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tv   Geraldo at Large  FOX News  December 18, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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best and bravest of your generation. yours is a war story that deserved to be told. i am oliver north, good night. >> this is a fox news alert. i am geraldo rivera. we are live and at large. they are playing revelly in this camp near dkuwait near the iraq border where yesterday the long and bloody conflict ended. they have the massive machines they used to fight that war and some of the men who tlauted they are among the last troops out of that country. here is how my colleagues gregg palkot and i reported the end of the war in iraq. >> my very good friend and colleague geraldo rivera. he managed to snag a seat as
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always. give us a feel. what was it like? tell us about it? >> it was a thrill. after all of these long years in the desert it has been such a pleasure and honor. i rode with the unit of the third brigade of the third calvary. that's the military unit that has the honor the designation of being the last troops in this country. >> how do we do it? >> we are out of iraq. we are in kuwait. we made it. they made it. all right.
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>> you met with general austin earlier today. what did he tell you about the operation in iraq? >> he was really -- first of all he was concerned the operation really come off smoothly, which it did. he wanted to leave this place with honor with dignity and his troops pulled that off. >> it is a feeling of relief, a feeling of victory. >> right now geraldo as you might image i am poke cufocused operation, making sure that we continue to do the right things to ensure that every one of our service members is returned to safety. it has been done supersuperbly. what i feel right now is an enormous sense of pride. we will get an opportunity to reflect on this in the days ahead. >> do you ever think, general, was this worth it? >> well, as i have told other
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people if you are a loved one of someone that was killed in action or seriously wounded in action, there are no words that can make you ever believe that this was worth it. however, if you really think about what's happened here, we removed a brutal dictator that killed hundreds of thousands of people over time. so if you consider the fact that we have a young democracy in a very critical region, a region critical to the united states of america, yes, it's worth it. >> here they come. that is the last truck, the last troops. the last vehicle. the war is over especially for the united states in iraq. there they are. >> there they are. iraq at their back these final
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pushes of men and their vehicles heading down toward kuwait toward their camps in virginia. there you see an air pace will take off from to head back home. >> it gives you a great feeling of nostalgia. a great feeling of emotion. our young men and women going home. >> i am here with gregg palkot live. veteran correspondence, wasn't that a thrill? >> i have covered this war for the nearly nine years the involvement here. somehow when i saw those trucks rolling by with the troops inside giving the fist up in the air the cheering, the singing, you name it, it all came close, all came close to my heart. you talked to a person afterwards who said you know do i think it's historic? no. now it is beginning to sink in.
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what sank in is all of the differences about the war you and i have seen the men and women doing the job over the past nine years whether it is in the swamps or fallujah battlefield or no se mosul they been doing effectively their job. >> my co host for the hour major general jefferies has been a spokesman for all of the forces in iraq. we will ask him if he is unemployed or not. the commander officer of the third brigade of the first calvary. the ranking man is command sergeant major kelly. i am going to start here and
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work our way to the general command sergeant major how did you keep your troops concentrated with the finish line so close? >> we have a motto discipline vigilant professional. the soldiers knew it wasn't over until we crossed the border. they were disciplined and they maintained that until we crossed the border. >> they looked sharp. they really did. >> colonel what did you think about the designation the honor and responsibility of being the last unit out? why the third brigade? >> it came to us because we were the brigade position in the southern providences of iraq. it came to us based on geography. we knew the mission would follow us even when we came to iraq. we were proud to represent the rest of our army peers and army team and be the ones to secure not just our area but the portion of iraq the rest of the
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country withdrew through. >> you did a hell of a job. general, did we win? >> we accomplished our objectives early on. i think the iraqi people have a long way to go. i think our president said it best when he said the country deserves a state where it is stable and self reliant. we have been working toward each of the objectives that made tremendous progress but they are not there yet. they are going to have to keep working at it in order to achieve all of the objectives. >> i don't know how you felt but the fact that you cased the colors in baghdad the prime minister of iraq mr. mal key who has the job who is back from exile because of the united states and sacrifices choose to snub the closing ceremony in baghdad does that bother you? it bothers me. >> i wouldn't use that word. i don't think he snubbed anybody. the ceremony iraqis had on the
