Hamid Karzai, Toby, Toby Harnden discussed on Clark Howard


Back to the gym Bullheaded Show 18665 Jimbo are number 1866554626 as we talked with former foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times of London and the Daily Telegraph and an award winning author as well. Toby Harnden, who has written first casualty published by Little Brown, and subtitled The Untold Story of the CIA Mission to avenge 9 11. Told me was explaining something that I think is often misunderstood about journalists as the half hour intervened and since the computer was about to cut us off. I did so early, but I wanted him to have a full Chance to explain. Yes, Journalists are by nature nosy. However, that does not mean that we are out to destroy national security so we can get a good story. Please continue what you were saying. Toby. Yeah. I mean, I think that, um it's important for A journalist, too. You know, I'm an American as well as a journalist. Um, we can see what happened on 9, 11 and other terrorist attacks. And so I don't want to do anything that's going to, um You know, helped America's enemies or make it more difficult for, um the United States to, you know, protect its citizens. Of course, part of this Kill, or you know the trick of being a journalist to recognize as you say, when somebody is just sort of covering their behind or when it when it's something genuine. Um, but, you know, in this case, 20 years we were and we now are out of Afghanistan. It was pretty much all history and you know, that was very much part of my pitch. When I was talking to people to say, you know. Hey, I think it's you know it's time to time to talk, because I think Americans And the rest of the world, you know, could could learn a lot in this story. You at one point talk about how the United States found a winning strategy only to abandon it, since many of us are searching for answers right now, what did you mean by that? Yeah. Now, listen. I mean, it's very easy 20 years right to sort of sitting in the armchair in, you know, Virginia to sort of, say, Oh, you know, I had the answer, and so you know, everything was difficult. And you know, I spent a lot of time in Afghanistan first went there in 2000 and six I was there at the height of the fighting in Helmand and south and in 2000 and nine and there was no easy answers. But I do believe that if we look at this early period that's covered. In first casualty. We had a small number. Of Americans on the ground, some British as well. British special forces were there, Um CIA, um intelligence and regional specialists and linguists. Elite special forces and CIA paramilitaries. And, of course, the awesome might of US air power, and that's sort of what made the difference. But it was an Afghan fight. The U. S. I don't believe who the U. S invasion in 2000 and one patient happened in 2000 and two. These were essentially advisors, um, going in small numbers to help. The indigenous Afghan resistance. The Northern alliance Afghans fighting against the Taliban, who were hosting foreigners, Al Qaeda, mainly Arabs. So, um, it was, uh, you know, we all know that the Afghan um you know, resist the invader, but we weren't the invaders in those in those early weeks. Now. Unfortunately, I think success led to sort of a degree of hubris and led the Bush administration of the time sort of believe that this was easy and let's move on to Iraq and change the regime there. I think what also happened was that rather than the light footprint of the devising and letting Afghans do do the fighting and work things out in their sort of You know, messy way, which is not the perfect sort of Western way of doing things. We essentially have an invasion of conventional troops pouring in in 2000 and two weeks stopped Hamid Karzai from doing a deal with the negotiations with the remnants of the Taliban, which might have Giving them a small role in government and we sort of moved to centralized nation building. Um and you know what we've seen unfolded unfold over the last 20 years. So I think, you know, I think if we stop to something close to those principles from the beginning Rather than going for this massive and nation building sort of exercise. Then things could have been very different. I think it is important for us to realize that in order for something that resembles a a free society, it requires that you have certain preconditions. A sense of nationhood would be one thing. And some practice of self governance. One thing that has always bothered me about American history is that we were taught basically that the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 16 20. Then came the Boston Tea Party. Well, there was 150 years in there that we know little about except, of course for the Salem witch trials. Not one of our happier episodes. But the point is, we had 100 and 50 years separated by an ocean back when that meant something, and largely the people back in London, let us alone as long as, uh uh, various products, tobacco and furs. And what have you were headed their way We had 100 and 50 years to get this right? And a society that has never had any experience that that may not do it so well, plus something else. We tend to think of freedom as being something which everybody yearns for. In point of fact, there are any number of societies that there were. People have never been prepared for freedom, and they actually find freedom and the choices that are available, somewhat intimidating. For example, there's some Russians that came here after the fall of the Iron Curtain, and they would go to a store and they would find 30, different mouthwashes and 30 different toothpaste, and they were used to go into stores in Moscow, where if they were lucky in the shelves were stocked. There was the mouthwash, the toothpaste. It's something as simple as consumer choices. Freedom is not necessarily a universally worshipped and adored, and I think that its board for us to remember things like that. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think it's a sort of natural..

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