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tv   Morning Express With Robin Meade  HLN  October 6, 2009 6:00am-10:00am EDT

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techniques. this can actually make sense in nashville or columbus, and they can see this in a very powerful way. >> i think that the commissioners that are here see this as a good idea. this is in the context of the report. we are very happy to see this particular idea in reality. let me talk about the responsibility for engagement and who will take on the responsibility. i assume that the media has some level of responsibility. i will start with you. can you give us the best example of where the media played a leadership role in educating the public on an issue that mattered? >> i can give you lots of examples. the one that comes to mind first is in charlotte, north carolina. the cross section of
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organizations came to the realization that the children in the county, the issues of race and the haves and the have- nots, this was not acceptable to the larger community in terms of the investment of children. . >> of they wanted to track what was happening with young people
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in charlotte. when these two initiatives discovered this, we basically brought the whole editorial board into the steering committee. we wanted to get to this joint budget process. thousands of citizens would be involved in. over a six week of time, the charlotte observer did in-depth stories on each aspect of what was happening. what were the issues in education? what were the issues in health? the impact that had on the citizens who then came together, 1200 demographicly represented members of the county came together to give their sets of priorities.
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the level of information that community was working from -- if you bring together the community with information, they do discover common purpose. on the spot, that saturday afternoon, the community said the quickest change we could make is to put back a nurse in every public school in the county. this is so the children's health issues it picked up on immediately. that the minute he should be very proud that literally, within six weeks, that was a decision the county, the city, and some business investment was able to do. within one year, there was actually a practicing are back in every school. that partnership with the newspaper was key to moving the whole community, not just the individuals, but the leaders who
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led the organization's understand that they could leverage community dollars and make a difference right now. >> the media took on a roll that went on -- went beyond. any comments on the role of government with respect to provoking engagement? to you think government has a role text does engagement come from the outside? >> i want to brush against what caroline said. there's a role for the media and engagement. we are not advocacy organizations. we have to remember that. i think our role is tremendously important in making sure the credible important information is pushed out to the public and
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that we do provide opportunities and many of our stations provide opportunities within communities to service the conveners. i don't want anyone to think that the role of media should be to advocate against serb positions. that is not our role. >> did it sound like i was saying that "the charlotte observer" was advocating tax they did not. it was the community that did. >> the one thing that we learn from the commission is that at the same time, media organizations, many media organizations, are aware of the beat those of remaining objective and they are trusted
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sources of information without an advocacy slant. ethnic media in the united states has been very good in communicating to their constituencies that they are somehow trying to accomplish couldn't be half of that constituency. that does not mean that they refrain from criticism. the spanish-speaking press, the average american press often find ways of communicating to their primary audiences that they are trying to bring them information that they can turn into positives. the answer on government is yes. i don't like that is the whole of it. the united states is behind the curve internationally in terms of government efforts to invite the public to engage with government directly in discussion of public policy. your homeland of queensland,
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australia is at the forefront of this. you promote greater resources and a i much more imaginative for allowing the public to become more involved. >> plenty of opportunity for the government to be more creative? one final group question and then i will turn to the audience. if each member of the group could translate the recommendations -- president obama s. for one concrete step he can build t to build public engagement? what would you do?
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>> i would ask him to convene a white house conference on community activity. but ask him to explain to community organizers around the country why they should take the issues we are raising about community welfare to be as court to the mission as familiar topics as housing, jobs, and so forth. we have a topic that is beset by multiple words of four syllables. this has a way of sounding very remote to people. people who are in the trenches were with poor people, working people, marginalized communities, begin to translate these very big word into concrete things that can happen for people are in ple. i think that would energize the conversation.
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>> the number one thing for me is putting money on the table to get media digital liver -- literacy at all levels. the more we avoid dealing with the, the more we see in the quality at all levels occurring. that will be harder and harder to recover from that. we need a lot of attention at the educational level and the adult level so that people have the skills to start embracing the spread that means opening up some budgets. >> i would agree. the biggest issue is broadbent adoption. -- broadband adoption. we should be able to make sure that every person in this country understands the importance of having access to broadband.
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we are on a path. getting people to understand that this is is important to their lives and essential for their lives and particularly for children and where the adoption rates have picked up has been for kids. parents want broadband and house because they know it will benefit their children. we must ensure that everyone in the country recognizes the importance of having access to broadband is something that would make a profound difference. >> your message, carolyn? >> if you could say funding for public broadcasting. [laughter] >> the genius of the obama campaign was that it totally integrated the highest and best
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use of the internet in terms of a communication mobilizing environment with good old- fashioned community organizing that is the element that makes people change behaviors. why do i find gold index someone who stayed with me not to my door. that inspiration between the highest and best use of the internet for information for mobilization, for two-way communication link to what has been done thousands of times in communities in this country of bringing together the public to really dialogue about this issue. i would ask president barack obama to hold a true national discussion on one of the important issues that is determining what kind of a country we will be in the future. it could have been health care. we missed that window. it could be immigration.
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it could be climate change where you literally engage millions of americans appropriately using the internet, appropriately using the human infrastructure at the community level to bring diverse populations together for these conversations. i would add one other element. we talked about libraries. it is nationwide. u.s. extension services. highly trusted their communities. available for information. we have to start the internet infrastructure, the community infrastructure, the amount of intelligence we already have right here at home about how to do this and really do what he said he would do of bringing the public back into their own democracy. >> i think we have to offer one brilliant question from the audience. who has the most profound question?
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are we all hungry? >> you need to wait for a microphone. >> [laughter] >> what should be the role of anonymity in these modern systems? you talked about intimidation and people do not affected but they are worried about saying something controversial. the problem of intimidation is much greater. i was a school board member. we had meetings that were filled up. they would have a bond vote and everybody would say something at boe would go down. there were obvious questions that were not asked and did not reflect public sentiment. people who are in minorities will not speak up. i have not seen any concern about protecting anonymous speech. i think it is critical in the
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design of democratic systems. >> i think anonymity has been a core element of what we have been talking about when we talk about internet, -- technology spread had we protect anonymity for all the free speech purposes of which is absolutely essential and also deal with the harm being created by individuals through the use of anonymity? i spent all lot of time on the cyber bullying. we dealt with the data and looked at what was going on. online negative behavior is a manifestation of offline problems in large doses. they often go on accounted for. one thing that is good about the internet is it makes visible the
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things we are least willing to address within society. when it comes to bullying, we have done a good job of looking the other way and our schools, in our homes, on our streets about how people actually treat one another. i said in public transit and watch parents yelling at children. are you surprised at the children are than yelling at the dog? this is tied to anonymity because we will continue to see this become more of an issue. we will see people trying to challenge anonymity because there is so much harm going on. rather than take the negative behavior use the on-line and assume this means a technology should go away, i would say open your eyes and look around you and see that same behavior offline. let's address it at the core so
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we can lead anonymity online for its full potential and opportunity for free speech while getting a more civil society. most on-line attacks of people actually, people know who it is. it is not a stranger-based as people think. it is often deeply personal anl. we have to look around and start building the level of tolerance and that level of respect. when we see racism and intolerance and harmful speech, go back to those communitiest ad address that at the core. we need to all be involved in that with our own kids and with our society. >> thank you. incredibly important issues to address. i want to thank the panel today. [applause]
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engagement is the final mile. truly representative engagement will define our democracy. thank you very much. it is my great pleasure to reintroduce ted to the stage. [applause] >> this will be brief and will conclude in a moment or two with the work -- the word you are all waiting to hear, lunch. if this panel and the last two panels and the report of the discussions we have had to not inspire people, i don't know what will. it has been spectacularly rewarding to participate in this and listen to the idea s that
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will empower people in this country in being more effective in choosing their leaders. if the digital era as meant nothing else, it has meant empowerment in such an incredible way and the destruction, they demolish meant of barriers of entry into the communications process, you do not have to have a big building with millions of dollars worth of printing presses. you do not have to have a broadcasting station and millions of dollars for licenses from a government agency to speak anymore. you don't have to have -- you don't have to write a pamphlet and handed out. you don't have to go door-to- door. you don't have to get a microphone instead of a soap box and hope that you will need a few people. everyone, every singlee] person, if they have the tools and know how to use them, can be a communicator and a participant in communication and can speak and become -- and have the same
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power of speaking to their colleagues, their citizens, their neighbors, and their community, the power of wealth means very little in this digital area. the power of status, the power of power or incumbency means very little. the doors are opening. this report and these discussions are for us. it is a culmination of one phase of this but it is the beginning of everything that can come from it. i hope that we have inspired the people in this room and the people who watched this on television and over the internet to start to implement the things we have been talking about. the government is already engaged in doing these things.
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i am very excited about what we have been talking about and what we have participated in doing. the fact that it involves so many people can mean so much to so many people. now, lunch, one floor down, directly across the balcony from where we are, staff will direct you. i think we can smell of food wafting up here. we will not be able to keep this audience much longer which is a testimony to your panel that was so good that they did not sneak out to get lunch. you may now get lunch. thank you very much. [applause] [no audio] [captioning performed by
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national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> in a few moments, defense secretary robert gates on afghanistan. "washington journal" live at 7:00 with segments of canada stand, the health-care debate, and the role of immigrants in the u.s.. the senate banking committee is looking at sections against iran. we will join that hearing in progress live at 10:00 eastern. >> a couple of live events to tell you about this morning -- the energy department hopes to form on the winter energy
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outlook. topics include the weather forecast, the world's oil supply, and demand for heating oil and natural gas. that is live on c-span 3 at 8:30 a.m. eastern. the senate banking committee looks set sanctions against iran. we will join that hearing in progress on c-span, live at 10:00 eastern. >> supreme court we continue to neck with the clerk of the supreme court. >> the marshall and myself, when the court is in public and brokers, at the state of the union message at the capitol and at the inauguration of the president. it is traditional. all attorneys where the morning coat. but has fallen into disuse and the attorneys where traditional formal attire. >> later this week, watch interviews with the current and retired justices. supreme court week on c-span, tonight at 9:00 eastern or after
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house coverage. as a complement to this production, cspan offers teaches free resources on our system. go to >> defense secretary says president barack obama's military advisers should give candid advice to the commander- in-chief but to do so privately. he spoke monday to the association of the u.s. army for about half an hour. his comments came after an introduction by army secretary john mchugh and association leaders. >>secretary gates, secretary mchugh, general causey, special guests a special thanks to the commanding general of the military district of washington and his great soldiers, the men and women of the military
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district of washington. special thanks to mr. mark murray who produced that show. ladies and gentlemen, we are honored today to have with us the honorable john mchugh who became the 21st secretary of the army on the 16th of september of this year. it is with great pleasure and personal honor that i welcome the secretary of the army, the honorable john mchugh. [applause] >> gordon, general sullivan, thank you for those kind comments. the fact of the matter is i'm honored. to be here. i'm rather in awe frankly. i'm from a very rural part of new york state as i think some of you in the audience may know.
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we go to county fairs and firemen's field days. this has been an amazing, amazing exposition. it speaks so highly of the ausa, the terrific work they do but more importantly, of course, is underlined and underscored what 2009 is about in the united states army. the year of the nco. and says what i know all of us believe as well. the men and women who don the uniform of the united states army are simply the greatest force for good the world has ever known. [applause] >> i think you may understand how truly honored i am to be with you here today and how truly grateful and honored i am
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that president obama afforded me this nomination and the opportunity to join an incredible army team that starts, of course, with the chief of staff, general casey, general carelli and my very intellectual guide undersecretary westphal and on and on and on. this is a great moment. i want to thank gordon sullivan for his kind comments and for his leadership. he's really taken forward the kind of achievement and integrity he brought to his years as chief of staff of the army and added to it in this great organization, ausa, 60 years of working community by community, building those grassroots efforts to bring the army message, extolling the virtues we saw displayed on that
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wonderful screen of your united states army. i have to tell you, that the days ahead, of course, are of great challenge. we find ourselves faced it seems at times by more crises than there are hours and the day in which to confront them. but i can tell you this as well, failure is not an option. we will, we can, we must succeed. and as more than 230 years of the history of this great u.s. army has shown you, the men and women who put that uniform on will be equal to this challenge as long as we stand by them. as long as you and the ausa and we and the civilian and military leadership provide them with the tools that they need. we can talk about weapons platforms. we can talk about all kinds of
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sophisticated secret instruments of power that are so important to ensure that our men and women in uniform have the edge. but the reason we succeed as a nation today is not any more complex than it was in the days when our birth first occurred. the men and women in uniform, those who go out every day who become involved not for power, not for glory, not for money but because they love this country and they are willing to give whatever it takes to help it succeed. i want to tell you one short story before i commit my honor and particular duties today to introduce our next speaker. during my tenth visit to iraq, i had an opportunity to tour the main hospital in the i.z., in the international zone and there were very few american soldiers there. it was a time of decreasing violence, which, of course, was a positive thing and as we were
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going through the emergency room, there was one american soldier there. a 19-year-old soldier who less than two days beforehand had become what the medical people call a bilateral amputee. an ied had taken both his legs. the surgeons told me they were working as hard as they could to save his left arm. .. i squeezed the corn into is one
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remaining could have. i whispered a few words into his ears about how proud we were and how his sacrifice had done so much tonnt make america safer. and how he had contributed to the freedom of literally millions of iraqis. i stepped back and almost on cue, the soldier opened his eyes and snapped me of the cleanest salute you have seen in your life. [applause] when we ask ourselves why do organizations -- what we encourage you when we ask ourselves what we endeavor to contribute to that kind of sacrifice, the answer is simple -- heroes. heroes that two things each and every day that escape the notice of most americans.
