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July 25th, 2009
10:26 AM ET

The War That's Happening Now

The war in Afghanistan is intensifying as it ages. A huge worry not just for the family of American private first class Bowe Bergahl, who was allegedly abducted at least three weeks ago and then his videotaped image released last weekend, but a major concern for the American and British militaries. Deaths of American and British military personnel are spiking. Attacks by the Taliban increasing and becoming more sophisticated as they continue to earn millions of dollars from poppy fields. So as you watch this war evolve, what are your observations, concerns and questions? We focus on this war and you Saturday 4p ET.

Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Vic Benedicto

    We must appeal to the patriotism, love of freedom & democracy of US Opium addicts to stop buying from Afghan sources. Once their buying stops, the Taliban won't have money to buy guns, bullets. anymore.
    We need you – US Opium Addicts Now!!!!

    July 24, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  2. michael armstrong sr.

    What people need to remember about this war is we didnt start it this war is not only about vengence but also futhure attacks to our country if we dont defeat these people they will attack again all they need is for us to leave so they can reform and grow three fold making the next time even worse then this war .

    July 25, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  3. mickie fro Orlando, FL

    Mr. Lemon regarding yesterday's interview with the Gates-Crowley topic, we all know how the police, firefighters and other organizations have an alliance/brotherhood or what ever you call it. I am sure you didn't expect for an officer to talk negatively about another officer. They only go against each other when they are competing for a higher position within the organization. I was shock to hear that lady officer(King) stating that she will not vote for Obama again. Do you really believe that the comment made by our President was to bring up the race issue? How can someone that is expected to be smart enough to be a police officer can make such an important decision as to help elect a person to run our Nation can make such a poor comment? We all know that for centuries the race issue has been predominant in our country. I'd like to tell her that her political decisions should be more sound and that a simple comment should not define her convictions. The comment made by MY PRESIDENT regarding the stupidity of some action was nothing comparable with the years and years of police abuse and mishandling of cases. PLEASE.

    July 25, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  4. DJ Mason

    So, Afghanistan is Obama's war. Now, perhaps everyone who was so quick to criticize President Bush will realize that sometimes you do not get what you expect when you are elected President. The country sold Bush short on responding to situation he did not cause internationally. Now that Obama has "his war", let's hope Americans wise up and give him the chance we never gave Bush to succeed.

    July 25, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  5. Shirley Reeder

    Hearing of this event, as a Black female, made me angry on two levels.. another elder disrespected in his own home. 2) white male privilege raises it's ugly head. Right or wrong, I am the man and if you make me mad, you will pay.
    True there may have been testoserone involved but I see and hear "white male privilege" all over this event. Gales was identified as the occupant and still he is getting harassed?? The white man with the badge "right or wrong" still can pull the trump card on our black men. Obama showed courage saying what he did and I for one love it.

    July 25, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  6. Viviana

    On your report about Mel Zelaya of Honduras – why is your report so one-sided? Why don't you ever show all the people who are protesting against Mel? Why don't you show the large groups of people who support President Micheletti? There are many more Hondurans who do not want Mel Zelaya back in the President's office than those who do. He is a bully, a liar, and a buffoon. All he is interested in is Mel Zelaya and turning Honduras into his own leftist fiefdom. Please show the other side of the issue.

    July 25, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  7. michael armstrong sr.

    I must remind Angeline that we are not going to loose. Osama is going to die one way or another even if we have to burn that fool off the face of the earth. If the Taliban would stop doing so many drugs and let there brain sells heal then they would hand over Osama and end the war thats all we want is Osama. I have been to the middle east and I know about the hashes and opium that people smoke to chant to the gods thats why there so stupid no brain sells left to make rash decisions .

    July 25, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  8. Rick Mitchell

    Why is this "Obama's War"?
    As I recall, this war started because the Taliban harbored the terrorists who planned 9/11 and the entire world was behind us. In fact, this prompted the single use of Article 5 of the NATO treaty.
    This is not a war belonging to a single person, this war belongs to the world. The sooner people remember and re-realize that this is fact, the sooner things might actually go right in Afghanistan.
    Rick MItchell
    Columbus, Ohio

    July 25, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  9. William Grandone

    We should have concentrated our efforts on the Taliban from the outset rather than gone into Iraq. With an all volunteer Army we do not have the resources to take on the whole Muslim world as I am afraid we will have to as the war spreads through Iraq, Pakistan, and eventually Iran. With the exception of the British our so called Western Allies have basically ran and hid. They should realize that this is not merely an attack on America but on the west as a whole.

