tv PBS News Hour PBS June 26, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: a tropical storm pounds the southeastern united states while wildfires continue to rage in the west. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. on the newshour tonight, kwame holman has the latest as tropical storm debby douses the florida panhandle, and extreme heat feeds the wildfires in colorado. >> woodruff: then we turn to the presidential campaign as the candidates and their outside supporters are raising and spending more money than ever this election cycle. >> ifill: in the latest installment of our "american graduate" series, tom bearden reports on texas students treated as criminals, even for missing school. >> if a student tells a teacher to, you know, go f themselves,
called them a b or throws chairs or fights in the classroom, those are all offenses. we have to have order in the classroom. >> woodruff: we hear from anne- marie slaughter and get two reactions to her recent article in the "atlantic" magazine which has sparked a lot of buzz about women balancing work and family. >> ifill: ray suarez talks with author rajiv chandrasekaran about the u.s. role in afghanistan, and his new book, "little america." >> it's the version of a sugar high. we pumped them up with lots of goodies only to then see it crash later as budgets would inevitably have to be cut. ♪ we all fall down >> woodruff: plus jeffrey brown sits down with singer-songwriter shawn colvin, who has written her memoir and released her first cd in six years. that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs
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and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: natural disasters dominated this day for many americans, from flooding in florida to wildfires in the west. newshour correspondent kwame holman has our report. >> reporter: the rain in florida just keeps falling. and falling. and falling. for three days tropical storm debby has been unrelenting in soaking the state, flooding entire thoroughfares and neighborhoods. >> i never thought the same road i'd drive on every day, we'd be paddling up and down it. >> reporter: after forming in the gulf the storm stalled barely inching northeast. land fall finally came late this afternoon but the rain will not stop any time soon. already the worst-hit areas have gotten 26 inches. and the slow, steady drenching has saturated ground up and down florida opening massive sink
holes and felling trees. >> saturation of a lot of water. it's going to impact trees so we're trying to make sure the drainage ditches are cleared out and the water goes where it needs to be. >> reporter: any number of towns and cities face the same problems, as this nasa image shows the entire state is under debby's rain band. beyond the rain, the storm has spawned tornadoes. in this subdivision outside winter haven florida neighbors checked in on each other. >> hi. i'm alive. >> are you okay? yeah, i'm fine, thank you. it was a straight line. literally that fast. it was over in like ten seconds. >> reporter: yesterday the florida governor proclaimed an emergency for the entire state. >> we declared a state of emergency so we can coordinate the use of all state resources to make sure that we can respond promptly if anything happens. >> reporter: out west, the trouble is not even rain. large wild fires are burning in more than 25 locations. seven of those are in colorado.
currently in the grip of a record drought. making the fight even tougher, extreme temperatures. in denver it's gone over 100 degrees every day the past week. the incident commander at the high park fire near fort collins said the record heat is just one more challenge. >> it's difficult for the firefighters to work in. they've got to stay hydrated. it hasn't been a huge increase but we've had a little tiny increase in humidity. kind of having... coming out of those single digits a little bit and a little bit better humidity recovery at night. >> reporter: many of the fires were sparked by lightning strikes but the colonel governor had this warning for arsonists today. >> if there is some fool out there that's so absurd, such a lunatic to be starting fires in this kind of a drought, they can be guaranteed we will throw everything, everything but the kitchen sink at them in court. >> reporter: the fires have
forced large-scale evacuations including thousands who fled the waldo canyon blaze near pike's peak. >> we've been waiting to hear if our house is gone. it's difficult. >> reporter: so far 257 homes have been destroyed in the colorado fires alone. >> ifill: still to come on the newshour, a presidential campaign awash in money; penalizing student misbehavior in texas; women balancing jobs and family; america's troubled war in afghanistan; and singer- songwriter shawn colvin. but first, with the other news of the day, here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: americans are still anxious about the nation's economic recovery. the conference board reported today that consumer confidence was down for the fourth month in a row. the business group said worries about jobs and income were the main factors. but wall street managed small gains today. the dow jones industrial average added 32 points to close at 12,534. the nasdaq rose nearly 18 points to close at 2854. turkey warned syria today against any violations of their
mutual border. that's after the syrians shot down a turkish plane last friday. turkish prime minister recep tayyip erdogan told parliament that from now on, any syrian forces near the border will be treated as a target. meanwhile, in brussels, turkey's nato allies stopped short of calling for military action against syria. but they rejected the downing of the turkish plane. >> we consider this act to be unacceptable and condemn it in the strongest terms. let me make this clear. the security of the alliance is indivisible. we stand together with turkey in the spirit of strong solidarity. >> sreenivasan: in syria, heavy fighting raged in the suburbs of damascus, as rebel forces clashed with elite troops. smoke could be seen billowing out of an area near republican guard housing compounds and bases. activists reported at least six
people were killed. an egyptian court dealt the country's military a blow today, barring it from arresting civilians. the government had granted that power to military police and intelligence agents for even minor offenses. also today, the loser of the presidential election, ahmed shafik, left egypt with most of his family for abu dhabi. he's now a target in a corruption probe. the drama over the president of the university of virginia came to an end today. the school's governing board unanimously reinstated teresa sullivan, who became the school's first female president in 2010. sullivan was ousted earlier this month over claims she was too slow to adjust to funding cuts and other challenges. the move sparked an outcry from faculty, students, and others. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to gwen. >> ifill: when it's all said and done, more than a billion dollars will be spent on this year's presidential contest, and not all of that will come from the candidates themselves. but even with the influx of outside money, the fundraising arms of both campaigns have kicked into full gear.