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that is why it is important that you and ausa and the defense industry and all of us as american citizens stay engaged and try to make a difference. heroes are sacrificing and making the denver for as each and every day. that is what i am so damn proud to have this opportunity to stand with you. god bless this great country. [applause] have this opportunity to stand with you. god bless those heroes and god bless this great country. [applause] speaking of heroes, if you were to read the armed services committee's oversight hearings in which the secretary of defense appeared at times, you may not believe it but he is a hero of mine. in my job have asked some tough questions. in his way he answered them all with style and grace.
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i have to tell you we all do what i suspect we kind of inflate our heroes in our minds. i have been there two week and every day i go out expecting the secretary of defense to walk out the river entrance and part the waters of the potomac. he has not yet done that. it is with great sadness i learned that what i believed to be true, he wanted to change a light bulb, he simply held it up and the pentagon turned around him, but you know what? he is still a hero. this is a man who has devoted his life to public service, first as an air force officer and for 27 years in the central intelligence agency, rising from career officer to director and in case you don't know it, you can't do that. the only person in the history
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of the directorate to make that achievement, and it speaks so highly to his skills and his abilities. he served four presidents of both political parties at the national security council. he was assistant to the president and deputy of national-security, he worked hard to make this nation safe. he took a sabbatical from public service in washington and went back to texas to serve as president of texas a&m university, serving the public before heeding the call of duty again and returning. i can tell you, having known him in my days of the armed services committee and worked for him, a broad expanse of two weeks as secretary of the army, we both understand he cares deeply about our soldiers, the men and women who wear our nation's uniform and our families, and he works
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tirelessly to keep them and their families safe. ladies and gentlemen, it is my true honor and privilege to introduce to you your main speaker for this morning, our twenty-second secretary of defense, the hon. dr. robert gates. [applause] [applause] >> thank you, john was sworn in as secretary of the army last month and i speak for the entire department of defense in saying we are glad to have him on board. for a decade and a half he represented the district that
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includes fort drum. his support made that installation one of the army's best. through his work on the armed services committee including as ranking member he has been a forceful champion for all soldiers. he will continue his advocacy on their behalf. thank you once again for taking on this responsibility although i will tell you i leaned over during the opening ceremony and said beats the hell out of a committee hearing, doesn't it? of course, my warmest thanks to ausa for invitation to attend your annual meeting. it is a real honor to speak at the opening of this conference with its focus on the steel spine of the army. my first encounter with an ceos came in january 1967 when i was
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a brand new second lieutenant in the air force. it took me all of the day and half before i figured out who it was that really made the military run or at least made we junior officers run, the noncommissioned officers. my sergeant suggested i did my job pretty well. every morning, one of the first people i see when i walk in my office is an army nco. as you might expect, he is almost always there when i leave as well. sergeant jason eason has been on two tours in iraq, he is with us today, welcome, thanks for your service. [applause] has secretary of defense i pay every bit as much attention to what ncos say now as i did when
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i was a very green second lieutenant. i always make it a point to meet with and listen to ncos around the country, they are serving with such honor and distinction. last month i attended the medal of honor ceremony for armour first sgt jared monte, the second nco to receive the medal of honor during the recent conflict. his is a story of true valor, and there are so many others. in fact, it is hard to believe that only six medal of honor have been bestowed since 2001, all posthumously. with all that our nation has asked of the army in recent years and all the troops like sergeant monte have given it is important for our soldiers to know that they have such a strong advocate in this organization. for more than half a century, ausa chapters across the country, and headquarters here,
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have aided troops and families at home, especially relevant today, when our soldiers are deployed. this takes many forms, from care packages to family support conferences, scholar should donations, all unified by a single purpose, giving our soldiers and their families the support they have earned. i spoke to this gathering in 2007, less than a year after i became secretary of defense. there is an old saying about the 1-year mark in washington. for the first six months you wonder how you got here, the next 6 months you wonder how the rest of them got here, and i might add after narrowly 3 years you start wondering how you are still here. much has happened since i last spoke with you from the changing nature of the wars iraq and afghanistan to the economic
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crisis facing our country. of course, we have a new commander in chief. i can tell you that president obama is committed to making -- to the well-being of every soldier and making sure they have the tools to do their job. the first lady has made it a personal priority to support and champion our military families. if you had asked me in october of 2007 if i would still be addressing this forum two years later, still as secretary of defense, i would have told you you are crazy. when president obama asked me to stay on, i thought about all the troops we have in combat who are serving their country far from home and often under fire, and i thought especially about the soldiers who have borne the brunt of the wars with lengthy tours who continue to reenlist and redeployed with a great sense of purpose in their mission and a great sense of pride in their country.
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i thought about their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their families. i thought about all those things and i knew i could only say yes to the new president. our troops are all doing their duty, and i had to do mine. having the chance to serve with them is the greatest and most humbling experience and honor of my life. [applause] i want to talk about the army, the current challenges we face, the department of defense is doing for our soldiers right now and what it needs to do in the future. some fox on where the service needs to go in the years ahead. first, however, a few words about the campaigns in iraq and afghanistan. as you know, in june, the u.s. mission in iraq underwent a see change as we turned security in
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urban areas over to the iraqis. that was a significant step as we dramatically reduce our presence early next year following elections and continue to shift to a purely advise and assist mission. general odierno said the violence is down, an accomplishment made possible by the hard work and sacrifices of many thousands of soldiers. at the same time afghanistan has been on a different and worrisome trajectory with violence levels up some 60% from last year. i believe the decisions the president will make for the next stage of the afghanistan campaign will be among the most important of his presidency. it is important that we take our time to do all we can to get this right and in this process it is imperative that all of us taking part in these
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deliberations, civilian and military alike, provide our best advice to the president candidly but privately. speaking for the department of defense, the commander in chief makes his decisions, we will salute and execute those decisions faithfully and to the best of our ability. even as we consider the future, i am prepared to respond to urgent needs and will keep pushing to get troops the equipment they need. ieds at the 1 cause of casualties in afghanistan and as long as our troops are in harm's way the department of defense will do everything it can to destroy these networks and protect those heroes in the fight. [applause] to accomplish this i have ordered additional intelligence,
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surveillance and reconnaissance kid ability to afghanistan including the most advanced drones and new platforms like the md-12. thousands of enablers including additional teams are on route, the first ramps designed specifically for afghanistan's rugged terrain, were delivered last week. only three months after the initial contract were rewarded. in the next year we will field thousands of these life-saving vehicles. carnation is understandably wary after six years in iraq and eight years in afghanistan. the challenges america faces in these campaigns are reflected back here, the demands faced by an army under strain. easing that strain and getting the troops what they need drove many of the changes reflected in fiscal year 2010 budget. the broad goal was to improve
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and institutionalized support for troops and their families, rebalance the department to address a wide range of threats, and correspondingly reform our and what we buy. let me start with some of the programs we have to support families. we all know the old saying, you can recruit this older but you realist's the family. the budget we submitted earlier this year includes $9 billion of family support, child care, spouse will services and housing among others. more important, we shifted funds from supplemental wardrobe bills to the base budget to ensure the family programs won't go away when the war is due. another change is the new g r a bill approved by congress coming online. the generous benefits are aide just reward for our service members in a badly needed update to the old gi bill. for the first time, troops can
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transfer benefits to family members, an idea i pushed with the suggestion of an army spouse at fort hood. [cheers and applause]@@@@@@@ @ ) we have had a traumatic brain injury and psychological health programs to make sure our troops get the care they need when they come home. this includes a major effort by the army to educate the force to prevent suicide and address the unseen wounds of war to approach mental health in much the same way as physical health. the dramatic rise in suicide is a huge concern of mine and i take heart that the army is every bit as concerned. the vice chief of staff is
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spearheading the services effort to reduce suicide and i can tell you it is both general casey and general corelli's mission to reduce this. taking care of our when the orders must problem. aside from the conflict, taking care of our wounded warriors must be the highest priority. the department of defense is doing more for military families than it ever has. when i visit bases around the country there is often a disconnect. i believe we must do a better job delivering assistance, especially new programs, to those who need them most. we have to make it easier for them to know what is out there so they can take advantage of these initiatives. strong recruiting and retention, though influenced by the economy, continue to show the willingness of young americans to serve. the active army has surpassed
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recruiting and retention goals recently allowing the service to reach its goal of enlarging to 400,000 soldiers earlier this year. considering the stress on the force and of coming deployment rotation's i have also authorized a temporary extension of an additional 22,000 soldiers to get through this high demand period. this temporary increase will not add new force structure, but will fill out the unit's we already have. the goal is to end stop-loss and increase. the army has eliminated most waiters and will exceed 90% for the number of recruits with high-school diplomas. finally, efforts continued to make this a single army with the guard and reserve receiving comparable training and the same equipment as the active force. the pace and types of missions will change but the reserve components, operational responsibilities will continue.
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even with all these efforts to mitigate the force, the reality is a significant number of soldiers will continue to be deployed in the near and midterm. right now there are more soldiers in iraq and afghanistan combined that were deployed to those two countries during the height of the iraq surge. america's soldiers continue to excel on the battlefield doing extraordinary things under incredible pressure. as we look to the future it is the great innovation and shifts in the army these last few years, institutionally and operationally that must guide the service going forward. what have we learned in the last few years and how is it relevant to potential conflicts of tomorrow? the challenge of opposed to the army two years ago was to retain the lessons learned and capabilities gays in counterinsurgency in your regular warfare. from what i've witnessed that has taken place.
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today's army bears a passing resemblance to that of eight years ago. mostly designed to repeat another desert storm. the army we have is a supremely adaptable and flexible force, able to deploy rapidly, operate with more autonomy, and slide along the scale of conflicts spectrum to confront very different types of threats. let me give a few examples. on the technological side, there have been tremendous advances in our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, advances that led to an unprecedented fusion of intelligence and operations on the ground, and other communications improvements have led to greater command and control, and more tools to improve this further in getting out to the field. the army has recognized the most important part of its procurement strategy is the network as opposed to the platform.
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coming years, there should be redolent -- revolutionary breakthroughs in the ability of our troops to see themselves, other allied forces and their adversaries even if the inevitable fog of war and resourcefulness prevent us from ever achieving total situational awareness. there have also been entirely new concept from the war zones. one of the most important is the advise and assist brigade that has three main functions, traditional strike capabilities, advisory roles, enablers and command and control to support both functions. in july i visited the first aab deployed to iraq and was impressed with the ability to pull a standard brigade combat team in a few months and was relatively small force augmentation. by the end of next year we plan for the iraq mission to be composed almost entirely of aabs and some time down the road the same will be true in
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afghanistan. there is, unfortunately, still a lingering view that advisory positions are second-tier jobs, an assumption that needs to be addressed through assignments and promotions. the advisory, train and equip mission is a key role for the army going forward given that america's security will increasingly depend on our ability to build the capabilities of other nations. these capabilities are all the more necessary considering the steep human, political and financial costs of direct u.s. military intervention. under the leadership of general dempsey, the army has put its training and doctrine process on war footing. the combined arms center, the doctrinal cycle has been reduced dramatically. aabdr. was fielded a couple months, approved the army has accelerated its ability was adapting to rapidly changing circumstances. this is a key advantage, not
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just in counterinsurgency but any conflict, the 75% solution within months was often far better than a 99% solution that might take years. we cannot allow the army's ability to swiftly adapt at the institutional level to become ossified down the line. the greatest change, however, is on the ground level with the men and women on the front lines. young officers and in ceos at the front have always had to make profound life-and-death decisions. in today's conflicts, their responsibilities are even greater and more complex. playing the rules of warrior, diplomat, mayor, economist, city engineer, tribal liaison, often at the same time. we must ensure that that kind of mental agility, entrepreneurial spirit and independent judgment
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required to be effective downrange carries over into future assignments. it is a safe bet that the leader who strives in an environment in this complexity can adapt quickly to other forms of work. looking forward we must find a way to retain season young officers and ncos and give them the opportunities to use the same talents when they move on from combat positions as momentous responsibility to more mundane assignments in the bureaucracy. their battlefield experience must form the core of an army prepared to fight wars in the future. that brings me to a larger point. for the last few years there has been a concern that our forces are too focused on counterinsurgency and lost its edge for complex, conventional operations involving multiple brigades or divisions. the experiences of the british colonial army before world war i
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and the israeli military lebanon have even been cited. this is a legitimate concern. we continue to work toward finding the right balance. but the notion that the changes we have seen about to turn the army into some sort of counterinsurgency constabulary is losing its core competency is above all to shoot, move and communicate, does not reflect the reality of the current campaign. take, example, the battle of solder city last year. u.s. troops had to synchronize airpower, artillery, and isr through a complex urban environment and coordinating with numerous dispersed units. let there be no doubt that modernization plans for the full spectrum of warfare continue. the army is accelerating the development of the information network and will feel it, and proven across the entire force.
