excerpt from transcript of 'Hardball with Chris Matthews' for July 22
CHRIS MATTHEWS interviewes "ANONYMOUS", the former head of the CIA unit assigned to track Osama bin Laden and author the book Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror
"ANONYMOUS" spent hours testifying before the 9/11 Commission.
ANONYMOUS (author of "Imperial Hubris"): Yes, sir. You would have to ask them the question.
Again, it comes down to the fact that the first consideration is not protecting Americans.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, I find this amazing. Can you bottom-line this, sir? I know you want us to buy the book. And that's fair enough. Let's buy the book, "Imperial Hubris." But what is the bottom line here? Why are we not winning?
ANONYMOUS (author of "Imperial Hubris"): We're not winning because we continue to misidentify the enemy.
America has never had an opponent who has been more clear on why he is fighting us, what he intends to do, and then follows up by doing it. He is motivated by religion. He is not, as we continually say, a criminal or a gangster.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Right.
ANONYMOUS (author of "Imperial Hubris"): He has no intention of destroying our way of life or our liberties or our freedom. He has focused the Muslim world on about six specific U.S. policies which are universally disliked in the Muslim world, whether or not the same proportion of Muslims support bin Laden.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, why does the president continue to blame-say that the motive for this hell that hit us in 2001 is some sort of, I don?t know, some culture clash, when in fact, it is an attack on the United States for some specific policies, keeping troops in Saudi Arabia, backing Israel, all these policies which we clearly accept in this country? (see Bush lies about 9/11 motives)
Some of them I think we could drop, like the Saudi - putting all the soldiers in their holy land. But why doesn't the president clearly state the reasons they're fighting us? Why does he keep mucking it up with the evil ones and they don't like our way of life and all? What good does that do?
ANONYMOUS (author of "Imperial Hubris"): Well, it hasn't done any good, sir, in the sense that no political leader in this country over the last 15 years has been willing to engage on the issue of policies.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Yes.
ANONYMOUS (author of "Imperial Hubris"): Americans have a hard time believing that they're perceived as anything else than kind and benign.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Oh, come on. Well, let me tell you something. Sitting here, I know there are a lot of our policies which are changeable, correctable and probably wrongheaded, like putting all those troops in Saudi Arabia in a way that was a sacrilege to the people of the country. Why did we do that?
ANONYMOUS (author of "Imperial Hubris"): We needed on a short-term basis. I thought we probably believed we weren?t going to be there 10 years.? But now we?re in the unfortunate position of occupying the first most holy place in Islam in Arabia.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Right.
ANONYMOUS (author of "Imperial Hubris"): The second most holy in Iraq and the third most holy in the Israelis' hold in Jerusalem.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I know.
Well, a lot of that is intolerable on their side and fixable on our side. Some of it isn't fixable.
Anyway, thank you very much, Mr. ANONYMOUS (author of "Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror") .