'This Week' Transcript: Gen. Jim Jones (Ret.)


On the question that Paul is raising, whether we're ever going to get to the point where we're seriously talking about tax simplification, tax changes that would lead to better budget balance and reductions in the deficits that worry everybody, I think this White House is getting ready for a process. And I think it could actually come quite soon. By June, July, in which the White House, which has been reticent, silent on all of this, will begin to roll out some ideas similar to those that were in the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission. And I think we could have this summer a big and a very important debate on how to get these numbers better.

AMANPOUR: One thing we didn't get to talk about with the senators was the really big cuts or the big reforms that have to be made in entitlements. And also on the Pentagon. Where do you think can big cuts be made in the Pentagon budget?

CLARKE: Oh, man. It's like the morbidly obese patient that's almost, where do you start? It really is. And God bless anyone, Rumsfeld, Gates and others who are trying. It's very, very hard. They have made some significant cuts. And there is plenty, plenty of waste in that place. Any time you have 2 or 3 million employees, depends on how you count them, there's a lot of waste.

But that wouldn't be the first place I would start. Most people would argue that's not the one that is going to make a big difference. And whether or not these folks up the street are really serious is if they tackle the major, major entitlement programs.

Republicans say they are going to. It has yet to be seen.

AMANPOUR: Hold that thought and we'll continue. With the world's eyes on Libya, Afghanistan explodes anew with rage and murder in the streets there. How can the United States extinguish a fuse that's been lit by that renegade Florida pastor who took it upon himself to burn a Koran? We'll have that with our roundtable when we come back.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should you bear any responsibility for inciting today's horrific actions?

TERRY JONES: We do not feel responsible, no. We feel more that the Muslims and the radical element of Islam, they used that as an excuse.

STAFFAN DE MISTURA, CHIEF OF UN ASSISTANCE MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN: I would tell him my three colleagues have died, and seven all together have died. We are very good people and we're working hard. So you should be feeling guilty and should not do that.


AMANPOUR: That was Staffan de Mistura, chief of the U.N. assistance mission in Afghanistan right there talking and weighing in on pastor Terry Jones, who decided to burn a Koran. That act, as we've been telling you, has set off a tidal wave of anger and violence in Afghanistan. Pastor Jones of the ironically named Dove World Outreach Center is unrepentant and unbowed. And still a huge headache for the Obama administration.

So let's bring that subject back to our roundtable. Let me ask you, David Ignatius, is this a one-time horrible thing or is this something that's going to have a lingering effect in Afghanistan right now? And to the detriment of the Americans?

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...