another day, another series of money-raising campaign events for the two men running for president. with republican mitt romney on the stump in virginia. >> with your help, we're going to win in virginia. we're going to win in november. thank you for your help. >> ifill: and president obama on the road in the south. >> hello. ifill: but these elaborate campaign events don't come cheap. the president appeared at his 100th fund-raiser of the calendar year last night in boston. today in atlanta and miami, where he attended three more, he suggested he is just trying to keep up. >> no matter how much money is spent on the other side, when people are engaged and involved and they understand that our core values and who we are and what we're giving to the next generation is at stake, the american people fight for what's right. >> ifill: as the next campaign reporting deadline approached the obama campaign followed up with a blunt email appeal today. i will be the first president in
modern history to be outspent in his re-election campaign, the email read. if things continue as they have so far, we can be outspent and still win but we can't be outspent 10-to-1 and still win. romney has been on the money trail as well. he spent his weekend at a fund raising retreat for deep-pocketed donors in park city, utah. the minimum cost of admission: $50,000 a head. >> i'm going to do everything i can do. i'm going to bundle every penny. >> ifill: 700 donors made the utah trip to support romney who said he will be the one outspent. >> we built the kind of organization you have to have to go up against president obama. >> ifill: that's just what the candidates themselves are doing. romney's campaign and the republican national committee raised a combined $76.8 million in may while the obama campaign and the democratic national
committee raised $60 million. but fund-raising reports out last week showed that outside groups, the so-called super pacs, are hard at work. restore our future, the pro romney group, has raised nearly $62 million, far outpacing priorities usa which has raised less than $15 million for the president. and what the supreme court yesterday reaffirming its citizens united decision which spurred the rise of the super pacs, there is no end in sight. joining us now to discuss how presidential campaigns have evolved in the post citizens united era are a democratic strategist and advisor to al gore and john kerry's president campaigns and rick tyler, former senior advisor to the winning our future super pac that backs newt gingrich's 2012 presidential bid. gentlemen, welcome to you both. tad devine, lots of money is being raised and spent. how much of this has to do really with citizens united. >> a lot has to do with it. the supreme court has openedded
the flood gates of money in american politics. i think these super pacs are on their way to becoming the dominant force in terms of communication. without the citizens united ruling, i don't think this would have happened. we're likely to see them play an even bigger role in the general election than they played in the nominating process. it's arguable that we were the decisive factor in the nominating process on behalf of governor romney. >> ifill: do you think that the flood gates were opened because of the supreme court ruling or had it started earlier? >> it's hard to disagree with the way tad has framed it. i don't disagree. the flood gates have been opened in the sense we haven't seen this type of money being spent in the political world before. however, look, we always have to balance the states' limits on political speech with, you know, impending threats of oligarachy. i think in the end citizens can decide what is political speech, what is bias speech. what's a one sided story. what is not. while i think the court in its
5-4 decision ruled correctly in the montana case and the citizens case i think they ruled too narrowly. we need to return the freedom back to the candidates. they have their name, fortune and sacred honor on the ballot. allow them to raise the money so that they can control their own message so the super pacs are not the dominant force. >> ifill: but sheldon addal son could have done that without citizens united as avid. >> we've had independent expenditure in the past. i don't think we've seen anything of the magnitude we're seeing today. the truth is that these interests, whether it's interests like corporations which can now after citizens united contribute directly from the corporate treasuries or individuals who can contribute to super pacs and be disclosed or discreetly through other entities and have their money have a huge influence. i don't think we've seen anything like this before because now they understand that these committees, the super pacs, are the committees that
