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Earthquake Recovery Efforts Continue in Haiti; Crisis in Afghanistan; Interview with Margarett Lubin; Interview with David Daley. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired August 19, 2021 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR.
Here's what's coming up.
GOLODRYGA (voice-over): Chaos outside of Kabul Airport, as President Biden doubles down on his Afghanistan troop withdrawal.
Former U.S. State Department official Eliot Cohen joins me to examine how the U.S. could have gotten it so wrong.
And the Taliban took over Afghanistan, but who is really in charge? We dive into the competing Taliban factions with expert Michael Semple.
Then: an earthquake, a hurricane and a presidential assassination. I talk to relief organizer Margarett Lubin about how Haiti is coping with tragedy
DAVID DALEY, AUTHOR, "UNRIGGED": Our politicians are incentivized to behave in all the wrong ways.
As politicians prepare to carve America into new voter districts, journalist David Daley warns, the U.S. could become less democratic.
GOLODRYGA: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga in New York, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour.
The situation outside of Kabul Airport is growing more desperate by the day. Hundreds, if not thousands of Afghans are still swarming the
perimeter, trying to get themselves on flights out of Afghanistan, flights that most likely will never happen.
U.S. citizens may have better luck getting out. But the Pentagon today says it doesn't know how many Americans are still in the country. President Joe
Biden is facing a storm of criticism and questions about the unfolding crisis, particularly why the United States was so unprepared for the quick
Taliban takeover and the chaos that followed.
Listen to what he told ABC News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The intelligence community did not say back in June or July that, in fact, this was going to collapse like
it did, number one.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: They thought the Taliban would take over, but not this quickly?
BIDEN: But not just quickly, not even close.
Now, granted, it took two days to take control of the airport. We have control the airport now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: There's still a lot of pandemonium outside the airport.
BIDEN: Well, there is, but, look, but no one's being killed right now. God forgive me if I'm wrong about that, but no one's been killed right now.
People are -- we got 1,000 -- something like 1, 200 out yesterday, a couple thousand today. And it's increasing.
We're going to get those people out.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But we have all seen the pictures. We have seen those hundreds of people packed into a C-17. We have seen Afghans falling--
BIDEN: That was four days ago, five days ago.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What did you think when you first saw those pictures?
BIDEN: What I thought it was, we -- we have to gain control this. We have to move this more quickly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Eliot Cohen served as a counselor in the U.S. State Department under President George W. Bush, and he joins me now from Maryland.
Eliot, welcome to the program.
So let's begin with what the president just said last month, and that is that a withdrawal from Afghanistan would be orderly, deliberate and safe.
What we have seen over these past few days is anything but that.
Then you have the president saying yesterday that this chaos was inevitable. Was it?
ELIOT COHEN, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT COUNSELOR: Well, I think a certain degree of chaos probably was inevitable.
There are two different issues here. One is the decision to go for a full, complete withdrawal. The other is the execution of it.
But I think what you saw happen here was wishful thinking, which is one of the most dangerous things you can do in government, thinking that the
things that you want to be true really are true.
And I don't think hanging the intelligence community out to dry gets the leadership off the hook. The way the intelligence community works, they
give you a range of possibilities. And I'm sure that one of those possibilities was chaos.
But, ultimately, the people paid to make judgments about what's likely are political -- senior political and military leaders. And that really does
start with the president. And, there, there was just a terrible, terrible failure.
GOLODRYGA: And on the issue of whether there should have remained at least some, a few thousand boots on the ground, U.S. troops on the ground there,
the president caused even more confusion by suggesting that his military advisers had not suggested that there should be a few thousand to 2, 500,
maybe 3,000, when there had been many reports that that is, in fact, what transpired and that was the case.
What do you make of that?
COHEN: Well, I think one of the things that has just been so disheartening about this is, the president getting on television saying, the buck stops
here, and then proceeding to cast blame on everybody else other than himself.
The fact is, and from all the reports, his military advisers were unanimous about the importance of keeping some kind of force on the ground,
particularly as you conduct this evacuation. Ultimately, the responsibility falls on political leaders.
I think he just didn't want to believe that this was going to happen. And I also think that -- and you saw this in a way with the tone of the speech --
it was probably pretty hard for senior advisers to look him squarely in the eye and say, Mr. President, I know you don't want to believe this. I know
this will disconfirm your fundamental convictions. But this is really the kind of danger that you're running.
And when you have that kind of attitude, you get things like the -- really, the display of fecklessness that we have seen here today.
GOLODRYGA: Yes, just on that point of whether or not he was advised by his military team and advisers there to keep troops on the ground. George
Stephanopoulos said: "No one told you, your military advisers did not tell you, no, we should just keep 2, 500 troops?"
President Biden said: "No, no one said that to me that I can recall."
And, obviously, you and I are both talking about reports that we had seen that suggested otherwise.
But let's talk about what happens next, because there's a lot of finger- pointing, as you just mentioned, and some are casting blame at National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, that this is something that he should have
At this point, should somebody's job beyond the line, or is it too soon to talk about that right now?
COHEN: I think it's too soon to talk about that.
