CBS – “60 Minutes” – We Reached a Critical Point for the United States Economy.

Discussion in 'Economics' started by SouthAmerica, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. .

    October 1, 2006

    SouthAmerica: On Sunday, October 1, 2006 CBS TV News Magazine “60 Minutes”
    Interviewed Bob Woodward regarding his latest book “State of Denial.”

    Bob Woodward’s interview brought forward some information that in the surface it appears that the Bush administration it is just reaching into the past for advice regarding the current mess in the Middle East, but after further analysis we can see that this choice of advisor brings with him a “Major Economic Impact into the United States Economy in the Future.”

    First, here is the conversation of Bob Woodward with Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes.
    On a follow up posting I will explain the impact to the US economy of having Henry Kissinger as an influential advisor today on matters related to the mess in the Middle East.

    Quoting from the 60 Minutes interview: “Cheney stunned Woodward by revealing that a frequent advisor to the Bush White House is former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who served Presidents Nixon and Ford during the Vietnam War.”


    “Bob Woodward: Bush Misleads on Iraq” – Tells 60 Minutes About His Book 'State Of Denial'
    Bob Woodward tells Mike Wallace that the Bush administration has not been honest about the level of violence in Iraq. The veteran reporter also reveals to Wallace that Henry Kissinger advises the Bush White House on its Iraq policy.


    (CBS) President Bush's former chief of staff, Andy Card, said the Bush presidency will be judged by three things: “Iraq, Iraq, Iraq.” Bob Woodward, of Watergate fame, has just completed his third book on the Bush presidency, “State of Denial.”

    Woodward spent more than two years, interviewed more than 200 people including most of the top officials in the administration and came to a damning conclusion. He tells Mike Wallace that for the last three years the White house has not been honest with the American public.


    Bob Woodward - "It is the oldest story in the coverage of government: the failure to tell the truth," Woodward charges.

    Asked to explain what he means that the Bush administration has not told the truth about Iraq, Woodward says, "I think probably the prominent, most prominent example is the level of violence."

    Not just the growing sectarian violence — Sunnis against Shias that gets reported every day — but attacks on U.S., Iraqi and allied forces. Woodward says that’s the most important measure of violence in Iraq, and he unearthed a graph, classified secret, that shows those attacks have increased dramatically over the last three years.

    "Getting to the point now where there are eight, 900 attacks a week," he says. "That’s more than 100 a day—that is four an hour. Attacking our forces."

    Woodward says the government had kept this trend secret for years before finally declassifying the graph just three weeks ago. And Woodward accuses President Bush and the Pentagon of making false claims of progress in Iraq – claims, contradicted by facts that are being kept secret.

    For example, Woodward says an intelligence report classified secret from the Joint Chiefs of Staff concluded in large print that "THE SUNNI ARAB INSURGENCY IS GAINING STRENGTH AND INCREASING CAPACITY, DESPITE POLITICAL PROGRESS."


    But just two days later a public defense department report said just the opposite. “Violent action, will begin to wane in early 2007,” the report said.

    What does Woodward make of that?

    "The truth is that the assessment by intelligence experts is that next year, 2007, is going to get worse and, in public, you have the president and you have the Pentagon [saying], 'Oh, no, things are going to get better,'" he tells Wallace. "Now there’s public, and then there’s private. But what did they do with the private? They stamp it secret. No one is supposed to know," says Woodward.

    "Why is that secret? The insurgents know what they’re doing. They know the level of violence and how effective they are. Who doesn’t know? The American public," he adds.

    "President Bush says over and over as Iraqi forces stand up, U.S. forces will stand down. The number of Iraqis in uniform today I understand is up to 300,000?" Wallace asks.

    "They’ve stood up from essentially zero to 300,000. This is the military and the police," Woodward replies.

    "But, U.S. forces are not standing down. The attacks keep coming," Wallace remarks.

    "They’ve stood up and up and up and we haven’t stood down, and it’s worse," Woodward replies.

    (CBS) John Negorponte knows it’s worse. He’s the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, and according to Woodward, Negroponte thinks the U.S. policy in Iraq is in trouble – that violence is now so widespread that the U.S. doesn’t even know about much of it; and that the killings will continue to escalate.

