'This Week' Transcript: Odierno and Chiarelli

And that's one of the issues that we have to get through is we try to break down stigma. To get soldiers to understand that these hidden wounds of war are things that they've got to seek help for when they have problems.

AMANPOUR: General Peter Chiarelli, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

CHIARELLI: Thank you.



SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: Birthright citizenship I think is a mistake.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY.: This is the kind of thing that irritates Americans quite a lot.

SEN. ARLEN SPECTER, D-PA.: Political pandering on the immigration issue has reached an hysterical (ph) level.

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, R-ALA.: I don't think the founders understood when (inaudible) the 14th Amendment that it would create a circumstance that people would fly into America from all over the world and have a child.


AMANPOUR: The debate over the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to those born in America. One of the topics we'll discuss this morning on our roundtable with Gillian Tett of the Financial Times; Michael Gerson, former Bush speechwriter and Washington Post columnist; George Packer of the New Yorker and John Harris of Politico. George Will is on vacation.

And before turning to domestic news, I want to start with Iraq, because we just heard from General Odierno and we know that the drawdown -- President Obama made his speech today reaffirming the drawdown -- rather, this week.

Do you think everybody is taking credit but not giving credit where credit is due?

GERSON: I didn't find the speech a particularly generous search. I mean, this is really the implementation of the status of forces agreement that was agreed to in 2008, under the Bush administration. Barack Obama, people forget, actually voted against funding for the troops. He opposed the surge. He gave a speech without mentioning the surge or General Petraeus. I think that that's probably -- you know, he's attempting to take credit for something that he opposed.

AMANPOUR: The surge, let's face it, has worked up until now. We can see that it's had a huge, huge impact on stability in Iraq, despite a spike in violence. Do you think that it would have been even politically expedient to actually praise the surge? Because the future of Iraq is this president's future.

HARRIS: Well, probably, the more cynical thing to do or the more sort of Machiavellian thing to do for President Obama would have been to lavish credit on President Bush. One of the central parts of Obama's brand, at least when he came into Washington, was that he was a bridge builder and could sort of drain (ph) politics. And he would have therefore sort of cut off the conservative critique, which is out there, that he is leaving too soon, and look gracious in doing so. I don't know, I think that may have just been -- that does not come naturally to him and it might have been a little much to swallow.

AMANPOUR: Let me put up this byte, this little bit of sound from Vice President Biden on this issue.


VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.: I'm very optimistic about Iraq. I think it's going to be one of the great achievements of this administration.


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