tv Worldfocus WHUT December 4, 2009 7:00pm-7:30pm EST
>> tonight on "worldfocus" -- under siege. dozens are killed in pakistan in the latest insurgent attack aimed at pakistan's military. plus the reported plan to step up cia drone attacks in pakistan. beyond the headlines, the global campaign against land mines. a success story in africa and how cambodia is enlisting some very good dogs in the anti-land mine effort. and a field of dreams in south africa as the country prepares for soccer's world cup, we'll recall the apart struggle simply to play the game. it's south africa's most infamous prison. >> from the world's leading reporters and analysts, here's what's happening from around the
wod. this is "worldfocus." major support has been provided by rosalind p. walter and the peter g. peterson foundation, dedicated to promoting fiscal responsibility and addressing key economic challenges facing america's future. additional funding is provided by the following supporters -- hello and good evening. i'm daljit dhaliwal in new york. president obama made it clear this week that the battle against islamic extremists is being fought in both afghanistan and pakistan. today in pakistan, where the army has conducted several large scale offensives in recent months, the insurgents showed, once again, the formidable force they have become. four attackers with guns and grenades killed at least three dozen people worshipping at a mosque, including a number of
high-ranking army officers before killing themselves. it happened in rawalpindi, the home of pakistan's military establishment and just a short distance from the capital islamabad. in tonight's "lead focus" pakistan under the gun, starting with a report from rawalpindi from imran khan of al jazeera english. >> reporter: an army helicopter circles overhead as a massive manhunt gets under way after a brazen attack on a mosque in the garrison town of rawalpindi. the attacker entered the place of worship, lobbing grenades and firing on worshipers before setting off a suicide bomb. several high-ranking army office are among the dead. >> translator: one was thrown on the ladies' side, there is a separate room for the ladies over there, and two grenades was thrown inside the mosque. and i could only hear the chuting of the people. >> reporter: police and military personnel quickly took control,
throwing up cordons around the area of operation. >> translator: look at what happened today. i would like tell these murders that today you killed innocent people, ten children died, and old people as well. a moving is a holy place where everyone goes. i asked the clergy to issue a fatwa and join our jihad against these people. >> reporter: while the army declared the mosque clear within a few hours, emergency vehicles and security personnel rushed to and from the scene throughout the day. >> translator: one could n imagine in such a high security zone. anybody could have entered because i go to the mosque and i can assure you every time i had to go, i had to show my i.d. card, i had to, you know, being a member, you get a membership sticker that you're a member of the mosque. so every time i went there, they make sure that nobody was unauthorized enters the area. >> reporter: 24 hours earlier, prime minister yousef raza
gilani told reporters that the taliban were on the run. the attack the second this week, another indication that pakistan's fight against the taliban is far from over. imran khan, rawalpindi. in other news from pakistan, today's new york time is recording that president obama has authorized the increased use of drone missile attacks inside pakistan. according to the article, the expansion of the cia program may include striking aas where it has not previously done so. the move is said to be necessary as militant leaders seek new places to hide. in the past, pakistani leaders have objected to the missile strike, saying that it has resulted in numerous civilian deaths. we're joined once again by ahmed kamal, pakistan's former ambassador to the united nations. ambassador, thank you very much for joining us. >> a pleasure. >> "the new york times" is reporting that the cia is set to expand its drone attacks inside pakistan.