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first of december where vice president biden participated and included prime minister malki that was the recognition of all of the contributions of the troops over the years. >> you weren't bothered by it? >> what we did was a ceremony recognizing the completion of our command. >> that sounds a little diplomatic for a warrior like you but i have a lot more questions for you as this program progresses. we will tell you about how the first battle where baghdad began and how we all experienced it. [ male announcer ] the inspiring story
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>> i want to bring you the news breaking out of korea. north korean television
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reporting their leader kim jong-il has died. we don't have a lot of detail about cause of death. what we are finding out is on north korean television nonstop they are talking about the death of kim jong-il 69 years old. to talk to me more about this because geraldo is in kuwait right now. we had guests planned to talk about the situation of our troops in iraq. kt mcfarland kind of a national correspondent. she is a fox news contributor. this news breaking moments ago you and i talked about the air apparent. 20 something-year-old kim jong who could be moving in place now. not a whole lot of detail coming out. you are not surprised we would find out about this late in the night like this. >> the 27-year-old son has been the heir apparent. he doesn't have military experience or political
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experience. they will look to him there may be a potential power struggle with him. the young man the new leader will have to show his chops. he may feel he has to do something militant. this is the beginning of a succession issue that may go on the struggle may go on for a couple of months and may have international complications. >> the enigmatic leader kim jong-il. he has been ill. he has had a stroke. pictures of him look terrible for the last year. >> we will bring you details on this kim jong-il's north korean leader 69 years old as we learn more information tonight. i want to get back to geraldo at large he has been in kuwait as the last of the troops come home. he was with him last night in iraq.
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a wrap with craig. >> at the peak we had 170,000 troops in iraq. they reduced that down to just 480 on saturday night. having provided security, food and fuel from their comrades coming down from the north they were our last unit in the war that in total saw 1 million americans tasked through this war torn country. >> you have a special meeting for this unit? >> third brigade mighty fort hood texas. this is the first platoon that crosses the border securing a route for everybody else that is remaining in iraq. >> been good. enjoyed working with our iraqi counterparts and strengthening national security. excited to be back home and be with your families. >> it lasted so long 8 years and
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nine months many soldiers were in grade school when it started. >> the u.s. army making sure iraqi people know we are here for them. >> they were in iraq to help build a democracy. no easy feat in a region known for religious center lines and terrorism. >> you guys will be rolling out the time. >> are you excited to be home at christmas? >> family. family. >> how excited are you? >> ghost rider on 3, 1, 2, 3. ghost rider. >> covering the first afghanistan conflict and the war in iraq we have bonded with many of these gi's. they got the honor of riding out of iraq with the last convoy
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sergeant manneder rodolfo. >> what do you want the folks back home to know about the soldiers? how were you treated? >> with respect and honor. >> what do you feel like? >> i feel everyone -- (inaudible). >> the threat of deadly ied attacks and counter strikes very real in the country commanders left camp and vehicles equipped with the latest bomb detection technology developed in the conflict. they closed the air bass and the convoy set off for the hour journey one last time. (horn honking) >> i remember passing this border in 2003, how we went into the country with such fear and anticipation and going and
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spending time with the troops there with different experiences. we nearly lost our lives ourselves. what was it like driving back with the troops came back in this direction the last troops out of iraq? >> it was a tremendous honor to be with them, craig. the feeling i had was we survived it. just me and you. there were times we didn't think we would. >> never thought of the age of these young men until you mentioned it. we were at war for ten years. most of these guys were teenagers, some of them you are 19 years old you were 9 years old when these wars started. >> i was. i was in the 4th grade. >> long war. these guys have grown-up with it, now they are fighting in it. >> when did you think you wanted to be in the army? >> when i was 17 wanted to join and come over here and do my
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this is a fox news alert. kim jong-il the north korean dictator as you have been hearing on fox news is dead. what that says about north korea where it goes the succession and all of the rest of it really problematic north korea. as you know a nuclear armed country. we are fortunate my colleague gregg palkot was in north korea and was how far away from the dictator? >> i would say about 50 yards last year. kim jong-il has been running
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that country we know with an iron fist. the people are starving. the country is dying all at the same time they are developing nuclear programs nuclear missile programs what have you. it's a pore rye awe nation and the people are struggling. we were there we were a rare western media at the brave ground seeing up close kim jong-il and his son the heir apparent. up there on the reviewing stand and it was clear because of the illnesses because of the real problems that kim jong-il has with his health he was getting his son ready step by step he was moving up. but his son and young. it is not just a son. it is everybody that is around him is very important. we thought it was going to be years in the grooming process for his son. it could still be. he could still be supported by the bureau there. but it is a significant move. they have to see it as a possibility either for more problems more chaos more pulling
