Lions for Lambs script
Roadside bombs have claimed the lives of eight US soldiers in Iraq.
Four troops were killed when an explosion struck their vehicle north of Baghdad,
while an airman was killed by another roadside bomb in Tikrit.
Two soldiers were killed and three wounded
when their unit was struck by a roadside bomb in Baghdad.
The death of an eighth soldier
from a non-battle-related cause is under investigation.
At least 3,555 members of the US military have died
since the Iraq War started back in 2003.
Washington DC 10:00am Eastern Standard Time
Senator Jasper Irving's Office
One more. That's it. Thank you very much. Here's my card.
- Thank you for coming in. - Thank you, sir.
He's ready for you now, Ms Roth.
- Sorry? - The senator.
- Ah, good morning, Janine. - Hi.
Only good thing about morning is it ends at noon.
Please, sit down. Would you like some coffee, tea, water?
- No, thanks. - It's terrific to see you.
- Thank you. - Thanks for coming in.
- Senator? - Marcia, could I have coffee?
I read the story you did on the rise of image consultants in politics.
- You did? - I thought it was a good story, actually.
It was a different angle.
Are we waiting for your PR pit bull or...?
No. Just you and me. No one to intercept your trick questions.
One-on-one time. Wow.
You first called me the future of my party. I'm returning the favour.
- It was just how I saw it eight years ago. - Well, nonetheless, grateful.
Considering the state of your party, how do you know the tag isn't pejorative?
- Cos I got 77% of the vote. - Oh, yeah. How could I forget?
- Yes. - You're aware I'm doing this time line...?
Yeah, you're doing a detailed time line on the war on terror.
If it's like every other time line that's come out this year
it'll be the opening salvo of a much larger retrospective of mistakes made.
- Or it could just be a simple list of facts. - From which you all will pick and choose.
- You don't trust us. - I trust you.
- And that's why we're here. - To discuss what, exactly?
To see if you'd like to write an honest-to-God story again, instead of reminding
the few paying attention that we've been fighting a tough war for six years.
Who gets the Peabody for that?
What's the story?
It's about a new plan going into motion in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan? A new plan?
A new plan that will win both the war and, as clich?as this might sound,
the hearts and minds of the people.
- What is it? - I won't be at liberty to tell you everything.
- National security. - But enough so you might write a story
about what we're doing in Afghanistan now -
not six years ago, but now -
and how those efforts can culminate into actual victory.
- What is this? - "This"?
This is my honest effort to keep the press better informed
and to change the subject from the past to the future,
acknowledge mistakes and talk openly about ways of fixing them,
step by step.
How much time do we have together?
I have till 11.
The whole hour? Wow. You all must be panicked.
Oh, no, no, no, no. We're determined.
Afghanistan 6:30pm Afghan Standard Time
Bagram Air Force Base
- Finch, you and your boys good? - Roger that, sir.
- How's that knee? - Ready for that hike.
- Glad to hear it. Rodriguez? - All up, sir.
All right. Good. I want you to take notes, I want you to ask questions. Good news first.
Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have been whittled down to small wolf packs.
Do not believe everything in the papers.
We've pounded the enemy into something much smaller
and more impotent than when we first got here. That's good.
The bad news. We have yet to step on their throats. We've yet to close.
The longer we don't, the harder it gets. Remember your Von Clausewitz.
Never engage the same enemy for too long or he will...
- Adapt to your tactics. - He will adapt to your tactics.
That is correct. Case in point, INTSUM is reporting
that al-Qaeda in the Badakhshan province is attempting to open up a new front.
- Locals can't handle the fight? - That's the problem.
Nobody up there is strong enough to fight this enemy
and Karzai sure ain't gonna let any of these guys go home now.
Why is the enemy doing this now?
Enemy is bent on establishing themselves as a legitimate fighting force for the people.
Sir, where are these guys comir from?
They're asking families to give up their sons.
If they don't, the sons are executed in front of the families. That's number one.
Number two is Iraq. Qaeda and the Tali are starting to funnel battle-tested fighters...
- Funnel through where, though, sir? - I can't tell you. I ain't gonna answer that.
Cos you already know too much.
So jihadi and Wahhabi terrorists are moving through Shiite territory, sir?
Suffice it to say the enemy is getting stronger and uglier.
It is time for us to get back into their kitchen, put our foot on their throats.
You are going to air-assault into the Badakhshan province.
You will set up an operating camp at Pamela Left, the forward operating point,
an 8,000ft peak offering 360?views of the valley below.
The enemy is gonna want it just as badly as we do
so we've been ordered to take it first before the snow thaws.
Check your maps. There's a suitable LZ. You all got that?
- Roger that, sir. - You'll set up camp. You'll set up comms.
You'll set up sat links. You will wait and, if fortunate enough to engage the enemy,
you will introduce them to the full measure of America Mean. Clear?