what areas is it eyeing and do you think it's going to succeed? >> there are two separate aspects to this. the first is that when the president, as commander in chief, decides after mature consideration to have a surge, the surge cannot be just a question of troops but also a surge in effort and the effort has to include the use of drones wherever the militants may be hiding. the second aspect is that, when the pakistan army is involved for its part in a major action in north and south waziristan, it is inevitable that the militants will try to withdraw from their caves in waziristan and look for other caves to hide in. and the obvious choice is baluchistan, a very large, very aired, very mountainous and very empty area. so there is going to be a shift
of the militants into baluchistan, and the drones will have to follow wherever the militants are. >> do you think it's going to work, though? >> no, it will not work. and it will not work for the simple reason that the assumption behind the drone attacks and, in fact, the surge, is that militancy is a question of a limited number of leaders and if you can chop off the heads of the leaders, then the problem is resolved. but it appears that it is not just a question of leadership, but motivation of a movement, and if it is a movement, then i'm sorry a movement cannot be destroyed by drone attacks. >> in the past, the pakistani government has objected to these drone attacks. what is the policy behind them? at the same time it's allowed them to continue. so what's going on here? >> well, the government of pakistan has to object officially to the drone attacks because there is public outrage in pakistan. no country can allow the drones
of foreign countries to fly over its territory and drop bombs at will. so the outrage is there and the official protests have to be th but no drone attacks can possibly succeed in pakistan without the active participation of the pakistani intelligence because the united states does not have any human intelligence in pakistan, and drone attacks cannot be successful unless they are backed by human intelligence. so there is no doubt that the government of pakistan is not just acquiescing but actually helping in the drone attacks while officially objecting to them. >> you're saying there's never been an apparent contradiction, they haven't been honest with the public. >> let's say there's policy on two levels. >> ambassador, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> we'd like to know what you think. our question, do you think the
use of american drones against militant targets in pakistan is help organize hurting in the effort to fight the insurgents? tell us what you think by going to the "how you see it" page of our site at worldfocus.org. three days after president obama announced a big troop increase for afghanistan, the military said today that u.s. forces have launched a new offensive in southern helmand province involving about 1,000 marines as well as a small number of afghan troops. the offensive is aimed at disrupting taliban communication and supply routes, especially those providing explosives for roadside bombs that have become so common in helmand province. as we look beyond the
headlines tonight, we are going to focus on the issue of land mines. an international conference in colombia this week, united nations officials said that the world must pay more attention to the victims of land mines, which killed or maimed more than 5,00. tens of millions of land mines remain scattered around the world's current and former battlefields. and we're going to focus tonight on efforts to clear them. starting with a campaign in rwanda, which we hear about from david fuller of itn. >> reporter: these men have just completed the world's most successful land mine clearance. rwanda has just declared itself mine-free, the first formally mined country to do so and a year ahead of schedule. it signals the removal of one of the most deadly remainders of the warfare that surrounded the rwandan genocide in the early '90s. the british government is also keen to claim its share of the credit.
the rwandan mine clearance teams were trained and partially paid for by the uk. >> it's good news not just for britain, but good news for those people who will not have their legs burned off or get killed in different countries. let's remember there are millions and millions of these terrible weapons sti lying, hidden in the soil in many countries the world over. so we have to help these countries to make the maximum effort to get rid of them. it's going to be a long haul in some cases. >> reporter: the rwandan message helps to kick off the land mine conference in colombia to review the success of the land mine ban treaty brought in in 1997. 156 countries have signed it, including britain, but some of the biggest stockpilers of mines haven't. the u.s. estimated to have around 10 million land mines, russia 20 million, pakistan is estimated to have around 4 million, as is india. china has an estimated 10
million but it's the u.s. in finds itself intense lobbying in activists looking for shift of policy under barack. so far that seems unlikely. >> the intent of the convention we overwhelmingly support. and as i said we put more money than anyone else into counteracting the humanitarian ill effects of land mines but the circumstance that caused us to be unable to sign in 1997 still applies. >> reporter: that circumstance is their wish to keep them on the table as a military option. clearing them, dangerous as it is, seems easier than stopping them being used in the first place. >> that overview from david fuller of itn. now let's take a look at a fascinating effort to get rid of land mines in southeast asia. in cambodia, where several decades of civil wareft behind
millions of land mines that continue to take a toll today. deutsche welle has gone to cambodia to look at an innovative pgram that uses dogs to help find the mines. >> reporter: cambodia is a fertile rice-growing country, but the farms are can't work much of the land these days. an estimated 4 million to 6 million land mines lie in what were battlefields in the recent past. a sign just next to this rice field warns of the deadly danger. an anti-personnel mine has been prepared for detonation. sniffer dogs working for the cambodian mine action authority detected the device in a mine field in the province. here we meet a mine dog handler. for eight years she's been working in mine fields like this with the dogs trained to detect explosives. there are 74 trained detection