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i remain committed to the army's ground vehicle modernization program, but it has to be done in a way that reflects the lessons we learned in the last few years about war in the twenty-first century and incorporates the department of defense's $30 billion investment. we have to recognize that the black and white distinction between conventional war and in regular work is an outdated model. simply possessing the ability to annihilate other militaries in a conventional fight in no way ensures that we can achieve our strategic goals, a point driven home in iraq and afghanistan. in reality the future will be more complex, where all conflict will range across broad spectrum of operations. even competitors will use a regular or asymmetric tactics, and non state actors may have
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weapons of mass destruction or sophisticated missiles. even as we prepare for the future and pursue modernization plans we must always recognize the limits of technology and be modest about what military force alone can accomplish. advances in preseason, sensor information and satellite technologies have led to extraordinary gains that will continue to give the u. s military an edge over its adversaries, but no one should never neglect the psychological, cultural, political and human dimensions of war, or succumb to the optimism that has mobile strategic thinking in the past. that is especially true for the ground services which will be in the lead for and bear the brunt of its regular and hybrid campaigns in the future. let me close with a final thought. for eight years the army has
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been in a constant state of war. our soldiers have been deployed over and over again and taking the fight increasingly battle hardened and lethal enemies. the stakes have been enormous, tales of heroism and sacrifice extraordinary. hundreds of thousands of brave warriors have volunteered to serve their country knowing they would probably go to war. they have endured time away from family and friends and they have risked their lives for their fellow soldiers. there is no way to overstate the challenges facing our army. when i think about the individual soldiers, their honor, and their courage, i am confident that the united states army will continue to meet those challengess and as always, exceed every expectation in the years ahead. thank you. [applause]
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>> supreme court week continues tonight with the clerk of the supreme court. >> which traditionally where the morning coat, the marshall and myself, when the court is in public and wearing road. when we are in session upstairs at the state of the message or the capitol and at the inauguration of president. it is very traditional. years ago, all attorneys arguing cases where the morning coat. that has fallen into disuse. now the attorneys where traditional formal attire. >> later this week, watch interviews with the current and retired justices. supreme court weakens he spent, tonight at 9:00, eastern or after house coverage. as a complement to this week's
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production, cspan offers teachers free resources on our judicial system. go to cspan >> "washington journal" is next with today's news and your phone calls for the senate committee is looking at sanctions against iran. will join that hearing in progress, live at 10:00 eastern. the house is in session at two o'clock 30 eastern for general speeches. legislative business is at 2:00 p.m., eastern. in a half an hour, we will talk about the war in afghanistan with former assistant defense secretary lawrence corb. more about the health care to put debate at 9:00 eastern.
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we will be joined by steven roberts, an author on the contributions that immigrants make to the u.s. "washington journal" is next. . host: we want to hear from you as to whether the president should add more troops as general mcchrystal has suggested, or is there another
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option on the table? what is the next up in afghanistan? if you support more troops while the first line. if you support a scaled-back approach, dialed the second line. other options -- . the third -- -- dial the third line. but house correspondent with politico is now joining us by phone. talk about the different options for president obama, and a little in detail about what the vice president would like to see. guest: the dilemma is that the white house is facing a request by general mcchrystal, the top commander in afghanistan and someone whom barack obama put into place over there.
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general mcchrystal says he needs those boots the drug to do the job over there. but a vice-president joe biden and others are talking the tremendous success of other kinds of surgical attacks against al qaeda leaders in the border areas between afghanistan and pakistan and saying we do not need more troops, but more aggressive target. it comes down to whether we believe that al qaeda and the taliban are really one and the same, or whether it is only necessary to go after al qaeda operatives. we could leave the taliban and not really be as concerned about who is running afghanistan. host: the president is meeting with a bipartisan group of congressional leaders. why is that? guest: it is important to bring
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in leaders who shape the public debate. the white house is engaged in an open and public debate with a long soughnational security sesn last week in the situation room where there were going over the strategy. general mcchrystal has been engaged in a highly unusual public debate almost with the president where he has been arguing in a speech in london last week in a memo leaked to " the washington post" for these new troops. that has some of the military frustrated that general mcchrystal is debating the president in public and not keeping his ideas and sending them through the normal chain of command. it is always a point of tension and the constitution, the
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civilians control the military -- not the other way around. it is something each president must work out for himself. in this case we see a long- running debate inside the pentagon between the colin powell doctrine of going in heavy and overwhelming as to the force to defeat it, and the rumsfeld doctrine which is much more of a light information-age special forces approach. if you are running a counter- insurgency you do not need a heavy occupying force, but instead of leiter, more nimble force that does not anger public as much by being so visible. host: javers, is that what vice- president joe biden -- is he proposing a rumsfeld-type
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approach? guest: yes, he seems to be more in the light foreskin but then general mcchrystal who is asking for 40,000 more troops. -- asking for a light approach. on the sunday shows this weekend there was a fairly light rebuke offered of ms. christo in which he said it was better for people -- general mcchrystal, better for people to put their thoughts through the normal chain of command and not in public speeches. it almost boxes in the president to what could be a very unfortunate situation where he is forced to deny a request from his top general in the field for more troops. that could set up the delicate
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situation, almost reminds you a little of president truman dealing with general macarthur. alternately, president truman said he could not take this kind of pressure anymore and fired general macarthur. it was the watershed moment of his career. in this case would be difficult for, because after all, he gave general mcchrystal the job not long ago. host: here is the headline from the press. it says that the u.s. should stay in afghanistan. explain the press secretary's comments yesterday. guest: general jim jones said this also on sunday. they want to be clear that we're not pulling out of afghanistan. what is going on here is a re- evaluation of the strategy. what are we there for? to prevent another 9/11? to get al qaeda? and all these other people
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involved in that? or are we there for long term course of nation-building which involves supported though karzai government and rebuilding the country? there are two different scenarios there. host: that is what we will ask our viewers this morning. thank you for your time. bill now joins us from winston- salem, north carolina. caller: i think possibly general mcchrystal is coming out in public because he has behind the scenes communicate with the white house and they're waffling. he possibly feels that he will not leave his men hanging out in the wind if he needs more personal to do the job. perhaps 40,000 new troops would
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be beneficial. if we're going to do this thing to give victory there, we need to put on the pinch. we have to remember that the taliban are fundamental, hard- core muslims. we're worried about losing our people's lives, but if this goes out and the taliban take over they will deliver retribution to all those who helped or who stood idly by while we were in their country. as for overall foreign policy i think the world is watching to see whether obama is an alpha male or beta mail.
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we need to help general mcchrystal do the job. -- alpha or beta male. caller: good morning, i would like to say that yes, i think that scale back his the way to go. i appreciated secretary curategates' cummins productivet the human dimension of war. i think it is something that we have no appreciation for -- i appreciate his comments concerning the human dimension of war. i have been studying the aspect of the war from the perspective of women and children who are becoming increasingly recognized as people. for instance, one woman from afghanistan will speak at montgomery college next week. it is about the true cause of
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for and what happens when the -- even if we win militarily we arm thugs who continue to suppress elements of society. the idea of them becoming part of the political situation leads to an unsolvable situation. host: moving on to lebanon, new jersey. caller: since we now higher just as many independent contractors as we have service folks over there, i think that obama and joe biden should take a page from kennedy's administration and use a totally different approach like the peace corps.
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general mcchrystal made a large point of walking around the towns without guns. he showed all the folks there, we are here to help you. i am not carrying again. if you can do it and if we are hiring just as many independent contractors over there who also do have guns, why can't we have a group of people if what we are supposed to be doing is helping the people? what do we send people to teach other forms of agriculture? when international group has a wonderful program. they can provide farm animals. they send in a group of people, teach people how to raise and care for animals properly.
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the person who receives the animal, their obligation is to give the first born female to someone else in their village and teach them how to use it. through these sustainable practices we can be friends and not come in with guns and shoot them. host: ok, for those who believe more troops is the answer, barbara from missouri. caller: good morning, i'm 75 years old. 32 years as a military wife. i am a korean veteran and i just love hearing all these high- flown ideas from people who have never been involved in a situation like this. i'm begging my government to
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please get troops into afghanistan so we have no more people killed. i would like to remind you of vietnam and cambodia, what happened after we pulled out. that was millions killed in the killing fields. host: we will talk about the comparisons between vietnam and afghanistan later on in the gordon goldstein program with -- better on it in the program with gordon goldstein who authored a book. on our twitter page this morning -- here is a tweet that
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says strategies should be to pull all troops, secure borders, strength and intelligence, and make clear consequences if terrorists return. caller: we have been there almost seven to eight years. we cannot win. we are murdering them. can anyone tell me why? surely we're not going to use that stale 9/11 excuse when we know afghanistan has nothing to do with that. this is nothing but another vietnam. i am sorely disappointed in barack obama. i thought he had more brains than george bush, but i see that the same people who ran him are running obama. host: did you vote for president obama? caller: i did and i am disgusted
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in him. he has not done anything in iraq. he said he would bring home the troops. he said he would close guantanamo. he has not done anything. we cannot win in afghanistan because we went in there based on a lie and the people do not like us. host: peter baker writes this morning, surgical strikes shape afghanistan's debate. the white house has been promoting the race that killed al qaeda operatives there and elsewhere.
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back to your phone calls this morning about what option you would like to see -- more troops, the scaled-back approach as vice president joe biden has proposed, or another option? here is a caller joining us concerning another option. caller: hello, yes, this is allie. i like some of the options i have heard so far and do believe that mr. obama is really trying to make some decisions about other decisions made before he was in office. as far as iraq is concerned, you have to wonder once people go into other people's facilities
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and acknowledge they have more than the average person, you have to remember that they are broken -- -- they broke the statue of the president there in iraq. my son sacrificed to go into afghanistan and said he had a pleasant time there. my son said he enjoyed his time there meeting people who were sure ali, concerning tradition. tradition in domain sunni islam and ali -- shi'ites.
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host: we will leave it there and talk more about joe biden's option. the scaled-back approach would not reduce the current force of 60,000 troops, but instead keep troop levels roughly where it they are now but shift emphasis to the predators droned strikes. -- predator-drone strikes. jacksonville, fla. -- more troops?
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caller: good morning. yes, i guess biden does not mind killing a bunch of civilians with those drones, but yes, i think the president should listen to his commander in the field. he has called for more troops. more of our soldiers are being killed every day in the death rate is going up. he has called for help over there. that is the reason he has to go public. obama went on the letterman show more times than he talk to general mcchrystal.
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he there needs to send some troops are get out. host: melvin, from atlanta, georgia, you support a scaled- back approach. caller: number one, we do not have a definable mission and we have been there for eight years. if the afghan people are not willing to fight for their sovereignty or freedom i'm not willing to put more american troops in harm's way for them. host: this is a piece this morning from "the washington times" -- downplayed the inroads made by al qaeda. it says that not only are white house leaders misconstruing the reasons for success we have had, but the post's article cherry pick even the analysis of
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their major on the record stores. arkansas, another option on the table? caller: we really have to change something over there. the rules of engagement, that is just absurd. the me give you a quick scenario. then i have a question. look, we have a flag on the battlefield. too many civilians on the field. everyone back up 200 yards. wade a minute, we have a read it
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challenge flag by the taliban. is this reviewable? we will find out after the word from our sponsors. could it get any more insane? war is war. host: what do you mean by that? caller: people die in war. if you send troops over there handcuffed, if there will hide behind people and these people are too stupid to get out of the way -- war is war. host: what are you advocating? caller: i say to get in there and get the job done. they have our hands tied so much that we're getting killed and we're not able to kill them. host: on the front page herefrontsnow crops -- presidents george and h.w. bush -- snowcroft applauds obama this
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approach. promoting the targeted tax that vice-president joe biden has talked about. also this morning in related stories, here is the baltimore paper with headlines -- gates warns about loose lips. the other headline this morning said that gates once leaders or advice kept secrets. also, the newly times" -- pakistan resists efforts to what an influence of the u.s. it says there is a strained in the alliance. -- this is from the "the new york times." caller: i'm against having troops there at all. the taliban is a religion. it is a religion we do not like,
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but it is a religion and we should not use the u.s. army to fight it. host: new haven, conn., another option? caller: i think we should just pull out the troops. i do not agree with been in afghanistan or even iraq. like the previous caller said, we are fighting a religion and you cannot do it. we tried its in the crusades back in the early 1100's. it was the same. religion has been the greatest killer in the world. host: here are two different opinions this morning in the editorial section. michael, a senior fellow at the brookings institute writes that a general within bounds --'and supports --s proposal and right
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to come out and speak about what he sees as necessary. below that is robinson's column -- "out of line on afghanistan." the second it starts out by saying how to proceed in afghanistan will be among the most difficult and fateful decisions that president obama ever makes. these are two different pieces. richmond, va. -- kevin, you support more troops? caller: i think we should supplement what we have there. otherwise it will create the unknown. the drug addict war is not a game. you cannot call it like a football game.
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there are variables and you do not know what to expect. also, the peace corps option is totally irrelevant. you send unarmed persons there, they are walking targets for the taliban. they do not fight by rules of war. we still abide by the geneva convention and other treaties, but our enemy is not a traditional enemy. host: on the lines for those who support a scaled-back approach, north carolina. please turn down your television. caller: i think they should bring home our troops because they do not have to fight a war anymore. there is no way they will win because they do not know how to fight anymore. in the 1950's when i was in the korean war there were not enough
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troops to drop behind enemy lines and bring them in. the ones on the front lines would go meet them and what them out. they should just come back come. host: walter, the longtime reporter in washington, on intelligence and military issues rights in the fine print this morning -- critics do not see the new ones in general mcchrystal comments on the war. he goes more in depth about what he said during the speech. he says that once the decision on troop levels is made he will carry it out.
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dallas, roger, you support another option? caller: yes, i do. a think the approach that has not yet been tried has been for -- yes, the approach has not yet been tried so far is for obama to make up his mind. does he want to stay in afghanistan and win, or get out? he should listen to the advice
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of the commanders on the ground that he appointed, but i believe his number one priority is how does he keep his left-wing base happy without losing afghanistan? he has not yet figured out how to. waffling is all that he can do. host: a few more headlines this morning. as job losses rise, obama aides act to fix safety net. with an eye on midterm races the administration is seeking ways to spur economic gains and extended benefits. here it says that the vaccine arrives as the flu spreads. 27 states across the nation reported widespread cases and 99% of cases reported were h1n1 relative.
