May 5, 2009
Posted: 1749 GMT

Hello everyone,

Sorry to keeop this short, work beckons..

Nic Robertson's exclusive look inside the Taliban will be airing first at the International Desk today. It is a gripping, chilling and enlightening interview of a top Taliban spokesman in Afghanistan.

Check out Nic's blog entry below on what it was like interviewing a wanted man, whose organization holds so much power in a country the United States so desperately wants – and needs – to stabilize.

Also today, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak will be on the show. I haven't interviewed him in a while so it'll be interesting to get his take on the two-state issue. Netanyahu and his right-wing cabinet members don't seem keen on this idea anymore. But isn't the very backbone of any peace deal? The US is insisting on it. What will Barak say today?

Also, what about that UN report on abuses committed by the Israeli military in Gaza during the January offensive?

All that a more at 9pm CET.

See you on TV!


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M26   May 5th, 2009 8:21 pm ET

As always, well done i-desk team. Excellent interview by Nic Robertson and Hala. Can't say the same for Mr. Ehud Barak though. This was me listening to his replies, "ummmm..yeaaaa..wha..??". I don't get it.

Md. Aseer Jubair Khan Majlish   May 6th, 2009 8:08 am ET

It’s good to hear the interview of a Taliban spokesman by Nick Robertson. Taliban is a terrorist organization so far we understand. But once they were ruling Afghanistan. Then they thought they are the only pure Muslims of the world and attacked world trade centre and destroyed it. Then USA and NATO came to Afghanistan and capture it but couldn’t diminish Taliban. But after eight years of invasion of USA in Afghanistan still Taliban exists. Osama bin Laden and Molla Omer are still alive. It proves that Taliban has at least some popularity. If that is so, why don’t you ask them for discussion? Just ask them what do they want.

miriam   May 6th, 2009 1:19 pm ET


I'd like to hear you answering directed questions, diplomatically, in Hebrew!

Israeli poiticians aren't elected or presented based on their knowledge of English. If they spoke foreign languages better, perhaps they could stand-up to Arab/Iranian propoganda more easily, and to journalists trying to get the answers they want and know the interviewee can't answer (sorry Hala!).
Unfortunately, there isn't much of a budget for English lessons in the Knesset.

sailor   May 6th, 2009 1:56 pm ET

unfortunately miriam you don't need to speak english to kill innocent childeren and women, and that is what israeli politicians are professional at.

tony   May 6th, 2009 2:43 pm ET

miriam, i never heared the Iranian presedent talk in english however i heared perez talk in english a couple of days ago in newyork.
and yes, you are right there isn’t much of a budget for English lessons in the Knesset because most of the money goes for war and killing children and women.

f.a   May 6th, 2009 3:19 pm ET

M26 you're genius & Hala did a good job!.......when they talk like this “ummmm..yeaaaa..wha..??” that means they are acting very diplomatic and truly don't have answers to the questions(or don't want to make it public much of what had happen), especially regarding why they attacked in the first place the UN site and will they pay compensation for attacking UN HQ, etc.

miriam   May 7th, 2009 10:55 am ET

sailor, tony and f.a

none of you seem to understand what's involved in being a diplomat representing an elected, democratic government. Journalists know but their job is to get scoops and cause political trouble.

You all seem to have no problem accepting the words of terrorist- supporting dictators and anti-western dominated, biased, UN commitees.

Israel did not attack UN facilities, but the terrorists sheltering nearby. Ban ki moon has distanced himself from the latest one-sided report written by individuals who believe the word of terrorists and liars rather than Israelis who are accountable and follow the rules of international law.

You may not want to hear those facts but they are the truth.

When extremists want war, innocent civilians get killed. It's unfortunate, but true, and happening in Pakistan and Afghanistan right now.

Fawad Ali   May 7th, 2009 3:32 pm ET

US, Pakistanis, Afghans have never attacked the UN facilities and neither did Israel until that recent conflict. Israel must do something to repair its image – at least stop calling UN a pointless organization.

Second, is Israel a democratic state? Sure Israel is and nobody disagreeing with that. In fact they are more democratic than any other Arab or Muslim country.

But it's really about restoring good image which is according to every angle seems like pretty much distorted.

Why Arab and Muslim governments don’t criticize the US – talking about Egyptians, Indonesian, etc. – the way they do Israel, Why US still has friendly Muslim countries fighting along side against extremists, all that because the US knows a simple fact “when you cross the line you must know that people are watching and there is nothing you can do except say a simple ‘sorry’” – never heard Israel saying “sorry, we were wrong. Our actions did not do any damage to Hezbollah or Hamas rather we end up with a lot of war casualties (of civilians).” Simple sorry and a few million dollars, looks like very easy and reasonable thing to offer to palliate the post fiasco(Gaza incursion) situation.

miriam   May 8th, 2009 6:10 am ET

Fawad Ali

Israel did not 'attack' UN facilities. The army was provided with a map with all such sites identified. When terrorists fired rockets and other weapons several meters away from these facilities, the army returned fire at the terrorists, not at the facilities. In the case of the UN storage facility, the structure next-door was targetted, which was not an identified UN facility, and the resultant fire/explosion spread to the storage structure.

When terrorists deliberately shelter or operate close to civilians or UN facilities, they are to blame for any damage.

If innocents are killed or injured, Israel always apologizes although this is rarely reported internationally.
If mistakes are made in combat, Israel apologizes.
Terrorists never apologize. They hold celebrations every time an Israeli is killed or injured.

Debbie   May 10th, 2009 11:53 pm ET

Terrorist of any kind are mentally disturbed, have nothing else better to do. Their religion and way of life dictates to them how they should be. I will never understand. American soldiers should leave these countries. Our government gives these countries money to help fight off the terrorists and the foreign government says they are helping combat the terrorists, Yeah..Right. They just take the money and run. And we are stupid for giving it to them.

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