeman on the street. that is why so much brutality all over this country what the police officers. now this guy, when he put on the badge and gun, he becomes
somebody, and he is going to invent all of his childhood frustrations on somebody. -- he is going to vent all of his childhood frustrations on somebody. i can say this -- it starts with the mayors and the chief to the sub chiefs to the captain, to the lieutenants and down to the privates. that is where it starts. host: thank you for that personal perspective. john, the republican from florida, go ahead. caller: i have been on both sides, it seems. i have been a wall street guy for 33 years. i also protested the iraq war from day one and was out there every weekend. protesting is hard to do. like at the floor. in pepper spray it does hurt but you have to get over it -- i
have been pepper-sprayed before, and it does hurt but you have to get over it. you have to remember, you have to toughen up and stick to it. host: i wanted to ask him about the use of pepper spray in the incident. more pieces in our local paper. "washington times" as the occupy group made its way to the city. here is one on sexual salt at the end occupy -- here is one on sexual assault at the occupy camps.
also from the "washington times ", but from the comments page. in the case of this particular protest, he thinks it is at losing ground. in less, immoral behavior in the occupy camps. that is his view. backstepped, los angeles, a democrat. caller: these students were in the wrong. california cannot afford physically, financially, the cities cannot afford these protests to go on and on.
they reject a person who actually sprayed them is a decorated police officer. they have been involved in a number of tactical situations. very capable. he made a sound call. black folks get treated much worse at the hands of abusive police officers than this handful of little white teenagers. host: i would imagine that you have a strong reaction about the hackers putting up the personal information. caller: that is an invasion of his personal privacy. you see someone who does not understand management. the first thing you do not do is apologize and offered to pay medical bills. you are breaking the law. you were told to disassemble. the liability or toward management, this is the worst case possible.
and meeting that you made a wrong? host: thank you. we will have a chance of listening to the uc-davis chancellor. >> i am here to apologize. it is horrible what happened on friday. i am telling you, it is a poor example of the university we had on friday. [applause] howard university hasted the data and that. how we need all of the community to come together to do that i -- our university needs to be better to do that. we need all of the community to come together to do that. you do not have to.
it is my responsibility to earn your trust. host: that was the uc-davis chancellor yesterday. if you do a search for pepper spray, news for pepper spray this morning around the country. students want more answers from uc-davis. can you get in closer on the camera? the cbs early show is about this. pepper spray, beating blamed by occupy seattle protester for her miscarriage, that is going to be. also information about the pepper spray coming up in just a second. a protester alleges and miscarriage after the incident.
a lot on that this morning in the newspaper. there is also stories about the image of this particular woman being shown around the world, an 84-year-old woman who was hit during the occupy seattle protests. talking about our right to protest as americans and the crowd control tactics used by police, where that intersection is and should be, the next call is river falls, wisconsin. bill is an independent. caller: using violence to suppress these protesters as bad, no matter what the case. we about three of our veterans in the hospital now because of violence by police perpetrated on protesters. those guys are supposed to be our heroes. as far as their rule of law, the previous administration engaged in all kinds of lawbreaking.
they set the tone. we're supposed to be a nation of laws, but they only seem to apply one way. i think violence begets violence, and these people are trying to make a change. some laws are in just a need to be changed. i hope we can cut the fighting out and just lets have people air their grievances. that is what this country is supposed to be about, i thought. host: thank you for your call. "the economist" has a different view. some of what he writes, occupy wall street may be out of zucotti park, but american in nord's its message at their peril. america is rapidly fracturing into two nations.
forces -- if forces marginalizing million are not address, america is headed for much worse than 10 cities and baths and parks. this will erode the institutions and values that bind us together into a single nation. you can find it online. back to your telephone calls. next is the call from iowa. good morning to tom, a republican. caller: yes, thank you. i was really surprised that the university police looked like a bunch of nazis. they know that they are supposed to move education and free them forward. they know that the right to assemble peacefully is in the bill of rights. and that cop who sprayed
innocent victims should be tried. host: thanks, tom. next from connecticut, good morning to build, a democrat. caller: i got my perspective back in the late 1960's. i was on the streets of new haven and we started out peacefully like these people did. and the cops back then, you know, got rough and we got rough. and it escalated into tear gas and blood. back then, i think the police now have earned the status of heroes, but running the risk of going back to being pigs, the way that we call them. these people are being peaceful, they should let it go at that. there is a disconnect there. in the 1960's, i was there.
that is my perspective. host: thank you. washington, d.c. up next. i'll show you a article from the metro section of the "washington post." carl, a republican, what are your thoughts on the discussion? caller: i have mixed feelings. i do not condone the use of pepper spray on people who are non-violent. i agree with that gentleman who indicated that the bill of rights gives you the right to peacefully assemble. you do not have to like it, you just have to respect the fact that these individuals were not doing anything wrong. do the police have the right to disband people who are not doing anything but exercising their constitutional right to protest peacefully? i do not think so. as far as the officer that sprayed them, i think he should
face disciplinary action. it is a big difference. they were not threatening in any way. if i take someone in -- if i take the baton and but someone in the head because i think they are going to do something wrong, that is right. he should face disciplinary action. it is a big difference when his life is threatened or the individuals are acting violent or rowdy. that was not the case. host: from twitter. as we listen for the next 15 minutes, thoughts on national- security issues debated by the candidates, let me show you the kit you washington times" coverage. we'll show you some clips from the debate. we will get your thoughts on
what they have to say and talk about their reactions. we will also mix and other stories as well. such as this one, justice department over utah immigration law. next up is an irving, texas, william, a democrat as we talk about the rights to protest and controlling crowds. go ahead. william, are you there? your comment please. caller: hollis calling regarding the pepper spray incident. i think the constitution gives people the right to assemble
peacefully. what happened, i believe, is that not all, but some police feel that they have absolute power. i think that we can agree, absolute power absolutely corrupt. at that moment and during that moment, it is it they have absolute power by telling people to disperse. if they do not disperse, they have the right to take whatever means they think necessary to make these people disperse. i think that is totally wrong. i think the officer overreacted. those people were just demonstrating. that guy was so casual in his method of killing about spraying the people. -- of going about spraying the people. i did not understand his reaction. that is all -- i feel the
overreacted. and i did want to make that comment about the previous caller, i think his name was fred. he said that this particular thing would not hurt anybody. and then he also went as far to say that the people can be tased and not be hurt. that it would be no damage. there was a recent segment on cn -- c-span on people who created the tasters. they have regulations against those now, because it is considered to be a non- detrimental way of making you respond -- i am sorry. i am not getting the right words. host: yes.
taking steps to block the at&t- t-mobile merger. next up is all from michigan -- paul from michigan. an independent, you are on the air. caller: republican and democrat is just a line to divide. the country is rule by the rich. they put in the politicians and come down from the government to smaller forms to push all of
those people out of the park there. the protests are meant to change stop. in egypt, they would not have done that in egypt, things could have been fixed. but we cannot do that here. it gives you an idea of what kind of country we are living in right now. host: photographs of protesters in tahrir square all over the papers this morning. here is one, the cairo protests and the old order and the birth of the new egypt. that is the perspective of the "new york times." we will be talking foreign- policy in just a moment. we're talking about the rights to protest and crowd control, particularly pepper spray. next up as call from ithaca, new york.
caller: i strongly support the movement. occupy -- i strongly support the occupy movement. it is costing so much for the mayor and city council to provide the security for this group. i was down there and i was telling them to refocus their efforts on taking over the political system and they are not open to that. i will say this now. they are planning on actually trying to not storm the capital but they will go in and try to get into the capitol building and probably do mic checks, and they will do harm to their problem. that is where one person makes a statement and it is amplified by
the crowd said that the whole crowd repeats a statement. it is almost like a human microphone. host: so they disrupt the official speaker. caller: yes, and if they do that inside the capitol building, it would be more effective if they try to make appointments with congressmen and actually went through the regular route and basically took -- tried to voice their opinions through the normal route. and also try to take cover the committees on the local levels, joined in mass the local committees, but they are not doing that. host: you're saying that they definitely want to work outside it. caller i support their goals, but i don't support what they're doing. host: from twitter.
next is a call from cincinnati. caller: i host a radio show here in cincinnati. the right to free speech is not our right like this. you have a few people involved in this movement pushing the envelope. they want to claim victim status and that is the whole thing. we're not looking at the big picture. you have the right to free speech but you do not have the right to turn america into a lot of tent cities. host: on the radio locally, what are your opinions? caller: a lot of people disagree with me but i know that what i'm saying is right. this movement that claims it is 1968 all over again, will the people in the 1960's understood that they were protesting against the war in vietnam.
this is nothing more than a protest against capitalism and class warfare. the 1% wealth will not help any of the 99%. they think that somehow wealth is their problem and that is not their problem. if you want to address the problem, you need to take these protests to the gates of the white house and look at the policies of this administration. host: thank you so much. we have posted this question to our facebook page and you can continue the conversation even after we go off the air. protesters did not have a permit.