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back by the military that pulls all of the leaves there or perhaps some kind of opportunity for a new start with north korea which the obama administration has been struggling with right now. >> it's a country had a has been has been extremely difficult. >> this is a piece of cake compared to north korea. kt mcfarland our wonderful security analyst is with harris falkner in new york. do you think it is possible that the son to prove he is macho to prove he is up to the task of taking over that dictatorship will do something like shell the north korean islands that he has been doing trying to capture more of the capture some of the south korean vessels? >> he has done that already a year ago when he was named the heir apparent and showing his
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macho. he went along with what he wanted to do. they shelled an island. they have to do so politically. they had the criticism in south korea. this young man is inexperienced he didn't have years to be groomed for the job. he did have a military background. the north korean military ran the place for generations. they have to do something to show he's up for the job. my guess is he might precipitate a crisis. >> along those lines geraldo this is just crossing now the associated press wires. the south korean military is declaring an emergency alert following the death of kim jong-il. this is right along the lines of what you and casey are talking about a reaction in south korea. >> i think it is likely as tensions will escalate
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particularly as the heir apparent tries to solidify his position with the military or some of the people in the military the general decides they don't need this young man to run things. general buchanan hz exercises with the south korean. how problematic is the death of this dictator general do you believe? >> certainly as greg mentioned a couple minutes ago, it's a series of opportunities that can go one way or the other. but lots of concern and understand why everybody is concerned about what might happen good or bad right now. >> we fought a bloody inconclusive conflict there. wouldn't it be irony if we had to move the gear into the
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pacific. >> we serve our country. >> we take solace in that. because it is a nuclear armed country we cannot under state the significance of that unstable north korea. we know they are starving. we know the chaos of the people of north korea. but the fact that you have a young energetic leader is something that we worry he jumps the wrong way rather than to prudence is something that is provocative. we will continue our special report from kuwait after these short messages. that stay tuned. ube videos of your baby acting adorable. baby. on it. matt, ignore me and keep updating your fantasy team. huh? jeff, play a game. turbo-boosting now, sir. dennis, check in everywhere you go on foursquare. that's mayor dennis... of the water cooler. you're the best. liz, rock out to pandora. oh, no i'm an only child. and nick, you shouldn't even be here,
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>> live from america's news headquarters i am harris falkner. we are watching a fast moving storm packing blizzard conditions. now we are being told it is important for people to pay attention to the weather in our areas. people may be lull nude a false sense of safety because the weather is mild. 18 inches of snow expected in new mexico, oklahoma, kansas and colorado. dangerous storms packing high winds and frigid temperatures. the house set to vote on a senate bill to cut the tax cut and jobless bill for more two months. house republican leaders don't like the measure. they want a deal extended with
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the tax cuts for another year. john boehner and the house says it amounts to kicking a can down the road. let's get you back to geraldo at large live in kau ksh -- kuwait. >> today's historic election was a milestone. after decades of repression and dictatorship under saadah hi hussein years of violence has evolved to a democracy is something that words cannot fully express. it is like philadelphia in 76 like the berlin wall falling in 1989679 it was an amazing day. each of you should have been there to see it. it was a day that would make you proud to be an american. what i would like you to do is see some of the sights and sounds that so touched us that
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so inspire us. watch the people of iraq exercising the new found right to democracy. the headline here an amazing turnout. a wonderful turnout. an inspiring turnout. you folks who live in the united states who are watching this just be proud of this. this is amazing. this was inconceivable during the days of sadam hussein. >> do you feel good today? >> (speaking foreign language) >> look. look. he voted. he voted. the sign of democracy. iraq, all right. >> it's really happening. i can't describe the feeling. quite thrilling. >> fearing suicide bombers they are conducting a thorough search
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as the voters come in. but the process is really going on. men and women coming in to vote. they mark their fingers with that indelible ink so they can only vote one time. >> nice to see you. good morning. >> how does it feel? (speaking foreign language) >> he said we are all happy. we never feel it before. >> explaining how the process works, how the ballot works. >> you would have to be a true sin i cann-- sinnic not to appr the sincerity of this moment.
