wants an indictment, they know what evidence to present to get that indictment, and if not, conversely, they know what evidence to withhold. >> and a grand jury will be reconvening next month to consider other indictments. thanks for watching "legal view." view." wolf blitzer starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it is 1:00 p.m. here in washington, and 6:00 p.m. in london and 8:00 p.m. in jerusalem, and wherever you are watching from around the world, thank you very much for joining us. we begin with the race for the white house. presidential politics here in the united states and some very good news for donald trump. a brand-new cnn/orc poll, and take a look at it, donald trump with 39%, and ted cruz 18%, and all of the others ben carson, marco rubio at 10%, and everybody else in single low digits. a lot to assess right now, and
joining g ing us right now are correspondent dana bash, and david is our political director. and donald trump has tweeted about the numbers and very happy, and these are impressive numbers for him, and especially the poll taken after the most recent cnn debate. >> yes, and what a way for the donald trump to close out the year, because he has dominated and now, looking inside of the nu numbers, wolf, on issue after issue, he has more support of trust to handle the economy, and isis and foreign policy and immigration. and so that means that those who were going to be voting for ted cruz or marco rubio, they trust donald trump more, and this is impressive.
>> yes, it is more impressive since other national polls taken by quinnipiac and fox poll. >> yes, and this is in line, and he is occupying a universe of support unto his own here, and the other stuff happening underneath him, but he is in such a far and away domination, which is not what we saw the quinnipiac poll which is different than the other polls around it. >> and the thing that struck me about the poll, david, is exactly what you said, looking at the issues and how much more support he has on issues than the general kind of the head-to-head matchup. but if you are looking inside of the kind of people who say they support him, he has probably the highest support from republican voters who make $50,000 or less. so, the whole, again, one of the latest examples of how he is turning the whole concept of politics on its head, because people like mitt romney didn't want to talk about his wealth, because he was afraid of kind of making a wall between him, and
other te other people, but it is the opposite. because his whole approach trump saying, i am really, rich, and i am really rich, and it works for people who are aspiring to be or know he has done something right, and they support him. >> and they like the blunt talk. and now, dana, there is a story out today on ted cruz that he is fund-raising off of it, but there was a controversial cartoon in the "washington post" and two daughters leading him as monkey-like characters, and he has gone out to do some fund-raising as a result of this. listen to what he said. >> it used to be for a long time, the rules across the board, the kids are off limits, and that should be the rules. don't mess with the kids. don't mess with my kids or marco's kids or hillary's kids or anybody's kids. leave them alone.
and if the media wants to attack and ridicule every republican, fine, but don't use the kids. >> fair point, but he is using that cartoon and trying to use that cartoon to raise $# 1 million, and this is controversial. >> it is, and start by saying that ted cruz is 100% right, the kids should be left alone, and especially little kids, and he has little girls. as a mo ether, i would not want my child to be dragged into anything that i am a part of, and the same should go for any politician running for office. having said that, he is certainly a big part of ted cruz' appeal, and when he appeals to the conservatives is the mainstream media, and you remember a couple of debates ago, that is the mantra to attacking the media, and that is a gimme for the kconservative, and especially so for him. and so he is taking that, and taking the cartoon, and incorporated it into the line that works for him, but i am not shure i would have done that or suggested that, but it is probably going to work.
>> and the cartoon has been pulled by the "washington post" and the post cartoonist originally tweeted that ted cruz has put his kids in a political ed and don't start screaming when the cartoonists start drawing them as well. and the editor said it is the general policy to leave the children out of it, and i failed to look at this cartoon before it was publish and i understand why anne thought that there was an exception to the policy was warranted, but i do noting a e gree. so it is controversial, but the "post" is acknowledging they should not have posted it to begin with. >> and i don't believe because ted cruz used the kids in an ad, they are now fair game, but that is what fred said there in the statement that you read, it is
one thing to use for it a campaign ad and came up with with the idea for the cartoon, and it is another thing for the newspaper to print it, and obvious willy, they didn't agree and pulled the ad. >> and now, out in iowa, she is responding to donald trump, hillary clinton is commenting to the nasty comments he has made about her in recent days. >> i really deplore the tone of his campaign and the inflammatory rhetoric that he is using to divide people. >> what do you make of the response? >> truthfully, considering what has bp going on, it was kind of muted. that has been the strategy all along, well, for the past 48 hours since this whole thing erupted for them to try to kind of let trumps' comments speak for themselves, and kind of take the high road.
