tv Martin Bashir MSNBC October 21, 2011 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
it's over. >> as promised, the rest of our troops in iraq will come home by the end of the year. >> after eight long years and the loss of almost 4500 american lives -- >> america's war in iraq will be over. >> the president declares the war in iraq is at an end. >> our troops in iraq will definitely be home for the holidays. >> we cover every angle, ahead. . the tight of war is receipting. all american troops will be with drawn from iraq by the end of this year. from the briefing room, he explained his decision. >> as of january 1st and in keeping with our strategic agreement with iraq, it will be
a normal relationship between sovereign nations and based on mutual interest and respect. >> operation iraqi freedom has been at considerable cost to the nation. over 4,400 u.s. military kill and 32,000 wounded, including over 1,000 amputees, all at a cost of american taxpayers of $712 billion. in his remarks the president made it clear he intends to end involvement in afghanistan in the not too distant future. >> the united states is moving forward from a position of strength. the war in iraq will come to an end by the end of this year. the transition in afghanistan is moving forward and our troops are finally coming home. >> then this pronouncement that military families have been
waiting for for almost a decade. >> here at home, the coming months will be another season of homecomings. across america, our service men and women will be reunited with families. today i can say that our troops in iraq will definitely be home for the holidays. >> as the president pulls down the curtain on one of the longest and most divicive conflicts in u.s. history, what is the reaction from congress? karl levin is the chairman of the senate arms services committee and joins us from capitol hill. do you agree with the president's decision to bring all military personnel back from iraq at the end of this year? >> i do very much so. he made the right decision for the right reason. he would have considered leaving a few thousand troops there as trainers, but the iraqis said they would have to be subject to the jurisdiction of iraqi courts and we don't have that much
confidence in iraqi courts that we would subject our troops to that. even the small number it was right to protect our troops that way and implement this end of the year decision for bringing all of our troops home. by the way, a deadline or a date which was set by president bush. >> isn't this decision based on a fail tower agree on immunity for military personnel, doesn't it count like a designed capitulation as opposed? >> it's an important principal and involved the decision relative to leaving a few thousand trainers or not. we were willing to consider that, but that doesn't turn it into capitulation. it's a determination to do the right thing for the troops and the main policy is to get all of
our troops out by the end of the year as the president promised. implementing a decision that the bush administration made relative to that. both of those were the right ones because they have to take responsibility for their own security just as we were transferring the responsibility to the afghan forces for their security. >> something like 670,000 iraqi security forces at work now in iraq since march. there still questions about their competence and training and also their independence. how much of a concern are they as we proceed to this withdrawal in december? >> it's a concern of course, but the way in which they need to be addressed are by the iraqis. we cannot resolve those kinds of issues for them. there political divisions in iraq which have not been
resolved which are also a concern. they haven't decided how to divide the revenues through the parts of the country. there a number of issues internal to iraq which they can solve. they have an army now of a very large size there and they are able to maintain security and we have to basically continue to set these kinds of dates and deadlines as ways of giving incentives to iraq and now to afghan leaders to resolve their own issues and get their armies built up and to secure their own people. >> where does this leave the remaining presence for the next three months of american troops? will they not be tempted to stay within the green zone and in effect will that mean the operations cease from today? >> i don't think so. they have a success kind of mission they have will continue until certain dates and they will carry out the orders. hopefully we are not going to
lose any more troops, but the risk will continue until that december date. it will continue after that. we will still have some of our folks there protecting our embassy. we need to do that. it's not like it's risk-free after december or high risk before. there is risk now and those risks will be reduced when the presence ended in terms of any combat presence. there will be risk to americans and american troops in iraq because it's not yet a totally stable place. >> there is much dissent on this pull out. i wonder if you mind me playing for you what john mccain said on the "today" show this 2ttmornin. do listen. >> they have done very good things. the fact is that we are leaving iraq and iran's number one priority is all u.s. troops out of iraq and afghanistan. every military leader said the
president's plan for withdrawal is a greater risk. there is perception around the world that the united states is weakening and withdrawing. as far as the concern, i think i am very worried. >> isn't this a strong argument given that iran is ready and prepared on the border with iraq to actually move in as american troops move out? how much of a concern is iran? >> iran is a big concern and one of the reasons that there was a real issue about going into iraq as we did and leaving it or not leaving it, but creating instability there was it would help to produce a stronger iran. there is a lot of worldwide unity against iran that is growing. the deterrents against iran or being overly ambitious in terms of reaching out to other
countries that has got to be create bide putting together an international community that is putting a huge amount of pressure on iran. >> how do you think history will look back on the decade of war in iraq? >> it's going to depend on the out come. it's way too early to know whether or not the iraqis and the political leadership there will step up and resolve the differences or not. or whether or not the cracks and crevices that exist in society will become deeper rather than being smoothed over. i have great concern for the religious minorities in iraq. i have terrific concern and instabilities and the possibilities of religious intolerance and attacks against the one group or another.
