Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Afghan Insurgency Stronger Than Ever"

Video and Article from CBS:

The war President-elect Barack Obama is inheriting in Afghanistan includes an insurgency that's stronger than ever.

And it's creeping ever-closer to the Afghan capital.

In a video obtained by CBS News, a U.S. convoy is attacked less than 20 miles from Kabul.

"I think in Afghanistan, we really dropped the ball for a long time," said Karin von Hippel of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

It's now widely agreed America's new president needs a new approach, CBS News cheif foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan reports.

President-elect Obama's emerging strategy appears to shift focus to a regional solution to Afghanistan's problems.

"A regional approach really means looking at Afghanistan and Pakistan through a similar lens but also it should also mean bringing in China, bringing in India, bringing in Iran, bringing in the neighbors to make sure that everyone is part of the same solution," von Hippel said.

As Logan reports, this is the cost of not bringing in Afghanistan's neighbors. An exclusive video from Pakistan's tribal areas shows young boys being indoctrinated as suicide bombers.

According to the Taliban, the fate of becoming suicide bombers is what awaits them over the Afghan border. The teenage boy seen in the video is about to blow himself up.

The tape shows him saying goodbye to the men who packed his vehicle with explosives and heading off to find an American target.

The boy's mentors erupt in victory cries as they film the suicide.

Taliban attacks and U.S. casualties are the highest this year since the war in Afghanistan began.

The region is so connected, that any of Afghanistan's neighbors could facilitate peace and security - or as has been seen, make the situation a lot worse.

Palin Interviewed by FOX's Van Susteren: Transcript (11-10-08)

Sarah Palin was interviewed by FOXNews' Greta Van Susteren ('On The Record'). Read the complete transcript.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Let me clarify some loose ends here. The clothes -- what is the story on the clothes?

PALIN: The clothes. When I arrived at the convention, there were clothes waiting for me and clothes being ordered for me and for the family, for eight of us. And ever since then, those clothes, knowing that they didn't belong to me, many of them had been returned, many of them were put in the belly of the airplane, and some of them were returned home with me. We boxed them all up, sent them back to the rightful owners, the Republican National Committee. And that's the story on the clothes.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you order the clothes?

PALIN: Did not order the clothes. Did not ask for the clothes. I would have been happy to have worn my own clothes from day one. But you know, that turned into kind of an odd issue, an odd campaign issue as things were wrapping up there, as to who ordered what and who demanded what.

But you know, I was happy to get to come home to my own closet and put my own clothes on again, which we had done, of course, through most of the campaign also. But the convention clothes were belonging to the RNC.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know whose idea that was or how that even evolved?

PALIN: Haven't really heard how all that evolved and hadn't really pursued it until we started getting criticized for supposedly asking for all these clothes, my family and me. And still don't have all of the answers. But it just, at this point, especially seems so irrelevant, unless the criticism continues in regards to my family or me demanding anything.

But it just seems like such an irrelevant issue when you consider what's going on in the world today and how a new administration is being ushered in and people being concerned about the direction of the nation and policies that will be adopted, and also at the same time being excited about this historic moment in our nation's history. Clothes just seem irrelevant.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I agree with you they're irrelevant. It's just that the number was so horrific. I mean, $150,000 was a giant number. And it seemed, you know, that all of a sudden, you got hammered with it. And I was trying to figure out, you know, it is fair, is it unfair, or you know, why is it that this became an issue? And I don't mean to harp on it, but why did this become an issue?

PALIN: Well, that is a good question. Again, arriving at the convention, being told that along with staging and lighting and everything else was wardrobe for my family and me to wear during the convention, and you know, just kind of going with the flow. OK, sounds -- that sounds fine. If that's the way that they do this, that's good, wearing the clothes during that time.

There's no way it could have been $150,000 worth of clothes, though, not unless every jacket and pair of shoes were $10,000, $20,000. I don't see how it added up.

