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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  October 10, 2009 3:30am-4:00am EDT

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2009 is to be awarded to president barack obama. >> president obama wins the nobel peace prize. did anybody see this coming? >> on my orders, the united states military has begun strikes against al qaeda training camps and military strikes of the talha bound regime. >> a war in afghanistan for eight long years. -- strikes of the taliban regime. >> why is the general running the war running his mouth in public? >> the nonpartisan cbo says the health care bill will reduce the deficit. >> we can not stand for an epidemic of violence. >> the obama administration and zeros in on an epidemic of children killing children.
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>> friday morning, americans awoke to the news that their president who has been in office less than one year had won the nobel peace prize. the last president to win that was woodrow wilson. the committee attached importance to obama's vision and it worked for a world without nuclear weapons. >> only rarely has a president, should the world's attention and given its world's people hope. -- captured the world's attention. >> i have come here to seek a new beginning between the u.s. and muslims around the world.
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one based on mutual interests and mutual respect. >> when i was in cairo there was a gasp from the audience. what was your reaction? >> a gasp because it is premature. this is liberal europe's idea of what they want obama to be. they are trying to give them a booster shot saying remember the obama we liked? >> i thought this news was unfair that after nine months in office obama is blamed for problems not of his making, but it is unfair that he gets credit for being a peacemaker when there has been no peace. >> i regard this as an aspirational acknowledgement rather than an inspirational. this is something they hope will
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happen, that there will be peace because of him. he laid the marker down for something the world wants very much, but he has not delivered that. that is not what the prize is four. it is not for achieving success. >> how will this play politically? >> i am amazed by the incoming phone calls we have got. whether from liberals for republicans, they are saying, how did this happen? conservatives are trying to push this that there will be 8-walsh -- . -- there will be a backlash. they will say this is evidenced obama does not have to do anything other than be there and he will win praise from europe. he is wrestling with a decision that will probably result in sending more troops into afghanistan. >> i don't want to get ahead of us, but this takes general
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mccrhrystal's troops off the table. >> right after he made the announcement, and reporter said he has not achieved anything concrete. what is the reason for giving him a prize? aren't they risking -- >> they don't care. there is something interesting here. because we see so much of foreign countries attack in the u.s., we forget that the u.s. is actually a loved country and one that most of the world seeks to emulate. this was as mitch a repudiation of the bush policy -- as much by a repudiation of the bush policy and embrace as what they see as the obama policies of trying to be multilateral. >> they have seen him reach out
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to the muslim world, a president who says he will seek non -- seek nuclear non-proliferation, trying to reconcile climate control. you have many initiatives coming out of washington the world have never seen. >> i think this is the first recipient thrilled -- not thrilled to win. >> white -- [inaudible] >> i think bill clinton wanted this award. >> part of the fantasy is getting rid of nuclear weapons. that is one of the reasons why they gave the award. that really is a fantasy. it is one of his noble goals that will never be achieved. the presence of nuclear weapons is more to keep peace. >> president woodrow wilson also
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got an award. everything you do is not necessarily going to lead to a success, and that is not what the prize is four. it is for the hope that something will come about. >> alfred nobel, the founder of the peace prize and the was also the creator of dynamite, said the award should go to the person who has done the most for peace. it is an ideal. >> it is their price and they get to award it. -- is there prize. >> what impact will this have on the president's decisions in afghanistan? >> weighting does not prolong a favorable outcome. -- waiting does not prolong a favorable outcome. >> the options presented
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endorsed by the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff should be given additional weight. >> it is clear the president is headed in the right direction. strategy before resources. >> that is a happy couple. general stanley mcchrystal is calling for 40,000 additional troops, without which the war will be lost. does the president run the risk of appearing to be indecisive by not moving quicker? >> i don't think so. most people would agree this is an important decision. i hope there is a long debate after he makes this decision. i think he will come out and do something shy of what we're kristol once. the question is, can he get this through congress? -- something shy of what general mccrhrystal wants. there is so much opposition to