    "He was the ambassador there in Iraq and now he sees all the intelligence," Woodward says. "I report he believes that we’ve always going almost back to the beginning, miscalculated and underestimated the nature of the insurgency."


    (CBS) John Negorponte knows it’s worse. He’s the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, and according to Woodward, Negroponte thinks the U.S. policy in Iraq is in trouble – that violence is now so widespread that the U.S. doesn’t even know about much of it; and that the killings will continue to escalate.

    "He was the ambassador there in Iraq and now he sees all the intelligence," Woodward says. "I report he believes that we’ve always going almost back to the beginning, miscalculated and underestimated the nature of the insurgency."


    "There’s this feeling, 'How can a bunch guys running around putting improvised explosive devices in dead animals and by the side of the road in cars, cause all this trouble," Woodward says.

    Woodward reports that a top general says Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has so emasculated the joint chiefs that the chairman of the chiefs has become “the parrot on Rumsfeld’s shoulder.”


    60 Minutes interview will continue – Part 1 of 2

  2. .

    60 Minutes interview continue – Part 2 of 2

    And, according to Woodward, another key general, John Abizaid, who’s in charge of the whole Gulf region, told friends that on Iraq, Rumsfeld has lost all credibility.

    "What does that mean, he doesn’t have any credibility anymore?" Wallace asks.

    "That means that he cannot go public and articulate what the strategy is. Now, this is so important they decide," Woodward explains. "The Secretary of State Rice will announce what the strategy is. This is October of last year." She told Congress the U.S. strategy in Iraq is "clear, hold and build."

    "Rumsfeld sees this and goes ballistic and says, 'Now wait a minute. That’s not our strategy. We want to get the Iraqis to do these things.' Well it turns out George Bush and the White House liked this definition of the strategy so it’s in a presidential speech he’s gonna give the next month," Woodward tells Wallace. "Rumsfeld sees it. He calls Andy Card, the White House chief of staff and says 'Take it out. Take it out. That’s not our strategy. We can’t do that.' Card says it’s the core of what we’re doing. That’s two and a half years after the invasion of Iraq. They cannot agree on the definition of the strategy. They cannot agree on the bumper sticker."

    "General John Abizaid, commander of all U.S. forces in the Middle East, you quote him as saying privately a year ago that the U.S. should start cutting its troops in Iraq. You report that he told some close Army friends, quote, 'We’ve gotta get the f out.' And then this past March, General Abizaid visited Congressman John Murtha on Capitol Hill," Wallace says.

    "John Murtha is in many ways the soul and the conscience of the military," Woodward replies. "And he came out and said, 'We need to get out of Iraq as soon as it’s practical' and that sent a 10,000 volt jolt through the White House."

    "Here’s Mr. Military saying, 'We need to get out,'" Woodward continues. "And John Abizaid went to see him privately. This is Bush’s and Rumsfeld’s commander in Iraq," Woodward says.

    "And John Abizaid held up his fingers, according to Murtha, and said, 'We’re about a quarter of an inch apart, said, 'We’re that far apart,'" Woodward says.

    "You report that after George W. Bush was reelected, his chief of staff, Andy Card, tried for months to convince the president to fire Don Rumsfeld. Why?" Wallace asks.

    "To replace him. Because it wasn’t working. Card felt very strongly that the president needed a whole new national security team," Woodward says.

    "You write Laura Bush was worried that Rumsfeld was hurting her husband. Andy Card told her the president seemed happy with Rumsfeld. And the first lady replied, quote, 'He’s happy with this but I’m not.' And later she said, 'I don’t know why he’s not upset,'" Wallace remarks.

    "What’s interesting, Andy Card, as White House chief of staff every six weeks set up a one on one meeting with Laura Bush. Set aside an hour and a half to talk about what’s going on, what are the president’s anxieties? Smart meeting," Woodward explains. "And in the course of these sessions the problem with Rumsfeld came up. And she voiced her concern about the situation."

    But Dick Cheney wanted Rumsfeld to stay. Why?

