More Iranian Hostage News, Anbar Insurgents, 2008 Talk, Raw Politics, Dumped Babies, And Zimbabwe Unrest (Thursday's Second Hour)
Next up we're joined by Retired Air Force Colonel David Roeder, who was a hostage in Iran back during the big 1979 crisis. David believes that Faye Turney is being leaned on very hard and is under tremendous pressure. Anderson asks about his first couple of days and he said they were blindfolded and tied to chairs. David stresses that the marines and sailors have nothing to do with their country's decisions and that we are not without responsiblity. He thinks that after they were released the US really didn't pay attention to Iran anymore and that has been a big mistake. I wonder who we're not paying attention to right now that's going to be a big problem in a decade or so. And we'll probably still be in Iraq then too.
Moving on now to a Michael Ware piece on some unlikely people who have taken up arms against al Qaeda. In Western Anbar province Sunni tribes composed of Baathist and nationalist insurgents have formed the Anbar salvation council and are on a mission to crush al Qaeda, with American support. In the piece these insurgents explain that they originally fought the Americans, but are now sick of al Qaeda and want them out. The Americans want al Qaeda out too, but they can't do it themselves and have turned to the council, members of which, "carry weapons, launch operations against targets they select, make arrests and conduct interrogations. All with American acquiescence." However, it might not be a match made in heaven. There are charges that the council has been given free rein to assassinate people, something Iraq ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad isn't loosing sleep over. Well aren't you sweet? Hey, I don't mind so much if al Qaeda get there's-as long as they are actually al Qaeda and this doesn't turn into US backed revenge killing. We're playing with fire here. We don't really have any choice at this point and it could turn out to be a great thing, but it's still fire.
After his piece we get Michael live and Anderson asks how successful the Anbar salvation council has been. Michael tells us that it's hard to tell because the tribes tend to inflate their numbers, but because Anbar had basically been taken over by al Qaeda this is going to take a while. Adding, "But at the end of the day, this is how America is going to get its troops out of this country. America cannot win. So this part of the political solution we hear the generals talking about, cutting deals with people like these Baathist insurgents and ultimately people like Iran and the groups that Iran supports." As I hear him say this I realize this is how we're going to get out. This is exactly how we're going to get out. Also, Michael loves the phrase "at the end of the day." Just something I've noticed. Anderson then asks Michael to clarify why the insurgents are doing this in the first place. Michael tells us that they realized they had more in common with the Americans than al Qaeda because they are against the Islamic agenda. What's particularly infuriating is these guys were actually prepared to host US bases back in 2003, but our lovely president had to paint them as evil and now here we are.
Transitioning now to a repeat of the Gary Tuchman tornado piece and then on to a Candy Crowley piece on a possible presidential run for Fred Thompson. Yes, "Law & Order" Fred Thompson. See, conservatives are in a minor panic because so far they don't have any candidates that they're really happy with. All of their top tier has problems: "Giuliani, off the reservation on social issues. McCain, unpredictable. Romney, flip-flops. " Thompson on the other hand seems to be a solid conservative. Although he's going to have to win over James Dobson because apparently he's not pushing his Christian credentials hard enough for his taste. Can actors just stick with acting please? What qualifies this guy to be president? I'm still wondering what qualifies Dubya to be president.
Next up we have a Tom Foreman piece on billionaire Michael Bloomberg maybe throwing his hat into the presidential ring too. He's seen as more of an independent than Republican because he not really all that partisan. I don't know much about Bloomberg, but now that I think about it, it might be kind of cool to have a strong third candidate. Not saying he'd have my vote, but the donkey and elephant need to get shaken up. After Tom's piece we're joined by republican strategist Karen Hanretty. She doesn't take Bloomberg too seriously and thinks he needs to spend some time away from the east coast. Karen has a point. The guy is a billionaire New Yorker-what could he possibly have in common with me and my fellow red staters? And I think that's the first time I've ever referred to myself as a "red stater." Anderson then brings up Fred Thompson and Karen thinks that him jumping in the race would hurt Mitt Romney the most. Did Romney have a shot anyway?
Moving on now to Joe Johns with "Raw Politics." First up, as we know, Bush is going to veto the Iraq war spending bill since it has a withdrawl timeline in it. Bush has talked about how important this money is to the troops, but who's denying them now? Congress has provided the money, he's the one holding it up. Next we get a short recap of how Kyle Sampson's testimony contradicted the statements of Alberto Gonzales. Finally tonight, Giuliani is stating that if he's president he would let his wife in on cabinet meetings. That would be his third wife for those keeping score. Hey man, I'm all for more women in important places. We need as many checks on male stupidity as we can get. Sorry fellas.
Transitioning to a Dan Simon piece on three babies that have been dumped all in the same neighborhood over two years. The first two survived, but the latest didn't make it. DNA tests were performed and wouldn't you know it? Same mother for all three. Two even had the same father. People are sick. And stupid. It's called a condom. Look into it. Sigh. Moving on now to a Jeff Koinange piece about a growing crisis in Zimbabwe. One of the founders of the opposition movement to President Robert Mugabe's regime was beaten by police and put in the hospital. Oh, and she's 64-years old. Nice. Mugabe thinks they had every right to beat her. What's crazy is that Mugabe was this hero who led the country to independence in 1980, but now he's a ruthless dictator. As they say, power corrupts. In 2000 he order the invasion of white commercial farms and after that he clamped down on basically everyone. Zimbabweans are now fleeing to South Africa with 100,000 doing so in the last few weeks alone. Jeff demonstrates how easy it is to get into the country. So okay, this is not good. It seems there is another refugee crisis and possible failed state in the future. People really need to take a number at this point. And on that less than cheery note, that'll do it.