will dominate the election campaign. yes, they could have done it in the past but what we're seeing right now and we will likely see in the months ahead i think is unprecedented in terms of its scope and impact. >> ifill: we're raising these hundreds of millions of dollars for both campaigns. each says the other guy is going to outspend him. what's it all being spent on? >> well, it's going to be spent on advertising. i mean that is the most expensive purchase in political campaigns. it's the thing that has historically shaped the message. i don't think that's changed yet. it is changing a little bit because people are getting their information, as you know, in all different types of ways. but the political pacs can go that way. they're becoming more like parallel campaigns rather than supplemental campaigns. they could raise so much money they could dominate the message of the campaign. that part does concern me. that's the part i would like to see the money go directly back to the candidates and have to take responsibility for their own message. but i do think we have to be very leary -- i hear a lot of
speech today about corruption and the special influence -- i don't know anything that is more corrupting than allowing the state to lit political speech. we need to balance that out. i think the court did that today. >> ifill: the court doesn't want the state to limit political speech. i'm curious about the speech we see coming out of this big spending is overwhelming negative. >> it is. and the tracking of it is demonstrating that. i mean, for example, americans cross roads which is the biggest republican super pac spender thus far has had 100% of its advertising negative. i think that's what you're going to see because frankly there's not a lot of incentive for campaigns, independent expenditure campaigns to do anything other than attack the opponent. we're going to see, i think, a magnitude of attacks unlike anything we've ever seen in american politics. it will be continuous. it's going to be pervasive. it's going to expand to all the battle ground states and perhaps even beyond. >> ifill: this was also to be post watergate era by public
financing. remember that? >> i do. fill: four years ago president obama became the first presidential candidate to reject public financing. is that system now dead? >> i think it probably is dead. i'm against public financing. i think we have to work through this process. you know, look, and i agree with tad. i think this cycle is as negative as ever. but i do think that voters can tire of the negative ads. susan collins campaign, part of the reason she got the nomination was because the divisiveness between the other two republican nominees was so divisive that the voters chose susan collins who decided to stay positive. there is opportunities for candidates to stay positive, have solutions, talk about a message, have a vision that is so overwhelming that it just drowns out the negative advertising. i have not seen that in this campaign cycle. >> ifill: does all this money, does the fact of the money change people's minds? are people turned off by the volume of the money and just the
message that the money buys? >> i don't think... fill: or neither? don't think people necessarily get turned off. even if there's a big negative campaign. i mean we see negative campaigns before in many places in this country. you know, people are going to vote if their interests are at stake. right now with the economic situation in the country, with everything that the country has been through not just since the last election but i would argue since september 11, 2001. we've gone through a decade in this country where there's been a dark cloud hanging over the head of people. they desperately wanted a new direction. they're looking for someone to provide it. even if there's a ka could have knee of neg i have a ads in state people are interested. >> ifill: with the caps off the limits and assuming the last time john mccain did take public money he was limited. barack obama raised $745 million in 2008. rick tyler, how much more money do you think is needed to president the presidency this time with both campaigns basically firing on our guns?
>> he could easily see upward of all the spending amounting somewhere close to a billion dollars. i would go back to -- a vision will trump the money. i think tad framed it exactly right. if you have a candidate who can actually say, "i have a vision to get us out of this mess. how can we move forward and create jobs? what is our vision for the future?" people will sign on to that. money will come secondary. absent a void, money will be the deciding factor. that would be unfortunate. >> ifill: it's fair to say post convention when everybody starts from zero again, the flood gates open again. rick? >> absolutely. i don't see a change in course of direction at this point. >> ifill: tad? think what we're going to see is massive spending. any money left over from the primary because nobody has accepted public funding can be rolled over into a general election campaign. i think we'll see very loud campaigns on both sides. the big difference i think this time is that president obama had a huge advantage in 2008.
