Transcript: Health Care Debate

CHENEY: They also remember, though, Bob, what happened the last time we walked away from Afghanistan. And the stakes here are so tremendous. The last time we left Afghanistan, Al Qaida was able to gain a foothold, and it was from Afghanistan that the attacks of 9/11 were carried out.

REICH: But Pakistan is the issue.

CHENEY: So I think it's...


REICH: Pakistan is the place.

CHENEY: That's right, but you can't deal with Pakistan without Afghanistan.

ISAACSON: But -- but, Liz, it seems to me that the whole strategy of trying to secure and hold and then occupy large parts of territory is going to in the long run and the medium run be a no-win situation for us.

We have to fight. I mean, nobody is going to appreciate us going in and trying to secure an occupied territory. It's the type of thing that's not in our DNA, an occupation like that, so we need a strategy that seems to me -- somehow to support those anti-Taliban forces -- Dexter Filkins has a great article in the New York Times today about ways to support indigenous anti-Taliban forces without us having to occupy...


CHENEY: But what we learned -- but what we learned in Iraq, Walter, was that the way that you actually go in and secure area is by giving the people in that area the kind of confidence that they need to know...

ISAACSON: But the Sunni uprising...


CHENEY: ... to know that we are going to be there. The Sunni uprising, though...


CHENEY: The Sunni uprising, though, if you look at the timing of it...


CHENEY: ... the awakening, was -- was very much tied to the surge and very much tied to when the Iraqi people realized that we weren't going to abandon them. We need people in Afghanistan to give us intelligence. We need them to tell us...


STEPHANOPOULOS: But this is -- this is a big argument because...

CHENEY: ... if they think we're leaving, they won't -- they won't do it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But the -- the president would argue -- and Democrats would argue -- that it was only the certainty that we would eventually leave that convinced Iraqis to take matters into their own hands, as well, and (inaudible) apply that same argument in Afghanistan.

WILL: And now the -- the problem is that the Afghan villager has to make a choice. Does he bet his long-term future on the presence of the Taliban, which is indigenous, or the United States, which is not going to be there forever?

STEPHANOPOULOS: We only have a minute left, George, and...


STEPHANOPOULOS: ... real quickly, Sarah Palin -- and we only have a second here -- she sold 700,000 books this week, touring all across the country. Just quickly, 15 seconds each, did she advance her political career? Does she want to?

WILL: I'm not sure she wants to; I don't think she did. She's selling lots of books. That's not politics.

ISAACSON: Well, those of us who write books and then go on tour and try to sell them can't help but admire the wonderfulness of this (inaudible) you know, sort of thinking you might run for president. I think Colin Powell did that. I'm sure Lou Dobbs will do it, as well. I'd love to...


ISAACSON: But I do think it shows that she's a very clever person, very smart. I'm not sure she's a serious person, and this is not showing her as a serious person.

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