Friday, September 08, 2006

Live From Kabul....Sort Of.

Anderson is back! This is a nice surprise. The CNN promos said we would be seeing him Monday, the news release said Monday, and so I expected not to see Anderson until, well, Monday. But this is much better. Let's just pretend he missed us. Anyway, we begin with Anderson doing the intro in Kabul and then he throws it almost immediately to John Roberts in the studio. It seems we have some breaking news. Mr. 10 Most Wanted guy, Ralph Phillips, has been caught. Well that was fast. He wasn't on the list long enough to even get his spot warm. Yet five years later Bin Laden still roams free. This is the second time Anderson has been in the field when news at home breaks that I don't particularly care about. I'm glad they caught the guy, but I'd rather be hearing about Afghanistan.

I don't have to wait long because John quickly throws back to Anderson who is joined by Peter Bergen. Together they discuss yet another new Al Qaeda tape, this one with American Adam Gadahn. I know this is all very serious, but what the heck is up with Peter's hair? It's all slicked back. Anderson goes on to tell us about the daylight attack that occurred today outside the US Embassy, killing two soldiers and at least 12 civilians. The aftermath sounds pretty horrific. Anderson says there was blood and body parts everywhere. Peter and Producer Charlie also saw the carnage. Peter and Anderson get into a pretty good discussion about the growing threat of the Taliban (though not yet a strategic threat to the Karzai government) and the recent deal Pakistan made with tribal leaders. Two intelligent people having a complex discussion about current events. Now that's what I'm talking about!

Next we move on to a really good piece by Nic Robertson, who takes us in a helicoptor to get a look at the Pakistan border and then into that remote Pakistan region we're always hearing about. I've never seen footage from here before and am duly impressed. Nic also goes further into the Pakistan deal, stating it will allow tribal leaders to freely conduct business over the border. Not exactly a good thing.

On now to an interview Anderson has with the Pakistan ambassador to the US. He downplays the deal and tries to convince Anderson that the people in these regions are with Musharraf and the the west. He doesn't think anybody bad will go over the border unless it's like, "beam me up, Scotty." No joke, that's what the guy said and his accent made it even more bizarre. Anderson counters that most Pashtuns support the Taliban, but the ambassador plays it off. Anderson also says he's heard that maybe Pakistan doesn't really even want a unified Afghanistan. The ambassador ain't hearing it and calls that, "one hell of a charade." This guy's kind of a kick. Full of crap, but kind of a kick.

Back to John now and tonight's breaking news. We get a piece from Allan Chernoff on the capture and after the break John intros us into a Tom Foreman piece that covers the escape and time on the lam. Following that we have Allan live to recap all the latest. This all takes way too much time. I realize this happened in New York, which I guess is the center of the universe, but it doesn't seem all that special to me. Stuff equal to this (IMO) has happened in St. Louis. I'm not even sure why he was on the 10 Most Wanted list. What the guy did was horrible, but aren't there other terrorists we could put on the list? Why is just Bin Laden on there? The whole system seems wacky to me.

We transition back to Anderson who intros the Gadahn video. Peter is still there and now his hair looks better. Weird. Anderson and Peter discuss the tape a little more and then Peter leaves. And he gets that mic off fast. At least I'm assuming that's what that noise was. He's not chancing any Kyra Phillips incident.

Michael Ware joins us now from Baghdad. Michael! Sorry. My inner fangirl escaped there for a second. I'm a big fan of Michael because he brings us excellent information and tells it like it is. Plus he is just so into it that everything he says sounds riveting. Michael could make a ham sandwich sound impressive. Anyway, Michael talks a bit about what's going down in Ramadi (nothing good) and also covers the recent transfer of the command post to the Iraqis. He tells us what we already suspect: this will mean nothing on the ground. All smoke and mirrors. And you know even if they didn't need the US to function, aren't a lot of these guys more loyal to Shiite militias than Iraq? This is all so very frustrating

Before we go to break, Anderson explains the coverage for next week. They wanted to spend the 9-11 anniversary in the place where it all started and they're going to be looking at the Taliban's alarming ability to operate in Pakistan.

Back now to John in the studio with coverage of the ABC hackjob movie Path to 9-11. This movie is being billed as based on the 9/11 Commission and it has scenes in it that are completely fabricated to make it look like Clinton had a chance to get Bin Laden and totally dropped the ball. Brian Todd summarizes in a piece that I think is weak (I'll explain in a second). Then John Roberts really sets me off. He goes to tell us about the criticisms of the film, but begins his sentence with "Democrats say..." Oh really? This is just one of those partisan issues, huh? And what about the whole slew of conservatives that also have a problem with it? What about the comments from the members of the 9/11 Commission? What about the objections of leading historians? What about the FBI consultants that quit? No, I guess this is all just about democrats. I called Brian Todd's piece weak because he too leaves this information out, as well as the background of the people pushing this movie. This is about the truth, plain and simple. A recent poll stated that over 40% of Americans think Saddam was behind 9-11 (even though just today it was revealed once and for all there was absolutely no connection) and now they want to air this piece of crap to confuse people further? Every American should be outraged. Okay, I'll calm down now. Next John has an interview with Harvey Keitel (an actor in the movie), who thinks things need to be changed, but the whole thing shouldn't be shelved and that editing won't help, but the public really needs to see some of the information in it. Um, what? Okay then.

We go to break and I'm thinking the show is basically over, but when we come back there's Anderson again. He is just full of surprises. Anyway, at the hour mark Anderson gives us a recap. A freakin fast recap. Anderson is not making this blogger's job easy y'all. Basically the only thing I was able to get down is that NATO is requesting more troops. Next Anderson intros the taped special "Five Years Later Are We Safer" or something like that. Okay, now it's really over. It was great having Anderson back, although it would have been nice to actually have spent more of the hour in the field. Oh well. Tonight gets a B-

Awesome screencaps by bcfraggle.


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