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>> i remember him feeling so emotional when we would help bring democracy to iraq. it seems so fragile now with the sectarian tension still building. should we be hopeful that democracy would stick or is this going to be one of these ill luis ry things when democracy equals anarchy? >> i am hopeful. i think democracy is more than just having elections. we helped to build a democracy where values required to build a democracy did not exist. the idea that the people are responsible for the government. the government has tock accountab -- to be accountable the government. we have given them opportunities they didn't have. i think that they are growing, they are evolving, and they will
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continue to develop. it is going to continue to strike them. >> they haven't seen a bit of democracy in many, many generations let me ask in a more broad sense what you think the future holds? will iran be the ben folk toefb. have we turned iraq over to iran? >> we have turned iraq over to the iraqis. the iranians have been trying to dominate iraqis ever since 2003. they haven't been successful. they are not about to be dominated by anybody. we have helped give them the opportunity to rejoin this region as a viable member and as an opportunity to give others an
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example to follow especially with the new democracy. >> i hope it comes out the right way. let's go right now to those on the other side of the world where the circumstances are more urgent mora than it is now. greta van susteren joins us on the telephone. greta, thanks so much for coming on board. now your reflectses? i know you were just in north korea on the passing of kim jong-il. >> this is going to shake this country like it has never been shaken before. the people in that country is a living in paradise and kim jong-il is the person taking care of them. tonight he is dead and it is going to shake them like it has never been shaken before.
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you see outside influence from china so they know a little more that's going on from the outside world not a whole lot. the big question is kim jong-il's son rumored to be taking over what's he going to be like? he may have been educated from the west. he may have a sense to go on from the west. nobody knows for sure. this is the most unusual country in the whole world because it is separate from every single country. i can tell you people walk around with pins on their law pells it is mandatory with pictures of kim jong-il to celebrate the leaders there. they idolize their leaders. this is a big year for this country. it is 100 year anniversary of kim jong-il's father. it is a huge celebration they are planning for april 15th. in the midst of all of this the country is in a famine that's why we were there last may to
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broadcast about the famine they have had terrible winters harsh winters. the people are starving and now this. i can only tell you this is going to totally rattle and change it. i don't know whether it will be for the good or the bad but i am going to tell you this is disruptive to a country that is dependent on one man kim jong-il they see him as a person who is their savior. this is going to be an extraordinary next couple weeks and months. >> greta, thanks very much for coming on board. appreciate it. kt mcfarland is this like many like qaddafi's son was he educated in the west? >> has he maybe done some education in the west, yeah, but he is north korean. he has three sons. this is the middle son. there is a third son who i heard is living in china last heard. china shares a border. china's biggest worry is north
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korea implodes or explodes or collapses or goes into chaos and sends thousands and thousands of refugees into china. he is stabilizing the situation there. it is important to remember the united states is a treaty partner with south korea. we have troops in south korea right now right at the border. it is a trip wire so any escalation of a crisis in north korea not only effects south korea but immediately effects the united states. it is a situation it's not just happening somewhere at the end of the world it is something that effects us greatly within a short period of time. >> harris tell us more about kim jong-il. >> they announced a special broadcast as they are telling the nation that kim jong-il has passed away. second generation north korean dictator who we know defied the world in building nuclear weapons.