i have talked to some democrats anecdotally who are not that thrilled with it, and they say that if hillary clinton is running as a woman, she should stand up, and defend women and women's rights and that is low-key considering. >> and i remember hillary clinton back in august in iowa gave a big speech, and started to take on trump and poking fun at him, and she uses just like trump uses going after hillary clinton to rally his base, she has used sort of the trump as a foil to the rally democrats around him. i think that here she is a little concerned in talking to some of the folks around her campaign that perhaps playing the victim too much here in some way, and i don't think that she wanted to take that on, and i also think that she sees now, she does not want to play into his strategy. he is clear now that he wants to show the republicans that he can take the fight directly to her, and she does not want to play. >> david cal ian and dana bash, chau both very much, and now more with the race on the white house, and are the republicans
beginning to accept the possibility of a donald trump nomination? in a brand-new poll, 40% say that the gop has the best chance of winning the white house with trump at 46%. that is up since august, and joining us is tara setmayer, and active progressive sally kohn and our correspondent ron brownstein. and now sh, what are you seeing when republicans are embracing a potential president trump? >> my first thought is -- no! it is very frustrating, because i look at the bigger picture, and the long term, and i say that donald trump is not presidential material. every week, we are seeing him do things, and behave in ways that are presidential, and unbecoming of what this country represents and unbecoming of the oval office and hypocritical that the
conservatives continue the support someone like donald trump in what he is doing. he has offered no specifics, and he continues to be an entertainer, but because he shows some strength what people consider strength and blunt talk, and it is such a contrast to what we have in the white house now, and people are gravitating toward it without thinking of the full consequences of what someone like donald trump would be as president of the united states, and as actual executive. i don't think that people thought it through yet, and it is starting to concern me actually. >> and ron, only one percent of the republicans in the poll think that jeb bush has the best performance in last week's republican presidential debate, and so why is his campaign not resonating? >> well, i think that he has been an establishment republican in the year that the party looking for something else, and he has had a long time since he ran for office, and the bush name is a mixed blessing. the point about donald trump is the widening gap between the
republican assessments of him and the assessments of the overall public. as you have noted, the republicans, the numbers are improving, would you be proud of him as president, and does he share your values and all of those are about up to 60% yes, but with the public overall, not getting in better and one-third of americans say for example that he shares their values or that he has the right experience to be president, and it is, i think that in those numbers that you will see the real cost of the way that he has approached the campaign and the language and the demeanor and the style, and the risk of course for republicans is being swept away by a candidate whose general e erectie reck -- election problems are an equal, and this is the first time that a shared me lil r lineli -- me le
millennial millennials will vote. there is a greeing favorability of republicans to this the insular and hard-edge message that he is offering. >> isn't it true, ron, that the older americans vote in much higher percentages than the younger americans? >> well, particularly in the primaries, wolf, yes. 60% of the republican voters in 2012 were over 50, bhu the generje -- but in the general re-election for the first time the baby boom will be matched by the millennials, and by 2020 millennial millennials will exceed the baby boom in the electorate, and if you look at the coalition of the millennials and the college-educated socially liberal whites, trump's numbers are terrible. they are great among the working class can whites who are more culturally conservative and if he is nominated you would see the test of two competing theories of how the win. the conservatives say to turn out more socially conservative whites and you could haven't a better test case than donald
trump, and in the other case, you could not have more of a coalition of the a ascending of the coalition of the groups grow ing in the society, because the numbers are really bad at the groups that are at the core of the people who provided president obama the maer jor is in 2004 and 2008. >> and yes, the younger american america americans, percentage wise, they don't show up and vote as much as the parents and the grandparents show up to vote. sally, let's talk about the democratic race for a moment. bernie sanders -- hold on one moment, sally, are there is some breaking news that we are plo ploeling out of california. i want to update the viewers on this right now. we are watching and waiting for a southwest commercial plane to land in oakland, california. there you can see the aircraft right now. it is apparently having some problems with the landing gear. these are live pictures that we are showing you of the plane. it ha has made one fly-by and
