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Monday, July 13, 2009

Talking to the Taliban

Prior to returning to Iraq last month, Michael Ware spent several weeks in Pakistan, and last Thursday we learned why ... he travelled to the Pakistan/Afghanistan border to give viewers a look at the mountainous terrain that allows Taliban fighters to slip back and forth with such ease (a border that US/NATO forces are unable to cross in pursuit.)

He also got a major exclusive -- for the first time since the war began in late 2001, a Pakistani military commander admitted to him on-camera something long assumed but never before confirmed: that they still have contacts amongst the major players of the Taliban leadership. In fact, the spokesman says they are willing to help open lines of communication between the US and the Taliban, an important first step in ending this war, one that can't be won by force of arms alone.

Here is Michael's original report as it aired on AC360:

Friday, members of the Obama administration were already reacting positively to the news. Here, Heidi Collins gives a brief update, which is immediately followed by a report from Atia Abawi, who is currently embedded with the Marines in Helmand province. The Marines are engaging in the new counterinsurgency doctrine of clearing and holding an area in the hopes of rebuilding the political and social infrastructure of the country:

This morning, more follow-up as Michael spoke with US Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke about the possibility of meeting with Taliban leaders and working towards a way to end this war:

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Late last week, Reza Aslan was a guest on AC360 to update the latest political maneuverings inside Iran:

And over the weekend, Reza Sayah was in Washington, DC to cover a rally held in support of the Iranian people protesting the stolen election:

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Where in the World...?

MONDAY: Suzanne Malveaux was still in Moscow; Sean Callebs was in Anchorage, Alaska (no word as to whether they could see each other). Alina Cho was in for John Roberts.

TUESDAY: Kiran Chetry anchored from Los Angeles; Anderson Cooper and Soledad O'Brien went on the air at 10:30am PT to cover the Michael Jackson memorial, so Kyra Phillips and Rick Sanchez were not on the air. Alina was in for John.

WEDNESDAY: Paula Newton and Suzanne Malveaux were both in L'Aquila, Italy, covering the G8 summit; Kiran and Anderson were both back in New York. Alina was in for John; Ali Velshi was in for Kyra.

THURSDAY: Joe Johns was in for John; Ali was in for Kyra; Jim Moret was in for Larry King; Erica Hill was in for Anderson (who was on his way to Ghana to interview President Obama at Cape Coast Castle, above.)

FRIDAY: Ed Henry was in Rome. Joe was in for John; Ali was in for Kyra; Kitty Pilgrim was in for Lou Dobbs; Erica was in for Anderson.

SATURDAY: Anderson, Ed, and Suzanne were all in Accra, Ghana; Reza Sayah was in Washington; David Mattingly was in Beulah, Florida. Tom Foreman was in for Fredericka Whitfield.

SUNDAY: Jeffrey Toobin was in Washington. Wolf Blitzer was in for John King; Tom was in for Fredericka.

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1 comment:

MWmcFan said...

Extraordinary reporting by Michael Ware! Even if these are the first baby steps to ending this conflict, what an incredible start Michael has revealed to us. Thank you Mr. Ware!