he could outspend john mckainl. he could go into states like north carolina, virginia, states democrats hadn't won in a generation outspend them and ultimately win them. that won't happen this time. the republicans really do have an advantage. we'll see if it's decisive. right now it's a real advantage. >> ifill: thank you both very much. >> thanks, gwen. good to be with you. >> woodruff: now, to our continuing look at the dropout crisis in america. a number of school districts in texas are sending tens of thousands of students into the criminal justice system every year for violating school rules. newshour correspondent tom bearden has our story, part of our american graduate series. reporter: 17-year-old diane is still upset after spending 24 hours in jail for missing class. the 11th grade honor student in willis texas was locked up
for contempt of court after being warned by a justice of the peace to stop skipping school. the judge who issued that warning in april sentenced her to jail last month when the absences continued. >> if you let one of them run loose, what are you going to do with the rest of them? let them go too? >> reporter: after her story was reported the international spotlight fell on texas' school truancy laws. laws that were originally crafted in the mid 19th century to keep kids in class and prevent parents from pulling them out to work in the fields and later in factories. but for students like her, life is more complicated than it used to be. she is a straight-a student who holds down two jobs in order to help support her younger sister and another sibling in college. >> the judge has warned me about missing too many days of school. but i just couldn't help it. >> reporter: tran said that schedule led to more than 10 unexcused absences in six months
but under texas law can amount to fines up to $500 and potentially jail time. after the news spread the judge ended up removing the citation from her record. but the case sparked a new debate about the merits of criminalizing student behavior. >> there's absolutely no research that would support using ticketing as a deterrent or as a method of addressing childhood miss behavior. >> reporter: attorney deborah fouler has studied the issue extensively and offered a report for a public interest law center in austin. >> a lot of people assume that it was just after columbine. but the reality is that we started to see a movement towards zero tolerance school discipline practices earlier than that. it was related to a lot of the fear around the rising rate of juvenile crime in the late '80s, early '90s. in texas in 1995 we passed our zero tolerance laws. >> reporter: the report, released last december, examined
the ticketing practices in 22 school districts across texas. fouler found on top of cutting class, thousands of students -- sometimes as young as five -- were facing criminal misdemeanor charges that for behavior in another era would have resulted in detention or a trip to the principal's office. citations for disruption of class or disorderly conduct have been issued for fighting, cursing, and talking back to a teacher as viemtions of texas code. fouler says the roots of these recent get-tough laws have historical significance dating back to the days of massive protests sweeping across college campuses in the 1960s. >> most of the disruption of class typo fences were written really to address student demonstrations. they're being used radical leaf differently today. they're using the law to prosecute individual students for classroom behavior. >> reporter: but some texas educator feel today's laws are
needed like tommy wallace, superintendent, who says the days of schools handling discipline by themselves are unfortunately over. >> if a student tells a teacher to, you know, go f themselves, calls them a b, or throws chairs or fights in the classroom, those are all offenses. we've got to have order in the classroom. >> reporter: as the zero tolerance movement grew, many texas school districts began creating their own police departments. the state soon expanded the types of behavior punishable by misdemeanor tickets and made a pivotal legal decision in terms of where the cases would be heard. >> the difference is that in the adult municipal and j.p. courts where they're process for these clasp c tickets, they don't have any of the protections to are offered in the juvenile court. so the confidentiality laws that acatch in the juvenile courts don't attach in these courts. the kids are actually ending up with, if they plea or if they go through the whole process, they end up with a criminal
conviction that they will litter have... later have to reveal on college applications and job applications. >> reporter: fouler said that is exactly what this 14-year-old of brian texas will have to do. two years ago she received a three-day suspension and a disruption of class citation with a $350 fine for fighting with another student. >> over one fight. one fight. i'm getting a citation for it? it didn't make any sense. i mean, a whole bunch of people fight. >> reporter: her mother had no idea criminal tickets were given to students at the school until he came home with one. she says her son was being bullied and that he simply acted in self-defense. a claim that appears to be backed up by the school's incident report. it reads, "another boy hit him and fought back." texas apple seed's fouler helped
the family understand their legal options. >> how did you first find out that he gotten a ticket? >> reporter: eventually a judge reduced the fine from $350 to dlf 69. but the misdemeanor will remain on his werm nent record after he pleaded no contest. >> the judge issued our son 20 hours of community service, four months probation. he had to attend a first-time offender program. now that's what really shocked us. a first-time offender program. >> reporter: and he is certainly not alone. in fact, texas apple seed's report indicates more than 275,000 non-traffic related class-c citations for juveniles are handled every year in the state's municipal and justice of the peace courts. these types of cases have included a 13-year-old special needs student ticketed for disruption of class by singing the abc song too loudly. a high school student ticketed for throwing paper airplanes in