circling the oakland international airport, and it is burning the fuel before it lands in oakland, and we are not sure of the mechanical issue, but they have to check it for maintenance and it is a story we have been following, and we are getting the live pictures coming in from the oakland area. and mary ski vau oschiavo is joining us, and we are watching this plane approach the oakland airport. >> yes, and the problems with the landing gear, we have covered them in the past, but good news is that ordinarily they can get the load lightened by burning the fuel, and many planes can dump it, but we are talking about not on the southwest planes, and it is something that you can do so that you can burn the fuel, and the pilots will will bring it in as slowly as they k and put it down as lightly as possible, and the outcome of the -- >> we are lost mary, but this
plane is about to land. okay. let's watch it land right now, and then hopefully we will re n reconnect with mary. [ no audio ] >> all right. that is looking pretty good right now. this is a southwest airlines plane. it had taken off from oakland international airport on the way to is chicago we are told. and it had a mechanical problem, and the pilot decided they wanted to check some sort of item, maintenance eitem and mad this return. 139 people are on board we are
told as a result of this flight, and this is flight 2547, and it departed oakland not that long ago for chicago's midway airport, and 139 passengers on board, and we are told that after takeoff the captain and the command made the decision to return to oakland to check what is described as a maintenance item on the aircraft, and everything that this is a statement from southwest airlines, everything that we do, safety is of paramount importance and we appreciate the customer's patience while we work to get them to the final destinations for the holiday. it looks like that plane has made a very safe landing in oakland and all is fine there, and we will find out what the maintenance issue is, but fortunately all is good in oakland. that southwest flight 2547 back on the ground, and all 139 passengers and plus the crew there on board, they will be off of the plane soon, and southwest says they will be rerouted to chicago's midway airport, and
all good there. back to the political panel. i was talking to sally cohen. on the democratic side, bernie sanders in the polls is not doing that great, and hillary clinton has the commanding lead, but in iowa and new hampshire, he has significant support there, and what is your analysis right now? is it possible from your perspective in new hampshire that he is ahead of some of the polls that he could upset hillary clinton in the first two conte contests? >> i mean, anything is possible, and you know, the great thing about that we talk about it now, but fouch natalie a lot of time for the voters to make up their minds and the iowa caucuses are unique. i was in iowa a few week ago and i have to say that not only the apparent support, but the strength of support for bernie sanders is really part of the asset there that hill are ri clinton may is have numerical support, but it is tepid. and the people who support bernie sanders really support him, but the democrats are in a good position, because the
republicans are not giving them a strong contender whoever the democratic nominee is. >> and we will see who the republican fom knee is. and tara, the fox debate coming up, maybe only six republicans on the main stage and there were nine at the cnn debate last week, and with only six on the main stage, and that could have serious implications for the certainly, other three who are dropped to the second tier. >> yes, and i am fwlad to sglad see it, because we are at the point where the voters have to seriously look at who could potentially be our next president of the united states. when you have so many people like that on the stage, it is difficult to get the real answers, and real distinctions between the candidates. we started to see some of it in the last debate, and you saw how it affected marco rubio, and he has dropped a couple of points in the polls since that debate, because ted cruz, and rand paul, and chris christie were going after marco rubio and competing
with him on the issues of immigration, and how he felt about fighting isis, and foreign policy, and that what we need to see so that the voters can look at the substance of what these candidates are offering and not just the entertainment value of what donald trump has continued to offer, and the more that voters see it, the juxtaposition the more they will come to the senses, especially the c conservatives who will see that donald trump is not who we need as the gop nominee, but as the next president of the united states. >> and guys, we will leave it there, and we will continue the conversations down the road, tara, and ron an sally, and thank you very much. it was a deadly attack at the hands of the taliban and now we are learning more about the six u.s. service members who were killed in afghanistan this week. coming up, what their grieving families are now saying about the american heroes. ♪ santa has a magic snow globe for every family... ♪
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welcome back to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer reporting from washington. as the taliban is pushing further into the helmand province in afghanistan, we are learning more about the six u.s. members killed in a suicide bombing earlier in the week. today, the new york governor andrew cuomo ordered the flags on government buildings to fly at half-staff for sergeant joseph lemm and tomorrow for louis bonac ashasa. we are joined by jason carroll who has learned more about the background of the six service member, and what have you found out? >> well, wolf, each story unique, and each story tragic. six families in mourning today, and six fallen heroes, and we have heard about technical sergeant joseph lemm who
