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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 11/16/15

Guests: Phyllis Bennis; Anthony Schaffer; Jon Meacham, Christopher Dickey,Graeme Wood, Hassan Hassan

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: This is MSNBCs continuing coverage of terror in Paris. The Islamic State issued a threat to attack Washington today, making a question of how to stop Islamic State, all the more urgent. But first, we go to Brian Williams with the latest developments in the investigation. Brian -- BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: Lawrence, thank you and good evening. It is a cold and rainy night in Paris tonight. We`re still within the 72-hour envelope after these terrorist attacks that have left 129 people dead, hundreds more injured. The suspected terrorists who escaped the attacks alive is still at large. The international manhunt is on now for this 26-year-old Belgian. It escalated today with intense police raids in and around the Brussels neighborhood known as Molenbeek; Salah Abdeslam`s brother was one of the suicide bombers who died in the Friday attacks, the families spoke to reporters today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) (END VIDEO CLIP) WILLIAMS: Also today, authorities identified this man, also a Belgian national from the Molenbeek area, well known to police there for his extremist connections as the mastermind of the Paris terrorist attacks. In France, the French Interior Minister said police had arrested 23 people in 168 separate raids in cities across that country starting early today. They are warning this is just the beginning. The Islamic State released a chilling propaganda video today, it threatens that any country that attacks it will suffer the same fate as we just seen in Paris. Specifically it named the United States as a target, saying it would hit America, "in its center, in Washington". We want to go to our Justice correspondent Pete Williams in Washington. And Pete, earlier tonight in your reporting, we were talking about the good guys catching up to and catching the bad guys. Am I mistaken that you reported ISIS has something approaching a 24-hour computer help desk for all their electronic means they use to communicate beyond the reach of law enforcement? PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: That`s what we`ve been told, that this is a development that ISIS has been working on for probably the past several months, ramping this capability up. We should emphasize that intelligence officials say they don`t yet know how the plotters kept in touch. But one senior official says he would be shocked if they didn`t use some method of communication that the police couldn`t monitor. And that`s been a question here. Why weren`t the French authorities better aware that this was going to happen? But what you`re talking about is counterterrorism officials telling us that ISIS has been manning this 24-hour help desk manned by half a dozen senior operatives who can tell would be Jihadists around the world how to use popularly available encryption software to allude the authorities. Commonly used apps like Whatsapp, Threema and Telegram. And what they`ve said in the past here in the U.S. is that they know from cases that they`ve made earlier this year, where they`ve actually arrested people. That when ISIS recruiters find somebody after their vast outreach through propaganda with Twitter, after they find somebody sympathetic who bites, who says, yes, I might be willing to do something, then the people in ISIS say, shift to these applications. They encrypt a message at the moment it`s sent and it`s not unscrambled until it`s received at the other end. So it`s impossible for the government to monitor even if they get a court order to the company and say, go unscramble this for us. The company can`t do it either. And these applications, some of them have a feature that can be set to erase the message once it`s read. So, it`s gone forever. And there`s another aspect to this, that`s kind of interesting here, that the Belgian authorities had actually warned about before the Paris attack another way to allude surveillance. They say that even gaming consoles like PlayStation 4 that Sony makes have this internet group play capability where you can get people together on the internet and play a game and talk and text to each other while you`re playing the game. And it`s very hard for the government to keep track of because these online groups come and go so quickly. One cyber expert today called it security by obscurity. So, it`s a double problem. The encryption on the one hand and then these other means that the government -- they`re not encrypted, but it`s just hard to find them. WILLIAMS: All right, Pete Williams, our Justice correspondent in our D.C. newsroom tonight to start off our breaking news coverage. Pete, thanks. Let`s go to the streets of Paris, Msnbc`s Richard Lui, and Richard, an initial question, the presence of police and French military, you`ve been there for a while now. How has their public stance changed and also, we should add, it`s coming up on the early morning