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this war. the moment with nancy pelosi and harry reid standing there and saying we will support whatever he does. she told staff she was livid because she will not just rubber-stamp whatever he does because there are so many people who don't want to. >> what about members in the administration. joe biden is taking a different point of view, which is less military and more diplomacy. a whole bunch of things which is different than what general mccrhrystal is advocating. i think obama likes to be the guy in the middle and positioned between the heart military solution and the softer position so keegan be the middle way kind of guy. >> i am sorry, i don't think he
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is a masochist. nobody can like being in the middle on this, because you will have no friends either way. even general mccrhrystal does not say if you give me what i want i guess i will win. he does not say that. >> the kristol is saying -- general mccrhrystal is saying -- he got a slap on the rest from a former nato commander and secretary of defense. how big was this? >> i don't think he violated the chain of command. he submitted his report to his superiors. he did not leak it. general colin powell mentioned this in his book, that this new generation of officers has to be
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responsible for the troops on the ground. you have people in harm's way in afghanistan. it is incumbent upon the general to say to the president's, here is what i will need in order to accomplish this mission and protect the troops. at this point, while the white house is going through a big process they cannot appear to be bickering over this, because you have troops exposed, and something will have to be decided. >> we also have a military stretched thin. >> we had problems with generals who did not tell the truth. that was not a good thing in iraq, so we want to encourage generals to do it. is he to public about it? he did not leak this report, and he risk -- he is responding to questions. >> he did not leak the report, but we don't know whether
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somebody in his chain of command did so. we know he says he did not. there is a difference between getting good and candid in vice. going places -- candid advice. going places where you are bound to be asked questions, if you disagree with the decision, that becomes a much more difficult question. >> he did not disagree with any decision, he laid out his case. >> why would you late to let the president decide this? -- why would you wait? >> he was also advised to give that speech. they knew -- >> it is a very measured speech. >> tell me about the political ramifications. >> there is a huge debate
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internally. the feeling in the nancy pelosi camp is given the politics of henry reed's caucus, they are more likely to be a supporters of what obama does. the last time there was funding for the war, they had to fight just to win funding. that is when obama was very popular. that fight will be harder this time around. >> there was a moment not in your video, and it is the second time i have seen this. he puts his arm around her and she goes like this. daggers' come out of her eyes. he puts his hand down like he has touched a hot stove. you do not put your arm around the speaker of the house and say, come on, honey.
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>> she had a tough week because she had one general tell her she ought to stay in her place. >> she said i am in my place. >> there has been some sexism from the [unintelligible] >> we have been in afghanistan since october 2001. weak central government, warlords all over the place, it seems like it will always be that way. will it make any difference when we leave? >> this is a lose this situation. -- this is a lose-lose situation. it is a choice between bad choices and worse choices. on the margins, i think you can make a difference, but is a long
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dance. >> the argument is we have to stay there to be safe and home. >> that is the argument obama gave. >> why don't we fight in somalia and yemen? >> they have not invited us in pakistan. >> did we get invited to afghanistan? >> no, we invaded it. we have supposedly a friend the government in pakistan. -- everybody agrees pakistan is the issue. the question is, can you abandon its border or can you defend the border? >> the argument is afghanistan is central to the importance of pakistan. >> if we pull out of afghanistan, then al qaeda will come back in. then you get the other argument
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coming from joe biden's side. we use this opportunity to attack al qaeda, not necessarily to get beat, then come up but the true enemy is al qaeda. -- not necessarily to beat the taliban. >> you cannot get the intelligence unless you are on the ground. >> there are bad guys and there are bad guys. >> the white house is trying not to. they want to make it clear there is a difference between the taliban and al qaeda. >> if you are a woman there is no difference. >> there are a lot of jihadists out there. it takes a lot of intelligence to do that. it is hard to do that doing it from miles away.
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>> we talk about afghanistan and we have to change our perspectives. we have been there eight years but not a full-fledged war. >> how does the white house define victory in afghanistan? >> if they could leave something that resembles a stable government and they feel like they have done a good job of degrading the terrorist capacity. this is why the president's hair turns grey so quickly. it is a reason there is not a big change by the patriot act. why guantanamo bay has not been shut down. it is tough stuff. it is tough even if you have a policy vision different to change it. there are consequences to leaving. that is why they are having this debate. that is why i hope we have a long debate in congress.