dogs currently being used in cambodia. when the dog sniffs out a mine it sits down, just as it's been taught. and it found one here. the dogs used are almost exclusively belgian shepherd, and the puppy housed in this kennel will grow up learning the job. he's 4 months old and was born in bosnia. both his parents were sniffer dogs. now he's living in a training center with ten other puppies. training these dogs in cambodia is a new experiment. the puppies being trained to find hidden objects and bond closely with people. small pieces of rubber are concealed in the bricks. if he sniffs them out, he gets a reward. the head of the training program is a development aid worker from sweden. the puppy is successful and gets to play with his favorite rubber toy as a result. but this playful game serves a
pragmatic purpose. >> that's the whole thing with the puppy program, to condition them on searching and working together in their relationship with the humans. >> reporter: this is a training ground where deactivated land mines have been buried. the older dogs undergo refresher courses in mine detection here, as do their handlers. no mine clearing dog has ever died in the line of duty in cambodia. canine veterans are buried here. after the dog has located a mine, a metal detector comes into play. it reacted to any kind of metal including harmless rubbish whereas the dog detect explosives. that's how clearers can tell if there's really a land mine under the ground and that saves unnecessary digging. >> translator: the dog speeds up our search. and that makes our work quite a lot cheaper. >> reporter: in the evening the
devices that have been found are exploded. the number of deaths among cambodia's civilian population has been sinking since the sniffer dog program started. but the dogs will be needed for a long time to come. it's expected to take until 2020 to remove all the old mines. >> time now for our weekly roundtable discussion of some of the week's top stories. tonight we will be looking at the impending troop surge in afghanistan and a date set by president obama to start withdrawing the troops. and the unusual vote in switzerland to ban the construction of minarets. some are asking, will the mosques themselves be next? joining us tonight, nicholas
kristof, pulitzer prize-winning columnist for "the new york times" and co-author of "half the sky," and garrick utley, former nbc news foreign correspondent and anchor, he is now president of the levin institute of the state university of new york. welcome to both of you. nice to see you. nick, let me start with you, first of all president obama's troop surge plan for afghanistan, good idea? >> i think it was a bad idea, and i'm struck by how many people who have spent time in rural afghanistan especially in the pashtun areas in the south who think that it is perhaps going to make things worse and it isn't going to lp. one issues the cost. we will be spending more money militarily in afghanistan than the entire military budget of any other country outside the u.s. i mean a hundred billion dollars a year is a vast amount of money. and on top of that, there is a sense that, over the last few years, whenever we sent more troop has to an area, the result has been stronger taliban, more of an uprising and a greater
sense among the pashtuns they need to fight off an on passion. so i'm afraid that we're -- this will feed the insurgency rather than quell it. >> what do you think? to surge or not to surge? >> history says it it's not a good idea. we know what's happened to other foreign armies, they're not just the soviets it goes back much further. in many ways it was a political speech to meet a security issue and the political speech was formatted that way so on the one hand he gets enough democrat support and republican support to show he's a strong national security president and on thether hand he can also be, excuse the expression, the general who march his troops up the hill and one day marches them down. what that date is going to be i don't know. significantly he did not mention the word victory in it. he did not define what success would be. he did not talk about nation building. so it's very opaque, vague situation. of course secretaries clinton and gates were following this up with the small print, yes, we'll
start the withdrawal in mid-2011 but we're going into a political election year, obama's re-election year, and he will be able to gauge how fast they come out. >> where do you think the strategy is going, though? >> well, i mean, my theory is that we're putting all of our eggs in a military basket. development tended to work bet in the region. missed opportunities. for example, in pakistan, there are 1.5 million kids who are in the channel that is leading them toward militancy. for about the price of maybe 20 soldiers, we could offer all of those kids actual real schooling, take them out of the channel. but that is something that we have completely failed to do and instead we're going to send those 20 soldiers into afghanistan betting on a military solution, which i think so far has been a mistake. >> in order for the plan to be a success, how important do you think it is to end government
corruption in afghanistan? >> it's essential obviously to have a credible, effective government. can you do that is a question mark that large. the other part of it, picking on nick's point, even if troops are withdrawn, how do civilian, american or foreign workers operate there if they don't have anybody, or reliable forces to protect them and if the afghan forces are not able to do it? they're going to be too exposed and then nothing gets done along the lines that nick is describing. >> are we holding hamid karzai's feet to the fire, so to speak, telling him to give us a concrete plan for how he intends to clean up corruption? >> i think the obama administration is very much trying to hold karzai's feet to the fire. the problem is we don't have a lot of leverage because the perception on both sides there ishat we want to be in afghanistan more than they want us there. and when you make that clear, then you lose all of your leverage. >> let's move on to this other story that we've been covering on the program, the controversial vote in
switzerland to ban the construction of minarets. there is something that came as a surprise to either of you? >> of course it came as a surprise. suddenly there it was the most important story or significant story we've heard out of itzerland in many a year, if not a decade. when you read the detail, it's interesting, there are about four minarets in switzerland and only planting two more. it's interesting, also i think, here is switzerland in a world where language divisions, cultural divisions cause strife and conflict within countries, it has four cultures and four languages, and they've done this for centuries living peacefully. suddenly this issue has arisen. switzerland is not the perfect society. >> right. nick, what do you make of the vote? what do you think it tells us in term of the bigger picture how muslims are viewed in europe? >> well, clearly the subtext is changing perception over the longer run and deep disquiet in europe.
