'This Week' Transcript: Karzai, Khan and Levitt

WOODRUFF: That's right. Christiane, I talked just this week, the end of this week with someone who was in the Karzai government who is still advising President Karzai privately, who said, look, we wouldn't be talking to the Taliban if the United States were not -- if we didn't have this looming situation where the U.S. was possibly going to pull out in a serious way starting next year. We have to talk to the Taliban. We've got to be talking to Pakistan and Iran even if we don't want to.

They know that they're in a tough negotiating position when it comes to the Taliban. And touching on what George said, because unless this war goes better and unless they can prove that the Afghan government can run this country and can put the Taliban in a weaker position, they don't have any kind of a negotiating position. And they're very aware of that.

REICH: And, Christiane, corruption is endemic in this country. And everyone knows it, from Karzai on down. He was -- I was very struck by how readily he admitted to you that corruption is endemic. I mean, his support here in the United States is dropping like a lead balloon and will continue to drop because of that endemic corruption. He says he's going to preserve the independence of these units that are anti-corruption units, but everyone knows that he's not going to allow his own aides to be indicted and imprisoned.

AMANPOUR: I mean, I asked him about that, and he said, yes, but of course, everybody as you say is looking for more than just words, they're looking for action. And what do you make of the foreign -- or, rather, no private security contractors? On the one hand, he's right, and the U.S. wants to see this sort of militia system disbanded, but saying that it's a bit too ambitious to do it all in just four months.

HUNT: Yes. He knows that, too. I think that every indices you look at over there suggests, unfortunately, that George was right a year or so ago, nothing is going right, Christiane. There are supposed to be regional elections. There are really serious questions about whether they can be held, or at least credible elections.

The battle for Kandahar, no one seems to be terribly optimistic at this time. The corruption issue that Bob just talked about.

John Kerry was probably as close to Karzai as almost any American politician, and even John Kerry has started to sour on him.

So I just -- it's hard to find grounds for optimism.

REICH: Also, this business of turning over all of the security to the Afghan -- to the army and the police is bizarre. I mean, they're as corrupt as everyone else. And the opportunity costs, Christiane -- I mean, here we have in Pakistan a food that is devastating that economy, a humanitarian disaster. We can't even devote the resources we need because we're so bogged down right now in Afghanistan.

AMANPOUR: Let's move on to the ground zero Islamic center debate. You heard from Daisy Khan just now. It's the first time she's spoken since this all really exploded over the last several weeks. And you heard from Rabbi Joy Levitt.

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