class. and a middle school girl ticketed for spraying herself with perfume. fouler says students who end up with tickets like these are less likely to graduate from high school. >> when a kid has just one court referral, they are much more likely to drop out of school. so when you make the decision to put a child in formal contact with a court system, you are increasing the likelihood that they're going to drop out. >> reporter: and these citations aren't just burdensome for the students. they often tie up courtrooms like judge joanne delgado's in houston who sees up to 120 cases like this each week. but delgado says she understands why the state of texas has the strict disciplinary policies in place. >> the minor infractions that we used to see are not minor anymore. we're dealing with much more serious situations. it may call for the assistance of a police officer. >> reporter: however, increased scrutiny of student ticketing is
forcing many in the state to reconsider how best to enforce the laws. including brian superintendent tommy wallace who conceives that his district is reviewing the policy and he hoped to curb citations going for. issuing fewer tickets is is something police chief jimmy dodson says is already happening in his district. >> we're supposed to be educating kids and putting them into college. and not putting them into the criminal justice system. >> reporter: but for students like this one who have already been swept up into the legal system and for his mother who helped him through it, change isn't coming quickly enough. >> my concern is that the children who have received these tickets sometimes makes me wonder, are they not working? are they having trouble getting into schools, finding jobs, going into the military? >> reporter: last year the texas state legislature did take up the issue of curbing the number of criminal citations handed out in schools.
but the bill died in the house when the session ended. its sponsor plans to bring it up again when the legislature reconvenes. >> ifill: you can go online to find an interview with another parent who was cited for his son's actions at schools and a look at penalties in other cities and states. american graduate is a media initiative funded by the corporation for public broadcasting. how do women balance work and family? a new article in the thrik magazine, why women still can't have it all has gone viral with nearly a million views online in less than a week. it sparked a bigger conversation about the role of women in the work force. the competing demands on employees and generational differences over the ideals of feminism.
slaughter is a princeton professor who rose to the highest ranks of the state department before resigning to live closer to her children. she joins us now from new york. we're also joined by monica olive a young mother who is the founder of latin baby and publisher of a website that are geared toward latino families and naomi decker, vice president of the public relations firm beckerman. she is a mother of three who hassles written articles and editorials for commentary for the washington times and the wall street journal. we thank you all three for being with us. anne marie slaughter, to you first. what do you mean by "having it all"? >> i mean that women should be able to have the same choices as men. i think i regret the... that's the way the issue has always been formulated. when i was coming of age, i think today it sounds very entitled because there are so
many americans who have very, very little but really what it means is that women should be able to have the same choices about being able to have a family and being able to have a career that men do. >> woodruff: you write for the longest time you believed that that was the case but now you don't. why not? >> i still do believe that women can have it all but i now understand that my ability to have it all, which i have always been able to have, was a function of how flexible my job is as a tenured professor. i have had a lot of flexibility about when i work. i work incredibly hard. i certainly put in the same kinds of hours that anybody else does. at a very high level. but i have flexibility. and the minute i got myself into a job that is the kind of job that the vast, vast majority of working women have where i was on somebody else's schedule and
really had a boss, a boss i adore, hillary clinton. but i realized i couldn't make it work with my family. that's when i really decided that it's time to have another round of conversation and make another round of changes that will allow both women, working mothers and fully engaged fathers to have better choices. >> woodruff: just quickly, what are one or two of those changes that you think must be made? >> well, the simplest changes are around allowing more flexibility in the workplace, allowing women to be able to, say, work one day from home and again working fathers as well. given technology, that's really quite possible. changes that, for instance, value the results-out rather
than hours-in. and changes that say, you know, working until midght, being in the office. this isn't about working but the culture of face time in the office and the culture of what i call time macho, you know, the person who is there until midnight in the office must be the person who is working the hardest. those are culture changes that we can make if we just think about them differently. >> woodruff: naomi, you told us one of your reactions when you read ann-marie slaughter's article was "here we go again." what did you mean by that? >> well, what i mean is we have been having this exact same conversation for the past 40 years, since the feminist movement first gathered strength. frankly i think it's time to stop the whining and accept the world for what it is. of course we can't have it all.
