CB: "This war is about something else. It's about trying to stabilize this country..."
September 11, 2009
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Michael is part of a panel discussion about Osama bin Laden and 9/11, but I've clipped just his section. (I pulled the preview clip as well, since during the actual segment they showed B-roll of OBL rather than the video of Michael.)
CAMPBELL BROWN: Osama bin Laden still out there, but does he still matter? Is he still relevant? And how has he managed to remain free, despite the offer of a $25 million reward to anyone who turns him in?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These are men who are prepared to die for bin Laden. In fact, they're eager for the opportunity to do so, to martyr themselves in bin Laden' name. Compared to eternal life, compared to sacrificing your own life, your own existence, what's $25 million?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Michael, you're there. You're on the ground in Afghanistan today. Does bin Laden even feel relevant?
WARE: Well, certainly, to the war in Afghanistan, less and less so.
I mean, the fighting that is going on here day in, day out is not being perpetrated by bin Laden. The attacks primarily, the grinding day-to-day of ambushes and roadside bombs and indeed even most of the suicide bombings are being conducted by the Afghan Taliban. So, the American troops here are fighting and dying not so much about Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, because they're no longer in this country. They don't have the sanctuary they once did.
They have been pushed across the border to Pakistan. This war is about something else. It's about trying to stabilize this country, in the hope that al Qaeda training camps don't return. But in terms of destroying al Qaeda and hunting for Osama bin Laden, this war means very little, if not anything at all.
BROWN: Michael, the U.S. is still offering this huge reward, $25 million, for bin Laden. Why do you think that having that kind of money out there never really worked?
WARE: Well, for those who would know where bin Laden actually is -- and I would dare say those people could be counted on the fingers or less of one hand -- $25 million means nothing.
These are men who are prepared to die for bin Laden. In fact, they're eager for the opportunity to do so, to martyr themselves in bin Laden's name. Compared to eternal life, compared to sacrificing your own life, your own existence, what is $25 million, Campbell?