    "Well, Rumsfeld’s his guy," Woodward says. "And Cheney confided to an aid that if Rumsfeld goes, next they’ll be after Cheney."

    (CBS) Cheney stunned Woodward by revealing that a frequent advisor to the Bush White House is former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who served Presidents Nixon and Ford during the Vietnam War.

    "He’s back," Woodward says. "In fact, Henry Kissinger is almost like a member of the family. If he’s in town, he can call up and if the president’s free, he’ll see him."

    Woodward recorded his on-the-record interview with Cheney, and here’s what the vice president said about Henry Kissinger’s clout: "Of the outside people that I talk to in this job I probably talk to Henry Kissinger more than just about anybody else. He just comes by and I guess at least once a month," Cheney tells Woodward. "I sit down with him."

    Asked whether the president also meets with Kissinger, Cheney told Woodward, "Yes. Absolutely."

    The vice president also acknowledged that President Bush is a big fan of Kissinger.

    "Now, what’s Kissinger’s advice? In Iraq, he declared very simply:
    'Victory is the only meaningful exit strategy.' This is so fascinating. Kissinger’s fighting the Vietnam War again. Because in his view the problem in Vietnam was we lost our will. That we didn’t stick to it," Woodward says.

    He says Kissinger is telling the president to stick to it, stay the course. "It’s right out of the Kissinger playbook," Woodward says.

    In his book, published by CBS sister company, Simon & Schuster, Woodward reports that the first President Bush confided to one of his closest friends how upset he is that his son invaded Iraq.

    "The former President Bush is said to be in agony, anguished, tormented by the war in Iraq and its aftermath," Wallace says.

    "Yes," Woodward replies.

    Asked if the former president conveys that message to his son, Woodward says, "I don’t know the answer to that. He tells it to Brent Scowcroft, his former national security advisor."

    "You paint a picture, Bob, of the president as the cheerleader-in-chief. Current reality be damned. He’s convinced that he’s gonna succeed in Iraq, yes?" Wallace asks.

    "Yes , that’s correct," Woodward says.

    Woodward interviewed President George W. Bush for the first two books for hours.

    "And do you know what? There are people who are gonna say, look Woodward is savaging President Bush because he wouldn’t see him for this book," Wallace remarks.

    Woodward says that's not true. "He did not, and I asked. And I made it very clear to the White House what my questions were, what my information was. What could he say? That the secret chart is not right?" Woodward says. "That these things that happened in these meetings didn’t occur? They’re documented. I talked to the people who were there. Your producer, Bob Anderson, has listened to the tapes of my interviews with people to make sure that it’s not just kind of right, but literally right. This is what occurred."

    And Woodward says that no matter what has occurred in Iraq, Mr. Bush does not welcome any pessimistic assessments from his aides, because he’s sure that his war has Iraq and America on the right path.

    "Late last year he had key Republicans up to the White House to talk about the war. And said, 'I will not withdraw even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me.' Barney is his dog," Woodward says. "My work on this leads to lots of people who spend hours, days with the president."

    "And in most cases they are my best sources. And there is a concern that we need to face realism. Not being the voice that says, 'Oh no, everything’s fine,' when it’s not," Woodward adds.

    Interview ends.

  3. .

    September 1, 2006

    SouthAmerica: It seems to me that the ghost of the “Vietnam War” has returned to the Whitehouse in the form of Henry Kissinger.

    Looking back we know that a similar argument had been used to justify the stay the course in Vietnam and fight until total victory is achieved – The argument went something like this: “otherwise if the US armed forces leave Vietnam today we will have a domino effect around Vietnam until that entire area of the world would become a satellite of the communist world.”

    Today we know from history that that argument turned out to be false. There was no domino effect and we know for a fact that that theory was incorrect - and today Vietnam is on its way to become part of the capitalist world.

    The same wrong assumptions that were used by the people who thought the United States had to stay the course in Vietnam until the US achieved total victory – today they are trying to use the same type of scare tactics regarding the war in Iraq.

    According to these warmongers: The world is going to end if the US armed forces it does leave Iraq today.

