Sunday, October 25, 2009

'FOX News Sunday' Transcript (10-25-09): Abdullah Abdullah

Read the complete transcript. Excerpt below:

Earlier we spoke with one of the two candidates in the Afghan presidential runoff, challenger and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah.


WALLACE: Dr. Abdullah, there have been reports that in order to avoid a runoff with the possibility of more violence and more fraud that you and President Karzai might agree to share power, to a coalition government.

Is that a possibility? Or have you ruled that out?

ABDULLAH: No, I think I should rule it out, because I am ready to go for a runoff. I -- and what I am focusing at this stage -- to -- to provide the relevant institutions which sets off recommendations and sometimes conditions to ensure the transparency of the Afghani elections.

WALLACE: Let's turn to the runoff, which is scheduled for November 7th. There was rampant fraud in Afghanistan. Your supporters now say that unless there are changes in the election commission, which is run by Karzai supporters, that you may, in fact, boycott the runoff.

Is that a real possibility, sir?

ABDULLAH: So I'm not talking about boycott at this stage, though my supporters are pressing on that point, that if the state machinery a fraud, as well as election commission, which was unfortunately involved in fraud -- both are in place, and then both are working in collaboration with one another, perhaps we might have to go through the same sort of saga.

And that -- I am under a lot of pressure. But at the same time, I'm working with the international community on sets of conditions which have to be met. These are not conditions in favor of one candidate against another.

WALLACE: And if those conditions are not met, will you go ahead with the runoff?

ABDULLAH: No, I think some of -- some of the things which we will be putting forward are very serious issues. Without it, without considering it, we will not have a transparent, credible process, and it will be very difficult to convince the people to turn out and to show up, because the people are taking risk. And they are taking risk in the first round elections.

So it will -- it will make the situation very difficult if those conditions and recommendations are not met.

WALLACE: So does that mean that a boycott by you of the runoff, if there are no reforms, if there are no changes, is a possibility?

ABDULLAH: I don't want to give a message to our people so that momentum for campaign will be lost. So by that, that shows my commitment to the process.

But at the same time, I would say that it will be a very serious situation if we are up against the same sorts of conditions that we went through in the first round elections.

WALLACE: Dr. Abdullah, even with so many of President Karzai's votes thrown out, he still led you 49 percent to 32 percent. With him so close to a majority, do you really have any chance to win?

ABDULLAH: I'm sure that with the -- with the fate of the people (inaudible) on the process, there will be higher turnout and the people do want change in this country.

The reason that there was lesser turnout, apart from -- from the security situations -- it was also because of lack of faith on the process.

WALLACE: If Karzai wins, can he be a credible partner for the U.S. going forward?

ABDULLAH: I think there is a -- there is a record -- there is a record in the past few years. I think so far one of the problems for the United States and the international community has been the fact that the Afghan side has not been able to deliver, and the Afghan side has been led by Mr. Karzai in the past few years.

WALLACE: There is a big controversy here in the U.S., Dr. Abdullah, about when President Obama should announce the result of his policy review on strategy and troop levels.

Would you like to see him announce his decision as soon as possible? Or would you like to see him perhaps delay till after the election because whatever the U.S. decides could be disruptive to the campaign?

ABDULLAH: There is a need for more troops. There is no doubt about it. There are need in Afghanistan. And that's based on military analysis and especially by General McChrystal.

At the same time, when is the best time? Of course, even if the decision is made today doesn't mean tomorrow we will have troops -- boots on the ground. It will take time.

WALLACE: If President Obama decides to scale back on U.S. strategy and the number of troops that he sends, what is the danger that the Taliban will overrun the country?

ABDULLAH: The need for more troops is there in order to reverse the situation. If the situation is not reversed from deteriorating further the security situation, so the future of this country will be at risk, and the future of the engagement of the international community will be at risk.

So this situation requires a sort of dramatic increase in the number of troops in order to stop -- stop it from further deteriorating and reversing it. The permanent solution is in a road map that Afghanistan stands on its own feet in a few years down the road, troops -- number of troops could be decreased in Afghanistan, finally, and eventually will stand on its own feet. WALLACE: You talk about a few years down the road, which brings me to my final question, Dr. Abdullah. If the president commits to a full-scale counterinsurgency, how many more years will U.S. troops have to stay in Afghanistan?

ABDULLAH: I think this is -- this is very difficult to give a sort of time table for anybody, I think. But as long as you can see through a clear strategy that the situation in Afghanistan will be stabilized, as long as you can see that in that strategy, you know, with a sort of realistic analysis, so the issue of one or two more years, more or less, will not be the main matter.