no one can have it all. men can't have it all. either. i think the changes ann-marie is is talking about are lovely ideas. i'm fortunate enough myself to be able to work from my home although all my children are all grown. i was fortunate enough to be able to do that when they were young as well. but the sad fact is that is not going to work for most of the world. no one is ever going to run the u.s. state department in their pjs from the kitchen table. so i think... this is a problem and always has been a problem of highly privileged, highly educated women. i think the fact we're extremely lucky and we may not have it all but we have much, much more than most of the women and men in this country or
certainly in the world. and i think... >> woodruff: i was just going to ask ann-marie slaughter to comment. >> well, the first... in the first place we have had this debate often and in the 40 years or 30 years of my lifetime we've made unbelievable strides for women. when i was growing up, i did not know a single woman doctor and only one woman lawyer. i don't see this as round and round the same merry go round with no progress forward. i see this as a time of astonishing change for men and for women. i think that change has been brought about by having this debate and then turning conversation into action. second, i disagree. you know, when i was running an office of 40 women and men at the state department, i let the mothers who were in my group work from home one day a week. indeed i often had to go home to get a lot of writing done. i was more productive there than
in the office. and my office was astonishingly productive. i've run a staff of 100 people and managed on the principle that family comes first and really done very well. and third, yes, absolutely. look, i'm enormously privileged. i make clear that i'm writing largely for my demographic. but i'm not saying everybody gets to have everything they want. i'm saying that women should be able to have the same choices men have. if we make the workplace better accommodating those women, those women will be in a position to compete for the top jobs. and if in fact we then have a leadership of men and women, i think we can make society better for all working parents at every level. >> woodruff: monica, as you listened to this discussion back and forth, you've clearly read the article, what are you hearing? what are you thinking?
>> , i think it's interesting because i know that they are both talking about a certain demographic. quite honestly i think that her article really resonates with women across the united states because i think that no matter what kind of career or job you are in -- and there is a difference -- i think a lot of women want to to do well at it. in turn be able to use that to help support their families if that's one of the reasons why they're working. even if they're not working to support their family but just simply to fulfill a dream that they have or to help contribute to the family financial situation, i think it definitely resonates across the board. i agree that i don't think that everybody or that men could have it all. as the title almost implies that
men can. i think that it's just simply human nature that eventually at some point we'll wind up having issues where, you know, your family and your job are going to both compete at the same time. it's just going to happen. you're going to have to make choices. >> woodruff: naomi, when you said a minute ago, stop the whining. of course we can't have it all. neither can men. what's the message... i mean, should women and men even be having this conversation? >> i think it's pointless and circular conversation. i think, you know, we're saying, if women ruled the world, then women would be able to rule the world. but until women rule the world, they won't be able to rule the world. i mean, i think we all have
choices that we have to make in life. men and women. and those choices may be different between men and women because of their nature and because women actually have the children and give birth to them. but men have to make choices too. sometimes we'll make choices that we regret. some choices we make will end up saying, well, it didn't work for me. as ann-marie did. and i think we need to stop thinking that we're going to engineer some kind of a world where all of our problems are taken care of for us. you make a choice and you hope it's for the best for your family. sometimes it will be. sometimes it won't be.
and then you adjust. men have to do exactly the same thing. >> woodruff: monica in just a few seconds because i want to ask both you and ann-marie, what's your outlook here? do you come away from this hopeful or not? >> i definitely do come away from it hopeful because i think that a lot of the women who have come before us have made it possible now for us to make choices. whereas before there wasn't a choice. >> woodruff: ann-marie slaughter, last word. how do you come away? >> i come away enormously hopeful. you know, when cheryl sandberg spoke at barnard, she said the problem is we have an ambition gap. women don't want to be leaders. the women i've heard from in the hundreds and obviously these conversations are happening everywhere say we do want to be at the top of our professions. we want to do our jobs the very best we can. but we don't have options. we can't actually take care of
our children and make it work. here are the changes that we could adopt that would help us make it work. i'm very positive that we can turn this conversation into action that will make those changes that won't make everybody have everything they want but will give women the ability to pursue their professions, spend time with their families, same for working men, and make it to the top so that we have a much more equal distribution of men and women in all positions across society. >> woodruff: we hear you. it is a conversation that continues. anne marie slaughter, naomi and monica, we thank you all three. >> thank you. >> ifill: the war in afghanistan may be winding down, but the american presence there will likely be felt there for some time to come. ray suarez speaks to a veteran correspondent who assesses whether the u.s. plan is working.