The urgent thing is, get ahold of those American citizens. I'm afraid there's probably lots of blame to go around. Why didn't we have some sort
of sense of who the American citizens in Kabul are and have some sort of plan for getting them to the airport? Why did we give up Bagram Air Base,
which would have been a much better location from which to do this? Why didn't we keep troops on the ground?
There's a whole bunch of questions. And this is a systemic failure of the entire team. And it's not just a policy failure. There's a moral failure
here. And we have acted in ways towards our Afghan allies, particularly people like the interpreters and so on, in ways that you can only describe
We are betraying people who put their lives on the line for us and were shoulder to shoulder with us in very difficult circumstances. And that's
why so many soldiers and Marines that I know, veterans of this war, are just profoundly anguished by what they're seeing. Just we don't leave
And the president's grudging message seems to be, well, maybe we won't leave Americans behind. The Afghans, that's their problem. And that's just
GOLODRYGA: Well, and the Pentagon officials today didn't seem to have an exact number as to how many Americans are still in Afghanistan, not to
mention our Afghan allies there who had been helping us over the past two decades.
In terms of the intelligence failure, whether or not there was an intelligence failure, that is also another debate. And one of your former
colleagues, former our acting CIA Director Mike Morell, tweeted this.
He said: "Under president" -- he said: "What is happening in Afghanistan is not the result of an intelligence failure. It is the result of numerous
policy failures by multiple administrations. Of all the players over the years, the intelligence community by far has seen the situation in
Afghanistan more accurately."
How do you square that with not only what we have heard from the president, but also what we heard from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, where
he said he never expected for the country to fall within 11 days?
COHEN: Well, the first thing I will say, I'm waiting for somebody to actually take responsibility.
I mean, the lapse in accountability, which is what is essential for government, for any organization is really shocking here. Second thing,
let's be realistic about what to expect from intelligence. Intelligence does not forecast the future.
What you can expect the intelligence people to know is the situation as it's actually unfolding. The third thing I would say is, the intelligence
community is a big thing. My experience in government was the CIA analysts were generally more accurate than some of the military intelligence
analysts who are out in the field, oddly enough. There are reasons for that.
So I do think that, when we look at this in retrospect, although I'm sure there will be plenty of faults for us to think about and to think about in
a reasonably cool and detached way, which we can't right now, there will be some blame there.
But I would agree that, on the whole, what we're looking at is a policy failure. And part of that policy failure is really tremendously poor
judgment by the leadership team in this case.
GOLODRYGA: And this policy failure goes back over four administrations, including one that you served with that initially launched the invasion
GOLODRYGA: And that is President George W. Bush's administration.
Looking back -- and I understand sitting here in 2021 that hindsight is 20/20, and I don't want to be a Monday morning quarterback -- was there
anything that you can look back in terms of the work that you did, the analysis, the advice that you gave during your time in office that you
think perhaps wasn't right, right now?
COHEN: So, I have actually written an article on this. It's posted on "The Atlantic" Web site, where I occasionally write pieces which reflects on my
I was in the last two years of the Bush administration, and I had a very uncomfortable feeling about where we were. But I will say this. First,
there's plenty of mistakes to go around. And I'm sure that I have got my share of them.
But what I will say is, at least George W. Bush, with his many faults, was committed to success, that, to my mind, the origins of the current failure,
we're in, as soon as it became clear, and this is really under President Obama, who's escaped some criticism, I think, in all this, that we wanted
out of there, and that we were not going to see it through to the end, I think that sets -- set the conditions for the Afghans, when the moment
came, to turn very, very quickly and cut their deals with the Taliban, because that's the only way they're going to survive.
And what's -- and to this extent, I think the Biden administration has a fair point. I mean, they're reaping the results of things that were sown, I
would argue, particularly in the previous two administrations. Now, I would fault the Bush administration for under-resourcing the war, to include at
the very beginning.
I would fault them for how we went about the training mission. There are a number of other things like that. And I think most of my colleagues in the
Bush administration would agree to that. But the fundamental reasons why Afghans decided to turn to the Taliban is not because they like them.
They're afraid of them. That's why they turn to them.
And when they are convinced that their most important ally is going to turn their back on them, they will do what experience has taught them to do,
which is cut deals.
GOLODRYGA: We spent a lot of time during the Trump administration, and rightly so, talking about what his policies and even some of his statements
and off-the-cuff statements and his tweets meant for the role the U.S. played internationally and the vision that it projected around the world.
I guess the same could be asked now about the what damage, if any, and how long-lasting it would be assessing what the Biden administration has done.
He has said America is back. He just came back from a whirlwind trip in Europe meeting with all of our top allies, who he in the interview last
night said defended this decision.
It may not be as much that they had a choice. But I don't think many people are defending the way this decision was executed.
Well, there are several different things that work here. One is this immediate decision. And this has clearly damaged Biden's credibility with
our allies. There have been some searing speeches in, for example, the British Parliament by a member of Parliament, Tom Tugendhat, who himself is
a veteran of the Afghan war.