next is a call from atlanta, ga., evelyn, a democrat. caller: good morning. that difference between this group of people and the tea party is that the tea party did not bring tents. they brought mobile homes. they were able to rent expensive rooms. and the finest hotels there. these are people of the 9 & who now have nothing because of the bank's. anyone reading the newspapers, that they know that the banks made more money in the last
three or four months than they have ever. i do not believe in socialism. i was a republican from the get go. and i am pretty much a democrat now. ah believe that these people have something to say. everyone who is saying go get a job, there are not jobs there. that voted for the -- that would be building bridges, but they are not doing that because when you build a bridge, you have people making salmon, someone making a steal, someone, truckdrivers delivering the cement to wherever. you have had a secretary, you have to have a's, forming, workers. it is not just people who are going to be building the bridge. it is thousands of people that
morning, vietnam, but this reminds me of when i lived in washington, 19 -- washington during the 1960's, this is at the best. they're looking for equal justice across the board. it reminds me of what is going on in wall street. a young man robs a bank for $1,500 and gets years. rob a bank with the pan and nothing happens, we reward you. about the 99ers, it seems like the power structure is against those people. but we put these other people on a high our perspective. there are laws over there, too. that is not our country. the thing more important to me is that this country has to come
together. and the last thing i have to say, i watched the republican debate last night. the two who wanted to go war against iran, mitt romney has five sons, not all woman -- not one in the military. newt gingrich -- this is what the protestors are talking about. i think that they are doing the right thing for america. host: thank you for your call. from twitter. next in the last call will be from north carolina. john, a democrat. caller: care several things i like to say, but the truth of the matter is, the thing i noticed most about the police, spraying the people, look at the size of that canister he was
carrying and the coordination of the city's all attacking at the same time. they could use peaceful protester anything, anything that would not have been able to give people a chance to turn it around and twist what their values were. their values are really that hard work is getting something and getting ahead. and now there are a lot of people and there is nothing that they can do about the situation that they are in. kate got unemployment checks instead of letting them work and create revenue. taking away the tax money from the tax cuts, nothing wrong with, nothing wrong with president bush or anybody else. everything that happens in life happens. but the truth is that we are all stuck on the details. if we do not work together, we will not get out of this.
host: john has the last word on this. coming up, an economic conservative point of view about the super committee in congress and the whole topic of deficit and debt reduction. from americans for prosperity is with us to phil kerpen in the 2004 presidential cycle, our next guest was an candidate himself. he will bring his perspectives to revisiting the debate last night on national security. we will be right back. ♪
>> it was a of flood in fort wayne. people work filling sandbags trying to keep forever up. reagan had a motorcade down to the flooded area. he took office jacket. my memory is that he killed three sandbags, said hello to everyone, got back into the car, went back on to the plan. that night, what was filled with the air waves was three eric -- 3 san days, but reagan filling sandbags with his shirt off. >> sam donaldson, andrea mitchell, and chris dodd talk about the legacy of ronald reagan. michael bloomberg and arianna huffington discuss the american dream. astronauts are awarded the congressional gold medal. for the entire thanksgiving day schedule, code 2 c-span.org.
nobel peace prize recipient, and henry kissinger looks back at president nixon in china. friday at 5:15, caroline kennedy on her mother, and david mccullough on american expatriate's. also, the grandson of harry and bess truman looks at his grandparents' letters to each other and the role the former first lady played in shaping her husband's career. he is interviewed by the great granddaughter of herbert hoover. >> our newly designed web said makes it easy for you to watch our events. it is easier to get our
schedule, like a lay out this quickly scroll through all the programs. even received an e-mail alert when your program is scheduled to air. there is a segment for popular series. and the channel finder said that you can quickly find where to watch our three c-span that works on cable or satellite systems across the country. >> "washington journal" continues. host: general wesley clark is with us for the next 45 minutes. we will talk about foreign- policy and last night's gop presidential debate. it is a complicated world when you look at the stores in the newspapers. everything from the protests in egypt to precious to do something about iran, to pakistan and the resignation of the u.s. ambassador here -- if
there is a place that worries you the most, what would that be? guest: for the united states, i think the president has done a brilliant job of managing our way through most of these challenges. when he took office, we had two active wars and a significant terrorist threat. we have gotten rid of osama bin laden and made their high command is essentially irrelevant. we're coming out of iraq and have our combat troops out of there. following president bush's plans at the end of this year. we intensified our activities in afghanistan. we had some operational results and we are on a draw down there. i think he has worked his way through this pretty well. we need to look long term for the united states and strengthen our economy, focus on our competitiveness, and bring jobs and prosperity back to america.
ultimately america's strength and influence in the world rest more on our economy than it actually does on the men and women in uniform. host: analyst will say that a number of policy areas, he has been criticized to continue the bush administration policies. if you believe that the says, i am wondering how different things would be under a republican administration? is there a unified foreign policy right now among both parties or to use a real difference? guest: a great question. the president clearly enunciated what he was going to do during the campaign. it was not always what president bush did, but he said that he would put the emphasis on al qaeda and afghanistan. that is precisely what he did. he has been a very strong president on national security. the majority of the american people support the president on
national security. it has been very hard for the republican candidates to do with that. the conventional way that these debates are supposed to go is that democrats are soft and republicans are tough and democrats want to coddle the enemy and republicans will be stronger and more decisive. but president obama is not playing that role. he has been very tough and decisive. he put our troops in to go after osama bin laden. he took them out. it is tough for the republicans to get to the right of the president on nafta security. host: here is one photograph. from the cnn debate last night company talking about newt gingrich's rise. we will show a number of clips. here is one from herman cain. it regards iran and the u.s. and
israel. >> i would first make sure that they had a credible plan for success. clarity of mission and clarity of success. remember, when you talk about attacking iran, it is a very mountainous region. the latest reports say that that -- there may be 40 different locations. i would want to make sure that we had a good idea from intelligence sources were these are located. and it israel had a credible plan that appeared as if they could succeed, i would support israel, yes. and in some instances, depending on how strong the plan is, we would join with israel for that, if it was clear what the mission was and what the definition of victory was. host: general clark, there were other conversations about iran including this headline from the newspaper.
regime change is being raised on the front of the "washington post" today. it will be the only thing that stops the nuclear program. with that backdrop, the debate commentary and other voices calling for regime change, talk to us about iran and the challenges to u.s. foreign policy there. guest: the president has followed a very logical approach on this. he has some grip on what is happening inside iran because of the intelligence services, although you do not know everything. but it is clear that he has proceeded first by giving iran an opportunity for dialogue. they have rejected that. some other measures must of been taken, although it is the nature of covert action that you never acknowledge these. we know that there is enrichment of uranium, and there is some
kind of cyber weapon still moving around inside there. we do not know much about this and we do not know where it came from or anything of the sort. so some strong measures are under way. at the same time, he worked with our allies to get the toughest sanctions ever on iran. at the time that president obama came into office, you would have said that iran was gaining power in the region. today, nobody believes that. everyone understands that iran is losing power in the region and struggling to maintain its influence. i think he has had an effective policies of corporate the question is -- how far does it go? he is ratcheting it up step by step. as i listen to the debate last night, i thought that the president should feel comfortable that is republican competitors would be behind them on whatever tougher measures he had to take.
host: here is a question from a twitter viewer. guest: when i looked at the sanctions in iraq, i did not see them result the same way. but there are sanctions on iraq -- are wrong, sorry, and they will be tougher. that is necessary to get the attention of the iranian government. without needing war to give them -- to make them give up on nuclear aspirations. host: the professor iranian studies is calling for western air strikes to target the military and paramilitary forces, to cripple the machinery of domestic repression. let me ask you -- if israel were to take this kind of action, either with overt or covert
action, help from the united states, what would that mean for the region? guest: are many elements that are concerned about their nuclear weapons aspirations. you would get a lot support under the table. i think there would be a lot of open condemnation of israel. i think the markets would react with a sudden jump in the price of oil. but there has always been a military option out there. we have known it, we have not wanted to take it, no one wants to see another conflict in the region. but the iranian leader should understand that there is a military option out there. and susan, as i have gone back to the record of u.s. actions in the post-cold war period, time and again our adversaries did not believe it could happen to them. when we went into panama, noriega did not believe that we would do it.
when we started the bombing in kosovo in 1999, most of its did not believe that the un would hang together and do it. i'm sure that saddam hussein did not believe that the united states was really coming for him. i can only imagine the surprise that osama bin laden must have felt when we went and got him. host: we are opening and up -- opening up the phone lines and you can also send this message through twitter, fax, or e-mail. that is a lot of technology. send us an e-mail this morning. you can be involved in our conversation with general clark. let's get another debate click on the screen. this is governor romney and governor hunt's man on afghanistan. >> we have 100,000 troops nation-building in afghanistan when this nation needs to be built, we need intelligence gathering, no doubt about that.