we have seen afghanistan worsen, deteriorate. we need more troops there. we need more resources there. >> suarez: in 2008 then candidate barack obama promised to make afghanistan a top priority. one month after his inauguration, the new president agreed to the military's request for a troop surge. adding 17,000 to the 36,000 american forces already there. >> as commander in chief, i have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 u.s. troops to afghanistan. >> suarez: ten months later the president beefed up the u.s. presence further and added more civilian aid to the afghan government. but how effective were those efforts? which cost billions of dollars every month? a new book "little america" the war within the war for afghanistan, delves into all of this. its author is "washington post" reporter rajiv chandrasekaran.
i began asking him about the obama administration's new approach. >> this was a surge to the exits. what the white house wanted to do was to inthe troop footprint so they could find their way to the door. the problem was that that increase was really squandered by the military, by the civilian agencies of our government. we wound up sending the first waves of troops to the wrong parts of the country. our strategy was supposed to be counterinsurgency, protecting the people, getting the troops to where the people are and protecting civilian population from insurgents. instead we sent the majority of the first wave of troops that president obama authorized to helmand province, a province with only 4% of afghanistan's population. they wind up charging into abandoned villages, very small towns, doing just the opposite of what we should have been doing in an effort to try to beat back the taliban and stabilize the country. >> suarez: right now door is kandahar province which is hot during those months that you describe in the book. how did the marines end up in
helmand and not in kandahar. >> it's an amazing story that dates back to world war ii when marine units on pacific islands felt they weren't getting enough air cover from the navy. when the marines agreed to deploy to afghanistan they demanded that they have essentially their own patch of the sand box where they could bring in their own helicopters, their own logistics unit. the only place they could get was this sort of patch of central helmand province that wouldn't home to a whole lot of people. they didn't want to play ball with the army or with other nato forces. so as a result, we wound up sending them to a fairly strategically unimportant area while neighboring kandahar, the country's... home to the country's second largest city, sort of the spiritual capital for the ethnic pashtun population. that was the key prize for the taliban. if the taliban could claim that they would have a springboard to take over the rest of the country. in the first year of obama's war in after fan stan in 2009 the bulk of the forces went to
helmand. wfewer forces to kandahar which were more important to afghanistan's overall security. >> suarez: you were on the ground in both places. how come there was never a readjustment or a reconsideration of that initial strategies. >> because the marines didn't want to move. the marines in their first year on the ground didn't report to the top u.s. commander in kabul. general stan mcchrystal. they had demanded and received special dispensation to essentially have their overall control be to a marine general at the u.s. central command. so general mcchrystal sitting in kabul could not redeploy them to other parts of the country if he wanted to. while the marines were flooding into these small districts with not a whole lot of people, nearby kandahar teeming with people and teeming with insurgents had very, very few troops. >> suarez: you clearly came to the conclusion that the u.s. marines went to the wrong place. anybody else back you up on that? is there a dawning sense inside
military circles that that's the case? >> there is indeed. a lot of senior officers will not say so publicly but privately there's a very significansigsignificant chunk r officer corpse involved in the afghan war who believes the initial deployment in helmand was a diversion and that we should have directed the marines toward kandahar toward other parts of the country. >> suarez: at the same time a mirror effort was supposed to be going on, on the civilian side in development, in the standing up of civil society in a country that had had its civil society destroyed during years of occupation and civil war. but again and again you tell us stories of how it comes to nothing. how it comes to grief. >> yeah. so there was supposed to be the civilian surge that would operate in tandem with the the military search. we were supposed to get our best and brightest diplomats out into the field to work in setting up local government, to get
reconstruction specialists there to rebuild afghanistan's shattered infrastructure. the problem was the people arrived slowly. we got the wrong people. and in many cases we got people who were burned out after years in iraq or people who didn't have the necessary experience to do the work that needed to be dofn down there at the local level. and when it come to reconstruction dollars, instead of focusing on sustainable projects that the afghans could one day take ownership of we carpet bombed the country with money. in 2010 we tried to spend $4 billion worth of reconstruction money in afghanistan. in some places, that equated to more than the annual per cap to income. so it distorted the local economy. it built dependency and it created sort of the development version of a sugar high. we pumped them up with lots of goodies, only to then see it crash later as budge hes would inevitably have to be cut. >> suarez: little america, the title of your book, comes have