hours there? RICHARD LUI, MSNBC: The early morning hours, good day to you there, Brian. You know, as we have heard about the news today of the over 160 anti-terror raids that have happened over the last 48 hours. We were thinking to ourselves as we have stood here on the Place de la Republique as well as plus Bataclan concert area, the concert theater there, to think back to see whether we saw a heightened activity. And to be very honest, we did not necessarily hear sirens blaring 24 hours a day, though, you might think so, given the number of anti-terror raids and investigations that were undertaken within that time period. But this was an important day for French President Francois Hollande, no doubt, because on Sunday we knew he was meeting with his advisors, the question today was, what would he say in his historic address to his Congress here in Paris. And we learned so many things as you were outlining earlier, again, the mastermind, that was a big part of what he was saying today. Abaaoud Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27 years old, Belgian-born as has been reported. He organized the attacks here in Paris, in Syria, it is believed, planned it, rather in Syria and then organized it in Belgium and then executed it here in Paris. And the interesting part about his background, known to be a happy-go lucky individual, smiling and very intellectual. He was successful in his high school, going to a very prestigious one in Belgium. That is a manhunt that we understand is so important to, of course, the Parisian authorities here as well as the national government. Second of all, there is that eighth individual that`s involved in the attack that happened on Friday -- and Salah Abdeslam, 26 years old. Now, we understand he was also stopped by French authorities as he made his way to Belgium. So, those two manhunts that are on right now are the key developments today as we have seen now four names of those eight attackers identified. So, a lot of progress, and Francois Hollande as I was saying adding to that by saying I`m going to add 5,000 heads to law enforcement as well as to the military. That`s an addition here, Brian, to the 1,500 that they added after the "Charlie Hebdo" attacks back in January. So it was a big day for the President, we`ll see how the public reacts to that in the coming days. WILLIAMS: Msnbc`s Richard Lui, again, early morning hours Paris, we`re appreciative of you either staying up with us or getting up to talk to us this morning. Richard, thank you. We`re also appreciative to be able to talk to Christopher Dickey; veteran journalist for a long time and editor at "Newsweek" these days with "The Daily Beast". And a long time American resident of Paris, an American in Paris, as it were. Christopher, let`s start there. As we watch France move into what their president has described as a wartime footing. What are the behavioral, cultural differences that American viewers should look for between the French and the Americans? CHRISTOPHER DICKEY, EDITOR, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, I think one thing that you have to look for is the resilience of the French. They have been through a lot of terrorists experiences. People forget, but I`ve lived here since the late 1980s. And in the `80s, in the `90s, there were lots of terrorists incidents. There were bombings. There were incidents that were very ugly indeed. And the French always sprang back, they always came back. I think they have enormous resilience. I`m not saying the Americans don`t, but the French have just had a lot of experience with terrorism. Even though this is, you know, more appalling than any of the previous incidents, it`s something that they know how to deal with. WILLIAMS: Christopher, if you agree that after a trauma there, are these stages of, you know, fear and flight and denial and acceptance and anger. Where do you think the French are right now on that spectrum? DICKEY: I think they`re in the anger spectrum. But they`re also -- and I guess you could say the solidarity spectrum. It`s a little bit different. It`s that coming together. It`s that thing that you see in Place de la Republique, it`s something you see all over town during the day where people want to be with each other. They`re going out, they`re going to restaurants, they`re going to -- they`re talking to each other in the street, in the metro. There`s this kind of solidarity that exists in French society that`s very striking. I guess it`s that part of it that (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) -- fraternity comes out very strongly in French society after these kinds of incidents. WILLIAMS: The "New York Times" has a story for tomorrow morning`s editions and the subhead generally says January is not November. And what they mean is after the attacks at these satirical magazines, there were many public figures coming forward to keep the lid on. To say remember these were a select few Muslims, not all. But you`re hearing fewer public champions of the religion now in France. And do you fear a more abrupt turn? DICKEY: Well, you know, there was a lot of optimism after "Charlie Hebdo" that somehow the