Steve Clemons & Ali Jalali Discuss Afghanistan, Iran & US on PBS NewsHour

-


I had the opportunity tonight to chat with PBS NewsHour Chief Anchor Jim Lehrer and former Afghanistan Interior Minister and National Defense University professor Ali Jalali about the solvency of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai given the acknowledgment that he is accepting “bags of cash” from Iran.
Interestingly, at a press conference Karzai also acknowledged that his government was getting similar bags of cash from the United States — which White House spokesman Robert Gibbs denied.
I thought that this was a very good exchange — and was able to surface some of the key themes from the recently released Afghanistan Study Group Report.
Here is the transcript from the exchange as well.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

21 comments on “Steve Clemons & Ali Jalali Discuss Afghanistan, Iran & US on PBS NewsHour

  1. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “You remember

    Reply

  2. Don Bacon says:

    “You remember

    Reply

  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    This President is every bit the piece of shit that George Bush was. He’s a ringer. The son of a bitch never intended to be what he claimed to be.
    “By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, pursuant to section 404(c) of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (CSPA), title IV of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110 457), I hereby determine that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive the application to Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Yemen of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA”

    Reply

  4. Don Bacon says:

    “In perpetual war, Friedman units expand to fill the time available.”
    And we never run out of available time. Time goes on, as it always does. And the US still awards Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medals, good for service in over fifty countries.
    See the world, and get a medal for war on a noun! Your local Army Recruiting Station Career Center has details.

    Reply

  5. Warren Metzler says:

    I want to thank Don Bacon for his entry, specifically regarding the FBI web site. I’ve known of this information before, but this time as I read the verbatim text an awareness popped into my mind. Is it possible that the FBI was aware that Al Queda did 9/11, but didn’t see Ben Laden as responsible; and the answer is no, because he was present at neither of those embassy bombing, and they hold him personally responsible. Then is it possible that they knew Al Queda was responsible on the afternoon of 9/11 (when the Bush administration announced their guilt; the most rapid solving of a crime in which there were no survivors in the history of a justice system), but have since changed their minds? And the answer is no.
    So if it was not the FBI who gave the Bush White House the information Al Queda was responsible, from where did the White House get that information, because they sure presented it as gospel truth????
    Is it possible that they invented it, using pre-set-up lists they had organized some time prior; just waiting for an opportunity? Nah, that can’t be true, because as Maw of Amer. tells us above, that possibility is a conspiracy theory, and conspiracy theories are never correct.
    But if that was true, wouldn’t that make Bush, Cheney, et al, criminally guilty of major crimes? I wonder why there has been no Obama Justice department probe of this possibility? Could it be that all those people hang together for situations like this?

    Reply

  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Oh yes, how fortunate that Satam Al Suqami’s passport was fireproof, crashproof, and weighty enough to travel “a few blocks” from the WTC, to be found by a sharp thinkin’ Joe Citizen who realized what he had, and immediately turned it over to the feds.
    Otherwise, we might never have picked up the trail of these drinking, whoring, partying radical Muslims who committed this terrorist act because of religious fanaticism.

    Reply

  7. Don Bacon says:

    One of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives is Usama Bin Laden.
    from the FBI website:
    Wanted by the FBI — . . .Bin Laden is the leader of a terrorist organization known as Al-Qaeda, “The Base”. He is left-handed and walks with a cane.
    CAUTION
    Usama Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. These attacks killed over 200 people. In addition, Bin Laden is a suspect in other terrorist attacks throughout the world.
    REWARD
    The Rewards For Justice Program, United States Department of State, is offering a reward of up to $25 million for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of Usama Bin Laden. An additional $2 million is being offered through a program developed and funded by the Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association.
    CONSIDERED ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. . .///
    http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/topten/usama-bin-laden
    Not a word about 9/11, except as a suspect, because apparently there is no evidence of involvement. Such evidence is what the Afghanistan government requested in 2001 before the US attacked and invaded.
    Some bogeyman, eh?