But it was for eight people, not just for myself. And my understanding is right off the bat, about a third of the clothes had been returned because they just weren't going to work. Another third of the clothes that we were wearing all got returned to the RNC. And another third of the clothes -- we never did see them. Evidently, they were in the belly of the plane, and those got sent back also.

CBS' Couric, Schieffer on Obama White House Visit

This video shows yesterday's Obama visit to the White House for first time as President -elect.

Sarah Palin on the 'Today Show': Video (11-11-08)

This video is of Matt Lauer's interview of Sarah Palin on the Today Show shown this morning. Complete Transcript.


LAUER: There is this feeling -- and some of this comes from leaks and other just perception, people getting a gut -- that there was increasing tension between you and Senator McCain in the final stretch of this campaign. Tell me what the relationship was like.

S. PALIN: We have a great relationship. Had from day one. Had the first time that I met him last year, he and his wife. I just have been great admirers of them, of their family, of all that Senator McCain has accomplished. Never once was there any inkling of tension between the two of us. Perhaps within the campaign there were campaign staffers who...

LAUER: Well, describe that for me. Who was butting heads?

S. PALIN: You know, I don’t even know. That inside baseball stuff regarding the way a campaign works on that level -- I certainly didn’t get bogged down in any of the potential skirmishes or perceived problems.

LAUER: Have you listened to some of the leaks that have come out since the election where -- where they’re saying that the McCain people leaked anonymously -- are saying, “We couldn’t control her, she was a rogue, she didn’t want our consultants around her and it became tense.”

Where did stories like that come from?

S. PALIN: I honestly do not know, because it’s not true, Matt. And Senator McCain and I, we have a great relationship. I have nothing but honor and admiration and love for him and for his family, and I think that is mutual. In fact, I talked to him just today, again, and we -- touching base nearly every day.

LAUER: So, it’s a warm and friendly relationship even to to this day?

S. PALIN: Very warm and friendly and professional. And I -- I -- again, I have nothing but honor and admiration and love that I will show for this great American hero.

LAUER: According to a recent article in Newsweek and some other reports, on election night, you showed up at the Biltmore in Phoenix...

S. PALIN: Yes.

LAUER: ... and things weren’t going well. And you had some copy in your hands. You had some remarks that you would have liked to have given to that audience, and, in effect, to the nation, prior to Senator McCain giving his concession speech. And you were told, “No”.

S. PALIN: Well, I had a speech that, you know, I was going to give that we’d worked on about a week. And the speech was...

LAUER: Had you cleared with anyone? Had anyone -- anyone said it might be an opportunity for you to speak?

S. PALIN: Oh, certainly, the -- the speech was written in -- in cooperation and conjunction with a couple of the speech writers in the campaign -- and had written that as an introduction to this great American hero. And of course, we had two speeches in our back pocket.

LAUER: Right.

S. PALIN: One was a concession speech that would introduce him, and it would do what John McCain just can’t seem to do for himself -- bless his heart, because he’s not that kind of man -- where I was going to brag him up and say, “You know, truly he’s an American hero, has faced great adversity, knows how challenges are overcome. And let us -- let us be thankful for this man, who with a servant’s heart had offered himself up to...


LAUER: So that sounds like a good idea. Why weren’t you allowed to do it?

S. PALIN: I don’t know. It was a great speech because it also then, also said, “OK, but American voters have spoken, so now, let’s all come together. I know Senator McCain wants to lead in an effort of unity here in our nation, and let’s work with President-elect Obama and let’s go forward.”

LAUER: So you walked up and you said to somebody in the campaign, “Look, I’ve got these comments I’d like to make. I want to,” as you say, “brag on him a little bit?”

S. PALIN: Yes.

LAUER: Who said no?

S. PALIN: Somebody said no, they said that it would be unprecedented, that a V.P. candidates wouldn’t introduce someone in a concession speech. And you know, all I could say was...