Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Remember, Remember, The Eleventh Of September (First Hour)

Hello all. We've got Anderson back full time tonight and though I am very happy I have a small request. Before the next broadcast can someone maybe give him a Xanax or something so I don't develop carpal tunnel before the 360 team goes back to New York? Good Lord! When Anderson is in his element he gives us three hours of information in a two hour show. Someone needs to tell him it really is okay to take a breath every now and then. Okay, on with the show!

We begin on a forward operating base (FOB) somewhere in Eastern Afghanistan. Anderson can't tell us exactly where for security reasons and I am very much okay with that. He gives us a fast but short recap of events there and then leads into a piece where we see him traveling to the base via helicoptor. We're informed that the higher you fly the more at risk you are of getting hit, so they fly low and Anderson is wearing a flak jacket. Good. Next we see tape of Anderson doing a live shot of a 9-11 ceremony that he has to interrupt because they're taking fire. All the soldiers go running to their positions, but Anderson takes his sweet time taking cover. Don't go too fast there or anything. You're only being attacked is all. The soldiers eventually have their ceremony and we learn they're feeling a little neglected. I don't blame them. Hardly anyone talks about Afghanistan even though that's the only war we should be fighting.

On now to a piece by Nic Robertson from Quetta, Pakistan, where it is believed Taliban leader Mohammed Omar might be hiding out. Due to this new deal with tribal leaders there is the question of whether Pakistan is really doing all it can to fight terror. Pakistani officials are angered by the implication. They say many of their men have been killed by homegrown Taliban and, actually, this is part of the problem. It seems Pakistan is going to take care of their own problems first by striking as many deals as they need to, while ignoring Afghan Taliban. I'm wondering what the big difference is, but apparently the homegrown Pakistan Taliban are growing very popular. Great.

Next we move on to a great discussion between Nic, Peter Bergen (author of "The Osama Bin Laden I know"), and Anderson. The Pakistan deal comes up again and it is noted that the only way it could work is with support from locals and Nic couldn't gauge if that was there or not. Peter also covers some of the reasons why the Taliban are coming back--one of which is the drug trade. Afghanistan provides 92% of the world's heroin. Wow! Finally they go into the big pickle we've got ourselves in here in regards to our ally. See, even though Musharraf isn't doing the best job we can't really criticize him because he doesn't have the firm support of his country. If we make him weaker than he already is he could be overthown by a group we really don't want in there and that would be even worse. So...basically this is a really bad situation. As we transition out of this conversation Anderson gives us some Raw Data, or Raw Dayta, in regards to Afghanistan. It is a country of 31 million people with 40% unemployment and life expectancy of 43, or as Anderson puts it, "at 43 you die." Heh. So dramatic. That is pretty ridiculous though. 43? This is 2006.

Moving on now to the requisite Bush piece from Ed Henry. I'm sorry, but screw him. No, not Ed. I like Ed. You know who I mean. I could go on a big rant here about how after 9-11 he even had me as a supporter, if only for a moment, and he threw every damn bit of it away. Or how he's destroyed this country more than I think most of us will ever realize. But anyway, I don't want to get too mad, so I'll let one of my other news heroes, Keith Olbermann do it for me (Yeah I cheat on CNN and Anderson, so sue me).

We transition to a recap of the events of 9-11 and see some clips from CNN as they aired that day. I should probably mention now that throughout the day CNN has been putting the names of victims on the bottom of the screen. Anyway, it's strange to see this again because I actually was watching five years ago. I didn't tune in until right before the first building fell, but I clearly remember Aaron Brown saying, "there are no words." He was so calming and wasn't afraid to be silent and let what was happening speak for itself. I miss Aaron.

Next Anderson reminds us that Bin Laden is still at large and intros us into another piece by Nic that tackles where Bin Laden might be. Again we are faced with the Pakistan issue. Bin Laden is very popular in Pakistan, making people unwilling to rat him out. So basically the trail has gone cold and really catching him has fallen down the 'to do' list of both the Afghan and Pakistan sides in order to make room for the more immediate problems with the growing Taliban.

On now to a piece by Anderson and what is probably my favorite picture of the night. Go ahead, laugh. You know you want to. That's our Anderson. Going literally anywhere for the story--even a hole. Perhaps I should explain. Anderson (and a lot of armed guards) went on a difficult journey from Kabul to Jallalabad to visit what is believed to be Bin Laden's former complex. It looks as though it's been bombed out, but locals say it was just looters. So...Anderson finds this hole with a ladder and decides he has to check it out. Um, shouldn't there be a CNN person somewhere going, "hey, let's not have our primetime anchor go down a strange hole?" Anybody? Bueller? Bueller? Okay then. Once down the hole Anderson finds an RPG and motor rounds. Well that makes me feel oh so much better. Out of the hole, Peter explains to Anderson why it would be much too dangerous for them to go to Tora Bora. I am so agreeing with Peter. I think Anderson needs to bring Peter everywhere with him from now on. C'mon. You know he wanted to go. Oh, this piece also had Anderson touching stuff like he always does. Purell is all I'm saying. The piece is rounded out with Anderson talking to the locals and apparently they think it was better under the Taliban because at least then they had power and stuff like that. We're winning the hearts and minds everywhere we turn. Sigh.

There was no The Shot tonight, but I'm going to round out this hour with one I've chosen. This is Anderson showing us a 105 millimeter howitzer:

The guy loves handling the weapons. *Snickers* Anyway, I'll leave you to write your own dirty captions. Tonight's show was great. It gets a rare A

Awesome screencaps by bcfraggle.


Blogger Arachnae said...

It is a country of 31 million people with 40% unemployment and life expectancy of 43, or as Anderson puts it, "at 43 you die." Heh. So dramatic. That is pretty ridiculous though. 43? This is 2006.

Heh. This cracked me up. I love Anderson, but someone should explain 'life expectancy' to him. Someone who has lived to the age of 43 probably is going to live at least another 20 years - the figure is low because of high infant and childhood mortality rates.

Not that high infant mortality is a good thing, but an adult isn't going to die just because they reached the age of 43...

1:56 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

Heh. I know. And he said it like that several times. It's not like they turn 43 and drop dead. Oh, Anderson.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Arachnae said...

heh, maybe it's like in Logan's Run; when afghanistanis turn 43, they're KILLED!

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Bev said...

Caption: "This weapon I'm holding is getting heavier/bigger by the minute"
Great blog. A lot of work and thought I'll bet.
I think a lot of Afghanistans are probably Lucky to make it to 43, probably between war, terrorists and disease.

6:24 PM  

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