    Reply

  8. Warren Metzler says:

    This is for Maw of Amer. A conspiracy theory is a useless concept. The only evidence you have of Al Queda’s responsibility for 9/11 is Bush administration claims. There is not a shred of physical evidence demonstrating a single Al Queda person present on those planes.
    This is the same government that told you Iraq had wmd. Do you consider it a conspiracy theory for me to claim the Bush administration lied about wmd’s to create a false reason for attacking Iraq? If not, be consistent.
    If it turned out that Americans did 9/11 (not the official government, but right wing fascists like those who did the Morrow building in Oklahoma City), than you have a much clearer understanding of the downside of government misinformation: vis-a-vis the great antipathy against Moslems now present, the rise of suicide bombers among fanatic Moslems, the incredible decrease in moral character in many Americans leading to our recent financial crisis, the inability for our current politicians (in both parties) to do anything that is effective, and so forth.
    Think of the government misinformation that lead to incredible evil things in Pre-wwii Germany. When the government misleads the citizenry, out of the need for certain government officials to carry out personal agendas, it can lead to disastrous consequences for many people.
    We have the same thing happening now in the “war on terror”, including the situation in Afghanistan. We are being given incredible amounts of government misinformation. Look at the difference between government presentations while in Iraq, just regarding civilian casualties, and what Wikileaks just showed us they knew.
    I have to disagree with kotzabasis. The situation is Iraq is worlds apart from the situation in Afghanistan. In the latter they are still in a stone age mentality in much of the country, and until those people rise above that mentality, no foreign power is going to impose its will; especially not the US which has repeatedly demonstrated, for close to 200 years, foreign policy actions that are almost always utterly stupid and counterproductive and rarely insightful and worthwhile.
    I think this is because the only US Constitution valid foreign policy is non-intervention and facilitation of human rights; do onto others as you claim to live at home; which is totally non-facilitatory of our corporations. But then, where will all those foreign policy types find unemployment when their party is out of power?
    When you act contrary to your moral base; in this case the US Constitution; you become amoral and predominately do stupid and counterproductive things.

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Me: Annie, Oakley and Buddy”
    “Wife: Oh! I expected him to look different”
    Ask her which one she expected him to look like.

    Reply

  10. Don Bacon says:

    Welcome back, kotzabasis.
    The Americans might just win the war in Afghanistan?
    Like the US “won” in Iraq? Overthrowing a secularist government at great expense of blood & treasure to get an Islamic state aligned with Iran?
    Winning in Afghanistan is equally ephemeral. The US overthrew a government aligned with its ally Pakistan, and is now attempting to quell a resistance supported by Pakistan, while giving Pakistan large sums of money. This makes no sense.
    One of the primary struggles here is between Pakistan, which has historical ties to the Taliban, and India, which enjoys ties with the Northern Alliance and with Karzai. So the US is involved in a sort of proxy war between Pakistan and India.
    The strategy has been shifted from conventional to counter-insurgent and back to conventional, which is the current strategy involving thousands of troops and lots of airstrikes. There has been no progress after nine years. Quite the opposute.
    The propaganda line, repeated here by kotzabasis, is that the Taliban negotiates only out of weakness. If they weren’t so weak they would wait until the uS withdraws.
    But the US has indicated that it won’t withdraw. There is no “Obama

    Reply

  11. kotzabasis says:

    For those who can think out of the mould there are signs that the Americans might just win the war in Afghanistan. The fact that a large part of the Taliban are prepared and are negotiating with the Karzai government, with the apparent consensus of General Petraeus, is indicative that the Taliban are undergoing unsustainable loses in their confrontation with the allied forces. Moreover, that these negotiations are taking place with the full knowledge by the Taliban of Obama

    Reply

  12. Maw of America says:

    Oh, Warren. You had me until the part about 9/11 not being perpetrated by Al Queda. I can’t get on that conspiracy bus, my friend…
    But I was drawn to POA’a comment about Deep Thinkers. So here’s a shameless plug – If you live in the Los Angeles area, join the Deep Thinkers on Meetup.com. And it so happens that our next event is a discussion about why Congress has been absent in their duty to declare war for the past 60 years. And does this amount to a de facto nullification of Article One, Section 8?
    Let the debate continue…

    Reply

  13. paul_lukasiak says:

    far more interesting than the idea of “bags of Iranian cash” is the timing of the New York Times story. Its been obvious for a long time that Karzai was “corrupt”, but until now that corruption was mostly ignored by the beltway media.
    But now that Karzai is taking on the politically influential private security contractors, and the even more influential construction corporations that have multi-million dollar “development” contracts in Afghanistan and rely on private security firms, his “Iranian” connection is getting a massive amount of play, starting with a front page story in the Times by (Pentagon owned and operated reporter) Dexter Filkins.
    The manipulation of the news cycle is so obvious here….
    And btw, Steve, why NOTHING about the Wikileaks?

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, even when the Washington “deep thinkers” get together to pontificate knowledgably, its no less bizarre than the Vanity Fair cover.
    I liked it better in my youth, when all I needed to know about Afghanistan was the quality of the hashish they exported.