surprised his family two years ago when he are returned home in afghanistan to surprise his daughter who was performing at a singing contest. lemm was a 15-year veteran of the nypd. there is the video there from two years ago when he surprised his family. the governor said that lemm embodied the bravery of police offic officers and soldiers everywhere. also killed is louis bonacasa from manorville, new york, and i spoke briefly to his mother who described her son as a hero and someone who loved his family and being a soldier, and he has a daughter who turned 5 a few days ago and his brother speaking out about their family's loss. >> it was always a blessing to have him in my life. he was cut from different cloth. and he is a man's man, a gentleman and he loved his family and country, and he died doing what he wanted to do. he was a real soldier, a real
hero. >> also killed is sergeant peter taub from pennsylvania. his father said that he skyped with him a few weeks ago and he thought that his son was in saudi arabia, pu now knows that he didn't tell them that he was in afghanistan, because he didn't want them to worry about him. >> he was a real good personality, funny, thoughtful, and family man and loved his wife, and more importantly also he loved his daughter. >> wolf, also add ing ing to tht is adrianna vorderbruggen who was the first openly gay active duty military service member, and the first openly gay officer to die in combat, and she fought for getting the "don't ask, don't tell" policy repealed. and they have a son jacob. and also adding to the list is
28-year-old sergeant michael sin coe who is a resident of mercedes, texas. and also, chester mcbride who is a former football hero who is described as a quiet man, a class act. one of the family members telling us that there is a remi reminder that there is a war in afghanistan and to always remember and not to forget the men and women still serving there, wolf. >> yes, 10,000 military personnel on the ground, boots on the ground as they say in afghanistan right now. almost 4,000 in iraq right now, and there's at least 50 special operations forces according to the pentagon, and u.s. military on the ground in syria, and those numbers could go up by several hundred. our deepest, deepest condolences to the families of the u.s. military personnel who were killed in the suicide attack in afghanistan. thank you very much, jason carro carroll, for that report. straight ahead, we will speak to iraq war vet van scott perry who will talk to us about
the six service members who lost their lives and what it peens for the bigger fight gaiagainst terror in the region, and much more after this. i was in the army for 28 years. i was in iraq and afghanistan. >> there was an explosion and robert was thrown 30 feet. he has shrapnel and scars all up and his down legs. he has brain memory issues and it is a miracle that he survived. sure, tv has evolved over the years.
thinner. even curvier. but what's next? for all binge watchers. movie geeks. sports freaks. x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. the fight against isis is ramping up on two fronts, iraq and syria, and first cnn has learned that a small contingent of special operations forces have gone back to northern syria, and local fighters are moving against isis, and local officials are declining to disclose a troop number or location. the initial group had been there several weeks ago to conduct what is described as a series of surveys of how to proceed with
the battle of isis, and the group is part of the 50 special operations forces that president obama has approved in a so-called advisory role in syria. and in iraq, security forces are are making headway to take back the up to of ramadi from isis. the new iraqi assault began by unfolding a u.s. military, and began unfolding as a u.s. military brigade, forces, provided a bridge across a branch of the euphrates river and pushing it into the center of the city with the help of u.s. airstrikes with the estimated 350 isis fighters, but ta have a long way the go, and it is believed that they laid mines and explosive devices in the streets and very dangerous situation there. let's bring in the republican representative from pennsylvania who is also a colonel in the
national guard, and he has served in iraq, and visited afghanistan as a u.s. congressman, and thank you very much for joining us. i guess with all of of the troops engaged in the military combat, this is real combat in afghanistan, iraq, and in syria, and unfortunately, we should anticipate more u.s. casualties like the six americans who had to come home in body bags this week? >> unfortunately,t is true, wolf. and certainly, my heartfelt condolences and prayers and thought s wis with the families especially at this time, but what the american people need to realize is that although the administration says it is no longer a combat zone, when you are assisting the forces out there on the combat zone, it is a zone for those individuals whether they are afghan, nato forces or what have you and they can and will be attacked. these are the consequences of war. unfortunately. and so for a political narrative we could say that the war is
ov over, but if the enemy does not agree, then the war is not over, and that is the disheartening thing, and also, wolf, a declared combat zone means certain things for the families of lost soldiers, because the benefits and the awards and the decorations will change inexorab inexorably, and that is problematic for the soldiers who have lost their lives and the families who have lost their loved ones. >> and the six soldier airmen, and the military personnel who die at the bagram a air base this week in the suicide attack, that i will get all of the benefits and the honors that they deserve, because this is real combat unless you know something that i don't know? >> well, once it is no longer designated a a combat zone, the military sees that differently, and there are subtle changes, but they make a big difference to the families. the service member has passed, and they will nef know, but it is going -- they will never know, but it is going to make a difference of how benefits are
