Of All People: Lara Logan Supports McChrystal, Warns of Grave Dangers in Afghanistan, Ridicules Appeasers


That there has been little love lost between posters and commenters here at NewsBusters and CBS correspondent Lara Logan over the years is not exactly a secret (see previous NB posts by yours truly, Brent Baker, Kyle Drennen, and just warming up).

I don't know what has happened in past couple of years (or is it months?) to knock some sense into Logan ("good war" Afghanistan vs. "bad war" Iraq? Motherhood and/or marriage, even if as a result of seamy circumstances?). But her clear-headed, passionate, alarming interview with CBS News's Bob Orr about the situation in Afghanistan is a must-see (HT Hot Air). In the process, she leaves a number of leftist myths and fantasies, including the rubbish about how pursuing war aggressively only helps the enemy in their recruiting, in shreds on the floor.

Following an interesting back story about our Secretary of Defense's apparent intent to water down what Obama ultimately got to see, the Logan interview goes from about 1:35-8:30 of the YouTube video (don't waste your time with what follows, which is about a Ralph Nader book).

Here's a transcript of most of that interview:

LOGAN: General McChrystal has been very clear that there is a very short window here, probably 12 months, to turn this thing around.

.... They really can't afford to deliberate for very long about this ....

Right now, everyone agrees that the momentum is on the side of the insurgents and the terrorists. What does that mean? It doesn't mean they're winning. It doesn't mean every time there's a battle that they win. What it means is that the public perception, the flow, the increase in insecurity, everything is on their side right now. It's going the way they want it to. And that is what McChrystal has to stop.

.... Al Qaeda and the Taliban are very effectively using civilian casualties in their propaganda against the U.S.

.... Al Qaeda and the Taliban are clearly at war with the U.S. They're not concerned with counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, call it whatever you like. They are at war, and McChrystal has to fight that war. And to do that, he has to have troops to secure the people, and also not to give up ground to the enemy, which is what they're going to do if they withdraw from these small combat outposts in the remote areas. They're going to say, "Here, have the mountains, have the valleys, have all these places that are hard to get to." Oh where by the way, there aren't huge numbers of Afghans, but there are many Afghans scattered across these remote areas. And oh yes, as well, that's where Al Qaeda had their training camps before. So let's let them come back in and plot more attacks and do whatever they want in those remote areas, while we concentrate on building schools and roads that are just going to get blown up? It doesn't work. You have to fight the war as well. You can't just do counterinsurgency.

.... It's very clear to the soldiers on the ground that they need more help.

... (characterizing Joe Biden's so-called "counterterrorism" strategy) Absolute disaster. .... No way it would work. Because you can't do any of those things if you don't have security in most of the country. And let's not forget, the violence now spread, from the south and the east of Afghanistan. It's in the north, it's in the west, it's everywhere. It's in the provinces surrounding Kabul. I mean, it's like, what kind of a wake-up call do you need to say that you're still at war?

And so this idea that you can separate the things is just ludicrous. That's why I think, General McChrystal has gone and made everybody angry by his speech in London saying, "This is what I need, and nothing else is going to work."

Because you know what? You can be asked to give 10 options. But if you know that only one of them is going to work, only one's going to work. And even then, he's not guaranteeing that's going to work. So I don't understand why no one would listen to the man you put your faith in, and said "He's the guy who's going to do this for us. You've got to give him what he wants.

ORR: ... (If) they cede Afghanistan back to the Taliban, does Al Qaeda then have safe haven again in Afghanistan?

LOGAN: Of course. Without hesitation. You know, one very important point to make. There are a lot of Pashtoon apologists out there, Taliban apologists who are advisers to this White House, and to this administration. And they're saying, "Oh you know the Taliban's fight is not with the U.S. You give them power, bring back the moderate Taliban, and everything will be okay. It's nonsense. It's the worst advice we could ever get from anyone.

First of all, the Taliban have no intention of sharing power, and they have every intention of bringing Al Qaeda along with them, and giving Al Qaeda safe haven again. They absolutely do have a problem with the U.S. They want to see the U.S. fail. It's very important to note that talks with "moderate Taliban" (makes "quote marks" gesture) have been going on since 2003. It's 2009, six years later. What have those negotiations and talks brought? Absolutely nothing. So that is one of the biggest lies ever on this whole situation right now. There are no moderate Taliban that matter in this fight.

And for the U.S. to give Al Qaeda the victory, I mean the philosophical victory, the physical victory, the tactical victory, on every single level would be catastrophic in the War on Terror. It would be the greatest recruiting advertisement ever for Al Qaeda. And on top of that, you're leaving their top leadership intact? You're leaving Osama Bin Laden there to come back and do what he wants? .... The Afghan intelligence minister put it best when he said to me, "There's no glory in defeat."

I think I detected an "I almost can't believe I'm saying this" expression on Logan's face before she went into that final paragraph.

If I were only reading and not seeing these words and the person who was saying them, I would almost believe they came from Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney instead of Lara Logan, except for one thing. She still is apparently confident that we have "a commander in chief who wants to do the right thing." Excuse me if I'm skeptical.

Posted in revised form earlier today at BizzyBlog.com.

Foreign Policy War on Terrorism Media Bias Debate Military Afghanistan Taliban CBS