right would not be able to take advantage of that and use that as a -- to do what amounts to race baiting and Muslim baiting. But, in fact, over time, they were able to take advantage of it. And now, this is coming right on top of a huge sense of crisis about the immigration issue. I mean, when you have hundreds, literally, hundreds of thousands of people coming across the Mediterranean to try and find homes in Europe, all of a sudden people were worried about that to begin with. Now you`ve got a situation where some of those people may have been associated with this terrorist act. That`s still not absolutely clear. But it certainly is something that politicians, particularly Marine Le Pen on the far right and also former President Sarkozy are trying to exploit. And that of course will drive a lot of divisions into society. But that`s not what you feel on the street right now. But that`s what you`re seeing in public. WILLIAMS: Christopher Dickey, it`s always a pleasure to -- (CROSSTALK) DICKEY: Politicians -- WILLIAMS: To be able to talk to you, thank you, too, for staying up with us so late as the morning approaches in Paris. Chris Dickey of "The Daily Beast". Lawrence, we`ll be back on the air a little later on in your hour to talk about the status of the investigation, vis-a-vis the terrorists in this case. O`DONNELL: Thanks, Brian. Coming up, Belgium has raised its terror threat level and canceled tomorrow`s soccer game against Spain as they search for one of the terrorists that escaped after the Paris attacks. We will have a report from Belgium, and how do we stop the Islamic State? President Obama says putting large number of U.S. troops on the ground in Syria would be a mistake. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Chair asks that the house now observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the terrorists attacks in France. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: We are slowly still gathering information on some of the victims of the attack in Paris on Friday. Matthew Hoche(ph) was a technician who worked for "France 24", he was one of the victims of the massacre at the Bataclan theater, he was 37 years old and the father of one. Francois Savier Prebost(ph) was another victim at the Bataclan, he had been an exchange student at the University of North Texas in 2007. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He and his friends visited lots of places and went to the rodeo here in town, at the beginning of the semester and that`s always good Texas fun. So they would just come in the office and it was wonderful to see him enjoying his experience and learning about Texas. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: He was 29 years old. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ISIL is the face of evil. Our goal, as I`ve said many times is to degrade and ultimately destroy this barbaric terrorist organization. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: But can military force destroy the Islamic State? Today, the Islamic State released a video celebrating the attack in Paris and specifically threatening that if the United States continues its strikes against the Islamic State, they will strike America in Washington D.C. Joining us now from London, Hassan Hassan, co-author of "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror" and with us here in New York, Graeme Wood, contributing editor for "The Atlantic" who`s written extensively on the Islamic State. Graeme, in -- one thing you`ve written over the weekend, you questioned whether the Islamic State actually did authorize this ahead of time or whether they just -- whether it was one of those things where people they`ve inspired did it and they kind of went along with it. GRAEME WOOD, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: Yes, so far the model for attacks on the west has been an inspirational model for the Islamic State. That is, we haven`t seen direct connections where we`ve seen planning, funding, provision of weapons. Instead, it`s been a matter of saying, by the Islamic State, yes, go ahead, we bless you if you have these kinds of activities. Now, we don`t really know what`s happened yet, but it could very well be a centrally-planned, funded and provisioned attack. O`DONNELL: You saw some details in the Islamic State statements about this that were inconsistent with their past claims of credit. WOOD: Yes, there were little aspects of the claim of credit that were interesting. They didn`t give any of the names of the attackers, not even the (INAUDIBLE). They were a little bit slip shard in some of their translation. You know, the Islamic State has in some cases been really punctilious about the copy- editing, the grammar, the spelling. There`s little things that were screwed up. So it looked like at least their PR department was a little bit taken on a back foot. O`DONNELL: And Hassan Hassan, we have new calls here in the United States for sending troops into Syria. We have president of France saying that this is war. It`s not clear to me what he means by war. What can be done at this point to change the dynamics with the Islamic State? HASSAN