    Reply

  15. erichwwk says:

    It gets stranger and stranger. I posted this in full on my blog. Hope it is ok, as it was so short.

    Reply

  16. Warren Metzler says:

    Ways to win in Afghanistan. What tea are they drinking????
    For those of you who are younger than 45 years of age, you can’t have an accurate experience of the lies and delusions that filling the air from various administration officials regarding Vietnam; and forgive me for all of you who are younger than 45 that claim you’ve taken a “contemporary US / world history course”, because in most cases your instructor has misinformed you.
    The US was a member of the 1954 Geneva Convention, which stated that a referendum would be held in the north and the south, to determine who would rule. Ho Chi Minh won convincing in the north’s referendum. And Eisenhower, demonstrating what a man of integrity he was (he was a general in the military; shades of McCrystal, et al; such a person would never mislead us would he?), told Diem (our puppet dictator in the south) not to hold the referendum (see, just as with our agreements with the American Indians back in the 1800’s, the US government has been demonstrating for over a century that it speaks with forked tongue almost all the time; one of the main reasons I don’t believe the official version of 9/11 for a second); and so the north attacked.
    Which is exactly what we did in the Civil War; and what all countries do when agreements are not kept. (Iran, with its nuclear program sound familiar anyone?).
    Thus began the war, and since every government in the south; including Diem; were all fascist megalomaniacs; the average citizen of the south was more partial to the NVA and Viet Cong (Taliban sound familiar anyone?), and in time the north kicked our butts; and out we went; creating historical pictures by people being lifted off the roof of our Saigon embassy by helicopter.
    Now fast forward to Afghanistan; and we install a puppet, called Karzai; who proved his worthiness of being our puppet by being a lacky for oil companies trying to get favored oil contracts for US multinationals in the “stan’s” of central Asia; (anyone remember Paul Brenner?); totally bypassing an indigenous political process.
    And ever since he’s created and sustained a government that is held in less esteem than the US forces there. There is no way the same outcome won’t occur. Let’s get out now and save whatever lives that will be taken and limbs that will be mangled for as long as we stay. Nothing will stop the eventual outcome. They have to decide for themselves their destiny. We can’t.

    Reply

  17. Don Bacon says:

    from the WaPo today:
    The Obama administration’s plan to conduct a strategic review of the war in December has touched off maneuvering between U.S. military leaders seeking support for extending the American troop buildup and skeptics looking for arguments to wind down the nation’s role.
    An intense military campaign aimed at crippling the Taliban has so far failed to inflict more than fleeting setbacks on the insurgency or put meaningful pressure on its leaders to seek peace, according to U.S. military and intelligence officials citing the latest assessments of the war in Afghanistan.
    “The insurgency seems to be maintaining its resilience,” said a senior Defense Department official involved in assessments of the war. Taliban elements have consistently shown an ability to “reestablish and rejuvenate,” often within days of routed by U.S. forces, the official said, adding that if there is a sign that momentum has shifted, “I don’t see it.”
    http://tinyurl.com/2fzxm75

    Reply

  18. Don Bacon says:

    regarding the Anthony P. link:
    “With that said, Kilcullen believes that

    Reply

  19. Warren Metzler says:

    This is unbelievable. What we have here is proof that Americans have become insane. Basically Afghanistan is what we used to call a banana republic; a dictatorship run by a sadistic, fascist, egomaniac. To talk about having a relationship with Afghanistan is like claiming you have a relationship with your supermarket checkout cashier you see every two weeks.
    It should be obvious to all that NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING, of value will come out of Afghanistan, as was true of the Vietman war, and we should promptly leave and let them stew in their own juices until they grew up and act like adults.
    If Bush and his cronies hadn’t lied to the American people about Al Queda doing 9/11, there would no reason able to be invented for us staying. How can intelligent people repeatedly talk about learning from history, and ignore the almost point for point correspondence between Vietnam and Afghanistan????!!!!

    Reply

  20. Anthony P says:

    There are some interesting concepts about ways we could achieve positive outcomes in Afghanistan in this assessment of the strategies we have used there since 2001:
    http://robertcjohnston.com/?page_id=12

    Reply

  21. Dan Kervick says:

    I caught the show earlier this evening Steve. Good job.
    Conversation with wife:
    Me: Hey look, it’s Steve Clemons on NewsHour.
    Wife: Who?
    Me: The blogger. The one where I write comments all the time.
    Wife: Huh?
    Me: Annie, Oakley and Buddy.
    Wife: Oh! I expected him to look different.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *