MARTHA MACCALLUM (HOST): President Bush was interviewed recently and he said that he was very worried about what was happening with the Taliban and also about the idea of an exit from our perspective with a really, relatively small footprint that we had of troops on the ground here. Here is a bit of what he said. All right, let me read this out for you: “I'm sad. Laura and I spent a lot of time with Afghan women and they are scared. I think about all the interpreters and people that helped not only U.S. troops, but NATO troops, and it seems like they're just going to be left behind to be slaughtered by these very brutal people, and it breaks my heart." Karl.
KARL ROVE (FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH): Seventy percent of the population of Afghanistan -- 39 million people -- 70% of them are 25 years or less. They only know a country in which there is growing opportunity for everyone, in which women can go to school, in which women can live outside the home, in which women can pursue careers, in which everyone is given a measure of freedom and opportunity. And now they will be thrust back into a barbaric regime. But think about this: As the Taliban made its way across Afghanistan in recent days, they rewarded Taliban fighters by giving them quote “arranged marriages" with teenage Afghan girls who they've never met and they've never known and they're literally surrendering them to the control of Taliban fighters to be their wives.
This is the kind of barbarianism that we saw for decades in Afghanistan that stopped after American troops and special operators joined with Afghanis to liberate this country. And now we're turning it back to the same people who refused to turn over Osama Bin Laden, who gave safe harbor to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Now they're going to reestablish their brutal regime. You bet the former president of the United States is deeply upset about this. For 20 years, Laura Bush has hosted groups of Afghan women, who came to the United States after beginning to taste freedom in their own country, in order to learn about the opportunities that were available to women all around the world. And the idea that the Taliban is going to somehow allow that to continue is absolutely ridiculous.