And I would commend people looking at that. It's brutal to watch if you're an American, but, unfortunately, it's entirely fair. I mean, we blindsided
our allies. Let's remember, our allies had more troops there in the last few weeks than we have. And we made these decisions really without much in
the way of consultation or deliberation.
So there's a particular damage that's been done there. But there's a cumulative damage, I think, that has been done over a number of
administrations, and I would include even the George W. Bush administration in that, which has undermined the confidence of our allies in our good
judgment, in our steadiness, in our commitment to the things that we say we stand for.
And that sort of damage is long term, and it takes a long time to recover from. We're the United States. We can recover from just about everything.
But losing the trust of the people that you really need, that matters.
In the short run, will they sign up with the Chinese? I don't think so.
COHEN: But will this be something in the back of their minds? I believe so.
GOLODRYGA: Final question, as we are just weeks away from the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, which led to the obvious invasion of
Afghanistan, and I should note the only time that Article V under NATO was invoked.
Are Americans safer today, given what's transpiring, right now, what we're seeing unfolding in Afghanistan, than they were two months ago?
COHEN: I would say less safe. I mean, we're much safer than we were on 9/11 because all kinds of things have happened since then, first, all kinds
of domestic security measures, but also a very effective really global campaign against terrorist groups, which has been conducted under all four
But, yes, I would say we're less safe. If -- and Bret Stephens in "The New York Times" pointed out, if you're an aspiring young jihadi, where would
you want to go to be with the A team? Well, you would probably want to go to Afghanistan.
And I find it very difficult to believe that we can conduct adequate counterterrorism operations into Afghanistan from surrounding countries.
That really stretches credulity. And we do know that the intelligence community is now saying that it'll -- may just be a year or two before you
see some of these networks rebuilt.
But the larger point here is, I would say, this is a tremendous shot in the arm to those jihadi movements.
COHEN: They have won.
COHEN: And they will run with that. And we're going to live with the consequences.
GOLODRYGA: They have won faster than many had anticipated, some of our smartest minds as well.
Eliot Cohen, thank you so much. We appreciate your insight.
Well, few outside observers -- few outside observers have been face to face with the Taliban, but our Clarissa Ward has been up close with the group as
she reports from the ground in Kabul.
Watch what happened after she spoke with several people who claimed to have worked for the U.S. and are now trying to leave the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These Taliban fighters are a little upset with that.
We decide to leave and head for our car. The fighter takes the safety off his AK-47 and pushes through the crowd.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay behind him. Stay behind him.
WARD: You can see that some of these Taliban fighters, they're just hopped up on adrenaline, or I don't know what. It's a very dicey situation.
Suddenly, two other Taliban charge towards us. You can see their rifle butt raised to strike producer Brent Swails. When the fighters are told we have
permission to report, they lower their weapons and let us pass.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Those are frightening images to see. But they are so important. And we are so thankful for our colleagues there reporting on the ground,
Clarissa and her team.
But with Afghanistan now firmly in the hands of the Taliban, the question of how they will govern and who will be in charge is not a simple one.
Here to help us sort through the group's competing factions is someone who has in the past spent personal experience negotiating with the Islamic
group. He's Michael Semple, a former E.U. envoy to Afghanistan. And he joins me now from Birmingham, England.
Thank you so much for joining us.
This has been a question that our team has been talking about for days now. Just who is the Taliban right now? Who are the people leading the country?
And what, if any, change can we expect to see from 20 years ago?
MICHAEL SEMPLE, FORMER EUROPEAN UNION DEPUTY SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR AFGHANISTAN: The people running the Taliban today are, with only a few
changes, the same people who were running the Taliban 20 years ago.
If we want to get a -- if we want to get a clue as to what Taliban rule will look like, the best thing we can do is look back to the period 1996 to
2001, when they were in charge, because the survivors of that generation of leaders are the ones still running the movement who have moved into Kabul
over the past week, and are already starting to exercise power, although they have avoided declaring a government.
Now, what has changed along the way is not that somehow the Taliban have become moderate. It's just become -- it's a slightly more complex
organization. When they took over Kabul in 1996, the movement was barely 2 years old. It had a prehistory of a few years in the Soviet jihad, but,
basically, it was a group of young men.
Now it's a multigenerational movement. So we have the veterans of the 1994- '96 conflict and of their emirate of that era, but they are joined by some of their sons. So, the original -- the original leader, Mullah Omar, his
son, Mullah Yaqoob, was expected in Kabul today. He was one of the deputies of the movement and a key figure in their new administration. There are
other sons as well.
But there's also the third generation of Taliban, who are the 18-year-olds, the 19-year-olds, the 20-year-olds who weren't alive at the time of the
Islamic emirate of the '90s, but they're the ones with the guns in their hands, with the vehicles in their control, the ones who are handing out the
kind of beating that we heard described on the street there.
And they're the people who feel that they actually run the country now. They're the ones that the Afghan population will come face to face with.
But if you want to know what a Taliban government looks like, look back to what the emirate of the -- of 1996 to 2001 was like.
GOLODRYGA: That sounds so ominous.