Pediatricians Fault Media Violence and Sex

I've been making this argument for years. The have many studies that show the correlation between media and societal violence. This is only the latest. Unfortunately, this report will be ignored like all the rest. The usual platitudes about parents being responsible for keeping kids away from the TV. We are all responsible, including the amoral entertainment industry.

in reference to:

"Violence and sex in music, movies, television and video games pose such a serious threat to children and teenagers that the nation's chief organization of pediatricians wants doctors to do something about it.

A new study shows link between infants watching TV and language development.
"The evidence is now clear and convincing: media violence is one of the causal factors of real-life violence and aggression," the American Academy of Pediatrics' council on communications and the media concluded in one of two statements published in the November issue of Pediatrics."
- Media Violence, Sex Threaten Kids, Pediatricians Say - ABC News (view on Google Sidewiki)

15-Year-Old Charged With Murder of Mo. Girl

Killers are getting younger all the time. That is a product of a violent culture and easy availability of guns.

in reference to:

"Juvenile authorities said Saturday that a 15-year-old has been charged with first-degree murder for the death of a 9-year-old central Missouri girl found in the woods two days after she went missing.

Police did not release the teen's gender or name and provided few other details about the person suspected of killing Elizabeth Olten. Cole County Sheriff Greg White has said the teenage suspect is not related to Elizabeth but was acquainted with her and is from the same area just west of Jefferson City."
- 15-Year-Old Charged With Murder of Mo. Girl - ABC News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Gunmen Kill Prominent Russian Activist

We are seeing the final days of democracy in Russia.

in reference to:

"A prominent opposition activist in the Russian southern province of Ingushetia was shot and killed Sunday by unidentified gunmen, officials said.

Regional Police spokeswoman Madina Khadziyeva says Maksharip Aushev died when several assailants sprayed his vehicle with automatic gunfire from a passing car. Khadziyeva said the attack occurred on a road in the neighboring province of Kabardino-Balkariya.

Aushev had worked with Magomed Yevloyev, a journalist, lawyer and opposition activist who was detained and killed by police in August 2008. Police said at the time that Yevloyev was shot and killed after he tried to grab a weapon from one of the officers.

Following Yevloyev's killing, Aushev took over his Web site which was critical of regional authorities and reported on abuses, abductions and killings plaguing the southern province."
- Gunmen Kill Prominent Russian Activist - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Byrd's Wise Warning: Afghanistan is the Grave of Foreigners

Byrd might close to senility. But he is right on this issue. He opposed the Iraq War from the start. The President should take the Senators words very seriously.

in reference to:

"Mr. President, what is really at stake for the United States in Afghanistan? We all know that Afghanistan is not a threat to us militarily. The Taliban is not a threat to us militarily. Al Qaeda, however, is a demonstrated threat to us with ambitions and a philosophy that must keep us vigilant. But the link between al Qaeda and Afghanistan is a tenuous one, based only on the temporary expediency of location, an expediency that has already been replaced as the al Qaeda leadership has moved, and may move again.

Building a Western-style democratic state in an Afghanistan equipped with a large military and police force and a functioning economy based on something other than opium poppies may or may not deny al Qaeda a safe haven there again. It will guarantee that the United States must invest large numbers of troops and many billions of dollars in Afghanistan for many years to come, energy and funds that might otherwise go toward fueling our own economic recovery, better educating our children or expanding access to health care for more of our own people. And yet there are many here in this body -- the Senate -- who believe we should proceed with such a folly in Afghanistan. During a time of record deficits, some actually continue to suggest that the United States should sink hundreds of billions of borrowed dollars into Afghanistan effectively turning our backs on our own substantial domestic needs -- all the while deferring the costs and the problems for future generations to address.

Our national security interests lie in defeating -- no, in destroying -- al Qaeda. Until we take that, and only that, mission seriously, we risk adding the United States to the long, long, long list of nations whose best laid plans have died on the cold, barren rocky slopes of that far off country of Afghanistan."
- Byrd's Wise Warning: Afghanistan is the Grave of Foreigners - Yahoo! News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Baghdad car bombs near government offices kill 106

Sounds like the good ole days. So now we have a mess in 3 places in where we were involved heavily. This has serious implications in the future. And we have a government without a clue.

in reference to:

"Two powerful car bombs exploded in downtown Baghdad Sunday, killing at least 92 people in a powerful blow to the heart of the fragile city's government, Iraqi medical officials and authorities said."
- Baghdad car bombs near government offices kill 106 (view on Google Sidewiki)