traditionally, it was people on the far right who were nervous about growing muslim populations in europe. over time, you had people in moreiberal countries and indeed liberals in those countries, thinking about the netherlands, for example. being increasingly concerned about the fact that in some cities you have marseilles, you have a quarter of the population that is muslim. and bringing in practices that often two people there seem amicable to a modern, liberal society and coupled with the concern that fertility among most europeans is declining, but fertility among most europeans is very high, in a sense i think among a lot of people that we're losing our country. and i think that is -- >> but that is based on any kind of fact based, is it rational? >> from a cultural, historical base europe is not the united states. we don't have issues here because of immigration and migration history, that's who and what we are.
it's amazing how we have absorbed groups from every part of the world including muslims successfully. in europe you don't have that tradition. and as nick was saying, many people that came in in the were workers, it goes back to the 1950s and '60s, going to scandinavia it's a different situation. >> exactly right. my dad was a eastern european refugee and initially settled in france and he was playing to stay there. he spoke french it would have been easier. he felt as a romanian he would never fit in in france, and his children might not either and so he came to america. there is a sense of identity that creates a certain amount of skepticism, i don't want to say hostility, but something toward foreigners and i think that is what we're running against in a number of the countries. >> and the pay-off, again, a first-cls journalist and columnist here.
>> on that note, he nicholas kristof, thank you for joining us. garrick utley, good to see you again. >> thank you very much. finally tonight, soccer fever is building. today in south africa, where the world cup will be held next june, a big crowd gathered outside as they drew the first round matchup at a convention center in cape town. the united states will play england first, then slovenia and algeria. the fact that south africa will host the world cup is a sign of how far the country has come since apartheid, the separation of the races, ended less than two decades ago. many of those who fought against apartheid were held as political prisoners at the robben island jail and one of the biggest struggles inside the prison was for the right to simply play soccer. a fascating story recalled in cape town this year.
andy richardson of al jazeera english went back to south africa's field of dreams. >> reporter: the many charge of world football know all about a good photo opportunity. fifa president meeting the former inmates of south africa's infamous robben island prison who fought for the right to play football while they were held here. located 12 kilometers from the cape town shoreline, only the islands' inhabitants could contemplate freedom. football, though, did at least offer some escape. the strict terms of mandela's 18-year confinement here meant he couldn't play. but his leadership ensured others didn't relent in their efforts. it took prisoners three years to persuade guards to allow them to play outside. the league they formed in 1967 ly followed fifa rules. the referees, including the current president, even sent
fifa exams. those involved say it was all about trying re-create the normal life, anything to just briefly escape the brutal reality where they were. >> it brought a lot of, you know, unity among us, you know? this is where we could stand together, all of us, and play soccer. >> reporter: imprisoned on robben island for seven years. he was also a goal keeper in the league until his release in 1990. fast forward less than 20 years, and his country is getting ready to host football's biggest show. >> my youth, i can see the results of what i've done, what i fought for has been worthwhile. >> and that was andy richardson reporting from south africa. and that's it from us for this week.
but don't forget, there's a lot more international news and analysis at worldfocus.org. i'm daljit dhaliwal in new york. for me and the rest of the team thank you very much for joining us. have a great weekend. we'll see you back here on monday. until then, good-bye. major support for "worldfocus" has been provided by rosalind p. walter and the peter g. peterson foundation, dedicated to proting fiscal responsibility and addressing key economic challenges facing america's future. and additional funding provided by the following supporters --