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i think it is more important than health care because it is happening in real time. let's figure out what to do in afghanistan. >> one evidence of success is building a strong afghan army. that would cost $4 billion a year. the afghan budget is $500 million a year. >> you need about $500,000. >> it is widely over the top. >> we talk about paying for health care but not paying for the war. >> the congressional budget office had happy news for max baucus on health care numbers. >> all they want to do is tax something. if you tax the insurance companies, guess what? their customers will pay higher premiums.
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>> that is the house minority leader responded to talk that democrats are thinking about coming up with a windfall tax on insurance companies. they say the senate health care bill will cost $829 billion over 10 years and will reduce the deficit. is this a good deal? >> good news and bad news. good news that it will be under the $900 billion target, and bad news is that nobody likes the bill. it will be a vehicle for the senate to work. >> senator says this bill is not about competition. they have a bill that is truly competitive, but everybody hates it.
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>> business hates it. >> what is interesting is that it is funny how in washington and you think a bill is an expensive when it is under $900 billion. it may cut the deficit a tiny bit over the next 10 years. i think this could backfire on them. democrats were celebrating. you now have a bill where people say they could keep it under $850 billion, so anything that comes out it puts people who talked only about cost, it will make it harder for them. >> what about medicare benefits? >> this bill expands the coverage of insurance by 29 million. it tries to do something with our costs.
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if it succeeds, it actually will have done a big thing. it is not easy to do something about cost. what is interesting is that everybody stayed in mind in their roles in the finance committee's markup, so that the liberals who wanted that theoption pushed for a -- so the liberals who wanted that pushed for a public option. >> doesn't it cut medicare benefits? >> yes, it does. it seeks to do some things about cost but it does not attack the basic problem. it ducks the issue, which is [unintelligible] as long as doctors are paid by procedure there is a natural proclivity to do more
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procedures. until you deal with that problem you can never get a handle on it. >> that isimit the ofce>> that will all get knocked out. >> what is going on in the house? the house is a different idea here. >> all the action has been in the senate. there was a private meeting yesterday that nancy pelosi said the max baucus bill was terrible. there is a lot of fighting to get where they need to be to pass this through the house and senate. say positive things about the bill, but those are the only republicans the white house can get to say anything positive. if that is the best you can get out of people willing to compromise, it would be --
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>> what if this bill passes in the senate and the nancy pelosi bill passes in the house and they go to congress, that is where the action is. can this be filibustered? >> they will have to have an agreement. it is hard when they get to the conference committee. they are trying to keep it as small as possible. >> the reality is -- they will say this will not pass at all unless you take my bill. >> the obama administration focused on kids killing kids. >> we are seeing this in their front yards and on their way to school, in their living room. >> that is the chairman of pediatrics. eric holder and arne duncan who
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grew up in chicago talked about what is happening to the chicago school children. you have been writing about that for years. >> the day they left washington to go to chicago, we had almost one dozen kids arrested at ballou high school. a few days before that we had kids at a charter school jumped by rival gangs. this week we had kids at the same school beaten and having to been taken to the hospital. it is all over the country. this is what is happening inside of urban education. cities don't want to talk about this. if you look at the stem of it, the family has disintegrated in
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the urban communities. that means we have kids growing up without fathers, at the kind of guidance they need, and you have the streets raising children. >> as this quantitatively gotten worse? is this anecdotal or is it a measurable trend? >> a few years ago you had a downward trend in [unintelligible] i think we are seeing an uptick now. the rest of juveniles are slightly increasing. -- the arrests of juveniles are slightly increasing. you have a progressive school that say the least restrictive environment is best for these kids. you also have kids who are not getting the services they need. other ones who are intimidating kids, they have kids inside of classrooms afraid to get their
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heads into their work because they have problems at home. >> the appearance by the secretary does not fix the problem. where do you begin? is it with the education system? >> you have to bring the problem back to home and work at the basic level. that is with the people who bring children into the world and those growing up in this world. we have to fix the family. there is no getting around it. it does not mean you look to the school system. the police department cannot solve the problem. it takes a whole community -- all the key elements in the community work on this. >> that is the last word unfortunately. we will see you next week.
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>> for a transcript, log onto insodewashin
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gwen: a nobel peace prize shocker. plus, health care and the supreme court. tonight on "washington week." >> i am both surprised and deeply humbled.

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