Occupy Oakland and America’s Longest WarOctober 27, 2011
RUSH TRANSCRIPT FROM MSNBC:
>>> well, secretary of state hillary clinton today facing a barrage of questions about our relationship with afghanistan, understandably, not to mention pakistan. this was all at a house hearing. the big talker, you probably heard this, afghan president hamid karzai's recent statement, "if fighting starts between pakistan and the u.s., we are beside pakistan." with friends like these, you know how the saying goes. here's the secretary's diplomatic response.
>> what karzai was talking about was the long history of cooperation between afghanistan and pakistan. it was, you know, both taken out of context and misunderstood.
>> are afghanistan and pakistan reliable allies?
>> well, first of all, president karzai and i had a very productive meeting when i was in kabul last week. we are making progress on a lot of issues.
>> mind you, we've spent nearly $500 billion there so far. we continue to fund both sides of the war. meanwhile, economic injustice and expanded breach of all sorts of principles of fairness continue in our own country, which is why an increasingly large number of military veterans have joined the occupy movement. i suggest you check out occupy marines, they are standing with the 99%. now, that participation took a dangerous turn for an iraq war veteran who survived two tours on behalf of the united states, but now finds himself in critical condition after a police projectile fired at the protesters two nights ago in oakland fractured his skull. joining us now is another iraq war veteran and current interim chairman of vo vets. we're also joined by colonel anthony shaver who has extensive knowledge about conditions around the region. i'm going to try to clip through a couple of different subjects, because i don't always get you guys together. ashland, i want to start on the issue in oakland. it's very clear that when you have unarmed people peacefully protesting, that where the opponent is armed, and there was a u.s. marine who went to times square, there was a video on youtube that was very powerful, where basically he was saying to the police, this is not a war zone, using a gun or a weapon against somebody who is unarmed does not make you tough. that a u.s. marine does not consider it to be tough to be violent towards an unarmed person. and i'm interested in both your perspective of the police relationship with protests in this country and then, obviously, the specifics of the veterans' relationship with the protest.
>> well, first of all, it's tragic, what happened to that marine out in california, and i hope that he ends up being okay. i don't know all the specifics of what happened in that incident, but i agree with your sentiment that our law enforcement officials, particularly our domestic law enforcement officials, because they have arms and because they're in a position of power, should be excessively careful in dealing with protesters, and particularly the occupy wall street movement, which i think thus far has been almost universally peaceful throughout the country and throughout the world, even. so we should be very careful about the amount of force that's used, or for what purposes it's used. so wile i don't know the kay and i hope that it's sort of a warning or at least an issue that other law enforcement officials throughout the country will look at as they're judging the amount of force necessary.
>> tony, your thoughts on use of force in a civilian environment against unarmed individuals relative to use of force in a theater environment.
>> in a nutshell, kudos to the marines for channeling ghandi. my goodness here, that's the idea. we're trying to stay things, no matter how you feel about the protests, the fact is, there was no intent to use or threat to use violence, so the idea of using force against someone with no justification is unconscionable in any circumstance. this is across the board.
>> and no soldier who serves the united states would ever presume to feel powerful because they were armed against someone who was not.
>> am i wrong -- go ahead, sorry.
>> i was going to say, along that line, these guys, believe me, marines, i would not want to be -- have a marine upset with me, because frankly, with a weapon or not, they could kick, you know --
>> they're tough.
>> so they were very sedate in this case, and this is what's wrong about it. you know, i could understand if there was a reaction to force, this is not the case here, though.
>> let's talk about the war itself. and this is maybe an outrageous statement on my part, but i've heard hamid karzai say, if it came down to it, i would be with pakistan, and everyone's outraged and how dare he say this, it's terrible. but if you're in hamid karzai's shoes, are you going to be with the country that's immediately next to you or be with the country that's half a world away that invaded you. it didn't strike me as that shocking a comment, that the guy running the blue country in this map says, if it comes down to it,time going to work with the guy running the yellow country right next to me over pretty much anybody else, if both of us are threatened. is that -- am acrazy?
>> well, dylan, let me say right up front, we continue to misunderstand the nature of these countries. each country is out for its own self-interest, and we continue, and frankly, secretary clinton's testimony today was a continuation of this policy of wishful thinking. pakistan will continue to do what it thinks is best for it to do. the hakani network is part of their effort. hamid karzai is doing what he thinks is best for him. they don't care about our interest. frankly, dylan, by 2003, we met our obligations to achieve victory. now all we're trying to do is insinuate an artificial circumstance, a border in which -- the hakani network doesn't recognize a border, and yet we're trying to insinuate our perspective on them.
>> they say that people change the way they're thinking when they have the revelation of new information or a new understanding. what do you think we could all understand a little bit better about that war that might help more of us understand a different way to look at it.
>> well, i think mr. karzai's comments emphasize how complex this region is, and just how much lengthier and more costly this entire venture has been for our country than was originally sort of told to us. i mean, mr. karzai, he's got his own domestic policy concerns, and that's why he makes outrageous and unpredictable statements like that, as he's done before, but frankly, we are so invested in his government right now that we have very little choice but to sort of tolerate those kinds of comments, which is one reason of many that i think we should start moving towards a counterterrorism strategy, away from this counterinsurgency strategy we've developed, so we can move more kinds of missions and strikes that have killed bin laden and his top lieutenants instead of leaving this large footprint in the middle east that leaves a large target for pakistan.
>> thanks for the perspective, guys,