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-- h1n1 related. here on the front page, salary cuts, top earners of firms getting aid would seek compensation shifts from cash to stocks. the last phone call on our next step in afghanistan, jack in new york joins us to support more troops. caller: i do believe we need more troops to get the job done. we have way too much invested there already. the region is too unstable to do anything but beef up the force. we should be there to win. i find it ironic that we continue to have politicians second-guessing the professional judgment of generals on the field.
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it does not mean we should not look at other options, but i don't think we're taking general mcchrystal seriously enough. host: we will take a short back and come back to continue the conversation with lawrence korb, a former defense administration secretary under the ronald reagan administration. ♪ >> supreme court wheat continues tonight with the clerk. >> we traditionally where the morning court. in session upstairs at the state of the union message, and at the inauguration of a president -- it is very traditional. years ago all attorneys arguing
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cases here were the morning cut. that has fallen into disuse and now they're where traditional formal attire. >> later this week which interviews with the justices. tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern. c-span offers teachers free war resources. >> the 2010 student cam contest is here with $50,000 in prizes. the top prize is $5,000. just create a five to eight minute video. it must incorporate c-span programming and show varying points of view. winning entries will be shown on c-span. get started by visiting our web site. "washington journal" continues.
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host: lawrence korb is a senior fellow and former assistant defense secretary under ronald reagan administration. let me ask you which option you think is the right way for the obama administration to go? more troops on the ground, or at a scaled-back approach, or is there another option? guest: the first thing the president has to decide is whether he is willing to commit to stay there between three and five years and get the support of the american people. then he must look at what the troops will do. what are the troops for? i would support sending more troops to train the afghan security forces said that eventually they can take over. finally, i would ask general mcchrystal if i send them, what is the probability of success
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given the elections? as we've learned in vietnam you can win all the battles, but if you do not have a government that the people support, when you leave it will fall apart. host: do you seize success with the current state of their government? guest: when you add it additional troops for training let president karzai know that if he does not stop the corruption and start to give justice we will not continue to have americans fight. you have to send the two messages at the same time. host: can there be a central government there? guest: you can have a government that administers justice and presides over the country, but i would suggest we tell karzai to
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set up a coalition or he brings in some of those who ran against him. we know that the election has been tainted. host: we want to get your reaction to the front page story in many newspapers this morning. here it says that secretary gates once the leaders of war advice kept private. guest: i do not think that gates should have let him give the speech. as a general you cannot just go out to give speeches. it must be approved. yes, you have to get the text approved and get permission to speak. to me it was amazing that secretary gates allowed him to do that. secondly, when he did at the international institute he could have done it off the record. it is amazing to me.
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host: then, what you think is going on there? guest: i do not think they realized what was happening. they were not paying attention. host: who is a day? guest: secretary gates and his staff, and the white house. i think that we use generals too much. they should not go on sunday morning talk shows. they end up getting in on politics. it is not their job. they should go to congress and be honest with the president, but not get into the public arena. host: as a former assistant defense secretary tell the viewer with a means to add 40,000 troops? guest: for example, president obama has ordered 21,000 back in
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march and they're not even there yet. it will be six months up to one year before they even get there. the cost for every troop you send is a couple hundred thousand dollars. it is important to talk about what kind of troops they are. so, you're talking about ratcheting up the cost in afghanistan by at least $20 up to $30 billion per year. host: do we have that many ready to go? guest: we have to cut down in iraq. on june 30 we had to leave the cities.
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if it came down to the president deciding he needed more troops, i would not continue to send them to iraq and draw that down even more quickly than he has previously proposed. host: we are speaking with lawrence korb. let's get to your phone calls. pennsylvania, on the republican line. caller: good morning. i have heard you off and on through the years. i know that your background is personnel. i hear you talking about strategy and tactics. but don't you lay out for us in your background. when have you ever been trained in strategy and tactics? i'm not picking on you except for the fact that you're working for an organization physically founded by george soros and your organization comes with a political agenda built in.
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host: let's hear your response. guest: i was a naval flight officer in spent four years in active duty, was in vietnam, used to teach strategy at the naval war college. even though i had a job in the pentagon it was not just personal, but manpower, logistics'. i have been at all of the think tanks. in each of those places i have had wonderful bosses who have let me say what i think. there is no party line here. in fact, if someone were to tell me i could not do it i would go someplace else. host: do you have an ideological bent backs guest: i grew up in new york and was a rockefeller republican, impressed by president eisenhower.
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a work for president ronald reagan because i thought the country needed to go in a new direction. we got in over our heads in lebanon and he had the courage to get out. he had the courage to meet with the party leader gorbachev even though many right-wing republicans called him a name when he did that. i do think that obama is the leader that we need given where we are as a country. i do what i think is best for the country. sometimes i am right, sometimes wrong. host: of what point do you think president obama needs to have the courage to get out of afghanistan? guest: he needs to explain the stakes to the american people. if he wants to keep a significant number -- do not forget he has already doubled that in afghanistan -- he needs to tell americans that it will not be quick.
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the first eight years have been wasted. we may as well not have been there and we missed our operative. it gets the frustrated when i hear people saying that you could listen to your generals. we did not listen to the general mcchrystal's predecessors when they ask for more troops. the chairman of the joint steve says -- joint chiefs of staff told congress in iraq we do what we must, in afghanistan would do well we can. now people say you have to do something? host: do you think that phrase should be applied to afghanistan? guest: president obama is correct. that is the war we should have given priority to. he thinks it is a war of necessity and i agree. he needs to tell the american people it will not be over quick. be prepared to make the
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sacrifice. host: tenn., on the line for democrats. caller: i agree with you that the government there needs to be more of a coalition government. i believe the same is true about troops on the ground, that we need to be more engaged with the warlords and having may be a coalition there between the american troops or nato troops. they know who the taliban are, the enemy is. if we get the right intelligence information on the ground to troops, we have a better chance of success. as far as general mcchrystal, he has some things to come clean
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about in the tillman affair first off before we listen to him about anything else. there are other things that go on. it is necessary to get afghanistan stable so we do not lose pakistan. guest: your last point is very imported. if we give any signal we are not in afghanistan to stay the course, you have problems in pakistan. a spent 10 days in pakistan in april and they call themselves the disposable allied. it is very important to send that signal and for obama to let the american people know when he decides that he will see it through. host: let me get your reaction to two headlines.
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they have that afghans along the river will embrace progress, but much unrest remains. guest: the college's main point regarding the second article. we need to protect the population. we did not finish the job. the taliban has returned. they tell the people that the u.s. will not be here. that is why president obama has doubled the number of troops. this is not like iraq. the secretary ogeneral of nato said this is the future much more broadly.
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they say that they do not want american troops. they want economic gain from us and military assistance, but not american troops because they don't want to be seen as dependent on the u.s. -- is a fine line. the pakistan military did a good job going after the taliban when they broke out of the frontier areas. host: ohio, on the independent line. caller: i have a question. the summer before 9/11 the bush administration sent the taliban $40 million. back in the 1990's i understand that karzai and connelly's arise were employed by the same oil company in texas and were teaching taliban have to lay gas pipeline. when 9/11 came remember the 19
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guys -- al gore wanted bulletproof doors put on the cockpit doors of airliners, but instead they kept trying to impeach bill clinton with the republican-run senate and house. general mcchrystal covered up to men's death. this project all came out of business. guest: a lot of things to think about. you're right, this country did establish relations with the taliban. president bush after the horrible events of 9/11 to the taliban that the fight is not with them, but with al qaeda. if you get rid of al qaeda, we will leave you alone. you are right, former vice president al gore has been ahead on many things. he talked in the 1990's and if
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we had done it we may have avoided some of the events of 9/11. host: here is a message by twitter. guest: we have changed the military strategy from counter- terrorism to counter-insurgency because we have more troops. with this thing that has been leaked to the press by general mcchrystal is that you can get some people who joined the insurgency only for money who do not buy into the philosophy of al qaeda -- you can break them off. it is something we should do. it should be a comprehensive strategy. host: on the line for it democrats from memphis, tenn..
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caller: for those who think we should send more troops, which should be prepared for more coffins returning to america. guest: unfortunately, i think that is the cost. as americans we ought to be ashamed after 2001 where no one made sacrifices and except for the trips. we cut taxes for many americans. we got involved in both iraq and afghanistan and put tremendous strains on the troops. we should have gone through a draft. if you will not use it when you are involved in two major wars, to me it makes no sense. had we done that i think the country would be more involved and be asking tougher questions. had we had conscription
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americans would have asked more questions about going into iraq. as president kennedy's speechwriter put it, iraq was a mindless, needless, senseless war. host: the sink even now president obama should ask for sacrifices? guest: we have a deadline. president bush agreed to get out of iraq. it may not be as necessary now. host: as far as afghanistan? guest: you can do without conscription if you get out of iraq. to me is in moral we have done to the men and women of the armed services, sending them back into combat without enough time at home. it might be 400,000 people with mental problems as a result.
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host: republican line, jacksonville, fla. caller: 01 to ask about the economic cost of the war. i'm about as conservative as you can get and i am so sick of this war. the ndp ran a story that said it cost us over $86,000 per month to keep the soldier in iraq. we have 130,000 there. it cost $139,000 to keep a soldier in afghanistan. last month i was listening to fox news and they quoted the surge of $3 billion. but it is $30 billion for a month. the figures are astronomical. we are never told the financial cost. those figures do not count tanks, airplanes.
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this morning we hear we have contractors in pakistan. most of these are not american. we went to war in afghanistan because of 9/11. guess who has a contract to guard the embassy in kabul -- the lebanese. you explain a sense of that to me. i wish your group would do a study of the real cost. i think it is probably -- that is what is killing our economy. guest: we have done that. the estimate right now of the war's is about $1 trillion. that is the direct cost. not only did we not raise taxes, but we cut them.
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it has contributed to our deficit. the caller is quite right, about $100,000 per person cent. we need to be aware of that. i would like to see us make some sacrifices, pay a sur-tax. the other point you made about contractors, when the bush administration went into iraq -- they put the contractors in and you had several problems. the company themselves besides hutu higher. the green zone in iraq was guarded by a young man from peru working for a contractor. -- decide who to hire, the companies themselves. host: let me get your reaction
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to this interview article. he says that abandoning afghanistan would be catastrophic. guest: yes, he is right. the question is how to do it. what is your strategy, what kind of troops? we should pull back in population areas and train afghan security forces to take over. in afghanistan their army is more unified unlike iraq. host: st. petersburg, fla. caller: i spent 10 years in the service and understand with the uniform code of military justice meant. i think that the general should be fired, brought up on charges of not following the chain of command. general petraeus is supposed to be such a great leader, was he not prosecuting general mcchrystal? guest: i made this point before
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-- i think that generals have become too politicized. general petraeus was in charge of turning security forces, but one month before the the 2004 election he wrote a piece in "the washington post" saying how well it was gone. it was inappropriate. i cannot understand why they allowed general mcchrystal to give the speech and not off the record. they did not use chatham house rules. host: general mcchrystal has also said he has had limited face time with president obama. do you find that unusual? guest: no, this is part of the problem from the previous administration. we have a chain of command.
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if the president starts to go with the field commander it can cause problems through thechain. concerning admiral fallonm, chain got messed up. when you have them all their few want to put the generals in the field by videoconference, that is fine. host: a couple more phone calls. john joins us on the line for democrats. caller: i believe that president obama can win in afghanistan because he is willing to bring in more military. he will push the diplomatic levers with secretary of state
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clinton. it will give him but only a better position in afghanistan, but more leverage throughout the area when they see that we will be there. he could solidify his face and show he is not abandoning them even though they are opposed to the war by pressing hard for the public option. i know that that is a trade-off, but that is what it will take. guest: i will leave the public option in terms of health care. you are quite right. in addition to having foreign policy -- he has ambassador holbrooke focusing on this area. if anyone can do the diplomatic thing, it is him, as we saw in bosnia. host: west virginia, on the republican line. caller: good morning, it is all well and good for these people
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regardless of party to play with each other in washington d.c. while our service people are dying. these people are doing what they are asked and we're not backing them up guest: that is a terrific point. if you're going to send them, you make sure they have enough. i worked with powell. make sure you have enough support and have an exit strategy. we did not do that in afghanistan or iraq. a think president obama if he wants to continue must do host: those things thank you, lawrence korb. when we return we'll talk with gordon goldstein. we'll talk about the comparisons between vietnam and afghanistan.
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after that, will speak with donald on health care. he is a former head of the american medical association. then an author joins us to talk about his book "from every end of this earth" about immigration. first an update. >> president obama focuses on global terror and security matters. he dresses staff members at the counter-terrorism center here in washington. reports this morning said that pakistan is where one operative it received al qaeda training. a senior operative was in touch with the afghan in madrid. intelligence officials say that the cia tip of domestic agencies who briefed the president on the thrift in august. this fellow is accused of
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planning a terror attack in new york. more on the food program in the afghan capital issue. five workers died at the compound. but taliban spokesman says that the un and other foreign aid groups are infidels and working in the interest of muslims. who spokesman says a vaccine is the best tool against h1n1 despite reports of a few minor side effects in china. he says the current formulation is among the safest vaccines that who has seen and that people should be encouraged to get it. with cold weather on the way through it energy information service releaseds its forecast. natural gas prices are down. the news conference begins live in half an hour.
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those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. "washington journal" continues. host: our next guest is the author of this book. it just cannot in paperback. the press secretary robert gibbs was asked about the book and said this. >> [inaudible] >> i hesitate to get into hypotheticals. the president is going to get into a top to bottom assessment to make sure we have a strategy that meet our goal. . .