those are far from over. that's the reality in iraq. our continuing to stay there takes the political leadership off the hook. they have to do the things necessary to lead to a more stable iraq and an iraq that helps the rights of religious minorities. we cannot enforce that or impose that on them and keeping more troops there is not the way to do it after nine years. we have to accept that responsibility and understand that nobody else can make the decisions but themselves. >> final question sir. what are the thoughts for those who paid the ultimate price? >> that's where the thoughts must be. i'm grad they emphasized that.
we pate a heavy price and the american military are unbelievable. i am amazed and so proud every day. that kind of pride in them will continue forever and never be diminished by differences over policies. once that decision was made, it was made democratically and deceptive at times and the decision was made. once the decision was made democratically by congress, the american people and the congress supported our troops. that's the way it should be and that's the way hopefully it will always be. >> senator karl levin, we echo the sentiments and we're
grateful to you for joining us. stay with us. . >> on my orders, coalition forces have began striking to undermine saddam hussein's ability to wage war. hey, aren't you... shhh. i'm researching a role. today's special... the capital one venture card. you earn double miles on every purchase. impressive. chalk is a lost medium. if you're not earning double miles... you're settling for half. was that really necessary? [ male announcer ] get the venture card at capitalone.com and earn double miles on every purchase every day. what's in your wallet? cover for me. i have an audition.
>> per we are getting new information on whether house speaker was briefed about the announcement that occurred just over an hour ago. kristen well k at the house, what can you tell us? >> there has been confusion about this today. we got information from top gop aides who said speaker boehner had never been briefed about the president's announcement today. the white house pushing back on that releasing a statement saying after president obama had spoken to prime minister maliki,
top white house officials called for a conference call for leadership members and their aides, including those from speaker boehner's office. speaker boehner's office according to smin spoke with didn't call into that phone call. they weren't briefed about this. i spoke to one of the officials within the gop on the hill who said speaker boehner's office is not interested in bickering about this. they want to drop the issue. both sides wanted to clarify that was the back and forth. president obama spoke with prime minister maliki and convened the conference call of all leadership and their aides. >> that included speaker boehner, but it was speaker boehner's team or colleagues who didn't manage to get on to that conference call. >> yes, exactly. >> the president said this decision that he made was that
he shared with prime minister maliki. was this really about a conflict over agreeing to provide immunity for american personnel that they couldn't agree on? >> i can tell you that there has been wrangling for months over how exactly that this drawdown would occur. would they leave them to help with the transition. as you say, the iraqi parliament was making the point that they could not provide legal immunity for the troops who were going to remain in the country. that has been the sticking point all along and as of today, president obama announcing that all troops are leaving. it appears there was never an agreement on that much, president obama stressing the fax that they are on the same page. we learned in the briefing this afternoon that they had a poignant conversation this morning with the prime minister
saying that he really expressed gratitude for all the american lives lost. martin? >> kristen welker live at the white house. the massive challenge of getting troops home from iraq remains ripe for the possibility of ambush and other dangers. barry mccaffrey joins us. good afternoon. >> hi, martin. >> you can take us through what happens practically on the ground now that the president made this decision. >> general lloyd austin is a-star command or the ground. from a year ago they had plans to exit completely by the end of december. we are in the final stages. they are down to around 38,000 troops. it's a massive undertaking. they leave a battalion a day. we are trying to make sure we get the material of war out3mç
there that will be require for sustained future operations. a lot is getting left behind. very well orchestrated withdrawal. complicated, but easily doable by the end of the year. >> i wonder about the thinking of soldiers on the ground who remain for the next three months. given the antagonism of iranians, will it be tempting to remain within the green zone and see the days pass? >> probably not. they have a variety from intelligence and primarily withdrawal. they will continue to do their job and the most competent force we ever had. we are vulnerable and the force out of iran has been operating with rockets and ied's and they will come out in good order and