    Leaving Vietnam in a very short period of time turned out to be the right choice not only them but also for the long term. That was the right choice not only for the United States but also for the Vietnamese people. Today we know that Vietnam turned out OK.

    Regarding Henry Kissinger: Today, he is a mouth-piece for the Jewish lobby in the United States, since he has deep ties with the Jewish state of Israel. Henry Kissinger is a Jew, and I don’t think that he is giving an impartial opinion to the Bush administration regarding the mess in the Middle East.

    Common sense tells me that Kissinger’s opinion would be for the benefit of Israel and not to the benefit of the United States and the American people in the short and long run.

    I also mentioned in one of my postings to this message board my article published by Brazzil magazine in October 2002 – “Shock Treatment” and quoting from that article:

    “2) General Augusto Pinochet has been having all kinds of legal problems related to his 17 year dictatorship of Chile. Even Mr. Henry Kissinger is afraid to leave US soil today, and recently he canceled a trip to Brazil, because he was named in legal actions over the Chilean coup that brought Mr. Pinochet into power.”

    In September or October of 2002 Henry Kissinger was supposed to go to Brazil to be honored by some organization in Brazil – in the last minute he cancelled his trip to Brazil because he thought that he might be jailed in Brazil as per request of the Chilean government because of his involvement in the overthrow of president Allende in Chile and the installation of a new government in Chile - the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.


    By the end of 2006 the “down payment” of the current “Iraq War” has cost the American taxpayers about $ 400 billion dollars.

    This is only the down payment on this war - there is the human cost to consider, the cost of taking care of about 10,000 severely wounded American soldiers in Iraq (the long term care of the disabilities of these soldiers) – the very expensive cost in replacing all the best weapons being destroyed in Iraq in a very short time because of a very inhospitable environment (the very high temperature and sand storms). Never mind the destruction of the United States reputation around the world because everything that could go wrong it has gone wrong in the current Iraq War.

    An American economist (winner of a Nobel Prize in Economics) puts the tag on the current Iraq War at around $ 2 trillion US dollars so far. The stay the course current US government strategy regarding Iraq it will increase the price tag even further for this war.


    Instead of wasting trillions of borrowed US dollars (borrowed from the other countries around the world) to wage wars around the world – the United States government should instead focus its attention and resources to a more important matter related to the future of the United States – “The Ageing of America.”

    Looking at strategies to deal with aging America it is by far a better use for all this borrowed money than used it to wage wars in foreign lands.

    Why we are at a critical point regarding this ageing issue in the USA?

    The issue is critical because the baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — began turning 60 this year and are rapidly approaching retirement age. By 2030, the number of people over age 65 in the United States will exceed 72 million — double the number in the year 2000. And with possible breakthroughs in science and technologies the number of Americans over age 65 can be even higher by 2030 – maybe as high as 75 million people.

    The American mainstream media is doing a lousy job as usual and they are not raising the red flag to show to the American people this major shift in population age that is under way.

    The mainstream media is not putting the spotlight on this coming problem. Most Americans are not aware of the magnitude of this problem and it is a problem that affects all of us – Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, the rich, the poor, and so on – This should be among the major problems to be solved in the coming years and not be a problem that is not even showing in the radar of the Bush administration.

    Today the United States has about 39 million people over the age of 65. But by 2030 – 24 years from now – this figure should grow to over 72 million people according to the US Census Bureau.

    How is this going to happen?

    One day in 2030 we will wake up in the United States and from nowhere the old folks multiplied themselves from 39 million people to 72 million people overnight?

    No. That’s not the way that is going to happen.

    What is going to happen in reality is that every year from 2006 to 2030 we will have approximately 1.4 million new people over age 65 to add to the number of people already over age 65.

    Every single year we have a net gain of 1.4 new old folks to add to this pool of people -(The annual increase of 1.4 million is a net figure that takes into account the new group that turned 65 during the year less the old folks that died during that year.)

    The best way to represent what is happening with this age group of people is to show a snow ball going downhill – at the top of the mountain we have a very small snowball going down hill - and as the snowball goes down hill the snowball increases in volume very fast as it picks more snow as it is rolling down hill on the mountain. By the time the snowball reaches the bottom of the mountain we have this massive snowball. The snowball grew so much in size with a little bit of snow at the time.