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>> i think the number of people had read the book here. again, this goes to the larger perspective of the way the administration is giving this discussion. that is, let's get a firm strategy. let us discuss that. let us hope and pride that, to
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ensure we have done it the right way, and then achieve that strategy. part of that strategy is deciding resources. we have seen when tens of thousands of troops are moved into an area, and that may come up with a strategy. or after that happens, you come up with a definable goal that you know when it is time to go home. i think the administration wants to ensure the american people that we are doing our best to protect our national interests. host: the author of that book, gordon goldstein, "lessons in disaster." what would you like the white house to take away from your book? >> my book is about the reflections of the former
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national security adviser george bundy, who looked back on his role of policy-making in vietnam and tried to draw some critical lessons of th. he was a passionate advocate of the war. in retrospect, he concluded the war could not be one and should not have been thought. our collaboration together focused on his efforts to understand how we got so dangerously off track, and how that could be applied to future generations. he said, in part, i had taken part in a great failure. that is why, i believe, the lessons of the and none of our
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resident, and that is why some are trying to grab the essence of that as the chart the way forward in afghanistan. host: what would you like them to take away from your book? guest: one thing relates to president kennedy, the other relates to president lyndon johnson. in 1961, kennedy was facing the first proposal to send in escalated forces. it was the first proposal to send in ground combat forces. he was told he had to make a down payment on a ground force commitment that could grow up to 200,000 men. kennedy, in essence, was encircled by the secretary of defense, state, bundy, his generals on the ground, all together promoting this proposal
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to send in forces. however, kennedy was skeptical that that would be successful. he told one of his aides that the odds were 100 to 1 of the u.s. prevailing in vietnam. he acted on the courage of his conviction and denied their request. the lesson there is that counselors provide, the president decides. now we are being faced with a similar decision. he has to come to his own conclusion. if he does not have strong levels of confidence that it will be successful, he has to act on the basis of his conviction as well. host: we sat down with the
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former defense secretary, robert mcnamara, in 1995, when he wrote his book about vietnam. >> we believe, as i believe in 1974, that if the soviets and chinese controlled it, the rest of southeast asia would fall. and the communist strength would be so increase, western europe could have been in danger. that is what we thought, but we were totally wrong that is why we acted as we did. host: react to those comments from robert mcnamara, and what george bundy told you when you were working on the book. guest: for the benefit of your
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viewers, let me tell your viewers how significant that book was. they were very close friends and colleagues who had a great deal of mutual respect for one another. when mcnamara wrote his book, he came under enormous criticism for it, yet, decided that he had to grapple with these issues. despite the fire he came under, bundy to sign it, too, that he would have to engage in his own right to effective study. it was -- a retrospective study. he was able to come to many of the same conclusions. at that time, there was an overwhelming preoccupation with the cold war, the threat posed by global communism. that was, more than any other
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factor, the animating, proposed the focus of decision making about vietnam. there was a belief that bundy held, passionately, that if the u.s. did not uphold its stance by staying firm in vietnam, by keeping its commitments there, the larger competition with the soviet union, that we would be in great danger. he retrospectively concluded that that conviction was wrong. we believe in the domino theory, but the greatest the nfl the other way, -- the amoco fell the other way, and i am referring to indochina. we doubled down on that commitment, and it was something that bundy concluded, we should not have made.
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host: do you see parallels to date in the debate with afghanistan? guest: there are a number of strong parallels. one of them goes back to kennedy in 1961. at the time, he said in delegation to south viet nam to review the military situation. it was led by one of his top generals, max taylor. the early reports were leaked to the press. there was a suggestion that the president was inclined to except the increase. kennedy hated this notion that he was boxed in. in turn, he suggested his own leaks that that was not the case. then there was a showdown in the
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autumn of 1961. i think direct parallels are are occurring right now in washington. the general mcchrystal has advocated in increase of up to 40,000 troops in afghanistan. someone close to him has week his recommendation to bob woodward of the "washington post." days later they reported that the president would suspend the deliberation on that number and initiate a debate about the strategy. we have seen the leak and counterleak. it appears that the general is trying to influence the outcome. host: first phone call. silver spring, maryland.
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democrat line. caller: i can only guess this particular strategy that you mentioned would probably exacerbate this problem further. you have a young president who probably only played a video game, as far as any military strategy. he is no jack kennedy. your last two dimensions about bundy and mcnamara. these two men were at the last turn of their life, felt so much guilt and shame, they had to go through these reflections to get through the final stage of their life. here we are going through something that is probably more lethal than anything we could imagine, not only in cost, but
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leaking these things too depressed -- to the press. guest: i would make two points. in our system, we have a very clear designation of authority in the office of the commander in chief. the president is the one, alone, who defines the strategy, the objective, and the means needed to apply the objectives. there is something problematic about a general seeking to influence the outcome of the debate, however passionately he believes he has the right calculation. the president does not want to be seen as in opposition to his military commanders on the ground. no president want to be put in that situation.
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but we have seen in the past few days it is general mcchrystal, and those around him, had essentially been rebuked by general jones, secretary gates, for disseminating their views on a credible strategy question which is the president's domain to respond to. the second point is, there is something very constructive going on right now. in 1975, when they were debating the troop increases in vietnam, there was a debate in washington presided over by president johnson, but the outcome was predetermined. he was going to approve the proposal. it was an exercise in political stage craft. as bundy retrospectively said,
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we were debating a number, not a use. i believe we are seeing the inverse of that, debating over the strategy, the use of military forces, not the number. i think that is an enormously constructive development, is in fact, that is what is occurring. host: of lincoln, illinois. good morning. caller: i would like to say that i agree with a couple of things that your guest has stated, but as well, there are other things that i do not agree with. the president is going up of strategy -- off of strategy. this weekend you had people
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putting mcchrystal in his place, if you will. the chain of command means something. it has meant something since the inception of our military. one thing that i would like to see with president obama, in reference to the previous caller -- that person was somewhat ignorant to compare this president to a child playing video games. guest: what i observed here is a different process, and one that reflects the grave, serious nature of the debate that has been initiated in washington. it was six months ago that a new strategy was designed in afghanistan, the general mcchrystal was appointed.
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six months later, we have seen that that new strategy has not generated the results it intended to. the month of july and august were the two most lethal months of our long history in afghanistan. we have seen a deterioration of the security situation in afghanistan. although some on the right have challenged this president for reevaluating the strategy, i think it is to the president credit that he had decided to pause and deliberate on whether this new strategy is effective, and whether the resources being requested for it, should be applied. general mcchrystal has made his
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recommendation based on popular border protection. he said our objective was to defend the population, defending the people. that means defending them against all threats. however, this is a country of 40,000 discreet villages scattered among a land mass the size of new york and california combined. population protection, even in the urban areas, it is an enormously difficult task. what they're trying to work through in washington, in the pentagon, is if population protection and counterinsurgency, and nation building, should be our objective. there are those who have doubts about that. now is the time when those dumps should be hammered out, and the
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challenges to that strategy should be aired out for debate. host: george from portland, maine. caller: thank you for taking my phone call. i want to thank your guest for writing his book. i came of age in the vietnam war. i am really for this president but i see no difference. sitting in my living room, seeing hills and mountains in the middle of nowhere, it reminds me of how vietnam. host: your reaction? guest: it is a fair and disturbing point that our caller is making.
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there are some compelling parallels between vietnam and afghanistan. very briefly, four principal parallels. first, a strong historical parallel. both have been the graveyard of the employers. -- of the empires. the a number -- and vietnam fought off the french, the chinese. in afghanistan, there was the hegemony of alexander the great. soviet union in the 1980's, and now the u.s. is trying to establish order there. secondly, there is a comparison between the nature of the two governments. in vietnam, we never had a reliable partner. we had a series of corrupt governments.
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it was a despotic regime that must systemically corrupt. here we have president karzai and his brothers who are purported to be one of the biggest drug traffickers in the country. it appears that they have orchestrated, what many would call a fraud in these last elections. and both have a border with a continuous country that provides sanctuary and support to the insurgency. in vietnam, it was the border to north of vietnam, the ho chi minh trail. pakistan provides sanctuary and support, the basis for the insurgency. the fourth comparison is the most critical, and that is in the realm of strategy.
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in vietnam, we advocated a strategy of clear and hold. in afghanistan, it is clear, hold, and build. in vietnam, we focused on strategic population protections. in afghanistan, general mcchrystal is advocating population protection. in vietnam, we decided we needed to wage a classic counterinsurgency to win the hearts and minds of the people. in afghanistan today, general mcchrystal talked about winning the perceptions, the feelings, the allegiance of the afghan people, to win their support to combat the insurgency. so there are some compelling parallels, and what president obama must now determine is if the strategy being proposed by
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general mcchrystal has a real and viable prospect for success. if he believes that is not the case, now is the time to narrow our focus. host: scott on the republican line. washington, d.c. caller: i hate to say this but i respectfully disagree with a lot of your sentiment. i see significant parallels in vietnam, and just from my own military experience -- i was a gulf war vet. my father was in vietnam. my grandfather was a purple heart in vietnam vet. in political science class as,
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we look at the situation there. i think what we are missing here is the outcome, the vacuum that occurred when we ran that war from washington. that was the biggest mistake we made. and the fact that we were not defeated in vietnam, we defeated ourselves, number one, by allowing the war to be run bureaucratically. number two, the public turned against the war because the media portrayed in inaccurately. the tet offensive was shown as a huge loss to u.s. troops. but if you read the other accounts, many people left
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because of the corruption and brutality that occurred after word. he talks about the tet offensive, and the vietnam war decimated in that attack. -- the vietnamese were decimated in that attack. guest: let me first sight your service in the military. that is important, something that we all respect, but i disagree with the other two propositions of his question. the first being that we actually had a plausible expectation of military victory in vietnam. based on everything that i have studied and read upon the record of the military decision making process, their resources requested, forces supplied, i see no basis for that conclusion. i were strategy was always based
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on one of the expectation, that we could impose such -- to such a disproportionate degree pain, violence against the and the survey, that they would conclude they could not win, and that they would come to the negotiating table and resolve this through a decision that would be terrible -- favorable to the u.s. if you look at the document from 1975, this was the stated expectation in all the proposals to escalate in vietnam. that was never a plausible outcome and we never reached a point where we're going to break the will of the north of vietnamese and viet cong in the south. they had a phenomenally committed brazilian and drive to
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unify their country. i fully believe they would have fought until last man standing. there was never a point where they were going to capitulate. even the enemy had, at the acme of the american commitment, they were experiencing losses that were, per capita, 100 to 1, with the u.s. was experiencing. so i do not agree with that premise. the second premise that the media somehow lost the war. we had known for years that we had an enormous number of troops on the ground, and in essence, the generals were given all of the numbers they were requesting. the media did not lose the war. there was not a war that could have been one. -- been won. host: our guest is the author
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of "lessons in disaster." i want to show you the most recent cover of "time magazine." as we continue to take your phone calls, we will share some of those pictures with you. next phone call. kim on the independent line. caller: i have a question. how are we treating inequality equally? what i mean by that is, in traditional war, the enemy is very easily determined because they had uniforms on. it seems we have put our troops in a situation where they cannot even identified the enemy. these people can go into a shop, pretend like they are shopping for groceries, and kill everyone.
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back in the day come in the u.s., when black people were fighting against the kkk, the only difference now is they have taken off their hoods. guest: i think that is an excellent point, one of things in this conflict that is the most tangible. to your point, let's look at one thing that demonstrates how passionately people respond to the presence of u.s. forces on the ground. in 2005, there were less than 10 suicide bombing attacks in afghanistan. in 2008, there were approximately 150. this is just one metric that
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demonstrates the theory can reach of the american presence there. i do not mean to suggest that american forces are turning all afghanis against our cause. clearly, that is not the case. that preponderant of the population there is sympathetic to the american goal of bringing stability to the country. yet, this rise in suicide bombers underscores happens in a protracted counterinsurgency scenario in which disaffected and angry recruits are produced from a very fluid situation of political instability and violence. to your point about our ability to identify friend from foe, is problematic because it seems to change from month to month, week
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to week. that is why general mcchrystal has made his proposal for an enlarged american presence there because he wants to reinforce the security situation with boots on the ground. we are in a conflict where we can not necessarily identify who the opposition is because it is so fluid in its nature. host: a couple of more phone calls. fayetteville, north carolina. grady. caller: i am a vietnam veteran. i am concerned about where we are going with these wars. we keep saying we are going to win these wars, no one wins. they just continue, some side. -- subside.
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the reason we are in iraq is because of american dollars. we are paying their police and politicians. they all shall servants. -- civil servants. while in the u.s. we do not have enough money for ourselves. when i went to vietnam, they told me if we did not win, the communists would take over the world and it would come to an end. the other thing, the injustice that we are doing to the young people over there. i suffer from ptsd. sending those kids back over and over into come back, -- combat, and we talk about how patriotic we are, but not everyone is willing to send their sons and
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daughters over there, as many say that we should. guest: thank you for your service and your question. it identifies an important debate. currently, the focus of deliberations and washington. how do we define success in afghanistan? -- deliberations in washington. the report that general mcchrystal wrote, the challenge is presented to the president' that we must change course in afghanistan, or our strategy could fail it talks in great length about the prospects for success, the risks for failure. what the document fails to define, however, is what we mean precisely by success in afghanistan, and how we know we
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have achieved it. this is one of the lessons that the president to confront today, and that decision makers in the and not confronted in 1965. how do you define success? one of the lessons of the debate is the following. the president should never deployed military means in pursuit of indeterminate ends. we should never use the hard power of military forces to achieve in the was outcomes. we do not know what success means in afghanistan. does it mean protection for the entire population, as the general seems to suggest in his strategy document? some portion of those 40,000 villages? a handful of the large population centers like kabul?
