'This Week' Transcript: Don't Ask, Don't Tell


But I really believe that, if the power be given to the responsibility up to the community, the people who have the responsibility, and they take that responsibility by providing more service to the people, by providing service to the communities that they can be empowered, that they can take charge of their lives, I think that we will accomplish (ph).

AMANPOUR: All right. The WikiLeaks, as George brought up -- and everybody's been obsessing over the last -- the last week, certainly -- about Afghanistan specifically, basically, do you believe that this administration has managed its relationship with Karzai well or not well?

KHALILZAD: Not well, I'm sorry to say. I think this goes back to the period before the WikiLeaks stuff, because, you know, Ambassador Eikenberry's cable as an input to the strategy review, a very highly classified cable was leaked, damaging his relationship with President Karzai.

And then all the discussions that are in the book of Mr. Woodward, the leaking of extremely classified stuff was far more damaging to the relationship and management of the relations with Karzai than -- than the WikiLeaks...


AMANPOUR: But, you know, I mean, Karzai went from being a -- a trusted ally of President Bush, had regular videoconferences with him, to somebody who's turned into a sort of paranoid leader -- if you believe what people are saying -- who thinks that the U.S. wants to overthrow him and topple him through elections.

KHALILZAD: There is a huge trust deficit. He would like to get a long-term security commitment with the United States. We're not prepared at this time to do that. Therefore, he's uncertain about how long and with what objective we're going to stay there. And -- and as a result, he is -- finds himself having to adjust to different expectations from different audiences around him, and -- and there is uncertainty and -- and change in his tactics and approach on a regular basis.

AMANPOUR: To move over to Iran and WikiLeaks, we've obviously all been poring over those cables, the whole business about the king of Saudi Arabia saying cut the head off the snake, Arab leaders saying, you know, go in and -- and topple the mullahs or get rid of the nuclear program.

Has this administration, despite all its talk about engagement with Iran, actually been able to further that agenda? Has it mismanaged its relationship with Iran?

BRZEZINSKI: Just one footnote to Karzai. You know, the lesson of history is that if you have a dependent leader who needs you for his survival, but he's the only leader you have, you don't discredit him, you don't undermine him unless you have a better alternative.

We haven't had a better alternative than Karzai. And yet some of our officials have made a sport of maligning him.

And this business of corruption doesn't take into account cultural differences.

And last, but not least, who are we here in Washington to be groaning and moaning about corruption?

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you then. Should Ambassador Eikenberry leave? I mean, has he done a good job, do you think, for the -- for the diplomacy, George?

WILL: Well, he has a hopeless job to do, so it's hard to say whether he's done it well. But whether or not he should -- I mean, if he should leave because, say, of what was said in the -- in the...

AMANPOUR: What he's written in the cables.

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