i think at the end of the day, the president made a good call. this is a right thing to do. we will be better off at the end of december. >> you say iraqis will be too. they have 670,000 security forces since march working and serving and are they ready to take responsibility for peace keeping and order in the country? >> certainly we are about to find out. they were one of the largest most sophisticated militaries anywhere in the mideast under saddam. fought úud.za-year war with ira giant air force. clearly they can do this, but as we withdraw, they will end up with no capability to enforce sovereignty and they have dramatic shortcomings. from now on they won't wake up to tell them to put on their
uniforms. i think you will see something that looks like an iraqi state run by iraqis. it won't look like the armed forces. >> thank you very much for joining us this afternoon. >> good to be with you. >> much more on this historic day, coming up. >> major combat operations in iraq have ended. the battle of iraq, the united states, and our allies have prevailed.
this year. i guess the biggest anxiety for these troops and for all of us who are concerned about the region of the world is this will descend into civil sectarian warfare. explain to us the division in iraq and why iran is such a problem in relation too that. >> when you look at the zúuñ composition, so many different ethnic groups aligned with somebody outside of iraq that matters. that even makes it that much more dangerous in the sense that you have arab sunnis aligned with sunni arab countries like saudi arabia and others. the kurds in the north and the shiites who make up the majority of iraq, about 60%. iran and iraq is close to 90% shias. there is close proximity. every group wants to protect their community and rights.
each one may start the other. >> they were saying at the beginning of our broadcast and the fear of these groups will be subject to col rans and attack and we know the iranians have been firing across the border over 10 years regularly. >> no doubt there is interference by all sides. there is no doubt that they are not looking from an ethnic point of view. the other minority groups in iraq is more about the resources. more about making sure you have a seat at the table and protecting your own communities and pockets of interest. that is the concern. the problem is to what extent will each protect it. if you start bringing in weapons and separation for the kurds, that's when you can start to see it fragment and become volatile. >> we know there is something like 700,000 iraqi security forces on the ground.
we also hear reports. >> the past years, the goal was to build an iraqi army and identify first with iraq and then with the community. they have moved battalions or brigades to the north or the south. they tried to mix them and they are serving with one another. that hasn't always been successful in the kurdish part. iraqi forces that they made up of shia and sunnis rarely go into the northern part because that belongs to the kurds. it's absolutely difficult to build a cohesive identity right now for iraqis. a lot of people blame the americans because the problems were kept under a lid by saddam in oppressive ways. can iraq build with mutual
respect in the absence of americans that had the overwhelming force to drive it down everyone's throat. >> enormous relief here that these troops will be coming home given the vast sacrifices made financially and indeed in terms of the lives of people. what do you think ordinary families are thinking? are they celebrating the document by the president? >> that depends on who you ask. iraq has paid a heavy, heavy price. 100,000 iraqis have died. iraqis have paid dearly and some of them are going to say is america's involvement after nine years brought about a better iraq? that's a very tough question. is it on the right path? some will be concerned. we can say that today's document by president obama did not come as a result of agreement, but came as a result of the absence of an agreement which is that the iraqis could not provide
them with immunity for forces going forward. they felt we could not keep forces inside without immunity. let's keep in mind that we don't have a perfect agreement. a failure of agreement that is resulting in the withdrawal, so to speak. iraqis will be concerned. >> thank you very much for joining us. >> can iraq stand on her own with iran as her neighbor? stay with us. well, thank you both for coming. oh, thank you so much. i love the vermeer collection. vermeer? dutch painter? only painted, like, 34 paintings? oh what an odd name. you've got like five of them in your hallway. those were actually in the attic when we moved in. we just both really love the color yellow. uh... [ host ] you guys are a lot of fun. yeah. [ male announcer ] the audi a8. named best large luxury sedan. new car? pretty cool. ♪
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perhaps the sharpest criticism by john mccain is that clearing iraq of american soldiers is the number one priority of iran. for more, i'm joined by a fellow u.s. institute of peace and we have the author of rock the cause ba, rage and rebellion across the islamic world. given the sectarian nature of iraq, isn't this action going to encourage iran in the east to cross that border and start and give a lunatic like him? >> iran and iraq fought the grizzliest modern mideast war. i spent a lot of time covering that in the 80s and it was costly for both sides. the iranians wanted saddam hussein out of power and they wanted allies in baghdad and they were working hard to ensure that the americans left seemingly with their tails between their legs.