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is it the pacification of the insurgency probably, in specific pockets of the country? is it the placement of a legitimate government? how do we define success? how do we define success when that idea is predicated on a series of economic, political, but conditions in the country. -- imaginations in the country. that is why this is so important. you need a clearly defined military objective. you need to clearly define the means to achieve that perspective. -- objective. and you need an exit strategy
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when those objectives have been achieved and when the military commitment you have deployed comes to a natural conclusion. that is what we would hope the debate in washington is now focused on, a series of clear objectives, and the means to us -- to achieve them. host: one more phone call. brooke on the republican line. caller: i think everyone's memory is short. the general mcchrystal was on the front lines when pat tillman -- they made a hero out of him and escalated the war. these generals do not care about anything except fighting a war. they do not care about anything
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else. he wants to make this more bigger and bigger. they need to do is, instead of fighting, and they need to buy drugs -- host: my apologies, we have to leave it there. mr. gold team, a brief response? guest: there is a process of command. what we hope is going on is this chain of command is functioning as it should. that the president is in a position, as he reviews all the options in afghanistan, to seek counsel from his military and political advisers, from ambassador holbrooke, his adviser in afghanistan and pakistan, secretary of state
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clinton, and the general jones. what he needs is a multidimensional analysis of the situation in afghanistan. chain of command is critical to that, but it is one line of recommendation among many. the president needs to weigh all of them and see it determines the strategy ahead. host: "lessons in disaster" by gordon goldstein. it is a book being read in the white house right now. thank you. when we come back we'll open up the phone lines and continue the conversation on afghanistan. >> supreme court week continues tonight. >> when we are in session upstairs, at the state of the
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union, and the president in an inaugural, that is when we wear the morning coat. now the attorneys where the traditional formal attire. >> watching interviews with current and retired justices. as a complement to this week's production, we are offering teachers free resources on our judicial portion of host: we continue our discussion on "washington journal" on afghanistan. secretary gates says he wants leaders to keep their war advice private. do you agree? if you agree, republicans, 202- 737-0001.
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if you disagree, 202-737-0002. that is the front page of the "washington times." also this morning, the white house yesterday said they plan to stay in afghanistan. here is the headline from the associated press -- we want to get your opinion this morning about whether or not you agree with secretary gates. should war and vice be kept private? agree or disagree, the numbers are on the screen. i want to read a bit from walter pincus' piece about what general
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mcchrystal had to say. he pointed out the critics do not see the new ones in his comments. he says -- walter pincus goes on to write this --
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new orleans, william. you agree that more of us should be kept private. caller: yes, i agree because otherwise, you are letting the enemy know what your strategy is. it is ridiculous putting everything on the news before it is even executed.
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as far as wars, we might as well and get it done with some type of discretion. host: drawn from arlington, virginia disagrees. caller: thank you for taking my call. i think there should be a big debate about this. your past guest, gordon goldstein, one of the past problems that we had in vietnam was because there was not a public debate. i am all for it. also, i have read his book, and it is absolutely fabulous.
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i was a student of george bundy's back in the 1980's, and he did take incredible job of capturing not only his views, but his evolving views. guest: host: when it -- host: when you were a student of his, did he intend these conclusions? guest: it is funny you ask. he kind of did -- this was about 1986. he was still defensive about the war. any time he received a question in class or publicly, he would say, we knew it would not work out, but we had to move forward. we had no choice. when you read his book, you get a different opinion from bundy. now that i have reflected on this, he sees the flaws in their thinking.
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i am encouraged that the obama administration is reading this book. all too often, i think our policy makers cannot learn the lessons from history. i think it is a book that people can learn something from. host: how do you think george bundy would have reacted if he was able to finish what he had to say, what would his reaction had been to that? caller: i know that when mack the mara's book came out in 1985, he was excoriated. i think monday's view is more new ones. i think he would still take a lot of heat in criticism. -- and criticism.
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gordon goldstein said that the original manuscript that he was working from, originally, the family did not want to much from that. then he worked on the version that we have now. i know the manuscript is now in the kennedy library in massachusetts. i would hope the bundy family would reconsider this and make it available. he was one of the brightest men i ever met in my life, i admired him a great deal. he knew that we all have flaws. i would personally like to be able to read his thoughts more directly, as opposed to being channelled through courts team -- pulled scheme. host: -- goldstein.
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host: plymouth, massachusetts. you agree. caller: that is right, loose lips sink ships. this is why we have a president and secretary of state. he pulled the old military cya trick. we do not want to move too fast, not too slow. we do not want to decide to rapidly that it is the wrong one, but we need decision. so no matter what, the books good can the president does not look so good when he passed to make the decision. mr. obama missed an opportunity to fire him on the spot. i would have fired him before he finished his speech in london. host: in not "washington post" -- in the "washington post" --
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that is michael o hanlon, a senior fellow at the brookings institution. a different opinion from eugene robinson this morning. he says -- he writes -- next phone call, tennessee. you disagree?
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caller: i just wanted to say, nice to see you back, greta. what kind of baby did you have? host: i had a girl. thank you. caller: i am an old vietnam and korean war veteran. the west point model says loyalty to the u.s. constitution. the president is the commander in chief to the military, militia, navy, all of it. i think mcchrystal is wrong. he should not have violated the chain of command. i agree with the previous caller.
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host: st. louis, scott. you agree. caller: yes, i remember when president clinton was in office, they kind of avoided al qaeda. before the war started, they kept putting it off. the bond our embassy in kenya. they did nothing about it. when bush stepped in, he had to fight, because up 9/11. -- of 9/11. i remember when bush first came in, bush -- obama came in, he said bush was wrong. we need to be in afghanistan. now he is trying to figure out a plan to do it the right way.
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it seems like they are downplaying everything and they do not want to get into problems because they have other problems, like iran. doing nothing is worse than not taking action when action is needed. host: a story about the newest and justice in the court. in "usa today" -- you can read more of that in the usa today -- "usa today." here on c-span, we continue our supreme court week with tonight's installment, an interview with a clerk of the supreme court.
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here is a little bit of what he had to say. >> we have about 8000 petitions asking the court to hear the case, the court of discretion. there are very few mandatory appeals. about 2000 of those cases are filed by lawyers who know what they're doing, law firms, state entities, their briefs are printed, and they have to pay a fee. we have about 6000 individuals who are paupers, about half of them are in prison. have had an attorney. they, too, can file a petition asking the court to hear their case. in the front of the building. says "equal justice under the law." we really believe that here. host: you can catch supreme court week all week.
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for more information go to c- hostnext phone call. larry from alabama. caller: klein disagreed because the american people should know what is going on. there is too much going on right now behind closed doors. when it comes to protecting the country, we should know exactly what is going on. we cannot need to know what the plan is, but we need to know what is exactly being said behind closed doors. i don't know what this man is going to do. he changes every day. host: you are talking about president obama's? caller: yes, he says something
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one day, another thing the next day. host: youngstown, ohio. you agree that war talk should be kept private. caller: i disagree from that last caller. general macarthur was fired by harry truman because he did not listen, he wanted to extend the war. it should be the chain of command. the general should have consulted the other generals, who ever is in charge. host: beverly, you disagree. why is that? beverly from ohio. caller: yes, i think the people should know -- since we are paying taxes and all -- we should know what is going on. i think obama should a fire
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mcchrystal. it is a republican strategy to keep the were going so obama will lose. we all know what is going on. i think we need to stop this stuff. another thing that i would like to say, tom delay, is on "dancing with the star's" but she is a criminal. he needs to be taken off of there. host: here is a story about h1n1 flu vaccine. an update this morning from the associated press says -- the company said today --
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next phone call from steven. you disagree? caller: i disagree because i think the american people need to know what is going on. our strategy needs to be what it used to be, go in with more troops, devastating power. when the enemy is hiding behind civilians, we saw around them, and do what we can to protect the civilians, but sometimes they are collateral damage. we take over, then we rebuild, just like we did in world war ii, then we will get the people behind us. we did not learn that lesson in
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vietnam. there is a book by jim brown called "the impact zone." my uncle was in a battle, and he was overrun by the enemy. two things we need to do in afghanistan. put bases on the high ground so that we have the advantage. also, we should go into pakistan, and we should take out those people that we have rules against going after, just like vietnam. that was the worst part, rules of engagement that applied to us, but not our enemy. they could hit us from over the border, but we could not shoot
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back. host: as this debate continues in washington about what to do next in afghanistan, we are expecting to hear from general david petraeus this morning, the commander of centcom. there is a new time, four- o'clock 15 eastern time. -- 4:15 eastern time. next phone call. you believe that strategy should be kept private. caller: i think the news media in this country is quick to make generals holier than though. we did it with donald petraeus, and now this guy. he has no business letting
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things leak out to the public. i was surprised that gates did not fire him already. i worked for him at the cia. he is a no-nonsense guy and he does not play offices in the top ranks. i am surprised he is still walking around. host: next phone call. jamie, you disagree? caller: we went into afghanistan because of 9/11, and that is because we support israel. i think it is time to get out. host: on the front page of "in new york times" --
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the article goes on to say -- last phone call on whether or not or advice should be kept private. howard, you agree.
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caller: i i agree the policy should be made in private. the general is off base coming out the way he did. in your previous half hour, mr. goldstein, no one seems to be talking about the fact that the only reason we were in afghanistan is to get to al qaeda, and get rid of it. the terrorism that they are fomenting. . .
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we are going to take a short break. when we come back, we will switch gears and focus on the health care debate in washington with dr. donald palmisano, the former president of the american medical association, and who opposes the public option. >> more on afghanistan this morning from senator john mccain. speaking earlier on nbc "today show" he says that we should not be viewing the taliban and al qaeda as separate issues. he says you cannot separate the two. if the dollar bond returns, they
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will work with al qaeda. it is just a fact. -- of the taliban returns, they will work with al qaeda. north korean state media reports today that kim jong hill this offering to return to talks in hopes of meeting with one on one with the united states. the obama administration has said that might be possible. general david patraeus, the top u.s. commander for iraq and afghanistan, has undergone treatment for prostate cancer. a spokesman says he went -- underwent two months of radiation treatment here in washington and the treatment was successful. we will hear from him later today. the associated press reports kettleman securities secretary janet non-polland qana -- janet nepalitano willç detail -- the
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alternative sites are intended to cut costs, which reached nearly $2 billion last year three americans who created the technology behind digital technology shared the 2009 nobel prize in physics today. the winners are charles bercow, wilder will end joseph smith. >> "washington journal" continues. host: dr. donald paulick shawano is the former director of the american medical association and the leader of the coalition to protect patients' rights. he is here to talk about what his coalition believes. president obama met with several doctors yesterday in the rose garden. and you were not there. what would you have told and had you been there?
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guest: thank you, greta, and thank you, c-span, for allowing me to be here. we would like to see is for the patient to be in control of his or her destiny. let the patient is better insurance rates by buying across state lines. encourage tax credits, deductions so people can get the benefits that companies get when they get insurance for their employees. fix the broken medical liability system. billions of dollars are spent in defense of medicine. held savings accounts -- a great way to save money and allow patients to be prudent purchasers of medical care. those are the things we want to see happen. we are for fixing the medical liability system. when these insurance companies did too much power in a state, the way you fix that is to allow
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people to buy across state lines, allow people to get together in a voluntary group and have a super-smarmart of available options so they can pick and choose cafeteria style. and we do not have these mandates that cause insurance to increase. you may have the same physical condition and move to a different state and your insurance is dramatically more costly because of additional mandates. we need to put an end to that. the by auto insurance across state lines and we ought to be able to do that. host: you and other physicians that are against a public plan have said that if you create such a program there will be long lines, substandard care, and an end to medical discovery. why you think that? we had guest: a history of -- guest: we have a history of the public plan -- and by the way, the of the people who wrote the
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article with me are also former presidents of the american medical association. we are sponsored by the medical association of georgia and other medical groups. we have almost 47,000 physicians there. we have a public plan now, medicaid and medicare. medicaid is going bankrupt. -- medicare is going bankrupt. medicaid is already bankrupt. it does not matter if you have insurance and medicaid if you cannot find a doctor to treat you because the payments are so low that it is less than delivering the costs of services. doctors want to be able to help patients. that is what we are trying to do and it's our ethical responsibility. we need to take people in medicaid and give them the same options that everyone else has. give the people who are uninsured and cannot buy insurance for whatever reasons, give them an array of choices. where is that example?
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the federal benefits program. people have choices. if they do not like the insurance they get, they change after the renewal. but look at public options in maine, a big failure there, in tennessee, a failure there. when the government is involved there is more broad receive. the government has mandated that patients can be forgiven the go ahead. that is considered against the law. physicians and patients cannot properly contract for services. that is part of our american liberty, the right to properly contract, a hallmark of the free enterprise system. that is when government gets involved. what we need is less rhetoric and more facts and things that work. and you want to do an
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experiment, do it in a state of volunteers to do so, but not a wholesale change in the entire system. host: we're talking to dr. donald palmisano. we're joined by eric on republicans lined, good morning. caller: i would like to know why there is not a national dialogue going on about the 1945 law that prohibits interstate sale of health insurance. why isn't that in the forefront of this conversation with the public -- the republicans and democrats? why is it looking on the edges? one of the reasons that the democrats give for having the need for a public plan is to insert competition into the arena. if you have interstate competition and there was a federal law that required a minimum coverage and benefits so there would not be a race to the bottom, the public plan would be nothing more than a drop in the book -- a drop in the bucket in terms of competition.