    As far as an appeal to American opium users, are you kidding? You must be completely naive if you think that these bums know or even care where their drugs are coming from. Many of these pukes are the biggest criminals in this country and couldn't care less about what happens to America, They are just as much a threat to the country as the Taliban or other foreign enemies. The street gangs of the United States are no different than the Taliban in many respects.

    July 25, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  10. Angeline Ramarui

    America is losing the war in Afghanistan, and everyone around the world can see it. I would hope that America's leaders learn their history. This land and people do not tolerate foreign presence; no one has been able to occupy that land since Alexander the Great.

    July 25, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  11. Rose

    It is always about racism. I look at the Gates situation as he was being protected. The neighbors saw two people, they responded by calling the police. How did the policeman know that he was okay.....couldn't someone be there with a gun, couldn't a gunman been holding Mr. Gates hostage. Who knows the reason this could have saved his life someway. Also on another note whites are the minority. I do see a day to celebrate Cinco de Mayo for the Hispanics and festivals for other nationalities and their is black history month, week, black beauty pageants, black tv stations, etc. If whites had all of this then they're called racists. Some of my best friends are hispanics and blacks. I don't hold a grudge for what they get. I didn't get free money to go to college, it took me 15 years to pay my grant money back. Guess what, I am white and proud of it even if I don't get free things.

    July 25, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  12. SweetPea

    Good Afternoon,

    I tried to put myself in Professor Gates place. If I came home from a long trip, (which I never take because I can't afford trips to China or anywhere) I would be grateful the police showed up to investigate. In fact, I would want the police to look around my entire home to make sure no one was hiding since I was away for so long. But, instead, Professor Gates took the opportunity to turn a police situation into a racial drama. Professor Gates was arrogant because he is a personal friend of the president and now he has rhetoric for the talk shows.

    Now, individuals like Roland Martin want the public to again suffer racial drama. The president was irresponsible in his comments. The racial tensions will never go away as long as there are individuals like Roland, Professor Gates and the President that keep forcing people to re-live the horrors of racism. American has come so far in working on race relations and a lot of Black and White Americans that are innocent have had to endure.

    Thank you.

    July 25, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  13. Clarence B. Jones

    Ms Whitfield,

    Eric Holder, Atty Gen was criticized when he said in a speech celebrating Black History Month, that we are a nation of "Cowards" when it comes to discussing the issue of race.
    Well,hello! He was right

    Whether about Health Care, the banking crises or Afghanistan, the giant elephant of race in America's living room will not go away. It will only go away when we as nation do what has never been done since the Civil War: By the President Convening A National Reconciliation Commission On Race.

    Congress passing a resolution "apologizing" for slavery is not enough.

    Nelson Mandela has provided us with a "Blueprint". He recognized that it would be impossible for there to be a PEACEFUL transition from the brutality of an apartheid government to a South African government based on a multiracial society of equal justice unless some political mechanism was put in place to enable and allow a national discussion and articulation of the past grievances of Apartheid. So A National Commission of Truth and Reconciliation was created in South Africa

    The Crowley /Gates incident provides a unique historical opportunity for A Presidential National Commission of Race and Reconciliation to release the elephant from America's living rooms, once and for all.
    Clarence B. Jones, Scholar in Residence, Stanford Univ, author of "What Would Martin Say?" (More important- I'm 78; former HS and college track&field athlete. YOUR FATHER WAS ONE OF MY HEROES!)

    July 25, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  14. mkvancura

    Amplifying the remarks about Afghanistant, you might want to take a look at the latest the Germans are concerned about with their troops there. They have been increasing their presence and going on the offensive instead of just the defense.

    July 25, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  15. Bob

    US Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas was shot multiple times while defending our border on the 23rd. Alone, at night, his brain and blood were splattered on a desolate area of CA. Can't Y'all spare 1/1000th of the time you did for The Gloved One? Dig a bit more and spend a bit more than a second noting it, e.g. three people are now under investigation in San Jose CA The FBI has offered a HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLAR reward in the case. You guys are so GEO-Centric and Celebrity focused in your news gathering, its sad. Please give this man (and his wife and 2 kids) a bit more honor that he is due in protecting Us'all and our country.