    It is bad enough news that the population aged 65 and older is doubling in size between 2006 and 2030, but that is not the entire story – there is more bad news.

    Research regarding the old folks shows that Medicare expenses increases drastically for the population who is classified as oldest-old (those aged 85 and older) – this group of people is supposed to grow from 4.7 million people in 2003 to 10 million people in 2030 and again double to 21 million people by 2050. The latter increase will reflect the movement of Baby Boomers into the oldest-old category.

    As we dig it deeper this story gets even more interesting – The 1990 census reported that 37,000 Americans were centenarians. The number grew to 50,000 in Census 2000 – and it is projected that by 2030 the United States will have over 1 million people on this age category. Centenarians are the folks who are at least 100 years old.

    Instead of a simple posting on this message board we can write an entire book regarding the impact that the snowballing of people aged 65 and older will have on the US economy year after year from now on…….

    It is not going to be a pretty picture.

    Most Americans have not realized as yet that this is a “train wreck” that is coming very soon – it is a process that is under way – that is not some information that people put together to just scare the population – This is the real thing and the figures include all of us that are living in the United States today – our parents, our grandparents, our uncles, and all sort of relatives – These figures are made of people who are alive and living today in the United States.

    Can the United States afford to keep this war going indefinitely in Iraq and costing a fortune in borrowed money, when the United States could use instead these hundreds of billions of US borrowed dollars to prepare the country for the ageing of its population?


    If you understand the point that I am making here with this posting – then please help me to spread this information into the web – make a copy of this posting and post it on as many places where you think you will be able to reach the American people.

    The mainstream media is not doing their job in the US regarding this train wreck, but today thanks to the internet we can do the job for them.

    Remember this is a problem that will affect the lives of everyone and it does not matter if you are a Republican, a Democrat or belong to any other type of category – Ageing in the United States is a problem that will affect most of us and we have to work together to find innovative solutions for this major problem that is coming to the old USA.

    Note: The source of information for most numbers mentioned above you can find on a report published by the US Census Bureau.

    Current Population Reports 65 + in the United States - published December 2005.

  4. Arnie


    Give us a timeline. Anyone can go around saying the sky will fall. Lets get a concrete estimate of WHEN this will happen. Maybe you could enlighten us all and show us where this has happened in the past.
  5. Apparently, some are still drinking the RNC's kool-aid and not fully informing themselves.

    It's time to be realistic.

  6. Artie21


    Kissinger's Jewish background has nothing to do with his view on Iraq, insofar as his position is clouded by pro-Israeli sentiment.

    Kissinger is right. Iraq should emerge as a victory for the US. The problem was twofold: 1) Bush did not clearly explain and justify the purpose of the Iraqi invasion to the American People. 2) He completely botched the post invasion phase, which was the critical phase.

    The United States has to send in 300,000 - 500,000 more troops to tame the country.

    It's either that a slow terminal bleed.

    Republican politicians are inherently inferior managers and polcy enactors, when they are not manually probing the insides of 16 year old boys' blue jeans. When they are engaged in child molestation, they are generally quiet
    and can go weeks without activity, for example, not posting on ET.
  7. No offense, but I don't think you really understand the situation in Iraq if you think that any amount of troops will control the situation with anything less than Saddam like tactics. Believe it or not, the best solution for the US was the one that existed pre-invasion.

    Just my $.02

  8. We don't need more let them do the job they need to do....if you're going to fight a war then you fight to win!
  9. BCE


    Well what would a "win" look like? Basically maybe 4% of the insurgency is Al Qaeda. The rest of the mess is a civil war in progress between Sunnis and Shias, which we really have nothing to do with except we created the conditions for this to go down by removing Saddam. Our continued presence won't stop this but only get more of our troops killed and injured. Our continued presence fuels anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world. They don't want the government we created. They're not interested in having a Starbucks and McDonalds on every corner.
  10. IGolf


    Maybe not McDonalds but Starbucks everybody needs
    #10     Oct 2, 2006