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i would like for you to address that, please. guest: i think you are right, there ought to be discussion of that. and, to understand why we understand -- why we cannot buy across the state funds for health insurance. there is no reason we should be required to buy in the state that we live in. you are right about that. why aren't they doing it? you got to ask the people in congress. you need to bring those issues to them and say, let's do it. we have been saying over and over, fix it so people against -- people can buy across state lines. host: what can physicians do to help perform the system? guest: physicians want to be a part of this and that is why so many different groups are springing up and medical societies are springing up. and there are different views, and that is okay. what i'm saying, what the coalition is saying is what i
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have been saying since 1976 when i first testified before the health subcommittee, ways and means when rep ross cantowski was the german. -- the chairman. people need to wipe the wreck -- write to the white house and call their senators and representatives. we had a press cards a little over a month ago and washington and we met with everyone and everyone was very civil, no name calling, but just the discussion of ideas, the pros and cons, and that is what america should do. that is what we expect of congress. but we do not want these things done in secret. we do not want votes taken on what the ahman of a bill is. we want to see the details -- with the outline of a bill
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is. we want to see details. in hr-3200 we have seen this with over 1000 pages of a bill. host: it has been said that physicians need to clean up their practices, that they need to help with the reform effort. are there specific things that physicians can do to help reform this system? guest: certainly, we all need to participate. we want to make sure that the patient has the best care in the world and that physicians are able to treat the patient in mutual respect without the fear of ridiculous litigation that has no merit. what we want physicians to do is to be engaged, not just crawls around the coffee pot. words mean something, actions have something -- actions been dumping. we're the ones coming out and the middle of the night at taking care of someone who has been in an auto accident with a ruptured spleen or a head trauma
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case and we need to help those patients. hothousright now, managed care r fees. we need to say, this is what we charge and we need to say, these are my results. obviously, if someone gets excellent results and everyone respects the doctor in the community and you want to have your procedure done, you may be willing to pay more. but if you have a problem, you could say, look, i have a financial problem, can you help me? and doctors will help you. before kurt -- hurricane katrina, what happened was if someone could not pay, they just had to give us any reason and we just wrote off the bill and forgot it. that is what doctors do. host: this is the front page of the "wall street journal" this
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morning. it opened hospitals find a way to make care cheaper." çjim on the democrats' line frm texas, good morning, sir. caller: good morning. for the c-span viewers, i thought we might have some information relative to dr. donald palmisano's comments. there is a coalition called dci, out of d.c. their well-being is your primary -- primarily stop the public plan. is that what your role world is on this astroturf?
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guest: has he finished his question? host: yes, he did. go ahead. guest: my role is to be the spokesperson for this group and we have a pr group and it is the dci pr group. we do not have any corporate funds or pharmaceutical money or any pac money. we have over 10,000 physicians. you look at the steering committee, there are physicians there that's it in the house of delegates at the ama. we are not saying anything different than what was said at the house of delegates at the ama. i'm not here to speak on behalf of the ama, but i am giving a of a policy. my testimony in 1976, i put part of that in my recent speech to the american enterprise institute. i think we ought to set out making allegations and trying to attack -- what we ought to do is deal with the issues. if you have a problem with the
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issues are brought up, let's have the question, but if not, let's go on to something else. thank you. host: the american medical association is backing president obama and democrats' plans for health care reform. but you are differing from that group. guest: not only myself, but the 10,000 physicians i mentioned, the 47,000 are associated with the american medical association of georgia -- of with the medical association of georgia and others. what i'm saying and what the coalition is saying -- you can find all of this in the policy of the ama if you go to the website. i was astonished to see the ama come out in favor of hr-3200 before all the details were there. also, the bill does not have medical reform, a top priority of the ama, and it does not have
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the right for patients and physicians to prep for the contract for fees. among the highest priorities for the ama, that we emphasize that the recent meeting in june. also, longstanding policy is that there would be no more government intervention in the practice of medicine, to get it out of government control. we were shocked. we had -- the interim meeting will be in november and we will have a big discussion about why the ama board decided to endorse the bill. but we do not believe it represents the grassroots physician as far as this particular item. i think the ama is a great organization and i'm proud to have been their president and i'm proud to be a member. host: next phone call from florida, frank, an independent mind your -- independent line. caller: i want to talk about
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buying over state lines. if we have federal reserve regulation -- if we had federal regulation, but needs to be stopped. second, medicare and medicaid along with social security are being mugged by the congress and the senate. i know a man whose doctor likes to charge $665 for a visit. he pays his coat pocket -- as coping. [unintelligible] host: frank, i'm going to let you go. there is a bit of feedback there with your phone call. is there enough there that you can respond to doctor? guest: i did not quite get all about. he said his friend went to the doctor and there was a feed with
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medicaid, but i did not catch the second part. can you tell me what he said? host: i'm sorry, i had a hard time hearing in myself. let's move on to steve in gulfport, mississippi. caller:ç i do there is an important point that is being missed through this whole health care talk, if you will, and that is, it bothers me that our government is going to become a competitor through legitimate medical businesses. weatherbee medicine side or the hospital side or even the clinic side. the other thing that bothers me is that if this program that president obama and some of the senate have declared to be such a great program, then why is it that the president and the senate and the congress are not jumping on the bandwagon to also be members of this same medical program and give up the
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program they already have? that is all i have. host: doctor, your thoughts? guest: i agree. i think the people in the administration and the people in the senate and house are to be on the same program. i do not think we ought to have these differences, the medicaid and medicare and so on. the federal employees benefit program. we ought to have something for everyone to have their own insurance. and there are people who need help. do not misinterpret what i'm saying or the coalition is saying or the other doctors who are opposing what is being presented in congress at the moment to read we want to make sure that everybody has insurance. but we ought to make sure that specialists are available for those in need. they say we need more family medicine doctors. that is true, but at the same time we do not want to take from the specialist to give to the family medical. let the free enterprise system
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sort that out. whatever the fee is, let the people work that out. otherwise, we're going to lose the specialists. as wonderful as your doctor may be as a family medicine doctor, that person is not going to be the one taking a blood clot of your brain if you fall down in a skiing accident or in an auto accident. tell me the rest of his questions or can be responsive exactly to what he asked. host: guesti'm sorry, i missed t as well. limon get your reaction to the "washington post" this morning. it says here that despite high medical spending, results trail other wealthy countries. all of these countries have much lower cost than we do, said senator kent conrad in finding last week -- or, in talking about the findings last week. but with higher quality of guns. to what you think that is, doctor?
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-- but with higher-quality outcomes. why you think that is, doctor? guest: i wrote last year and the road in my book that you have to cap -- compare apples to apples. people for good use the who statistics and -- they did a study in 2000 and they do not do that study anymore because it is flawed. it has to be terrible. -- too many variables. you're not comparing apples to apples. as far as comparing the results, i think that was part of one of the questions that perhaps i did not respond to, when you compare the results, we need to do is make sure that you are comparing equal things. a famous researcher, a young doctor i have great respect for at johns hopkins, dr. protovost,
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hear him speak and he had come up with a technique to decrease the death rate in the icy you from bloodstream infections by a -- in the attached icu from bloodstream infections by 69%. everyone said this was wonderful. he realized he made a sampling error and said it is a pet -- after studying his statistics for the period and he came back and said, i made a mistake. even when u.s. gold ones like that -- even when you have skilled ones like that, you want to make sure that you're going to the source and comparing the same. let's compare the results of a doctor or hospital with procedures, that is great. i have no problem with that. but you have to compare equal things. and remember, if you start monitoring one thing and say,
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ok, we're going to look at cardiac surgery and see what the mortality is after coronary surgery or bypass surgery of a blocked artery, you have to watch out that suddenly the people who are most sick, the sickest people do not get turned away and end up at another institution. or if you are the very best institution and the best surgeon in the area, you may get the most complicated cases and you have to make sure that you just for all of the additional illnesses. otherwise, it is not a fair comparison. if you operate on someone that has no complications, your results will be better than the people of multiple complications. i am for making everything readily available. in fact, i remember one time i saw a lady -- a young lady seven years old with her parents in the emergency room. she had appendicitis. i was a young doctor at the time, a young surgeon, and she looked me in the eye after i
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told her we needed to operate on her and she said, doctor, have you ever done this operation before? and i said, have, and that is a wonderful question. -- i have, and that is a wonderful question that is good, we should have that kind of communication. she was only seven. host: new jersey, on the, the democrats line. caller: dr. palmisano, we do not have a free market as far as health care. we have a monopoly of health insurance companies, five major companies. you mentioned the state of maine, well, there is only one major health insurance company there. health care is being dispensed by for-profit companies that are making billions and billions of dollars so they can tell us what doctors we cannot see and what medical procedures we will not have because they will not cover them. 45,000 dying in our nation and
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that is an indisputable report from harvard medical. that is obscene. you are saying that government is going to tell us, restrict us from doctors? no, the point is to have a health insurance hall that we can buy into that is not going to restrict the medical treatments and the doctors we can see. it is just one to give us opportunity to have affordable and accessible health care. you are talking about specialist being at a minimum. how about general practitioners? why does the ama restrict the number of students entering medical school? if you did not, we would have more general practitioners. and the other thing, your policy is that government is a problem. right now, we are depending on government to be the solution.
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the health insurance companies have been the problem for far too long. host: ok, let's get a response from the doctor. guest: first to mind off your speaking for the ama and the ama is not responsible for -- first, i am not speaking for the ama and the ama is now responsible for the number of people getting into medical school. the ama did publish something recently about the rejection of claims that were submitted and the highest entity that rejected claims was actually medicare. they rejected more claims than did the private insurance. the private insurers have some problems for sure and i have testified -- when i was on the ama board i testified on behalf of the justice department and the federal trade commission. we did debates with them and we have asked both of those departments to be more aggressive when they get monopolies of power. they join together and get to be
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such a concentration in a state they can control what the patients can get and what can be dispensed. we have asked the justice department and the federal trade commission to fix those problems. over 30 years of private practice experience, to have to call -- and i have called government agencies where they say, i'm sorry, but according to this list we have here, the minister you have in your office right now you cannot admit to the hospital because he recovered in your hospitals -- in your office. and i knew he was breaking off pieces of blood clot from our dear unless -- from an artery in his neck and going to his brain. i said, let me speak your supervisor. i am admitting the patient regardless. i just need your name.
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any entity that tries to control the practice of medicine, it is the same thing. we need to have real competition real competition so that the patient can make the right choices with their doctor as a trusted adviser. host: more on the debate in the "wall street journal" this morning. çit included a provision that would reduce the amount of people that would either have to pay a fine or have a mandate to get insurance. insurers are fighting that tweaking the bill. next phone call from bonny in maryland, good morning. caller: please let me finish. i am 65.
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i went to a big hospital late at night. i was extremely upset, throwing up. i sat in a corner for three and half hours throwing up. i was told i had another 3 hour wait. my medicaid showed me a receipt it paid $437. this was for me sitting in a chair for three and half hours? this is what needs to be fixed, not all of this other. medicare gave me like five numbers to call and complain. well, hello? somebody is getting paid off. host: doctor? guest: i do not know the specifics other than what the lady currently shared with us, but they're certainly cost shifting. everybody that runs hospitals and acknowledges that there is cost shifting. there are a lot of people that come in with no insurance or
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illegal immigrants that ended in the emergency room with illnesses in an advanced stage. in the patient has to be taking care of. number one, they have to help the patient -- they watch what the patient, but under federal law we have to stabilize the patient. sometimes they are so sick that we have to operate on them to stabilize them. who pays for that? also, medicaid pays you less than the cost of the service and that gets shifted over to the private insurers. that escalates the cost of the private insurance. the whole system needs to be reworked and we do not want to do this in a rush. in medicine, we can make mistakes if we rush. we want to lay all the options that have a full discussion, not have a bill and summaries and people voting on these with artificial deadlines. let's think about it and make the changes. if we cannot agree on everything, let's fix we cannot agree on -- let's fix what we
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can agree on and move on. host: dr. donald palmisano, thank you for your time this morning. coming up next, a discussion with u.s. -- of u.s. immigration policy with steven roberts. he wrote this book "from every end of this earth: 13 families and the new lives they made in america." we will be right back. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> the senate bindi committee meets this morning on possible sanctions against iran this morning. we will join it in progress at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c- span right after "washington journal." this week on q&a, author tracy kidder has a new book, "strength
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in what remains." it is the story of a doctor who escaped genocide in burundi to become a medical doctor here in the u.s.. >> "washington journal" continues. host: and roberts, a veteran reporter/journalist, joining us to talk about his new book "from every end of this earth: 13 families and the new lives they made in america." what does this books say about u.s. immigration policy? guest: it says that from every end of this earth people come to this country. that is a statement from obama's inaugural. he said those words last january and he said the risk takers, the makers of things replenish this country every day. i think that in many ways we have a good immigration policy in the sense that we are allowing people to come.