they didn't accomplish all they had wanted. but the iranians are not foolish enough to want to send thousands of troops across that border now. there is a strong sense of nationalism in both countries. they are a deep ethnic divide that dates back centuries. iran wants a security border whether it's iraq on one side or afghanistan on the other. yes, they want the united states to go because they feel threatened and long worried that the united states was taking aim at tehran next. i'm not convinced that the iranians will use this as a means to get troops in iraq. >> given the majority shia population in both nations, what do you think this will mean for minority groups. i'm thinking of sunni muslims and a remnant of christians who live in iraq. >> all the countries in the mideast with sectarian differences are facing the challenge whether it's iraq in the aftermath of the u.s. withdrawal or syria as you find
protesters demanding the ouster. there is a sense that the sectarian issues are going to define the region over the next decade. they are troublesome. the interesting thing about iraq is there was a lot of speculation about whether they break up into the three natural parts that you identified in the aftermath of sa saddam hussein's ouster. the interesting thing is that the sense of iraqi nationalism has so far prevailed. that may be more trouble down the road and deeper differences, but now that all people have the vote and they realize that they can take to the polls their demands and vote for people into office and the parliament in a way they couldn't under saddam hussein, there outlets and every country with sectarian differences and ethnic differences faces challenges. >> do you really have confidence in prl maliki, a man routinely described as corrupt?
>> i'm not saying that at all. i think there a lot of things wrong with this government. particularly prime minister maliki. he is merges wars as a strong man and a democrat. that's worrisome. i'm not endorsing the government or the ability to hold the country together. it's more the will of the iraqi people that will determine what happens next. it's what the iraqi people want and not the leadership and not iranians. we kind of fall back into stereotype when is we worry about the iranians absorbing iraq. >> for you withdraw and take an overview of the region and the book does it brilliantly, what's your sense of what it means for the region? is this progress? >> i think the american presence has been unpopular in the wider arab world and many will welcome the fact that the united states is pulling out forces.
i think there is a sense that in the region the policy changeed from a decade ago when they were using military force to chart aims and today it's playing a background role whether in nato or libya or in there is a very different american role today. i think that's widely welcomed. there will be a nervousness about their security, but the americans were not necessarily the guarantee of their safety either. >> thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> you stay with us. >> let me be clear. we must be as careful getting out of iraq as we were careless getting in. from capital one. spark miles gives me the most rewards of any small business credit card. the spark card earns double miles... so we really had to up our game.
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home by the end of the year. candidate obama campaigned on more than one would think is another victory. of course as we saw yesterday with libya, opponents are reluctant to offer praise. for more on this, i am joined by goldie taylor and the former marine along with msnbc policy analyst and communications director. i wonder if i can start with you. the events of the past few days, libya and iraq have been monumental for the policy. it seems republicans won't give him credit. >> it makes the republicans look less credible and couldn't even acknowledge. i saw boehner's statement
acknowledge the work of our troops and intelligence and civilian folks who have been working in iraq and afghanistan. look at the foreign policy successes and that is what president obama can get done when the gop cannot obstruct him. there is something there would be ought to be looking at. >> with the news today, statements are coming in fast and furious. herman cain criticized the way the president delivered the news and here's what mitt romney had to say. listen to this. president obama's astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in iraq has unnecessary low put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of american men and women. what? >> what is right. i think today they want to give the credit to australia or antarctica for raising an army. at the end of the day, president
obama has certainly got a strike of osama bin laden and also took on gadhafi. he has done that without losing a single american live and without stretching our military beyond capacity and now he has taken bringing down troops in iraq. that's where the president is winning and that's where congress is least able to obstruct him. the next thing you are going to hear from the gop is they want to invade uzbekistan. >> they are beginning to look ludicrous. i understand they are reluctant to give credit, but this stack of achievements is becoming volumeinous. >> it's a matter of promises made, promises kept. those are the things that matter when you are running for reelection. i promised i would do these things and i wouldn't take my eye off the ball for osama bin laden and we got him.
