Morning Joe | September 17, 2012
>> good morning. it is monday. wake up, everyone. september 17th . welcome to " morning joe ." with us on set, we have msnbc and "time" magazine senior political analyst mark halperin . hello, mark.
>> national affairs editor for "new york" magazine and msnbc political analyst john heilemann. and in washington, we have nbc chief foreign affairs correspondent and host of " andrea mitchell reports," andrea mitchell . good morning, everyone. good to have you on board this morning. a lot to talk about.
>> a lot to talk about internationally. a lot to talk about domestically. internationally the chaos continues. "the new york times" has a front-page story. "cultural clash fuels muslims raging at film. devout values conflict with free speech." i don't know if i would use the word "devout" to associate anything that's happened over the past week with the savagery that we've been seeing on our television sets over the past week over a crude film that's been uplinked and is being used as an excuse to kill americans .
>> it's not the excuse.
>> just the touchstone.
>> the thing is, though, this is the reality that every president faces. and i think we see just how naive every president is that thinks they're going to come in and transform the middle east . if we could just talk to them, they would understand us. and of course, this president talked about the fact that he was raised in a muslim country would somehow take -- you know, make things better in the middle east . it just doesn't happen. you know why they hate us? i talked to intelligence people all weekend. they hate us because of their religion. they hate us because of their culture, and they hate us because of peer pressure. and you talk to any intelligence person, they will tell you that's the same thing. and all these people that think we're going to go over there and change them and make them hate us less are just naive. think about the savagery, just the sheer, unrestrained savagery that we have seen across the middle east and the arab world over the past week because of a crude film. they know what they're doing. they know it's a crude film. they know it has nothing to do with the united states government . it is an excuse. one intelligence person told me, if you scratch the surface, and if you gave every street vendor from street vendor to prime minister in that region a chance to throw a rock at the u.s. embassy , they would. so this is their excuse.
>> look at what's happening in afghanistan 11 years later.
>> and look what's happening in afghanistan . and is it just me? willie, is it just me, or is it -- we have the grave concern about the tragedy that happened to the ambassador and our people that have served so proudly for, you know, for the state department who were killed. and yet this weekend, more u.s. troops in afghanistan gunned down by our supposed allies. this happens every day. this happens every day. and yes, our u.s. ambassador being killed is just absolutely horrific. but every single day, young american men and women are gunned down in afghanistan .
>> 51 of them this year on insider attacks. 51 nato troops including many americans this year.
>> nobody's talking about it.
>> to your point exactly about the film, after the fact the taliban , on this insider attack, said it was about the film. this was about the film.
>> oh, just shut up.
>> you don't storm into one of the most heavily fortified bases on the face of the earth and go in and take out nato troops and have people -- intelligence investigating this place based on a spontaneous outrage at a film. this was obviously planned, and then after the fact they went back and blamed the movie.
>> the question is, how can we beat the taliban when the taliban can read into the future? because they've been doing this for months now, these insider attacks. the film? give me a break. you know, it's just like oh, you know, they hate us because of waterboarding. no, they don't. they hate us because they hate us. they hate us because of obama's drone attacks. no, they don't. they hate us because they hate us. they hate us because somebody burned a koran. no, they don't. they hate us because they hate us. they hate us because of this crude film? no, they don't. they hate us because they hate us. and any u.s. politician that thinks they're going to go in and transform the region and stop people from hating us because they hate us are absolute fools. they're absolute fools. so andrea, you know, it continues. look, you look at these protests raging across the middle east , you look also even before this film at how low america 's approval rating is, country by country, you know, we had a president who was going to transform america 's standing in the world and make us proud to be americans again. the fact is, a poll that was released last week, i think it may have been pew, shows that except for france, they do love us in france now, more than they did when bush was president. but especially across the middle east and these areas that are so key to stability across the world, america 's standing is lower now than it's been. it just keeps getting lower. why?
>> well, you know, i think that a number of things. we are perceived not as the liberator, but we are perceived as the other, as different. and these are -- they're different from country to country. let's face it. in libya, there is a lot of pro-american feeling, not only in the government but also among the people. you saw pro-american protests after those horrific deaths. so you still have al qaeda influences. you have large numbers of militias, heavily armed militias in libya. this is a barely post-war, post- civil war environment. egypt is another case. egypt is struggling to find out what its national identity is. and desperately in need of money. the egyptian leadership pleading with the imf, pleading with us for money at the same time as teetering because of its longstanding fundamentalist beliefs, not knowing what it is. that's why the president sent that very strong signal to president morsi last week saying not an ally, not an enemy. and then what really troubles me is afghanistan . this raid on friday, not only the insider raids over the weekend, but the friday raid on that camp bastion was not only organized, it was three heavily armed units in american army uniforms penetrating that base.
>> that is the most troubling of all.
>> it is unbelievable. our standing and how things are falling apart internationally. and it's not -- i'm sorry, it's not because of a film. the film is the latest excuse.
>> and we're following protests that are breaking out in afghanistan now. crowds are setting fire to police cars all in response, of course, more protests in response to this film.
>> to the film. i just can't believe this film, yes. yes, it's the film. and by the way, this film is -- well, let's talk