an earlier visit to afghanistan by the united states and its largess. let's go out on a story about little america. >> six decades ago legions of american engineers descended on southern afghanistan. the very terrain that the surge would unfold in 2009. they went there in the late '40s and '50s to build a network of irrigation canals and dams to help create farmland for the afghans. many of those same canals, u.s. marines would fight and die in, in recent years. this was a grand development effort that was ultimately a failure. because those engineers failed to understand the dynamics of afghanistan, failed to work with the afghans. we brought in a contractor that sucked up all the money. you could change the names and the dates and it's like you're writing about today. they built this town for themselves. it's now the capital of helmand province. back then it was this eight square block, a little enclave with american style homes, with
manicured front lawns, a co-ed pool, a high school, a clubhouse where he could drink a gin and tonic. of course the name of that town... back then as the americans danced and partied in there and built their own little oasis, the afghans looked at it and called it little america. >> suarez: rajiv chandrasekaran i want to continue this conversation online but thanks for joining us here on the broadcast. >> a real pleasure to talk to you, ray. >> woodruff: finally tonight, a singer-songwriter looks back on her life and moves forward with new music. jeffrey brown has that. ♪ you're shining ♪ i can see you. >> brown: diamond in the rough
at least to my ears your songs are... >> pretty much so. brown: are they a way of working things out? where do they come from? >> well, it's hard to say. sometimes they come from somewhere you're not sure. some words will come to you. out of the blue. or while you're kind of messing around with a bit of music. then you just never know. then sometimes, yeah, you're hurting and you want to write about what's going on. but the last thing i'll say is that if you're really really really hurting, as in terribly depressed, you're not creating. >> brown: you're not? it's impossible. >> it's impossible. brown: did music become a way to find your way or a way out of the world you were in? >> music was everything. in fact, in my early 20s, i
didn't sing because i had some voice trouble. without singing i really spirald downward. i didn't know who i was. music was my gift. so i had to learn some lessons about who the heck i was without it. and then i was kind of free. >> brown: like any career it kind of goes up and down. you have to make it last, right? >> well, you hope so. i have had a very high up. i've not had a very low low. but i've built a loyal following over many many years. those people still come out and pay to see me. >> brown: that loyal following began to build when she won her first grammy for her debut album. colvin who also score grammy awards in 1998 for album and song of the year for her breakout recording sonny came home. ♪ sonny came home to his favorite room ♪ >> brown: she's just released her ninth record. you've been doing this long
enough to see huge changes in this industry. >> yes. brown: there's a point where you write, "in many ways i don't feel i'm in the music business anymore. what i do is kind of archaic." what does that mean? >> i still look at projects as albums. they have a sequence. if i could have them be side-a and side-b, i would. i look at them as a piece. so i don't look at it as an individual song. that a person could download or know me for this one song and ignore the rest of the record. i mean, there's real i'm kind of no point in making cds, in my opinion, if we're just going song by song. >> brown: but that's not the way of the world right now, is it? >> no. no, it's not. but there are still people who want to go at it like i do. and want to buy the cd and look at the cover art and read the lyrics and see who played on it and played in their car from start to finish. >> brown: i remember you write here at one point about
finishing an album and then the label saying we can't real owe do anything with this. >> that was bitter. that was painful. >> brown: how do you deal with it? >> i went to another record company (laughing). ♪ you don't know where you're going ♪ ♪ don't know where you are ♪ you don't know where you've been ♪ ♪ we all fall down >> brown: shawn colvin's new album her first in six years is titled "all fall down." ♪ we all fall down ♪ down, down, down, down
>> woodruff: shawn colvin sings two songs from her new cd on our art beat page online. >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day. tropical storm debby made landfall on the northwest coast of florida, while crews in colorado faced 100-degree heat as they struggled against wildfires. and turkey warned syria against any more military incidents near their border, after friday's downing of a turkish plane. online, our coverage of mexico's elections continues. hari explains. >> sreenivasan: join margaret warner for a live twitter chat tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. eastern time about the war on drugs and more. it saw a 3.6% slump in home prices. find out more on paul solmon's making cents page.
plus, tonight's edition of "frontline" examines the nation's dental care crisis, "dollars and dentists," airs this evening on most pbs stations. and you can find a link to frontline's web site on ours. all that and more is at newshour.pbs.org. judy? >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, margaret will have more on the mexican drug war. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> at&t. >> by nordic naturals. >. and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial
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