And it makes me wonder whether President Biden is just engaged in wishful thinking when he suggests, as he did yesterday in the interview with ABC
News, that the Taliban will not be realigning itself with al Qaeda and with terrorists.
You think otherwise?
SEMPLE: I think that wishful thinking characterizes the U.S. policy of the past three years.
This spans both the Trump administration and the Biden administration. The run-up to this disastrous takeover of the past week was a failed peace
process, which was initiated under President Trump and continued under President Biden, that the -- it was based on the notion that the Taliban
were ready to do a deal, that they were -- that they had accepted the logic that you shouldn't try to force your will upon the Afghan people, that any
settlement of the Afghan conflict must involve a political settlement with all ethnicities, all major groups, all very nice, very nice ideas.
Now, many of us analysts -- and I'm sure, in the U.S. analyst community, it was the same -- we warned that we saw the Taliban leadership telling their
members that, as soon as the United States leaves, we shall take over. In some versions of the victory narrative which they -- the leadership passed
on to their members, they said, we actually have agreed to this with the United States. The United States is leaving Afghanistan and handing us the
keys of the presidential palace.
I cannot conceivably imagine of what has happened as an intelligence failure, because, actually, Taliban leaders were telling their people in
advance for many months now that this is what was going to happen, the United States would leave and the Taliban would immediately take over. And
they have pulled it off.
GOLODRYGA: So, wishful thinking, you could say, as far as Western leaders, but what about those within Afghanistan itself?
We interviewed many top leaders there, former leaders, including Abdullah Abdullah, who had said that Afghanistan is a different place now, and that
the Taliban cannot go back to the days of 20 years ago and the past, that there's been progress made in the country, specifically freedoms for women
Was that also not based on reality, then?
SEMPLE: Well, I think that there are two aspects to this.
Any time that I have had contact with the Taliban leadership over the past few years, as an analyst, I have advised them that Afghanistan is a changed
place. Even if you are able to secure a military victory, you should not pursue it, because, if you capture Afghanistan, you will not be able to
meet the expectations of the population. You will create a further mess, and you will actually delegitimize yourselves.
It is the prudent -- the prudent approach for the Taliban over the past few years would indeed have been to endorse a -- some kind of power-sharing
deal, which was available. They chose not to do that. So, they -- so, in a sense, is not that the -- what Dr. Abdullah was saying was not just wishful
It was sort of -- it's stating something which I think is still true, and the Taliban are going to confront that reality as they realize that they
have just taken over an economic crisis, with 30 million people wanting to be fed, and the Taliban movement is not in a position to feed a single one
On the other hand, you have to appreciate that the United States headed up this peace process over the past three years. On repeated occasions, Dr.
Abdullah and other Afghan leaders received reassurances from the U.S. special envoy, acting on behalf of the U.S. government, saying that the
U.S. was committed to the peace deal, that the U.S. was bringing the Taliban into the negotiations, that if they -- the Kabul side showed due
flexibility, that the Taliban would reciprocate that, and that the United States will pull militarily out of Afghanistan, leaving a vibrant peace
process and possibly even a power-sharing government.
Figures like Dr. Abdullah believed the reassurances which they received. Those were based on a wishful thinking interpretation of Taliban
intentions. The strategic intent of the Taliban leadership was to pull off exactly what they have done over the past week. And the failure of some of
the Afghan leaders is that they believed what they were being told by their U.S. counterparts.
GOLODRYGA: Or Afghan leaders like Ashraf Ghani, who took off just hours after the Taliban entered Kabul, to obviously President Biden's dismay, as
he said last night in that interview once again.
So, you mentioned the fact that they don't have any ability to get money at this point, that they have been frozen out. Accounts have been frozen. The
IMF said they will not be receiving money, maybe $18 billion right now that they don't have.
Where will that money come from? What will happen? Will this be another failed state?
SEMPLE: Well, I mean, as of today, I think we should consider it a failed state.
The Taliban voluntarily took this challenge themselves. They -- and I have been -- I have been asked multiple times over the past year or two, have
the Taliban thought this through? Don't they realize that, if they grab Kabul and the country without any international support, without any deal,
I mean, it's going to be a disaster for them?
What I said in the run-up to this was that the Taliban believe that they have established contact with many of the neighbors. They told their
supporters, we have had guarantees of support. They were probably buoyed by sort of the confidence that came from having successfully financed the
But I think the chickens are going to come home to roost now from the Taliban, like, as of this week, as they have hungry mobs asking, how are we
supposed to feed ourselves with income turned off, with many of the prices having gone up because trade has been disrupted? And what do the Taliban
do? The answer of the Taliban will probably be to continue with their smooth press conferences, saying, we're actually a very moderate
organization, we really ought to be all -- be recognized, and we ought to receive international assistance.
And, meanwhile, they will turn on their own population, basically, with the whip, which we have seen in action over recent days to try and suppress
ruthlessly any expression of dissent.
GOLODRYGA: Well, listen, Michael, if there's any doubt as to why we're seeing so many thousands of Afghans desperately scrambling to the airport,
all they have to do is listen to what you have been saying over the past few minutes.