we need a drone presence and some ongoing training of the afghan national army. but we have not done a good job confining and articulating what the endpoint is in afghanistan. i think the american people are tired about where we find >> let me respond are you suggesting that we take our troops out next week? >> i said we should draw a dog. we do not need 100,000 troops. we need a presence on the ground that is more akin to 10,000 or 15,000. that will serve our interests in attention -- intelligence gathering. host: general clark, your thoughts on that exchange? guest: that is exactly the kind of discussions that go on inside the united states government as people try to get the balance
right. it was a recent exchange. the president is pulling troops out of afghanistan. the goal is to do it in a way to protect the security of afghanistan while we trained forces there. if you poll the forces out too soon, security crumbles. if you wait too long, you override the sovereignty of afghanistan. it seems to me we have done it right. you have contenders' looking to draw a difference with the president. host: let me add another thing from the world bank -- afghanistan to need aid for years. here's a report in all called the washington post" -- -- "the washington post" --
for future terrorists. we have to help the government of the afghanistan put in place economic policies that will promote the government, governmental services and taxation that will support the government, and there will be no need for continuing support. this will be a task that falls on future american leadership, but you cannot do this without building economic strength in the region, and working to put states together to stabilize afghanistan. it is in the interest of every neighboring country. i think what you will see is a lot more diplomatic activity in that regard. >> this is from twitter. -- host: this is from twitter --
guest: i am not privy to the consultation process. i can assure you that this plan would not have been put in place without consultation with the united states central command, the foreign chiefs of staff, the army, the air force, the marines, and the commanders on the ground in afghanistan. of course the president listens to these commanders, but ultimately the president makes the decision not based on only of what the commanders say, but on overriding national interest. there is usually some trade-off. the commanders typically asks for more than you are going to get. i have been there. host: let's take a call from boston. dog, a democrat. caller: i would like to remind the general then attack
without a resolution is a war crime. people were harmed in nuremberg for that kind of behavior. -- hung in nuremberg for that kind of behavior. guest: there is a legal case against iran for violating the appearance of the nuclear non- proliferation treaty early on, and the subsequent deception of the atomic agency inspection. when the time comes for action, i'm sure the united states will have legal arguments in order. i think it would be wrong to let the iranian regime believe there is no military option out there when there is. a record has shown time and again that rogue nations and nations that try to break the
rules in international behavior, their leadership believes that they are superior to the international community, international law, and to the last resort, force. it is unfortunate when they believe this because they put their own people through hardship. i hope the iranian leadership understands listening to the debate last night and looking at the president's policy that they will not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons. host: from aaa, the associated press is reporting -- tripoli, the associated press is reporting -- guest: is that the right disposition for his alleged breach host: -- host: is at the
right decision for his crime? guest: i think it is. these crimes were primarily against the people of libya. i think was a solid decision. host: next is a call from grosse pointe, mich., john, a republican. caller: regarding iran, this worries me. i am not sure what our policy is in the middle east anymore. i wonder, can you see a day in the near future, the next five years, where we will have a very minimal involvement in that region, or we do not even have significant forces in kuwait standing by, waiting for
something to happen? i do not understand, even if these people in iran, the government, is able to obtain a single weapon, and that missile was to lift off the earth, how long would it be before it would take off? if it were to hit somewhere, or find its way to israel, what would be the consequences, and why would they be willing to take that chance? thank you. guest: you raise important issues. much of the world's oil comes from the region known as the persian gulf. from the time the united states became an oil importing country in the 1970's's and we became
aware of stability in the markets, the united states has taken measures to ensure stable access to the resources of that area for all nations in the world. we built the park command structure. we have been engaged there. the enormous wealth creates its own problems and has been historic animosity between the branches of islam there. there will be a lot of pushing and shoving. i think we are on the path, moving in the right direction throughout the arab spring, the gradual modernization, opening up the economy is to try to reduce the -- economies to try to reduce the requirement, and making these countries take responsibility for peace in the
region. israel is connected. we've done a lot of work with the israelis. they have done a lot on their own for active missiles defense. the president has made clear our commitments there. this goes back to the gulf war in 1990, 1991. we used to establish patriot batteries. there are long, historic relationships. everyone is aware of the risks. that is why the president has a policy of tightening sanctions, and putting increasing pressure internationally and the iranian regime to get them to give up their nuclear weapons aspirations. host: the caller said he was not sure what our overall policy was in the region. you have supported the present. do the situational responses roll up to a world view of the
united states role that you can articulate? guest: we must be engaged. it is our interest to help others maintain stability and excessing resources. it has been a long principle of american conduct. our actions in the middle east fall in that area. host: that is your belief, the president believes that as well? guest: i cannot speak for the president, the fed is the direction of american former policy. going back to the last days of the carter administration, we understood this. host: a call, and then we'll go back to the debate. bakersfield, california. jimbo, you are on the air.
caller: general clark, you are some and i truly admire. i supported your -- you are someone i truly admire. i supported your presidential campaign. i want to ask you about an event that happened in coastal in the 1990's. -- coastal low in the 1990's. csovo in the 1990's. you caught wind that vigilante'' were going to murder a muslim village. you were given orders not to defend that village, you did anyway, and you paid for it with your career. it is why you -- why i supported
your presidential campaign, and why i respect you so much because you put a human life over your own personal career. that is what i'm talking about -- real sacrifice, america. i admire you so much. tell me i have that wrong. guest: thank you for the question. there were a lot of incidents where a lot of us took risks in terms of the mandate we were given. our soldiers put their lives at risk and we did our best to stop ethnic cleansing in the region after nato had forced out the forces. all the credit belongs to the men and women on the ground, and the commanders of those divisions. at that time, rick sanchez was
in charge of the ground operations. host: general clark heads a consulting firm and is also teaching at ucla. what course are you teaching? guest: i lecture. i am not in a classroom on a day-to-day basis. i get to talk on things like international strategy, national security, war crimes, international law, and increasingly on international economics and how the united states has to move forward in developing our economy to maintain our strength and influence in the world. host: how do you find students in terms of intellectual engagement? guest: there are terrific. they are really smart, connected students who are aware of the world around them. they asked questions.
-- they ask tough questions. host: back to the debate. this is an exchange on afghanistan. >> time after time they have shown us they cannot be trusted. until pakistan shows they have america's best interest in mind, i would not send them one penny. i think it is important for us to send a message to those across the world that if you're not going to be an ally of the united states, do not expect a dime of our citizens money. that is the way we change foreign policy. >> with all due respect to the governor, i think that is highly nighties. we have to recognize what is happening on the ground. these are nuclear weapons. al qaeda could get ahold of these weapons. if they could find their way out of pakistan, into new york city or washington, d.c., and a nuclear weapon could be set off in the city.
that is how serious this is. we have to maintain american presence. host: general clark, reaction? guest: there are lots of shades of gray. i am sure a lot of americans get angry when their is support from someone in pakistan for people striking our troops in afghanistan and so forth. pakistan has been an ally. there is some degree of cooperation. we have longstanding relationships. we tried 20 years ago and it helped to create some of the problems we have been dealing with in afghanistan. on balance, it is better to be engaged. the assistance there are not blank checks.
we have a strong u.s. embassy came on the ground. we do a lot of work with pakistan. we do our best to shape the nation as it lurches into modernization. we should stay engaged. host: the latest on pakistan -- guest: there are some tough times in relations in pakistan. it is in that way for a long time. it's based back-and-forth. many of us knew the ambassador. an investor has to maintain the confidence of his government at
home, do his job, and hopefully u.s.-pakistani relations will continue on a course, and there will be some reconciliation, and pakistan will see strong civilian rule. host: right above that in the paper is this headline -- host: this from twitter -- guest: the administration has called for him to step aside, if i recall correctly. i think his days are numbered. it might be three months, -- three weeks, nine months, or whatever. yeah shown he does not respect his own people. -- he has never shown respect to is some people. his days are numbered.
host: ky. good morning. caller: first, thank you for your service. guest: thank you. caller: we can look at iran and iraq and afghanistan, and we can look at these as we have won , and they have been put in a government that we would find acceptable. the problem that i see, and the problem we're having right now in iran and iraq, rather, is they have a government, but they do not have a tax base. they do not have a way to support this government. we consider have a lot of oil and oil will support the government. then you put the oil in the hands of the people in power,
and to trust you have an honest government. the people over there -- and you trust you have an honest government. the people over there do not want to pay taxes. people over here do not want to pay taxes. we have to have a way to support these governments when they overthrow these people. there has to be something ready to pick this up and take it on, and make it into a democracy, which is what we want the whole world needs a democracy -- want. the whole world needs a democracy. again, general, thank you for your service. host: thank you for the call. guest: you raise the fundamental issue -- countries that have lots of oil have lots of problems dealing with good
government because the wealth does come in. it normally belongs to the state. it is a lot of money coming out of the ground. we have seen that the management of these funds and using it for the good of the people is a very difficult process. in iraq, there is about to be a great opening for the energy companies. while production what -- will production will -- ouil production will double or triple. a lot of that money will go back to iraq, we hope. this is all part of good governance. this has to be worked every day by men and women of character on the ground.