i promised to get troops out by the end of 2011 and we are going to do it. the republicans are also trying to have it both ways. ari fleischman was tweeting today that bush deserves credit because he initially put out the date that it would be by the end of 2011. the press conference where he had the shoe thrown at him and herman cain criticizing the timing and mitt romney criticizing. they are also trying to have it both ways. >> you remember dick chen when he published his memoire and started talking about his interrogation methods enhanced interrogation that we should be praising the methods because that led to osama bin laden being killed. >> i think the information is really coming out that said that is exactly wrong that we develop the information in different ways that stood outside of doing people that way.
whatever the president does, if he said the sky is blue, they swear it's green. if he said the grass is green, they say it's yellow. the tactic is to disagree and oob instruct at every turno they have an opportunity to regain the white house. this is more about the redemption of power than the good of the united states. nothing can be more unpatriotic. >> indeed. i wanted to mention that john mccain just issued a statement saying this is a harmful and sad set back for the united states. >> of course he did. does john mccain realize he is not running for president anymore? do we really think if mccain was president our troops would be coming home right now? of course they wouldn't. it's shocking. >> where is all this coming from? >> this is the same obstructionism and hatred that we have seen towards this president from day one. time and again, they said to us goal number is to defeat the president. there is an issue here that they
are losing some credibility. they are so ungracious in this, there is no reason they couldn't say president bush deserves credit and if you feel like you have to say that and president obama deserves credit, but let's keep the most credit on the troops. they are so ungracious. it will be interesting as we go forward in the presidential election as the republican candidates hopefully get further embedded on their foreign policy ideas. rick perry's communications director saying something ignorant about how he said that president obama's strategy in the mideast has been so incoherent when actually i think it has been coherent and understood that you can't take a cookie cutter approach. libya is not egypt and they didn't seem to understand that. i hope we get to that in this election cycle. >> a final question. do you think herman can spell the word iraq? >> i'm sure he can spell iraq, but i'm not certain he knows
what to do in terms of our foreign policy. i don't know what the cain doctrine is. he may back track it the following day or within hours. i think you find that with a lot of the gop candidates. they don't have the credibility to lodge attacks against this president on his foreign policy. he has done what he promised to do and has been the president he told us he would be. it's time for republicans to stand up and listen to americans and realize that it's time for us to move together and move together forward. i just don't understand some of the attacks that are coming. >> please stay with us. we will have more in a few moments. now to the end of the trading week, earlier stocks spiked on positive third quarter earnings from big u.s. companies. here is more with the cnbc market wrap. >> we will take a look at how stocks are doing right now. it is a green as good friday looking at the major averages.