It is indeed frightening, the future for that country. Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
SEMPLE: Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: Well, this coverage of the Afghanistan collapse continues to dominate headlines, we can't forget about Haiti.
Last weekend's earthquake has killed more than 2,000 people and has left the country on its knees, according to Prime Minister Ariel Henry. The
country was already reeling from extreme poverty, COVID-19 and the recent assassination of its president.
Meanwhile, assistance efforts are stymied in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Grace.
Margarett Lubin covers Haiti for the aid organization CORE, Community Organized Relief Effort, a nonprofit organization founded by actor Sean
Penn, in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. And she joins me now from Port-au-Prince.
Margarett, thank you so much for joining us.
Well, the only place I can begin is by asking you what you're seeing on the ground there, once again, a country that is just plagued, continues to be
plagued by so much heartache.
MARGARETT LUBIN, HAITI COUNTRY DIRECTOR, CORE: Well, the rescue relief operation is still ongoing. As you just mentioned, the death toll is
On the ground, we are still trying to remove bubble, freeing the streets, so that the aid can get through. We are seeing a large number of people in
need for emergency medical care. So, we are supporting hospitals to do that.
But, last report that I received, we are talking 40 percent of the population in the three departments that were affected directly affected by
the earthquake. So it's about 500,000 people. Of course, some of them, their homes are completely damaged. They are out on the streets. Some are
But as the assessment is ongoing, we expect this to be a very, very -- to have very, very serious impact on the community, given the contextual
challenges that the communities have been facing already.
GOLODRYGA: Well, that's what I was going to ask you, Margarett. How difficult is it for you to get needs and resources to those who are most
desperate for it, given the these images that we have seen, rubble?
What is transportation like on the streets there?
LUBIN: Well, it is quite difficult to access.
For example, where we are, we are the most affected area, which is the south, where we are -- we have 50,000-plus houses that have been damaged.
And then we are trying to get to Jeremie, which is in the Grand'Anse department.
The main road leading to those two departments was shut down by rubble. We removed the rubble on day second. And we realized yesterday it was blocked
again after the rain. We are on the road again trying to reopen that road, so the aid can get through.
So you really go into that cycle of cleaning and having to remove rubble again because of the rain.
GOLODRYGA: And, as we mentioned, this is all happening during political turmoil there.
Just a few weeks ago, we were covering a presidential assassination. There is no cohesive government in place right now. So, who are you working with
there to make sure that aid is distributed to as many people as efficiently and effectively as possible?
LUBIN: Well, we are working with two main local national officials, which is, there is the Civil Protection Department that we have worked with many
years when (INAUDIBLE) was here in 2010 after the earthquake. They are the lead in relief response.
So, we're working with them at the central and also at local level, doing assessments together to identify where the people are, how to get the aid
to them. We are also working with the ministry of public works, which is responsible for rubble movement.
So, in between -- and also the Ministry of Health. So, in between those three officials, we are able to reach the people who are affected and we
need to help as soon as possible. Because you have to be very fast, which is why we're doing different things with different national officials,
meaning public mobile clinics, rubble removal, you know, search, rescue, and things like that.
GOLODRYGA: Well, obviously the country has a long history of crises and natural disasters, and I'm curious how this one compares to previous
natural disasters that your organization and you, yourself, have worked in, given that you don't have a functioning, a real functioning parliament
right now or government to assist.
LUBIN: Well, it's different in the sense that there are more contextual challenges, such as the ones that you just mentioned, that you have to work
through in order to get the aid to the people. In our side, we are an organization with local Haitian leadership. So, this puts us in a position
to respond most effectively by working with communities who know us, because we were on the ground in 2010 and throughout to support
So, basically, knowing who the key players are within government, the technical players, has enabled us to be able to respond a lot better than
if you don't know who to talk to, how to get to the community leaders. Yes, there is no parliament, but, again, as I mentioned earlier, there is the
civil protection body that is, you know, sort of like apolitical that is working with NGOs on the ground to coordinate the relief. And so, they have
been our partners throughout, since 2010, and they are the ones basically that we work with to get to the work and keep politics a side.
GOLODRYGA: Yes. Countless obstacles not least of which is COVID. And I believe that Haiti is the last western country to begin getting vaccinated
and only 21,000 of its 11 million population has been vaccinated. Has that impacted your work at all?
LUBIN: Absolutely. We were all focused on COVID vaccines before the earthquake. We were working with the ministry of health. We've opened about
32 sites, vaccine sites, alongside the ministry. And that was going very well. We were doing sensitization for vaccine because there is very high
vaccine hesitancy in Haiti, as you can imagine.
And so, Haiti received 5,000 doses. We were working on that. And you're right, only a very small percentage of the population that was targeted has
been vaccinated. And then the earthquake came. So, that was impacted that work significantly, but we are working with the ministry to see how we can
continue the vaccines sensitization. But, again, the focus has completely shifted to the earthquake. And so, we are also working with them to see how
we can integrate the vaccine sensitization at least in the relief in the south.