administered that goes with a combat zone, and people need to be aware of that. >> and is a combat zone no lo longer a war designation? >> well, the president said that the combat zone is over, and so des igs nations go from there and when that is downgraded, certain benefits leave with the downgrade. >> fair point, and we will check into it to see if these military personnel and their families will get the honors and all of the full financial benefits that they deserve, because clearly they were in combat even if it is not formally called some combat zone, and you make a fair point, congressman. all of the tens of billions of dollars that the u.s. has spent to train and arm and equip the afghan military, the iraqi military, and was that money thrown down the drain? >> well, not entirely, wolf. i will tell you this, in all of the training in the world, it does not mean a hill of beans if you are not willing to fight for your country, and i think that we have seen it particularly in iraq with the sectarian violence and the choosing of sides with the sunnis and the shias and they can be the best trained no
matter what, but if they don't have the will and the heart to fight and place their life on the line for the country, it does not matter how well trained you are, but if you don't stand and fight, the other side will take the stuff, and that what has happened as they have cut and run, and we find it objectionable, and very objectionable as americans who have paid our taxes to see the money thrown down the drain and literally given to the enemy. >> and earlier in may when a few hundred isis terrorists stormed ramadi, what did the iraqi military do? they left their vehicles and simply ran away and the same thing happened in mosul where they ran a wway in the face of e isis terrorist assault. that is not the training that the u.s. expects would result. they should stay there and fight. >> that is right. we confuse the training with the will to fight and place your wilton line, and it is easy to say that we have trained the
people, and we have trained the people, but if they are not interested in putting their life on the line for the country and the belief, they won't do that so we have to be careful about t the terms they use and the reality of what those terms mean. >> and you support the u.s. spending billions of dollars to train the iraqi and the afghan military give n the records the have shown so far, because the people, including the republicans have so much money that could be better spent here in the united states. >> well, the training is part and parcel of the overall str strategy and this strategy if you want to call it such has many points of failure, a while we rely on the training, we need to know that the people are willing to do the hard work and willing to work with one another when we also have the shias working in there, and then the human rights violations against the sunnis is not a complete strategy. so all of the training, again, while it might be well swended, if they don't have the will to fight, and fight the enemy, it
is not much more than comprehensive strategy and train traini training. >> thank you so much, representative scott perry, and merry christmas to you and your family. >> thank you. and merry christmas to you. >> and a family in london has the disneyland dream dashed as they say they were suddenly kept off of a plane to los angeles. and now an investigation into precise precisely what happened. watching football together is great... but i think women would agree... huddling with their man after the game is nice too. the thing is, about half of men over 40 have some degree of erectile dysfunction. well, viagra helps guys with ed get and keep an erection. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain
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explanation, and the kids were asking the problem, why are we not going? and we said, what shall we tell the kids what is going on, and we need to know a bit more than a problem here, and because we have a visa that says it is perfectly fine. >> and richard, walk us through what happened right here with this family. >> right. you can hear the family talking there about annester, the electronic system of travel, and it is what you have to apply before travel to the united states, and all 1 # 1 members had received the estr. and they checked into the london gatlin airport, and no problem, and then between check-in, and boarding the plane, something
happen happens. washington or the united states or somebody says that these people, 9 of the 11 are not able to travel. they are denied access to the plane. they are escorted out of the airport. and so, their local mp is saying, what on earth has happened? how can you get electronic approval to travel and check in and then be denied access at the aircraft, and wolf, so far, nobody is able to give them an answer as to what was in the records when the manifest was sent to the u.s., because wolf, every plane that is flying into the united states, the entire pas s passenger list is sent to the authorities for approval. and only once the passengers are approved can the plane take off. >> and what about -- al lemged e-mail address that is supposedly associated with the 18-year-old son of the family that links to some sort of suspicious facebook page, and what do we know about that?