host: here is ron paul talking about whether or not the patriot act has made us safer. >> i think it is unpatriotic because it undermines our liberty. timothy mcveigh was a vicious terrorist. he was arrested terrorism is a crime. -- arrested. terrorism is a crime. we dealt with it well with timothy mcveigh. we have drifted into a condition we were warned against because of our founders were clear, do not be willing to sacrifice liberty for security. today, it seems to easy that our government and our congress is so willing to give up our liberties for our security. i have a personal belief is you never have to give up liberty for security. you can still provide security without sacrificing our bill of rights.
host: general clark? guest: is an important debate. i do not think any american wants to give up liberty for security. times change, laws change. it is the duty of governance, and ratified by the people in the electorate, that modifications be made, and evocations be made to deal with problems and threats to -- adaptations be made to deal with problems and threats. we've created a new structure that looks it the ability to monitor conversations. if you go back 100 years, you would not have seen that because there were no electronic conversations. the question is do we have the balance right? do we have the freedom, the liberty, and the sons of opportunity to communicate
freely not only with loved ones, but on economic and political issues without fear of intimidation or misuse of the information by the government? , can we takeime tem effective security measures to prevent the kind of timothy mcveigh bombing that happened in 1995? we worked hard on it. we passed the patriot act. as an american citizen, i feel pretty good about it. i think we got it mostly right. host: hans co-, alabama. -- hunts go, alaba -- j huntsville, alabama.
fred. guest: everyone associated with the military is concerned about budget cuts. we've been through cycle after cycle. we of have to rebuild forces time and again. i was in the pentagon, when we were struggling -- active duty, when we were struggling to get $40 billion or $50 billion a year. and remember what we're happy to get $60 billion. -- i remember when we were happy to get $60 billion. we are way above the belt. . the greatest armed forces and the world and we will continue to. you have to be careful. we are still the world's leading military power and will be into the foreseeable future. host: we took the transcript
from the debate, and looked at which words got the most emphasis. here is a call from colorado. and independent there. caller: i have a question not eni specific issue. i'm a baby boomer. there was no ambiguity. if there were ever use of nuclear weapons we knew it could spell the end of the world. is it time for a paradigm shift techs we cannot invade every country that -- shift? we cannot invade every country that entertains the idea of nuclear weapons. should there be a new policy where if you're going to build we will ratchet up pressure, and ultimately if you use that
weapon, you have spelled the end of your country? maybe if there was something that was articulated as a world view that the was the policy may be that would dissuade the smaller countries from wasting resources and building nuclear weapons. thank you. guest: it is an important discussion. first of all, the united states is committed in the long term to would besition that woulwe better off in a nation with no nuclear weapons. look at the benefits -- they think it gives them greater prestige, greater ability to intimidate, and some degree of deterrence against the threat of nuclear weapons deployed against them.
they see an advantage in it. the stronger the international opinion against nuclear weapons on balance, the greater our ability to deter non-nuclear powers from becoming nuclear powers. in the case of iran, it is probably too late for that. they seem determined to go after their nuclear program. it is supported by a majority of the iranian people, but even public opinion polling the hyoscine shows it is -- polling shows a substantial majority wants to acquire weapons. this is a dynamic policy that is still unfolding. host: we are running out of time. we've not talked about china.
the administration announced that there would be a presence in australia specifically as a counter balance to growing chinese desperations in the region. can you talk about your -- aspirations in the region. can you talk about your view on chinese aspirations? guest: we have important interests with china. nobody wants a conflict or to fuel strategic competition that threatens security. we do have a vital economic interests in southeast asia. we want stability. we want opportunity for those nations to develop as they see fit. we want to see the distribution of resources in accordance with international law and promote optimal economic development. we want freedom of the seas and
navigation. these are all important issues for the united states. we've been asked by leaders to help provide them in the region with a sense of security. as china grows and reaches out in its own quest for economic security, inevitably there are different views. we think it is in everyone's interests. people recognize that disputes have to be settled through diplomatic procedures rather than through intimidation. that is the focus of the u.s. forces out there. host: the last clip is newt gingrich on security on our southern border. >> i do not believe that the people of the united states are
going to take people that have been here one quarter of a century, where children and grandchildren, where members of the community, who may have done something 25 years ago, separate them from their families, and expel them. if you have been here recently and you have no ties to the u.s., we should deport you. we should control the border. the party that says it is the party of the family, i do not see how they will destroy families that have been here one quarter of a century, and i am prepared to take the heat for saying let's be humane by enforcing the law without giving them citizenship, but creating legality so they're not separated from their families. host: states have been developing their own tougher
international -- immigration standards. what are your thoughts? guest: it is a divisive issue. shouldways thought we get strong border protection. there are people that have been here for years and years the debt and good citizens. there should be a path -- years and they have been good citizens. there should be a path for legalization. probably the majority of american people feel this way. i would like to deal with this as a national level. apparently we cannot do it. i was surprised how extreme some of the candidates were in reaction to the former speaker. most of our grandparents came here from somewhere else. it is what is made america a wonderful place.
host: brian, a republican from west virginia. caller: is it not true that basically the general petraeus doctrine on the insurgency was basically applied to afghanistan, and if so do you think that is flawed, and jon huntsman pretty much has it right? guest: i think we have done a lot of study on insurgency. general petraeus and his colleagues produced a good doctrine we tried to put in place in iraq and afghanistan. it is tough because it requires not only military efforts, but also strung efforts in what some people would call nation- building in dealing with the civilian side. the u.s. government has historically never had, at least
not since the days of several operations, the structure and resources to go after the civilian side with the same intensity we are gone after the military side of the counter- insurgency equation. it is the one of the difficulties. what we are doing now seems to make sense. we are training afghan forces. we are doing as much as we can to strengthen governments at the central level and regionally. we are trying to promote economic development. it is loaded with minerals and hydrocarbons. it can be rich agricultural it. there is a lot that can be done -- agriculturally. there's a lot that can be done. we have to help the people with
security so they can move forward with economic and political development. host: you helped our next topic, which is the failure of the super committee. a viewer writes -- guest: look, the failure of the super committee was a failure, but the cuts do not take place until january, 2013. congress has one year to rectify it. the failure itself is an ugly message abroad. we did not have to have a super committee but one was set up. people are saying why can't
america work and why does the government not work? the super committee is a way of pushing this off with one party attempting to gain political advantage and attempting to see the agenda successful in 2012. it is a political tactic with consequences. not every country has the same budgeting categories. other countries put a lot of money into national security that does not show up in accounting. we are spending a lot of money. none of us want to see defense cuts. i hope all our government can reinvigorate economic growth. if we can grow the economy, a lot of this discussion about
budget cutting will take on diminished the importance. and the eve of world war two, the country grew at 17%, 18%. we were coming out of the recession -- the depression. with the right way of working we can reinvigorate american growth. i hope to keep growth on the agenda as well as deficit reduction. host: general clark, happy thanksgiving. thank you. we will invite our next guest who represents a group called americans for prosperity. we will talk about the super committee, military spending, all in a couple of minutes added to set the stage, here is the president of that group at a news conference.
>> republicans have made a different promised to the american people, and we are warning them to keep their word to the american people. while we applaud the super committee not raising taxes, it was troubling to see tax increase offers on the table. that is not the way to prosperity. last week, this congress, with the support of many republicans in the house and senate passed a mini-spending bill the breeze through the paul ryan budget numbers on every front. early indications on the spending front are not good. if republicans are going to avoid the fate they had early in this decade by promising responsibility in dramatically failing, they have to show
resolve. they have to show they will generally stand up and oppose tax increases and take this message of prosperity to the country. secondly, they have to be serious about cutting spending. no more gimmicks. folks talk about the $1.20 trillion. that is less than 3% of total expenditures over the next decade. what family has not had to make those kind of cuts. surely republicans and democrats can make those basic cuts. host: on your screen is phil kerpen who serves as vice president for policy of the group you saw represented there. he's also an opinion columnist, chairman of the internet freedom coalition and has a new book out called "democracy denied."
thank you for being on the program. what was the super committee about? guest: it became about raising taxes, and the question became how much, and for home, and they froze -- focused on the phase- out of deductions. we know that included mortgage, interest, and state and income taxes. that would have hit a lot of people hard. given the direction that it took, i was glad to see them deadlocked, and we did not address the spending problem, but we avoided having a tax hike during a down economy. host: the independent is the voter that both groups need to
convince in the next election. where will the benefit be? guest: republicans did not destroy their brand. if they would come to an agreement, they would have lost a differentiator. they are benefited from the perspective it they can continue to be seen as the party that will not raise taxes. everyone looks dead from failing to come to grips with federal spending -- bad from failing to come to grips with federal spending. it will certainly add to the anti-incumbent. host: s to the president put the decision not to engage? guest: at think people want to see stronger leadership from the white house. there was a good sign that he said he would read all efforts to turn off the american cuts. -- the automatic cuts.