GOLODRYGA: Well, thank goodness for the work that you and other NGOs are doing there on the ground. But one can't help but think how the people on
the ground there, Haitians, who are once again having to pick up the rubble and the pieces from yet another crisis, are feeling about this, and in
particular how they're feeling about -- aside from you, basically being abandoned by a nonfunctioning government?
One of our reporters, Matt Rivers, spoke with a local there, and here's what he relayed to him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you think that the government can come here and help you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think so. I don't think so. I don't think so.
Rivers: So, you're not waiting for them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. No.
RIVERS: And are you frustrated with that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes, very frustrated. I am very frustrated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Are those the kinds of sentiments you're hearing as well, and what is your response?
LUBIN: My response is this, you know, people are obviously very frustrated because there are many contextual challenges that they are facing. It's not
just the people who are directly affected, but the whole community. My response is that, you know, in our experience, working with the government
entities responsible for relief makes things go faster. So, we are continuing to work with the DPC, the Direction of Civil Protection with the
Ministry of Works to do what we do best. Work with the communities, get the aid to the people.
So, I won't comment on the government capacity at the central level or the local level. We just work with the ones that we need to work with because
the community has to own the response as well. So, we don't just do what we need to do. We will do what we need to do, we will do what we need to do,
but alongside government entity.
GOLODRYGA: Margarett, I don't have to tell you that there are so many crises right now unfolding around the world, whether it be COVID and the
pandemic. Now, obviously, you heard these previous two segments on Afghanistan. This is not the first time, unfortunately, that we've been
talking and Haiti, in particular, has been dealt such a devastating blow.
What is your message to the global community who may be just utterly exhausted by seeing this happen once again to this beautiful, but, you
know, small country that continues to be ridden with these horrors, and not to mention, a lot of corruption?
LUBIN: You know what, thanks to you, the media and, you know, globalization, the world has become a community. And so, communities will
go through different experiences, hard experiences. I think that we should not get tired. We should come together as the community, and by that, I
mean, the media, the donors, our friends, the communities in Haiti, the governments to come together and come to the aid of the people in need
right now. They need to get up and rebuild. Our eye is on the rebuilt. We need to help them rebuild while we're providing emergency relief.
Getting tired is not going to solve this problem. We just need to make sure that when we help them rebuild, it's as sustainable as possible. And this
is why JPHO (ph), we work with communities so they can own the relief, they can own the rebuild.
GOLODRYGA: Margarett --
LUBIN: And for that, we need the funding. We need to get the funding on the ground so we can do the work.
GOLODRYGA: It appears that you just don't have time to be tired because of all of the work that you're doing and --
LUBIN: You can't be tired. I mean, it's just like -- just look at the community in the United States. We come together to help, we can just sit
there and say, well, let them help themselves. We are a community in this world. Globally, we are now a community. You're talking to me right now,
I'm in Haiti, 75,000 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake, right? So, you're getting the information that you need, you're sharing the
information. I think the communities that I mentioned, let's come together and help these people rise again, and they will.
GOLODRYGA: Well said. Margarett Lubin, well said. And, of course, we will continue to be covering this story as well. We appreciate your time and all
the work that you're doing.
LUBIN: And we thank you very much for that. We thank you very much for that, for being part of the community.
GOLODRYGA: Thank you, Margarett.
And if you would like to find out more about CORE and the work that they're doing to support the victims of the Haiti earthquake, go to
Well, now, we turn to U.S. politics and the gerrymandering Olympics. At least that's what our next guest calls it. David Daley is the author of
"Unrigged" and he's referring to the U.S. census releasing its first round of population data. He says, redrawing boundaries is messing with the
bedrock of American democracy. Here he is speaking with Hari Sreenivasan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Thanks, Bianna.
David Daley, thanks for joining us.
DAVID DALEY, AUTHOR, "UNRIGGED": Thank you.
SREENIVASAN: So, here we are now, we are seeing the first bits of data trickle out of the most recent census, and I want to ask, you know, what
sorts of power shifts do you see in these numbers, whether it's rural versus urban, one demographic over another?
DALEY: It's a fascinating set of numbers, absolutely. What we are seeing here is that we are quickly becoming a more diverse nation, we are becoming
a less rural nation, and more of us live in big cities or big metro areas than really ever before. So, this is -- it sets up a fascinating collision
with the redistricting process, which is the other thing that this data really launches the start of the redrawing of congressional and legislative
lines around the country.
And so, what you're seeing, especially in states like Florida and Texas and North Carolina and Georgia, are huge growths in the Hispanic, Latino and
Asian populations, but that is going to collide with the fact that it is the Republican Party that will have the power of drawing new lines in all
of those states.
So, the real question, and in many ways, it could be a defining question for the Democratic House majority in 2022 and the state of play for our
politics over the course of the next decade, is whether or not Republicans can use redistricting in those states especially as a way to defy
SREENIVASAN: You know, when you rattle off these states, these are also important in the Electoral College. So, what happens in the redistricting
ends up also impacting what happens both on the national federal election level, but also on the kind of local representation level.
So, even if the people who vote overwhelmingly vote one way, that representation, whether by ideology or party, might not be seen in who
holds the levers of power.