>> well, this is a post on facebook by a name that is the same as the son, where it has a reference to al qaeda in the posting. however, however, the father says it is not his son's page, and that they don't know where where it has come from and it is a coincidence that it is the same name. so the suggestion or the po t potential is that it is simply a case of mistaken identity. the local mp, the local member of parliament is spitting feathers and asking the prime minister david cameron the take this up with washington, and the fundamental point is this, how would americans feel if they were denied access to an aircraft having been given and granted permission with the visa or the ester, and then given no
official reason why. it is the last bit that has the british officials exercised. nobody can tell them why they were not allowed to board the plane. >> and on the visa waiver program which will allow people from friendly countries to come here without actually getting much of the visa, unless those individuals had visited four countries, sudan, iraq, iran or syria, and in this particular case, the family's origins were from pakistan, is that right? >> it is. and the law that you are talking about, which i'm not entirely certain it is fully coming into force, and certainly if it has come fully into force, it does not appear to be the reason why this was restricted, because they had received their ester approval and it is a conundrum here, and so far the border and customs patrol say they won't discuss individual case, and really, this is going to be
going to the top, because the question being asked is if whether in some unofficial way this is an implementation of the sort of policies that donald trump had been talking about barring the muslims. nobody is suggesting that officially, but the family involved, and i will pin it firmly on the family involved, they are certainly saying that is this a question of a religious bar on the family going to the u.s.? >> well, with le find out what we can find out. thank you for the report richard quest in london for us. coming up, new violence rocking the holyland only days before christmas. there is an attack carried out this morning, and the impact it is having on tourism in the region. we will share what we know in the region when we come back. an. then, i decided to have my dna tested through ancestry dna. it turns out i'm scottish. so, i traded in my lederhosen for a kilt.
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saying that two palestinian assailants carried out a deadly stabbing attack outside of the gate of the old city of jerusalem, and the police have gunned down the attackers. we will go to oren liebermann who is in jerusalem for us. tell us what happened. >> we have learned that moments ago that two of the victims have die died from the attacks, and one is an israeli who suffered stab wounds from the attackers and one is shot in the stomach likely by police responding to the initial attack. this happened just outside of the jaffa gate of the old city, because it is leading straight into the christian quarter and of course, it is two days before chr christmas. and this is what the police say, that two attackers north of the refugee camp approached the area of jerusalem and attacked with knives. they say that two were seriously injured and one moderately injured, but one of them have died from stab wounds in the
atta attack, and the other died from police fire of police responding to the thet a tack. and they had opened shooting and killing one of the attackers there at the scene and another attacker was rush ed ed to the hospital where police say he died of his wounds. >> oren, how is this affecting tourism in nearby bethlehem in this area of christmas? >> well, no doubt, that tourism is down. and we are in bethlehem where we will be all day tomorrow, and we have spoken to the vendors and the tourists who say that it is down. and they say that mostly missing is westerners. they can see that there is a travel advisory, there and they are not seeing americans or europeans and they are saying that it could be a rough christmas this year for the holy land, and bethlehem, and tourism in jerusalem, because of the violence and the clashes occurring almost everyday here. it could be a very much
christmas of sorrow here. >> all right. we will check in with you tomorrow. thank you very much from jerusalem. it is one of the biggest stories of 2015, isis. and some of the correspondents who have covered the story day in, day out, and a breakdown of where the story stands against isis, and what the year ahead could have in store. mucinex fast max. it's the same difference. this one is max strength and fights mucus. mucinex fast max. the only cold and flu liquid gel that's max-strength and fights mucus. let's end this. just about anywhere you can use splenda®... ...no calorie sweetener. splenda® lets you experience... ...the joy of sugar... ...without all the calories. think sugar, say splenda®
we are challenging ourselves to improve every aspect of your experience. and this includes our commitment to being on time. every time. that's why if we're ever late for an appointment, we'll credit your account $20. it's our promise to you. we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around. the war on isis has dominated international stories this year. the rapid spread of the jihadist groups and attacks at paris are changing the ways the u.s. and other countries consider fighting isis now. some of cnn's top correspond sents gathered to talk about isis. >> paris has been such a game changer because as closely as i've been following the reach of
militant groups like isis in europe and the west, i had never expected them to be able to pull off something this organized, something this well orchestrated. >> do you think it was well organize and well orchestrated? >> no, i don't think it was. >> the main thing that didn't go as well as they were hoping were the vests. >> they accomplished their goals. >> they have us talking about it. >> there's a difference between extraordinarily complex, well organized attacks that need an inst infrastructure and eight guys with vests. >> i think they had infrastructure. >> what surprises me a little bit about this is i think the lack of the short-term memory. a decade ago we were looking at al qaeda carrying out massive attacks which killed scores of people and we kind of forget the fear and panic of those days. >> well, also the whole nature of recruitment was different.
