Ted Koppel: 'Terrorists Achieved More With One Phone Call Than We Achieved With Our Response'

Ted Koppel made a fascinating observation about terrorism and the recent embassy evacuations that certainly won't please President Obama or his supporters in the media.

Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press, Koppel said, "With a conference call, Al Qaeda has effectively shut down 20 U.S. embassies around north Africa and the Middle East...The terrorists have achieved more with one phone call than we have achieved with all our response" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

DAVID GREGORY, HOST: Ted Koppel, let's widen this out a little bit. This is against the backdrop of an ongoing war on terror, an ongoing threat, and it is reflective of a psychology of fear that you wrote about in the Wall Street Journal this week. Put a portion of what you wrote on the screen.

"America's chronic overreaction to terrorism" was the headline. You wrote, "We have created an economy of fear, an industry of fear, a national psychology of fear. Al Qaeda could have never achieved that on its own; we have inflicted it on ourselves."

TED KOPPEL, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT FOR NBC NEWS: Look, fundamentally there are two sets of questions that apply in the war against terrorism. The one set of questions deals with the, "Where is it going to happen? What's going to happen? When is it going to happen?" The other set of questions deals with, "What is it that our enemy, the terrorists, are trying to achieve?" What are they trying to induce us to do?

Take a look at what's been happening over the last week. With a conference call, Al Qaeda has effectively shut down 20 U.S. embassies around north Africa and the Middle East. We just had the president of Yemen here for a meeting with President Obama. He goes back feeling wonderful about his new relationship with the president; next thing the president does is says, in effect, "Sorry, but we don't trust you Yemenis to protect our embassies." So, in effect, we shut down our embassy. We had an emergency evacuation.

What does that do to our relationship in the rest of north Africa? What does that do in our relationship in the Middle East, with all of these governments? The terrorists have achieved more with one phone call than we have achieved with all our response.


Strong statement by Koppel.

Do you agree or think it's an exaggeration?

Something else to consider is the President's plummeting poll numbers.

Are they an indication that the American people agree with Koppel and are losing faith in their Commander-in-Chief?

Will this trend spread to the mainstream media, or is Koppel an outlier?

Stay tuned.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.