    Curmudgeoing from the Village of Los Ranchos, NM

    July 25, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  16. Laura in Iowa

    We are fighting modern-day war wrong. Armies, technology and surges will never win again. Only acquiring new socio-psychological skills will help us in any way. As an army mom, when I saw the Taliban's video of Pvt. Bowe's forced comments, I realized every word was meant to eat at my mind and heart, and the mind of every other parent of every military member. I knew how fast the internet would collect our demands as citizens and inform our leaders as to our wishes. And I realized that we are in a war of thoughts and feelings that arms can't win.
    Our enemies know that by hiding and sniping they can drag out wars forever, and will eventually win if they excel at psychological attacks on the general populace of, well, us. And so far, they are the best at it.

    I expect this part won't be read on the air, but for any other military parents who see this, I can affirm that the Spirit of God has more influence on the heart and mind of a human, than any evil experience.
    But as a society, we do need some kind of formal answer to the psychological skills of our enemies, or we are just treading water.

    July 25, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  17. Guy

    This one is another disater in the making, putting the whole region(and us ) in further troubles. Civilians are as usual the victims ,in an overwhelmimg majority. We should hear more about the cost to the civilian population. How many were killed and wounded as compared to combattants of all sides

    July 25, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  18. Vijay Kumar

    The greatest damage the Taliban has done is to people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. Taliban ancestors named part of the Himalayan range extending between northern Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan Hindu Kush mountains centuries ago. Kush means killer. "Iranian for 'Destruction of Hindus', referring to events in the area when Islam took over the area". We know the killings done since before 911 by the Taliban worldwide. Even before Pakistan came to existence in 1947, the minorities were attacked leading to perhaps the world's biggest movement of refugees. According to Wikipedia, the total movement of refugees exceeded 25 million. Over a million were killed, the rivers ran red with slaughtered bodies. New Delhi alone received 3 million refugees which created severe strain on city services which hasn't eased and is visible to visitors. Here in USA 500 refugees in a city makes big headlines. The areas within today's Pakistan contained approx 40% minority religions before 1947. That has been reduced to less than 4% today. British were joined by Americans in preventing Indian military move into Pakistan to prevent this bloodletting. A notable event was the sending of US 6th fleet into Indian Ocean by the then US President Nixon, to prevent Indian forces going into Pakistan after the 1971 Bangladesh war. Today's Taliban simply continues the historical violent ways of Islam against other religions.

    July 25, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  19. David Rosa Jr.

    This has nothing to do with racism just a lack of respect for authority. Mr.Gates was disrespectful and deserved what was given him. Wake up people there is NO issue here of racism I as a Hispanic American (minority) am tired of hearing our people complaining and making everything to be an issue of discrimination. We have come so far and all these allegations are doing is dragging us back.Move foward leave the past behind and we will continue to succeed I blame the media on the racism that is still among us and can you not see how you are discriminating the white Americans by constantly blaming them for racism let's get real people racism is not the big issue your making it out to be any more our President is afro American his name is barrack Hussein obama .

    July 25, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  20. tim

    The way i view the Gates situation is this- Obama played the race card. Calling the police officers stupid without having all the facts in front of him shows he is racually bias. Strange that the first situation where race is at question that the first black president shows the american people he himself is racist. Am i the only one that has seen this situation as a huge race problem with the president. thank you.

    July 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  21. Komla Prosper Ametu

    We tend to forget that blowing up a few caches of drugs simply increases the wealth of the purveyors by raising the price to users. The only credible way to win this war is to impoverish these armed enclaves by decriminalizing drugs. It is better for the government to shift drug profits from traffickers to the government by decriminilization than by interdiction.

    Thank you.

    Komla Prosper Ametu.