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kt and i were just discussing she was saying there will be mass confusion among the people of north korea as they look to see what will happen next door them. we are going to take a look back at the life of kim jong-il and what we know about him. >> this is how they will remember kim jong-il. the leaders line like the country he ruled with an iron grip for some 30 years was for the most part off the limits of the outside world including his birth. he was born in eastern russia february 15th while his father was stationed there with the red army. north korean law insists he was born at the base of an important peak a mountain which was japanese occupied korea. kim's father would become a
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national hero leading anti japanese grill law forces and founding the democratic people's republic of korea or north korea. after serving as political apprenticeship kim jong-il was named successor to his father in 1980. the first ever communist leader to inherit power. he was given the dear leader and at age 50 was appointed head of the massive armed forces. kim jong-il assumed overall power 3 years later in 84 when his father died. he was not called president the great leader took that title to his grave. north korean supreme leader kim jong-il followed his dem str-- democratic style. he vigorously pursued a nuclear weapons program and was vilified for high spec missile components to state sponsors of terrorism. he reveld in diplomatic effort
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to curve his regime's drive to obtain weapons of mass destruction prompting former u.s. president george bush to group it with iraq and iraq as the world's greatest threats to peace. >> states like these and terrorist allies constitute an acce axis of evil arming to threaten the peace of the world. >> it is widely believed north korea manufactured a dozen nuclear bombs under kim's tenure. they spent much of the country on defense making the army the 4th largest in the world. the forces faced off against the smaller south korean military and nearly 30,000 u.s. troops along the demilitarize zone. he was starving the people while importing luxury items to the political and security elite. persistent rumors about his bizarre behavior had a love of cognac and deep seeded fear of
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flying. he was in a 7 story pleasure palace and had a collection of 20,000 movies. hollywood found him too intrigue to go ignore and he stard in a puppet spoof wearing 4 inch platform shoes. >> kim'ser radek behavior was no laughing matter for his foes after agree to go dismantle his nuclear facilities he ordered a launches of missiles in 2009 dealed to south korea. it was complicated widespread rumors about his declining health. word was he suffered a stroke. when he was seen again the rumors piered to be true. his mobility suffered.
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reports coming out of north korea also suggested kim named a successor the youngest of three sons kim jong um. he was thought to be from the same cloth which means it will be one of the world's last communist dictatorships for some time to come. >> just to show you how isolated a nation this is, covering breaking news for decades now and looking at this normally there would be some information-coming out of the country. the information is triblging very slowly but the news agency in north korean television now reporting that kim jong-il died of fatigue on a train run in a south korean wire service also saying they can confirm that somehow that kim jong-il died of fatigue on a train ride 69 years old saturday at 8:30 a.m. local time. it is already monday there.
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he has been deceased for over a day obviously. the information slow to come out of that country. he was reclusive as it was as a leader. casey and i were talking about the fact that they don't get internet there. they don't have access to a lot of information. we don't have access trying to get it out of that country. go back to geraldo rivera. you are with grig palkot who gave us all of the information about kim jong-il. >> i am, harris. the sun is rising in kuwait and in iraq. i wonder if it will be fitting in north korea, not that it ever shown very brightly. i am with gregg palkot and general jeffery buchanan. we have enough information we can surprise in an educated way
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what is happening in north korea. but if we went into iraq to find weapons of mass destruction on evidence many consider flimsy, iran has much more evolved technology in terms of nuclear weaponry whether or not they got a start from north korea we don't know. isn't that worrisome to you? >> we have all worried about iran's intentions and their capabilities and what they might be working towards and developing nuclear waep upons. >> isn't that our biggest strategic fear visa sri the neighbor 100 miles from here? >> i think there's a lot of strategic concerns through out the region. the region is very, very important to the united states. it is important to the rest of the world. oo oo we are jumping around
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because of these moment to us events. going back to north korea i remember going on maneuvers with the south koreans and touring the dmz and all of the rist of it. i thought at that time because the two koreas were allowing families to speak to each other via satellite television that there was some tack of reck -- talk of reconciliation as the sun prizes here -- sunrises her kuwait. there was talk there might be a mending of what had been the awful skichl that led to the war from 1950 to 1953 but it doesn't seem to have really happened. >> i think unpredictability is the key word. a year ago i was on the south korean island that was hit by the rockets in south korea. >> come around here and get the sun. >> we thought some of the aggressive activity could have been atrib dtribute to do the s
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trying to flex his muscles in an ancillary way but to show that he is also a strong man. we have seen the nuclear bomb test. we have seen the rocket test. this is the aggressive behavior of the father some of the aggressive behavior we have seen in the past year to some degree attributes to the son trying to get his own combat legs on more or less. that is what most will be concerned about right now. >> do we have ambassador? we have david hunt. kourm david hunt served in south korea one of our finest military analysts. counsel hunt welcome aboard. what say you about these events? >> this is the problem we have with north korea. it is blocked off to us. we don't have very good
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intelligence even from the south koreans. the country is extremely unstable. now we have to turn a lot of efforts to find out what exactly is going on what will happen after this event. we are very blind when it comes to north korea. largest artillery force in the world. it is a huge concern and the instability with a change like this is something we have to pay attention to. >> we used artillery to hit the north korean island knowing there was going to be the flow of international aide into the starving country. why did they do things like that and also putting aside the
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trading openly with their nuclear inventory. why the provocation that will bring hell on to their own people. >> what little they know they truly believe it's for attention 9 the leadership wants to get away with this over the last six years. it has been. the militant we have are willing to do this kind of provocation. the south koreans will do much of anything about this.