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but there are restrictions. one of the most notable flaws in our immigration policy are those for well-educated people with high-tech degrees, these are job creators. this myth that somehow immigrants take jobs from americans, even in this difficult economic time is wrong. it has always been wrong. it is wrong today. çgoogle, microsoft, all of the high-tech companies plead with congress to lift these limits so that the most innovative, most creative people who come here can stay in america and create jobs. one researcher said to me, if our immigration policy keeps up and we keep these people out, the next silicon valley is going to be in shanghai, it is going to be in mumbai. it is not going to be in california. that is part of the policy, but it is not just the creating jobs on the high-tech end with the
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founder of intel -- you know, the founder of intel was an immigrant. the founder of facebook. also, every area of this country has a small industry of immigrants that rate the high- end and low-end jobs both. host: in this book you track 13 families, their lives. do they become legal? guest: almost all of them were illegal families. there were a couple of them from a al sadr that came originally illegally. -- from el salvador that came originally illegally. but most of them were illegal. my grandparents came 100 years ago and what struck me -- my last book, my father's house, it was their story of coming to america. i wanted to update the journey of 100 years later of what people are living today. one good example with pablo
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romero, who dropped out of school in mexico at age 11. he worked in a brick factory. the work was so hard that he told me that the bricks sanded his fingers every night. he could not eat warm tortillas. at 13 he came to california with his dad as a farm worker. he spent his entire teenage woodworking the lettuce fields in california. to this day has never been in hot -- in high school. he got drafted into the army and got his t.d.. he comes home and it's accepted into the program at the local community college and works all day in the lettuce field by going to junior college at night. it's a scholarship to uc irvine. eventually goes to ucf medical school. today, pablo romero was never been to high school, runs a medical clinic in salinas, california. these are the people who make america great every day with their resilience and their tenacity and what they bring to
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this country. it is so much energy. there's so much ambition. the less ambitious, the less brazilian, they are back home. -- the last resilience, they are back home. it takes an enormous amount to plan and save and work that journey -- and to make that journey and to survive the journey. the people who come ourselves elected. david ignatius ding geist, terry, a book called "the american merkemerkel." and the most ambitious and tenacious people come here and that is what they're -- the book is about, their story. host: many of them depend on federal government help, state government help, and what was the rate of return on that investment? willis guest: to leave you, actually. -- relative guest: lee few,
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actually. guestguest: relatively few, act. there is something called the wilke -- the feminization of immigration. more and more women are coming. there was a woman who came here to washington, supported a daughter, 3-years old, she literally had to sell the crown jewels, jewelry that she had inherited from a royal ancestors to pay the rent your in washington. she was on food stamps for awhile. but now she is the senior vice president of an international consulting company and has gone back to afghanistan as an advisor to the government of afghanistan. whatever monday -- money that is expended in public funds is
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returned so many fold in taxes and economic activity that these immigrants generated that it is a great investment. tom friedman, a great columnist, says, we should be stable in a green card -- that is the legal immigrant status -- a green card application to the diploma of every immigrant that comes to america for college. i think he is right. host: omaha, neb., sue on the democrats' line. caller: my comment is about, you know, when they come up here, they're here for one purpose, and that is to make money. when we go to their country, we are considered a tourist. i just think that immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, and you cannot speak english, you're a false citizen. i do not think you should have any rights under the constitution.
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we have an entire section of omaha that is known as "little mexico" now because they must have taken out loans to get these businesses started. the banks gave a lot of loans to the people who came up as immigrants to start businesses and they are the ones -- the only ones i know that are making money because the restaurant business is one of theirs and it is booming. paying back their loans are going to not be a problem. guest: i do think the restaurant business is a good example. i talked to one woman from china was said when i was growing up in flushing in queens, if you're a chinese family, you did one thing -- one of two things, run a laundry or a restaurant.
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we ran a restaurant. there are two families in this book that have created restaurants, one no salvadoran couple and when a greek couple in baltimore. they do generate a lot of jobs. what do immigrants have when they come? often, they do not have a lot of money. they have their sweat equity. they have relatives that they can hire cheapely. restaurateur often a good way for them to start. i'm not defending illegal immigrants, but i will say that every american -- every nursing home and hospital in america would collapse overnight if the foreign-born women that run these institutions were sent home some of. this book is not a debate about legal verses illegal, but is about the economic contribution that these folks in obama and everywhere else are making. host: what about the money that immigrants make and send back home? if you're guest: important point
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-- guest: a very important point. the biggest bank in the world is individual people sending money home. there is a woman in my book from rwanda, she escaped to the genocide of her tried. many of her relatives were killed. she supports 10 people back in rwanda on her salary. she sends half of her money back to rwanda to support at least 10 people, including several orphans from the genocide. this is an enormously important part of the immigrant story. it can provide a lot of stress on these families. this woman says, everyone thinks i'm in america, rick and i can afford anything and send them anything. that is not true -- i am rich and i can afford anything and send them anything. that is not true. but people run the world benefit from these people working in america.
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host: what about the bottom line for the u.s. economy when that money goes overseas rather than back into our economy? guest: some of that money goes to buy goods made in america. you say that women send money home and then her sister buys a computer, a dell computer. that money comes back to america. one of the things that is new about immigration today is that my parents emigrated from russia and poland. my grandfather did not talk to his sister back in russia for 50 years. today, everybody's got cell phones or they are on skype. but also, there is a lot of trade. emigratory very well-positioned because they know the language back home or the customs and have trouble connections. -- tribal connections. there's a lot of business that goes back and forth. there's a man in this book whose family fled in terror from the
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communists a generation ago. today, he spends two weeks a month back in china running exports back to america. that is, is that in the end creates jobs in america. host: jamie on the republican from pennsylvania. caller: do not think americans have been a problem with illegal aliens or people from other countries be allowed to come here. the perception is that there is an imbalance in what they pay in terms of taxes. to get at the imbalan to do his level the playing field and make a national sales tax. if you're in this country and you are working and buying food and clothing, you are paying a tax. guest: there are people who think that a sales tax is the best way to collect federal revenues. many other countries have a federal sales tax of one form or another. they tend to be in countries where people are far less
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willing to voluntarily pay taxes and away you are going to get taxes at all is by the point of sale. the problem with a national sales tax is that it tends to be regressive and it hits the poor the hardest. by no, you beat taxed at the same rate as a wealthy person -- buying milk, you will be taxed at the same rate as a wealthy person. but the economic benefits of immigration are unquestionable. yes, particularly illegal immigrants, can cost money in social services. there are places in san diego or the hospitals are swamped. that is true. but on balance, the tax revenues that people collect because they do not just pay taxes on themselves -- they generate business. they generate economic activity. it is a big net plus. host: the next phone call, and a on the in the panama and in
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kansas city. caller: i'm going to disagree with our guests last point. what he fails to correlate is we have big costs for our working class out here in america from the illegal aliens. i am for elite -- for legal immigration they cost us roughly about $20,000 to $30,000, each individual, in emergency medical services. the, and have children and the child can get food stamp benefits -- they come and have children and the child can get food stamp benefits and medical benefits. plus, we spend as a country, $20 million on both these legal and illegal immigrants and aliens. they drive your a look -- illegally without insurance. if you look at the cost of unemployment, which i happen to be on as a direct result of
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trying to compete with legal aliens, and the reason i cannot get a job as a middle-aged caucasian woman, i cannot get a job because why would an employer hire me when they can be an illegal alien $5 less an hour and no taxes off the books? plus, rents are higher for the working class. wages drop. if we had all the illegal aliens out of the country right now, we would have 25 million jobs available. many americans want to work two to three jobs to get ahead, including me. host: we will leave it there. guest: as i said, this book is about illegal aliens. the legal question -- the yield -- this book yield -- legal aliens. the question of illegal is a whole different question.
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but there are many jobs that americans do not want to do. i do not think she is out of work because of illegal immigration. that is not the reason she is out of work. a lot of immigrants, as i say, create jobs. they create small businesses. if you think about what it takes to come here, the ambition and drive, these are people who are so determined to make it that they work very hard. they have an enormous work ethic. these two greek brothers worked 18 hours a day in the back of the diner in baltimore to build up that business. they went home to their home village in greece and married greek woman. and they said to me, no american women would put up with the hours we work. we had to go back to greece and find brides that understood the immigrant work ethic. i think that we need to expand legal immigration. i think we need to regularize this process. but you have 12 million people
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who are here illegally. they're not going to go home. this one might want them to go home. they're not going to. -- this woman might want them to go home. they're not going to. we have to find a the way for them to be here. host: here is a survey that shows a decline with u.s. residents in many years. did many of these families find that things are changing and that they are finding that their families back home are not as motivated to come here because of the current economic situation? guest: no, i have not. çi -- i know those statistics d i know that there are macro statistics that show a fall off because people can read. people come for economic opportunity and if there is high unemployment, some of the incentive is diminished. but you have to understand the difference. you work at a very low-end jobs in america and make $7, $8, $9,
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$10 an hour. you are still making for more money than you are making back home thi. this man in the book is a political refugee from sierra leone. olli can afford to send back home is $100 every couple of months. that is an enormous amount of money to his mother back in sierra leone. even when you have a recession here, the economic opportunities are far greater here than anywhere else. host: brennan on the democrats' line from north carolina. caller: if all of these immigrants are so great and ingenious, why don't they stay home and make their own country better? i have an idea that they come into this country and probably
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get all of this government advice and government aid to start these business that americans either do not know about or cannot get themselves. i'm not saying that they are bad people just because they come here, but gosh, if they are so ingenious, why can't they secured a way to -- and some of them might have to fight and some of them might have to die, but dan, they can make their own country better. guest: they do make their country's better. they send a lot of money home, which is enormous benefit to the country's back home. one of the things that is happening is that a number of the immigrants are particularly from asia, because there's so much trade between america and asia today. they're working in both countries. there is an indian family -- this fellow came to america originally as a ph.d. student. he is a chemist. he owns two factories making
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high-tech plastics. one is in ohio and one is in india. he lives in ohio, but in some ways his spiritual home is probably the first-class lounge in ferritin -- in frankfurt airport when he is traveling around the world. there is a fair point that the caller makes, but often, in coming to america, the continue to do trade and business back home and they do benefit their home countries. host: richard arm the republican line from iowa, your next. caller: mr. roberts, i really feel your application of bringing high-tech era -- high- tech immigrants into the u.s. is right on. but the question i have is, is there a quota system by continent of immigrants coming into the united states? in other words, if someone, if they deserve to get in through immigration, can they come from anywhere in the world?
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guest: system is very complicated and a lot of it has to do with relatives -- a lot of the slots that are allocated are for relatives to bring in relatives. and there is a lot of talk that it should be rationalized. the immigration's as does like a house that has been built over many years and there is a piece here and a piece there. one of the things we are learning is that most talented immigrants now have choices. other characters are smarter about this than we are. canada is opening its borders. austria, germany, all of these countries are making it -- australia, germany, all of these countries are making the parties your then america. -- ben america. we are in a worldwide competition for the best and brightest. america's economy -- several of
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our callers have mentioned we are not going to compete worldwide, we are not going to compete on wages. we are high-wage country, not low wage, and that is a good thing. we create the next google, the next e-bay, the next microsoft. who is going to do that? the best minds from around world. there's no border when it comes to ideas or innovation. we have to compete in the world market -- marketplace for the best people to create the new industries for working class americans and we have to keep them here. host: kurt from tulsa, oklahoma. çcaller: i want to thank though guest. i am an immigrant myself. a lot of american people have this misconception about immigrants.
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i am a legal resident and [unintelligible] host: where are you from and why did you decide to come to the united states? caller: i am from jamaica. [unintelligible] host: why did you decide to migrate to the united states? caller: because she wants me year. [laughter] i was working in jamaica on aircraft.
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i come here and i am doing the same thing. i make a lot of money and stuff like that. host: we got it. guest: jamaicans are wonderful culture, a wonderful example of hard-working cultures. one of the statistics that i looked up, i mentioned the feminization of emigration and this is a new dimension to immigration in america. in terms of the percentage of net -- of working women, number one, 84% of working women in america were filipino. second western nations. -- second was jamaicans, 82%. these are jobs require an enormous amount of dedication. i find myself embracing my mother's jamaican caretaker the other day and said, what would we do without you?
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it was not just speaking for my family. i was speaking for america. host: greta on the democrats lined. caller: i beg to differ on immigration. it makes no difference, legal or illegal. they do the jobs americans will not do. i am and licensed electrician. 10 years ago i was able to take bids on large-scale jobs. now i cannot afford to take the big east has offered. cotton -- the bids as offered because of the caucasian men have large companies with big trucks and they hire illegals and they do the work for little to nothing. the gramm on the back of a truck and i am not just saying this -- they cram them in the back of a truck, and i'm not just saying this.
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they share, and i do like that about their culture, and they do not have to come up with the car payments and truck payments and on and on. guest: again, i am not defending illegal immigration. i think the system has to be fixed. i think there has to be better enforcement at the border and i think there has to be a very tough process of allowing these people to become american citizens so that they played by american rules. but i think cut a of -- there's a lot of frustration in america today. and we have seen all through our history when there is an economic downturn, people like our caller. and i sympathize with our caller. when there are hard economic times, they lashed out at someone to blame. it is legal -- easy to blame legal and -- it is easy to blame illegal immigrants. if you go back in history, there were signs that said, "no irish
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need apply." battalions were discriminated against. -- the italians were discriminated against, the chinese. every generation, we have had this spasm, particularly during economic -- a tough economic times. at the same time, the study shows that there are people like our caller that at this moment in history, they do feel threatened and i understand that. host: the squeeze one more caller in. wayne, the republican line. caller: mr. roberts, iç actualy would like to purchase your book at some point. i think we have forgotten that america has held out this great hope to all people are around the earth. i really want to live in a world without borders.
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the hypocrisy and this unwarranted fear that people are coming here to take everything from everybody and the privileges that have been afforded in america. there was a time in history when everyone was an immigrant, whether legal or illegal. guest: he said it well. these people do not come to take. they come to give. they contribute. they build. they create. and america, if it is going to compete in the world is going to compete on the basis of the ideas and energy and creativity of the best minds and the best ideas from all over the world. this ir


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