    July 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  22. Kat Peak

    The Taliban – Drug trade – Poppy fields – During the Vietnam war the Air Force used large 2 Engine Airplanes to spray and kill any vegitation – SPRAY NOW – Kill the poppies – Pay the farmers to grow other crops –

    July 25, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  23. Tony Day

    Poppy growth – Drug trade funds the Taliban as they kill our troops – In the Vietnam War the US used airplanes C-123s to spray large fields and kill all vegitation – Spraying the Poppies and stopping the drug trade will work – Spray and kill all o fthe the poppies – stop the drug trade – Pay the farmers to grow other crops – Do IT Now

    July 25, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  24. Rosita

    Hi Fredricka, I am following your program, and would just like to add some information to your Blog regarding Afghanistan. You were asking the question why the spike in the violence there. I think most Americans have already forgotten the fact that a lot of supplies went missing in Iraq, and now these are the same uniforms, night goggles, and many more stuff that was stolen by the Iraqi, when we first got into the Iraq war. Now they are being used against american soldiers. That is not good. We are going to see many injured soldiers just like Iraq.

    July 25, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  25. Shab

    I'm dismayed reading the comment Vijay Kumar made. Kush is not Iranian for killing of Hindus. This was taken from Wikipedia, under the heading "Hindu Kush". But Vijay paraphrased broadly. First, the language is not Iranian but rather Farsi. Just like Jijay's language isn't Indian but Hindu. Second, Kosh means kill, but it's never used as Kosh, it doesn't make sense that way. It's used as Kosht, which means killed. Wikipedia is a site where anyone can add information to a defintion or explaination, it doesn't have to be substantiated. In the climate we live in, we have to be real careful not to add more fuel to the fire that is Iran. And if you're going to paraphrase, at least add the reference where you took the information from, this is the only way to be responsible.

    July 25, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  26. John

    The muslim millitant groups get their funding not just from poppy fields, but from the Pakistan government, routed primarily through the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). This includes considerable financial, material and other forms of assistance.

    They also get donations from the Muslim immigrant community in the Persian Gulf and United Kingdom, Islamic Non-Governmental Organisations, and Pakistani and Kashmiri businessmen and Muslim Community in India. They also raise funds from charity boxes in shops and mosques.

    Muslim millitant groups include Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Lashkar-e-Taiba.

    July 25, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  27. jcc

    If the police officer involved in Dr. Gates' arrest is such an expert in 'racial profiling', he should have tried to keep tension down, especially since this was a non-threatening situation. Also when he found out it really was Dr. Gates' home.
    Why would he not give his badge and name?
    Does Poiice training only teach 'enforce brute force' at any cost? I guess there is no room for using 'common sense' in the Police Training( Manual).

    Professior Gates should have spoken to Police in a calmer voice and given him his name.ID when asked. (Minority America knows the police are always right). I would have expected Dr. Gates to be beyond refusing to cooperate no matter how angry he was and especially if they had not put their hands on him. This has given majority America another reason for not trying to understand any culture except theirs. Dr. Gates may have lost some of his creditability because he did not show this man a way to not let situations get out of hand.
    Nobody is taking time to hear and anallyze the President's complete statement. He did not insult the policeman, just the act. If all policemen are offended then they remain macho and mechanical in their way of policing..."must follow the rules at any cost"
    The escalation and going on and on about the incident (which incidentally somethng is added everytime it is reported on the air) gives majority America another reason for not wanting or even trying to understand cultural differences.
    President Obama has enough on his plate...America needs to step up to the plate and lend a hand.

    July 25, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  28. SeeingTheTrueIssue

    The real issue hear is that COPS ABUSE THER POWER to punish those they are personally mad at because they know they will get away with it. If the professor had have been white but still a friend with Obama, Obama still would have said the cops acted stupidly. The real situation here is the professor made the cop mad so for payback the cop arrested him even though he knew the charges wouldn't make it to court. The proffessor probably said some harsh things to the cop but think how you would feel after being on a plane all day after a long trip and getting home only to find that you can't get in. 90% of us would cuss about this alone and be twice as livid about a cop not believing we lived there. I know the proffessor said things out of anger as would most of us, but cops should have the training to understand this and not take it personally, but this happens all over the country where a cop is mad and wants to use the inconvienience of arresting you and making you sit in jail a few hours to punish you even though he knows what he charged you with will get throughn out by him later because a judge would be mad for him wasting the criminal justice systems time if he let it go to court. If this hadn't turned into a race issue maybe we could get a system in place where the cop has to justify the arrest for small charges like this before ever driving the person to the station for booking

    July 26, 2009 at 12:37 am |

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