that is a level of engagement that has been lacking. i think he should of been much more involved in the whole process. in january the president proposed a budget that was not serious, and it was rejected 97- 0. then he came out with the new plan that had $4 trillion in cuts, and gave a speech about it, without ever giving any specifics. democrats of never introduced a budget. the president has to do more in terms of specifics with real cuts on the table, and introducing a budget in the next year that is serious enough to be in the conversation. host: we welcome the discussion. we will put numbers on the screen, and you can e-mail loss tweet.d a
in the final hours it was reported that senator john kerry was working hard to get to a deal. let's listen to a clip of him talking about this. >> all we are asking now is about $350 billion, and they say no because they want the bush tax cuts for the wealthiest americans extended. the deal is being held hostage to the idea that the wealthiest people in america ought to get a bigger tax cut while everyone else chips in. i do not think anyone in america thinks that is fair. guest: that is not true. the extension, or not extending the bush tax cuts were not an issue because of the baseline. the baseline against which their
$1.20 trillion was charged assume that all the rates would expire at 2012. that would have scored as a huge step revenue and increase in the rates would not help them achieve their target. that was really political posturing. that is nothing the super committee could have done. the real discussion was the deduction phase-out and at what level. republicans were surprisingly willing to raise taxes. there were some drafts i heard about that offered as high as $640 billion. i do not think republicans should ever offered debt. it is interesting to see how married certain democrats are to their script. in this case, republicans offered considerable tax hikes,
and democrats said we want to increase spending with huge tax hikes. host: the plan on the limit of itemized deductions poured forth by senator pat toomey -- what do you make of that? guest: i find it surprising. pat toomey is a great fiscal conservative. i did not overlap with him at club for growth. i have gotten to know him. i was surprised that he was willing to entertain a tax increase. i think it would've been a mistake to raise taxes on this economy. his thinking, as i understand it, and i've not talked to him, was if they give up everything
we want, and we are able to fix fiscal problems in the country, we will offer a tax hike so democrats do not claim that is the impediment. he thought that was important in terms of the willingness to do something that does not make a lot of economic sense, but democrats were demanding politically if he could get a solution to our country's fiscal problems. i disagree because in my view a net tax hike moves us in the opposite direction from solving fiscal problems. washington will spend every dollar they can get their hands on from taxes and they can borrow. he made a different calculation. he thought it was worth it to take away the democratic talking point, to show they were willing to do something they believed to
be a bad idea if they could fix the fiscal problems, and he did not get credit for it. you heard john kerry saying he refused -- they refuse to raise taxes. host: we are getting a lot of tweets talking about the funding for the americans for prosperity. what level of fiscal and involvement is there? guest: david koch is chairman of our education foundation and has also been a financial contributor. we have 80,000 other contributors and we are never taken an issue and any policy issue. people wherever they maybe send us money if they agree --
whoever they may be send us money if they agree. host: it was reported that in the 2010 campaign, your group spent $1.3 billion? guest: the requirements are something i've never understood. is that what our filings say, i guess that is true, but we never advocated the election of any candidate. we did nothing after citizens united that we could not do before. all of our advocacy was focused on the issue of education and genuinely on things like cutting spending, taxes, and unnecessary burdens for regulation. we focused on those issues around election time because we thought we could have a maximum impact. to us, elections come and go,
but we want to win the policy fights. host: have you formulated your strategy for the 2010 campaign? will it be state-based, or national inde? guest: almost everything we do is state-based. we have terrific field staff focused at the local level and engaging in federal flights as appropriate. from time-to-time, there are certain national issues we think are important. our primary, principal focus has always been on the state level, and it will remain there. we've looked at programmatic activities for 2012, and planned it out in some detail and it will follow issues we a been focusing on -- health care law, and regulations.
host: florida, good morning and welcome. caller: taxes do need to go up to help our deficit problem, along with cuts to a entitlement programs. under bill clinton, with higher tax rates, he created 23 million jobs. under the bush tax cuts, he only created 1.1 million jobs. guest: i think the most significant tax policy change in the clinton era was not the individual income tax hike, but the biggest change was the capital gains tax cut which was a bipartisan deal president clinton signed. we lowered the capital gains rate and as a consequence we saw capital formation, investment,
innovation, and the entire tech boom. i thought that was a great policy. during the bush era there were policy errors that overwhelmed the benefits of pro-growth tax cuts. the 2003 cuts were well- designed, but the 2001 was poorly designed. we had major increases in spending there were a drag on economic growth. we had regulatory problems as well. we had a policy that encouraged people to buy homes they could not afford. that led to the crisis. it is far too simple to look ahead tax rates under clinton, and george bush. if you could guarantee that we could go along to tax rates from the clinton level, and also
remove regulations, you could get some support. host: let me put some statistics on the screen. if you would, all for your interpretations. -- are for your interpretations. -- offer your interpretations. guest: i would be interested in the definition of income here. if they had taxable income, they would have paid taxes almost certainly unless they benefited from some sort of production.
we would like to see that done away with in a revenue-neutral way in a tax reform that will get rid of provisions that people used to punch holes in the code that benefit narrowly- targeted groups. that would be pro-growth. you do not just get rid of loopholes and say we will use it to grow but government because government spending is out of control. you use it to lower taxes for everyone. on the last bullet point, the proper tax increase depends on underlying income. it is capital gain, it should be taxed as capital gain. i am -- i do not agree with taxing it as if it were income. that could be the double taxation of capital. i think the current treatment of carried interest is correct.
frankly, we should repeal the capital gains tax entirely. host: a republican in florida. what is your question? caller: until we remove the curse, and nothing is going to happen. i do not care if it is barack obama or whoever is going to be the president. until we removed the curse -- if you want to know that -- what that is -- host: i guess we need to. caller: 84% of americans say
they are christians. the bible says we have dropped god. there is a curse -- rob god. there is a curse on the united states. h., thank you. -- host: thank you. guest: i would refer to a person with greater theological knowledge. host: rhode island, independent mind. -- line. caller: the policy for the last 30 years has been spend and borrow. even vice president cheney said the debt does not matter. who will pay the bill? the 1% whose wealth has gained
from $8 trillion, to $45 trillion, or 99%, whose entitlements and benefits are going to be caught? it is a choice between the two. it seems that the conservative element of our society wants to cut our social security, medicare, and medicaid, and let the 1% go free. i want to hear your comment about that. guest: i would like everyone to go free. i do not want to punish the rich for their success. i think you are framing -- you're framing it is damaging. i think class warfare or and the should not be the basis for economic policy in this country. i think class hatred is as ugly as any other prejudice. what we should try to do is
strive toward a neutral tax code. that means some type of flat tax system, not a system that says if you are successful we were punished that success. -- we will punish that success. the real tragedy of our social security system is not the trillions of dollars in broken promises that they will not be able to afford without tax hikes, but the real tragedy is even if it keeps every promise it is not enough to retire on. it is a terrible rate of return. we transition to a system of real investment, if we do that, every worker will do much better. if you look fundamental reforms, there is a way to address problems that would lead people
better off. we should look at this as solutions that would be better for the 100%. host: next up is a little, kentucky, robert, a republican. -- louisville, kentucky, robert, a republican. caller: back in the late 1950's, the maximum rate was [unintelligible] it seems like we did pretty good for a few years there. then, mr. reagan cut the taxes one time and we started going downhill. he could have left the texas up
higher for along -- taxes up higher for awhile longer. mr. bush did the same thing, and mr. clinton headed going pretty good. -- had it going pretty good. guest: at think the history of the rate is constructive, but not for the reasons you think. and john f. kennedy cut them down. since then it has been creeping steadily back up. it could go up to 30.6 under current law. when we had it top income tax rate of 95%, the federal government never collected more than 19% of the economy and tax
revenue. there was an economist that said it seems to be a feature that no matter what rate you have you get about 19% of gdp. that suggests that we should want much lower rates so we have a larger economy, a larger denominator, and it also suggests that if we balance the budget a test to be principally on the spending side, which is elevated to 25% of gdp. if you jackyou get illegal avoi, evasion, capital flight abroad. you still end up with 19% of gdp, but it is a smaller denominator. that makes our level of spending even more difficult to finance. the challenge for the tax code should be, how do we maximize economic growth? how do we make that denominator that we are going to take 19
percent of as big as possible? for that reason, we wanted bogus on eliminating couple of games task -- we want to focus on eliminating capital gains tasta, dividend taxes. they tend to be counterproductive. host: here is an e-mail from a viewer who is a retired teacher. guest: and you are not. there is a myth out there for people like warren buffett, who people think benefit greatly from certain features of our current code. he buys out families who are destitute by the probate. he has almost all his money in a trust, so he tends to dodge taxes. there is a myth that the lower
-- the capital gains tax is a lower tax. it would be a higher tax and the tax on ordinary income, because it is an in visit -- it would be a higher tax than the tax on ordinary income, because it is an additional tax. moreover, if you look at the tax treatment of capital for what it is, which is a punitive taxation on already-taxed income, it is even more clear that the rich paying more taxes -- lower taxes myth.t an accurate wit caller: i think we desperately need campaign finance reform, for one thing. we are not a democracy anymore. anybody who knows what it means i think would agree with me. guest: i would not. caller: maybe you do not. why are we protecting -- why do