DALEY: I think that's exactly right. And that's how redistricting really works. When redistricting is twisted for partisan advantage, we call that
gerrymandering, and gerrymandering is more toxic and powerful than ever before in all of these key states that we keep talking about as being so
contested and competitive and evolving, and who lives there, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, a
crucial Electoral College battlegrounds, deeply competitive states, Republicans manage to draw those lines in 2011 in such a way that they did
not lose a single state legislative chamber in any of those states over the course of the last 10 years.
And after the 2018 election, you had 59 million Americans living in a state in which one or both chambers of their state legislature was controlled by
Republicans, even though they had won fewer votes that year. That's almost one in six of us.
SREENIVASAN: So, for perhaps our overseas audience or even our American audience, how does gerrymandering work, kind of in a nutshell? I mean,
there's these ideas of packing and cracking. When somebody hears your answer, they're going to say, wait, I don't get it, what is he talking
about? How is it that they could be voting more Democratic but have Republican legislators? What happens?
DALEY: Well, it's absolutely true. Packing and cracking really are the two key terms when it comes to gerrymandering. If you control district lines
and you can decide who is in them and who is out of them, you can draw districts that pack all of the other side's voters into as few districts as
possible. So, they win all of those districts going away, 75, 80, even bigger margins. And then there are fewer of that side's voters for all of
the other districts.
So, you can simply crack those voters crosses and dilute other votes. Think of it this way. In Asheville, North Carolina, or in Austin, Texas, these
are blue cities, but what Republicans in Texas and North Carolina did when they redrew those lines in 2011 is, in the case of Asheville, they divided
it in half and attached it to sort of more rural mountain areas around it. And in Austin, they sliced it up like a pizza into five different slices,
and attached each of those pieces to more rural parts of Texas.
So as a result, instead of Asheville electing a Democrat, it elects two Republicans. Instead of Austin, blue Austin electing Democrats, those votes
are so inconsequential that blue Austin has five districts and four Republican members. So, that's how it works. It's a really effective way of
trying to gate in the other side's voters.
SREENIVASAN: You wrote recent that has already led to democracy deserts, what does that mean?
DALEY: What I mean by democracy deserts is that there are huge swaths of the country in which a majority of voters can no longer change their state
legislature if they wish to. If you look at a state like Wisconsin, for example, in 2018, you had voters there who re-elect the Democratic senator,
Tammy Baldwin, and defeated a Republican governor, Scott Walker, elect Democrats to every statewide office and give Democratic assembly candidates
2,003 more votes than Republican candidates.
And yet, that only translated to 36 of the 99 seats. Republicans almost held a super majority even though they lost the overall vote by hundreds of
thousands of votes. And that's also the case in Pennsylvania, it's been the case in many other states over the course of the last decade.
And then you see what those gerrymandered legislators then do once they're insulated from the voters. They are free to pursue effectively whatever
extreme policies that they would like to without any real fear that they can be held accountable at the ballot box.
So, this is how you end up seeing reproductive rights bills passed, very draconian ones passed in states like Georgia and Ohio and Missouri, even
though they're deeply out of step, opinion polls show, with the citizens there. It's how you can see in states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania state
legislators trying to reign in the emergency powers and mask mandates imposed by a Democratic governor, even though they are popular with voters.
SREENIVASAN: So, give me an example of how this might affect the coming election next year.
DALEY: Democrats right now hold a five-seat advantage in the U.S House of Representatives. Through redistricting alone, Republicans could pick up
somewhere close to between 10 and 12 seats, in Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Georgia alone. Then they could do additional cracking of blue
cities in red states like they did in Asheville and Austin. You could extend that to, say, Kansas City, Missouri, or Louisville, Kentucky,
perhaps Memphis, Tennessee, and pick up a handful of seats there.
Republicans are already on record at saying that they are going to gerrymander Congresswoman Davids out of her seat in Kansas. And Republicans
have complete control of the process in New Hampshire, and they've already made clear that they intend to draw themselves one of the two seats there.
So, that's 15, 16 seats you're talking about.
Democrats will be able to impose gerrymanders of their own, perhaps pick up a couple of seats in Illinois and New York, perhaps one in Maryland. But
they -- the map simply doesn't favor them when it comes to this kind of outrageous behavior.
Republicans could win the U.S. house in 2022 through redistricting alone. And what I think is so dangerous about that, I mean, Democrats won a 4.7
million vote majority in the national popular vote for the U.S. House you could have a situation in which Democrats win by a similar margin, but the
House becomes so unrepresentative that gerrymandering alone tips control the other direction. You've got Speaker Kevin McCarthy and potentially
Speaker Donald Trump.
SREENIVASAN: Because it doesn't have to be a member of Congress?
DALEY: It does not have to be a member of Congress. There's already whispers that the former president could be interested in that job. I mean,
imagine if redistricting tips the House the other way despite a big majority of voters and Donald Trump is installed as speaker of the House.
It sounds ridiculous, but it's entirely possible.