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>> do they have one or two of these devices as soon as they make them up to shock the world and scare people. >> they have an arsenal. the world doesn't want anything it makes except the nuclear related material. nuclear enrichment, nuclear capable missile. they sold them to the iranians. we know there has been pakistan north korean occupation. what do they do going forward. it is about to go winter. there's no food or fuel. subsidized in the tune of 70, 80 percent of the food and fuel oil. what does north korea do if they want to keep the population happy? it will need money. how is it going to get the money sell the weapons to iran it will
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sell them or cooperate with the pakistanis. they have nuclear weapons. that's the one thing they have been able to do. >> harris do you have some updates coming in trickling in out of that very closed repressive society? >> absolutely. north korean central news agency reporting along with the french press cause of death. again we will work to firm this up. these are the initial reports that are finally coming out about kim jong-il and the way he died. the cause of death they are saying was a heart attack severe myocardial infarction along with a heart attack. the reports coming out of the north korean central news agency is anna cop see has already been performed quite quickly after his death on saturday. they have a date set for september 28th for the leaders funeral they have appointed what is called a funeral conductor.
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this is according to the french press and north korean central news agency. details coming out. kim jong-il we have been talking about what this would have been. it is high intensity field operation that 24er on. you seem i think that's military. >> it is governed by a group generaled by the country for decades. anything to do with his death whatever happens next. i think the interesting thing, though, is what is south korea's response? they have gone on some kind of alert temporary alert i am not sure what.
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>> south korean military has military alert that crossed 30 minutes ago. geraldo? >> harris, that is scary stuff. please by all means interrupt me if you get further substantial information. by christmas approaching and hanukkah these people worked long and hard heading home the coverage of the momentous event bringing you back to the human story. i want to go back to command sergeant major kelly. you got your men and women going home. do you worrisome of them will be at some point leaving the service as they won't have a job that with the economic situation so tough back in the states they are going to be stuck the heros fought the war for us. >> of course that's a concern soldiers wouldn't have a job.
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we offer every one of them a job here. most of these soldiers as long as they meet the military standards they stay with us. which one of you guys had a baby? >> what's your plan? >> i have six months to command in brigade. >> you guys going back to minnesota? >> you are at fort hood. >> that's right. >> you are going home sense of mission accomplished? >> absolutely. reality set in. it was an exciting year. i proud of the contribution they have made for the last nine
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years. >> i want to see the metal and armored protection that saved so many lives. 2 million bucks a piece. how many of these vehicles do we have now? we have spent a fortune a trillion dollars on these. there's a million. you built a lot of roads. >> the war in iraq. >> i certainly think that we have given the iraqi people tremendous opportunities they have never had before. it has been the result of a lot of sacrifices on behalf of the american people on behalf of the iraqi people. i don't think any of those people should forget these sacrifices.
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>> i think the opportunities, i personally think it would be worth it. also think we have to look back at this from the point of the future and see what decisions they make. and what choices they take. >> you have to figure in the fresherer along wi -- treasurer with the blood. i want to wish you all a very merry christmas whatever throats your boat. the war is over. god bless. good night. there he is, poised to discover plum amazins,
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