we feel we need to protect the rich? the bible says it is easier for the camel to go to the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven. christ taught socialism. i am not completely socialist. i am a conservative socialist, i guess i would say. it sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? guest: sounds like some kind of moron. caller: i don't think that's very nice, but i guess that fits your thinking. if i were making hundreds of thousands of dollars, millions, i would feel it was my duty to contribute to others, to the government. host: thanks. caller: how do you think we
should do that? guest: that is an interesting point. even the super-rich who claim they want to pay higher taxes, people like bill gates, senior, and warren buffett, do not make additional, voluntary contributions to the united states treasury, though they could write checks of any amount they want. they support private charities. they have made this into escalations that folks across the political spectrum have, that private -- they have made the same calculations that folks across the political spectrum have, that private charities are much more effective. although they say they want higher taxes, they do not make those contributions to the u.s. treasury themselves. whether you consider cell bozic -- consider yourself a conservative socialist or just the socialists, the idea of forced redistribution of wealth is very foreign to americans. our democracy function very well
one year ago when people of this country overwhelmingly rejected stimulus policies, bailout policies, and huge government regulations, and the promise of higher taxes from democrats. we saw one of the biggest landslide elections in the history of the country, including in places where a lot of -- where very little money was spent. i think the mood of the country was expressed. unfortunately, washington chose to ignore that. i think that is why people are getting more angry. >> this is an email from joy. she writes -- guest: well, i do not think you can increase revenue to the level of current spending. i do not think there is any way you can get 24% from 25% of gdp
out of our current tax system. perhaps, if there was a new base, in national value-added tax, you might be able to get more revenue. in the 1930's, we have a lot of excise taxes. was not the high -- it was not the high taxes on the rich that provided the basis for the new deal did it was things that probably hurt the very people -- for the new deal. it was thing that probably hurt the very people they were trying to help. i do not think you can get much more revenue out of our current tax system. a new broad-based tax would hurt people more than it would help them. the solution is to cut the spending, not to try the likely impossible task of bringing taxes up to that elevated level of spending. let's bring spending back down to historical norms, then we will be able to balance the
budget without tax cuts. --t: next up, caller: good morning. my idea is to put a national sales tax on people. at least the people who do not pay tax would contribute something. the republicans do not want to raise anything. i think for the good of our country, we have to do something. thank you. guest: i do not think adding a national sales tax on top of our existing tax would be for the good of the country. it would be for the bad of the country. it would hurt a lot of folks. it would hurt our economic growth. the overriding concern for tax policy and fiscal policy should be to get this economy moving again. we cannot create jobs without a growing economy. we cannot grow an economy when there is so much uncertainty, so much fiscal overhang.
the reality of higher taxes will not help. it is going to hurt. we have to get the denominator moving again. host: here is what he writes on twitter -- my plan is, dude, to cut spending and to reform the programs that are major drivers of spending. you have to have two elements -- cuts to spending and economic growth. economic growth is a prerequisite to have a chance of getting our fiscal situation under control. first, you have to have policies. the house will vote on the most important regulatory reform bill in the congress. we have to give regulators off the backs of the american people so they can get back to hiring
people again, bring money off the sidelines, get the economy moving again. let's get rid of the loopholes, special interest giveaways. let's have a low, flat value that spread it around -- sp reads it around. on the spending side, we have to do the big things. all of the means-tested federal programs, have the states run their own programs. let them in debate. it works. we need to reform medicare by being honest with the american people. this is a system of limited, finite resources. we're not going to be able to pay for everything for everyone. we ought to give individuals on medicare control over those dollars so they can make the choices, so that we can have some competition, instead of going the other direction saying that bureaucrats will decide and we will have a system of
rationing. in social security, we have got to move away from this transfer scheme toward a system of will wealth creation -- real wealth creation. there are only three ways to make those books balance on social security -- cut benefits, raise taxes, or bring investments in to get a real market return. the third option is by far the best, because it is the only one that leaves workers better off than worse off. there needs to be discipline on discretionary spending as well. i think a lot of programs could be eliminated completely. almost every program in the federal government could benefit from a significant cut. that is why i praise president obama for saying he would not let congress get rid of cuts unless they make other cuts. host: the "wall street journal" has printed this column --
if governor romney did the eventual nominee, is he -- if governor romney is the eventual nominee, is he to electable? guest: i can think -- i think he has done almost everything wrong on economic policy. with the economy performing as poorly as it is, the matter who the nominee is, they will have a very good chance of winning. host: do you think he is a compromiser? guest: i think that mitt romney has a very strong economic plan. it includes a lot of elements that i have talked about. he gave a very good speech recently to our group, where he talked about terminating a lot of federal programs. he talked about a lot of things that would be very productive, very helpful.
the big issue with running, as everyone knows, it is that he has changed his -- romney, as everyone knows, is that he has changed his positions on a number of things. i think that the american people will hold him to it and demand that he make good. host: joey, independent. good morning to you. caller: thank you for taking my call. i think you're spot on. cutting spending, decentralization of economic authority. the federal reserve is manipulating the economy too much. the logic of "we just need to raise taxes" does not solve our problems. as the american economy has historically shown, the more the government taxes, the more it spends.
it hurts the economy, people, businesses. that said, i think one of the few callers -- i will reference the constitution. the authority for the federal government in the constitution is outlined. obviously, today we do not follow it. we have expanded outside of constitutional authority. it is not sustainable. our current system is unsustainable. i want to know how you feel at the federal reserve system and its currency manipulation, and the validation of the constitutional authority bang for currency through the federal reserve -- constitutional authority for currency through the federal reserve.
guest: i am very concerned about monetary policy. the fed has created an enormous amount of money. they are intervening in both bond markets -- in bond markets. they are masking a lot of inflation. a lot of money is still sitting at the fed come in the accounts of the various money-center banks -- at the fed, in the accounts of the various money- centered banks. as the economy picks up and banks start lending, we will see very significant inflation, unless the fed can somehow perfectly engineer a soft landing, which i think will be very difficult. they may not even try because of the risk that they could crush the economy in the process. so much of this spending and a which is financed by borrowing -- so launch of this spending, which -- so much of this spending was financed by
borrowing. your life will be worth less, in terms of purchasing power. if we do not pay for it in taxes, you pay for it either way. it is an extremely unfair and extremely economically da maging. it prevents a lot of economic activity from going on. monetary policy has been a major problem. keeping rates low as long as we did is what created housing bubble in the first place, the financial crisis, so forth. the to see monetary reform that tied the dollar back to something concrete -- i would love to see monetary reform that ties the dollar back to something concrete. that means to be part of the overall mix of fixing the economic growth. that is hard to explain to
people. i have been more focused on cutting spending, which i think 70%-plus of the american people know that we need to do. you will not have the huge deficits. host: from trenton, new jersey, you are on the air. caller: i would like to ask the gentleman two questions. [unintelligible] if you cut -- for this generation -- say you cut 10 people, 20 people, but you have 1 million people born every year, how are you going to compare [unintelligible] it will be just the same.
how much isn know coming. what are they going to do? all we got to do is try to make a nice foundation, so that whoever come will [unintelligible] host: thank you. we are out of time. speaking about demographics and future generations. guest: we face an enormous demographic challenge. the baby boomers are retiring. we have about three workers per retiree right now. it is going down to about two
workers per retiree in the next couple of decades. the changing demographics are one of the reasons that we absolutely must shift to a system of prepayments of real investments for our retirement programs, rather than relying on a transfer mechanism. with the transfer mechanism, you need to have a constantly- growing pool of workers. demographics have changed in such a way that is no longer possible. the burden on workers would just be absolutely crushing if each worker had to support half of a retiree. that is where we are headed. that is one of the reasons we have to move to a system of real investment and personal accounts that workers control. host: what you think will happen with the sequester process? guest: will try to turn it off. i think the veto threat is crucially important. i hope he makes good on that. the exact composition of the cuts, some have argued that
defense is it too hard. i am not a defense expert, but i have seen enough government programs to know that there have to be things they can cut that are not mission critical. if congress makes the determination that some of the defense cuts need to be put back, they have to find other offsetting cuts elsewhere. a lot more than that needs to be done to cut overall government spending. i think that the veto threat was a good development. i hope the president will make good on that. i am skeptical. one thing i learned coming out of the supercommittee, where even certain republicans were willing to raise taxes, it is, frankly, it is very hard to cut spending in this town, even for republicans. the people the -- people get upset. there is fear that -- it is a classic problem. it is difficult to ever cut government spending.
perhaps the best we can do is limit growth. host: thank you for being here. have a good holiday. we will take a break. our final guest on this wednesday morning is jake tapper of abc news, just back from afghanistan. >> in the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, i draw the line in the dust.
