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


IGNATIUS: Sadly, this incident of people protesting and killing people because of anger at the burning of Korans, but it's really anger at what they see as a United States that doesn't respect their religion, it recurs in Afghanistan and Pakistan so often. I think they are irresponsible actions by pastor Jones and by the Muslim sheikhs who on Friday prayers incited people, but the larger point is that deep into a war where we -- our strategy is counterinsurgency, to get the population with us and working with us to fight against the Taliban, you see what angry, anti-American feeling is out there. Even in areas that are remote from the fighting like Mazar-e Sharif in the north -- that is where the 12 U.N. people were killed. That's far from the battlefield. So that's what worries me.

AMANPOUR: Torie, what should the administration be doing to win back some of these hearts and minds?

CLARKE: It is going to be very, very hard. Right or wrong, they take it as a sign, an excuse, and a reason to go after the United States.

AMANPOUR: General Petraeus came out strongly today, categorically blaming the pastor and basically saying this is not representative of the U.S.

CLARKE: And I know extraordinary people at extraordinary levels have talked to him before saying it is needlessly provocative. Yes, in this country you can talk about freedom of speech, but you cannot do this and underestimate the consequences it can have around the world.

There was no need to do this. But I think it will take a long time to repair these sorts of things. Fairly or unfairly, it will take a long time to repair them.

AMANPOUR: And here we are, two weeks into Libya now, which some people are calling a war others aren't. Are you calling it a war?

WILL: Of course it's a war. War planes flown by warriors doing what war looks like, which is dropping bombs.

AMANPOUR: Did the president convince you in his speech on Monday that this was in the vital national interests? It had a limited goal, limited duration?

WILL: What he said in his speech was broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake. If so, we're making it.

It's perfectly clear that we who worried about mission creep got it wrong. It was mission gallop. Weeks ago when the president said this would be matter of days not weeks. He said, also, we were told there would be no boots on the ground. Well there may not be boots, there are certainly shoes on the ground now.


WILL: They're occupied by CIA people, because like it or not, the logic of events says that this is a failure if Gadhafi survives. Some of us worry that, even worse than the failure would be the success, because it is going to whet the appetite of humanitarian imperialists for more of these interventions. AMANPOUR: Well, General Jones was telling me that it was a risk, one way or the other, whether Gadhafi stays or goes, mostly because we don't know the rebels.

A lot has been made of the end game. George just rightly mentioned that the president said regime change was not the goal, but the president also says that Gadhafi has to go. So where are we here?

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