SREENIVASAN: The Supreme Court has said previously, we're not going to get involved in this. If Congress wants to change the rules, let them change
the rules. But I kind of feel like there's almost a conflict of interest there. Is Congress going to change their rules that put those specific
people into power? Are they going to say, OK, fine, let's all take our chances and redraw the lines in some sort of mathematically fair way?
DALEY: I think you've got your finger on the problem. You know, the U.S. Supreme Court in 2019 declared gerrymandering a non-political issue and
they effectively closed the doors of the federal courts to these cases. But we needed the federal courts to step up for that precise reason, because
politicians can't be trusted to do this on their own. They will entrench themselves in office. They have exactly that conflict of interest. It's why
we need the courts to be a neutral and independent arbiter to stand up for the people, to stand up for the very idea of fairness and votes that
We're seeing right now in Congress the debate over the For the People Act, and it, too, now, is running up against one of the small state structural
impediments to representative democracy, the filibuster. You need to have 60 votes to get it through the U.S. Senate, even for a vote, and there
appears to be very slim path of that actually happening. Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema are opposed to changing the filibuster rule.
You have a White House that seems to believe that they can out-organize partisan gerrymandering. I would suggest they ask the citizens of Wisconsin
or Pennsylvania exactly how effective that strategy is. You can't out- organize partisan gerrymandering. That is the essence of its power.
And Democrats have this opportunity right now, they have complete control of Washington. They have the presidency, both branches of Congress. I think
that they're extraordinarily likely to lose the House in 2022, largely because of redistricting.
However, they have a chance now. They've already squandered the first eight months of that opportunity. And if they fail to do anything about this now,
given the alarm bells that ought to be going off, just watching what's happening at state capitols around the country, it will be their, you know,
I think, great and enduring historical shame.
SREENIVASAN: This is not just the sort of problem that affects Democrats. I'm assuming that this is also a problem that affects Republicans in
heavily blue states. I mean, if we had a more representative system would we find that the country is more purple in more places, or more -- you know
what I mean? Not everyone in the city of New York is dyed in the wall blue and not everybody in the middle of Tulsa is totally red.
DALEY: And that's the nature of single member winner take all is if you're a Republican in New York City or a Democrat in Oklahoma, you effectively
have no representation. If we were to transition, and, you know, I know it's a big lift at a time when doing anything on voting seems so difficult
and so partisan, but we are in this really important serious moment in which the country has -- is more polarized than perhaps it's been at any
point in time in recent decades. We can't even have Thanksgiving dinners with each other, right, without mashed potatoes flying across the table.
And our politicians are incentivized to behave in all the wrong ways because they are thinking about primaries in the base in wildly
uncompetitive districts. And if we had a system that used multi-member districts, larger districts, ranked choice voting, you would see those
incentives change almost immediately. You would see Republicans represented in the State of Massachusetts, you would see Democrats from Oklahoma, and
then those members would go to Washington and their behavior would likely change.
We have not had sort of liberal, New England Republicans or conservative midwestern Democrats in Congress for a long time, and those in many ways
are the dealmakers. That's where the grease is in the system. And right now, we are grinding our wheels.
SREENIVASAN: So, let me try to inject maybe some dose of optimism here. You had your most recent book "Unrigged." You met with so many different
activists working on the ground to try to ensure this democracy. So, in the next few weeks and months is when these maps are drawn. And is that a
public process? Is it a behind-closed-doors process? What can a citizen do to have, at the very least, a look at, if not a say in, how their community
is categorized and drawn for electoral outcomes?
DALEY: This is why we ought to be optimistic. It doesn't matter if you are a Republican, a Democrat, or an independent, people of this country hate
partisan gerrymandering. If you're a red state, a blue state, a purple state, when this is on the ballot, when independent commissions, when
things that take this out of the hands of politicians are put before the people, it wins with 60 percent, 70 percent of the vote in Missouri, in
Michigan, in Ohio, in Colorado, it even wins in Utah.
So, voters are on the side of fairness. It's a handful of politicians trying to hold onto power that are on the wrong side. So, what we have to
do is smoke them out. We have to do is insist that these lines be drawn in public, that the process be transparent, that politicians are accountable,
because these district lines are the building blocks of our democracy. And when they get warped by partisan politicians into -- you know, and twisted
for their own intent, it distorts the very nature of democracy itself. And we can't allow that to happen.
Politicians love to have this happen behind closed doors and in closed rooms. They want you to think that it's confusing, that it's maps and it's
math and it's all of these things that a regular person can't understand. We can all understand this. This is about political power, it's about
whether or not your vote counts, and all of us in this moment have to show that we care about this and that we are going to demand a fair and
SREENIVASAN: David Daley, author of the books "Why Your Vote Doesn't Count" and "Unrigged: How Americans Battle Back to Save Democracy," thank
you so much for joining us.
DALEY: A please. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: An important message about our democracy.
And finally, a win for environmentalists. And after a federal judge in Alaska blocked a multibillion-dollar oil drilling project in the states
North Slope region, home to America's largest wildlife refuge. The plaintiffs argued the drilling would hurt Alaska's unique wildlife and
called the ruling a climate victory.
Well, that is it for now. Thank you so much for watching and good-bye from New York.