i say segregation now, vacation tomorrow, and segregation forever -- segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever. >> he was outspoken against the civil rights movement. he ran for president four times and lost. one of those efforts was cut short by an assassination attempt. this week on "the contenders," george wallace. life friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span -- live friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> miami was center stage in the bay of pigs. it is where they came to execute those who had participated. after castro came to power, many of the people who did not like him very much fled to cuba --
fled cuba. they fled to miami. >> the election of the first black president was a landmark. there has been tremendous change in american racial attitudes. had there not been that change, he would have had no hope of prevailing. >> in the presidential debate, it is critical -- it is hard to relax in that situation, but you have to be calm enough for you can listen and make a split- second decision with no help. do i move on? do i follow up? what do i do now? >> watch "booktv" coverage on line at the c-span video library. online and searchable. watch what you want when you want. >> "washington journal" continues. host: for our final correspond -- for final guest, meet jake
tapper. you pitched the idea of going to afghanistan and seeing the troops for yourself. how did this idea germinate? guest: i had been reporting on the war in afghanistan from the north lawn of the white house. there was a lot of references to "30,000 troops, 40,000 troops, 5000 troops, counterinsurgency vs counter-terrorism," and no real connection that i felt to the war i was covering. i had gone to iraq in 2006 for abc news just for a few weeks. the experience -- it was very ofact wful, just in terms seeing the country for yourself and understanding the civil strife. a civil war was about to break
out between the cities and the shiites -- sunnis and the shiites. this time, i wanted to know more. i have been working on a book about afghanistan. it is rooted in the desire to know more about america's longest war. i convinced abc news to let me go over there and see it for myself. we did a bunch of reports for nightline -- "nightline." host: when did you go and for how long? guest: was on the ground there for slightly more than a week -- i was on the ground there for slightly more than a week. i went to bagram. i went to jalalabad. my producer and i were embedded with the 227 wolfhounds at the
northern most operating base. we were there for a few days with them. nothing kinetic, no fighting, but the work they do. we went back to bagram and were embedded with a medevac company for a few days. we did missions with them. host: where is home base for the wolfhounds? guest: hawaii. that is the army base where they are located. host: we have a clip we're going to show. we will open up the phone lines. the administration has announced the drawdown of troops is to be completed by 2014. there is debate going on with the level of u.s. commitment. this morning, for example, we are reporting a new study.
even after the u.s. pullout in 2014, afghanistan will need an estimated $7 billion in continued support from presumably the united states and its allies to continue funding the troops and police forces that we have worked to develop. we would like to hear from you what you think about the afghanistan policy. those of you who have served to would like to add your take on this, we would be happy to have you as well. your report will air on thanksgiving? guest: on thanksgiving. the clip is a slice about the medevacs. this is a sergeant who is a medic with the team. she is a 4'11" mom from ohio.
her parents take care of her 10-year-old son. does he understand why mommy is away? >> this is no. 5 for me. i think he has come to an understanding of why i am doing what i am doing. we meet people on some of their worst days. our job, when that happens, is to try to keep their worst day from being their last day. host: so, your desire was to better inform your policy reporting. what did you take away from the experience? guest: first of all, in kunar province, the afghan security forces are in better shape than my impression was, but the logistical support for those forces is far weaker than i thought it would be. there is a lot of concern by
the wolfhounds, with whom we were embedded, that the u.s. is going to withdraw too quickly. can i say one thing about sergeant gibson, the mini medic we just saw? she is 4'11". that comes in very handy for her when standing up in these helicopters. we went out one night on a mission. we did a few missions with them. they had to pick up an afghan security guard who had been severely wounded. an afghan border patrol man. we flew him south. along the way, she was very worried that this afghan security officer -- that the
helicopter might go too high and the pressure would be fatal to him. he was in a lot of pain. his eyes and ears were under tremendous pressure. at one point, we were fired upon. nothing dangerous. the medevac had to take evasive action. army medevacs are not armed, by the way. while the rest of us were concerned about the fact we were being fired upon, the sergeant was really concerned only about the fact that we were not well thousand feet in the air. she was worried about the patient, not about the incoming -- that we were now 12,000 feet in the air. she was worried about the patient, not about the incoming. host: we did a program on the 1968 election. one thing we talked about was the effect of the draft.
people were much more involved in the war than they are now. we also talked about journalist sending back regular reports from the battlefields. -- journalists sending back regular reports from the battlefields. saw it from the lens of the americans fighting people. are we seeing enough of the effective fighting -- effect of fighting on these villages? guest: i think probably not. there probably is not enough coverage of this war at all by most of the organization. host: is that because the pentagon is not willing to let you go there? guest: no. writing this book, i have come into contact with the lack of desire by many in the pentagon to share information. a lot of freedom of information act request that i made went
nowhere. working on these "nightline" pieces, the pentagon was incredibly helpful. they would let us go out there. the public affairs officers were not there. the only thing that i saw about a child, while i was there, was a little afghan boy. nine years old. he had been out tending his family's goats. another child saw something and told him to pick it up. it was ammunition that detonated. it severely wounded this child. the medevac that the u.s. army provides is basically that ambulance service or afghanistan. they do not have the kind of infrastructure -- a service for afghanistan. they do not have the kind of infrastructure for that. host: so, the child was treated --
guest: the job was picked up by the medivaced team -- medevac team and taken to bagram. he had lost an eye, both hands, his leg was wounded, but he was going to survive. in terms of munition, i was told that, based on the fragments in his body, they thought it was not a u.s. munition. in that part of the country, in fact, all over afghanistan, there are munitions dating back to the soviet war and even before. i am told it was not an american mission. that is the only thing i saw the child -- and american munition -- i am told it was not an
american munition. that is the only thing i saw a of a child. -- i saw of a child. there is not the image of the child running in the napalm. the u.s. troops that are there are taking those children and trying to help them. host: milton, a democrat. you are on for jake tapper. are you there? vt's move on to hampton, irginia. caller: yes. i want to respond. host: janice, hit the mute real quickly, please, and ask your question. caller: my question is why is the united states continuing to
go in pluralizing -- imperializing in other countries and we have problems here in america. i just do not think it is right that these people are over in other people's countries, turning them into democracies, and then you have, over here in america, we are not even treated democratically. we have the 1% and the 99%. host: let me stop you right there before we get into a larger political discussion. any response? guest: i am not here to articulate u.s. policy or whether or not we should be in afghanistan. i would say that you represent the view a rising number of americans who are concerned that the u.s. should devote more -- the view of a rising number of americans were concerned that the nation should devote more to
nation building at home, as some would put it. there has been a tremendous sacrifice. it is important to withdraw on the timetable where that sacrifice is not for naught, or the gains are allowed to continue. that is not really a question for me. i am just guessing that is what the obama administration would say. host: the administration is counting on afghan security forces to pick up where we leave off. what did you learn about the estimate of afghan readiness? guest: they are getting better, but there is still a lot of work to be done to deny that we were fired upon in the medevac -- they are getting better, but there is still a lot of work to be done. the the night that we were fired upon in the medevac, we waited for them to come and pick up
these two wounded afghan border patrol agents. it seems very frustrating to me. you have wounded afghan troops. eventually, they were picked up. when i asked the medivevac pilot and others about this, some expressed frustration, some did not, but the consensus is that it is better than it used to be. at least they showed up. at least they took them off in ambulances. that is better than it was two or three years ago. caller: first of all, i would like to thank the current speaker that you have, mr. tapper, for "nightline," which i consider to be excellent journalism. i wonder why you would not insist that your previous guest, kerpen, not apologize to the
woman after he called her a moron. i do not think that does justice to your show. americans for prosperity, it was an insult to republicans who believe in different types of policies than democrats. basically, what i am trying to suggest is that you continue have guests like mr. tapper on, but screen guests who would insult people who call in. host: thank you for your comments. back to our discussion on the war -- during world war ii, an average days -- the average days of combat was 240. guest: i think these deployments
are roughly a year. host: how much did they spend -- do they spend fighting? guest: it depends on where they are and what their assignment is. troops in kandahar have seen more fighting than those in the other parts of the country. some of the troops at the smaller combat posts and observation posts had seen some very intense days of fighting. others who were part of the same company did not because of where they were located. what is interesting is so much of what the wolfhounds have been dedicated to is this one road, about 7 kilometers, about 4 1/3 miles. it is a pass they are trying to secure.
they are trying to make sure the contractors come in to pave it. they are trying to get local villagers to buy into the notion that they are responsible for keeping it free of taliban checkpoints. the hope is that this road, which is part of a bigger road, will help connect the people of kunar province to their government, will help bring the economy about. so far, this mission, called "rugged road," eight americans have been killed pursuing this for this road. that is what the u.s. troops, with whom we were embedded, are devoted to now. it is infrastructure. it is not fighting for territory. if you watched "band of brothers," you are trying to
picture conquering france or beating back the nazis from france. it is not that. it is building infrastructures of the afghanistan -- infrastructure so that afghanistan can support itself. caller: as a naval academy graduate and navy pilot from vietnam, the captain of the aircraft as the decision as to what altitude they fly at and where -- has the decision as to what ought to do they fly at -- what altitude they fly at and where. that decision is not a to the medic -- not up to the medic. there is an incongruance in his statement -- gee, they do
not let us cover the war in then we were fired upon. can you imagine the outcry if the aircraft is shot down with journalists on board? guest: i mean, he is talking about things i did not say. first of all, thank you for your service. one, to address the second point, i am not complaining about the military letting me cover the war. i said the exact opposite. they were incredibly helpful. they helped set up the embed process with the medevac and the 227. they got out of our way and let us cover it. i'm very grateful to the public affairs officials.