al qaeda was recruiting in the mosques. it was an entirely different o prospe prospect. >> now they're facebook a jihadists. >> like your own friends in their own bedroom. >> i think for intelligence authorities it's a very frightening prospect. >> but this kind of i know he grew a beard he started going to the mosque, these are the telltale signs of radicalism, that has changed. >> but also it goes to the greater underlying issues we have in society and what isis has now done for people who are even slightly so inclined is give them that sense of purpose. >> and identity. >> it's not just in tierms of intelligence how do we fight this but how dow actually fight the ideology? how do you revamp society so the kids have a different sense of purpose? >> all of these kids, their parents came to europe for a better life. the sad irony is their offspring grow up into people who attack europe.
>> and we have this misconception that isis is all about radical islam. i isis is a product of very geopolitical, historical trends. >> identity policy. >> this is not just about islam. >> it's also terrifying that some guys who aren't particularly well mentally configured can go shoot co-workers in san bernardino. >> you saw paris happen and then san bernardino kind of crest off of it. it's like a contagion in a way. >> i think there needs to be not hysteria, but let's not underestimate isis either. it is huge. >> let's bring in our military analyst retired lieutenant general mark hurtling also bob bair. general, you heard the reporterer roundtable, isis attacks. do you agree this entire
landscape nor the u.s. has changed? >> i think it has changed so sm what, wolf. i think we're looking at an adaptation of an islamist ideology in different ways of recruiting and passing information and intelligence. but i truthfully think that under the wave top u.s. intelligence communities, military communities, diplomatic communities are also adapting in the same way. but we have a lot of work to do. >> bob, how does the u.s. infiltrate isis and get good intelligence on what's going on inside? >> well, wolf, it's a problem because the people joining this movement are believers. they believe in martyrdom, in end times, they're ready to give up their lives for this movement. and to recruit somebody like this is very difficult. we have to fall back on intercept telephones, e-mail and the rest of it, which really doesn't give you a complete picture of what the islamic state is up to and there are
whole parts of the world that are just off limits to us, yemen, libya, where the movement is growinging and it succe's dit to predict where it's going. the nature of the target is so much more difficult than for instance the soviet union was during the cold war. >> general, do you think the u.s. has a good strategy in place right now to destroy isis? >> i do, wolf. i think we are attempting to discredit the organization along multiple paths. you have to do that. you have to destroy and kill some people in the battlefield. you have to intercept their messages. you have to change their ideology. you have to take away their finances. and you have to stop the travel, the freedom of movement, of the organization. that's the kind of things you do on the battlefield as you look at an enemy. you just don't go full force front afl against your opponent. you have to look at multiple ways to annihilate and take them
out of their capability. we're doing that. however, that doesn't mean you're not going to see some of the kinds of attacks that we've seen this year. i truly believe that we will see more of those. i don't know if they will be as dangerous as we've seen in paris or the like, but we will see more attacks from these lone wolves because as bob just said you didn't intercept all of them. you have to be 100% perfect, and that's a hard thing to do. but the key is you have to discredit this organization for what it is on as many fronts as possible. >> some have suggested, bob bair, this could take not just a matter of months but years. general odierno said it could take ten years. what do you think? >> i think general hurtling as this is going to be a long long conflict, and as we take these cities back, if we take ramadi, baghdad, if we destroy them in raqqah, i think they will become more dangerous. i think they'll move to other parts of the world, nigeriniger.
this could go on for a very long time. there is no better strategy at there point than to just fight this for a very long time. the syrians did it in the '80s. they beat it. we'll be doing the same thing. >> we'll see what happens. guys, thank you so much. that's it for me. the news continues right now on cnn. thank you, wolf blitzer. i'm don lemon in for brooke today. we'll begin with donald trump. we've seen his unconventional. here's a new cnn poll out today showing the presidential candidate with 39% of the republican vote. these the third poll to put him at or near 40%. the iowa caucuses just 40 days away. you see trump is all by himself in the lead. a second tier is led by ted cruz at 18% with ben carson and marco