We're being pushed awfully fast here, aren't we, sir?
A California University 7:00am Pacific Standard Time
Professor Stephen Malley's Office
- Morning. - Morning.
You want it closed or...?
What's your guess, Todd?
This is unethical, making me bring you coffee.
- No more than makir me look at that shirt. - Ho, ho, Doc.
This here's a genuine Reyn Spooner. This was 89.99. Or was it 69?
- Oh, yeah? Well, I take it all back, then. - Yeah, please.
So, why'd I ask you to come in this early with a gift?
Well, you know, my sporadic absences.
Sounds like the title of a book about your semester so far, doesn't it?
That's good, yeah.
Yeah... I don't know, Doc.
I just... I've never ever been this busy in my life.
- What with? - Well, just, like, all my other classes.
- This is your major. - And there's also a young lady, too.
Is this the one that you jockey to sit next to when you do come to my class?
- What else keeps you busy? - President of my fraternity.
- Hey. Hail to the chief. - Oh, come on, now.
You were in a house, right? Gotta remember how busy it can get.
With the four-day weekends and 30-minute study sessions.
- That's not what I mean. - You asked me what I remember.
You don't think school should be as social as it is academic? Getting two educations?
I think if you can't balance the two you shouldn't be here.
I also think most of the kids that argue that
are the guys with the 2.4s trying to justify 30 grand a year for all those Cs.
OK, my friend.
You've aced a lot of the exams you've shown up for,
but you've only been to eight classes this semester.
Now, that'd be a hall of fame run if we only met once a week.
So attendance is part of my grade all of a sudden?
Would you take a solid B for the rest of this semester?
No plus, no minus, just a straight blue-collar B?
I'll get that to you. Right here. Right now.
It's no bullshit.
- A B for what? - For not coming to another class.
For not writing or reading one word I assign to you.
For not signing up for any more of my classes for the rest of your time here.
A B for nothing, huh?
- You nod yes and this meeting's over. - Half the class would kill for that deal.
- But I'm not meeting with any of them. - I think I know what you're doing.
There's another deal. Two parts. Both non-negotiable. First part,
you show up every day, every class from here on out.
And second, you let me tell you about the last two kids I had that gave me hope.
Maybe that'll explain why I called you in this morning.
We're just fluttering. Base turn to follow.
- You got the reaction time of a foetus. - Whoa!
- There we go. - Friendly skies.
How can you be more afraid of clouds than bullets?
Cos I'd rather take a bullet than a fall.
You think you fast?
This is a very high-minded goal you've set for yourselves.
But this goal for the future of Afghanistan
is just a lot of hot air unless we solve the military problem first.
Our Special Forces soldiers are going to take the high ground
in key positions throughout Afghanistan before the snow thaws.
And the military part has to come first why?
Because only after we've eradicated the enemy
can we then get down to the true work of keeping this new democracy breathing.
- So it's basically kill people to help people. - No. That's not what I said.
I said "the enemy". Don't take that out of context.
Sorry. I was just trying to boil it down.
In 2002, I remember you said something like:
"The Talibars back is forever broken", then big applause.
"Mission accomplished." Writ small.
- Mistake. - Mistake?
Because we now know the enemy with broken backs can still crawl
and we know that the enemy learned their lesson from that first backbreaking.
So you're taking it for granted there's gonna be a second backbreaking.
Would we be having this meeting if I didn't?
Is this how the rest of the hour's gonna go?
I'm just asking questions. Senator, can you just give me one example
of the enemy having learned a lesson?
They've woken up to the fact that we're fighting on two fronts.
And history does tend to punish that kind of hubris.
So we're launching this new strategy using the military as the opening punch.
Now, taking the high ground is key.
Whoever takes it owns the ability to observe,
the prerogative to attack, and the opportunity to preside.
- So... preside? - It's why the Romans built forts.
Establish a constant presence or you have constant violence.
So we're gonna be there for good, like Romans?
I said "constant", not "permanent".
We have to have the same determination as these insurgents or they'll outlast us.
This security allows us to build schools and clinics...
- But where is NATO in all this? - Good question. Where are they?
We can't wait for them to decide, so we put this new strategy into motion now.
And why now? Why not a year ago? Two years? Three years?
Two reasons. First reason, the satellites and drones
are not nearly as omniscient as they're marketed to be.
Anybody knows that. You just Google "Predator".
- The second reasors ugly. - Ugly? Is that code for "off the record"?
For the time being, yeah.
- Iran. - Iran? What are they doing now?
Outside of building nuclear weapons, talking to North Korea,
and telling Israel they don't know what a real holocaust looks like?
They're allowing Wahhabi insurgents to hike from Iraq to Afghanistan
- using the most direct route possible. - Across the countryside of Iran.
- Is that confirmed? - By their denials.
- Proof there truly is a new axis of evil. - Oh, wow.