the dow up and the s&p up over 17 points and the nasdaq up about 25 points. how about a shot in the arm with promising news. unemployment rates fell in half of u.s. states last month. nationwide employers added about 103,000 jobs in september, nearly double the number created in august. first in business worldwide. we installed a ge fleet monitoring system. it tracks every vehicle in their fleet. it cuts fuel use. koch: it enhances customer service. it's pretty amazing when people who loan you money also show you how to save it. not just money, knowledge. it's so much information, it's like i'm right there in every van in the entire fleet. good day overall. yeah, i'm good. come on in. let's go. wow, this is fantastic. ge capital. they're not just bankers. we're builders. they helped build our business. helps defends against occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating. with three strains of good bacteria
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before the iraq announcement today, there were punches thrown at the presidential debate and the world dictator deposed. republicans these days can't seem to play nice. here are today's top lines, the week in review. >> this was a historic week when it came to american foreign policy. >> and don't you dare ask herman cain about the president of u-becky-becky-stan. >> when they ask me who's the president of u-becky-becky-stan,
i'll say, i don't know. >> the president wial candidate was saying, i don't know the leaders of all these. >> as president of the united states, i will be respected of the world. >> we've had political objectives, instead of objectives for success, and that's why we haven't succeeded. >> what?! are you kidding my. just look at the kill list. >> it's thursday, october the 20th, and moammar gadhafi is no more. >> wow. >> we've been waiting for this moment a very long time. more than 40 years. >> he put us in libya. he is now putting us in africa. >> we've taken out al qaeda leaders, we've put them on the path to defeat. >> the cockroaches will eventually scatter. >> you rub shoulders with more military personnel sources than i have cups of tea. >> america spent $2 billion total and didn't lose a single life. >> let's give credit where credit is due. it's the french and the british that led on this fight. >> not the united states so
much, but france and fwlaenglan. >> i especially appreciate the leadership of the british and the french in this. >> what the [ bleep ] is wrong with you, people? honestly. what? what is wrong with you? >> as a candidate for president, i pledge to bring the war in iraq to a responsible end. after nearly nine years, america's war in iraq will be over. >> i hope that you grant us a little levity at the end of a long week, but still serious questions about what this means for the president abroad and his agenda at home. let's bring back in goldie taylor and karen finney. karen, can i ask you this question? just as the president has been, in effect, made impotent as he's tried to pass his jobs bill through the congress, do you think that republicans were also hoping, hoping that his foreign policy would also fail? >> absolutely, no question. which is why, again, they've
been so ungracious in their comments. i mean, you know, there's also an argument here to be made that, look at when we got accomplished in libya. it was less expensive than iraq, it was more effective than iraq, and no loss of american life, like we saw in iraq. >> goldie, as a former marine, can i ask you what it would feel like if you were in the field, hearing that your president, your commander in chief, was opposed by this republican house, the majority in the house, in this way? how would it feel as a soldier? >> well, if i'm a soldier or a marine or a sailor and i'm out in the field and look back at home and find my own u.s. congress isn't standing behind me, that does something for my morale. so applause for this president for doing every single one of our troops home. we lost far too many lives and i'm glad to see that they're going to be home for this christmas. i've got to say, when i see them in the airports, you know, new recruits coming from basic training, you know, it warms my heart to know that there are
still young people in this world who are willing to give their very lives for our liberty and freedom and we ought to be giving them every piece of support we can. >> goldie taylor and karen finney, thanks so much for staying with us. and we'll be right back. the employee of the month isss... the new spark card from capital one. spark miles gives me the most rewards of any small business credit card. the spark card earns double miles... so we really had to up our game. with spark, the boss earns double miles on every purchase, every day. that's setting the bar pretty high. owning my own business has never been more rewarding. coming through! [ male announcer ] introducing spark the small business credit cards from capital one. get more by choosing unlimited double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. what's in your wallet?
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most desperate act of political demonstration and set fire to his own body. and the fire that he lit, though it took his own life, spread throughout the region. indeed, it's no exaggeration to say that the actions of one man may well have changed the the world for good. and so we come to iraq, and the president's announcement just two hours ago. 4,469 american lives have been sacrificed for the sake of operation iraqi freedom. 32,213 americans have been wounded. from tunisia to iraq, the price of democracy could not be higher. and this president understands the cost better than most. when he came into office, he promised to draw down troops end and the wars in iraq and afghanistan. earlier this year, he promised to assist those nations who wanted to bring about democratic change in the middle east, but he did so without ever
jeopardizing the life of an american soldier. over the last few weeks, we've all listened to ludicrous criticisms of his leadership from some of the most ignorant individuals that ever tried to run for president but today, america gives thanks. not only for the troops who served this nation overseas, but also for a president who will bring them safely home. thanks for watching. dylan ratigan's here to take us forward. dylan, it's all yours. >> thank you, mr. bashir. the show begins right now. well, the big story today, pulling out or getting kicked out. good afternoon to you, i am dylan ratigan. nice to see you. happy friday. after nearly nine years of our lives, $712 billion of our dollars, and 4,400 dead american troops, today president obama announceth