Meredith Vieira Sees U.S. Defeat in Afghanistan

It's not enough that the media is waving the white flag of defeat in Iraq but now they're declaring yet another war lost. NBC's "Today" co-host Meredith Vieira seemed so convinced that the U.S. had lost the war in Afghanistan she was perplexed when Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai didn't share her assessment of failure. On the Monday "Today" show, in a taped interview, a bewildered Vieira responded to Karzai's statement of victory with: "What have you won?"

The following exchange occurred in the 7am half-hour of the September 24, NBC "Today" show:

Meredith Vieira: "And now to what's being called 'The Forgotten War,' the conflict in Afghanistan. It is a country that lies at the crossroads of the U.S.-led war on terror. Six years after Operation Enduring Freedom began about 15,000 U.S. troops remain in a country that is still gripped by violence. This year, alone, there have been more than 100 suicide bombings, kidnappings are increasingly more common, as well. In total an estimated 450 U.S. soldiers have been killed in a war that has cost U.S. taxpayers $127 billion. In 2004 Hamid Karzai became the democratically-elected president of Afghanistan. On Sunday I caught up with him for an exclusive interview. We talked about the resurgence of the Taliban."

Vieira to Karzai: "A lot of Americans, here, are confused by this, what's going on [in] Afghanistan. They say, 'Wait a minute, I thought we won that war, already and now the Taliban is back? What went wrong?' So I'm asking you sir-"

Karzai: "We won."

Vieira: "-what's gone wrong? You've won?"

Karzai: "Yes, of course we won."

Vieira: "What have you won?"

Karzai: "The war against terrorism. The liberation of Afghanistan. These guys, the al Qaeda, Osama and their associates were running Afghanistan. Today you're talking to President Karzai, elected by the Afghan people."

Vieira: "There's also killings everyday. So how do you reconcile that with this notion we've won?"

Karzai: "We have won because we have defeated them from being the government, now they are the runaways. Outlaws. Hiding in the mountains, in caves."

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.