Thursday, September 14, 2006

From Kabul To The Streets Of St Louis (First Hour)

Hi everyone. I'm starting things right off the bat. We begin live in Kabul where Anderson informs us that there are 20,000 US and 20,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan. Apparently NATO countries met today, but nobody offered up any more man power. Uh, what's up with that guys? This is the right war, remember? Anderson then intros us into a Jamie McIntyre piece about a picture of Taliban obtained from a predator drone. The story was broken by Kerry Sanders of NBC (and I recommend you read his updated blog post), and the picture shows what is believed to be Taliban leaders at a funeral. Now the question of course is why didn't we bomb it? Apparently the rules of engagement prohibit us from bombing in a cemetary. Or maybe they don't. They find out in some circumstances we can. So...yeah. Jamie reports that the reasoning here is that we want to hold ourselves to a higher moral and ethical standard than the enemy. Wha?? So we decided to just start with that now? Because I'm guessing torturing people to death is probably pretty low on the standards scale. Anyway, I don't know what to think about this situation. It's a tough call. After all, it could have turned out to be something like that wedding party we bombed a few years back.

On now to an interview Anderson has with Brigadier General David Grange. He thinks it would have been good to bomb the funeral if they were Taliban, but it was a tough call. Now we'll just have to keep going after them in "onsies and twosies". While I'm giggling at this coming out of a brigadier general's mouth, Anderson inquires as to whether or not that's a military term. Heh. No, apparently David is just showing us his "softer side." This interview also brings up the fact that while NATO is doing a good job, it's difficult because each country in NATO has their own rules. For example, the Germans won't go anywhere there's active fighting. Sissies. Heh.

Next we transition to a taped interview Anderson has with John Kerry. Kerry thinks we're going backwards and he blames, surprise, the Bush Administration. You know what's sad? I'm totally into this stuff and he's boring even me. I don't know what it is, but the man is dull. Anyway, Kerry must be absolutely furious about all this. He was the one constantly talking about Tora Bora and Afghanistan two years ago. To think what might have been, not just for the outcome of the election, but the safely of the world if people would have listened. Anderson wonders if this war is even winnable without Pakistan really helping and Kerry doesn't really think so. He wants to add 5,000 special forces to the region. Hey, I know where a whole bunch of forces are and they won't even have to cross an ocean to get there. At the end of the interview Kerry tells Anderson to, "be safe", which I think is nice. The good ones always do that. Back live, Anderson "mmm's" his own taped piece, which cracks me up. He does that all the time. Like it's the first time he's seeing it or something.

On now to an Anderson piece concerning a new propoganda tape called "The American Inferno In Afghanistan" and, well, if this blog wasn't flagged by NSA/FBI before, it is now. Anyway, there's really no way to tell if it's real, but it shows guys driving to the target, the attack, and then the cameraman driving off rejoicing. Anderson points out that the majority of people killed in suicide bombings in Afghanistan end up being Afghan civilians. I wonder if CNN gets a lot of hate mail from the right wing for playing that tape.

Next we get a teaser from Anderson about what's coming up. He mentions St. Louis, the Taliban, and opium. WTF?! This is when your humble blogger almost falls out of her chair. While I get my bearings, John Roberts gives us the headlines and then we learn six more men have been charged in the recent London plot. This segways nicely to a Dan Rivers piece on Abu Abdullah, a British (or Briddish-hee) Muslim who hates the West. You've probably already seen this a few dozen times since it's in the CNN Presents they run every five minutes.

We go now to Anderson and Peter Bergen. Peter kind of has the slicked back hair thing going on again. Anyway, Peter discusses how some of these Muslims bent on jihad are actually new converts like Richard Reed and Anderson points out that many attacks are actually targeted at other Muslims deemed not Islamic enough, like the attack on the Jordan wedding. Peter also reminds us that after 9-11 there was actually a big split in Al Qaeda because some felt that while it was good in the short term, in the long term it hurt their goals. Peter is not optimistic about the situation in Afghanistan. He believes the window is quickly closing to prevent the country to become another Iraq. Not good people.

Transitioning now to a Nic piece on the opium problem in Afghanistan. The drug trade is booming and it fuels the Taliban, which have maybe made a billion dollars off of it. Approximately 100,000 Afghans are addicted, but it's hard to crack down because police and officials often have their fingers in the business. In the piece we see Nic standing in a field of poppies. Don't inhale Nic! Heh.

We throw to John Roberts now in the studio because we've got breaking news. Former Texas Governor Ann Richards has died. Bummer. Texas is one sane person less now and they need all they can get. Kidding. Sort of.

On now to Randi Kaye's piece in St. Louis. Finally! I've been clutching my pearls for about three segments now. So apparently we've got a heroin problem and you know what? This is not fair. Missouri is number one in meth, we cannot have a heroin problem too. One or the other people. Anyway, there's new designer heroin called China White that's become popular with affluent kids. It's really easy to overdose and 55 people died in St. Louis from it in the first six months of this year. So this is troubling, but there are undercover people on the case. Oh, the whole point of this story is to connect the streets of the midwest to what's going on in Afghanistan. I almost forgot that part. Next we get a Reporter's Notebook (yay!) and that's it for the hour. Second hour will be up soon. Great show. They're on a roll. A

Awesome screencaps by bcfraggle


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