i said that my freedom of information act requests for the book i am writing were not always responded to or answered, but that is entirely separate. as for many medical sergeant gibson -- mini medic sergeant gibson, i completely agree with you. it is not up to her. it is up to the pilot. it is entirely up to him. obviously, if they are on a mission to save somebody's life, they consult about how high they can go without hurting the patient. she expressed concern about going too high. obviously, it was entirely up to him. when he took in base -- when he took evasive action, he did so to save the lives of everyone on the helicopter. she was not upset about it. my point was that, she was concerned about the patient.
thank you for your service. host: your book is due out in 2012. when do you think it will be ready? guest: we are shooting for either this summer or the fall -- the summer or the fall. host: you have titled it -- guest: we have changed the title. originally, when i started writing, it was going to be about one camp. "enemy in the wire" is one thing that was called out that day when the taliban got inside the camp. now, it will look at the entire history of the camp, 3 1/2 years. to reflect that, we will change the title, probably to something along the lines of "the outpost," to look at why the camp was there and the whole
thisry of theit, not just one ending. why it was closed. host: you know about the debate over the increasing use of contractors for work that might have been done by soldiers in the past. mary asks on twitter -- guest: i did not see a lot of the legendary mercenaries. one thing i saw that was very interesting, a lot of the transportation in afghanistan is being done by private contractors. helicopters and planes belonging to the u.s. military are doing missions. if you are flying around in afghanistan, even if you are a soldier, you're more likely than not flying and a private contractor -- flying on a
private contractor's airplane or helicopter. it frees up assets for the military. there is a big role being played by contractors. host: next, rhode island, democrat. good morning. caller: were you on "sunday morning" with christiane amanpour? guest: before christiane amanpour took over the show. i was a substitute for about six months last year. caller: i enjoyed you when you're on the show -- you were on the show. i want to tell you i am a conservative democrat. i do not like how the president is always talking about the 1% and the 99%. i believe it is like the race
baiting, the rabble-rousing. i do not like that situation. with the conservative democrats -- what the conservative democrats and republicans should argue back is, it is 52% of the population who are pulling the wagon. the 48% who were in the wagon contribute nothing -- are in the wagon contribute nothing. guest: thank you. i am not here to defend or oppose any sort of policy. i have heard some democrats and republicans expressed concern about the rhetoric -- expressed concern about the rhetoric of the wealthy paying their fair share -- i have heard some democrats and republicans express concern about the
rhetoric of the wealthy paying their fair share. i am not here to advocate or object to any policy. host: i'm going to throw this at you, which is a policy question. you can decide if you want to respond. mitty will take that from the status of the karzai government -- maybe we will take that from the status of the karzai government and what you learned about the taliban resurgence. guest: as much as i clenched up whenever anybody mentions my children, i think it is fair to ask that question. i would say that i do not want my children to die ever. i do not really have a response on that. do i think that they should fight for karzai's government, which is certainly corrupt?
in this country, we have a volunteer army, a volunteer military. the people i have met in the armed forces have been, for the most part, very impressive. they believe they are doing the right thing. the larger question on the table is why are we there defending the government that is " representative -- that is corrupt. that is certainly a problematic part of the policy in afghanistan. i will also say -- i was only in afghanistan for just over a week. i saw officials being bribed -- policemen being bribed. host: that is the normal course of business? guest: i think it is. in afghanistan, there is a history of that. by the way, there is a history
of that in this country, too. if the goal is not have any corruption in the afghan government, that is a goal that will never be met. host: hartford, connecticut, javier. caller: i was just thinking of your experience in afghanistan, your research. how far do you think america is in the war? captain we as citizens support more -- how can we, as citizens, support more? i want to do my part as a citizen. how far are we in the war, like -- guest: from talking to the infantry at the forward operating base where i was, they thought -- their rotation
started in may, so it will end in roughly may or june of 2012. they thought there probably needed to be one more rotation in that region before they could hand over security to the afghan forces. they think by june, 2013, they could handle the security. now, there is this other issue, which is very important, which is that the afghan security forces, according to everyone i spoke to, are so far behind in being able provide logistical support to their own armed forces. that is no small thing in a country that is as big and as mountainous as afghanistan is. providing medical care, building roads, providing ammunition and weapons, making sure that the security forces are not corrupt. those are big, big issues. i suspect that, even after the
u.s. has withdrawn combat troops from afghanistan, we will see u.s. forces doing that logistical support for many years to come. host: jake tapper is with us for about 10 more minutes. his special report will be airing tomorrow. caller: good morning. i really enjoy the show. host: thank you. caller: the soviet union fought in afghanistan for 10, 11 years, and was totally unsuccessful. maybe we should have joined forces with them. now here we are in the same situation, 10-years plus into this war. we have gotten absolutely nowhere. the place is still corrupt. it is always going to be corrupt. afghanistan was here long before
the united states. we are trying to impose our train of thought and democracy -- or form of government -- on these countries that do not want nothing to do with it. they wnat nothing -- they want nothing to do with our way of thinking. we're spending our hard-earned money on these ridiculous wars. it is not going to work. when we leave, it is going to go right back to what they like to do. they like to grow their opium. they make money. they have been there for thousands of years. if they look at our democracy, they would probably laugh. if they looked at the way our congress works, they would have to laugh. thank you very much. guest: the one thing i would say -- i do not think it is fair to say that no progress has been made in the more than 10 years of this war. you can argue on the merits
everything that the caller just said, including the fact that the soviet union was there and bought and suffered an -- fought and suffered an ignominious defeat at the hands of the mujahideen. the idea that no progress has been made is just not accurate. some progress has been made. is it sustainable? i do not know. will everything fall apart when the u.s. eventually leaves? i do not know. are these wars worth it? that is really for the callers and the viewers to decide. there are a lot of brave troops sitting over there -- serving over there who would disagree with the idea that they have not made a difference. host: what about military spending? guest: they are aware of
everything. even at the small outpost -- these are not luxurious places. you sleep on a cost. some of them do not have showers. many of them do not have indoor plumbing. but they often have internet. they are aware of what is going on in the world. they were aware of the debt- ceiling debate, because they were worried they would not be getting paid. they are aware of what is going on in politics. one soldier, an officer, expressed concern -- while i was there is when kim kardashian's divorce was announced. that got a lot of media attention. he expressed disappointment that it got as much attention as it was getting, when they often feel their efforts are ignored and forgotten, but they are paying attention. they are paying attention to the political debate.
they really wanted to know what i thought about president obama 's chances for reelection and who i thought was going to be the republican nominee. they have very informed opinions of the republican candidates. they are aware of it all. host: stony is watching us in hanover, new hampshire. guest: i know stony. what's going on? caller: i am interested in how this change your perspective. -- changed your perspective. . did your research go in line with the progress that you saw? host: how do you know each other? caller: i'm a former commander from afghanistan. guest: he is in my book.
he is at dartmouth, which is where i went to college. he is a great american. he was the last commander of the outpost that i wrote about, but was not there that last day. he is related to charles portis, who wrote "true grit." he is a perfect example of true grit. he is from texas. he went to west point. he is one of the most impressive dies -- guys i have met. you could have emailed me the question. you cannot understand how incredibly difficult the terrain
is unless you see it for yourself. the idea it -- these valleys are so narrow. the mountains are so steep. the logistical challenge of doing anything in those areas is so immense. these are -- people live in these valleys. these are the values that we were setting up comfort -- setting up -- these are the valleys where we were setting up outposts. one of the things i learned on my trip to could our programs -- kunar province, the terrain is as deadly, in some cases, as the taliban. some of the first people who went into that area with the 371
cavalry died because of the terrain, not because of the enemy. the other thing that was really impressive was just how hard these people work, the troops, at these relationships with afghans. the other point i would make is -- mortality, in general, is so random. in a war zone, all the moer so -- more so. you lived there. i was there for one week. when four afghans have died there from incoming rockets and mortars and the rifle, probably the same one that was fired on you guys, coming to terms with
mortality there is such a different experience. it reminded me of the scene in "band of brothers." he said, "what you do not understand is that you are already dead. in order to become an effective soldier, you have to understand that. i'm going to call you after this. host: thank you. if you're interested in more details, tomorrow night, a thanksgiving, on abc's "nightline." to our viewers, hope you have a great -- a great holiday. we will be here tomorrow from 7:00 to 10:00, as usual. we hope to see you then. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]