HASSAN, AUTHOR: Well, I think that sort of rhetoric is, you know, common. Every time a foreign national, foreign national -- foreign country is killed by ISIS, we tend to hear, you know, tough talk by the government of that country. You know, a recent example was Jordan, when the Jordanian pilot was burned alive by ISIS. What we saw was Jordan launching very heavy-handed air campaign against ISIS in Raqqa and elsewhere. But that faded. The -- you know, the Jordanians did not continue to do that. What we -- what we see -- well, you know, the fear is that we might see the same thing with France. I think the way forward is either two things and not the third one. Which is either continue with the measure of campaign that is now led by the United States to contain ISIS militarily while you kind of formulate, you know, a plan to resolve the conflict in both Iraq and Syria. Because unless you deal with the situation in these two countries, it`s very hard to -- you know, undermine the ideology of ISIS because ISIS success on the ground feeds into its global ideological appeal. Because it presents itself as a caliphate building enterprise that is actually working for some people. So unless you deal with the -- with this -- with the ISIS physically on the ground, you can`t defeat it. The other option which is, I think is the right one which is basically to go all in. Not only in a military sense, but more importantly, in a political sense. As in to resolve the conflict in both Iraq and Syria because ISIS was borne out of the political failures that have been -- you know, that have defined the unshaped past decade in Iraq and the past half decade in Syria. And the third one is basically what some people are now calling for, and I think that`s a misguided approach which is basically to increase the pace and the rate of bombs in these countries. O`DONNELL: And what -- Graeme Wood, what do you see a strategy developing or suggested strategy that the United States hasn`t tried that it should now try? WOOD: No, I think that Hassan Hassan is quite right. That the strategies that he`s outlined are -- he`s presented them roughly in order of wisdom. And yes, to continue to roll back ISIS` territory is what we should do. We so far have been slowly but surely successful with that. And just continuing along that path I think is probably the right way to go. But adding, of course, the importance of this political solution which is quite a difficult one -- O`DONNELL: And does that -- and so what about a larger troop commitment to that effort? WOOD: That would, I think be, still -- first of all, something that ISIS would, I think, largely welcome. But -- O`DONNELL: Why would they welcome it? WOOD: Well, for one thing here, it would be a very good recruiting tool. You know, they have been saying from the beginning that we want an invasion. We want Americans to show up. We want to show that this is a fight between Christians and Muslims. So far, at least in Iraq and Syria, it`s been a fight mostly between Muslims and Muslims. So to give them that wish I think is something that we should do with great reluctance. O`DONNELL: Hassan, do you agree that ISIS would like to get American troops, American so-called boots on the ground? HASSAN: Absolutely. I think, you know, this approach has already been tested. We`ve seen, you know, the lessons from the Iraq war. It was the -- you can defeat ISIS, you can trim it, you can like contain it militarily, but it won`t come back again because it`s not a sustainable solution to have boots on the ground and fight ISIS. And temporarily as President Obama said, roll it back because it would come back. What you need to do is basically create an alternative, a real alternative, a viable alternative that appeals to people on the ground. And make that ideology absolute that sort of the idea of a caliphate or a good government body that knows how to regulate the areas under its control. ISIS has provided a very important product, if you like, to people living under its control, which is security. People no longer -- are no longer kidnapped randomly or killed randomly. The only violent group, you know, ISIS has a monopoly over violence. So, it`s the only group that kills, not other people. So that kind of gives some people psychological uncertainty that appeals to some people because they don`t have another option. In Iraq, the other option is Iranian-backed militias that actually do a similar, vicious acts like ISIS and Syria, the same thing. O`DONNELL: Graeme, how long would it take to replace ISIS in that sense in the way that Hassan is saying. Kind of take -- completely convert that territory? WOOD: Well, to provide what ISIS is giving, which is governance, is security, it`s a lack of chaos, it`s a huge undertaking. It`s not something that I think we as Americans or as our foreign coalition could actually provide. So really, what we`re talking about here is creating Iraqi governance, creating Syrian governance that would be acceptable to a Sunni Arab population. We`re a long way away from seeing any entity that can provide that. O`DONNELL: Hassan Hassan and Graeme Wood, thank you both very much for joining us tonight. Coming up, a report from Belgium where an intense search is underway for one of the terrorists who escaped after the Paris attacks. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: We have more on what the United States can do to combat the militants coming up. But first for the latest on the manhunt for one of the suspected Paris terrorist, we go back to Brian Williams at the breaking news desk - Brian. BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Lawrence, thanks. It`s been reported that the first of the French investigators actually left Paris for Brussels before the violence was all over Friday night. In all, they conducted more than 150 raids in cities across France and, notably, in the Belgian capital of Brussels today, in the search for the suspected terrorists who escaped the Paris attacks still alive. NBC`s Keir Simmons is in Brussels for us tonight. KEIR SIMMONS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Brian. That fugitive, that wanted man, who is believed fled Paris with two others got to the border of France and Belgium was stopped but then was released by police. Salah Abdeslam (ph) comes from this suburb of Brussels and the fear is that he is still in this vicinity. The police have been searching for him. Earlier today they closed off a number of streets. Police commandos went from house to house. There were snipers on the roof. Witnesses talked about hearing gunfire. But in the end while they led some people away from a building, they do not appear to have found him. Some of his family lives just across this square. And this is an area where there has been increasing concerns about rising jihadism. There is a link between this area and a number of terrorist attacks including the 2004 Madrid bombings and attacks on the "Charlie Hebdo" magazine offices in Paris. The question is, how did it happen? Some people are saying the politicians here have just turned away. That they closed their eyes and covered their ears and hope the problem will go away instead of course it hasn`t and hasn`t and have been increasing links to ISIS here, perhaps leading to those Paris attacks. Back to you. WILLIAMS: Keir Simmons in Brussels. And while Keir was delivering that report we have just learned that French warplanes have again been in action in the skies over Raqqa in Syria tonight. The French have a single aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle. They`ve been moving that toward the gulf. We don`t know if these were carrier-based or land-based aircraft. How many of them, how many sword, how much ordinance was dropped except that they were in action again in the skies over Syria. We`re happy to be joined in the studio tonight by Evan Coleman, chief of research and development for an organization called Flash Point. They do intelligence consulting. He is also a long-time MSNBC terrorism analyst. Thank you for being with us. EVAN COLEMAN, MSNBC TERRORISM ANALYST: Thank you. WILLIAMS: To begin with, as we`re all getting used to this story, what is it about Belgium? COLEMAN: You know, it is interesting. A lot of people don`t think about Belgium as a hotbed of Islamic mill tansy but it is actually this goes way back. I mean, as early as 1995, 1996, 1997. There were sold (ph) emerging both in France by in northern France along the Belgium border of heavily armed individuals with training in foreign conflict zone, primarily back then, Afghanistan, Bosnia. And they were bringing back these heavy weapons and they wanted to go to war with the states. And unfortunately what we seen is that Belgium has welcomed immigrant communities, but has done a poor job of integrating those immigrants into Belgian society. And as long as we have that sense of segregation, people don`t always feel a sense of belonging. And so I think that feeds into the figures, the numbers. Look at the numbers of people from Belgium and France that have gone to fight in Syria, 500 or more from Belgium, a country of 11 million people, 1500, maybe more, from France. It`s amazing when you consider that a country like the United States, 300 million people, at most, maybe 100, maybe a few more have left to go to Syria and Iraq. And that tells you something, there`s something about these countries, and there`s something about this societies there that is allowing these folks to come up. These were not Syrians or Iraqis. Many of these folks were French. They were French nationals. They were Belgian nationals. They were born there. They grew up there. Something happened there that pushed them along this route. They were certainly weaponized and appears anyway by ISIS. But something else radicalized them. And it`s important that we understand those factors. WILLIAMS: Isn`t that dynamic going to worsen as Muslim populations in Europe that have been part of this refugee wave perhaps now get some distance on them from the standing populations in these countries in. COLEMAN: Yes. And it goes beyond that, too, because you think about it, their critical elections coming up in places like France and Germany. Far right parties that are posed to make major victories. When I was a kid living in France, national front was a joke. It was a joke. No one was seriously vote for that party. Now this is a major party. I mean, their posed to be a majority influence in the French government. These folks are neo-fascists. And the danger is that because of these attacks, French people are going to vote for these folks. It`s disturbing. WILLIAMS: Evan Coleman, thank you very much for stopping by the studios tonight. Lawrence, back to you. O`DONNELL: Thanks, Brian. Coming up, stopping the Islamic state and why President Obama says sending American ground troops to Syria is a mistake. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Our thoughts and prayers of course are very much with the victims, their families, and all of the people of France. And we will continue to keep them in our hearts in the days ahead. As my husband said on Friday, this was an attack not just on France, our dear friend and ally, but on all of humanity. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: We have some breaking news now in the continuing airstrikes in Syria. U.S. officials tell NBC News for the third time in two days French and other coalition aircraft launched airstrikes against Islamic state targets tonight near Raqqa which of course is the ISIS headquarters area in Syria. And today, in Washington the push for war grew louder among Republicans and got an assist from most of the American reporters at the president`s press conference today in Turkey. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: I guess the question is, and if you will forgive the language, is why can`t we take out these bastards? (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: The president said an American ground war against the Islamic state would be a mistake. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There had been a few who suggested that we should put large numbers of U.S. troops on the ground. It is not just my view but the view of my closest military and civilian advisers, that that would be a mistake. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now lieutenant colonel Anthony Schaffer, senior fellow with the London center for policy research who served as an intelligence officer in the army, and also with us Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the institute for policy studies in Washington and author of "Understanding Isis and the new global war on terror." Anthony Schaffer, do you hear anything in the strategies being suggested as alternatives to what the president is doing, anything that would be more effective than what the president is doing? ANTHONY SCHAFFER, SENIOR FELLOW, LONDON CENTER FOR POLICY RESEARCH: I think we have to understand, Lawrence, that there are things we must do regarding, quote-unquote "boots on the ground." It doesn`t have to be U.S. boots on the ground. And I have said this amongst my conservative friends on Capitol Hill time and time again. We have trained the Arab armies. And your previous guest talked about the Sunni and Shia issue. We have to train a Shia - I`m sorry, Sunni force which is going to be representative and accepted by the populations we have to go back in and help resettle the land which ISIS taken over. We proposed NATO, London center for policy research proposed a NATO-type organization led by Egypt, Jordan, funded probably by the Saudis. And the idea here is to actually work with compatible boots on the ground accepted by the population, not U.S. boots. So I really don`t -- I don`t understand the conservatives call for quote-unquote "boots on the ground." It should not be U.S. boots on the ground. The moment we show up we become the issue, we become the target. Nothing will be resolved. O`DONNELL: Phyllis Bennis, war talk has started once again in Washington. We have heard it many times since 9/11 and there`s something awfully repetitive about it. And it seems pretty consistent that everybody who is supporting the boots on the ground concept today was very much in favor of sending all those boots in to Iraq. PHYLLIS BENNIS, INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES: That`s absolutely right, Lawrence. I think though one of the problems is the range of discussion is actually quite narrow. We are hearing about boots on the ground or not boots on the ground. Everybody is assuming that of course air strikes go forward. The reality is we have used military force in what we called a war against terror for almost 15 years now. And clearly it`s failed. We saw the failure in Paris on Friday night. We saw the failure in Beirut on Thursday night. We saw the failure in Ankara several weeks ago. So we are seeing the failure of using military force of variety of kind, boots on the ground, not boots on the ground, other people`s boots on the ground, sneaker on the ground from special force, airstrikes, drone strikes, none of that has worked. At the end of the day I think the reality is that terrorism survives war very well. People don`t. We have the terrorism continuing and yet hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in these wars. I think we need to try something else. It`s not going to be quick. It`s not going to be as dramatic as sending the -- sending the bombers, I think that unfortunately president Hollande seems to be channeling president George W. Bush in saying we will go to war without mercy. That we must go to war against this crime. That you can go to war against terrorism. And it`s a war of vengeance. It`s not a war of justice. I think that`s a huge problem. O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to Jeb Bush said this morning on "Morning Joe." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is the war of our time and we cannot do this by leading from behind. UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Are you willing to say that we are going to have to send our forces over there and fight this battle alongside our allies? BUSH: Absolutely we are. And we need to have a strategy. It needs to be clearly defined. It needs to be a strategy where we fight to win and then we pull out. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: We fight to win, and then we pull out. Your reaction to that, Colonel Schaffer. SCHAFFER: Well, look, I disagree a little bit about the whole terror issue. We have won every battle in the battlefield but we have to understand is terrorism is drawn to ungoverned space. Libya is now become chaos. Syria is chaos. Afghanistan were the 9/11 attacks were planned from is chaos. I think we have to understand and we have to worry about trying to bring order, governance to these areas. It doesn`t have to be governance we accept. For example, the Taliban need to find a way to reconcile with Afghanistan. We should be out of that. I don`t care which governance is there as long as they don`t attack us. That should be the issue. If we can work with the folks locally that come to that conclusion, took who direct, I don`t care what governance is there as long as they choose to not be radicals and attack us. And I think this is where we have to be a lot more clear on how we go forward on this. It is not simply about terrorism. It is about trying to re-establish order within the construct of these nations of people. BENNIS: Saudi Arabia as not being an extremist element here, I think that you are really deluding yourself. Saudi Arabia, not only it is extremist in its own policies, it decapitates people. It uses beheadings just like ISIS. SCHAFFER: They don`t attack us though. And that`s the issue I`m talking about. BENNIS: They don`t attack us. I`m talking about what they do to their own people and people in the region. SCHAFFER: I got tell you, why do we care? Why do we care? BENNIS: I care because we are human beings. They are human beings. SCHAFFER: They don`t hold our values? BENNIS: No, I think that we stop sending them $60 billion worth of weapons that end up in the hands of extremists and that they use -- SCHAFFER: Saudi Arabia does not furnish extremist weapons. SCHAFFER: No, the Saudi is the biggest source from outside beyond the oil income and beyond the taxes. SCHAFFER: I agree with you. Saudi Arabia is the source for (INAUDIBLE) in which is the underlying current pushing these things forward. BENNIS: I think that`s a given. It is also a source their weapons to everybody and their brother in Syria who says that they are -- SCHAFFER: Turkey furnishes money to ISIS in the beginning. BENNIS: Also Saudi. And Saudi did, too. Saudi has furnished money and weapons to Al-Qaeda. We know that the 9/11 bombers were overwhelmingly Saudi, some were Egyptian. SCHAFFER: Absolutely. BENNIS: So, you know, this is not a government that we would -- we should be in my view supporting. I`m just saying that the notion that you can sort of declare, we are going to have these good guys that we think are good guys and that other people are going to accept them is simply not the case. SCHAFFER: I didn`t call them good guys. I would not put that construct on these individuals. It`s governance we should seek and stability and what form that is it may or may not be in favor of our side. O`DONNELL: All right. We are going to leave that discussion there for tonight. Thank you both for joining us tonight, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Schaffer and Phyllis Bennis. A new poll shows most Americans oppose sending ground troops to fight the Islamic state. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would encourage the president really to rally the world. Their armies in a smart way, integrate our forces within a regional army. He can come up with a ground component to supplement the air campaign going on the ground and destroy the caliphate at its headquarters and its capital in Raqqa. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: The art of political campaigning is to of course make what you want to do sound easy. Sound like the obvious thing to do. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Will you at least be willing to send 10,000 U.S. troops over there? DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, I would. But, Joe, I WOULD engage other countries. And I would tell other countries it`s time for you to get out and fight. And it`s time for you to put up your troops and it`s time for you to put this so-called boots on the ground. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now Pulitzer Prize winning author Jon Meacham, the author of the new book "Destiny and Power, the American odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush." Jon Meacham, the get the offer there guys to put the boots on the ground is the easy solution of the day. JON MEACHAM, AUTHOR, DESTINY AND POWER: It is. You know, one of the things that struck me the past couple of days and I don`t mean this as criticism to the president, more an observation, in history, I really do think that we need a true national education about the region, about the issues, the origin, the options. Remember when FDR wanted to explain the various theaters of World War II, he asked radio listeners to go get a map and Rand McNally made a map. I think that there`s a real opportunity here for a more serious conversation about what the options are because right now this debate to me anyway feels untethered from reality for so many people to complicated, fluid situation. It is, as you suggest, it leads itself to reflect simply partisans pre-disposed positions. And without more data, without more explanation, I don`t think as a democracy we are going to come to a very good decision. O`DONNELL: One of the political data points of the day is a new poll showing 76 percent oppose sending ground troops to fight ISIS. A poll conducted in November 14th and 15th, so in the aftermath of what we saw in Paris. MEACHAM: Interesting number. I think that`s probably a reaction to our experience of the last 14 years now in Iraq, in Afghanistan. But, is it possible that those who want to project force on the ground there to also have a point. And I just think it`s a debate worth having. The president this afternoon seemed to assume in a way, a certain level of familiarity with the facts, with his view that I just think could be better expressed and more fully expressed. Those of us in the media, those of us who go about our daily lives and don`t pay enough attention from time to time are just as culpable in this. That`s why I say it is not a criticism. But I think it`s an incredible important moment. And the more we know, together with Jeffersonian point, you know, the value of the republic, strengthen republic, is only as good as the education of its citizenry. And I think right now we still live in a moment, in a time where talking points Trump data points. O`DONNELL: We now have now I think it`s about 19 governors saying some version of I won`t allow any Syrian refugees to enter my state. Apparently they don`t know what the borders of their states are used for nothing other than in just determining taxation and who is taxed for living within those borders. They have no control over who enters a state from another state. But this passes at least the 19 states as a perfectly reasonable and floatable proposal by a governor. MEACHAM: It proves the point I`m trying to make. Apparently federalism and separation of powers escape these governors today. And, you know, we fought a rather bloody war in the middle of the 19th century over this question. So, you know, and you want to understand the passions and, you know, you`ve worked that side of the world. You know the capital. You know that the political instinct is to move quickly and to capitalize on this. But it`s not doing anybody any good. And I think that what we have to figure out is how many Americans, when, if you allow me, when Saddam Hussein went into Kuwait on 2nd of August, 1990, how many Americans had an intelligence response to that? And right now I think still defining ISIS, defining the threat, figuring it out is something that requires a use of the educational part of the bully pulpit. O`DONNELL: Well, that story about Saddam going into Kuwait is beautifully told in your book. Jon, please come back on a night when we will have more time to dig into your new book. We would really like to do that. MEACHAM: Thanks, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Jon Meacham, thanks very much. Coming up, a look ahead on what to expect tomorrow as that manhunt continues. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Tonight we are all Parisians. There`s the old motto of this resilient city says, and as Parisians have painted across the social media in recent days. (INAUDIBLE) but sank. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Just about half hour ago the president landed in Manila in the Philippines to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit. Tomorrow President Obama will hold a meeting with Philippine senior defense officials. Later in the day we will have one-on-one meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbo. Australia is a member in the international coalition launching airstrikes against Islamist state stronghold in Syria and Iraq. In Paris, secretary of state John Kerry will meet tomorrow with French president Francois Hollande to consider their strategic options against the Islamist state. In Washington homeland security secretary Jeh Johnson and FBI director James Comey will brief House members on the Paris attacks in a classified meeting. Our coverage of the terror in Paris continues with Chris Hayes. END